Separation of Church and State is a hot topic currently, but to me, the trend seems to focus on things like the Pledge of Allegiance or the Ten Commandments in public buildings, yet religious state laws, like alcohol on Sundays, for instance, are rarely mentioned or changed. It seems the politics of separation are a diversion from the actual meaning of the concept. Are Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms really more unconstitutional than "blue" laws?
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Odd how the perception of hx has changed over the years. Churches should lose their free status. they are no more than business today that rake in huge profits, pay no taxes, and expect representation in D.C.
I agree with you. I don't think they should remain exempt. If you read the Bible, one of the main jobs of the church is supposed to be social services. The church is supposed to help the poor and benefit society. Paying taxes benefits society.
Think of the tax revenue windfall if Churches were considered businesses; I wonder if that is a goal of the politics?
Taxes benefiting society is subjective. Many if us believe most of those tax dollars funding social entitlements are wasteful & ineffective, and better addressed by private charity not subjected to inefficient gov't bureaucracy as they once were.
That may be true, but it clearly says in the Bible that the church should respect the government. "Give to everyone what you owe them. If you owe taxes, pay taxes..." Romans 13:7
A little out of context. Actually that statement was Jesus essentially mocking the Romans when asked about the face of Ceasar on a coin as a way to bait him. In fact he was accused of a crime for not paying taxes at his trial before being crucified.
I'm a little confused. This isn't the passage where Jesus said to "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's." It's from Paul. In either case, I do respect what you're saying, with churches not wanting their taxes to support abortion and similar programs.
Ben, while the First Amendment was indeed intended to protect churches from the State, the other, equally important intention was to prevent any religion from dominating the government and enforcing religious mandates.
I have always thought that the purpose of the founding fathers was to allow people to have freedom of choice in their religion, the idea that they were anti-religion is a new one on me.
They weren't, but these ridiculous lawsuit against things like nativity scene's are an attempt to portray the constitution as not having originated in Christian values, or that a gov't entity can't encourage faith in a general sense.
This is exactly what I mean, it seems people want to nitpick harmless things like nativity scenes; yet burning the flag is a protected freedom of expression? It seems that grabbing attention in some new way is the goal of many people.
Well, I agree with you there. Some people are simply in pursuit of a cause, and are willing to manufacture one even when there isn't one. A cousin of mine is a true hardcore atheist. He finds the nativity scene about as offensive as a lawn chair.
Landmark, some of the founders were Christians, but some of them were Deists or nominal Christians at best. Some of these most influential men were products of the Enlightenment, the period which emphasized natural reasoning over religious books.