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Religious freedom key to American experiment says CBU Prof

Religious freedom key to American experiment says CBU Prof

(RIVERSIDE, Oct. 5, 2012)--Religious arguments should not be barred from current political discussions, said Jim Bishop, CBU associate professor of criminal justice and business law.

Bishop made his remarks during an annual Constitution Day event on the campus of California Baptist University Sept. 27.

“If morality is necessary for democracy, then religious freedom, must, in fact, be the bedrock for the American experiment,” Bishop said.

Bishop’s speech centered on the importance of America’s founding documents and the government’s “separation of church and state,” a phrase not found in the documents, Bishop said.

“The phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the Constitution,” Bishop said. “It actually came from a phrase in a letter that referred to a figurative wall between religion and control by the federal government.”

Bishop framed his talk around current political debates regarding issues such as Obamacare. Religious institutions have objected to provisions included in the health care act, such as access to abortion, on the basis of separation of church and state.

“The Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 or Obamacare demonstrates the broad reach of federal power today,” Bishop said. “In its adoption, the United States is following the European model of government at the very moment in history that the European model itself appears to be crumbling.”

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