The federal government in the United States like many other governments in the world separates the state and religion as well as secular organizations. However, these organizations opinions are usually put in to consideration when the government or the state is settling down on some sensitive issues. In most cases, the secular organizations opinions differ from the religious organizations opinion though they may be at consensus in a few instances.
Also, the opinions of the religious organizations may differ depending on the beliefs of the various religions that are present in every nation some of which include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhist and others. Just to mention but a few, some of the religious organizations prevailing in the United States include United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Religious Action Centre of Reform Judaism, the National Council of Churches and others.
In 1947, the federal government ruled that no taxpayer’s money would be used to fund any religious activity. Though there is a legal barrier between the government and religion, there is no law prohibiting public officials from making personal religious view nor does the law prohibit the interaction between the religion and culture.
This is because religion which supports morality is a very basic pillar in any patriotic nation (Anon 4). However, religion plays a very important role in the American politics as well as public policy (Duncan & Jones 132)
The religious and the secular arguments concerning individual policies probably on immigration, climate change, national drug policy and federal funding for stem cell research differ a great deal since these two areas differ a lot in making. Religion is mainly based upon the supernatural and the spiritual believes whereby their arguments are more inclined in the word while the secular world is more inclined towards science which helps human beings to better understand the natural world mainly through facts (Wuthow 156).
Religion particularly the Christians opinion on immigration is that people should not be limited on where they should live since their own Jesus Christ was an immigrant on his birth and immigrated severally during his mission on earth. Catholics propose that all people are one God’s family on earth (Kerwin para. 4).
This differs from the secular approach on immigration since various factors have to be considered before immigrants are allowed in a foreign country. On climate change, religion differs from artificial methods of climate alteration by scientists since God alone should determine weather and climate. Human beings should only maintain or restore Gods creation (Lever-Tracy 236).
A survey undertaken by the SMART Recovery group in the United States showed that the secular individuals participate more than the religious people due to their religious beliefs (Kleiman 729). On the same issue most religious groups differ with the secular approach on issues like abortion, family planning and others (Hibbard 27). The debate on the stem cell research also left supporter and non- supporters divided on religious grounds where religion is against the whole idea (Duncan & Jones 133).
Though she secular world through science are two very distinct areas, both of them are interdependent and important in that their contributions make the society complete. Policy makers should not bias any of them but should take their considerations in to account and adopt what benefits the society. This is because both have their own pros and cons thus each of their opinions should be interrogated before adoption since none is perfect.
Furthermore, religion and secular opinions are not always different. In some cases, these two areas come in to consensus making decision making even easier. For instance, the idea of institutional separation and rise of modern capitalism in Europe in the seventeenth century was facilitated by both the religion and the secular world without much difference (Wuthow 160).
In order to separate arguments made by religious and secular organizations that may share similar goals, policy maker can apply some four basic criteria that are capable of relating the two subjects. They include ‘conflict, independence, dialogue and integration’.
A thesis concerning conflict was carried out in the nineteenth century and evidence recorded in two popular books by Draper and White. They recorded highly selective evidence that has been applied extensively during the recorded centuries (Anon 12).
Today, the conflict between science and religion is mainly perpetuated through the media whereby it is possible to separate the two by looking at their basis. Independence is another way to separate science and religion mainly through the questions they ask, domains and the methods they apply.
Dialogue can also be employed to separate the two since it portrays constructive relationship without bringing conceptual unity that each advocates for since it considers pre assumptions, methods and concepts of the two (Anon 23). Finally, integration employs natural theology of nature and systemic theology to separate science and religion y considering each field’s strong points and possible contribution in the universe (Anon 27)
In conclusion, both religious and secular organization plays a very vital role in decision making in the society. Though they differ in many aspects, policy makers should be biased when considering their opinions but should look at what may be beneficial in to the society while respecting individual’s beliefs. However, to ensure efficiency in the states operations, the state should act independent of the two.
Anon. What Are the Distinguishing Marks of Religion in America. Attached Document, 2011.February 24, 2011.
Duncan, Ann & Jones, Steven. Church-state Issues in America Today: Religious convictions and practices. Westport, Greenwood Publishing, 2008. Print.
Hibbard, Scott. Religious Politics and Secular States: Egypt, India, and the United States. Maryland: JHU Press, 2010. Print.
Kerwin, Donald. Immigration Reform and the Catholic Church. Migration Information, 2006. Web. February 24 2011.
Kleiman, Mark. Encyclopedia of Drug Policy. London, SAGE, 2011. Print.
Lever-Tracy, Constance. Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Oxon, Taylor & Francis, 2010. Print.
Wuthow, Robert. No contradictions here, Science, Religion and the Culture of all reasonable possibilities. 2011. Attached Document