Stephen Colbert on the separation of church and state

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posted on Oct, 5 2012 @ 12:50 PM
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From an interview yesterday on NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross:www.npr.org...

On the separation of church and state

"We have this idea in our minds that there's this separation of church and state in America, which I think is a good thing. And we extend that to our politics — not just church and state, but it's also there's a separation of religion and politics. But of course there isn't. Every president says, 'God bless America' at the end of the State of Union address. And everybody, every candidate is quoting some form of the Old and the New Testament in speeches to try and make their own moral points.

"But we don't think of ... a preacher or priest or rabbi or imam, for that matter, endorsing from the pulpit. And I was fascinated by the idea that these guys were going to force the issue, because they've done this for five years — this isn't the first year they've done it. Now they're videotaping it and sending it to the IRS, to just try to poke the hornet's nest of the IRS and say, 'Please take us to court.' Because they're trying to get this forced into a court case, because they think they can win.

"And I, after some thought and talking about it with my writers, I think they're right. ... I think they should be able to endorse from the pulpit. Now whether or not they should get tax-exempt status is another thing, because that is the rest of us subsidizing their political speech. ...

"I think they should be able to do it, but I also think that it's a very dangerous thing to do — not just for our politics, but it's also dangerous for the faith of people who are exercising that right. Because they seem to think that it's a one-way membrane — that they'll get religion into our politics. But they're ignoring the fact that politics will come right back through that gate onto our religion.

"And if you actually have a political party that is this religion, or a political party that is that religion, I think that's a short road to the kind of religious civil war — whether or not it's actually an armed war — but religious civil war that we fled in Europe. America has avoided that. And I think our politics are so horrible these days. ... Why anyone would want that horrible tar on something as fragile as faith is beyond me."


He made a couple of points that are not included in that excerpt, but the whole interview can be heard online (go to the link above). One of the most interesting points he made was in talking about the "Religious Right", and how they (especially Catholics, as his pundit character satirically represents) feel about having a Mormon for a president.

This perked my ears up. If someone believes their religion is THE ONLY RIGHT ONE, and they are therefore "Republican", but the GOP Candidate is Mormon and therefore doesn't agree that their religion is the right one, how does one then vote?

The question, of course, is rhetorical, but a valid one. By endorsing Romney, wouldn't any Christian who ISN'T Mormon be undermining their own claimed "faith?" The Mormons, of all sects, believe America to be "God's Chosen Country", and that Jesus came here. Here. To North America.

Now, if that's the case, and you are not Mormon, and you buy that Romney believes that, it means his beliefs are opposed to yours. If your religion is that precious to you, do you REALLY separate church and state? Do your dogmatic beliefs incline you to look at a candidate's religion?

Should it even be ALLOWED to know a candidates faith? It's not supposed to matter. So, why does it matter? Personally, I don't care what the faith of the candidate is, as long as he cares about the people (not just sometimes, and Romney has already back-pedaled his 47% comment, saying "I was completely wrong"). Corporations are NOT PEOPLE. Business is not PEOPLE, nor is money and the accumulation of wealth.

Do you all think a "don't ask, don't tell" policy should apply to political figures? Or, should they be required to stop going to any church at all once they become public servants?

As in, "if you win the Presidency, you must give up going to church, or allowing the church (ANY church) to influence you,
for as long as you hold office."

Not that I think that will ever happen, but, what are your thoughts, ATS?




posted on Oct, 5 2012 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 






This perked my ears up. If someone believes their religion is THE ONLY RIGHT ONE, and they are therefore "Republican", but the GOP Candidate is Mormon and therefore doesn't agree that their religion is the right one, how does one then vote?



People don't always base all their actions on their religious beliefs.

edit on 5-10-2012 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2012 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


It's obvious to me that our whole problem with separation of church and state is that it's so poorly understood, particularly on the "church" side. Some of it may just be obstinacy; some of it may be ignorance; some of it may just be righteous grandstanding. That is to say, they understand the principle but want it struck down.

In any case, I don't think this will be settled any time soon; and I certainly don't think throwing more laws and regulations at it is going to be of any help. My instinct is that if it gets to the Supreme Court, even the dysfunctional corporate cowards we have there now will probably have a good enough understanding of the issues to rule sensibly on it. Or not. Now that I think about it, I don't think Constitutional principle means a damn thing to them anymore.

Your guess is as good as mine....



posted on Oct, 5 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by Ex_CT2
 


Thanks for your response!
It's a very slippery and slimy slope .....
I hold to no "organized religion", but, I can see how there might be a schism among "Christians" as to which version of "Christian" is closest to theirs, and vote accordingly,

or, they might think hard about what the candidates have to offer that merges with their own beliefs. Hence, Religion Enters Politics.



posted on Oct, 5 2012 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 


People don't always base all their actions on their religious beliefs.

Of course I know they don't! You (I thought) know me better than to suggest any such thing.

The question(s) are....should it matter?
What do you think about the POTUS (or any Senator or Representative), vowing to walk away from his 'faith-based' community for the duration of his 'term' (however long that might be)?



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 04:36 AM
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We have many federal and state laws based strictly on morality, not science...there has never been such a thing as true separation of church and state. Politicians say God bless; to pander to the religious base. Before all the main evangelists died; politicians did a lot more pandering to them for campaign contributions. They are a very easy demographic to win...

In the next debate at the end; all Obama or Romney would have to do is: put on the most sincere face they can fake, look directly into the camera and say "God bless all of you" and poof they would landslide win the whole religious demographic.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 04:56 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


What a boob. Any politician is entitled to the free exercise clause in regards to religion. What they cannot do is pass laws that make one religion compulsory over another. But anyone is guaranteed the right to freely exercise their religious beliefs.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 

Truth be told both church and state screw up enough on their own so why woud you bring them together



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by ninjas4321
 


I wouldn't. I was hoping for a discussion around how hard-line Followers justify voting for someone who is clearly NOT part of their faith, therefore by definition a heretic.

If we did not know what faith a candidate claimed, it would not be an issue. The man or woman's track record alone would be enough to tell us of his or her character.

Personally, going by track records alone, we can choose between a community organizer (a good thing) and a corporate mega-rich numbers and profit guy. I don't want a multi-billionaire who hides money off-shore and thinks corporations are people, and that 47% of us are leeches. Period. I WOULD want a community organizer who stands for what he believes in.
A BUSINESSMAN who is a proven business vulture is NOT going to care about anyone but the wealthy, who are enslaving the laboring classes. He doesn't have the guts, or the inclination to care.

Some claim Romney was the worst governor Massachusetts ever had. Ever. Some claim Obama is a socialist.
I disagree with both.

That said, and all the ruckus about whether Obama is an Evangelical, Black Liberation, Muslim, or Christian; well
at least we don't really know, so we can only go by his track record.
Now, if I was a Mormon, would I have to support Romney because he is "a brother in faith"? And, if I was a Catholic Right-Winger, would it be okay to vote for a Mormon?

Stephen made a very good point, NuT's opinion of him notwithstanding, the guy is BRILLIANT.
Let us review:

it's a very dangerous thing to do — not just for our politics, but it's also dangerous for the faith of people who are exercising that right.

Because they seem to think that it's a one-way membrane — that they'll get religion into our politics.

But they're ignoring the fact that politics will come right back through that gate onto our religion.

"And if you actually have a political party that is this religion, or a political party that is that religion, I think that's a short road to the kind of religious civil war — whether or not it's actually an armed war — but religious civil war that we fled in Europe. America has avoided that.

And I think our politics are so horrible these days. ...

Why anyone would want that horrible tar on something as fragile as faith is beyond me."

A 'boob'? I think not. A brilliant observer of what really is, who doesn't hide behind dogma and platform.

The question remains: HOW DO WE REALLY, TRULY SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE unless we elect only philosophers?

Answer: We Don't. Businessmen and Community Organizing Lawyers are not philosophers. They are tools to their beliefs, and are incapable of thinking about what's really the right thing to do philosophically.
edit on 6-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

BUT, between the two, I would prefer the community organizer, as he has an idea what it's like to need an organizer to get communities on their feet. Romney has NO CLUE about the culture of most of us Americans, and he never will. Ever. He just doesn't, and can't get it; he's never lived it. He can try to squawk the talk, but he'll NEVER be able to walk the walk.
edit on 6-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Well, personally I am not voting on him to be a pastor or minister, but voting on who the best leader IMHO. I'm voting for President, not anything to do with church leadership.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 




Well, personally I am not voting on him to be a pastor or minister, but voting on who the best leader IMHO. I'm voting for President, not anything to do with church leadership.

Good!! So, what is your definition of "the best leader"? One who knows how to destroy other businesses so he and his investors can hide inordinate amounts of wealth off-shore at the expense of people's livelihoods right here? Or, one who knows how it is to live with little to no hope of even finding a job, let alone becoming as rich as he is?

If it's about leadership, which man would you follow?
As I recall, Christ was not a hoarder of wealth, nor did he hide assets from "Caesar". Instead, he expended his own efforts and time with no expectations of becoming a wealthy man. You are avoiding the issue, my friend.

I chose this forum so we could discuss politics from the position of religious affiliation; it is established that there is to be a separation of church and state.

Would you have a problem telling politicians that they can not participate in any religion while holding office? Nor preach from the podium?
Do you think that priests and preachers should discuss political endorsements or condemnations from the pulpit?



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


The religious right is a strange animal indeed and seems, during this election cycle, to be embroiled in paranoia and hypocrisy.

Barack Obama attended a Christian church of Baptist persuasion, under the ministry of Jeremiah Wright. But the right doesn't believe him to be a "Christian." Mitt Romney, a Mormon, who's doctrine dictates that God used to be an Earthy Human, who ascended, and now lives on another planet, is accepted as "Christian enough." They believe in a kind of reincarnation, where a husband and his wives will rule a planet in the afterlife, populated by flora and fauna inhabited by the souls of earthly sinners. They have added to the Holy Bible their own story of Jesus after the resurrection.

But when is comes to the "lesser of two evils" they'll pick Romney's kind of heresy, claiming Obama to be fraud, a pretend Christian! They claim Obama to be a socialist! Awck! Well, what was Jesus, if not a socialist?

Romney, having been a Bishop in Mormon church has an obligation to abide by the mission of the Mormon's, even as President. However, the right screams foul when Obama shows is secular ability to separate church and state, in this example.



These people, who criticize Obama for "mocking" the Bible, are the same people who want the 10 Commandments posted in court houses, creationism taught in school and abortion and birth control to be criminalized.

They want to bomb Iran back to the stone age and lift Israel to holy status, while praying for Armageddon and the end of civilization as we know it. Now they want to preach politics from the pulpit too!

If they push that envelope, they should loose their tax exempt status, period!

edit on 6-10-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


These people, who criticize Obama for "mocking" the Bible, are the same people who want the 10 Commandments posted in court houses, creationism taught in school and abortion and birth control to be criminalized.

They want to bomb Iran back to the stone age and lift Israel to holy status, while praying for Armageddon and the end of civilization as we know it. Now they want to preach politics from the pulpit too!

If they push that envelope, they should loose their tax exempt status, period!

I agree entirely. Thanks for chiming in, windword!

It seems to me that we are witnessing the "lip service" that has dogged our society/civilization since Sumerian times. I'm so weary of it. I am a trusting person by nature; always looking to see the "why" of how someone behaves, and give them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps their other "choices" were even worse.

I'm becoming more cynical as I age; just the other day, my husband and I were watching "Jail" on Spike TV, and I kept wondering why the cops wouldn't let the newly-arrived arrestees speak. "Let him talk!" I told the cop through my tube. But then, the other side of the story comes out...and I am left confused and feeling violated.


Barack Obama attended a Christian church of Baptist persuasion, under the ministry of Jeremiah Wright. But the right doesn't believe him to be a "Christian." Mitt Romney, a Mormon, who's doctrine dictates that God used to be an Earthy Human, who ascended, and now lives on another planet, is accepted as "Christian enough." They believe in a kind of reincarnation, where a husband and his wives will rule a planet in the afterlife, populated by flora and fauna inhabited by the souls of earthly sinners. They have added to the Holy Bible their own story of Jesus after the resurrection.

But when is comes to the "lesser of two evils" they'll pick Romney's kind of heresy, claiming Obama to be fraud, a pretend Christian! They claim Obama to be a socialist! Awck! Well, what was Jesus, if not a socialist?


PRECISELY MY POINT!!
edit on 6-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I just saw this one the front page of The Huffington Post. It wouldn't be anything noteworthy, just another religious nutter, if it wasn't being preached by a Congressman promising to vote by religious guidelines.




Broun is a high-ranking member of the House Science Committee, of which Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is also a member.


Chilling!

edit on 6-10-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


It wouldn't be anything noteworthy, just another religious nutter, if it wasn't being preached by a Congressman promising to vote by religious guidelines.

Eewww! Eegads! (which is a contraction for "Ye Gods" from Olde English)

(Modern synonym: OMG)

Thanks for linking that, wind! Ugh. I figured this thread would be avoided, but I'm really glad you hopped in. I think it's a pretty weighty matter in the long run, but, well....

what do I know?
Not much.




posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 




Well, personally I am not voting on him to be a pastor or minister, but voting on who the best leader IMHO. I'm voting for President, not anything to do with church leadership.

Good!! So, what is your definition of "the best leader"? One who knows how to destroy other businesses so he and his investors can hide inordinate amounts of wealth off-shore at the expense of people's livelihoods right here? Or, one who knows how it is to live with little to no hope of even finding a job, let alone becoming as rich as he is?

If it's about leadership, which man would you follow?
As I recall, Christ was not a hoarder of wealth, nor did he hide assets from "Caesar". Instead, he expended his own efforts and time with no expectations of becoming a wealthy man. You are avoiding the issue, my friend.

I chose this forum so we could discuss politics from the position of religious affiliation; it is established that there is to be a separation of church and state.

Would you have a problem telling politicians that they can not participate in any religion while holding office? Nor preach from the podium?
Do you think that priests and preachers should discuss political endorsements or condemnations from the pulpit?






Please, no rhetoric. I hate politics.

My biggest issues by far are 1. Economy/Deficit, 2. Job Growth, and 3. Ending Obamacare. With #1 on my list being the weightiest.
edit on 6-10-2012 by NOTurTypical because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 

Okay, NuT. So, you have begged off the topic.
Too bad.
I really wanted to hear your position on the specific points in the thread.!

Oh well.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Why did you ask me why/who I was defining as "best leader" for this election? I just gave you my answer to your question. My original and second posts dealt more with the OP. I don't really think it's fair to blame me for an off-topic post when you as the OP asked me a question.

edit on 6-10-2012 by NOTurTypical because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


I'm not "blaming you", NuT. Relax!
I am interested in hearing what those of faith feel about how politicians practice their own, and whether it matters, or SHOULD matter, or should be irrelevant.

Perhaps I wasn't clear: I didn't ask which you were voting for; I asked what you consider to be "the best leader", and if your own faith, and you said "no rhetoric please."

The question is quite rhetorical. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers. Would you feel less confident, or more confident, if any political candidate shared your faith to the letter? Say, if someone from your church was running, would that automatically predispose you to consider them?



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


You'll never get a straight answer from Christians on this issue. For one thing, Christians don't have a vested interest in the success of America, or the human race for that matter, because they pin their hopes on the savior cleaning up our mess for us. The way they see this happening is in a cataclysmic catastrophe of global proportion, and an end to civilization as we know it.

Their mission is to bring as many souls to their side, their religion, as possible, before they make this happen. If that means legislating laws to that effect, so be it. Education, history, truth be damned! The Constitution is but a filthy rag before Christ!

The far right is way to occupied with manufacturing wars against Christmas, the Catholic Church, and attacking evolution, stem cell research and contraception, to worry about making the planet a safe place for our children's children. They don't believe we'll still be here by then.

We have been shown time and time again the dangers and evils of religious authority. I'm afraid Steven Colbert may be right. A religious civil war may be in the works for America, as we work to free ourselves from the agenda of religious rhetoric, ignorance and suppression again, and again.



edit on 7-10-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)






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