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Separation of Church and State

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posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 02:37 PM
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While it is not in the Original Constitution, and is more or less taken as Implied. Does it really matter what Religious affiliation the President has or does not have? The founding Fathers were very religious in there own right, and as we move into the Future with some thinking the ideology behind the War on Terror is directed at Muslims only, and is deemed as a religious Crusade by some. Do Politics and Religion need to come into Play when dealing with issues not only at home but Abroad as well?

Edited spelling due to my compulsive behavioral problems.

[edit on 23-5-2005 by Thomas Crowne]

[edit on 23-5-2005 by Thomas Crowne]




posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 02:59 PM
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I don't see any reason why people should fear the concept of religion in a society or its use by those who wish to follow it...

However, the point at which a line should be drawn seems to come closer and closer every day...

The gov't intends to interfer with a secular mandate known as marriage, stating that is a crime for gays to marry....This is a clear abuse of the seperation of church and state...

Many Americans make their choice on who they will vote to be president off of a PR campaign that depicts Bush as a Holy man and a good Christian - It's a tactic they used to gain votes - despite the level of faith Bush may or may not have, I don't think its a great thing to know that a chunk of voters put Bush back in office b/c they think God told Bush to run for president (which is what he claims...)



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:01 PM
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The President of this country could be Jewish, Buddhist or whatever he damn pleases to be, but his faith should not play a part in determining policies for a country made up of people of a wide array of faiths.

He can go to his church, have a bar mitzvah or make offerings at a temple, I see no problem with an official practicing his religion, but this should be done on his own personal time, as a person/citizen, not as the president of the US.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:08 PM
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Interestingly enough, faith will not take all Presidents in the same political direction. The two most religious Presidents the United States have had are Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. The first one was fueled in part by his faith to seek a better respect of human rights across the world and a fairer, gentler America, while Bush is fueled in part by his faith to use the U.S. military to "spread democracy" in the Middle East.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by TrickmastertricK
The founding Fathers were very religious in there own right, and as we move into the Future with some thinking the ideology behind the War on Terror is directed at Muslims only, and is deemed as a religious Crusade by some. Do Politics and Religion need to come into Play when dealing with issues not only at home but Abroad as well?

I found an interesting article on the subject of how religious Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen actually were.


Taken from Drop 'Under God' by Peter Miguel Camejo
Most Americans are unaware that many of our early presidents, such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and George Washington, as well as great patriots such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen, did not consider themselves Christians. Their views often were carefully camouflaged in public for fear of reprisal but quite clear in their private correspondence.

Adams once wrote Jefferson that "This would be the best of all worlds, if there were no religion in it." (Letter to Jefferson, April 19, 1817). Adams explicitly argued against any reference to our government being "under" the influence of "heaven." ("A Defense of the Constitution of Government of the United States of America," 1788).

Many of the founding fathers were persecuted for their stand in support of the separation of church and state. The main criticism lobbed at Jefferson in his successful campaign for president was that he was an atheist. Paine died in poverty, primarily for statements such as, "The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion." ("The Age of Reason ," 1794).

Read the whole article here.

In light of the current conflict, I think it's fair to say that's it's getting more and more difficult to separate religion from politics. It would seem the Founding Fathers were very much aware of the possible dangers of such a reality.


[edit on 2-12-2004 by Durden]



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:16 PM
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Here is how I take this.

A politician can be any religous affiliation that he wants to be, but his religion should not influence his votes. Like Bush should not consult the Bible to vote on war,drugs, or anything like that. I for example am in favor of legalized prostition but the Bible is against selling sex, and if I was agaisnt it I would look at the non-Bible based aspects of it.

However I do believe that religious icons can be placed in public and federal institution as long as they do not force you to believe the faith. There is no harm in having a Menorah,Manger, or a statue of Buddah on the front lawn of a court house. It does not force you to practice that faith nor does it say that faith is correct.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by TrickmastertricK
Does it really matter what Religious affiliation the President has or does not have? ...... Do Politics and Religion need to come into Play when dealing with issues not only at home but Abroad as well?

No. The Religious affiliation of the President does NOT matter. Too many times throughout our history, the actions of a sitting President show that his religion is only a cloak anyway.
The merging of Religion and Politics cheapens the impact of both in my opinion. While it is admirable to live and act according to your Religious beliefs, Politically it is generally ineffective. In Politics you need to concern yourself with the varying needs and wants of a populace who have differing desires. This can cause the truly Religious to act against their own beliefs, or subvert the desires of many in an effort to try to please their God.
Too many times throughout history evil has been done in the Name of a God or Gods. I have no problem with leaders being religious, but I dislike the subterfuge of using their God as an excuse for their actions.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 04:14 PM
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Religion and politics shouldn't be mixed. Just because someone has the same belief as you, you shouldn't be brainwashed into voting them because you share the same "God".

[edit on 2-12-2004 by infinite]



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 04:17 PM
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Well taking in consideration that the war on terror is actually a war against Islamic fundamentalist, a President that see himself as a Christian crusader is not a very good picture to portray.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 07:35 PM
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Actually, the religion of the President DOES matter... to the folks electing him (or her. Eventually. We hope.)

To date there has been only one Catholic president (Kennedy) and at the time, the fact that he was Catholic was somewhat controversial. A Jewish candidate would not get as man votes, and it would be very very difficult for a Buddhist presidential candidate.

If Kerry, for example, had spent a lot of time doing the Baptist Faith Thing (I know he's not Baptist, but let's say that he suddenly converted and started acting like a "born again" then he would have gotten a lot more votes.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by EnronOutrunHomerun
However, the point at which a line should be drawn seems to come closer and closer every day...

The gov't intends to interfer with a secular mandate known as marriage, stating that is a crime for gays to marry....This is a clear abuse of the seperation of church and state...

To me that line is already soooo blurred. Weren't the words "one nation under God" adeed to the Pledge of Allegiance after the fact. like in the 50s?
The mere fact that marriage is a civil mandate means to me that the concept of marriage ( a religious idea?) has already been secularaized. To my way of thinking, you can't have it both ways. Either marriage is a civil union and the government can have a hand in what consitutes marriage, or it is a religious union and the government keeps hands off.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by worldwatcher
The President of this country could be Jewish, Buddhist or whatever he damn pleases to be, but his faith should not play a part in determining policies for a country made up of people of a wide array of faiths.


I'm not completely disagreeing with you, but the US is not a democracy, it is a repesentative Republic. That means it should represent the majority. As of today the majority is of Christian faith. When another religion takes over, things will change.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by rawiea
While it is admirable to live and act according to your Religious beliefs, Politically it is generally ineffective.


haha. yeah, the fifth commandment tends to get in the way when you are the president of the united states.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by General Zapata

Originally posted by rawiea
While it is admirable to live and act according to your Religious beliefs, Politically it is generally ineffective.


haha. yeah, the fifth commandment tends to get in the way when you are the president of the united states.



FROM--www.usconstitution.net...
Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

You know, I wasn't even thinking in those terms. Good call.



posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 07:07 PM
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I think mixing politics and religion is a big mistake, unless of course you want a religious regime...

I'm taking my own country, Belgium, as an example to illustrate what I mean. Belgium is one of the Kingdoms of Europe. Our royal family has a tradition of being catholics. I am personally not a catholic, neither a royalist, and to say it clear, never a religious person.

Btw, our King is praising, in every one of his speeches, even at Christmas, for a country and a world where people can respect each other, without political, racial, or religious barriers. As such, I must respect that. This is something great: he is catholic and asks for people to respect all religions.

This would just be fine if some persons wouldn't just go in the other way, like not accepting differences (I'm talking about some Vlaams Belang, the Belgians will understand) and asking for people to fight those differences.

And this is precisely where the politics and the religions can be mixed, but should not be. It IS a fact that when anyone is going anywhere on holiday, they will respect the rules and traditions of the visited place. I had to cover my head while in Prague because I wanted to visit a (sorry, don't know that word in English) Jewish cult place. I had to remove my shoes when in Tunisia if I wanted to visit a mosque.

My point is, when people here in Belgium, and the case is also known in France, keep wanting to go against the law because it is their religious belief, then they have to think about that. Nobody can go against the law, if at least the law is "well done enough", just for religious reasons. On the other hand, (I must state here that I am completely atheist, thank god
) people should not go against their religions because of the law.

This is becoming increasingly complicated when law and religion DO mix: it is forbidden in France to wear a veil (is that the right word? the muslim thingie that women must wear to hide their face?). That is law. The muslim religion says that the women MUST wear it. So what? Where is the reason in there? What should be done? My belief is, since it is law, that people should respect it and accordingly not wear the veil. But since it is also a right to everyone to be of any religious belief, when not in public (and public is also including schools, work places,...) you can do it then.

Religion is something that is closer to beliefs and traditions than to law. As such, it is not forbidden by law to show your bare foot to someone in China, but they will consider it extremely offending. So obviously, because it is their way, if I ever go and live in China, I won't just show my bare foot to someone! I would be stupid to insist that MY personal beliefs, traditions and the laws from where I come from allow me to do it. This is disrespect.

If some people would think with indeed more respect, and if they would forget that because the others are not always to be of the same mind and traditions, then the world would be a great place to live. People who keep willing to use their own rules are either stupid or selfish. You need not to try and force people to think like you. We're not 6 billions (plus) people on earth to live secluded in our own world. Share it, respect it. That's what I think, and that's why I think religion and politics should not be mixed as much as possible. The first one is a matter of personal beliefs, the second one is a matter of public interest. This is a HUGE difference.

Btw, long read,
sorry, but thanks for reading if you got here!



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by rawiea

Originally posted by General Zapata

Originally posted by rawiea
While it is admirable to live and act according to your Religious beliefs, Politically it is generally ineffective.


haha. yeah, the fifth commandment tends to get in the way when you are the president of the united states.



FROM--www.usconstitution.net...
Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

You know, I wasn't even thinking in those terms. Good call.

DUH!! i just re-read this thread. I think I embarassed myself. General Zapata you said Commandment. I have no idea how I turned that into Amendment.
Still a good call. Anybody want to peek at the Commandments?
Ten Commandments



posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 09:42 PM
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I am glad that I am not the only Person Thinking about this issue!
The whole Schiavo thing set me off on a trip again! I started a new thread on it, which you can find here: politics.abovetopsecret.com...

I originally posted it on the Regular ATS Forum - but it got moved to the "Religion in Government Issues" Forum on Politic@ATS - were I then saw that "TrickmastertricK" beat me out to the Topic! So here we are!


[edit on 23-3-2005 by Seraphim_Serpente]



posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 12:09 AM
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For a truely religious person it is impossible to separate his faith and his politics. They are both integral parts of that person. Its who he is, and the person who was elected. It does not matter the reasons why someone believes in something or doesn't.
There are many issues that might seem like a religious decision as well, but just because the decision comes from a religious person does not mean that he is trying to press his religion upon you. Take abortion for example,
Just because someone is anti-abortion and religious does not mean that every decision they may make on the issue come from a religious belief.
There are many out there that are anti abortion that are not religious, just as there are many who are for it who are religious. Does it matter if somone believes abortion is wrong based on religious beliefs, yet if someone is against it for other reasons is it okay then? Would there be a difference between an anti abortion law passed by someone who is religious and someone who is not? It would be the same law. I could care less why an individual believes the way they do.




That being said...

If the government were actually run the way the founding fathers intended it to it wouldn't matter if the decisions were made from a religious viewpoint or not. The government was not intended to permeate our everyday lives.
Every time the citizens start clammoring about how the federal government needs to do something that the federal government was not intended to do in the constitution , is basically an invitation for them to run our lives.

I hear it almost every day, "why doesn't the government do something about this or that". Both sides of the political spectrum are equally guilty of this, just on different issues. If you invite them into your life for something you might agree with, you should also expect them to interfere on issues you don't agree with. Its the old give them an inch saying.

Quit inviting them into your lives, be it any issue that it was not set up to do.



[edit on 24/3/05 by Skibum]

[edit on 24/3/05 by Skibum]



posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 12:42 AM
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The gov't intends to interfer with a secular mandate known as marriage, stating that is a crime for gays to marry....This is a clear abuse of the seperation of church and state...


I don't think it would be criminalized, just not recognized. What if the people who were trying to ban gay marriage were athiests, would it suddenly be okay? I say it does not matter why someone believes the way they do.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 01:21 AM
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Interesting comments on this thread.

First, let me point out that marriage is not secular, but is religious. You merely think it is secular because the government, not wanting to miss a dime, expects you to purchase a "marriage license".

Should the president be a Christian? Well, let's think about what John Jay, one of the drafters of the Constitution and the first Chief Justice of the USSC thought. He said that as this is a Christian Nation, we have the responsibility to elect Christian leaders. Gee, I wonder what he meant by that?

Does the Declaration of Independence mention God, perhaps? Let's look:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Take note, those of you who say that ours is not a Christian nation, born of Christians; if you win, and God is thrown out, guess who that means gave you those rights....the government! If that be the case, who has authority to take them away? You guessed it. If you were smart, you'd change your position no matter what you believe!

Is there anymore in that document? Let me look....

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Yup, there was. The very last sentence. Seems the Declaration of Independence is framed in Divineness!

How about the first President? We all know that he was such a devout believer in Christ that he he is said to have spent as much time on his knees praying as he did on his feet, but where did he stand as far as separation of his beliefs and the office he held?
Let's read the Proclamation of Thanksgiving, dated 1789:

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.



Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
"
Hmm, sounds a bit religious, if you ask me.

Ben Franklin was mentioned on this thread somewhere in a manner that would lead one to believe he was against religion in the government place, but the funny thing is, he is the one that admonished us, saying that the only way this experiment in society would succeed was with Christian ethics, morals and principles. Now, how do you suppose you'll learn such principles and morals? By watching Desparate Housewives? Maybe Nip/Tuck?

John Adams was also mentioned. Here is his Proclamation of Thanksgiving. Darned athiest!



"As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredations on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their lawful business on the seas--under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants.



I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies agreeably to those forms or methods which they have severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming; that all religious congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction; that it be made the subject of particular and earnest supplication that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it; that our civil and religious privileges may be preserved inviolate and perpetuated to the latest generations; that our public councils and magistrates may be especially enlightened and directed at this critical period; that the American people may be united in those bonds of amity and mutual confidence and inspired with that vigor and fortitude by which they have in times past been so highly distinguished and by which they have obtained such invaluable advantages; that the health of the inhabitants of our land may be preserved, and their agriculture, commerce, fisheries, arts, and manufactures be blessed and prospered; that the principles of genuine piety and sound morality may influence the minds and govern the lives of every description of our citizens, and that the blessings of peace, freedom, and pure religion may be speedily extended to all the nations of the earth.



And Finally, I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.



Given under my hand and the seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, this 23d day of march, A. D. 1798, and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-second.



[seal.]



JOHN ADAMS
"

I doubt anyone read all of that, but there it is. The evidence is still there, and in his own words. Doesn't sound like an anti-God fella to me. Especially since those are the words of a presidential proclamation (official, governmental type action).

What about Jefferson? He is always the banner-boy of every anti-Christian type who screams that Christian should keep their beliefs in their own homes.Could some things have been taken out of context in order to make him look like a non-Christian?

Old Tom wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist church, who'd sent him a congratulatory letter for winning presidency. While the letter was used to explain why he didn't issue a proclamation of thanksgiving and fasting as president, he was apt to using vague language invoking God in other official statements. Interesting enough, this man who was supposed to be so anti-Christian regularly attended church services that were held in none other than (hold on to your hats, ladies) the House of Representatives!

How could Jefferson be against Christianity in America if his treaty with the Kaskaia Indians provided public money for the tribe's Roman Catholic priest and Church? Strange, huh? Don't worry, that was cut off when the aid reached $500,000 annually. A fella could have a pretty good time in Vegas with all that! Pardon the Dr. Strangelove flashback at the end, there)

How has history been revised? Simple. We allowed it to be revised; taught in the classrooms and fed to us in the media. We've been told the lie so many times that we believe it. I am giving you the facts, as I love facts. You may embrace them, or you may allow the lie to continue to hold onto your heart - that's your choice. As far as I'm concerned, there is no way to fight against the calculated attack against this nation that has been drunk with prosperity for too many years to defend itself from the offensives conducted by those who with to destroy it.
I'll finish this essay with the words of Ronald Reagan:

"The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom of prayer."




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