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Old 09-15-2008, 10:17 AM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,187,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
Many of this nations patriotic songs have "God" in them ("God Bless America.....")

Should these be banned?
Banned from what?

I acted in a performance of Godspell. I'm Jewish.

But, it was my choice!

There was neither overt nor covert pressure on me.

I sang Mozart's Requiem.

But, it was my choice!

There was neither overt nor covert pressure on me.

I sing songs without God in them. I sing songs with God in them.

The problems arise when the state promotes it - and we have a few instances in which the U.S. government has made it clear that it thinks of itself as a Christian country, or at least a country of a single deity. To me, this is hypocritical and inappropriate, but I am not expecting to win the argument.

"In God We Trust" does not belong on our money, if we insist that there is no state religion.

"under God" does not belong in the Pledge of Allegiance, if we insist that there is no state religion. (Let alone that it changed the works of its creator, against his wishes.)

As for patriotic songs, I am pretty sure that if a good enough song were written now about the U.S. of A. and it happened to mention the Goddess, that a whole lot of people would be up in arms about its being sung at official events, in the name of "separation of church and state."

I am equally sure that more than half of those people would never have complained about God Bless America.

Hmmm... I wonder if any of my song-writing friends could be induced to take a shot at such a song!
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Uptown
645 posts, read 804,180 times
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Default Say nothing of my religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
IThe Founding Fathers never intended the Constitution to purge the nation from the influence of religion. On the contrary, many of them felt the recognition of a Higher Power was important in shaping the moral standards of the nation.
Can you elaborate on who this was?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
In fact, they argued that the Church needed to be protected from the State but not necessarily vice versa. They were determined to avoid a state-sponsored sect.
I have to disagree with you on our founding fathers not wanting to protect the State from the church. Thomas Jefferson was very adament that the Church should not invade people's lives. The phrase "separation of church and state" appears in a letter that he wrote to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association in January 1802.

Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists (June 1998) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Jefferson considered himself a follower of Jesus , but he also considered himself a deist. In Jefferson's view, because he believed Jesus to be merely human, not divine, and believed the precepts Jesus taught to be deistical. He was a strong supporter of the separation of church and state, believing that both government and religion would be strengthened by keeping each free of the corrupting influence of the other.

Politicians that wear their faith on their sleeves are not adhering to our founding fathers visions for government.


"Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my god and myself alone." ~Thomas Jefferson
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Uptown
645 posts, read 804,180 times
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I have posted a link to a really great article. I highly recommend reading the last two paragraphs...

What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick | Salon
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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I have not cut and paste, but there are gobs of instances here (Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party) that show how the dividing wall has been lowered systematically.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:12 PM
 
Location: The 719
13,632 posts, read 21,494,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
I don't understand how a person can make executive decisions without their moral beliefs - whatever they may be - entering into the decision.
Let's say someone is an Athiest or an agnostic and holding an executive position. This is very possible. How they derive their beliefs or how they go about their thought process in decision making should be strictly up to them, right? But their decisions and the subsequent actions or consequences will be judged as positive or negative for society and that individual will be judged on the decision accordingly.

Well, this should be the same case for the person of religious faith, right?

We can judge a candidate for office based on their moral beliefs and vote accordingly, right?

My whole thought on separation of Church and State is based on this as was mentioned previously in this thread;

If the Gov't doesn't take money from the Church, the Church can't tell the Gov't what to do and visa versa.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:40 PM
 
Location: NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katzenfreund View Post
This is my view, too. I am an atheist and I believe in freedom of religion, but I also believe in freedom from religion, if I so chose. I strongly believe that religion is a private issue and no one has ANY business trying to push their views on anyone else. I am also strongly opposed to bringing a 'GOD' of any kind into the government. There is no proof a 'God' exists, so it is always a belief not a fact. If is not a fact, I want it kept out of government.
This is my view as well. I also disagree with those who contend that the USA is "a Christian nation" unless they make absolutely clear they are talking strictly about numbers: Are there more Christians in the USA than people of other, or no, faiths? If so, then that is a statement of fact and cannot be argued with. But to then take that fact and spin it into a "majority rules" mindset (in other words, government and its elected and appointed officials making laws and policy decisions based on those numbers) is completely wrong IMO. Do I think that the words "under god" should be in the Pledge of Allegiance? No, and that's why when I do recite it I omit those words. I suspect that other non-theists such as myself, as well as Buddhists, Shintos, and those who believe in deities other than the Christian god, do the same. The fact that no one is going to lop off our heads for not saying those two words doesn't diminish the fact that someone back in the Eisenhower administration decided that there was no reason to care whether the non-Christian minority in the American population was offended by their inclusion or not.

I agree with Jefferson. Politicians should say nothing about their religion in the course of their public duties.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,325,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
Can you point me to a document where the Founding Fathers say that? (I ask in good faith. If you provide a verifiable citation to say, The Federalist Papers, I may reconsider my opinion. A reference to someone else talking about what the Founding Fathers said or thought will not do, however.) In fact, history would suggest otherwise. English colonists in North America were people who fled Great Britain's religious conformity laws. By way of background, if you were an English citizen, you were required by law to be a member of the Church of England, embrace its doctrine and attend one of its parishes; if you did not, you would be jailed, fined or worse. However, these penalties were suspended against religious dissidents who settled in the New World. Because so many early colonists were religious, people often make the mistake of thinking that they wanted religion (theirs) to reign over the State. They forget, however, that these people had a horrible experience of living in a clerical system -- and so it is only logical that their descendants would want to afford citizens the greatest possible liberty to practice their faith, while keeping religion as far from public institutions as possible.

Any time you let "religion" influence the government, you have to really take that idea to its logical conclusion -- it isn't just going to be "religion" as a concept (Hinduism?) influencing the government, but a particular religion and a particular set of values. Letting "religion" (read: a sect) infiltrate the government would eventually result in the exact same thing that the Founding Fathers resented in England: the legal codification of religious conformity and punishment against those who practice a different faith, or no faith.
Let me start by saying that I have never claimed that the Founders championed a particular sect of Christianity. Anyone who is interpreting my comments to say that is reading between the lines, incorrectly.

Here are a few quotes:
"(T)he propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained" - George Washington, First Inaugural, April 30 1789

"The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: 'that God governs in the affairs of men.' And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" - Benjamin Franklin

"Without a humble imitation of the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, we can never hope to be a happy nation." George Washington

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity religion and morality are indispensable supports." George Washington - Speech Sept. 17, 1796

“We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.” - James Madison

“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also.” Thomas Jefferson

The way I see it the Founders wanted to make sure that no one sect of any religion unduly influenced the government. But they definitely favored the influence of moral values that were derived from religious practice, specifically Christianity, although Christianity certainly has many good values in common with other religions.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
.....The way I see it the Founders wanted to make sure that no one sect of any religion unduly influenced the government. But they definitely favored the influence of moral values that were derived from religious practice, specifically Christianity, although Christianity certainly has many good values in common with other religions.
Maybe they championed "moral values". The fact that these were derived from Chrisitanity may be because they had not much exposure to other religions.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,325,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmdude View Post
Maybe they championed "moral values". The fact that these were derived from Chrisitanity may be because they had not much exposure to other religions.
That could be. As I noted high moral standards are not unique to Christianity.
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmdude View Post
Maybe they championed "moral values". The fact that these were derived from Chrisitanity may be because they had not much exposure to other religions.
Speaking only of T. Jefferson, he had at least a familiarity with Islam in addition to the Greek and Roman myths, as he owned an English translation of the Koran.
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