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Seperation of Church and State

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Schweddy

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argexpat said:
Show me where in the constitution it says "Christian morals" and I'll buy you whatever book you want on Amazon.
consti-christian morals - tion. Hehe - tried.

argexpat said:
By the way, "Christian morals" is ultimately Jewish morals, since Christianity is an off shoot of Judaism (as is Islam).
I disagree with you there. Many of Jesus teachings are transparent, but represent ideas that are apparent today (in both Islam and Christian faiths) - that were not written in the first 4 books of the bible. Sometimes these ideas are so prevalent in a society that they become accepted. For instance, "Thou shalt not use the word **** in a sentence" is not in the bible nor the constitution. Saying that word, does not make one seem to be Christian - that is a principle of Christianity.
Morals tell us and make us feel weird when we see that word.

argexpat said:
And the Jews didn't invent morality. It developed over thousands of years of human intellectual evolution. And the ancient Greeks and the later enlightenment philosophers had as much to do with the shaping of the Constitution as Christ did.
Can't argue with this one. But, morals are like hunger. For me, I learned that carrots are nasty - therefor I do not eat them. I also learned that murder is wrong - therefore I do not kill. It is a learning process to have morals.
 
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mixedmedia

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CSA_TX,


Uhhhh....what's with the gun?
 

CSA_TX

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Its a tribute to the christmas gift I got for myself last week. And it helps my good ol boy persona. On the old board we had before this one . I was changing avatars once a week and let the readers decide with a poll what they liked. Perhaps in the new year I will do that again.
 

bryanf

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mixedmedia said:
Liberalfinger and bryanf,

Who exactly is trying to take away your right to worship as you wish? All we want is the right to have our schools and government free from ANY religious influence. Why is that infringing on your right to religion? You live in America, and in America my right to be a non-Christian is as sacred as your right to be one. I respect the strength and sanctity of your beliefs. Why do my beliefs have to take a backseat in order for yours to be validated?
The first amendment was intended to protect our rights to worship, plain and simple. It bars government from infringing upon our rights to religious exercise, and I believe that it applies to every where that we may go. If I, or my daughter chooses, to exercise our religion at work or school, that should be our right. I don't think that you should be prohibited from expressing your religious views, either, wherever you may be, and I hope you don't take it that that's what I'm saying. I'm saying that government, according to the first amendment has no right to take away my freedom of religious express, wherever I may be.

vauge said:
I disagree with the idea of saying that Christianity defines morals. That is just silly.
As do I, my assertion was that morals are ultimately based on religion.

Again, John Adams said of U.S. Constitution: "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
 

mixedmedia

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bryanf said:
The first amendment was intended to protect our rights to worship, plain and simple. It bars government from infringing upon our rights to religious exercise, and I believe that it applies to every where that we may go. If I, or my daughter chooses, to exercise our religion at work or school, that should be our right. I don't think that you should be prohibited from expressing your religious views, either, wherever you may be, and I hope you don't take it that that's what I'm saying. I'm saying that government, according to the first amendment has no right to take away my freedom of religious express, wherever I may be.
I believe the sincerity of your statement above, bryanf, and thanks for replying.

If there was reason to believe that more folks on the Christian right felt the same measure of tolerance towards other people's beliefs as you have expressed here, I would be a happy camper. I have no fundamental objection to free people expressing themselves when and wherever they feel necessary but, fact is, many on the right don't intend to stop at the right to personal expression. They want systematic reform of public life for everyone and that is unacceptable to me.
It would be helpful if there were more moderate voices speaking for the right at this time, don't you think?
 

bryanf

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mixedmedia said:
I believe the sincerity of your statement above, bryanf, and thanks for replying.

If there was reason to believe that more folks on the Christian right felt the same measure of tolerance towards other people's beliefs as you have expressed here, I would be a happy camper. I have no fundamental objection to free people expressing themselves when and wherever they feel necessary but, fact is, many on the right don't intend to stop at the right to personal expression. They want systematic reform of public life for everyone and that is unacceptable to me.
It would be helpful if there were more moderate voices speaking for the right at this time, don't you think?
A big part of my position is based on the fact that I believe the separation of church and state goes both ways. I have said before that the first amendment was intended to avoid, not only a government-backed church, but also a church-backed government.

The two should be mutually exclusive, though I think it best to have both. That's why I quoted John Adams.

When the government begins to stop us from expressing our religious viewpoint, then it is overstepping its bounds.
 

Pacridge

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CSA_TX said:
Its a tribute to the christmas gift I got for myself last week. And it helps my good ol boy persona. On the old board we had before this one . I was changing avatars once a week and let the readers decide with a poll what they liked. Perhaps in the new year I will do that again.
It's kind of dark so it's hard to tell from here- but it looks like my Glock 22. If so it's a nice medium priced weapon. In fact I've got a H&K USP Elite 9mm 10rd. that I paid nearly three times as much for and the Glock, even though it's a .40 cal and the H&K is a 9mm., shoots nearly as nicely. And I think the mag slides in the Glock with less effort, though I've read just the opposite in reviews. I also have a Beretta BTA M92G Elite II 9mm; But for some reason the Beretta I own spits the empty shell casings directly at your head when shooting.
 

CSA_TX

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Pac you got it right first try. its my second mod 22. I sold the other one and replaced with this new one. night sights and generation 3 lower. wound up spending $30 more than I sold the other one for. SO that made me a happy camper. I have a few others but this is the only .40 I have. others autos are 9 for the wife and a few .45s. It was nice to get 2 high cap mags from the factory with the purchase. Thank you Tom Delay.
 

Pacridge

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CSA_TX said:
Pac you got it right first try. its my second mod 22. I sold the other one and replaced with this new one. night sights and generation 3 lower. wound up spending $30 more than I sold the other one for. SO that made me a happy camper. I have a few others but this is the only .40 I have. others autos are 9 for the wife and a few .45s. It was nice to get 2 high cap mags from the factory with the purchase. Thank you Tom Delay.
That another thing I don't like about my H&K, other than the price, the sights just aren't very "user freindly." Yeah for all my liberal spewing crap about loving guns laws I never did understand why the mag. cap. limits made any real sense. The week following the bans end I must have sold 50 mags. I rarely sell a mag. unless somebody lost one.

I think we're getting off topic. Maybe we should start a shooters fourm.
 

CSA_TX

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New thread is good idea. get on it Vauge I'm lazy. Amazing how much the price dropped on mags. This was the first gun show I had been to since the AWB ended. $15 for high caps acroos the board. Factory sig, glock, H&K.
 

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Liberalfinger and bryanf,

Who exactly is trying to take away your right to worship as you wish? All we want is the right to have our schools and government free from ANY religious influence. Why is that infringing on your right to religion? You live in America, and in America my right to be a non-Christian is as sacred as your right to be one. I respect the strength and sanctity of your beliefs. Why do my beliefs have to take a backseat in order for yours to be validated?
I believe the sincerity of your statement above, bryanf, and thanks for replying.

If there was reason to believe that more folks on the Christian right felt the same measure of tolerance towards other people's beliefs as you have expressed here, I would be a happy camper. I have no fundamental objection to free people expressing themselves when and wherever they feel necessary but, fact is, many on the right don't intend to stop at the right to personal expression. They want systematic reform of public life for everyone and that is unacceptable to me.
It would be helpful if there were more moderate voices speaking for the right at this time, don't you think?
I'm going to try to adress these both in one shot. Wish me luck.

By denying students the ability to worship in schools, you are leaving Athiesm as the sole religous influence in the school. We are not talking about curiculum here, we are talking about satudents and their beleifs. I know MANY people from differing religious backgrounds including atheists there has never been a conflict regarding our faiths. And yes. Atheism is a faith. It's the faith that there is no God.

If you advocate the total removal of God in public places, then you are infringing on my religious freedoms.

If you are an atheist and want equal footing, then I would suggest you find some sort of symbol for your faith and wear that. Hell, pray to your laptop around the flagpole in the morning for all I care, just know that I am willing to die for my right to acknowledge God in public.

Now, onto the second qoute. . .

A lack of religious tolerance is an extremely dangerous thing. Entire wars have been fought because of a lack of tolerance.

Frankly, I see that there is a lack of tolerence on both sides of this issue. Look long and hard at the positions.

Let me worship how I see fit and I'll do the same for you.
 

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The whole argument can be summed up into "People just need to stop hatin'." Why do people care? That's the real problem. If everybody stopped caring about each other's religion or culture and let them do what they wanted (granted its not damaging anyone), then wtf is the problem? I don't get how anal some people are.
 

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heyjoeo said:
The whole argument can be summed up into "People just need to stop hatin'." Why do people care? That's the real problem. If everybody stopped caring about each other's religion or culture and let them do what they wanted (granted its not damaging anyone), then wtf is the problem? I don't get how anal some people are.
Ha Ha you said "Anal."

Man, I gotta stop smoking so much crack. Everything sounds funny.

Tolerance? Huh? Sounds like a nice concept. We should try it in this country sometime.
 

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Absolutely. And just because our nation seems to have difficulty with the concept doesn't mean we should give up on it all together.
 

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LiberalFINGER said:
By denying students the ability to worship in schools, you are leaving Athiesm as the sole religous influence in the school. We are not talking about curiculum here, we are talking about satudents and their beleifs.
When was any student denied the ability to worship in school? They can do it before class, between class, after class. They can worship during class if it doesn't disrupt the class (like speaking in tongues while the teacher is talking.) The only thing being prohibited is officially sanctioned school prayer, which the courts have ruled violates the establishment clause of the 1st amendment. (And yet even the courts have allowed a "moment of silence" in class, which as a Buddhist I can totally live with.) Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion.

LiberalFINGER said:
I know MANY people from differing religious backgrounds including atheists there has never been a conflict regarding our faiths.
And we insure there is no conflict by keeping religion separate from government.

LiberalFINGER said:
And yes. Atheism is a faith. It's the faith that there is no God.
Atheism may be a "faith" that there is no God, but it's not an established religion. Big difference.

LiberalFINGER said:
If you advocate the total removal of God in public places, then you are infringing on my religious freedoms.
One of the Ten Commandments says: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Apparently even God didn’t want to see God in public places.

Besides, when have you ever been denied the right to acknowledge God in public? Dude, there are churches everywhere. There are Christian broadcasters all over my cable TV that I pay good money for. And on every one of the millions of dollars they rake in in the name of a poor rabbi who said “Give up your worldly possessions for the Kingdom of God,” it says “In God We Trust.” We have a government sanctioned holiday called Christmas, where songs are sung incessantly in praise of the messiah and his image is everywhere. One of the biggest grossing movies of all time was “The Passion of the Christ,” distributed by the same “liberal Hollywood” the Christian right so vilifies. The “Left Behind” series of books have sold millions. There are Christian rock bands and Christian comedians and Christian diets and Christian radio stations and Christian banks and there’s probably Christian shampoo and Christian dry cleaning. There are hundreds of private religious schools and colleges where a Christian can go from kindergarten to graduate school without ever having to hear a secular word. Christians have one of their own in the White House and they’re well represented in every branch of government. The idea that your right to acknowledge God in public is being infringed is preposterous. And this flourishing of religiosity is made possible precicely by the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The truth is it’s we secularists who are tolerant of Christians. But you give them an inch and they demand a miracle mile.
 

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argexpat said:
The only thing being prohibited is officially sanctioned school prayer, which the courts have ruled violates the establishment clause of the 1st amendment. (And yet even the courts have allowed a "moment of silence" in class, which as a Buddhist I can totally live with.) Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion.
Besides, when have you ever been denied the right to acknowledge God in public? Dude, there are churches everywhere. There are Christian broadcasters all over my cable TV that I pay good money for. And on every one of the millions of dollars they rake in in the name of a poor rabbi who said “Give up your worldly possessions for the Kingdom of God,” it says “In God We Trust.” We have a government sanctioned holiday called Christmas, where songs are sung incessantly in praise of the messiah and his image is everywhere. One of the biggest grossing movies of all time was “The Passion of the Christ,” distributed by the same “liberal Hollywood” the Christian right so vilifies. The “Left Behind” series of books have sold millions. There are Christian rock bands and Christian comedians and Christian diets and Christian radio stations and Christian banks and there’s probably Christian shampoo and Christian dry cleaning. There are hundreds of private religious schools and colleges where a Christian can go from kindergarten to graduate school without ever having to hear a secular word. Christians have one of their own in the White House and they’re well represented in every branch of government. The idea that your right to acknowledge God in public is being infringed is preposterous. And this flourishing of religiosity is made possible precicely by the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The truth is it’s we secularists who are tolerant of Christians. But you give them an inch and they demand a miracle mile.
You're a Buddhist? I'm currently reading a book on Nichiren Daishonin by Pat Allwright. So "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" to you.

Have you read any of the "Left Behind" series? Very interesting. These two guys, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, take selected portions of the bible and use them to draw some interesting conclusions. I'm always amazed when people manage to focus on certain selected quotes from the bible while ignoring what may be the bigger picture. I'll conceed that these two gentle men behind "The Left Behind" series may in fact whole hearted believe what they're saying and selling. I think they're mainly using John 3 as the basis for their conclusions. But they're making millions off this, granted they do say they give large amounts (somewhere around 20-30%) of that to charity. But they're still flying around the country in private jets and living in what could only be described as mansions. Which leads me to ask- if, as they claim, the worlds coming to end and quickly, have they read Matthew 19:21? You know where Jesus advises a rich man: "Sell your possessions and give the money to the poor. ... It will be hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Or how about Matthew 6:19, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth." Seems to me they may have spent all their time reading and studying John and quite possibly missed the book of Matthew completely.
 

Mr.America

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I believe in seperation between seperation church and state to a certain extent. I think that sense this country was founded under christianity, alot of our governments decissions should be based of of gods point conseption of what is wrong and what is right, yet I don't think that the government should force churches to marry gays. :hm
 

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Mr.America said:
I believe in seperation between seperation church and state to a certain extent. I think that sense this country was founded under christianity, alot of our governments decissions should be based of of gods point conseption of what is wrong and what is right, yet I don't think that the government should force churches to marry gays. :hm
I don't think churches should be forced to marry anybody.
 

Schweddy

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I see Mr. America's point.
It would be SAD if the law forced a preacher/priest to marry two people of the same sex if the man of cloth did not want to do it.Or sued if they didn't.
 

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vauge said:
I see Mr. America's point.
It would be SAD if the law forced a preacher/priest to marry two people of the same sex if the man of cloth did not want to do it.Or sued if they didn't.
I agreed. I think that would be wrong. I also think it would never happen. Talk of this nature brothers me because it implies that there are groups out there trying to insist that law enforcement be forced into an issue of this nature. Maybe there are groups out there trying to, if so they have little or no public support. The public, the people as a whole are against anything remotely like what's being said here. Even the predominate gay and lesbian groups of this country would be and are against forcing anyone to marry someone they don't approve. They're asking that they be allowed to marry. Not asking anyone to force someone to marry them. In a lot of churches you can't get married without going through their wedding courses and educational program. No ones trying to stop any of this.

It starts out with talk like this and then ends up on talk radio (or maybe it starts out on talk radio?) "They're trying to outlaw the Bible folks, outlaw the Bible, outlaw the Bible. That's the real goal here folks. And every hard working American should be fighting them every inch of the way." I can hear the words rambling out of Rush as I type.

This Christmas season the number of stories I've heard about this town or that town outlawing Christmas alarmed me. Until I did some fact checking and found that while some places were looking into removing the word Cristmas from their decorations for fear of being sued. Most of these stories are mostly false. In one case in Idaho I found that the group threatening to sue was closely tied to the local Baptist church. Thay had no desire to remove Christmas from the decorations, they wanted to get some press that would make the liberals and the left look bad. Back fired when the main person speaking for the suit turned out to be something like the brother or brother-in-law of the head of the Babtist chuch and a regular attendee.

Recently in a town in New Jersey a mother made a complaint about the school including "Silent Night" in it's Holiday Pagent. School oficals met with her the parent and she removed her complaint. That didn't stop the story. It ran on all kinds of talk radio for days. Days long after the complaint was dropped. Rush continued on with the story at least a week after it was a dead issue. Never once telling his listeners anything remotely close to the turth. Sean "I just can't stop lying" Hannity did the same. Hannity did so even after being personally contacted by David Brock. Brock e-mailed Hannity (and Hannity responded), told him what he was reporting was in fact not true and the school had "reinstated the song." That very evening Hannity went on air and stated, along with some other lies- "So why can't you sing a Christmas carol, and liberals show a little bit of tolerance at a school, and let a vast majority of people enjoy their holiday? ... That's what they're saying in New Jersey." He never even made any attempt to correct the story he was lying about to his listeners.

That's why I'm bothered when I hear and read things like "I don't think churches should be forced to marry gay couples." Becasue no one is seriously asking for that to happen.
 

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argexpat said:
Besides, when have you ever been denied the right to acknowledge God in public? Dude, there are churches everywhere. There are Christian broadcasters all over my cable TV that I pay good money for. And on every one of the millions of dollars they rake in in the name of a poor rabbi who said “Give up your worldly possessions for the Kingdom of God,” it says “In God We Trust.” We have a government sanctioned holiday called Christmas, where songs are sung incessantly in praise of the messiah and his image is everywhere. One of the biggest grossing movies of all time was “The Passion of the Christ,” distributed by the same “liberal Hollywood” the Christian right so vilifies. The “Left Behind” series of books have sold millions. There are Christian rock bands and Christian comedians and Christian diets and Christian radio stations and Christian banks and there’s probably Christian shampoo and Christian dry cleaning. There are hundreds of private religious schools and colleges where a Christian can go from kindergarten to graduate school without ever having to hear a secular word. Christians have one of their own in the White House and they’re well represented in every branch of government. The idea that your right to acknowledge God in public is being infringed is preposterous. And this flourishing of religiosity is made possible precicely by the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The truth is it’s we secularists who are tolerant of Christians. But you give them an inch and they demand a miracle mile.
I just want to congratulate you, argexpat, on hitting this nail on its big fat head. Thank you.
I do want to make clear, though, that I never said or intimated that I thought anyone should be prevented from expressing their own personal religious beliefs when or wherever they feel it appropriate (in fact, I think I said just that somewhere along the way). In schools, it would be fine if all faiths were given equal footing so that any child could express him or herself as needed. But is it realistic to think that schools could accomodate all children in this way, esp. in areas where there is a large diversity of faiths?
My only beef with public expressions of religion is when they are presented in a way that assumes that all are or should be of the same faith. As in mandated school prayer or religious iconography or materials in public institutions meant to serve all regardless of faith or lack thereof.
 

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It seems to me that there's a real push of late to try and paint the Christians in this country as some kind of oppressed majority.
 

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Pacridge said:
It seems to me that there's a real push of late to try and paint the Christians in this country as some kind of oppressed majority.
I think that's because they are supposedly a majority, and the news that we typically hear about is situations where rights are being infringed. You know, Judge Roy Moore, the Boy Scouts, and various christian groups being denied equal privileges on school grounds.

Every one has a right to exercise their religion as they see fit, and that should be the case all the time. I shouldn't have to be wiccan, or Muslim, to be able to have my student group use school facilities.
 

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There is always going to be friction between the freedom of religion and the establishment clause of the First Amendment, as it should be. Democracy is a process, and the Constitution is its blueprint. It was written with a calculated vagueness precisely so that We the People could hammer out the details. There will always be skirmishes along the border separating church and state, but the occurrence of those skirmishes does not repression make. The idea that Christians are somehow being oppressed or discriminated against or are having their religious freedoms infringed is just nonsense, and is exactly the kind of whiny victimhood conservatives decry from the left. The idea is inclusion, yet most religions are exclusive (they all purport to be the One True Way), so its no wonder they bristle at it. And the zeal toward inclusion may become overweening at times, but you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

P.S. Imagine if Judge Roy Moore had been, by some Twilight Zone fluke, a Muslim, and had a monument to the Koran placed in the Alabama State House. Would Christians have come to the defense of Judge Moore’s religious freedom and demanded the monument stay?
 
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