One of the refrains Americans are most familiar with is the importance of separation of church and state. This has been couched as a necessary, and beneficial, method of preventing secular and spiritual power coalescing into a monolithic force that controls both our earthly, and other worldly, destinies.
Let's examine that premise more closely by clarifying what a church is. In this instance, "church" means any institutionalized organization of morals and ethical teachings regarding life now and in the hereafter. While church is used to denote Christian houses of worship, feel free to substitute temple, mosque or other nomenclature if you are more comfortable with that. The idea is that a "church" is a familiar body of rules and values that any particular belief system adheres to.
So why is the separation of church and state so important? The answer isn't as obvious as it has been made to seem. It is the State that wishes to make one religion supreme for political purposes, or a Religion that wishes to utilize the powers of the State to enforce its beliefs without exception. What these two roads to the same destination have in common is COERCION. The separation of church and state is really just a method to avoid the concentration of coercive secular and moral power into one force that is socially irresistible.
But when you remove the element of coercion, you simply have free religious expression and--hopefully--a government limited to those collective duties that have been delegated by the people to it. By making individuals free to express their religious/spiritual values without coercion of any kind to others, you encourage the growth of the highest ideals of each path, to the benefit of society at large. By taking government out of the business of deciding what is sincere belief or practice, or prohibiting the expression of it, you remove the temptation of mission creep of government control for purposes the State finds appealing.
What we have had for many years around the world is not a system of overly moralistic leadership. Instead, we have been subjected to mass control of humanity by a tiny minority, whether we call them an aristocracy, oligarchy, kakistocracy or any other handy tag. This tiny wedge of humanity uses the power and influence of the State to secure the most advantageous consideration of its interests. It is not in their interest to have religious expression delve too deeply into political concerns, even though positive ethical values are the bedrock of any healthy social system.
While we respect and appreciate value in the principle of separation of church and state, the fact is today's Church of State demands unwavering loyalty, blind faith in its goodness, our willingness to allow it unlimited license to punish any and all it finds lacking, and the sole and exclusive right to determine guilt and innocence.
The Church of State is the only church the parasitic governing class will allow influence in our secular society. It is in their interest to assure there will be no serious questioning of the moral character of our political class as true religion might pose, and no strict calling to account for their actions.
Our path refuses donation of funds, which would require an accounting with the State. We are beholden to nothing but the Truth as given to us. We speak of matters typically considered political because, in our view, there simply is nothing that should be considered outside the realm of positive moral guidance in human affairs. The State as presently constituted is the example par excellence of the need for such.
When you hear the phrase, "the separation of church and state," you may make the distinction between those who honestly want to avoid a monopoly concentration of power and those whose divide-and-conquer methods of control understand their greatest adversary is Truth, and a commitment to positve ethical values lived out each day in our life.