Do you believe in the separation of church and state?
Many policies and bills being passed by the government seem to encrouch on religious beliefs. Also, the church has been very active in the state's affairs (at least here in the Philippines). Is the separtion of church and state still working?
Europe found it neccesary to separate religion from government to protect human rights and avoid repeating the horrors of wars driven by religion.
The unity of religion and government in Japan, from the Meiji Restoration of 1870 to the end of 1945, forced Japan to wage Holy War and brought the horrors of WW2 upon the world --
http://lanceolsen.hubpages.com/hub/The- … r-and-WWII
And explained in my book, Pre-View --
http://numistamp.com/Taierzhuang-1938-- … e-1%29.php
(2 webpages -- use the link at the bottom of Page 1 to go to Page 2)
More info -- http://numistamp.com/Why-these-WW2-pages-.php
The world needs to learn from history to avoid the same mistakes being repeated.
For sure church and state must be separated, one thing has nothing to do with the other. after all the state is suppose to represent all its citizens, despite their religious beliefs. If the government is linked with the church and bases opinions, rules, laws and whatever on religious beliefs/ideas or..., than the government is misrepresenting its citizens and is being discriminatory.
absolutely....church and state must be separate....infact religion should not be allowed to have any say what so ever in governance....religion be it be any must be strictly in private domain only....
The foundation of our country's existence is built upon the belief in a higher power. That God gave man certain rights that no man had jurisdiction over. "Among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". In the United States, the term Separation of Church and State was written in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. It's not in the Constitution. However, there has to be a separation between church and state. BUT!! There is a big difference between church and state, and God and state. Keeping the physical church out of government is essential, but if we keep God out of government, all is lost.
The separation of church and state is intended to provide citizens with the freedom of religion, a core value to American ideology. A Theocracy is a form of government where there is no separation between a religion and the government, Iran is a good example of this.
I can respond that I "believe in" your freedom to worship God through any religion and any church you choose, so long as your religious beliefs do not encroach on my freedom to do the same thing.
Do we have, or do we want, a separation of church and state in the United States?
Worship, that is coalescing as a group behind some ideal, is what people do naturally. It is instinctive to our survival as a species. It shows itself in the most basic of economies, the tribe. However, the ideal that different groups of people coalesce around can be problematic. If a requirement of your belief system requires that I die, then that is a problem.
"America is a nation of laws" is an ideal that some people coalesce around. Does that sentence proclaim a separation of church and state, or does it proclaim that the state is a church?
To be free of a nation of laws is precisely what drove people to come to the United States in the first place. To be free of a nation of laws is what gave birth to the phrase, "separation of church and state". Every law bleeds away freedom. To a degree, I want that. I want to limit your ability to prey upon me or my property. I "may" want to limit your ability to your free expression of life if I have to see or listen to it.
The question is "what does the state do" in response to what I want. When I want something that you don't want, what happens? If a separation of church and state means a nation of laws is the result, then no, I do not believe in it. If a separation of church and state means a nation of considerable freedom and liberty to live life as you and I want to live our lives, then yes I do believe in it.
Let me close by asking you a question. Do you believe in a separation of church and state if that separation means that the state becomes the church your neighbor worships?
Absolutely. There are many areas where government involvement are perfectly valid, but religion is not one of them. This is especially true in countries like the US where there is a huge number of different religions with different dogmas.
In order to be fair to all people, regardless of their beliefs, there are two options: promote/suppress all religious practices, or promote/suppress no religious practices. While it may sound reasonable to say 'all of them' then, there's a problem - many of those beliefs are in direct contradiction and opposition to others. In practical terms, there is no way for government to act based on a religious principle without being in conflict with *someone*.
Not to pick on Jim, but in a way, he represents one of the unavoidable conflicts of bringing religion into government. He says "...if we keep God out of government, all is lost." With the best of intentions, he's just written off somewhere between 5-15% of the population that do not believe in a god (the exact percentage has varied between surveys, depending on how the question is worded). To say that religious beliefs *must* be part of government is to automatically exclude a sizable minority of the governed, which should be intolerable in a country founded on the idea of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority (to borrow from Alexis de Tocqueville).
I absolutely believe in the separation of church and state. I do not want anyone dictating to me what I can and should believe in. That's absolutely ridiculous.
The US Constitution wasn't founded on a belief in God, as many suppose, it was created to provide a mechinism to govern, over the long-term, the citizens and States of America. The founding fathers who penned and signed the Constitution purposefull kept God out of it; one way by not including any reference to "God" anywhere in the document, including the Presidential oath of office, and another way by specifically prohibiting any religious test to hold federal office. The closest the Constitution comes to recognizing a higher authority is using the term "their Creator", from the Declaration of Independence. The writers inserted this term, belatedly, into the Declaration, rather than the more commonly used word "God", probably on purpose; the original versions contained no reference at all.
All of the above, separate from the provisions of the 1st Amendment, to me is a strong indication of the Constitution's framers intent to keep Church and State apart from one another. Why else would they be so circumspect when NO other state government document of the time was; in fact, many of those documents were very clear they wanted the state they were associated with to be a theocracy. The 1st Amendment just sealed the deal regarding how the framers saw the United States should be run rather than how the anti-Constitutionalists (anti-Federalists) saw the united States should be.
In short, the Federal government is a secular government that governs a nation made of 90% Christians who believe in a Christian God, and 10% others who believe in a different form of God or Creator or no Creator at all where those 10% have one thing in common ... they don't want the 90% making the government telling them what God to believe in.
I believe in it, but do not see it practiced in this country. The emnphasis on candidates' religion and whether a president goes to church or what church he belongs to is absurd. If religion is emphasized in a candidate's campaign, I look a little closer at his stance on other policies.
Yes I absolutely believe that church and state should be kept separate. Not everyone believes in the same religion and no one religion should be able to make the rules for a society where there are people who have many different faiths.
by Ben Bush 18 months ago
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