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American Constitution OR Theocracy - PICK ONE

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posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 10:15 PM
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Ok, this is getting very alarming to me. I don't know if people are getting crazier or if I have just been sheltered from the truly hardcore religious fundamentalists in America. Increasingly, I keep hearing the argument on gay marriage being turned into a religious one (especially here) but it totally contradicts everything it means to be American. This also happens with drug laws, abortion, and just about any social issue.

It's really black and white, folks. Either you want a religion to dictate law or you don't. You can't have it both ways. We can see how free nations are that allow religion to govern. We see this every day in Islamic theocratic nations. That is not freedom.

America has no official religion and is not beholden to any religious beliefs. Why is it then, that the people who espouse American freedom and talk about the constitution are so often the very same people who bring up religion when speaking about law?

Either you are for the constitution and personal freedom or you are not. If you believe your religion has a say in our laws, then you clearly are not a believer in America's constitution or Bill of Rights. This isn't debatable. To even allow religion to enter in to any debate is ridiculous. I wish I could articulate this better but I'm just so stunned by the things I'm hearing lately, it's as if we somehow slipped back into the 1950's. I'm just very disappointed in many of my fellow Americans and am having troubles summing this up properly. I'll just say it thusly:

Have your beliefs. Have your religion. But don't use either as a weapon to take away freedom. Don't you dare.




posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 10:30 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


What is Equal Protection under the law? Where can I find it? How much is it? How do I sign up for it?
What is Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), and how do the opinions stated in the majority have a distinct effect on the future of the issue?

**** your religion.
**** your hate.
**** your ignorance.
Enjoy your first amendment rights, but don't expect me to support and follow legislation that results from your blind belief in this moral persuasion or the other.

It's a living Constitution and it was created that way "on purpose" because people expected changing circumstances and social evolution.

Read the long form opinion of Lawrence and tell me how a ban on gay marriage is going to be justified if it ever hits the courts?

Sorry, you caboose destroyed right wingers, but your 'world' ends with you. As men die, ideology dwindles, and rationalism takes hold. The future gets brighter with every ticking second of the biological clock. However, lucky enough for us, we don't have to wait for God's natural plan of ignorance purging to take effect. We don't have to wait for the ignorant to grow feeble, weak, and politically silent. We have a Constitution on our side to protect all peoples within our great land.

Constitution first, Theocracy never. Christian dominions will just have to deal with the derriere devastation.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by TheOneElectric
Constitution first, Theocracy never.


Exactly. One is American and the other is what America fled from.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 10:50 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 
Most would probably consider me pretty much a Chirstian fundamentalist. The Bible teaches us that we have free will. Therefore, I am generally take the Libertarian position leaving it up to each person to decide what is best as long as it doen't infringe on someone elses life. However, since the government intrudes in almost all aspects of our lives, I am compelled to take part in the political process. As with most people, I make my decisions based on my belief system. The fact that my belief system is based on a religion, makes it no less valid than someone elses. Should I make my decisions on a whim? Should I make my decisions based on your beliefs, or my neighbors beliefs, or whatever my political party tells me it should be? If you want to talk about gay marriage; government has no business in anyone's marriage gay or straight. If they continue to put it under the control of government, then I will have to vote based on my belief system, just like most others do.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 10:50 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Dear Cuervo,

Personally I am a Christian; but, would not outlaw abortion (I am not that much into slavery) and I also could care less about gay marriage, it is just a government contract. As for drugs, I have not decided where I think the line should be drawn. I don't think I would allow ten year olds to buy heroin or visit prostitutes. Our spiritual beliefs must effect our moral beliefs or they mean nothing. Having said that, it doesn't mean that we should impose all of our beliefs on others beyond our children. I should be allowed to prohibit my child from taking drugs and visiting prostitutes because I have to live with the consequences.



Either you are for the constitution and personal freedom or you are not. If you believe your religion has a say in our laws, then you clearly are not a believer in America's constitution or Bill of Rights. This isn't debatable. To even allow religion to enter in to any debate is ridiculous.


As for your statements, the vast majority of the founding fathers believed that spirituality did have a place in society and our laws; but, they didn't feel a need to regulate everything. Your either or statement is false. I believe murder is wrong and am against the death penalty, should I be allowed to vote on the issue? Your post is anti-democratic, only atheists should get to determine the law or I must vote against what I believe? All laws are legislating morality, the question is how little or how much. While I may be a conservative Christian, I am also a libertarian. Even when I wasn't a Christian, I was against abortion; but, I don't believe we should regulate things internal to your body. Should I be allowed to vote to keep abortion legal even if my reason is because of my faith? Is it the outcome you are worried about or the intent? You make two bad assumptions, first that all atheists are pro gay marriage and abortion and secondly that all Christians would outlaw them. In either case it is all meaningless as we no longer follow the Constitution. Peace.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 

I hope you don't mind if my treatment of your post is a litlle scatter-shot and doesn't go into the detail and references that it deserves.

I am confused by your position. I think, forgive me, that your choice of words invites that confusion and makes it worse. Certainly, you can't be saying that religions dictate our laws. We have many laws that religions, in general, don't approve of. Further, various religions have various positions on issues. There isn't one religion dictating any laws in the US. Of the hundreds of different denominations I wonder how many even want to write our laws. As you say,

America has no official religion and is not beholden to any religious beliefs
I would be grateful if you cleared up my confusion for me.

More confusion. Not long ago President Obama said "I am my brother's keeper." To sway people towards supporting increased social benefits. Besides being a terrible misquote, how does trying to get people to give up more of their property to the government fit with

This isn't debatable. To even allow religion to enter in to any debate is ridiculous.
And think of all the Reverends, Priests, Ministers, and Pastors who fought against slavery and for civil rights using the Bible as a weapon. Should they have been silenced? What about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement?

And what will you say to me? My values, philosophy, and entire life, have been affected by (not controlled by) my religion. What happens when an issue comes up that my Church has a position on and I do, too. Would you have me shut up? Not be allowed to explain all the reasons for my position in a debate? My religion doesn't write laws, but it teaches it's members lessons on morality and philosophy. Do you mean that I can't mention those teachings?


It's really black and white, folks. Either you want a religion to dictate law or you don't. You can't have it both ways.
I don't know of any one except Westboro Baptist Church and Islam who is interested in dictating laws. A religious body cannot and should not dictate our laws. But, a religious person has all the rights of anyone else to express themselves on issues, and if the majority of the citizens agree, then they can dictate our laws.

Now forgive me as I make assumptions about you. It seems as though some social issues you are very involved in are being threatened by people using religious arguments. It also sounds as though you would be perfectly fine if the religious arguments were on your side in the discussion, but, as they are opposed to you, you want them silenced.

Again, please forgive me, and I will apologize publicy, for any misunderstandings I might have.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by LauraM
As with most people, I make my decisions based on my belief system. The fact that my belief system is based on a religion, makes it no less valid than someone elses.


I make mine based on a belief system, as well. But I can make all of my arguments regarding law without invoking my religion. Secular matters should only include secular arguments.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
Our spiritual beliefs must effect our moral beliefs or they mean nothing.


Absolutely. We are talking about laws and civil rights, though.



Originally posted by AQuestion
I believe murder is wrong and am against the death penalty, should I be allowed to vote on the issue?


You mean to tell me you need to cite your religion to argue this point?



Originally posted by AQuestion
Your post is anti-democratic, only atheists should get to determine the law or I must vote against what I believe? All laws are legislating morality, the question is how little or how much.


I am not an atheist. I can defend every position I have with simple facts and civic morality. I am not saying that religion should not affect your stances; I'm saying they should not affect the law.

If a person cannot defend their position without invoking a deity, then that argument has no place in our legislation.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Dear Cuervo,



Secular matters should only include secular arguments.


I would ask you to define "secular matters", does that include circumcision or religious practices? It is a fallacy to believe that there is anything that it secular, that is a false assumption. I have no use for Theocracies; but, I also have no use for tyranny and when you dictate what people are allowed to vote on, you have created a tyranny. I don't particularly care for any government that dictates what I can or cannot be involved in the decisions on.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
And what will you say to me? My values, philosophy, and entire life, have been affected by (not controlled by) my religion. What happens when an issue comes up that my Church has a position on and I do, too. Would you have me shut up? Not be allowed to explain all the reasons for my position in a debate? My religion doesn't write laws, but it teaches it's members lessons on morality and philosophy. Do you mean that I can't mention those teachings?


Then you should be able to make a case as to how your position on the law would benefit everybody. By all means, be against gay marriage simply because your religion tells you to but don't make the mistake that our law is subject to your church. You should be able to make your case without bringing your religion it to it. If not, you are advocating theocracy.



Originally posted by charles1952
Now forgive me as I make assumptions about you. It seems as though some social issues you are very involved in are being threatened by people using religious arguments. It also sounds as though you would be perfectly fine if the religious arguments were on your side in the discussion, but, as they are opposed to you, you want them silenced.


This is not true. For there are religious arguments on my side for every issue there is but I don't bring my religion into it. I am not so arrogant to assume a Christian is going to care what my gods say about a political issue. And they shouldn't care. Because my religious beliefs have no place in laws that govern a nation full of every imaginable religious adherent.

So, no... even if my religion was the flavor of the month and being touted around as the main reason to back up my positions, I would still be just as disgusted by people who try to use it to govern others.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:31 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Dear Cuervo,



I am not an atheist. I can defend every position I have with simple facts and civic morality. I am not saying that religion should not affect your stances; I'm saying they should not affect the law. If a person cannot defend their position without invoking a deity, then that argument has no place in our legislation.


Well, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights both invoke God so I guess we should ignore them in your way of thinking? You seem to assume that because one mentions God that they are incapable of making a secular argument and that is not so. Frequently when writing on ATS, I will mention that I am a Christian so that the reader understands that I have certain beliefs; but, if it is a non-spiritual post, I will then give my non-religious reasons. In fact, I think religious arguments with non-religious people are a waste of time. If you don't believe in the bible then having a bible based answer is probably pointless. Still, if someone has a post, "Why do Christians do blah blah blah" then they will get a bible based answer because it is their question.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
I would ask you to define "secular matters", does that include circumcision or religious practices? It is a fallacy to believe that there is anything that it secular, that is a false assumption. I have no use for Theocracies; but, I also have no use for tyranny and when you dictate what people are allowed to vote on, you have created a tyranny. I don't particularly care for any government that dictates what I can or cannot be involved in the decisions on.


I wouldn't dare presume I could legislate ignorance out of our society. That's silly and wouldn't be right. Everybody has the right to be ignorant.

To know what a secular matter is could be simplified as this: Take any issue and remove the religious element from it. What ever is left is "secular".

So, for your example you brought up, circumcision is a religious practice. However, if you remove the religious element from it, it could be argued that it is a barbaric practice in child mutilation with only questionably motivated studies to back it up. To speak about laws regarding questionable practices, you can't involve religion because no god is an American citizen.

This is why we can't stone people on the streets. It's because religion cannot dictate our rights as Americans.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 
There you go again, trying to invalidate my beliefs becasue they are rooted in Chrisitanity. I'm sorry, but you are being very dictatorial. You are saying believe as I do, or you shouldn't have a voice. I would not use biblical quotes in my arguments, but there is no denying that they would stem from my religion. That being said I lean much more toward leaving things up to individuals, not being dictated to by the government or tyrannical people who insist that others should believe as they do. As it is in the real world, we are being ever increasingly micro-managed by the government. I'm glad you are not in charge.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
Frequently when writing on ATS, I will mention that I am a Christian so that the reader understands that I have certain beliefs; but, if it is a non-spiritual post, I will then give my non-religious reasons.


Perfect! If you can do that then you are ahead of many here.



Originally posted by AQuestion
In fact, I think religious arguments with non-religious people are a waste of time. If you don't believe in the bible then having a bible based answer is probably pointless.


I couldn't agree with you more. This is why I never use my religion as a basis for any argument in politics. Why waste my time?



Originally posted by AQuestion
Still, if someone has a post, "Why do Christians do blah blah blah" then they will get a bible based answer because it is their question.


That's totally different. I do the same.

It sounds like you understand what I'm saying and it's nice to hear from people who may (or may not) be morally opposed to me but hold dear the same ethics I do about carrying those morals.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


I am nott religious at all, just to get that out of the way up front.

Having said that, marriage is one of mans oldest and most honored traditions, reguardless of coulture or geographical location. It has always been throughout all of history, in all coultures between a man and a woman.

Having said that, I believe it to be true, and right. it is the foundation of all societies in the world from ebginning to present, as the family unit requires an man and a woman to procreate, and correctly raise children, getting both the mans tough love, and the mothers tender loving nurturing. Now I am not saying 2 women can't give both in some situations, or even 2 men, however it is an alternative view point and life style, not the norm.

That does not mean I don't think 2 people shouldn't be able to have and share all of the benefits of "marriage" as in todays world it is more of a legal joining and sharing of assets not just a religious institution. It should exist, but it should not encroach on the time honored tradition of traditional marriage. It should be called a ( insert any word or words besides "marriage") as it is not the traditional "marriage" of time immemorial, it is somthing else, no less important or honorable, as I have not a care who one loves, I feel it is more important one loves than who they love, but somthing else, as "marriage is now and always has been throughout all of history in all coultures between a man and a woman.

I have no other useful information to add on the subject except to say, that it seems t me that the gay and lesbian communities attempts to have it named marriage, not( insert any word or words except"marriage") for some reason. It is wrong to demand others accept your aternative lifestyle, and not accept their traditional values. Both are equally important, and both sides havve a right to have their beliefs. But not at the sake of the traditional view, as it came first and is by far the more popular.

On abortion. I believe it is quite wrong to kill, especially an innocent. But at the same time, I don't believe it is my or yours or anyone elses right to force a woman to be a baby factory, if your religious, your GOD has stated it is the persons individual sin if they do somthing, not a stain on all if they do somthing GOD considers sinful. If your not religious, get off your frigging high horse, it is NONE of your business what she does with her body. She can have an abortion everyday of her life and it is not single bit in any way, your business, no matter the situation, no matter the reason for her seeking one.

In closing, maybe we should all stop thinking we have a right to force our beliefs on others, as they just might decide to force their on you in return.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Dear Cuervo,



To know what a secular matter is could be simplified as this: Take any issue and remove the religious element from it. What ever is left is "secular". So, for your example you brought up, circumcision is a religious practice. However, if you remove the religious element from it, it could be argued that it is a barbaric practice in child mutilation with only questionably motivated studies to back it up. To speak about laws regarding questionable practices, you can't involve religion because no god is an American citizen. This is why we can't stone people on the streets. It's because religion cannot dictate our rights as Americans.


But there it is, you decide what is and is not secular, that is tyranny. You are in favor of totalitarianism so long as it is secular. You failed to address my comments regarding the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.

You say one cannot invoke God because he was not an American citizen, neither was Locke, Hobbs or Rousseau and Jefferson involved all of them in writing the constitution. You may not be a Christian; but, claim to believe in gods, fine and shouldn't you let people know where you are coming from? Just for your information, not all Satanists are in favor of abortion, some consider it to be irresponsible and they are all about personal responsibility. If one of them joined this thread and argued personal responsibility without saying where they were coming from, would they be making a spiritual argument anyways? If they voted to outlaw abortion would it then become a spiritual argument or a dishonest one because they did not explain the true reason behind their beliefs. Is it about outcome or intent, if it is about intent then we can never know why someone voted for or against something.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 11:56 PM
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Originally posted by LauraM
reply to post by Cuervo
 
There you go again, trying to invalidate my beliefs becasue they are rooted in Chrisitanity. I'm sorry, but you are being very dictatorial. You are saying believe as I do, or you shouldn't have a voice.


I didn't say anything like that. I said... kind of what you are saying, actually.



Originally posted by LauraM
I would not use biblical quotes in my arguments, but there is no denying that they would stem from my religion.


Yeah. I know. You can have your beliefs and those beliefs can stem from your religion but don't go quoting scriptures, doctrines, or churches to make a case for legislation.



Originally posted by LauraM
That being said I lean much more toward leaving things up to individuals, not being dictated to by the government or tyrannical people who insist that others should believe as they do. As it is in the real world, we are being ever increasingly micro-managed by the government.


But. That's what I just said...



Originally posted by LauraM
I'm glad you are not in charge.


Why? Because I wouldn't use my religion to tell you how to live?



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 12:00 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 


It is simple. Everybody (EVERYBODY) needs to be guaranteed equal rights and nobody (NOBODY) has the right to take those rights away. Laws pertaining to personal freedom should never be governed by another person's mythology.

If you are trying to, you better have a better reason to do so than "god says so".

It's a simple and easy to understand point.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by inverslyproportional Except in cases of rape, no one is forcing a woman to be a baby factory by outlawing abortion. As you said it is the killing of innocents. There are 2 bodies involved. One (the mother) should not have the legal right kill the other (baby). Contraceptives are readily available. Having an abortion is shirking personal responsibility for your actions, and committiting murder in the process which in most other circumstances is illegal.
 



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Dear Cuervo,

I am afraid that we may be overlapping each others responses because we are both responding to different statements at the same time. I will delay any further response until I believe we have both caught up. I do wish to say one thing.



It sounds like you understand what I'm saying and it's nice to hear from people who may (or may not) be morally opposed to me but hold dear the same ethics I do about carrying those morals.


I am not morally opposed to anyone, I may disagree with them; but, I gave up on hate a long time ago. I took in a homeless Wiccan, Satanist and a few atheists. We rarely if ever discussed religion and when we did it was theirs that we discussed, they never asked me about mine and knew I was a Christian. Someone once threatened me in front of the Satanist, I had to make him go inside the house because he had a knife and he wasn't coming to hurt me. A theocracy is not when you have a religious reason, it is when it is the only reason you have. It does not have to be either or, we can be influenced by our religions; but, not slaves to dogma that is not thought out. I became a Christian not because it gave me the answer I wanted, it made sense to me because I had answered the questions in the same way while I was an agnostic.



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