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Reader's view: Keep walls that separate religious, secular beliefs

Most walls designed to separate people from one another don't work. An ancient wall in China and a more recent wall in Berlin are but two famous examples.

Most walls designed to separate people from one another don't work. An ancient wall in China and a more recent wall in Berlin are but two famous examples.

There is one exception, however: Walls designed to separate religious from secular belief systems are well worth building and maintaining.

Our Founding Fathers experienced firsthand the power a ruler had when claiming his or her legitimacy flowed directly from God. Negotiation and compromise might be the cornerstones of man-made rules, but they fall on deaf ears when God's expectations are entertained.

Our Constitution includes a host of novel ideas. One of them, the wall separating secular and religious authorities, is well worth remembering and respecting. That wall had freedom written all over it. We were free to worship or deny God as we wish and to be free from having to endorse a view of God sanctioned by the State.

The Middle East is now going through what our European ancestors did more than 300 years ago. They have to find their own way, but building walls separating religious and secular institutions has got to be one of their priorities. Many of their rulers, like our kings and church leaders of the past, still claim both a secular and religious high ground. Getting them to voluntarily consider the American model separating those two may be too much to ask.

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In the meantime, if you're thinking about breaking down bricks on our wall, I recommend looking at the Middle East and reconsidering.

Dave Griffin

Duluth

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