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ETHICS: Separation of Church and State

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posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 07:42 PM
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Amuk,

I actually agree with you to an extent. With the exception of satanism because that religion is really nothing but evil I think time should be devoted to theology and every one for that matter. I have friends that attended Catholic school and they were taught not only catholicism but also buddism, Hinduism, Judeoism, Islam, etc. in a required class called theology.




posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 07:49 PM
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But if you allow one religion you would have to allow them all.

Some christians see NO difference between satanism and muslims much less say, wiccans.

I would not even have a problem with satanism as long as all of them taught as myths , or as parts of others cultures.

In other words as long as it is not turned into a recrutment drive for any religion



[edit on 8-8-2004 by Amuk]



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 08:19 PM
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I don't think there is anything wrong with teaching religion in school...on the contrary, I think it is absolutely necessary. History and philosophical development cannot be understood by the student without reference to the various world religions.

But there is of course a difference in teaching a religion and practicing it. The practice of religion properly belongs in the church, synagogue, or mosque. The school is a place where members of all churches, mosques, and synagogues congregate for secular learning, with their religious bodies concentrating on religion.



[edit on 8-8-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 08:48 PM
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I suggest you all read Jefferson's books written by himself...
YOu all seem to be alittle confused as to what they were saying back then, he made it pretty clear whether you want to admit it or not.
Here i'll even be a gem enough to help ya out.

1st book: The Jefferson Bible by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson Bible

2nd book: Light and Liberty : Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson gathered together sections of the Bible and arranged them in a certain order by time or subject. Its teachings influenced his statesmanship and certainly contributed to his larger concept for building an improved society.

I must say it is very interesting.... There is nothing wrong about Jesus' teaching at all, the problem lies within "religion" I don't remember Jesus ever saying to get into heaven you must be "catholic" or "christian" Jews aren't a religion, they are a people.. Jesus' teachings do nothing but teach people ethics/morale/spirituality or a oneness with god thats it...



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 09:34 PM
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As a high school student, I can definately say that public schools should not be allowed to sponsor any one religion, or hold any prayers throughout the day. On top of the legal hurdles and worries of offending people of different religions, they're other reasons to be accounted for. In a public school classroom setting where you're one out of an average of 25 students plus your teacher, peer pressure could be immense. Not only from students for being the only one in the class who won't pray, but from teachers who could be offended by your refusal, and treat you unfairly as a result of your and their personal beliefs. Although wrong, it does happen and would be a much bigger problem in this scenario.

Having said this, I see no problem with a theology class where all the major religions (past and present) are taught, though not practiced. It is important that student learn about the way things are viewed in different cultures and religions. And as our nation's cultural diversity continues to grow it will become even more so.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 09:47 PM
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Just to clear the record for anyone thinking Jefferson was not a Christian allow me to point out a quote:


Writing in 1803 to the Universalist physician Benjamin Rush, Jefferson wrote, "To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."[1]


Also Truelies, I have read the Thomas Jefferson Bible, yet it does not prove nor disprove either side of this discussion. The Separation of Church and State discussion is completely interpretive because the founding fathers are no longer hear to tell us their true intentions. So all you have to stand on and all I have are our own personal interpretations and what is written in the constitution.



[1] www.uua.org...



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 11:30 PM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
Just to clear the record for anyone thinking Jefferson was not a Christian allow me to point out a quote:

Writing in 1803 to the Universalist physician Benjamin Rush, Jefferson wrote, "To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."


This is true, but as is mentioned in Jefferson's quote you yourself posted, Jefferson's definition of "Christian" is much different than that of the religious right.

In this quote, Jefferson calls himself a "Christian" because he subscribes to Jesus' ethical teachings. Jefferson then points out that he does not believe that Jesus was divine, nor that he claimed to be divine. In Jefferson's day, this belief was called "Liberal Christianity" and "Deism". Jefferson did not accept "orthodox" Christian theology.


[edit on 8-8-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 08:36 AM
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Enough already with the repetition of the fully debunked propaganda, to wit: The U.S. was founded as a "Christian" nation. Just because you insist on repeating it, doesn't make it any more accurate.

Back to the topic at hand. I asked what the Party platform positions are on school vouchers.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by scottsquared
Enough already with the repetition of the fully debunked propaganda, to wit: The U.S. was founded as a "Christian" nation. Just because you insist on repeating it, doesn't make it any more accurate.

Back to the topic at hand. I asked what the Party platform positions are on school vouchers.


Not only do we support school vouchers but we support the privatization of ALL schools

www.lp.org...

You have a right to see your child schooled in a manner you aprove of.

This would settle a lot of the issues like prayer in schools, etc.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 12:54 PM
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We oppose many of the school voucher programs, and strongly oppose the privatization of public schools.

We believe that education and liberty go hand in hand, and that only an educated populace is truly free.

Free public education ensures that all children have the opportunity to be educated. The public school system exists solely for this purpose, while the private institutions exist in order to turn profits, to the exclusion of children from lower income families. We believe that all children of all the people have the same right to an equal education, regardless of their parents' tax brackets.

We also support the continuation and expanding of federal grants and scholarships to assist students in pursuing college education.

Those on the right have often accused us Liberals of attempting to expand public education by "throwing money at it". But in reality, the money that the right "throws" at supporting its welfare programs to wealthy corporations could be used much more efficiently at building more schools, and especially in raising salaries for teachers, thus providing an incentive for more people to enter the profession, and reduce the teacher-student ratio.

With smaller classrooms, public education would become much more efficient, with every child having the opportunity to personal instruction time if he or she needed it.



posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
This country was founded on religion, specifically Christianity and the Bible.


I would say you are 100% Correct. Law is not intended to govern religion. The" Separation of Church and State" has been manipulated, pulled from one end to the other, and then spit up. "Separation of Church and State" is not found in the Constitution, as it has been pointed out. If this WAS Jeffersons INTENT, It could have been added to reiterate his point. As we see, it was not done. How can we argue over something that does not exist?



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 06:10 AM
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Originally posted by scottsquared
I would contend that such vouchers or tax credits are nothing more than taxpayer support for parochial or religious schools. This violation of the Constitution has gained support by the Catholic church and the Christian coalition.


Originally posted by scottsquared
Allow me to simplify my stance. As a married, childless homeowner who pays some fifty percent of my property taxes to the local school district, I am greatly offended by people who expect a tax credit for sending thier progeny to private or religious schools and hence deny the local school district of necessary funding. By any scense of fairness, if one subgroup is allowed to opt-out of some portion of thier tax burden because it is felt that they are not benefiting from the system(vouchers for religious schools)than I, without children, am deserving of the same break.


Originally posted by scottsquared
The answer lies not in transfering support to other types of schools but in full support of our public schools. This should be our highest priority as a Nation.


and I would contend that you are wrong for several reasons.

1. to give vouchers to parents and then say but you can’t use them at religious schools would be to have the government “prohibit the free exercise thereof”. To tell religious parents that they don’t qualify for a voucher based upon their religious convictions, would be tantamount to official condemnation of religion; I would think that a no-no.
2. Allow me to simplify your stance, you would rather prop up a government institution through a higher tax burden on yourself and others just to satisfy your sense of fairness. BTW, the parents would not be "opting out of a tax burden" the money wouldn’t go to them it goes to the school.
3. Study after study show that public schools in the current litigious culture are in-capable of being fixed by putting more money in. Problem students can not be separated and this will doom public schools to get worse not better, and you can raise taxes and stick all the money you want into them; the only people you hurt with that attitude are the poor and middle class. With the same teachers and more money public schools across the nation are failing miserably. In schools across the land you see no-tolerance policies and now we are seeing a quick flurry of lawsuits. Soon you will see school administrators making the same arguments that prison guards do…. You need all the special entertainment equipment to keep them in line.


Originally posted by masonic light
We believe that all children of all the people have the same right to an equal education, regardless of their parents' tax brackets.

This is not happening, and will never happen with publicly funded schools. Due to the fact that problems can not be isolated; and it is simply phrased as a wedge issue to try to pit the differing tax brackets against each other.

Originally posted by masonic light
thus providing an incentive for more people to enter the profession, and reduce the teacher-student ratio.
With smaller classrooms, public education would become much more efficient, with every child having the opportunity to personal instruction time if he or she needed it.

A 1 to 10 ratio would be un-achievable and smaller class sizes have been proven to be an emotionally pleasing issue, but nonetheless worthless to the student.


[edit on 29-8-2004 by keholmes]



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 06:41 AM
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This should not even be a 2004 campaign debate; the only reason this be the case is because so many of my fellow countrymen are too dumbed down to learn for themselves. I find it not only offensive, but deeply discouraging.

I do not care if you like the fact that this was meant to be a Christian nation, nor do I care if you like the fact that the first amendment was to prevent the federal government from picking a particular sect of Christianity to be the "national religion", but that be the case. Who says that? Not me, friends, but the Founding Fathers. Where do I get that? Do I get that from quickly finding an internet site that backs my opinion by taking quotes out of context and twisting their meaning to back my assertion? No. I say that because, unlike many of this internet generation, I read big, heavy things called books, and I read the original words of the Founders, not editorialized, twisted versions of the "truth" from either side. I have seen how both sides will run a bit reckless with the fact to bolster their personal belief, and I prefer to do my own reading, afterward, read the other sides.

I assure you, the Founding Fathers expected this to be a Christian Nation. As a matter of fact, when the nation was young, it was warned to pick elect only Christian leaders. The beginnings of this nation was rooted in Christianity, and it certainly was not a "theocracy". The fear of a theocracy is a scare tactic used by those who prefer the mere mention of the Creator of this nation, wolrd, and universe be never muttered.

While the attack against the foundation of this nation was already well under way by the 70's, the fact that the nation was a Christian nation had not been erased from our schools (I know, I was in one of them). A few decades beforehand, though, even the notion of no prayer in school was very alien and silly. Why, the basic textbook of the earliest of schools was the Bible! Some counter that the Bible was only used because it was the only book that every family would be expected to have, and while they argue that, they totally miss the irony of that argument (as I'm sure some of you reading this do).

While "open-minded" people want to argue that this nation is not a Christian nation, and want to charge that the first amendment really means freedom from religion, I challenge all of you to go and read the actual words of the very men who formed this nation with Divine Guidance, read their words fully and intact and without the leadership of some professor or editorialist to extract partial sentences, pasting them together to back their assertions, and I promise you, you will learn only one thing, and that is what I've already stated.

Once you learn the truth, then be honest enough to state that you wish to redirect the nation regardless of the historical truth. If anyone would dare do that, while I would have to disagree with them, I would have the utmost respect for them due to their honesty and courage.

For those who wish to argue with me, save your breath. I've spent several unfettered and unreined study of this and other constitutional topics and know the truth. Go forth and spend at least a few solid months doing the same.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:53 AM
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OK TC

I'll bite

If this was intended to be a "Christian Only" Nation why was other religions and faiths and even athiests not outlawed? At the time of the founding fathers most nations had no problem with forcing people to be only Christian, or Muslim, or Hindu, etc

Why would they not have just stated that Christainity in one form or the other was to be the state religion?

[edit on 29-8-2004 by Amuk]



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
I do not care if you like the fact that this was meant to be a Christian nation, nor do I care if you like the fact that the first amendment was to prevent the federal government from picking a particular sect of Christianity to be the "national religion", but that be the case.


I agree with amuk, you are doing a great disservice to our fore fathers by assuming that they where stupid enough to think that no other religion would grace our shores, even though other religions were already present. They were some very smart individuals, many of whom where Christian many of whom were not.

To say that they found the belief that this was to be a Christian nation only to be self-evident, and then not leave any language in the constitution as such would be intellectually dishonest. Nonetheless, our fore fathers made it pretty specific that they wanted freedom OF religion. You free to your beliefs, while I am free to mine. While I’m sure that you are right about the “fact” that some of the fore fathers meant this to be a Christian only nation, they could not convince the majority or it would be in the constitution. As it is not in the constitution, as there is no language anywhere in the entire constitution regarding a lone religious belief; that makes your “fact” of a Christian only nation, a belief. One made easier by faith I’m sure. However, I do agree with you that Christians have been targeted for freedom FROM religion in our current times.


[edit on 29-8-2004 by keholmes]

[edit on 29-8-2004 by keholmes]



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:47 AM
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Again, you guys are trying to wrestle with how they could have meant what I've said, and I am not wrestling with anything other than how could the American people have been duped into such a vast ignorance of their own country.

Do you not understand the difference between a Judeo-Christian nation and a governmental edict demanding that each individual be a Christian, or does the thought of answering to a higher power disturb some of you so greatly that you are blind to history?

What do you think Benjamin Franklin meant when he said that the only way this experiment in society would succeed is with Judeo-Christian ethics, morals and principles? Why would Christian ethics be necessary in a nation that free enterprise is the economic system, the people are free to pursue their own happiness without government interference and restraint and the government is run by those elected by and from the citizenry?

Alxander Hamilton understand the wickedness of mankind, he said that in general, we are vicious and that we inheirted our wickedness from our parents. That ought ring familiar to Christians here. More to the point in reference to rulers, Patrick Henry suggested that we'd be fools to think we could place to chance that our indiscriminate choice of leaders would be good men and yet not suffer the loss of liberty. Our leaders should be Godly men, men who hold themselves accountable to a higher power, the Higher Power That was mentioned quite often by our Founding Fathers, as our government and nation was forged to submit to that Higher Power.

Civilization stands when not divided, but as we've seen time and again, division fractures and destroys it. A nation can stand only if undivisible, with a solid foundation of morals and principles to keep it together. This is nothing complex, yet you seem to be blind to it. A nations laws have to be based upon something, and religious values are what the majority of nations do this. Obviously, every nation does not share the same faith; Iran is not the same as India who is dissimilar to Japan who sees things differently than we do. Obviously, cultures cannot share the same government, and they usually cannot share even the same territory for very long. Some set of values had to be ours, and as we were largely Christian to begin with, it made only sense that this be a Christian nation, hmm? Any other reasons for it to be Christian? I don't know, I'm a bit biased as I am Christian, but why not read the words of Thomas Jefferson, one of the Secularlists favorite Founders to misquote: "No nation has ever yet existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has ever been given to man and I as Chief Magistrate of this nation am bound to give it the sanction of my example."

Now, does this mean that you, whoever you are, must be a Christian? How could that be? Any Christian can tell you that there is no way anyone can make you be a Christian, but it is a gift from God. Obviously, then, you do not have to be a Christian, but that does not change the fact that the national culture, the laws and the morals should be of the Christian belief. You do not have to believe in God, that is to say, but you will still answer to the law if you murder.

Now that I have done a cursory explanation of why this is a Christian nation, let's look at the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights. For those who actually did as I suggested many months ago and bought a copy of The Federalist Papers, put it down and pick up the other paperback I suggested, The Anti-Federalist Papers. Reading that one will help you understand why the Bill of Rights were thought to be so necessary.
The federal government was not legislate for established churches, either for or against, of the several states. Each state, on the otehr hand, were perfectly capable of doing so, and that was why they so ardently wanted the federal government restricted from passing any law respecting such religion. If you recall back to your elementary school history you should recall that each of the first states were not without religion (gasp!!), six of the original 13 actually had officially supported churches! More than just those demanded that one be a Christian to hold office (Think about it, if you do not believe in God, how can you be sworn into your oath of office?). Anyway, can you imagine the civil war had the federal government elevated one denomination over the others? The infant nation would have been killed in the cradle.

It is obvious how one can be misled when it comes to the 1st amendment, especially when the drive to destroy liberties is continuous and from all sides, but if one actually reads the words of the ones who created the documents that are today so twisted by evildoers, one can find the truth.

No, I do not do my Founding Fathers an injustice or disservice, I read their words and learn. It is they who pervert their words, and it is they who prefer to remain ignorant yet at the same time parrot the words of the liars and theives of liberty that are injust and would be offensive to the Founding Fathers. As a matter of fact, those who warp their words would be called out unto the courtyard and to their deaths. But, I'll teach you the meaning of the 2nd amendment and what the Founders meant another day. If any of you know Ted Kennedy, please sober him up and have him in the classroom that day as he really needs a few lessons on that amendment.

[edit on 30-8-2004 by Thomas Crowne]



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 04:08 PM
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People seem to forget the part where many liberties are self evident.

I do believe that freedom FROM religon is heavily implied here. This means people are free from being harassed by religous sects or pressured or subjected to religous beliefs against thier own.

I will state it again, the Founding Fathers were not perfect. They were Christians, and they owned slaves. Does this mean slavery is sanctioned by Christianity? They did not consider blacks to be human beings either. Is this also a Christian sentiment? They seemd to think so.

Just a thought, for Christians.

Anyway, where do I stand on prayer in schools? Make everyone happy. Not prayer time. Instead, have a 30 or 15 minute "reflection time". No names given. Christian students can pray to god, Buddist students can meditate, agnostics can contemplate, athiests can hurl spitwads at the ceiling.

As for vouchers? Not until it is reformed. For starters, its unfair for people who dont have kids. It also must be carefully combed over to ensure religous groups dont exploit it.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 06:16 PM
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As pretty much clarified, you do not have to believe, but your disbelief should not transform the nation into one that attempts to remove God from His proper place in this nation. No, the Founding Fathers were not perfect, but that is no reason to revise history.

Fair? You want fair, speaking of religion, tax, and rights. What does giving money back to the taxpayer to use toward the school of their choice? Do you think its fair that those who prefer their children be separated from the garbage taught in mediocre at best public schools should have to pay for both the school of their choice and the leftist NEA corrupted public school system? As far as that is concerned, why do you think it is right that those without children should have to pay for that garbage? I do not like the thoughts of supporting institutions that teach "2+2=fourish, depending on how you feel about it, but as long as you feel good about yourself, understand that "alternative" lifestyles are just as good as the traditional one, learn to put a condom on a cucumber and believe that the money of the earners should be redistributed, you will receive an A+" and I imagine there are those without children that have their money pinched from their wallets every April that do not appreciate it, either. The voucher, however, gives those with children the chance to have control over what their offspring learn, and the quality of the education. What, there'll be a mass exodus of the public school system? Good! There's no constitutional mandate that there be "public" education and the private sector can do it better!



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 07:19 PM
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I was about to argue with TC until I read this;

Now, does this mean that you, whoever you are, must be a Christian? How could that be? Any Christian can tell you that there is no way anyone can make you be a Christian, but it is a gift from God. Obviously, then, you do not have to be a Christian, but that does not change the fact that the national culture, the laws and the morals should be of the Christian belief. You do not have to believe in God, that is to say, but you will still answer to the law if you murder.

Well said.

I am an athiest for lack of a better term. I do, however, understand and accept that the United States was based in Christianity and christian virtues. I have no problem with that. The ten commandments seem like common courtesy to me.....

That said, I don't even know why this is such an issue. It's not like the Government is knocking my door down and force feeding me a bible. Nor do I really see anyones religious freedoms being trampled. "Seperation of Church and State" is simply that the state can not force religion upon you. That's what family is for.

The voucher issue is another story altogether. On one hand I oppose it as I don't consider public education "dead" as some here do. On the other hand there are some very persuasive arguments for privatization. I do think that it would be wrong for ANY school to only teach one religion. That may work in secular states such as you find in the middle east but here it's just counterproductive. Then of course I may have missed the revision that said "Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free..."...as long as they're Christian.

[edit]P.S. I look forward to your Second Amendment lesson. We may be able to lure Kennedy in with a bottle of cheap bourbon
.

[edit on 30-8-2004 by Fry2]



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
As pretty much clarified, you do not have to believe, but your disbelief should not transform the nation into one that attempts to remove God from His proper place in this nation. No, the Founding Fathers were not perfect, but that is no reason to revise history.


TC, you make my point, thanks because obviously I didn’t. If the states want to declare themselves as a religious state, then fine....the federal government has no place to stop them from that act. My point being, that the forefathers wanted the federal government to keep their noses out of religion, neither to be for nor against. My point being that this country was founded with a federal government neither protecting nor promoting any religion. Further, I believe that those who want to transform this into a nation with “god in his proper place” are attempting to transform the government. Unless, by his place, they mean not in it. You are correct in pointing out that some state governments, supported religions. In fact, many of the original state colleges some with history going back longer than the united states themselves, have at their centers churches. I do not question the fact that American law draws from Christianity. But the federal government should be free of laws providing for or against religion.


Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
Anyway, can you imagine the civil war had the federal government elevated one denomination over the others?

My point exactly….freedom of religion…..me to mine, you to yours. With the federal government small, and it’s nose out of my business, and out of yours.



Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
As for vouchers? Not until it is reformed. For starters, its unfair for people who dont have kids. It also must be carefully combed over to ensure religous groups dont exploit it.


How is it unfair to people who don't have kids.....a lower tax burden? And, why should it be combed over...and by whom, the federal government. Don’t you think that the parents might check it out, or are they not to be trusted?



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