This year Easter and Passover come close together — what a great time to recognize one of the great achievements of our country’s founders: freedom of religion. Our Constitution protects the free exercise of religion, it prohibits the establishment of a state religion, and it specifically forbids the use of a religious test for office-holding. Some of my friends worry that the state will mess up the church; others worry that the church will corrupt the state. And yet with our Constitutional scheme we can avoid both problems.
I do hope that on both sides of the church-state division we can have respect and harmony. This calls for the state to be extra careful when religious sensibilities are at stake. It calls for the church to take extra care, too, when it would influence the state. Lately, it seems to me that some politicians are all too quick to pick a fight with the church, and some people of faith are all too quick to seek out politicians who will not respect those of different faiths.
The Founders got this one right. Now, let’s not foul it up.