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Religion and the Establishment Clause

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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?
 

Photonic

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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?

No, the people in them can be though.

-Your friendly neighborhood atheist.
 

Avatar4321

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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.
 

konradv

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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.

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.
 

Mad Scientist

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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.
 

konradv

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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.

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.
 

Lokiate

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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.

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.
 

Volatire

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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.
 

Quantum Windbag

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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?

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.
 

Quantum Windbag

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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.

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.

You need to keep reading instead of stopping at the point you that justifies your bigotry.
 

Lokiate

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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.

The original Pledge of Allegiance did not contain the phrase "under god" until 1954. It was pushed by zealots from various religious organizations since 1948.

Only the first verse of the National Anthem is sung, traditionally. The phrase "And this be our motto: "In God is our trust;” is in the final verse, which is rarely, if ever sung. I really have no problem with it.
 

Dragon

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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.

If that were so, the First Amendment would read, in pertinent part, "Congress shall make no law establishing a state religion." But it doesn't. It reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

That doesn't just mean "stop short of actually creating a state religion." It means: don't go there. Don't even squint that direction. Just don't.

The relationship between the establishment clause and the free exercise clause is commonly misunderstood. Many people, especially religious people, see these two clauses as a trade-off: on the one hand, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, but on the other hand, Congress shall make no law restricting the free exercise thereof, either. But no, that's not how it works.

The two clauses are two sides of the same coin. The better reading would be, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, because Congress must not restrict the free exercise thereof. Favoring or advocating one religion in any way by the government automatically and inevitably restricts the free exercise of all other religions.

Government must be kept religion-free, because that is the only way that religion can be kept government-free. As a follower of a minority religion, I understand this implicitly and instinctively. I do not want Christianity endorsed by the government in any way, because I am not a Christian, and so its act of endorsing Christianity would automatically discriminate against and, at least to a minor degree, oppress me and all other non-Christians.

And by reciprocal understanding and a sense of justice, nor do I want the government endorsing my religion, because that would similarly oppress Christians, and all other non-Pagans.

The wall of separation between church and state is not there to oppress religion. On the contrary, it's there to protect religion from the oppression that inevitably must result if that wall is breached.
 

Lokiate

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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.

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.

You need to keep reading instead of stopping at the point you that justifies your bigotry.

What if the government favored Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu, or *gasp* Islam? You wouldn't be so quick to defend your retarded misinterpretation of the First Amendment then, would you? That's the entire point of it you stupid ****, to make sure NO religion is in the government, so all people can be represented equally.
 

LOki

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The establishment clause and the free exercise clause were written to keep the government from meddling in religion.
And to keep religion out of government so that the people of a free country could worship according to the dictates of their conscience.

The Founders wanted men and women to worship God according to the dictates of their heart without any government being able to restrict them.
And they insisted that the only way this could be accomplished was to specifically keep religion and the coercive power of government separate.

They expected that religious people would be involved in politics ...
Of course.

... and that religion would be involved as well.
Obviously false. A deliberate falsehood. A patent lie.

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.
I've read that Federalist Paper too, but no. You're putting the cart before the horse. Specifically separating religion from government is what allows the existence of the many churches that would serve as many special interests.

Men should be free to exercise their religious beliefs in public.
But not as government--not as an appurtenance of government.

And if that involves public policy, so be it.
Obviously false. A deliberate falsehood. A patent lie.

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.
A complete and utter misrepresentation of the function of a republic ... which is to protect the rights of the minority from the (religiously inspired) abusive exercise of nationally organized government power by the (religious) majority.
 

Quantum Windbag

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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.

You need to keep reading instead of stopping at the point you that justifies your bigotry.

What if the government favored Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu, or *gasp* Islam? You wouldn't be so quick to defend your retarded misinterpretation of the First Amendment then, would you? That's the entire point of it you stupid ****, to make sure NO religion is in the government, so all people can be represented equally.

I would not give a flying fuck what religion the people in the government favored because, unlike you, I am not a close minded bigot. The right to practice any religion, including Satanism, is guaranteed under the Constitution, even if it offends me. I have freedom of religion, not freedom from it.

That is the entire point of the establishment clause in the 1st Amendment, and you desire to change it to promote your ideology actually makes you no different that the people who want to force everyone to go to their church.

How does it feel to be a jackbooted totalitarian? Do you get a thrill out of standing on people's throats?
 

LOki

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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.
Government certainly can do this ... ancient Rome is one example that this is possible. It's just unconstitutional for it to happen in this country--thanks to the provisions in the 1st Amendment that prohibit the government from making law respecting the establishment of religion.

We have freedom of religion not freedom from religion.
My freedom of religion means freedom from your religion.

There is literally NO SUCH THING as freedom of religion that doesn't include freedom from religion.
 

Quantum Windbag

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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.
Government certainly can do this ... ancient Rome is one example that this is possible. It's just unconstitutional for it to happen in this country--thanks to the provisions in the 1st Amendment that prohibit the government from making law respecting the establishment of religion.

We have freedom of religion not freedom from religion.
My freedom of religion means freedom from your religion.

There is literally NO SUCH THING as freedom of religion that doesn't include freedom from religion.

No it does not, and only a bigot would try to argue it does.
 

LOki

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The original Pledge of Allegiance did not contain the phrase "under god" until 1954. It was pushed by zealots from various religious organizations since 1948.

Only the first verse of the National Anthem is sung, traditionally. The phrase "And this be our motto: "In God is our trust;” is in the final verse, which is rarely, if ever sung. I really have no problem with it.
I consider the whole "under God" and "In God We Trust" business to be the intellectual and moral equivalent to "We Throw Salt Over Our Shoulders For Good Luck" and "Step On A Crack, You'll Break Your Momma's Back."

I endorse "under God" and "In God We Trust" as a point of brevity. I understand that just eliminating them would be briefer still, but I am generous enough to throw the superstitious a bone now and then.
 

LOki

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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.
Government certainly can do this ... ancient Rome is one example that this is possible. It's just unconstitutional for it to happen in this country--thanks to the provisions in the 1st Amendment that prohibit the government from making law respecting the establishment of religion.

We have freedom of religion not freedom from religion.
My freedom of religion means freedom from your religion.

There is literally NO SUCH THING as freedom of religion that doesn't include freedom from religion.

No it does not, and only a bigot would try to argue it does.
No. Only a bigot--most particularly bigots cut from Abrahamic rock chucking cloth--would insist that it is otherwise.
 

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