The bumper sticker of the day is “The last time we mixed politics and religion people were burned at the stake.”
Was the last time we mixed religion and politics really the Salem Witch Trials? The 1690’s the best example they can come up with? Granted, twenty-five people being executed or dying in prison is something to look into, but how about something a little more recent?
Heck, Iran still mixes politics and religion to deadly result. They are whacking homosexuals (which do not exist in Iran according to Ahmadinejad) right and left over there. Where is the outrage? These are not people killed 315 years ago, this is like yesterday’s news!
Is not government blind to morality and ethics? The government does not care what laws are enacted, only that they are enacted and are enforced, right? Anyone under the authority of the government is by and large going to act in accordance with the dictates of that authority (see Cracked’s great overview of the Milgram experiment, et. al.). So what do you want, influences in the government that say there are absolute morals and it is wrong to murder and steal? Or do you want influences that say “whatever you want to do or believe is right?”
The profession of non-religion does not guarantee its implementation. The Soviet Union was supposedly a godless state, but wasn’t the State really their god? Which would you prefer? The man that says, “God provides for my needs, He wants me to provide for the needs of others out of the bounty with which He has blessed me, He wants me to love my fellow man and deal with Him as I wish to be dealt with.” Or the man who says, “The State provides for my needs, the State will provide for the needs of others out of the work of others, the State wants me to follow the rules, and to treat my fellow man as the State wants him treated.”
UPDATE: As SLAPSHOT pointed out, Jesus did not say, “Pay taxes and let the government feed my sheep.” He said, “You feed my sheep.”