Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Article 1 of the bill of rights vs seperation of church and state
Oct 16 2001 | Self

Posted on 10/17/2001 12:56:46 AM PDT by DCBurgess58

I have been pondering the questions surrounding governmental expressions of christianity versus the left wing ideal of a "separation of church and state". First of all I would like to quote the exact verbage from the United States Bill of Rights:

Amendment I

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.

I consider myself to be an intelligent man, capable of deducing the obvious intent of the founding fathers with respect to the first amendment. They have CLEARLY stated that Congress has no authority to outlaw any particular religions. No more, no less. They were not rejecting Christianity or eliminating it from government. In fact they were Christian men creating a Christian nation in which religious tolerance was the norm. Then they CLEARLY stated that Congress could not make any laws regulating how individuals worshipped their religions. The ideas they were expressing here were the result of Catholic, Protestant, Church of England conflicts which were so traumatic in Europe. The Founding Father's intent was to keep Congress from being used as a tool of religious intolerance... that's all... period!! Furthermore, the restriction ONLY APPLIES TO LAWS OF CONGRESS. It does not apply to the presidency, the judiciary, states, counties, cities, universities, schools or any thing else. So where the heck does the judiciary come off eliminating or regulating ANY governmental expression of christianity, judaism or whatever? The first ammendment of the Bill of Rights ONLY regulates laws made by congress and CLEARLY states that. If you don't like your city council spending tax dollars on nativity scenes at Christmas, vote them out of office. Finally, I would like to ask two questions, as I do not know the answers. Perhaps some of you Freepers do know the answers.

1) How long has the phrase "In god we trust" been in governmental usage?

2) How long has the term "separation of church and state" been in use?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Free Republic
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last

1 posted on 10/17/2001 12:56:46 AM PDT by DCBurgess58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58; Storm Orphan; OWK
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/549062/posts
2 posted on 10/17/2001 1:42:35 AM PDT by toenail
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
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.

The language is quite clear. It means that we cannot blaspheme by saying a law is made in the name of God, nor can a law in the name of an ideology be used to remove the trust in God from individual to federal governance.

The separation of church and state, as a mean to prevent blasphemer, is actualy a very much God respecting mandate. THe constitution in its first article clearly tells us to respect God implicitly.

Secondly, in God we trust is not claimed as to be the word of God, hence it is not a law, it is a general concept of respect of the balance of powers and the acknowledgement that an absent and non-intervening God is to be trusted instead of any earthly power in particular at the expense of another power. Hence the executive should not be praised over the legislative nor over the judicial, nor over free entreprize, nor over state, local and individual governance. The powers shall be balanced so that they compete to serve the people instead of the people competing for the powers (something liberals are incapable of understanding since they are fame and power hungry).

Hence if there is no Earthly power that we can trust, God Who is no Earthly power but Heavenly power can be trusted. In God we trust is in fact a self evidence that "proves", or rather makes God and the inalienable rights balancing powers self evident.

If we do not trust in God, then we will trust and be slaved to an Earthly limited power. Whether it is the army, the Judicial, the flesh, the sex preferences and what not, all these are Earthly powers that no one should ever be enslaved to lest tyranny of one kind or the other happen.

Fighting to keep the In God we trust mandate alive is the last hope to keep this nation free.

3 posted on 10/17/2001 1:55:11 AM PDT by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
" So where the heck does the judiciary come off eliminating or regulating ANY governmental expression of christianity, judaism or whatever? "

Of course, you are right. This ammendment clearly only prevents Congress from outlawing a religion or specifically establishing a state religion. It does not mean separation of church and state. The term "separation of church and state" is not in the Consitution. And of course, it only applies to Congress, not the states.

It should be obvious then that school prayer is not unconstituional because it does not involve an act of Conbgress establiushing a state religion or prohibiting a religion.

But the Elite that controls the USA has an agenda that involves destroying Christianity. So this Elite purposely perverts the real meaning of the Consitution to make it look like the Consitution supports their anti-Christian crusade.

4 posted on 10/17/2001 2:16:16 AM PDT by Marduk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
Is it moral, to compel a man to pay for the advancement of ideas he does not share or condone?
5 posted on 10/17/2001 2:24:07 AM PDT by OWK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Marduk
It should be obvious then that school prayer is not unconstituional because it does not involve an act of Conbgress establiushing a state religion or prohibiting a religion.

I understand the sentiments behind wanting to permit prayer in school (prayers said aloud, I'm referring to here, because anyone can pray silently anywhere; that's not prohibited anywhere yet, AFAIK.)

And yet ... and yet .... What kind of prayer? Which G*d? I think everyone who is part of any of the mainstream Judeo-Christian denominations would not want their children to be led in a prayer to Allah, or Buddha, or the Supreme Mother of the Vegetarian Universe (or whoever the heck it is those Vegans pray to). Nor would parents who believe in those gods want their children led in a prayer to the Judeo-Christian G*d.

Further, any prayer that is generic enough to not favor one religion over another is probably pretty worthless as far as prayer goes.

That is why I believe prayer does not belong in the government schools.
6 posted on 10/17/2001 2:37:46 AM PDT by sonjay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: OWK
ABSOLUTELY, Christianity is a fine moral force in the world. Our countrie's tolerant attitude towards those of other beliefs is a shining beacon to both the religiously oppressed of the world and agnostics and athiests alike. Like I said before, the first amendment is CLEAR and it only prevents Congress from passing laws promoting or limiting religion. No Congressional law passed... no foul! If you don't like religious expression from government, vote out those who offend you. That's your right! The courts screwed up big time when they stuck their nose into separation of church and state.
7 posted on 10/17/2001 2:45:34 AM PDT by DCBurgess58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
The term "separation of church and state" comes from Thomas Jefferson. Here's a link.

According to the US treasury the motto "In God we Trust" first appeared on some coins in the 1860's. It was finally used on all coins in 1938. It wasn't used on folding money until 1957.

8 posted on 10/17/2001 2:47:06 AM PDT by Hillary? Hell no!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
'In God We Trust' first appeared on currency in 1864 when it was inscribed on the 2 cent coin. In March 1865 Congress mandated that it be included on all gold and silver coins that "shall admit the inscription thereon." With one or two exception it had been on all coins since then.

The 'separation of church and state' quote comes from an 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Convention, "...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 and State."

9 posted on 10/17/2001 2:51:46 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonjay
"And yet ... and yet .... What kind of prayer? Which G*d? I think everyone who is part of any of the mainstream Judeo-Christian denominations would not want their children to be led in a prayer to Allah, or Buddha, or the Supreme Mother of the Vegetarian Universe (or whoever the heck it is those Vegans pray to). Nor would parents who believe in those gods want their children led in a prayer to the Judeo-Christian G*d. "

That's a valid concern. But what I am saying is that it is not unconstitutional. That's the only thing that I am saying. Maybe school prayer is not such a good idea for the reasons you gave but it is not unconstitutional.

I would also counter-argue that religion is an important part of human development. If the schools are forced to be atheist that is also offensive to religious people. The schools are being forced to be functionally atheist and that can be just as offensive as the things that you mentioned.

10 posted on 10/17/2001 2:56:10 AM PDT by Marduk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
"In God WE Trust" was added to our money in the 50's, and the idea of Separation of Church and State began when the Danbury Baptist Association wrote a letter to President Thomas Jefferson asking that he declare a national day of Thanksgiving. I think he wrote a reply using the term "Separation of Church and State."
11 posted on 10/17/2001 2:58:19 AM PDT by Florida native
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonjay
I'm not really bothered about prayer in school so much, I think it should be a local issue. If you live in a predominantly Hindu area and the teachers are Hindi then I would expect that if they decided prayers in Indian were something they wanted, it should be legal. Just don't try to force my kid to participate. I now have the option of allowing them to express their religious beliefs without my kid participating, or encouraging my kid to privately say Christian prayers at the same time or move my kid to another school if I am that unhappy with it. If I ran a school, I personally wouldn't have organized prayers but I would allow time for prayers if it was a part of the children's religeous beliefs.
12 posted on 10/17/2001 3:05:02 AM PDT by DCBurgess58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: OWK
I don't think many would agree with forced prayer. We just want to be allowed to pray. Like the pledge, those who want to join in can, the rest can have enough decorum to remain silent for 1 minute.
13 posted on 10/17/2001 3:10:04 AM PDT by WolfsView
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sonjay
What kind of prayer? Which G*d? I think everyone who is part of any of the mainstream Judeo-Christian denominations would not want their children to be led in a prayer to Allah, or Buddha, or the Supreme Mother of the Vegetarian Universe (or whoever the heck it is those Vegans pray to).

Not quite. I am a Christian, yet when I see people of other faiths expressing their faith outwardly (through dress, mannerisms, sayings, etc.), I am in no way offended. When they attempt to proselytize me, I'm in no way offended (that's their faith in action, and what kind of believer would you be if you didn't attempt to convice others? Isn't that what we do with political philosophy?). When I hear the names of other gods, I am in no way offended.

I teach my son the exact same thing. He knows who his Savior is, and no amount of saying, "In the name of Allah the Mericiful" or any other deity is going to change that.

If a school has a spoken prayer including such terms as "God, we pray for Your guidance and Your will to be done today. Amen." then there is no way one can deduce which god has been invoked (although I will unashamedly admit that there is only ONE true God). Such prayers do not endorse any religion whatsoever, and to say that such a prayer does makes one a religiophobe. The mere mention of the name of God makes the leftists and some libertarians alike heads spin like that little girl on The Exorcist.

Yet we have those who have a hissy-fit over any mention of God! Those who truly live the Word know that they cannot through any type of force compel men to become Christians. It's just not possible (I'll leave out the serious spiritual proofs of this). Nor do I believe that a true Christian would want to compel a man to believe as he does. For example, show me one example out of the Word where Christ Himself physically forced anyone to follow Him. Since we are not greater than He, then, who are we to compel when Our Lord didn't?

We try to persuade and persuade only.

Then you have people here at FR who, for whatever reason, flock to threads that are Christian in theme. I find more non-believers there posting and making fun of believers! Now, if I happened to find a Jewish-theme thread posted here, I may click on it and read. I may ask questions. But I would in no way disrespect anyone. This is not being PC, this is being courteous and respectful. So, this begs the question of my fellow Freepers: Why post on a thread based on a Christian theme in which you do not believe in the first place? Kind of a waste of time, isn't it?

What's wrong with atheists either teaching their children to ignore prayers at stadiums, graduations, etc? What about atheists ignoring the same themselves? Libertarians talk about force a lot. And for the most part, I agree with them on this issue. However, there is blatant hyprocrisy involved when I am forced to sit silently by and pray to myself, or, cannot tell someone of the Lord Jesus! My freedom of speech has been tossed out of the window, yet I don't hear cries of "foul" from the libertarian brothers. What up with that? An atheist libertarian can try all day to convince me that there is no God, yet he or she will only be met by my one saying: I disagree. Besides, isn't atheism a faith unto itself? I mean, to believe that there is no God is to believe in something, right? Belief is the essence of faith (Heb. 11:1).

Lastly, I would be one who will go to bat for faiths other than Christianity out of defense of my own faith. When I stand by and allow one faith to be squashed, I know mine is next in line.


14 posted on 10/17/2001 3:21:01 AM PDT by rdb3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: OWK
Is it moral, to compel a man to pay for the advancement of ideas he does not share or condone?

The only religion the government seems to advance is atheism, but you only get upset when people freely express their religion on government property, as if government property makes it some kind of religious-free zone.

15 posted on 10/17/2001 3:25:55 AM PDT by Always Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
"1) How long has the phrase "In god we trust" been in governmental usage?

2) How long has the term "separation of church and state" been in use?"


1.) You probably hear 1954 in response to this but that is not exactly correct. THe phrase has been in use by different entities and different ways since the beginning but in the late 19th, early 20th century I believe something happened where the phrase found disfavor. In 1954 it was reinstituted.

2.) Again this phrase, in generals terms, has been in use since the beginning. But most attritbute it to Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbary Baptists around 1812(?). Search the net and you will find it all over. THa national archives has a copy of the original on the web.

If you are interested I suggest America's Christian History: The Untold Story by Gary DeMar for more indepth data.
16 posted on 10/17/2001 3:26:23 AM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OWK
Is it moral, to compel a man to pay for the advancement of ideas he does not share or condone?

Ahh, Brother OWK. One in whom I have deep respect. I'd ask you personally for your opinion on myriad topics, but on this one, that question is a hanging curveball.

I pay property taxes. Out of those taxes, public schools are funded. They teach evolution as fact in these schools. I don't believe whatsoever in evolution. Yet I pay for this. Creationism is not allowed. I believe in the Creator, but He is not allowed in school.

Question: Is this moral?

Besides, how can a theory be taught as fact anyway (not a question to front you out, just in general).

17 posted on 10/17/2001 3:26:39 AM PDT by rdb3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: OWK
I do want to hear your opinion on my response. Always in respect, bruh.
18 posted on 10/17/2001 3:28:30 AM PDT by rdb3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Establishment Clause: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ..."

The Establishment Clause has generally come to mean that government cannot authorize a church, cannot pass laws that aid or favor one religion over another, cannot pass laws that favor religious belief over non belief, cannot force a person to profess a belief. In short, government must be neutral toward religion and cannot be entangled with any religion.


Religion in public schools

Minersville v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586 (1940) - Supreme Court rules that a public school may require students to salute the flag and pledge allegiance even if it violates their religious scruples.

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) - Court overturns Gobitis but is broader in its scope. No one can be forced to salute the flag or say the pledge of allegiance if it violates the individual conscience.

McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) - Court finds religious instruction in public schools a violation of the establishment clause and therefore unconstitutional.

Zorach v. Clausen, 343 U.S. 306 (1952) - Court finds that release time from public school classes for religious instruction does not violate the establishment clause.

Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962) - Court finds school prayer unconstitutional.

Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) - Court finds Bible reading over school intercom unconstitutional and Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) - Court finds forcing a child to participate in Bible reading and prayer unconstitutional.

Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968) - Court says the state cannot ban the teaching of evolution.

Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980) - Court finds posting of the Ten Commandments in schools unconstitutional.

Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985) - Court finds state law enforcing a moment of silence in schools had a religious purpose and is therefore unconstitutional.

Edwards v. Aquillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987) - Court finds state law requiring equal treatment for creationism has a religious purpose and is therefore unconstitutional.

Board of Education v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990) - The court rules that the Equal Access Act does not violate the First Amendment. Public schools that receive federal funds and maintain a "limited open forum" on school grounds after school hours cannot deny "equal access" to student groups based upon "religious, political, philosophical, or other content."

Lee v. Weisman, 112 SCt. 2649 (1992) - Court finds prayer at public school graduation ceremonies violates the establishment clause and is therefore unconstitutional.

Lamb's Chapel et al. v. Center Moriches Union Free School District, 508 U.S. 384 (1993) - Court says that school districts cannot deny churches access to school premises after-hours, if the district allowed the use of its building to other groups.

Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet, (1994) - Court states that the New York State Legislature cannot create a separate school district for a religious community.

Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, (2000) - Court rules that student-led prayers at public school football games violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Good News Club v. Milford Central School, (2001) - Court rules that Milford Central School cannot keep Good News Club from using its facilities because the school had created a limited public forum and prohibiting the religious club was viewpoint discrimination.

19 posted on 10/17/2001 3:45:29 AM PDT by dbbeebs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rdb3
how can a theory be taught as fact anyway

Because most of the evidence points to it as being correct?

20 posted on 10/17/2001 3:46:26 AM PDT by dbbeebs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: dbbeebs
The Establishment Clause has generally come to mean that government cannot authorize a church, cannot pass laws that aid or favor one religion over another, cannot pass laws that favor religious belief over non belief, cannot force a person to profess a belief. In short, government must be neutral toward religion and cannot be entangled with any religion.

Your post is exactly what the problem is.... Let's revisit the first ammendment:

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

No generally come to mean about it... No government... Just Congress and Congress making laws... The rest is B.S. dreamed up in the courts

21 posted on 10/17/2001 4:01:13 AM PDT by DCBurgess58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: OWK
You mean like taxes?
22 posted on 10/17/2001 4:44:56 AM PDT by dhuffman@awod.com
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
You left out an important piece of source material, notably Article VI of the US Constitution, with says, in part:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

23 posted on 10/17/2001 5:50:50 AM PDT by Fixit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fixit
Sorry, replace "with" with "which".
24 posted on 10/17/2001 5:51:22 AM PDT by Fixit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: dbbeebs
how can a theory be taught as fact anyway

Because most of the evidence points to it as being correct?

It still remains a theory. Why are there still monkeys?

25 posted on 10/17/2001 5:59:13 AM PDT by Budge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: rdb3
I pay property taxes. Out of those taxes, public schools are funded. They teach evolution as fact in these schools. I don't believe whatsoever in evolution. Yet I pay for this. Creationism is not allowed. I believe in the Creator, but He is not allowed in school.

This too (public shooling) is wholely and completely immoral.

(not to mention a socialistic failure)

26 posted on 10/17/2001 6:00:02 AM PDT by OWK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: WolfsView
I don't think many would agree with forced prayer. We just want to be allowed to pray. Like the pledge, those who want to join in can, the rest can have enough decorum to remain silent for 1 minute.

I have every respect for your devotion to your God. You should certainly be allowed to pray. You should even have the opportunity to have your children taught whatever religious instruction you desire, right in school. You should not be subjected to ideas (abortion, homosexual normalization, evolution, etc.) that you don't want.

That's what makes public schools immoral on their very face. They are funded by force, and they subject parents to unwanted ideas.

Eliminate public schools altogether, give parents back the money that is siezed from them by force to pay for it, and let the parents purchase the education they want for their children on the free market.

Socialism is the root of MOST of the problems in this country.

27 posted on 10/17/2001 6:07:14 AM PDT by OWK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: OWK
Is it moral, to compel a man to pay for the advancement of ideas he does not share or condone?

Yes, it is. Criminals are made to pay for the advancement of ideas that they do not share or condone. They are also made to pay for the advancement of ideas that they do condone but which society does not. You cannot have a society in which every individual's own moral code is the only rule that he follows. That, simply by definition, is not a society. It's just a bus full of people sharing no other relationship except being physically present in the same location. Any society (religious or civil) has overall characteristics and expectations to which members of society are expected to conform. Some of these expectations are general and those who don't fit are called eccentric. Some of them are absolute and those who don't fit in are called criminal or insane.
28 posted on 10/17/2001 6:22:50 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: aruanan
Criminals are made to pay for the advancement of ideas that they do not share or condone.

Criminals offer moral surrender of their claim to the protections afforded by inalienable rights, when they make the decision to violate the rights of others.

29 posted on 10/17/2001 6:26:24 AM PDT by OWK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: aruanan
"You cannot have a society in which every individual's own moral code is the only rule that he follows."

You just blew a wide, gaping hole in the side of the S.S. Libertarian, and she's taking on water fast.

33 posted on 10/17/2001 7:03:56 AM PDT by A2J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: OWK; A2J
Criminals offer moral surrender of their claim to the protections afforded by inalienable rights, when they make the decision to violate the rights of others.

Even criminals who don't violate the rights of others? Unless, of course, you're saying that any violation of "the law" is, in itself, a violation of the rights of others. You just strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel.
34 posted on 10/17/2001 7:25:23 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: aruanan
Even criminals who don't violate the rights of others? Unless, of course, you're saying that any violation of "the law" is, in itself, a violation of the rights of others. You just strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel.

You have it the wrong way around (and unfortunately so often does government).

Anything that does not violate the rights of others, is not a crime.

35 posted on 10/17/2001 8:11:56 AM PDT by OWK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
Furthermore, the restriction ONLY APPLIES TO LAWS OF CONGRESS.

Now read the Fourteenth Amendment:

"... No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws...."

If I have a "prviledge" of being afforded rights under the First Amendment, then no State can make a law that would deny me those rights. The Fourteenth Amendment requires States to afford people no less than the same rights they are afforded under the Federal Constitution. States can grant additional rights than are given under the Federal Constitution, but they cannot provide for less.
36 posted on 10/17/2001 8:21:25 AM PDT by BikerNYC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
Furthermore, the restriction ONLY APPLIES TO LAWS OF CONGRESS. It does not apply to the presidency, the judiciary, states, counties, cities, universities, schools or any thing else. So where the heck does the judiciary come off eliminating or regulating ANY governmental expression of christianity, judaism or whatever? The first ammendment of the Bill of Rights ONLY regulates laws made by congress and CLEARLY states that.

The 14th Amendment aside, I hope that you're not saying that city councils, state universities, etc should be constitutionally permitted to limit the other freedoms in the First Amendment (assembly, speech, etc) because the First Amendment explicitly says "Congress".

So where the heck does the judiciary come off eliminating or regulating ANY governmental expression of christianity, judaism or whatever?

The Bill of Rights is for the people not the government. That's why people, in theory, are free to exercise their religion and engage in religious-themed speech without undue govt interference. These same freedoms do not apply to the Govt, though.

By the way, I think it was Roger Williams (name right?), who I believe went on to found Rhode Island as a sort of refuge for religious minorities, that coined a phrase very similar to "separation of church & state" about 150 years before Jefferson's Danbury letter. (And contrary to your claims, America was certainly no beacon of religious tolerance at time. Just ask people familiar with the history of Catholics, Congregationalists, etc during these times).

37 posted on 10/17/2001 8:47:10 AM PDT by gdani
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OWK
You have it the wrong way around (and unfortunately so often does government).

Anything that does not violate the rights of others, is not a crime.

And as soon as government has created laws making a non-violation of rights a "crime", you have either a)A totalitarian government or b)mob rule(sometimes called democracy).

I think I will stick with our representative republic and tolerate(or ignore) people's private acts I disagree with.

38 posted on 10/17/2001 9:09:57 AM PDT by FreeTally
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: FreeTally
well said.
39 posted on 10/17/2001 9:16:20 AM PDT by OWK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: gdani
My point about the presidency, the judiciary, states, counties, cities, universities and schools is that THEY are NOT bound to eliminate religion from government by way of the first ammendment... period!

Once more will print the first ammendment...

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.

The operative phrase here is CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW!!! Got it?? It is a restriction on Congress making laws. If Congress makes no law, there is no violation of the first ammendment. You cannot have violations of peoples first ammendment rights without congress passing a law.

As far as the 14th ammendment goes I will agree that it protects the first ammendment rights at a state level. You are now free to show me which state created an official state church (Is there a church of California?), outlawed a church or restricted the rituals of a church. If you can not show me where a state has violated the first ammendment by passing laws or where congress has passed laws establishing or restricting churches or their rituals, than all these arguements about separation of church and state amount to Judicial legislation.

It's time we took back our heritage and recognized that this is a tolerant Christian nation with NO restriction on government expressions Christianity.

40 posted on 10/17/2001 9:53:51 AM PDT by DCBurgess58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
If you can not show me where a state has violated the first ammendment by passing laws or where congress has passed laws establishing or restricting churches or their rituals

One quick example = Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) aka the Native American/peyote decision.

Using the same logic as the Supreme Court in this case, Catholic minors are forbidden, by law, from drinking Communion wine (although no one in their right mind would ever enforce such a thing).

The response by Congress was to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act but that was later struck down by the Supreme Court for reasons unrelated to the First Amendment

41 posted on 10/17/2001 11:06:25 AM PDT by gdani
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
...show me where a state has violated the first ammendment by passing laws ... establishing ... churches or their rituals...

Prayer in public schools? It is the state establishing religious ritual in school, thus establishing those religions that sanction and hold prayer to be good and noble to a higher degree than those religions or non-religions that do not believe in prayer. State institutions should not be in the business of favoring one form of religious ritual over another. (At least that's the argument.)
42 posted on 10/17/2001 11:37:05 AM PDT by BikerNYC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: gdani
Let Catholic kids drink communion wine and indians eat peyote in accordance with their religious practices. That is exactly what the first ammendment protects.
43 posted on 10/17/2001 4:10:09 PM PDT by DCBurgess58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: BikerNYC
First off let me say I am not an advocate of school prayer, unless they try to outlaw children who wish to pray on their own or with a group on school grounds. The arguement you make about one religion being made superior to another however holds NO constitutional validity. Once again I remind you that a passage of law by congress or a state, with respect to the establishment of a religion or repression of an individual's right to practice it, is the minimum trigger for a first ammendment violation or invocation of the equal protection clause. Anything less is judicial activism.
44 posted on 10/17/2001 4:24:28 PM PDT by DCBurgess58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
Basically it is part of the American desire to have a constitution with NO king, NO nobility, and NO, Establishment (National Church). The basic provision dealing with separation of church and state lies not in the First Amendment but in Article VI, which prohibits any religious test for office. The First Amendment means that no National Church shall be established by legislation such as the 39 Articles produced by Parliament in the 1560s.
45 posted on 10/17/2001 4:35:28 PM PDT by RobbyS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OWK
It doesn't matter if it's moral or not. There is nothing in the Constitution prohibiting towns from displaying the 10 Comandments, or nativity scenes, or any other religious displays. If someone doesn't like it, they can move, or they can work to elect those who would not support the display.
46 posted on 10/17/2001 4:50:42 PM PDT by Critter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: dbbeebs
What evidence?
47 posted on 10/17/2001 4:53:53 PM PDT by Critter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58
Have you ever heard of the ACLJ: American Center for Law and Justice? They formed to counter the ACLU's efforts to erase God from all public locations. They're currently defending many "freedom of religion" cases, offer free legal help for any member of a school district that forbids the Pledge of Allegiance, or "God Bless America", etc.. You can check out their current cases and history at the ACLJ website.
48 posted on 10/17/2001 4:55:12 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OWK
That's what makes public schools immoral on their very face. They are funded by force, and they subject parents to unwanted ideas. Eliminate public schools altogether, give parents back the money that is siezed from them by force to pay for it, and let the parents purchase the education they want for their children on the free market.

OWK, you're my new best friend here!

You have it exactly right. In a system of private schools, parents can freely choose schools that pray or don't pray (to whatever god they prefer), promote or don't promote abortion, teach or don't teach evolution, require or don't require school uniforms, implement or don't implement zero-tolerance policies that expel children for pointing chicken fingers, do thorough background checks on teachers and staff or not, maintain open communications with parents or not, teach animal rights and tree-hugging or not, teach gun safety or not ..... and on and on and on.

Virtually all the controversies engendered by our government school system would be totally eliminated if we embraced a system of private schools where parents were actually customers.
49 posted on 10/17/2001 5:35:53 PM PDT by sonjay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Critter
What evidence?

Plenty of it. Read a biology textbook.

50 posted on 10/17/2001 9:23:15 PM PDT by dbbeebs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson