The state and the church have continuously upheld isolated and separate entities. The government can freely exercise its functions without any intervention from religious organizations, while these faith-based institutions can go about their daily rituals sans governmental intrusion and influence. This separation has created a certain level of balance between the physical and spiritual realms. The main point, therefore, is the establishment of equilibrium within the society. Man cannot live by the laws of physics alone; he needs to believe in something more profound than just what scientists and discoverers have labeled so far. Man has to believe in something beyond what the surface of things reveals. There are countless mysteries in life; millions of questions left unanswered. Life itself is a mystery. It is inevitable, therefore, to adopt both the laws of man and the laws of God. Consequently, we have our constitution established by our ancestors and the commandments set by our church. These are two unique and distinct guiding principles in life but very much similar in nature. Both are designed to achieve harmony.
The state oversees every aspect of civil society. Everything that affects its constituents is a matter of concern for the government. It provides protection and support for its citizens. It offers opportunities for everyone to hone their skills and be productive members. It creates offices to handle specific facet of civilization. Laws are created to avoid injustice and violations on rights. Ultimately, it wants to achieve peace, progress, and prosperity.
The church, on the other hand, administers to the longings of the soul. Man becomes restless while he goes about his business in society. He craves for something that will fill the vacuum that he is experiencing deep within himself. Through intensive research he knows that ultimately some powerful force has created everything in this world and beyond. He longs to connect with his Creator. Faith believes in something without really knowing all the answers. With the help of his conscience, he seeks God and finds refuge in the oasis that is the church. The church heeds man’s call and provides all the support he needs. She educates man on the ways of God. She teaches him about salvation, mercy, and grace. The church then imparts unto man the commandments of God- the guiding principles necessary for the redemption of his confused soul.
Any attempt to combine these two entities together spells tragedy. As admirable as the goals of the government might be, there is a great possibility of corruption. Such sad reality had been proven on countless instances in the past. The use of religion to disguise any dubious plans will surely deceive people. The citizens will immediately obey the rules set by the government in the name of God. The Lord’s name will forever be subjected to unscrupulous dealings. Conversely, the church with all its genuine desire to aid mankind in achieving his goal and purpose in life will not be able to do so with all other state-related concerns it has to manage. If the church has to oversee executive, judicial, and legislative proceedings of the land, it will no longer have the time to carry out its spiritual duties. Church officials will be very busy with taxation, peace and order, and every aspect of civil society. With the monopoly of power, both the state and the church will have a hard time accomplishing its objectives.
Man is free. He has the freedom and the will to choose which road to traverse and which to avoid. With this liberty, man has both achieved successes and suffered failures. He has discovered new frontiers and invented all kinds of bits and pieces to make his existence a little more tolerable. There are countless faith-based organizations that man has founded. Some claimed to be the real thing while others just wanted to provide a sanctuary for thirsty souls. Neutrality therefore is indispensable. The government needs to sustain that behavior towards religion to preserve its existence as well. If by any chance the state favors one or some churches over the others there is a great possibility of disorder. Those churches that were overlooked will definitely show dissatisfaction over the unfair treatment they have experienced. They will rise up and rebel against the state and chaos will ensue. Due to the separation of power between the church and the state, it is necessary for the state to remain neutral and avoid adopting one particular religion as the basis of worship and spiritual institution.
The office of faith-based resources by President Bush is a commendable effort to bridge gaps between the state and the church. Since they share a common goal for society and humanity, the best option to take is to support each other. The office of faith-based resources offers assistance and support to all recognized religious organizations without bias or discrimination. The government recognizes the efforts made by these religious orders to help the citizens of society. The state knows that these churches have made their tasks a little bit easier. The church aids in educating the people about how to go with their daily lives and how to conduct themselves appropriately in society thus discouraging more crimes and social disturbance. President Bush knows that by supporting them a small step towards unity and harmony has just been taken.
It is impossible to merge the church and the state as one body of government. The only way for them to successfully co-exist is to assist each other. The church helps to educate the people while the state recognizes the value of the church and provides much needed benefits maintaining firm neutrality towards any church its citizen might be a member of. It is a win-win situation for everyone especially the people.