Separation of Church and State

The principle of separation of church and state has been established in the ways modern states are operating for quite a while. The roots of this principle reach back to the Old Testament where the kingdom and priesthood were separated. That means the king was not allowed to perform religious, ritual duties and the priest did not rule the country. This principle was violated during the Middle Ages by popes and imams, who kept, not only the highest religious office, but also secular power. Today, even in England, the king is still the head of the Anglican church, which is a violation of this principle as well. Otherwise, this principle is, at least in western societies, mostly implemented.

But some go a step further and want to deduct from this principle an obligation of religious neutrality for the state. That means the state must grant religious freedom but should not favor, for itself, any kind of faith. In this context people demand to abandon religious classes in school, crucifixes in court houses or even religious holidays. But the very same people who want to abandon religious classes in school want to replace it with ethics classes. That means they don't want to stop teaching moral values. But where do this values come from if not from religion? With every value that is taught, a certain world view, a belief, an ideology is transferred. Nowadays secular societies are strongly influenced by humanism. Therefore, when religious classes are abandoned, humanistic ethics classes replace them. Thus, humanism is in the end a belief system itself. A belief that is by far not acknowledged by everyone and that one can believe in but does not have to believe in. It does not make sense, in the context of demanding neutrality of the state, to replace one belief with another. There is no 100% neutrality of the state regarding faith questions because the values a state wants to uphold always have their origin in some kind of belief system. So, the question is not, if a state needs to be neutral regarding faith but rather which kind of values it should represent. 

Personally, I prefer Christian-biblical values to those of humanism. Humanism is a heresy: It does not have an explanation for the root of evil and, therefore, no meaningful solutions for dealing with evil in society. Of course, the state still needs to grant religious freedom to other streams of faith and world views but an obligation of religious neutrality for the state is neither possible nor necessary.