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Published by: angeljin1207 on Jan 27, 2013
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Separation of Church and State
Political freedom requires a separation of church and state. This principle is oftenadvocated, but seldom fully understood. Properly, this separation is rooted in theprinciple of intellectual freedom. It means that every individual should be free tothink about and accept any idea he chooses.To say that church is separate from state means that the state makes no
evaluation of its citizens’ ideas, religious or otherwise. The state’s concern is onlywith men’s actions, spec
ifically actions that trespass on individual rights. It neitherpersecutes nor tolerates nor promotes ideas
because it is unconcerned withideas per se.From the other direction, to say that state is separate from church, means that acitizen
including any faction of them, such as a church
is incapable of using the
state’s coercive power to penalize or support ideas, religious or otherwise. If a
citizen wants to hinder or support an idea, he must argue his case with others, notenact a law.In a free society, government has no power to persecute or establish religiousideas because it has no power to police ideas as such. No one, including those ingovernment, may force their ideas on anyone.
Q&A with Ayn RandCan capitalism be justified on religious grounds?
There can be no more disastrous error
morally,philosophically and politically
than to assertthat the ultimate justification of Capitalism
restson faith
. To assert this is to announce that thereis no
justification for Capitalism, norational arguments to support the principleswhich created this country
and that reason ison the side of the enemy.
The Communists claim that they are thechampions of reason and science. If theConservatives concede that claim and retreatinto the realm of religion, it will be an act of intellectual abdication, the kind of intellectual
surrender that the Communists’ irrational
ideology could never have won on its ownmerits.The conflict between Capitalism and Communismis a
conflict, which mustbe
in men’s minds, in the realm
of ideas; without that victory, no victory in thepolitical realm is possible. But one cannot win
men’s minds by telling them not to think; one
cannot win an intellectual battle by renouncingthe intellect; one cannot convince anybody byappealing to faith.Capitalism is perishing by default. The historicalcause of its destruction is the failure of itsphilosophical advocates to present a full,consistent case and to offer a
justificationfor their stand. Yet reason is on the side of Capitalism; an irrefutable
case can be,and must be, offered by its defenders. Thephilosophical default of the Conservatives willbecome final, if Capitalism
the one and only
way of life
is reduced to the status of amystic doctrine.I am not suggesting that you should take a stand
religion. I am saying that Capitalism andreligion are two separate issues, which should
not be united into one “package deal” or one
common cause. This does not mean that religiouspersons cannot crusade for Capitalism; but it
does mean that nonreligious persons, like myself,cannot crusade for religion.June 4, 1960 Letter to Barry Goldwater, 
Sensing their need of a moral base, many “conservatives” decided to choose
as their moral justification; they claim that America and capitalism arebased on faith in God.Politically, such a claim contradicts the fundamental principles of the UnitedStates: in America, religion is a private matter which cannot and must not bebrought into political issues.
Intellectually, to rest one’s case on
means to concede that reason is on the
side of one’s enemies—
that one has no rational arguments to offer. The
“conservatives’” claim that their case rests on faith, means that there are no
rational arguments to support the American system, no rational justification forfreedom, justice, property, individual rights, that these rest on a mystic revelationand can be accepted only
on faith
that in reason and logic the enemy is right,but men must hold faith as superior to reason.Consider the implications of that theory. While the communists claim that they
are the representatives of reason and science, the ‘conservatives” concede it and
retreat into the realm of mysticism, of faith, of the supernatural, into anotherworld, surrendering
world to communism. It is the kind of victory that the
communists’ irrational ideology could never have won on its own merits.
Observe the results. On the occasion of Khrushchev’s first visit to America, he
declared, at a televised luncheon, that he had threatened to
us because it
has been “
” proved that communism is the system of the future,
destined to rule the world. What did our spokesman answer? Mr. Henry Cabot
Lodge answered that our system is based on faith in God. Prior to Khrushchev’sarrival, the “conservative” leaders—
including senators and House members
were issuing indignant protests against his visit, but the only action they
suggested to the American people, the only “practical” form of protest, was:
prayer and the holding of religious services fo
r Khrushchev’s victims. To hear
offered as their only weapon by the representatives of the most powerfulcountry on earth
a country allegedly dedicated to the fight for freedom

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