erasmus
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USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:33 pm

The first amendment to the constitution of the USA says:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Despite of this, religion is present everywhere in the USA government. A few examples:

  • “In God we trust” is written on every Dollar bill.

  • The inauguration oath of the president ends with “So help me God”

  • The pledge of allegiance to the flag says: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible,with Liberty and Justice for all.” (A US court decided that the words “under God” are unconstitutional and should be removed from the pledge, isn’t it?)

  • “God bless America” being sung at many official state happenings, including the President’s inauguration.

  • The president taking the oath with his hand on the bible.


  • I’m sure that the americans on a.net will be able to give many more examples of the USA government mixing religion and state!

    And here comes my point: Every country respecting itself should keep state and religion STRICTLY seperated. Not doing so is very unfair towards the country’s citizens who do not share this particular religion. The United States of America, as one of the most powerful counties on this planet, should set the example for every country in the world (Israël, Iran, India, Afghanistan etc.) to follow.

    What's your opinion?

    Regards,
    Erasmus
     
    PanAm747
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:42 pm

    It does keep them seperate.

    Many of the above examples are just traditions.

    I think people are blowing this way out of proportion. Honestly, I don't believe many people care about the relations between church and state anyway.

    Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
     
    KROC
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:43 pm

    The United States of America, as one of the most powerful counties on this planet, should set the example for every country in the world (Israël, Iran, India, Afghanistan etc.) to follow.

    Why should America have to "set the example"? America sets many examples, and we get criticised for it time and time again. Why doesn't the res of the world step up and be a leader on an issue instead of a follower?

    In the U.S. Church and State are about as separate as they will or can be. For most of the people of the world, and in the U.S. religion plays a tremendous part in their lives, and therefore will play a part in things like politics and the like. Until the world is all athiest, there will never be a 100% separate Church and State.
     
    pacificjourney
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:48 pm

    One example that the US sets that is obvious by these threads is in having their country founded on the basis of a document written over 200 hundred years ago, which surprise, surprise, comes into constant conflict with a society which has changed vastly since it was written.

    Ditch the whole thing at let common law rule.
    " Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
     
    Marco
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:50 pm

    Erasmus,

    America is a democracy which means the people decide how their country is run. The majority believe in the separation of the church and state but they don't want God out of their lives. The majority do not want "under God" removed from the pledge of allegiance and the majority want "in God we trust". If you don't believe in God, I don't see the problem just ignore it. The country was founded on the principles of Christianity, which is why freedom was emphasized, and it should remain so. Not only is it about religion, it's about tradition and values.

    Belief in God isn't a bad thing, which is why I don't understand why you said that they have to set an example and stop saying God. WHY is it a bad thing?
    Proud to be an Assyrian!
     
    Hepkat
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:14 pm

    If you don't believe in God, I don't see the problem just ignore it.

    Marco, here's where the sense in your argument flew out the window. Why should non-believers have to ignore references to God? By the same token, believers should also ignore non-references to God. Why should non-believers be forced to accept something they don't believe in?

    Better yet, why not just have neutral wording? This is something both the believer and the non-believer can accept.
     
    erasmus
    Posts: 256
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:19 pm

    Let me bring you to a few interesting links:

    U.S. Religiosity Hard to Escape.

    Litigant explains why he brought Pledge suit.: It looks to me as if this litigant is a very wise AND very patriotic man!

    Legal reasoning cited:

    Citing a concurring opinion in a Supreme Court decision, the 9th Circuit said, "The Pledge, as currently codified, is an impermissible government endorsement of religion because it sends a message to unbelievers 'that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.'"

    The court said the 1954 insertion of "under God" was made "to recognize a Supreme Being" and advance religion at a time "when the government was publicly inveighing against atheistic communism" -- a fact, the court said, the federal government did not dispute.

    The appeals court noted that when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the act adding "under God," he said, "From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty."

    Regards,
    Erasmus

    PS: I am not saying anything about religion! I am saying that state and religion do not mix!


     
    Hepkat
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:19 pm

    The country was founded on the principles of Christianity, which is why freedom was emphasized, and it should remain so.

    Here again Marco, I think you've got it wrong. Although the early settlers to the north American continent were puritans to the extreme, the country's government itself was NOT founded on Christianity. Rather, the "founding fathers" tried to concieve as neutral a government as possible, taking great pains to avoid any of the existent European traditions which stressed religion, monarchy and a society ruled by the aristocracy. Their idea was the separate religion from the state, a most revolutionary and unheard-of idea for that time. It's this separation of church and state that guarantees our freedoms, and not Christianity as you argue. The last thing the "founding fathers" wanted to establish was a society and government answerable to the church and its human authority, as was the case in Europe at the time.
     
    Marco
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:33 pm

    Marco, here's where the sense in your argument flew out the window. Why should non-believers have to ignore references to God? By the same token, believers should also ignore non-references to God. Why should non-believers be forced to accept something they don't believe in?

    Better yet, why not just have neutral wording? This is something both the believer and the non-believer can accept


    A non-neutral wording wouldn't necessarily be accepted by a believer so in this case the non-believers end up having the upper hand. I don't agree with forcing religion down people's throats as I think it's a personal decision, but the non-believers should think of it as tradition. The country was built on these principles, and one must respect that.

    Here again Marco, I think you've got it wrong. Although the early settlers to the north American continent were puritans to the extreme, the country's government itself was NOT founded on Christianity. Rather, the "founding fathers" tried to concieve as neutral a government as possible, taking great pains to avoid any of the existent European traditions which stressed religion, monarchy and a society ruled by the aristocracy. Their idea was the separate religion from the state, a most revolutionary and unheard-of idea for that time. It's this separation of church and state that guarantees our freedoms, and not Christianity as you argue. The last thing the "founding fathers" wanted to establish was a society and government answerable to the church and its human authority, as was the case in Europe at the time.

    If this was the case Hepkat then why so much emphasis put on God in the constitution? Why does the constitution say that all beings were created equal by the creator? Obviously some beliefs were based on God. Also, the founding fathers were escaping persecution from Catholic Europe and they wanted the freedom to believe in whatever denomination they believed in, be it Protestantism/Catholicism/etc...so in essence the founding fathers did build the country based on Godly principles. That isn't such abad thing, after all the USA has been the symbol of freedom for such a long time.Obviously the use of Christianity provided this freedom.

    I don't only look at it from a religion point of view, I think of it as tradition and history. Passing such a law is like erasing your country's history and traditions.
    Proud to be an Assyrian!
     
    Hepkat
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 9:03 pm

    Marco, why should belivers of religion by upset by neutral wording of the POA? What's upsetting about having to say "One Nation"? Remember that "under God" was only added a few decades ago, it was not originally included. And prior to that no one seemed offended or missed the lack of references to God. It was later added purely for political reasons. Furthermore, if believers in religion get so upset about "One Nation" then it clearly sends the message that they're more interested in imposing their own religion on others than they are about the greater interest of the state.

    As to your second argument, the founding fathers took great pains to use the neutral word "creator", thereby reaching out to every religious denomination. I would recommend that you read the personal memoires of the authors in order to gain some insight as to why they wrote what they did. It's very clear they would not agree with you, nor would they agree to the slow encroachment of religious overtones in civil/government affairs that has been happening over the decades.

    Obviously the use of Christianity provided this freedom.

    You say you don't look at this from only a religious point of view, but such views contradict this statement to the point of absurdity. You are a staunch believer in Christianity, and I would never judge you for this, however you must sometimes try to put aside this stance in order to get a clear picture of both sides of the equation. Marco, it makes very little sense arguing this point to death with you. I know you're a very bright young man, and I admire your talents, but I've studied history at Binghamton University, and it is a fact that the founding fathers tried their very best not to endorse any one religion when drafting the constitution, hence the reference to the "creator", and the original POS which stated "One Nation." Most, if not all other references to God where added later by tradition or presidential decree, but this still does not legitimize your claim that this was the intent of the founding fathers. Presidents and the Congress have long known of the staunch conservatism of the Supreme Court, knowing fully well that any challenge to religious references would most likely be found meritless.

    There are several excellent biographies of the founding fathers where they worded their opinions in great detail. I'm afraid they do not concur with your stance on Christianity and freedom in America. Rather, it is precisely that they did NOT endorse Christianity which has made the U.S. the free country it is today.
     
    Guest

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 9:19 pm

    "Despite of this, religion is present everywhere in the USA government. A few examples:"

    First of all, that passage in the 1st Amendment does not "separate" church and state, at least in the sense that government will have nothing to do with religion. It's a common misconception. That's why you will see phrases like "In God We Trust" on our currency, etc.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    Meaning the state will not sanction a particular religion, such as the Anglican Church in the UK. (And now you know why No. Ireland is such a hotspot.) Also, the passage allows the citizens of America to practice any religion they choose. It says nothing of keeping "God out of Government."

    "And here comes my point: Every country respecting itself should keep state and religion STRICTLY seperated."

    I disagree. I believe religion is, or should be, the core of a nation, be that Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, etc. Government should be based on some sort of system for a reverence for diety. My fear is that if you remove religion from government, as many in this country are trying to do, then "morality" is left wide open to interpretation, and society increasingly becomes lawless and immoral.

    "Not doing so is very unfair towards the country’s citizens who do not share this particular religion."

    Really? How so? How are any of your freedoms limited by the money in your wallet containing the phrase "In God We Trust?" Perhaps it would be unfair we were forcing people to become Christians, but as you well know, that isn't happening.

    'Speed



     
    Alpha 1
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 9:22 pm

    One example that the US sets that is obvious by these threads is in having their country founded on the basis of a document written over 200 hundred years ago, which surprise, surprise, comes into constant conflict with a society which has changed vastly since it was written.

    So, Pacificjourney, we should just shuck it because sometimes it can seem like a conflict? That's a cowards way our-the easy way out, and obviously you know nothing about the Constitution and he Bill of Rights, which 200 years ago were radically different ideas about governance, and which today is still the envy of most of the world that can't match whats in that document. No thanks. We'll keep it. And besides, if we feel there's truly a need to update it, we have the ability to amend it.

    Why should non-believers have to ignore references to God?

    Hepkat, why should believers be FORCED to ignore references to a God they believe in because some athiests don't like it? That's very (and typically) hypocritical for you to say it. WHY should a small minority be protected from being offended, but it's ok for the majority to be offended by these actions. That's just idiocy that you're supporting.

    Better yet, why not just have neutral wording? This is something both the believer and the non-believer can accept.

    You're certainly one of the world's great fence-sitters, Hepkat. You're perfect for the PC crowd because you don't believe in offending anyone, unless they hold a majority position. This isn't a neutral world, and the majority of citizens in the U.S. should not have to give up long-standing traditions just because of a few malcontents.

    Marco, why should belivers of religion by upset by neutral wording of the POA? What's upsetting about having to say "One Nation"?

    Because they realize a small minority of malcontents are trying to tell THEM what they can and cannot say. If these idiots don't like the pledge-if YOU don't like the Pledge-DON'T RECITE IT!! BUT DON'T TELL THE REST OF US WE CAN'T RECITE THE PLEDGE AS IT IS!

    And to the author of the thread: If you don't like our references to God, Erasmus, that's just too damned bad, isn't it? You're not an American, so why does it bother you so much? Maybe you want to live in an athiestic, Godless society, you can, but don't go critisizing the rest of us in the U.S. who believe in God, and want His presence in the life of this country, even if it's only in a SYMBOLIC fashion. It's insulting to be preached to by someone who doesn't undersand what he's talking about.

    And, again, it doesn't matter. This utterly insane ruling by a bunch of far left-wing justices will not stand the test of time. It will be ignored in any event from coast to coast, because the American people are smart enough to see it for what it is-a power play to dictate to the American people what they can and cannot say. If you do not want to say "Under God", or recite the pledge at all, that is fine, and NO ONE should force you to do other wise, but don't have the audacity to FORCE ME to leave it out.
     
    JetService
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 9:43 pm

    I'm still trying to figure out which part of the 1st Amend. the POA and all those other examples violates. Congress has not passed a law that forces anyone to be part of an established religion, and it certainly doesn't prevent free exercise of religion (if anything, what the ultra-libs want has a flavor of the latter). Erarmus, Hepkat, etc., you all realize that despite these examples that bother you so, in the United States you can still belong to any religious denomination you wish or none at all for that matter and you won't be arrested at all. That's what its all about. No one is making laws to require a certain belief and no one making laws that prevent you from any belief. That's why the SC will shoot this down.
    "Shaddap you!"
     
    pacificjourney
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Thu Jun 27, 2002 9:47 pm

    Alpha

    Most democracies get by perfectly well without an over-riding constitution governing every decision. Why not let common law have it's full head without reversion to some outdated document. Of course if you guys aren't capable of forming your own laws with divine guidance then stay as you are.

    The 'envy of the world', you would think so but of course what would I know.

    " Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
     
    LMP737
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 12:23 am

    Erasmus:

    For some reason I don't think an article published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation is an un-biased source of information.
    Never take financial advice from co-workers.
     
    heavymetal
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 12:31 am

    Ask yourself if it's the word "God" in pledges or money that irritate people...or the ominous little tyrants like Tom DeLay and Bob Barr and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who claim moral ownership and defense of such inclusions.

    When a politician says this is a "Christian" nation, demands that my tax money pay for his fundamentalist schools, demands huge tax exemptions for for-profit businesses just because the happen to call themselves "a church", tells me a myriad of different thoughts and beliefs differing from his own are wrong, immoral and un-American....and then makes defending "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance his own personal mission...

    Yeah, I've got a problem. Maybe not with the Pledge, but with him. And since he insists he and the Pledge are inseperable, I guess I have a problem with the Pledge now.
     
    erasmus
    Posts: 256
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:00 am

    Hi LMP737,

    Until you told me I had no idea which Foundation had written this. It is a webpage which I came across after looking with Google for keywords like "president" and "inauguration" and "religion" or something like that. I do not know the foundation nor the writer and frankly I don't care who wrote it.
    It shows however that the President's Inauguration ceremony has very much become a religious affair, which in my humble opinion, is a pity.

    By the way, any non-government foundation does not have to be unbiased. The government SHOULD be unbiased.

    I have no problem with the president being a Christian. However he should be the President of ALL Americans regardless of what they (don't) believe. All this religious words might and DO give an other impression. It wouldn't bother me if an elected president added HIMSELF the words "so help me God" after his oath, but it does bother me if the judge (and therefore the state that he represents) taking the oath, puts these words in the mouth of the president!
    It's a subtle, but, in my opinion, important difference!

    Regards,
    Erasmus.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/politics/012001-5v.htm
    http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/may01/johnson.html

     
    Guest

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:10 am

    NormalSpeed wrote:

    >>"My fear is that if you remove religion from government, as many in this country are trying to do, then "morality" is left wide open to interpretation, and society increasingly becomes lawless and immoral."



    As an atheist, I'm offended by your suggestion that life without religion can cause a society to become lawless and immoral. As millions of atheists prove, one CAN be moral without believing in a Supreme Being. Conversely, some Christians talk about morality all the time but certainly don't practice it in real life.

    Morality will always be left open to interpretation; different people (even within a single faith) have different views on the subject.

    It's simple: Some people need to base their values on a religion (or a belief in a higher being), others don't.


    NormalSpeed wrote:

    >>"I believe religion is, or should be, the core of a nation, be that Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, etc."



    If that is true, why are secular Western countries so successful, while countries based on a single religion tend to have so many problems?


    Alpha 1 wrote:

    >>"why should believers be FORCED to ignore references to a God they believe in because some athiests don't like it?"



    No one is asking believers to ignore references to God; many people just want the GOVERNMENT and its institutions (schools, etc.) to get rid of references to God. Why? Because NOT ALL Americans believe in God. Our Pledge of Alliegance is important to America: Why should it contain a line that many people disagree with?


    Alpha 1 wrote:

    >>"If you do not want to say "Under God", or recite the pledge at all, that is fine, and NO ONE should force you to do other wise, but don't have the audacity to FORCE ME to leave it out."



    Again, no one is forcing YOU to leave it out; we are talking about the GOVERNMENT and its institutions.

    BTW, Erasmus, despite these references to God, Church and State ARE separated to a greater degree in the States than in most other countries.
     
    747-600X
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:19 am

    Here's the problem:

    "God bless America"
    "one nation under God"

    Who the hell are we to say what God's in favor of? God bless the queen, right? Heh. That's a joke. If there is a God - he blesses people, not nations. So whether you're religious or not, these sayings are simply wrong.

    Support the court's decision - forcing children to pledge their allegiance to a nation under god is immoral and wrong.
     
    erasmus
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:27 am

    PHX-LJU: BTW, Erasmus, despite these references to God, Church and State ARE separated to a greater degree in the States than in most other countries.

    I know that, PHX-LJU, thanks for your nice post.

    What really scares me a lot, is the fact that many people here don't appear to realise that seperation between state and religion is a good and necessary thing. I had expected "that's not religion, just folklore" arguments but not "why should there be such a seperation between religion and state".

    VERY SCARY!!

    Regards,
    Erasmus
     
    Matt D
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:31 am

    PacificJourney wrote:


    Most democracies get by perfectly well without an over-riding constitution governing every decision. Why not let common law have it's full head without reversion to some outdated document

    So then what you are saying is that we'll just go-with-the-flow based on whatever we happen to want at the moment?

    In other words...no structure...no restrictions....just do what we want.

    You may call it "modern"

    Most of us have another word for that:

    ANARCHY

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Cuz while it may be fine and dandy for whatever agenda you have. But you better hope that you weigh 300 pounds and can bench press a Buick. Cuz if not, then who are you going to run to when some one who's bigger and stronger than you decides he wants your house?

    hey...no rules...no restrictions....and no protection. It will truly be a Darwinian Society.

    yeah....I'm sure THAT will be better than this so-called "outdated 200 year old document'.
     
    pacificjourney
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:56 am

    Jesus christ, it's called common law Einstein, look it up ! What exactly do you think your constitution is based on ? Despite what you may think it is not exactly original nor unique.

    A liitle more faith on your part wouldn't hurt. Do you really think the US would fall to pieces without a constitution ?
    " Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
     
    erasmus
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:00 am

    Found this quote of Bush on cnn.com:

    Speaking Thursday at the G-8 summit in Canada, Bush said the ruling was "out of step with the history and traditions of America," and said it highlighted the need for "common sense judges that understand that our rights are derived from God."

    This is absolutely incredible. Replace the word "God" by "Allah" in the previous sentence and it sound like a sentence that could have come from the mouth of Osama Bin Laden: "Our rights are derived from Allah"

    I find it a pity that Al Gore didn't become president of this beautifull country the USA is! (Didn't Al get more votes nationwide then George in the elections?)

    Regards,
    Erasmus



     
    Matt D
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:06 am

    Didn't Al get more votes nationwide then George in the elections?

    Well the cats out of the bag now. Now we know the REAL reason you loathe the Constitution. It stopped your tree hugging idol from taking up residence at the White House.

    True, Gore DID get more votes. But in this great land, that does not necessarily determine the winner. It's the Electoral College. So, based on the predetermined rules, Gore lost; a fact ignored by the Gore supporters.

    But we don't need to go down that path again.

     
    Marco
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:18 am

    Erasmus you're comparing Bush's comment on how our rights are derived from God, to osama bin laden, a terrorist who killed 3,000 people? What kind of comparison is that? Are you implying people who believe in God are terrorists?

    Hepkat,

    Thanks for the info regarding the history of the US constitution. I want to clear one thing up. Even though I'm a strong Christian I don't believe in forcing religion on people. It's wrong. However I don't see the big deal with the words "under God". It shouldn't be made unconstitutional, rather it should be up to you to decide if you want to say under God. Also, I don't think Jews, Muslims, etc would have a problem with saying under God, so in reality only athiests would mind saying under God. As they don't make up the majority of the US population I don't think it should be made unconstitutional. It should be up to the person to decide whether he or she wants to say under God.

    Regards
    Proud to be an Assyrian!
     
    wn700driver
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:25 am

    As an atheist, I'm offended by your suggestion that life without religion can cause a society to become lawless and immoral. As millions of atheists prove, one CAN be moral without believing in a Supreme Being.

    Millions can prove? You mean like the millions in China & Soviet Union who pretended to be athiests in the name of "progress"? We gee whiz, if it worked out that well for them just imagine what that can do for the USa
    Base not your happiness on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No Hope = No Fear
     
    travelin man
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    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:27 am

    "Support the court's decision - forcing children to pledge their allegiance to a nation under god is immoral and wrong."

    You obviously don't get it, 747-600X. The court has already ruled that NOBODY can be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance. And if you do say it, you don't have to say "under God". It's called Freedom of Speech.

    The pledge also says "one nation, indivisible". Well, since we've had a Civil War, shouldn't we strike out that little line too?

    I respect people's concerns about the separation of Church and State. I believe you can interpret the term "God" to represent any God that anyone believes in, whether it be Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Vishnu, or Zeus. And if you don't believe in God, that's fine too. Nobody is forcing you to do that either.

    Our country was founded by religious people, and to say it wasn't is to ignore documents such as the Declaration of Independence:

    the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them

    all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    This is our country's foundation. Be able to practice any religion (or none at all) while observing the foundations in which our country is based. There is nothing wrong with that, and the Government is CERTAINLY not advocating a single religion. I'm not a religious person, so I'm not speaking as a religious fanatic. But I do respect the principles that religion has brought to this country, and we shouldn't ignore it.
     
    Marco
    Posts: 4005
    Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:41 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:31 am

    Travelin' man very well said!
    Proud to be an Assyrian!
     
    Guest

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:32 am

    PHX-LJU wrote:
    "As an atheist, I'm offended by your suggestion that life without religion can cause a society to become lawless and immoral. As millions of atheists prove, one CAN be moral without believing in a Supreme Being.
    Where to begin, where to begin?

    Well, if you'll excuse my candor, you can be offended if you want. It doesn't bother me. I stand by my opinion. The reason for this is that I don't believe that "millions of athiests" can even agree on what moral and immoral is, let alone adhere to said "morality." It seems to me that being an athiest is sort of like making up the rules of the game as you go along. On the other hand, the term "Judeo-Christian ethic" exists for a reason. Freedom will not exist without morality. Morality comes from God.

    In fact, I'm glad that I've offended your sense of self-importance.

    "Conversely, some Christians talk about morality all the time but certainly don't practice it in real life."

    Do you adhere to your athiest principles at all times? Oh wait. Of course you do. Because if you violate the tenents of your "morality," then you can just alter them. Christians are humans, and therefore prone to error. No one is perfect -- not even you and your athiest friends.
     
    erasmus
    Posts: 256
    Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:46 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:36 am

    Matt D said:

    "Didn't Al get more votes nationwide then George in the elections?
    Well the cats out of the bag now. Now we know the REAL reason you loathe the Constitution."

    For your information Matt D,
    You got me completlely wrong:

    First of all, I ADMIRE the constitution of the USA, as a matter of fact I think it's of more importance then the bible, the koran and the talmud put together!!

    Secondly, I have great respect and admiration for the USA and all its former presidents including Bush senior, but I think that that Bush Jr is simply not wise and intelligent enough for the oval office. (95 % of all europens agree with me on that, I think)

    So, please just try to keep religion and government seperated. There are many examples in the world that show why that's important!

    Regards,
    Erasmus


     
    LMP737
    Posts: 4808
    Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:38 am

    Erasmus:

    I think you are making a bigger deal out of this than it really is. In spite of having "In God We Trust" on our currency, referencing God during inaugurations, etc there is no official state religion in the USA. We have not become a theocracy nor is there a Secretary of Religion. In fact people still come here (from third world countries) to escape religious persecution.
    Never take financial advice from co-workers.
     
    Marco
    Posts: 4005
    Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:41 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:43 am

    With democracy comes freedom of speech. When some people refer to God in public, they are exercising that freedom, not violating it!
    Proud to be an Assyrian!
     
    Guest

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 2:57 am

    NormalSpeed wrote:

    >>"The reason for this is that I don't believe that "millions of athiests" can even agree on what moral and immoral is, let alone adhere to said "morality."



    But do Christians all agree what moral and immoral is? Of course not. You could also say that Christians also "make up the rules of the game as they go along," because so much depends on their INTERPRETATION of those "Judeo-Christian" values. People like Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell will tell you that they follow Judeo-Christian values, but they are FAR from being moral human beings (at least according to MY definition of "morality").


    NormalSpeed wrote:

    >>"Freedom will not exist without morality. Morality comes from God."



    You see, that's what YOU think. Fine. But millions of Americans do not share your view that morality is based on religion. Why should they be forced to accept YOUR Christian-based view of morality? I'm sorry, but an atheist, a Buddhist, or a Jew can be as moral as you are, even though he/she defines the purpose of "morality" differently.

    Just because a person's values are not derived from religion, it doesn't mean that they are inherently less valuable and more likely to be violated. My moral values are based on the values of my parents (both atheists), but I believe in those values as much as you believe in yours.
     
    heavymetal
    Posts: 4442
    Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:00 am

    Common falicy #4567326-A from the religionists:

    "endowed by their Creator" quite clearly means "endowed by our God"
     
    apathoid
    Posts: 887
    Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2001 3:19 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:04 am

    #1 - You are not American so you're opinion doesn't matter.

    #2 - The exclusion clause was designed to prevent state mandated religion...ie, the Church of England. Remember, our forefathers left because they were not allowed to practice religion in the manner that they saw fit, they were forced to go to church where the King said to go to church. The intention was never to keep God out of government, as many of the writings of the writers of the Constitution show. The Pledge of Allegiance is voluntary in public schools. It is recited, but kids are NEVER forced to participate. Forcing them to would violate the exclusion clause, but a voluntary recitation does not.

    #3 - I won't tell you what your government should do. You don't tell me how mine should behave. Alright?

    By the way, 77% of Americans are opposed to the 9th circuit ruling as reported by CNN this morning. How do you like them apples?
     
    travelin man
    Posts: 3198
    Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:06 am

    Even if you don't CALL your values religious-based, they are.

    For instance:

    Killing is wrong
    Adultery is wrong
    Stealing is wrong

    These all come from religion.

    You may not believe in God, but I'd venture to say that most of your values (and our laws) are based on religion.
     
    Marco
    Posts: 4005
    Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:41 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:06 am

    Ravi Zacharias, a very intelligent man had this to say about morality:

    If one believes in morals then one has to believe in a moral law giver. People could easily make up morals, because everything to humans is relative. Some people think killing others in the name of God is moral. Morality has to come from a moral law giver, not from humans.

    Obviously he went more into depth, but his conclusion was that one cannot believe in morals without believing in a moral law giver. It makes perfect sense.
    Proud to be an Assyrian!
     
    erasmus
    Posts: 256
    Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:46 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:13 am

    quote: "You are not American so you're opinion doesn't matter."

    Congratulations! I suppose that you're even proud that you said that?

    I rest my case. I said what I wanted to say in this thread. I will stop contributing to this topic before the quality becomes really too low!

    Regards,
    Erasmus
     
    Matt D
    Posts: 8907
    Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:18 am

    Adultery is wrong

    For some reason, this one seems to be the exception to the rule. We Americans as a whole seem to LOVE adultery. And adultery is as French as stinky cheese and white wine.

    everything to humans is relative

    Perhaps that's where some of the problem begins. If no one is wrong, then how can everyone be right? This is where I actually agree with the otherwise irrational Muslim Extremists. They have a point, even if their methods and goals are unachievable. Maybe if there was some kind of uniformity and concrete standards, then the door to the inevitable human ego "Im better than you" or "I'm right and YOU'RE wrong" door would be slammed shut.
     
    heavymetal
    Posts: 4442
    Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:39 am

    By the way, 77% of Americans are opposed to the 9th circuit ruling as reported by CNN this morning. How do you like them apples?

    I'd have no problem with "under God" being in the Pledge were it not for statements like this.

    Go back 100 or so years, my friend. What would 77 percent of Americans be opposed to? A black man living next to them? Allowing women to actually vote? Teaching the Earth might actually be older than 6,000 years? Being able to buy a beer? Not killing a gay man?

    In parts of New York, New Jersey, even here in south Florida, the majority is Jewish. So 77 percent thinking Torah reading is good in public school would be all right? What about border towns overwhelmingly peopled by Latinos? 77 percent say Spanish is the official language. 77 percent of Cuban-Americans in Miami vote to make Dade County a province of Cuba. 77 percent of backwater rednecks have no problem lynching a black man.

    Be very careful before you start down that slippery slope of majority rules absolutely. Eventually, inevitably, you'll end up on your ass, and 77 percent won't care.
     
    PanAm747
    Posts: 4713
    Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:57 am

    >>The inauguration oath of the president ends with “So help me God”<<

    No it does not. It is up to the President to decide if he wants to use that wording.

    Also he does not have to put his hand on the Bible, it's another option. However since all US Presidents have been Christian in some way, they have chosen these options for themselves.

    >>"endowed by their Creator" quite clearly means "endowed by our God"<<

    I thought those words mean different things to different people.



    Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
     
    heavymetal
    Posts: 4442
    Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:20 am

    Killing is wrong

    What other species in nature kills for pleasure or idealogy?

    Adultery is wrong

    What other species in nature invents threadbare ideas that few live up to?

    Stealing is wrong

    What other species in nature steals for no other reason than they covet?

    Jeez for all these grand ideas supposedly the result of religion, it seems like the only species that violates them on a regular basis...is the same species that invented religion.


    "What man thinks, God thinks" - Henry David Thoreau
     
    bruno
    Posts: 829
    Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 2:01 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:36 am

    I thought evolution worked the other way.  Confused





    Apathoid:
    #1 - You are not American so you're opinion doesn't matter.

    So what about the non-Amercians who's opinoin is the same as yours?
    I thought his was an international forum.  Confused
    I support the women’s movement up and down!
     
    Alpha 1
    Posts: 12343
    Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:42 am

    No one is asking believers to ignore references to God; many people just want the GOVERNMENT and its institutions (schools, etc.) to get rid of references to God. Why? Because NOT ALL Americans believe in God. Our Pledge of Alliegance is important to America: Why should it contain a line that many people disagree with?

    Yes you are!! You want the believers to give in to your demand that the reference to God be abolished? And why? Does it irk you THAT MUCH that God is mentioned? You don't believe in him, so why do you even give a rats ass about it? IGNORE IT!!!! But don't ask ME to ignore it. I LIKE it there! Why should I give be held hostage to the demands of a small minority?

    Again, no one is forcing YOU to leave it out; we are talking about the GOVERNMENT and its institutions.

    Yes you are!!! For the umpteenth time!! YOU want it out of EVERYTHING, simply because you don't believe in God: God IS mentioned in our Constitution, 4 different times! It's on our coinage; The Supreme Court starts each day with a reference to God-it is part of the American Heritage, and I'll be damned if a few Godless athiest are going to get rid of a huge chunk of American heritage simply because this pisses them off. I can see how it's just RUINING your life, isn't it? And again, it's a moot point, because you and those who think like you are going to lose this one anyway, and will ALWAYS lose on this issue, because the majority of the people in this country DO believe in God in one form of another, and the will NOT be dictated to by a minority on a political power trip. We live in a country where the majority rules. I'm in the majority on this one. Too bad for you.

    When Andrew Jackson was president back in the 1830's, he had the Indians moved from what is now the Midwest to Oklahoma. The Supreme Court told him it was unconstitutiona, and that he couldn't do it. Jackson's reply was, basically "what army are you going to use to stop me from doing it?" And he did it anyway. Well, the same in this case-what would you and all these judges who are left-wing nuts do if EVERYONE ignored what they said, and kept on reciting the plege in schools, at football games, or whatever? Arrest us all? Hardly. So, the majority will just ignore this for the stupidity it is, and go on with their lives. If you and other athiests want to stew forever over this, go on, it's your life to waste such time over. Some of us have better things to do with our lives.

    Again, I was going to read further ,but it's pointless. People like you, Pacificjourney, Hepkat and the rest, are so far out of the mainstream of what is real in the U.S. that its really pointless to keep it up. This assinine ruling by a bunch of judges who have no grip on reality will not stand. Even if it did, most Americans, and most schools, would ignore it. And that's what most athiests should do with anything that mentions God-ignore it, for Christ sake.
     
    bruno
    Posts: 829
    Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 2:01 pm

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:45 am

    Alpha 1

    How does the Andrew Jackson case relate to this?  Confused
    I support the women’s movement up and down!
     
    heavymetal
    Posts: 4442
    Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:56 am

    ignore it, for Christ sake.

    Till when? Don't just blow my my comments, answer them.

    What are we supposed to ignore!? The Pledge with "under God" in it? Easy enough ain't it? What about the people who claim to represent that God we're all supposedly"under"?

    Are we supposed to ignore today's ruling that allows tax dollars to go to religious schools, too? Now they're not just tax exempt, Nooooooo. Now I get to pay for Christians to tell themselves Jews aren't saved! For Muslims to call the rest of us "infidels!" For Catholics to remind their children that the Pope has Jesus' inside line. For whatever kook who wants to claim God told him to open a school and teach kids.

    I'm going to airports and getting on airliners in a nation at war, that can't even guarantee to me there isn't a f*cking bomb in the luggage compartment, but now I get to fork over my money to any holier than thou idiot who builds a classroom. But I should just ignore it, right?

    They are the same issue, Alpha. God. Government. Keep them seperate. Or just reach back to the morning you saw people falling out of a skyscraper on fire, and cherish that feeling. Because the more we ignore what you say we should, the faster that feeling will be back, on tv, in living color. And there won't be a Muslim around to blame.


     
    Leftypilot79
    Posts: 446
    Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2002 6:47 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 5:03 am

    Im by no mean a bible beater.....but if Im not mistaking....wasn't this country FOUND on Christianity?


    aaron
     
    heavymetal
    Posts: 4442
    Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 5:11 am

    Lefty pilot....

    "Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom


    Said Act was a watershed for Federal and Religious seperation. Clearly, though many of those who designed our country were Christian, Christianity was not meant to be part of the design.
     
    Guest

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 5:21 am

    Alpha 1,

    Please calm down. We are not talking about a life and death matter here. I just happen to believe that two words in the Pledge, which weren't put there until the 1950's (when the country was in the midst of an anti-atheist mood), don't really belong there. You happen to disagree with my view. Fine. No need for hysterics.


    Alpha 1 wrote:

    >>"If you and other athiests want to stew forever over this, go on, it's your life to waste such time over."



    I think it's obvious from your last post that YOU are taking this far more seriously than most people here at a.net.


    >>"But don't ask ME to ignore it. I LIKE it there! Why should I give be held hostage to the demands of a small minority?"


    No one is asking YOU to ignore it. You can recite the Pledge as you always have. We're discussing whether the phrase "under God" should be included in Pledges recited in schools and other public institutions.

    I simply believe that religion and State should be kept separate.


    >>"We live in a country where the majority rules. I'm in the majority on this one."


    We also live in a country where the rights of minorities are also respected. And that's good; after all, I bet that you not ALWAYS in the majority.


    >>"YOU want it out of EVERYTHING, simply because you don't believe in God/"


    No, when some people (on a different forum) proposed that "Merry Christmas" greetings on TV be replaced with "Happy Holidays" greetings, I pointed out that, even though I am an atheist, I LIKE "Merry Christmas" greetings much better than the bland, generic alternative. But in that case, we were talking about privately-owned TV stations; this time we are talking about the government. I believe in the separation of Church and State. It's that simple.


    >>"and I'll be damned if a few Godless athiest...


    If you meant "Godless atheists" as an insult, it didn't work. Some of the world's smartest and most moral people were/are "Godless atheists." Some people need to believe in God, some don't. It's a choice, and I respect both attitudes (theism and atheism).


    >>"Even if it did, most Americans, and most schools, would ignore it."


    That would be too bad. Most Americans have always been law-abiding. That, after all, is why our society works. Some laws are not popular, but they are laws nevertheless.

    I admire the California judges for having the guts to make such a controversial ruling.

     
    Guest

    RE: USA Should Keep Religion And State Separated!

    Fri Jun 28, 2002 5:25 am

    P.S. Alpha 1, where would we get if we ignored all court rulings that we happened to disagree with?

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