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Is a Completely Secular Government Really so Bad?

Is a secultar government really so bad?

  • yes

    Votes: 9 23.7%
  • no

    Votes: 29 76.3%

  • Total voters
    38

Caine

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There has been alot of talk about Secularism in America around the holidays.
Alot of people are trying to make secularism seem like this horrible horrible thing.
Im on a conversion path to Judaism, so im not some "godless liberal" as im certain someone will attempt to call me...
Reguardless, I don't understand why everyone has to throw thier religion out in the public and all over the place, and get angry when an interpretation of the law, which is based on Thomas Jefferson's own writings, state that the government shouldn't be involved in religious affairs whatsoever. Im perfectly fine with the government staying far away from religion, religious holidays, religious organizations, religion in school, reguardless of what the religion is, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. The only religion in school that I agree with is that which is taught in a History class, and only to its point of historical value. No scripture, no school mandated prayer, etc. What students do in the hallways on thier own time is a different story of course.

So, let me ask..... is a secular government really so bad?
And if it is, why? And what religion should be made out to be better than the other in this non-secular society?

I meant to make this a poll.....Maybe an admin can help me out with that...
 
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I don't have a problem with a secular government.

What it means, is that the individual must practice their faith in their own religious buildings or the comfort of their homes.

The religious right in any country in the globe hate this. Religious conservatives, around the world seem to think that because a certain religion is practiced by a majority of a population, they seem to think that this gives them a mandate to say that society inherently revolves around this religion, and therefore government should mandate this religion.

Secularism protects all religious beliefs, because it states that government should not be mandating or getting involved with religion, and that government should not make laws based on religious theory.

Maybe SOME religious conservatives despise secularism so much, because secularism threatens the collective power they have. Secularism forces faith to become an individual belief. If that happened religion as we know it, would be deeply under threat.

If you doubt secularism, then if refer anyone to look at Turkey. It was Ataturk's secularisation:twocents: program, that moved Turkey out of it's Islamic conservative stagnation, and progressed the country in ways that other Islamic or nearby Arab neighbours could only dream of.
 
T

The Real McCoy

Not at all. I believe the government of any country should be a secular one, indifferent to all religious beliefs.

I only have a problem when secularism begins to infringe on the rights of citizens. Many seem to think the first amendment advocates a freedom FROM religion and not freedom OF religion.
 

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The Real McCoy said:
Not at all. I believe the government of any country should be a secular one, indifferent to all religious beliefs.

I only have a problem when secularism begins to infringe on the rights of citizens. Many seem to think the first amendment advocates a freedom FROM religion and not freedom OF religion.
I disagree that secularism in the government infringes on the rights of the citizens.
And I would be willing to hear your opinion on how secularism..... in the government......infringes on the rights of the citizens.
 
T

The Real McCoy

Caine said:
I disagree that secularism in the government infringes on the rights of the citizens.
And I would be willing to hear your opinion on how secularism..... in the government......infringes on the rights of the citizens.
I never said secularism in the government infringing on rights. Please re-read my post.
 

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I believe it is best to have a completely secular government. One of the most basic freedoms in this country is freedom of religion. By promoting a certain type of religion, certain religions are promoted over others. And besides, what about those people who don't believe in God? Are they "not American" because they don't agree with the religious principles established by the government? The spirit of the "freedom of religion" laws are to allow people to worship whomever they please, if anyone at all. By having the government promote religion, the government is basically telling its citizens that they too should be religious.

I think Church and State should be COMPLETELY seperate. No forcing of religious beliefs on anyone. Let people think as they please.
 

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Conservatives have no problem with the government being secular. There do seem to be a lot of people on the anti-religion side that believe conservative government does want to promote Christianity. Only the complete expungement of anything even remotely connected to organized religion from public life will serve to appease these people. Which is not going to happen. Nor should it.

An overwhelming majority of Americans are Christians. To those people, their faith comes before work, friends, even family. The government of this country is remarkable in the restraint shown by its political leaders when it comes to appeasing this majority and actually goes out of its way to avoid endorsing Christianity or any other religion. Despite being one of the most religious nations on Earth, (and the political gains to be had from appealing to the faithful) we are incredibly secular in our approach to politics, government, and freedom of religion. But you wouldn't ever know it, if you listen to those whom believe the slightest whisper of faith in public is like the mightiest roar of an attacking lion.

Simply put, the argument is needless. We are a secular nation. Always have been, always will be. Just because a leader has his faith, and doesn't mind telling people about it, that does not mean he is imposing anything on you. That just means that the government mirrors its citizens, which is how things work in a representative democracy. I am obviously referring to Bush here, but I distinctly remember Pres. Clinton attending services regularly and doing his best to make sure everyone knew he was there. I don't remember anyone asking this type of question way back then, I guess it takes a Republican president to make some folks believe we are now living in a neo-theocracy. Wrong. This is a secular government of a religious nation. Be proud of the founding fathers for looking out for people of other religions and us nonbelievers. And be happy you don't live in Iran, then you would know what a non-secular government really looks like.
 

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The Real McCoy said:
I never said secularism in the government infringing on rights. Please re-read my post.
Re read the title of this thread....
 

Deegan

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hiker said:
Conservatives have no problem with the government being secular. There do seem to be a lot of people on the anti-religion side that believe conservative government does want to promote Christianity. Only the complete expungement of anything even remotely connected to organized religion from public life will serve to appease these people. Which is not going to happen. Nor should it.

An overwhelming majority of Americans are Christians. To those people, their faith comes before work, friends, even family. The government of this country is remarkable in the restraint shown by its political leaders when it comes to appeasing this majority and actually goes out of its way to avoid endorsing Christianity or any other religion. Despite being one of the most religious nations on Earth, (and the political gains to be had from appealing to the faithful) we are incredibly secular in our approach to politics, government, and freedom of religion. But you wouldn't ever know it, if you listen to those whom believe the slightest whisper of faith in public is like the mightiest roar of an attacking lion.

Simply put, the argument is needless. We are a secular nation. Always have been, always will be. Just because a leader has his faith, and doesn't mind telling people about it, that does not mean he is imposing anything on you. That just means that the government mirrors its citizens, which is how things work in a representative democracy. I am obviously referring to Bush here, but I distinctly remember Pres. Clinton attending services regularly and doing his best to make sure everyone knew he was there. I don't remember anyone asking this type of question way back then, I guess it takes a Republican president to make some folks believe we are now living in a neo-theocracy. Wrong. This is a secular government of a religious nation. Be proud of the founding fathers for looking out for people of other religions and us nonbelievers. And be happy you don't live in Iran, then you would know what a non-secular government really looks like.
Well said my friend, well said, I simply can't add anything more, you have expressed yourself brilliantly here.;)
 

Caine

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hiker said:
Conservatives have no problem with the government being secular. There do seem to be a lot of people on the anti-religion side that believe conservative government does want to promote Christianity. Only the complete expungement of anything even remotely connected to organized religion from public life will serve to appease these people. Which is not going to happen. Nor should it.

An overwhelming majority of Americans are Christians. To those people, their faith comes before work, friends, even family. The government of this country is remarkable in the restraint shown by its political leaders when it comes to appeasing this majority and actually goes out of its way to avoid endorsing Christianity or any other religion. Despite being one of the most religious nations on Earth, (and the political gains to be had from appealing to the faithful) we are incredibly secular in our approach to politics, government, and freedom of religion. But you wouldn't ever know it, if you listen to those whom believe the slightest whisper of faith in public is like the mightiest roar of an attacking lion.

Simply put, the argument is needless. We are a secular nation. Always have been, always will be. Just because a leader has his faith, and doesn't mind telling people about it, that does not mean he is imposing anything on you. That just means that the government mirrors its citizens, which is how things work in a representative democracy. I am obviously referring to Bush here, but I distinctly remember Pres. Clinton attending services regularly and doing his best to make sure everyone knew he was there. I don't remember anyone asking this type of question way back then, I guess it takes a Republican president to make some folks believe we are now living in a neo-theocracy. Wrong. This is a secular government of a religious nation. Be proud of the founding fathers for looking out for people of other religions and us nonbelievers. And be happy you don't live in Iran, then you would know what a non-secular government really looks like.
I have a few problems with this post, but the major problem I have with this post is the fact that you are attempting to turn this into a partisan debate, which, other than my defense of myself from what others try to call me in different threads (my mention of not being a godless liberal) nobody has really mentioned any partisan issues in this. This should be a completely non-partisan debate. Of course, the Australian mentioned partisan-ship, but I'll get to that in a different post.

Anyhow, you believe that the strong support in government to have schools teach "religious science" is secularism????? Creationism is not based on science, and thus, does not belong in a science class, but, rather, a theology class. One Example.

Two, the government has... god in the pledge....god in the courthouse....trying to put god in the school (in some places has it).....god is all over government property (not to include military bases, which have services for many different religions and denominations).... in most of these cases, specific christian beliefs are emphasized.

Until this is not around... how exactly are we a COMPLETELY secular government?
 

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Caine said:
I have a few problems with this post, but the major problem I have with this post is the fact that you are attempting to turn this into a partisan debate, which, other than my defense of myself from what others try to call me in different threads (my mention of not being a godless liberal) nobody has really mentioned any partisan issues in this. This should be a completely non-partisan debate. Of course, the Australian mentioned partisan-ship, but I'll get to that in a different post.

Anyhow, you believe that the strong support in government to have schools teach "religious science" is secularism????? Creationism is not based on science, and thus, does not belong in a science class, but, rather, a theology class. One Example.

Two, the government has... god in the pledge....god in the courthouse....trying to put god in the school (in some places has it).....god is all over government property (not to include military bases, which have services for many different religions and denominations).... in most of these cases, specific christian beliefs are emphasized.

Until this is not around... how exactly are we a COMPLETELY secular government?
I have a mission for you my friend, you go ask a man to die for his country, without a tradition, without a God, without a pride in his/her country, you go ask anyone to die for that! The fact is we need some faith, we need some pride, we need a lot of things! The bull***** people like you offer just won't cut it, and we certainly wouldn't be where we are today with this liberal idea of the United States of America. Who would possibly fight for this doomed place you reside, no one, and that is the reason we fight you to the death, you kill hope, you're a f**king diesease that must be eliminated!

I'm sorry, this just really bothers me, I may be over reaching, but this new America really sucks. This generation would have lost the war in Europe hands down, I believe this to be the truth. I think we are doomed, and it's not because of our past, but because of the lazy, ungrateful nation we have raised.
 
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Caine

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Deegan said:
I have a mission for you my friend, you go ask a man to die for his country, without a tradition, without a God, without a pride in his/her country, you go ask anyone to die for that! The fact is we need some faith, we need some pride, we need a lot of things! The bull***** people like you offer just won't cut it, and we certainly wouldn't be where we are today with this liberal idea of the United States of America. Who would possibly fight for this doomed place you reside, no one, and that is the reason we fight you to the death, you kill hope, you're a f**king diesease that must be eliminated!

I'm sorry, this just really bothers me, I may be over reaching, but this new America really sucks.
I like how you continue to say that all the people who fight for our country believe in god... I served... there were some people who DO NOT believe in god.......For a long period of my service, I didn't believe in god.

And, if your suggesting, again, that I am godless, I demand that you read ALL posts in this forum once again to get a good grasp on what is going on.

Thats right... you CAN worship and or believe in god without being a strong advocate for god all over our government.
You failed to address any of the issues in my post that you responded to, I advise you to go back and address the issues of god in the pledge/courts/schools/other government property and paid for by the government and in most cases, Christian exclusively.......

Until all these things are gone, our government is not TRULY... COMPLETELY Secular, which is how it should be.....unless of course you think that only those who believe in god have the right to be American... in which case, you have serious problems.

On another note, I give Kudos to President Bush and the White House for putting Happy Holidays on thier widely distributed Greeting card, as it welcomes people of all faiths in the holiday season. So no, for those of you who think im attacking Bush, Im not... im attacking those who think god belongs in the government, and believers are "more" American than non believers.
 

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Caine said:
I have a few problems with this post, but the major problem I have with this post is the fact that you are attempting to turn this into a partisan debate, which, other than my defense of myself from what others try to call me in different threads (my mention of not being a godless liberal) nobody has really mentioned any partisan issues in this. This should be a completely non-partisan debate. Of course, the Australian mentioned partisan-ship, but I'll get to that in a different post.
I get carried away. Regardless, everything here ends up being a partisan debate anyway. I was getting an early start ;)

Caine said:
Anyhow, you believe that the strong support in government to have schools teach "religious science" is secularism????? Creationism is not based on science, and thus, does not belong in a science class, but, rather, a theology class. One Example.
I know creationism is junk science. I also know that all attempts to put any mention of creationism in textbooks will fail. It does give ammunition to "some people" to use against "some other people" as a smear while the issue is still being kicked around by left-wing media sources. (Oops, there I go being partisan again. I tried to avoid it.)

Caine said:
Two, the government has... god in the pledge....god in the courthouse....trying to put god in the school (in some places has it).....god is all over government property (not to include military bases, which have services for many different religions and denominations).... in most of these cases, specific christian beliefs are emphasized.
You forgot to mention money as well. So what? I've never even tried to be anything other than an athiest, but I have never gotten upset over every mention of god, or Jesus, the bible, etc. Yes, there are mentions of religion ingrained into many parts of our society. But putting "in God we trust" on a dollar bill, offering religious services to the military, swearing in with a hand on a bible...all these mentions of religion are part of the society we live in, not an endorsement of or enforcement for any religion. 35 years as an athiest, and I have yet to have one single politician or official tell me what I should be doing with my spiritual life, much less forcing me to worship any deity. It is just a part of the society we live in, and the cultural mores that this society was formed from. Again, I say, try telling an Iranian how inescapable and oppressive Christians are here in America.

Caine said:
Until this is not around... how exactly are we a COMPLETELY secular government?
Because your founding fathers said so. Just because every reference to a Christian god was not totally expunged from all civic documents and proceedings does not mean that the government has ever endorsed any one belief over another or enforced any belief. It has not happened, it won't happen in the future. And I am okay with that, because I can still do whatever I please, same as you.
 

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hiker said:
I get carried away. Regardless, everything here ends up being a partisan debate anyway. I was getting an early start ;)



I know creationism is junk science. I also know that all attempts to put any mention of creationism in textbooks will fail. It does give ammunition to "some people" to use against "some other people" as a smear while the issue is still being kicked around by left-wing media sources. (Oops, there I go being partisan again. I tried to avoid it.)



You forgot to mention money as well. So what? I've never even tried to be anything other than an athiest, but I have never gotten upset over every mention of god, or Jesus, the bible, etc. Yes, there are mentions of religion ingrained into many parts of our society. But putting "in God we trust" on a dollar bill, offering religious services to the military, swearing in with a hand on a bible...all these mentions of religion are part of the society we live in, not an endorsement of or enforcement for any religion. 35 years as an athiest, and I have yet to have one single politician or official tell me what I should be doing with my spiritual life, much less forcing me to worship any deity. It is just a part of the society we live in, and the cultural mores that this society was formed from. Again, I say, try telling an Iranian how inescapable and oppressive Christians are here in America.



Because your founding fathers said so. Just because every reference to a Christian god was not totally expunged from all civic documents and proceedings does not mean that the government has ever endorsed any one belief over another or enforced any belief. It has not happened, it won't happen in the future. And I am okay with that, because I can still do whatever I please, same as you.
WARNING: Objects in Constitution may not be followed as they appear...

Seriously though, Yes, I understand we aren't as bad as some governments when it comes to a secular government. But what I dont understand is this....

Were the laws/and or/decisions to add god to all these forms of government that it has managed to make it to today actually constitutional? And if they were not constitutional, which I dont believe they were... Why continue to let them be around.... I understand money because that would be a difficult fix, in the end it wouldnt be worth it, and I don't see that as being hypocritical just because Im not for spending millions on making new and collecting old money, Its just not reasonable, and we have enough money problems in this national government as it is.

Reguardless, Im not saying that I, nor anyone else for that matter is offended by the use of God in many forms of our government.....But, it was blatently unconstitutional to put it there in the first place.

Over time, I believe, these things will begin to disappear, because the government is getting called out on this issue more and more, and those who fight it are making it obvious that they are fighting to keep religion in the government, and thus, do not support the first part of our bill of rights.

So, to answer the question of "Why are you offended?" No... Im not offended... But I just disagree with the blatent unconstitutionality of putting these things there in the first place.
 

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The mentions of god on money, in court, on documents, etc. were made to lend a certain legitimacy to the government. Nobody had a problem with that until very recently in our history. It would seem the arguments began when our society began pulling even further away from any mentions of organized religion in public. If the people are mostly Christian and the government they create reflects none of the beliefs of the people, that is not a good thing. This country has had a remarkable balance on this for over 200 years now. Why has this become a bad thing only very recently? For the people to be represented by their government, their government needs to in some ways resemble them.

Anyway, I believe the ammendment in question here goes something like "Congress shall make no law establishing a religion", or words to that effect. Nothing in there about not displaying commandments in a court or swearing on the bible, or any other display of faith. Things that have gone unnoticed and unchallenged for a couple hundred years. I don't understand how we can be heading so far away from religion in public as a society and yet we keep finding more and more displays of religion to be offended by. After we abolish Christmas and have people swearing "So help me...whomever" on an old phone book, I guess we'll just have to go after porn actresses for screaming "Oh my God" on DVDs :roll:

:mrgreen: Just a joke...I guess.
 

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hiker said:
The mentions of god on money, in court, on documents, etc. were made to lend a certain legitimacy to the government. Nobody had a problem with that until very recently in our history. It would seem the arguments began when our society began pulling even further away from any mentions of organized religion in public. If the people are mostly Christian and the government they create reflects none of the beliefs of the people, that is not a good thing. This country has had a remarkable balance on this for over 200 years now. Why has this become a bad thing only very recently? For the people to be represented by their government, their government needs to in some ways resemble them.

Anyway, I believe the ammendment in question here goes something like "Congress shall make no law establishing a religion", or words to that effect. Nothing in there about not displaying commandments in a court or swearing on the bible, or any other display of faith. Things that have gone unnoticed and unchallenged for a couple hundred years. I don't understand how we can be heading so far away from religion in public as a society and yet we keep finding more and more displays of religion to be offended by. After we abolish Christmas and have people swearing "So help me...whomever" on an old phone book, I guess we'll just have to go after porn actresses for screaming "Oh my God" on DVDs :roll:

:mrgreen: Just a joke...I guess.
I really like this guy, why can't I express myself this way?;)
 

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galenrox said:
I added a poll, and accidentally voted for the wrong answer, because I'm stupid. So keep in mind that from here on out that "Yes" will have one more vote than it actually has, and "no" is one short.
You really suck at this, you do know this, don't you?;)
 

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Deegan said:
I really like this guy, why can't I express myself this way?;)
And here I thought I was incoherently rambling and stumbling through posts like Ted Kennedy on a roadside sobriety test. :doh
 

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hiker said:
And here I thought I was incoherently rambling and stumbling through posts like Ted Kennedy on a roadside sobriety test. :doh
Ted got a sobriety test.........now you're just messing with me.;)
 

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hiker said:
The mentions of god on money, in court, on documents, etc. were made to lend a certain legitimacy to the government. Nobody had a problem with that until very recently in our history. It would seem the arguments began when our society began pulling even further away from any mentions of organized religion in public. If the people are mostly Christian and the government they create reflects none of the beliefs of the people, that is not a good thing. This country has had a remarkable balance on this for over 200 years now. Why has this become a bad thing only very recently? For the people to be represented by their government, their government needs to in some ways resemble them.

Anyway, I believe the ammendment in question here goes something like "Congress shall make no law establishing a religion", or words to that effect. Nothing in there about not displaying commandments in a court or swearing on the bible, or any other display of faith. Things that have gone unnoticed and unchallenged for a couple hundred years. I don't understand how we can be heading so far away from religion in public as a society and yet we keep finding more and more displays of religion to be offended by. After we abolish Christmas and have people swearing "So help me...whomever" on an old phone book, I guess we'll just have to go after porn actresses for screaming "Oh my God" on DVDs :roll:

:mrgreen: Just a joke...I guess.

Your missing the point.
I already addressed the issue of the "offended"
Im saying that the legislation passed to put god on things.. ex.. The U.S. Flag Code putting God in our Pledge in the 1950s..... Was Unconstitutional to begin with, and thus now that we are smart enough to know its wrong, we should do away with the things that do not belong.

We eventually discovered that slavery is wrong, and did away with it after so many years of people enjoying thier slaves, so I think people can deal with the removal of god from thier pledge/court/etc.....
 

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Caine said:
Your missing the point.
I already addressed the issue of the "offended"
Im saying that the legislation passed to put god on things.. ex.. The U.S. Flag Code putting God in our Pledge in the 1950s..... Was Unconstitutional to begin with, and thus now that we are smart enough to know its wrong, we should do away with the things that do not belong.

We eventually discovered that slavery is wrong, and did away with it after so many years of people enjoying thier slaves, so I think people can deal with the removal of god from thier pledge/court/etc.....
If you're going to equate abolishing slavery with removing mentions of God, some people around here aren't going to like you very much :(

I am not so sure that the people of this country want every mention of god in the public square consigned to the dustbin of history. Ours is a Constitution of, by, and for the people. If you want to put it that way, I guess we aren't smart enough yet after all :roll:
 

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hiker said:
If you're going to equate abolishing slavery with removing mentions of God, some people around here aren't going to like you very much :(

I am not so sure that the people of this country want every mention of god in the public square consigned to the dustbin of history. Ours is a Constitution of, by, and for the people. If you want to put it that way, I guess we aren't smart enough yet after all :roll:
I'm just going to let this man speak for me.....sorry, continue.:3oops:
 

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Deegan said:
I'm just going to let this man speak for me.....sorry, continue.:3oops:
I'm going to bed now. I guess you're on your own. I have faith in you. :2wave:
 

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hiker said:
If you're going to equate abolishing slavery with removing mentions of God, some people around here aren't going to like you very much :(

I am not so sure that the people of this country want every mention of god in the public square consigned to the dustbin of history. Ours is a Constitution of, by, and for the people. If you want to put it that way, I guess we aren't smart enough yet after all :roll:
Don't care about it in the public square.... just as long as its not in the "government square" if you will.....Thats obviously against the constitution.

Jews have no problem with religion being a private part of your own life... why do so many christians seem to have a problem with practicing thier religion without shoving it in everyone's faces????

If your Religion is truly good, it does not need government support to stand on its own feet......
 

wrath

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Caine said:
Don't care about it in the public square.... just as long as its not in the "government square" if you will.....Thats obviously against the constitution.

Jews have no problem with religion being a private part of your own life... why do so many christians seem to have a problem with practicing thier religion without shoving it in everyone's faces????

If your Religion is truly good, it does not need government support to stand on its own feet......
You appear to procede from the false assumption that our government dictates religion to the masses. Our government has made no law that forces anyone to embrace religion. That would certainly go against the first amendment. However, it does appear that you would condone our government prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

"In God We Trust" has been on our money since the Civil War. If our currency was coined with the words "In God You Must Trust or else" I would take issue with that. The authors of our Constitution in fact hired the first Senate Chaplin. If his job was to force everyone to pray, I would take issue with that as well. As this is not the case, I have trouble understanding the animosity towards the free expression of religious faith. Should Atheist views be a prerequisite to government service? Considering the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans are Christian, it would be rather difficult to eradicate all mention of "God" in the public arena of which our government has always been a part of.

Secular progressives have worked very long and hard to expunge religious (particularly Christian) symbolism from more than just the government but the "public square" as well. The replacement of "Christmas" with more secular terminology is a good case and point. Businesses afraid to wish the public "Merry Christmas" for fear of offending customers?! Holiday Trees, Winter Break, Holiday parades, etc., etc. The secularist agenda is becoming more clear with each passing year and it stretches way beyond government.
 
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