THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

A COMMENTARY ON CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

I am refreshed by the constitutional aspects of Dec. 2013 rulings by the Federal court in Utah, dealing with both same sex marriages and plural marriage issues. I am looking with favor on both of these rulings only through the eyes of the constitutional law and not from a religious nor a philosophical point of view, although I do have both.

A huge characteristic of the constitutional law, supported heavily by Patrick Henry in the 1700s is the complete separation of church and state. It is with this in mind that I look at the histories of monogamy and plural marriage with respect to the laws of the land. As far as same sex marriage goes, there is no logical justification for such practice and I don’t philosophically support it, The bottom line is that to support same sex unions undermines the very existence of all individuals. If everyone saw things through the eyes of homosexuals, they (the homosexuals) would not even exist.Simple reasoning dictates that the philosophy of homosexual living rises out of self gratification and tears apart the logistics of family structure whereas plural marriage magnifies the family when it is practiced in the spirit of love, unselfishness and charity and not for temporal or sexual gratification. Having said that, I, for one, will defend to the death persons’ rights to choose for themselves. That is what was intended in the drafting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States by the founding fathers when they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the cause of freedom.

It seems difficult for the average citizen to separate philosophical and religious beliefs from the laws of the land. Everyone, by nature wants to incorporate them in daily living and the laws of the land are consequently incorporated with religious beliefs in the minds of most people. If homosexuals want to align themselves with the state, that’s their business but I don’t believe it will help their cause to do so. They are probably shooting themselves in the foot by demanding license and sanction by the state. This is very dangerous ground if freedom of choice is to prevail in the same venue with government. The complete separation of church and state is essential to the protection of freedom of choice in any culture, even if there is no church, only a philosophy.

The opinion of the Federal Court, considering a lawsuit filed by Kody Brown, a man with four wives and a national TV show, was a summary judgement that, while preserving the polygamy portion of the Utah State law, the cohabitation prong was eliminated, allowing for religious unions and contractual cohabitations to be legal and lawful as long as a person does not apply for multiple marriage licenses with the State. This basically has the effect of undoing the early prevention of polygamy by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). If those early plural marriages had not been sanctioned by the Territorial Laws of Utah Territory prior to application for Statehood and the acceptance of Reed Smoot, a Mormon, as a U.S. senator, the state could not have, or at least should not have regulated “spiritual” plural marriages. However, because of traditional church and state incorporated philosophy, lack of understanding and reasonable definition of the Constitutional Law at that time, the pressure would probably have still been too great for the LDS Church to carry on with its very existence had it not done away with plural marriage of any kind. Hence the understandable “Manifesto” issued by Wilford Woodruff, the then President of the LDS Churchand published with the Doctrine and Covenants, canonized by the Church as scripture.

It is important for Americans to understand the basic functions and duties of these three branches.

The legislative is to make laws,

the executive to enforce laws and

the judicial to judge laws that are passed by the legislature, using the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as a guideline.

By their very nature, in the history of governments, the enforcement arm tends to take over the powers of the other two and runs roughshod over the citizenry, summarily becoming lawmaker, judge and executioner on the streets (police state). And, as history has proven, it isn’t long before executive order overpowers congressional lawmaking and the courts to the point of tyranny.

Hooray for the judicial branch and judges with good sense and thank God for the Constitution! These recent rulings are both good rulings, whether or not people or institutions are for or against them for philosophical or religious reasons. Whether they know it or not, both rulings are reflecting the true meaning of the Constitution and in their favor. The Constitution of the United States was drafted by inspired men and adopted to preserve the freedomof citizens to pursue any belief they choose and to preclude the state from acting upon or regulating such beliefs.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take for the complete restoration of all righteous things in an environment where governments have chosen to ignore the Constitution in the enforcement of unjust laws. It is refreshing to see the judicial branch of government have a larger hand in the checks and balances system set up by the founding fathers with the creation of the three branches of government, legislative, executive and judicial.

By the way, I am not concerned about socialism, communism, capitalism, globalism or any other of the “isms”. What concerns me is human nature. Individuals in high places naturally tend to exercise unrighteous dominion over those they have been elected or appointed to govern, and there are those who have proclaimed themselves rulers because of their riches and high station in the world. It would be a much better, richer, happier and safer world if all elected or otherwise appointed officials, whether temporal or spiritual, realized that they are to serve, not to dictate. Cronyism and aspiring to the honors of men have unfortunately become the norm in governments and no longer the exception. The natural man is more interested in impressing his superiors and colleagues than he is in performing unselfish service for the benefit of others.

Garry Isaacs, January 14, 2014

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Garry Isaacs 2013