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Source: (consider it) Thread: The (false) wall of separation between church and state
Gramps49
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There is a heresy that is perpetrated among certain secularists that in America there must be a wall of separation of church and state. That the church must be divorced from the state.

Now, all of the sudden, the Orange One is saying he wants to make our country more Christian.

My local paper recently came out claiming the Orange One wants to create a fourth branch of government by giving the church more say in the government. The editor claimed this violates the separation of church and state. I had to respond: Here is the letter I sent to the paper:

13 February 2017

Your recent editorial about the fourth branch of government makes a glaring mistake. The constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” However, it does not restrict a religious organization from making its views known concerning any political or social matter.

Religious organizations have the obligation to speak up for the marginalized. They have the right to speak truth to power. They have the responsibility to stand for the oppressed.

The civil rights laws of the 60's would not have been passed if it weren't for the black churches, synagogues and, eventually mainline denominations taking a stand against the status quo of the day. Likewise, churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious entities need to speak for the refugee, the undocumented resident, and homeless of today, to affirm the rights of all people.

That said, if a Muslim woman chooses to wear a hajib, she cannot expect her neighbors to wear one too If a Hasidic Jew wants to wear a tzitzit as an expression of his faith, he cannot expect others not of the faith to follow his dictates. Likewise, conservative Christians cannot impose blue laws on others to protect their Sabbath.

The only restriction religious entities have comes from the 1954 Johnson amendment to the Internal Revenue Code which discourages any not for profit 501(c) (3) entity from endorsing a political candidate, but that also includes service organizations, even state universities. They can, but they could lose their tax-exempt status. Few have lost it, though.

The government is fenced in from imposing its will on religious institutions, but there is really no constitutional prohibition from religious bodies addressing societal concerns through the government. Nor should there be. Rather, they need to speak up loud and clear.

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lilBuddha
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Anyone can have their say about government, the separation of church and state is no religion being part of government.

I think the false wall is that religion has very much been part of government in America, in violation of the Constitution.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Baptist Trainfan
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Aren't we really talking about the false definition of "secular". i.e. that there can be no place for public religious discourse in a secular State? This is the view which I sometimes har in Britain.

Yes, there can and should be; but there should be no place for any religious view to be allied with the powers of the State. Interestingly enough, it has often seemed strange to me that American politicians are much more free to make reference to God than British ones, even though the latter are living in a country with an Established Church.

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Gee D
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Well, the English and in a rather different sense, the Scots have establishd churches. No longer the Welsh or the Northern Irish though.

[ 14. February 2017, 06:15: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Mudfrog
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The issue, from the atheists' side is that religion is often seen as a private thing done amongst consenting adults in a specially-designed building. (How dare they indoctrinate children there too!?)

What atheists don't realise is that faith is not a hobby, a leisure interest, a political opinion or out-of-school club; it cannot be left at home or out of public view. We all realise that faith is part of who we are, it's how we live as human beings and so, regardless of whether church and state is officially separate, ne cannot separate personal faith with public attitude and action.

Atheists want to take religion out of the public arena; too late, it's already there.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Aren't we really talking about the false definition of "secular". i.e. that there can be no place for public religious discourse in a secular State? This is the view which I sometimes har in Britain.

The battle in France right now is between secularism - the view expressed above - and secularity (laïcité) which I would argue is laïcité as originally designed, i.e. ensuring a level playing field between all faiths and none, including in the public space.

The US arrangement is already puzzling to the French, what with God being in the pledge of allegiance, on the currency, and so forth.

Another difference in France is laïcité being a reaction against Catholic hegemony, and as such largely supported and devised by protestants. Protestantism has always had more of a feel for diversity, I think.

It is very hard for protestants to find common ground with catholics when addressing secularity in France; the latter see even the generous variety as much more of a threat.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The battle in France right now is between secularism - the view expressed above - and secularity (laïcité) which I would argue is laïcité as originally designed, i.e. ensuring a level playing field between all faiths and none, including in the public space.

Another difference in France is laïcité being a reaction against Catholic hegemony, and as such largely supported and devised by protestants. Protestantism has always had more of a feel for diversity, I think.

Yes, I'd agree with all that. Of course, in England since the Reformation, it's the other way round: the Catholics have been the "nonconformists".
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
The issue, from the atheists' side is that religion is often seen as a private thing done amongst consenting adults in a specially-designed building. (How dare they indoctrinate children there too!?)

What atheists don't realise is that faith is not a hobby, a leisure interest, a political opinion or out-of-school club; it cannot be left at home or out of public view.

Absolutely. What many atheists also fail (or don't want) to realise is that their own position is not a "neutral" one - it is one which actually declares"there is no such thing as God". Of course, teaching that to children as received truth could not possibly be regarded as "indoctrination" - could it?
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Gee D
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The newspapers here find it strange that a person's conscience will align them with the stance of the church to which that person may belong. This commonly surfaces in such matters as SSM and euthanasia. A newspaper writer will assume that if a conscience vote is allowed in Parliament, an MP 's conscience will not be informed by religious beliefs.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Gamaliel
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It does raise issues on both sides of the Pond.

Like Mudfrog, I firmly believe that our faith should inform our actions and our engagement in the public sphere. It's not something for Sundays.

However, I had a run in recently on a particular social media platform with some of the Christian Peoples Alliance folk who are canvassing in a nearby city in the run up to a by-election. Let the reader understand which one.

Sure, they were getting stick from atheists and others about how they shouldn't mix religion and politics and so forth - and whilst I have some sympathy with the CPA stance, what set my alarm-bells ringing was the way they seemed to be combining an almost JW-style door-knocking/canvassing approach with evangelism.

Of course, we shouldn't separate our beliefs from our politics - but when they were po-facedly asking someone who - they claimed - was a Satanist (it was obvious to me he was winding them up) whether he was concerned about Hell - it rather put me off ...

The way they were glibly trotting out proof texts from the Quran to demonstrate that Muslims are duty-bound to murder us all - if they are to be true to their core text - and the rather cack-handed way they were dealing with objections put me off completely.

I've read their manifesto and it seems to me that the only way they could make it work would be if this country were to return to some kind of theocratic government - which ain't going to happen any time soon.

Our local Conservative MP is an evangelical Christian and comes in for some stick for wearing her faith on her sleeve. I don't have a problem with that and she's a very good constituency MP - although her politics are very different from mine.

I would far rather Christians of whatever stripe become engaged with mainstream political parties rather than hive off into parties like the CPA which blithely assume that they are speaking for the rest of us - they aren't.

I'm also very, very wary of Trump's claims that he can shift the USA back to 'Christian values' and so on - because this allies Christianity with a particular populist, right-wing stand-point - and that is something to eschew as firmly as possible.

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Mudfrog
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And yet Mr Trump had at his Inauguration , among others, a Jewish Rabbi, an Evangelical CEO of a Christian Charity and a Catholic Priest.

Pretty broad as far as faith is concerned.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
And yet Mr Trump had at his Inauguration , among others, a Jewish Rabbi, an Evangelical CEO of a Christian Charity and a Catholic Priest.

Pretty broad as far as faith is concerned.

I didn't notice any imams.

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Jerusalem is a city without walls

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SvitlanaV2
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It's been said by some that having an established church actually protects the state against religious intrusion. For example, the CofE and the Church of Denmark receive official recognition and in return provide a bulwark against smaller, more extreme churches which have very little political impact, despite whatever fuss they may make at the local level.

The American situation is obviously different. The concern is not that churches are getting involved in party politics, but the kinds of churches. Usually very conservative ones.

For this reason, I don't think the mainline churches should shrink back from Trump in righteous horror. If he's going to curry favour in religious quarters then surely the mainline groups need to be there, adding a bit of balance and seeking to have an influence of their own.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I don't think the mainline churches should shrink back from Trump in righteous horror. If he's going to curry favour in religious quarters then surely the mainline groups need to be there, adding a bit of balance and seeking to have an influence of their own.

No way.

Trump has no discernible interest in matters of faith at all except insofar as they serve his own personal agenda. He doesn't appear to put up with being surrounded by anything other than yes men. Having religious leaders around him is a cloak of legitimacy to try and discredit opposition from religious leaders worth their salt, that's all.

I would go with arms-length recognition of the office of President and no further. Certainly not accepting an invitation to pray at his inauguration or even be on the platform at all.

(And somebody please explain to me why they swear on the Bible and have a Christian prayer at all. Over here in France we look on these shenanigans with a mixture of [Eek!] , [Paranoid] , and [Help] )*

==

*On not a few occasions I have accompanied French politicians around the States of Jersey parliament building. It's worth it for the look on their faces when they learn each session is opened with the Lord's Prayer, in French.

[ 14. February 2017, 11:25: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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SvitlanaV2
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Well, if you want to leave the political influence to conservative evangelicals then I suppose you have to take what comes with that.

(We all know, of course, that Trump is not a religious man. But that doesn't seem to matter in the USA; the president just has to make the right noises. Maybe Trump's supporters are hoping that if he surrounds himself with pastors he'll eventually be converted.)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Well, if you want to leave the political influence to conservative evangelicals then I suppose you have to take what comes with that.

What, you mean you think Trump will just welcome the first socially liberal Christian delegation to approach him with open arms?
[Roll Eyes]

He's selected them (the con-evos), not the other way around, in the hope of securing their constituency's vote on the basis of DH issues.

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SvitlanaV2
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Eutychus

Wasn't there a mainline cathedral choir that sang at his inauguration? People were aghast at that, but I wondered why he'd invited them in the first place if he only loves evangelicals. There are loads of great evangelical church choirs he could have picked instead.

What the mainline churches offer is tradition and prestige. That's something that Trump probably appreciates, in his own way.

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Eutychus
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Do you think the choir did much in the way of influencing how he thought in a positive manner?

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SvitlanaV2
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Maybe not, but at the very least they could have asked if their minister or other church leaders could have a short private meeting with Trump. Did that happen?

My impression was that their only concern was over appearing to 'support' Trump's awfulness, or give him some kind of legitimacy. I.e., PR concerns. But I could have the wrong end of the stick.

Basically, I feel that speaking truth to power has to be about more than shouting angrily from a distance. It's only a feeling, though. People will do as they think best.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
He's selected them (the con-evos), not the other way around, in the hope of securing their constituency's vote on the basis of DH issues.

Actually Reagan selected them, and Fox News and the conservative radio talk show circus have been watering and weeding and pruning them ever since, just to hand to someone like Trump.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
And yet Mr Trump had at his Inauguration , among others, a Jewish Rabbi, an Evangelical CEO of a Christian Charity and a Catholic Priest.

Pretty broad as far as faith is concerned.

He was very careful which Rabbi and Catholic Priest participated.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Maybe not, but at the very least they could have asked if their minister or other church leaders could have a short private meeting with Trump.

[Killing me]

They were hired as entertainment service providers. The idea of assuming it might somehow get their head honcho an audience with Trump is almost... evangelical in its naivety.

quote:
Basically, I feel that speaking truth to power has to be about more than shouting angrily from a distance.
Of course it does. I've done some myself. I'm obviously not going to go into details here, but I can assure you it hasn't happened through the kind of arrangement you are imagining. The knack is in having access without compromise.

[ 14. February 2017, 12:48: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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SvitlanaV2
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You mentioned compromise, not me. I'm not sure who was compromising what at the inauguration ceremony. One could argue that Trump compromised by inviting a group of rather antagonistic people to sing for him; and they were compromised by showing their faces at his horrible event. Who won? After all, Trump haters still gonna hate!

It'll be interesting to see what notice Trump takes of mainline churches and their disapproval. He may well find it in his interest to oblige them in some way.

As for you, I can see that you're used to telling important people off in your own non-compromising way, so what I say is neither here nor there. Keep on keeping on!

[ 14. February 2017, 13:03: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
The issue, from the atheists' side is that religion is often seen as a private thing done amongst consenting adults in a specially-designed building. (How dare they indoctrinate children there too!?)

What atheists don't realise is that faith is not a hobby, a leisure interest, a political opinion or out-of-school club; it cannot be left at home or out of public view.

Absolutely. What many atheists also fail (or don't want) to realise is that their own position is not a "neutral" one - it is one which actually declares"there is no such thing as God". Of course, teaching that to children as received truth could not possibly be regarded as "indoctrination" - could it?
Oh Jesus, can you give it a rest? Everything you teach your children beyond basics is indoctrination. Religious or secular.
Those in favor of disestablishment are not only atheists. There are theists involved even, gasp! Christians!
I'm small words: disestablishment does not mean that politicians cannot have a religion. It is meant that one person's religion does not infringe upon the rights of those with another or none.
Marriage equality is a good example of this.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Oh Jesus, can you give it a rest? Everything you teach your children beyond basics is indoctrination. Religious or secular.

You might acknowledge that, but a hardline secularist in France never would. It's practically treasonable to suggest as much in their eyes.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
It's been said by some that having an established church actually protects the state against religious intrusion. For example, the CofE and the Church of Denmark receive official recognition and in return provide a bulwark against smaller, more extreme churches which have very little political impact, despite whatever fuss they may make at the local level.

You do realise that the CofE was extreme by today's standards when it became established? The founding Americans enshrined a seperation precisely because of how easily religion can become tyranny. The problem in America is though Christianity isn't technically official, it is part of the warp and weft of that country. The founding fathers failed. Or rather, the people have failed them.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I'm not sure who was compromising what at the inauguration ceremony. One could argue that Trump compromised by inviting a group of rather antagonistic people to sing for him; and they were compromised by showing their faces at his horrible event. Who won? After all, Trump haters still gonna hate!

Nonsense. Trump is the one in the position of power. It's the people doing his bidding who will look compromised, not the other way around.

I see no opportunity whatsoever for an inauguration choir to speak truth to power in any meaningful way. Compare it with the Hamilton protest in which the cast were in a position to speak out to Pence who was captive in the audience.

quote:
It'll be interesting to see what notice Trump takes of mainline churches and their disapproval. He may well find it in his interest to oblige them in some way.
Exactly. Like just about every politician, he will take no notice of them at all except inasmuch as it serves his agenda. That is not the same as influencing him. Many naive religious attempts to speak truth to power fall at that first hurdle.

quote:
As for you, I can see that you're used to telling important people off in your own non-compromising way, so what I say is neither here nor there. Keep on keeping on!
I'm not going to be goaded into giving examples or into claming any particular effectiveness, I'm simply asserting that I am not speaking from a position of no experience whatsoever here. I have no idea whether you are.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Oh Jesus, can you give it a rest? Everything you teach your children beyond basics is indoctrination. Religious or secular.

You might acknowledge that, but a hardline secularist in France never would. It's practically treasonable to suggest as much in their eyes.
With kinda good reason, given history. Yes, reality is more nuanced, but people kinda aren't.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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SvitlanaV2
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Eutychus

I wasn't goading you. It's already clear that you have such experience. It comes through in what you've said here and other threads. You post in a very assertive way.

I agree that Trump is a 'politician'. I don't have particularly high expectations of him, regardless of whichever flavour of Christian is trying to have his ear.

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lilBuddha
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Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Exactly. Like just about every politician, he will take no notice of them at all except inasmuch as it serves his agenda.
Trump's agenda is aggrandisement. He serves this alone. He is capable of adopting whatever facilitates this and this is dangerous.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
With kinda good reason, given history. Yes, reality is more nuanced, but people kinda aren't.

The problem of militant secularists is being convinced they haven't got a doctrine whilst simultaneously upholding one.

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Forthview
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Scotland does not have an Established Church.
It does, however, have a religious body which claims to be the National Church. The state ,as such, has no control over the National Church of Scotland. The state does not appoint any of the clergy.

At the Annual General Assembly of the National Church of Scotland the Sovereign is present in person, or more commonly in the person of her representative , the Lord High commissioner. Neither the sovereign nor the Lord High Commissioner have any right to speak, although it is generally considered good form that they are allowed to say a few words.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
With kinda good reason, given history. Yes, reality is more nuanced, but people kinda aren't.

The problem of militant secularists is being convinced they haven't got a doctrine whilst simultaneously upholding one.
Ok, I don't know the French secularist movement. But what doctrine? Any foundational belief is a doctrine, so merely believing religion should be separate qualifies. Same argument with atheism being a belief. It is one that is technically correct, but functionally irrelevant.
And, so what? That there may exist extremist views in a philosophy doesn't inherently negate that philosophy.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
You do realise that the CofE was extreme by today's standards when it became established?

Obviously. I'm talking about the current context, in which state churches have to cooperate with pluralistic and/or post-Christian governments.

I wasn't suggesting that the USA should somehow create a state church now. And if it did, it wouldn't be the TEC or any other mild institution, because those are now relatively minor groups in terms of numbers.

People who approve of the CofE's status in England wouldn't be very happy if some conservative evangelical denomination sought similar official recognition in the USA. Non-members are unhappy enough thanks to the unofficial influence of such conservative groups.

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Brenda Clough
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We need to keep in mind the historical background of the separation. It is mandated in the Constitution because the Founding Fathers had before them the relatively recent example of European history. Sectarian violence based on religion (the Hundred Years' War, etc.) had been a sanguinary running sore for a thousand years.

The US was founded, in great part, by sects (Puritans, Quakers, Catholics) who were oppressed in Europe because of their religion. We are not talking tax breaks here, we are talking execution. Many of these groups were looking happily forward to continue feuding with people of different beliefs here. (The Puritans had to toss some dissenters out of Massachusetts; luckily there was room for them to start their own polity in Rhode Island.)

The writers of the Constitution had no difficulty discerning that favoring one religion over another was a can of highly destructive worms that did not need to be opened. So they carefully dealt the government out of it. Believe whatever you want; the government is not involved.

The implementation has inevitably been wobbly. The swearing-in on the Bible is of course the choice of the swearer (they also swear in for Congress, and you can use a Koran or a Talmud or a book of Mormon, whatever you want, nobody cares) and irrelevant. More important is the tax breaks that are given to 'religions', which are often abused. You can google on it, websites showing you how to start your own cult and then file for tax exemptions.

It is also important to recall that Americans have a nasty history of denouncing a series of religions as dangerous. Catholics, Mormons, Jews -- everybody has had their turn in the barrel. There was a period of time when none of those persons could, for instance, go to Harvard. (Boston College was essentially founded by Jews who couldn't get into Harvard.)

So this is the season that Muslims are denigrated. Deplorable, but not permanent; we are a melting pot. I am willing to predict that in fifty years we will look at Muslims the way we now look at Jews -- a distinct subset of the culture but entirely assimilated; all their more charming traits (bagels and lox would be an example -- I went to a famous Jewish deli in the Lower East Side of Manhattan this year, and the number of Asian diners would make you blink) adored by all, seats in Congress and the courts, etc. We will have some new religion to dislike.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
However, it does not restrict a religious organization from making its views known concerning any political or social matter.

<snip>

The government is fenced in from imposing its will on religious institutions, but there is really no constitutional prohibition from religious bodies addressing societal concerns through the government. Nor should there be. Rather, they need to speak up loud and clear.

There's a thin line between "addressing societal concerns through the government" and "using the levers of government power to advance a religious agenda". Take, for example, an entirely non-hypothetical Baptist pastor who "addresses" the "societal concern" about false religions by lobbying government against permitting the building of a mosque. Or if you cast your mind back to 2010 a much larger similar action against the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque". That would seem to fall within your proposition that this is a perfectly legitimate "addressing societal concerns through the government". It's also requesting that the government restrict the free exercise of religion. The main purpose of the "wall of separation" is not just to protect religion from government interference but also to protect government from becoming the agent of a specific religious agenda.

[ 14. February 2017, 14:06: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
You do realise that the CofE was extreme by today's standards when it became established?

Obviously. I'm talking about the current context, in which state churches have to cooperate with pluralistic and/or post-Christian governments.
The problem with a religion being established is that it can easily be used as a tool of oppression. The CofE is currently mild, I'd generally agree. However, the equal marriage issue shows this doesn't mean harmless.

[ 14. February 2017, 14:09: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Ok, I don't know the French secularist movement. But what doctrine? Any foundational belief is a doctrine, so merely believing religion should be separate qualifies. Same argument with atheism being a belief. It is one that is technically correct, but functionally irrelevant.
And, so what? That there may exist extremist views in a philosophy doesn't inherently negate that philosophy.

In the early days of the French Revolution there was actually quasi-religious worship of the goddess Reason, although it never got taken all that seriously it seems.

The kind of secularism I object to is one that combats religion as a hive of authoritarian groupthink with what I can only describe as authoritarian groupthink. It's totalitarian (it is also completely clueless about how to combat radicalisation since these people simply can't allow themselves to think in terms of any religious belief at all. It's completely alien to them).

The kind of secularity I like is one in which the state is non-religious but recognises the freedom of all religious expression alongside the freedom not to believe, up to and including in the public space.

The difference, if you like, is between having a set of rules and promoting an ideology, a (non-)belief system.

I think there are plenty of laws that can be used to keep religious beliefs that are or become dangerous in check without having to invent things like headscarf bans.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Siegfried
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
And yet Mr Trump had at his Inauguration , among others, a Jewish Rabbi, an Evangelical CEO of a Christian Charity and a Catholic Priest.

Pretty broad as far as faith is concerned.

I didn't notice any imams.
Or Hindus. Or Buddhists.

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Siegfried
Life is just a bowl of cherries!

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Jane R
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Brenda:
quote:
Sectarian violence based on religion (the Hundred Years' War, etc.)
<pedant's hat on> I think you mean the [url= https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years'_War]Thirty Years War.[/url] The Hundred Years' War (between England and France) was a couple of centuries earlier and was not a religious dispute. <pedant's hat off>

[ 14. February 2017, 15:37: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
And yet Mr Trump had at his Inauguration , among others, a Jewish Rabbi, an Evangelical CEO of a Christian Charity and a Catholic Priest.

Pretty broad as far as faith is concerned.

I didn't notice any imams.
Or Hindus. Or Buddhists.
So that'll be Judeo-Christian foundations covered then.

[ 14. February 2017, 15:46: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Siegfried
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And that's the crux of the issue. Promoting one religion (or connected religions) over others.

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Siegfried
Life is just a bowl of cherries!

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Gamaliel
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Ok, but what about the Native American animist religions that held sway across what became the USA after a process of colonialisation and a struggle for independence?

Not to mention various deals and treaties between the independent States and the French and Spanish - as well as some land-grabs from neighbouring states - as in the case of Texas.

[Biased] [Razz]

Plus attempted invasions of Canada too, of course - although that seems to have happened both ways and sometimes by proxy as the British bribed Native American tribes to attack the newly independent States ...

Of course, one could say that it's all very well and good the UK trumpeting its Christian credentials as part of its DNA ... what about the Druidic religions and the Romano-British religions and whatever belief-system was practised by the Beaker Folk and even earlier settlers of these islands ...

I don't have a big problem with anyone championing the Judeo-Christian tradition, of course - but I do object to it being hijacked by opportunist politicians or by far-right groups of one form or other.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gramps49
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No, there were not any imams or bhikkhus or pujaris at the inauguration, as far as I could tell, but they were present at the National Prayer service which was held at the national cathedral the next day. It was interesting that during both the procession and recession, though, the lead imam refused to recognize Trump.

Concerning atheists. I do not mean to imply that atheists are immoral people. The letter was addressing the false separation of church from state.

Often times, I would grant that the state has used religion to justify their actions. The Nazis, for instance, tried to get the church's blessing for their war crimes.

Yes, the French secularism creates a bit of problem for their country, I think. However, I note some French courts are beginning to break through that wall. There has to be a balance between religious freedom and secularism. Not sure where that balance really lays.

Dealing with the One nation under God, and the In God we trust phrases. They were not included in American law until 1954. It was thought no self-respecting communist would ever say those phrases in America. The ninth circuit of appeals--the same circuit that has declared Trump's immigration executive order--has said those phrases are unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court has refused to address the issue. This means that all public entities within the jurisdiction of the 9th circuit should not use the phrase "under God" in the pledge. Most still do, though.

[ 14. February 2017, 16:26: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Often times, I would grant that the state has used religion to justify their actions. The Nazis, for instance, tried to get the church's blessing for their war crimes.

That's a very anodyne way of explaining away centuries worth of anti-Semitism in the German church. Wouldn't it be just as accurate to say that the Third Reich was a means of "addressing societal concerns" identified by (among others) Martin Luther "through the government". In other words, pretty much the system you advocate (though hopefully not that specific outcome).

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Brenda Clough
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I am comforted by the fact that the Nazis more or less polluted that well pretty thoroughly (that and eugenics). When Crooked Donald began turning away Muslims at the airports here, the air was thick with flying verses from Matthew 25, and the memes on Facebook were unending, the images of Christ with the words REFUGEE and ILLEGAL ALIEN pasted on.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
And that's the crux of the issue. Promoting one religion (or connected religions) over others.

Well I guess a nation that proclaims 'One Nation Under God' is always going to offend atheists and Buddhists.
They should just get over it; it doesn't actually take anything away from them.

And that is precisely the question I want to ask:
What does the mention of God in the public and civic realm actually remove from the atheist? What d they suffer when the name of God or a god is invoked?

And, if, for example, the Inauguration became an entirely secular-themed event, what would the atheists actually gain that at present they are deprived of? (other than having to hear the name 'Jesus' spoken in their intolerant ears?)

[ 14. February 2017, 19:56: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Eutychus

Wasn't there a mainline cathedral choir that sang at his inauguration? People were aghast at that, but I wondered why he'd invited them in the first place if he only loves evangelicals. There are loads of great evangelical church choirs he could have picked instead.

What the mainline churches offer is tradition and prestige. That's something that Trump probably appreciates, in his own way.

Well, yes the choir from the National Cathedral of The Episcopal Church did sing, if you call that a mainline cathedral choir. That choir is very good and has sung at almost evry inauguration for getting on for century now. The invitation followed tradition.

The world's a more complex place than your post suggests, not black and white.

[ 14. February 2017, 20:06: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Eutychus

Wasn't there a mainline cathedral choir that sang at his inauguration? People were aghast at that, but I wondered why he'd invited them in the first place if he only loves evangelicals. There are loads of great evangelical church choirs he could have picked instead.

What the mainline churches offer is tradition and prestige. That's something that Trump probably appreciates, in his own way.

Well, yes the choir from the National Cathedral of The Episcopal Church did sing, if you call that a mainline cathedral choir. That choir is very good and has sung at almost evry inauguration for getting on for century now. The invitation followed tradition.

The world's a more complex place than your post suggests, not black and white.

I thought it was The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and a University Choir at the Inauguration.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Gee D
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I stand corrected - of course I had read the discussion on the Ship beforehand, but had not picked up that the National Cathedral Choir had withdrawn.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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