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Old 12-30-2007, 09:28 AM
 
415 posts, read 555,983 times
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Separation of Church and State: Good for Government, Good for Religion

The right to freedom of religion is so central to American democracy that it was enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution along with other fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

-- The First Amendment
In order to guarantee an atmosphere of absolute religious liberty, this country's founders also mandated the strict separation of church and state. Largely because of this prohibition against government regulation or endorsement of religion, diverse faiths have flourished and thrived in America since the founding of the republic. Indeed, James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, once observed that "the [religious] devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state."

Americans are still among the most religious people in the world. Yet the government plays almost no role in promoting, endorsing or funding religious institutions or religious beliefs. Free from government control -- and without government assistance -- religious values, literature, traditions and holidays permeate the lives of our citizens and, in their diverse ways, form an integral part of our national culture. By maintaining the wall separating church and state, we can guarantee the continued vitality of religion in American life.

Separation of Church and State: A First Amendment Primer
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,330,407 times
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I agree. There should be 100% of separation. Religion is a private thing that belongs in your home and church and not in City Hall or a public school- or even in the Pledge of Alligence or on our money.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,050,141 times
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Religious conservatives actually argue that separation of church and state does not exist and the first amendment only prohibits a state chuch such as the Church of England. They say our nation is a Christian nation founded by Christians and for Christians, and they endorse prayer in school, mandatory Bible reading, and the teaching of a literal Genesis Creation in science classes, and anybody who questions them is trying to "destroy America."
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 35,212,077 times
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I wonder:

Would those who are proponents of a "total" seperation advocate the elimination of the Christmas Holiday altogether as being a legal holiday?

How about putting up "Merry Christmas" banners on the street lights?

Etc

Should all of this be eliminated?
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,330,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
I wonder:

Would those who are proponents of a "total" seperation advocate the elimination of the Christmas Holiday altogether as being a legal holiday?

How about putting up "Merry Christmas" banners on the street lights?

Etc

Should all of this be eliminated?
Christmas is fine as long as you also allow other religions the same benefit. Are you willing to allow the Jews to hang menorahs in public places on passover? What about the muslims hanging whatever they hang (besides Saddam) for Ramadan? If they want to hang a 'HAPPY RAMADAN" banner in Arabic across Main street, are you OK with that?
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 35,212,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Christmas is fine as long as you also allow other religions the same benefit. Are you willing to allow the Jews to hang menorahs in public places on passover? What about the muslims hanging whatever they hang (besides Saddam) for Ramadan? If they want to hang a 'HAPPY RAMADAN" banner in Arabic across Main street, are you OK with that?
Yes

Yes

Yes
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Small patch of terra firma
1,275 posts, read 2,165,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashTheCash View Post
Separation of Church and State: Good for Government, Good for Religion

Indeed, James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, once observed that "the [religious] devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state."

By maintaining the wall separating church and state, we can guarantee the continued vitality of religion in American life.
My favorite James Madison quote which eloquently stated the effect of a separation is in his 07/10/1822 letter to Edward Livingston that “a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance…that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together”.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:50 PM
 
79 posts, read 191,579 times
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The United States is hardly a Christian nation if one looks at the models used by the Founders. Judiasm and Christianity are autocratic. There is no democracy, no trial by jury. The Founders realized how incompatible religion was with democratic government. The models chosen were from Rome and Greece. Nowhere in the Constitution is there mention of a supreme being. The only mention of religion in the Constitution are the two phrases excluding religion from the government. The 7th Amendment mentions jury trials and common law both of which arose from pre-Christian Britian.

Last edited by mrrumples; 12-30-2007 at 03:10 PM..
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Old 12-30-2007, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,521 posts, read 20,910,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrumples View Post
The only mention of religion in the Constitution are the two phrases excluding religion from the government. .
How does "Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" equal "excluding religion from the government", as you put it? The obverse would seem to be true...
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:12 PM
 
79 posts, read 191,579 times
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From the author of the Constitution, James Madison

"The great desideratum in Government is so to modify the sovereignty as that it may be sufficiently neutral between different parts of the society to control one part from invading the rights of another, and at the same time sufficiently controlled itself from setting up an interest adverse to that of the entire society." Madison, 1787

"And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together." Madison, 1822

“...exempt from the authority of the society at large ...is wholly exempt from cognizance.” Madison 1785
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