Is the separation of church and state a lie?


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ceetee
August 26, 2006, 10:21 AM
According to Katherine Harris it is. (If you don't know who Harris is, she was Florida's Secretary of State during the 2000 election. Appointed by Jeb, she was single-handedly responsible for delaying the recount for so long the Supremes decided any attempt to actually count our votes would be impossible in the time remaining...)

Here is one version of the story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/25/AR2006082501640.html)

ORLANDO, Aug. 25 -- Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that the separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told" to keep religious people out of politics.

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris told interviewers from the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She cited abortion and same-sex marriage as examples of that sin.


Harris told the journalists "we have to have the faithful in government" because that is God's will. Separating religion and politics is "so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers," she said.

Hmmm. I thought the voters chose our rulers. Maybe I can just stop going to the polls. Opinions?

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griz
August 26, 2006, 10:44 AM
God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws"

I don't remember seeing G-d's signature on the declaration of independence, but maybe I missed it.

rev214
August 26, 2006, 10:47 AM
just to comment on the phony separation concept...
there is no separation of church and state specifically in our constitution...
it was a statement that Thomas Jefferson used in a letter to baptists in the early 19th century...
20th century SCOTUS judges picked up on this letter,
and invented the separation concept,...
as they tend to invent and nullify many things...

ilbob
August 26, 2006, 10:53 AM
Phrases used in the Declaration of Independence that might help understand why God never signed the document.

"the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them"

"endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"

"appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions"

"with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence"

orangelo
August 26, 2006, 11:11 AM
No such thing. It's BS made up by the anti-american communist lawyers union to destroy this country.

The 1st Amendment says congress shall pass no law establishing a national religion or preventing the free exercise of religion.

As long as there is no rule that say you must be Amish, Buddhist, Islamic then the 1st Amendment has been upheld.

The ACLU frequently overlooks the 2nd portion and on some communist leftwing radio shows whenever they have a rep from the ACLU on they omit that portion when they recite the bill of rights. They also skip over the 2nd amendment.

Cromlech
August 26, 2006, 11:19 AM
ORLANDO, Aug. 25 -- Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that the separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told" to keep religious people out of politics.

Erm . . .what? :confused: I was under the impression that not being religious is career suicide for politicians in the U.S. Although I expect that you would have to be a religious Christian (fundamentalist), to please this woman. :rolleyes:

22-rimfire
August 26, 2006, 11:27 AM
I believe the US government and our laws demonstrate the absolute linkage between God, the government, the law, and the people. Also believe that it was the intent of our founding fathers that there be no state religion which gave birth to the concept of separation of church and state. It has worked pretty well overall.

Our politicians have tried generally to keep their private lives (including religion) separate from their legislative lives. Ted Kennedy might be a good example. But, much of our law is based on religious principle.

As far as Katherine Harris goes and her reported comments, I suspect that the article like your introduction are designed to make a political point.

Ceetee opening comment: "According to Katherine Harris it is. (If you don't know who Harris is, she was Florida's Secretary of State during the 2000 election. Appointed by Jeb, she was single-handedly responsible for delaying the recount for so long the Supremes decided any attempt to actually count our votes would be impossible in the time remaining...)". It is pretty obvious where your politics lie and I totally disagree with your implied statement above. She did her job. Al Gore did not win no matter how you want to paint it.

One might consider the radical muslim threat to our country and the western world (primarily a secular one); some unification might be a good thing. If that unification lies in christian principle, then so be it. Christian principles are not much different from the muslim prinicple. It is the radical facist element that needs to be eliminated. Nazi Germany is a great example of an idea fostered by a few spreading to the general population becoming a worldwide threat. Eliminating that threat cost millions of lives.

Helmetcase
August 26, 2006, 11:56 AM
No such thing. It's BS made up by the anti-american communist lawyers union to destroy this country.

The 1st Amendment says congress shall pass no law establishing a national religion or preventing the free exercise of religion.

Geezus, is this 1950? What kind of a timewarp are you living in? First of all, that's not what it says, dammit. If you're going to pontificate, at least know what you're talking about. The text:

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.

It's a well established precedent that the SCOTUS has read that such that "respecting" would include the establishment or reference to a particular religious belief as some necessary element of our govt. Period.

DBabsJr
August 26, 2006, 12:07 PM
But, much of our law is based on religious principle

Isn't it possible that some religious priciples are just plain common sense and that's what the law is really based on? If we're talking Judeo Christian principles, are we to believe that prior to the 10 Commandments everyone thought killing someone else was a great idea?

Laws should be written based on doing the right thing because it's accepted as the right thing to do. IMO...not because the Magical Sky Wizard will strike you down with lightning. The two will converge more often than not and that's OK.

foob
August 26, 2006, 12:12 PM
But, much of our law is based on religious principle

Much of our law is based on English common law and Roman law.

GoRon
August 26, 2006, 12:23 PM
To say that religious thought and practice didn't influence our founders view of the world, government and its relationship to the citizenry is revisionist history at its worst.

The protection is to keep government out of religion not to keep religious people and their ideas out of govrnment.

There is no fear of a Theocracy if everyone follows the constitution.

On the other hand, how can you expect those charged with protecting our rights to do so if they don't even believe in natures God from whom those rights derive?

JohnBT
August 26, 2006, 12:23 PM
And yet, if you read even a little about Mr. Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (excerpt below), the precursor to the U.S. law, you'll find that the intent was to prevent the government from picking one church to collect the taxes and impose fines and penalties based on religious practices. For instance, read a history of the Quakers in Virginia - I never knew they were fined, hung and persecuted. That's why it's so difficult to do genealogical research - they wouldn't register their marriages with the government's church.

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

_________________________

www.sunnetworks.net/~ggarman/princip.html

1624--Act of the Assembly. Anyone missing one Sunday service was fined one pound of tobacco; one month, fifty pounds. No one was allowed to sell crops until the minister had received his portion, and it had to come from the "first and best tobacco and corn."

1628--Proclamation of the Governor. Colonists were forbidden "to marry without lycence or asking in church."

1632--Act of the Assembly. All ministers were required to maintain complete uniformity to the teachings and constitution of the Church of England, and ministers were to receive from each family the twentieth calf, kid, and pig.

1642--Act of the Assembly. "All nonconformists upon notice of them shall be compelled to depart the collony with all conveniencie." "No ministers shall be admitted to officiate in this country, but such as shall produce to the governor a testimonial that he hath received his ordination from some bishop in England, and shall then subscribe, to be conformable to the orders and constitutions of the church of England, and the laws there established." The tithe tax, for ministers salaries, of ten pounds of tobacco and one bushel of corn was applied to "all youths of sixteen years of age as upwards, as also for all negro women at the age of sixteen years."

1660--Act of the Assembly. The captain of any ship bringing Quakers into the colony was fined 100 pounds, and all Quakers who did enter were to be expelled.

1661--Act of the Assembly. All parishes were required to furnish glebes, houses, and stock for ministers.

1662--Act of the Assembly. Ministers were required to prove that they were ordained by an English bishop, and all others were prohibited from teaching or preaching, publicly or privately.

Responsibility for administering church matters was given to vestrymen elected by the people of the parish. The vestries determined the amount of taxes (and tax rates) necessary for the minister's salary, other church expenses, and relief of the poor. Obviously, religion in colonial Virginia was established by law; and, because taxation was also a significant matter of law, vestrymen were usually wealthy politicians and often members of the House of Burgesses.

Art Eatman
August 26, 2006, 12:25 PM
Pick a subject, any subject: This country, throughout its history--and going back to before it was the U.S. of A.--has swung back and forth like a pendulum. We spend a lot more time out at the end of the swings than we do in the middle.

The middle, generally, is where it's peaceful.

I don't care if it's religion (Puritanism vs. today's Hollywood), labor/management or whatever. We're always going through spells of extremes.

Right now, the ACLU is on an extreme anti-Christian kick. Well, you poke a hornet's nest, and there's a bunch of buzzing. Add in the media and its love of controversy, and you have a bunch of once-quiet Christians getting upset. IOW, it would be surprising if there were NO comments like those of Harris, regardless of accuracy...

Art

22-rimfire
August 26, 2006, 12:27 PM
Yeah, I was actually going to add that as part of my original post that the christian principles are really just common sense slanted toward what we would call the "good side". That is one of the arguments about there not being a God; God was "created" to provide a unifying basis for defining good and evil so that social order is maintained. I'm not in that camp.

What is good or accepted changes over time. There needs to be some over- riding principle or document; in this case, it's our Constitution. It is really quite a document. I doubt that a country and our Constitution could be created today without the intervention of a stronger force. Some would say that force is the force of good, others would say it is God, still others would say that it is only through the efforts of the US these days that a country could be re-born with a true secular democratic form of government without the total collapse of the world economy.

Private ownership of guns and freedom have been lumped into what is "good" in this country. Without the private ownership of firearms, our country probably would not have been formed. Certainly, an armed civilian population is a deterent to a dictatorial form of government or any govenment that is viewed as totalitarian or abusive of its power and citizens. Now we have the UN wanting to disarm the world.

progunner1957
August 26, 2006, 12:32 PM
God is the one who chooses our rulers," she said.
God put Bill Clinton in the Oval Office? WTFO??? :what:

GT
August 26, 2006, 12:42 PM
Setting aside the recount remark - something the moonbats still can't get over - Katherine Harris makes a valid comment.

The point of Christianity is not that you better do good or the "Magical Sky Wizard will strike you down". That's not just ill-informed it is insulting.
The point of Christianity is that although mankind aspires to do good the natural tendency is towards evil.

The point of Christian teaching is to understand that precept and to provide a framework to avoid the sin that mankind is heir to.

This is what the framers, as Christians (mostly) understood: the laws of man are written by man and are subject to sin; the laws of God are free of that sin.

They also realized that forcing people to worship at a certain altar led to the very sin they were trying to avoid.

This has nothing to do with crosses on hills outside San Diego etc.
The ACLU is simply a godless communist organization devoted to the downfall of the United States.

G

DMF
August 26, 2006, 12:58 PM
just to comment on the phony separation concept...
there is no separation of church and state specifically in our constitution...
it was a statement that Thomas Jefferson used in a letter to baptists in the early 19th century...
20th century SCOTUS judges picked up on this letter,
and invented the separation concept,...
as they tend to invent and nullify many things...While you are correct there is no explicit statement of separation of Church and State in the Constitution, it is clearly implied, and you have mischaracterized how the Court used Jefferson's statement. Anyone who has actually objectively read Jefferson's statement, and how the Court used it understands that.

For anyone who actually cares what Jefferson actually said and how the Court applied his statement read this: (the whole link, not just the quote below):
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/01.html#1
In 1802, President Jefferson wrote a letter to a group of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, in which he declared that it was the purpose of the First Amendment to build ''a wall of separation between Church and State.'' 15 In Reynolds v. United States, 16 Chief Justice Waite for the Court characterized the phrase as ''almost an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment.'' Now, rev214 if you are claiming Jefferson's statement doesn't show the clear intent of "the framers," or "founding fathers," and cannot be used to support the notion that the 1st Amendment was intended to create a "wall of separation between Church and State," then you will need to point that out every time someone claims a statement from the Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, or any other writings by one of the "founding fathers," when trying to support a particular interpretation of the Constitution.

Helmetcase
August 26, 2006, 12:58 PM
On the other hand, how can you expect those charged with protecting our rights to do so if they don't even believe in natures God from whom those rights derive?

Because you can still believe in the inalienable rights of man without resorting to believing in The Big Sky Daddy. Believing in God is not a prerequisite for valuing human rights.

The ACLU is simply a godless communist organization devoted to the downfall of the United States.
Yeah, protecting civil liberties is the first step to tearing the place down. :rolleyes: I'm no ACLU member, I don't like the way they ignore the 2A either, but you have to admit that hyperbolic nonsense like that just makes it easier for the anti-gunners to paint us RKBA types as moonbats as well.

DMF
August 26, 2006, 12:59 PM
Phrases used in the Declaration of Independence . . . The Declaration of Independence is NOT the Constitution of the United States.

tcgeol
August 26, 2006, 01:14 PM
Jefferson's letter did not imply separation of church and state as most people understand it. As for court decisions, look at basically any case decided before the 1940's. They all ruled against what we would call separation of church and state. Sure, there was a huge paradigm change in the SC in the 1930-1940s, but it had to do with personal and philosophical opinions of the justices, not legitimate Constitutional reasoning.

In any case, those of you who quoted the court's opinion as solid proof for separation of church and state, seeing the decisions they have handed down recently, are you sure that you want them to be the final arbiter of all Constitutional matters? It seems to me that they just might have made a few mistakes in the last few years.

LightningJoe
August 26, 2006, 01:46 PM
No "separation" of Church and State in USA. Sorry. Try North Korea. The events of the 2000 election rankle the Dems; they're supposed to get all the close ones with their trademark election fraud. 2000 was a close one they didn't get. Reason? Well, after Florida's electoral votes were awarded to W, the Supreme Court of the State of Florida ruled against Florida law to keep the recounts going, but the people doing the recounting were being videotaped, so they couldn't get away with very much. They wanted Gore to win, but they weren't willing to risk going to jail for him. Then, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the decision of the Supreme Court of Florida and ended the series of recounts. That's about it.

gc70
August 26, 2006, 01:48 PM
The ACLU is simply a godless communist organization devoted to the downfall of the United States.Yeah, protecting civil liberties is the first step to tearing the place down. I'm no ACLU member, I don't like the way they ignore the 2A either, but you have to admit that hyperbolic nonsense like that just makes it easier for the anti-gunners to paint us RKBA types as moonbats as well.Reading some history (http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGGL,GGGL:2006-17,GGGL:en&q=aclu+history+communism) might change your opinion about "hyperbolic nonsense."

foob
August 26, 2006, 01:55 PM
The main part of the declaration of independence is basically a set of complaints against the king of england.

Lincoln was the guy who started using the declaration as a constitutional justification for ending slavery and the like.

Nobody is asserting that religious people shouldn't be in government, but I think everybody agrees that the constitution is the basis of government, not the bible. I see some politicians quoting the bible when legislating, and that makes me cringe.

Reading some history might change your opinion about "hyperbolic nonsense."

Just because the founder/history of the ACLU is one way, doesn't mean the actions of the ACLU presently are the same. If you can list some examples of the ACLU acting against the bill of rights, please link it.

I can understand disliking/hating the ACLU for not standing up for the 2nd amendment, but dude, saying their goal is to cause the downfall of the USA is the saddest, craziest **** I've heard in a while.

Lone_Gunman
August 26, 2006, 02:01 PM
The "wall of seperation" between church and state is there to protect the church from the state, not the other way around.

foob
August 26, 2006, 02:03 PM
Personally, I would say the wall is to protect other churches from churches that want to adversely affect them through the state.

redneck2
August 26, 2006, 02:08 PM
If the founding fathers were so intent on seperation of church and state, why did they preside over Sunday services in some government buildings after 1776?? Listened to this one day when Walter Williams was filling in for Rush. IIRC, he teaches Constitutional Studies at James Mason so I suspect he knows.

Jeez...all you have to do is read most any of the letters and documents written by Jefferson, Washington, James Mason, etc. Nearly every one mentions God.

They did not want an "official" religion (Church of England) that was endorsed and promoted by the government.

The big problem that I see (and I assume they recognized) is that, if there's a government sponsored religion, the masses get swayed pretty easily. Look at fundamental Muslin countries as an example. When the Shah was in Iran, there were Catholics, Jews, Christians, and about every other religion you could name, and they got along pretty well. The fundamental Muslims get in power and it's death to anyone that doesn't agree with you. Reflects what happened here with the Puritans, etc.

the 22 junkie
August 26, 2006, 02:09 PM
I tend to have a natural bias agianst the christian right wingers for hijacking the republican party, but really, why does she even care? The seperation of church and state is a good thing, like the seperation of big buisness and state. Good lord, some god fearing person wants to make themsleves sound like a wacko fundamentalist by talking about how I sin and am a bad person, well good on them. But when the try to infringe on my rights in the name of God then it gets serious. She's obviously a nutcase for using something non-existant as proof that we don't need rights to abortion and to same sex marriage. Anti-freedom is still anti-freedom, no matter what flag it flies.

[flame-suit on]

dragongoddess
August 26, 2006, 02:14 PM
Want a religous government. Then I suggest you look overseas then reconsider if that is what you want. If it is I can promie you that there will be riots.Killings. Bombings. Kidnappings. Plus what you are now seeing in Iraq. THat is what religon brings to government.

wQuay
August 26, 2006, 02:31 PM
Want a religous government. Then I suggest you look overseas then reconsider if that is what you want. If it is I can promie you that there will be riots.Killings. Bombings. Kidnappings. Plus what you are now seeing in Iraq. THat is what religon brings to government.

As opposed to a government founded by atheists? Like, for example,
Soviet Russia? At least the Islamists are fighting for an idea. All our leaders worship
is power and money.

gc70
August 26, 2006, 02:31 PM
Just because the founder/history of the ACLU is one way, doesn't mean the actions of the ACLU presently are the same. If you can list some examples of the ACLU acting against the bill of rights, please link it.The ACLU absolutely always acts to enforce the Bill of Rights. It is the ACLU's highly selective enforcement of certain aspects of the Bill of Rights, while refusing to act on others such as the RKBA, that is objectionable.

Mount Soledad War Memorial (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50038)Ruling on a 15-year-old ACLU case, a federal judge today ordered the city of San Diego to remove a mountain-top cross within 90 days or face a fine of $5,000 a day.
Kelo vs New London (http://www.mail-archive.com/libertarianexchange@yahoogroups.com/msg00076.html)The Institute for Justice that provided the legal counsel for the plaintiffs in Kelo vs. New London states that although local ACLU chapters have occasionally provided amicus curiae briefs in other disputes, the national ACLU did not sign on in Kelo because they have not yet developed a policy on it.

You have to reread that. They have not developed a policy on it yet. Property rights, a cornerstone of personal liberty and ACLU has not developed a policy on it yet. Property rights are enshrined in the Fifth Amendment and throughout the Constitution and ACLU has not developed a policy on it yet.

Baba Louie
August 26, 2006, 02:43 PM
As long as we worship at the altar of business both great and small with our salvation being the almighty dollar, sprinkle in a little hedonism now and then, tithe our 35% to our beloved Uncle, all is well. Some moral value is good. Too much and we step on other's rights.

Is separation of church and state a lie? Nah, just a real good idea. Don't know if I want our nation's laws and those in power based on a talking burning shrub, symbolic cannabilism or death to non-believers... just seems so... extreme at face value.

But that's just me. And this coming from a man who practically grew up in a church where politics and judgemental opinion was the order of the day.

Just shut up and drink the kool-aid Baba... :D

RealGun
August 26, 2006, 02:46 PM
This is one of my favorite topics, but I never considered it "on topic" for THR. I think I will refrain from participating in a thread that inevitably will be closed for poor behavior, accomplishing nothing particularly related to gun ownership.

America needs to have this dialog, but any pretense of belonging on THR will be abstract at best.

DMF
August 26, 2006, 02:48 PM
As for court decisions, look at basically any case decided before the 1940's. They all ruled against what we would call separation of church and state. Sure, there was a huge paradigm change in the SC in the 1930-1940s, but it had to do with personal and philosophical opinions of the justices, not legitimate Constitutional reasoning.Well before you make such statements you should research the facts.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=98&invol=145 Reynolds v. US (1879)

Mr. Jefferson afterwards, in reply to an address to him by a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association (8 id. 113), took occasion to say: 'Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions,-I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore man to all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.' Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.

DMF
August 26, 2006, 02:58 PM
In any case, those of you who quoted the court's opinion as solid proof for separation of church and state, seeing the decisions they have handed down recently, are you sure that you want them to be the final arbiter of all Constitutional matters?Whether anyone posting here wants them to be or not, they are because the "founding fathers" set them up to be.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article03/ Article III of the Constitution.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=5&invol=137 Marbury v. Madison (1803)

. . . The constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.

If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the constitution is not law: if the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.

Certainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void.

This theory is essentially attached to a written constitution, and is consequently to be considered by this court as one of the fundamental principles of our society. It is not therefore to be lost sight of in the further consideration of this subject.

If an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the courts and oblige them to give it effect? Or, in other words, though it be not law, does it constitute a rule as operative as if it was a law? This would be to overthrow in fact what was established in theory; and would seem, at first view, an absurdity too gross to be insisted on. It shall, however, receive a more attentive consideration.

It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each. [5 U.S. 137, 178] So if a law be in opposition to the constitution: if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law: the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.

If then the courts are to regard the constitution; and he constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature; the constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.

Those then who controvert the principle that the constitution is to be considered, in court, as a paramount law, are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the constitution, and see only the law.

This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written constitutions. It would declare that an act, which, according to the principles and theory of our government, is entirely void, is yet, in practice, completely obligatory. It would declare, that if the legislature shall do what is expressly forbidden, such act, notwithstanding the express prohibition, is in reality effectual. It would be giving to the legislature a practical and real omnipotence with the same breath which professes to restrict their powers within narrow limits. It is prescribing limits, and declaring that those limits may be passed at pleasure.

gunsmith
August 26, 2006, 03:02 PM
To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

gunsmith
August 26, 2006, 03:06 PM
is that the Godless libs love to use this one Jefferson letter
to enact their petty laws preventing children from
praying in schools and Boy Scouts from meeting
on Army bases, but they would never let us gunnies use his other letters
which refer to his beliefs about our right to carry guns to enact leglislation.

Whats good for the goose and so forth

bouis
August 26, 2006, 03:17 PM
If you want a real historical analysis of the 1st amendment, how it was originally interpreted, and why Thomas Jefferson is a terrible a terrible source for its interpretation (Hint: he was in France when it was written...), and why the "wall of separation" metaphor is not proper, look to Rehnquist's dissent in Wallace v. Jaffree here:

http://www.belcherfoundation.org/wallace_v_jaffree_dissent.htm

It is impossible to build sound constitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of constitutional history, but unfortunately the Establishment Clause has been expressly freighted with Jefferson's misleading metaphor for nearly 40 years. Thomas Jefferson was of course in France at the time the constitutional Amendments known as the Bill of Rights were passed by Congress and ratified by the States. His letter to the Danbury Baptist Association was a short note of courtesy, written 14 years after the Amendments were passed by Congress. He would seem to any detached observer as a less than ideal source of contemporary history as to the meaning of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.

(...)

The true meaning of the Establishment Clause can only be seen in its history. (citations omitted). As drafters of our Bill of Rights, the Framers inscribed the principles that control today. Any deviation from their intentions frustrates the permanence of that Charter and will only lead to the type of unprincipled decision-making that has plagued our Establishment Clause cases since Everson.

The Framers intended the Establishment Clause to prohibit the designation of any church as a "national" one. The Clause was also designed to stop the Federal Government from asserting a preference for one religious denomination or sect over others. Given the "incorporation" of the Establishment Clause as against the States via the Fourteenth Amendment in Everson, States are prohibited as well from establishing a religion or discriminating between sects. As its history abundantly shows, however, nothing in the Establishment Clause requires government to be strictly neutral between religion and irreligion, nor does that Clause prohibit Congress or the States from pursuing legitimate secular ends through nondiscriminatory sectarian means. (emphasis added, some citations removed).

I have to say, that this is the best analysis of what the 1st amendment means, and why the modern Court has it wrong.

You won't feel like you've wasted your time if you read it. I promise.

Doug.38PR
August 26, 2006, 03:20 PM
Is the separation of church and state a lie?

Yes. That phrase appears nowhere in the U.S. or any State Constitution that I am aware of. The First Amendment's intent was to keep a specific denomination (Episcopal, Prespyterian, Baptist, etc.) from becoming THE specific funded by everybody church of the Union. (Like the Church of England was to the Episcopal church). In no way did the Founding Fathers intend that the church per se have nothing to do with the state.

JohnBT
August 26, 2006, 03:39 PM
"The First Amendment's intent was to keep a specific denomination (Episcopal, Prespyterian, Baptist, etc.) from becoming THE specific funded by everybody church of the Union."

Just keep repeating it until they get it. It's really not as complicated as most folks believe. The goal twofold: to prohibit mandatory tax support of churches and permit individuals to worship as they pleased.

http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/42.htm

"In Virginia, the American Revolution led to the disestablishment of the Anglican Church, which had been tied closely to the royal government. Then the question arose as to whether the new state should continue to impose taxes to be used for the support of all recognized churches. The proposal had a number of supporters who, even if they no longer accepted an established church, still believed that religion should be supported by the public purse.

For some Virginians, however, imposing religion on people smacked of tyranny. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both of whom would later be president of the United States, argued that religious beliefs should be solely matters of individual conscience and completely immune from any interference by the state. Moreover, religious activity of any sort should be wholly voluntary. Not only did they oppose taxing people to support an established church, but they also objected to forcing people to pay taxes even for their own church. To Jefferson, a high wall of separation should always keep church and state apart."

richyoung
August 26, 2006, 03:41 PM
Want a religous government. Then I suggest you look overseas then reconsider if that is what you want. If it is I can promie you that there will be riots.Killings. Bombings. Kidnappings. Plus what you are now seeing in Iraq. THat is what religon brings to government.

Yeah, that Dahli Lama, what a violent guerilla he turned out to be...and remember those Buddah led massacres?

Doug.38PR
August 26, 2006, 03:46 PM
For the last 1900 years we in the West have had a Christian form of government in one form or another (whether directly ruled by the church or at least run by men who sought counsel from the church and saw it as an important necessity in life). Why all of a sudden now do we think an athiestic or secular form of government will be suitable? (Like Pol Pot, Castro, Hitler, Stalin, Robspierre, etc.) Seems like that is far far worse than an official established church.

tellner
August 26, 2006, 04:36 PM
For Ms. Harris it probably is a lie. She has also stated that it doesn't matter what she does on Earth, it will all be alright in Heaven because she believes in Jesus. Personally, I despise that sort of smug, conscienseless form of bargain-basement salvation. "I've played my Get Out of Hell Free card, so I can be a cruel, selfish, lying bastard and get away with it." I'm betting that the whole "Get thee hence, I never knew thee" line was meant for people like that.

The revisionists and theocrats have always enjoyed denying the legal tradition of the separation of Church and State. But it becomes blatantly obvious exactly why it's necessary when they get a little power. Suddenly "freedom" means "freedom to choose from two or three acceptable brands of what I believe in". Or you get utter failures and cockups like the Pilgrim Fathers who leeched off their neighbors, later enslaved and destroyed them and thought that religious freedom meant the freedom to rob and beat Jews, Quakers and Catholics.

A Christian form of government? No. Take off the rose-colored glasses and take a good look at "Christian" forms of government. Christianity is built on authority and force down at the bottom. Comply or be tortured forever (or killed outright, depends on your theology). Where the Church has been strong you have gotten the Divine Right of Kings or at least rigid control by a priestly government. G-d is the head of the king. The king is the head of the men. The men are the head of the women. Disagreement is heresy and subject to severe punishment as a crime against G-d Himself.

Parliamentary governments and our own Great Experiment are precisely the result of casting off the crushing yoke of the Church. The essence of these forms is that it is "derived from the consent of the governed". The people of whatever the local political class are the final authority. You don't go back to the Gospels or the Quran or the Torah for your authority. Consider our own form of government. Separation of powers, representatives (although not necessarily senators) chosen by the people, an explicit rejection of religion as a test of fitness for office (Article VI of what our President calls "that damned piece of paper"), limits on the authority of the rulers and compromise including the Great Compromise. These are not the hallmarks of a government founded on the Christian religion with its emphasis on authority, infallibility, Divine guidance and death to the unbelievers. That would be more like France under Richlieu (whom I personally admire), Spain after the Reconquista or under Franco, or England under Mary or Elisabeth.

Where the Church was strong, freedom was always weak. Where democratic or republican principles were strong the Church and its doctrines withered as a part of government. Liberty can not exist where the government claims Divine Mandate and the overwhelming authority of the Most High.

I note that groups like the Southern Baptists were strong supporters of Separation right up until the late 20th century. They understood through painful experience just what happened to people like them when some other faith got its festering tentacles entwined in the reins of power. Unfortunately, under Reagan and the rise of the politicized Religious Right they forgot their history and began pushing for their religion to be the de facto State religion.

Look at one of the fastest growing religious-political movements in the US. The Reconstructionists and their brethren such as the Dispensationalists are absolutely against any form of democracy. They make no bones about their desire to do away with G-dless forms of governance such as democracy and replace it with a "Christian Republic" which will establish Protestantism as the basis for government, Leviticus as the law of the land, and no civil rights for non-believers. That is about as unAmerican as it gets. That is the epitome of Christian government. People like that hate people like my wife and me, so I will fight it quite literally to the death. Preferably theirs if they go back to cross burnings, the Inquisition, expulsions, torture, murder, rape and all the other traditional tools of Christian government.

Am I being bitter or extreme? No. Not at all. This is precisely what history teaches us happens when the Church and the State join in unholy and abominable congress.

tcgeol
August 26, 2006, 04:46 PM
In any case, those of you who quoted the court's opinion as solid proof for separation of church and state, seeing the decisions they have handed down recently, are you sure that you want them to be the final arbiter of all Constitutional matters?

Whether anyone posting here wants them to be or not, they are because the "founding fathers" set them up to be.


Citing a SC decision (Marbury vs. Madison) saying that they have the authority to rule as they do isn't exactly the most persuasive of arguments. Many constitutional scholars think that they ruled the wrong way on this case, too. I would say exactly the same as they do, if I were in their shoes. That doesn't make it accurate. Do you think that Kelo was right? How about some of the interstate commerce cases? Maybe you like the way they ruled on Miller? They can rule based on personal preferences, and that isn't Constitutional regardless of how you cut it.

ceetee
August 26, 2006, 04:56 PM
Is this the same Christianity that says:

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

FWIW. I also subscribe to the notion that a man's religion is a matter between himself and his God. I see no possible good coming from any government sponsorship or censorship of any religion, excepting that some practices of some religions may not be the most sanitary (live animal sacrifices come to mind).

I just find it interesting that this chickie, who not long ago was the Golden Girl of the Republican Party is now so far out on the fringe that the party is running ads that say, "Jeb Bush was right. Katherine Harris can't win".

As for those of you who are still insisting that every vote was counted, and that the evil Democrats were trying to steal the election... get a life. Do some research. Kathering Harris, and the Supreme Court of the United States acted (along with a large cast of other Republican movers and shakers) to ensure that Florida laws were not followed, and that all votes that were supposed to be counted were not. If you think otherwise... well, I'm certainly glad you're not the ones writing our history books.

Personally, both candidates that year were so distateful to me that I almost skipped voting altogether. I did vote, though, and even to this day, I have no idea whether or not my vote was counted.

Edited to add: You can research any of my previous posts, and you will find that I care less about who wins, than I do about the process. The voting process, and government of the people, by the people, and for the people is what mainly separates us from the rest of the world. It's the one thing of America that we should ALL agree on as being inviolable...

Helmetcase
August 26, 2006, 06:07 PM
Let's posit for a moment that you guys who are in favor of breaking down the church/state dichotomy are onto something (which is a scary thought in my book, and isn't supported by any relevant recent caselaw).

What role in govt do you propose for the church?

Have you really thought about the ramifications of what you're espousing?

Reading some history might change your opinion about "hyperbolic nonsense."
The crap you read on WorldNetDaily from google searches is not "history" any more than the National Enquirer is the "news".

DMF
August 26, 2006, 06:13 PM
Citing a SC decision (Marbury vs. Madison) saying that they have the authority to rule as they do isn't exactly the most persuasive of arguments.If you had been paying attention you would have noticed my first citation was of Article III of the Constitution. The quote from Marbury fully explains how the authority of the judiciary as laid out in Article III makes it necessary for the judiciary to decided on matters where the law might conflict with the Constitution.Many constitutional scholars think that they ruled the wrong way on this case, too.Just who are these so called Constitutional scholars, and what exactly do they think is wrong with the claim that when there is a conflict between a statute and the Constitution that the judiciary must side with the Constitution? :rolleyes:

bouis
August 26, 2006, 06:15 PM
The Constitution says that the people have a right to keep and bear arms, and if a politically-minded Supreme Court holds that the "Living Constitution" has outgrown that guarantee, a future Court should not be and indeed is not bound by that decision.

Recent caselaw that's clearly erroneous is irrelevant. Plain and simple.

DMF
August 26, 2006, 06:19 PM
bouis, well if you want to cut out the Court from it's ability to determine if a law conflicts with the Constitution then you all will it would take is an act of Congress to eliminate your 2A rights? Are you comfortable with idea that Congress could pass a bill to outlaw all firearms, without amending the Constitution, and the President could sign the bill into law, and you would have no ability to challenge the law in the courts? That is what you, and others on this thread are advocating if you want to ignore the judicial authority in Article III.

Jkwas
August 26, 2006, 06:24 PM
Great, just what the world needs: Another theocracy.

Look at Theocracies around the world. That's why there has to be seperation of church and state.

Without it, there is no democracy. Only the laws of the religion that the government adheres to and governs by.

"I will choose the path that's clear, I will choose Free-will" Rush

I no longer vote. I stopped when our government started picking our leaders for us, and made voting a "feel good" thing we do to think we actually have a say in governing ourselves. I feel like part of me has died, and we all have been deceived.

Helmetcase
August 26, 2006, 06:29 PM
But it's such an attractive argument, isn't it? The founding fathers were pro-gun...which we like! Well, they also wrote a lot about the relationship between God and our rights...so shouldn't we work to tear down the walls between church and state? NO!

The founding fathers also tended to own slaves as well. Just because somebody thought it was a good idea in 1775 doesn't mean it is today.

Some ideals endure--we still value free speech, the right to self defense and to bear arms, the right to petition your govt to fix what's wrong with it or to choose to have a religion or have no religion at all...these rights endure because they are timeless.

By way of contrast, A) injecting religion into our govt has some really negative ramifications and potential for disaster, and B) isn't necessary. It's an idea whose time is past.

Keep your religion to yourself, and outta my govt.

bouis
August 26, 2006, 06:30 PM
That is not what I'm advocating, but I'll give my opinion nonetheless.

What would happen if a Supreme Court decision were ignored is tough to say. Roosevelt thought he could simply keep appointing Justices until he got a majority. Faced with that threat, the Court of the time backed down and rubber-stamped his policies.

And so now we have an unconstitutional socialist welfare state, and the courts just pretend like it's okay. What bothers me isn't that Congress or even the people wanted it, but that the Courts let it happen. Just like they did gun control. That's what you should worry about.

tcgeol
August 26, 2006, 06:31 PM
If you had been paying attention you would have noticed my first citation was of Article III of the Constitution. The quote from Marbury fully explains how the authority of the judiciary as laid out in Article III makes it necessary for the judiciary to decided on matters where the law might conflict with the Constitution.
Okay, DMF, I copied the wrong sentence from your post, but the only thing you actually quoted was Marbury vs. Madison. The idea of judicial supremacy has been debated throughout American history. This isn't some new idea that we are bantying about. I understand and theoretically agree with your point, but carrying it too far makes the U.S. a country under the rule of judges rather than the rule of law. Judges or justices who disagree with originalism can turn the Constitution on its head. The Supreme Court (along with all the inferior courts) have often ruled against the intent and, in some cases, the plain reading of the Constitution. So who is correct, the Constitution or the interpetation that the judges have read into the Constitution?

rev214
August 26, 2006, 07:06 PM
bouis,
couldn't agree with you more about Rehnquist's dissent in Wallace v. Jaffree...

and nice of President Jefferson during his presidency to attend church services held in the House of Representatives...maybe his wall was made with stained glass...:rolleyes:

foob
August 26, 2006, 07:07 PM
is that the Godless libs love to use this one Jefferson letter
to enact their petty laws preventing children from
praying in schools and Boy Scouts from meeting
on Army bases, but they would never let us gunnies use his other letters
which refer to his beliefs about our right to carry guns to enact leglislation.

Whats good for the goose and so forth

Nonsense, those Godless libs wanted to ban mandatory praying in classrooms, led by teachers. Any child can pray all he/she wants in a classroom, and it happens often, especially before and after a quiz. Please don't twist the facts.

Also, there is nothing against Boy Scouts renting/borrowing state/federal property. Instead, cities/state governments/universities want to be allowed to deny permission to the scouts because they believe the scouts' discrimination against gays violates the cities/state governments/universities policy on discrimination. Again, please don't twist the facts.

GoRon
August 26, 2006, 07:10 PM
Am I being bitter or extreme? No. Not at all. This is precisely what history teaches us happens when the Church and the State join in unholy and abominable congress.

There is a difference between a Theocracy and a government that doesn't forbid the religious expression of it's people.

Purging all vestiges of religious expression from the public square is NOT what the founding fathers intended, regardless of the Orwellian doublespeak of the leftists.

saltydog
August 26, 2006, 07:11 PM
It amazes me that things worked out in the beginning when this country was born. God was written everywhere. Buildings, money, even schools used the Bible and was the main book used to teach kids how to read. Now take a trip to around the 1950's and peoples way of thinking started to become "unstable". Now all of a sudden what our original founders established in the beginning isn't what they meant!

Boy ain't we just soooo smart!:o

I'm sure that peoples brains had started dying before the 1960's though! :eek:

Not to change the subject but there was a time in this country when machine guns could be purchased at hardware stores over the counter. No background check, no BATF, no questions asked. At that time we really had a 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Personally now we have the bill of privilege's that our Govt really intends us to have.:barf:

Are people smarter today than they were in the older days? I say B.S.

enfield
August 26, 2006, 07:21 PM
3 pages and no moderator has yet locked this OT thread. We have a moderator participating in it. What is the world coming to? :what:

bouis
August 26, 2006, 07:34 PM
This is hardly off topic. The exact strategy that worked so well in redefining the First Amendment is being applied, today, to the Second.

rev214
August 26, 2006, 07:36 PM
Now, rev214 if you are claiming Jefferson's statement doesn't show the clear intent of "the framers," or "founding fathers," and cannot be used to support the notion that the 1st Amendment was intended to create a "wall of separation between Church and State," then you will need to point that out every time someone claims a statement from the Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, or any other writings by one of the "founding fathers," when trying to support a particular interpretation of the Constitution.


sorry DMF, but i disagree with your assessment...i don't equate Jefferson's few-paragraphs/thank-you scribble to the Danbury Baptists with the writings of the Federalists papers and Anti-Federalist papers...:)

MrZ
August 26, 2006, 08:08 PM
Yes.

1st amendment......

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.


Congress SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION!!!

There is NOTHING in the 1st amendment that says the united states government, or ANY other institution, can't PRACTICE a religion, what they CAN'T do is make laws respecting an establishment of religion.


Our constitution has simply been bastardized by nazi's in black robes.

And we do nothing about it...

Helmetcase
August 26, 2006, 08:54 PM
MrZ,
The SCOTUS has long since ruled that "respecting" would include govt sanctioned religion. Nice try...but that's not a compelling legal argument.

Purging all vestiges of religious expression from the public square is NOT what the founding fathers intended, regardless of the Orwellian doublespeak of the leftists.
Talk about doublespeak.

Nobody's saying you can't publicly practice your religion. What we're saying is that our govt and the tax dollars it spends shouldn't be use to promote, endorse, or elevate above others the religious ideas of a particular religious group.

JohnBT
August 26, 2006, 09:31 PM
"Keep your religion to yourself, and outta my govt."

Am I correct in assuming that you are against an opening prayer in the House and the Senate; swearing on the Bible in court; and various appearances by religious officials? Things like the swearing in of the President or the Chief Justice?

I'm not.

Mr. Jefferson may have been in France when they wrote the 1st, but they clearly copied his work. He even saw fit to include religious freedom in his short epitaph.

HERE WAS BURIED
THOMAS JEFFERSON
AUTHOR OF THE
DECLARATION
OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
OF THE
STATUTE OF VIRGINIA
FOR
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND FATHER OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Lupinus
August 26, 2006, 10:19 PM
depends on the sense that you consider it.

Our founding fathers did not want a theocracy and a place free of religious oppresion. However, they were mostly all very religious Christians and used the moral base heavily.

IMO the seperation is there to prevent a theocracy and a setting up of a national federaly funded church, IE the church of America or something similar but you get the point. I'm not a Christian and I see no problem with the ten commandments in a court house and what not. So long as it isn't a theocracy or violating the right to whatever religion you choose I don't mind people using their religion as the basis of their beliefs.

barnett
August 27, 2006, 12:08 AM
take a deep breath... relax...an spend a couple of minutes reading the Mayflower Compact. this is not a theocracy, but it is a republic, founded on Judeo-Christian law and principles. that is history and fact.

gc70
August 27, 2006, 12:08 AM
The crap you read on WorldNetDaily from google searches is not "history" any more than the National Enquirer is the "news".So you did not read far beyond the third Google entry (WorldNetDaily) out of 1,480,000... or you would have found substantive information in documents from Princeton and Berkeley and Congressional records.

The SCOTUS has long since ruled that "respecting" would include govt sanctioned religion. Nice try...but that's not a compelling legal argument.Citation, please.

gc70
August 27, 2006, 12:28 AM
Back to the original topic, Katherine Harris' babbling is nothing more than political posturing.

Our country's founders clearly intended to prevent government and religion from being intertwined to the detriment of personal freedom - a condition with which they were personally and bitterly experienced. However, neither the Constitution nor any of the founders' writings that I have read call for all expression of religion to be minutely expunged from the public arena. But, if that were actually the intention underlying the First Amendment, then each and every President has violated their oath of office at the very moment it was spoken with their hand upon a Bible.

Kim
August 27, 2006, 01:06 AM
It is a legal fiction. One the USSC instituted and the left has supported espically the ACLU. That is a FACT. Whether you think this legal fiction is good or bad is just an opinion. The real problem with the new and improved Left ACLU fiction really comes to harm the people because of the other left fiction of reading the Constitution commerce clause to mean anything. The government is involved where it should not be and hence the misreading of the 1st amendment squashes everyone. I would at least like to see one truthful lefty but they seem to not exsist.(although many do agree that Roe vs Wade was a awful opinion but they like the end) The Means justifices their end as far as Constiutional Law goes. There is almost nothing I dislike than a liar espically on that can do great harm ie. a lawyer or law maker or Judge. But we do not expect much truth from these groups today.

White Horseradish
August 27, 2006, 01:15 AM
The big problem that I see (and I assume they recognized) is that, if there's a government sponsored religion, the masses get swayed pretty easily. Look at fundamental Muslin countries as an example. When the Shah was in Iran, there were Catholics, Jews, Christians, and about every other religion you could name, and they got along pretty well. The fundamental Muslims get in power and it's death to anyone that doesn't agree with you. Reflects what happened here with the Puritans, etc.Not to mention those Satin worshippers.... :neener:

White Horseradish
August 27, 2006, 01:23 AM
As opposed to a government founded by atheists? Like, for example,
Soviet Russia? At least the Islamists are fighting for an idea. All our leaders worship
is power and money.This comment shows that you are quite ignorant of Russian history and Communism is little more than a buzzword that you use without undestanding it's meaning.

Marxists-Leninists also fought for an idea. Quite fervently. There was an entire Civil War over it.

Leninism was not godless. It was a competing religion, it supplanted the Holy Trinity with Marx, Engels and Lenin, icons with portraits of the Politburo, the Bible with Das Kapital (very few people, even among the followers, have read either in their entirety, and even fewer understood what they read), priests with komissars, church services with party meetings, etc.

This was the true state religion, with state as God.

Hkmp5sd
August 27, 2006, 01:29 AM
It's really quite simple. The Founding Fathers didn't want the government to create a state run religion. Religion, especially Christianity, is so intertwined into the US Government, from the day it started until now, there is no way to remove it. Harris is right, there is no separation of church and state. What does the President place his left hand on when taking the oath of office?

Separation of church and state is merely an excuse for the ACLU to whine about nativity scenes on the county courthouse property.

Kelly J
August 27, 2006, 01:52 AM
rev214 , Sir thank you as you got it exactlly right, The phrase "Seperation of Church and State" , does not apear any whare in the Constitutional Documents.

As not seeing Gods Signiture on the Document, I'm not sure in what context that statement was made or intended by the person that made it but by itself I think it is out of place.

The Founding Fathers made several comments on the fact that Religion must play an important role in the Government, and was a necessary ellement of the fibre of it's participants.

As to the First Amendment that is always Quoted as the source of the Seperation Clause which says absolutely nothing about it, in fact the first Amendment says

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;". (Thus we have Freedon of Religion, as was intended by the Framers).

From this simple statement, but very clear statement there is no doubt that the Government is not to SET UP ANY RELIGION AS A NATIONAL RELIGION such as exist in Engand which is "THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND".

This Quote from the First Part of the First Amendment does not imply nor infer a Seperation of CHURCH AND STATE other than I have stated, THE GOVERNMENT CAN NOT ESTABLISH A NATIONAL RELIGION, plain and simple.

foob
August 27, 2006, 02:16 AM
There's so much blind hatred/misunderstanding from the extremes of both sides that further discussion is pointless. All I can suggest is "think, and think hard".

White Horseradish
August 27, 2006, 02:24 AM
With the possible exception of Louisiana, it is true that American law is based upon Roman and English law.

But Roman and English law could not have been influenced by religion?

I know that English law was certainly influenced by Christianity.

In what way do you think English law is Christian?

Biblical law is very different from Roman. There is very little Biblical anything in our laws. Only three of the ten commandments have corresponding US laws, and no matter what your interpretation of the First Amendment is, "Thou shalt have no gods before me" would quite definitely be unconsitutional, were it to be enacted.

gunsmith
August 27, 2006, 02:46 AM
we can be it's Ministers, be tax exempt and set up schools where you have to know the 4 rules to graduate:evil: :neener: :evil: :neener:

Any Way, the Founding Fathers believed in God and prayed for our Republic, I do too.

The aclu can go to Hades!

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 02:54 AM
Nobody's saying you can't publicly practice your religion. What we're saying is that our govt and the tax dollars it spends shouldn't be use to promote, endorse, or elevate above others the religious ideas of a particular religious group.

The problem is the government is an expression of the people. If the government is not allowed to reflect the point of view and values of the electorate then it is no longer representitive.

You want the government to promote, endorse and elevate secularism (materialism) above all religion/philosophies. Even if it doesn't reflect the philosophy/value system of those it purports to represent.

foob
August 27, 2006, 03:21 AM
The problem is the government is an expression of the people. If the government is not allowed to reflect the point of view and values of the electorate then it is no longer representitive.

One reason for the bill of rights is to protect the minority from being oppressed by the majority. Imagine you are a protestant, and the majority of americans are catholic. Would you want your government creating laws that are favored by catholics and is against your religious views?

dgb
August 27, 2006, 03:55 AM
"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin"

Glad to know what Ms. Harris thinks of electing someone like, say, me, a US-born conservative Jew, to public office.

For the record, I am fine w/ Christian traditions, prayer being just one of many examples, having a place in US government proceedings, traditions, and laws. I personally believe having the faithful in government is a good thing as well (I also believe having agnostics and people of other belief systems is good too). Where Ms. Harris displays her unfettered ignorance however is in somehow assuming that only Christians can be faithful.

What she couldn't be communcating anymore clearly is "Americans who love their country and happen to be Jews, Hindus, Buddists, agnostics, or Muslims.... kiss off."

The lady has a train wreck of a brain, if she has one at all.

tellner
August 27, 2006, 04:49 AM
The Founding Fathers (LAAA!!!) wanted Christianity integrated with the law of the land?

Don't make me laugh. By explicitly rejecting an established Church they were making an incredibly radical anti-clerical anti-Church-in-politics statement. Every other European country had some sort of established Church. We didn't. The Mayflower Compact? Massachusetts was largely theocratic. Church law and secular law were darned near one in the same. That went away after Independence. Were some of the Founders religious? Certainly. Did they talk about religion privately? Of course. But look at what they didn't put into law. Any place else in the world would have mentioned G-d or Isa bin Maryam at least once somewhere in the document. There would have been some request for the mercy and support of the Creator.

None. Nothing. Nada.

This wasn't an accident. The Founders understood just how poisonous religion as part of the State could be. So they completely left it out of the important founding documents of the Nation. If you take a look at the Florida wing nut Rep. Harris you will see why. I quote from the Seattle PI:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003226852_harris26.html

Rep. Katherine Harris, a Florida Republican who is seeking a U.S. Senate seat, said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to "legislate sin."

...

"If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," she said, citing abortion and gay marriage as two examples of that sin.

"Whenever we legislate sin," she said, "and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don't know better, we are leading them astray and it's wrong."

Harris also said the separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told" to keep religious people out of politics.

In reality, she said, "we have to have the faithful in government" because that is God's will.

I don't even want to think of what she wants for radical Jew who is married to a mixed-race mystical Sufi Muslim. It probably involves the traditional Christian fixin's like the auto da fe and the strapado.

MrZ
August 27, 2006, 04:53 AM
"MrZ,
The SCOTUS has long since ruled that "respecting" would include govt sanctioned religion. Nice try...but that's not a compelling legal argument."


Hence my comment in re bastardization by nazi's in black robes...

It is written in black and white in our constitution...

While some idiots on the "supreme court" may decide that...

"Thou shalt NOT touch fire lest ye be burned"

...means it's O.K. to touch fire, it's not.

That's one of the many problems in our country today. I'm sorry, but SOME of us DON'T need a schmuck in a black robe to "interpret" written english for us...

Bottom line: IT DOESN'T MATTER IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT...

DBabsJr
August 27, 2006, 10:11 AM
Maybe I'm wrong, but a lot of info that I find about the founding fathers leads me to believe that they were Deists and not Christians. In Jefferson's case, fiercely non-Christian and anti-established religion even. The very act of rebelling against England may be in violation of 1 Peter 2:13 - "For the Lord's sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right."

I only have the Internet to go by, but some interesting quotes:

He told John Adams that he was rescuing the Philosophy of Jesus and the "pure principles which he taught," from the "artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms as instruments of riches and power for themselves." After having selected from the evangelists "the very words only of Jesus," he believed "there will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."

"In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes" - Jefferson

griz
August 27, 2006, 10:26 AM
As not seeing Gods Signiture on the Document, I'm not sure in what context that statement was made or intended by the person that made it but by itself I think it is out of place.


I made that statement in the context of the topic, which was Ms. Harris' comment that "God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws". My point was that this country was founded by men, and although they may have believed in a cretor, that creator stood aside as the DoI was written. If God wanted the US to be a nation of religious laws as Harris suggest, surely he could have arranged that from the begining.

Sorry for not explaining this earlier. By the time I got back to this thread it had become the typical argument about how much the gov can endorse one religion without it being the state religion.

PCGS65
August 27, 2006, 10:31 AM
Yes because it says "In God We Trust" on our currency. :what:

saltydog
August 27, 2006, 10:37 AM
"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin"

I'm kinda curious what we are electing now!:barf:

Very few "decent" people in office now!

Kentak
August 27, 2006, 11:17 AM
How clear does this have to be?

Article VI of the Constitution states:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Strange language if the framers wanted ANY official role for religion in the government, let alone any favored sect.

K

Helmetcase
August 27, 2006, 11:31 AM
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/church-state/decisions.html

For the guy who asked for a citation. It can't be any clearer what the SCOTUS has ruled (and not just recently) about separation of church and state.

Meantime, nicely done Kentak.

Guys, use your ****ing brains. One of the most common anti-2A arguments from the Brady idiots is that the 2A protects our right to have a Natl Guard or the right of the militia to have guns, not us. Of course, we know this to be BS, because IF THE FOUNDERS WANTED THE 2A TO SAY "THE MILITIA CAN HAVE ARMS", IT WOULD HAVE FLIPPIN SAID THAT!!!

The same is true for religion. Guys, if they wanted us to have a role for religion in govt, they had all the opportunity in the world to say so and write it into our founding documents. IF THEY WANTED US TO ENDORSE CHRISTIANITY VIA GOVT, THEY'D HAVE SAID THAT.

They didn't. Get over it.

The problem is the government is an expression of the people. If the government is not allowed to reflect the point of view and values of the electorate then it is no longer representitive.
The government is simply a body of authority we elect into office to protect our rights and keep our nation sovereign. It doesn't need to endorse any particular religion to do that. Our govt DOES reflect our values and the values of the electorate, because if it didn't, we'd get rid of it.

Do you really want to get rid of our secular govt, one that tolerates all religions and doesn't endorse one over another? If so, you're working counter to the explicit wishes of the founding fathers, and I'll look forward to fighting you at every turn.

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 12:39 PM
Do you really want to get rid of our secular govt, one that tolerates all religions and doesn't endorse one over another?

My point is that the government IS endorsing one over another. Materialistic or secular humanism.

The constitution does not provide for a secular, materialistic, "humanistic" world view to hold supremacy over all other religions. That is in fact what the separation of church and state advocates are striving to install. They want their world view to reign supreme. They want their high priests to be the final authority (judges and scientists).

SuperNaut
August 27, 2006, 12:50 PM
Since many of the Founding Fathers were Deists and Freemasons the Supreme Being and Higher Power that they refer to has little to no resemblance to a modern day evangelical's god.

Be careful what you wish for.

foob
August 27, 2006, 12:54 PM
My point is that the government IS endorsing one over another. Materialistic or secular humanism.

The constitution does not provide for a secular, materialistic, "humanistic" world view to hold supremacy over all other religions.

I guess we need a working definition of "religion". You have an extremely broad definition, where sex, drugs, and rock and roll could be a religion. For you, any object, idea, thought, could probably qualify as a religion. Others have a narrower definition. No point arguing if we can't agree on a definition first.

Not the first time I've seen this type of argument though, that of expanding a definition to suit one's purpose. Creationists call evolution just another religion, or redefine creationism to be intelligent design and say it's not a religious concept. Luckily the federal judge shot that down in Dover.

Helmetcase
August 27, 2006, 12:59 PM
Exactly. I don't think you can argue that the absence of an endorsement of a religion makes secular humanism a religion.

We're not suggesting secularism to be in any way religious, largely because there's no element of faith involved. We're simply saying that no particular religion--be it Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Islam, whatever--shouldn't be enshrined as the guiding principle of govt or recognized as the official, nor receive any endorsements.

The absence of religion isn't a religion. I'm simply saying--and the SCOTUS has tended to agree with me--that on the question of religion, the govt shall remain neutral.

gc70
August 27, 2006, 01:15 PM
Guys, use your ****ing brains. One of the most common anti-2A arguments from the Brady idiots is that the 2A protects our right to have a Natl Guard or the right of the militia to have guns, not us. Of course, we know this to be BS, because IF THE FOUNDERS WANTED THE 2A TO SAY "THE MILITIA CAN HAVE ARMS", IT WOULD HAVE FLIPPIN SAID THAT!!!

The same is true for religion. Guys, if they wanted us to have a role for religion in govt, they had all the opportunity in the world to say so and write it into our founding documents. IF THEY WANTED US TO ENDORSE CHRISTIANITY VIA GOVT, THEY'D HAVE SAID THAT.Helmetcase is right. The Constitution prohibits a government-endorsed or sanctioned religion. If the founders had wanted to say that anything remotely associated with any religion (i.e. calling that holiday in late December "Christmas") was barred, they would have said that.

Since Jefferson has been quoted so often in this thread, here are some of his thoughts on how "separate" government and religion must be from A Letter To Doctor Thomas Cooper, 2 November 1822 (Ford 12: 270-1) (http://www.worldpolicy.org/globalrights/relindex.html):In our annual report to the legislature, after stating the constitutional reasons against a public establishment of any religious instruction, we suggest the expediency of encouraging the different religious sects to establish, each for itself, a professorship of their own tenets, on the confines of the university, so near as that their students may attend the lectures there, and have the free use of our library, and every other accommodation we can give them; preserving, however, their independence of us and of each other.

gc70
August 27, 2006, 01:34 PM
I guess we need a working definition of "religion". You have an extremely broad definition, where sex, drugs, and rock and roll could be a religion. For you, any object, idea, thought, could probably qualify as a religion. Others have a narrower definition. No point arguing if we can't agree on a definition first.REYNOLDS v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878) (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=98&invol=145)The word 'religion' is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning, and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted. The precise point of the inquiry is, what is the religious freedom which has been guaranteed.
...
In the preamble of this act (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (http://www.worldpolicy.org/globalrights/religion/va-religiousfreedom.html) (1786) by Thomas Jefferson, 12 Hening's Stat. 84) religious freedom is defined; and after a recital 'that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty,' it is declared 'that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.' In these two sentences is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State.

Kim
August 27, 2006, 02:02 PM
The problem with secular humanism is that is also has its dogma. It has its own morality that it wishes to impose. Never did our Founders believe or hope to not have people with religious conscience be part of government. If so they would be disqualilfied. You hear it all the time now that so and so beliefs can not be tolerated because they are based or come from their religion. That is just plain stupid because the only way that thought could ever be carried out is if all religion is wiped out of peoples minds and replaced with guess what "Secular humanism". Both are belief systems. They are opposite each other. Plus liberals only see separation of church and state one way. How many times have you heard the liberal press say anything about the religious so called "Social Justice Gospel". They think it is just fine to quote Bible verses that they can twist to support a welfare state. Where is the separation there. How about the anit-death penalty religious nuts. They also are using their religon to push their policy. But that is O:K. Hypocrites one and all. The idea is a fruitless and misued legal fiction. How many times does Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy, Jim Wallis and like minded persons quote out of The Book of James to preach to everyone about how we should use the force of Government to give to Ceaser what it Gods and to say the government needs to do Gods and the Churches work to take care of the poor after all if we are a Christian Nation then we should do Gods work by FORCE that my friend is true Charity. I do not think that is what Jesus meant. I think it is a LIE.

Ian
August 27, 2006, 02:50 PM
*shudder*

I keep trying to come up with some response that wouldn't get me in trouble with the mods for insulting the Christians, but I just can't seem to do it.

Don't you people realize how often "religious conscious" is anathema to freedom?

MrZ
August 27, 2006, 02:52 PM
"Guys, use your ****ing brains."

I agree. Let's.

1st amendment...again:

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.

Based on the first amendment, written in ENGLISH, congress can MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion. Look at those words again...MAKE NO LAW. MAKE NO LAW does NOT mean PRACTICE. MAKING A LAW holds ALL Americans accountable to abide by that law. PRACTICING holds NO ONE accountable.

Based on the first amendment, congress shall MAKE NO LAW, prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof. This doesn't specify OR exclude ANY American citizen, in ANY capacity. It is a blanket statement that applies to ALL Americans.

So, as you so aptly put it..." use your ****ing brains."

Congress CAN'T pass a law respecting an establishment of religion, however, Congress CAN practice a religion, and ANY law congress passes to prohibit the free exercise thereof IS unconstitutional.

"Guys, if they wanted us to have a role for religion in govt, they had all the opportunity in the world to say so and write it into our founding documents. IF THEY WANTED US TO ENDORSE CHRISTIANITY VIA GOVT, THEY'D HAVE SAID THAT.

They didn't. Get over it."

Guys, if they wanted our government not to PRACTICE any religion, they had all the opportunity in the world to say so and write it into our founding documents. IF THEY WANTED US TO COMPLETELY EXCLUDE RELIGIOUS PRACTICE FROM OUR GOVT, THEY'D HAVE SAID THAT.

They didn't. Get over it.


When congress, or any other government agency, tries to pass a law making an "OFFICIAL" religion, than I will have a problem with that. When congressmen, or any other government agency, try to decorate their place of work with christmas trees, or conduct a prayer before session, I never will.


Once again, it is a group of idiots in black robes that have distorted and bastardized a constitution that is written in plain english for all to see.

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 03:12 PM
Don't you people realize how often "religious conscious" is anathema to freedom?
Considering that the US is considered one of the most religious and freest nations on earth you may want to rethink your premiss.

The absence of religion isn't a religion. I'm simply saying--and the SCOTUS has tended to agree with me--that on the question of religion, the govt shall remain neutral.
Banning prayer at commencement addresses, removing the 10 commandments from government buildings, purging all references to the religious nature of the culture during our founding (unless it is fanatics burning witches) from school textbooks and on and on is not a neutral stance.

It is rewriting history and social engineering using the power of the government to enforce a secular world view.

tellner
August 27, 2006, 03:38 PM
Just a data point...

"In G-d we trust" came in during the Civil War (also known as the War of Southern Aggression :neener: ). "One Nation, Under G-d" was a product of lobbying efforts by the Knights of Columbus during the Eisenhower Administration. The rationale in both cases was that the enemy of the moment, rebellious slave-owners or infidel commies, would be scared or run away or something if we declared the Almighty was on our side.

Now, let's consider "secular humanism". It's a nice piece of sophistry, lies and self-righteousness on the part of the closet theocrats. They use the technique of the Big Lie, Soviet or Nazi style, to keep repeating something that is simply not true long enough that the ignorant start to believe it. Their goal is for people to believe that having no religion is having a religion. Thus not preferring a religion or upholding vague principles of human dignity and rights is establishment of a religion so we should support the real one, Fundamentalist Protestantism, instead.

Where are the secular humanists' churches? Where are their scriptures? Where are their liturgy, their clergy, their religious practices or any of the other things that make a religion, even one as atheistic as La Vey's Satanists? The answer is "Nowhere". Every time the religious fanatics point to something they claim is an example of "secular humanist" religion you will find that at least as many so-called secular humanists (and almost none of the targets of their bile so identify) don't believe or practice it.

It's quite simply a lie told by the theocrats so that they can promote their own religion as the State Church.

dgb
August 27, 2006, 04:10 PM
"You hear it all the time now that so and so beliefs can not be tolerated because they are based or come from their religion." I agree. Ms. Harris just made such a statement. She seems to believe Jews (just as one example) should not be elected because they will "legislate sin".

For all those that might like to see closer intertwining of church and state and so stridently oppose "secular humanism", what do you say to increasing the practice of Buddhist customs in our govt? How about Muslim customs? Jewish ones?

You have to be in favor of all these, if your sole enemy is "secular humanism". Or, for those in favor of less spearation, is what you are driving against not only secular humanism alone, but any religion that is not Christianity, like seems to be Ms. Harris's stance?

ceetee
August 27, 2006, 04:44 PM
The problem is the government is an expression of the people. If the government is not allowed to reflect the point of view and values of the electorate then it is no longer representitive.

The government is not "an expression" of the people. The government is (or should be) a group of paperpushers charged with carrying out the tasks necessary to "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and ensure the blessings of liberty" to all Americans. Period.

They're not paid to promote their morals or religious beliefs on me or anybody else. That they choose to, and are able to, points to the fact that America actually allows more freedom to her citizens than anywhere else in the world...

tcgeol
August 27, 2006, 04:45 PM
Ian, can you point out some of these places that have no religious dogma and are wonderful models of freedom and liberty? I can't think of any.

Whenever those of you who are anti-religion see the government mandating an established religion, you come tell me and I will fight against it as hard as you. Until then, someone praying at a football game or mentioning God in a speech shouldn't even be an issue.

For all those that might like to see closer intertwining of church and state and so stridently oppose "secular humanism", what do you say to increasing the practice of Buddhist customs in our govt? How about Muslim customs? Jewish ones?
This is a red herring and has nothing whatsoever to do with this argument. If this country had been founded on Muslim, Buddhist, or Jewish principles and the majority of the people belonged to one of these religions, then more power to them.

bouis
August 27, 2006, 04:47 PM
I think a lot of you need to separate your opinon of the proper place of religion in government from the Constitutional arguments. The Constitution says that Congress cannot make a law respecting an establishment of religion. That's all it says.

If you wanted a stop light at an intersection in your town, how would you go about getting one installed? There's no doubt in my mind that, in today's legal climate, with enough money and support you could get the Supreme Court to say that the Constitution guarantees stoplights. No doubt at all.

But is that the right way to do it? Heck no it's not. Every time you twist the meaning of the document, you cheapen its real guarantees, until, oh, I don't know -- an entire amendment might be "interpreted" right out of it.

Instead, and I think this is common sense, what you should do is explain to the appropriate authorities why there should be a stoplight there. You don't say, "you have to do this!" you say, "you should, and here's why."

There's been a long and terrible campaign by a legal elite to force their views on society through the Constitution in a number of areas, just off the top of my head: gun control, abortion, irreligion, homosexuality, affirmative action, the list goes on and on. Don't fall into the their trap just because you agree with their stance on one issue.

Soybomb
August 27, 2006, 05:17 PM
Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that the separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told" to keep religious people out of politics.

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris told interviewers from the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She cited abortion and same-sex marriage as examples of that sin.
No thanks, I don't want to be ruled by christian law, islamic law, satanic law, or have any other forced religion upon me.

My belief is the framers of the constitution wanted a government that was limited in duties and powers in order to maximize personal freedoms. Have the government do the bare essentials and it won't become oppressive. Part of this level of freedom includes being able to follow whatever religion you want. When you start having the government taking tax dollars to fund religious services or monuments, the government is stepping outside its minimalist role and violating the establishment clause of the 1st amendment. To suggest that the framers would be comfortable with religion creeping into government just seems totally incongruent with all the provisions for liberty and small government as well as protection for the minority in the rest of the constitution. The ultimate in freedom is to say you are free to exercise whatever religion you like but you shall not force your religion upon others via the government.

Of course if you're a christian and believe you have a religious duty to bring your religion to do others I could see someone have a conflict about doing the right thing and supporting the seperation of church and state. Sort of like how the anti's might twist the 2nd amendment to fit their beliefs so they can do what they think is better.

tellner
August 27, 2006, 05:29 PM
Of course if you're a christian and believe you have a religious duty to bring your religion to do others I could see someone have a conflict about doing the right thing and supporting the seperation of church and state. Sort of like how the anti's might twist the 2nd amendment to fit their beliefs so they can do what they think is better.

Christians who believe they have a duty to bring me to their Faith whether I want it or not are one of the main reasons I learned to fight and support the RKBA. Muslims who think all Jews and Sufis must die are another.

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 05:35 PM
No thanks, I don't want to be ruled by christian law, islamic law, satanic law, or have any other forced religion upon me.

That is the whole point.

Christians do not want to be ruled by humanists, secularists or any other philosophy that pretends to not be a religion. A world view based on secularism or materialism may not have the trappings of what we call religion but it is a world view that influences morality and every other facet of life none the less.

As long as government is in the education business, marriage business, funding grants for endeavers with ethical questions there will be conflict between religion(s) and materialistic secularists. People believe they should have a voice on what their tax dollars promote.

If you don't want Christians to have a voice on how the government spends our money then exempt us out of the tax system :neener:

Soybomb
August 27, 2006, 05:45 PM
hat is the whole point.

Christians do not want to be ruled by humanists, secularists or any other philosophy that pretends to not be a religion. A world view based on secularism or materialism may not have the trappings of what we call religion but it is a world view that influences morality and every other facet of life none the less.

As long as government is in the education business, marriage business, funding grants for endeavers with ethical questions there will be conflict between religion(s) and materialistic secularists. People believe they should have a voice on what their tax dollars promote.

If you don't want Christians to have a voice on how the government spends our money then exempt us out of the tax system

Sorry I'm not buying into the arguement that if there is no religion there's a secret hidden stealth religion. I think most people using sound logic would agree that law can be written without religious influence. Most people are capable of identifying religion as easily as they can tell you if a shirt is red or not. What is the hidden religion in something like "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" anyway?

Might I suggest instead of trying to push more christian values onto others via legislation and rubbing the constitution further into the dirt you attempt to pick it up and dust it off and instead work to get the government out of marriage, school, and other things it shouldn't be in? Thats a cause I'd unite with you for.

foob
August 27, 2006, 05:48 PM
That is the whole point.

Christians do not want to be ruled by humanists, secularists or any other philosophy that pretends to not be a religion. A world view based on secularism or materialism may not have the trappings of what we call religion but it is a world view that influences morality and every other facet of life none the less.

As long as government is in the education business, marriage business, funding grants for endeavers with ethical questions there will be conflict between religion(s) and materialistic secularists. People believe they should have a voice on what their tax dollars promote.

If you don't want Christians to have a voice on how the government spends our money then exempt us out of the tax system

I want what you are smoking, but only half because I don't want to overdose.

The USA is a democracy. Anybody can be a politician, you just need the votes. If a christian only wants to be ruled by christians, that vote for one. You can dislike your "rulers" all you want, but if you don't have the numbers to get an alternate "ruler", nothing you can do about that. That's how democracy works.

People do have a voice on what their tax dollars promote, you think that's not true???

I don't mind having christian politicians, or muslim politicians, or republicrats, just don't try and legislate your morality. The laws are not for legislating morality. Why do you think the supreme court struck down the sodomy laws in Texas?

I don't believe anybody, religious or not, has ever mentioned that Christians cannot have a voice on how the government spends tax money. Please enlighten the the ignorant masses who has advocated that.

The government chooses how to spend tax money with influences from the public, that doesn't mean they can ignore or violate the constitution. If you don't like the amendment or the way the amendment has been interpreted, get more supreme court justices that side with your views or get enough support to repeal the amendment. Getting the right supreme court justices is easier.

SolaScriptura139
August 27, 2006, 06:09 PM
The laws are not for legislating morality.

In all actuality, every law is someone legislating their morality on someone else. Let's say, for example, I'm a murderer. I don't think murder is wrong, but you do, in fact, the majority of the people do. But you come out with a law that says murder is wrong. In doing so, you're forcing me to conform to your morality by saying murder is wrong when I don't believe the same. The argument for legislating morality is weak because all laws (besides tax laws, I guess) are legislating some person or organization's morality on others.

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 06:11 PM
I don't mind having christian politicians, or muslim politicians, or republicrats, just don't try and legislate your morality. The laws are not for legislating morality. Why do you think the supreme court struck down the sodomy laws in Texas?

All laws are the legislation of someones morality.
Might I suggest instead of trying to push more christian values onto others via legislation and rubbing the constitution further into the dirt you attempt to pick it up and dust it off and instead work to get the government out of marriage, school, and other things it shouldn't be in? Thats a cause I'd unite with you for.
Speaking directly to Christian values being forced onto others via legislation that is a two way street. Here in Illinois as you are probably aware Soybomb we are the destination for underage girls to have an abortion, no parental consent needed in Illinois. Nobody I voted for believes that is right. How about the Pharmacists here not having the freedom to choose whether they will hand out presicriptions for abortifacients? Be complicant in abortion or loose your ability to be a pharmacist.

You guys are the pot calling the kettle black. Who is forcing their morality on whom?

As far as getting the government out of all these aspects of our lives I am 100% in favor of that and will gladly join you in that endeavor.

We need to starve the beast. Tax cuts for all!!

Helmetcase
August 27, 2006, 06:13 PM
Banning prayer at commencement addresses, removing the 10 commandments from government buildings, purging all references to the religious nature of the culture during our founding (unless it is fanatics burning witches) from school textbooks and on and on is not a neutral stance.
Wrong. If the question is "which religion is favored or endorsed by govt", then yes, absolutely it is neutral. Putting the 10Cs or having public school officials lead X-ian prayers is offering deferential treatment to a particular religion. Govt shouldn't answer the "which religion" question at all, and it shouldn't offer deferential treatment to any particular religion or sect.

Ian, can you point out some of these places that have no religious dogma and are wonderful models of freedom and liberty? I can't think of any.
Define what you mean by "places that have no religious dogma". There are plenty of very free places that don't endorse religions. You DO NOT need to be religious in order to cherish freedom.

gc70
August 27, 2006, 06:17 PM
Okay, I just checked the website of the federal government's Office of Personnel Management (http://www.opm.gov/Fedhol/2006.asp) and December 25 is a federal holiday officially called Christmas. Since Christmas is obviously a holiday of Christian religious origin, it must be in direct contravention of the First Amendment.

BTW, like Jefferson, I believe in personal morality - generic religion, if you will - rather than subscribing to the precepts of any particular sect.

SolaScriptura139
August 27, 2006, 06:18 PM
Putting the 10Cs or having public school officials lead X-ian prayers is offering deferential treatment to a particular religion.

As for prayer in school, and anything else to do with public schools, I tend to lean toward separation. For one, mandatory prayer is favoritism among a diverse population of other religions. The solution? Send your kid to a private school, or even homeschool (which I am seriously considering for my daughter). I personally don't want to support the federal government and the dept. of education anymore than I have to. Now, I am not against kids being allowed to pray in school. No one should ever be silenced by teachers and principles for praying, I've read stories where the police were involved because some kids met to pray at a flagpole, ending in some people being arrested. NOW that's ridiculous, and a violation of freedom of speech in my viewpoint.

cbsbyte
August 27, 2006, 06:21 PM
As alluded to in other posts most of the founding fathers where Deists. Deism was a popular belief during the enlightment period. It was a anti-establishment religious belief. It was not based on any one religious docturne but an single idea that there was a God. They would be shocked on how the Chrisitian right has twisted the meaning of the Consitution to try to create a Chrisitian nation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 06:39 PM
They would be shocked on how the Chrisitian right has twisted the meaning of the Consitution to try to create a Chrisitian nation.
And even more shocked at how the "godless" have tried to twist the meaning of the constitution to try and create a godless society.

The problem with the secularists is they want to put God in a box. They want to disconnect belief in God and the attendant religion from having any real world application on how we live life.

The answer really is reducing the size of government and getting them out of education completely. This argument will go on endlessly otherwise.

tellner
August 27, 2006, 06:42 PM
That is the whole point.

Christians do not want to be ruled by humanists, secularists or any other philosophy that pretends to not be a religion. A world view based on secularism or materialism may not have the trappings of what we call religion but it is a world view that influences morality and every other facet of life none the less.


That is the whole point. I don't care if I'm ruled by Christians, Satanists, or Pastafarians. If they don't try to make their religion the law I don't care what they do on their own time. That's what separation and religious freedom are all about. If we believe you then Christians, by contrast, will only accept rulers and representatives who share their peculiarities and will enforce them as law. "Do what you want, just don't screw with me" vs. "We will only accept rulers who make everyone do what we want". I know which one is closer to freedom.

Again, the idea in some sort of mythical "Secular Humanist" religion is a lie. Plain. Simple. Lie. It's just an attempt by religion to justify its special place at the table by saying that anyone who isn't religious must really be religious. I grew up around Talmudists and have seldom seen such tortured reasoning.

Helmetcase
August 27, 2006, 06:43 PM
The problem with the secularists is they want to put God in a box. They want to disconnect belief in God and the attendant religion from having any real world application on how we live life.
Nobody wants to do that. We just recognize that the FF's didn't want our govt to favor one religion or religious sect over any other. Your religion can have all the real world applications you want it to have on how YOU live YOUR life.

But it shouldn't impact how I live mine.

Why is that so hard to accept?

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 06:52 PM
Your religion can have all the real world applications you want it to have on how YOU live YOUR life.

But it shouldn't impact how I live mine.

Why is that so hard to accept?

Then why insist on using all our tax dollars to promote issues that a large percentage of us disagree with? The government run school system gladly takes our money and promotes issues contrary to Christian values.

Then folks get up and arms when we want to have a say on how it is spent!!

My answer is to get the government out of education - privatize it with standards in reading, writing and math.

Less govrnment is better and will relieve these pressures.

Leif Runenritzer
August 27, 2006, 07:59 PM
Christmas is obviously a holiday of Christian religious origin

We were celibrating Christmas before anybody had heard of Jesus. It just went by other names and was celibrated on slightly different dates. On Dec. 25th, folks in the near-east would have been observing the day that Mithra was born of the virgin Anahita, if they had kept the freedom to do so. Anyhow, you don't have to even think of Jesus to celibrate Christmas, and its origins are much farther and wider than Christianity, so i don't see how its celibration is an endorsement of a religion.

SuperNaut
August 27, 2006, 07:59 PM
How many of the decalogue are actually against modern law...Three? How much does it resemble modern America's literally millions of laws? Hasn't anyone here heard of Hammurabi? The laws of the Babylonians predate the christian decalogue by millennia and outstrip them in sophistication. I'd like to see where the decalogue has influenced traffic law for example, arguably those laws most affect our daily lives and are most likely to be trespassed.

To be pragmatic about this issue would be to not limit your historical perspective to a mere sliver of human existence and belief.

DBabsJr
August 27, 2006, 08:44 PM
The problem with the secularists is they want to put God in a box. They want to disconnect belief in God and the attendant religion from having any real world application on how we live life.

I agree 100% with Helmetcase on this. If laws are written without morality being legislated, we can all live our lives the way we believe we should. If we legislate morality into laws, only those that subscribe to that particular brand of morality would be able to. I see the first way as win-win for everyone.

Nobody is saying that you can't be a practicing <insert religion here> if you want to, but why should I have to be one?

foob
August 27, 2006, 09:16 PM
The legal system is not for enforcing morality. It is for ensuring public order and enable the community to function peacefully. Of course this is ambiguous, which has allowed the lawmaker to insert his own brand of morality into it.

SolaScriptura139
August 27, 2006, 09:46 PM
If laws are written without morality being legislated, we can all live our lives the way we believe we should.


So, if I believe I can be a rapist, is that right? And how can a law, such as "do not murder" not be based on morals? I don't believe you can write a law without having some sense of morality. Why is murder illegal? Because it's evil and hurts others. Why is stealing illegal? Because it's evil. Why is pretty much every law written (besides tax laws)? For the GOOD of society and to keep order. There is morality in pretty much every law written. The degree of morality varies, obviously.

ceetee
August 27, 2006, 09:48 PM
One of the main problems I see with trying to "legislate morality" is how to define the line that gets crossed when a particular statute is written not for the public good, but instead just to influence behavior.

Murder, for instance, is against the law everywhere I'm familiar with. If you're the guy that believes there's nothing wrong with committing a murder, then yes, we're legislating our morals to control your behavior. As it happens, though, we see a public good in making murder unlawful, in that we can now prescribe a punishment for those that commit murder.

The line has to be drawn somewhere, though. Some people see absolutely no public good in making certain recreational drugs illegal, and would just as soon have them legal, regulated, and taxed. Others think every mood-altering substance (up to and including cigarettes) should be made contraband. Arguments could easily be made to support the benefit to the public (in medical savings alone) that would come from making cigarettes illegal. However, it's obvious from the lack of passage of those laws that the public would not bear that particular morality being legislated.

Our Constitution is supposed to draw the line for us. Unfortunately, the Founding Fathers weren't semanticists. The elegant prose they crafted into the document controlling how our nation is governed leads naturally into differences of opinion as to the meanings of certain phrases. Some want those pohrases to be interpreted to restrict, to bind, or control the moral choices we make in our everyday lives. Others want those phrases interpreted in the most lenient way possible, so as to give the individual citizen the most freedom possible (even if that means he has the freedom to hurt himself or others by his actions).

Given a choice between the two alternatives, I'd err on the side of freedom.

Helmetcase
August 27, 2006, 09:48 PM
Then why insist on using all our tax dollars to promote issues that a large percentage of us disagree with?
Like what? Far as I know public schools can't get away with teaching about any religious issues.

The government run school system gladly takes our money and promotes issues contrary to Christian values.
I dunno what you mean by "promotes issues", but schools aren't supposed to teach religious mores one way or the other, and far as I can tell it's pretty rare that any of them even try to. You want kids to learn Christian values? Do it around the dinner table IN YOUR HOME. Not in public schools.

If it bugs you, home schooling and parochial school are options available for you to subject your kids to. But if you treat them right and teach them the right way to travel, I think they're gonna survive the trials and travails of 9th grade.

What is it you want? Religious indoctrination in public schools? It's simply never gonna happen. The sooner you get comfortable with that, the sooner you'll be able to get on with your life.

I agree 100% with Helmetcase on this. If laws are written without morality being legislated, we can all live our lives the way we believe we should. If we legislate morality into laws, only those that subscribe to that particular brand of morality would be able to. I see the first way as win-win for everyone. You got that right. What you're seeing, this "secularism is a religion too" bullhockey, is an attempt to radicalize the discussion and turn up the wick on the rhetoric, because attempts to de-secularize our govt have largely failed in the last couple decades thankfully.

I dunno what it is that people like GoRon want; if you make Christianity the official religion or have our govt endorse it as the means or backbone of our legislative system, you've got a big problem seeing as we've got lots of people of differing faiths (or no religious faith at all) in this country, and that simply isn't going to fly. It's counter to what the FF's wanted, it's counter to what our courts have consistently held is a reasonable reading of the COTUS, and it's just not the way we do things. Religion is for the private sphere, not the public. That's one of the things that makes this country great.

SolaScriptura139
August 27, 2006, 10:00 PM
What is it you want? Religious indoctrination in public schools? It's simply never gonna happen. The sooner you get comfortable with that, the sooner you'll be able to get on with your life.

I personally agree with you on this issue. As a parent, I know that my responsibility as a good parent is to not depend on others to teach my child how to live, it just doesn't work. Christians, of which I am one, should not look to schools and church to teach their children morality and right living, as it will only lead to miserable failure. The best way to raise a child, in my opinion, is to live the life you preach, teach your children personally, and make responsible choices on how your child is educated. The main reason I'll probably send my child to private school is because our public schools suck around here, and I want the best education for my daughter.


I dunno what it is that people like GoRon want; if you make Christianity the official religion or have our govt endorse it

I don't know about that, in every post from GoRon, I've never seen him endorse that viewpoint. It just seems that everytime that someone takes up the idea that it's ok for some Christian ideals to be in government, you guys wig out and make it sound like the person wants a theocracy. No one here has even hinted at wanting that. I'm not into forcing others to be Christian, but many laws that are for the benefit of the country came from Christians. And yes, these laws can be found in other religions, but the founders were on the majority Christian. While deist in worldview, even Jefferson and others held that Jesus Christ was Lord.

GoRon
August 27, 2006, 10:13 PM
What is it you want? Religious indoctrination in public schools? It's simply never gonna happen. The sooner you get comfortable with that, the sooner you'll be able to get on with your life.
I dunno what it is that people like GoRon want; if you make Christianity the official religion or have our govt endorse it as the means or backbone of our legislative system, you've got a big problem seeing as we've got lots of people of differing faiths (or no religious faith at all) in this country, and that simply isn't going to fly. It's counter to what the FF's wanted, it's counter to what our courts have consistently held is a reasonable reading of the COTUS, and it's just not the way we do things. Religion is for the private sphere, not the public. That's one of the things that makes this country great.

No place have I advocated teaching or indoctrinating anyone in any religion at the taxpayers expense.

On the other side we have a whole thread full of people who think it is just fine to indoctrinate our kids in a value free humanist world view, as long as it isn't religion.

How do you teach world affairs and current events without making value judgements?
How do you teach history without making value judgements about the figures in history.
The very act of choosing what reading assignments in an english class will be given is influenced by values.
By ignoring the role of religion in forming what our nation is an amoral philosophy has filled the void.
We should dump the whole public school system and privatize the whole affair.

DBabsJr
August 27, 2006, 10:51 PM
In all actuality, every law is someone legislating their morality on someone else.

This is correct. I have no good way of determining where the line should be drawn, but I would imagine it would something like the "I'll know it when I see it" definition of pornography.

While deist in worldview, even Jefferson and others held that Jesus Christ was Lord

That one I'm not so sure I agree with. He did write of Jesus as a historical character with correct morality, but he may have also wrote:
"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter"

I'd err on the side of freedom
Amen.

tellner
August 27, 2006, 11:18 PM
Jefferson, Franklin, Washington and Henry (just to name a few) weren't Christian or even friendly to Christianity by any stretch of the imagination. Even the ministers in the crowd went along with the idea that religion - not religious people but religion - needed to be kept out of the government. In fact, the President of Yale was shocked and disgusted that Yeshu ben Miriam didn't make it into the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. He thought it showed moral degeneracy of the worst sort.

dgb
August 27, 2006, 11:29 PM
tcgeol-
If you had read the entire thread before posting you would see that my comments were in direct response to
previous posts re "secular humanism", such as those made by Kim and GoRon for example.

All-
Sticking to the original quotations that started this thread, we do not have a case of someone wishing to legislate or push secular humanism on others. We have a case where an avowed Christian running for US Senate is claiming that electing people who are Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular humanists, etc in their private lives will result in all said people legislating sin.

I fail to see the threat to Christians in this particular case. I'm not saying Christians haven't been treated unfairly. However what Ms. Harris is espousing is for people not to elect Jews or anyone else who isn't Christian like she is.

I hear very few people disagreeing w/ her on this second point. That leaves me no other option but to believe those who are silent don't disagree w/ her.

SolaScriptura139
August 27, 2006, 11:35 PM
Ok, if Washington wasn't a Christian or even friendly to Christianity, then why was he a member of the Church of England in Virginia, which soon after became the Protestant Episcopal Church, which he still retained membership in? How about Samuel Adams, Carter Braxton, William Emery, Charles Carroll, Josiah Bartlett, Abraham Clark, George Clymer, William Floyd, Elbridge Gerry, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, John Hancock, John Hart, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Francis Hopkinson, Samuel Huntington, Philip Livingston, Thomas McKean, John Morton, William Paca, Robert Treat Paine, George Read, Caesar Rodney, Benjamin Rush, Edward Rutledge, Roger Sherman, James Smith, Richard Stockton, Thomas Stone, George Taylor, Matthew Thornton, George Walton, William Whipple, William Williams, John Witherspoon, Oliver Wolcott, and George Wythe?

All of these signers of the declaration were members of a Christian church. Out of 56 signers, only 3 were openly deist, and 1 of those had affiliation with a church, and 12 of those had no affiliation, and 1, John Adams, had a church affiliation but was a unitarian as well. So, 44-45 of the 56 signers of the declaration were professing Christians. Don't sit there and tell me that they weren't Christians, and that they had no like for Christianity.


Source: A Theological Miscellany by T.J. McTavish
(Basically, it's a book that lists random facts about Christianity)

tellner
August 27, 2006, 11:46 PM
Sola, it was socially necessary to be a member of the "right" churches if you were in that social class. You will also note that he said that "not one good thing" could be said about the Christian religion, that he was a Mason at a time when it was considered anti-Christ and also wrote of G-d as one "who if He does not exist we should have to create".

The revisionist historians keep trying to make the founding of the US some sort of grand Christ-fest complete with the Constitution being decided on after group prayer. It wasn't. The founders included religious people, but they shared a hostility towards the establishment of a religion, any religion, as part of the governance of the new nation.

As to your screen name, I'd really recommend that you take a look at Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060738170/sr=1-1/qid=1156732625/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-9472460-4139033?ie=UTF8&s=books). The author is a born-again Christian who attended fundamentalist Bible College and Wheaton before going on to the Princeton Theological Seminary. He's an expert in early biblical texts and is probably the only person in the world with the passion to make textual analysis of early Christian apologetics and apocalypses fascinating. He makes a very strong case that the idea of biblical inerrancy or the perfection of the mythical lost "first manuscripts" is a pipe dream.

Keith Wheeler
August 28, 2006, 12:03 AM
They use the technique of the Big Lie, Soviet or Nazi style, to keep repeating something that is simply not true long enough that the ignorant start to believe it.

You mean kind of like the myth that all the founding fathers were Christian?

It always amazes me how folks who repeat this myth ignore the ones that were Deists. Ya know, Jefferson implied that he did not believe in the divinty of Jesus. But hey, the truth that some of these gentlemen were Deists doesn't really matter, right?

SolaScriptura139
August 28, 2006, 12:04 AM
The founders included religious people, but they shared a hostility towards the establishment of a religion, any religion, as part of the governance of the new nation.

I'm not arguing that point. I agree that they did not want an established religion from the gov't. I'm simply pointing out that it is wrong for people to say that the founders were not Christian. The vast majority of them claimed to be Christian by their affiliation with churches. Obviously there were non-Christians among them. And by the way, do you have any citations for you're stated position that you had to be "in" with the right churches for social class?

As to your screen name, I'd really recommend that you take a look at Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.

As for my screen name and my personal beliefs, they are off-topic. I'm very secure in my belief in "Sola Scriptura", or "Scripture Alone". I have my reasons for it, and rest assured, I have well researched the topic. I will neither go on about this or defend my position, because this is a gun and civil rights forum, not a theology debate.

tellner
August 28, 2006, 12:24 AM
It's more that you might be interested in the issues that a committed Christian brings up as opposed to what a non-believer would say. He makes some very interesting points about things that people take for granted and gives an excellent historical context for what was included, why and how it changed over just a couple hundred years. Interesting stuff even for non-Christians.

gc70
August 28, 2006, 01:59 AM
From the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html)It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson's example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four. Worship services in the House--a practice that continued until after the Civil War--were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared. (Catholic priests began officiating in 1826.) As early as January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson, Vice President Aaron Burr, and a "crowded audience." Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive branch buildings. The Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers.
Thomas Jefferson permitted church services in government buildings and attended those services himself. Jefferson's actions appear to be at odds with what some interpret him to have meant when he used the phrase "wall of separation" in the letter to the Danbury Baptists.

For those who believe that Jefferson thought the Constitution mandated an impermeable wall of separation between church and state, did Jefferson intentionally violate the First Amendment of the Constitution?

Or, is it possible that what Jefferson meant has been misinterpreted?

Kim
August 28, 2006, 04:10 AM
Like you point out it is a legal myth. A myth adopted in the 20th century after decades of ACLU law suits leading up to decision to ban prayer. It took a very liberal court also. The time was right for the myth to become law. But even then the reason it was able to be done in a slippery slope method is the FEDS were not involved at the beginning in all aspects of our life. Now they are thanks to the same liberal Judges. I remember when it was determined that the school bus I rode on could not longer pick up the Catholic kids and drop them off on the way to the public school as the ACLU decided that was establishing a religion. It was hurtful to those kids at the time I am sure. No one had EVER thought anything about it. I mean we just never stopped anymore. I guess that extra 25 cents of gas from the stopping and starting and the wear and tear on those seats they set on in the government bus was just to much for the ACLU. After all the USA had a established religion up until that time apparently. The Catholic kids did not get push to sit in the back of the bus they got kicked off the bus.:fire:

tellner
August 28, 2006, 05:15 AM
Oh yes, the horrible ACLU. Those terrible people (Jews, that's the secret unspoken part) who took Jesus out of the schools. Well, he didn't belong there to begin with. Much as the theocrats and Know Nothings would like to pretend otherwise State-sponsored prayer is the establishment of a religion.

The evil liberals didn't "ban prayer". There is absolutely no law or Supreme Court ruling that says "Children are not permitted to pray". What there has been is a series of decisions that says "The State is not allowed to use its coercive power to force people to support or mouth the prayers of a State-established official Church".

The buses couldn't take Catholic students to school anymore? Garbage. Catholics could still ride the bus. They just couldn't ride it on the tax-payer's dime to an explicitly religious institution. If little Muslim children were delivered to the Madrassa al-Jihad or tiny tot Satanists to the Anton LaVey Academy of Black Magic you would probably give birth to a porcupine. Breech presentation. "No establishment of religion" means "No establishment of religion. Not even mine."

The problem is that the fundies and the witch-burners really hate that idea down at the bottom. They want freedom to practice their religion and freedom for everyone else to practice their religion. State sponsorship seems to be just fine as long as it's evangelical Protestantism. Turn around for just a minute and they've taken a saw to science and a meat-axe to history.

SolaScriptura139
August 28, 2006, 08:54 AM
Much as the theocrats and Know Nothings ...
the fundies and the witch-burners...

Wow, here's a great way to bolster your argument, revert to childish name calling.


Turn around for just a minute and they've taken a saw to science and a meat-axe to history.

Actually, most Evangelicals that I hear and read embrace science, just not evolution. You don't have to be a Christian, or even religious to not accept evolution, as there are scientific reasons for objecting to it. And I would personally like you to show me how evangelicals have "taken a meat-axe to history." I guess it's easy to make extreme statements when you're ranting.

Kaylee
August 28, 2006, 09:00 AM
Namecalling stops NOW

gc70
August 28, 2006, 09:02 AM
The buses couldn't take Catholic students to school anymore? Garbage. Catholics could still ride the bus. They just couldn't ride it on the tax-payer's dime to an explicitly religious institution.
Wrong - Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township - 330 U.S. 1 (1947) (http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/court/ever_v_boar.html).Majority Opinion: (Justice Black) Paying for the busing of parochial school students does not breach the Establishment Clause. Even though the assistance might make parents more likely to send their children to such schools, the authorization does not unduly assist the schools. The policy is general because it applies to public and private school students and does not single out those attending religious schools. The funding of busing is similar to the public payment of policemen and firemen who protect parochial school students.

RealGun
August 28, 2006, 09:28 AM
Believing that busing was financed by school taxes, I think Justice Black overlooked the differences in how those services were funded, i.e busing, policemen, and firemen. The issue was not religion...not directly anyway. It was whether parochial school parents were contributing to the expense of providing the buses while claiming some entitlement to the service.

Cromlech
August 28, 2006, 09:39 AM
Strong issue here for you jerry cans, it seems.

I think that I got lost somewhere in this topic, are people wanting mandatory prayers, religious education and whatnot, or just the choice for their kids to do so in school?

SolaScriptura139
August 28, 2006, 09:49 AM
I think that I got lost somewhere in this topic, are people wanting mandatory prayers, religious education and whatnot, or just the choice for their kids to do so in school?

I only want the choice to do so for my child. It just seems when they banned mandatory prayer, the educators went crazy and banned all religious expression among students. When my wife was in high school (about 3 years ago), she was reprimanded for carrying a bible with her. ANY person wearing shirt of Christian expression was made to turn their shirt inside out. If this has happened among other public schools, you can see why there would be backlash to the ban on prayer.

Cromlech
August 28, 2006, 09:55 AM
I only want the choice to do so for my child.
That seems fair to me.

It just seems when they banned mandatory prayer, the educators went crazy and banned all religious expression among students. When my wife was in high school (about 3 years ago), she was reprimanded for carrying a bible with her.

That's certainly not fair at all.

In my humble opinion, so long as non-religious kids can be exempted from prayer and whatnot, and religious kids can pray et cetera, all is fine.

1911 guy
August 28, 2006, 10:02 AM
I know it's a hot topic and it's being done to death, but here's my opinion. The fact was established from our (U.S.) beginning that Congress could not establish a religion. The intent was to allow people to express their faith as they saw fit. Don't forget that a lot of the original settlers on this continent, after the indians, of course, came here to escape religious persecution.

Jefferson commented on a seperation of church and state. Taken in context, his words reinforce the comments by the founders and further convey that an elected official is not to use his position to effect de-facto legislation of religion.

This concept has been taken out of context and been used to literally outlaw the expression of ones faith in many places. A case of words being twisted to oppose their meaning.

I have a right to express my faith, as do you. We have the right to share our faith or not to. The knuckleheads who are at the head of this charge are seeking freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion. I want to be left alone and not be cited for praying in a public place. I'd like to be able to carry my bible where I need to go without fear someone will see it and be "offended". I'd like to teach my son to take a moment to pray over important things without fear he'll wind up in trouble at school. I'd like to see Christmas light, Santa and a nativity scene in December without a lawyer screaming about some idiot who was "offended". I'd like to think that I'm a free American and can say and think what I want so long as I don't hurt anyone. The ACLU does not like any of the things I like.

So, yes. In the context and meaning it is construed today, the seperation of church and state is a lie. Anyone who loves their freedom had better look at the root issue, not whether they are religious or not. We are being told what is acceptable thought and action by a non-accountable and un-elected minority of lawyers and lobbyists. What's the next item on their agenda after they get rid of free expression of religion?

Rant over.

Cromlech, on this side of the pond the debate has gotten rather ludicrus. Outside of a few whackos who think the world is ending tomorrow and they're going to go to heaven on a comet, nobody is wanting to institute mandatory prayers or any other religious exercise. The agenda is being driven by our ACLU to make laws banning any religious expression, speech, display, etc. If it has anything to do with God, religion or anything remotely related, they want to literally outlaw it.

Keith Wheeler
August 28, 2006, 10:03 AM
And I would personally like you to show me how evangelicals have "taken a meat-axe to history."

Well for one thing they keep talking about the ten commandments. I count a whole bunch more than that...

Edited to add:

We have the right to share our faith or not to. The knuckleheads who are at the head of this charge are seeking freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion. I want to be left alone and not be cited for praying in a public place.

Amen to the FROM and OF comment. But then I'd love to be left alone to pray in public without someone wanting to either convert or kill me.

SolaScriptura139
August 28, 2006, 10:08 AM
I count a whole bunch more than that...

Actually, there are over 600 commandments in the Torah. But the Ten Commandments are a summary of the most important ones. But I really don't see how you can use that as an example of "taking a meat-axe" to history when you're talking theology, not history.

Helmetcase
August 28, 2006, 10:36 AM
No place have I advocated teaching or indoctrinating anyone in any religion at the taxpayers expense.
But you are suggesting that you don't have a problem with teachers, public officials, etc. supporting policies that include some sort of recognition of Christianity, aren't you? Which would be a clear violation of the "make no law respecting" clause.

On the other side we have a whole thread full of people who think it is just fine to indoctrinate our kids in a value free humanist world view, as long as it isn't religion.
Whatever the hell that is. What's the free humanist world view? I don't think kids should be indoctrinated one way or the other re: religious issues. Kids should learn their religious values at HOME. Not SCHOOL. Period.

Why you have a problem with that is beyond me. I think the last couple decades make it pretty clear that expecting kids to learn this sort of thing in school is a lost cause. School is not a substitute for parenting. No one thinks it is.

I don't want, nor I do think any school does, to have schools teach "free humanism" (whatever the hell that may be, sounds like something from far right wing AM radio late at night) or anything else--I just want them to not advocate or endorse any particular religious view.

If you can't understand that distinction, I feel sorry for you. Having schools be neutral on religion is NOT the same as trying to make them all card carrying athiests. It's simply leaving religious instruction up to the PARENTS and the FAMILY instead of the public sphere. You'd think all you anti-govt conservative types would be all over that. I wouldn't want a school teaching my kids religion these days, geeze.

How do you teach world affairs and current events without making value judgements?
Why do you need to have religion in schools to teach value judgments? You can have students examining complex ethical issues without delving into religion. Show me the current event or world affair that you can't teach properly without first having instructed the kids in Christianity. This ought to be rich.

How do you teach history without making value judgements about the figures in history.
You can make value judgments about them all day long. You don't need religion in public schools to do so.

By ignoring the role of religion in forming what our nation is an amoral philosophy has filled the void.
I don't think it's necessarily ignored, but I don't think amoral philosophy is accurate at all. You're suggesting you need to be religious in order to have morals. That's simply inaccurate. And frankly, insulting to those of us who aren't religious.

For instance, consider slavery. Do you need to be a Christian to see why it was wrong? Of course not. Consider the civil rights movement. Can an athiest understand why Jim Crow had to go? (Hell the people resisting the death of Jim Crow often guised their arguments in a religious context). Consider women's suffrage. Do you need to have Jesus in your heart to understand why women should get to vote?

In short, you do NOT need religious instruction to understand ethical issues.

Privatizing the whole affair will never happen, and would be disaster anyway, but that's another thread.

DBabsJr
August 28, 2006, 10:48 AM
I have a right to express my faith, as do you. We have the right to share our faith or not to. The knuckleheads who are at the head of this charge are seeking freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion.

With respect to our government and its laws, I personally would like to have freedom from religion. I think it's about choice and 'None of the Above' and 'None' should both be choices.

When my wife was in high school (about 3 years ago), she was reprimanded for carrying a bible with her.

Even after my statement above, I would fight this alongside of your wife. That's absolutely ridiculous. Within reason and as long as it affects no one else, I should be able to do what I want to do and so should everyone else.

FWIW...I've learned a lot in this thread. Thanks to the mods for letting it go on.

RealGun
August 28, 2006, 11:05 AM
But you are suggesting that you don't have a problem with teachers, - Helmetcase

Just a comment on style. The continuous use of the word "you" is confrontational and I believe violates the guideline of debating ideas not personalities. I believe your entire post could be rewritten without much use, if any, of the word "you". The result would be much more worthy of being called the High Road and could also allow your posts to be taken more seriously, perhaps even get your subscriber name off someone's ignore list.

Also the injection of cuss words reflects anger, which is potentially inciting and is inelegant, sometimes crude. There must be a better way to calmly have a debate, even if frustrated or cynical in regard to other's thoughts.

FWIW

1911 guy
August 28, 2006, 11:26 AM
DBabsJr,
If I told you you had to become a (insert denomination) to avoid prosecution, that would violate your freedom of religion. Freedom means choosing to have or have not.
Telling someone else they cannot be a (insert denomination) is also a violation of freedom of religion.
Your stand, as your comments read, is that for you to have no religious faith is O.K., and others are required to do without as well. That may not be your thoughts, but it is the ACLU and others thoughts and they use the same words to promote their ideology. Demanding freedom for yourself means also giving freedom to those around you.

Helmetcase,
While I agree that values and religion should be tought at home, the real issue is an ongoing push to make our society and government hostile to religion. My fredom of religion means that I can believe what I want to, you have the same choice. Have a faith or don't, your call. However, the current fight being put up by the ACLU and various lobbyists would deny me the right to express my faith in any public place and in any circumstance.

Helmetcase
August 28, 2006, 11:30 AM
FWIW? Not much. I was addressing a point he in particular was making. While we strongly disagree, I don't think GoRon can mistake my asking for an explanation or clarification of what he in particular is saying on a point for some sort of personal insult. He's saying he's not saying something, I'm asking for a clearer understanding of what he is saying. Fair enough?

If there's anything in my posts that isn't worth taking seriously, I invite your explanation of just what that is (as though it's not confrontational to suggest that someone not be taken seriously).

Sorta contradictory to what my momma taught me about it being more important to be nice than right...how "right" you are isn't really dependent on how nice someone thinks you are. Even if you think I'm a big meanie head (and I really don't think I'm being all that mean to anyone--frankly I resent the implication, what I'm saying about the other side of the argument isn't any coarser than what's being said about humanists, the ACLU, etc), the point stands that we're a nation that believes in keeping religion in the private sphere without govt influence or endorsement.

ceetee
August 28, 2006, 11:57 AM
...the real issue is an ongoing push to make our society and government hostile to religion...

How? Has the government been under any pressure anywhere to make the expression of a person's faith unlawful? I haven't seen it, do you have any examples?

What I have seen, is a series of legal actions designes to make various government bodies entirely faith-neutral. Actions like removing the ten commandments from a courthouse don't make that courthouse anti-faith. They just make it neutral on the issue, as it should be. It's not an action I could personally justify spending a large chunk of cash on, as it doesn't personally insult me to have them there, but somebody was insulted enough to want to spend the money.

The only things that upsets me is the fact that it takes large chunks of tax money to defend such cases, and/or comply with the verdicts. I feel if somebody is that insulted by it, then they should be more than willing to bear the cost of corrective measures, but that's just me...

Art Eatman
August 28, 2006, 12:15 PM
Thread drift; call it an Old Man's grump: Seems to me we've bred up a bunch of folks whose life is devoted to finding things by which to be offended. Doesn't matter how harmless it is to 98% of the population; we gotta have some sort of perfection.

I never saw where school prayer ever hurt me. I never saw where it helped, either, but I guess that's another matter. I never saw any other kids "offended" by it. Same for the 10C in courthouses. Some stuff, like pictures and statues, are just "there". If you're interested, all well and good; if not, walk on by and don't worry about it.

Don't like some of the ideas behind some of the statues on the capitol grounds? That was then, this is now; walk on by. Etc., etc.

So: We get all these whines, followed by court decisions. There are then those who feel targeted by such decisions, and take them as an attack on their own cherished beliefs. It doesn't matter at all whether or not they are correct in this view. Believe me, when somebody feels he's been attacked at the core of his belief system, he's gonna fight back, one way or another.

Ergo, the more militant Christians, feeling they're being attacked by the ACLU and by Hollyweird, are doing the absolutely normal human-nature thing: Fighting back.

So all this current brouhaha, all brought about because of some busybody wanting an unimportant perfection...

Art

Kelly J
August 28, 2006, 12:41 PM
dgb , With all due respect would it not be better to attack the message rather than the Messenger, personal attacks are uncalled for and unnecessary.

RealGun
August 28, 2006, 12:44 PM
Some stuff, like pictures and statues, are just "there". If you're interested, all well and good; if not, walk on by and don't worry about it. Art Eatman

Perhaps the Trojans just "walked on by" that horse, until it was too late. I am always reminded of the argument that "in God we trust" is used as a fundamental argument for characterizing this country, when it has only been around for barely 50 years. It would then seem that every little baby step incursion into government is a stepping stone for the next idea how to stake a claim to dominating the government.

DBabsJr
August 28, 2006, 12:57 PM
Your stand, as your comments read, is that for you to have no religious faith is O.K., and others are required to do without as well. That may not be your thoughts, but it is the ACLU and others thoughts and they use the same words to promote their ideology. Demanding freedom for yourself means also giving freedom to those around you.

I think you misunderstood me. I said that I would fight alongside people like SolaScriptura139's wife to allow religious expression. Carrying a Bible and wearing a Christian themed T-shirt has no affect on me at all. I also said "Within reason and as long as it affects no one else, I should be able to do what I want to do and so should everyone else." Maybe that wasn't written clearly. The last part should have said "and everyone else should be able to do what they want to do". I apologize if that was confusing.

Soybomb
August 28, 2006, 12:58 PM
Thomas Jefferson permitted church services in government buildings and attended those services himself. Jefferson's actions appear to be at odds with what some interpret him to have meant when he used the phrase "wall of separation" in the letter to the Danbury Baptists.

For those who believe that Jefferson thought the Constitution mandated an impermeable wall of separation between church and state, did Jefferson intentionally violate the First Amendment of the Constitution?

Or, is it possible that what Jefferson meant has been misinterpreted?
Sadly the men who have the ideals we revere so much were just human themselves. I believe it was jefferson himself who later in life wrote that the congressional prayer was a mistake and he changed his mind as to its legality. Perhaps over time our sensitivity to violations of the establishment clause has been refined, tuned, and become more vocal?

I want to be left alone and not be cited for praying in a public place. I'd like to be able to carry my bible where I need to go without fear someone will see it and be "offended". I'd like to teach my son to take a moment to pray over important things without fear he'll wind up in trouble at school. I'd like to see Christmas light, Santa and a nativity scene in December without a lawyer screaming about some idiot who was "offended". I'd like to think that I'm a free American and can say and think what I want so long as I don't hurt anyone. The ACLU does not like any of the things I like.I'm so right along with you. Until I have to pay to put up your nativity scene or christmas lights. I'd invite you to show me a case where the ACLU has interfered with any religious activities that didn't include money or land that all of us pay for. I'm seeking freedom from paying for religion, pray all the time while you're in public with a jesus shirt on and christmas tree on your head if you like, I just don't want to pay for you to do it anymore than you'd want to pay for my satellite tv subscription. If you deny me that right, thats certainly not freedom for both of us, just you.

I never saw where school prayer ever hurt me. I never saw where it helped, either, but I guess that's another matter. I never saw any other kids "offended" by it. Same for the 10C in courthouses. Some stuff, like pictures and statues, are just "there". If you're interested, all well and good; if not, walk on by and don't worry about it.
I'm curious if you'd be as apathetic if it was islamic prayer the students were being led in? If I have children in public school, I do not want the school teaching them religious values. If I were christian I wouldn't want someone else teaching them christianity for that matter. As a tax payer even I don't want to see my money spent on teaching religion in public school.

BigG
August 28, 2006, 01:37 PM
They use the technique of the Big Lie, Soviet or Nazi style, to keep repeating something that is simply not true long enough that the ignorant start to believe it.

You mean kind of like the myth that all the founding fathers were Christian?


Or, how about "There is a wall of separation between church and state." I hear people say that a lot. I believe it only means that Congress cannot make a state religion, but you'd be surprised what some others interpret it to mean (as you can read in the voluminous responses above. :eek: )

RE: Theocracy: I am old to remember the election of JFK and the hand wringing that went on among people saying, "now the Vatican is going to run America."

Kelly J
August 28, 2006, 02:07 PM
All things being equal the truth of the matter is simply this, The Federal Government is prohibited by the First Amendment from declaring any religion as the National Religion, nor can the Federal Government stop you fron praticing your Faith in your own way so long as you are not violatng any laws in doing so, such as Human Sacrifice and such things that are Against the Moral Laws of all the People.

Also we the People have placed in the Government the power to rule OUR LIVES to the point that we have in effect said you tell us what to do and we will do it, that is because we do not want the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and have elected others to take care of us and to provide for us to the point of sheer STUPIDITY.

The Federal Government is doing way more than the Constitution ever intended it to be able to do and that is simply because we the people have lost the value of the Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers to establish a form of Government to serve and to protect it's Population, from external agression by what ever source be it from without or within.

I was told as a young man that there were two subjects that you CAN NOT ARGUE, POLITICS AND RELIGION, BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY TO WIN , EVERY ONE HAS THEIR OWN INTERPRITATION OF BOTH AND YOU CANNOT CHANGE THAT STANCE. This fact is very true and it is very evident if you just look at the postings here but I am not saying we are wrong for stating our opinions here or anywhere else but I am simply saying that the one theam that is clear here is one we as a people are not very knowledgeable about the Constitution or the Intent of the Founding Fathers as we have delegated that information to the Courts and the Congress, and wrongly so.

We as I have mentioned before need to take back the Control of the Government and remember that the Federal Government can only derive it's power by the consent of the governed, not the other way around.

And the way that we take control of our Government is to VOTE, each and every election from city to state to national and I am talking about every citizen not just the active few, what was the total turnout for the 2004 Election 50%, 60%, or higher, and as I stated in a previous post it is estimated that the voter turn out will be 30% in the midterm elections, so mathamatically we are letting 30% of the population tell the 70% of the rest how it will be for the next X number of years, and the very same thing holds true for the Special interest groups like the ACLU, NAACP, Gay Rights, Right to life ETC. the noisest wheel gets the most greese. The percentage of the number of these groups are very small compared to the Population of this Country and how is it that they have the ability to control the rest of us is very simple THEY USE THE COURTS NOT THE CONSTITUTION TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS, AND WE ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN.

SHAME ON US!!!!!!!!!!!

NineseveN
August 28, 2006, 02:23 PM
That is the whole point.

Christians do not want to be ruled by humanists, secularists or any other philosophy that pretends to not be a religion. A world view based on secularism or materialism may not have the trappings of what we call religion but it is a world view that influences morality and every other facet of life none the less.

But it doesn't influence YOUR morality, does it? Thus, it's not ruling you, now is it? The problem that the Religious Zealots have is that others have the freedom to do things that the 'chosen religion' is against. There are no laws mandating that Christians must engage in homosexual conduct with each other, are there? There are no laws forcing people to have sex out of wedlock, are there? There are no laws demanding that a Catholic wife succumb to the desires of sodomy from her husband or appease the local firefighters union by offering group sexual encounters, are there? If there were, THAT would be ruling you.

What you don't like is that others have the choice and that YOUR moral choices, handed down from the guy with the big sombrero arenít being FORCED onto everyone else under the color of law. The law allowing everyone to choose their own path in freedom so long as it does not cause damage to another person is a problem for you, and I wonder why? The answer is exactly what is wrong with allowing the separation of church and state to erode. Freedom means putting up with things you don't like.


As long as government is in the education business, marriage business, funding grants for endeavers with ethical questions there will be conflict between religion(s) and materialistic secularists. People believe they should have a voice on what their tax dollars promote.

If you don't want Christians to have a voice on how the government spends our money then exempt us out of the tax system

The only conflict is that we want to be allowed to do as we please so long as we're not hurting anyone, and we want that same exact freedom for you, the freedom to worship your chosen god/gods and act in your life accordingly, and you want to codify your beliefs and force others to abide by them. One is about Freedom; the other is about subservience and domination on the altar.

And you are exempt from taxes, as a religious organization. Us Agnostic organizations donít get that; we pay our taxesÖtalk about inequity. Taxes in this country are not some sort of opt-in or opt-out system, you pay them because theyíre due. If you donít like the taxes or what they are spent on, you go to the voting booth.*


*This is not to even approach the argument that income taxes arenít legal or constitutional or whatever, Iím talking in terms of practical arguments in regards to religion VS the state.

NineseveN
August 28, 2006, 02:36 PM
I never saw where school prayer ever hurt me. I never saw where it helped, either, but I guess that's another matter. I never saw any other kids "offended" by it. Same for the 10C in courthouses. Some stuff, like pictures and statues, are just "there". If you're interested, all well and good; if not, walk on by and don't worry about it.


Of course you didn't Art, but why don't we force you and your children to enact a ritual for Cuthulu, or an Islamic Prayer Service every morning INSTEAD of the common Christian-based faith services. How's that sound? How about a Satanic ritual or a Wiccan service for the Earth Mother to bless these children before their tests each morning?

Perhaps it's the age difference or maybe it's that we didn't go to the same school. I fought the entire district over saying the Pledge of Allegiance based on the addition of the words "under God". I was suspended and then expelled for doing nothing more than refusing to stand and salute the flag and recite the pledge. I fought the system, and I won.

Later that year (my freshman year in high school), a neighboring school district's graduation ceremonies caused quite a stir as the principle outlawed student led prayer during the graduation ceremonies. I wrote local governments, news papers, magazines, high school papers, online stories and helped organize the protest and select the prayer that the students were going to indulge themselves in that day in protest of the terrible policy enacted by the principle. That's being unbiased and working for freedom first, freedom for everyone.

When I see a Christian fight against being forced to refrain from privately praying over their meal in the cafeteria at lunchtime and then turn around and also stand next to the Atheist who refuses to swear on the bible in a court of law (which I have also done BTW), I'll start buying THEIR rhetoric. It's real easy to say, "it doesn't hurt anyone" when it's YOUR idea and the way you want things to be. Put the shoe on the other foot and walk around a while though, I bet dollars to donuts we start hearing some different tunes coming from the choir.

tcgeol
August 28, 2006, 04:40 PM
When I see a Christian fight against being forced to refrain from privately praying over their meal in the cafeteria at lunchtime and then turn around and also stand next to the Atheist who refuses to swear on the bible in a court of law (which I have also done BTW), I'll start buying THEIR rhetoric.
NineseveN, that is very reasonable and I don't think most of us would disagree with it. We just object to being told that we don't have the right to swear on the Bible in the courtroom, because that would breach the "wall of separation."

RealGun
August 28, 2006, 05:02 PM
We just object to being told that we don't have the right to swear on the Bible in the courtroom, because that would breach the "wall of separation."

Do we have the right to refuse to swear on the Bible in a courtroom? It is my understanding that the presence of a Bible or the "so help you God" thing is not universal. Too much television, I guess. Why would anyone actively seek to be sworn on a Bible, a choice rather than presented with a requirement?

I have thought about this before and believe I would speak to the judge ahead of time rather than make a scene that the judge wouldn't appreciate. And I am religious in my own way. I just don't think it's appropriate. I think it is a court declaring itself to be a Christian court, definitely unconstitutional in my judgment. I can easily enough simply declare that I accept liability for perjury and intend to tell the truth.

Do we have the right to insist that a Bible and godly oath be included? Why would anyone do that?

BrennanKG
August 28, 2006, 05:04 PM
The thing which strikes me as odd in the "more type X values needed" line of thinking is that I have yet to see a way to establish a baseline beyond that of Natural Law.

I have no problem with schools teaching the fundamentals of fairness and the like. I doubt that any parent would have a problem with it, be they Atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc. I hope we can all agree one should be honest, kind to others, and respecful. The problems occur when you move beyond those "basics" and get to all the points which we've allowed to become hot buttons.

We're never going to all agree on those issues. Doesn't it then follow that we should regulate least the issues upon which we cannot agree?

Just my thoughts,
B.

NineseveN
August 28, 2006, 05:06 PM
NineseveN, that is very reasonable and I don't think most of us would disagree with it. We just object to being told that we don't have the right to swear on the Bible in the courtroom, because that would breach the "wall of separation."

I think perhaps the arguments coming from any intelligent person would be that they don't want to have to be forced to swear an oath to a god they do not worship (which could be against their religion and/or principles), that's my argument. The other side's intelligent argument seems to be that they do not want to be prohibited from worshipping their god/gods/goddess/goddesses, even in public or during the duty of public service or office.

The tricky part is, you either have to make it a part of the process with certain exclusions (i.e. all people must swear on the bible unless they claim religious or non-religious exemption/exception) or you must remove the requirement entirely, and then rely on individual practitioners to have the impetus to worship/provide homage/whatever on their own (i.e. student-led prayer session instead of institutionally-led sessions), otherwise there is a lack of equality there.

I contend that if one's faith is as strong as I would think it should be, there should be little to no issue with them leading their own prayer before class or swearing an oath (even a silent one) to themselves and their god/goddess/whatever before testifying in court while simply giving their word to the court to do so minus the required religious affirmation.

I donít think the Ten Commandments or the Christian Bible belong in a court of law anymore than I think that the Koran or the Necronomicon do. I donít believe that a Muslim should be forced to take an oath to a god they do not worship, thereby betraying their faith anymore than an Agnostic should be forced to partake in of that religious stuff. If you provide for one, you need to provide for all and also none, otherwise equal treatment is not being satisfied.

I donít think that certain religious morals should be made law prohibiting a man from marrying another man or a woman marrying another woman anymore than I think a law should be passed requiring all husbands and wives engage in anal sodomy twice per week regardless of religion or moral code. Marriage was around well before the modern notion of Christian or other contractual religion-centric monogamy, you canít just come along and claim marriage as yours, write the rules and decide who gets to do what and when if itís outside of your church. If a certain church does not want to wed same-sex couples, great! Their choice, I applaud them for making it. If the justice of the peace or another church wants to wed-same sex couples, couples comprised of legally consenting adults, itís none of your business, go find something else to do.

GoRon
August 28, 2006, 08:06 PM
Tax money is taken from us at the barrel of the gun. We have no choice.

When that money is spent on issues that Christians don't support you don't understand why they get upset?

Anything remotely related to abortion that the government funds is going to raise the hackles of Christians (and those with the same convictions on the subject regardless of their faith).

As Art and 1911 Guy put it more elonquintly than I, Christians to a large extent are feeling under siege. Disallowing thanking God at a graduation ceremony is the norm now. Read a textbook some time, you wouldn't even know the pilgrims were Christians by reading some of them. That is a relevent fact that is just poof! gone.

Helmetcase, you can mock or down play the influence of secularism and its values free teachings all you want. The fact is that our schools teach a form of cultural relativism
that only seems to find the bad in the United States. We went from American exceptionalism to self loathing in the public schools.

If it is a parents job to instill values then maybe it should be a parents job to teach about procreation and birth control methods.

The leftists want to put values in a box that have no real world connection. How can you have a sex ed class and not introduce when it is right or wrong for kids to have sex?

That is why the separation of Church and State is a lie. You cannot separate the human condition from government. Somebodies morality or philosophy is going to win out.

I don't want my tax dollars going to leftists who want to teach my children their philosophy about sex, their wrong headed views about the role of government or a whole host of other issues.

DBabsJr
August 28, 2006, 08:24 PM
If it is a parents job to instill values then maybe it should be a parents job to teach about procreation and birth control methods.

The leftists want to put values in a box that have no real world connection. How can you have a sex ed class and not introduce when it is right or wrong for kids to have sex?

It is absolutely the parents' job to teach procreation, if that's what they believe in. You can have sex ed class without dealing with right or wrong by teaching facts only. I've never had a sex ed class where having sex was encouraged. It was always framed as "if you are going to have sex, here is some information to help you make informed choices." I would prefer zero opinion either way from a teacher on the subject for my kids if I ever have any.

ArmedBear
August 28, 2006, 08:26 PM
Can I swear on Atlas Shrugged in a court of law?

gc70
August 28, 2006, 08:40 PM
This has been an exceptional thread - 169 posts and the two sides seem as far apart as in the beginning.

What strikes me as being too rare in this discussion are advocates for tolerance. I think that is what Art meant in his most recent post. And helmetcase came close to actually using the word in his discussion of secular government tolerating all religions.

Helmetcase
August 28, 2006, 09:13 PM
When that money is spent on issues that Christians don't support you don't understand why they get upset?

Well, welcome to representative democracy. Not every dollar spent by the govt is ever going to please you. There's always going to be someone unhappy with what's happening with tax dollars being spent here or there, no matter what we do. If you fancy a libertarian utopia with no taxes at all, set one up on a private island. If it pans out for ya, I'll be your first citizen. Try to make it some place with good surf and lots of bikinis.

That said, I dunno what "issues" you're talking about. If it upsets you that your school doesn't teach Christianity, pull your kids out and home school them. For my money, I'd like to see schools be neutral on the issue of religion. I've got mine, you've got yours, let's leave em at home.

As Art and 1911 Guy put it more elonquintly than I, Christians to a large extent are feeling under siege.
Sorry to hear you feel that way, but I feel like non-Christians are under siege too. Welcome to the club. The difference is, I don't want the govt to pick one side or the other.

Disallowing thanking God at a graduation ceremony is the norm now.
You can privately thank whomever you want. But public schools aren't the place for officially endorsed prayer. They usually have a moment of silence wherein you can either pray to God, Allah, Jehova, The Great Spirit, or just think about which girl you're gonna try to nail at the graduation party. Let's be clear--as long as there are math tests and gym class, there'll always be prayer in schools. But it'll be private and not a public official leading a prayer for Christians that leaves the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, as second class citizens. You obviously can't please everyone, so just leave it the hell alone.

Read a textbook some time, you wouldn't even know the pilgrims were Christians by reading some of them. That is a relevent fact that is just poof! gone.
Lots of salient facts have been left out of history books for years. But I really doubt anyone gets past 1st grade without knowing that the reason the Pilgrims came here was to get away from a place that had a govt sanctioned religion!

Helmetcase, you can mock or down play the influence of secularism and its values free teachings all you want. The fact is that our schools teach a form of cultural relativism that only seems to find the bad in the United States.
The only thing I'm mocking is the ludicrous idea that without a Christianic centric focus that kids won't learn to understand the ethical implications of current events, history, and world affairs. That's obvious--and so far, unrebutted--bunk.

Cultural relativism? That's a pretty sophisticated topic. Schools should teach that most complicated events and issues have two topics or sides to them. I managed to learn a lot about the good of the United States too. One of the most cherished things I learned that was good about the US was that you were free to believe in whatever faith you cared to, without the govt endorsing one over any other. People like you (sorry to say YOU, but heck, let's face it, we're pretty much on the opposite sides here and I don't think that's overly confrontational) are trying to change that. I'm resisting that change. It's that simple.

If it is a parents job to instill values then maybe it should be a parents job to teach about procreation and birth control methods.
It's a school's job to teach kids basic biology and physiology. Too many kids don't get what they need to know at home. I suppose by your logic I could argue it's the parents job to teach math, history, current world affairs, and foreign languages too. Schools are where kids should learn, in any pragmatic sense we need them to be public, and they need to learn about their own bodies.

When your little Jonny comes home, if you want to teach him to never have sex...bully for you. But you're bound to be disappointed. How easily we forget what it was like to be a teenager, and how scary and complicated things like sexuality can be. That's one gun fight I wouldn't send a kid into unarmed.

The leftists want to put values in a box that have no real world connection. How can you have a sex ed class and not introduce when it is right or wrong for kids to have sex?Kids are going to learn something about physiology and anatomy whether you want them to or not, might as well make sure it's handled by the professional educators. The right or wrong aspect is up to the parents. I see no problem with that. I do think that it's impossible to give a kid a highschool level education in gollydarned BIOLOGY and not discuss animal sexual reproduction. Forcing schools to ignore that topic would be foolhardy at best.

That is why the separation of Church and State is a lie. You cannot separate the human condition from government. Somebodies morality or philosophy is going to win out.
In some very real sense you're right, a certain philosophy has long since won out in this country--the philosophy holds that religious matters should be handled privately without the govt endorsing or espousing any particular view or faith. Thank heaven.

I don't want my tax dollars going to leftists who want to teach my children their philosophy about sex, their wrong headed views about the role of government or a whole host of other issues.
Sounds like homeschooling is the way to go for you, then. Because in a public school setting, you simply don't have the right to choose the political affiliation of the people who have teaching jobs. Hell, you don't even get to ask, and I'm glad about that. When it comes to sex (and it always does come to sex, these discussions invariably boil down to rightwingers inability to get comfortable with the very reality of human sexuality--it's always about stigmatizing sex), you get the final say. If little Jonny goes to school and the teach says something about any subject you disagree with, you can instruct him otherwise. If you wanna teach him that the Pilgrims actually came from Mars, knock yourself out. But I PROMISE you that little Jonny is going to smell a rat if you dicker about and try to deny the reality of human sexuality.

I simply don't buy into the idea that teaching kids about the realities and dangers of sex is "leftism". It's just smart policy. If you don't like it...great, but I want my kids to learn about their bodies and about the pitfalls therein, and I don't think you can use a religious qualm to justify denying all the kids out there an education--especially when their parents don't share your misgivings.

gc70
August 28, 2006, 09:47 PM
by helmetcase:
I do think that it's impossible to give a kid a highschool level education in ********* BIOLOGY and not discuss animal sexual reproduction.Art's grandmother still has her bar of soap.

Edited to add: But it looks like she won't be using it today. :rolleyes:

Helmetcase
August 28, 2006, 09:50 PM
What's wrong with gollydarned?

Dadgummit.

ceetee
August 28, 2006, 10:28 PM
I don't want my tax dollars going to leftists who want to teach my children their philosophy about sex, their wrong headed views about the role of government or a whole host of other issues.

And I don't want MY tax dollars going to righties who want to teach my children their philosophy about sex, their wrongheaded theories on blasphemy, or a whole host of other issues.

Let's face it... the proper place for government is to be a bunch of paperpushers in charge of building roads, defending our borders, and not much else. The government should not be involved in teaching any kind of religion at all, with the exception (possibly) of explaining the histories of ALL the major religions in some Comparative Religion class. The government should not be teaching that any one religion is "more equal" than any other. At most, they should be teaching that all religions have their adherents, and that to denigrate someone because of his religion is not what America is about.

As long as we have schools, there are some parts of the curriculum that people are going to disagree with. When it comes to teaching biology, I'd prefer my kids have the straight facts, and not some tooth-fairy-esque fantasy. Let ME worry about whether or not they get the proper moral grounding to deal with the pressures of burgeoning sexuality.

When it comes to teaching morals, our schools could do a lot better. There are plenty of lessons in our own American history that could be used to teach morality. There are plenty of those lessons that ARE taught, though, and it's up to the parent to ensure that their kids have a proper understanding of just what kind of behavior is moral, and what isn't.

Keith Wheeler
August 28, 2006, 10:40 PM
When it comes to teaching biology, I'd prefer my kids have the straight facts, and not some tooth-fairy-esque fantasy. Let ME worry about whether or not they get the proper moral grounding to deal with the pressures of burgeoning sexuality.


I think their problem with sexuality is that sexual reproduction is the driving force behind evolution. Pretend it doesn't exist and there ya go....mostly tongue in cheek.

On your other comments. Many years ago, I asked myself "what should governments do?" My response in high school, when I pondered philosophically, is the same as today. "Those things that the people as individuals can't do for themselves."

I can protect myself in an immediate threatening situation, it's rather difficult however for me to intrepret many hundreds of years of law. It'd be real hard for my neighbors and I to build roads, or F16s, or launch GPS satellites. It'd even be difficult for us to buy fire trucks, though we don't have any problem operating them (I'm a volunteer firefighter).

What I teach my kids? That's my business. I don't need your religion, thanks, that's something my people can handle on our own.

SolaScriptura139
August 28, 2006, 10:46 PM
I think their problem with sexuality is that sexual reproduction is the driving force behind evolution.

Actually, genetic mutation and natural selection are the driving force behind the theory of evolution. I think most Christians are just worried that their kids are going to be taught that pre-marital sex is natural and right and all this stuff. Sex education should be taught from a neutral viewpoint, showing kids that there are consequences where sex is involved (i.e. promiscuity can result in STD's, unwanted pregnancies, etc.) And I can't stand how people attack Christians and say that we hate sex, don't talk about it, and all that stuff. Most of us (Christians) embrace sexuality, but in a limited arena, which would be marriage. Think of this for one second, if no one had premarital sex for at least one generation, meaning that both people entered into a heterosexual marriage as virgins, STD's would pretty much get wiped out. AIDs would no longer be an epidemic affecting millions. Obviously, there would be the exceptions of genetically passing it down through childbirth, or sharing of needles, etc.

NineseveN
August 28, 2006, 10:53 PM
Actually, genetic mutation and natural selection are the driving force behind the theory of evolution. I think most Christians are just worried that their kids are going to be taught that pre-marital sex is natural and right and all this stuff. Sex education should be taught from a neutral viewpoint, showing kids that there are consequences where sex is involved (i.e. promiscuity can result in STD's, unwanted pregnancies, etc.)

I was right with you up to the end there...then you lost me in the stuff I didn't quote. I want to know though, what official public, school or government policy outright encourages minors to have sex before marriage?

SolaScriptura139
August 28, 2006, 10:57 PM
I'm not saying that any organization does promote that. I'm just trying to give a different perspective that might explain why Christians react the way they do. The point of my last statement was that we believe abstinance is the best way because abstinance prevents so much pain, like unwanted pregnancies, broken relationships, and STD's. I know in the high school I went to, abstinance was barely mentioned, it was pretty much assumed that the kids were going to have sex. And when the students recognize that those in authority already expect them to do so, it just encourages the whole matter. And the promotion of a sexualized culture tends to desensitive people, so that they can't appreciate the other sex, i.e., men treat women as sexual objects instead of people who need love and attention. I know this from experience, having had a 12-year addiction to pornography which ruined relationships.

NineseveN
August 28, 2006, 10:59 PM
Okay, I follow you now.

EmGeeGeorge
August 28, 2006, 11:22 PM
what the hell does any of this has to do with guns???

NineseveN
August 28, 2006, 11:30 PM
From: http://www.thehighroad.org/code-of-conduct.html

There are only a few house rules:

1.) All topics and posts must be related to firearms or civil liberties issues.

Civli Liberties my friend, equally as important as the RKBA. :)

EmGeeGeorge
August 28, 2006, 11:38 PM
uh also from the rules link....durrrrr...

We have learned from bitter experience that discussions of abortion, religion and sexual orientation often degenerate into less-than-polite arguments or claims that "my God is better than your God". For this reason, we do not discuss such subjects on THR, and any threads dealing primarily with these subjects will be closed or deleted immediately. Threads which deal with other subjects, but which mention abortion, religion or sexual orientation as a side issue, may be allowed to continue, but will be closely scrutinized, and closed or deleted if they "cross the line".

close this thread!!!! hollyrolling belongs elsewhere, my friend...

SolaScriptura139
August 28, 2006, 11:50 PM
Umm....I don't think I've seen anyone here say, "My god is better than your god." And so far, this has been a pretty civil thread, and holyrolling? Thanks for the insult, we've been pretty civil, until you're comment.

This thread has been about a very important civil rights issue, and if you don't like, no one's forcing you to read it. And obviously you care enough about the thread to rant about it to us.

NineseveN
August 29, 2006, 12:08 AM
There's a "report this post to a moderator button" if you're so inclined, but this thread, goning on its 9th page in dealing with an important an often heated issue, has been more civil than 80% of the drivel posted in L&P. Both sides of the argument here will likely agree.

This thread is about the separation of church and state, which is not the same as bickering with "my god is better than your god" type crap.

roo_ster
August 29, 2006, 02:13 AM
K Harris:
She has been a slow-motion train wreck for months. Some of her own making & some of Jeb Bush & the Republiweenies' making. The only reason I would support her in any way would be to stick a finger in the eyes of the naysayers that have hounded her from the beginning.

I consider her quoted statement in the first post roughly equivalent to a black politician in a majority black district making the case for electing a black man. Not my style or preferred means.

Oh, I would get some satisfaction seeing her win because of the ulcers it would give hte moonbats & Bush Derangement Syndrome sufferers.

Separation of Church & State:
Bupkis. A fiction foisted on us by black robed tyrants and their slime-trail-leaving lackies.

I can read and I do not find the words or the principle in the COTUS. Pointing to one letter by TJ when years of his practice demnstrated otherwise is weak. Kind of like finding a letter extolling the virtues of pork by an orthodox rabbi, his entire life being testimony to a rather different point of view.

There are things in the COTUS that I object to, but I can not in honesty and good conscience say that some parchment written by one of the founders overrides its rather plain meanings.

Last, what is all this reverence for a scrap of paper written by TJ over the text of the COTUS? He had no hand in writing the COTUS. It is not as if the SoCaS letter would be included in "COTUS: The Director's Cut." We would be better served revering some letter written by Geuvenor Morris after a long night of drinking & tail chasing.

In the end, I think the SoCaS boosters want their way without having to make the hard argument in the realm of politics. Invoking SoCaS is a talisman used to ward off the fundie vampire and shut down debate.

USMCRotrHed
August 29, 2006, 03:45 AM
Katherine Harris said that God put polititians in power. She is basing this idea on the Bible. Romans 13:1 "Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God.

Interesting read. Might enlighten a few people.

.41Dave
August 29, 2006, 05:07 AM
Katherine Harris said that God put polititians in power. She is basing this idea on the Bible. Romans 13:1 "Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God.

Leaving aside some strong evidence that Romans 13:1-7 is an interpolation, wouldn't this verse mean that rebellion, even against tyrannical .govs would be a sin as far as Christians should be concerned?

USMCRotrHed
August 29, 2006, 06:29 AM
Romans 13, if read completely and in context tells how and why Christians must respect the governments and leaders that are in power at the time.

Yes, that does mean it would be a sin to rebel against the current form of government.

Opens up a whole new set of cans of worms doesn't it.

Kaylee
August 29, 2006, 08:43 AM
Certainly, the early Christians suffered far worse governments than we do today. Or for that matter, than the founders did in the 1770's. For all their faults, our British cousins weren't exactly publicly murdering colonists for entertainment.

On the other hand, the argument could be made that that particular directive was one of self preservation at that place and time. (I'm not certain I buy it, but it seems a valid argument to me).

ANYHOW.. I think one does need to make the distinction between those who wish to see Christianity - or at least its ethical heritage - to continue to inform governance, and those few who would actually seek to impose it.

-K

(Regardless, I'd like to say I'm particularly impressed with the membership here at THR. With very few exceptions, this debate has been civil, well-mannered, and well-reasoned beyond all expectations.. and experience, for that matter. Well done. :) )

JohnBT
August 29, 2006, 08:57 AM
"For all their faults, our British cousins weren't exactly publicly murdering colonists for entertainment."

We didn't need the British to murder colonists for entertainment, we were doing it ourselves. I'm not picking on Massachusetts, it just came up first on a Google search.

http://americanhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/those_persistent_quakers

"Quaker Beatings, Whippings, and Hanging

To halt this flood of Quakers flowing over their land, the Massachusetts authorities, in 1656, passed a law imposing a hundred-pound fine on any sea captain who transported a Quaker into the colony. If this failed to stop the flood, whippings were administered to any Quakers found on land. But whippings were not the only form of punishment for non-Puritan religious convictions handed out in Massachusetts. Such as the case as Quaker Mary Dryer and two other Quakers who were hanged.

Punishment for Harboring a Quaker

Punishments were also administered to any one that was found to be harboring a Quaker. And still the Quakers came to America and Massachusetts."

ceetee
August 29, 2006, 09:32 AM
Punishments were also administered to any one that was found to be harboring a Quaker. And still the Quakers came to America and Massachusetts.

Just as I posted earlier: There are plenty of ways to teach about morals, without saying that any one religion is "more equal" than any other.

Keith Wheeler
August 29, 2006, 10:33 AM
Actually, genetic mutation and natural selection are the driving force behind the theory of evolution.

Um sorry, No. Sexual reproduction. It's what allows lifeforms to have differing characteristics from their parents. "natural selection" you mean the antiquated "survival of the fittest" concept? Sounds like you need a refresher on modern evolutionary theory, and I'm not talking about internet "research".

NineseveN
August 29, 2006, 02:15 PM
Um sorry, No. Sexual reproduction. It's what allows lifeforms to have differing characteristics from their parents. "natural selection" you mean the antiquated "survival of the fittest" concept? Sounds like you need a refresher on modern evolutionary theory, and I'm not talking about internet "research".

Keith, with regards to human beings, you are mostly correct, "natural selection" does not play as important of a role based on our societal and environmental factors as well as the quality of facilitated medical care. However, in terms of general evolutionary science, since we are only a small minute fraction as compared to the vast species on this planet, if we generalize about evolution as a whole, we do have to allow how it works in circles outside of industrialized humanity to weigh heavily in our understanding. Natural selection is very alive and well in the animal kingdom, and natural selection (which sexual reproduction is a facet of) is indeed the driving force behind evolution.

It's a minor point within the scope of this discussion, I know, but I had to correct it. If you care to share with me some source for a contending look on evolutionary science as a whole, let's do it via PM so we don't spoil the Petri dish here in this thread.


Regardless, I'd like to say I'm particularly impressed with the membership here at THR. With very few exceptions, this debate has been civil, well-mannered, and well-reasoned beyond all expectations.. and experience, for that matter. Well done.

Agreed. I keep hoping I don't make my way back to this thread only to see a reply that is of the same cloth as what most of us expected when this thread started. I'm very impressed with all of the participants thus far. :)

Khornet
August 29, 2006, 04:31 PM
well said. If I read the post rightly, Harris was addressing a religious group, and telling them what voting choices she thinks, from a religious standpoint, are best for their faith. No different than 'red meat' dished out by all Pols when addressing special interest groups.

For those who think we Christians are imagining things, I suggest you google (or Ask.com, even better) "American Humanist Association" and "The Humanist ManifestoI, II, and III."

For the average citizen today, especially if he's public-school educated, to notice the influence of Humanism would be like a fish feeling wet.

You can disagree about whether Humanism's influence is good or bad, but there's no denying it's there.

Helmetcase
August 29, 2006, 04:41 PM
I guess if you define the failure to adopt or endorse a particular religion as "humanism", sure.

What exactly do you mean by humanism?

Phetro
August 29, 2006, 04:55 PM
To say that religious thought and practice didn't influence our founders view of the world, government and its relationship to the citizenry is revisionist history at its worst.

The protection is to keep government out of religion not to keep religious people and their ideas out of govrnment.

I was about to post here, but I see the entire issue has already been well summarized. Bravo!

Phetro
August 29, 2006, 04:58 PM
I guess if you define the failure to adopt or endorse a particular religion as "humanism", sure.

What exactly do you mean by humanism?

Humanism is the denial of the Creator, and of any Power greater than mankind. In my opinion, it is the absolute pinnacle of human arrogance.

Keith Wheeler
August 29, 2006, 05:03 PM
Humanism is the denial of the Creator, and of any Power greater than mankind. In my opinion, it is the absolute pinnacle of human arrogance.

What about the many agnostics? Those who don't deny the concept of a creator nor powers greater than humanity (gravity perhaps?) but deny that the creator is 1) human-like and 2) has any influence on day to day activities?

By your definition (and by mine) I would postulate that there are very few humanists and many agnostics.

NineseveN
August 29, 2006, 05:07 PM
Humanism is the denial of the Creator, and of any Power greater than mankind. In my opinion, it is the absolute pinnacle of human arrogance.

There are distinct differences between "denial", "failing to acknowledge" and realizing that everything has its place. As the number or percentage/ratio of non-adherents increases or the number/percentage/ratio of adherents decreases, the relevance of a given religion within the public scope is naturally reduced. This is not denial, this is not indicative of a grand conspiracy plot to abort said religion, it's simple social and human dynamics.

I don't see many public schools with curriculum stating that "God does not exists", I do see them failing to approach the subject and leaving religions as a topic to be discussed at home with the family or at church with the congregations...right where it all belongs.

I just don't see the justification for the muffled cries of persecution coming from the most powerful mainstream and best represented religion in this country. Now, things may be changing, in fact, things are changing, it's time to evolve and realize that as people change, so will your place at the table.

Zundfolge
August 29, 2006, 05:07 PM
Wow!

Nothing like 8 pages of clearly gun related debate to get the old heart a pumpin!

:scrutiny:




(EDIT: Correction, 9 PAGES)

BryanP
August 29, 2006, 05:07 PM
Is the separation of church and state a lie?

The "My God's better than your God" theocrats would have you believe so.

Me, I say the people on both sides of the issue should sit down to a nice 9mm vs .45 debate. It would be almost as productive.

Helmetcase
August 29, 2006, 05:09 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

Seems you're using a different definition of humanism that what's commonly accepted. Denial of the creator is atheism, a totally different concept.

Blackfork
August 29, 2006, 05:11 PM
Personally, I'd like to see the State separated from ANYTHING.

Pafrmu
August 29, 2006, 05:11 PM
This is the longest a thread like this has lasted since I have joined. A big Thank You to both sides of the debate.

NineseveN
August 29, 2006, 05:12 PM
By your definition (and by mine) I would postulate that there are very few humanists and many agnostics.

As an Agnostic myself, I can say that we're probably closer to the more moderate and middle of the road religious folks than most would think. It's the extremists on both sides of the coin (the religious fanatics that want to impose God's will on everyone and insist that everyone MUST believe as they do despite the utter lack of proof AND the Atheists that mock and criticize the religious types for claiming to know what they cannot prove while being hypocritical in that they also claim to know that no god exists, yet they cannot prove their claims either).


Uh oh, we're gettig eyeballed by the 'gun topic' purists...quick, if Saint George was personified as a firearm, what would he be? I'd say a Remington 700 in 30-06 with a walnut monte-carlo stock. ;)

NineseveN
August 29, 2006, 05:13 PM
Personally, I'd like to see the State separated from ANYTHING.


And with that, ladies and gents, I think we have a winner! :D

glummer
August 29, 2006, 05:18 PM
NineseveN

If the justice of the peace or another church wants to wed-same sex couples, couples comprised of legally consenting adults, itís none of your business, go find something else to do Ö
If the JP is paid with my tax money, it IS my business; especially if the laws of my state do not authorize his actions.


DBabsJr
... if you are going to have sex, here is some information to help you make informed choices." I would prefer zero opinion either way from a teacher on the subject for my kids if I ever have any.
Doesnít fly. :scrutiny:
The fact of introducing the subject at all reflects one opinion, rather than another.
Consider ďif you are going to be a Martyr for Allah, here is some information to help you make suicide bombs."
Is that ďzero opinion?Ē

ArmedBear
Can I swear on Atlas Shrugged in a court of law?
Can we have a big AMEN for the brother? !!!:evil:

Helmetcase
In some very real sense you're right, a certain philosophy has long since won out in this country--the philosophy holds that religious matters should be handled privately without the govt endorsing or espousing any particular view or faith.
Itís deeper than that, I think. Religious tolerance IS a religious belief, in itself. The idea that religion is only between a man & his God, is a religious belief (and one not at all typical of most religions throughout history.) Most of humanityís religions have been wildly intolerant, repressive, and expansionist. And all such are now officially repressed in the USA. (Thank Ö whoever.) Only certain religions are free to practice Ė the civilized, sanitized ones, endorsed by the government.
There is a real, logical problem here, with ďFreedom of Religion.Ē And I donít know what to do about it. :(

glummer
August 29, 2006, 05:30 PM
NineseveN
Öin that they also claim to know that no god exists, yet they cannot prove their claims either...
Weak, weak.
Freshman Philosophy should have cured that one. I cannot prove that you are not a Leprechaun, or the Antichrist, but I can know that there is no evidence for it, and therefore no logical reason to believe it.

Uh oh, we're gettig eyeballed by the 'gun topic' purists...quick, if Saint George was personified as a firearm, what would he be? I'd say a Remington 700 in 30-06 with a walnut monte-carlo stock.
Naw. A Barrett .50. In white DuraCoat.

ArmedBear
August 29, 2006, 05:35 PM
Ding dang a dang bong bing bong
Ticky ticky thought of a gun
Everytime I try to do it all now baby
Am I on the run
Why why why
Itll ticky ticky ticky ticky ticky ticky
Dawn of a gun
Bing bing bang a bong a bong bing bang a
Ticky ticky thought of a gun
Bing bip bip a bop bop boom bam
Ticky ticky through the day

....

Jesus built my car
Its a love affair
Mainly jesus and my hot rod


That about sums it up for me.

As long as we don't have separation of Ministry and state, I'm okay with it.

NineseveN
August 29, 2006, 05:35 PM
Freshman Philosophy should have cured that one. I cannot prove that you are not a Leprechaun, or the Antichrist, but I can know that there is no evidence for it, and therefore no logical reason to believe it.


It's a rule of evidence. Not being able to produce eivdence of something is not the same as proving it definitely does not exist. Once upon a time, no one could provide definitive evidence that the world was round, but it was, wasn't it?

Phetro
August 29, 2006, 05:36 PM
By your definition (and by mine) I would postulate that there are very few humanists and many agnostics.

I agree. But they would argue otherwise...:confused:

Weak, weak.
Freshman Philosophy should have cured that one. I cannot prove that you are not a Leprechaun, or the Antichrist, but I can know that there is no evidence for it, and therefore no logical reason to believe it.

How about when the evidence you seek is all around you? When that evidence is the very air you breathe, the life you live, the consciousness with which you think? What happens when you do see all the evidence, yet claim it's not there or that it's something else, or don't know what it is at all?

And that, in a nutshell, is Freshman Philosophy. And Sophomore Philosophy, and Jun--ah, never mind.

hso
August 29, 2006, 05:39 PM
God is the one who chooses our rulers :scrutiny:

My mother taught me to say "Yes Ma'm" not Imam.

ArmedBear
August 29, 2006, 05:42 PM
God is the one who chooses our rulers

REALLY?!?

So we're not responsible for anything?

Cool! Now I won't sweat voting or anything. It's God, not me.

Hell, if God did choose our rulers, I'd be pretty pissed off at him, given the nature of at least some of them (including, for my family, the man, the myth, the metaphor, live and in person, Adolf Hitler).

NineseveN
August 29, 2006, 05:59 PM
Hell, if God did choose our rulers, I'd be pretty pissed off at him, given the nature of at least some of them (including, for my family, the man, the myth, the metaphor, live and in person, Adolf Hitler).

Well, the gods work in mysterious ways. In some circles, it is believed that the gods/God/whatever bring about calamities such as Hitler in order to give birth to an ever greater hero or a time of prosperity. I'm not saying I believe that, but it's an interesting point of view none the less.

ArmedBear
August 29, 2006, 06:02 PM
I'm not saying I believe that, but it's an interesting point of view none the less.

That sort of thing is why I think a lot of religion-pushers are like patent medicine salesmen.

It's a gross violation of Occam's Razor, for one thing, and it's deliberately designed to be intrinsically irrefutable.

Furthermore, it absolves humans of any responsibility, despite its being taught along with the belief that we can be eternally damned for not fulfilling our responsibility as humans.

I don't buy it.

Ministry DOES make more sense than religion.

Ding dang a dang bong bing bong
Ticky ticky thought of a gun
Everytime I try to do it all now baby
Am I on the run
Why why why
Itll ticky ticky ticky ticky ticky ticky
Dawn of a gun
Bing bing bang a bong a bong bing bang a
Ticky ticky thought of a gun
Bing bip bip a bop bop boom bam
Ticky ticky through the day

Rugerlvr
August 29, 2006, 06:15 PM
I wouldn't say it's a lie, I'd say it's a long held consensus.

I don't want a state religion, even if it's "Christianity" -- Whose brand of Christianity? Should we make Snake Handling the state religion?

I think the proper role of government should be to remain strictly neutral on religion, and allow any and all religions to compete in the free market of ideas that is this country. I will concede that it's very difficult when individual personalities are involved in government. It is everyone's tendency to push their views. Just don't use my taxes to endorse any of those religious ideas.

It's not secular humanism, it's the non-endorsement of any particular sect, plain and simple.

BrennanKG
August 29, 2006, 06:21 PM
Humanism is the denial of the Creator, and of any Power greater than mankind. In my opinion, it is the absolute pinnacle of human arrogance.

So where does the "Our god/faith/doctrine is better than yours" idea fit in the heirarchy of human arrogance? Most organized religions seem, even given varying degrees of proselytizing/conversion efforts, to believe that everyone should believe as they do.

B.

SolaScriptura139
August 29, 2006, 08:31 PM
Um sorry, No. Sexual reproduction. It's what allows lifeforms to have differing characteristics from their parents. "natural selection" you mean the antiquated "survival of the fittest" concept? Sounds like you need a refresher on modern evolutionary theory, and I'm not talking about internet "research".

Um, sorry, but I was a geology student my first year of college, not internet research. How about we not make insulting assumptions about my level of intelligence? Natural selection and genetic mutation is the driving force behind physical evolution, according to the theory. Sexual reproduction only allows the species to continue on. By the way, you can make arguments for your position without being insulting. Throwing insults only shows insecurity on your part.

Helmetcase
August 29, 2006, 08:36 PM
Sexual reproduction only allows the species to continue on.
It's been a while since AP Biology in 10th grade (I got a 4 on the test), but my recollection is that you're wrong. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sex)

SolaScriptura139
August 29, 2006, 08:38 PM
Well, sexual reproduction, according to how I was taught, allows for genetic mutation, and even causes some. But sexual reproduction cannot be said to be the whole driving force of evolution, because if their is no mutation, there is no evolution, and if there is no natural selection, there is no need for mutation.

ArmedBear
August 29, 2006, 08:41 PM
Sexual reproduction only allows the species to continue on.

Not true.

Sexual reproduction and recombinant DNA are peas in a pod. Speciation, too, physical and behavioral.

And it's entirely true that the "Darwinism" attacked by Creationists I've heard and read is a straw man. Darwin postulated gradual change, but Creationists rightly note that homeostasis is prevalent in biology on every level. The thing is, so do those who do evolution research. Current work in evolution accounts for "punctuated equilibrium," not Darwin's gradual change hypothesis.

I studied organisms, not rocks, and I finished my degree. No insult intended. For your own benefit: you're in over your head here if you are unaware of the fundamental part that sexual reproduction plays in evolution.

I haven't followed the science closely for a long time, so when I see that Creationists are presenting outdated hypotheses as "what the other side believes", I mean they're REALLY out of date.

My personal opinion: if you want to see God at work, learn about Complexity Theory (Chaos).

ArmedBear
August 29, 2006, 08:42 PM
if their is no mutation, there is no evolution, and if there is no natural selection, there is no need for mutation

What the...?

Check out this book, and others by the same author, if you really want to understand what you're arguing against.

http://www.amazon.com/-Selfish-Gene-30th/dp/0199291152/sr=8-1/qid=1156894670/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1488803-9367318?ie=UTF8

Agree with anything or not, it's certainly good to understand what you're really discussing.

SolaScriptura139
August 29, 2006, 08:45 PM
The problem I have with Punctuated Equilibrium, also called Punctuated Gradualism, if I remember the terms correctly, is if you have a species that gives birth to a whole new species, then how does that new species procreate?

PS. We did study evolution in Geology.

What I was saying was that mutation is essential to evolution, it's a basic tenet of evolution, and I was trying to prove that you need natural selection to provide a need for mutation.

The thing is, so do those who do evolution research. Current work in evolution accounts for "punctuated equilibrium," not Darwin's gradual change hypothesis.

If this is true, then how come they still teach gradual change in school?

ArmedBear
August 29, 2006, 08:52 PM
how does that new species procreate

Do you understand how speciation occurs? Generally, it involves the isolation of a group of the species, through behavior, geography, etc. That group changes together, and becomes a separate species as a group. After X generations of adaptive change that occurs independently from the other population, which is either static because it's well-adapted, or changing in other directions because it's facing a different set of selection pressures, the isolated group can't interbreed freely with the original species. Scientific terminology refers to this as "speciation."

"Punctuated" refers to geological time, not seconds, minutes or hours.

We can observe this happening with species, and it is sometimes argued whether two geographically separate and otherwise different populations of a genus of organism represent separate species or not.

Darwin's finches were a dramatic illustration of this at work: very similar species of birds, separated by different geography, food, etc. It could be seen quite easily how birds might be separated on an island, and selected for smaller individuals by various factors, until they could no longer interbreed with birds from a different island. Throughout their history, though, that population could always breed with each other. There's no logical or logistical problem with that.

We did study evolution in Geology.


Not as much as we did in 4 years of Evolutionary Biology, evidently... I don't claim to know squat about Geology. There's no shame in admitting that you don't know everything, either. I sure don't.

What I was saying was that mutation is essential to evolution, it's a basic tenet of evolution, and I was trying to prove that you need natural selection to provide a need for mutation.

I understand what you were trying to do. That's why I responded with, "What the...?" and I reiterate that response. It's best to understand your argument if you want to make it.

Check this out: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

SolaScriptura139
August 29, 2006, 09:00 PM
I never said that I knew everything, I was qualifying the fact that I'm not a complete idiot as Wheeler was trying to portray me. As evidently seen, I'm very rusty when it comes to evolution. It's not vital to my life, so I don't study it that much. I was stating what I learned from my evolution class, if that information was wrong, then I have been misinformed. In addition, I was letting you know that the field of geology is not just limited to rocks. I wasn't staking a claim to omniscience.

ArmedBear
August 29, 2006, 09:03 PM
If you're interested, check out the link I posted above. It is interesting, I promise.

If you're not interested, and you don't know much about it, why even discuss it?

To say that someone doesn't know about something isn't to say that he's an idiot.

I know nothing about Sikh history. I'm confident that I'm not an idiot. However, I won't tell you anything about Sikhs, either, except that I knew a couple, they wore white clothes, did yoga every morning, and one of them was really into auto racing.

Art Eatman
August 29, 2006, 09:19 PM
Dang! Y'all ran off from Miz Harris and didn't even say goodby!

Art

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