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Switch to Forum Live View The Separation of Church and State
6 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2009 - 10:44PM #11
Drwhite
Posts: 309
If you look carefully, no where in the Constitution or Bill of Rights do the words 'separation of church and state' appear together.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 12:51AM #12
Xristocharis
Posts: 5,051

DrWhite wrote:

If you look carefully, no where in the Constitution or Bill of Rights do the words 'separation of church and state' appear together.



That's beside the point. The separation of Church and State is still the principle used in order to prevent a state endorsement of any religion instituted in America's founding documents.

-Jon

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." - Dom Hélder Câmara
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 10:09AM #13
Al-Fatihah
Posts: 1,347
[QUOTE=Xristocharis;1001819]As Horton noted, many were Christian of varying degrees of orthodoxy, but others held no particular religious stripe and still others, such as Jefferson, were Deists which is less a theological position and more a philosophical one.

About the only thing the founding fathers agreed upon was that it was necessary to break free from the British Crown and establish a government built upon democratic principles--though they heavily disagreed on how to implement such principles.

Some even wanted the new nation to be a monarchy.

-Jon[/QUOTE]

Response: So doesn't the idea of separating church and state go against the teaching of christianity? The idea of running a government not solely based on the teachings of Jesus but of the opinionated desires of man would have to go against chriatianity, would it not? And if there is really a separation of church and state then why are people swarn in on the bible and why does US currency say "in God we trust?"
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 10:09AM #14
Al-Fatihah
Posts: 1,347
[QUOTE=Xristocharis;1001819]As Horton noted, many were Christian of varying degrees of orthodoxy, but others held no particular religious stripe and still others, such as Jefferson, were Deists which is less a theological position and more a philosophical one.

About the only thing the founding fathers agreed upon was that it was necessary to break free from the British Crown and establish a government built upon democratic principles--though they heavily disagreed on how to implement such principles.

Some even wanted the new nation to be a monarchy.

-Jon[/QUOTE]

Response: So doesn't the idea of separating church and state go against the teaching of christianity? The idea of running a government not solely based on the teachings of Jesus but of principles of man would have to go against chriatianity, would it not? And if there is really a separation of church and state then why are people swarn in on the bible and why does US currency say "in God we trust?"
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 12:27PM #15
peterthesplitfish
Posts: 1,609
Shalom Al-Fatihah,

But it is not entirely based on the laws of men. You must remember that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were great experiments and gambles when you think about it. We were just 13 loosely bound colonies with our own differences especially about states rights versus national rights versus individual rights. If you look back on US history much of the question you are asking wasn't so at first, but as in religion, government too becomes corrupted the farther one gets from the source material especially those who were the creators of the documents in question. "In God we trust" was added later to currency and Thomas Jefferson himself was against the idea of a federal reserve.

If you look at what the colonies were dealing with we get this compelling problem, George III was suffering from VD and his mind was going quickly. He was greedy and felt like many other monarchs that he was somehow more of a supreme being that the common man. He was also historically put into a situation via the Laws and had choices and chose to do what he wanted to do. The men and women who opposed him also had choices and their G-d-given rights were being violated and so they had every right to oppose that repression. The men and women also knew their history and knew that when the church is left in charge we get religious oppression, when one man is in charge we get government repression, so the solution was to try to fix the bigger problems first. As long as the government was allowed to be separate from the church, they church could not force its views onto the seat of power and therefore on the people. The church got away with this for years because during the Dark Ages, who was it that could read and write and therefore controlled the scriptures? The common man and even kings, queens, lords, ladies, etc. were unable to read the texts for themselves.

Did you know that during the time of DaVinci and Michaelangelo the pope's used to fight in battles along with their soldiers? My have times changed.

Thomas Jefferson wrote his own version of the gospels. Thomas Paine...well just read some of his stuff and you will see what I mean by being non-Christian. Have you ever read anything by Emerson? The early US was full of very free thinking individuals and they were allowed to live  because the church couldn't repress them and neither could the government. The great experiment brought about a whole new awareness, but alas, now it is corrupted and change is due again.

Would you really like it if either a fanatic king or a religious fanatic controlled every aspect of your life and could on a whim decide you are not worthy and therefore you must be killed and not just banished?

It also says, "love your neighbor as yourself" and how many really do that? Just drive down a freeway during rush hour any day of the week. Yeshua also taught the Law of Moshe in that we should live a pure clean life in every aspect through mind, body, and spirit...yet that passage was stricken by the orthodox Christians because they were opposed to the Hebrew teachings of the Law. What this country has allowed is for all scriptures be they real or forged to be presented to the people and the people therefore get to judge them for themselves. Ultimately we have to be our own judge in our actions, words, and thoughts, but this could be hampered if the government or church were repressing these ideas from the people.

Does this help?

Peter M.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 1:05PM #16
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244
Hallo Al-Fatihah, nice to see you in these parts of Bnet! :)

There are many Christians today who like to proclaim that the USA is a "Christian country". It's wishful thinking on their part. There are also many non-Christians who like to think that the First Amendment means NO religion, which is also wishful thinking.

The First Amendment was rather ambiguous (kind of like the Bible or Quran can be), which is why we're still arguing about the meaning today.... ;)

Some of our Founding fathers were Christian - Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine certainly weren't ---- Most of them agreed, however, that the theocratic systems of government in the Old World were best left in the past and that government should exist to protect the rights of the individual. This was an entirely new paradigm, as most governments of the past promoted the concept that the individual should exist to serve the State. To protect the rights of the individual, the wise men who drafted the Constitution agreed that a State religion could not be permitted.

On why the In God We Trust printed on our money? We have Salmon P. Chase, the zealous Christian Treasurer appointed by Lincoln to thank for that. The Union was running short of cash in the Civil war and we had to print money. At his insistence (not Lincoln's wish, as Lincoln himself wasn't your typical orthodox Christian either) the phrase has appeared on our currency ever since.

Kind regards,

--- AS
Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 1:40PM #17
Summer813
Posts: 325
Also, it is not necessary to use a Bible to swear oaths in the United States. People may swear on a Bible, on another text that is sacred to their own religion, or even using no book at all, they may simply affirm that they will do whatever it is they are swearing to do (tell the truth, uphold a principle, carry out the duties of an office, whatever).
Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 2:43PM #18
TPaine
Posts: 9,362

Al-Fatihah wrote:

Response: So doesn't the idea of separating church and state go against the teaching of christianity? The idea of running a government not solely based on the teachings of Jesus but of principles of man would have to go against chriatianity, would it not? And if there is really a separation of church and state then why are people swarn in on the bible and why does US currency say "in God we trust?"


As Summer noted, there is no Constitutional requirement that Members of Congress be sworn in on a Bible. The House takes the oath as a group, and the Senate swears new members in four at a time. After the official swearing in, members have an option of a second unofficial swearing in with a Bible as sort of a photo op. When Keith Ellison the Representative from the 5th District of Minnesota who is a Muslim was first sworn in back in 2007, he used Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Qur'an for that photo op.
The only oath that is written in the Constitution is the one taken by the President. It reads:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

"The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs." -- Justice William Brennan: Speech to the Text and Teaching Symposium at Georgetown University (October 12, 1985)
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 3:52PM #19
Xristocharis
Posts: 5,051

Al-Fatihah wrote:

Response: So doesn't the idea of separating church and state go against the teaching of christianity? The idea of running a government not solely based on the teachings of Jesus but of principles of man would have to go against chriatianity, would it not? And if there is really a separation of church and state then why are people swarn in on the bible and why does US currency say "in God we trust?"



I don't think a government could even function if it abided by the teachings of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus and the ways of Caesar are diametrically opposed to one another.

There already is a Christian "government" though, it's called the Church and it does not recognize national borders or worldly power structures.

-Jon

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." - Dom Hélder Câmara
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2009 - 5:39PM #20
Al-Fatihah
Posts: 1,347
[QUOTE=peterthesplitfish;1002759]

If you look at what the colonies were dealing with we get this compelling problem, George III was suffering from VD and his mind was going quickly. He was greedy and felt like many other monarchs that he was somehow more of a supreme being that the common man. He was also historically put into a situation via the Laws and had choices and chose to do what he wanted to do. The men and women who opposed him also had choices and their G-d-given rights were being violated and so they had every right to oppose that repression. The men and women also knew their history and knew that when the church is left in charge we get religious oppression, when one man is in charge we get government repression, so the solution was to try to fix the bigger problems first. As long as the government was allowed to be separate from the church, they church could not force its views onto the seat of power and therefore on the people. The church got away with this for years because during the Dark Ages, who was it that could read and write and therefore controlled the scriptures? The common man and even kings, queens, lords, ladies, etc. were unable to read the texts for themselves.

Did you know that during the time of DaVinci and Michaelangelo the pope's used to fight in battles along with their soldiers? My have times changed.

Thomas Jefferson wrote his own version of the gospels. Thomas Paine...well just read some of his stuff and you will see what I mean by being non-Christian. Have you ever read anything by Emerson? The early US was full of very free thinking individuals and they were allowed to live  because the church couldn't repress them and neither could the government. The great experiment brought about a whole new awareness, but alas, now it is corrupted and change is due again.

Would you really like it if either a fanatic king or a religious fanatic controlled every aspect of your life and could on a whim decide you are not worthy and therefore you must be killed and not just banished?

It also says, "love your neighbor as yourself" and how many really do that? Just drive down a freeway during rush hour any day of the week. Yeshua also taught the Law of Moshe in that we should live a pure clean life in every aspect through mind, body, and spirit...yet that passage was stricken by the orthodox Christians because they were opposed to the Hebrew teachings of the Law. What this country has allowed is for all scriptures be they real or forged to be presented to the people and the people therefore get to judge them for themselves. Ultimately we have to be our own judge in our actions, words, and thoughts, but this could be hampered if the government or church were repressing these ideas from the people.

Does this help?

Peter M.[/QUOTE]

Response: Very informative. I agree with everything. But I also believe that despite the idea of separating church and state the founding fathers still wanted to create a christian government or at least a government based on the belief of God which is why the US currency says "in God we trust" and people are sworn in on the bible. Even the pledge of allegiance says "one nation under God".
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