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  1. #1
    Senior Member Daedalus's Avatar
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    Default Separation of Church & State (split)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It doesn't sound like you want gender equality, so much as you want to force the Red States to elect Democrats.
    I just want the constitutional separation of church and state enforced
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    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starsiege View Post
    I just want the constitutional separation of church and state enforced
    I love the far righter loons who claim it doesn't exist. It's as if they've never read the fucking First Amendment.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I love the far righter loons who claim it doesn't exist. It's as if they've never read the fucking First Amendment.
    It doesn't exist.

    It's the classic game of telephone. "Separation of church and state" is quoting Thomas Jefferson, and it is a valid depiction of what the "fucking First Amendment" means, but it is not identical. "Congress shall make no law" is quite different from "the courts shall order the state-controlled schools." Students and teachers and school employees are all citizens whose "fucking First Amendment" rights should be respected.

    Frankly, there is no reasonable objective meaning of "separation of church and state." That's the real problem. It's just a description, not a legal interpretation.

    FWIW, I agree that public schools shouldn't proselytize, but court rulings often go further than that, because the line between voluntary practice and proselytization is blurry. There is a real conflict between the simultaneous interpretation of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," and "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," because citizens may both practice religion and act in a government capacity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I love the far righter loons who claim it doesn't exist. It's as if they've never read the fucking First Amendment.
    The first amendment means that Congress cannot create a national church. At the time the constitution was signed, several states did have established churches. It should be pointed out that the seperation of church and state does not mean that religion is irrelevant in political matters; as noted by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court James Wilson(who btw was second only to Madison as author of the Constitution).

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    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    The first amendment means that Congress cannot create a national church. At the time the constitution was signed, several states did have established churches. It should be pointed out that the seperation of church and state does not mean that religion is irrelevant in political matters; as noted by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court James Wilson(who btw was second only to Madison as author of the Constitution).
    "The state shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

    I think that pretty clearly delineates that religion shouldn't factor into law. How do you interpret that as meaning only that the state cannot create a national church?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    "The state shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

    I think that pretty clearly delineates that religion shouldn't factor into law. How do you interpret that as meaning only that the state cannot create a national church?
    what's religion?
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    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    "The state shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

    I think that pretty clearly delineates that religion shouldn't factor into law.
    Dear oh dear ... misquoting the Constitution while arguing a point about the Constitution? Sloppy.

    "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."

    No "separation", no "state." Only no "establishment of" religion and no prohibition of "the free exercise thereof."

    It is certainly not a statement that religion "shouldn't factor into law." That would be horribly limiting, I would think: "Hrm, it is unconstitutional to outlaw murder, because there is a prohibition against killing in the Ten Commandments, therefore murder is a constitutional right." Yes, the argument is absurd, but if "religion shouldn't factor into law" is a first principle, it is a logical conclusion. Unless of course, that isn't really what you meant, in which case you should choose your words more carefully.

    That part of the first amendment was specifically intended to prohibit a national church (as was the case in England). It has other implications that have since been explored, but none are as far-reaching as you would imply.

    As for
    How do you interpret that as meaning only that the state cannot create a national church?
    I believe the "establishment of religion" part is talking about not creating a national church. It is good and fair to interpret the spirit of the meaning as "and will make no law that will effectively establish a religion, all the while professing not to," but that reasoning can only go so far before effectively establishing a official state "religion" of atheism/agnosticism. The state should be impartial with respect to religion, not effectively outlaw religion in all but entirely private contexts. That is where the debate lies.

  8. #8
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    "The state shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
    I don't know what version of the constitution you're citing, but the version provided by the House of Representatives clearly states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

    I think that pretty clearly delineates that religion shouldn't factor into law.
    Aside from you misquoting the Constitution, I also mentioned what the second principal author of the Constitution noted. If you don't believe me, you can read him yourself:
    "Of law there are different kinds. All, however, may be arranged in two different classes. 1. Divine. 2. Human laws. The descriptive epithets employed denote, that the former have God, the latter, man, for their author....

    ...Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both."

    Works of James Wilson
    This excerpt is from his 1791 lectures where he explains the reasoning behind the newly adopted Constitution. It is recorded that George Washington, our first president, attended these lectures.

    Another primary source to consult on this issue are Political Sermons of the Founding Era 1730-1805. As Ellis Sandoz notes in the Foreword:
    "To permit the religious perspective concerning the rise of American nationhood to have representative expression is important because a steady attention to the pulpit from 1730 to 1805 unveils a distinctive rhetoric of political discourse: Preachers interpreted pragmatic events in terms of a political theology imbued with philosophical and revelatory learning. Their sermons also demonstrate the existence and effectiveness of a popular political culture that constantly assimilated the currently urgent political and constitutional issues to the profound insights of the Western spiritual and philosophical traditions. That culture’s political theorizing within the compass of ultimate historical and metaphysical concerns gave clear contours to secular events in the minds of Americans of this vital era.

    Religion gave birth to America, Tocqueville observed long ago.2 On the eve of revolution, in his last-ditch attempt to stave off impending catastrophe, Edmund Burke reminded the House of Commons of the inseparable alliance between liberty and religion among Englishmen in America3 Mercy Otis Warren noted in her 1805 history of the American Revolution: “It must be acknowledged, that the religious and moral character of Americans yet stands on a higher grade of excellence and purity, than that of most other nations.”4 Of the Americans on the eve of the Revolution Carl Bridenbaugh has exclaimed, “who can deny that for them the very core of existence was their relation to God?”5

    Although they present a range of viewpoints on many different problems over a period of seventy-five years, all our writers agree that political liberty and religious truth are vitally intertwined. And while the role of the clergy as the philosophers of the American founding has not received great attention from students of political theory, it was abundantly clear to contemporaries."
    In 1982 Congress passed Public Law 97-280 acknowledging that "Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the constitution of the United States." This authorised then President Reagen to proclaim 1983 as "Year of the Bible".

    So there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Daedalus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I wouldnt laud India as an exemplar of democracy really. Even so, you also have to take into account the differences between American/European countires and India as well. What works in one country may not work in another.
    I'm not lauding it, or using it as a model democracy, it, like all democracies has its own share of faults, more than most; in the area of corruption and such. I was but trying to dispel certain misconceptions people might have about foreign democracies. Any political system with hundreds of parties, and dozens of ethnicities, is bound to be complex. America is yet to have a woman head of state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    As Joseph de Maistre cynically remarked, every country gets the government it deserves!
    indeed..
    I hope the Texas textbook change does not lead us , as a country to the middle ages!
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  10. #10
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starsiege View Post
    I hope the Texas textbook change does not lead us , as a country to the middle ages!
    Actually that would be a step up in many ways.

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