What the founders were particularly interested in relative to Christianity is that no denominational sect or church system was to be established such as the RCC or Anglican Church or any such thing. What they established primarily was the freedom to practice religion anywhere, be it in school, government or private sector, uninhibited. This they did and this they practiced after the documents were established. Thus no fuss was raised about praying and Bible reading in schools or anything like that.
But, my dear Buzsaw, if a school board can tell you when to pray and who to pray to and what to pray for, then you do not have freedom of religion. Maybe they do, but you don't.
America was founded upon biblical teachings and men.
Have you ever read what the Founding Fathers had to say about the Bible?
Sheesh, have you ever read the Bible? Let me remind you of some of the more awkward passages.
1 Peter 2 13-18:
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right [...] Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Romans 13 1-6:
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. [...] Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.
Note the complete absence from both these passages of the words "apart from King George the Third, obviously he doesn't count".
The United States of America was founded in flat flagrant contradiction of principles clearly set forth in the Bible. If you think that the Bible is right, then it's time for you to repent your sinful ways and acknowledge Queen Elizabeth the Second as your rightful monarch.
But sadly, America is no longer a Christian nation. but a nation.
I love America. If you'd prefer a theocracy, move to Iran. You can help them stone homosexuals to death, you'll have fun.
Perhaps, Doc, we're getting to know one another better. You're looking more adequate to me after our freeforall exchanges.
Much though I may deride your opinions and arguments, I don't think that I've ever disliked you personally. I just think you're wrong about a whole lot of stuff.
But Doc, have you forgotten that we have a republic wherein each of us has a vote which we can cast so as to remove/install the sort of governmant representatives who will implement the wishes of the majority of us?
I haven't forgotten that. But I also remember that we are a republic with a constitution.
I'm somewhat surprised that you take the attitude that you do, because you yourself belong to a minority religious group. You're a Seventh Day Adventist, aren't you? Very well then, suppose that the people in your district voted for a law that only Sunday could be kept as the Sabbath. Wouldn't you and I then join our voices in pointing to the First Amendment and talking about freedom of religion? Would you, under those circumstances, be talking so loud about how we're a republic with "representatives who will implement the wishes of the majority".
No, in that case you'd agree with me in saying that freedom of conscience must always be defended. Except that I would always say that it must always be defended, whereas you apparently get to pick and choose.
But the Constitution does not call for minority rule. It calls for a representative republic wherein the majority chooses the representatives who determine policy.
Up to a point. But that majority is limited in what they can do by the Constitution. They cannot, for example, pass a law enabling "cruel and unusual punishment" even if they really really want to.
Under those circumstances, the majority wouldn't have their way and the minority would have theirs --- and this would not be "minority rule", it would be constitutional government.
I'm the member of no church. I regularly attend a 7th Day Baptist church.
My apologies. My point, as amended to take this information into account, still stands.
They could vote for stores, etc being closed on Sundays or no liquor etc, but they couldn't vote the right to worship away. Apples and oranges.
But the "oranges" in this case are of your own supplying. I never mentioned liquor laws or Sunday closing. I agree with you that elected bodies have the right and capacity to do these things.
But I was talking about religious freedom. What I wrote was: "If a school board can tell you when to pray and who to pray to and what to pray for, then you do not have freedom of religion."
And this is evidently true. If the majority is Catholic, they still can't make the kids say Hail Marys. If the majority is Democrat, they still can't make the kids pray for Democratic success in the next Congressional elections. And if the majority is theist, they still can't make the kids pray at all.
Under the Constitution, no individual picks and chooses policy.
However, you do get to pick and choose which policies you support. And apparently you are for religious freedom ... some of the time. When it suits you.
At the risk of derailing the topic, a couple of examples would be legislating that any abortion constitutes murder (even when it saves the life of the mother), and that stem cell research cannot use the embryos discarded by fertility labs. The objections to abortion and embryonic stem cell research are based on a religious doctrine that the individual soul of a new human being is physically present as soon as conception occurs, and should be granted all the rights and protections of a breathing human being.
But these would not be Establishment Clause cases as such --- Lemon v. Kurtzman would not apply. In general, a law may be as religiously motivated as you please: it's when it's a law about religion that the Lemon Test kicks in.
The free exercise clause forbids the government from denying the practice of religion. That applies to any place, including government facilities. Thus the practice of church in Congress sanctioned by the founders.
"By the founders"? Well, not by all of them. James Madison, who, you will recall, wrote the First Amendment, and must have had some idea what he meant by it, had this to say about it:
Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation.
The establishment of the Chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority.
Better also to disarm in the same way, the precedent of Chaplainships for the army and navy, than erect them into a political authority in matters of religion. --- James Madison, "Detached Memoranda".
However, obviously the majority of signers on to the admendment thought otherwise. Else why would they have allowed exercise within government, not considering that to be establishiing religion by law?
Er ... because they might have been idiots?
The fact is that the guy who wrote the First Amendment thought that it excluded the chaplainship to Congress. If we want to know what the Framers thought, we know what James Madison thought, and he wrote the Bill of Rights.
So enough of your equivocation about how we don't know what the Framers thought. We know for certain that the guy who wrote the First Amendment thought that Congress having a chaplain was a breach of the Constitution.
You might argue that it is in fact a good idea for Congress to have a chaplain, but let's have no more of your mealy-mouthed equivocation about how difficult it is to find out what the Framers thought. We know what James Madison thought. He thought that you were wrong. Utterly, hopelessly wrong.
Now if you want to stand up and say that the First Amendment should be interpreted, not according to the meaning that the person who wrote it ascribed to it, but rather according to some idea that you've just made up ... then it's a free country. You can say what you like. But I shall say that the First Amendment means what the person who wrote it meant it to mean.
Thanks for the clarification. As I mentioned later in the post you quoted, laws that concur with religious doctrine could be passed, given rational motivation. But as you point out (and as demonstrated by things like "blue laws" -- no commerce/liquor sales on Sundays, etc), such laws can be passed and enforced without regard to objectivity, so long as they don't explicitly invoke or assert their religious basis, so I stand corrected.
Well, that's the quickest I've ever convinced some on the internet that they were wrong.
To be precise, I convinced a liberal that theocracy is constitutional.
Damn, it's so depressing. I can speak reason to the left, and this wil sway them, but I have no idea how to speak nonsense to the right. Logic and facts will convince the left ... what convinces the right?
Let's give it a go ... hey, Buzsaw, IF YOU DON'T VOTE FOR OBAMA THEN FLYING PIGS WILL EAT YOUR CHILDREN ... how am I doing? Am I insane enough to convince you? What does it take?
The only one of those quotes even remotely relevant to the subject under discussion is the last one.
And I take it to be a fairly damning admission. He pretty much admits that people wouldn't read the Bible unless it is made compulsory.
You, and he, apparently think that this is a good reason to force children to read the Bible. I think that it's a good reason not to force children to read the Bible. If the inability of Christians to forcibly cram their dogma down the throats of children does indeed lead to the "extirpation" of Christianity, then let me know, because that's a grave I would be happy to dance on.
I agree with jar. This is just a wind-up, a "Poe". The same poster has sprinkled stupid all over many moribund threads, and no-one is as stupid as he pretends to be. Even Dawn Bertot isn't that stupid. Cold Foreign Object wasn't that stupid. No-one is that stupid. It's just a troll trying to wind us up. Look at his posting history to check. No-one can be as stupid as he is pretending to be.
Though he must be fairly stupid, because you have to be quite fucking stupid for your hobby to be pretending to be completely stupid. So yes, he is a moron. But he is not sincere.
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom by Thomas Jefferson and the Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments by James Madison also show the founders thought of religious freedom very differently from the Separation of Church and State concept used by progressives today.
Um ... except that they subscribed to and practically invented "the Separation of Church and State concept used by progressives today".
The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State. --- James Madison, letter to Robert Walsh, March, 2 1819. Letters and Other Writings of James Madison Fourth President of The United States in Four Volumes Published by the Order of Congress, J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia 1865, Volume III, pp 121-126.
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. ---Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802
Both believed, per the Declaration of Independence, that inalienable rights and freedom of religion are the result of their being given by a Creator ...
Yes, and they also believed in the separation of church and state.
Like many conservative Christians before you, your reasoning appears to contain a fundamental(ist) error. It goes something like this:
(1) Only irreligious people would want church-state separation and a secular government. (2) The Founding Fathers were not irreligious people. (3) Therefore, this is not what they wanted.