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Kirock

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How about some thoughts on the Separation of Church and State? Is it in the Constitution as such? Or does the idea come from outside the Constitution? Is it a political idea being forced on the public through the judicial system, a branch of the government?

 

Let me start off with this interesting little story I came across recently, it's about a grown-up remembering how he used to say his prayers as a boy.

 

 

"He remembered. With his mother watching from the doorway, he had nightly knelt beside his bed. In his Hopalong Cassidy pajamas, he clasped his hands, closed his eyes, bowed his head, and prayed:

 

Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

Four corners to my bed, Four angels there aspread:

Two to foot and two to head,

And four to carry me when I'm dead.

 

If any danger come to me, Sweet Jesus Christ deliver me.

If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

God bless Mother and Father and everyone and everything.

God bless me. Amen.

 

The part about maybe dying before waking had worried him. So did the angelic pallbearers standing ready to haul him away. It was hard to get to sleep under these conditions.

 

After he learned the "Pledge of Allegiance" in school, he complained to his mother that he didn't like praying aloud anymore. When she agreed he could pray silently to himself, he substituted the "Pledge of Allegiance" for his prayer. It made him think of all his friends. Best of all, there was no threat of overnight extinction - nobody died in the "Pledge of Allegiance."

 

 

I just find it interesting that as a boy he said the Pledge of Allegiance as his nightly prayer - but today you aren't aloud to pray in school, or even put religious symbols on public property.

MACJR

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Interesting that you would bring up church and state when I was just skirting with that in my last post reply to NJ.

 

Unfortunately, I am not knowledgeable enough about the constitution to give an opinion or interpretation of what it says.

 

I can however, like usual, give you my opinion... which often gets me in trouble. 

 

I do not think it is a good idea for any religion to be too involved with the workings of the government but neither do I think they should ban it from being discussed in class or make people leave their religious artifacts at home. I think that is going too far.

 

How can you share knowledge and learn about other cultures if no one is allowed to talk about them? Isn't that what school is about, learning things? Religion is a part of our history and is therefore a valid history topic.

 

Also, evolution seems pretty solid to me but it is just a theory, what is wrong with comparing evolution and creationism side by side? Why is it that so many want only their views to count and to have everyone else muzzled?

 

Anyway, Kirock, I never knew that whole prayer, I also found it disturbing. 

 

 

MACJR


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nannyjo

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We learned the "Reader's Digest" version apparently...

 

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

 

If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."

 

... kind of a "conditionary prayer"  Just IN CASE I die I will be taken care of.

 

 

My sister further softened it with

 

"Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

 

Guide me safely through the night and wake me with the morning light."

 

It is a wonder kids sleep at all between that and "Rock a bye Baby"

 

 

I'll have to work on my thoughts about church and state....  I'll be back   

 


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ManInBlack

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The constitution gaurantees that there will be no state sponsored religion. From this we gain our concept of "separation of church and state".

As a guiding, dynamic document, the constitution is interpreted by the current Supreme Court as to it's application to the present day. This is why, as we choose Justices, their ability to interpret the document, rather than their personal views, is important.

The pendulem has swung pretty far when the Pledge of Alligence is described as a prayer because it contains the words "under God" and is banned from schools in an effort to avoid state sponsorship of "religion". As long as we continue to try and influence the court by nominating justices that agree with us, rather than choosing the best legal scholars, we will continue to recieve such muddy opinions.

Of course, if parents could take responsibility for education, instead of relying on the state to educate children in every aspect of their lives, this would be a fairly moot point, wouldn't it?




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Kirock

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyjo

 

We learned the "Reader's Digest" version apparently...

I grew up on the toned down version too NJ, but it was a little different than the version you gave.

 

And yes, Mac, I can see how it would be disturbing, to little kids anyway. But as adults we all have to consider our mortality and "how we face death is at least as important as how we face life."

 

Here is the First Amendment, that addresses religion:

 

"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."

 

Now I personally don't see this as creating a "separation of church and state." To me it says that the government shall not make any laws establishing a "state" religion; but doesn't it also say that the government shall not make any laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion? Isn't "thereof" a pronoun representing the noun religion? Take out this pronoun and the phrase reads, "or prohibiting the free exercise of religion."

 

Therefore, any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, whether it is on public or private property, is an unconstitutional law. Is it not?

 

As I said, the First Amendment does not, in my opinion constitute a basis for the idea of "separation of church and state." I have heard that the basis for this concept comes from some letters/writings of Thomas Jefferson, but I have not yet found them - and even if this is true, his personal opinions are not a part of the Constitution.

MACJR

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Regardless, I think it is always a bad idea to have religion in government. Yes, some people take the separation a bit too far, but I think it best we do keep religion separate from government, especially in a nation with many religions, regardless of what the constitution says or how it can be interpreted.

 

Funny thing about the written word, everyone can interpret a few lines, or even a sentence, in their own way. Although I do not disagree with your interpretation, I think if we changed our system now to merge religion and government we would be in for one bad ride as a nation.

 

If we let religion become one with the government, just which religion is going to be the rule? And, if Christianity, which branch? If we pick a specific branch of religion as an official doctrine, then do we not exclude everyone else?

 

 

MACJR


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ManInBlack

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

 

If we let religion become one with the government, just which religion is going to be the rule? And, if Christianity, which branch? If we pick a specific branch of religion as an official doctrine, then do we not exclude everyone else?

 

 

MACJR



I'm pretty sure that anyone who has seen the domestic situations in Iran, Afghanistan, or Ireland, would not desire the union of Government and Religion.

But you bring up the central issue we have with this discussion in the United States.

Eighty percent of Americans consider themselves Christians. When we think of "Religion", we think "Christianity", but we don't all agree on what Christianity is.

While we rush about trying not to insult any other religion, we pass laws prohibiting the practice and recognition of Christianity, or to downplay it's part in forming our basic moral concepts. We have holiday parties and send Xmas cards so we can avoid any mention of Christ.

The goal of tolerance has been lost in the shuffle. Inclusion has been warped to mean, "recognize all religions except Christianity". We can have "The world's largest Menorah" in front of the Constitution center in Philadelphia, but we can't have a Christmas tree at City hall, it's a holiday tree. The Druid's haven't shown up, is there some other religion that celebrates with trees? It's perfectly acceptable to wish someone a happy Kwanzaa (almost required here) even though few know the details of that forty year old American invention. Wish someone a merry Christmas and you may find yourself in a "Diversity Awareness" seminar.

If it's mentioned that a particular "Christian Value" is universal, there's always the proof that we're wrong and overbearing. You see, there's actually a tribe in New Guinea that thinks murder is a family value, so we can't insult anyone by posting the Biblical prohibition within a courthouse where someone might be prosecuted for violating the law of the land by committing murder. It might influence the jury.

When Christians decide to gather and socialize only with each other as is perfectly acceptable for other groups, they're labeled as extremists or cults.

I'm drifting off topic, but I think I've expressed my view.

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waltcesca

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I agree with with where you are leading. In fact, out here in California, on the Central coast, thee is a little city called Santa Cruz. It is a college town, very environmentally friendly (whatever), VERY liberal. Oh yeah, you cannot say a word against anyone, at all, no matter their gender, sexual orientation, race, country of origin, age, political associations, etc., UNLESS you just happen to be a White, Christian, Republican, Conservative, Man! Then, ALL bets are off. Now it is fine to accuse you of everything from the state of the world to the Holocaust to the price of gasoline to crime to unemployment to how bad their day is, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. It just doesn't pay to be a Christian in that town, even worse if you're like me, a BLACK man! Can't even tell the glares I get because I am not 'down' with what they are selling! And THEY claim to be tolerant.
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cybnetic

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Reply with quote  #9 
oh and loooksie here, another great discussion of religion and state... hmmm should I get in on this. hmmm

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waltcesca

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Reply with quote  #10 

By the way; The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making any law prohibiting the "free exercise" of our religion. How, then, can federal judges, a part of the national government, presume to tell us how, when or where we can acknowledge God?


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