Religion and the Establishment Clause

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Money, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Money
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    Money Member

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    Am I the only one who's guilty of feeling strongly about a clear separation of church and state, while supporting church initiatives to influence the political process?

    Are religions thugs?
     
  2. Photonic
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    Photonic Ad astra!

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    No, the people in them can be though.

    -Your friendly neighborhood atheist.
     
  3. Lokiate
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    Lokiate Super Beast

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    Religion and politics have no business mingling in any way, shape, or form.
     
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  4. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The establishment clause and the free exercise clause were written to keep the government from meddling in religion. The Founders wanted men and women to worship God according to the dictates of their heart without any government being able to restrict them.

    They expected that religious people would be involved in politics. and that religion would be involved as well. But they rightly deduced that since there countless churches, the Churches would act as special interests, and like all special interests compete in the market place of ideas. That no one church or religion would gain dominance because the other Churches had an interest in preventing that. And those of no church would likewise have an interest in preventing it.

    Men should be free to exercise their religious beliefs in public. And if that involves public policy, so be it. If you disagree with his public policy, then oppose it and gather together likeminded people to oppose it.

    That is the whole point of the Republic.
     
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  5. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    You seem to only see a danger in government getting involved in religion. There's also the concern over religion being involved in government. When so many churches have similar interests, the "marketplace of ideas" is limited and can present a danger to those who disagree.
     
  6. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The gov't cannot make a religion and force you to worship it as they did in ancient Rome, that is all.

    We have freedom of religion not freedom from religion.
     
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  7. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    What makes you think you're allowed to force religion on others? What of those who WANT freedom from religion? Aren't ALL citizens to be protected by the Establishment clause? You're turning the whole concept on its head.
     
  8. Lokiate
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    Lokiate Super Beast

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    You need to read the First Amendment again:

    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.

    Nowhere does it say anything about the government creating a religion. It was about preventing the United States from becoming a theocracy, like Merry Ole England once was. You can practice your beliefs, you cannot force them on others through legislation.
     
  9. Volatire
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    Volatire Rookie

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    Complete separation of church and state. I'm not a religious kind of guy, so I don't want to include anything about "God" in the pledge or national anthem. I don't think it equally represents our entire country. Not saying that religions should be banned or anything like that. We've all seen the First Ammendment (I hope) I just don't want it involved in government.
     
  10. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Why feel guilty? Those positions are only mutually incompatible if you are a close minded bigot. Jefferson was a strong advocate for building a wall between the church and state, yet he also believed that religion tempered people in power and should always be used as moral guidance. As long as you are not trying to make religion a requirement and you only advocate for the influence religion provides on individuals, feel free to do both.
     

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