Seperation of Church and State

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredFlash
    I do not question your honestly. I am interested in the relationship of Religion and State in other nations.

    Are taxes collected from the non-Islamic population to support Mosques? How does the Malaysian government sponsor the offical religion without infringing on religious freedom?

    Fred
    The taxes are collected from everyone with income, in theory. But it is like 95% is collected from the ethnic Chinese who are 99% non-muslim. It is a complicated situation that is unique to that country. The Chinese in Malaysia are decendents of Chinese who migrated from China at the turn of the last century. They are considered Malaysia citizen. The Chinese used to dominate the economy and hence have traditionally bore the biggest burden on taxation. These days, state run conglomerates rule the corporate world in Malaysia. These conglomerates are owned, controlled and managed by people connected to the ruling alliance. Shady deals and corruption are the norm. I doubt they pay any taxes at all, considered that they are subsidized with public taxes in the first place.

    The taxes are used to pursue anything the government sees fit, with no regards to equality or any concern for not even the appearance of bias or unfair practice. Public money is considered the private purse of the ruling alliance. The rulling alliance has ruled the country single handedly since the independence of the country. They have absolute majority and can ammend the constitution at the whimp of the Prime Minister.

    In order to keep a majority of the population happy being subjucated to their rule, the ruling aliance use this official religion as the rallying point. Anything related to Islam is heavily and totally supported with taxes. Islamic scholars and students are on government payroll. It is a gravy train, some sort of social program in reality. The government encourages the Muslim citizen to devote all their energy and attention to the study of Islam.

    Thing is, you are NOT allowed to question, let alone criticise anything related Islam. You can criticize the government, but absolutely NOTHING related Islam, the state sponsored religion. They can throw you in jail without trial and keep you there indefinitely. The only excuse they need is that you are a threat to national security. You have no appeal.

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    Dear BioHazzard

    Are you no longer in Malaysia?

    FVF
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    I'd challenge that statistic because I believe there is much dishonesty when it comes to reporting crime.

    Not to mention firearms and bullets cost money... and in the absense of these a rock, club or machete will be just as good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FredFlash
    Dear BioHazzard

    Are you no longer in Malaysia?

    FVF
    Left right around the big Asian Meltdown in the late 90's. After that the government instituted currency control and made it very difficult to repatriate profit/funds out of the country.

    I sure hope things turn around in that country. Just as long as you don't butt head with Islam and you don't butt head with the government, and you pay your taxes, then you are pretty much left alone to your own vices. If you question the government then you had better do it humbly and keep it down. You are not allowed to criticise the government instituted policy of setting quotas and preferential treatment for the majority group. Yes, you read it right! Preferential treatment in favour of the majority!! lol

    It is a part of the world, where 'who you know' makes all the difference. If you get the right connection, and you actually have talent/skills, you can make the good life of a merchant prince. Money and connection allow you to do things that you cannot do in America.

    But I digress. lol The point is, yes there is this thing called state sponsored religion or official religion and it is used as a political tool to keep the people in their place. Islam is at the stage where it is very intrusive into the faithful's life. It dictates what you can or cannot do. Your private life is subjucated to the dictate of Islam. If you are a muslim, your rights are defined by Islam. Islam does not allow you to renounce it. IF you think Islam treats infidels harshly, wait till you see how it treats its apostates. lol Islam governs every aspect of your life. You can't say you would just do as you please. LOL They have this thing called Sharia Court to deal with you. They will arrest you and punish you IF you violate what is expected of you as a muslim. lol Of course, for the rich and powerful, they can still get away with they decadence and corruption. There is this element of 'do as we say but not as we do". lol

    So, Islam can be a very powerful tool for the government to control the population. Unfortunately, as we have witnessed, in many situation, Islam takes on a life of its own, and the government has to ride the tiger and try not to get eaten alive.

    Islam is presently at the stage where Christianity once was. So it is an evolutionary process. Christianity has evolved to the point it is no longer an oppressive factor in people's daily life. There may be faithful who adhere to everything Vatican says. But most Roman Catholics think nothing of putting on a condom, whatever the Church says notwithstanding.

    For Islam to evolve, it has to come from inside. The burden is on the shoulder of the moderate muslims.
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    Dear BioHazzard:

    May I assume that you are not a follower of the Islamic faith?

    Fred
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    Quote Originally Posted by FredFlash
    Dear BioHazzard:

    May I assume that you are not a follower of the Islamic faith?

    Fred
    I am not. Does that mean I am biased?

    I have plenty of muslim friends and colleague. I almost married a muslim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioHazzard
    I am not. Does that mean I am biased?
    Everyone is biased. The problem is not to allow it to effect your judgment.

    After your experence in Malaysia perhaps you can understand why James Madison fought so hard for the Separation of Church and State in America, and why people like me oppose even seemingly trivial violations of the pure principle.

    There are those who would impose a Union of Church and State here in the U. S. if they could. Their strategy is to convice us to adopt seemingly plausible and reasonable deviations from the principle and then argue that there were not exceptions at all.

    Case in point: Congress establishing two Chaplainships in 1789 and charging the expense ($500 per year) to the taxpayers.

    The establishment was for Congress only, not the people. There was no assumption of authority over the religious sentiments or the manner of worship of the people. The Chaplains never invited any Congressman to pray during an official daily legislative session because that would imply a duty to do so.

    The Chaplain's prayer services were held before the bell rang to reconvene and officially open business for the day. By all accounts, very few Congressmen attended the services. In 1789, the belief that one had a natural right to render homage to Creator according to one's conscience and conviction was universal. However, it was not a universal belief that the duty to contribute to the financial support of religion was a matter of conscience.

    Just 22 years later, the advocates of a Church State Union (the Federalists) were arguing in the House of Representatives that regulating the funds of a religious society was within the authority of Congress, as well as the authority to address the the fact that religion had been entirely excluded from the ten square mile area of the District of Columbia.

    Mr. WHEATON said he differed widely from his colleague (Mr. PICKMAN) as to the importance of the bill now under consideration. He did not imagine that they were to assume the objections of the President to be valid, and of course to dismiss the bill. They had a duty to perform as well as the President. He had performed his duty in the case presented for consideration. And would gentlemen assume it as a correct position because the bill was objected to by the President that the House ought not to act understandingly?

    This was not the correct principle. In his view the objections made by the President to this bill were altogether futile. Mr. W. said he did not consider the bill any infringement of the Constitution. If it was, both branches of the Legislature, since the commencement of the government, had been guilty of such infringement. It could not be said, indeed, that they had been guilty of doing much about religion; but they had at every session appointed Chaplains, to be of different denominations, to interchange weekly between the Houses. Now, if a bill for regulating the funds of a religious society could be an infringement of the Constitution, the two Houses had so far infringed it by electing, paying or contracting with their Chaplains. For so far it established two different denominations of religion. Mr. W. deemed this question of very great consequence. Were the people of this District never to have any religion? Was it to be entirely excluded from these ten miles square? He should be afraid to come it that were to be the case. The want of time was no sufficient reason against giving this subject mature consideration. What was done ought to be well done. For these reasons he was in favor of the bill lying on the table.
    A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875 Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 11th Congress, 3rd Session Pages 983 & 984.

    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage....db&recNum=489
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    Well, I am glad that you know your history that well.

    "...why people like me oppose even seemingly trivial violations of the pure principle. ...."

    If it is seemingly trivial, then I think I have better things to do with my time. I don't like to waste my time splitting hair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioHazzard
    Well, I am glad that you know your history that well.

    "...why people like me oppose even seemingly trivial violations of the pure principle. ...."

    If it is seemingly trivial, then I think I have better things to do with my time. I don't like to waste my time splitting hair.
    A little bit of a Union of Church and State is like a bit of cancer or a little bit of sin. It is corruption that can eventually kill.

    FVF
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    Quote Originally Posted by FredFlash
    A little bit of a Union of Church and State is like a bit of cancer or a little bit of sin. It is corruption that can eventually kill.

    FVF
    You are being paranoid there. lol Live a little. The sky is not falling. lol The world was here, before us. The world will still be here after we are gone.

    A little bit of sin is no big deal, as long as we don't commit some absolute no-no. I try to live my life as a good person and I try to go out of my way to be of service to others, whether it is a fellow human being in need or an animal in need of help. But I am not going to lose any sleep if I fail to be a person w/o sin.

    I wouldn't worry about 'a little bit of Union of the State and the Church', if I were you. The burden of the nation is not on your shoulder or my shoulder, alone. While many people would like to see our government reflects the basic goodness enshrined in Christianity, few would want the State to impose an official religion or a US government sponsored Church. There is little doubt that the doctrine of separation of the State and Church is as firmly established in the minds of the American people as that of the right to free speech. So, I think you worry too much there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioHazzard
    I wouldn't worry about 'a little bit of Union of the State and the Church', if I were you. The burden of the nation is not on your shoulder or my shoulder, alone. While many people would like to see our government reflects the basic goodness enshrined in Christianity, few would want the State to impose an official religion or a US government sponsored Church. There is little doubt that the doctrine of separation of the State and Church is as firmly established in the minds of the American people as that of the right to free speech. So, I think you worry too much there.
    You make a very good point that the doctrine of separation of the State and Church is well established in the minds of the American people.

    FVF
  

  
 

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