Be careful what you wish for...

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Bullypulpit, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    <center><h1>Break down barriers between church and state...?</h1></center>
    <center><h1>Be careful what you wish for.</h1></center>

    The consequences of embracing Tom DeLay's and Bill Frist's crusade against an independent jusidciary and their appeals to a particularly xenophobic form of Christianity are simple. The breaking down of the barriers between church and state.

    While not explicitly laid out in the Constitution, it is implicit, as stated in Jefferson's 1802 letter to <a href=http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html>the Danbury Baptist Association</a>.

    <blockquote>I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. - <i>Thomas Jefferson</i>, Jan. 1, 1802</blockquote>

    Further reading of the letter makes it clear that religious freedom is a matter of individual conviction, and not to be brought into the realm of politics. This ideal has enjoyed legal status throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and rather than stifling religion, has given rise to enourmous diversity in religious expression and practice in this nation, one not seen elsewhere in the world.

    Also, the framers of the Constitution had a perspective on the merging of church and state that we do not have today. They needed only to look to recent history of Puritan Massachussetts to see the threat that a union of religion and politics posed. In Massachussetts, religious dissenters were hanged and "witches" were burned at the stake. The Founding Fathers looked to this and knew that it was not what they wanted for this nation. Recent history gives us the examples of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iran, Afghanistan under the Taliban, Saudia Arabia, Indonesia, and others to show the flaws and instability inherent in the mingling religion and politics.

    The separation of church and state has also benefitted religion in the form of property-tax exemptions for church owned property. And I don't see anyone supporting the union of church and state supporting the imposition of these taxes on their churches. If there is to be more church in the state, there should also be more state in the church.

    The democratic principles this nation was built upon are messy, and rely on compromise and concensus building amongst a variety of views. Religion, on the other hand, is built upon absolutes, undebatable dogmas and authority. There is no room for "...We the People..." to exercise any authority. Thus the only way for the two to co-exist is to do so separately. Religion remains in the personal realm and secularism prevails in the political realm.
     
  2. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  3. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    ....except 'seperation of church and state' has nothing to with tax-free operation by churches.
     
  4. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    fine---then people of religion should be exempt for all forms of governmental interference such as laws and taxation--wanna make a deal ?
     
  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    How, exactly, is the appointment of Christian judges an infringement on either the free practice of religion or the establishment of a national religion? Furthermore, since the First Amendment specifically states that "Congress shall make no law..." how can you even apply the amendment to the appointment of federal justices?

    At the time the Constitution was drafted, several states, including Madison's native Virginia, supported their official state churches through taxation. While Madison and the other framers wanted to protect the new nation from such a scheme, they never opposed the rights of the several states to establish official religions. Not until the 14th Amendment were states bound by the confines of the 1st Amendment.

    Secularism is, in itself, a religion. What you ought to say instead is that neutrality towards all religious beliefs prevails in the political realm. The first 100 years or so of American history, in which Presidents were chastised for not observing the Sabbath and 95-98% of all Americans were practicing Christians, prove that it is possible for our country to exist while the vast majority of its leadership subscribes to a particular religion.
     
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  6. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    The Nation has obviously "discovered" the power that the Judicial branch of the government wields over the other two branches yet instead of dealing wwith this issue through rational debate and discussion, we have apparently chosen to argue about how justices are placed in these postions of power.

    Both parties choose to focus on particular historical precedents and quotes (whichever one happens to support thier cause de jour ). They are even willing to go so far as to contradict thier OWN statements citing the ever popular "this is differerent" mantra. Fear of the creation of a theocracy is thrown in the mix with no evidence to support a Christian conspiracy to "take over" the country. No specific dangers of this contrived conspiracy have been cited yet the possible overturning of Roe V Wade looms inches below the surface.

    The media and politicians seek to inflame the issue by obsfucating the real issue here which is simply POLITICS AS USUAL . Individuals aligning themselves along party lines and using anything at thier disposal to protect themselves and thier careers while using secularism and religion as smoke screens. Secularists AND Spritualists have been more than willing to volunteer to be dupes in this political power grab and both are guilty of allowing our government representatives to avoid the real issues here.

    A problematic judicial system (that merely sits on the sidelines and waits to see if THEY wil have to take any action to defend themselves) and POLITICS AS USUAL .
     
  7. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    It's not applied to the appointment of federal judges...it's applied to the politization of religion by the Republican leadership.

    There is no problem with the pratice of one's religion. The problem arises when attempts are made to write religious doctrine into law. This undermines the religious pluralism we have come to enjoy in this country.
     
  8. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Thou shalt not murder and thou shalt not steal has caused a lot of problems ??? Read my post above ,Bully.
     
  9. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    If you are talking about the Ten Commandments, it isn't the last six that might make somebody object but the first four.

    1. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other God before Me.
    2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.
    3. "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
    4. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/index.php?search=exodus 20&version1=31

    The other six are not so bad. Not so directly Judeo-Christian.

    5. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

    6. "You shall not murder.

    7. "You shall not commit adultery.

    8. "You shall not steal.

    9. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

    10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."


    If you notice, the first four as written in the Bible actually specify the God that you must worship, naming him as the one that brought the Israelites from Egypt and giving it strictly in charge never to deviate from His worship. This can clearly be in direct conflict with people who do believe another religion.
     
  10. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    When has ANYONE suggested that any of the first 4 commandment be written into US law. Even the Blue Laws to "protect" the sabbath have been repealed in most places. People who like to drink alcohol seem to have adjusted quite nicely and buy thier hard liquor on Saturday.

    Again----this is only the progressives attacking Bush by attacking what they assume to be his base. Smoke and mirrors.
     

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