Skip to comments.The Myth Behind "Separation of Church and State"
Posted on 11/08/2004 11:59:43 AM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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Bump for later.
Amen! Now convince the left of this fact and we are all set!
Thanks. I've had a number of debates of this issue with the opposition quoting the ACLU's wrong-headed position that's so prevalent today.
I knew that the "doctrine of separation of church and state" was a canard, but I did not know the history of it.
You may wish to read my thoughts on militant secularism at redbay.blospot.com
Thanks AGAIN TG- you are FULL of useful info today- much appreciated by this freeper:)
My apologies to Alan Keyes. He has been making this claim for quite some time. Although I like Mr. Keyes very much, I thought he was a bit out on the limb on this one. I was wrong. It looks like Alan Keyes was exactly right.
The First Amendment simply means that the government will not establish an official state religion as for example the Church of England in Britain, which many American immigrants previously suffered under. It has nothing to do with divorcing religion and religious sentiments from government.
Everson v. Board of Education...one of FDR nominees to the Supreme Court in an effort to pack the court...Justice Hugo Black...created this "separation of church and state" and essentially outlawed prayer in schools. Alan Keyes has always made the point that the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion (national religion) and Congress is a branch of the Federal Government.
Bump for Church
"This country was established upon the assumption that religion was essential to good government."
I bet you are all for the first line but let me ask you, what if it was Islamic integration into our government?
Absolutely not, but you shouldn't pretend as if everything is relative.
I've known this for some time. However the ACLU and their ilk have told their lie so often that most believe it true. Hopefully, W will be able to appoint a few pure jurists to the SCOTUS and set us back on course.
Instead of citing the Constitution, the Supreme Court decided instead to use a letter written by a man who was neither at the drafting nor ratification of the document. Not only that, the letter had been written a full decade after the fact.
It is also worth noting that in doing so, they created law from whole cloth, something the SCOTUS does not have the authority to do. As the Constitution they chose to ignore spelled out, creating law is something exclusive to the Legislative Branch of government, otherwise known as Congress.
This makes the ruling that created this church/state seperation wholly unconstitutional.
As a teacher, I don't mind religion in the schools, but this often means today that I support religion in the schools, as long as it is one that I don't oppose. My brother was prohibited by some so-called Christians (not the school system at all) from giving a graduation prayer because he was of a religion that some did not agree with, even though many people of different religions had done it before.
Contrary to what some belief, much religion has been taken out of the schools by lawsuits filed by those who opposed the school doing something that was done by a religion that they opposed or of "fear" of being offended by someone doing something from that religion. For example, in my state, a high school could not sing deity-linked Christmas songs because a Jewish student and her parents sued to have the school choir not do it. A Mormon in Texas sued to have school prayer removed. Fortunately in my school, we do observe moments of silence at some times and also sing all sorts of Christmas songs. I wouldn't have it any other way.
"The 'wall of separation between church and state' phrase as understood by Jefferson was never meant to exclude people of faith from influencing and shaping government. Jefferson would be shocked to learn that his letter has been used as a weapon against religion."
This is one part of the "anti-separation of church and state" argument that I have always found not just unconvincing, but misleading. People of faith, as evidenced by the recent election, influence politics and government all the time, and this is as it should be. The President can quote scripture in speeches, include homilies, etc. Congress can start each day with a prayer. Religious people can elect religious legislators who shape law based on religious principle. Happens all the time.
Some of us who still advocate this "separation" of church and state do so based on the idea that government should not be in the business of advancing a specific religion in its official acts. Christians are free to shape and influence government, but government has no business in shaping or influencing the religious faith, Christian or otherwise, of the people. More plainly put, government should not be in the religion business.
One of the arguments I've rarely seen well addressed over such issues as school prayer is on what religion should such prayers be based. The answer is usually either "we're a Christian nation, so prayers should be non-sectarian Christian prayers" or "prayers should reflect the faith of the community." The problem is that like it or not, America is a pluralistic nation, and while most Americans profess to be Christian, nearly every "community" will contain people of different faiths or different brands of Christianity. Whose faith prevails? This is one area where "majority rules" doesn't hold. Just as Christians would be understandably outraged if schools required the reading of Mulsim prayers or perhaps Dyanetics, others may be outraged by similar treatment of Christian prayers.
Federalist arguments that the states are or should be free to regulate these matters have a better provenance but the history is still complex. But the so-called "wall of separation of church and state," to my mind, in no way inhibits Christians or other people of faith from influencing government.
Of course, I've never quite gotten the apparent need of some Christians for government to legitimize their faith by supporting Christian prayer or religious displays.
They even banned a state license plate in Louisiana that said "Choose Life" because they said it violated Separation of Church and State. What part of "Choose Life" is a religious message? Can't the irreligious choose life too? Including the word "choose" did not faze the baby murderers one bit, because they don't really want choice. It's not really about choice, it's about killing off the babies of sections of the populace they don't like.
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