It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

A History of Separation of Church and State

page: 1
0
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 09:15 PM
link   
The history of the idea of the separation of church and state is a long one that stretches back to the Reformation and the subsquent counter-reformation, the thirty years wars, the St. Bartholomew Day massacre in France when the crown ordered the death of all the protestants in the kingdom, to the formation of the colonies by often mutually hostile religious groups. This should be common history, and to history buffs it is. But what is not commonly known is that it is the evangelic churches in early America that pushed the hardest for the separation of church and state, and often considered a religious duty to do so.
 



www.washingtonmonthly.com
Even though Jefferson was labeled anti-religion by some, he had become a hero to evangelicals—not in spite of his views on separation of church and state, but because of them. By this point, Jefferson had written his draft of the Virginia statute of religious freedom, and he and James Madison were known as the strictest proponents of keeping government and religion far apart. Because Baptists and other evangelicals had been persecuted and harassed by the majority faiths—the Anglicans in the South and the Puritan-influenced Congregationalists in the North—these religious minorities had concluded that their freedom would only be guaranteed when majority faiths could not use the power of the state to promote their theology and institutions.
Each side of our modern culture wars has attempted to appropriate the Founding Fathers for their own purposes. With everything from prayer in school to gay rights to courtroom displays of the Ten Commandments at stake, conservative and liberal activists are trying to capture the middle ground and win over public opinion. Portraying their views as compatible with—even demanded by—the Founding Fathers makes any view seem more sensible, mainstream, and in the American tradition. And in truth, you can find a Jefferson or Adams quote to buttress just about any argument. But there are a few facts that might actually be stipulated by both sides in the culture wars. First, the original Constitution really didn't say all that much about religion. God is not mentioned, and the only reference to religion is a ban on providing religious tests for holding office.
The 18th-century evangelicals were among the strongest advocates of this view and of the Bill of Rights, which declared that “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion.” Throughout the states, evangelicals pushed hard for ratification of the Bill of Rights in the state legislatures.
It is ironic, then, that evangelicals—so focused on the “true” history—have neglected their own. Indeed, the one group that would almost certainly oppose the views of 21st-century evangelicals are the 18th-century evangelicals. John Leland was no anomaly. In state after state, when colonists and Americans met to debate the relationship between God and government, it was the proto-evangelica1s who pushed the more radical view that church and state should be kept far apart. Both secular liberals who sneer at the idea that evangelicals could ever be a positive influence in politics and Christian conservatives who want to knock down the “wall” should take note: It was the 18th-century evangelicals who provided the political shock troops for Jefferson and Madison in their efforts to keep government from strong involvement with religion. Modern evangelicals are certainly free to take a different course, but they should realize that in doing so they have dramatically departed from the tradition of their spiritual forefathers.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is a long and fascinating article. I have quoted only from the first section, and was selective at that. I highly recommend this read. It shows to highlight the fact that the history of our country is not as clear cut as is often presented. It also highlights the fact that many of today's religious and political leaders pick and choose what to "educate" their listeners on, often to the point of all but rewriting our history. To hear some tell it, America was founded by God for the religious, and it should remain so. But as this article points out, the religious leaders of the often day didn't see it that way and wanted separation of church and state to be absolute and clear cut, often for their own protection from other churches and sects of the day. So who do we believe? The religious leaders today with their own agendas to push, or the actual voices of our dead forefathers?

Related News Links:
www.disinfo.com

[edit on 3-19-2006 by Valhall]

[edit on 22-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]




posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 09:58 PM
link   
You are right. It is a very provacative take on the separation of church and state. And, it serves to rewrite the adage that the religion in the States did not advocate this notion. Religious freedom is something that the Founding Fathers strongly believed in--especially because America became a haven for individuals who were persecuted for what they espoused in the Old World.

And in modern times, it should stay that way. People should have the right to believe what they want free of being "pushed" into another religion by other individuals. Another fact about this article is the issue of choice. The problem of politicians and other dignitaries in American society who advocate a particular religion is that they feel that all Americans should believe the way they do. However, the U.S. is too diverse of a nation to force every individual to embrace a singular religion. Tolerance should be supported when it comes to religion.

I believe that as Fundamentalists of any stripe can possess the right to practice their religion and worship in their own way, people should live in America without the pressure of being pushed into a belief system because of the fear of "going to Hell".

But what is problematic about religion seeping into state policy is the fact that if one type of religion is espoused when making law, that single doctrine as law restricts the rights of others. Then, it turns into a "faith-based" dictatorship. And that is something that not all Americans want.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 08:09 AM
link   
I agree whole heartedly...if you read all my posts on various threads on religious subjects you would see an individual doing their best to be tolerant...not always succeeding but attempting anyway.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 08:53 AM
link   
What I can't believe is why people can so conveniently forget the simple fact of the Tyranny of the Church of England at the time. I'm certain the forefathers of our nation didn't forget it. They knew the evils of the marriage of church and state first hand.

And a disdain for organized religion does not exclude their beliefs in God, which is what I think confuses many people on both sides of the issue. They were, even the deists, men of faith, however, they were wary of putting power of any governing guise into the hands of the Church. A faith in God, but not a Faith in men who would use God to control men.

Today, what we find is that while prayer in school or a depiction of the ten commandments isn't necessarily church and state hand in hand, it's the slippery slope. There are those that are wary of the use of even the smallest thing for precedent. For there are those that would rather we did lose our freedom and that the Church was enpowered.

This is why you see the blacklash against Organized Religion.

If people feel as I do, it's not that I have a single thing against faith, against those of faith. I happen to think that there are a great many strengths to be found in various religious teachings.

But I also know that there are those that wish to make this nation a theocracy. Or short of that, wish that they could enforce their notions and morals, teachings and ways. That's why fundamentalism frightens me. That's why evangelicals frighten me. That's why I'm uncomfortable with our president's religious fervor. It's not their faith that I fear, worry or condemn. Its what they would do because of it. How they would use it.

I'd like to think the founding fathers of our nation would feel the same way too.

edit: spelling error

[edit on 20-3-2006 by Jadette]


df1

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 12:56 PM
link   
The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels is also a good read for the folks that have an interest in this thread. It is not surprising that the usual ATS suspects which desire to impose their religion on the entire U.S. do not wish to comment on this thread. I suspect that this is because the religion they practice has nothing to do with God or Jesus Christ and everything to do with the desire to persecute those that do not believe as they do.
.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 01:16 PM
link   
I love that book...that and Robert O. Ballou's "The Bible of The World", first published aug. 1939 and containing the essential scriptures of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Tao, Confusiusism, Zoreasterism, Christianity (in Jefferson Bible format as well as the gospels) and Islam. I think it is still in print in much abridged form as the woirld bible.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:34 PM
link   

Originally posted by df1
The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels is also a good read for the folks that have an interest in this thread. It is not surprising that the usual ATS suspects which desire to impose their religion on the entire U.S. do not wish to comment on this thread. I suspect that this is because the religion they practice has nothing to do with God or Jesus Christ and everything to do with the desire to persecute those that do not believe as they do.


Hmmmm.... Is this the part you are referring to?

Jefferson Bible Chapter 3


Judge not, that ye be not judged.
36 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
37 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.
38 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
39 Or how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
40 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.


Yeah. I think that's it. Maybe we ought to all review that, eh df1?



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:42 PM
link   
The separation of church and state and the diveristy of the nation and the concept of human rights all come directly from the socialistic/humanistic/globalists which often used groups like the freemasons to move forward their agenda. The middle class in Europe sought to take down the monarchy so that they could increase their wealth and power while doing what they wanted in private. In all this discussion of separation of church and state I don't see much reference to what the people wanted.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:45 PM
link   
HUH? Need I repeat myself? HUH? I count myself as a fairly well read individual and that made no sense to me whatsoever.



posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 03:25 AM
link   
I don't think that the separation of church and state is a conspiracy. About the Founding Fathers being masons, that is another matter and a subject of a movie, National Treasure(2005).

What I do know is that we have a unique system set in place in regards of separating religion and the state. The ancestors of our Founding Fathers came from the Old World. Their antedecedents had to witness the persecution of the Catholics by a series of English monarchies (Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, etc.) as well as the institution of the crown as head of the Anglican Church. They also had to live through the takeover of Cromwell (i.e., the beheading of Charles I of England and the institution of the Commonwealth), not to mention the concessions made between Catholics and Protestants (Charles II[who married a Catholic wife], James II [who was Catholic]). England eventually renounced religious persecution in 1689 during the reign of William III and Mary II.

Lest we forget that America became a refuge for religious dissidents from the Old World. Mennonites, Hugenots, Salzbergers,the Puritans and many other sects found the New World much more tolerable than the one they left behind.

With all the different conflicts each sect had with each other both in Europe as well as America, I am not surprised that most of the founding fathers were Deists. And it was a good thing they were. I am in agreement with Jadette and the others that the Founding Fathers had the foresight to see from their cultural and historical roots that centering on one religion would cause a lot of problems for their growing nation.

And then, to hear that the churches aided in this endeavor to separate belief and government add more to the fabric of religious tolerance than ever before. This goes past revisionist history. It sheds light on how ingenious the Constitution is.


[edit on 22-3-2006 by ceci2006]

[edit on 22-3-2006 by ceci2006]


df1

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 09:36 AM
link   

denythestatusquo
The separation of church and state and the diveristy of the nation and the concept of human rights all come directly from the socialistic/humanistic/globalists which often used groups like the freemasons to move forward their agenda.

This freemasonic agenda of which you speak included freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom from being ruled by a monarch. And most likely the U.S. Constitution would not even exist if not for freemasonry.

And you think these are bad things?



posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 12:10 PM
link   
This is not news. Why is this in ATSNN? Come on.



posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 08:36 PM
link   

Originally posted by grover
What is not commonly known is that it is the evangelic churches in early America that pushed the hardest for the separation of church and state, and often considered a religious duty to do so.


Dats a fact Jack!

Issac Backus was preaching the Separation of Church and State in 1773 when he wrote that where ecclesiastical and civil governments are well distinguished. the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued; of which the Holy Ghost gave early and plain warnings.

Backus employed and may have originated the "No human authority" phrase which eventually found its way into numerous State Constitutions including those of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee. Kentucky and Texas.

Thomas Jefferson may have borrowed the "no government intermeddling with religion" idea from Backus.

Source of Information: Isaac Backus, A History of New England 1774--75. press-pubs.uchicago.edu...


Fred Von Flash



posted on Mar, 31 2006 @ 12:15 AM
link   
The question I have to ask is: Why is it so bad that a politician shows a little humanity and has a little faith in something other than money?

I mean, er, well, I mean that it almost seems to me that if you are going to become a politician, you might as well sell your soul *so to speak* and never say another word on any religion ever again, lest you get backslapped by the media and their attempts to paint everything yellow.

At least that's what I see if the truest form of the separation of Church and State occurs, you will see soulless drones going to office, and I don't know about you, but I don't feel right with that kind of person running my government, because I don't know that he has any true morals.

If anything, if a politician uses religion in their life, and publically shows it, I like them more. Ok ok, yeah, I know, that's how Bush won my vote last time, but did I ever hear a peep out of Kerry on it, nope, not one...



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 01:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by Sir Solomon
The question I have to ask is: Why is it so bad that a politician shows a little humanity and has a little faith in something other than money?


You're confusing two issues here, Sol.

"Separation of church and state" is Jefferson's shorthand for the two religion clauses of the First Amendment: that Congress shall make no law "respecting" (more on this in a sec) the establishment of religion, and that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

In practice, it means that the state shall not impose religion on unbelievers, nor any particular religion on those who believe another, nor penalize people in any way for practicing their faith. It goes further than prohibiting the actual establishment of a religion by forbidding any law that "respects" such establishment. This is interpreted to mean that Congress may not spend public money for the promotion of religion, or act as if this nation were founded upon the principles of a religious faith, because those would tend to give the religion being promoted a privileged position, and so "respect" its establishment as a national faith.

The reason for doing this is because, as the early evangelicals knew from bitter experience, a religion with the power of the state behind it means persecution of other religions. And the evangelical denominations were in the minority at that time, as they still are nationwide, but not locally in some areas. And it is ironic, as this thread suggests, for evangelicals now to be promoting (in effect) the establishment of their own faith as our national faith, with all the dire consequences that would follow.

However, "separation of church and state" does NOT imply that a politician may not be a person of faith, or that he may not be guided by his faith in his politics.

Unless, of course, what his faith guides him to do, is to establish that faith's tenets in law. That is where the line is crossed.

[edit on 8-4-2006 by Two Steps Forward]



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 09:47 AM
link   
politics and religion..one of the oldest scams in the world.

What I know of the founders and their knowlege of the "mischief" that governments were wont to get into is that the system of Government most popular was that of Divine Right Kings,Gods, Or Emperors.
This variation took place all over the world at different times but always with the same results. The results were a stagnant economy with a few people..the Royalty and priesthood..living well off the labors of the people.
This system of Royalty supported by the priesthood was often called "Feudalism".
This became in many nations a manner of controlling the people while fleecing them. A King whose crown was put on him by the religious authoritys...to go against the King was to go against God. No change was possible under this type of system. Particularly in Catholic nations in the western world.
In the western world...this system was put to rest in the English Civil War which put a end to Divine Right of Kings when Charles 1st was put on the executioners block and his head removed in 1649. No king or ruler of England has since ever attempted to declare themselves "Divine Right."
Our founders knew this history and Mischief of governments when the two ..church and state are merged. In America this became known as the Seperation of Church and state. To prevent the Divine Right of Kings type of mischief.

This limit on Government is exactly that ..a limit on Government ..it was never intended to be a limit on the people as it is practiced by Government today. This is a con job by government to promote the Government as the ultimate authority in religious matters...exactly what was done under Divine Right of Kings. In this type of senerio ,the Government once again becomes the authority ...suplanting the publics belief system....with government. If this system contuinues you will eventually wind up with Hegel's postion " The State is God" It is just another road back to "Divine right of Kings." Of if you like ..this is a road back to feudalism. And Fuedalism is a continutation of the olde pagan kings/emperor systems supported by the priesthoods for fleecing the public. Church and state once again united.

I submit to many of you that politics is itself a religion..one in which the rules are undefined..unclear and often hidden from the public for whom politics intends to rule. Some of you need to take a closer look at politics and the nature of its "religion" that they are attempting to impose on the public by default...based on the public ignoarnce and the unawares nature of many while they blindside the public with entertainments.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 05:13 PM
link   

Originally posted by orangetom1999
This limit on Government is exactly that ..a limit on Government ..it was never intended to be a limit on the people as it is practiced by Government today.


In what ways, specifically, does government place a "limit on the people" with respect to religion?

That the government may not display religious symbols on public property, that the Ten Commandments may not be displayed in a courtroom, that public schools may not conduct officially-sanctioned prayer, all of these are restrictions no government, not on private acts of worship by the people.

Perhaps you were thinking of something else, though, Tom. If so, please do enlighten us.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 07:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by Two Steps Forward

Originally posted by orangetom1999
This limit on Government is exactly that ..a limit on Government ..it was never intended to be a limit on the people as it is practiced by Government today.


In what ways, specifically, does government place a "limit on the people" with respect to religion?

That the government may not display religious symbols on public property, that the Ten Commandments may not be displayed in a courtroom, that public schools may not conduct officially-sanctioned prayer, all of these are restrictions no government, not on private acts of worship by the people.

Perhaps you were thinking of something else, though, Tom. If so, please do enlighten us.



Here is one example from the past of Government telling a church it does not meet the standard....


This isn't the first time the Clinton/Gore Administration has been involved in anti-Christian activities in recent years. In 1996, a federal Bankruptcy Court sued the Crystal Evangelical Free Church of Free Hope, Minnesota to recover tithe money that had been given to the church by a couple who had filed for bankruptcy.

The Bankruptcy Court ruled that this tithe was fraudulent--and could be confiscated--because the donors had received nothing of value in return. The Bankruptcy Court was aided by Attorney General Janet Reno who filed a 50 page brief against the church. "In this brief," said Sheldon, "The Justice Department compared this couple's church tithe to the ill-gotten gains of drug dealers."


Tithe money is money people give to chuches as part of worship..methinks %10 is the norm......wow....Janet must not have had enough to do besides burning the cultists out? LOL


Since when are schools considered "government? If taxpayers support the schools, why then do the taxpayers do not have a voice in what ideas and ethics are taught in said schools??

Since when are persons with bibles in the workplace considered "government"? If my work mate objects to me having a bible on my desk, then why must I remove it? Is this seperation of church and state????? Yet, we see time and again that this occurs.

Or, is this seperation of me and my bible????

Since when does the Ten commandments or a Nativity display on or in front of a privately owned building become "governmental"??

Please tell me how the above qualifiy under a Constituional prohibition against government proclaiming one faith superior to another and giving said faith a prominent seat in our government??

I have 4 letters to explain this activity to you: [B]ACLU[/B]



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 07:35 AM
link   
Tyriffic:

Regarding the bankruptcy court, that is not a religion in government issue, but a matter of civil liability. Whether I think the court right or wrong, the case has no First Amendment implications and does not belong in this discussion.


Originally posted by Tyriffic
Since when are schools considered "government?


Since they are funded by the government. Thus, what is done in them is done with public money and amounts to government policy. Of course, that only applies to public schools.



If taxpayers support the schools, why then do the taxpayers do not have a voice in what ideas and ethics are taught in said schools??


They do, but there is a difference between a voice and a dictate. You may not, for example, impose the practices of YOUR religion on MY children if they happen to attend the same school.



If my work mate objects to me having a bible on my desk, then why must I remove it? Is this seperation of church and state?


Of course not. It's a company policy. And it has nothing to do with the subject under discussion.



Or, is this seperation of me and my bible????


Essentially, yes. And if you want to complain about that, talk to your boss. Or maybe find another job.

Of course, knowing you from your posts, I suspect you may have been doing something rather beyond merely having your Bible on your desk, and that the company was trying to stop you from disrupting the work environment by harassing people. But in any case, your boss isn't the government and so is not bound by the First Amendment.



Since when does the Ten commandments or a Nativity display on or in front of a privately owned building become "governmental"??


Only if the government funds the display, of course, or if the private owner of the building is a business working on a government contract and displaying said material in the context of that job. A person may display whatever religious symbols they please in their own home, of course.



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 08:33 AM
link   
placing a restriction on the people with respect to religion.

Notice the wording of the first amendment.

"Government shall make no law respecting the 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."

Notice he terms "prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Also notice that this 1st amendment was a limit on government.
Proceed on to Amendment #2...again the words "shall not" Or in the case of Amendment #1..." shall make no law"

Notice limits on Government. .by the use of the words "shall not..shall make no law." These are obvious limits on Government not the people.

Continue on down through the Xth amendment...all shall nots..shall make no law... IN amendment X this power is reserved for the states or the people...not the federal government.

This is very telling.

Because facts of this type of conduct are that in some states ...particularly out west...in California ..they are teaching Islamic studys in public schools..and using role playing games to enforce it. This would never happen using Christianity. Government sponsored religion. You can find this on the web.

The government gets around this by switching to a new set of rules by court decision..called the "Exclusionary Clause"
This is a set of rules or decisions to get around what the constitution clearly says.

The limits were always on Government never the people.
The limits were for the purpose of keeping government out of this "mischief" that historically governments are wont to get into. Issues that favor Government and against the people as is the case in those states teaching by using Islamic studys in public schools.

What you will find when you look at the overall pattern of operation is that they will tolerate any dogma..any religion but Christianity.
When you take it to the next step in de...evolution..is that the religion they are actually sponsoring is Government.

They are limiting the free exercise thereof..of the public while allowing the Government the free exercise of the government religion..with a double standard at public expense....

This double standarded religion practiced by Government becomes clear when you see the pandering of Government to the Illegal aliens..in spite of what the public wants or decides on this issue...this is a example of the Government religion at work...This religion is called politics...and it obviously has very zealous and devout adherants.
This religion of politics obviously permeates the public schools since the government finances public schooling. THey are by financing one and the same as is the fingerprint of this type of confusion sponsored by government.
Its simple ..no complexity involved here.

Thanks,
Orangetom



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join