The Instigator
Angrypants66
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
resolutionsmasher
Pro (for)
Winning
23 Points

Resolved: Democracy is best upheld through strict seperation of church and state

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
resolutionsmasher
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/26/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,072 times Debate No: 7096
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (6)

 

Angrypants66

Con

This will be a typical LD debate, so therefore technically the Aff should go first, then I shall go next. I'll first start with two definations.

1. Strict - exact or precise (dictionary.com)
2. Democracy - A government by the people served by the will of the majority of the people (Webster's)

This is the entire seperation is general. Nothing specific. It is broad but it's for the seperation in general, not one one on "under God" in the pledge, however if that's an example you want to use, go for it ;)
resolutionsmasher

Pro

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Debate Round No. 1
Angrypants66

Con

If I may quote Jesus Christ
"Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God's the things that are God's" (New Testament, Mathew 22:21)
This means that let Caesar, government do things that involve government; and let God, church, do unto things involving church.

It is with this quote from the single most respected man in religion that I affirm the resolution.

I'll start with valuing Democracy, it is specifically stated in the resolution and is therefore the clearest value.
My critation to upheld democracy is religious freedom. Religious freedom is the basis of the American government and has basically made out government. Allen Jane once said,
"History teaches us that men and women have lived and died when their religion was repressed or overwhelmed by their government - or if they did not fight, they did not support their government in times of crisis... Since it inception, the United States has never had a religious war despite divisive sectarian differences. And in time of crisis, minority religions have supported the government because it has, for the most part, maintained a position of neutrality among its many religious and denominations. This is because the 'wall' of religious freedom and separation of church and state that has caused all religious groups to be seen equally in the eyes of the law"
It is through Religious Freedom I affirm the resolution.

My first contention is history. Throughout all of history the combination of church and state that has caused tyranny, oppression, and war. Remember the 'Holy Wars'? Also, know that sine the beginning of documented history we have only been at peace 8% of the time. In addition, 96% of the time have these wars involved religion. Our country is the first the world has ever seen to have this much religious freedom and no church involvement in governmental decisions. Because of this, America has seen no 'Holy Wars' and the minority religious' rights have been protected more than any other country in the world. It is through history that I affirm the resolution.

My second contention is the First Amendment of the Constitution, the first in the list of our natural born freedoms that must be protected by our government. Article 6, clause 3 of the Constitution states.
"No religious test shall ever be required as qualification to any office or public trust in the United States"
This clearly lays out strict separation of church and state. Don't trust my interpretation? The Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story ruled Article 6, Clause 3 as
"To cut off forever every pretense of alliance between church and state in the National Government"
So therefore to negate the resolution is to negate the U.S Constitution. The Constitution upholds the value of Democracy since it has help set up one of the most ideal Democracies in the world, and the Constitution therefore also then affirms the resolution. It is because of the Constitution that I affirm the resolution.

My third and final contention is minority religious freedoms. As an Atheist, where are my rights in allowing church in government? If in America, where does glorifying that of Christianity not conflict with the rights of the fellow Atheist, Jew, or Hindu? It does not. Supporting the popular faith of governmental ideas attacks that of anyone else of a different faith, and thus leads to oppression and war. To uphold a Democracy, you must not violate the natural born right of religious freedom. It violates my right to believe as I wish. It because I respect minority beliefs and that of our individual rights that I affirm the resolution.

To conclude, through the words of both the most popular church (Jesus) and through the foundation of a Democratic government (Constitution) agree for this resolution that I affirm it. It is through the prevention of several years of religious wars and oppression of rights and all history has taught I affirm the resolution. It is for that of individual religious freedoms I affirm the resolution. It for all these reasons, I affirm the resolution.

Thank you.
resolutionsmasher

Pro

I would like to thank you for posting this debate and allowing me to be the negative. Please excuse my random outburst earlier. I have turrets. Just kidding. But, no, seriously on to the debate. I now will start by offering my case and then addressing my opponent's.

1 Peter 2:16-17 (Old King James Version)
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
This verse shows how we should not misuse our faith but in fact to use it to honor the king, meaning the government. The words of Peter here show how we shouldn't abandon our faith in our relations with the government, but in fact use it to uplift our government.

In this debate I will value Natural Rights, specifically the rights to the pursuit of happiness and liberty. These rights are inalienable and cannot be rightfully taken from anyone by anyone save their creator (God, nature, chance).

Thus my criterion in today's debate will be social contract. I'm sure you're all familiar with the Hobbsian Social Contract Theory. So if you need further explanation about it I insist that you inquire of wikipedia. Otherwise I will move on.

I have three contentions to offer in today's debate.
CONTENTION 1: The Bible clearly supports a Church fully engrafted into the State.
CONTENTION 2: The Constitution does not imply strict separation but instead exactly half of that.
CONTENTION 3: Strict separation of Church and State detracts from natural rights.

Now back to my first contention. The Bible clearly supports a Church fully engrafted into the State. If you look at the old testament you see a nation (Israel) created by God for the purpose of glorifying God. At first and in its purest state it was a total and pure theocracy, where the government was God and that was that. This shows that God wholly supported the idea of a nation where church and state were not separated. This level of connection may be impractical and unattainable in today's world but its basics can still be reasonably practised in our modern Government.
A colonial period philosopher, Roger Williams (the man who first conceived separation of church and state), said, "Separation is not a principle that keeps the church from participating in government, but is in fact an idea that keeps the state out of the church and only that," Williams furthers, "The church is an institution of God and is therefore inherently good, the state is an institution of man is therefore inherently evil. If we allow the state to interfere with the church then its evil will corrupt the church. If the church is allowed to have a say in the government then its good will help to purify the state." I am not suggesting that the US government is evil but am instead saying that it has been purified of that evil by only partial separation of church and state.

This brings me to my second contention. The Constitution does not imply strict separation but instead exactly half of that. The first amendment reads," Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech....." As we can clearly see the founding fathers took to Mr. Williams idea of separation. Note that they specifically stated that the state stay out of the affairs of the church but never that the church stay out of the state. This is because it is impossible to uphold natural rights through strict and total separation of church and state.

Thus I arrive at my final contention. Strict separation of Church and State detracts from natural rights. To arrive at this conclusion I must quote the Encyclopedia of Psychology: "Every belief is a religion of sorts, even atheism, which requires its own amount of faith, is a religion in and of itself.... Every belief that one holds, experience that one has, event that one goes through effects our decision making thereafter, consciously or unconsciously, without exception....Therefore to perfectly separate church and state would mean to completely remove any notion of God from the thought process of every citizen of said country." Such a control on thought would violate every citizen's natural right to liberty thus strictly separating church and state would tear down natural rights, which is an unjust act and therefore cannot be allowed.

Now on to my opponent's case.

He began his case with a quote from Mathew 22:21 which I perfectly agree with. But I must point out that my opponent failed to correctly interpret this passage of scripture. Rather than requiring the strict separation of church and state he was tackling the problem of governmental obedience. If you look at history you see that Rome was in control of Israel at the time and the Jews were constantly questioning Rome's authority. The given statement from Jesus is his response on whether or not one should pay his taxes to an oppressive government. He said that while Caesar demands his tax, God demands his own and that we should obey both and pay both their due.

I have clearly shown in my own case how his value of Democracy is better upheld by negating the resolution. And thus it still stands, but as a point for my case, and not his.

Again my case upholds his criterion of Religious Freedom better than his. He makes the statement that the US non-involvement in 'Holy Wars' is due to the strict separation of church and state. This is false. Yes, the US has evaded such wars, but it has done so through partial separation and not strict separation.

My opponent brings up the 'Holy War' argument again as his first contention and I again negate this by saying that such success is not attributed to strict separation but to partial separation.

His second contention was that of the Constitution. I have explained in my second contention how this is completely incorrect and how the exact opposite is true instead.

My opponent brings into light the idea that if no strict separation is enforced then religious freedom for minority religious groups is lost. This is again false. I am not implying that the government declare a national religion or that they pass laws favoring Christians, but simply that prayer in schools is allowed if a teacher or student so chooses to participate, or a prayer to open a town hall meeting, or the freedom to hand some one a piece of religious literature in the airport with out getting sued. That is all I want protection from, these and other such restrictions given in the name of strict separation of church and state.

To conclude, through the words of the most the most popular religion (the Bible) and through the foundation of our government (the constitution and colonists) I must negate the resolution. It is through the preservation of the all important natural right to liberty that I must negate the resolution. It is for the better of our sovereign nation of the United States of America that I must negate the resolution. It is for all these reasons and many more that I must negate the resolution.

Thank You All.
Debate Round No. 2
Angrypants66

Con

I would like to thank for opponent for coperation in this debate switching side. Him and his turrets lol.

Anyways, I will in this round attack my opponents case then rebuild my own, however I'll start with the fallacies in my opponents case.

He assumes that we are all Christian. He has stated Bible passages and uses the Christian Bible for nearly his entire case. Need I remind you THIS is why we must have strict speration of church and state, so laws can not be based off of ones beliefs, but what benefits the greater good through FACTS, thus best serving Deomcracy. As an Atheist, I in no way benefit from laws being passed that are only passed because of his/her Christian or whatever faith. It infringes on my 1st Amendment rights.

I'd like to state the second fallacy in his case.
My opponent misinterprets the resolution. He states...
"I am not implying that the government declare a national religion or that they pass laws favoring Christians, but simply that prayer in schools is allowed if a teacher or student so chooses to participate, or a prayer to open a town hall meeting, or the freedom to hand some one a piece of religious literature in the airport with out getting sued."
Seperating church and state means seperating religion from influencing the governmental decisions in making laws. All those things are irrelivant because we are debating whether our Democracy is better held in making decisions in its laws reguarding religious beliefs.

Now onto the actual part of my opponents case..
My opponent values Natural Rights, now while I agree those are important, however my value of Democracy is superior being is what we are trying to prove how combining church and state is best serving it. Thus, if I value Democracy, I am valueing what the reolution is wanting best served.
His value still though contradicts his case. This leads to how bringing the church into government does NOT infringe on my Natural Rights, the thing my opponent clearly values over Democracy; what the reolution asks for serving...? It attacks those rights by the government forcing me to abide by it's laws (which are church orriented) and thus forcing me to believe in it's religious beliefs, violating my Natural Rights.
His criterion is the Social Contract. More specifically, Hobbe's Social Contract. For all that don't know, Hobbe was born during a time of war and wanted to do anything to prevent it. He is Brittish and therefore his Social Contract takes on the form of Monarchy, and his original intent in his Social Contract was that of Monarchy. Since the resolution is asking for what best serves Democracy, and since Hobbe's contract is talking about Monarchy, it is irrelivant to debate. My opponent contention is therefore dropped, and thus my opponent has NO criteria.

His first contention that the Bible clearly supports religion intertwining. This is indeed a fallacy as there were no Democracies at the time of the Bible. Also, why would you not write that you want your religion in government? It's only logical. Man has a craving for power, thus you would want your religion the most powerful, and thus needing a seat in government. This should not be allowed but any means however my opponents is obviously ok with that by negating the resolution.

His second contention is saying that the Constitution actually supports his side. This is due from what evidence? Oh, the interpretation he's providing from HIS opinion. With all due respect, that has no credibility to it. I could say the Constitution means that I'm justified to rape babies. That's how I may interpret it, however that doesn't make it true. My defination of it is a RULING by the Supreme Court, which I willl restate.
"To cut off forever every pretense of alliance between church and state in the National Government"
So how does the Constitution favor the Negative? Is does not. The Constitution was RULED by the SUPREME COURT JUSTICE as this meaning, thus my interpretation is superior. It's his own interpretation against a Supreme Court Justice, who wins? I believe the Supreme Court has more credibility.

His third contention I honestly do not understand. I don't understand how none strict seperation of church and state does infringe on Natural Rights. Last I checked, having the church inolved in government infringes in fact on the Natural Rights of the minority religion. Thus, this contention supports the Aff. I will further this in my defense arguement, mainly my 3rd contention.

Now unto my case..

My opponents main attack on my case is the arguement on the word 'strict'. This is obsolete simple because the church is too powerful of an organization. As history has shown, if only a partial allowance on church and state is prepetuated then it ends up turning into a dominated church-run-government, thus creating wars and tyranny. MY first contention of history is a stong one as that's how we have come so far is what we learn fro mour past. One big one, is the lesson in inolving church and state. My opponents attack is small considering the strength of this contention. There are more than just "Holly Wars" to back in history. Former President James Madison once said,
"The purpose of sepreation and stateis to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries"
History shows that the combination of church and state creates needless deaths and ends up destroying the very government, thus creating a less-served Democracy, and therefore voting negative crushes the resolution through history. We must learn our lessons in history, and only then can we better serve our Democracy.

My second contention of the Constitution stands on my side, as I have earlier proven. Supreme Court is more creditable than his own opinion, thus this still stands on my side.

His arguement against my third contention I explained in his fallacies. Even so, I'd like to understand how prayer in school would not infringe on the rights of those Jewish, Atheist, etc etc. It attacks them and thus is ignored. I don't require all to stand and resite "Abortion is wrong" everyday, it affects those that believe the opposite. To force someone to follow as you do is immoral and infringes on the rights of the minority and individual rights, which is the basis of which a Democracy is found on.

In conclusion I have shown my opponents fallacies and his flawed arguements. My case stands strong by protecting Religious AND Individual Rights AND uphold a Democracy. Through history, through the Constitution, and through the Individual Rights of the minority, the Aff best uphold a Democracy.

Vote Aff.

Thankyou :)
resolutionsmasher

Pro

First I will address his attacks on my case and then I will reattack his case.

He begins his attack on my case by saying that I assume that all you voters are Christian. I did no such thing. I merely provided scriptural evidence to OPPOSE his own scriptural evidence. As you can see I provide many other forms of non-bias evidence to prove my point.

His next attack is also against my case in general. He says that the examples I provided are not relevant to the resolution. Well my opponent is misinformed. These are all examples taken from United States current events. They are cases being tried in civil and criminal courts under the name of strict separation of church and state. If this is how our government has been interpreting 'strict' recently then it is obvious that these examples are relevant, because I am putting this debate in context of today's world. Something my opponent fails to do altogether. He doesn't look at the results of strict separation.

My opponent states that Democracy is more important than Natural Rights because it is used in the resolution. The connection that my opponent fails to make is that Democracy was founded upon the protection of Natural Rights and thus Natural Rights are superior. In spite of this, we can still see how I uphold even his value of Democracy along with my value of Natural Rights. The strict separation of church and state will, as I have proven, destroy both democracy and natural rights thus his value supports my case. I ask not for laws that favor a church in the name of lenient separation of church and state, but instead ask for the destruction of laws that provide for the disfavor of a church in the name of strict separation of church and state.

My opponent completely misinterprets my criterion of social contract. I shall fix this by listing fallacies in this attack as a list.
1. Hobbes was not British but instead Irish.
2. His social contract stated that man is naturally evil and will take advantage of one another if left to themselves (anarchy). Thus he proposes that the government (HE DOESN'T SPECIFY WHICH GOVERNMENT) is set in place to keep this natural tendency from occurring. Our own democracy was founded on a mix of both John Locke's and Thomas Hobbes' social contract theories. Thus my criterion applies to all governments including democracies.
3. Thus my criterion stands.

He states that my first contention is against the resolution and that it therefore does not back up my case. This is true. It does not back up my case but instead stands as further attack on the aspects of his case that claim that the bible stands for his case.

He attacks my second contention by saying that a SUPREME COURT RULING has proven me wrong. And that the info I provide is purely bias. First of all my interpretation was not bias. It was from a book called the Constitutional Commentary co-authored by over two hundred men and women from various religions, parties, races, social backgrounds, and geological areas. Thus it is not bias but is instead a very well balanced interpretation of the Constitution. I would also like to bring up the so called Supreme Court trial that he provides. For yours and his information that very court case was overturned FIVE YEARS LATER. Thus his point is irrelevant. But there's my point. The Supreme Court is not a reliable source for long term morality ideology because it is so fickle. The court has changed its stances on many issues including Church and State for its entire life time. How do we know which one is right? The answer: we can't. Thus the supreme court is not a valid source of info in this debate.

Pertaining to his attack on my third contention, I'd like to repeat. I am not for total integration of church and state, but am instead for the partial separation of the two. Why? because as I've proven with the examples from current events, the STRICT separation is going to far and infringing on certain people's rights. Only partial separation has proven to be effective and right. I'm not saying that the church should have a say in the government's every decision, but instead not be totally alienated from society by such separation laws.

Now on to his case.

My opponent rebuilds his entire case in general by saying that I attack the word 'strict'. He then goes on to say that the church is too powerful of an organization to have a say in government. I agree. Any one church or religion is too powerful to affect government alone. That's why I ask for equal protection of all religions from said strict separation laws. Over 40% of those current event cases I showed to you all were actually against the Muslim, Hindu, and Bhuddists faiths. All of the historical problems due to integration of church and state were due to complete integration and only one religion. There is no negative historical proof that says a lenient separation and protection of all religions will not be successful.

He doesn't rebuild my attacks on his value or criterion and first contention. Thus my attacks stand and his case fails.

He rebuilds his second contention by pointing out his attacks on my second contention, which I have effectively refuted. Thus his rebuild fails.

He rebuilds his third contention by saying that allowing one child to pray in school around those of other religions is offensive to other children. This is preposterous. If a child wants to pray on his/her own before lunch or before the start of school, then let him/her do so because it is their natural right.

In conclusion I have shown my opponent's undemocratic arguments, shown where his purposes will take any democracy, and shown how the opposite is best for this nation as well as any other democracy. His case is weak because it degrades natural rights, religious freedoms, and democracy. To put it simply, in a democracy, the people are the government. As I have proven, all people have a religion of some sort. Thus in a democracy there is no way to strictly separate church and state and still have a democracy. Thus the Negative is the only logical choice in this debate.

I now urge you to vote for the negative ballot. Thank You all.
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 7 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Your proofless distrust is what has tarnished this nation, not the closeness between church and state. I believe that there is a perfect distance between the two. Any closer and people lose rights. Any farther and people lose rights.
Posted by Haunted-Soul 7 years ago
Haunted-Soul
Freedom is measured in the distance between church and state.

To much of anything, even if its good, can harm you.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 7 years ago
resolutionsmasher
There was a problem with editing the debate.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Why are the PRO and CON sides switched?
Posted by Angrypants66 7 years ago
Angrypants66
I know lol. Eh it's ok, were almost done with this debate in my debate class anyways so it's all good.
My Aff case was pretty dam good too. I wish I'd had more to say :/
Posted by resolutionsmasher 7 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Do you realize that I still would have had the last laugh?

Whatever. It was fun. Challenge me sometime.
Posted by Angrypants66 7 years ago
Angrypants66
This sucks... Because I totally didn't set my last speech up as a closure, it was set to further the debate through. That totally screwed me up :(
It sucks too cuz I have lots of arguements against my opponent and it sucks because he's actually knowledgable in this and the debate coulda gone A LOT better with one more round...
Laaaame.
Posted by Angrypants66 7 years ago
Angrypants66
Oh you gotta kidding me...
I totally forgot round one was a bye... !
Posted by resolutionsmasher 7 years ago
resolutionsmasher
What do you mean your next one? This was the final round of this debate..
Posted by Angrypants66 7 years ago
Angrypants66
But my next one will be up tomorrow for sure.
You better hurry though... You only have 5 hours!
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