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Originally posted by Seraphim_Serpente
Topic: Separation of Church & State - IT IS A JOKE!!! What ever happened to Separation of Church & State?
(While true that) the phrase "separation of church and state" does not actually appear anywhere in the Constitution, there is a problem, however, in that some people draw incorrect conclusions from this fact. The absence of this phrase does not mean that it is an invalid concept or that it cannot be used as a legal or judicial principle.
There are any number of important legal concepts which do not appear in the Constitution with the exact phrasing people tend to use. For example, nowhere in the Constitution will you find words like "right to privacy" or even "right to a fair trial." Does this mean that no American citizen has a right to privacy or a fair trial? Does this mean that no judge should ever invoke these rights when reaching a decision?
Similarly, courts have found that the principle of a "religious liberty" exists behind in the First Amendment, even if those words are not actually there: ?Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...? The point of such an amendment is twofold. First, it ensures that religious beliefs - private or organized - are removed from attempted government control. This is the reason why the government cannot tell either you or your church what to believe or to teach. Second, it ensures that the government does not get involved with enforcing, mandating, or promoting particular religious doctrines. This is what happens when the government "establishes" a church - and because doing so created so many problems in Europe, the authors of the Constitution wanted to try and prevent the same from happening here.
"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."
Jefferson worked to eliminate the compulsory funding of established churches in his native Virginia. The final 1786 Act for Establishing Religious Freedom read in part that: ...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions of belief...
In the 1879 decision Reynolds v. U.S., for example, the court observed that Jefferson's writings "may be accepted as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment."
Never did Jefferson, when he wrote that...
Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform (Annals of Congress, Sat Aug 15th, 1789 pages 730 - 731).
Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In the strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation?
The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority shut the door of worship agst the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain! To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the veil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.
If Religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their Constituents shd discharge their religious duties, let them like their Constituents, do so at their own expense. How small a contribution from each member of Cong wd suffice for the purpose! How just wd it be in its principle! How noble in its exemplary sacrifice to the genius of the Constitution; and the divine right of conscience! Why should the expence of a religious worship be allowed for the Legislature, be paid by the public, more than that for the Ex. or Judiciary branch of the Gov. (Detached Memoranda, circa 1820).
Originally posted by junglejake Now, the state still doesn't say "do this," but thanks to groups like the ACLU and that Newdow guy, government is now telling us, "don't do that." They are also now deciding monuments are an endorsement of religion. So America is no longer allowed to have a history, because people may find it offensive or imposing. Sigh.
Originally posted by Seraphim_Serpente
Quote: "I Worship...yep, you got it, GOD."
Yes JungleJake - but there within is the Problem. Who says that
"YOUR GOD" & "YOUR RELIGION" is the SAME as other peoples "GOD" & "RELIGION" - not only are there many different Religion(s - Plural) but there are many different *SECTS/Churches* to the SAME RELIGION in MANY Cases! Not only that but there are many Different ways that you can Interpret Symbols & Scriptures & Rituals! So what are you going to do if you were to say become a Government Official with Power one of these days - FORCE everyone to "CONVERT" to only your Specific Religion\Sect with only your Specific Interpretation & Idea of "GOD"?
Originally posted by Seekerof
Bleys, you make some excellent points, and I also remember that discussion prior to the elections. I found the article you presented informative. I found one that was informative on this matter, as well. I seem to sense that I posted this link (below) when the subject came up, but for the sake of simplicity, will post it again.
The Myth of
the Separation of Church and State
...Without people of the United States upholding good moral conduct, society soon degenerates into a corrupt system where people misuse the authority of government to obtain what they want at the expense of others. The U.S. Constitution is the form of our government, but the power is in the virtue of the people. The virtue desired of the people is shown in the Bible.
Originally posted by Full Metal
Greeks didn't have the 10 Commandments but they knew murder, theft, so forth was wrong.
Japanese Empires also didn't have the 10 Commandments but knew murder, theft, so forth were wrong.
Same with China, Egypt, Indians in NA, all had no 10 Commandments but knew muder, theft, rape, were wrong. It is Christian Ego to think that the laws are based on th 10C's when they aren't, they are based on common sense. Also weren't Washington and Franklin Masons? Not Christians?