Published: Wednesday, May 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
"the Constitution's First Amendment, which was meant to protect
religion from the effects of political interference."Yes, but if
you acknowledge the fact that one of the driving forces of this country was also
to protect government from the effects of religious interference.Hence the wall of separation. If you look at all of Jeffersons quotes, it is
clear that he had a healthy skepticism of Religion.I provided a few.
(Pence and power - it is always there)"But it does me no injury
for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my
pocket nor breaks my leg. ""Christianity neither is, nor
ever was a part of the common law.""My opinion is that there
would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. The
artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for
the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for
themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there."
There was no "driving force to protect government from the effects of
religious interference." Jefferson merely believed that religion is a
personal thing that should not be forced on (or from) anyone. That was the goal.
He does not take that so far as to suggest the absurdity that beliefs that exist
in religious doctrines must be barred from influencing government. When people seek to categorize people's beliefs, their goal is to
establish which people's beliefs should be deemed inferior to the others.
The human mind however, does not separate religious beliefs over here and
non-religious beliefs over there. One's religious and non-religious beliefs
are inseparably intertwined. Any attempt to separate them requires endowing some
individual with superior authority to inform us as to which beliefs are worthy
to be deemed fact and which ones must be relegated to the realm of myth. In reality, if God exists, His existence is as much a fact as any fact.
It is not merely some inferior "religious" belief. And if something is a
fact, it is absurd to obligate the government to ignore or deny it.
So how is forcing through the rule of law people of every religion and the
non-religious to live by your religious dictates not allowing politics to
influence religion? This strange expansive view of religions being crying follow
when they are not able to require everyone to follow their doctrine has somehow
taken hold in our country but it fails basic reasoning. If you want to ban gay
marriage from your religion go have at it, but don’t tell me my religion
cannot conduct gay marriages if we soi choose or that secu;lar people that do
not share yur view cannot have a secular same sex marraige.
"In reality, if God exists, His existence is as much a fact as any
fact."What?Yes, if it was a Fact that God existed,
it would be a fact.Cant argue with that.But, it is not a fact,
by the definition of the word.And his or her nonexistence is also not a
fact. We just don't know.This country came to existence in
part because of government and religion became intertwined to the extent that
Religion was forced on people.Was govt forcing religion, or was
religion forcing govt? Doesn't really matter.The goal of this
countries founders was clearly to separate the two.Yes, many were
religious. Many were Christians. But they had the wisdom to see that neither
one should have undue influence over the other.
Yes, Jefferson allowed and attended Church services in the Capitol building. It
was the only building in town. There weren't any church buildings. Where
the heck else would they have held services? Had nothing to do with the
separation of Church and state.
The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life recent
research found that more often than not that religions were the cause of
hostilities towards other religions not secularism. The their research also
found that social hostilities involving religion are 3.5 times higher in
countries with very high government favoritism of religion than in countries
with low levels of favoritism. The study found that some government restrictions
have a stronger association with social hostilities than others. Government
policies or actions that clearly favor one religion over others have the
strongest association with social hostilities involving religion. It is time to
focus on the real problem which is those that spread the idea this expansive
view that their religious rights are only protected when they can force the rest
of society to live by their religious dictates.
RAB, or anyone else that believes religion should not be seperated from
government, can you tell me exactly what that means. How do you see government
functioning with religious influence. Tell us in detail how that would work.
What is your vision? There is no room for being vague on this issue. How would
it work? Would it be like Iran's government? Or something else?
What religion would have influence on government? Catholics? Jehovah's
Witness? Christian Scientists? Pagans? Muslims? Mormons? How does it
work in your vision?
JoeBlow,There is nothing to indicate one of the driving forces of this
country was to protect government from the effects of religious interference.
The basis for you argument is fallacious.Eric,Tents and open
air services were common in the Great Revival and Second Great Revival.
I’m surprised you did not know that and had to ask where else services
could have been held. They could have also held them in private residences,
which was also common.
"Within a year of his inauguration (1801), Jefferson began attending church
services in the House of Representatives. Worship services in the House were
acceptable to Jefferson because they were NONdiscriminatory and voluntary.
Preachers of EVERY denomination appeared."============= If the GOP is ok with Pagan and Lucifer worship services, then go for
it.But based on the Islam-iphobes and Polygamy hating comments from
conservatives of late, I highly doubt they could rise to the
NONdiscriminantory integrity level of Thomas Jefferson.BTW - The
President still hosts National Prayer, Prayer is given in Congress -- but
again, it's to the nondiscrimnatory standard established by Jefferson.If you dropped the intolerance and constant rivalry between religious
factions to anyone deemed not as CHRISTIAN as you are, then perhaps
you'd be surprised to kind most NON religous folks being more tolerent of
tolerating your religion.
The founders included freedom of religion in the 1st amendment because so many
of those who settled here came from a land of religous intolerance where the
State had an official religion. They could not practice as they wished, so they
left. They didn't want the same restriction in their new home.This law has been twisted beyond recognition by some who insist that
government representatives should be prohibited from even uttering a reference
to God, as though the clause should permit only agnostics or atheists to run for
office so as not to poison the public discourse with talk about diety.Almost all religions believe that stealing is wrong. Does that mean that our
laws, also based on such principles, should be struck from the books because
they are influenced by religious belief? The truth is, all laws are
moral, it's just a question of which morals the representatives and
lawmakers can agree to codify into law. Some societies have chosen (or have
been forced) to become godless. Take a good look at the former Soviet Union, or
present day North Korea. Is this really the standard for which we should aim?
If Jefferson's actions speak louder than words, as the author claims, then
one need only look at his creation of the Jefferson Bible. Jefferson was "a
sect by [him]self."
"Almost all religions believe that stealing is wrong. Does that mean that
our laws, also based on such principles, should be struck from the books because
they are influenced by religious belief?"Stealing isn't
illegal because it's based on religious morality, it is illegal because it
infringes upon the private property rights of others. Murder isn't illegal
because Christianity or Judaism believe it to be immoral, but because it
violates the right to life and liberty of others.It has nothing to
do with moral codes of religions.
isrred, you have reinforced the necessity of morality within the law. In a
scenario where there was no right or wrong (even infringing on others'
rights)--would stealing necessarily be wrong? Even murder? Morality, by
definition, centers on and defines what is right and wrong. Morality is not
only the basis for law, it is essential for a lawful society.In the
words of John Adams, "We have no government armed with power capable of
contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...Our
constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly
inadequate to the government of any other.”Or George
Washington, "Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil
society."Or Ben Franklin to the Continental Congress,
""Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations
of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the
several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement
thereof."A legal system not based on moral concepts would be, to
use a modern term, messed up.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances."Thus reads the entire
first amendment. So many recite and demand that this means freedom from
religion. In doing so they forget that part where it says "or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof". Free exercise means that we are freely allowed
to practice the religion of our choice even when participating in government.
That was the point of Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. That
they must be allowed to participate in government as Baptists. This
has nothing to do with a code of religion or the demand that if I put up
anything Christian, that a Satanist image must be put up as well. In fact,
demanding that all be equally represented or none can be is a violation of First
Amendment rights as well.
@uncommonsenseyour right to exercise your religion does not include you
being allowed to usirbe my religious beleifs. No one claims you do not have the
right to be participate in government but rather you do not get to use
government to violate others first amendment rights which is exactly what your
last comment suggest.
Mr. Thorpe did a nice job of cherry picking much like the people that pull
Hannity's strings.From Jefferson's Letter... "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 & State."Its
crystal clear (to me anyway) that Jefferson was speaking in terms of policy.
"This law has been twisted beyond recognition by some who insist that
government representatives should be prohibited from even uttering a reference
to God,"Beatle, while, perhaps, some on the extreme fringe
believe as such, can you show me any law or any proposed law or regulation that
would require this? Or any legitimate group or individual pushing anything like
this? "Some societies have chosen (or have been forced) to
become godless. Take a good look at the former Soviet Union, or present day
North Korea. Is this really the standard for which we should aim?"Yes, but some societies have also become ruled by religion. Take a look at
Iran or Afghanistan under the Taliban. Is that really the standard we should be
striving for? Uncommon sense said,"Free exercise
means that we are freely allowed to practice the religion of our choice even
when participating in government."That is the closest anyone
came to answering my question from yesterday: how do you think religion should
be able to influence government. Uncommon sense, I give you the same challange
as Beatle Juice. Name any proposed legislation that would ban this.
Mark requests any example of groups or legislation pushing a ban on religious
speech or freedom by govt. officials. How about a 2011 federal court decision
that the national day of prayer was unconstitutional? Fortunately, it was
overturned by an appeals court, but only on the grounds that the plaintiff did
not have legal standing in the matter.How about the infamous
provision in the new healthcare law that requires coverage, even by religious
institutions, of contraception. The federal government is essentially saying,
"your religion is interesting, but contraception is more important".What about the prohibition by government from allowing students to pray
in school? Again, religion is okay, but you cannot utter certain words on
government property--in this case, a school.Multiple lawsuits
attempting to remove the national motto (In God We Trust) from currency.I have no problem with not promoting a certain religion--i.e.,
Christian, Muslim, etc. However, how many examples do you want showing a push
to remove mention of God altogether?
@Beatle JuiceSouth Jordan, UTMark requests any example of
groups or legislation pushing a ban on religious speech or freedom by govt.
officials.========= I just L-O-V-E-D watching the God
loving, God-fearing GOP smack down, ridicule, and gossip and rub Mitt
Romney's nose in our Mormonism.But go ahead, support the those
who won't allow an Islamic cultural center to be built.Hypocrites.
"What about the prohibition by government from allowing students to pray in
school?"Actually, in most places, students are allowed to pray
in school. They just aren't allowed to have school led prayer. But in
many schools there are christian organizations that meet there.... and in many
around this area, churches use the schools for services and activities.There is a big difference between the government leading religious services,
and the religious services held at government facilities. They just have to
have the same rules for all groups.
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