INFORMATIVE ANALOGY OF FIRST AMENDMENT

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by Marlin, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    Just what does our Constitution REALY SAY about the ESTABLISHMENT of a religion. It's NOT what everyone is trying to say these days in order to utterly DESTROY the fundamental bases as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. They INTENDED the Judeo-Christian ethic to apply to ALL WE DO!

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    An Exegetical Look at the Establishment Clause​

    Monty Rainey​

    Sometimes in the course of human events and an egregious society, it becomes necessary to muddle through the confusion and reveal the basic premise of an object. Such is the case with the First Amendment of the U. S. Bill of Rights, and more specifically, the establishment clause. The First Amendment has fallen under a barrage of hyperbole surrounding what it means and what it doesn’t mean. So-called experts in the field of interpretation have managed, over the years, to drape a veil of confusion and distortion over the First Amendment. This confusion and distortion can easily be corrected by simply recalling our basic elementary language structure and giving an exegetical analysis of the First Amendment, and more specifically, the portion that has become known as the establishment clause.

    I don’t want to come off as being condescending, as that is not my intention here. My intention is simply to impart common sense basics of the English language to an issue that has been run amok by those who would have the First Amendment make prohibitions it simply does not make. To begin this analysis, I believe it is essential to first examine the verbiage in the context in which it was written. That is to say, words mean things and sometimes, over the course of time, those meanings change. An example of this would be the word “gay”. A few decades ago, if someone said a man was gay, it meant he was a happy go lucky character. A young reader today would give the sentence a much different meaning. Therefore, it becomes necessary to examine the words of the First Amendment in the context of the time in which they were used. For that, I will use my 1844 Webster’s, Walker pronunciation dictionary as it is the nearest I have of the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights.

    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.

    Our study begins with the word Congress, which is used here as a proper noun and is the subject of the sentence. My dictionary gives eight definitions for congress, but certainly the applicable one here is this; the legislature of the United States, comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives or Assembly. James Madison gave a corresponding definition in his notes from the Constitutional convention where he stated, “The Supreme Legislative power of the United States of America to be vested in two different bodies of men; the one to be called the Assembly, and the other the Senate, who together shall form the Legislature of the United States with power to pass all laws whatsoever subject to the Negative hereafter mentioned.”

    This is further established by the Constitution itself, in Article I, Section I, which states, All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    Therefore, it is worth noting here that the subject is the Congress, not the Executive or Judicial branches of government, as the Congress has the explicit right to “make” law. So, with what we know so far, a corrected and expanded translation of the First Amendment might read, “The Congress of the United States of America shall make no law respecting …”

    The words shall make is a combined verb to the direct object, no law. Shall is an auxiliary verb used in formal speech which means; (a) to express futurity in the first person, and determination, compulsion, obligation or necessity in the second and third person. In prevailing usage, shall and will are used interchangeably. When combined with the negative direct object, no, this becomes a prohibition of the object, which in this case, the object is the adjective law. As the object receives the action of the verb, “No law shall be made by the Congress of the United States respecting …”

    The next words in our phrase, respecting an establishment, are combined as a gerund phrase, meaning it is a verbal noun. We find several such gerund phrases throughout this passage. A gerund word or phrase has all the uses of the noun but retains certain characteristics of the verb, such as, in this case, the ability to take an object or an adverbial modifier. The word “respecting” is used here in the future passive participle and would be defined here as; with respect to. Our next word, “establishment”, is of utmost importance in our phrase. It too has several meanings, but unlike what we saw earlier in the word “Congress”, we find more than one applicable meaning; (1) to order, appoint (officials, laws, etc.) or ordain permanently, (2) to confirm or ratify, and (3) to make a state institution of (a church). Isn’t it interesting that in 1844, Webster had such foresight to delineate this meaning of the word? It is also well worth noting here that directly following the word “establish”, Webster has felt it necessary for the entry of “established church”, which he defines as, “a church officially recognized by the government and supported as a national institution; specifically the Church of England”.

    This sets up the prepositional phrase, of religion. Here again we find multiple definitions, but the applicable definition here is; any specific system of belief, worship, conduct, etc., often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy such as the Christian religion or the Buddhist religion.

    Now we come to the first in a series of coordinating conjunctions with the word or. This coordinating conjunction simply means there are more stipulations to follow. We have also reached a point where I can remove a good bit of redundancy and keep with Shakespeare’s theory that “Brevity is the soul of wit”.

    Our first two coordinating conjunctions are followed by gerund phrases. The first is prohibiting the free exercise thereof;. This is pretty self explanatory, but we must examine what is meant by the words, “free exercise”. “Free” is defined simply as being at liberty. The Webster definition which applies to “exercise” is an act of Divine worship. This concludes what has become known as the Establishment Clause. A corrected and expanded translation of what we have should look something like this;

    There shall be no law made by the Congress of the United States of America which has the effect of giving official recognition of a Church as a national institution, or forbidding [citizens] the liberty to worship.

    This is a very far cry from how we see the first portion of the First Amendment interpreted today, so how did the First Amendment come to mean something entirely different? It would take volumes to explain the plethora of ways in which the courts have subverted the meaning of the First Amendment. I could go into a lengthy dissertation about how, beginning in 1925 with the Gitlow v. New York case, the Fourteenth Amendment has become inextricably tied to the First Amendment and gives the federal court jurisdiction over the states, municipalities and school boards, but if that was indeed the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, why is it not also inextricably tied to the Second Amendment? Why are municipalities allowed to deny the right to keep and bear arms? In short because applying the Fourteenth Amendment to the Second Amendment does not fit the agenda of activist judges, thereby leaving a tendency of selective application of their own subverted ruling.

    If the Supreme Court of Alabama chooses to display a monument of the Ten Commandments, has the Congress of the United States established into law, an official recognition of a religion? No. If the school board in Podunk, OK decides it wants to have the school choir sing traditional Christmas carols, has the Congress of the United States established into law, an official recognition of a religion? No. If the town of Gatorville, FL wants to display a crèche at Christmas or a menorah during Hanukah, has the Congress of the United States established into law, an official recognition of a religion? No.

    Specifically, the courts have used the new meaning of the First Amendment to secularize America and drive it away from Christianity. This was clearly not the intent of the Founders. There is endless documentation proving this point, but here I will use an excerpt from David Barton’s wonderful book, Original Intent, where Barton states, “The Founders, however, not only chose not to establish federally any particular denomination of Christianity, they further never intended the First Amendment to promote a pluralism of other religions. As Justice Story explained in his commentaries, "The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance, Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christians.” So who is to blame for the current subversion of the law and how do we return the establishment clause to its original meaning?

    In 1833, in the case of Barron v. Baltimore, the Supreme Court emphasized that the Bill of Rights do not apply to the states. In fact, between 1791 and 1889, fewer than 12 First Amendment cases went before the court. This was due to the prevailing view among judges that the Bill of Rights does not apply to state actions.

    The case can certainly be made that the current climate of misinterpretation of the establishment clause lay squarely on the shoulders of Justice Hugo Black, the former Klan member, New Deal activist and outspoken anti-Catholic, who first introduced Jefferson’s “wall of separation “ into law in the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education. Judicial activists over a half century later continue to misconstrue Jefferson’s metaphor.

    I don’t want to stray too far from the subject, but a few words on Jefferson’s metaphor in his letter to the Danbury Baptists are appropriate here. Jefferson interpreted the First Amendment as prohibiting Congress from establishing religion; thus it prohibited him as president from designating days of thanksgiving or prayer. But the amendment did not separate religion and civil government. As president, Jefferson attended religious services in the Capitol, and he used rhetoric with religious content in official utterances. Moreover, the First Amendment did not prohibit the states from legislating with respect to religion. As governor of Virginia, Jefferson had issued religious proclamations. In summary, the "wall" of the letter served primarily to separate state and nation in matters pertaining to religion, rather than to separate ecclesiastical and all governmental authorities.

    Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists first came into print publicly in Henry A. Washington's edition of Jefferson's works (1853; reprinted 1868 and 1871), and later in other editions of his writings. The phrase "wall of separation" first made its way into constitutional discourse when Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite quoted the text in which it appeared in Reynolds v. United States (1879). Waite drew on Jefferson's letter to distinguish between the government's powers to reach actions as opposed to opinions in a case involving the Mormon practice of polygamy. Waite placed no emphasis on the metaphor, but he declared that the Danbury letter "may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [first] amendment thus secured". The metaphor did not reappear in the halls of the Supreme Court for the next seven decades until Justice Black saw a way to use it to further his own anti-Christian agenda.

    I will not attempt to lead the reader into what action I think should be taken to put the establishment clause back to its original meaning. Others have done a far superior job in outlining such strategies than I can possibly do in the limited space here, but I will point you in the right direction. A wonderful course of action is outlined in Martyn Babitz book, The Illusion of Freedom.

    My purpose here was a simple one. I am by no means, a language scholar, but I believe with my limited skills and understanding of the English language, I have provided a somewhat closer corrected translation of the establishment clause, as it was intended by the Founders, than what is being used in our courts today. If I, a simple man with limited resources but a desire for truth and understanding can figure this out, why can’t those learned people with whom we entrust our freedom?

    © 2005 the Sierra Times

    Monty Rainey is Founder and President, the Junto Society www.juntosociety.com Email montyrainey@juntosociety.com


    Permission to reprint/republish granted, as long as you include the name of our site, the author, and our URL. www.SierraTimes.com All Sierra Times news reports, and all editorials are © 2003 SierraTimes.com (unless otherwise noted)

    http://www.sierratimes.com/05/01/10/montyrainey.htm
  2. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    AMEN!!!!
  3. RobW

    RobW New Member

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    As soon as the ink of a Constitution is dry, the assault on this constitution starts. After just a few decades, it is no more recognizable as the ground-breaking document it was.

    Everywhere!
  4. Dr.Badwrench

    Dr.Badwrench New Member

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    Sorry, but I must disagree.

    Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Constitution, was a Deist. He eschewed all established religion. Freedom of religion means exactly that. Any religion or no religion at all. Religion and governement, especially in the US need to be mutually exclusive.
  5. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    Thomas Jefferson was one of the framers of the Constitution. He and several other others of the framers, maybe most of them, were deists. Being a deist doesn't necessarily mean one eschews all established religion. Thomas Jefferson and the other framers attended sessions regular opened with prayer and did not object. Deists believe in a Supreme Being; they just believe that God has a “hands off” approach. Jefferson didn’t object to the Virginia Assembly opening with prayer. The “separation of church and State” is an interpretation of the 20th century along with “freedom from religion” and is found nowhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

    The framers were influenced by the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church on the European continent and did not want to see a State mandated denomination in this country. The key here is state mandated denomination. In all of the writings of the framers, there is not the first shred of evidence they were trying to take faith out of government and create a secular society. In fact, their writings reveal quite the opposite. They simply did not want the government to have the power to say that you had to be Baptist, Methodist, Buddhist, etc. Again, they were not remotely attempting to create a secular society.

    Scriptural inscriptions on federal buildings and monuments, the use of the Bible for oaths, chaplains in the US Senate and in the military, the use of the Bible as a primer, in schools all attest to the fact that framers did not set out to create freedom from religion. For a hundred and fifty years these things were not a problem. This is all a modern day thing by the left – the same philosophy that called religion “the opiate of the masses”.
  6. Dr.Badwrench

    Dr.Badwrench New Member

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    I have no problem with scrpiture on buildings, but I do have problems with religion in legislation. Morality cannot be legislated. Religion and moprality should be taught outside of public schools/institutions. Someone wants their kids to have a "religios education" they can send them to a religious school.

    Why do we need a Bible in court? Is not a man's (or woman's) word of honor good enough? Do people not lie after placing their hand on the same Bible they put so much faith in? I do believe in honor, by the way

    Our population is so diverse that it is impossible to represent all religions in government, so, by default, NONE belong there. If everyone in the entire nation was Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Buddhist, legislated religion or morality would be no big deal.

    For the record, I am not a Christian. Or a Jew. Or anything else.

    My freedom FROM religion is a RIGHT and I am perfectly willing to kill or die to protect that right.

    I have had Christianity crammed down my throat all my life, by family, clergy, annoying door-knocking missionaries or "witnesses", and people I don't even know. That is their right and that's okay by me. It is also my right to tell them to shut up, but that is not okay by them, because I don't believe as they believe.

    As a kid, I wore my knees out praying to a god that so many say forgives, saves, absolves, heals, etc. "God" did nothing. I carried myself through some hard times that I don't think many could or would possibly imagine. This "god" did Jack and s**t for me and Jack just left town. And please don't give me that "God gave you the strength to persevere" business, because I don't buy it.

    I need no gods, I accept no masters, I am my personal saviour and I will let NO man or government interfere with my RIGHT to believe that.
  7. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    I don't believe any of the above stated that you cannot chose not to worship or believe. You can chose to worship or not. The above simply states that the Constitution did not try to create nor guarantee a secular society. It simply prevents government from mandating a State religion; nothing more or less.

    I resent folks incorrectly using the Constitution to cram atheism down my throat. Show me in the Constitution or Bill of Rights where freedom from religion is a right as is freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, etc. It ain't there, period, as much as you may wish it were. Show me in the writings of the framers where their intent was to create freedom from religion. It ain't there.

    I respect your right not to believe and I spent 34 years of my life trying to guarantee you the rights of the constitution of this great land. While I do not agree with your philosophy, I certainly defend your right to hold and express it.

    As far as legislating morality, yes, morality can be and is legislated. Murder is against the law, stealing is against the law, sexual assault is against the law, discrimination is against the law, child molesting is against the law. All are moral as well as legal issues. Our laws were based on English Law and the Napoleonic code (Louisianna) which were based on the Old Testament Jewish law. Yes, I know, you can fine similar in the Code of Hammurabbi (spelling); but that was not the basis for our law.

    What is wrong with a Bible in court? It certainly is not unconstitutional. If you don't believe what's in it, it should have no effect. I wouldn't have a problem with the Koran in court. I don't believe what's in it so it might as well be a cookbook as far as I'm concerned.

    I sorry you have had such a bad experience with religion that it also destroyed faith. There is a big difference between religion and faith - but that's a whole 'nother topc.
  8. Dr.Badwrench

    Dr.Badwrench New Member

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    As far as society, whatever blows one's skirt up. But our government should be secular in order to remain objective, if only to demonstrate that it is unbiased.

    The problem that I have is people trying to get their religion/faith mandated as law, which is wrong. President Bush's "faith-based aid" program, for example, is unconstitutional in my opinion.

    The gay/lesbian marriage ban in an attemt to legislate morality based on religious beliefs. The proponents of the ban are all "religious righties" for lack of a better descriptive. There is no legal, non-religious based argument for the ban. A person should be able to marry whomever they please, as long as they are of consenting age. A woman married a 230-lb rock in the 1960's, so why can't she marry another woman? Who is it hurting? No one, that's who. This is an exaple of the so-called "religious right (which is neither, in my opinion) to enforce their morals and their religious beliefs on the American public.

    As far as the Bible in court issue, sure I'll put my hand on the Bible to please some folks, but it is my own ethics that are backing up my promise to tell the truth. The book makes no difference. It could be the complete works of Shakespeare of Tom Clancy for all I care. It is a mere token
  9. Huck Finn

    Huck Finn Member

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    Dr. Badwrench makes some good points. If we're going to argue gay marraige on a constitutional level...the constitution doesn't prohibit it, the bible does. If we want to argue on a biblical level, the bible does prohibit gay marraige. However, that same bible says that marriage is until death, yet we allow, and take part in divorce all the time. How do you rationalize that? If gay marraige is wrong, isn't divorce just as wrong? Or is it all hypocrisy???
  10. offeror

    offeror New Member

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    The simplest way to gauge it, for me, is to remember that the first ten amendments were written specifically to protect the people from government oppression.

    People who try to do things like remove "under God" from the Pledge are therefore wrong, because the intent was not to make government itself wholely secular, but to assure in writing that there would be no state-mandated religion, as England was playing around with at the time -- nothing much more or less. That is what "separation of church and state" referred to.

    If we give the amendments equal weight, as we are bound to do if we are honest and in accord with the intent of the Founders, then we can take people's vigorous defense of the First Amendment freedom of speech as one standard for how to defend the rest of the freedoms highlighted in the Bill of Rights. People are fairly strict about their freedom of speech, are they not? It seems silly to have complete freedom of speech on the one hand while on the other hand a group of secularists tries to 'cleanse' our laws and founding documents of spiritual references they themselves don't approve of. That is censorship to suit one minority.

    There are too many laws unconstitutionally infringing our freedom to keep and bear arms of various kinds, particularly grievous infringements against those guns ideal for defense of ourselves and our society -- and there are too many laws infringing the freedom to express individual religious beliefs which the country was founded to include. Unless and until we have a state religion prescribed by law, I doubt we are coming anywhere near infringing freedom of religion as discussed in the Bill of Rights.

    In fact, atheists trying to legislate state "non-religion" is probably the second most dangerous infringement. Whether you call it atheism or secularism, when that becomes the state's sponsored position it becomes just as illegal as any other single state-sponsored "denomination."
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  11. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    That is your opinion about how you perceive things should be. It is most definitely not based on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. There is no constitutional requirement for an unbiased government. A fair government yes, unbiased no. That is the same rational used by the anti-gunners. We should not have private ownership of guns; the 2nd Amendment was a mistake. The “freedom from religion concept” is not different in logic than the anti-gunners saying the 2nd Amendment applies to the National Guard and Reserves, not to individual citizens. Both try to make the Constitution support a point of view that it expressly does not support.

    Offeror is absolutely on target.

    I concur. However, I would like to point out that the 1st Amendment recently took a huge hit from the SCOTUS in the name of campaign finance reform. Folks, if we are to remain a free republic, there are no justification to erode any of the provisions in the Bill of Rights for any reasons. Leftists base their positions on feelings and emotion – not logic. They want the constitution interpreted in the way they perceive things ought to be – not in the way the Constitution was written. Obviously, this is bias. We all have biases. The final authority should be the intent of the framers of the Constitution. If we don’t like what the constitution says, change it as provided for in the Constitution itself, not through judicial activism.

    That is correct; marriage is not covered in the Constitution. If a majority of the people want the Constitution to define marriage, then support an amendment to that effect. I will point out that is not necessarily the Bible that prohibits homosexual marriage; it is society. China is not Christian, India is not Christian, Saudi Arabia is not Christian – all prohibit homosexual marriage. Look up the definition of marriage in a standard dictionary. Read how marriage is defined. Except for some nations in Europe, and this is a recent position, historically, societies have not permitted homosexual marriage – whatever their religions heritage may be.

    Social values and mores are invariably tied to religious beliefs. Religion reflects the ideals of a society as a whole. If you want to understand a people and how they think, study their religion. There has never been a successful secular society. If you read Arnold Toynbe, the great English historian, he said of the nineteen great civilizations that have existed since the beginning of recorded time, sixteen of them have crumbled from within and one of the five reasons is that the family unit in these civilizations slowly disintegrated. The family is the foundation of society. No matter how sophisticated we become, most of us feel that there is no place like home. But we should also realize there is almost no substitute for a strong family unit.

    On this we fully agree. It could be a Betty Crocker Cookbook for all I care. If one is going to lie under oath, it doesn’t matter what he or she put a hand on.
  12. Dr.Badwrench

    Dr.Badwrench New Member

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    I do not see the rationale comparing "anti-gunners" to one's freedom to choose no religion. If you have the right to keep and bear arms, you also have the right to NOT own a gun. It's a matter of choice. I do not want or need religion in my life. Some people do not want or need guns in theirs. They choose not to have guns, I choose not to have religion. That is what freedom from religion is.

    Furthermore, as written, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee anyone freedom to practice any religion as tyhey see fit, it states only that congress shall make no laws establishing religion ala the Church of England. It is simply the popular interpretation of the amendment that says one has the right to freely practice any (or no) religion as they see fit.

    Nowhere in the Constitution does it say "God", either. It says "Creator", which can mean "God", parents, the Universe as a whole. It means that we are have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness simply by virtue of being born.

    I can see that some think I am an atheist or at least a proponent of some kind of atheistic theocracy. Atheism is a religion, too, and as I have stated, I have no ties to any religion. I believe only that our government should have no ties to any religion, so it can at least appear to be "fair" to everyone.
  13. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    The rational is that you attempted to use the Constitution to say something that it in no way says: "freedom from religion'. It isn't there and that was not the intent of the framers. “Separation of church and state” is not in the constitution either. The anti-gunners use the same approach to try and make the 2nd Amendment say what it doesn't say: the right to bear arms is for the militia with the militia being the National Guard and Reserves, not the citizens in general. Your approach is no different. That is the point I was trying to make.

    The government is forbidden from telling you and I how to worship or whether you and I should worship at all. It does not remotely say that government and society must be secular. Nor was that the intent of the framers as per their writings.

    The term "Creator" is a general term for God that spans many religions historically. My ancestors (not Christians) referred to the Supreme Being as the Creator. This name for God is also found in the Old Testament. It could possibly refer to parents; that’s pretty weak. It’s a bit of a stretch to say that Creator is a synonym for universe. I don’t think I have ever read of the universe being called the Creator. Do you really think the framers meant to write that our “parents” gave us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I don’t think so. They were trying to say that our rights are God given and that government does not have the authority to take them away. Rights were granted by a higher power than government. It is government’s duty to protect those God given rights.

    Are you saying that no person of faith can be fair? Government is of the people and by the people – in theory anyway. A Christian can be fair to a Muslim; a Buddhist can be fair to a Jew, etc. The only people I see being discriminated against because of their religion in this nation are Christians. I don’t consider that fair.
  14. offeror

    offeror New Member

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    It's true we all are entitled to not own a gun and not practice a religion, but if someone started objecting to parade rifles being carried by our color guards on TV on inauguration day because he didn't "believe in" guns and didn't want to be "exposed to it," he would be wrong.
  15. Dr.Badwrench

    Dr.Badwrench New Member

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    The Constitution doesn't say "freedom of religion", either. In fact, if our country ever declined to the point of being some kind of arch-conservative ultra-Christian theocracy, I, and many who don't believe as you do, would take up arms agains the "government". As I said before, I would kill or die to defend my RIGHT to believe or not believe as I see fit.

    Obviously my point is lost on you (no offense). My point is that gun ownership and religion are personal choices. I choose to own guns and choose not to have religion in my life.

    Are you saying that I MUST be a member/devotee of some form of church or religion to be an American? Am I going to be charged with thought-crime and sent to Room 101 if I don't "believe"? We have the RIGHT to own guns, guaranteed by the Constitution, it's just that many people choose NOT to own guns. That is the same point I am trying to make with religion.

    Would you feel like you were being treated fairly being tried in an Islamic court for what is considered a crime against Islam? I would certainly feel there was some form of bias aginst me being tried in any court where religion, any religion, is a factor.

    A person's morals are deeply rooted in their faith/religion. What I see as something that is perfectly acceptable; tattooing, for example, is considered a crime in many religions. I have 7 tattoos! Would that warrant a death penalty? People's religious beliefs govern their ideas of right and wrong and I will not recognize the "authority" of ANY religious body to judge me.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  16. Dr.Badwrench

    Dr.Badwrench New Member

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    A person can object to whatever they want, for whatever reason they want, and not be right or wrong about it. They are merely voicing their opinion.

    I object to the crappy glass in Ford automobiles. Every Ford/Lincoln/Mercury I have ever driven has had optical defects in the windshield/windows/mirrors.

    I object to Beretta and Glock pistols because, in my experience, (I have owned both) they are unreliable junk and cannot hold a candle to my Star Firestar or Ruger Blackhawk.

    Am I wrong for having these opinions?
  17. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    You are absolutely correct; it says the government shall not impose a religion. It also does not say government officials cannot be religious. I don’t believe any of the posts on this thread advocated a theocracy. I’d join you in that fight against a theocracy of any kind.

    No, I understood your point. I agree religion is a choice and owning a gun is a choice. The current anti-Christian movement is trying to stamp out Christianity (their same approach doesn’t apply to Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.). Maybe they will target the others next; I don’t know. I will defend other religions as well. My point is that the human secularists and atheists are trying to make the Constitution say what it doesn’t say just as the anti-gunners are trying to do with the 2nd Amendment. The approaches are identical. My point is not about choice; it is about what the Constitution says and doesn’t say. You, yourself, took that approach. You believe that “Religion and government, especially in the US need to be mutually exclusive.” You have a right to that belief. The Constitution doesn’t specify that by any stretch. If that is what the majority of Americans want, then we should amend the Constitution to that effect.

    In an earlier post, you stated.” If everyone in the entire nation was Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Buddhist, legislated religion or morality would be no big deal.” Legislated religion would be a big deal – it would be unconstitutional. Legislated morality – we already discussed that.

    Were I living in an Islamic country, I would have to accept that possibility. In theocratic Islamic nations (most), religious law is the civil law o,r at least incorporated, into civil law. In ancient Israel, the laws of the Old Testament were the civil laws. I am not by any means saying that the US should adopt the Bible as its civil law. On the other hand much of our civil law is based on Judeo-Christian principles. Were I being tried in a US Court, my concern would be that the judge be fair. It would not matter to me what his religious faith was.

    Yes, morality is certainly rooted in religion. I don’t think you are saying that only a person of faith can be moral. The basic morality, sense of right and wrong, in our nation is Judeo-Christian based. There are plenty of moral folks who embrace neither of those religions and are moral people. Still, the sense of right wrong from the Judeo-Christian foundation permeates society whether one embraces either of those faiths or not. As for the religious taboo on tattoos, I don’t think anyone is considering outlawing tattoos. I would fight that vehemently as tattoos are part of some folks’ religious beliefs. You wouldn’t fair very well in an Islamic nation! ;)
  18. Dr.Badwrench

    Dr.Badwrench New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    By no means do I intend to offend anyone, I'm just trying to make the point that in America, we do, indeed, have freedome from religion.

    I exercise my freedom from religion every time I tell missionaries at my door that I'm not interested. THAT is the freedom from religion I'm talking about, not a secularization of the entire populace of the United States. That would be wrong. I am not, by any means, advocating the removal of any religion from our society for any reason.

    I do, however, believe in the separation of church and state. I have no problem with political figures leading religious lives, either. What I do have a problem with is legislation of a religious "bent" such as the so-called "faith-based aid."

    I wholeheartedly disagree with any sort of prayer in public schools. It simply does not belong there. I have no problem with individual students prayng while in school, but I object to students being led in prayer by school officials. Religious/spiritual education belongs in church, at home, or in religious schools.

    I guess the main point I have been trying to make is that religion, opr lack thereof, is a personal thing, not a political thing.

    Thank you all for your intelligent discourse and I do apologize if I inadvetently offended anyone.
  19. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,014
    Location:
    Bunnell, FL
    From my perspective, it has been a good discussion. No flaming, name-calling and a good defense of personal beliefs. I am certainly not offended. Yes, in the US we have the freedom to choose any religion or no religion. That was the intent of the framers of our Constitution.

    Obviously, I am a Christian. However, I do agree with you regarding mandatory, school official led prayer. I would oppose school authority figures leading my children in the Islamic “There is no God but Allah” routine. I, too, have no objection to student led prayer of any faith. Students can participate or not participate as they see fit. I have no problem with a public prayer prior to the start of a school sporting event. I vehemently disagree with a student being sent home because they have a Bible in their possession or are wearing a cross or crucifix. That has most definitely happened. If a student wants to carry the Koran to school, it is his/her right to do so.

    There is no constitutional mandate for separation of church and state. The constitution prohibits the government from imposing a religion on the citizens, period.

    Prior to the Raw Deal (New Deal), the federal government was not very involved with welfare. Welfare to folks in need was taken care of by family, local government (limited participation by local government), and local charity groups, which were primarily religious charity groups. Most religious charity groups, including denominationally based groups, do not discriminate by denomination or religion when giving aid. These organizations, e.g., the Salvation Army, are very efficient at distributing aid with very little overhead – a whole lot better at it than is the federal bureaucracy. If the federal government subsidizes the Red Cross or any other non-governmental relief agency, why is it wrong to subsidize the Salvation Army or a denominational relief group as long as the group is not discriminatory in favor of people of that particular faith/denomination? Simply because they are faith based? That is discriminatory. In short, there is nothing unconstitutional about the faith based initiative – as long as tax money is not being used for denominational purposes. This whole thing of federal welfare is simply socialist redistribution of wealth. The government takes my taxes by force and redistributes my money to others whom the federal government desires to receive it.

    Amen!