by Peter MacLachlan, Hamilton, Montana
We have seen increasingly over the past few decades, a wide-spread outcry against the connection between church and state. As stated in the First Amendment, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ the last part being at the heart of the debate. The meaning of the First Amendment has been endlessly discussed and it’s not my intention to discuss it further – only to add a wrinkle.
I’m not sure if we have a standard in place for the definition of religion, stating what qualifies it. But we have seen, over the past several years, a body of thought, ideas and data (some would include principles) of a belief system that might qualify as religion – that has been, in the past few months dramatically displayed not only on this opinion page, but in the state legislature as well.