Keep church, state separate

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A July 14 guest column by Bob Garrett critical of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (“Group wants to strip away all public expressions of faith”) bears no relevance to whether the mayor of Augusta, together with a Jesuit priest, crossed the line with regard to the separation of church and state.

What we should be concerned with is whether our Constitution provides for the separation, and whether the language used was proselytizing and meant to present other views as irrelevant.

The concept of separation is present in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This provision creates the separation.

James Madison said the separation of church and state is “strongly guarded” in our Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson insisted that the American people through the First Amendment have built “a wall of separation between church and state.”

The words “religious liberty” appear nowhere in our Constitution.

Those who attack this vital principle are primarily interested in using the power of the government to force their narrow understanding of religion onto everyone else.

Robert Nazarete

Martinez

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shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 07/27/12 - 03:09 am
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great comment Myfather 15

You hit the nail on the head.

Techfan
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Techfan 07/27/12 - 04:57 am
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So, as long as it's not

So, as long as it's not called a national religion, you can codify the tenets of the religion of the majority into law. Fine and dandy, as long as it's your religion.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 07/27/12 - 07:01 am
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Just because the bases for a

Just because the basis for a law agrees with the moral and upright tenets of a religion, does not mean a national religion is trying to be established.

(Just because milk is good for you, has nutritional value, and the medical association suggest we drink it, does not mean the medical association is trying to turn everyone into a cow). Same philosophy as your's Techfan, just as stupid sounding.

Techfan
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Techfan 07/27/12 - 07:13 am
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????????

????????

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/27/12 - 07:17 am
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So we can uphold the moral

So we can uphold the moral and upright beliefs of the Jewish faith and say that life begins at birth, not conception. We can also uphold science and say the earth is a tad over a few thousand years old and not bring a particular religion's belief into the classroom. Please tell that to our legislators. They seem to be confused. Maybe they're just trying to turn it all into a cash cow.

agustinian
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agustinian 07/27/12 - 07:37 am
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Ham Sandwich

The term "ham sandwich" appears nowhere in the Constitution, either. The fact that certain terms you pick don't appear, doesn't prove a thing. The principles espouse in the Constitution is what endures.

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 07/27/12 - 07:54 am
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...no establishment does not

...no establishment does not mean prohibing the practice of religion..or prohibiting the free exercise there of....the only ones who have the narrow view are those who are pushing the exclusion of religion..afterall it was western thought influenced by the christian values that allows the free excercise of religion in our country..a state church and the excercise of religion by elected representative and at public function is not the same. that a bogus areguement..a state religion say you have to be of that church..nowhere did our forefathers advocate this ..this is what they fled....if you say religion is excluded especially christian thought from our history then you are re-writing history and ignoring the long influence that christianity had in our govt...

Jane18
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Jane18 07/27/12 - 09:02 am
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To myfather15

Now you know, myfather15, some people are NEVER going to accept anything about Christianity. If the people didn't believe and love JESUS and what HE was telling them, it's for sure people will Not today. Remember, some are protected because of that "stupor" they are in....But, as followers and lovers of GOD, we are still supposed to make a stand, and you are doing a very good job of it. By the way, one day they will know, you are correct!!

Nomaninthesky
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Nomaninthesky 07/27/12 - 09:48 am
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Thanks

Thank you Robert for this great letter. Keep up the good work! ;)

YeCats
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YeCats 07/27/12 - 09:50 am
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If one candle is brought in a

If one candle is brought in a dark room, doesn't the darkness flee?

Legality, or lack of, is not what's required/needed.

PhiloPublius
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PhiloPublius 07/27/12 - 02:07 pm
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If anything it should be "Separation Of State from Church"

Nowhere in the Constitution do you find the phrase "separation of church and state". Likewise, nowhere in the First Amendment is the idea of banning any one religious practice because others might find it offensive. The idea of the First Amendment was intended to keep government from infringing on the people's God-given right to peacefully worship as we please. People who have studied the true history of our nation will remember that during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Government of England felt that it was their job to force one religion on its people. So the Church of England had its people in a vise. (Quite literally in some cases.) So for those of you who were forced to attend a government school it is likely that you never learned the true history of America. The reason many, if not most, of the early settlers came to this country was to escape religious persecution.

Let me conclude by asking this question. Which is worse, The 16th century British government forcing everyone into one religion, or the 21st century government preventing some or all religious practices? Personally, I stand by our Constitution which clearly says that our Government should not "respect" or show favor to any one religion over another.

Sadly, this truth is rarely found in our government schools today.
This is why it was time for me to come out of retirement. So that the people would once again be informed and understand how this government of the people, by the people, and for the people should work.

~Philo Publius

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 07/27/12 - 03:45 pm
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PhiloPublius

All I can say is "Perfect". Those that know me know that I have stated many times, I will not get into a "Religious" debate. Period.

allhans
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allhans 07/27/12 - 04:10 pm
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I would think that if they

I would think that if they were so afraid of religion that they would just leave it alone. but I guess the "debil" makes them do it!

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 07/27/12 - 08:10 pm
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Has anyone else noticed that

Has anyone else noticed that those who have nothing to say throw stones?

myfather15
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myfather15 07/28/12 - 01:23 am
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Lying is the problem

Lying for purpose of agenda is what is truly seperating the people of this Country.

The truth is that I would NOT be offended if the mayor of Augusta was Jewish and wanted to have a Jewish prayer breakfast. As long as he wasn't forcing employees to attend or anyone else for that matter. I would go on with my life and wouldn't raise any fuss. Every Christian I know is the same way. I don't know of any that go crazy and talk about taking action or suing because of such things. But liberals claim that just because we won't vote for such things as gay marriage and abortion, that we are bigots, racists, homophobes. But nothing could be further from the truth. I and the Christians I know, do not hate anyone. We just stand for what we believe.

Jane18; Yes, I know what your saying about the stupor. Some are protected but some aren't. Some are methodically trying to dismantle America and any tradition we stand on. Those are the ones I'm talking to most of the time.

@F4ather time; I must agree with you sir. I guess I just assume people know that I'm not talking about the lesser involved atheists. I know people won't believe it but I have friends that are atheist and gay. One of my friends who is atheist, I have good conversations with him all the time. I witness to him often and he doesn't reject my converstation because I'm not accusing and judgemental. My gay friend has told me himself that he can't stand these gay activists. He has said exactly what you stated, that he just wants to be left alone. He doesn't push his feelings around, he is no activist. I apologize because I never intended to sterotype, my comments are towards the extreme element.

toldyaso
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toldyaso 07/28/12 - 10:01 am
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Religion

I think many times people confuse religion with faith. I am a Christian, so I will speak from a Christian point of view.
The Christian faith is not overbearing or oppressive in it's views. We are commanded first to love one another, and then to "go and tell", witnessing through our testimony. The Christian faith is unique in that it is not oppressive to other religions that depend on the works of men to succeed. The Christian faith depends on the word of God to convict the hearer, and our personal belief system of a one to one relationship with God through his son Jesus. The true Christian faith should follow the teaching of Jesus, that we should love one another, that our faith should be evident in our life style, that we live by the standards God has ordained for us. When it comes to judging others, we leave that to God.
As to our faith, in respect to our political life (voting), we should vote Christian, not Democrat or Republican. Christianity is a belief system based on hope. We are not called to "force" our beliefs on any one, only to preach the Gospel and allow Gods word to do the convicting. We are given a set of standards to live by, but do not "force" them on others. Every person has the God given right to choose, and this is unique to the Christian faith.

sconservative
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sconservative 07/31/12 - 09:16 am
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“Congress [that is the

“Congress [that is the peoples' Representatives in the House, currently 435, and Senators in the Senate, currently 100] shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Note that it says nothing about state, county and local leaders. The SC Constitution is verbatim with "Congress" replaced by "General Assembly." In the late 1940s a Catholic-hating Justice of the SCOTUS legislated "separation" into court precedent. In the first 150 years citizens understood that the 1st Amendment was a protection against a state-ordained religion.

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