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Separation of Church and State

posted 11/15/2009 8:00:05 AM |
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  sundance64

There has been alot of talk about that phrase, and it's part in the Constitution of the United States.
Here's a mythbuster:

That phrase is not a part of our constitution!

Really...nowhere in the Constitution does it say that there is a separation of Church and State. It's merely implied by the First Amendment.

"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."

It's that very first part that I want to talk about today.

Our founding fathers worked very hard to keep this country's government totally secular, not wanting to give any impression that it was in any way endorsing any one religion or denomination over another.
Of course, as time went on, this changed. In 1956, the phrase "In God We Trust" was adopted as the national motto, although it had been used on coins since just after the civil war. Prior to this, the phrase "e plurubus unum" was the unofficial motto for this country. Anyone know what that means? No cheating!

My point here is this:
There are a great many people in this country who are not Christians. Because they live in this country, they are free to practice whatever religion or spiritual path they feel called to. And the government cannot say they can't. The government also cannot decide to do what Henry IIIV did in England, and make a "Church of the U.S." That's one of the big reasons our founders left in the first place.

However, what's happened in the last couple of decades is, the government has created new laws by taking the phrase "separation of church and state" and making it seem like anything to do with government cannot have any type of religious connotations.
Example?
Doing away with prayer in public schools.
Ok...I happen to agree that saying a prayer before school could cause problems in this day and age. However, I've seen schools take this one step further and say that kids cannot mention God at all in school. Some have gone so far as to prohibit decorations for any type of religious holiday. But they still take time off and call it "Christmas' and "Easter" break? Oh, wait...they even got rid of that and say it's winter and spring break.

Also getting rid of a monument in front of a courthouse with the 10 commandments. Now that one I sort of agreed with, but not for the reasons most people did (at least not the people who were interviewed in front of the courthouse...). Our legal system is not based on the Ten Commandments. Our judicial system is not based on the bible.

And yet, there is a prayer said at the opening of every congressional session. Also, at every state dinner. Oh, and don't forget, the Pledge of Allegiance. In 1954 the words "under God" were added by congressional act. There has been alot of attention given to those two words recently...from both sides. But again, people forget that this country was not founded on Christian principles.

So, it seems to me that our governmet wants it both ways. They want to be able to meddle in the religious and spiritual aspects of our country...insisting that we adhere to good Christian morals and values, yet continue to take the God out of "God and Country".

And the Churches can be just as bad. I stopped going to church when, during an election year at the end of a mass, I was told (not personally, it was during the announcements) that as a catholic I should vote democrat. What?? Now at the time, I hadn't been to long out of the military and was still tending to lean towards the republicans. I didn't appreciate my pastor telling me how I should vote. Plus...I've never quite understood the whole Catholic/Democrat thing....but most Catholics I've talked to tend to be Democrats...yet they are still vehemently against abortion and euthenasia, something the Democratic party has always been 'for'.

Ok, I've gotten a little off track here and I'm starting to ramble. I just bought a couple new books, and I'm thinking I need to start on them soon since I've only got three days left before I gotta go back to work...so my mind isn't really on this like it was when I started it.

I'll continue this another time...but feel free to leave a comment anyways!

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Comments:

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girlcountry

Nov 15 @ 8:08AM  
You're right....and you've given me some food for thought.
selectusername

Nov 15 @ 10:00AM  
Freedom. What can I say, our economy has gone down the crapper
due to avarice and corruption on a grand scale and the taxpayers
got stuck with the bill once again. However, we still have many
basic rights that others would give almost anything to have.
JsGirl69

Nov 15 @ 10:07AM  
I must admit I have yet to have my coffee,hauing been startled awake by the excited yell of my youngest when the "Kee Kaa"jumped into her crib to say hi.Doesnt "E Pluribus Unum" means out of ,many,1?
dmbchick420

Nov 15 @ 11:15AM  
I really enjoyed reading this...Thanks!
Itsasecret13

Nov 15 @ 2:09PM  
Excellent! Sundance64. Your statements and thoughts are directly on target with one exception and it is an important one. Only the liberal faction backed by the ACLU and other leftist leaning people are trying to keep any mention of God or religion out of anything governmental or in public. I am not saying this to stir people up, as I know it will, but just start looking a who is doing these anti faith things we see happening.

I am not a Catholic, but have friends and know people who are and I think you will find the parishioners are much more conservative now than they used to be. Like you I never understood how the Catholic Church could be so leftist and still want conservative issues, like abortion, etc. One of those things that make you go Hmmm.

Excellent blog. If people would only read the Constitution they would see many things have been distorted over the years by both parties, but in the last few decades it seems to be the province of the liberal left. Just take a honest look for yourself, folks.
lunanegra

Nov 15 @ 2:35PM  
I'm probably parroting, but I think that the reason they use religion in the US gov't is to have something to hide behind.
Looking4ever

Nov 15 @ 2:52PM  
Also getting rid of a monument in front of a courthouse with the 10 commandments. Now that one I sort of agreed with, but not for the reasons most people did (at least not the people who were interviewed in front of the courthouse...).

My reason for agreeing that it shouldn't be there (or prayer in school (though I do support a moment of quite) is that I feel that if one side has the right to display and congregate, so does the other. And I don't want to have that forced on me. Around here, a big brouhaha is made about having a nativity display on public property. I have nothing against nativity sets at all. But I agree with this...for the same reasons mentioned above. There are plenty of churches around here. Each could easily display their own nativity set. Same with people and their yards. If it is important to you, display your beliefs on your property. I just don't feel like my government dollars should support any point of view. It should be impartial.

Not sure if I am really expressing myself well here...
sugarnspice005

Nov 15 @ 5:52PM  
it was during the announcements) that as a catholic I should vote democrat.

My best friend and her family are Catholic, and, they do not always vote Democrat. In fact, both of her older sisters usually vote Republican. My friend and I tend to vote more Independent.

Good blog.
JustAnAvatar

Nov 16 @ 6:57AM  
I've never quite understood how conservatives can be for getting government out of our lives, yet they promote having prayer in government-run schools. Why would we trust government to teach their kids how to pray? Shouldn't that be left to parents?



JustAnAvatar

Nov 16 @ 7:07AM  
...I've never quite understood the whole Catholic/Democrat thing....but most Catholics I've talked to tend to be Democrats...yet they are still vehemently against abortion and euthenasia, something the Democratic party has always been 'for'

Nothing particularly difficult about this one. Abortion is one issue. The Catholic Church is adamantly opposed to it. That puts them at odds with liberals.

However, the Catholic Church also has a strong belief in the message from Galations 6:2 - "Bear ye one another's burdens" - and supports a broad social safety net. They also oppose the death penalty and the war in Iraq. All those things put them at odds with conservatives.

My only point here is that churches aren't political parties. The church is based on theological dogma, not political dogma.

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Separation of Church and State