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Seperation of Church and State--- Already a Memory

myself

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I have been through the thick of the bible belt. When any religion can, upon mass popularity, infiltrate political offices, pass laws and policies based around that religion and thereby alienate peopleof other religions, and trample the right of other faiths to worship openly, it is a violation of seperation of church and state, and of the constitution of the united states of america.
This is particularly true of Christianity. And if that's not enough now they wanna rewrite history to suit their beliefs, claiming that "this country was founded upon Christian principals"... Well I only have one thing to say to such claims, READ OUR FIRST AMENDMENT!!! Religion and politics should not cross paths except maybe in civil rights issues. But then you have the strong holy roller christians who claim theyr being descriminated against. Well it seems their idea of descrimination is that there are people alive on Earth who believe in other things. Because they are the ones DOING the descriminating, and trampling on other ppls' beliefs.
I'm athiest, just a plain pure simple athiest. But, I have known people who were satanists who had their church shut down by christian picketers. And they NEVER committed "sacrifices" or murdered anyone. In fact it was against their beliefs. So rather you agree with their religion or not, where were their first amendment rights?
 

leejosepho

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myself said:
I have been through the thick of the bible belt. When any religion can, upon mass popularity, infiltrate political offices, pass laws and policies based around that religion and thereby alienate people of other religions, and trample the right of other faiths to worship openly, it is a violation of seperation of church and state, and of the constitution of the united states of america.
Hey, now I can talk to "myself" and even agree without being nuts, eh?!

Not all people who came to the land now known as "US" came here at the same time or for the same reason(s). However, I believe most wanted to be in a land where no religion could/would be imposed over one's own, and that at least some of those same folks nevertheless believed (all?) others should practice theirs ... and some practitioners are more insistent than others about that in a place where power (rule) is essentially up for grabs.

Such disorder and conflict (even internally) is the way of man.
 

Diogenes

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myself said:
This is particularly true of Christianity. And if that's not enough now they wanna rewrite history to suit their beliefs, claiming that "this country was founded upon Christian principals"...
That's not rewriting history. The country WAS founded on Christian principles, and the concern at the time the Constitution was adopted was that one sect would try to dominate the others. In fact the Catholics started their parochial school system in New York back in 1827 specifically to get their kids away from the heavy dosage of Protestant religion in the public schools. "Rewriting history" is the notion that the state should refuse to acknowledge its own moral foundations, first by abolishing prayer in public schools and continuing through the utterly absurd lawsuits to eliminate "In God We Trust" from our currency.
 

myself

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Nobody has ever said a christian kid can't pray to himself silently, or even with a group of fellow christian kids. They even teach bibles studies as an elective course in schools now days. But class prayers IS a bit much, because like it or not some of those kids may not believe in god, or may even believe in a different god. And that is their 1st amendment right. And anything that may create a religious division or alienation of such should not be allowed. Any kid can practice their religious beliefs, prayers, traditions, whatever privately in schools during reccess or between bells or whatever but that goes for kids of any religion.
 

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I'm not challenging anyone here - I'm a big time first ammendment supporter and would not take kindly others using the power of the government to push their religion on me. I haven't been to the bible belt either, so I don't claim experitse on their opinions. I'd just like to know in what ways you think government will try to encroach on our religious freedoms in the years to come if we continue on our present path.

Personally, I don't see a major threat here, at least with respect to our schools, our laws, etc.

I believe that we currently have laws on the books that go contrary to religious freedom, but rather I see the religious right on defense trying to defend these laws from getting repealed rather than being on offense, which is trying to create new laws.
 

leejosepho

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Diogenes said:
The country WAS founded on Christian principles ...
Yes, what is today known as something like "Judeo-Christian morality" was among the various things considered during the founding of this country. However, that does not mean this country was founded upon Christianity, or that it is/was a Christian nation. Rather, and speaking only generally here, it (and/or its government) was simply intended to be "relatively moral" as compared to previous places/governments people had left to come here.
 

leejosepho

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Connecticutter said:
I'm not challenging anyone here ...
I'd just like to know in what ways you think government will try to encroach on our religious freedoms in the years to come if we continue on our present path.
From: "President Declares 'Freedom at War with Fear'", September 20, 2001
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html

“... the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.”

Personally, I have taken a close and contextual look at those words -- progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom -- and their meanings and what they and those collectively represent, and "religious freedoms" are not to be found there. Truly, the allegedly "tolerant" are actually not tolerant at all ...

... but of course, neither is The One who created us.

Who wins?
 

Chris

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While you can legally separate the religious institution from the political one it is impossible to separate an individual from their core beliefs. The reality is that if you elect someone who is a Christian, Muslim, Atheist, etc, their decisions are bound to be somewhat influenced by their own moral values.

I don't see this in of itself as a violation of a society's collective freedoms, and indeed most core values (respect for life, freedom, dignity, etc) are common to all reasonable people regardless of their faith or lack off.

My point is that true separation of church and state is not something that is realistically possible. The key to upholding a reasonable balance between the two is through citizens constantly questioning what they feel is acceptable or not.
 

AlbqOwl

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IMO, the notion of Separation of Church and State is a notion created by anti-religious people and has virtually no grounding in the Constitution. The First Amendment was intended to protect religion from government, not to protect government from religion. The intention was that the federal government could not offer any advocacy,favor or reward nor impose any punishment or consequence on the people for whatever religious faith or lack thereof that any professed. The intention was never to tell people where they could not pray or to tell teachers they couldn't keep a copy of the Torah, Talmud, Quran, or Bible on his/her desk or what objects or artwork people might wish to display in and around their buildings.

I have never understood how it is thought a child might be harmed by hearing a prayer of a different religion than his/her own, but that children are not harmed when they are told that their religion is unacceptable in the school or other public places and must be kept invisible.
 
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Diogenes said:
That's not rewriting history. The country WAS founded on Christian principles, and the concern at the time the Constitution was adopted was that one sect would try to dominate the others. In fact the Catholics started their parochial school system in New York back in 1827 specifically to get their kids away from the heavy dosage of Protestant religion in the public schools. "Rewriting history" is the notion that the state should refuse to acknowledge its own moral foundations, first by abolishing prayer in public schools and continuing through the utterly absurd lawsuits to eliminate "In God We Trust" from our currency.
The majority of the founding fathers were Deists. The founding fathers did not intend for the constitution to be interpreted as a Christian doccument founded on only Christian principles. Hence why they state in the constitution that the government shall not under any circumstances favor one religion above another.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
IMO, the notion of Separation of Church and State is a notion created by anti-religious people and has virtually no grounding in the Constitution. The First Amendment was intended to protect religion from government, not to protect government from religion. The intention was that the federal government could not offer any advocacy,favor or reward nor impose any punishment or consequence on the people for whatever religious faith or lack thereof that any professed. The intention was never to tell people where they could not pray or to tell teachers they couldn't keep a copy of the Torah, Talmud, Quran, or Bible on his/her desk or what objects or artwork people might wish to display in and around their buildings.

I have never understood how it is thought a child might be harmed by hearing a prayer of a different religion than his/her own, but that children are not harmed when they are told that their religion is unacceptable in the school or other public places and must be kept invisible.
I think you're right in a way, and wrong in a way.

I don't think teachers can't express thier faith if its brought up, or keep a bible or other holy text in thier desk. I don't even think it wrong if they mention religions in thier lectures on history and such.

What I don't think would be right is forcing people to say a prayer (not learn, but actually state) of another religion, or what would be worse...teaching about how one religion tells them that thier religion is wrong. Think of it this way, would you want your child going to school and learning a prayer to "satan" or some other generally reviled cultist type thing?

Also, I was in favor of the moment of silence...

read that again...

moment of silence. Not mandatory prayer in school, but a 2 or 3 minute time period at the beginning of a school day or middle of a school day or whenever when the class was required to be quiet. During this time kids could read if they wished....including the bible or holy books...pray, put thier heads on the table and rest thier eyes, do homework, take an actual moment of silence and think, or just do nothing. Doesn't matter, nothing is forced but silence. If someone thinks forcing kids to be silent for 3 minutes is somehow violating thier constitutional writes then they need to have thier head checked
 

leejosepho

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Chris said:
While you can legally separate the religious institution from the political one ...
... true separation of church and state is not something that is realistically possible ...
... [because] it is impossible to separate an individual from their core beliefs.
... their decisions are bound to be somewhat influenced by their own moral values.

I don't see this in of itself as a violation of a society's collective freedoms ...

My point is that true separation of church and state is not something that is realistically possible ...
As others have pointed out, "separation of church and state" is not even a constitutional concept. Rather, Congress is simply barred from establishing any religion as the "official" one. So then, the real issue is this:

"... true separation of [leaders' personal morals] and state is not something that is realistically possible."

And hence, this theory:

Chris said:
The key to upholding a reasonable balance between [morality and state] is through citizens constantly questioning what they feel is acceptable or not.
... and today's moral chaos (societal confusion) is the only logically-possible outcome. For example: Some say it is okay to murder babies in the womb, others say abortion is merely "terminating" (and neither murdering nor killing) and still others say neither babies nor murderers should be murdered or killed, respectively.

Simply: Man has never, does not and will never rule himself rightly.
 

AlbqOwl

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Zyphlin said:
I think you're right in a way, and wrong in a way.

I don't think teachers can't express thier faith if its brought up, or keep a bible or other holy text in thier desk. I don't even think it wrong if they mention religions in thier lectures on history and such.

What I don't think would be right is forcing people to say a prayer (not learn, but actually state) of another religion, or what would be worse...teaching about how one religion tells them that thier religion is wrong. Think of it this way, would you want your child going to school and learning a prayer to "satan" or some other generally reviled cultist type thing?

Also, I was in favor of the moment of silence...

read that again...

moment of silence. Not mandatory prayer in school, but a 2 or 3 minute time period at the beginning of a school day or middle of a school day or whenever when the class was required to be quiet. During this time kids could read if they wished....including the bible or holy books...pray, put thier heads on the table and rest thier eyes, do homework, take an actual moment of silence and think, or just do nothing. Doesn't matter, nothing is forced but silence. If someone thinks forcing kids to be silent for 3 minutes is somehow violating thier constitutional writes then they need to have thier head checked
I agree that there should be no 'leading of prayers' in the classroom and, even before there was an ACLU and blatant anti-religious activism, such did not occur in the classroom. There was no problem with a non-sectarian student or pastor-led prayer at a football game or at commencement, etc. and I don't recall all the Christians running to the nearest synagogue or all the Jewish kids running to a church or anything else of that sort depending on who gave those prayers. A moment of silence at the beginning of the school day is a most reasonable alternative to prayer and has to be one of the world's most innocuous actiivities, but even that has come under attack by the rabid anti-religionists.

In my opinion, those who forbid prayer are at cross purposes with the text and intent o the Constitution as much as any who would require prayer.

The same applies to several other aspects of the First Amendment.
 

myself

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Ok, practicing a religion in schools shouldn't be illegal. Praying to oneself or in a group of people who follow the same religion outside of class should not be illegal. But making kids pledge "under god" in the pledge of allegiance should definately be illegal.
Churches, mosques, synagogues, Busshist temples, etc. have the right to donate to charity events, and to help aid the overall communities. They don't deserve the right to go all gung ho about their beliefs and get into politics and pass policies that alienate outsiders of their religious beliefs. The same goes for athiests. But it's harder for an athiest to pass policies on their beliefs because we have no religious beliefs. Now, president Bush stated basically that an athiest can't be a patriotic American. Is this the kind of person we want running the country? It sounds to me like he has alot of bias.
Seperation of Church and State isn't an anti-religion thing. It's simply not wanting to have someone else's religious morals forced upon us through politics and laws and policies. And if the super-Christian protestors (there are 2 groups of Christians, casual christians and super christians) don't like a bar, or casino, or strip club being set up in their neighborhood, then they should not go there. It's that simple. Because the people running or working at those places theyr getting shut down are getting their constitutional rights trampled on. They don't believe in a strict following of the bible, whereas the people putting them down with protest do. That's not the problem, if they wanna practice their bible to this degree fine, it's their right to do so. But it isn't their right to slay someone else's right because it differs from theirs. If they wanna live in a Christian dominated society they should move to Italy where the Vatican is the law.
 

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I would have to see a link to a direct quote by President Bush to believe he ever said an athiest could not be a patriotic American.

I am ambivalent about the "under God" phrase in the pledge, but millions of school children have recited the pledge for many decades with absolutely zero evidence that any became missionary zealots or took vows of poverty or changed their religion or became religious as a result of it. I have no problem with children being able to opt of of the phrase, opt out of the pledge, or substitute their preferred name for a diety, but given the overwhelming lack of evidence of the phrase doing any harm, I would vote to keep it out of respect for the huge majority of Americans who say they believe in God. The phrase is historical as is the motto "in God we trust" on our coinage. All children should have that explained to them and know the phrases are there because most Americans do believe and that's okay, and most of the founders were religious people, and that's okay too.

The same kind of lesson should apply when Jewish children have a minorrah instead of a Christmas tree or some kids can't go on a field trip because their day to attend services is Saturday instead of Sunday, etc. Different people have different beliefs, and because we are a free country, it's all good and it's all okay.

How much better is an approach like that than this ridiculous insistance that one group can't have their symbols and sayings because some don't believe in them or don't like them?
 
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AlbqOwl

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Dr. Laura - hero to some; antithesis of all that is good and right to others - is hanging up her journalist badge to focus on her new television program. One of her last columns, however, was so appropriate to this thread, I think it should be noted here:

Excerpt
This was in the Houston Chronicle a couple of weeks back: "School officials were silent Tuesday about a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of three pupils accusing the Willis school district of refusing to allow a child to carry or read the Bible. The lawsuit, filed in Houston, alleges that a teacher at Lynn Lucas Middle School pulled two sisters from class after discovering they were carrying Bibles and threatened to have them picked up by child welfare authorities." The lawsuit also alleged that another teacher required a 13-year-old boy to remove a Ten Commandments cover from his book.

The lawsuit was recently dismissed as an attempt at a harmonious resolution -- so the children can return to school without fear of reoccurrence.

A year ago I would have had great skepticism about this scenario. Today, I'm inclined to believe the accusers. As G-d is slowly but surely eclipsed from public life, my astonishment grows at the extent to which secularists will go to eradicate him.

Whatever happened to the rest of the First Amendment that says the government may not prohibit the practice of one's own religion? Mind you, these children were not disrupting class; they were not preaching or trying to recruit anybody to Jesus, and they weren't reading the Bible in lieu of doing their math problems. They simply had their Bibles with them as they might have any book they were reading.

If you haven't been paying attention, you'd better start. You'll notice that the liberal mentality in the United States of America has become synonymous with "secular." Pornographers' rights are protected by the First Amendment. The secularists will defend a girl's right to go to school with condoms and other vulgar things hanging off her clothes. But it is controversial that a child has the audacity to carry a Bible in his book bag.
The whole piece is printed here:
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/dr/laura070700.asp
 

vergiss

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...um, who the hell wears condoms hanging off their clothes? :lol:
 

myself

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yes, I agree that would constitute a violation upon their civil rights as Christian Americans. I'm actually surprised because usually it's non-Christians and particularly athiests who are the ones being descriminated. Atleast from what I've seen... And Christians are the vast majority here in America. But I do believe that as long as those kids weren't pushing their religion upon anyone or reading the bible in place of their school work, they should have the right to bring their bibles, practice their religion, or whatever.
 

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The disappearance of the separation of Church and State will mark an end to the progress America has made, to it's reputation as land of the free, and given enough time to the nation itself. Theocracy is one of the single worst forms of government and simply can't stand. I'd rather see America collapse.
 

Diogenes

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Disappearance of the "progress" made since 1960 is something to celebrate, not mourn.
 

SHodges

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You're right, totally right. Civil rights, computer technology, biotech, the slowing down of the arms race between America and the rest of the world, getting closer to a world government, etc, all of these things are useless and should be forgotten as soon as possible.

The disappearance of people who think this way would be something to celebrate, not the disappearance of four decades worth the social and technological progress.
 

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Currently, I would say the conservative right wings are enemies to our nation and our national heritage. Yes, I'm saying, if you support Bush, and his path to dictatorship, and you support integration of church and state, and you bash prosters who are utilizing their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT, YOU ARE NOT AMERICAN! SO GO BACK TO RED CHINA YOU COMMIE SCREWBALLS!!!
Because I for one don't want some stupid blue helmet UN terrorists invading my home, my land, that MY forefathers fought for. If you dumb brainwashed conservative _________s want a communist government then get the _____ out. Of coarse, no need for that since your gonna have your way and give up all your rights any ways in 2008 under this president you all claim to love so much, who stole office in the 2000 election (like all dictators do).
When martial law hits I'm committing suicide, and when I'm a spirit I can travel ANYWHERE at will, and I will leave earth and explore space, other time relams, other dimension, etc. And my final thoughts on humanity are this: YOU ARE UTTERLY PATHETIC!!! YOU ALL MAKE ME ASHAMED TO BE HUMAN!!
 

myself

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It seems anything that doesn't mold into the majority right-wing christian view in society is attacked by the right wing zealots, basically meaning you are attacking freedom. You attack freedom because you'd rather have religion replace freedom. You'd rather see a whole world where people HAVE to worship the Christian god. Well I've read the bible, let me explain something here to you guys. In YOUR bible, it sais in the end times, there will be an anti-christ. Look no further, this meathead you are all supporting is but a mere puppett of your anti-Christ. The European supernation is the UN, and your anti-Christ is the Pope. I'm guessing the director of the UN is his false prophet. Equivalently, the anti-Christ was pophecied to set up kingdoms, with a ruler over each kingdom, or region. Here, this will be BUSH! In Europe I'll likely be Tony Blair, and in Russia it'll likely be Vladmir Putin.
 

AlbqOwl

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Gee Myself, don't hold back so much. Tell us how you REALLY feel.
 

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People standing up for what they believe in is freedom. They are practicing the very freedom you say they are attacking. Just because you do not agree with what they believe doesn’t make it Anti-American. The Christians first duty as a Christian is to spread Christianity throughout the world, it is a part of their belief. Last I checked no one, including the pope or the UN was forcing me to be a Christian. Furthermore the pope is not the leader of all Christians; he is the leader of the Catholic Church. Though Catholicism may be the most powerful Christian denomination, it is by far the least popular. Why? The very reason for which you stated, fear of the pope controlling the world. Do I really need to bring up the JFK election? Do I need to remind you that JFK was a Catholic yet he was a democrat? JFK was a catholic, a direct follower of the pope, but did he follow the pope adamantly? No.

You can’t blame the church for what a group of Christians believe. Just like we can’t blame Islam for what terrorist do. People are going to interpret the bible in many different ways, and they are going to believe many different things. Some will support gay marriage, others will be against it, some people will tolerate abortion and others will fight for the child’s soul. This is America and we accept each other’s opinions? You make it sound as if you want a war on Christianity; I hope that this is not where you stand.

As for your blatant hatred for Bush, I hope you know that in 2008 he will have served his two terms as president and will not be up for reelection, so I find it hard to believe that in 2008 anyone will be giving up there rights to him. Unless I am interpreting what your saying wrong and I ask you to please clarify.

I support Bush, so I’m a communist? How is he a dictator, please tell me? Because I am lost in that accusation. I do support the separation of church and state yet I was raised a Catholic. Wait… I am a Catholic… doesn’t that make me a Christian? According to you the fact that I was raised Catholic means that I do everything the pope tells me and therefore I can’t believe in the separation of church and state. That makes you a bigot. You can’t keep blaming peoples beliefs on the church, but I know that you have to blame someone so blame them for being unconstitutional. Be glad that you know what is means to be constitutional in a country that is under attack by morals.

As for your statement regarding bashing protestors, I believe that this goes both ways. Am I going to bash a mother that disrespects her son’s beliefs, the beliefs he died for, so she can make a statement? Yes, I am. Am I going to bash pro-life protesters who bomb an abortion clinic? Yes. That’s my right as an American, just like it is their right to protest (not a right to bomb a clinic, but you get the point... I hope) you make it sound like anyone who doesn’t believe what you believe is un-American, and that simply isn’t so. We are all American because we agree to disagree.
 
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