Separation of Church and State

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119 Reviews

gabgirl12
11/19/2011

Separation of Church and State 1

This is nonsense. The State 'acknowledges' God, its not tied to the Church like the United Kingdom. I like the way things are because it shows the US will acknowledge 'freedom or religion' or even lack thereof. To start promoting a separation will eventually lead the US to being communist (There have been rumors already...) and then those who worship God won't be able to as atheists will consider this a victory in order to continue persecution. No, leave it as is. It gives everyone the freedom to either worship or not and lets the people work it out for themselves.

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JRMac
09/18/2011

Separation of Church and State 4

I don't understand why people consider the "separation of church and state" as a constitutional argument. It is not stated anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson wrote these words in a letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in reply to a letter they sent to him with specific concerns they had of the federal government impeding with their "freedom of religion" in the First Amendment. The Danbury Baptist were concerned with the wording of the First Amendment, and felt that the the way the First Amendment was worded implied that the "Free Exercise of Religion Clause" was government-given vs God-given. Their main concern was that the government would eventually use their power to regulate that aspect of religious expression.

In Jefferson's letter in response, he replied, "Gentlemen, – The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association give me the highest satisfaction. . . . Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties..." (http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danbury.html).

Jefferson understood their concerns and assured the Danbury Baptists of the separation of church and state, implying the government would not interfere with their freedom of religious expressions. Not that the church would stay out of government!!!

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PlzAdvise
02/08/2011

Separation of Church and State 2

More info. Can we all just get along?You can separate the Church from the State but you can't take the Church out of the State. The Church is The People. It is hard for people, religious or not, to separate their belief and values from their daily lifestyle, since this is who they are. Anyway you look at it somebodies rights are bound to be trampled on. Even if all religious symbols are removed you still can't remove it out of peoples hearts or minds. Attacking any group of people creates militancy and unity within the group under attack. Statistics prove the early Church grew like a wild fire under heavy persecution. When more religious freedoms are taken away, my guess is that there will be less division in the Church and more unity. Look how Americans all banded together after 9-1-1.
It was the first time I saw the Republicans, Democrats and the drivers on the road act civil to each other, it only lasted a few days but the unity was good while it lasted. Why do we need a common foe before we can unite?

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Guy D
11/07/2010

Separation of Church and State 4

The perceived lack of separation, or the notion that a sign that says Merry Christmas at the local civic center will lead this country down the road to theocracy is not only silly, its an obvious ploy by some groups to push their progressive agenda. Big shocker there eh?

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MagneticD
11/07/2010

Separation of Church and State 5

The Constitution needs to be amended one way or the other. Either get rid of this 'created, Creator' speak, or make it unconstitutional to jail anyone for anything. There's a hell for that, right?

For some reason the education system is mentioned in several posts below. A common theme is that 'everything taught in school' is a theory and kids are 'accepting it as fact'. Eh, not as I recall. I remember learning about the 'theory' of evolution in the ninth grade. See, they give you guys time to come up with your own stupid ideas about the world! How can you complain?

If it wasn't for the education system, words like 'theory' wouldn't be in your vocabulary, friend. If you were told to accept anything as fact, you would have. Period. You are sheep.

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Separation of Church and State 3

The #3 issue on this list is no surprise considering what the #s 1 & 2 are.
There are two main groups at war on this issue, both dogmatic and narrow-minded: the Bible thumpers and the Constitution thumpers, both driven by their zeal for, respectively, the freedom of idolatry and hedonism. I take on Bible thumpers all of the time, so here I am going to take on the other group, the Constitution thumpers.

Of all the debates I have seen on this thread, not one addresses the central issue of this debate: the viability of the Constitution itself.

Let's review!

When this country was first settled by the White Man (and by "settled" I mean by exterminating the Native Americans and stealing their land), it was mainly in the interests of booty capitalism, even though small groups of roundheads did settle here and there because of religious persecution. As the English colonies were established, they also brought with them the legal system of Britain: English Common Law. That was the law of the land. That is how the courts and the laws here operated, and did so for nearly two centuries.

As was so often the case, the British engaged themselves in a war called the Seven Years War, which could be called World War 0.9 since it involved most of the states of Europe. This war spilled over to the colonies, particularly between Britain and France. After the war, Britain was deeply in debt, and decided that the colonists in the New World needed to help pay for the war debt; after all, Britain spent a good hunk of money protecting the colonists from the French, and the Brits thought it only fair that the colonists should help pay for their own defense, and so they decided to add a few taxes here and there to pay off their war debts.

Of course, the colonists would have none of it. They felt like they had done enough in helping the British fight the French, and resented the new taxes represented by the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts of 1767, or the events that led to the Boston Tea Party (such as the government subsidies that were given to the East India Company, allowing them to undercut the prices from the tea-smugglers and lawbreakers such as John Hancock).

So the colonists went to war, and we all know the story; George Washington, Valley Forge, and the British band tootling the song "The World Turned Upside Down" at Yorktown.

So the colonists had won their political freedom, and decided to establish a government. They drew up a nifty outline for a government, calling it "The Articles of Confederation." In a letter to Edward Carrington, dated August 4, 1787, Thomas Jefferson himself wrote about the Articles of Confederation, saying “with all the imperfections of our present government, it is without comparison the best existing or that ever did exist.”

But...

Not long after the war for American Independence ended, the nascent Colonial government of Massachusetts found itself over fourteen million dollars in debt, and to pay off its war debts decided to tax its citizens. Keep in mind that the state government of Massachusetts was run by the same “patriots” who, fifteen years earlier, were clamoring for independence from Britain since, among other things, unfair taxation that was eating into their profits. In true Tea-Party fashion they enacted taxes on property and polls, which naturally "put a disproportionate burden on farmers with small holdings." Duties were imposed on land regardless of its value, and almost forty percent of tax revenue came from a head tax, with equal amounts due from rich and poor.” [quotes from Rachel R. Parker's excellent article, “Shays’ Rebellion: An Episode in American State-Making.”]

The farmers were being squeezed by the same men who incited them to rebellion with words like “liberty,” “freedom,” and, ironically, “no taxation without representation.” Their livestock was taken from them, then their farms, and not a few faced debtor’s prison, and they too felt that they had done their share for the new nation by fighting the British. These farmers had plenty of experience in dealing with governments trying to impose unfair taxation upon them, and they knew how to rectify the situation. Led by Daniel Shays, a veteran of battles such as Bunker Hill and Ticonderoga, the farmers once again took up arms and started to rebel against unfair taxation to repay the Massachusetts war debt, and their main objective was to take over the courthouses across the state in order to halt the legal proceedings against them. When well-known patriots such as Samuel Adams condemned the rebellion and called for Shays and the other rebels to be caught and hung (shades of King George III), Governor Bowdoin realized something had to be done, but since the state was out of money and the Articles of Confederation had no provisions to deal with such a contingency. So, the governor turned to the wealthy merchants, and troops were paid for, and the rebellion was put down.

The question begging to be asked is: why was Shays’ Rebellion against unfair taxation any less moral than the reasons the wealthy merchants fought England, unless it was simply a matter of protecting the economic interests of the wealthy and upper-class of the colonies? Although not the primary cause of the American aristocracy wanting a stronger central government, Shays’ Rebellion was certainly a contributing factor.

What the Ruling Class of Massachusetts wanted was a Federal army to put down any sort of interstate rebellions that threatened their power and economic security. So it was that the leaders of the new nation, its merchants, lawyers, businessmen, landowners, decided to meet one more time, and in May of 1787 they headed to Philadelphia to create a new government. Not a government “by the people, for the people,” but an immovable and inflexible system of government that ensured the status quo’s hold on power, a system resistant to sudden changes by the “tyranny of the majority” (i.e., the poor; the constitution’s concern with “minority rights” was the concern with the protection of the Ruling Class from the much larger “bewildered herd” of the lower classes, thus following the pattern of Roman Law for safeguards in protecting the property of the wealthy and powerful; it certainly was not about rights for the poor, women, black slaves or Native Americans.) yet pliable in the hands of the Power Elite, the Ruling Class, who were able to change the law at their will and pass legislation which would benefit their economic interests. A semblance of “democracy” was put in place that the unwashed masses, the “bewildered herd,” could vote and elect the interchangeable cogs of government (the politicians), but the structural system of government and, more importantly, the existing legal system, would be unaltered. In this respect, the Framers succeeded in establishing a government that was nearly impervious to change from the lower classes.


What is important to understand about the Constitution is that it is simply an outline for government; it does not change the underlying legal structure of society. The local courts did not cease, for people still committed crimes and went to trial, and people still did business. The laws for theft, property, murder did not change. It was simply an establishment of law by the Power Elite, for those who made the Rules.

When the Constitution became our framework for government, it was immediately yoked to the existing system of English common law [which was influenced by Roman Law, as was all European Law. We should pause here to note that the overriding theme in Roman Law—from the Twelve Tables to Justinian's Code—was the protection of the property of the upper-class and the entrenchment of power of the elite. This is the system of law we have inherited, and the system the Constitution supports] that was the basis of the legal system in the colonies. Instead of changing the law, the Framers developed a government that would fuse itself to the existing common law and to be bound up with it—a government that would be impervious to change by what John Adams called “the rabble.” The Ancient Constitution of England, on the other hand, had never been written down—it consisted of oral traditions that had been handed down throughout the generations; many of these oral traditions were inherited by the United States as well as their Roman-influenced system of lawyers, and both these institutions have influenced our government from the very beginning. The real reasons of the Revolution were that the American upper class wanted the power to war, to control commerce, and to set up its own markets.

The question is: why is the Constitution looked upon as "sacred"?? If you read it [which few here on RIA seem to have done], you will read some disturbing things. For example, in Article VII, it states, and I quote, "The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same."
This was in direct violation of the Articles of Confederation, which was still the law of the land when the Constitution was drafted. Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation stated that “Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by EVERY STATE [emphasis mine], and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of EVERY STATE.” How could the Framers violate this law? James Madison, in Federalist number 40, explained that: “The forbearance can only have proceeded from an irresistible conviction of the absurdity of subjecting the fate of twelve States to the perverseness or corruption of a thirteenth…as this objection, therefore, has been in a manner waived by those who have criticised [sic] the powers of the convention, I dismiss it without further observation.” Obviously, we could, according to Madison’s logic, dismiss the Constitution the same way, “without further observation.”

The Constitution of the United States, the oldest working constitution in the world, has risen to near-scriptural status and reverence among Americans, inerrant and above reproach. It was written during the days of the Holy Roman Empire, when Kaisers and Czars ruled, when only white men could vote, and African-Americans were considered to be only three-fifths human. The upshot of this is that the Constitution was ratified by, not "We the People," but only about one-sixth of the adult white (property-owning) males.

If there is one thing that I get REALLY tired of, it's the Constitution thumper's constant yammering about how wise the Framers were, and their moronic banter about "freedom and equality." They seem to forget that the ethical Enlightenment philosophies such as freedom, liberty and equality that so enamored the Founding Fathers of the United States did not seem to apply to people of different color. This created tension later between the slave-holding South and the North later on which would indeed result in more bloodshed during the Civil War. Many of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States owned slaves, such as James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” as well as Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Declaration of Independence, not only owned over a hundred human slaves but, on occasion, used them to relieve his enlightened lust as proved by the DNA sampling of Sally Heming’s descendants. George Washington, the first president of the United States, had three times as many slaves as did Jefferson, and there were a few rumors about his cavorting with his black female slaves as well.

The upshot is: these RIA Constitution thumpers treat the Constitution like the Bible thumpers treat the New Testament. Note to RIA Constitution thumpers: IT IS NOT HOLY WRIT. QUIT TREATING IT AS SUCH.

Here endeth the lesson.

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edgarzz
09/05/2010

Separation of Church and State 5

Ladies and gentleman, let's all take a moment to truly understand this issue of Separation of Church and State. The term separation literally means cessation of conjugal cohabitation, as by mutual consent in terms of Law. What this basically means is both agree to have nothing to do with one another. By one another, I mean the Church (religious views and biases of what is right and wrong set by a higher power) and the State (the continental U.S.A).

Let me ask you a question and see if you can connect the dots. If all trees have leaves, is it logical to try to separate them? Of course not. Trees come with leaves - leaves are on trees. They always have been, always will be. Are you getting the picture?

All governmental decision, policies, and laws are based off of right and wrong. Religions have established right and wrong long before governments were in effect. When governments were put into effect, they consolidated and based all governmental decisions off of what their religion dictated appropriate. You know that if you kill another human being, you will most probably end up in jail or hell. If you steal from another human being, you will end up in jail or hell. If you give false testimony you will end up in jail or hell, etc. My fellow citizens, Church and State is INTEGRATED. Segregation in this account is illogical because decisions are based off of MORALITY which is dictated by RELIGION. As said in the Declaration of Independence, "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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Did anyone notice "THEIR CREATOR"?

Most people want the separation of Church and State for the following reasons.
- Gay Marriage/Gay Rights
- Neutral philosophies taught in public schools
- Religious fanatic leaders taking control (Bush Administration)
- ... that's pretty much it...

Ladies and Gentleman. We Christians don't hate anyone. We hate the wrong things they do. We don't want to see Gays and Lesbians die, we want them to change and live normal lives (If you have a dick and want a dick up your ass, you are not normal. If you want to have sex with animals, you are not normal. If you think acting like a man if you are a woman is fine, then you are not normal).

The educational system in itself is a joke. Most things taught in science class are THEORIES passed off as facts. The Geological Time Scale is based off the Fossils found in various sections of the rock... The Fossils are based off the Rock which they are found in, thus determining their age... In other words, the age of the fossils is determined by the section of the rock. The age of the section of the rock is determined by the age of the fossil. AM I THE ONLY ONE UNDERSTANDING THE LOGICAL FALLACY? Who say's that evolution is proven? A few bones scattered across a 20 mile radius put together to form 45% of a human skeletal system is the first homo sapien (Lucy)? At least our Faith in the Bible dictates a normal living style - don't lie, don't steal, don't kill, do onto others as you would do to yourself, eat healthy. What does the educational system based off of Atheism condone? We are all animals, we have no purpose, our existence is random and chance... wow, how depressing... I'm not trying to say let the school systems feed religion down young people's throats like pudding. God gave us all brains for a reason - to think and analyze critically. But, why are they feeding illogical scientific theories as ultimate truths creating illusory understandings and sense of worthlessness in our youth?

And about the crazy nuts which were and still are in our governments, people, please understand that Faith does not condone immorality. The Islam religion does not condone bombing and killing. Christian religion does not condone force-fed tactics and aggressive expansion of Christian morals. All of these things that people do are THEIR OWN DECISIONS, not God's. God's word, neither in the Koran, Bible, nor Tanakh ever condoned the craziness which you see in the world around you... Before you make your judgments, understand what is coming from where.

I can understand why people want the separation of Church and State, but I doubt people understand what they are talking about. Church and State are already integrated by those who take part in decision making based off their own morals taught to them, in one way or another, religion. If you do take out religion completely, then the U.S. human population is forced to start from ground 0, and until we all figure out an alternative to what is right and wrong, God knows WHAT can happen until we do. People do bad things, not religion.

Think about it...

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Jester002
05/09/2010

Separation of Church and State 4

I find it ironic that we try so hard to separate church and state when they both serve the same purpose. Religion and government both control the masses and enforce law by issuance of guilt or by instilling fear of suffering some penalty, sanction, or financial loss. Yet, how hypocritical that it is says, "In God we trust" on the back of all US currency.

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Jake_Armitage
01/19/2010

Separation of Church and State 5

Two of the indisputable foundations that the United States Constitution was founded upon was the ideals of separation of church and state, and of religious freedom. It is a shame that some of the extreme right are starting to take the opposite philosophy, - that you can't be a member of the GOP without a certain Christian fervor, and you have to have that faith transferring to your personal politics in a direct way. I am not saying there are not extreme left wingers who are not also just as looney in their own way, but in this specific issue it is the extreme right that is the problem. Keep religion out of politics and let people worship in whatever way they choose. Some Christians like to feel like they are persecuted in the United States, which is ridiculous, if anything it is anyone who doesn't believe in what they do that gets the critical eye. My father is very proud of his Christian faith and I admire him for it, and I admire him also because he doesn't let his faith interfere with his political ideals.

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Meatbyproducts
01/18/2010

Separation of Church and State 5

keep god or gods out of our laws as the last time Religion ruled we called it the dark ages.

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rickytickytapp y
09/12/2009

Separation of Church and State 1

To take unproven scientific methods that are taught in public schools requires just as much faith to believe as to believe in God.

The Separation of Church and State is pure deception and word twisting.

While no religion should be forced on anybody (it all comes down to personal choice/faith), nor should illogical scientific theories!

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Separation of Church and State 4

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution prevents the United States government from establishing a national church. It does not prevent the word God to be taken out of the public square. God should be left left on the money, the pledge should continue to be said in schools, and the Ten Commandments can be put anywhere that the people of that community would like. These Agnostics and Atheists can just get over it and return back to their pathetic, pointless, meaningless lives.

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lmorovan
10/22/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

It's simple: "State, the Church is none of your business, leave her alone." The only way an effective separation of Church and State can be achieved is if each and every electable position in America, from the President to the local authorities are required by law to renounce any and all religious affiliation and practices. But then, it would be a direct violation of basic human rights and freedom of expression. See the stupidity? Saparation of Church and State is not Constitutional, therefore, violates the Constitution, especially the First Amendment.

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Moosekarloff
10/22/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

This has been a sleeper issue that your typical American slob has ignored, mostly because most of your typical American slobs have been totally poisoned and mystified by their Christian gutter religion.  It's difficult to pay attention to this issue when you believe in a Fictional Character and an Imaginary Friend.  Handjob Bush has been able to foster his unconstitutional and unamerican "faith-based initiative" for years while the American public has had its attention diverted by that unnecessary fiasco in Iraq and the financial disaster brought on by the reckless and idiotic deregulation policies of the current administration.  It appears that the Handjob administration now feels it is legally justified in not only squandering the taxpayers' money in supporting, and thereby enfranchising Christian organizations, but also in making such establishment efforts toward organizations that do not hire prospective employees who do not practice its faith.  This is not only a misappropriation of government resources and a violation of the cornerstone laws of the land, but, is also our government endorsing and aiding discrimination.  This is just another compelling reason to string up Chimp Boy in the nearest oak tree and then have a firing squad take aim at his disgusting, twitching body.

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CiciMonet
09/30/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

Regardless the intention of our forefathers (keep in mind slavery/mysoginism was something acceptable at the time), religion has no place in any decision making in the country. It's unfair to the many who don't follow a particular religion or follow something else. It's always unfortunate to see someone in politics who deems it necessary to place THEIR beliefs above the people.

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Roarofthunder
08/25/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

This country was founded of the principal beliefs of personal liberties and freedom. How procaliming any religion as a state religion upholds the values and virtues held so dear to our Founding Fathers is beyond me.

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Caturdayz
08/16/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

Contrary to popular belief this country was NOT found on Christian foundations and anyone who knows a bit of history would know that the founding fathers were in fact, deists.

Thomas Jefferson clearly said that it was too play no part in common law, yet here we are.

I am appalled as an atheist and a rationalist.

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philanthrobot
05/04/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

I'm amazed at how naive Americans are regarding the intent of this amendment. This country was founded on faith in God. It's in EVERY states preamble.

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numbah16tdhaha
04/05/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

The first amendment really says nothing about separation. It says that government can't establish or supress any religion. The thing that gets everyone in a bunch is exactly what establishing and supressing religion really are. Some freaks decided along the line that neither can even look at each other funny and now we have a bunch of crap lawsuits as a result. To clarify things a tad with a choice example, kids can wear crosses, headscarves, and whatever else they like to school, yet their teacher cannot in a public school because they are an agent of the state. Is that so hard? Maybe another one will help. The government can give a grant to a religious based charity, but the money can't be used for ministry of any sort. Are things becoming clear now? Last one, I swear. The Ten Comandments can be displayed outside a courthouse due to their history as a law code!!!!! 

UPDATE: Read up if you happen to be missing the other side of the coin...

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Constitutionfo rAll
03/12/2008

Separation of Church and State 5

What part do those nuts in DC not get about "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

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flabill
01/02/2008

Separation of Church and State 2

Too much influence by religious right radicals in Whitehouse. Curring favor!

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Loerke
08/22/2007

Separation of Church and State 5

One of the few issues on this list that was also around in 1776. The U.S. founders were, on the whole, stubborn agnostics who made little reference to divine ordinances. Jefferson famously pared down the bible to a 30-page booklet of useful ideas, taking out Christ and most of the silly OT stories. It's sad that this issue remains a matter of debate today, but this is the very reason the far right likes to exploit it: it's an issue they can't win in the United States, so they know that they can ride it to the end of time. From this basic fact arise several strands of fundamentalists: (1) the cynics, like the old Kevin Phillips, who see religion a la Machiavelli as an instrument of rule; (2) the masochists, like Pat Robertson, those who like to see themselves lose and the rest of us suffer in order to feed the sense of persecution they have inherited from extremist strains of Christianity; and (3) the theocrats, those like Bush, who would seem to prefer to live in a society like Saudi Arabia's; irony of ironies, the one electoral bloc that went unfailingly for Bush in 2000 was fundamentalist Muslims.

While the occasional reference to "god" might be harmless enough, the institutionalization of religious symbols on public property remains a constant danger and irritant. There is no reason why a dead man can't choose to put a cross on his own grave, but equally no reason why any elected official can endorse a particular religious figure like Christ in their courthouse.

UPDATE: I'm not sure why the personal beliefs of the Founding Fathers are really so critical to this debate, since it's the text of the Constitution, not the lives of those who wrote it, that's at stake. But there has been some unclarity about the word "agnostic." Perhaps it was a bad choice of word. What I meant is that the Founders did not believe that there could be such a thing as collective certainty about divine matters. Such certainty they saw as pernicious. Divine matters did not belong to the category of knowledge (hence "a-gnostic," "not knowledge") but to individual conscience. They therefore took any attempt to provide institutional or collective recognition of religion as a grave threat to liberty. That's why Washington refused even to provide even the slightest hint of public endorsement of Christianity, and why Protestant ministers would for decades accuse him of atheism. Meanwhile, in our own time, the "wall of separation" between church and state is being threatened today in ways that would have shocked anyone in 1787. We have a born-again (i.e., one who believes that Christ is specifically calls on each of us throughout our lives as a "savior") as president, we have government funding for "faith-based initiatives," we have divine memorabilia sitting on public property. That should offend anyone who cares about the Constitution, not to mention any true Protestant, who is commanded to reject any "graven images" anyway.

UPDATE 2: I'm glad Victor has quoted the Farewell Address. A great document if there ever was one. Notice that Washington says "religious principle," not "Christian" principle or even "God." He uses "religious" in the Latin sense of "social bond," in the spirit of a good Roman republican, like all the Founders were. He speaks of "national morality," not "Christian morality." There's nothing here that needs a god - it's a completely secular principle of virtue.

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Victor83
08/22/2007

Separation of Church and State 1

Read the 1st Amendment...read it carefully. Note the word CONGRESS! There is nothing "implied" there- it says what it means and means what it says. There is no such thing as a "separation clause". 

Update: The legitimatacy of judicial review is an issue which has been hotly contested since the time leading up to our constitutional convention, a debate that led to Marbury v. Madison. While the debate continues in certain circles and on certain occasions, the USSC continues to exercise this power. There is nothing- no language whatsoever- in the US Constitution which gives the Supreme Court this power. That is a fact; but to leave it there would be to ignore a lot of history, the writings of our founding fathers, the Federalist Papers, etc. Close study of these illustrates the point that a certain (limited) power of judicial review was intended to be bestowed upon the high court. Similarly, to correctly "interpret" the 1st Amendment it has unfortunately become necessary to look beyond the simple language therein pertaining to government and religion in this country.

Among the founding fathers, no one is more often cited in this debate than Thomas Jefferson. Like the Amendment itself, Jefferson's writings make it clear that his concern was the prevention of government interference with religion. Unlike many people today, Jefferson knew the history of the formation of his nation, that people fled Europe and England pursuing the freedom to worship as they might choose. In his writings, Jefferson goes to great lengths to point out that this also includes the right not to worship at all. In short, the cause championed by Jefferson and the rest of our founding fathers was one of freedom from a state church, like the Church of England. That is iterated, very simply, in the opening text of the 1st Amendment.

The problem faced today is one of perversion by groups like the ACLU and certain judicial activists. Hamilton wrote, in the Federalist Papers, that the Supreme Court was to serve as an intermediary body- between the people and their elected representatives. It was never intended that the courts should or would actually make law; yet that is what we have seen, particularly in the last 30 to 40 years. Further, there is nothing in the body of the Constitution, the writings of Hamilton, Jefferson, or any other of our founders, that says or is indicative of a "separation clause" as it is speciously referred to today. If a group of people in Bumblefuzz, Mississippi want to put a nativity scene up in the local post office, that is NOT government establishing a religion. The presence of a statue of Jesus erected by some WW1 veterans in western California by a desert road- land now called "federal"...this is not government establishing a religion. Hence, all of this garbage, from "no crosses on federal land" to no "Christmas trees" at Macy's is, again, a gross perversion of the 1st Amendment. We all favor religious freedom. Only a certain agenda-driven minority favor a Supreme Court -led attack on Christianity in the US.

  Update 2:  "Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle"...George Washington, from his farewell address.

Check the quotes I have posted in the comments section. Washington did in fact profess his Christianity publicly. This debate cuts to the core of the US Constitution, and there is a reason that the first amendment is FIRST. The attempt to call our founding fathers atheists, agnostics, Deists, etc., is an exercise in futility, and I have proven it. Our founding fathers wanted no established state religion. They wanted no government interference with the free excercise thereof (AS THEY WROTE).

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SilverFox
08/04/2007

Separation of Church and State 5

A few reviewers below have got it right. The Constitution, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, does separate church and state, or, more accurately, mandates government neutrality toward religion. I think that's a good thing.

The term "separation of church and state" is not found in the Constitution. The only words in the Constitution that mention religion are found in the 1st Amendment's Religion Clauses: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The first of those two clauses has become known as the Establishment Clause, the second as the Free Exercise Clause. Beyond the bare words in those two clauses, anything else that officially relates to the intersection of religion and government in this country are decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court interpreting what those bare words mean. For example, although the explicit language in the Religion Clauses refers only to Congress, the clauses have been interpreted as applying to the whole of the federal government, as well as to state and local governments.

What is meant by the term "establishment of religion?" In interpreting it, judges sometimes disagree, even though they rely on history, the framers' other writings, and prior judicial precedent. Some argue that the term was intended to prohibit only the establishment of a single national church or the preference of one religious sect over another. Others believe the term prohibits the government from promoting religion in general as well as the preference of one religion over another. In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the court stated: "The establishment of religion clause means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government may set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. . . . Neither a state or the federal government may, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson [in the private letter he wrote, referred to by other reviewers below], the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.' "

The "wall of separation" is in actuality a shifting, porous barrier. The parameters of the Establishment Clause depend upon the context and facts in a particular controversy. Small factual differences in cases often produce different outcomes. What has evolved as the guiding principle is government neutrality toward religion. Neutrality means not favoring one religion over another, not favoring religion over non-religious philosophies in general, and vice versa. [See this article, a good discussion of the issues. Wikipedia also has two decent articles summarizing the two Religion Clauses, here and here.]

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ProgrammerRing o
07/23/2007

Separation of Church and State 5

The oppositional votes on this issue oftentimes represent ignorance - often willful - of the separation of church and state. Most people find that once they have fully examined the issue, they have more in common with someone who agrees with the notion of church/state separation than someone who doesn't. Not only is church/state separation a good idea, it's the way our system runs and has run for over two hundred years. The separation of church and state is found in the Constitution, where it is plainly written that "Congress shall make no law RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION". In other words, the government will not establish religion on any kind in government. Period. Even if the phrase isn't explicitly in the Constitution does not mean that it is not an important part of the American system. The word "federalism" cannot be found in the Constitution either. The word "trinity" cannot be found in the Bible. Does that mean that neither idea exists? Of course not. I submit that there can be no religious freedom without the separation of church and state, because when the two are mingled, no good can come from the combination. Church/state intermingling damages the state because it forces citizens into a certain set of beliefs whether they agree with those beliefs or not. At the same time, it allows the government to define religion, thereby eliminating any hope for freedom of conscience and forcing the government into the role of enforcing religious belief. In other words, the government becomes a "nanny state" that micromanages religious belief. In our system, church and state are separated, thereby allowing the private citizen to figure out religious matters for themselves instead of the government making decisions for them. ALL religions are allowed to thrive in a government where no religion is established, instead of a certain religion to which the majority happens to adhere. There are many people who then claim that church/state separation is the same thing as disallowing religious speech in government or disallowing religious speech from those in the government. Although the separation of church and state has been used that way in some cases, that is not the purpose of it. The government, meaning the actual body of government and not those who work for the government, has no religious freedom. It does not have the right to establish a religion and force the populace into bowing their knee to that religion. Private citizens, on the other hand, do have religious freedom and can therefore believe whatever they so choose. They have that right thanks to the separation of church and state. To those who think that the separation of church and state is such a bad idea I ask: would you prefer a government that established the Buddhist religion officially? Would you prefer a government that endows Buddhists with special rights and privileges and ostracizes Christians from the political process (disallowing them to vote, run for office, etc)? Would you prefer a government such as some we see in the Middle East, where a certain set of religious beliefs are forced onto the citizens of a country regardless of their personal beliefs? The reason we don't see such occurrences in the United States is due to the separation of church and state. We can debate until Jesus comes whether or not the founders of our country were Christians. Incontrovertible is the fact that they created a country where EVERYONE'S beliefs can thrive - not just the beliefs of those who happen to be in the majority. That "phrase lifted from a letter by Thomas Jefferson" that is so criticized today is what protects your religious beliefs today, whether you acknowledge it or not.

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louiethe20th
07/23/2007

Separation of Church and State 1

Original comment on: 11-29-2005

 Can anyone tell me where in any of our founding documents you find the words, "Separation", "Church", or "State"? I bet you can't. Anyone who claims they are in there is a liar. You know why? They are not in The Constitution, The Declaration of independence, The Bill of Rights....especially the First Amendment that you probably hold so dear. No, these words are not mentioned in any of our founding documents for this great nation. They were never ratified, nor voted on by the original framers of our Constitution, nor have they ever been a part of any amendment since. The idea of separation of church and state was mention one time by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut. In this letter, not a founding document, Jefferson was trying to sooth concerns among the Baptist about rumors of Congress acknowledging another Protestant denomination. They were worried that this would be a precursor to a state sponsored church such as they had left behind in England. Jefferson was only stating that there would always be a wall dividing government and the church. He never intended his comments to be used to misinterpret the First Amendment, thus causing the complete removal of all traces of God from society. Read the First Amendment again and see for yourself. 'Separation of church and state' is not mentioned there!!!

*UPDATE* Mainly in response to ProgrammerRingo's comments.

It was Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black who first used the term "Separation of Church and State" in his 1941 majority opinion of Emerson vs. Board of Education. He said, " The First Amendment has erected a wall between Church and State." This was his OPINION and NOT taken from the Constitution.

While the First Amendment does recognize a differentiation between church and government, it does not mean that they cannot cooperate with each other.

In 2005 The U.S. Court of Appeals 6th circuit in a ruling wrote..."The ACLU's argument contains fundamental flaws. It makes repeated reference to the 'separation of church and state.' This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall between church and state." --To that I say bravo!!!

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MariusQelDroma
07/22/2007

Separation of Church and State 2

Government needs to butt out when it comes to how I choose to practice my religion. I will pray when I need to, read my Bible where I want to, and be a witness through my daily life every single hour I'm up and running.

Update: The US Constitution's Establishment Clause only states that the government will not advocate one religion over another (e.g. "official religion" policies or similar), or restrict the free practice of religion by individual citizens. What the "separation of church and state" doctrine tries to do is restrict where people can practice their religious beliefs in violation of the Establishment Clause.

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GenghisTheHun
03/29/2007

Separation of Church and State 1

As I have stated in other posts and I repeat now, at the time of the ratification of the First Amendment, some states had established churches. Massachusetts was the last state to disestablish its state church and that was in 1833. The First Amendment was ratified, I think, in 1791.

I am against established churches, but I am also against mindless, ignorant blather such as you encounter on this issue.

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Donovan
03/29/2007

Separation of Church and State 3

"The phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a group identifying themselves as the Danbury Baptists. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and adding his own thoughts, writes: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."

 The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights. It prohibits the federal legislature from making laws that establish a state religion or prefer a certain religion (the "Establishment Clause"), prohibit free exercise of religion (the "Free Exercise Clause"), infringe the freedom of speech, infringe the freedom of the press, limit the right to assemble peaceably, or limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances."  Wikipedia®

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Conservatism
03/10/2007

Separation of Church and State 3

This country was founded in the belief of God, it is sad to see what has happened to this country.  This issue needs to be dealt with but I fear it is being dealt with in the wrong way.

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hipo
03/01/2006

Separation of Church and State 5

Separation of state and church is a great thing. I don't think the state should discriminate against anyone for not believing in God. Religious organizations are in complete disagreements about many of their beliefs. Forcing people to follow rules of a God they don't even believe exist is not the right way to govern. Histrically, that approach has never worked in any society.

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decalod85
12/03/2005

Separation of Church and State 5

No establishment of religion means let's not have "Church of England" in America. This is a good thing. Who wants to fight a war over which sacraments people are to recieve? Seperation of Church and State is a logical step from this.

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John Candy
09/27/2005

Separation of Church and State 3

I don't think I could disagree more, bluetarbaby. Let me tell you a story. Where I live, there is a Catholic School, a Lutheran School, and a Public School. Guess what, our Catholic School, the one I attended, recieved the highest grades of all the Schools in town. Give me a break, that's an accomplishment in itself. Christians are people too, and I think that's something to look in to. What if government supported this school? Not only would we do even better academically, but the school would even stay up. Knock off the crap bluetarbaby. It's a pity that we have to pay so much to get this kind of education.

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bluetarbaby
08/16/2005

Separation of Church and State 4

The fact that this has even become an issue, is sad and angering. A very important issue at that, when you think of all the scenarios and consequences of where we're headed. Which is why we need to get a Democrat back in office. Because right now, the church is indirectly or directly effecting every government issue. Of course, Dems are influenced by them as well, but this is ridiculous. Hell, we'll all be Quakers ina few years the way things are going. I have many problems with the church being involved in government. Perhaps most of all, Censorship. Some people don't get why censorship is such a major problem. UPDATE: Really, the church is a major part of almost every issue on this list. Whether it's directly or indirectly.

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James76255
08/16/2005

Separation of Church and State 3

This shouldn't be a major issue, but there are some people doing their best to make it one. Some are just ignorant and have no idea what Separation of Church and State actually means. Others are well aware of what it means, but will manipulate anything they can to push their agenda. Still others are just media-whores and want to get thier name in the paper and their ugly mug on TV.

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SZinHonshu
08/15/2005

Separation of Church and State 4

Quite important. As the quality and level of education goes down in this country the rise of religiosity has (predicatably) increased. I am a Republican, and even for me it is difficult to fully grasp that there is more than a small number of yahoos in this country who seriously want to overturn Roe v. Wade, teach a warmed-over version of Creationism in public schools and place the 10 Commandments in public buildings. It's really phenomenal ... and in the 21st century yet! In some ways, a portion of this country is reflecting a lot of the values represented in the enemy we are currently at war with in the Middle East.

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Davis21Wylie
07/21/2005

Separation of Church and State 2

Why is this even on the radar screen? We've got a tenuous relationship with the rest of the world, we're feeling the aftereffects of a disastrous invasion, terrorists are attacking London on a bi-weekly basis, etc. and people are worried about the Ten Commandments being hung in a courthouse in Alabama? Wow.

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magellan
05/03/2005

Separation of Church and State 5

While I admit that some of the controversies surrounding the separation of Church and State may seem a little extreme (e.g. is it really so bad for a teacher to a lead a class in a morning prayer?), I believe that this issue is critically important. For all of the good that religion does in the world, I do not think it should have ANY role in the governance of people. It has been my experience that religious beliefs tend to make people feel and act more passionately (and less logically) than they otherwise would. For rule of law to work effectively, those writing the laws and those enforcing them must be able to separate reason from conviction. For example, I see the decision of lawmakers in Alabama to consider banning books written by gay authors from school libraries to be a good example of what happens when you try and mix religion and law.

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caligula
04/19/2005

Separation of Church and State 5

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802 Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787 History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. -Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813. As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion Tripoli Treaty, 1796 Notice, no mention of Jesus or Christianity in the Constitution. Not to mention most founding fathers were deists. Christian revisionist history is as bad as afrocentrism.

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Mr Evangel
04/13/2005

Separation of Church and State 1

Update this comment is to Ignatius-J-Reilly:You are arguing the wrong topic bud! Yes the founding fathers did give us freedom of religion so people could believe whatever they wanted, and they put that into affect so when people like you came along and want to pull religion out totally you wouldn't be able to. You contradict yourself with your facts if the founding fathers put freedom of religion in the constitution to keep church seperated from government why was church and state joined all the way up into the 60,s. It seems to me if the founding father intentions were to seperate church and state they would have done it then. but church and state didn't get seperated in fact in tell the 60s. Dude check your history book -(and not the liberal addition)Update to metal666: Tell me something why should your unbelief be forced on me? And no one is shoving religion down your throat! Hopefully in the future you will leave a abjective opinion to back your beliefs up other than imature personal wise cracks!Anyone thats says the founding fathers were not christains did not get that from the history book. It is FACT that the founding fathers were chirstains !!This country was Founded on God. Thats the reason this Nation began and if you think different you need to grow up and ignore your bias and do a little bit more research in history. History dosen't lie people( these are facts) GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON, SAMMUEL ADAMS ,First Cheif Justice JOHN JAY , names synomnous with the spirit of our country founding fathers of the USA. Over 200 years ago they shook of the chains of trynne from great Britan by divine call. Citing 27 bibical viloations they wrote the delcaration of Independence with Liberty and Justice for all but something happen since jefferson called the bible to cornerstone for American liberty that put it in our schools as a light or since Give me liberty or give me death Patrick Henery said our country was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We eliminated God from the equation of American life Thus, elimanating the reason this Nation first began. From beyond the grave I hear the voices of our founding fathers plead, WE Need God In America Again! Of the 55 men who formed the constitution 52 were active members of their church , founding fathers like Noah Webster who wrote the fist dictionary could literly qote the bible chapter and verse. James Madison said we staked our future and our ability to follow the ten commandments with all our hearts. These men believed you couldn't even call yourself an AMERICAN if you savert the word Of God. In his Farewell address Washington said you cannot have National immorality apart from religious principle and it's true because right now we have nearly 150,000 kids carring guns to these war zones we call public schools. In the 40s and 50s students problems were chewing gum and talking in the year 2005 rape and murder to the trend the only way this Nation can even hope to last this decade is TO PUT GOD IN AMERICA AGAIN! Abe Lincoln said The philoshphy of the school room in one generation will be the philosphy of the Government in the next. so when you eliminate the word of God from the classroom and politics your eliminating the Nation that word protects. America is now number one in Teen pregnancy, viloent crime number one in,ilitercy , druguse and divorce, Everday a new holocost of 5,000 unborn die while pornoughry floods are streets like open sewers. America's dead and dying hand is on the threshold of the church while the spirit of Soddom and Gommorh affects us all. The judgement of God is about to fall. If there has ever been a time to rise up church it's NOW! and let the blood bought saints of the living God proclaim thats it's time to sound the alarm from the church house to the white house and say WE WANT GOD IN AMERICA AGAIN ! I beleieve it's time for America to stand up and proclaim that ONE NATION UNDER GOD is our demand and send this evil lifestyle back to satan where it came from and let the word of God revive this dying land. Astrology won't save you, your horsopes won't save you the bible says these things are all a farse, if you want to be saved stop looking to the stars for you answers and look to the very one who made those stars , history tells us time and time again to live like theres no God makes you a fool , if you want to see kids live right stop handing out codoms and start handing out the word of God in our schools! America Again by Carman.

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pablo loves peace
04/09/2005

Separation of Church and State 5

Equal not Biased should drive this policy for the world view of the united States. Being represented by the policies of a religion that is not my own has an influence on how I will accept the policy. Religon has no place in politics.

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Beelzebub
03/29/2005

Separation of Church and State 5

The Founding Fathers, who were in no way christian, knew what they were doing when they put that little baby in the Bill of Rights. Protecting us from the government and guaranteeing our rights to ignore the religion of our own choosing. UPDATE. A few more thoughts on this one. Let's take it back to that little Massachusetts Bay Colony of long, long, long ago. Until about twenty years ago, we Bay Staters were still subject to these wacky things call the Blue Laws. They prohibited stores from opening on Sundays, prohibited alcohol sales on Sundays, etc. Actually, the alcohol sales law was only repealed last year. Why were these on the books? It goes back to those wacky Pilgrims, with their silly shoes and funny hats. You see, the Pilgrims were an ultra-conservative religious group. When they got here, it was a punishable crime to do any of the following: swear, blaspheme, fail to attend the Sabbath service, work on Sunday, drink on Sunday, cross-dress (just seeing if you were paying attention), among other things. Why were these illegal? Because Sunday was the Sabbath, and the Bible was the law. And that, my little chickadees, is what we in the Constitutional law business call state sponsored religion. So, when you want to put a copy of the 10 Commandments on your front lawn, the government can't stop you, but when that wack-job Roy Moore wants to put a 4000 lb. copy (and have you seen it? It's one ugly piece of rock) in the lobby of a state building, it is the state sponsoring a religion. It is not unconstitutional for history textbooks to deal with the historical impact of different religions, but it would be to have that textbook advocate one over the other. It is not unconstitutional to use the Bible or the Qur'an in a school as a historical or literary document, and there are even courses in state colleges and universities on the historical/literary aspects of different religions. That's where the difference lies. UPDATE REDUX: It's almost humorous that those who claim most vociferously that the Founders were some kind of devout christians have never read their writings. They more often referred to themselve as Deists. Read Jefferson's quotes; he stands up against established Christianity very strongly. In a letter to Thos. Jefferson, John Adams wrote: I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has persevered -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced. Finally, go look at all of the public letters of Washington. While he refers to Providence in the Deistic sense of the word, the word Jesus never appears. These men were not christians, and our country is a better place for it. UPDATE OF THE QUESTION VARIETY: Wetsack, I am very interested in your thesis. Could you explain it in more detail? Could be interesting!

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BirdEgal202
03/24/2005

Separation of Church and State 5

I really really dislike it when people try to force their religions on me and others and that is why we have separation of church and state wich, unfortunately in our day is waning. I totally disagree Mr. Evangel. More religion is the last thing we need. Religion although teaching kindness, also causes war and hate.

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vetteman03
03/11/2005

Separation of Church and State 1

I defy anyone to find the term Separation of Church and State in the Constitution.

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Skizero
02/03/2005

Separation of Church and State 2

two corrupt and pointless organizations. maybe the should be joined. would make more sense.

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Djahuti
02/03/2005

Separation of Church and State 5

Actually,this country was founded by people RUNNING AWAY from religious intolerance.The problem was,as often happens-they themselves became intolerant( the Puritans).Many of our Founding Fathers may have been Christian-but they were much more like Secular Humanists idealogically.They wisely built the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE into the very foundation of our Government,to protect our citizenry from the dangers of being overtaken by Religious Fanatics.If you think that Religious SECTS- Christian or not- should run our Government-you are a victim of the very same mindset as those who flew the airplanes into the twin towers on 9/11.If you want to live in a Country run by ZEALOTS you have a lot in common with Osama Bin Laden and very little respect for the ideals of FREEDOM.

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EschewObfuscat ion
10/29/2004

Separation of Church and State 1

UPDATE: You're not guaranteed freedom from religion by the US Constitution, the federal government is prohibited from setting up a state-sponsored religion. Wetsack, I don't really believe it's necessary. Ringo, the Ten Commandments pre-date the birth of Christ. They were given to (or made up by) Jews. Ralph, what is it the Jesusists are bullying you around about? And, Zacharius, how has the Vatican voted recently. Were they on board when we invaded Afghanistan? Iraq? Where are they on Roe v. Wade? ORIGINAL COMMENT (7/25/04): This is a hot issue? Sorry, but I don't see any religious organizations lobbying Congress to establish THEIR religion as a national religion. That is what is specifically addressed in the constitution. Nothing else. Separation of church and state? Nope, not mentioned. Plaques of the Ten Commandments in courthouses? Nope, not here. Under God in the Pledge of Allegiance? Not mentioned. Oh, you mean they meant to include stuff like this in their vague wording? Wow, that is some magnifying glass you've got there for reading between the lines. They did specifically state that anything not directly addressed should be left to the discretion of the individual states. Us religious weaklings would like to get the government out of the religious abolishment business.

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wetsack
10/29/2004

Separation of Church and State 5

Seperation of church and state are necessary for capitalism to flourish.

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LadyShark4534
10/29/2004

Separation of Church and State 5

This is the only time I agree with ralphthewonderllama! He hit it right on the head! When it's coming to laws vs. the commandments, Then yes, We do need complete seperation. Our laws cannot be the same as the ten commandments. Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, One of the ten commandments states we all have to worship the same God. Our country was actually founded by those who believed in religious tolerance. There also should be laws that nobody should be forced to go into a church by their parents once they are above the age of 11. I hated having religion shoved down my throat. I prefered to have my own individual beliefs. I don't believe in organized religion.

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jakemr33
10/22/2004

Separation of Church and State 5

I believe separation of church and state is a great concept. Religious freedom should be welcomed with open arms. But, the issue of separation of church and state has been so utterly misused. The government should not have the right to impose a national or state religion, but should that prevent those who are religious from using religious doctrine or religious material in the public sector? Elitists and secularists go to great lengths to keep religious dogma/doctrines out of the public sector but what they do not realize is that it hurts the morality of our country. Separation of church and state does not prevent religious material from entering the public sector yet elitests and secularists often misuse the term in this aspect. Who would it harm if the bible was used in a classroom to prove a point? Its not imposing or forcing a religion on anybody, but simply providing moral guidance. Secularization is where religious ideas, institutions, and interpretations have lost their social significance. Meaning, a person may claim to be religious, so long as they keep it in the private and do not bring it into public divisions. Secularization will unmistakebly hurt the morality of our country if it is allowed to take its toll.

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