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How far should the US take separation of Church and State?

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This is been getting a lot of news recently thanks to Michael Newdow, who used his daughter to sue over the pledge of allegiance (which includes the words "one nation, under God".

 

Now he's filing a lawsuit to keep the clergy out of the presidential inauguration. Is he taking it to far?

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he is using our litigious society in attempt to get rich. if i ever meet him, i will knock that lazy bastard on his ass.

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This is been getting a lot of news recently thanks to Michael Newdow' date=' who used his daughter to sue over the pledge of allegiance (which includes the words "one nation, under God".

 

Now he's filing a lawsuit to keep the clergy out of the presidential inauguration. Is he taking it to far?[/quote']

 

Seperation of church and state, IMO simply means the state cannot dictate a specific religion. It doesn't mean no references to god can be made.

 

It demeans religion to discuss politics IMO, but then I am not religious.

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Now he's filing a lawsuit to keep the clergy out of the presidential inauguration. Is he taking it to far?

 

Unless the state is actually forcing the president to use a clergyman, there's no conflict. The phrase often heard at the end, "so help me God," isn't in the Constitution. It's added, as desired, by the individual.

 

The first amendment isn't there to keep religion or religious people out of government. It's to keep the government from forcing religion upon the people. There are plenty of places this is happening (creationism and so-called "intelligent design" teaching in a few schools, for example) that a lawsuit of this nature is just silly.

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he is using our litigious society in attempt to get rich. if i ever meet him, i will knock that lazy bastard on his ass.

 

Newdow is not seeking monetary damages.

 

---------------

 

As far as the pledge goes, I think Newdow had a reasonable case there. The Constitution says Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion. The phrase "under God" was inserted into the pledge by an Act of Congress signed into law by Eisenhower in 1954 after a religious red scare campaign to differentiate our great nation from the "godless" Soviets. This is clearly a violation of the Constitution if I ever saw one. I suspect the SCOTUS would have to agree if they hadn't thrown his case out on a technicality. Even Scalia, arguably the most religious justice, is a strict Constitutional textualist; he'd have an incredibly hard time upholding "under God" and I suspect this is the reason for his self-imposed recusal from the case (mixed loyalties to his religion and to his Constitution).

 

Newdow probably has less of a case with regard to removing chaplains from a presidential inauguration. Especially if said chaplains are paid for by private contributions and not tax dollars.

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It says "Seperation of Church and State." It's up to the courts how to inteprete that.

 

Right now those 5 words are allowing religious institutions to be tax-free.

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It says "Seperation of Church and State." It's up to the courts how to inteprete that.

 

Right now those 5 words are allowing religious institutions to be tax-free.

The phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution. The Constitution says Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, nor to impede the free exercise thereof. Thomas Jefferson was asked by a church what precisely this meant, and in a letter, he described it as government being neutral with regard to religion and that there is a "wall of separation between church and state."

 

The popularity of the phrase "separation of church and state" is due to the fact that the SCOTUS has used it in several rulings dealing with the first amendment's stance on religion.

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I don't really mind references to God in traditional phrases and things, even though I'm not religious, but it does bother me when policies reflect certain religious beliefs (such as stem cell research issues).

 

I don't think that the beliefs of one group should have the power to regulate the choices of people who don't necessarily share those idealogies. If one religion thinks life begins at conception and public policies reflect that, it stops other people from potentially life-saving procedures...just the concept of governing those things with religious-based beliefs bothers me. What if the government was Jewish and policies forbade pork and required circumcision? (no it's not a good comparision to stem cells but it's early and it's all I could come up with, bear with me, lol, and I have NOTHING against Jews, again, it's just the first example that popped into my head). Anyway, just my two cents...

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"Constitution shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion" - very simply put, they can't respect it. NO SPECIAL LAWS! NO SPECIAL LAWS! The second half is also easy to understand - "nor to impede the free exercise thereof" - don't stop a person from practising his/her religion.

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This is been getting a lot of news recently thanks to Michael Newdow' date=' who used his daughter to sue over the pledge of allegiance (which includes the words "one nation, under God".

 

Now he's filing a lawsuit to keep the clergy out of the presidential inauguration. Is he taking it to far?[/quote']

 

I saw Newdow on Fox - Hannity. Hannity and a senator were calling him silly, etc., then when he started winning and making sense, they said he was very intelligent, just wasting time.

 

He does have a point. Using Jesus during the inauguration and asking everyone who accepts him to say amen is going too far. But, this guy sounds just like the religious far right. He is too thin-skinned, everything bothers him, or so he says.

 

Still, it is fun watching him make a fool of the right wing talk idiots, even though they gang on him and won't let him finish a thought.

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Guest Drag_Ice

Hi ya I'm here with an interesting though on the subject ((because starting up the same thread would be dumb)). So if the separation of church and state is that basically the government can't favor one religion over the others then why is it that we have laws centering around Sunday, Christianity’s holy day; Such as, you can't get beer and you can't use school grounds for activates on a Sunday? What if my religion's holy day was Tuesday couldn’t I say the same things?

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Hannity usually dominates Newdow.

How so? By frequently interrupting him to bring up irrelevant material? I saw the segment with Newdow last week and it was the second time I've seen him on the show. Every time he's on the show, he tries to discuss constitutionality which is at the heart of his case, but Hannity keeps interrupting him with red herrings such as what's in the Declaration of Independence (irrelevant) and mentioning that our nations' founders were mostly Christian (also irrelevant).

 

I'm hearing that the inaugural chaplains are paid for by private money. If this is the case, then I disagree with Newdow on this case. All Hannity had to do really was say this on his show, that activities funded by private money do not violate the First Amendment. Instead, he kept bringing up the nonsense I mentioned above.

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Hi ya I'm here with an interesting though on the subject ((because starting up the same thread would be dumb)). So if the separation of church and state is that basically the government can't favor one religion over the others then why is it that we have laws centering around Sunday, Christianity’s holy day; Such as, you can't get beer and you can't use school grounds for activates on a Sunday? What if my religion's holy day was Tuesday couldn’t I say the same things?

 

A lot of those laws were passed a long time ago (presumably by Christians), and nobody dared oppose them at the time. They probably wouldn't stand up to constitutional scrutiny today, but you have to actually bring legal action to strike the laws down. Then the religious right would whine about how the courts are "anti-Christian." Things have been skewed in their favor for so long that a level playing field feels tilted.

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Originally posted by Blike

Is he taking it to far?

Yes. There is no reason to remove 'under God'. People like him try to say that that is against his religious freedom, but it's not. No one is being forced to say it. Anyone can just skip that part, it's not that hard. It's easy, see: ...One nation, with liberty...

Trying to take 'under God' out of the pledge does not promote religious freedom, it seems like it opposes it. Church should be separate from state, but this is taking it to far.

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Yes. There is no reason to remive 'under God'. People like him try to say that that is against his religious freedom' date=' but it's not. No one is being forced to say it. Anyone can just skip that part, it's not that hard. It's easy, see: ...One nation, with liberty...

Trying to take 'under God' out of the pledge does not promote religious freedom, it seems like it opposes it. Church should be separate from state, but this is taking it to far.[/quote']

 

I'd be a little more inclined to agree with that if we were discussing adults reciting the pledge, but we aren't. Children generally don't have the maturity to make the decision to not conform. They tend to more motivated by peer pressure and the desire for approval, and to not get onto trouble. They also tend to distort how much trouble they might get in if they break the rules.

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it isn't a rule to say the pledge. most schools don't even do it anymore.

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Originally posted by Swansont

Children generally don't have the maturity to make the decision to not conform.

 

I disagree with that. Most kids do have the maturity to make their own decisions. It's only the minority that are the way you picture them. I'm in a position to know. For the ones that can't make their own decisions, the parents should help them until they can.

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I disagree with that. Most kids do[/b'] have the maturity to make their own decisions. It's only the minority that are the way you picture them. I'm in a position to know. For the ones that can't make their own decisions, the parents should help them until they can.

 

Even if you're correct, it's irrelevant. The rights in the Constitution are there to protect all, not most. It's there for the ones who can't. Parents should help them, but not all will.

 

If kids could make these types of decisions we would never have a case of child sex abuse go undiscovered.

 

And "I'm in a position to know" is incredibly condescending.

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Most kids do[/b'] have the maturity to make their own decisions.

Sorry, you can't be mature and a child. Those two words are opposites. Maturity is the state of being fully developed, childhood is the precursor to that.

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