The Instigator
AlexRich
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
Chuckles
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

Separation of Church and State Should Be Absolute

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/20/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,651 times Debate No: 2813
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (14)

 

AlexRich

Pro

For any state to be truly free, especially in a functioning democracy, we must have the absolute separation of church and state. Without the separation of any sort of religious influence from state affairs it not only hurts the state but also puts religions under government influence. There are many empirical examples of how interference with state by the church and visa versa have harmed both.
Chuckles

Con

well, to a point i agree with you. in fact i'm not exactly sure where i stand on this issue, but i am debating a point of view i've advocated in speeches before.
Good luck to you, alexrich, i hope this is a fun debate.

Basically, the idea i am advocating is that Church and State should be separated only to a point. Basically that Church and state are separated but religion and politics should not be. Please do not say that simply because you could quote me as saying "church and state should be separated" i must concede the round because i'm agreeing with you. I'm just partially agreeing. and i am arguing against part of it. And i will be using america as an example and the area for parts of this debate.

Okay, so to explain the previous confusing paragraph, here's what i am trying to say: in a democracy, the original form of the government should separate Church & state. But after that, all guarantees are down as to that separation enduring.
Basically, the "founding fathers" of a nation should have the democratic government separating church and state. Once that form is laid down, the democracy is open to continually change in shape and nature. For example, one idea i have heard in this topic of debate is that if a candidate for president (or any office) has radical ideas, they should be prevented from running. I disagree strongly, and this is where religion and politics should mix. Say this radical candidate advocates a certain religion and says that anyone who will not join that religion should be disadvantaged. That candidate should be able to run, and hold office if elected.

The responsibility in a democracy to keep this separation of church and state should lie with the people.

The people should not elect this candidate, but he should be allowed to run. This way he still has his rights, and the government's principles are upheld.
A person's religious views very often affect his political views.
basically what i am saying is that the government should not limit the church/state relationship, but the people should do so by careful elections and voting. A candidate has every right to bring any skewed or radical views to his office if elected. He may attempt to bring legislation to enact those views. In that case, the people must not elect him. He has every right to try and pass the legislation, and the people have an obligation to keep him from actually passing that bill.

I think what i am trying to say is that after an initial "wall of separation" is made, religion should have every right to the opportunity to influence legislation to its advantage. And citizens should have the responsibility to stop that legislation from passing, or that candidate from being elected.
After the original form, democratic government has no right nor obligation to separate church and state. The people and their representatives have that obligation.

Thank you and i hope that made sense...
i'm a little tired.
Debate Round No. 1
AlexRich

Pro

Your arguments are about as confusing as the logic of the Westboro Baptist Church, but I'm confident I can handle them.

First, a little history lesson. The founding fathers shaped the constitution of this nation on the philosophy of John Locke, a famous English philosopher. According to Locke's social contract theory, government lacks the authority in the realm of the conscience, and this created a natural right in the liberty of conscience, which he argued must therefore remain inviolable by any government authority. When the founding fathers set down the constitution they did so to prevent any sort of national church from being established and also to protect civil servants to any sort of Test Act legislation.

The most important thing to remember for this debate was the first part of that, no government sponsorship of any sort of religion. Empirically, when the government steps in to support one kind of religion, the others are systematically stamped out (England under Queens Mary and Elizabeth, the 30 Years War, and modern day Islamic states to name but a few).

Despite what you may think, the government has much more power over your day to day life. Countries like Sweden and Denmark, who are truly more free than ourselves, are among the most secular states in the world, and they do not have the crippling arguments over state sponsorship of any single church like we have in the U.S.

I totally agree that any candidate should run for office and if voted in should try and shape the country as he sees fit. But when it comes to the separation of church and state the Supreme Court will have the final say on whether or not his attempts to create a more religious state are justified, and we have seen time and time again how the Supreme Court has trounced any such legislation.

As for your "obligation" argument, the state has every right to defend itself against the advances of the church in every form. It is a ridiculous position that the state should not have this power because, after all, the state's first goal is always the preservation of self, and a functioning democracy cannot and should not have the influence of the church upon it.
Chuckles

Con

Chuckles forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
AlexRich

Pro

This is something that makes me really mad about this site. So many people love to start debates but refuse to finish them.
Chuckles

Con

sorry about the dropped round. i don't always get on the computer daily. and it's the end of the trimester at school, i had three finals given today. i apologize.

i further apologize, i hope to god that my argument wasn't THAT confusing. sorry.

basically where i disagreed with you was that the government should continue to keep religion out. i believe (at least in a democracy) that since the government is for the people, that the people should decide how incorporated religion is in a government. it may be a "ridiculous position" to have the people decide how they are governed, but that is my position.

on your rebuttal to my candidate example:
you said this would ultimately be decided by the supreme court, but that has nothing to do with whether it SHOULD happen. It has everything to do with IF it could happen, not SHOULD. i was focusing on SHOULD, as the resolution said.

and the fact that the founding fathers set down the constitution for this purpose is irrelevant according to the resolution.

Basically what i am saying boils down to this: after an initial government is set up, it should be the people's decision on how incorporated religion is in THEIR government.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
i do agree with gary bacon. alcohol should be available for sale anytime.
Posted by GaryBacon 9 years ago
GaryBacon
I agree. This is especially true when it comes to the laws regarding the sale of alcohol. I see no reason why I can't purchase beer before noon on a Sunday. It is not the government's place to tell me that I should be in church instead. I should have the right to purchase beer whenever I feel like it!
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by brendizzle29 8 years ago
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