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Forum Post: What happend to seperation of Church and State?

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 12, 2012, 2:03 a.m. EST by JDub (218)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

It seems to me that the recent Caucuses just highlight how much religion seems to be an issue for voters. When did this happen? How is it that so many do not seem to understand the reason that the state can not and should not recognize one religion over another? When did the idea that religion is an acceptable reason to discriminate against someone?? How much longer must we endure the false claims of piousness from our elected officials, while privately they follow none of the actual creeds?

67 Comments

67 Comments


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[-] 3 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

THE FACTS ARE

  1. More than 95% of Americans believe in God.
  2. 2.4% are agnostics (maybe there is a god)
  3. 1.6% are atheists.

Of those in America that believe in God

  1. 78.4% are Christians.
  2. 16% are unaffiliated
  3. 1.7% are Jewish
  4. 0.7% are Buddhist

Politicians are not stupid. They know their audience.

[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Appeals that run along the lines of "I'm a Christian and this makes me qualified to run the country (and if you're not as fervently Christian as I am then you're a threat to the values of our forefathers)" are morally bankrupt, destructive to our national dialogue, and (unfortunately) very good at pulling in votes from a particular subset of the populace.

I'm personally not religious at all, and I don't particularly care whether or not my candidates are so long as they don't put their beliefs or the beliefs of any one sector of the country ahead of the welfare of the rest of us. I would like to see the rest of the country make that distinction, and stop falling for the rhetoric that gives con men like Rick Perry a divine endorsement they don't have to earn.

[-] 3 points by jbob (74) 2 years ago

they are not saying anymore than what our founding fathers were talking about, on the issue of religion. religion is what this country was based on, dont forget that.

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

This country was founded on the principles of freedom from taxation by a foreign power IE England. You need to read up on actual history, not that shit printed in Texas.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Need to read more real history. It was a mess, but like the stories of the first Thanksgiving it has been tailored to what people want to hear. I've done a lot of research since my ancestor came in 1634.Like the issue of militias, it is complicated. Lots of stuff happened between 1620 and 1789 (Constitution ratified). No question that there should be complete separation, though. Texas is rewriting history like it never happened.

[-] 1 points by jbob (74) 2 years ago

first thanksgiving was a long ways before the constitution.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Agreed but like we don't forget the previous 150 years of history, neither did they. There were a lot of internal (to the colonies) political struggling. some issues got resolved others didn't. Some left scars that influenced the discussion and outcome of the Constitutional Convention. Many people only look at the issues between the colonies and the British and ignore issues that existed between colonies and other countries (French and Spanish) and among and even with the colonies.

The issues between church and state in Massachusetts, resulting in Rhode Island, and the combination of oligarchy and a state supported denomination helped make the issue and understanding the history of it complicated I had family embroiled in it and I don't feel so comfortable with some of the discussions that portray it as being simply this or straight forwardly that based on one or two of the relevant facts.

Like now,when a majority agrees and votes for something, you may find that far less than a majority arrived at the decision the same way.

The first thanksgiving with native Americans playing host came long after 1620. In 1620 we were surviving on corn stolen from graves that we found. Were the local residents happy ? Not so much.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21472) 2 years ago

I agree. I think "God" would be ashamed of these politicians who use religion to promote themselves. It's sickening. They use it to brainwash the citizens into thinking they are "good" people because they are of the "right" religion. It's very unAmerican.

[-] 1 points by sufinaga (513) 2 years ago

christians follow their male hierarchy community leaders. they do not have our community in their hearts. the queen is head christian and a german fascist. the pope is another christian head and a german fascist. so the christians are controlled by fascists. christians have been traumatised by constantly reliving the crucifixion, constantly being told that jesus was crucified for their sins. repeatedly pretending they are eating dead jesus. perpetually talking to their imaginary friend. christianity is bad mental health and a threat to our community.

[-] 1 points by shooz (17705) 2 years ago

There is one word, that can describe what happened.

Evangelicals.

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I don't think the United-States of America has ever been a good example of a country in which Church and State are separated. God is always lurking around the gardens of the White House. "In God we Trust".

We only have to look at how hard it has been for so many states to make same-sex marriage legal even though the only people against this are the religious.

On issues of human rights, fairness, and separating Church and State, USA as much to learn from other countries.

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

to clarify, the point I was making was that why should these individuals be stating their religion as a point of electability at all. Should not that be a more private matter that is maybe noted, but never examined as a credential. Point in case. Is the country ready for a Mormon president was the title of an article I saw earlier. How should it matter what specific set of theological beliefs are practiced by an individual when running for public office, and why should their belief in religious doctrine be a guiding principle for voting? To compare to another civic duty, as a juror, you are told to ignore prejudice and only evaluate a case on the actual laws and facts, not conjecture or personal creed. So should not voting use the same divorce of personal creed and national well being?

And to those who would attack my or anyone else position based on our "hating religion" is just sad. I asked a real question, of a real issue, not a hate based attack. I would like to see our country put its money were its mouth is, and for all the Christians, catholics, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, etc to actually act on the moral guidelines of the faiths they profess. Not the bottom line, wallet, or repression of others who do not believe the same.

And btw, the Religious Right is currently on a crusade against the Muslim Faith in general, and middle Easterner's in particular. So that is in a way a state religion endoresment. Christianity in all its incarnations is not the only religion in this country, and should not be used as a moral sounding board, since it has some of the worst atrocities in history to account for.

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 2 years ago

They follow the religion of that which is hidden.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Read "American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips. He was in Nixon's admin and came up with the "Southern Strategy" finally saw the light. He lays it out. Also forecast the the financial meltdown in "Bad Money." Both are worth reading. Need him to write one about now.

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[-] 1 points by chuck1al (1074) from Flomaton, AL 2 years ago

Religion took over the Rpublican party via the Tea Party.

That's when Religion became the litmus test for republicans.

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

Ever hear of the "moral majority". The evangelicals took over a long time ago, but I guess you are just catching on.

[-] 1 points by chuck1al (1074) from Flomaton, AL 2 years ago

@Misfit...The Moral Majority was a discredited organization.

I guess nobody told you.

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

When American congregations became country clubs. The pulpit has country club preachers and political sermons. AMEN?

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Separation--not seperation (spell check people, LOL) ... but seriously, this is one of those issues that comes up, coincidentally, every 4 years (during the presidential election season), and then it magically disappears, right after the election (but just a coincidence of course) :)

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

It's a machavellian thing

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion1 (109) 2 years ago

There is no seperation of Church and State. There is NO LAW concerning Church and State. Not one vote concerning Church and State. There are these words, ":CONGRESS:" shall make no laws!!!! CONGRESS,,, not STATE shall make no laws. The seperation clause was a court review and decision and the "anti" people grabbed that and turned it into their law. There is ZERO Seperation of Church and State in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Read it and you will not find it.

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[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Have you ever seen this? Do you know who Chris Rodda is? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewwWM4psFo8

http://www.liarsforjesus.com/

[-] 0 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

"When did this happen?" Are you serious, it has happened since day one of this nation. Maybe you need to pay attention a bit more. People of faith tend to support others of the same faith, that is why every candidate attends church rallies and talk about their beliefs. It is to show the common American that they have at least one thing in common.

[-] 0 points by ssjkakkarotx (-77) 2 years ago

Nothing happened to it. You simply don't have any understanding of what the constitution says.

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

yes, a very good question. what exactly happened to separation of church and state.

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[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Many thought JFK would never get voted in because he was catholic. People feared the pope would be pulling strings. Every person running in every election has a religious philosophy that has shaped who they are. As long as government does not establish a religion, and coerce the populace to follow it, who cares? No laws have been broken. Don't take the constitution to mean more then it does.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

"don't take the constitution to mean more than it does ..." this exactly is why separation of 'state and church' is needed as a term. to not forget the historical context of laws, the development if this context.

as long as there are as beautiful songs online as http://www.timminchin.com/2010/09/12/holy-fuck-free-pope-song-download-available-now/ as long it's not the pope that concerns me but the question

what happened to the separation of state and church.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

The first amendment states that,"congress shall Make no law Respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Article vi also states that "no religious test shall ever be required for the holding of a public office..."

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

yes, it states that the private religious view of a person shall have no effect at the person's right to call himself a candidate. however, this is something different than stating these private views in a video presenting said question as a person running for election as a state figure.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

We have free speech. If Obama wants to tell the country all about his religious beliefs, good for him. Can he demand I agree with him? No. Can he force me to follow his beliefs? No. Can he deny me a position in government based on his religious beliefs? No. Based on my religious beliefs? No. Can I be fired from the public workforce for stating my religious beliefs? No, but people are discriminated against illegally all the time for this. If I want to run for public office and tell the whole country about my religious belief, that is my right to do if I choose. People may not vote for me though. Free will. Free choice. Free association.

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

it's the question what you underline, what you stress, what the message is you send to the people when you're running for a position as a state figure. a stressing of private issues, supposed to be irrelevant for a political role - a stressing like that in a video of a person having problems to count to 3 - is what I call worrying.

in fact, not irrelevant at all since sheding some light at the capability to be able to differentiate between the roles of religion and politics. or at the lack of it, in the given "oops" case.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

what exactly is upsetting you about people exercising free speech? Do you just hate religion? Have you misunderstood the first amendment? Many of the early migrators to this land were being persecuted by the Church of England. Burnings at the stake for not obeying the governments state religion. Torture, stolen property, general fear and oppression was the rule of the day. Government was using religion to control the masses. Many Muslim countries practicing Sharia law do this today.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

please explain me why exactly you think a guy having problems to count to 3 running for a position as a state figure is in your eyes practising nothing but "free speech" in such a video. because, forgive me, I see a difference between that and a political strategy and will not refrain from coming back to the question what happened to the separation of church and state.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Than to answer your question: nothing.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

This at one time was commonplace, throughout many schools. Their are still isolated examples as this article seems to prove. Proselytizing has no place in schools.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

People are overly offended by the use of the word nigger, even when it is used in a novel that painted a picture of the times we were living in. I think you missed the point of the article dude.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

ah, I see. so the accepting of the complaint and removing of a curriculum list happened by accident, teachers not knowing what the book is about, I understand, thanks for clarifying.

[-] -1 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

I'm sorry......where in the Constitution do you find the words "separation of church and state"......

Do you know the law at all?

here's a recent development in that area:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-discrimination-laws-do-not-protect-certain-employees-of-religious-groups/2012/01/11/gIQAIbO4qP_story.html

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[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

please inform me if I'm wrong but as far as I know a look into the first amendment might do it for you.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

Here's the full text:

AMENDMENT I

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.

Yep....you're wrong

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

To point out, declaring you are of a religion and therefore are electable is endorsing a specific religion. Saying that your particular beliefs were of the founding fathers is ludicrous, since we have no clue what the founding fathers really believed, since they are dead. And religions have changed since then.

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

in what way am I wrong. the law says state is not supposed to install a state religion and now go and take a look what theatre a large number of candidates are doing currently.

[-] 2 points by jbob (74) 2 years ago

they are not trying to pass any laws that deal with religion. they are just saying what religion they are because most people that pay attention to real politics, not dumb bullsh*it like occupy, are somewhat intelligent and know about religion. religion has to do with a lot of peoples belief systems.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

what a genius oxymoron. "they are just saying what religion they are because most people that pay attention to real politics" - so, please let me come back to the question: what happened to the separation of church and state. religion has, correct me if I'm wrong, other duties than playing politics. that's maybe what the topic opener wanted to talk about.

[-] 1 points by jbob (74) 2 years ago

they arent trying to pass any laws. a persons religion, or lack of religion, tells a lot about what kind of person they are. they arent trying to change any laws for religion, aka church and state.

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

That is just plain false. And yes they are trying to change laws. Anti Gay marriage laws. Anti abortion laws. Dissolving minimum wage laws. Anti poor laws. Need I go on? The point is, these are religious values, and as such, should only be foisted on the religious individuals that believe them. Not the country as a whole, or a state as a whole. Using religious leaders to coerce church members should be illegal, as it uses a persons belief in the afterlife as a threat. A union, employer may not do so, then why should a church get to??? And since we have many candidates declaring god actually speaking to them(IE they say they have a divine mandate essentially) should we not evaluate their mental state?

And, ironically, these laws they try to push on us are actually not very christian of them anyway. What happened to taking care of your fellow man, and the less fortunate? It gave way to corporate profits driven elections.

[-] 1 points by jbob (74) 2 years ago

no the laws you are describing are personal beliefs and moral beliefs. i dont know what anti poor laws are but what would that have to do with religion anyways. anti abortion, thats kind of a no brainer, you dont need to be a god fearing dude to think that it is wrong to kill fetuses.

by tour way of thinking, every law that has ever been passed, could be related to religion in some way. you could find a way if you really wanted to. you need to know the difference between morals and religious views. with out morals this country would be in the shiter.

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

when a person running for election as a state figure presents himself as being more interested on the views of an institution not supposed to act as a political power than in self-presentation of him-/herself as a politician aware of the role of politics in a society (aside of the mentioned weakness to count to three, which raises even more doubts in how much this person is competent enough, capable to do the work -> it's showing that this person is preparing to act as the fulfilling puppet, the political views are not in his brain) -> then what exactly again is the stressing of the views of an institution not supposed to act as a political power tell about the person.

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

I have never heard of a bill even being proposed to create a state religion.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

and you have never heard a guy running for election, presenting his very private and, if you allow me to add, quite fundamentalistic views, as a person running for a state figure. ("oops.")

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

So what, those are their personal views. As long as they do not propose a law trying to establish a state religion, it doesn't matter, they are not violating any laws.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

a person running for election as a state figure presenting himself as a duly servant of an institution not supposed to act as a political power is, forgive me, something different than just a crazy private guy somewhere in a lolcat video.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

the words "separation of church and state" do not appear....

[-] -2 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

did you miss the wikipedia warning "This article's factual accuracy is disputed. Please help to ensure that disputed facts are reliably sourced" in the middle of the page?

also, you're posting a wikipedia page to dispute the constitution? that's cute

yesterdays unanimous SCOTUS decision clears it up:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-discrimination-laws-do-not-protect-certain-employees-of-religious-groups/2012/01/11/gIQAIbO4qP_story.html

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

that was bullshit btw Pure bullshit. For the SCOTUS to decide that religious institutions may discriminate against what is essentially non religious position, is bull. It clears the way for them to abuse anyone they want, simply because it is a Religious matter. Same with the way that religious institutions get tax exemption status on one hand, and exemption from rules guiding federal money use.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

the factual accuracy may be disputed as much as it wants, it does not change the fact that "Separation of State and Church" is a historically too widely known topic with exactly this term to not to be surprised about a sentence like "the words ... do not appear". you can also try http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trennung_von_Kirche_und_Staat#USA if you don't like the link above.

listen, google once for "Wie ich Freiherr von Guttenberg zu Wilhelm machte" bildblog if you want to have a laugh about wiki as source. it doesn't change the fact that it's still working for an explanation of the basics in most cases, for example for forum discussions like this here: in cases where you know the quoted sources, for example.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

The terms "separation between church and state" are not contained in the Constitution and religious exercise cannot be barred to an individual......in an example like prayer in school, it cannot be advocated or initiated by public school officials...nor can it be prevented by them if chosen by an individual......

The clauses in the Constitution, as written about by the Justices of the SCOTUS are not intended to protect man from religion, but instead intended to protect religion from government......

There is no bar to a public official holding or expressing religious beliefs, praying, attending services, or using the morality those beliefs in their decision making process......the only separation is that government is separated from making official positions regarding religion, the practice or expression of it...and it cannot prevent individuals from holding beliefs, or bar them from positions for those beliefs....nor can it take a position barring voters from choosing candidates based on religious principles...

and since no candidate is expressing a desire to create a state religion, or advocates the government taking an official position on any religious practice, your original point is groundless

[-] -1 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

there seems to be no protest to people expressing unconstitutional views of other points of power, like the unequal treatment of differing economic levels via taxation, or the punishment of one group in favor of paying the support of another, financially....

Funny how you single out religion.......you must be one of those hateful atheists that cannot face yourself in the light of religious philosophy so you endeavor to destroy that which you cannot accept.......

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

I am one of the people wondering what happened to the separation of state and church. I was and am not aware of this question being or sounding as a "hateful" one. why exactly does the concern about the role of an institution (an institution having other duties than politics) in politics looks so deeply disturbing to you?

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

it is another encroachment on liberty.......the free expression of faith is a guarantee of our nation, as long as one doesn't seek establish a state faith..there is no reason for discussion.

Your protest of the religious leaning of the candidates is closer to a constitutional issue than their expression of those beliefs....

[-] -1 points by ssjkakkarotx (-77) 2 years ago

Yet to hear any politician advocate a state religion. So you are still WRONG

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 2 years ago

well, depends on what point of view you take at it. when I see a video like the famous one from the "I forgot how to count to 3, oops" guy I definitely would say this person is doing it not in a private crazy peep vid but as a politician, so - officially. and it has a tradition, a tradition meting very few critical replies so far.