Death, Taxes, and the Impossibility of Separation
In an essay in the current issue of The RI Catholic, I attempt to link my conversion from nihilism to Catholicism with the impossibility of truly separating church and state by way of introducing my heretofore monthly column in the publication:
Faith-filled or faithless, no such existential philosophies can be sopped off the skin like bath water. They have consequences. They show on the faces that we present to the world.
Moreover, they determine what sort of obligations we acknowledge. One hears often about a separation of church and state, but there can be no such thing. Even a culture that takes the impetuous stand that nobody has a right to impose restrictions will paradoxically find itself knocking down doors in search of hegemony, lest somebody, somewhere tells somebody else what to do. Even a government that preaches an individual autonomy to “define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life,” as the Supreme Court put it when finding a Constitutional right to sodomy in Lawrence v. Texas, will collect taxes and allocate the dollars by its own mysterious process.