Separation of Church and State

In light of the recent events over Kim Davis and same sex marriage we entered into a lively discussion in our Federalism class.

The following post is a response from one of my fellow classmates, Ryan, to the question of the recent rulings on same sex-marriage:

Marriage IS an institution that is granted by the government. While you may have your wedding in a church, you first have to get the marriage license from the state government. This ruling actually re-instills a separation of church and state, as it allows a shared freedom to all citizens, not just those belonging to a particular religion.

Separation of church and state is a right that is often truncated. It is a freedom for one to practice their own religion, AS WELL AS a freedom from having someone elses religion forced upon you. Most people only the first half of that ideal. It is not the government’s place to say that a man can’t marry another man. A church can be against it all they want, and no one is forcing them to change their teachings. But a government cannot legislate religious beliefs.

It does not force any church to go against their teaching and force them to marry a same-sex couple. It just allows same-sex couples the same government-granted rights as every one else.

Even after the Supreme Court decision there is still a faction of government employees that are violating the separation of church and state. Court Clerks that are refusing to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples are injecting their religion into the political actions of the state. Clerks that issue licenses are acting as an extension of the government, not their church. Their disregard of their duties based on their religious ideals is a blatant violation of church and state. If they don’t want to execute their lawful duties, then they should find a new job.


What are your thoughts on his statement?