Absolutely, I agree with you. There does need to be such a separation. As a man of faith, myself, I feel it is necessary to separate my spiritual beliefs from my social responsibility as a voter. I wish more people did the same.
However, I think that if the people of Oklahoma (which is dead center in the oft-called "Bible belt") want to have the 10 commandments on the grounds of their state Capitol then Satanists in New York should leave the hell alone. If there was a large community of Satanists in Oklahoma (which I doubt), their complaint may be valid. On the other hand, if we were putting monuments of specific faiths on the Federal Capitol grounds, then I would side with the Satanists (which feels weird to say) and agree that if we have one, we should have them all - so it's probably best to have none.
My point is that the beauty of state government versus federal is that you can be more specific to the people living in the state itself. If a bunch of people in a community want to have their community centered around their faith and they all agree, then just leave them in peace*. New York Satanists are just trolling Oklahoma. Their "proposal" is nothing more than flamebait.
*Disclaimer: if the community of faith results in the malicious brainwashing and/or exploitation of the members, then this statement is negotiable.
While I agree with you, I can't blame these mega-corporations. Lawmakers have a tendency to pass laws that would crush private industries unless they intervened. My guess is that most of this money isn't spent trying to push some agenda, they're simply trying to protect their business from meddlesome lawmakers.
We'll need a government that doesn't screw with the private industry before the private industry agrees to stop screwing with the government.
Accidentally posted my original comment as an anon coward, so I'm responding as the first person who posted this subject line. I hope to make an effort at protecting your faith in humanity and perhaps more specifically, in the ignorant Christians you indict. If you're just a troll, then I'm sorry I'm wasting my time, but I hope that's not the case.
I never said, nor would I ever say would refuse to take medication because of my faith. Ironically enough, I am currently applying to medical school, but I think this is a digression from your main point, so we'll move on.
I think you're talking about a good many Christians who say they refuse to give science a chance because it might possibly contradict their faith. I agree with you. That is a bigoted and fearful response that demonstrates these individuals aren't confident enough of their own faith because they fear educating themselves would cause them to lose it.
As you suggest, I don't think that faith and an appreciation of science are mutually exclusive. In fact, just as people who are frustrated with Christians because they feel that science is incompatible with faith (and I agree, I'm frustrated too), so I find fault with scientists who feel they are unable to explore faith because it is stupid and therefore incompatible with science. Neither of these extremes is true.
I admit that there are a good many Christians who are full of pride - perhaps I'm one of them. What I meant was that it does take humility to admit that I have a need to seek a spiritual solution for what I find in myself to be a spiritual problem. You asked for empiricism on this point and I simply confess that I'm unable to provide it for you, other than that I am an incomplete individual without my faith in God. I consider that a humble admission.
Just as you ask Christians to give acceptance to the idea that science is a real and honest pursuit, so would I ask you to accept that faith is an acceptable pursuit of others, regardless of whether you choose to partake in it.
"We made a tiny bar that vibrates when it's surrounded by bacteria! It stopped vibrating when the bacteria were given antibiotics and we think this means the bacteria were dead. We don't know why it vibrates and currently we have no way of telling the difference between different kinds of bacteria."
Cool technology, but keep your pants on. This has very little application for a very long time.
I'm a pre-med. I regularly see physicians in the emergency room who over medicate and over test patients to protect themselves from litigation.
Consider researching about the benefits of an environment where physicians can discuss mistakes they've made without fear of litigation. Perhaps it could result in better medicine and better patient-physician trust.
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUbfRzxNy20 for more thoughts on this topic.
Someone mod parent up.
Slashdotters are quick to complain that our liberties that are becoming fewer and fewer, but we don't hesitate to push legislation when the activity in question bothers us.
I would attest that there are far more dangerous activities one could commit that are freedoms we wouldn't consider revoking. People are negligent and make poor choices, but removing freedoms that some abuse from the entire population is a knee jerk over correction that gives far too much power to authorities.
Biology grows on you.