Did you know that our government has a Spiritual Ministry Department? This department supposedly (1) Provides spiritual ministry to Clinical Center patients and their families; (2) holds religious services in the Clinical Center; (3) acts as liaison with religious groups not represented by the staff chaplains; and (4) conducts research and training programs in hospital ministry.
It is part of the National Institute of Health whose mission is described on its web site as follows:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the steward of biomedical and behavioral research for the Nation. Its mission is science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.
Why is this "department" part of the NIH? What does anything "spiritual" have to do with science or the fundamental behavior of living systems? And why is it staffed and funded by our government? Doesn't the first amendment to the US Constitution still read as follows? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. And doesn't this still mean, as Thomas Jefferson explained way back in 1802, that there should be a wall of separation between church and state?
Guess not... and that sucks.