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There is no Seperation of Church and State.

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posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 09:31 PM
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I'm freaking sick of hearing buffoons say that "this or that violates Seperation of Church and State!"

Only one Constitution I know of on earth has had a clause stating "that the Church and State shall be seperate". And that is the Soviet Constitution. I bet most of you didn't even know the Soviet Union had a Constitution.

Will someone please point out to me where in our Constitution it prohibits the following:

Religious beliefs affecting decisions of elected officials. (e.g. God says there shall be no homosexuality so the politician is against homosexual marriage.)

Religious beliefs are established by the State. Note the State, not the Federal Government, the State. The Federal Government can not establish a religion, however many States still can and had until 1833.

So if anyone can tell me where our Constitution denies either of those two situations, I will believe there is this thing called "Seperation of Church and State".

However if you can not find a Constitution (federal or state) that denies these rights//powers (call them what you will), then I think you should stop mentioning anything about the "Seperation of Church and State".

Letters and Judicial Precedents do not establish our Government, nor does it establish anything "permanent". For instance, that whole "Judicial Review" thing, I'm still waiting for when the Legislature finally just tells the Supreme Court to stuff it and stuff it hard, and then pass what they think is constitutional but the Supreme Court obviously think is unconstitutional.

Precedent is strong, but not the Constitution.

So again, hello, where is this freaking "Seperation of Church and State" everyone is talking about?

Last time I checked, voting against Gay Marriage because the Bible tells you so is Constitutional.




posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:32 PM
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You may have a point after all FreeMason

As the original Constitution was widely criticized for lacking a specific bill of rights, 1789, The first Amendment, Article 1 of the bill of rights, states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

A decade later, in a well-thought-out letter to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist Association, President Thomas Jefferson declared that the first Amendment erected" a wall of separation between church and state"

The first amendment and the rest of the Bill of Right applied at first only to the federal goverment.

The United States invented and pioneered the principle of separation of church and state. The clearest expresion of the separation principle is found in the Supreme Court's 1947 rulling in Everson V. Board of education.

www.oyez.org...

Cheif Justice William Rehnquist said in an attack of the separation principle
The "wall of separation between church and state" is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.

The job of the supreme court is to sort out church-state and religious liberty disputes generally in favor of a civil libertarian, separation point of view. But thank to Regan and Bush, the court can no longer be relied upon the settle church-state contriversies in a open manner, (must of the appointees in the supreme court are from Reagan-Bush era) so the principles of Jefferson and Madison are overseen.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:39 PM
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Actually marg, the bill of rights, while it does apply to the states, does not restrict the states from establishing any religion now or ever. In 1833 Massachussetts was the last state to disestablish a religion and I don't know which states today have such a restriction in their own constitutions.

But any that does not could effectually attempt to do so. Of course the Civil War shows that the States have no more real power so they can't really do anything. Unless they're willing to take back what is rightfully theirs.

For the record, the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states because of that wretched 14th Amendment which was unconstitutionally ratified.



Madison actually believed that religions is fine, no one wanted the Federal Government to dictate what religion people had to follow, no State wanted that either, but the States as I stated elsewhere did not want religion to be "swept under the carpet" as some Seperation of Church and State proponents are trying to do today.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:50 PM
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Yes it applied at first to the federal government, as it was assumed that state constitutions and governments, would protect the liberties of citizens of the states, By the end of the Civil War, it was obvious that the states were not up to giving basic rights.

The 14 Amendment was added to the constitution in 1868, to remedy that deficiency. And you are right, the Supreme Court did not see fit to apply the Bill of Rights to state and local government, as the 14 Admendment was intended to do, until after World War 1.

It is fair to say that for most of our history as a nation, the separation principle has grown slowy giving United States the greatest degree of separation and free exercise of religion of any country.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by FreeMason
For the record, the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states because of that wretched 14th Amendment which was unconstitutionally ratified.


Southern states kinda screwed themselves in this case wouldn't you agree.



Though the Northern states ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, it was decisively rejected by the Southern and border states, failing to secure the 3/4 of the states necessary for ratification under Article V. The Radical Republicans responded with the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which virtually expelled the Southern states from the Union and placed them under martial law. To end military rule, the Southern states were required to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:08 PM
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No marg, ugh, you have fallen for the same trash everyone else has.

The States always protected basic human rights better than the Federal Government.

The problem was that in the South, there were 4 million "nobodies".

By the end of the Civil War, there was a proposal to emancipate the slaves, the 13th Amendment, and all but Mississippi ratified.

The 14th Amendment started with a good idea, make these new "nobodies" somebodies, Citizens.

The problem was the 14th Amendment also said that the Federal Government had full power to protect the rights of these citizens.

That was the great flaw that led to the 2nd Reconstruction Act and the death of the "true" United States.

The 14th Amendment was never "added" it was never ratified, I forget off hand how many states did not ratify or ratified but it fell short something like 40%. Where as you can only have 25% not ratify.

In fact it was not even proposed, before the Federal Government abolished the same State Governments that had ratified the 13th Amendment, they kicked out the Senators and Representatives that would have not proposed the Amendment on scrupulous charges, one was a New Jersey Senator barred from voting because he was elected not by a majority but by a plural majority. Which was fully Constitutional in New Jersey.

See, the States had ALWAYS protected the rights of their citizens...as I like to say, are the citizens really going to oppress themselves?

NO!

If the black slaves were citizens with voting rights there would NOT have been slavery.

The 14th Amendment was begun with a great idea, make the blacks citizens, but it ended in the greatest tragedy this nation will ever know.

"as it was assumed that state constitutions and governments, would protect the liberties of citizens of the states, By the end of the Civil War, it was obvious that the states were not up to giving basic rights."

Again I just want to stress, you are under a misconception that the States had ever not protected the rights of their citizens, the States ARE its citizens!

The problem was blacks were not, and when they were emancipated, they still were not "citizens". The Southernors also had no problem with making them citizens, until the Federal Government (I forget who propsed the 14th itself) stated in the 14th Amendment that it would determine what is constitutional or not in a State.

This is also worsened by some legislative attempts to put blacks into Southern legislatures without even a vote.

Well it's fair to say that since 1867 we've been living a lie. It's a travesty.

Actually if you've ever wondered why Andrew Johnson was impeached, it was because he would not support the 14th Amendment either.

The 14th Amendment was the Federal Government forever smashing the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality. To do so it established military governments in 11 states and banned 22 senators and more than 40 representatives from voting from States Northern and Southern alike that would not propose it.

And as a Senator said during those times (I dont' have my book on me so can't give out names):

"We do not know what the consequences will be of this amendment will be sufice that it will take away the trust of the people from the States, and place it in the hands of the Federal Government."

Almost as profound as another amendment I hate, the 18th


Which a great quote is as follows:

Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field predicted that, "Our political contests will become a war of the poor against the rich, a war constantly growing in intensity and bitterness."

In 1867 the Federal Government led by Republicans (who ironically now are against what they did), smashed what our Union stood for, and created a single nation where the President is neigh God, the Judiciary rules all the States with its unrepresentative hands, and the representatives beg for hand-me-downs in a process called "Pork Barrelling".

The Income Tax Amendment is a good example of the culmination of this crime.

And if you don't believe that prediction, look at how people argue that Kerry is a man for "the people" and Bush a man for "big greedy businesses".

This all doesn't have much to do with Seperation of Church and State per-say suffice to say that without this usurpation of State's Rights, we'd not really be having any problem today.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:23 PM
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FreeMason,

(This all doesn't have much to do with Seperation of Church and State per-say suffice to say that without this usurpation of State's Rights, we'd not really be having any problem today.)

You may be able to jump from one topic to another but I am a littler slow here, you got me lost, I though we were talking about state and church.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:43 PM
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We are, I created a new thread because it is important for people to understand WHY the Feds are able to do some of the things they currently do today, and how it is Unconstitutional.

That is from everything from saying a State can't ban abortions or put the Ten Commandments in its own court houses and so forth...

As for Seperation of Church and State, getting back on topic, I again still see no "institutional" seperation.

All I see is an "idea" that the State should not be seen as "Catholic" or as "Christian" and that is fine.

But for instance when an Atheist says that Seperation of Church and State denies the Congress the right to prayer each opening, I don't see where that exists anywhere in our institution. That is the US Constitution.

And so I think the idea is being taken too far, and people need to be reminded of something.

It is taken too far as people are beginning to believe it is an "institutional" construct and not just an "idea".

They need to be reminded it is just an idea, and however good an idea it is, like any idea it is subject to far more interpretation than an established institution is.

People can not argue with the fact that we have a "President" for the executive.

But it is vague on whether or not we can put "in god we trust" on our money, in fact the US Constitution doesn't say we can't, just an idea by one man "Thomas Jefferson". One man who had nothing to do with the creation of our Federal Government in a "direct sense".



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:53 PM
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So, in the example you used, prayer in Congress isn't a law establishing a prayer, but the idea of the Congress to have such. It's not anywhere in its "rules&conduct"? A tradition?

Also, in reference to the money...I'm not too familiar about this, so why wouldn't the protection against an establishment of religion refer to this?

You believe because the Congress will pass whatever it wants, regardless of constitutionality and that's why they will tell the Supreme Court to stuff it. I'm trying to connect your points, but I also have the idea that constitutionality doesn't matter much these days in congress.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:56 PM
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FreeMason is right, it is not in the Constitution. My history teacher was talking about it, and then asked us to look for it in the Constitution...nobody could find it..

Its not in the Constitution...but tis still considered true law due to a lovely little thing called case precedent.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:03 AM
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Precedents is not "True law" scat. There is no such thing as "true law".

There is the highest law of the land, the US Constitution.

There the second highest law of the land, Treaties.

There is Precedents, statutory and then common laws.

And like I said, Precedents are strong but if anyone decided to go against it, they are legitimately capable of doing so.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:05 AM
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Jahmun, first, the Congress can't pass what is "Unconstitutional", but who is to say it is or isn't constitutional?

The Constitution doesn't say, so it's really a toss up for anyone. Currently the people bring it up as a violation of the Constitution and take it to the Courts.

But the Legislature if having the backing of the people could tell the courts to stuff it. Nothing but precedents stop them


The establishment clause only prevents the Federal Government from taxing religions and from "establishing" them, which is what England has done with the Anglican Church...



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:12 AM
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I meant "true" as an adjective, Mason.


But seriusly, precedent is very strong, you cant dumb it down. On separation of church and state matters, precedent supporting it is all theyve got, and its enough to convince any judge...even though before witnesses get to the stand theyve got to swear on the Bible!



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:16 AM
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FreeMason-You intrigued me on the matter, so I took a look at several sites. Some supported your arguments, some refuted them. It would appear that this comes down to what your particular ideology is to begin with.

From one site:



(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 I believe that religion should play no part in my lawmakers or judicial appointees decisions, I am more inclined to agree with the above interpretation.

You state that "who is to say what is or isn't constitutional" Well, I'll tell you, the Courts with SCOTUS having the final say. And so far the Courts have made a point of agreeing that the the 1st amend. does provide for separation of church and state.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:31 AM
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Jahmun, first, the Congress can't pass what is "Unconstitutional", but who is to say it is or isn't constitutional?


So are you talking about the usage of legalese? In that, if the laws are worded differently, then they are technically not unconstitutional? But higher courts are still able to overturn lower court decisions. So that if the higher lets a man go free because they believe he was tried with something uncostitutional, their decision only applies for that man. And that the precedent will reside its power in establishing a rule of conduct with the lower courts.
So that Congress will only take note of their decision, but can still decide otherwise.
So what happens if the courts are filled with many people that were in violation of a US law and the courts promptly through them out. Can Congress say, no, that man must stay in jail? Or have they done so?

Oh, never mind, I guess its actually the president who checks the Supreme Court, in that he gives pardons. Does Congress check the pardons?

Anyway, very interesting implication peicing this info together.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 01:11 AM
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Oh and one final thought before I retire for the evening. In 1879 a mormon polygamist sought relief from the Courts citing freedom to practice religion as prescribed under the 1st amendment. The Court squashed his contention. From the decision:



In our opinion, the statute immediately under consideration is within the legislative power of Congress. It is constitutional and valid as prescribing a rule of action for all those residing in the Territories, and in places over which the United States have exclusive control. This being so, the only question which remains is, whether those who make polygamy a part of their religion are excepted from the operation of the statute. If they are, then those who do not make polygamy a part of their religious belief may be found guilty and punished, while those who do, must be acquitted and go free. This would be introducing a new element into criminal law. Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. Suppose one believed that human sacrifices were a necessary part of religious worship, would it be seriously contended that the civil government under which he lived could not interfere to prevent a sacrifice? Or if a wife religiously believed it was her duty to burn herself upon the funeral pile of her dead husband, would it be beyond the power of the civil government to prevent her carrying her belief into practice?

So here, as a law of the organization of society under the exclusive dominion of the United States, it is provided that plural marriages shall not be allowed. Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? The permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances....


Seem pretty clear as early as 1879 that the Court (the only authority for determining constitutionality) noted that a man's religious beliefs are not superior to the laws of the land.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 01:36 AM
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the US constituition was not thought up by idiots. it does not spell out everything one can or cannot do since these guys had the foresight to see that whatever was written then may have the tendency and need to change over time as society evolved. the constituition is there to give everyone basic rights and in unity will be able to overthrow any "wrong" at any point in time. hence u get freedom of speech first.

so theres nothing written abt sep of church n state in the constitution, and rightly so.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 08:29 AM
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It is fair to say that the constitution does not say separation of state and church, what the constitution did was to protect the practice of religion from the state.

Article 1 of the bill of rights, states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief.

www.law.cornell.edu...

So I see how the division of state and church, came from.

The "wall of separation between church and state" is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 06:25 PM
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In order to grasp the intent of the founding fathers, you must ask yourself what motivated them to include the statement in the first place. Only then will you see what they had on their mind. I'm sure no one had any problem with Queen saying a prayer before a ceremony. What they did have a problem with was the Queen imprisoning those who would refuse to bow to the Church of England. Hence, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Also at the front of the revoulutionary mindset was direct ban placed on certain religions and imprisionment of the leaders of those religions (some of them well know founding fathers of this nation), hense "or prohibiting the free exercise of thereof"

Its all pretty basic so far as an understanding of the intent. It's not a seperation, but a wall blocking laws requiring worship of a certain religion or the outlaw of others.

Of course, our constitution has already been thrown out the window on any number of occasions, and it really seems like no really cares what it says untill it affects them. Certain partys want a seperation of church and state, and claim it is protected by the constitution, but will allow interpretation of the second amendment, as it suits them.



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