Christians share the cause of Christ. By Jesus’ own words it cannot be a private faith. “Go therefore…and you will be my witnesses…and the gates of Hell will not prevail.” And yet when someone says, “separation of church and state,” they might as well say, “if Christians would just keep their faith in the closet we would all be better off.”
The danger of removing public expressions of religious faith is that the essence of faith is removed. One could not say he or she is faithful to a cause if that cause is fearfully guarded and kept private. This is true of religion as well as political or social interests. The broad brush of generalizations about religious intolerance is creating a nation of hypocrisy. Religious freedom is an equal and public freedom not a closet freedom. And, while I disagree with other belief systems, I attest that the same public freedom be available to all people’s faiths. Disagreement is not a license for disenfranchisement.
Perhaps a better example of religious freedom is the picture below. It conveys the compassion of religious tolerance without the disillusionment many times expressed in the debate over “separation of church and state”. Of course, as a Christian I pray very differently than a Muslim, but in the volatility of the times I can think of nothing more important than being a nation of people who pray for one another…and are public about their faith.