Herman Cain's Crazy Definition of Church-State Separation

Republic Presidential hopeful Herman Cain thinks he supports the separation of church and state, but in reality he has no idea what that phrase means.

Here’s what he said on Fox News this weekend, while speaking in support of communities having the right to ban mosques:

Our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state.

When asked if a community should be allowed to ban a mosque, Cain responded,

Yes. They have a right to do that. That’s not discriminating based upon religion.

For logical people, it may be hard to understand how someone could promote mosque-banning and the separation of church and state at the same time, but perhaps I can add some insight.  According to Cain, Islam combines a set of laws (Sharia law) with religious beliefs.  Combining a set of laws and religious beliefs is mixing church and state, which U.S. law keeps separate.  Therefore, a community can ban that which combines church and state (e.g. a mosque).  Never mind that the phrase is actually designed to prohibit government from endorsing a particular belief system or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

What makes this flat-out religious discrimination, despite a claim to the contrary, is that Cain refuses to apply his logic to any other religion besides Islam.  During his interview, Cain supported his claims by arguing,

They’re objecting to the fact Islam is both a religion and a set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes.

Apparently the Ten Commandments, a codified list of moral imperatives found in the Judeo-Christian Bible, do not meet the threshold for “a set of laws” in Cain’s eyes since he is not allowing communities to ban churches as well.  If Cain truly supported his version of separation of church and state, every chapel and synagogue would be unconstitutional.  Earlier this year, he explained why the Bible’s set of laws is superior and allowed to mingle with state and federal law.

I support American law. Our laws were derived from principles that are biblically based. Maybe not said in the same words that are in the Bible, but our laws are derived from principles based upon the Bible.

Attempting to reconcile the varied and contradictory statements made by Herman Cain is futile.  He makes these statements because he is a zealot pandering to people that have been convinced their way of life is being attacked by anyone different from them. 

Herman Cain’s full remarks on mosque-banning can be viewed below.


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