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Old 10-27-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: arizona ... most of the time
11,826 posts, read 10,165,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredNotBob View Post
And that's one of the 'rules' of residence in the US: you may not agree with what they practice, but they have a right to practice it.

Just as you have a right to practice Christianity.

:Edit:

While we're on the topic of religious laws:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Dominionist
Without going to the link you've provided ... you're never going to be able to present any scenario that suggests any "right" for a group to exercise sharia law in this country.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:14 PM
 
535 posts, read 795,633 times
Reputation: 199
Default Hold On A Minute!

Quote:
Regardless of the framers' private beliefs about God, it is more important to
look at their public actions in crafting the legal foundation for the new
republic... And here the right-wing script goes awry, for it cannot
explain why, if the founders intended to base the government on Christianity or
monotheism, they failed to spell out their intentions in the Constitution
itself. There was certainly ample precedent for doing so, not only in
the Articles of Confederation but in nearly every state constitution.
Wardendresden I'm not objecting to what you've said but I am taking exception to what the person you quoted said.

I've had the pleasure of hearing David Barton speak on two occassions. He is "right wing" and states the separation of church and state and the constitution's framework as the founder's wrote and intended, which is exactly as your quote stated. He makes no attempt to change the founding father's intents. I get irritated when right wingers are generalized as trying to change history.

For those who don't know who David Barton is:
A national news organization has described him as "America's historian," and Time
Magazine called him "a hero to millions -
including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time
Magazine named him as one of America's 25 most
influential evangelicals.

WallBuilders | Presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,271 posts, read 5,489,845 times
Reputation: 4046
Default Sensible right wingers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Priscilla Martin View Post
Wardendresden I'm not objecting to what you've said but I am taking exception to what the person you quoted said.

I've had the pleasure of hearing David Barton speak on two occassions. He is "right wing" and states the separation of church and state and the constitution's framework as the founder's wrote and intended, which is exactly as your quote stated. He makes no attempt to change the founding father's intents. I get irritated when right wingers are generalized as trying to change history.

For those who don't know who David Barton is:
A national news organization has described him as "America's historian," and Time
Magazine called him "a hero to millions -
including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time
Magazine named him as one of America's 25 most
influential evangelicals.

WallBuilders | Presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.
Priscilla, there are a wide range of viewpoints even among right-wingers regarding separation of church and state. The person quoted was writing about "religious" right wingers, not necessarily right wing politicians who simply try to exploit the religious right wing. But it was RIGHT-WINGERS who brought the issue before the Supreme Court of the United States:

Quote:
"In fact-and it is a little-known fact today-devout evangelical Christians were among the strongest supporters of the separation between church and state that took shape in the formative years of the republic. In 1784, the revolutionary firebrand Patrick Henry introduced a bill in the Virginia General Assembly that would have assessed taxes on all citizens for the support of "teachers of the Christian religion."

That proposal was defeated by a now-unlikely but then-familiar coalition of dissident evangelicals and Enlightenment rationalists, led by James Madison. The rationalists feared religious interference with government and the religious minorities feared government interference with religion."

"The religious right stood American history on its head Tuesday, (12/2/03) when, in unusually heated oral argument before the Supreme Court, its representatives endorsed taxpayer financing of religious training for clergy of all faiths."
Separation of Church and State

I'm certainly hopeful that there are more of those on the political right who recognize the danger of "legalizing" or "endorsing" faith of any kind.

To me, the biggest danger for religious liberty in the United States right now is by some of those who call themselves Christian!!!

And the cry of many Christians today that this defeats the purpose of the founding fathers belies the fact that most of the early leaders would be considered "cultists" by today's Christians--

By Arthur Schlesinger Jr., published in the Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004:
The founding fathers did not mention God in the Constitution, and the faithful (of that time) often regarded our early presidents as insufficiently pious.

George Washington was a nominal Anglican who rarely stayed for Communion.

John Adams was a Unitarian, which Trinitarians abhorred as heresy.

Thomas Jefferson, denounced as an atheist, was actually a deist who detested organized religion and who produced an expurgated version of the New Testament with the miracles eliminated.

Jefferson and James Madison, a nominal Episcopalian, were the architects of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.

James Monroe was another Virginia Episcopalian.

John Quincy Adams was another Massachusetts Unitarian.

Last edited by Wardendresden; 10-27-2013 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Florida
62,987 posts, read 34,311,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
By Arthur Schlesinger Jr., published in the Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004:
The founding fathers did not mention God in the Constitution, and the faithful (of that time) often regarded our early presidents as insufficiently pious.
But all State Constitutions do mention God.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Nanaimo, Canada
1,808 posts, read 1,588,587 times
Reputation: 967
Quote:
Originally Posted by twin.spin View Post
Without going to the link you've provided ... you're never going to be able to present any scenario that suggests any "right" for a group to exercise sharia law in this country.
What evidence do you have that the residents of Islamberg, in particular, have ever done what you claim?

So far, all they've done is establish a faith community in an out-of-the-way place. Given the 'shoot-end-and-let-God-sort-it-out' reaction any mention of the words 'Islam', 'Muslim' or 'Qu'ran' generates among the far-right, I'm not surprised they're heading for the hills.

Oh, and that like I provided connects to an article about a Christian movement that seeks to establish Biblical law as the law of the land.

You tell me how that's any different.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,271 posts, read 5,489,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn_Jarber View Post
But all State Constitutions do mention God.
The term most frequently used is "Almighty God" but there are often other references to deity such as Colorado "the Supreme Ruler of the Universe," Massachusetts, "the Great Legislator of the Universe," Vermont "Author of Existence," and a number of states reference God in their description of oaths taken for office.

And since there is no prohibition against states founding a "state" sponsored religion, all one needs to do is reject all federal moneys that in any way impact the operation of the state and those states can enjoy the same freedom exercised by private schools which wish Christianity to be a part of their practice.

Considering that theocracies are the government of choice by Muslim extremists, in some cases it would fit with the thinking of certain "Christians" as well.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:04 PM
 
535 posts, read 795,633 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
Priscilla, there are a wide range of viewpoints even among right-wingers regarding separation of church and state. The person quoted was writing about "religious" right wingers, not necessarily right wing politicians who simply try to exploit the religious right wing. But it was RIGHT-WINGERS who brought the issue before the Supreme Court of the United States:

Separation of Church and State

I'm certainly hopeful that there are more of those on the political right who recognize the danger of "legalizing" or "endorsing" faith of any kind.

To me, the biggest danger for religious liberty in the United States right now is by some of those who call themselves Christian!!!

And the cry of many Christians today that this defeats the purpose of the founding fathers belies the fact that most of the early leaders would be considered "cultists" by today's Christians--

By Arthur Schlesinger Jr., published in the Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004:
The founding fathers did not mention God in the Constitution, and the faithful (of that time) often regarded our early presidents as insufficiently pious.

George Washington was a nominal Anglican who rarely stayed for Communion.

John Adams was a Unitarian, which Trinitarians abhorred as heresy.

Thomas Jefferson, denounced as an atheist, was actually a deist who detested organized religion and who produced an expurgated version of the New Testament with the miracles eliminated.

Jefferson and James Madison, a nominal Episcopalian, were the architects of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.

James Monroe was another Virginia Episcopalian.

John Quincy Adams was another Massachusetts Unitarian.
Wardendresden, I'll bow out of this debate. It's not an area I have much knowledge. One thing that stands out are the letters from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. The Danbury Baptists were concerned that religious freedom came from the government, and what the government giveth, so they can taketh away or worse the establishment of a state run or endosed religion.
In his reply to the Danbury Baptists, President Jefferson said,

Quote:

Gentlemen,
– The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as
to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association give me the
highest satisfaction. . . . Believing with you that religion is a matter which
lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his
faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions
only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the
whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law
respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering
to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of
conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those
sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has
no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind
prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man,
and tender you for yourselves and your religious association assurances of my
high respect and esteem. [9]

Furthermore Jefferson questioned whether the country could survive without religious liberty when he queried,
Quote:

And
can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm
basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift
of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? [11]

Quote:

......in
addition to his other statements previously noted, Jefferson also declared that
the "power to prescribe any religious exercise. . . . must
rest with the States" (emphasis added). Nevertheless, the
federal courts ignore this succinct declaration and choose rather to misuse his
separation phrase to strike down scores of State laws which encourage or
facilitate public religious expressions. Such rulings against State laws are a
direct violation of the words and intent of the very one from whom the courts
claim to derive their policy.


Quote:

That Court, therefore, and others (for example, Commonwealth
v. Nesbit andLindenmuller
v. The People), identified actions into which – if perpetrated in the name
of religion – the government did have
legitimate reason to intrude. Those activities included human sacrifice,
polygamy, bigamy, concubinage, incest, infanticide, parricide, advocation and
promotion of immorality, etc.


Such acts, even if perpetrated in the name of religion, would be
stopped by the government since, as the Court had explained, they were
"subversive of good order" and were "overt acts against peace." However, the
government was never to interfere with traditional religious practices outlined in "the
Books of the Law and the Gospel" – whether public prayer, the use of the
Scriptures, public acknowledgements of God, etc.

Last edited by Priscilla Martin; 10-27-2013 at 07:22 PM..
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:15 PM
 
20,354 posts, read 9,819,192 times
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Is Religious Liberty Threatened?

Freedom of Religion?
Or, Freedom from Religion?

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Old 10-27-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,271 posts, read 5,489,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Priscilla Martin View Post
Wardendresden, I'll bow out of this debate. It's not an area I have much knowledge. One thing that stands out are the letters from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. The Danbury Baptists were concerned that religious freedom came from the government, and what the government giveth, so they can taketh away or worse the establishment of a state run or endosed religion.
In his reply to the Danbury Baptists, President Jefferson said,


Furthermore Jefferson questioned whether the country could survive without religious liberty when he queried,
The states accept federal money, and acceptance of federal money places those states under the Constitution with regard to religion.

Note there are thousands of Christian "private" schools from K-12 that have faith based practices--but none of them receive federal monies. The political right pandering to the religious right has tried to skirt the issue and provide for funding of Christian schools with their proposed "voucher" system. In effect, providing federal monies for religiously affiliated institutions.

So far that has been refuted by Congress.

Jefferson was a deist. Please note in my previous quote that he "rewrote" the New Testament removing reference to all miracles.

Would any modern day Christian have wanted Jefferson's religion as the "official" religion of the nation?
I think not. Many denominations do not consider deists to be "Christian."

I prefer a government as far removed from all religions as is possible. My further preference would be for no tax exemptions for individuals of any faith when such donations go to a church, synagogue, mosque, etc. Donations for specific charitable works of some religious organizations, like meals on wheels run by some churches, or food or clothing banks, would be eligible for donations.

I know my views are not popular in this regard. I just don't believe in kickback cash for Christ.

In Barnes & Noble yesterday, my wife purchased a Bible. We sat down for a cup of coffee and the lady at the next table arrived with a helper and an armful of Bibles which she began to open one at a time and look through. I told the lady that my wife had purchased a new Bible, but I wondered if she, herself, wasn't in for a little overkill. She said, "I'm 65 years old and I've never read the Bible. I used to go to the (LARGE Protestant denomination) church of my husband, but all they ever talked about was money, money, money."

That was an opportunity for me to recommend a study Bible, and to assure her that some, like myself, have a spiritual faith, but are simply no longer attuned to church attendance, and that would not prevent her from having spiritual enlightenment. She thanked me profusely.

Religious liberty is about sharing one's faith, not defending denominational practices. And if churches really believed in separation of church and state, they wouldn't fly the American flag in virtually every church in this nation. Some have the idea that God's world is in this country instead of the other way around.

P.S. I do not believe in "coincidences" in the lives of those striving to live for God. I believe in "purposes."
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,271 posts, read 5,489,845 times
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Default Jefferson and the Danbury Baptists

There was something troubling me about the mention of Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. I did some checking and lo, they wrote to Jefferson first (Jefferson's letter is a response) complaining that their home state of Connecticut did not grant religious liberty as an immutable right, but rather as a privilege---

In part the Danbury letter stated--

"But, sir, our constitution of government (state government) is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the law made coincident therewith, were adopted as the basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our laws and usages, and such still are; that religion is considered as the first object of legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the state) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights; and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen."

Quote:
Thomas Jefferson was a man of deep religious conviction — his conviction was that religion was a very personal matter, one which the government had no business getting involved in. He was vilified by his political opponents for his role in the passage of the 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and for his criticism of such biblical events as the Great Flood and the theological age of the Earth. As president, he discontinued the practice started by his predecessors George Washington and John Adams of proclaiming days of fasting and thanksgiving. He was a staunch believer in the separation of church and state.

Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 to answer a letter from them written in October 1801. A copy of the Danbury letter is available here. The Danbury Baptists were a religious minority in Connecticut, and they complained that in their state, the religious liberties they enjoyed were not seen as immutable rights, but as privileges granted by the legislature — as "favors granted." Jefferson's reply did not address their concerns about problems with state establishment of religion — only of establishment on the national level. The letter contains the phrase "wall of separation between church and state," which led to the short-hand for the Establishment Clause that we use today: "Separation of church and state."
Jefferson's Wall of Separation Letter - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net

Many religious people find this aspect of democracy (accommodating things like birth control or abortion) problematic, as it means they have to accommodate laws they personally find offensive. Freedom of religion means you are free to believe in what your faith teaches you about sin or about sinful behaviors; neither the state nor the federal government will try to force you to change your views. But our democracy recognizes that other people have freedom of religion too, and they may not share your beliefs about what is sinful. Thus, public policy in a secular democracy is not shaped by religious doctrines; even though some laws go against your beliefs, you are only expected to respect those laws, not necessarily agree with them.

I personally believe we have more religious freedom than virtually ANY other nation in the world, particularly in light of the multitude of diverse denominations and religious sects that exist in our country.

Something for which to be thankful to God.
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