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God in the government

Should God be mentioned in our government?

  • Yes

    Votes: 30 36.1%
  • No

    Votes: 51 61.4%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 2 2.4%

  • Total voters
    83

Scarecrow Akhbar

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AlbqOwl said:
I really don't see how the "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance (which most of us don't consider 'stupid') affects in any way or has any bearing whatsoever on my previous comments. Nothing changed when these words were included in the Pledge any more than any other changes that have been made in the Pledge over the years. Acknowledgement of our cultural and historical religious heritage in no way changes, alters, or violates the Constitution.

It's true. Nothing changed. There is no god, and a bunch of hacks in Washington rewriting poetry and calling it law didn't invent one. So that hasn't changed.

But the lie forced into the poetry violated the seperation of the church from the state, demanding as it did that there was indeed a god and this nation is "under" it.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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AlbqOwl said:
I disagree. There is a distinct and clearly identifiable line between acknowledgment and endorsement. When a government establishes something, there is a requirement attached to that to which the citizens must adhere whether it is a law that must be observed or a deadline that must be met or taxes that must be paid or a reward or consequence for failure to act or choice to act.

In matters of religion, so long as nobody is required to say, speak, agree with, or do anything, so long as no unalienable, legal, or constitutional rights are involved, so long as there is no reward and no consequence for believing or professing or not believing or not professing, then the government can acknowledge til the cows come home with no violation of the First Amendment or any other constitutional provision whatsoever.

Yeah, there's a fine line between acknowledging something and endorsing it. But the line that wasn't supposed to be crossed was the acknowledging part, not the endorsing part. By rewriting the poetry to "acknowledge" this sky-leprechaun, it endorsed the notion that sky-leprechauns did in fact exist.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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AlbqOwl said:
I disagree. There is a distinct and clearly identifiable line between acknowledgment and endorsement. When a government establishes something, there is a requirement attached to that to which the citizens must adhere whether it is a law that must be observed or a deadline that must be met or taxes that must be paid or a reward or consequence for failure to act or choice to act.

In matters of religion, so long as nobody is required to say, speak, agree with, or do anything, so long as no unalienable, legal, or constitutional rights are involved, so long as there is no reward and no consequence for believing or professing or not believing or not professing, then the government can acknowledge til the cows come home with no violation of the First Amendment or any other constitutional provision whatsoever.
I completely disagree, and the federal courts have consistently disagreed with you as well. You are describing a theocracy that tolerant of other religious views. For example, Egypt is a Muslim nation yet allows freedom of religion. Islamic symbolism is present in all levels of the Egyptian government, yet no one is compelled to adhere to Islam and there is a thriving Christian community there as well. None the less, it is still by definition a theocracy.

In converse, our government is by design a secular government. Our laws are not fundamentally based in Christian principles. In fact, virtually all of our laws are based in the basic principle that ones rights and liberty to live their life the way they choose to live their life extends so far as to not to impede another individuals ability to do the same. The line between acknowledgment of ones religious beliefs and using the government to endorse, promote, or compel them is as simple as this:

A judge can be a man of faith. Can pray every day. Can pray with other members of the court who share his or her faith. A judge can teach Sunday school and even preach a sermon every Sunday. However, a judge cannot use his or her position to promote their faith to others. Examples of this would be to place a monument of the Ten Commandments in his court room or to proselytize from the bench. That is the line and it is a very fine one.

Another example would be that almost all of our presidents, excluding some of the early ones, have been Christian men. They of course are free to practice their faith while in office. In fact, I cannot imagine having that enormous of a responsibility without knowing I could pray about the decisions I made. However, they cannot use their office to promote their faith or compel others to adhere to their spiritual beliefs.
 

AlbqOwl

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Vandeervecken said:
What does that mean?
Your signature line, which is quite attractive, is so wide that it stretches each page you post on. Every time you post, I have to adjust my page to be able to read the posts. If you could shorten it up a bit so it wasn't so wide, it would not cause that phenomenon.
 

Vandeervecken

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AlbqOwl said:
Your signature line, which is quite attractive, is so wide that it stretches each page you post on. Every time you post, I have to adjust my page to be able to read the posts. If you could shorten it up a bit so it wasn't so wide, it would not cause that phenomenon.
Interesting, it doesn't do that on my monitor so I was unaware of that phenomena. I'll shrink it this evening so it no longer does that. It was not an intentional rudeness, but thank you for telling me so I can fix it. I would think that would get annoying.
 

AlbqOwl

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Vandeervecken said:
Interesting, it doesn't do that on my monitor so I was unaware of that phenomena. I'll shrink it this evening so it no longer does that. It was not an intentional rudeness, but thank you for telling me so I can fix it. I would think that would get annoying.
Well hey its a possiibility that it just does it on my computer too. World peace does not hinge on this either. :smile:

But if it wouldn't be too much trouble, it would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

AlbqOwl

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SouthernDemocrat said:
I completely disagree, and the federal courts have consistently disagreed with you as well. You are describing a theocracy that tolerant of other religious views. For example, Egypt is a Muslim nation yet allows freedom of religion. Islamic symbolism is present in all levels of the Egyptian government, yet no one is compelled to adhere to Islam and there is a thriving Christian community there as well. None the less, it is still by definition a theocracy.

In converse, our government is by design a secular government. Our laws are not fundamentally based in Christian principles. In fact, virtually all of our laws are based in the basic principle that ones rights and liberty to live their life the way they choose to live their life extends so far as to not to impede another individuals ability to do the same. The line between acknowledgment of ones religious beliefs and using the government to endorse, promote, or compel them is as simple as this:

A judge can be a man of faith. Can pray every day. Can pray with other members of the court who share his or her faith. A judge can teach Sunday school and even preach a sermon every Sunday. However, a judge cannot use his or her position to promote their faith to others. Examples of this would be to place a monument of the Ten Commandments in his court room or to proselytize from the bench. That is the line and it is a very fine one.

Another example would be that almost all of our presidents, excluding some of the early ones, have been Christian men. They of course are free to practice their faith while in office. In fact, I cannot imagine having that enormous of a responsibility without knowing I could pray about the decisions I made. However, they cannot use their office to promote their faith or compel others to adhere to their spiritual beliefs.
\

You must be reading something entirely different from what I am writing. You probably do not intend to be nonresponsive, but if you'll re-read what I wrote you'll see how far off the mark your response is.
 

FredFlash

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AndrewC said:
I don't think the concept of a God should be part of our government. I feel it belittles non-christian ideals and beliefs.
The concept of Separation of Church and State came from God. Do you want a system of government with a Church State?

conserv.pat15 said:
God should be in the Pledge
Do you really want a government with authority to tell you whether our nation is or is not under God? Who does not see that a government that can recommend a belief in God might one day recommend a belief in one nation in the service of Satan.

conserv.pat15 said:
Nativity scenes should be legal in government buildings
No problem, as long as the intent or effect is not to inform us of a duty that we owe to our Creator.

conserv.pat15 said:
Ten Commandments should be allowed to be displayed in government buildings.
No problem with the secular commands. Big problem with the religious commandments. See if you can figure out which ones are secular and which are of a religious nature.

conserv.pat15 said:
There is nothing in the constitution that bans these types of things.
Are you one of those who claims the Constitution merely prohibits a national religion like the Church of England?

FVF
 

dragonslayer

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There certainly was clear intent by our founders to keep God out of Politics, but they were mostly all Christians. Many of our founders and early law makers were High Degree Masons, the first 5 presidents were masons.

Religion was kept out of our government because of hundreds of years religious conflict in Europe and even in the colonies themselves. Only by a clear separation of church and state could America hope to keep religious conflict from our government and nation. These men were clearly Christians and the USA has a christian tradition. Yet there has also been a lot of religious conflict in the USA, among christian faiths and with Jews. Our founders gave us democracy instead of conflict. God Bless america.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_defn.htm#menu

Religion should be kept out of our schools and Government unless your goal is to have wars between religious sects in our streets. Our system seems to work fine. There is huge growth in our religions in this country, so we must be doing something right. To put religion in Governemt is an invitation to Violence.
 

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dragonslayer said:
There certainly was clear intent by our founders to keep God out of Politics, but they were mostly all Christians. Many of our founders and early law makers were High Degree Masons, the first 5 presidents were masons.

Religion was kept out of our government because of hundreds of years religious conflict in Europe and even in the colonies themselves. Only by a clear separation of church and state could America hope to keep religious conflict from our government and nation. These men were clearly Christians and the USA has a christian tradition. Yet there has also been a lot of religious conflict in the USA, among christian faiths and with Jews. Our founders gave us democracy instead of conflict. God Bless america.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_defn.htm#menu

Religion should be kept out of our schools and Government unless your goal is to have wars between religious sects in our streets. Our system seems to work fine. There is huge growth in our religions in this country, so we must be doing something right. To put religion in Governemt is an invitation to Violence.

I second those emotions.

FVF
 

Columbusite

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If you want religion in our government you are anti-American period. This is not a country ruled by the Bible or any other religious text and to pursue that is to go against what this country stands for which is based on a secular Constitution. For those who want a Christian government quit wrapping yourselves in the American flag when you oppose the very foundation of this country. There really is no debating this, just educating those who want to make this country into something it never was.
 

FredFlash

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Religious Proclamations and Government Authority over Religion

Modern Counterfeit Christians yearning for the government to assume authority over the people’s religion often claim that the Constitutional Separation of Church and State is a fabrication. In support of this assertion they almost always point out President George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

One of the champions of the Unification of Church and State posted an essay on the Internet claiming “if ever it were true that there was intended to be a wall of separation between Church and State, it was torn down forever in this one inexplicable act.” Another advocate of the Church-State, Michael Novak, posted an opinion piece arguing that Roy Moore’s Ten Commandment Monument in Alabama did not violate the establishment clause.

Novak cites Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation and claims that if it was proper for President Washington to inform the people of their duties to God, then the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama should be able to inform the people of their duty to obey the Ten Commandments. In his 1789 proclamation Washington wrote the passage presented below.

It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and to humbly implore his protection and favor.​

The fallacy of Novak’s argument is that the issuance of the 1789 Proclamation was intended to be a once in a life time exception to the pure principle of religious liberty. Congress felt it was warranted by the extraordinary occasion of the peaceful establishment of a revolutionary new system of government.

The proof of my proposition is the fact that the First U. S. Congress never asked the President to issue another religious recommendation. The Second U. S. Congress never asked the President to issue one; nor did the Third, or the Fourth, or the Fifth or the Sixth or the Seventh or the Eighth or the Ninth or the Tenth or the Eleventh Congress.

If Congress believed it had the legitimate authority to ask the President to issue religious advice to the people, why did it take twenty-two years and a war before it ever asked for another one? The answer is that Congress knew it did not have the authority to ask the President to issue religious advice but it did so anyway because it fell for Roger Sherman’s line of bull about how an exception to the rule was appropriate because the establishment of the new national government was comparable to the completion of Solomon’s Temple in 953 BC.

It was with a kiss that Judas betrayed his divine Master; and we should all be admonished -- no matter what our faith may be -- that the rights of conscience cannot be so successfully assailed as under the pretext of holiness.

Fred
 

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Religion in our government is not a problem. It has always been there and has been expected, encouraged, and acknowledged with no assault whatsoever on First Amendment protections. Since the first colonies gave up on enforcing religious disciplines roughly two hundred years ago, no state, county, or incorporated village, town, or city has presumed to dictate to the people what they must profess or believe in matters of religion nor has imposed any reward or consequence for what people do believe.

We have had a few skirmishes such as in the Scope trial in which the religious, outside of government, have attempted to dictate what is and is not appropriate to believe, and the system worked efficiently and effectively to protect government from religion as it has worked to protect religion from government.

With such a system that works so effectively and efficiently, we have nothing to fear due to many in government who are religious and profess religious faith, nor have we anything to fear from the very few outside of government who are religious and would like to be able to impose religious beliefs on others.

We have much to fear from those who would deny others the right to their full expression of religious belief and faith, and all faithful Americans, religious and nonreligious alike, would be wise to view these with great skepticism and resist them as necessary.
 
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SouthernDemocrat

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AlbqOwl said:
We have much to fear from those who would deny others the right to their full expression of religious belief and faith, and all faithful Americans, religious and nonreligious alike, would be wise to view these with great skepticism and resist them as necessary.
How is preventing the government and our public institutions from being used as a vehicle to promote, endorse, or compel religious beliefs "denying other the right to their full expression of religious belief and faith"?
 

Goobieman

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SouthernDemocrat said:
How is preventing the government and our public institutions from being used as a vehicle to promote, endorse, or compel religious beliefs "denying other the right to their full expression of religious belief and faith"?
Let's say the Reverend Jesse Jackson were elected President.

Would Jesse be allowed to pontificate about God, as he so often does?

For that matter, could he even legally take office?
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Goobieman said:
Let's say the Reverend Jesse Jackson were elected President.

Would Jesse be allowed to pontificate about God, as he so often does?

For that matter, could he even legally take office?
Of course he could. However, he could not for example use taxpayer property to put up monuments that promoted his religious beliefs. Thats basically where the line is and thats basically where some on the religious right just dont get it.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
We have much to fear from those who would deny others the right to their full expression of religious belief and faith, and all faithful Americans, religious and nonreligious alike, would be wise to view these with great skepticism and resist them as necessary.
What distingushed the full expression of religious belief and faith from an unlawful estabishment of religion? Is the posting of the Ten Commandment by the government a full expression of religious belief or is it an unlawful estabishment of religion, and why?

FVF
 

Goobieman

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SouthernDemocrat said:
Of course he could. However, he could not for example use taxpayer property to put up monuments that promoted his religious beliefs. Thats basically where the line is and thats basically where some on the religious right just dont get it.
So... how does the President preaching religion not violate the 'seperation of chuch and state'?
 

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Hey Goobieman, I like and agree with your map.:applaud
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Goobieman said:
So... how does the President preaching religion not violate the 'seperation of chuch and state'?
If a President uses his office as vehicle to promote, endorse, or compel his religious beliefs then he would be violating the constitutional separation of church and state. An example of this would be to address the nation from the rose garden and preach a sermon.

However, if a president were to preach a sermon at his church, then he would not be violating the separation of church and state.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
Of course he could. However, he could not for example use taxpayer property to put up monuments that promoted his religious beliefs. Thats basically where the line is and thats basically where some on the religious right just dont get it.
Not limited to monuments alone. But any law made that is based on religious values on his part would be a violation of the establishment clause. Him as president preaching would also be a violation because as active president his words and actions are representative not of himself, but of government.
 

Goobieman

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SouthernDemocrat said:
If a President uses his office as vehicle to promote, endorse, or compel his religious beliefs then he would be violating the constitutional separation of church and state. An example of this would be to address the nation from the rose garden and preach a sermon.

However, if a president were to preach a sermon at his church, then he would not be violating the separation of church and state.
Wouldnt the President, preaching anything regarding religion, wherever he might be, be violating the 'seperation'?

After all - he is always the President, regardless of where he is and what he is doing.
 

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The Separation of Church and State is Based on a Religious Belief

The Separation of Church and State is Based on a Religious Belief
The Separation of Church and State is based on the religious belief that we should not give to Ceasar what belongs to God. See Memorial and Remonstrance where James Madison explains the theology behind the exemption of religion (the duty which we owe to our Creator) from the government's authority. See also Detached Memoranda where James Madison refers to a deviation from the pure principle of religious liberty as a "giving unto Caesar what belongs to God" and describes the Separation of Church and State as a pure, sacred, just and truly Christian principle.

Does the President violate the Separation of Church and State by promoting or endosing the Separation of Church and State?



******************​

Excerpt From A Memorial and Remonstrance​

We the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, a Bill printed by order of the last Session of General Assembly, entitled "A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion," and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and to declare the reasons by which we are determined. We remonstrate against the said Bill,

1. Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." (This is Madison's definition of religion. It comes from the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776) The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; (Not the advice or suggestions of the government) and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. (The Creator has imposed on man the duty render homage but to do so only according to the dictates of his conscience. It he does it according to the advice or recommendation of the government he sins against God) This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considerd as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.

2. Because Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the creatures and vicegerents of the former. Their jurisdiction is both derivative and limited: it is limited with regard to the co-ordinate departments, more necessarily is it limited with regard to the constituents. The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves.

****************
Detached Memoranda Excerpts

The danger of silent accumulations & encroachments by Ecclesiastical Bodies have not sufficiently engaged attention in the U.S. They have the noble merit of first unshackling the conscience from persecuting laws, and of establishing among religious Seas a legal equality.

If some of the States have not embraced this just and this truly Xn (Christian) principle in its proper latitude, all of them present examples by which the most enlightened States of the old world may be instructed; and there is one State at least, Virginia, where religious liberty is placed on its true foundation and is defined in its full latitude......

.....Ye States of America, which retain in your Constitutions or Codes, any aberration from the sacred principle of religious liberty, by giving to Caesar what belongs to God, (Madison is citing Matthew 22:21 - He was was at least half Baptist - Many Baptists and others cited Matthew 22:21 as authority for the Separation of Church and State) or joining together what God has put asunder, hasten to revise & purify your systems, and make the example of your Country as pure & compleat, in what relates to the freedom of the mind and its allegiance to its maker, as in what belongs to the legitimate objects of political & civil institutions.
 

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Goobieman said:
Wouldnt the President, preaching anything regarding religion, wherever he might be, be violating the 'seperation'?

After all - he is always the President, regardless of where he is and what he is doing.
Of course not, he is entitled to his own personal beliefs just like anyone else is. He just cannot use the government to promote them.

This is such a made up wedge issue by the religious right and that is why when it comes in front of the courts, with the largely conservative judiciary we have today, they almost always lose and groups like the ACLU almost always win.
 
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