Separation of Church and State is not enough

published Jul 26, 2015, last modified Dec 28, 2021

What we need is separation of person and State.

The doctrine of separation of Church and State (is a desirable thing) is well-known today.  But what's its origin?

Actually, it's not very difficult to deduce, if one knows history.  Historically, Church and State were either one and the same, or tightly tied.  The money that the State forcibly took from people went, at least partially, to fund the (official) Church.

Understandably, people were pissed off about this.  To get a glimpse into why, let's suppose you were Jewish.  Imagine some of your wealth was taken every day / week / month / whatever, and then given to the Catholic Church to spend however they see fit.  This forced act leaves you, your religion and your ethnicity poorer and worse off than Catholics..  Ideally, you'd keep that money to yourself, and give it to your Church -- or, perhaps, if you were an atheist, give it to charity or to your family.  So, if this happened to you, you'd be very rightfully pissed off.

Note that in my last paragraph, I used the word "rightfully".  This is no accident.  The source of this is very, very simple, and anyone can understand it: I should not be forced to labor / pay for goods and services I did not request.  People vocalized this at the time.  This is a good, easy-to-understand principle, and it underpins not just the notion of separation of Church and State -- formally expressed, it being wrong to force people unaffiliated with a church to pay for it (a service they did not use) -- but also many other good ideas, such as opposition to slavery.

Is that principle in effect today?

Unfortunately, no.

While it is mostly true that people aren't forced to pay for churches anymore, people are forced to pay for a myriad more things -- public schools, wars, governmental departments full of parasites -- and that force (or threat thereof) is always perpetrated under the guise that the "product" or "service" paid for by the loot is "beneficial to the payer / beneficial to society".  Said excuse is obviously corrupt, as it does not matter one bit whether stealing to pay for something "beneficial" causes that "beneficial" thing to happen; what matters is the violation of the simple principle I should not be forced to labor / pay for goods and services I did not request.

In today's world, the number of things you are forced to fund agaisnt your will or without your knowledge, the amount of money that is taken from you, and the scope of those things you're forced to fund, is far, far larger than before.  Thus, our current situation is effectively worse than in the old times when people were forced to pay only for the church and for the king.

What we need today is more than separation of Church and State; we need separation of person and State.

I leave here a Tom Woods video that raises this point eloquently: