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A quote from the "Why not girls or atheists?" thread.     Tolerance. Political correctness. So many people are spending so much time trying to "tolerate" and to not "offend" anyone on the fa

441: I think I'm with you. If someone uses a phrase like "great spirit of the wind" because it has some actual spiritual context to the person or their religion then that's fine. I don't have to belie

I remember one time, when I was about 14 years old, being asked to lead a Christian religious service at at district camporee. There was absolutely no guidance and I had no help at all. Basically, I

Oh' date=' by the way, "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution, it was "inferred" later on along with thousands of other inferences that are part of that piling on to negate the original document. All these inferences were never signed into law by the signers of the US Constitution.[/quote']


What a load. True, the words "separation of church and state" are not found, but the concept clearly is.


First is the no test clause of Article VI:

...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Next there is the establishment and free exercise clauses of the first amendment (I put the clauses in bold):

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.


As for the phrase it self, you just have to look to what Thomas Jefferson wrote (you remember him? One of our founding fathers, wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom - one of the precursors to the first amendment?) in 1802 to a group of Baptists:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, 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 & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

This letter by Jefferson was sighted by the US Supreme Court in Reynolds v. United States 1879 (Wikipedia is your friend):

...may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment.


Then you have James Madison (remember him? Generally considered the "Father of the Constitution"?), we have several of his writings (from a letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819):

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.

or (from the detached memoranda, 1820):

Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov't in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.



There are a lot more. These are the people that were THERE. They helped write the thing. So no, it isn't a concept that was "inferred later" to "negate the original document". This idea that the concept is foreign to the constitution is a revisionist, right-wing fantasy (http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/rick-santorum-separation-church-and-state-communist-idea-not-american-one).

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Oh, all right.... Go ahead and discuss religious stuff in the "Issues and politics" section....

Since in the US one can be compelled to appear before a court of Law, or before the US Congress, but canNOT be compelled to give testimony against yourself, and also cannot be required to swear "on a Bible" (but give "assurance") that what you say will be true, is there any other evidence necessary that we are truly NOT under some sort of government theocracy?

I mean, "nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition (or bugger!)", but what happens if someone is held to a religious standard in a government setting?


""~~Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation (my bold): “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.†""


And when Hoover took his office, he did "affirm"....

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And when Hoover took his office' date=' he did "affirm"....[/quote']


Hoover was a Quaker, right? Is that one of the denominations that is not supposed to "swear" an "oath"? Did Richard Nixon "swear"? (Well, the White House tapes are full of him swearing, but that's the other kind of swearing.)


Coincidentially, this week I attended a meeting at which several newly elected and re-elected school board members were "sworn" into office. I heard one of them clearly say "affirm" rather than "swear." The only religious factor present is that this one particular person happens to be Jewish, while the other members taking the oath (and who "swore") are (to my knowledge) various types of Christian. I think it was just a matter of personal choice for this person; I do not think there is anything in the Jewish religion that prohibits one from "swearing" - as long as you are telling the truth! (And there was no Bible involved, so it was not an issue of being asked to swear on the "wrong" Bible.)

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What people did beyond the original Constitutional document is in self revisionism. So I guess it's the pot calling the kettle black.




Except that the ability to amend the constitution was designed into our government by the founders and the amendments are voted upon by the elected members of congress. The independent interpretation of our constitution by the right-wing (or any other group) is indeed revisionist and the authority to do so is self appointed. Huge difference. Not the pot calling the kettle black.

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