Morality's Dual Connections

Morality is closely linked with religious perspectives. So how should a “secular government” relate to morality when it is meant to be separate from religious perspectives?
Child abuse, murder, rape, illegal immigration, lax work-ethics, tax evasion, drunk driving, shop-lifting, shoddy workmanship, marital infidelity, graft - each reflects personal immorality and takes a social toll. Every day, news reports (should) remind us that freedom and prosperity are not only connected with a philosophy of government, but with individual morality. In fact, America’s early political philosophers were convinced that individual morality preceded freedom and prosperity… the cost of containing widespread immorality by law enforcement not only makes each of us poorer, but it has collateral damage on the liberties of law-abiders.

However, since roughly the 1950’s, with America’s changing understanding of First Amendment church/state relations, the state has not only attempted to completely separate itself from a religious perspective (traditionally Christian), but since morality is closely linked with religious perspectives, the state has left the arena of moral discernment almost exclusively to the individual. The state steps in only when immorality reaches the level of a “crime.”

This is not all bad, I don’t want the state telling me what I should believe or how I should act in all areas of life. However, the state went too far. When it stepped out of the religious and moral arenas, it also discredited their values to society. Religion and morality have dual connections; they are vital to the health of both the individual and the state. Here is where the state got it wrong:
when it stepped out of these arenas, the state should have continually evaluated its actions in light of their effects upon the private sector’s ability to instill morality.

Are the moral foundations of medicine affected when the government regulators take over under “Obama-Care”? Is familial morality affected when welfare programs indiscriminately “care” for unwed mothers? And my greatest concern: Are families able to pass a deep understanding of life and morality to their children when state secular schools are free and religious schools are too expensive for most Americans?

The state (and we the people) have it wrong. Morality serves both the public and the private realms. Granted, the state should minimally dictate into these areas of conscience,
but neither should it act to inhibit or unfairly compete with private sector activities that promote the concerns of conscience!
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