Seperation of Church and State
- 02-19-2004, 07:04 PM
- 02-19-2004, 07:13 PM
Originally Posted by Milo Hobgoblin
Secondly, swearing on the Bible is not a requirement, unless you throw it in the judge's face (I do not swear on the Bible, because the Bible commands me not to swear; so it looks like I have the same "dilemma" you do). The ten commandments are on the wall to serve as reminders of ethical structure for society; if you choose not to agree with this or are in some way offended by this, then view it as art. As for the "in God we trust", no one is requiring you to read that out loud if you do not agree with it; just ignore it. The statement was added after much debate and discussion -- it does not mean in any way that we are a religious society; just that we as a nation acknowledge God. You can acknowledge a Diety without believing in God... it's respectful.
You must take movies like "The Crucible", and "The Scarlet Letter" too seriously, and you are feeling sorry for yourself. There are people like that in this world, that may look down on you, But I know quite a few more than you likely do, and my friends are not like that; you seem to use a movie stereotype to describe so-called Christian people.
I understand your concerns, but every law dictates someone's morality. You're on a very slippery slope, and the direction you're heading has no answer for how to determine right from wrong. You seem to feel as society evolves, our sense of right and wrong will evolve with it. I can justify all sorts of hideous things with that mindset... pedimony (marriage of children; after all, if they love each other, why can't they marry?); multiple sexual partners, including children and animals; etc. you can never be truly free, because eventually your liberty will infringe on others (I.E. if one chooses to beat someone because they feel like it, etc.). You want recognition and respect of atheism, of your beliefs; that's fine and dandy. But to say religion has no place in government... once again, no law is passed that doesn't have a moral basis; you may need to understand the basis behind religion -- love of your brother, instead of self-worship.
I dislike established religion, but I was raised to respect people for their good tendencies. I appreciate what you are saying, but we are on different pages. Religion isn't supposed to control the minds of men; God is. People take things out of context; it happens in religion, and it happens in everything. This country is based on many of the absolute, irrefutable laws of the Old and New Testament, among other things, and you can say over and over that it is not possible, or did not happen, but fortunately one can access more than enough evidence to back that up. The founding fathers were prolific writers; read the Federalist papers, and see that not only are laws and religion intertwined, but that religion was instrumental to help these great men write our Constitution.
Atheism is a recognized religion, Milo, according to the Supreme Court (the belief of yourself as God); while I understand your premise, it does seem to create flaws in your argument
Last edited by GIJoe; 02-19-2004 at 08:17 PM.
02-20-2004, 03:12 AM
This country was not founded on the principals of "let government rule men". It was founded on the principles OF LET MEN RULE THE GOVERNMENT.Let Government rule men... let religion rule their afterlife
I don't and most people don't equate religion with being controlled. If you read what most of the great religious leaders advocated it was self control. Most people also use them as a set of principles to live by. Take love thy neighbor.........loving humanity and the people around you is a good thing.But if there were true eqaulity the religions like Christianity would lose their power to control men and their thoughts and actions.Men would TRULY be free.Free to do what? Freedom from right and wrong? Freedom to hate thy neighbor?That's called anarchy.Men would TRULY be free
What you seem to be saying is that government is god and if that is what you're saying this country was not founded on that principles. If fact most countries that do have that principle keep their people locked up and keep them in the country with machine guns.
What you are saying here is to have freedom of religion you have to get rid of it (in public any way), but by doing that you are going against what the first amendment says[QUOTE]"Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."[QUOTE] I think what you are advocating is against "the free exercise thereof" You are also volition freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I think you are missing the point that custom made quite well in his postFREEDOM of RELIGION must ALSO INCLUDE FREEDOM *FROM* RELIGIONWe don't really have that at all. You have the right to believe what you want and follow or not follow any religion you want. This would be including the religion of government called socialism and atheism.What our forefathers did not want was a denomination set up and ran by the government.
02-20-2004, 10:57 AM
Some how you two think Im attacking spirituality. Im not... I am simply attacing the idea that ANY dogma of organized religion INCLUDING Christianity has NO place in government.
The reference to a god... simply infringes upon the rights of people who are godless. PERIOD.
Its seems so simple to you...to simply discount or "ignore" those philosophies.... but that would be like asking some devout Christian to walk into a courtroom with goats heads on the walls and Satanic scripture carved on the floor.
Gee... do you think he might feel uncomfortable or that he wasnt being given a fair shot??
Both of you have wrapped yourself up in so much religious rhetoric... that you simply CANNOT see the obvious.
02-20-2004, 11:56 AM
Im in total agreement with Milo. It seems that most people are missing his point. How can you place religion in government without imposing on someone else's rights. If you say the ten commandments must be worshipped and held as law Im sure there would be some Muslims who would disagree along with many other religions.
I dont believe in the Christian God or Allah or anything else, I do believe in a higher power but since I refuse to commit myself to any religion I am considered an Atheist.
Also, I dont need a religion or a law to tell me that killing or violating someone else physically or mentally is wrong. I have a set of standards which I hold myself to, a set of standards that were built after years and years of watching many injustices in the world and saying that is wrong I will never do things such as that.
Furthermore, I thought the Christians would be in support of taking prayer out of school because it means that there are no religions allowed to pray, this means that your children and thier faiths cant be challenged there. For instance if someone brings in the Satanic Bible and starts reading from it they would be asked to put it away as well as someone reading from the Christian Bible or the Koran.
One more thing, an IQ of 172. I tested at 133 and Im considered in the "gifted category". 172 is phenomenal and studies have shown that most people over 150 cannot relate very well to people who arent in the same range. Also, people with that intelligence level tend to stear away from religion as it cant be supported by science.
02-20-2004, 03:21 PM
The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?
Is it legitimate to condemn religion for historical atrocities? First we had better examine the facts.
I got a call from a gentleman from San Francisco who was exercised about Christian missionaries going into foreign lands. Then he started talking about not only the destruction of indigenous beliefs, but also the destruction of missionaries. That's what he wanted to see happen. He also said that Christians and religious groups are responsible for the greatest massacres of history. It turns out he was quite supportive of Wicca and indigenous religions which worship the Mother Earth force, Gaia. This is essentially the basic foundation for witchcraft.
The assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them.
But a couple of the things that he said were a challenge to me. Not only did he assert that historically missionaries have destroyed cultures and indigenous religions at the point of a gun, but also Christians and religion were responsible for most of the bloodshed in the world, or the great majority of it. I've heard this claim before. I wanted to respond with more detail because I'm sure you've heard these things as well.
I have a tactic that I employ in situations like this that is called "Just the Facts, Ma'am." In other words, there are times when you're faced with objections to Christianity or your point of view that really fail with an accurate assessment of the facts. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them.
The assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. The greatest atrocities committed against man were done in the name of God.
Before I get to the particular facts, there is more than just a factual problem here. There is a theoretical problem as well and I tried to make the point that we must distinguish between what an individual or group of people do and what the code that they allegedly follow actually asserts. The fact is that there are people who do things consistently that are inconsistent with the code that they allegedly follow. But often times when that happens, especially where religion is concerned, the finger is pointed not at the individual who is choosing to do something barbaric, but at the code he claims to represent. The only time it's legitimate to point to the code as the source of barbarism is if the code is, in fact, the source of barbarism. People object to a religion that used barbaric means to spread the faith. But one can only use that as an objection against the religion if it's the religion itself that asserts that one must do it this way, as opposed to people who try to promote the spread of the religion in a forceful fashion in contradiction to what the religion actually teaches.
It's my understanding that much of Islam has been spread by the edge of the sword. That isn't because Muslim advocates were particularly violent. It's because their religion actually advocates this kind of thing. The difference between that and Christianity is that when Christianity was spread by the edge of the sword it was done so in contradistinction to the actually teachings of Christianity. This is when individual people who claim to be Christians actually did things that were inconsistent with their faith.
I've had some people that have told me when I've brought this up, "That's not a fair defense. You can't simply say that those people who committed the Crusades or the Inquisition or the witch burnings weren't real Christians. That's illegitimate." My response is, why? We know what a real Christian is. A real Christian is someone who believes particular things and lives a particular kind of lifestyle. John makes it clear that those who consistently live unrighteously are ipso facto by definition not part of the faith. So why is it illegitimate for me to look at people who claim to be Christians, yet live unrighteous lives, and promote genocide to say that these people aren't living consistently with the text, therefore you can't really call them Christians. I think that's legitimate.
It's not fair or reasonable to fault the Bible when the person who's waving the sword is doing things that are contradictory to what the Bible teaches.
For example, no one would fault the Hippocratic Oath, which is a very rigid standard of conduct for physicians, just because there are doctors who don't keep it. We wouldn't say there's something wrong with the oath, the code that they allegedly follow. We'd say there was something wrong with the individuals who don't live up to the ideals of that code. That is the case frequently where people waving the Bible in one hand are also waving a bloody sword in the other. The two are inconsistent. So it's not fair or reasonable to fault the Bible when the person who's waving the sword is doing things that are contradictory to what the Bible teaches ought to be done.
So that's the first important thing to remember when you face an objection like this. Distinguish between what a person does and what the code they claim to follow actually asserts. Christianity is one thing, and if we're going to fault Christianity we must fault its teachings and not fault it because there are people who say they are Christians but then live a life that is totally morally divergent from what Christianity actually teaches.
As I said earlier, this kind of objection falls when you employ a tactic I call "Just the Facts, Ma'am," and I'd like to give you some of those facts. My assertion as I responded to the gentleman who called last week was simply this: it is true that there are Christians who do evil things. Even take people's lives. This is an indication that these people aren't truly Christians, but it may be true also that people with the right heart, but the wrong head do things that are inappropriate, like I think might have been the case in the Salem Witch Trials.
My basic case is that religion doesn't promote this kind of thing; it's the exception to the rule. The rule actually is that when we remove God from the equation, when we act and live as if we have no one to answer to but ourselves, and if there is no God, then the rule of law is social Darwinism-- the strong rule the weak. We'll find that, quite to the contrary, it is not Christianity and the belief in the God of the Bible that results in carnage and genocide. But it's when people reject the God of the Bible that we are most vulnerable to those kinds of things that we see in history that are the radical and gross destruction of human lives.
Now for the facts.
Let's take the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Apparently, between June and September of 1692 five men and fourteen women were eventually convicted and hanged because English law called for the death penalty for witchcraft (which, incidentally, was the same as the Old Testament). During this time there were over 150 others that were imprisoned. Things finally ended in September 1692 when Governor William Phipps dissolved the court because his wife had been accused. He said enough of this insanity. It was the colony's leading minister, by the way, who finally ended the witch hunt in 1693 and those that remained in prison were released. The judge that was presiding over the trials publicly confessed his guilt in 1697. By the way , it's interesting to note that this particular judge was very concerned about the plight of the American Indian and was opposed to slavery. These are views that don't sit well with the common caricature of the radical Puritans in the witch hunt. In 1711 the colony's legislatures made reparation to the heirs of the victims. They annulled the convictions.
I guess the point is that there was a witch hunt. It was based on theological reasons, but it wasn't to the extent that is usually claimed. I think last week the caller said it was millions and millions that were burned at the stake as witches. That certainly wasn't the case in this country. It seemed that the witch hunt was a result of theological misapplication and the people who were involved were penitent. The whole witch hunt lasted only a year. Sixteen people were hanged in New England for witchcraft prior to 1692. In the 1692 witch hunt nineteen were executed. So you've got thirty-five people. One hundred fifty imprisoned. This is not at all to diminish or minimize the impact of the American witch hunts which resulted in thirty-five deaths. But thirty-five is not millions. It is not hundreds of thousands. It's not even hundreds. It's thirty-five. This was not genocide.
Now in Europe it was a little different. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft in 1431. Over a period of 300 years, from 1484 to 1782, the Christian church put to death 300,000 women accused of witchcraft, about 1000 per year. Again, I don't want to minimize the impact of 1000 lives lost a year, but here we're talking about a much, much smaller number over a long period of time than what has been claimed in the past.
In America we're talking thirty-five people. In Europe over 300 years, we're talking about 300,000. Not millions. The sources here are World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana . You can also read in Newsweek , August 31, 1992. I was accused of being a liar last week. I'm trying to give you the facts from reputable sources that show that the accusations from last week aren't accurate.
There were two Inquisitions. One of them began right around the end of the first millennium in 1017. It began as an attempt to root out heretics and occurred chiefly in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The Spanish Inquisition followed in the fourteenth century and was much bloodier. It began as a feudal aristocracy which forced religious values on society. Jews were caught in the middle of this and many of them were killed. About 2000 executions took place. The Inquisition that took place at the turn of the millennium, less than that. So we're talking about thousands of people, not millions.
There were actually seven different Crusades and tens of thousands died in them. Most of them were a misdirected attempt to free the Holy Land. Some weren't quite like that. There were some positive aspects to them, but they were basically an atrocity over a couple hundred years. The worst was the Children's Crusade. All of the children who went to fight died along the way. Some were shipwrecked and the rest were taken into slavery in Egypt.
The statistics that are the result of irreligious genocide stagger the imagination.
A blight on Christianity? Certainty. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religion criminals have committed.
My point is not that Christians or religious people aren't vulnerable to committing terrible crimes. Certainly they are. But it is not religion that produces these things; it is the denial of Biblical religion that generally leads to these kinds of things. The statistics that are the result of irreligious genocide stagger the imagination.
My source is The Guinness Book of World Records . Look up the category "Judicial" and under the subject of "Crimes: Mass Killings," the greatest massacre ever imputed by the government of one sovereign against the government of another is 26.3 million Chinese during the regime of Mao Tse Tung between the years of 1949 and May 1965. The Walker Report published by the U.S. Senate Committee of the Judiciary in July 1971 placed the parameters of the total death toll in China since 1949 between 32 and 61.7 million people. An estimate of 63.7 million was published by Figaro magazine on November 5, 1978.
In the U.S.S.R. the Nobel Prize winner, Alexander Solzhenitsyn estimates the loss of life from state repression and terrorism from October 1917 to December 1959 under Lenin and Stalin and Khrushchev at 66.7 million.
Finally, in Cambodia (and this was close to me because I lived in Thailand in 1982 working with the broken pieces of the Cambodian holocaust from 1975 to 1979) "as a percentage of a nation's total population, the worst genocide appears to be that in Cambodia, formerly Kampuchea. According to the Khmer Rouge foreign minister, more than one third of the eight million Khmer were killed between April 17, 1975 and January 1979. One third of the entire country was put to death under the rule of Pol Pot, the founder of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. During that time towns, money and property were abolished. Economic execution by bayonet and club was introduced for such offenses as falling asleep during the day, asking too many questions, playing non-communist music, being old and feeble, being the offspring of an undesirable, or being too well educated. In fact, deaths in the Tuol Sleng interrogation center in Phnom Penh, which is the capitol of Kampuchea, reached 582 in a day."
Then in Chinese history of the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries there were three periods of wholesale massacre. The numbers of victims attributed to these events are assertions rather than reliable estimates. The figures put on the Mongolian invasion of northern China form 1210 to 1219 and from 1311 to 1340 are both on the order of 35 million people. While the number of victims of bandit leader Chang Hsien-Chung, known as the Yellow Tiger, from 1643 to 1647 in the Szechwan province has been put at 40 million people.
China under Mao Tse Tung, 26.3 million Chinese. According the Walker Report, 63.7 million over the whole period of time of the Communist revolution in China. Solzhenitsyn says the Soviet Union put to death 66.7 million people. Kampuchea destroyed one third of their entire population of eight million Cambodians. The Chinese at two different times in medieval history, somewhere in the vicinity of 35 million and 40 million people. Ladies and gentlemen, make note that these deaths were the result of organizations or points of view or ideologies that had left God out of the equation. None of these involve religion. And all but the very last actually assert atheism.
Religion, and Biblical religion in particular, is a mitigator of evil in the world.
It seems to me that my colleague Dennis Prager's illustration cannot be improved upon to show the self-evident capability of Biblical religion to restrain evil. He asks this in this illustration. If you were walking down a dark street at night in the center of Los Angeles and you saw ten young men walking towards you, would you feel more comfortable if you knew that they had just come from a Bible class? Of course, the answer is certainly you would. That demonstrates that religion, and Biblical religion in particular, is a mitigator of evil in the world.
It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God.
02-20-2004, 04:00 PM
02-20-2004, 04:23 PM
I've already addressed most of what you said... read again.Originally Posted by ironviking
You are not considered an athiest, by ANY definition... and so what if you were?
To address your personal morals, and how they seem decent enough, people are often victims of their circumstances (I.E. like father, like son...); you assume that most people separate of God will automatically have a decent moral base. Once again, because you both miss the premise of my previous posts, true religion is based on the Golden rule "love your God with everything you have, and love your neighbor as you do yourself". You are running scared with your misconceptions and stereotypes of religious people; you try to group people into your definition, and then automatically think yourself better than them. There is plenty of info out there if you would like to educate yourself. Religion teaches love of person regardless of their sins, not discriminate against someone because you disagree or are scared of them.
I am not saying that 133 is low compared to my girl's; Milo brought up IQ (she was tested twice: 1st time 170; professor had her tested again, she scored 172), but you seem to be misinformed about there being no scientific proof supporting religion. On the contrary, there is more evidence in support of religion and related philosophies than what you are believing... you've just been indoctrinated throughout your school days, I learned to think for myself and support religion BASED on the facts. I'll start out with one website for you: www.drdino.com offers a $250,000.00 reward for any empirical evidence supporting non-religious "science" so people like yourself will actually try to study and understand the basis behind religion, and realize you've been duped all your life, or just chose to believe what you do based on your own philisophy. This guy will take your call if you want to talk to him, and will debate anyone at your college or university that you think has a good grasp of your philosophical values. He has never lost a debate, and he has debated some of the country's foremost authorities specializing in areas you show concern over. I think YOU will be surprised about how LITTLE science you have backing your belief system.
I do not feel that you are wrong, I just think you are missing ALOT of info; I'm just not sure you are open-minded enough to change your mind if the facts dictate otherwise.
02-20-2004, 04:41 PM
When God is used in government it is used as a generic term. If they used Jesus that you would have an argument. They are not telling you what to believe. Most religions believe in God.With the exception of Satanism and atheists. I don't see how atheist can get up set because to them it's like Santa clause or the Easter bunny. Satanism is just scary but they have the right to believe what they want but they don't have the right to sacrifice people.Some how you two think Im attacking spirituality. Im not... I am simply attacing the idea that ANY dogma of organized religion INCLUDING Christianity has NO place in government.
You were attacking spirituality when you saidBut if there were true equality the religions like Christianity would lose their power to control men and their thoughts and actions.Men would TRULY be free.
02-20-2004, 05:32 PM
GIJOE where did I say that I think I am better than anyone. I never stated that nor implied it.
I am an athiest in the respect that I claim no God.
Also where did I state that people who seperate themselves from God will automatically have a decent moral base? My point was that even people with no God can have a decent moral base.
How am I running scared with my misconceptions and stereo types of religious people? I really don't know where you got that idea, I know many religious people and I like quite a few of them. Plus I don't believe in stereotypes.
The seperation of state and government is to protect the rights of all religions not just christianity, isnt that one of the reasons the pilgrims sailed out here. It was to be able to practice whatever religion they wanted without persecution.
How am I not opened minded, it is usually the christians that judge people for being homosexual or different. I dont care what you are, as long as you are not hurting other people with the way you live, rock on.
And 133 is by no means low, I was just stating that your girl's IQ is EXTREMELY HIGH and that most people in that range tend to seperate themselves from religion.
It is you that keeps missing the point about these posts.
It is the seperation of church and state that protects religions, not just one religion but all of them. I am not here to challenge religion or God I am stating my reasons in believing why that seperation of church and state is necessary.
And why do you think I am not educated? I have studied many religions and many different cultures, there is no scientific proof that God exists. All data on the subject has been disputed and neither side, religion(any religion) or science, has declared defeat or victory. But AGAIN that isnt what this thread is about.
02-20-2004, 05:53 PM
How am I not opened minded, it is usually the christians that judge people for being homosexual or different. I dont care what you are, as long as you are not hurting other people with the way you live, rock on.
By your statement I'm assuming that you think it is WRONG to judge others
therefore your premise commits suicide because you are now judging others
(Christians) for judging. Also why do you think it's wrong to hurt others,
don't force your morals down my throat. <----Malthusian school of ethics
02-20-2004, 06:14 PM
I apologise if you feel I was accusing you of being uneducated or ignorant; I had a similar view to yours before I believe what I do now, and sometimes get overanxious when trying to make a point. Again I am sorry.Originally Posted by ironviking
If you have what you call Christians that judge you, then they are doing such against their religion. Like I said several times before, and you keep missing, it is ignorant to blame this behavior on religion, as anyone that believes anything tend because of self-importance, to look down on everyone else, but especially people that do not agree with them. This is a sign of pride, power-mongering, and self-importance, NOT a sign that someone must be a religious zealot.
I cannot continue to hi-jack this thread, as my conversation could go on indefinitely, but we are both definitely on different pages. The only way we can relate is for us to have the same education, and have an open-minded discussion based on facts. I'm missing your point, obviously, and you're blowing right past the relevant portions of this thread to make your points.
We will continue to disagree, but like I said, we are actually not even in the same book. I appreciate your viewpoint, but religion was intregal in founding this country (read the Federalist papers) -- you can dispute it, but history has recorded it and it has yet to be competely re-written out. In the meantime, try to earn that $250,000.00 reward; it's been around for 12 years, and it will likely remain for a while at least.
02-20-2004, 06:19 PM
Godlike, what the hell are you talking about?
GIJOE questioned if I was opened minded, my statement shows how I am opened minded enough to accept others no matter what they are.
How did I try to force my morals down your throat?
Your post seems to have no stance, it just seems to be there to try and be irritating. Excuse me if Im mistaken on my last comment.
02-20-2004, 08:51 PM
GIJoe, I just wanted to let you know how insightful and thought out your responses are, and I have really enjoyed reading them. This topic has opened up quite nicely as I hoped it would.
I also whole heartedly agree with you that people who base their beliefs on a "lack of evidence" in religion really have no evidence in supporting their views; just the opposite of what they argue. Maybe we could throw together some information on the basis that religion (Christianity) can be validated historically, scientificly, and supported by archeloogy. although I do assume that would be a powder keg waiting to erupt, but would be very interesting and educational for all involved if we kept it at a mature level.
02-21-2004, 02:30 PM
GIJOE just because there is no scientific basis that there is no God doesnt mean there is a scientific basis that there is one either. I disagree with you but I respect your opinions. Also I didnt blame anything, good or bad, on religion. It is the extremists that do the horrid acts in the name of religion.
I agreed with you that religion was integral in founding this country and that is why there should be seperation from church and state. The seperation is to protect ALL religions not just christianity. What if they made it a law that you had to go to church on Sunday, you would offend and go against the beliefs of the Seventh Day Evangelists.
I haven't ruled out any God, I guess that makes me Agnostic instead of Atheist.
There has been many points in this thread that show what can happen when religion is forcefully removed from society and its government. How about one where it is forcefully placed INTO its society and government: Nigeria. Way too much to list here check it out on the internet.
Custom, your right it has stayed civilized here, very good thread. Remember though all religions can somehow be validated historically, scientifically, and supported by archeology just as they can be disputed.
02-21-2004, 06:14 PM
Foundational Principles & Character, not Philosophies or Doctrine, to run our Country
Iron, appreciate the respect, and I respect your views also.
Let me assure you that the United States as a country being controlled by one christian religion is an IMPOSSIBILITY; maybe not statistically, but I have never seen so much fighting and division as when different religions get together to establish a consistant philosophy. As a hypothetical, one religion rules the country, all kaos breaks loose in a country that has established freedom from any one religion. Trust me, multiple religions have not worked together in the past, nor will they in the future, at least in our lifetimes
On the contrary, it is not a religion or any one religious philosophy that I see a need for in government, but the basic principles behind these religions that are invaluable, even indispensible. Character is the one thing most lacking in this country. I can trust very few people anymore; I have to do everything it seems myself, because few people do the work or job they are supposed to do. Where is the emphasis on helping others anymore? It seems that we solve this problems with a social program, instead of spending time looking out for others less fortunate than us. The Ten Commandments may not be mandatory to follow literally, but the principles behind the laws are invaluable (do not kill, steal, covet has to do with respect of others; children obey your parents , that your days may be long, deals with bitterness among other things and the deliterious effects in has on the human body; etc.). Where is discernment and wise decisionmaking taught anymore -- certainly not in schools now, but it used to be. So yes, I'll support no religion in govornment with you, as long as you support the emphasis on character with me without discriminating against religion when emphasis is placed on Bible verses to illustrate an example of good behavior or character. The Proverbs are replete with prose and poetry emphasizing character and discernment; we are quick to emphasize Dante, Plato, Aristotle, etc., and reference them as classics, but turn quickly against ANY reference even to the Biblical prose for art, educational benefit, or historical significance. These are the true inconsistant, close-minded individuals that are dangerous to society.
Yes, I agree with you that religion has no place in government in this way: there are philosophies, religions if you will, that are ironically anti-religious. Humanism, socialism, etc. are defined as religions, but their tenets are very anti-religious, to the point of eliminating religion altogether, or at least discriminating heavily against and demeaning it. This is a big part of the Hollywood establishment (not everyone, of course), among other people, and if you don't believe me, watch video footage of how most Hollywood elites react to anything christian: it is a reaction of pure malice, hatred, and yes, often a violent one. These are the religious zealots that are dangerous to the country. They corrupt we citizens with entertainment which has subtle anti-christian undertones, demean character and people which emphasize thinking of others and their plights, constantly emphasize movie decisions based on emotional situations, instead of facts; make us believe we can solve anything in under two hours; desensitize audiences with sex, violence, and ridiculous language, when it has already been proven that more tickets could be sold and more money made if these things were toned down (respect of others).
These philosophies are not mainstream by any means, and yet they permeate this country, teach discrimination, engender strife, and cause problems in society. Humanism, socialism, atheism, communism, agnosticism, etc. are classified as religions according to the Supreme Court, along with christianity, mormonism, buddhism, etc. The truly scary thing is, the first five religions are completely intolerant of religion that involves a God; they are violently opposed, for the most part, to anything relating to God, and these philosophies permeate colleges and universities, often in the form of professors who have nothing better to do in life than wreck young impressionable students with their superior knowledge base.
I too am not in favor of religions taking over our government, but it is happening; these anti-religions are grabbing a foothold, slowly de-emphasizing character and ethics, and putting the country's moral base at risk by emphasizing pleasure and self-gratification as superior to all else. This country has to have a minimum ethical standard by which to judge things by; creating a country which operates based on moral ambiguity, and judges a situation based on the general feelings of the people at the time, has been tried many times in history, and has a strong history of failure (by that I mean the countries were eventually destroyed by employing these philosophies -- Rome, Greece, Babylon, etc.)
I think we can both agree that teaching character is very important (maybe not to judge and condemn others, but definitely to improve ourselves), and the most consistant standard for character values is undeniably the foundational principles found in most godly religions' basic tenets. Every law written in this country, and anywhere else for that matter, legislates someone's morality; so keep philosophy out, allow principles in. Otherwise I fear as proven so many other times in history, our country without structure, will lead to our demise.
02-21-2004, 07:50 PM
03-03-2006, 07:55 PM
The Separation of Church and State was established to protect the twin towers of religion and morality; George Washington never said anything this being a nation under God; and one of laws of nature’s God is not to mix religion and government.Originally Posted by goldylight
03-03-2006, 08:01 PM
The Congressional Records you referenced don't even mention Great Britain, Catholics, Anglicans, God’s principles or denominations.Originally Posted by goldylight
03-03-2006, 08:16 PM
The Court was a Maryland Court; it was not a ruling; and it pertained to the government of Maryland. The Maryland establishment of religion was on paper only (carried over from the Colonial Charter when war broke out in 1776) and was never ratified by the people of Maryland. The authority to establish the Christian religion was never exercised and eventually removed from the Maryland Constitution. Anyone that had attempted to legally establish religon in Maryland after 1776 would have probably wound up in a pine box.Originally Posted by goldylight
03-03-2006, 08:19 PM
Originally Posted by goldylight
The Baptist's letter to Thomas Jefferson did not even mention a rumor that the Congregationalist denomination was about to be made the national denomination.
03-03-2006, 08:25 PM
President Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists did not even mention a national denomination, protection of the church; open and free religious expression, orthodox religious practices, true religious expression, true religious duties, a menace to the government or the overall peace and good order of society.Originally Posted by goldylight
03-26-2006, 12:24 PM
That is why they established a strict separation of church and state at the federal level. When religion and politics mix they are like poision to each other.Originally Posted by goldylight
In that case you are not a loyal American because you are attacking the just and truly Christian principle of no civil authority over matters of religion (the duty which we owe to our Creator).Originally Posted by goldylight
Show me where Christians ever talked about the laws of nature's God. That was a term coined by the Diests.Originally Posted by goldylight
Why didn't the First U. S. Congress ever pray during its daily sessions?Originally Posted by goldylight
What Christian principles are you talking about senior?Originally Posted by goldylight
You should have been at the Texas Constitutional Convention in 1845. You would have heard a lot of talk about how the Separation of Church and State was essentially necessary to human liberty and happiness; and how they did not want Bibles in the public schools, the Presbyterians trying to stop the transporting of the mail on Sundays or ministers of the Gospel in the Texas legislature.Originally Posted by goldylight
Texans Loved the Separation of Church and State in 1845
Read the excerpts presented below to learn what the delegates to the Texas Constitution said about the Separation of Church and State at the 1845 Constitutional Convention.
Mr. Baylor spoke in support of the proposed ban on members of the clergy serving as State Legislators and said that the ban was calculated to keep clear and well defined the distinction between Church and State, so essentially necessary to human liberty and happiness. Page 163, Debates of the Texas Convention. Wm. F. Weeks, Reporter, published by authority of the convention, Houston, Published by J.W.Cruger, 1846.
Mr. Davis said The only reason why I rise is that during my canvass in Liberty County, I was accused of wishing to unite Church and State, in consequence of my opinions upon this subject. I deny that it is uniting Church and State to permit ministers of the gospel to participate in the legislation of the country. Page 167, Debates of the Texas Convention.
Mr. Davis expressed his view that if an effort is desired to be made by the religious portion of the community to unite Church and State, may it not as well be made by the members of the churches as ministers of the gospel? Page 167, Debates of the Texas Convention.
Mr. Love pointed out that Protestants marked out a different line of policy. They said it was wrong to unite church and State, wrong that the law should settle the rule of faith, and regulate the religion of Jesus Christ. They would not admit that men should be subject to human authority in matters of opinion: they denied the right to control the conscience, it claimed the right to worship as they pleased; although they submitted to the authority of the law, necessary to prevent crime and preserve the good order of society. It was the cause of the success of Protestantism. Page 170, Debates of the Texas Convention.
Mr. Brown said that religion and politics are things that must forever run in parallel lines which never meet; for whenever they meet, there is contamination, and religion has in it much more of earth than heaven. Page 177, Debates of the Texas Convention.
Mr. Brown I am not willing upon any consideration to relinquish the principle that Church and State, by every mode that can enter into the imagination of this body, should be kept separate, that neither may become corrupt, that religion should have its, powerful sway and benefit influence over private life, and that political affairs should rest in the hands of political men: This, sir, is a discrimination which I feel bound to observe. Page 177, Debates of the Texas Convention.
Mr. Brown - It seems to me safer and better for the institution of religion and better for the institution of government, that the two bodies, both grasping at power, both capable of forming contributions, formidable to liberty on the one hand and to religion on the other, should be kept forever separate and distinct. Page 177, Debates of the Texas Convention.
Mr. Evans stated they have declared in that Bill of Rights that all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences: that no man shall be compelled to attend or support a place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent that no human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience: and that no preference shall ever be given by law, to any religious societies, or mode of worship. Is not that article amply sufficient guard and security against the union of church and state? If not, I will go with any gentleman to make it stronger. But how does the exclusion of the ministers of religion from our legislative halls tend to defeat the ruin of church and state. What bearing has such an exclusion upon it? I say it has none at all. Page 184, Debates of the Texas Convention.
Mabey you don't see the words because you don't want to . Mabey Satan has blinded you. James Madison says the words are there and he was the smartest man that ever lived. He was also the premier authority, during the Early Years of the Republic ,on the meaning of the religion clauses.Originally Posted by goldylight
It is clear that Rep. Daniel Carroll wanted more that just safeguards aginst one denomination running the nation. He wanted to prohibit the government from even touching the rights of conscience.Originally Posted by goldylight
Rep. James Livermore also wanted more that just safeguards aginst one denomination running the nation. He wanted to prohibit the government from touching religion.
Rep. Peter Sylvester wanted to make sure that religion was not abolished.
Rep. James Madison wanted more that just safeguards aginst one denomination running the nation. He wanted laws as might infringe the rights of conscience. (He thought that government advice on religion infringee the rights of conscience)
Rep. Joseph Huntington did not want the people to have a right to support religion as directed by their consciences. He wanted the government to that.
Presented below are all the recorded references to the religion clauses during the drafting of the Bill of Rights by the First Congress
The Debate in the House
Monday, June 8, 1789:
[James Madison speaking]: Fourthly. That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.
Fifthly. That in article 1st, section 10, between clauses 1 and 2 be inserted this clause to wit: No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or freedom of the press, or trial by jury in criminal cases. (Annals of Congress, 1:434-435)
Saturday, August 15, 1789:
The House again went into a Committee of the Whole on the proposed amendments to the Constitution. Mr. Boudinot in the chair.
The fourth proposition being under consideration, as follows: Article 1. Section 9. Between paragraphs two and three insert 'no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.'
Mr. SYLVESTER had some doubts of the propriety of the mode of expression used in this paragraph. He apprehended that it was liable to a construction different from what had been made by the committee. he feared it might be thought to abolish religion altogether.
MR. VINING suggested the propriety to transposing the two members of the sentence.
MR. GERRY said it would read better if it was no religious doctrine shall be established by law.
MR. SHERMAN thought the amendment altogether unnecessary, inasmuch as Congress had 'no authority whatever delegated to them by the Constitution to make religious establishments; he would, therefore, move to have it struck out.'
MR. CARROLL As the rights of conscience are, in their nature, a peculiar delicacy, and will little bear the gentlest touch of governmental hand; and as many sects have concurred in opinion that they are not well secured under the present constitution, he said he was much in favor of adopting the words. He thought it would tend more towards conciliating the minds of the people to the government than almost any other opinion he heard proposed. He would not contend with gentlemen about the phraseology, his object was to secure the substance in such a manner as to satisfy the wishes of the honest part of the community.
MR. MADISON said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforced the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience. Whether the words are necessary or not, he did not mean to say, but they had been required by some of the state conventions, who seemed to entertain an opinion, that under the clause of the Constitution, which gave power to Congress to make all laws necessary and proper to carry into execution the constitution, and the laws made under it, enabled them to make laws of such a nature as might infringe the rights of conscience, and establish a national religion; to prevent these effects he presumed the amendment was intended, and he thought it as well expressed as the nature of the language would admit.
MR. HUNTINGTON said that he feared, with the gentleman first up on this subject, that the words might be taken in such latitude as to be extremely hurtful to the cause of religion. He understood the amendment to mean what had been expressed by the gentleman from Virginia; but others might find it convenient to put another construction on it. The ministers of their congregations to the eastward were maintained by contributions of those who belong to their society; the expense of building meeting houses was contributed in the same manner. These things were regulated by bylaws. If an action was brought before a federal court on any of these cases, the person who had neglected to perform his engagements could not be compelled to do it; for a support of ministers or buildings of places of worship might be construed into a religious establishment.
By the charter of Rhode Island, no religion could be established by law; he could give a history of the effects of such a regulation; indeed the people were now enjoying the blessed fruits of it. He hoped, therefore, the amendment would be made in such a way as to secure the rights of conscience, and the free exercise of religion, but not to patronize those who professed no religion at all.
MR. MADISON thought, if the word 'National' was inserted before religion, it would satisfy the minds of honorable gentlemen. He believed that the people feared one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion, to which they would compel others to conform. He thought if the word 'National' was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent.
MR. LIVERMORE was not satisfied with the amendment; but he did not wish them to dwell long on the subject. He thought it would be better if it were altered, and made to read in this manner, that Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience.
MR. GERRY did not like the term National, proposed by the gentleman from Virginia, and he hoped it would not be adopted by the House. It brought to his mind some observations that had taken place in the Conventions at the time they were considering the present constitution. It had been insisted upon by those who were called anti-federalists, that this form of government consolidated the union; the honorable gentleman's motion shows that he considers it in the same light. Those who were called anti-federalists at that time, complained that they were in favor of a federal government, and the others were in favor of a National one; the federalists were for ratifying the constitution as it stood, and the others did not until amendments were made. Their names then ought not to have been distinguished by federalists and anti-federalists, but rats and anti-rats.
MR. MADISON withdrew his motion but observed that the words 'no National religion shall be established by law', did not imply that the government was a national one; the question was then taken on MR. LIVERMORE's motion, and passed in the affirmative 31 for it, and 20 against it. (Annals of Congress 1:729-731)
Monday, August 17, 1789:
The committee then proceeded to the fifth proposition:
Article I, Section 10 between the first and second paragraph, insert 'No state shall infringe the equal rights of conscience, nor the freedom of speech or of the press, nor of the right of trial by jury in criminal cases.'
MR. TUCKER: this is offered, I presume, as an amendment to the constitution of the United States, but it goes only to the alteration of constitutions of particular states. It will be much better, I apprehend, to leave the state governments to themselves, and not to interfere with them more than we already do; and that is thought by many to be rather too much. I therefore move, Sir, to strike out these words.
MR. MADISON conceives this to be the most valuable amendment in the whole list. If there were any reason to restrain the government of the United States from infringing upon these essential rights, it was equally necessary that they should be secured against the state governments. He thought that if they provided against one, it was as necessary to provide against the other, and it was satisfied that it would be equally grateful to the people.
MR. LIVERMORE had no great objection to the sentiment, but he thought it not well expressed. He wished to make it an affirmative proposition; 'the equal rights of conscience, the freedom of speech or of the press, and the right of trial by jury in criminal cases, shall not be infringed by any state.'
This transposition being agreed to, and MR. TUCKER'S motion being rejected, the clause was adopted. (Note: In the final wording of the amendments that were sent to the Senate the transposition had not taken place. No reason for that mistake is recorded). (Annals of Congress, 1:755)
Thursday, August 20, 1789:
On motion of MR. AMES, the fourth amendment was altered to read 'Congress shall make no law establishing religion or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.' This being adopted..." (Annals of Congress, 1:766)
The Debate in the Senate
All that is recorded of the debate over the religion clauses in the Senate of the First Congress is a list of motions and votes in the Senate Journal. Constitutional scholar Derek Davis summarizes the record as follows:
[The] amendment as submitted to the Senate...reflected a stylistic change that gave it the following reading: 'Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed.' No record was left of the proceedings that brought about this stylistic change.
The Senate began deliberations on the House amendment on 3 September and continued through 9 September. The Ames amendment must have provoked controversy in the Senate, since several alternative versions were suggested in its place. In considering the House's draft, a Senate motion was first made to strike out 'religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' and to insert, 'one religious sect or society in preference to others.' The motion was rejected, and then passed. Thus, the first new Senate version read, 'Congress shall make no law establishing one religious sect or society in preference to others, nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed.'
After further debate, the Senate rejected two alternative wordings. First, they rejected language providing, 'Congress shall not make any law, infringing the rights of conscience, or establishing any Religious Sect or Society." Second, they rejected the language providing, "Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination of religion in preference to another, or prohibiting free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed.'
Later the same day, 3 September, the Senate adopted a draft the treated religion more generically. 'Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Six days later, the Senate again changed its mind and adopted as its final form of the amendment, 'Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.'
The Senate version of the Amendment was sent to the House, which rejected it.
A House-Senate joint conference (Madison, Sherman, Vining representing the House, Ellsworth, Carroll, Paterson representing the Senate) was then created to resolve the disagreement over the religion amendment. A compromise amendment was eventually agreed upon as reported under the date of September 24, 1789. (Derek Davis, Original Intent, p. 60)
The Conference Committee
September 24, 1789:
The House proceeded to consider the report of a committee of conference, on the subject matter of the amendments depending between the two houses to the several articles of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as proposed by this House; whereupon, it was resolved, that they recede from their disagreement to all the amendments; provided that the two articles, which, by the amendments of the Senate, are now proposed to be inserted as the third and eighth articles shall be amended to read as follows: Article three, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
On the motion, it was resolved, that the President of the United States be requested to transmit to the Executives of the several States which have ratified the constitution, copies of the amendments proposed by Congress, to be added thereto and like copies to the Executives of Rhode Island and North Carolina. (Annals of Congress, 1:913-914)
How was the Christian religion established? It wasn't. You have obviously misread or intentionally distorted what the Court said.Originally Posted by goldylight
Show me where the Baptists said anything in their letter about a rumor that the Congregationalist denomination was about to be made the national denomination; and I will show you where they complained about the Connecticut Certificate Law.Originally Posted by goldylight
03-28-2006, 12:25 PM
I'm against it. Churches are faction groups (note: self interest groups) and the Constitution was designed to fight these organizations from overpowering the government.
Laws and how they are executed should have absolutely no ties, no basis towards any certain religion or religion at all.
03-28-2006, 09:40 PM
That is absolutely correct. The separation of church and state is intended for there to be no state sponsored religion. The founding fathers left their homecountries where state sponsored religion resulted in the persecution of the citizen. The constitutional separation of church and state, is intended to avoid repeating that problem.Originally Posted by ironviking
The separation of church and state has been distorted to argue against religion and God. But its original intent is to prevent the establishment of an official religion. The founding fathers did not intend America to be a godless nation, but rather a nation for all to worship, or not to worship, God as he/she so pleases.
Despite the myth and misinformation, the Declaration of Independence, specifically refer to God, the Creator, and Divine Providence...
" The Declaration of Independence: IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate
and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God
entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires
that they should declare the causes which impel them to the
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
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the
Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our
Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor....."
Henceforth, the founding fathers specifically did NOT intend America to be a godless, non-religious nation.
03-28-2006, 10:38 PM
BTW, if people think a godless government is the way to go, there have been political systems like that already. It is called communism and socialism. Yep. No god and no religion. It took over 60 years and tens of millions of lives destroyed, to prove what a catastrophy to humanity that was. I am sure some will argue that it isn't the godless and non-religious nature of communism that destroyed it. Perhads not. But the catastrophic failure of a godless system, certainly does not speak well for it.
03-28-2006, 11:41 PM
Is declaring the people's trust in God on the nation's coins a state sponsored religion?Originally Posted by BioHazzard
Define the term "founding fathers" for us.Originally Posted by BioHazzard
James Madison said it was to exempt the duty which we owe to our Creator from the cognizance of the civil government. During the Early Days of the Republic it was Madison's view that prevalied in every dispute over the meaning of the establishment clause, except for the dispute over government support for military and legislative chaplains.Originally Posted by BioHazzard
Distorted by whom and how?Originally Posted by BioHazzard
Which one of the founders said that?Originally Posted by BioHazzard
The First Amendment is so ambiguous it could mean anthing.Originally Posted by BioHazzard
Does it advise us to trust in God or recommend that we believe in one nation under God or suggest that we obey any particular religious commandments?Originally Posted by BioHazzard
Is that why the First U. S. Congress did not allow prayer during its daily legislative sessions?Originally Posted by BioHazzard
03-29-2006, 07:00 PM
03-29-2006, 07:55 PM
"Religion is eminently one of these interests, lying outside the true and legitimate province of government."
03-29-2006, 09:07 PM
Originally Posted by BioHazzard
Holy hell, you neocons need to check yourself. Its what I said folks, neocons are unable to properly reason.
As a warning though, there is a clear cut difference between conservatism and neoconservatism. CDB is an example of conservatism. Biohazzard is a neocon. See the vast, gaping hole of intelligence that separates the two.
Wow. Wow. Ok, I think I'm good.
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