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Old 09-04-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
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How do you think life would look like for atheists in America if First Amendment did not exist, and atheists had no right to sue religion in public due to constitutional rights? How would atheist organization look like or even exist?
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Dallas
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How do you think life would look like for Jews for Jesus's in America if First Amendment did not exist, and Jews for Jesus's had no right to sue religion in public due to constitutional rights? How would a Jews for Jesus organization look like or even exist?

(we can dream I guess)
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:46 PM
 
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaemonkey View Post
How do you think life would look like for Jews for Jesus's in America if First Amendment did not exist, and Jews for Jesus's had no right to sue religion in public due to constitutional rights? How would a Jews for Jesus organization look like or even exist?

(we can dream I guess)


Why would Messianic Jews sue other religions whether allowed or not?
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Dallas
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Why ask vague hypothetical questions that don't much bearing on this sub-forum? Jews for Jesus might have a lot of obstacles without first amendment protection ...as well as Baptists, Catholics and every other religion (and lack thereof). Without the first amendment it'd probably be Protestants and Catholics at each others throats still.

If this has a point, or at least something a little less nebulous than "what if atheist fairies didn't have wings" please fire away.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:28 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,249,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jews for Jesus View Post
How do you think life would look like for atheists in America if First Amendment did not exist, and atheists had no right to sue religion in public due to constitutional rights? How would atheist organization look like or even exist?
Well, this is a much bigger and more interesting question than just what would life be like for atheists. I think if we did not have the establishment clause of the First Amendment (I assume the pointis not about free speech, but about government establishment of religion) America as we know it would be very different.

To start with, let's look before the Constitution. New England was generally pretty religious in a Puritan/Calvinist Protestant sort of way. Being a heretic (i.e. Catholic, Quaker, Anglican) could getyou run out of town. Pennsylvania was pretty religiously toleratn, being home of the Quakers and other groups that didn't fit in well in other more homogeneous parts of the country. Virginia was legally Anglican, having it as the state church and requiring everyone to attend Anglican churches.

If as a nation we had not come up with a secular common ground, I think one result might have been a weaker constitution. It is one thing to cede some of your earthly self determination in order to provide for mutual defense and prosperity, it is another to allow heretics the possibility of controlling your government. The establishment clause protects religious expression as much or more than it hinders it, by protecting the right of everyone to worship as they see fit. Without this, we might be an Anglican nation, requiring everyone to be Anglican (including Messianic Jews).

If all of the various religious sects were vying for control of government, the police, and the army, I believe we would have had a lot of religious bloodshed, just like Europe. The Anglicans, the Catholics, the Congregationalists, all of these would be vying for power, while the Quakers, Amish, and Mennonites tried to stay below the radar so as not to be killed.

If we made it through the bloodshed as an intact nation, we might be more like Europe is now. Many European nations have a state church, but it is largely devoid of political power. The cultures are decidedly more secular than the United States, so while we might have more public expression of faith, we would likely have less personal experience of faith.

As far as Atheists, I don't doubt that most would not be willing to identify as such. I feel reasonably justified in saying that at the least the states that currently constitutionally prohibit atheists from holding public office (even though it cannot be enforced) would still have that policy. If fact I imagine much of the country would have religious tests for office, probably ruling out anyone other than Christians, maybe including Jews. Schools would still have required religious curriculum, and professing an alternate faith would not be allowed.

Simply put, I believe atheists, secularists, freethinkers, and religious people who are not part of the ruling majority would likely be politically disenfranchised, censored, shunned or expelled from local communities, denied equal protection under the law, and possibly targets of violence. We can see all this from history, I don't know why America would have turned out any differently.



-NoCapo
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,862 posts, read 3,784,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jews for Jesus View Post
How do you think life would look like for atheists in America if First Amendment did not exist, and atheists had no right to sue religion in public due to constitutional rights? How would atheist organization look like or even exist?

Two out of three countries with no written constitution at all ie Britain and New Zealand are full of atheists. Then again Israel has no constitution either so who knows?
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jews for Jesus View Post
How do you think life would look like for atheists in America if First Amendment did not exist, and atheists had no right to sue religion in public due to constitutional rights? How would atheist organization look like or even exist?
OK: a truly silly and specious question, but since you ask: this is truly one of the real and amazing elements of our Constitution, since it effectively routed the previous Euro demands for societal control through the church, well maintained through vicious disciplinary actions.

Public scourging, public notices of atheist beliefs, and so on.. All tried as the church lost it's previous power over open-minded thinkers. Of course the majority of early immigrants were frightened and obligatory Christians, but in truth many were quiet but unorganized atheists under the cover of societal demands.

Our country's Founding Fathers were often NOT real Christians, only culturally frightened men. Fortunately, correct thinking has risen to the fore...
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