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What Is So Hard To Understand Separation of Church and State?

  1. wilderness profile image98
    wildernessposted 3 years ago

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/bibl … a-schools/

    Seems that Orange county in Florida encourages Christian literature to be disseminated to students, but aren't so happy when other religions or groups want the same right.  Unfortunately a court case resulted in the school board allowing ALL literature, including satanic, to be passed out in their schools.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/18/pa … na-school/

    A pagan mom found her son bring home bibles from school, and requested permission to put her own religious literature on display for kids to take as they wish.  Permission was granted, but immediately withdrawn when the literature turned out be spellbooks.  The policy was quickly changed to no one is allowed to put religious literature out for the kids.  One response is very plainly in favor of Christians doing as they please here, but no one else: http://www.peterheck.com/libtree/libert … nce_bibles

    What is it that some of the Christian community simply insist that THEIR religion is OK in public places/events but none other?  What is so difficult to understand about the concept of freedom of religion - that it means free, not limited to just Christian concepts?

    1. JMcFarland profile image89
      JMcFarlandposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      It seems to me like a lot of Christians in America have a hard time distinguishing from their rights and their privilege that they've been afforded for decades - really, ever since the red scare and the growth of the so-called "moral majority" in politics.  They see mandatory prayer being removed as persecution of their religion.  They see teaching evolution in science class and not creationism as "scientism" and persecution.  They see challenges to blatant religious iconography on public/government lands as non-theists being angry or jealous, and see that as persecution as well.  All that's happening is that Christian privilege is being challenged legally - and it should be.  The establishment clause and the concept of the separation of church and state exist for a reason, and in order to have freedom of religion, you must also have freedom FROM religion.

      How many Christians were outraged and threatening when the Satanist statue was erected in Oklahoma, right next to the 10 commandments?  How many Christians were outraged recently when a young man posed inappropriately with a Jesus statue?  Was it rude and inappropriate and tasteless?  Sure.  Does he deserve up to 2 years in prison just because it was a statue of Jesus, and not any other statue?  Absolutely not.  What would the reaction be, and what has it been, to offer a secular humanist group alongside a Christian Bible study group at a school?  The hypocrisy is maddening, yet they seem completely incapable of seeing or acknowledging it.  They've gotten so used to their privilege that they now consider it a right, and it deserves to be challenged at every turn, until it gets back to where it is legally able to stand.

      1. wilderness profile image98
        wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        You have a good point on the red scare, and that's much of what was behind changing the pledge of allegiance and the script on our money.  An affirmation to the world that the country is Christian, and hang the constitution, with the intervening 60 years just more fuel to the fire.

        Yes, it is hypocrisy at its worst, and maddening because those engaging in such activities are simply incapable of seeing it.  So would up in their own little world that no one else has any rights at all.

        1. profile image60
          retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

          "In God We Trust," first appeared on coins in the 1860's. Christianity is hardly a monolith. Just as atheism is not a monolith.

          1. wilderness profile image98
            wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Well, you learn something every day, I guess.  Didn't know about the coins at all, just the paper.

            1. profile image60
              retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

              You are correct about the paper. "In God We Trust," is a phrase from Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner." It is a complex idea to understand, but America was founded by profoundly faithful people who dedicated themselves to secular government because the Princes and Kings of Europe, especially Britain, dictated religion rather than permitting its free practice.

              1. wilderness profile image98
                wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                I would have to disagree with the reason our founders chose a secular government.

                Rather than what they left behind, I've always seen it is the result of profoundly faithful people, but of different faiths that did not get along well.  Rather than risk one group coming into power, the founders chose to prohibit any one group from running roughshod over the others.  In that manner, no one had to be afraid that their personal belief system would be prohibited or limited by any other.

                Between the common religious view of "I'm right and you're wrong, so you must live as I think you should" coupled with experience in what happens when religion controls government, the choice was made to go secular.  As the differing groups could no agree on a state religion, no single religion would ever control our government.  Any one of them would have, I believe, been most happy to enforce their beliefs on everyone else (just as we see today) but in order to form that more perfect union religious control was prohibited.

                1. profile image60
                  retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  The King of England was the head of the Church of England, not the other way around. It was that experience, plus the sectarian division in the colonies i.e.- Puritans in New England, Anglicans in the Southern Colonies, Quakers in Pennsylvania, Catholics in Maryland- which informed the colonial experience. The anti-papist sentiments of New England helped alienate the French Catholics of Quebec or else they may have been part of the new country - regretfully, as a Catholic, I am happy they did not, they are a troublesome bunch for the Canadians.

                  You may have a point about the contentiousness of the colonial religious divisions. It is far more likely that the close ties of religions to the governments of individual colonies, plus the experience of having the head of the Church of England as a king convinced the Founders that a secular National government was best. There was no requirement in the Constitution that any state give up its religious ties to state government, however. A state that had close ties to the Anglican Church was not required to give up those ties, as the Constitution was not written for the states.

                  1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
                    Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    "The anti-papist sentiments of New England helped alienate the French Catholics of Quebec or else they may have been part of the new country - regretfully, as a Catholic,

                    I am happy they did not, they are a troublesome bunch for the Canadians."

                    How/Why?

                  2. wilderness profile image98
                    wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    That's my feeling on the thoughts of the founders, yes.  That contentiousness simply did not permit any form of common religious government; in order to form the union it had to be banned from any national government.  As you say, states can form a religious government, but never the federal.  That left states able to control the religion just as it was already doing at that time but did not allow any state to control the religion of any other.  None of the original 13 had to worry that a neighboring areas religious beliefs would be forced onto them.

                    Couple that with a strong dislike (understated, I'm sure) of the religious governments they came from and the choice was obvious.

      2. Link10103 profile image76
        Link10103posted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Except that America was founded on Christian principles, cause Jesus.

        Yes I did attempt to lead you with that asinine logic...I apologize big_smile

        1. JMcFarland profile image89
          JMcFarlandposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          :-) I forgive you.

    2. moneymindit profile image66
      moneyminditposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Wilderness,

      This is very simple.  Christians believe that the only way to get into heaven is through Jesus Christ.  That belief is what does not permit them to accept any other religion nor any form of logical thought.  Period.

      MM

  2. jlpark profile image86
    jlparkposted 3 years ago

    They also don't seem to understand that Freedom of Religion, as well as meaning Free and not just limited to Christianity, is also Freedom from religion.

    So just as they do not wish to have themselves or their children supplied with literature, education or anything to do with other religions, people of other religions or lack thereof don't wish to be supplied with Christian literature, education, or other things.

    Unfortunately, though, it seems that this in particular is forgotten by those who scream "prejudice" when their literature is removed, despite having done the same countless times to others.

    1. wilderness profile image98
      wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, we constantly hear the "persecution" that the Christians are being subjected to but strangely enough nothing about the "persecuting" being done by the same group.

      1. jlpark profile image86
        jlparkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Because when they do it, it's not persecuting - it's "spreading the word of jesus"  - aside from the fact they are ignoring the other "words of Jesus".

        It's interesting the 'blinders' that we (and I think most of us are guilty at some point) put on ourselves when we are consciously or unconsciously pushing our beliefs at others....it's just that most of us have the sense to take them off once in a while.

  3. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…"
     
    For instance:
    If a theater shows a film about Jesus does the theater also have to show a film about Buddha or Krishna?
    No!
    It is really ridiculous to demand equal time/opportunity. It serves no purpose what so ever. It is discourteous and unharmonious. Live and let live! 

    If you want to put up a statue of some horned whatever, you could put it up somewhere, (not sure where.) If you want to hold satanic oriented events in your home or hold talks at a public library, go ahead!  Just don't do it in response to someone else's expression of free speech.

    Right?

    1. jlpark profile image86
      jlparkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      True, Kathryn, but the problem is that whilst people are happy for the film about Jesus to be shown, they'll protest the showing of a film about Buddha.

      Actually that's a bad example - swap film for religious text - they're all good and happy to have the Bible in schools but the moment anyone else wants their religious text in schools they throw a tantrum.

      That's the problem. Exercising their right to freedom of expression of religion does not mean 'freedom at the expense of everyone else's religion'.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        so let 'em protest! its a free country. so what?
        - just ignore them.
        If they break the law somehow, call the cops.

        1. jlpark profile image86
          jlparkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Thats not the point Kathryn.

          They scream 'persecution" when their 'text' is removed, but demand that others be removed and don't see it as persecution.

          Sure, we could ignore it - that doesn't make it go away. Ignoring it actually makes the problem worse...it's why it's got to this point. They see theirs as the only way, and therefore anything said against it is "persecution" regardless of who they persecute. Why? Because no one has EVER questioned it to the point that all should be treated equal - those with religion, regardless of type, and those without.

          Freedom is just that - FREEDOM. If it ain't equal, it ain't free.

          Anyway....when I say "they" I mean those who scream and shout....not Christians in general...just thought I'd clarify that!

    2. Righteous Atheist profile image59
      Righteous Atheistposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      So when the Islamists are in the majority, you will be happy throwing out the bible and having the q'uran foisted on your children as "fact"?

      How is favoring one irrational belief system over another "live and let live" exactly?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        ...since when do schools pass out Bibles?
        Maybe that's wilderness's point. Public schools should not be advocating any religion in particular in the first place. Putting up the Ten Commandments by the city is again the state advocating a particular doctrine. So yeah, separation of church and state should be followed in order for freedom of religion to exist.
        Now right?

        1. Righteous Atheist profile image59
          Righteous Atheistposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Christianists are fighting for schools to do exactly that. That is the point he was making.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
            Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            So, the state should say no.  I wonder why the state is not saying no. They know in today's climate it will just start trouble.

            However, if everyone believed in God, (and this is basically a Judeo Christian nation, as far as tradition,) those who want to keep their own form of worship would not really mind enjoying the traditions here (Christmas and Easter, etc) so long as they can follow their own! Which they certainly can!!!

            1. jlpark profile image86
              jlparkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Thats what we are talking about - they feel persecuted if the state says no, regardless of whether they've forced them to say no to other religious texts.

              The state should say no - Bible's, Qu'rans, Buddhist Holy Texts, The Satanic Bible (LeVayan Satanism), Book of Spells etc - should NOT be handed out in school UNLESS it is a private religious school (then it makes sense). It is not the place of schools to teach religion. It is the parents.

              We are having this same issue in New Zealand, which is a secular country.  We have BIS - Bible In Schools. State schools (secular by nature) "close" for half an hr a week for religious education (as these classes cannot be held on school time....but the half hr isn't added anywhere...). However, it is ONLY Christianity. Children can be opted out, but are being made to pick up rubbish (usually used as a punishment), sit in the library, and are being ridiculed and told they are going to hell by those who went to the classes.  Concerned parents have pushed back - upset their child is being singled out.  They want either NO religious education, or education in ALL religions.  We have a very multicultural society, and therefore a very mixed bag religiously, so to teach only one is...discriminatory. I didn't realise how annoyed it makes me....so that may have come across in this...sorry.

            2. wilderness profile image98
              wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              They don't say no because there are still lots of pockets, usually small, where the overwhelming majority is Christian.  Where they rule supreme, where their every whim is followed. 

              And you're right - the point is that ALL religious texts are available in schools, or none.  Or ALL statues are encouraged on public land, or none (religious based).

    3. moneymindit profile image66
      moneyminditposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Kathryn,

      Nonsense again.  The reason people feel the need to put up statues of horned creatures is because Christians can't help themselves.  They HAVE to spread their belief to the point of interfering with politics.  Case in point: Hobby Lobby and contraceptives. 

      Christians do not understand the concept of separation of church and state.  In fact, it even says it in the bible.  "To God what is God's and to Caesar what is Caesar's".


      MM

      1. profile image60
        retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

        The Hobby Lobby Case is a clear demonstration that the state is limited in compelling the religious to act against the dictates of their faith.

        THAT is the original idea of the "separation between church and state." Not an idea enshrined in language in the Constitution but deriving from Jefferson's correspondence.

        "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's"

        Was a means of avoiding a verbal trap to ensnare Jesus in treason. It also suggests to the believer the truth that everything was made by God, therefore what is Caesar's

        It is not a statement of separation between Caesar and God. How many of Jesus's followers were executed by Caesar for rendering unto God that which Caesar would rather have?

        It is never so simple

    4. moneymindit profile image66
      moneyminditposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Kathryn,

      If the theater owner does not want to show films about any other religion because he/she is Christian, then he/she doesn't have to.  The theater is private.  You are missing the point.  The point is that religious doctrine should stay out of government controlled institutions. 

      MM

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I agree.
        I was hard of hearing at first.

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago

    In all actuality, all religions say the same thing. GOD is GOD and He is the same in any religion.

    The pagan scenario was a case of Anti-God… those who do not believe in God are the ones ruining everything.

    Sorry, but that's the way it is.

    1. jlpark profile image86
      jlparkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      The Pagan scenerio.....if you knew Paganism, you would know it's far from anti-God...they worship several, and a Goddess or two as well.

      Ruining it how?
      Please elaborate, as I am reading this two different way (one of which is offensive...) and don't want to get off on the wrong foot.

      Freedom OF. and FROM, Religion is for EVERYONE, not just Christians

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        They are ruining it by vocalizing about it. If you don't believe in God you don't have to!  No one says one MUST!!!!   NO ONE!  If someone tells you, you are going to hell because of your non-belief bla bla bla… just ignore them. If they do anything to you in the extreme, call the cops! We have laws to protect us… what more do we need against religious tyrants and extremists?

        Most people want to believe in God and worship Him as they choose. I don't like it when Christians tell me I am gonna end up in Hell because bla bla bla… Its not fair.  Christianity must make allowance for all others' ways of climbing to the top of the mountain where God is.  Why they don't make allowances is beyond me… way, way, way…

        "Freedom OF. and FROM, Religion is for EVERYONE, not just Christians"
        I agree.
        But, since the majority of people enjoy worshipping God, thoes who do not, should just keep quiet.

        Same for Christians: If they do not agree with your way of thinking they should just KEEP QUIET!
        Right?

        1. jlpark profile image86
          jlparkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Sorry - I was replying to half a message it seems - I could only see half, and when it posted, I saw the rest....this is mostly to the first half.

          So, we can't talk about it, but Christians can talk about their belief until the cows come home?? And that seems...just...to you?

          Ignoring the behaviour doesn't make it go away - it makes them (as adults) think that they have got away with it, that they can continue to preach, cause no one has called them on it to make them stop. Ignoring the behaviour works with children, but unfortunately not with adults of the preachy persuasion.

          If that was the case, they would have stopped LONG ago. When you ignore them, they think you are listening, they therefore have an audience, even if you aren't listening or even looking at them.  Hell, many of the street preachers are happy to talk to themselves.

          I don't take the "going to Hell" buisness seriously, but I don't appreciate being yelled at when I'm going about my business, and then being told I shouldn't talk about my beliefs, or lack thereof.

          Your allowance- yes, they must make allowances, but they don't, and get angry when we try to stop them in the way they have been stopping others....I don't know why they don't either....thats the problem!

          EDIT/ADDITION: - Yes, they should keep quiet, if we have to. I agree.  Will they? Doubt it!

          (sorry, I'm tired, have a cold + asthma flare up...I'm not angry...but probably not getting my point across as gently as I normally would...i should go now)

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
            Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            I said the Christians need to be quiet too. Live and let live. (Not minding anger at all!)

            Justice consists in giving others what is owed. In this case, what is owed is personal choice. Freedom to choose. Freedom of religion. Freedom of non-religion. And keeping QUIET about it!
            Respecting others choices!

            "Thank You for sharing your way of believing, Your traditions are beautiful!"
            "Yes, I see your way of not believing! That is an interesting point of view/ way of thinking, etc. Thank you for sharing it."

            You know, civilized style.

            1. jlpark profile image86
              jlparkposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Sorry - your messages are only half posting when I reply. I have changed it - I saw the clarification after I had posted.

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
                Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                sorry. I edit after I post. bad habit… but thoughts keep comming after I post.

        2. Righteous Atheist profile image59
          Righteous Atheistposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Exactly what am I ruining by vocalizing the fact that I don't believe your claims?

        3. Link10103 profile image76
          Link10103posted 3 years agoin reply to this

          That's some pretty scary logic. It also violates the constitution on several accounts.

        4. moneymindit profile image66
          moneyminditposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Kathryn,

          Wow!  This is nonsense.  You say that if non-Christians do not want to believe in God, then they don't have to.  That is not the problem.  The problem is when Christians start passing laws that affect non-Christians.  That is the problem.  Case in point:  if you do not want to have an abortion, then don't have one!

          MM

        5. moneymindit profile image66
          moneyminditposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Kathryn,

          Not only should religious people keep quiet, they should stay out of politics and lawmaking.

          MM

          1. profile image53
            wayne92587posted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Religious people should not have to keep quite, but that should not be allowed to impose their views on others.

            The Separation of Church as State is not even understood by the United States Supreme Court.
            The Purpose, the Goal, of the Separation of Church and State is to prevent the enslavement of the People by the Self-Righteousness, the Moral Law of the Church; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

            The Jews fled Egypt not because they were physically enslaved by the Pharaoh, but because the Jews were enslaved by the Self-ish Righteousness, Moral Law, Righteousness, of the Pharaoh.

            The United States of America was founded upon the Idea of Personal Freedoms; the Moral Law of the Church being replaced with the Rule of Law to govern the People; the Rule of Law being based upon a consensus.

            1. profile image60
              retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

              The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are clearly the products of Natural Law Theory - a Christian philosophical idea, not on some nebulous consensus. If a consensus says, "Blacks should be enslaved," does that comport with ideas in the Declaration or the Constitution? Consensus cannot strip from a man the rights inherent in his nature, including - though not limited to - life, liberty, property, the pursuit of happiness, self defense, free speech, free assembly, etc....

              1. profile image53
                wayne92587posted 3 years agoin reply to this

                can you quote a rule of law in the United States of America that says that blacks should be enslaved.

                1. profile image60
                  retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  Natural Law has never supported slavery. Chattel slavery was legal for all races until 1848 and then for blacks until the conclusion of the Civil War.

      2. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Well, the Old Testament makes it very clear that God is the ONE SPIRIT behind all.
        Which I happen to agree with.
        Each to their own.

        TWISI

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          And you are more than welcome to that belief.

          You just aren't welcome to indoctrinate MY children with the belief.  You aren't welcome to put your icons on MY property (public land) while denying me the same opportunity to do so with my own icons.  You aren't welcome to demand prayer to YOUR god in public places (schools, government, etc.) while refusing to honor MY god the same way.

          As you have said, freedom FROM religion and that includes keeping your religion to yourself and not pushing it on everyone else.  This should not be a difficult concept to grasp; our constitution is mainly about protecting the minority, not encouraging the majority to demand that everyone else follow their precepts.  It's why government is forbidden to push a religion, after all - our forefathers recognized the danger and took steps to stop it.

          1. moneymindit profile image66
            moneyminditposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Wilderness,

            You might as well talk to a wall.  Religious people do not understand logic.  If they did, then they wouldn't be religious.

            MM

          2. profile image53
            wayne92587posted 3 years agoin reply to this

            It is not religion that is the problem, it is the Moral Law, the Self-Righteousness of the Church that is made void by the Rule of Law when it comes to governing the people, Man does have a right to preach in public, you do not have to listen. .

            1. JMcFarland profile image89
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Except that's not entirely true.  Free speech does not mean that you have the right to say whatever you want wherever you want whenever you want.  You, for example, do not have the right to free speech in my home.  No one has the right to free speech when that speech is a death threat or a threat of bodily harm.  The right to swing your fist ends at the tip of another person's nose.  If you continue to swing your fist and it impacts someone else's nose, you have violated THEIR right in the exercise of yours.

            2. wilderness profile image98
              wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              At what volume?  50 dB?  100?  150?

              On a visit to Las Vegas, standing on a streetcorner watching the Bellagio fountain, some idiot set up an amplifier and loud speakers and began haranguing the crow there with tales of her personal god.  At top volume - my wife and I couldn't converse without shouting and we were touching shoulders.

              Is that reasonable?  Did she have the right to do that?  Noise laws would say no...

    2. moneymindit profile image66
      moneyminditposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Kathryn,

      Sorry, but that is not the way it is.  Religions are the cause of much strife on this planet!

      MM

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        If they could just respect others' ways of believing…  why not????
        Father Serra who enslaved, beat and punished the original people of California actually thought he was doing them good…
        Weird…. really weird.

        1. profile image60
          retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

          I can think of some people in California today who would benefit from a good beating.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
            Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            You are a horrible Catholic.
            Ha ha hA!

            BTW Who/Why?

 
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