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Separation of Church and State


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#16 anasuya

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 06:22 AM

Actually, I'm not upset about the tax exempt status, mostly because you can mark any charitable deed down on your taxes as an expense and have it work in your favor, regardless of wether or not you're a church. I just thought it was ironic because of the statement "separation of Church and State".

I agree with Ecto, however, that prayer to ANY God really has no place in a learning institution, just like (and I'm SO gonna hear it for this one) the Pledge of Allegiance. Praise America on Memorial Day, Praise God in Church... neither of those things should have a place in school. If a child is religious and wants to pray, far be it from me to tell that child they can't pray... at home or at church or even outside with their friends.

At the high school I attended in Arkansas, they used to have prayer groups meet during CLASS time. These kids were actually excused from their learning exercises to discuss God and prayer. Heck, I was half tempted to pretend to be Christian just so I could skip out on class like the rest of them! It used to offend me that the Chirstian clubs in our school would gather around the flagpole every morning and hold hands and pray... okay... that action itself didn't offend... what offended was that when I spoke with one of the school officials about having a pagan celebration on school grounds, he about kicked my butt out of school.

I don't agree with prayer in schools, but if they ARE going to have it, it should include every religion practiced by those in attendance. The Christian God, for instance, does not take precedence over my own, yet... the State, schools and churches consider it quite differently because it is majority Christian.

I appreciate everyone who has responded thus far. It's good to hear the opinions of all.

Ana
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#17 Vampchick21

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 06:53 AM

Interesting topic.  

Now, remember, I am in Canada, and we have a different national developement (as in, our first European Colonists were not Puritians, rather, they were French Catholics, Engish Anglicans and Scottish Presbtaryians) and a slightly different way of viewing things.

Prayer in school.  I recall in the 9th grade (when I first began attending Public School, prior to that I was in Catholic School) that after the National Anthem, we listened to a Bible reading over the PA system and said the Lord's Prayer.  That year,(1987), it was decided by the Government of Canada that there would be no more overt religious observances in public schools.  No more Bible Reading and no more Lord's Prayer.  I don't recall any kind of controversy or backlash to be honest.  We just stopped doing it in public schools.  Of course, I'll have to go and check my facts.

I know that our current Federal Government tries to remain secular, for example, our former Prime Minister set in motion the legalization of Gay and Lesbian Marriages in Canada, despite the fact that he is a practicing Catholic and homosexuality is a sin in his faith.  (well, the ACT of homosexuality, not homosexuality itself....)

This is not to say that we are some kind of religious utopia up here.  I'm sure there's all kinds of problems that I don't know about.  I do know that we have a small Christian religious right.  But they're nowhere near as vocal or as powerful as the one in the US.  

Oh, intersting note...the Wiccian Church of Canada is a fully recognized church in Canada now, they've been around for over 25 years.  They're even listed in our Government pages!

At any rate, I believe that one's religion should have nothing to do with one's politics.  I'd rather my government be fully secular than religious.  

Did anyone hear about this?  Apparently, the US Marines, when sent over to Iraq, received a pamphlet entitled "A Christian's Duty in Time Of War".  In which they were asked to pray for PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH!  And to FILL OUT A FORM AND MAIL IT TO THE WHITE HOUSE TO SAY THAT THEY DID!  Sorry all, but if I were a soldier (I'm not, I've not got the balls to do what they do to defend their nations), my prayers, Christian or otherwise,  would be for myself, my fellow soliders, the innocent people in the region and my family back home.  Not for my duly elected leader.  Besides, isn't the Army mulit-denominational?

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#18 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 08:14 AM

You know I remember grade school and standing up, placing your hand across your heart and saying the pledge.  Back then there was a far more patriotic tone to school.  I guess with everything these days that are carried along with Globalization, patriotism in the learning place where our youngsters learn about our history, our culture in such different ways than they used to, is a viewed as a negative thing.  Nevermind the fact that the world hates us already.  I guess even our own country and it's people need to succumb to Globalization in a sterile, manner.  It's not a country you are a citizen of anymore.  Basically, what the US needs to do is surrender it's identity. We seem to be viewed not only by other countries, but by our own people, as a country that needs to be sterile in it's self image.  We need to bring down the curtain of patriotism that makes us who we are.  We seem to be resented by the rest of the world for it.  Not to mention resented by our own citizens.


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#19 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 08:16 AM

I don't think there can be a separation.  It's like trying to remove the "heart"  from the body and expect the body  to thrive.  I agree there should be more of one.  I will say that, but I don't think it's practical if not highly improbable to expect it to happen.
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#20 Yosei

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 08:41 AM

I remember standing up and placing my hand over my heart so as not to get in trouble, then remaining silent during the pledge as a quiet protest of its inclusion of the words "One nation under God".  Even then I understood this was against my beliefs.
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#21 anasuya

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 09:34 AM

Good points all. Akthra, I totally agree that it's highly unlikey the US will stop incorporating religion into political matters.

Vampchick, I didn't know about the soldiers having to pray for President Bush. One more reason I wont vote for him.

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#22 Vampchick21

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:00 AM

http://bushregime.or...ves/000018.html

It's from late Mar/early Apr 2003, so the news article doesn't show up anymore, but they have a nice scan of the pamphlet

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#23 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:07 AM

But perhaps there is a no clarity (for a good reason) as to what "God" means.  God as the Christians know it? Or could it be an all encompassing term?

Many countries (lets look that middle east shall we?) Encompass religion strait into law in government.  
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#24 Vampchick21

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:39 AM

Hence the Nigerian Stoning outrage (how does one commit adultery when one is not married?), and repercussions in Canada, the death of 5 year old Farah Khan (she was born in Pakistan, and Sharia Law applied to the region she was born in.  Her parents divorced a few months before she was born, and custody after her birth was granted to her father.  He moved her here to Canada with him and his second wife.  They beat her to death and just recently both were convicted of murder, him 1st, her 2nd. )

I personally, as I've stated, prefer my law and politics to be as secular as possible.

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#25 Gregory

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:58 AM

Why do you assume I am referring to a "Christian" God?  ???


Because the people who put it into our institutions were Christians, and therefore the religious aspects of our government are primarily Christian, and therefore they're what would be purged--if it's not to presumptious to answer a question addressed to some one else.

Not that it matters; as an atheist, I don't believe in any gods, so whether it's Christian, Hindu, or pagan, I want it out.

And in reply to an earlier post, I'd love to see how the State could incorperate religion into its activities without also sponsoring--and therefore promoting--religion.  If it can't, what phrases are in the Constitution is nothing but semantics.

Actually, it's semantics anyway, because the Supreme Court is authorized to interpret the Constitution.  The phrase "right to privacy" isn't in there either, but you might be upset if the government bugged your house?
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#26 flyingorb

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 02:28 PM

 The phrase "right to privacy" isn't in there either, but you might be upset if the government bugged your house?


Take a look at the "patriot" act.  "They" can do much more than just bug your house now.  Your house can be searched and "they" don't even need to tell you that it was done.
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#27 Gregory

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 03:28 PM

I am aware of it.  That's because Bush doesn't give a BAD_WORD about people's rights, though--he shouldn't be able to do that.  The point I was trying to make was that   "Seperation of Church and State" is helpful shorthand--the fact that those words don't appear in the Constitution doesn't mean we're not guaranteed it.
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#28 Caesar

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 03:32 PM

I think both partys don't care

#29 Alsie R.

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 04:39 PM

this is why i hate leaving my computer for a few days! i always miss the best boards!

i don't think that prayer has a place in public schools. if you go to a religious school, then prayers have a place. but in public schools with a mix of different faiths don't need to be subjected to the activity of praying to a god they don't believe in.

at my school, at the beginning of the year every year without fail, the swat group (the christian youth group in my area) gathers around the flagpole to pray for the country, our schools, and all us little heathens (we should know who we are by now) who don't pray. like ana, this doesn't offend me but it hurts that the other kids who aren't christian (myself and other people) don't get to show their faith the same way that the christians do. my friend dev is very open about her being wiccan, the same way people are open about being christians. and when people ask her why she has a pentegram drawn on the back of her hand, she tells them outright. but then they stare at her and say, "your a devil worshipper!" when she's being honest about her religion, the same way they are with theirs.

and this is my question. why do people have issues with wiccans like dev that are as honest about their faith as christians are with theirs in public?
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#30 Alsie R.

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 04:40 PM

oh btw ana, excellent topic!
A long, long time agoI can still rememberHow that music used to make me smileAnd I knew if I had my chanceThat I could make those people danceAnd maybe they'd be happy for a whileAmerican Pie, Don McLean~ carpe diem, seize the day, make your lives extraordinary.-dead poet's society i eat emo kids for breakfast. with french fried hash browns.




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