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Freedom of Religion is its Own Enemy
World Wide Web ^ | 5/26/05 | Henry R. Sturman

Posted on 06/01/2005 9:24:53 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew

It's a common claim of libertarians, liberals, atheists and skeptics that religious conservatives use the public schools to promote creationism. I believe that claim is incorrect. The truth is that libertarians, liberals, atheists and skeptics use the public schools to promote atheism. Public schools are bad of course, and all schools should be private. But if there are going to be public schools anyway, they should be for all people, for evolutionists and creationists, for atheists and theists. Public schools should teach both evolution and creationism, and students should be given the choice which of those courses they want to take. It's the libertarians, liberals, atheists and skeptics that want to take away people's free choice, in the name of religious freedom, so as to make sure that everybody is forced to learn scientific truth and nobody gets exposed to pseudo-scientific heresy. That idea is based on a mistaken view of what separation between Church and State means.

Separation between Church and State means, or at least should mean, that government will not takes sides promoting one religion over the other. Or religion over nonreligion. Or nonreligion over religion. Forbidding creationism in public schools is itself an attack on the separation between Church and State. It means the the State promotes education the way atheists want it and hampers eduction the way theists want it. My opponents will counter that public schools do not promote atheism. They're supposedly neutral and teach only science, while they teach neither atheism nor theism. Nonsense. What a school teaches is never neutral and can never be neutral. Every choice a school makes on what courses to give and how is a value jugdement on what is good. Therefore, the conflicts public schools create about what to teach can never be solved. They're inherent in the very idea of a public school and can only be solved by privatizing all public schools. The best public schools can do for now is cater to as many needs as possible, especially needs carried by large proportions of students. Not doing that, for example by teaching evolution and not creationism, is not a neutral choice.

If one interprets the Separation between Church and State more strictly, so as to mean government must not even have any indirect connection to religion, then one might indeed argue that public schools should not teach creationism. (One might then even be able to argue that people on welfare should be forbidden to spend their welfare money on religious goods or services.) But such a strict interpretation would be unfair as long as there is no Separation between School and State. For if there is this kind of a separation between Church and State, while there is no general separation between School and State, religious education is put at a severe disadvantage to any kind of other education. Why should all schools of thought about what kind of education is appropriate get a say in the public school system, except if there is a religious connection? Separation between School and State is a great idea, which would depolitisize education, via privatization. But a very strictly interpreted separation between Church and State is simply not possible or desirable, as long as government controls public schools. If they control public schools they should try to cater equally to all education needs and education philosophies, whether they be scientific, atheist, religious, or whatever.

In this regard it's the religious right that stands on the side of freedom of religion and free scientific inquiry. They fully respect the rights of atheists to teach evolution in public schools, even though they think it incorrect. Their opponents, on the other hand, do no respect the rights of theist to teach creationism in public schools, because they think it incorrect. It may be that strictly speaking evolution is not atheism while creationism is theism. That doesn't remove the unfairness of the public schools in that they do teach what many atheist want taught (evolution) while they do not teach what many theist want taught (creationism). One might argue that the principle involved is that public schools should teach science and that therefore evolution is an appropriate subject to teach while creationism is not. There are two problems with that view:

1. Many creationists believe creationism is scientific.
2. It's not true that public schools only teach science.

As to 1, I agree that creationism is bad science, or nonscience, while evolution is good science. But it's not appropriate for government to make judgements about what is science or not science. For government to do that is a violation of well established principes of free scientific inquiry. The fact that evolution is true and creationism is false is besides the point. Government shouldn't decide what scientific truth is and tell people what to do or learn based on that judgement. Using government power against religious scientism is just as bad as when the Church used force against Galileo's secular science, and this is so for the same reasons. Therefore, the most neutral position to take is that everything should be taught in public schools if there is a big enough demand for it being taught.

As to 2. Most people think public schools should teach certain things other than science, such as physical education, moral education, sexual conduct, political ideas, social skills. Therefore one may not disallow the teaching of creationism on the grounds that it's not science, even putting aside the fact that not everybody agrees creationism isn't science. The same argument would disallow many things that are currently being taught in public schools. If we single out religion as something nonscientific that cannot be taught, while say political correctness can be taught, then we are using the first amendment in a way opposite to how it was intended. Instead of protecting religion now it's being used as a bias against religion.

Creationism is just one of many subjects that could be taught by public schools. And if that's what many people want taught, it should be taught, at least as an optional subject. Allowing creationism taught does not require any law which would respect an establishment of religion nor does it prohibit the free exercise of religion, and so there's no first amendment conflict. Quite the opposite. Taxing people to pay for public schools, and then forbidding them to teach religion, limits people's funds and options for exercising religion. Precisely a law forbidding creationism in public schools prohibits to some extent, or at least hampers, the free exercise of religion.

Let me be clear that I don't think it's good that schools teach creationism, intelligent design, or other pseudoscience such as astrology, withchraft, ESP, etc. If I were to create or fund or support a school, I would argue against it doing those things. So it's not that I think it's appropriate for schools to teach falsehoods and pseudoscience. My point is that it is not for me to judge what is appropriate or not for other people. When I own my own private school, it's my own business to make those judgements. But when it's a public school, the school should serve the purposes of everybody. Not only should it serve the purposes of both those in favour of pseudoscience and those in favour of science. But, more importantly, it should recognize that not everybody will agree on what is science and what is pseudoscience. In a free society everybody is allowed to make his own judgement on that. For goverment to make that judgement for people is authoritarian. Therefore, governments should not forbid subjects being tought based on the fact that they are pseudoscience. If you give government the power to forbid something because it's pseudoscience, then they are bound also to forbid something genuinely scientific and true at some point, on the arguement that it is pseudoscience. We are all fallible, and so is the government. Power given to government to protect us against illness, unhapiness and bad ideas, even with the best of intentions, will eventually turn against us and control us.

The state is used to supply education the way atheists want it, while it cannot be used to supply education the way theists want it, but they do pay part of the taxes. The reason this is done is not because atheists value religious freedom. I'm not saying atheists don't value religious freedom. I assume they do, I'm saying that's not the reason they control the public schools in this manner. Atheists do this for the same reason that in Islamic states all education is religious. They do it because they want to force people to live wholesome lives and do and learn what is good for them. Science is good, religion is bad, ergo people must learn science and the teaching of religion must be made difficult. Every group uses state power to enforce their way of life on others. This will be so as long as there is a state. Only the theists are more honest about it. These conflicts can never be solved except by privatization of schools. But as long as there are public schools any special restrictions on any kind of teaching, whether such teachings are defended on religious, scientific, cultural or moral grounds, is inappropriate and in conflict with the spirit of the first amendment. I'm an atheist, by the way.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: assholethread; atheism; church; creationism; crevolist; education; evoultionism; firstamendment; religiousfreedom; schoolchoice; schools; secularhumanism; state; vouchers
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Came across this editorial while looking into the trial of Galileo and how it has been interpreted through history in the light of theology and science. Posted by permission of the author for pupose of discussion.

I happen to agree that, as long as there are public schools, it is necessary to allow a certain amount of freedom in those areas where world views tend to collide. In a perfect world public education would not be necessary.

1 posted on 06/01/2005 9:24:54 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Fester Chugabrew
the statement "separation between church and state" was made up by a liberal it has nothing to do with the constitution.

The constitution just stipulates that government shall not establish a state religion (ie. Church of England)
2 posted on 06/01/2005 9:33:51 AM PDT by Nyboe ( if rich democrats really want the rich to be taxed more ... then by all means TAX RICH DEMOCRATS)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Let me be clear that I don't think it's good that schools teach creationism, intelligent design, or other pseudoscience such as astrology, withchraft, ESP, etc. If I were to create or fund or support a school, I would argue against it doing those things. So it's not that I think it's appropriate for schools to teach falsehoods and pseudoscience. My point is that it is not for me to judge what is appropriate or not for other people. When I own my own private school, it's my own business to make those judgements. But when it's a public school, the school should serve the purposes of everybody. Not only should it serve the purposes of both those in favour of pseudoscience and those in favour of science. But, more importantly, it should recognize that not everybody will agree on what is science and what is pseudoscience. In a free society everybody is allowed to make his own judgement on that. For goverment to make that judgement for people is authoritarian. Therefore, governments should not forbid subjects being tought based on the fact that they are pseudoscience. If you give government the power to forbid something because it's pseudoscience, then they are bound also to forbid something genuinely scientific and true at some point, on the arguement that it is pseudoscience. We are all fallible, and so is the government. Power given to government to protect us against illness, unhapiness and bad ideas, even with the best of intentions, will eventually turn against us and control us.

Well, if you wanted to do away with public schools, forcing them to teach whatever lunacy any freak wants taught would be one way to destroy them.

The government makes decisions all the time about what's good science and what's pseudoscience. The FDA does it; NIH and CDC do it, the NTSB does it. Now, maybe when the Libertarian millennium comes, the gummint will get out of the business of certifying drugs as safe and effective, coordinating the control of epidemics, investigating airplane crashes, etc. But while they're doing all those things, there is no inconsistency in their deciding what subjects are science and what are b.s..

3 posted on 06/01/2005 9:34:49 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Nyboe
the statement "separation between church and state" was made up by a liberal it has nothing to do with the constitution.

Thomas Jefferson was a liberal? BWAHAHAHA!

4 posted on 06/01/2005 9:36:19 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Fester Chugabrew

> Public schools should teach both evolution and creationism, and students should be given the choice which of those courses they want to take.

Yeah! And public schools should teach both the heliocentric AND hollow Earth theories! And they should teach both the "Islamic whackos flying jetliners" AND "Angry thumb of God" theories behind the collapse of the WTC! And they should teach both the "germ" theory of disease AND the "out of balance humours" theory of disease! And they should teach both the "cause and effect" theory of reality AND the "Astrology and oujii boards" theory of reality!


5 posted on 06/01/2005 9:36:35 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Fester Chugabrew

The article is a steaming pile from the very start.


6 posted on 06/01/2005 9:37:39 AM PDT by Protagoras (Slamming other Christians isn't very Christian)
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To: Nyboe

Doesn't it seem to be true by definition, that if there is no state religion, then religion and the state are separate?


7 posted on 06/01/2005 9:51:16 AM PDT by dmz
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To: orionblamblam
And public schools should teach both the heliocentric AND hollow Earth theories!

If people want this, then yes. That's the point. Government is now in the business of deciding what we should and should not be taught. While you apparently have no problem with this as long as it agrees with your own beliefs, if government decides in the future that hollow earth theory should be taught and heliocentric theory should not be taught, then it would be within its rights to do so. Don't like it? Tough. You'll still be required to pay for it and your children (if you have any) would still be required to learn it, assuming you couldn't afford a private school.

8 posted on 06/01/2005 9:55:20 AM PDT by nosofar
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To: nosofar

> If people want this, then yes.

No. If it's scientifically *valid* then yes.


9 posted on 06/01/2005 9:57:02 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Right Wing Professor

Contrary to popular opinion, the term “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any other founding document of this nation. Yet for decades, some organizations and individuals have spread the myth that the words “separation of church and state” are found in the U.S. Constitution. Because of this misinformation, the ACLU and its allies have used this phrase to persuade public officials to silence religious expression.

It's was a liberal Supreme Court Justice in 1947 who erected the “separation of church and state” based on eight words taken out of context from an obscure letter written by Jefferson to a Baptist Association over a minor issue. On this flimsy pretext the liberal Supreme Court at the time changed the meaning of the first amendment, from protecting the church from the government, to protecting the government from the church.


10 posted on 06/01/2005 10:01:33 AM PDT by Nyboe ( if rich democrats really want the rich to be taxed more ... then by all means TAX RICH DEMOCRATS)
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To: dmz

"Doesn't it seem to be true by definition, that if there is no state religion, then religion and the state are separate?"

If "the state" were comprised of soulless robots, yes. However, people make up our government. People whose morals and ideas of wright and wrong more often than not stem from religion.

My question is the opposite of yours. If our government is of, by and for the people, how can religion be totally left out of government and that government still be truly representative of the people? I don't see how it can.


11 posted on 06/01/2005 10:08:18 AM PDT by L98Fiero
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To: Nyboe
Contrary to popular opinion, the term “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any other founding document of this nation.

Yes, I know that. The claim was that the phrase 'separation of church and state' had been coined by some liberal. It wasn't; it was first used (as far as we know) by Thomas Jefferson in 1801.

Yet for decades, some organizations and individuals have spread the myth that the words “separation of church and state” are found in the U.S. Constitution.

You can document this, of course?

12 posted on 06/01/2005 10:08:32 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor
Thomas Jefferson was a liberal? BWAHAHAHA!

What's so funny about that? TJ most certainly *was* a 'liberal', in the true sense of the word. Today's 'Rats, MSM, academia, and entertainment types are *not* 'liberals'. They're LEFTISTS.

13 posted on 06/01/2005 10:10:29 AM PDT by bassmaner (Let's take the word "liberal" back from the commies!!)
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To: Right Wing Professor

The only thing I can easily document is the result of this flawed interpretation of our Constitution.

The Results:

In 1962-63 there was an incredible jump in violent crime, increasing over 650%. There was also a dramatic drop in SAT scores, sending a once steady 965-980 national average through the floor, dropping for over fifteen years, finally ending at 890. Child abuse shot through the roof; from being unknown to involving nearly five percent of the population, and decades later, it is still on its tremendous rise. In `72, less than 2 percent of the 12-25 year old population had tried cocaine. In `82, nearly one third of them had. There are myriad other examples.

Why such an incredible drop in national morality?

In the court case Engle v. Vitale(1962), school prayer was removed. The Supreme Court stated that that "Prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation between Church and State". Then, in 1963, in the court case Abington v. Schempp, Bible reading was prohibited: "[N]o state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lords Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day." Later rulings went further, disallowing any form of Bible reading, prayer, or overt Christian activity [including the religious celebration of Christmas. Some have gone so far as to forbid the giving of "religious" Christmas cards. Now you know why you get all those "Seasons Greetings" cards.] In the case Stone v Graham(1980), the Ten Commandments were prohibited from appearing in public schools, because, "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the commandments...this...is not permissible...". Of course not. Would anyone in their right mind permit persons to "not kill", or "not steal"? This is our Supreme Court passing these laws [Ironically, in the Supreme Court, where this ruling was made, an engraving of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments is inscribed on the wall]. If we are to accept Proverbs 1:7, we must conclude that these 9 men in black robes were fools, despising wisdom and discipline.

But the question that must be asked is why Christians allow this to happen. It is not because the constitution requires this folly, far from it. Our founding fathers had absolutely no intent of separating morality and religion from government.

For example, In 1777, congress passed a resolution that the first Thursday of May was to be dedicated to prayer for God to forgive them of any sins they as a country may have committed, and to help them in the war they were to fight with Britain. The First Amendment clearly states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Does this mean that any religious aspect should be struck from the government? No, it simply means that the actions of any religious establishment (such as a church, synagogue, religious organization, etc) cannot be controlled or legislated - unless those actions are contrary to law [such as human sacrifice]. It also means that Congress can not establish a national religion, such as England did with the Church of England. But an important distinction must be made between religion as we know it, and religion as the founders knew it. It is quite clear that when the founders spoke of religion, they meant Christianity. Noah Webster, a founder, said quite bluntly, "No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people." Many founders made similar statements.

Our nation is in trouble. As Washington said in his presidential speech, "The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected upon a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."


14 posted on 06/01/2005 10:14:02 AM PDT by Nyboe ( if rich democrats really want the rich to be taxed more ... then by all means TAX RICH DEMOCRATS)
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To: bassmaner

OK; in the old fashioned sense, of course he was. But an old-fashioned liberal is a conservative.


15 posted on 06/01/2005 10:15:43 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Nyboe
The only thing I can easily document is the result of this flawed interpretation of our Constitution.

OK, so you wrote something you can't back up. You should avoid doing that.

16 posted on 06/01/2005 10:16:38 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor

Just go to any public space and ask anyone at random where the statement "seperation of church and state is found"

I bet you 90% + of them will say the Constitution.


17 posted on 06/01/2005 10:20:32 AM PDT by Nyboe ( if rich democrats really want the rich to be taxed more ... then by all means TAX RICH DEMOCRATS)
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To: Nyboe
Just go to any public space and ask anyone at random where the statement "seperation of church and state is found" I bet you 90% + of them will say the Constitution.

Ask them where Washington, DC is on a map and 50% will get it wrong. Ask them to spell at a third grade level and 50% of them won't be able to do that either. Asking the "public" anything at all is simply a waste of time when Sturgeon's Law applies so well.

18 posted on 06/01/2005 10:37:48 AM PDT by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
The state is used to supply education the way atheists want it ... The reason this is done is ... they want to force people to ... learn what is good for them.

Science is good, religion is bad, ergo people must learn science and the teaching of religion must be made difficult.

Every group uses state power to enforce their way of life on others. This will be so as long as there is a state. Only the theists are more honest about it.

A very clear presentation of the argument.

19 posted on 06/01/2005 11:20:23 AM PDT by watchin (People become leftists as a sort of gesture of infantile rage against their parents)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Oh, please. That's like challenging someone to document that democrats are liberal. Have you been living in outer space for the last five decades? From the ADL - Here:
Separation of Church and State: A First Amendment Primer

Separation: 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.

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."

The bold type statements are perfect examples of what was stated. It is implied that the phrase is in the Constitution.
20 posted on 06/01/2005 12:02:03 PM PDT by watchin (People become leftists as a sort of gesture of infantile rage against their parents)
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To: Right Wing Professor
"an old-fashioned liberal is a conservative"

You can document this, of course?

21 posted on 06/01/2005 12:03:26 PM PDT by watchin (People become leftists as a sort of gesture of infantile rage against their parents)
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To: balrog666
Asking the "public" anything at all is simply a waste of time . . .

Is separation of church and state prescribed by the United States Consitution or not?

22 posted on 06/01/2005 12:08:44 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: orionblamblam
And public schools should teach both the heliocentric AND hollow Earth theories . . .blahblahblah.

The best thing to do is be selective, but not overly so, when establishing a cirriculum. Besides, how do you know the earth is not hollow? Did you come from down there, or did someone who's never been down there tell you about it?

23 posted on 06/01/2005 12:17:02 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: watchin
It is implied that the phrase is in the Constitution.

I see no such implication. In fact, the Madison quote is quite clearly stated to be an observation, and therefore no reasonable person would infer it was in the Constitution.

24 posted on 06/01/2005 12:19:46 PM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: watchin
You can document this, of course?

Of course. This is a nice piece, from one of my favorite conservative writers.

25 posted on 06/01/2005 12:23:01 PM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Nyboe
The constitution just stipulates that government shall not establish a state religion (ie. Church of England)

Correction. The Constitution states that Congress shall not establish a Federal Religion. It also states that it cannot meddle with State action on the subject. In other words, although I do not advocate it, the Founders were perfectly tolerant of the idea of a State Church--and there were such at the time.

See Leftwing Word Games & The First Amendment.

William Flax

26 posted on 06/01/2005 12:25:41 PM PDT by Ohioan
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Is separation of church and state prescribed by the United States Consitution or not?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

That depends how you define "separation of church and state". If you mean public funds can't be used to advocate particular religious beliefs, then yes. If you mean that people aren't allowed to advocate their own religious beliefs in a public forum, then the principle goes blatantly against what the Constitution says. Both halves of the clause need to be respected.

27 posted on 06/01/2005 12:37:47 PM PDT by Quark2005 (Where's the science?)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Fester Chugabrew wrote:

Is separation of church and state prescribed by the United States Consitution or not?

Yes. 'Separation' is in effect directed [prescribed] in three different places. --
States are directed to have republican forms of governments, [no theocracies allowed].
- No religious tests for office are to be allowed.
Nor are laws to be made that respect any of the establishments [teachings/precepts] of religion.

Too bad that so many people simply can't accept these simple principles inherent in our Constitution. -- Freedom of religion, & and freedom from religion are of equal concern.

28 posted on 06/01/2005 12:44:11 PM PDT by P_A_I
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To: Quark2005

If a school teacher places the 10 commandments on the wall... congress has made no law respecting an establishment of religion

If the congress or the courts (by legislating from the bench) declare that a teacher can't place the 10 commandments on the wall.. then the government has prohibited the free exercise thereof.

seems pretty cut and dry to me

only a liberal with an agenda could see it otherwise.





29 posted on 06/01/2005 12:48:49 PM PDT by Nyboe ( if rich democrats really want the rich to be taxed more ... then by all means TAX RICH DEMOCRATS)
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To: Right Wing Professor

Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, as I recall. Religion - the institutional denominational church structure - should be kept separate from government. God, however, should not and cannot be kept out of government.

I suspect that, in those days, most people were more anxious to keep government out of the church than church out of the government.

It can hardly be argued today, given the use of the constant use of the phrase in political discourse, that "separation of church and state" is regarded by the general public as a constitutional provision put in place by our Founders.


30 posted on 06/01/2005 12:54:22 PM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Nyboe
It is quite clear that when the founders spoke of religion, they meant Christianity.

Funny how the Articles of Confederation, Constitution & Declaration of Independence all fail to explicitly mention this. The available historical citations of the era just don't back this assertion.

Not every Founding Father was a Christian (Jefferson & Franklin were self-proclaimed Deists). The religious views of the Founding Fathers were as varied as religion itself.

"All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. Confucius, Zo- roaster, Socrates, Mahomet, not to mention authorities really sacred, have agreed in this.

If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form?" -John Adams   Thoughts on Government   1776

31 posted on 06/01/2005 1:02:05 PM PDT by Quark2005 (Where's the science?)
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To: Right Wing Professor
"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. In order to guarantee an atmosphere of absolute religious liberty, this country's founders also mandated the strict separation of church and state."

It is clearly implied that the phrase is in the First Amendment, along with the familiar phrases "freedom of religion", "freedom of speech", and "freedom of the press." The less familiar "free exercise" clause is what is referred to, but the more familiar "separation of church and state" clause replaces it.

32 posted on 06/01/2005 1:04:30 PM PDT by watchin (People become leftists as a sort of gesture of infantile rage against their parents)
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To: Nyboe
If the congress or the courts (by legislating from the bench) declare that a teacher can't place the 10 commandments on the wall.. then the government has prohibited the free exercise thereof.

No argument from me there. If the teacher starts using paid salary time in class to preach them, though, I think they've crossed a line. (I'm not backing any draconian measures should it happen; but it is inappropriate.)

A voluntary Bible study on their own time after school is a different story, though; the federal/Supreme courts have repeatedly upheld that viewpoint, if I'm not mistaken.

33 posted on 06/01/2005 1:14:22 PM PDT by Quark2005 (Where's the science?)
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To: watchin

Oops - where I wrote "free exercise clause", I should have written "establishment clause" - that's the clause they revised.


34 posted on 06/01/2005 1:24:16 PM PDT by watchin (People become leftists as a sort of gesture of infantile rage against their parents)
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To: Fester Chugabrew

> do you know the earth is not hollow?

Science and logic. Seismic and sonar studies have shown it to be quite solid/liquid apart from some surface-level caves.


35 posted on 06/01/2005 1:36:07 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Air Force Cadet E-Mails Religious Quotes (AP)

"The academy has been under investigation because of complaints that evangelical Christians have harassed cadets who do not share their faith, in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state."

Ummm, can you see it now?

36 posted on 06/01/2005 1:40:33 PM PDT by watchin (People become leftists as a sort of gesture of infantile rage against their parents)
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To: orionblamblam
Seismic and sonar studies have shown . . .

So you merely believe what those studies have preached to you. Why not dig a big hole and find out if it's really true? It may be inconvenient, but unless you do so you are only believing what other people have told you.

37 posted on 06/01/2005 1:42:17 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: watchin
The academy has been under investigation because of complaints that evangelical Christians have harassed cadets who do not share their faith, in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state."

Now you're moving the goalposts. We were discussing whether people claim the constitution literally contains the words 'separation of church and state'. Of course it doesn't, and nobody has come up with a quotation where anyone said it did. Now you're discussing whether it entails the idea of a separation of church and state. People differ over that.

38 posted on 06/01/2005 1:53:02 PM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Why not dig a big hole and find out if it's really true? It may be inconvenient, but unless you do so you are only believing what other people have told you.

...leaving one to believe either the words of multiple reputable sources or intricate, open-ended and unfalsifiable conspiracy "theories" implying an impressively successful suppression of the truth throughout history. I'll give you, if you actually put much stock in the latter, there's really no use in trying to get an education at all. (Interesting train of thought, though...)

39 posted on 06/01/2005 2:04:29 PM PDT by Quark2005 (Where's the science?)
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To: Quark2005

Hehe. Everything you've ever been told has been a conspiracy to make you believe you exist. Is it working?


40 posted on 06/01/2005 2:38:52 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Fester Chugabrew

> Why not dig a big hole and find out if it's really true?

Oh, I did. Dug all the way to China. Passed Hell along the way and saw the special niche set aside for Behe and Dembski.

Now: either use sense, facts and, or believe what I say On Faith.


41 posted on 06/01/2005 3:03:44 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Is it working?

Not sure; but either way, it's been a good ride, so far.

42 posted on 06/01/2005 3:04:23 PM PDT by Quark2005 (Where's the science?)
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To: P_A_I
Nor are laws to be made that respect any of the establishments [teachings/precepts] of religion.

Wrong. The establishment of a religion does not mean the teachings or precepts of a religion, it means the establishment by the government of a state-supported church.

43 posted on 06/01/2005 3:42:12 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

That's only the way you want it to be, joe. Give it up, and stop fighting our Constitution.

A Libertarian Constitution
Address:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1414665/posts


44 posted on 06/01/2005 4:08:01 PM PDT by P_A_I
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To: Right Wing Professor
Pretty ironic, considering the way you've wriggled out from under my two examples. You've changed the basis of the argument when you say:

"We were discussing whether people claim the constitution literally contains the words 'separation of church and state'".

No, not originally, we weren't. You were discussing that, as you "moved the goalposts". The original statement was simply this:

Yet for decades, some organizations and individuals have spread the myth that the words “separation of church and state” are found in the U.S. Constitution.

I've given you two examples. Both of them "spread the myth". There are many more. Every time an organization comments along the lines of the "constitutional wall of separation between church and state", they are perpetuating the myth.

You're argument will no doubt degenerate into defending the intentions of those who spread the myth. This was, in fact, your argument for the AP reporter. Though we cannot know for certain, it's a fair gamble that there are an assortment of intentions.

Some are simply not careful enough, not realizing that they are perpetuating the myth. Some are probably believers in the myth themselves. I happen to believe the AP reporter fits in here. And some would find it very helpful to their cause to promote the myth.

To deny that anyone spreads the myth is almost to deny the existence of the myth at all.

As for your newly defined request, well I found some of those, too. None of them mention merely the "principle":

click
One very significant reason for the separation of church and state in the Constitution was that the Founding ummm Fathers (Brothers?) were all too aware of how religious institutions and political institutions corrupted each other.

click
I suppose we must thank the founding fathers of this great nation who enshrined the separation of church and state in the constitution.

click
The separation of Church and State in the Constitution of the United States does not comprehend the spiritual reality of Indigenous Nations and Peoples.

click
The founders didn't put the separation of church and state in the constitution for no reason, after all.

click
"It's also hard to define our state as being secular since most Americans are religious." Is it that hard to define? I thought it was defined in the Constitution under "separation of church and state."

click
Yes, but the separation of Church and State in the constitution is based on the realization that the power of religion to control people by regulating what they think should not, on the one hand, be augmented by the power of the gun, or, on the other, be in any way restricted.

click
The separation of church and state in the Constitution was meant to prevent the establishment of a state religion, not to erase faith from the public square entirely.

click
This is the purpose behind the separation of Church and State in the Constitution.

click
But the Founding Fathers couldn't have been clearer about the separation of church and state in the Constitution and elsewhere.

click
Apple is equally concerned about the contradictory nature of educational policies that allows public money for creating charter schools be used by homeschoolers to teach religious viewpoints that would otherwise violate the separation of church and state in the constitution.

click
It is for this reason that you see the separation of church and state in the Constitution.

45 posted on 06/01/2005 4:14:46 PM PDT by watchin (People become leftists as a sort of gesture of infantile rage against their parents)
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To: P_A_I

That's the way the Founders wanted it too. They endorsed religion all the time and I think they knew what the Constitution they wrote meant. It's too bad you don't. You'd rather side with the tyrannical judicial oligarchy which has usurped power it should never have had and used it to subvert our republic.


46 posted on 06/01/2005 4:26:27 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: watchin
I wrote

"We were discussing whether people claim the constitution literally contains the words 'separation of church and state'".

And then watchin replied

No, not originally, we weren't. You were discussing that, as you "moved the goalposts". The original statement was simply this:

Yet for decades, some organizations and individuals have spread the myth that the words “separation of church and state” are found in the U.S. Constitution.

...which is what I said. And since watchin has been unable to find a single instance of someone claiming that the words "separation of church and state" appear in the Constitution, he has turnied this into a discussion about what the meaning of 'is' is.

I didn't like the original Clinton, and I certainly don't like the third-rate imitation. Discussion over.

47 posted on 06/01/2005 4:27:11 PM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Nyboe
Contrary to popular opinion, the term “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any other founding document of this nation.

Nor is "Freedom of Religion".

48 posted on 06/01/2005 5:06:10 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Now now joe, don't get nasty just because you can't refute my arguments.
You have basis for the silly claim : -- "You'd rather side with the tyrannical judicial oligarchy which has usurped power it should never have had and used it to subvert our republic."

Try to control yourself.


49 posted on 06/01/2005 5:48:21 PM PDT by P_A_I
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To: P_A_I; Tailgunner Joe
Now now joe, don't get nasty just because you can't refute my arguments.

Your additions to the Constitution don't help your arguments. Any old tyrant can add words to the document. That does not make it true.

50 posted on 06/01/2005 6:02:00 PM PDT by AndrewC (On vacation in Virginia Beach -- Don't you wish you were?)
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