Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Master of Religion

Final Paper

Of the chapters in this course, none ignites as much heated debates, opinions and discussions as does #20 Government and Church. In the United States of America we have what’s called the Constitution. In it there is a specification which simply states there is to be a separation of Church and State. This is all well and good in a perfect society, however, no one on earth lives in a perfect society. I will come back to this.

This chapter made reference that we are fortunate to live in a country that allows us to worship as we please without the fear of bodily harm (I threw in the bodily harm part). This was only true after the 60’s when the KKK stopped burning down the churches that African Americans were worshiping in. Currently however, individuals feel again that it is their right to burn worshiping places of Muslims because of the turmoil’s overseas. I do not see free to worship. Our Government, Supreme Courts and Law Enforcement Agencies have now deemed this crime a “Hate Crime” and falls under federal jurisdiction. Many of our Politicians’ pushed for this law to pass. Was this separation of State and Government? 

On the other side of this free to worship as we please, has its faults. This means that anybody with their interpretation of the bible or their own writings can form a church or gathering can call themselves a Religion. So now enter the fanatic, Rev. Jim Jones. How many of his followers died believing in his words?
As we have learned over the years there are more religions than just Catholic and Protestant. Just by Continent orientation for example we have Asian, Eastern, Middle Eastern, Far East to name a few. This brings into light the Buddhism, Hindu and Muslim religions. Some countries have more than one religion whereas others have one religion that is recognized by their country or countries leader at that time. Many times these countries have laws and punishment of infractions to these laws quoted directly from the pages of the only religion practiced in that country. The best example I can give of a country today that comes close to this scenario is Iran. Not only do they practice the teachings of this religion, everyone in the country at the sound coming from the speakers throughout the land must stop what they are doing and began worship whatever that time of the day dictated as interpreted by their President. Hmmm, no separation of church and state here. 

Ahhh, my favorite part of the world. In Iraq, suicide bombers act in the name of their perceived notion of their religion. Suicide itself is banished in most religions, not to mention the act of killing yourself and just for jollies killing of innocent bystanders (your own women and children) at the same time. From the Government standpoint, if your Army continues to kill itself just to make a point, eventually you will have no Army.
Prior to the U.S invasion of Afghanistan the Taliban ran that country in the name of religion with an iron fist. They used religion as the basis for their laws and punishment, only they did not have to abide by them. Show me where it says you may grow poppy fields instead of edible crops, and you can sell the opium to other countries to help finance your terrorism in the name of religion against other countries. Human Rights Activists have field days with these countries.

Back to the United States of America. No Government can have a perfect separation of religion. Just the mere act of laws and punishment developed from religions. Like many countries with leaders and religion to dictate their country we too have human rights activists breathing down our necks. I am not telling you I agree with this group, I just find it funny that everybody wants to come to America and we too are not immune to this group.

Religion is an integral part of our world and therefore can never be totally eliminated from the governments. The subject of Governments and Religions can go on for hundreds of pages and weeks of discussions. I only presented a microscopic example, my small opinion. I wish to thank you for allowing me this opportunity to express my thoughts.

Take Care,
Dr. Richard L Benson, D.R.S.


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