Religion and social justice

As things are now, the problem with the constitutional separation of church and state is that it assumes that government is not the vehicle of moral life. That assumption is inconsistent with the concept of social justice. “Social justice” means that government supervises how things end up. If government is responsible for what happens, however, then to say government must stay out of religion is to say that religion can have no effect on events.

Government is now responsible for the care of the weak, the upbringing of children, the general well-being of everyone, even the attitudes we display toward each other. Under such circumstances the claim that it is not taking a position on the fundamental questions of human life is absurd. Government today can claim to act without regard to particular religous beliefs only by asserting that religious belief is or ought to be irrelevant to everything serious.

The practical effect of the separation of church and state, under modern conditions, is therefore the establishment of godlessness. The only way of averting such a result is radical reduction in the role of government, an event that is desirable for any number of reasons but appears on the whole unlikely.

1 thought on “Religion and social justice”

  1. Nicely expressed. It’s
    Nicely expressed. It’s almost as if it’s not so much a separation of church and state but church and society.


Leave a Comment