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Freedom of religion isn't Freedom from Religion

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posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:07 AM
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If you've come here to read about how the U.S. is a Christian nation and how I support of the completely insane 'Tea Party' talking points inserted into the Maine GOP Platform you've come to the wrong thread.

voices.washingtonpost.com...

I'm interested in getting an answer to some folks seeming ambivalence to the intent of the Founders in establishing the religion clause in the First Amendment.
Here's how I view it: Today, in this great country of ours, we are an overwhelmingly Protestant Christian Nation, nothing wrong with that.
Yet I can see the day when as times change, and influence changes, and our country endures, there may in fact come a day when Protestant Christians make up less than 50 percent of the population?
Or the day when a Muslim/Mormon/Atheist/Catholic/Buddhist/Hindu/Moonie/Raelian etc. etc population becomes the majority religion in this country?
Are we so short-sighted that we can't see how the religion clause would protect Christians If/When they become a minority religion in this country?
Wouldn't we then really appreciate the protection provided by the First Amendment?
Doesn't it truly allow us the the freedom to worship in an environment where the Federal Government is religiously neutral?
Just wondering.




posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:18 AM
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Are we so short-sighted that we can't see how the religion clause would protect Christians If/When they become a minority religion in this country?
Wouldn't we then really appreciate the protection provided by the First Amendment?


If you become a minority religion group, are you asking for exclusive rights, domination rights, superiority rights over others, or for right of freedom to worship?



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:20 AM
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Simply the Constitutionally guaranteed right to worship in a country that has no State sponsored religion, that could in effect declare my religion illegal/unpatriotic... you know, kinda like atheism is now (kidding, I'm Kidding).

[edit on 14-5-2010 by kenochs]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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Freedom of religion most certainly is fredom from religion also.

Those with the unusually zealous need to insist that America was founded as a "christian nation" are quite frankly, idiots, and an embarassment to the nation.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 

Okay...a bit strident, but yeah, we're thinking along the same lines.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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Have you ever visited any towns in the south?

It doesn't matter who is a minority or a majority.

There are signs at the border of many towns, but I will be specific about one, you are not just entering Amite, there is a sign that reads:

Jesus is Lord over Amite.

Many towns and cities have signs like these, and I find them completely offensive. First of all Jesus is not in the area, and the towns should be embracing diversity. Nothing like separation of church and state, huh?



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by kenochs
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 

Okay...a bit strident, but yeah, we're thinking along the same lines.


Well, no reason to mince words here or play it safe. Let's get right to the heart of it and stir the puddin' a bit.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by kenochs
 



Are we so short-sighted that we can't see how the religion clause would protect Christians If/When they become a minority religion in this country?


I have thought about this and have brought it up on the boards before. As a devout Christian, nothing is more precious and sacred to me as my faith. Christianity will not be a social majority in this country forever. We already see the 'end times falling away' occurring. It is only a matter of time before we are the minority.

And even if we were the majority for centuries to come, personal faith is still too precious to have the government meddle with it in any way. For instance, there are different denominations of Christianity as well as the Protestant/Catholic differences. My beliefs are too sacred to me to have to adjust my faith to adhere to a doctrine my spirit is opposed to.

Although it's impossible for me to be morally outraged when I hear a Christian prayer said in school (and the outrage that occurs in anti-Christian circles), I do believe the day is coming when Christians will be the persecuted minority so I do support a separation of church and state.

My faith is just too precious to have to compromise or to run the risk of having someone else tell me how to worship.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
Although it's impossible for me to be morally outraged when I hear a Christian prayer said in school


Naturally, if you're a devout christian you would have no outrage. Having islamic prayers read in school probably would outrage you though. This is one reason why we don't do it. Prayers belong in religious buildings, education belongs in schools.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


I agree, but "True Christianity" is not the majority in America anymore, or at least that is what I see in my community. I think the majority of those who claim to be "Christian" are doing so because that is what their parents did or considered the norm. When in reality those same people have no personal faith. I certainly do not want to label or judge anyone, but in my circle, that is what I see.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Exactly. And that is human nature. You can acknowledge something is wrong on an objective level but you may only feel outraged by something that is dear to oneself. I feel outraged when I see that. I felt outrage hearing what my brother went through as an elementary student when his teachers enrolled him in new age meditation where they were instructed to contact spirits and go on guided 'mind trips.' The children were even given instructions not to tell their parents about it. It was a huge scandal back in the 80's (Looks up the DUSO program).

But because I'm a Christian, it's difficult to feel 'outraged' or 'violated' when it happens to be something I agree with. However, I would rather it be 'nothing at all' and I can worship in private as I see fit than to be told in order to accommodate my beliefs, we have to accept everything else as well. It's just not worth it to me.

Because Christ is something we carry in our hearts, it is fine. The only thing I do get pretty pissy about are the totally moronic stories like a teacher getting fired because she wore a cross pendant or students were not allowed to offer thanks to God in their graduation speech.

That is over the line IMO because it has nothing to do with the laws concerning a government-sanctioned religion or congress passing laws concerning religion. Instead, that is PC overkill and a infringing on the person to express their beliefs in a personal way.

So, alright. I can agree to not all get together and force everyone to pray to my God. However, let's not get ridiculous either and make it a federal case when I pray over my lunch at school, etc.

[edit on 5/14/2010 by AshleyD]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:02 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


No, I would not be offended if the child who sat next to mine in school said their Islamic prayers. What does offend me is not allowing that child or my child to pray the way they feel fit. We have become so PC that our vision of the original intent is clouded.

Now, if the teacher stood up and said "Okay class, time to recite our daily Islamic prayer", yes, I would be upset. I am not in favor of that. But, when a child is told they cannot read their Bible in school because it might "offend" someone, that, in my opinion, is just crap.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:58 AM
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I don't know of anyone who would be offended by someone reading their bible during personal reading time at school, that's akin to not allowing them to read Huck Finn. I also don't know of any Constitutional scholar who would suggest that is a violation of the religion clause. I smell a paper tiger.

I have gotten into the "room for Islamic Prayer" controversy before, which does speak to an odd perturbation of the clause. I'd be interested to see what people think about that.

So, the issue is: are schools obligated to provide areas for Muslims to pray given that their religion proscribes/requires specific prayers at specific times of day?

And don't say 'if Christians can't do it, Muslims can't.' That doesn't fly the only scripture I remember about that issue is: ''when you pray, pray in your closet."



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by kenochs
So, the issue is: are schools obligated to provide areas for Muslims to pray given that their religion proscribes/requires specific prayers at specific times of day?


No, schools are no more obligated to provide areas for islamic prayer than they are required to provided marijuana for rastafrians.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 

Fair enough, my thinking on this one is swaying towards yours but I'm not yet convinced. In some cases (like this one) the religion clause provides the opportunity to protect the expression of religion (though certainly not mandate it) but that may be a incredibly slippery slope that leads us to mandates.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by kenochs
 


Freedom to worship is guaranteed. But with every right comes the responsibility of CONSIDERATION of others. You do not live alone.

One is free to practice one's religion without fear in private space. But when it becomes practises that need to be done in public space, than consideration for others who is of different beliefs will be the priority.

For example, you need to silently pray in class. No harm in that.

You need to go out to a special room to pray. There is no obligation that a school provide such space as the school is a PUBLIC institution. But most do offer up a space. This is a priviledge, NOT an entitlement.

You need to wear a veil in class. This is a clear and visible object that obstruct sight of you to the teacher and classmates, unlike pendants or rings.

As you are in public space, remember - CONSIDERATION of others is the rule of thumb, or peace will be shattered.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 04:54 PM
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Thomas Jefferson on religion (no wonder Texas is trying to erase him from them commie textbooks):



The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823, quoted from James A Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996)

It is between fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse, and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.... what has no meaning admits no explanation. -- Thomas Jefferson, to Alexander Smyth, January 17, 1825




Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. -- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82




[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. -- Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779), quoted from Merrill D Peterson, ed, Thomas Jefferson: Writings (1984), p. 347




I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another. -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1799

I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others. -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Dowse, April 19, 1803





History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. -- Thomas Jefferson, to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813


www.positiveatheism.org...

Best,
SN



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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reply to post by skunknuts
 


If secular rule such as capitalism, communism and socialism had been compromised, twisted and manipulated by mere flawed mortals and led to more innocent human beings being brutually murdered, how more religion too?

Seek and study from the source, and the wellspring of truth will enlighten your mind, on what you indidividually must do to set the world right again. It begins with one.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by SeekerofTruth101]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by kenochs
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 

Fair enough, my thinking on this one is swaying towards yours but I'm not yet convinced. In some cases (like this one) the religion clause provides the opportunity to protect the expression of religion (though certainly not mandate it) but that may be a incredibly slippery slope that leads us to mandates.


Protecting expression of religion and accommodating it are two different things. Where is the disconnect?






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