Keep church, state separate

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Some have noticed there is a newly formed local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. People have the right to be concerned about societal changes, and those feelings are to be respected. But do we really want to see theocracy be a part of governance?

The Constitution ensures every American can observe his or her religion, but clearly states it will not seek to establish any particular faith. This has served our country well for more than 200 years. No one is seeking to interfere with an individual’s private and personal choice of faith. But it seems unfortunate when a candidate running for the highest office in our land does not appear to appreciate America’s long-standing principle to separate the two.

Hopefully individuals and groups will think carefully about this question. It could promote a dialogue we need to have.

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Cdr4500
20
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Cdr4500 05/03/12 - 12:01 am
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I predict 100 PLUS comments
Unpublished

I predict 100 PLUS comments :-P

Cdr4500
20
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Cdr4500 05/03/12 - 12:01 am
1
2
I predict 100 PLUS comments
Unpublished

I predict 100 PLUS comments :-P

specsta
6367
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specsta 05/03/12 - 01:32 am
11
5
I get really tired of this

I get really tired of this rhetoric that the US is a "Christian nation". Based on past history (slavery, segregation, human experimentation, Japanese internment camps, locking up more folks than any other country, the demonization of the poor, the worship of the rich and the deep funding of wars), one can hardly call the US a "Christian" nation.

Personal morality opinions have no place in crafting legislation. The US Constitution got it right - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

Worship God as much you want, but don't try to cram one's personal religious beliefs down somebody else's throat. Live and let live.

desertcat6
1140
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desertcat6 05/03/12 - 04:56 am
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Religion teaches morality

Religion teaches morality therefor morality is bad when we create laws based on morality? Many, if not most, of our moral codes of conduct are based on religous principals. Making laws based on those codes doesn't establish a religion. It makes a country. I fully expect the politicians I elect to exercise their morals, use their judgement and understand the constitutional restriction regarding the establishment of religion.

carcraft
25200
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carcraft 05/03/12 - 05:32 am
5
2
cr4500 may be correct about

cr4500 may be correct about 100 new posts, especailly if he keeps doouble posting...

carcraft
25200
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carcraft 05/03/12 - 05:56 am
2
5
Gees Specsta what do you want

Gees Specsta what do you want the Democrats to use to craft legislation if not morals? The Democrats (and a lot of Republicans for that matter) sure don't use the constitution and precedence to guide them. Please give us a hint... I do believe the mantra the liberals use of caring for the poor, Children etc. is based on the Christian Ethos. The ending of Slavery was based on Chistianity and a Christian movement to end slavery.I know since liberals think all religions are some how equal and we are not able to discriminate or place value judgements on religious belief and practices the Muslims in America should be able to own slaves and stone homosexuals in the public square correct? So I would guess the guiding prinicpals and moral ethos that informed our body politic was not Musilm. We do reach down and help the poor so the guiding perspective was not Hindu and the theology of Karma (not to be confused with Obama's $100,000.00 car, but then again maybe that is Karma). We do believe in the thinking of rehabilitation and redemption and our penal system has been reformed in the past because of the theology of redemption. The ending of Segregation in the South was based on Christain ethos and lead by a Christian pastor. Look up Martin Luther King and you will learn he was a Christian minister who influanced the government because of his understanding of Christianity. Maybe you only like the theological infulance on government when it favors your positons but not when it requires people to be responsible and moral for the benefit of society, and places God and individual above government! Now lets all bow down at the feet of the federal government because one of the EPA directors said you need to crucify a few people to get there attention..all hail the Supreme leader ummm ummm ummm!

freeradical
1052
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freeradical 05/03/12 - 05:48 am
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8
There is no doubt that a

There is no doubt that a nation in which the the most powerful

authority makes the manuvering of baby fat interns to their knees

within the oval office a regular occurance , while the praetorian

guard is consumed with drinking and debaucery with whores across

the globe , that they are all fully capable of establishing their own

moral code.

AS ARE WE!

" The kings of the earth set themselves , and the rulers take counsel
together againest the Lord , and againist His anointed saying ,
Let us break their bands asunder , and cast away their cords
from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have
them in derision." (Psalm 1:2-4)

Is there any doubt this land is condemned ?

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 05/03/12 - 07:42 am
1
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How strange it is that an

How strange it is that an organization supposedly supportive of religious freedom has a name that expresses opposition to just one religion, Christianity. The word "church" pertains to the Christian religion. There's no concern expressed regarding the separation of synagogue and state, mosque and state, temple and state, etc. There's also no concern expressed about the influence of nontheistic religions such as atheism and secular humanism.

The letter-writer considers it "unfortunate when a candidate running for the highest office in our land does not appear to appreciate America’s long-standing principle to separate the two [church and state]." That's highly subjective. If our government were seriously at risk of becoming theocratic, there ought to be several candidates who actually reject religious freedom.

TParty
6003
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TParty 05/03/12 - 07:55 am
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Specsta: The bible does talk

Specsta:

The bible does talk about slavery with great detail and how to treat your slaves. The bible does speak of segregation. Of course this fact will be met with Christian apologists who say my eyes are closed, I have not studied the book enough, it's translated wrong, or it's a metaphor.

And although Jesus does speak extensively about how to treat each other, giving to the poor, be humble and do not chase the riches here on earth, I learned the other day from this board that this is all voluntary and in no way shape or form should it ever represent our government.

So I'm confused. It's a Christian nation, it's not a christian nation. We live by every word of god, or we ignore the parts we don't, or we say god changed his mind....

You're right. Just keep it all to yourself, do not cram it down anyone throat.

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
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Fundamental_Arminian 05/03/12 - 08:03 am
1
0
The bible does speak of

    The bible does speak of segregation. Of course this fact will be met with Christian apologists who say my eyes are closed, I have not studied the book enough, it's translated wrong, or it's a metaphor (Specsta).

It would be helpful if you quoted a verse or two on segregation. I'm unaware of any verses promoting racial segregation. The biblical segregation I'm aware of pertains to faith and godliness. Specifically, godly believers are not supposed to be unequally yoked with the ungodly, and believers are supposed to be sanctified (set apart from the world).

Bizkit
30707
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Bizkit 05/03/12 - 08:06 am
1
1
Church and State are

Church and State are separate. A persons religious affiliation has nothing to do with it-it's separate!!!!!!!! Different domains as Stephen Gould would say. A persons religion should have nothing to do with their political ambitions-they are separate!!!!! Politicians of any ilk are guided by their conscience but I've seen no attempt to make America as a Christian theocracy. Sure it has a long Christian history but that is separate from the government-maybe if it was christian we wouldn't have abused the American Indians, Chinese, and slavery. But we do have the right to pursue our religious freedom so our government isn't a theocracy-just the opposite as all religions are welcome.

Bizkit
30707
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Bizkit 05/03/12 - 08:16 am
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This letter is the strawman

This letter is the strawman argument. The strawman is that our government has a snow balls chance in ....... to become theocracy (further it is against the tenets of christianity unlike Islam is a religion that encourages a theocracy). The ACLU and SCOTUS will not allow it just for starters.If you fear a theocracy then logically you should worry more about a growing muslim presence because they have a history of such. So quit attacking a persons constitutional right to pursue any given religion because you sound like you hate freedom (and have mindblindness).

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 05/03/12 - 08:24 am
1
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A persons religion should

    A persons religion should have nothing to do with their political ambitions-they are separate!!!!! (Bizkit).

A Christian (follower of the Jewish Messiah) should seek to be doing God's will. That would include running for public office, if God so leads.

The claim that people's religion should have nothing to do with their political ambitions is actually a call for running the government without any influence or guidance from God.

Little Lamb
45282
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Little Lamb 05/03/12 - 08:35 am
0
1
Richard Dillenbeck wrote: But

Richard Dillenbeck wrote:

But it seems unfortunate when a candidate running for the highest office in our land does not appear to appreciate America’s long-standing principle to separate the two.

Who in the world is Dillenbeck talking about? Obama? Romney?

allhans
23536
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allhans 05/03/12 - 08:44 am
0
1
I wondered about that Little

I wondered about that Little Lamb? Which candidate is he talking about.

Bizkit
30707
Points
Bizkit 05/03/12 - 09:06 am
3
3
Well if America was a

Well if America was a Christian nation we wouldn't be assassinating American citizens without due process nor celebrate the death of villains like Hussein or bin Laden. A christian theocracy would love their enemies. Our strategy would be more like MLKjr with peaceful approaches. I really feel uncomfortable ever calling America a christian nation. :)

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/03/12 - 09:06 am
1
1
I always find in interesting

I always find in interesting that people who argue for the separation of church and state only do so in the instance of keeping the church out of government but not the other way around. One must keep in mind that the letter in which Jefferson wrote of a "wall of separation between church and state" was written to the Danbury Baptists to assuage their fears of government intrusion.
It is also useful to point out that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...." has been, in my opinion, misinterpreted to mean that you can't put a nativity scene on a public lawn even though that is in no way "making a law respecting the establishment of religion". It is however, "prohibiting the free excercise thereof". Recognizing a religious rite or a religion is not establishing that religion nor does it come close to making a law establishing a religion.

TParty
6003
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TParty 05/03/12 - 09:22 am
1
1
FA: "I'm unaware of any

FA: "I'm unaware of any verses promoting racial segregation."

I didn't say racial. I just said segregation.

jrbfromga
433
Points
jrbfromga 05/03/12 - 09:41 am
0
0
Church and state are clearly
Unpublished

Church and state are clearly separate. The First Amendment to the Constitution says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." This does not mean that the government cannot recognize religion, or require that if any religion is recognized that ALL religions must be recognized equally. It does not mean that an organization that recognizes religion (e.g. Boy Scouts) must be prohibited from the use of any public property. The statement means only that a theocratic government (think Church of England, the Inquisition in Holy Roman Empire) cannot be created by the Congress of the U.S. Congress has in no way created a state religion; however, the activist courts have prohibited the free exercise of religion by requiring the removal of religious symbols (i.e. a cross) from government property. All the while, the gravestones supplied by the VA for passed veterans may bear the Christian Cross, the Star of David, or whatever the veteran expressed; this includes memorial stones on government property (National Cemeteries).

The United States was assuredly founded in Judeo-Christian religious principles. It was also founded with religious tolerance (unlike much of the world today). We maintain this religious tolerance, but that does not mean that we must renounce the very roots of that tolerance.

So, I would say separation of church and state is alive and well; much more alive than the precepts of federalism and states rights.

Those who want to prohibit any recognition of religion in American life infringe on the free exercise thereof. I also want to state that I am an agnostic, so have no axe to grind on this issue.

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 05/03/12 - 09:56 am
4
3
Tparty, yes the bible speaks

Tparty, yes the bible speaks of separation (actually three types) and it is a good thing. There is moral separation. Christians are to be separate from sin, to avoid it, in order to mature spiritually. Then there is doctrinal separation. Sound apostolic doctrine is to be preseved by the church and we are to avoid false doctrine and those who teach it. The third separation is practical separation which was are to separate ourselves from those who refuse the teachings for Christian living, even if those who refuse are our own born again brethren. 2 Thessalonians, Paul speaks about those who walk "disorderly" and refuse to repent. There is a difference in conscious, willful, disobedience, and those who are imperfect but striving to obey, yet fall short.

Now that it's been explained why some types of segregation are discussed in the Bible, you won't look at it as a negatively. In order for God's people to strive to be like Christ, it is necessary for us to segregate ourselves from those things of the world that will hinder our progress.

As for slavery, in Biblical times, the use of servants was necessary and it is wonderful that God gave guidelines how we should treat one another. Although, sadly today, we still have slavery in parts of the world, here in the US, the treatment of slavery is only for historical reference and not for daily instruction.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/03/12 - 10:18 am
5
4
It's wonderful that god gave

It's wonderful that god gave guidelines, because slaves were necessary! God is great!! Sign me up!!

Some guidelines:

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

That dealt with segregation too. Want family values and slavery?

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

Treatment.

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

That's Old Testament you say? That even though Jesus did not come to change the word and laws of god, it no longer counts? Well, okay!

" The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

This is one of my favorite, because people use the last portion to spit upon the poor, as if they are poor or struggling because they are lazy.

And there are other parts where slavery is mentioned "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear."

So thank you god for those morals and laws. I grew up thinking slavery was bad, but you and your wisdom gave guidelines on how to treat slaves, and I have now seen the light.

Bizkit
30707
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Bizkit 05/03/12 - 10:47 am
3
1
Hey Tp that's judaism old

Hey Tp that's judaism old testament stuff. Those laws were written by a bunch of Rabbi's not God. You've heard the ole joke about the group of rabbi's arguing over some text of the Books of Moses and suddenly God intervenes to correct them and they yell for him to shut up cause he don't know what his talkin' about. Hee,hee,hee. The people requested for rulers and rules-God had already laid the law down reflecting pretty low expectations and standards for the draconian man of the day-Christ raised the bar on every count trying to evolve man the animal into man the human. It is a replicator meme of altruism-sure it gets mucked up but what don't .

TParty
6003
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TParty 05/03/12 - 10:57 am
2
2
Bizkit: I liked how you used

Bizkit: I liked how you used the word evolve when it comes to man. And I appreciate you saying the Old Testament is not the word of god, but words written by men and thus cannot be relied on, or believed, or hold any water as being real or true. I agree with that.

faithson
5134
Points
faithson 05/03/12 - 11:10 am
5
1
The religious coup of the

The religious coup of the republican party by the 'moral majority' is a case in point. I know many a good fiscal republican who despises the influence that 'christians' have wrought upon the party. The once great fiscally responsible party of Goldwater and good businessmen has been diminished by the likes of 'the newt', Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and now the Catholic Bishops of America. Religion is the realm of 'soul' saving, embroilment with the 'moneychangers' is to it's detriment.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 05/03/12 - 11:24 am
3
3
Bizkit, your are correct, you

Bizkit, your are correct, you do not understand...................."love your enemies" means do whatever it takes to help them understand, learn about GOD, and love HIM, the only GOD of this world. If it takes a war, then that's what it takes!! If I offend you, I'm sorry, but, you do not need to comment on something as important as CHRISTianity when you really do not know the true meaning of it.>> And to you TParty, the laws and commandments have not changed, but many of the statutes and judgments did, after JESUS came to this earth. When HE speaks of a slave, HE is speaking of an employee, a worker. Fear means love, appreciation, reverence. Also, when you type GOD, why do you type it in small letters as meaning an idol made of stone, wood, or some other material? I guess you do it for spite toward people like me that call themself a CHRISTian............................(By the way, I am not crazy, as you called me once. If I tell you or anyone else something, trust me, I Know what I am speaking of, and about).

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/03/12 - 11:28 am
4
2
Slave means employee. Fear is

Slave means employee.
Fear is love.
War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 05/03/12 - 11:33 am
3
4
TParty, it is sad that you

TParty, it is sad that you have a misconception of slavery in biblical times.

The Old Testament speaks of slavery often and lays out rules on how slaves were to be treated. This is not condoning slavery. The Bible also speaks of divorce and specific regulation but it clearly states that God does not approve of divorce.

Both of these were facts of life in biblical times and because there are regulations for specific behaviors does NOT mean the same as approval.

Incorrect assumptions: Slavery was involuntary servitude.

Many believe that Old Testament slavery was like the modern western slavery of the 1700's or 1800's. Western slavery primarily benefited the rich, but Israelite slavery primarily benefited the poor. Self-sale, family sale, and indentured servitude was initiated by the slave as a remedy for poverty. They agreed to work in exchange for ecnomic security and personal protection.

Incorrect assumtion: Slavery was cruel and inhumane

Old Testament forbids the cruel treatment of slaves and they were afforded the same legal protection as free citizens. Read Leviticus 25. Many slaves were treated as members of the owner's family. Read Deuteronomy 15.

Incorrect assumption: It was okay to harm a slave

If a master beat his slave and he died, the master was to be killed. If he caused some sort of permanent damage (even including knocking out a tooth), the slave was to be set free immediately.

Using a rod to discipline a slave or a rebellious son was a common form of punishment much like a belt or switch we use to use on our own children for discipline. Punishment that caused harm is the same as it is today for child abuse.

Incorrect assumption: Women were sex slaves

Women were sometimes sold into slavery as concubines but she was not held against her will and used for sex. She was a true wife and the man who bought her was her husband. Polygamy was not enforced servitude. In most cases the relationship allowed the women to escape poverty, offered security and protection, and gave them social mobility within the home of a wealthy family.

Incorrect assumption: Old Testament condones involuntary slavery

It is clear in the Old Testament that involuntary slavery was punishable by death and considered evil. Refer to Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 24:7

So to state that the Bible condones slavery, as the modern western world understands it, is entirely without truth or merit.

Cdr4500
20
Points
Cdr4500 05/03/12 - 11:37 am
5
3
First off: I'm getting a
Unpublished

First off: I'm getting a more than *bit* peeved at people constantly referring to us as a "Christian nation". We are not, nor have we ever been a "christian nation". Simply having the majority of people in this nation claim christiani­ty as their religion does not make it christian, anymore so than having a majority of whites in this country makes it a "white nation". We are a nation of many different religions, ethnicitie­s, and cultures..­.and I'd much prefer that over a nation of only ONE ideal (Christian­ity--or Islam for that matter). We are NOT a theocracy.

Ahem! Anyways....

For all of the religious folks saying since the word "separation" isn't in the first amendment there is not separation of church and state please listen to what I have to say here...

Amendment 1: 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.

Ok folks you don't get it both ways. If congress may not establish a religion then neither can they uphold any religion as a part of their laws. It does not matter if you call it Christianity, Catholicism, Hindu, Wicca, Satanism or Muslim, by the very laws of our country the religion must be removed from this debate.

And do not bother with trying to quote the "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" because that does not in any way shape or form give any religion the right to force the rest of the country to abide by their rules. You don't want to allow gays or whoever in your religion because you are too backwards to accept them, have at it, but STOP forcing your views on the rest of us.

For those that will still refuse to accept this I challenge you to go read ALL OF OUR FOUNDING DOCUMENTS. There's not a single statement that says the Bible or Christiani­ty should be used as a basis of government but there are dozens of writings that say it shouldn't. Also don't use the "Creator" bit in the Deceleration to prove your point. The idea that the Christian God is the "Creator" who endows Man with the inalienabl­e rights mentioned in the Declaratio­n of Independen­ce is ludicrous. Any theologian worth his salt will tell you that man has no "rights'' in the sight of Christiani­ty's utterly holy God. The Christian God is free to dispose of mankind as he pleases. Man has no right to either question or complain. By definition­, nothing the utterly Holy Christian God chooses to do to Man could be be considered evil or immoral (He drowned the entire human race except for one family, for [filtered word]'s sake!). The apostle Paul makes Man's lack of rights abundantly clear in his epistle to the Romans. Inalienabl­e rights, indeed! Don't make me laugh. Mankind has the right to shut up and repent or go to Hell in the world of Christianity.

For the one who said "Keep government out of the church"

The government doesn't stick it's nose in church business. If you're referring to the birth control debate than please remember this businesses chose to accept federal dollars and chose to employee people not of their faith. If they wanted a truly religious business with no government intervention they shouldn't have taken federal dollars or hired outside of their religious affiliations.

And I apologize for the double post earlier...it was an accident ;-)

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/03/12 - 12:12 pm
5
4
Slavery is slavery, I don't

Slavery is slavery, I don't care how much you try to sugar coat it. Owning people is wrong. I've read the bible- I know what it says!! I even quoted some of the writings from the book!! Losing an eye to a beating means you can be set free? Well lucky slave!!

No, I'm not doing this. I'm not to talk to someone who thinks slavery is okay during biblical times (what is biblical times anyway) , or anytime. The bible and god is wrong on slavery. It should have said "You are not allowed to own another human being, because in the future United States of America will say 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.' and I need be on record saying slavery is wrong because I am all knowing and blah blah blah."

Instead it gives guidelines how to buy people as property, how to plunder a city and take people as property, how much to pay the father after their daughter was raped and forced to marry their rapist. I could go on, but whatever. You sugarcoat and twist it how ever you want so that you can worship those kinds of things.

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