Opinons Please--Church-State division?

by patio34 44 Replies latest social current

  • Yerusalyim


    So you would have the US Constitution say something that it really doesn't. What the DWEEB did was USE his daughter to try to force his athiestic outlook on the whole country. The constitution in NO WAY provides for freedom FROM religion.


    I don't see your point about zealots having a voice in government. If you exlude religious political action committees then ALL PACs must be excluded. I personally have never heard of a religious group asking someones religion or sexual orientation before giving them aid.

  • Elsewhere
    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

    As I said... In order to ensure free exercise of religion, it is VITAL that the government make no establishment of religion. If the government makes and establishment of religion, then that will inherently impede a persons free exercise of religion.

    A government is nothing more than an inanimate body of rules and regulations that a population has agree to abide by, nothing more. It would be wrong for an inanimate body of rules and regulations to make a law respecting an establishment of religion.

  • expatbrit

    You cannot have freedom OF religion unless you are able to have freedom FROM religion.

    If the constitution doesn't allow for this, perhaps it's time for another amendment? (The 24th, is it?)


  • bigboi


    So are u saying that because the members of Congress choose to employ chaplains, that serves as some kind of endorsement of Christianity that establishes it as the state religion?

  • Yerusalyim

    There is no such thing as Freedom FROM Religion! To have a freedom FROM religion would inhibit freedom OF religion. Having the words "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance does not ESTABLISH a religion, but rather, allows those who wish to express their patriotism or mere alliegance to the nation as being rooted in a faith in a "god". No one is FORCED to say the pledge, or the words "Under God" if they DO say the pledge. The words "under God" do not propose one idea of divinity over another. The Establishment clause was included in the constitution to inhibit congress from making any one particular religion the "state religion"

    The Freedom FROM religion you ask for would mean that churches could not advertise, buy TV time, have TV stations, have distinctive buildings or symbols. I would be prohibited from saying anything "religious" in a conversation with anyone. Is this the FREEDOM FROM religion you propose? If so, thank God it will never come to be.

  • expatbrit

    Freedom FROM religion does not inhibit freedom OF religion.

    Take the pledge of allegiance for example: it contains the words "under God". This forces every American citizen who wishes to pledge allegiance to their country to make a religious statement of belief in God, even if they are atheist. In this case, they do not have freedom from religion, as religion is being forced upon them.

    Taking these words out of the Pledge of Allegiance in no way infringes upon the freedom of religion of Christians. They are still free to practice their religion, sing psalms at church and praise the lord 24 hours a day if they want. All they have lost is the power to force everyone else to make a statement supporting God (and since the US is predominantly Christian, by extension supporting Christianity).

    A compromise? Simply have two varieties of the Pledge of Allegiance. One for citizens who wish to make a religious statement in their pledge, and one for those who don't.

    It is worth remembering that all those people burnt at the stake during religious conflicts in Europe were not killed because they were practising religion, but because they were not practising a particular religion. They did not have the freedom not to be of a particular religion. It is unfortunate that, while Western society has progressed to the point of allowing people not to be of a certain religion, there is still some way to go before people have the freedom not to practise religion at all.


  • Yerusalyim


    It's also worth remembering those killed in Russia, China, and countless other places because they held a religious belief. As to two versions of the pledge, no one is forced to say the words "under God" in the pledge, it's optional. To remove it infringes on my freedom OF religion.

    You make a lot of inferences that don't exist. Because we say "Under God" in the pledge (if we choose) doesn't mean that this diety is defined by the Christian Ideal of God. Jews that I know have no problem with saying in, nor do many Muslims I know.

    The Freedom FROM religion you propose can not exist without severely inhibiting freedom OF religion. You say we would be free to praise God all we wanted in our homes. How about saying "God Bless you" to someone who sneezes in public. That would violate your so called freedom FROM religion. Could churches advertize, or have listed phone numbers in the phone book, or distinctive archetecture or symbols? Not in a world that promises freedom FROM religion.

    Edited by - Yerusalyim on 1 September 2002 17:52:42

  • expatbrit


    Let's be real. We all know what kind of God is meant by the words "under God" (which incidentally were not in the original Pledge). The Christian God. To quote Eisenhower:

    From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty. (100 Cong. Rec. 8618 (1954).

    And as the ninth circuit court noted:

    "Although the defendants argue that the religious content of 'one nation under God' is minimal, to an atheist or a believer in certain non-Judeo-Christian religions or philosophies, it may reasonably appear to be an attempt to enforce a 'religious orthodoxy' of monotheism, and is therefore impermissible."

    Killing people because they hold a religious belief is wrong. You will get no disagreement from me there.

    Someone saying "God bless you" to me when I sneeze does not infringe upon my freedom from religion. The state forcing me to say "God bless you" when someone else sneezes does infringe upon that freedom.

    Likewise churches advertising does not infringe upon my freedom of religion. The state forcing me to read or respond to such advertising would infringe.

    I think perhaps we are operating under different definitions of "freedom from religion". For me this freedom implies that I should be able to live my life without having to practise any particular religion, or religion in general. I don't consider others practising their religion to be an infringement on that, just my having to practise it with them.


    p.s. "Extrabrit"? As in "more Brit than the usual Brit"? If so, thank you!

  • Farkel

    I'm all in favor of Church/State Divisions. I should they should divide all the Church's non-charity assets and give them to the States. That would solve a BUNCH of problems and provide a hefty dose of cash, too.


  • Yerusalyim

    EXRABRIT (I like that name better, sorry)

    First, you're operating under the assumption that such a thing as "Freedom From Religion" exists. Not in our constitution it doesn't. Secondly, no one is forcing anyone to say "Under God" There are no religion police monitoring the recitation of the pledge. Why should I be allowed to say UNDER GOD when I recite the pledge?

    Yes, I'm aware that until 1954 the words "Under God" were not in the pledge. I belong to the Knights of Columbus who were instrumental in having these words added.

    Do we take "In God We Trust" off our money? Do we remove the references to a CREATOR from the Declaration of Independence? That's the problem we face. Where does this FREEDOM FROM religion you propose end. Perhaps no you, but others would insist that it meant everything above that I just mentioned. Leave the pledge as it is, if you don't feel it, then don't say UNDER GOD, no harm, no foul.

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