I've never participated in this before, but I feel compelled to try my hand at it now. I have a dozen different projects and concerns pulling at me, and I need to get this post finished before I go to bed Thursday night, because I plan on spending the better part of Friday and Saturday (hopefully) in fasting, prayer and household chores. Fortunately for me, and for you, there are plenty of people participating in this who can tackle complex issues of faith, government and politics far better than I could. I'll start small.
The past several weeks have been an unusual and intense time for me.
A vacation trip to New Orleans, for Mardi Gras of all things, led directly to something of a spiritual renewal for me. It also led to my going to confession for the first time in 18 years, and receiving communion again. I won't bore you with the details, but I was lucky enough to wander into St Louis Cathedral while confessions were being heard, and the priest on duty also turned out to be one of the chaplains for the New Orleans Police Department. I walked out of that cathedral feeling better than I've felt in years.
I suppose that what I'm trying to say is that I am grateful to be experiencing a renewal of my faith. I can't explain it, but I know for certain that my faith does not depend on the validation, sanction or support of any government entity.
I think that it's important to remind our observant brothers and sisters that the separation of church and state is there as much to protect the faithful from the corrupting influences of "worldly" politics as it is to protect government from the influence of religion. Religion needs to be about mercy, redemption and salvation, not about the exercise of government power or the legislating of a particular theology. It is the height of human arrogance to believe we can understand God's will, let alone presume to speak for Him in an attempt to shape legislation and state policies.
You can read plenty here: Blog Against Theocracy
That is all.