by Babu G. Ranganathan
There is a wrong definition of separation of church and state and there is a right definition of separation of church and state.
The U.S. Constitution simply says that Congress cannot establish religion or prevent the free exercise thereof. All that this means is that there can be no state church. In other words, people or citizens of the United States cannot be forced to belong to a particular religion or a particular Christian denomination. It also means that no religious institution can make the laws of the land. Only democratically elected officials (i.e. Congress) can make the laws of the land. It doesn't mean that religious beliefs cannot be held or expressed by individuals within the government, and it doesn't mean that religious beliefs can't influence the law.
The founding and history of this nation proves that the expression of Christian and religious beliefs in the halls of government was never considered and should not be considered as a violation of separation of church and state.
Someone's personal beliefs will always be expressed in politics and government whether those beliefs are religious or not. What right does the atheist have to express his or her personal beliefs in politics and government but yet deny this same right to those of faith? Someone's personal beliefs will always influence public policy. People of faith should not be excluded from expressing and influencing public policy anymore than atheists and agnostics should be prevented from expressing and influencing public policy with their beliefs.
The key is a delicate balance and a respect for all within a rightful context. Minorities have rights but so do majorities. In this politically correct society of ours the rights of majorities are being totally ignored and trampled upon!