Do you believe in "separation of church and state"?
JFK put forth this policy. In recent days GOP candidate Rick Santurom has challenged this by stating
"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute," he told 'This Week' host George Stephanopoulos. "The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country...to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up."
I believe in it to the extent that says the church does not dictate the ways of the government nor does the government have any say in the church. I draw the line at the point where religious symbols are removed from buildings, etc. as to that having any real connection between church and state. Religion and the freedom to practice were basics to the founding of this country. Our faith in God as a people gave us the hope and the strength to perserve as a nation and that is symbolized on our buildings and institution as well as our money indicating the heritage that we have in our strong ties with religion. To take that away is to take away a significant part of our heritage as a people yet we are allowing it to be done just as the goals of the Communist set back in the 60's said that it would be. WB
Anybody who does not believe in the separation needs to evolve. The minute the state starts making laws based on religion (Although it's arguable that they already do) is the minute this country goes from the little mudslide we are on, into an absolute free fall.
I will NEVER live in a country that dictates what I can or can not believe in - even if it is my chosen reliegion. Nor will I live in a country that tells me that certain things are illegal because the religion says so. Quite frankly, the only law I think we need that involves religion is to hang some of these fanatics on a cross, like the ones that are picketing at the funerals of dead soldiers.
But yes, I do agree that this country is way too hypersensitive. "OMG We can't say Christmas anymore because it says Christ!" "Zomg there is a cross on the state building!"
What the eff ever. I'm not christian, nor will I ever be...but like hell if I care if the pledge of allegiance has the word god. It's metaphorical for god's sake. (See, I said god and I don't believe in the "Lord")
The strange thing about this policy is the complete misunderstanding of its purpose.
Separation of church and state indicates "freedom for all" no matter their chosen, or lack of, a religious affiliation.
For many today, the desire is a complete "freedom FROM religion" as the ancient tenets of doctrinal belief systems don't meet the needs of the population. As Christian-based as many Americans are...there are other people of faith...millions living in America that fled countries that had no separation of church and state.
The dangerous mix that Rick Santorum is suggesting is ludicrous...and not just a little naive...when a countries laws dictate the necessity of being a muslim, a christian or a Zoroastrian...that country is doomed--not to mention the people living in it.
The atheism of the communist structure was as bad an idea as Billy Biblethumper running America--two sides of a twisted coin--the need for America to remain the "beacon on the hill" is the billboard that brings people of all faiths, or no faith, to try to build a life that is their own individual American experience.
Having people of faith in government isn't an issue either. Many of these people have character, courage and desire to enhance the American experience, but we don't have to do it by foisting our own private...and this is where religion should remain--private...spiritual experience.
I have a very difficult time watching the Republican debacle of Mormon versus Christian versus nutty Newt and intellectual Paul...where is what should be the common understanding of freedom and justice for all?
Keep the discussions of women's issues, homophobic marital arguments off the table and start educating the Republicans of the world--America stand for freedom--and yet, today Americans have fewer freedoms than they've ever had.
Something needs to change...and its the fear of other cultures, invasion and even "black" presidents that is most discouraging in today's America--separation from stupidity should be another slogan stamped on the leader of the western world's billboard. Remember, "Give us your poor, your sick..."
Why don't we see the simple lessons stamped on lady Liberty herself?
The institutions of government and public life should not promote the interests of one religion over another. This seems like a pretty clear and simple rule to go by. The "objectives and vision of our country" is a place where ALL people are free to worship as they see fit, not just some and not just minorities. Perhaps the rule isn't perfect or fair, it is effective. The last thing we should do is accept religious law. It is bizarre to me to see Christians simultaneously rail against Sharia law while promoting Biblical law. They're the same thing, dolt.
I used to believe this question was cut and dry. However, now I'm not so sure. As a liberal, I support social programs. What if a liberal Christian also does so because they believe Jesus wants the poor to be helped?
Or what if a liberal Christian is against the death penalty because it is premeditated murder, and they believe the only justifiable killing mentioned in the Bible is self-defense? I think it's better to leave all views open to scientific scrutiny and public debate, and issues that are SPECIFIC to religious traditions, like "being saved" or "duties of worship" to a deity should stay out of public life.
They are not absolute. The separation of church and state is an institutional separation. You can make legal distinctions between these two institutions, which would primarily be to keep separate the entities, their money, and their leadership. This is how the founders understood it. It surprises many to know that in early America, some states banned elected officials from also being ministers of the Gospel (like Tennessee, for example). But, you cannot legally separate religion and politics; one influences the other. It is wrong to ban religious ideas from the public square and it is equally wrong to ban discussions of politics in the pulpit (like the Johnson Amendment does).
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