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Is displaying the Declaration of Independence in government buildings and schools unconstitutional?

joko104

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"[FONT=&quot]We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

The Declaration of independence declares that humans were "created" and states a reliance on "divine Providence." Isn't that a violation of the separation of church and state? [/FONT]
 

<alt>doxygen

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"[FONT="]We hold [U][B]these truths[/B][/U] to be self-evident, that [B][U]all men are created[/U][/B] equal, that they are endowed [U][B]by their Creator[/B][/U] with certain unalienable Rights..."

[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#555555][FONT="] And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

The Declaration of independence declares that humans were "created" and states a reliance on "divine Providence." Isn't that a violation of the separation of church and state? [/FONT]
Doesn't bother me. I know atheists and Christians who think it's bad/wrong.
 

Skeptic Bob

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No. It is a historical document of our nation.
 

Mycroft

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"[FONT="]We hold [U][B]these truths[/B][/U] to be self-evident, that [B][U]all men are created[/U][/B] equal, that they are endowed [U][B]by their Creator[/B][/U] with certain unalienable Rights..."

[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#555555][FONT="] And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

The Declaration of independence declares that humans were "created" and states a reliance on "divine Providence." Isn't that a violation of the separation of church and state? [/FONT]
No. There is nothing in the Constitution about "separation of church and state". The 1st Amendment simply prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, etc.

Displaying the Declaration of Independence does not violate the 1st Amendment.
 

haymarket

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Displaying our countries birth announcement is not unconstitutional. But it does contain several lies of which were quoted in the OP.
 

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Of course not. The "creator" Jefferson mentioned was an unknowable entity far removed from the God of Abraham anyway. It just as well could mean "force" or "evolution" or "cosmology" had Jefferson known about it at the time.
 

ttwtt78640

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"[FONT="]We hold [U][B]these truths[/B][/U] to be self-evident, that [B][U]all men are created[/U][/B] equal, that they are endowed [U][B]by their Creator[/B][/U] with certain unalienable Rights..."

[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#555555][FONT="] And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

The Declaration of independence declares that humans were "created" and states a reliance on "divine Providence." Isn't that a violation of the separation of church and state? [/FONT]
Nope, because it does not establish any particular religion.
 

haymarket

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Of course not. The "creator" Jefferson mentioned was an unknowable entity far removed from the God of Abraham anyway. It just as well could mean "force" or "evolution" or "cosmology" had Jefferson known about it at the time.
Jefferson did not even believe in some of the stuff he wrote. It was a lot of hype and he knew it.
 

OrphanSlug

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Did we really have to ask this question? Which snowflake out there thinks that somehow a display of the Declaration of Independence is all of a sudden unconstitutional?
 

pinqy

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Did we really have to ask this question? Which snowflake out there thinks that somehow a display of the Declaration of Independence is all of a sudden unconstitutional?
None. It’s a strawman constructed by those who believe in government sponsored religion.
 

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Jefferson did not even believe in some of the stuff he wrote. It was a lot of hype and he knew it.
Of course all we have are his writings and actions so none of us really know but he did write letters to John Adams for most of their lives so much of what he thought has been documented. My thinking is he really did want to believe in the DoC and did his best to make this new nation something very different and good. It's easy to look back on historical figures and judge them. In this case, I do believe Jefferson meant well even though he was a man of his times.
 

Thoreau72

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"[FONT="]We hold [U][B]these truths[/B][/U] to be self-evident, that [B][U]all men are created[/U][/B] equal, that they are endowed [U][B]by their Creator[/B][/U] with certain unalienable Rights..."

[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#555555][FONT="] And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

The Declaration of independence declares that humans were "created" and states a reliance on "divine Providence." Isn't that a violation of the separation of church and state? [/FONT]
Isn't that a silly question?

Is Deism a religion or a philosophy?
 

haymarket

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Of course all we have are his writings and actions so none of us really know but he did write letters to John Adams for most of their lives so much of what he thought has been documented. My thinking is he really did want to believe in the DoC and did his best to make this new nation something very different and good. It's easy to look back on historical figures and judge them. In this case, I do believe Jefferson meant well even though he was a man of his times.
If you want to see what a person believes, look at how they live their life every day. Look at what they do and not at what they say. His life says the words about all men are created equal and have certain rights was nonsense. Jerrferson kept slaves - some 100 of them and denied them their rights that the Creator gave all men.
 

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If you want to see what a person believes, look at how they live their life every day. Look at what they do and not at what they say. His life says the words about all men are created equal and have certain rights was nonsense. Jerrferson kept slaves - some 100 of them and denied them their rights that the Creator gave all men.
I agree but I also believe that what they considered "men" was defined by their era. I do not believe that they thought all human beings were equal as we understand it or try to understand it today. There is a wonderful book called "white trash" that quotes men of this era and shows just how different they thought then we do now. It really was a time when status, education and class were very important definitions of what a human being was under the law. None of the founders were modern men with perhaps the exception of Paine who really was a revolutionary thinker.
 

haymarket

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I agree but I also believe that what they considered "men" was defined by their era. I do not believe that they thought all human beings were equal as we understand it or try to understand it today. There is a wonderful book called "white trash" that quotes men of this era and shows just how different they thought then we do now. It really was a time when status, education and class were very important definitions of what a human being was under the law. None of the founders were modern men with perhaps the exception of Paine who really was a revolutionary thinker.
Jefferson never denied that people he held as slaves were men or human beings and his writings indicate that very strongly.
 

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Jefferson never denied that people he held as slaves were men or human beings and his writings indicate that very strongly.
I used the term loosely by his standards. In our minds, there should be no difference between any human being in terms of rights. In his world, there most certainly were differences. Perhaps my point is that he had far different standards for judging human beings then we have today which aligns with your point it seems. That does not mean his ideas were corrupt or bad, he simply was a man of his time and place.
 

haymarket

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I used the term loosely by his standards. In our minds, there should be no difference between any human being in terms of rights. In his world, there most certainly were differences. Perhaps my point is that he had far different standards for judging human beings then we have today which aligns with your point it seems. That does not mean his ideas were corrupt or bad, he simply was a man of his time and place.
I understand what you are saying and part of me is sympathetic. That is until you read the actual writings of Jefferson and he fully understood that the slaves he owned were human beings.... they were the same people that he pretended were made by the Creator and were given equal rights. When you read that, all sympathy for being conflicted goes away.

Jefferson acted in the way that most people act - he took care of his own ass before everything. He did what was in his own self interest and swallowed his qualms and his divisions and his doubts in favor of his own financial good.

Do not get me wrong - I understand what you are saying and we have to judge him by the standards of the day in which he lived. Some men might qualify for some sort of exemption. But his own writings tell us that he knew right from wrong and he did not question the humanity of his own 600 slaves. It would almost be easier to have pity on him if he viewed black people as something other than human. But that was not the case.

I respectfully would recommend this site which is very favorable to Jefferson.

Slavery | Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Read it and examine the material if you want. But it should erase any doubts about Jefferson and slavery.
 

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Of course not. The "creator" Jefferson mentioned was an unknowable entity far removed from the God of Abraham anyway. It just as well could mean "force" or "evolution" or "cosmology" had Jefferson known about it at the time.
Bull****, a force can't bestow inalienable rights upon you. What comic book did you read that in?
 

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I understand what you are saying and part of me is sympathetic. That is until you read the actual writings of Jefferson and he fully understood that the slaves he owned were human beings.... they were the same people that he pretended were made by the Creator and were given equal rights. When you read that, all sympathy for being conflicted goes away.

Jefferson acted in the way that most people act - he took care of his own ass before everything. He did what was in his own self interest and swallowed his qualms and his divisions and his doubts in favor of his own financial good.

Do not get me wrong - I understand what you are saying and we have to judge him by the standards of the day in which he lived. Some men might qualify for some sort of exemption. But his own writings tell us that he knew right from wrong and he did not question the humanity of his own 600 slaves. It would almost be easier to have pity on him if he viewed black people as something other than human. But that was not the case.

I respectfully would recommend this site which is very favorable to Jefferson.

Slavery | Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Read it and examine the material if you want. But it should erase any doubts about Jefferson and slavery.

I know exactly what you mean and mostly agree with you. I guess I am just trying to explain the mental gymnastics Jefferson and many others went through to justify their actions when their words were diametrically opposed. They were complex men to say the least. If you think about it, this is why it is almost impossible to use original intent as the basis for interpreting the law today. If you followed original intent to the letter, you would have to force the government to redefine what terms meant in order to modernize them. For instance, to Jefferson the word "freedom" meant X, to us it might mean "x+y". An originalist would force you to use X and then amend the constitution to add y. Thanks for the conversation, it's nice to talk to someone that knows the history.
 

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Bull****, a force can't bestow inalienable rights upon you. What comic book did you read that in?
Perhaps you misread my post. I was referring to what they thought a creator might be since they were deists. In this way, the creator might be anything at all including some force or unknown thing as well as some God of sorts. And no, I did not read this in a comic book. Rather, I read Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant and others. Have you?
 

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Perhaps you misread my post. I was referring to what they thought a creator might be since they were deists. In this way, the creator might be anything at all including some force or unknown thing as well as some God of sorts. And no, I did not read this in a comic book. Rather, I read Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant and others. Have you?
The deists stories aren't even proven, except for atheists and others who don't want to acknowledge that most of our founders were Christian.
 

Lursa

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The deists stories aren't even proven, except for atheists and others who don't want to acknowledge that most of our founders were Christian.
If his own statements in his letters dont prove it, what would?
 

Vadinho

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The deists stories aren't even proven, except for atheists and others who don't want to acknowledge that most of our founders were Christian.
Oh I think the presence of deists in the founding members is well documented. You must be a Barton reader to make such claims.
 
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