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MYTH: CHURCH & STATE WALL
Posted: 03 December 2007 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
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MYTH: CHURCH & STATE WALL

By J.Grant Swank, Jr.

Liberals have run off with this phrase, prostituting it per usual.The matter is simple. It’s this: America does not want a state church. England has a state church — the Anglican Church. America does not want one denomination considered The Nation’s Church.

On the other hand, America has a religious heritage. It’s not Muslim. It’s not Hindu. It’s not Shinto. It’s not animism. It’s not New Age. It’s not Paganism. It’s not Voodoo. It’s Judeo-Christian.America, while not desiring a state church, does desire religion in life. That includes religious expression in everyday exchange. Because Judeo-Christian is America’s heritage, most citizens honor that heritage expressed and honored. Its expression then should not be thwarted. It should not be belittled. It should not be erased in the name of “separation of church and state.

http://mosquewatch.blogspot.com/2006/01/myth-church-state-wall.html

***************************************************

Liberals have run off with this phrase, prostituting it per usual. The matter is simple. It’s this: America does not want a state church. England has a state church — the Anglican Church. America does not want one denomination considered The Nation’s Church.

The phrase “Separation of Church and State” means whatever idea or concept the person using the phrase attaches to it.  If Mr. Swank wants to attach the idea of “no state church” to the phrase, he is free to do so.  However, that is probably not the most common and popular use of the phrase.

If his mission is to convince the American people to attach the term “Separation of Church and State” to the idea of the government having general power over religion except for a narrow exception against the establishment by law of a national religion, I think he is going to have a difficult time.

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Posted: 03 December 2007 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You know, before one can have freedom of religion, one must have freedom FROM religion.  Our forefathers knew this.  That is why the Constitution is a godless document and it should forever stay a godless document.  IF we had a Church State, no one would have freedom FROM religion, much less freedom of religion.

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Posted: 05 December 2007 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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What the liberals want to do is redefine the phrase “separation of church and state” to exclude Judeo-Christian religious expression in America.

The guy sounds like a paranoid to me.

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Posted: 05 December 2007 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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FredFlash - 03 December 2007 07:23 AM

If his mission is to convince the American people to attach the term “Separation of Church and State” to the idea of the government having general power over religion except for a narrow exception against the establishment by law of a national religion, I think he is going to have a difficult time.

What is your point Freddy?  Government should govern.  No?  Or are you trying to suggest that religion ought to be exempt from government?

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Posted: 07 December 2007 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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“Unhampered religious expression is promised in the First Amendment.Further, America, having a Judeo-Christian heritage and the right to present-tense expression, permits freedom of religious expression to other religions. Therefore, there are those of other religious persuasions who practice without fear their religions in America.

What the liberals want to do is redefine the phrase “separation of church and state” to exclude Judeo-Christian religious expression in America. They want not only “separation of church and state” defined on their terms but the exclusion of the Judeo-Christian religion and anything coming close to that particular religious expression—period.

I don’t know of any liberals who want to exclude Judeo-Christian religious expression in America.  What is the author talking about?

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Posted: 09 December 2007 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Liberals believe that if they continue harping on the “separation of church and state” phrase, brainwashing the public with their prostituted definition, especially indoctrinating the next generation with their prostituted definition, then they will have won secularism for America’s future.

I thought we already had a secular government that had no power over reliigon other than a tiny bit of power to make vague suggestions about a God whose identity is rather ambiguous.

They, in other words, want not only separation but exclusion of religion — completely so.

Liberals want separation of church and state, which is the exclusion of religion from the influence of the civil authorities.  I guess Swank wants the government to have authority over our religious opinions and exercises thereof.

Note however that the chief religion they want excluded is Judeo-Christian.

What in the heck is he talking about?  Liberals, at least the ones I know, want all religion exempt from civil authority.

They will even tolerate other religions

Liberals despise “religious toleration.”  What they advocate is the full and equal rights of conscience.

as they are presently doing with the Muslim infiltration

Somebody please show me how Islam is being established by law.

  but it is Judeo-Christian that they want cleansed from America.  In other words, it’s a religious cleansing they desire for this nation — the extinguishing specifically of the Judeo-Christian faith.Therefore, if tolerating another religion such as Islam helps wipe out Judeo-Christianity, then so be it.

How does protecting religion from civil authority amount to a desire to injure Christianity?

Islam is far better a tolerance than the American heritage of Judeo-Christian.

Huh?

Therefore, there are school districts hiring Muslims to speak to teachers on how to give Muslim students honor and space. 

Well, isn’t that special?

No such invitation, of course, has been extended to Judeo-Christian specialists speaking to public school educators on how to give Judeo-Christian adherents honor and space.

Maybe, they never asked.

In a nearby high school, a prayer room was set aside for Muslim students.

I wonder why the Christians didn’t ask for a prayer room?

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Posted: 09 December 2007 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Freddie, you have chosen the wrong venue to carry on your one-sided argument.  I assume you are still quoting from that article by J.Grant Swank, Jr.  that you mentioned on your first post in this thread.  I have no idea who he is, I don’t know whether or not I agree with his statements, and I refuse to draw any conclusions from the snippets you’ve extracted.  First, I don’t know if they’re accurate, second, I don’t know if he qualified them by sentences you didn’t quote, third, I can find all sorts of people on all sides of religious questions with whom I disagree at times or all the time.

Rather than doing this second hand strawman type argument, how about stating your own convictions and the reasons you have them?  Then we can discuss our agreements and differences.

Occam

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Posted: 11 December 2007 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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FredFlash - 09 December 2007 08:12 PM


Responding to Swank’s statement, “Note however that the chief religion they [liberals] want excluded is Judeo-Christian.”
      What in the heck is he talking about?  Liberals, at least the ones I know, want all religion exempt from civil authority.

Responding to Swank’s statement, “They [liberals] will even tolerate other religions”
      Liberals despise “religious toleration.” What they advocate is the full and equal rights of conscience.

While Swank is wrong about the separation of church and state being a myth, he is correct about liberals’ selective outrage over which religion tries to breech that wall.
 
The University of Michigan, a public school accepting tax dollars, funded $25,000 of student fees for ritual foot-washers to aid Islamic students to pray.  The ACLU said nothing.  Well, actually they did say something.  They said that was “reasonable.”  I wonder if the ACLU and other liberals would call $25,000 of student fees for Catholic holy water bins “reasonable”?  That’s a rhetorical question.  We all know the answer to that one.  To liberals it has nothing to do with the First Amendment.  It has everything to do with which religion! 

In Byron, California, the Excelsior Elementary School required public school students to take a Muslim name, recite passages from the Koran, give up certain comforts (ala fasting) that correspond to Ramadan and pray to Allah as part of a history and geography class.  I don’t recall the ACLU filing suit over that one, or any liberals denouncing it.  Granted, it may not have been hypocrisy on the liberals’ part.  They may just be a bit selfish in that they like their heads attached to their bodies and they figured denouncing these First Amendment violations may very well result in them literally losing their heads.  But then, if liberals are not willing to fight for what they believe in and defend their heads in the process, I guess they are hypocrites after all. 

The fact is, liberals are so blinded in their zeal to stop Christian attempts at forcing that particular religion in public arenas, that they don’t see, or even tolerate (a liberal buzzword) any non-Christian religion that tries the same thing.  And when those of us who are consistent in our defense of the First Amendment regardless of which religion is involved speak up, we are called “hatemongers”, “racists” and a host other epithets.  All while the First Amendment is slowly eroded.

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Posted: 11 December 2007 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Rocinante,

You paint clumsy pictures with broad brushes. As a self-described liberal, I think you’re engaging in charicature and cherry-picking, and assuming the positions of specific liberals that particularly piss you off represent the core of the political philosophy or the opinions of liberals generally as a group. I for one would agree wholeheartedly that public funding for footwashing basins and baptismal fonts and Buddhist prayer wheel are all the same. Now if the students at a public school agree to using their user fees, as opposed to tax dollars, for such things that’s different. But in any case, separation of religion and state applies to all religions. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if Christianity gets the bulk of the outrage because, as religions go in America, it commits the bulk of the outrages and inserts itself into my government and my private life a hell of a lot more often than any other. But the principle should apply across the board, and there is nothing about that in conflict with my liberal political philosophy.

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Posted: 11 December 2007 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’m very glad you oppose the stories I pointed out.  But I simply pointed out two actual cases of what I truly believe were violations of the First Amendment that were roundly ignored by most liberals, and specifically the ACLU.  The fact that these stories, in general, did not receive any degree of outrage among liberals is a fact.  Anecdotal accounts of select liberals such as yourself who knew about them and were outraged is all fine and good and to be commended.  But generally speaking, they barely registered on liberals’ radar screens.  And in the one case, the ACLU was clearly on the wrong side in my opinion.  This selective outrage among liberal advocacy groups reminds me of the very recent Gillian Gibbons case.  She was the teacher in Sudan who allowed her students to name a teddy bear Mohammed.  As she was being sentenced for her “crime” and thousands of Muslims called for her death, the clearly liberal National Organization for Women specifically said they had no comment about the case.  Nice!  Real nice!  Way to stand up for women around the world N.O.W.!  Apparently N.O.W. thinks it is better to have an innocent woman murdered by Muslims than say one offensive-yet-true fact about those same Muslims!  But then again, this was the same group that refused to condemn O.J. Simpson when he murdered his wife Nichole.  I guess saying anything bad about a black man (even if it happens to be true) trumps the right of a fellow woman to live!  When these liberal organizations like the ACLU and NOW start becoming consistent in their views, then I will start to take them a bit more seriously.     

As for students fees as opposed to tax dollars at a public institution, you know as well as I do, had it been any Christian device, the ACLU would have filed suit faster than a pregnant Britney grabbing for a lit Marlboro.  But it was a Muslim religious device, so they gave it a pass.  And why did the school even have to use student fees?  Why not just have the Muslim students collect donations among themselves?  If I went to that school, I sure has heck wouldn’t want my fees to pay for Muslim foot baths or any religious device.  I’d demand that portion of my money back, and would personally remove it from the Dean’s wallet if they refused.  And why do the foot baths have to be on school property?  Put them at an off-campus site like every other church that surrounds colleges. 

But the one with Elementary-age children in a government school!?!?  That is beyond the pale.  At least the one situation dealt with college-age young adults, who can somewhat think for themselves.  But Elementary-aged children being told by their government teacher that they must take Muslim names, read from the Koran, etc is an outrage!  Kids that age are very impressionable.  And religion (or lack thereof) is something that should be dealt with by their parents, not a government school.  By the time they get to High School (even a government one), I can understand a religious history course that deals with all the major religions that have influence (good and bad) in our world.  But kids that young, and in a government school, being told to do what they had to do is sickening!  Where was the ACLU on that one? 

I agree, most violations of the First Amendment do come from Christians, due to the majority of people in the United States being Christian.  But that’s not the point.  The point is, if the ACLU is to be taken seriously in its claim to support the First Amendment across the board, it must take on all cases.  But given a choice between a Christian case and a Muslim case, I’d wager they’d choose to file suit against Christian one every time, leaving the Muslim case to violate the First Amendment by default.  OHHHH I just said something vaguely offensive about Muslims!  I must be a racist hatemonger!  So now I guess the ACLU will take on me to protect Muslim’s feelings!  rolleyes  Because, as we all know, being free from being offended trumps the First Amendment every time!

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

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Posted: 11 December 2007 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Rocinante - 11 December 2007 02:50 PM

The point is, if the ACLU is to be taken seriously in its claim to support the First Amendment across the board, it must take on all cases.

I certainly agree that First Amendment cases involving Islam are logically just as meritorious as those involving Christianity, but this principle of yours is not credible. The ACLU is a human organization, which as a matter of fact cannot take on all cases. No human organization has the manpower or money to do so. The ACLU must pick and choose its cases carefully, as all such secular organizations must. I do not know anything about their history in this particular instance, however as a general rule I would agree with them wholeheartedly that the real threat to the First Amendment comes from theocratic Christian organizations, and not from the nearly powerless American Muslim community.

And the teddy bear case is totally irrelevant to the ACLU, which is a peculiarly American institution.

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Posted: 11 December 2007 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Rocinante,

I don’t think that muslims deserve our tax money for special footwashing at universities any more than I think that universities should have christian chapels or chaplaincies or theology departments or other cult nonsense.  I won’t speak for mckenzievmd, but I think that you’ll find that most people on this forum stand up for the religious liberties of christians at least as much as they do for muslims.  And, that they are at least as critical of islam as they are of christianity.

I have never met such a person as you seem to be talking about when you use the word “liberal.”  I have met quite a few muslims, christians, and non-religious persons who call themselves “liberal” and as many who call themselves “conservative.”  Although I would suspect that you would consider me a liberal as you seemingly would anyone, from anywhere around this world that is much bigger than yours, who does not have their mind closed around your privileged provincial values.

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Posted: 11 December 2007 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I don’t always agree with the ACLU, but they generally do good, useful work. I wouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but if you want them to do more join/contribute/lobby for them to do so. Don’t just trot out the bogeyman of “liberals” who hate Christians but have no principles when it comes to religious liberty in general.

As for the student fee issue, the question is whether the students have some reasonable degree of control over what their fees are used for and then what they choose to permit. If you expect the administration of a university never to use student fees for something unless every single student has the chance to opt out, you can scrap the whole organization. The degree to which religious activity is tolerated on campus is just another specific example of this general issue. I’m sure Oral Roberts University students would generally approve of a Christian chapel sustained with student fees, and they likely wouldn’t be so keen on footbaths for muslims or an Ingersol Library. The question is how much say do they have over how their fees are used, and it’s not a liberal vs conservative issue.

I guess we generally agree on the church/state separation issue, but I don’t feel it’s a purely left/right political question. And insofar as political affiliation is correlated with a position on it the “liberals” are a whole lot more supportive of secularism than the “conservatives.” You seem to feel they give non-Christians a free ride, and while I thbink the question rarely arises in practice given the dominance of Christianity in this country, I certainly agree that when it does the same standards should apply regardless of the specific religion involved. But I still think you’re huge generality about “liberals” is incorrect.

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Posted: 11 December 2007 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Rocinante - 11 December 2007 09:51 AM


 
The University of Michigan, a public school accepting tax dollars, funded $25,000 of student fees for ritual foot-washers to aid Islamic students to pray.  The ACLU said nothing.  Well, actually they did say something.  They said that was “reasonable.” 

The ACLU never said it was reasonable, dude.

I wonder if the ACLU and other liberals would call $25,000 of student fees for Catholic holy water bins “reasonable”?

What are holy water bins?


In Byron, California, the Excelsior Elementary School required public school students to take a Muslim name, recite passages from the Koran, give up certain comforts (ala fasting) that correspond to Ramadan and pray to Allah as part of a history and geography class.

Where’s the exercise of civil authority over religion, dude? 

I don’t recall the ACLU filing suit over that one

The ACLU represents clients, dude.  Maybe, no one with standing had a complaint and asked the ACLU to represent them.

or any liberals denouncing it. 

Liberals know what is, and what isn’t, an exercise of civil authority over religion, dude.

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Posted: 13 December 2007 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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dougsmith - 11 December 2007 03:06 PM

I certainly agree that First Amendment cases involving Islam are logically just as meritorious as those involving Christianity, but this principle of yours is not credible. The ACLU is a human organization, which as a matter of fact cannot take on all cases. No human organization has the manpower or money to do so. The ACLU must pick and choose its cases carefully, as all such secular organizations must.

I agree.  But can you find any cases where the ACLU sued to stop a Muslim breech of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause?  I’m not saying there aren’t any.  But I can’t them. 

dougsmith - 11 December 2007 03:06 PM

I do not know anything about their history in this particular instance, however as a general rule I would agree with them wholeheartedly that the real threat to the First Amendment comes from theocratic Christian organizations, and not from the nearly powerless American Muslim community.

That’s not the point.  Just because Muslims have not made the same inroads as Christians in the United States, doesn’t mean a violation from the Islamic religion shouldn’t be opposed. 

It’s like the Tortoise and the Hare.  While you are concentrating on the fast moving Hare of the Christian religion assuming it is the one that will go all the way, the slow moving Tortoise of the Islamic religion is steadily making headway.  You ignore both at your own peril.  Don’t assume the one you think has the power to “win” will be the one who crosses the finish line first.  History is replete with examples where similar assumptions are proven completely wrong.  Be on your guard all the way around!   

dougsmith - 11 December 2007 03:06 PM

And the teddy bear case is totally irrelevant to the ACLU, which is a peculiarly American institution.

That was an aside pointing out the related hypocrisy from another liberal group, N.O.W. refusing to take the moral high ground and oppose that travesty of justice against that innocent woman, just because—once again—those on the far left feared to say Muslims were off their rockers in this instance.

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Posted: 13 December 2007 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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FredFlash - 11 December 2007 05:41 PM

The ACLU never said it was reasonable, dude.

Yes they did, dude.  Kary Moss, director of the Detroit branch of the ACLU, said its review concluded the plan was a “reasonable accommodation…”

FredFlash - 11 December 2007 05:41 PM

What are holy water bins?

It doesn’t matter.  It was a hypothetical example.  The point is, the ACLU has a double standard.  They will fight any Christian encroachment of Jefferson’s famous Wall of Separation, but most any other religion, they give a pass.  They will be taken more seriously by the American public when they start being more principled and drop their double standards.   

FredFlash - 11 December 2007 05:41 PM

Where’s the exercise of civil authority over religion, dude?

 
It’s a government school, dude.  It takes tax dollars, dude.  It is required by law that children attend school, dude.  If their parents can’t afford a private school, their kids are forced to go to a government school.  Once in this government school, this was a required course activity.  These were captive children!  They had to adopt Islamic mumbo jumbo while in a government school.  Play sleight-of-hand semantics all you want about exercising civil authority over religion.  This was a clear violation of the First Amendment.  Dude. 

FredFlash - 11 December 2007 05:41 PM

The ACLU represents clients, dude.  Maybe, no one with standing had a complaint and asked the ACLU to represent them.

Please!  Give me a break.  The ACLU is on pins and needles just waiting to file suit should someone happen to say, “God bless you,” after someone else sneezes on a public sidewalk.  They always somehow manage to find someone who was “offended” and file suit.  Yet when captive children in a government school are forced into what amounts to indoctrination of a religion, the ACLU does nothing!  And they did nothing, because it was the Islamic religion, which gets a pass.   

FredFlash - 11 December 2007 05:41 PM

Liberals know what is, and what isn’t, an exercise of civil authority over religion, dude.

I have no doubt, some do.  But in the case of the ACLU, I have to really question that.  Some examples: 

The ACLU’s official policy on the tax exemption of Churches, Policy #92 Religious Bodies’ Tax Exemption says, “The ACLU opposes the tax-exemption of all churches…” [Emphasis added.]

Yet, the ACLU affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island fought for the tax exemption for a Wiccan church, while opposing the tax exemption for a Catholic church.  The official definition for this type of behavior is called, “Hypocrisy.”  It’s either all or none, ACLU.  Choose a position! 

—————

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill required 3,500 students to read and discuss Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations.  This time the ACLU did go to court.  But to support the required reading of what amounts to nothing more than Islamic indoctrination. 

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT TIME:  Same school.  Same tax money going to the school.  Same number of students.  Only this time, the required course was, Approaching the Bible: The Early Revelations.  How long before the ACLU files suit to stop it? 

A.)  1 Day
B.)  1 Hour
C.)  1 Second
D.)  Science has not yet found a way to measure a unit of time that small.

The correct Answer is D.

—————

The City of Boston sold a 1.9-acre site valued at $2,000,000 for the bargain basement price of $175,000 to a religious group so the group could construct a place of worship.  Anyone care to guess the structure?  You guessed it!  It’s a mosque!  And not just any mosque.  The Islamic Society of Boston’s mosque project will be the largest on the East Coast.  Can you imagine if any Christian church received such cut-rate prices from the city to build its church?  Can you imagine the conniption fit the ACLU would throw in that case?  What did the ACLU do in this case, since it was the Muslim religion?  Well, they didn’t do anything.  But when a private citizen filed suit claiming a violation of the First Amendment, the ACLU said that suit violated the Islamic Society of Boston’s First Amendment Rights!

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