This is some practical observation.
Separation of church and state really means freedom from blasphemy laws. This is why the restrictions on laws respecting religion or prohibiting it are withing the first amendment to the United States constitution, rather separate from it. It’s fundamentally about speech.
The problems (or perhaps flaws) arise when the power and scope of the state grows, especially if the religious make-up of the culture has a high degree of diversity.
When this happens the state will become atheistic or agnostic over time, as we can see in most western countries today. Why does this happen? Let’s take gay marriage as an example.
Suppose you have a religious county clerk who views gay marriage as an evil and something which cannot be recognized. He, by virtue of his religious conviction, refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. He can no longer discharge his duty as a state employee, and must be removed from participation in the state.
So, over time, we can see that less and less religious people can participate in the state. Participation in the state is what’s important here. The state is not a magical robot; it is an organization of people. Whatever qualities it has are an expression of those who comprise it.
So what’s the problem? Why is it a big deal that Christians don’t participate in some government offices?
Well, it matters because many offices of the government have power over you and your children.
Government education is compulsory in both payment and attendance. All government education has God excised from it. The above effect replicates with teachers; those who have religious convictions leave government schools or else are removed.
What you end up with is a cohort of government employees who are either openly atheist or have weak enough religious convictions that they are happy transmitting the atheist dogma set as standards by the state boards of education. Thus, the student is subjected to atheist proselytization as a matter of course.
In effect, the state imposes atheism in the absence of religion. Keep in mind that when the constitution was written there was no compulsory education and states could still have their own official religions. This purging of God from government has been a long, slow process, but is now happening in reverse – the government is purging God from the people.
We now also have the return of blasphemy laws, only they protect a different set of dogmas – those of the atheist social justice state. Acknowledging that an individual on twitter who was born male is, in fact, male will get you banned from Twitter.
There is no official list of things you cannot say on YouTube, but the list of purged individuals points to the reality that “blasphemy” is what is banned, with “blasphemy” being determined by the employees of the corporation according to their amorphous social justice magisterium. It is up to you, the user, to learn enough socialist theology to avoid being memory-holed for blasphemy.
So while the government is prohibited from making laws “respecting religion,” it actively promotes anti-religion while the media hegemons enforce the new blasphemy laws.
There is no freedom of religion, just as there is no freedom of speech.
The most permanent one is to reduce the size of government. How likely do you think that is? How hard is it to accomplish?
The most potent in the now is to teach children outside of government schools, where you can, for example with history, teach the theological conflicts which drove history. Rather than mentioning Constantine was a Christian in passing, you could teach about the Arian controversy.
Mid-length the solution is to actively try to push government back toward the right – to regress, not conserve. This will be the new right-wing movement, I believe.
Oddly, the most difficult and most permanent change will be the one that is inevitable. Sooner or later, the government has to stop writing checks that can’t be cashed, and at that point, its size and scope will be reduced by default.
The problem becomes the solution, however painful.