The Instigator
FrontLineConservative
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
Scyrone
Pro (for)
Losing
25 Points

Separation of Church and State

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,559 times Debate No: 765
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (43)
Votes (17)

 

FrontLineConservative

Con

The concept of "the separation of Church and State" is not mentioned in our U.S. Constitution. This is something that pseudo-elitists and the liberal political machine have tried to implant in the general public as a way of ridding our nation of it's Judeo-Christian roots. But, I also believe that a "theocratic" government can do more harm than good.
Scyrone

Pro

I will be your opponent.

Seperation of Church and State is not mentioned in the Consitution. But that does not mean it cannot be a law. It is illegal in Ohio to smoke in a public place (restaurants, pool halls, etc.). But it does not say that in the Consitution. The Consitution, however, does say "Freedom of Religion". This applies in two distinct ways. First, the Constitution applies mostly to the individual citizen of the United States of America. When they say Freedom of Religion they mean that each citizen has the right to practice his or her own religion. Secondly, it means "Freedom of religion" as in "Freedom from religion". You do not have to be forced to follow any religious rules or rights that conflict with your own religion or beliefs. In other words, no prayer could be said in Public Schools for it might take offense to an Islamic child or an Atheist. Also, no things such as "Merry Christmas" can be said, and no "Ten Commandments" can be displayed.

These will infringe on the rights of many Americans and citizens who want to be free of Christian dogma.

"ridding our nation of it's Judeo-Christian roots"

We didn't have Judeo-Christian roots. The writers of our government and the Constitution were smart enough and very free-thinking to exclude religion from government.

I think it was also John Locke who had the idea that the government cannot control things such as religion, because they focus on the people, not the individual thought.
Debate Round No. 1
FrontLineConservative

Con

Who said that you cannot say things such as "Merry Christmas" and that the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed? A judge that does not understand, or refuses to understand what the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment really means (Judge Myron Thompson for example).

Explain how "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" translates to "you cannot say Merry Christmas" or "it is against the law to display the Ten Commandments". If you display the 10 Commandments, you do so not because their is a law that supports your decision, you do it because you have the constitutional right to do so.

You say that we didn't have Judeo-Christian roots. You're very wrong. You don't have to believe in God or even agree with Christians for that matter, but to say that "We didn't have Judeo-Christian roots. The writers of our government and the Constitution were smart enough and very free-thinking to exclude religion from government" is showing that you are unable to accept history as it is.

Here are just a few facts about our nations Judeo-Christian roots:

-In 1777, with the Revolutionary War threatening the flow of Bibles from England, (here's the good part) Congress approved the purchase of 20,000 Bibles from Holland to give to the states.

-No fewer than 6 of the 13 original states had official, state-supported churches-"establishments of religion"! In fact, these states - Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and South Carolina - refused to ratify the new national Constitution unless it included a prohibition of federal meddling with their existing state "establishments of religion."

-Other states required those seeking elected office to be Christians.

-The Continental Congress routinely designated days of fasting and prayer and other religious observances, appointed government-funded chaplains, and appropriated money to pay for Christian missionaries to convert the Indians.

Now explain to me how we were not founded on Judeo-Christian roots.
Scyrone

Pro

"Explain how "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" translates to "you cannot say Merry Christmas" or "it is against the law to display the Ten Commandments"."

Oh, you can say Merry Christmas to those that believe in Christmas, and you can display the Ten Commandments in your Christian home or Church, but not in a government building. Christmas, although stolen from a pagan holiday, is mainly now a Christian holiday that is built around the Birth of Jesus, whom does not exist. This is from a religious standard, which the Government, who if accepts this standard, is accepting a religion, and promoting one above many other while also offending others. To display the Ten Commandments in a public place may hurt another non-Christian's self image. By Congress saying, "This is perfectly legal to both accounts," they are establishing a religion, which they are forbidden to do.

"Now explain to me how we were not founded on Judeo-Christian roots."

Our founding fathers were free-thinkers, but the people that followed them were crazy, power-hungry Christians:

-Slavery

-Racism towards everyone who wasn't white (including women and children)

-We killed without authority by the government

-We were anti-feminists

-We counted black people as only 3/5 human

Christianity has a better attitude than this. Yes, there are many things wrong with Christianity, but one of the things does not include racism or anti-feminism or even slavery. Yes, Congress could've approved Bibles, but they did not force them onto anyone. And yes, they appointed chaplains to convert Indians, but they themselves did not convert Indians. We were not Judeo-Christian based. The Bible is a book of ancients meant for a time before logic, knowledge, and wisdom. Most of the founding fathers were Freemason to say in the least.
Debate Round No. 2
FrontLineConservative

Con

Ok, I don't think that you understand what I'm arguing. My argument is that there is no such thing as "separation of church and state." You agree with me that there is no mention of this in the U.S. constitution. I'm simply saying that you cannot pass laws that prohibit Christian symbols in public places. To pass a law saying that it breaches the 1st Amendment is completely wrong.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This means that they cannot make a law that supports a national or state religion. One of the primaries reasons why people came to America was so that they could exercise their own religion.

It is, as you state, "perfectly legal" to display the Ten Commandments in a public place. This is backed up by "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." By displaying the Ten Commandments in public or governmental places they are exercising their right which is also stated in the first amendment "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The towns that have removed the Ten Commandments or that prohibit Christian symbols are doing this unconstitutionally.

Take Chief Justice William Rehnquist. This is his account on the myth of "separation of church and state":

"On the basis of the record of these proceedings (1789 First Amendment deliberations) in the House of Representatives, James Madison was undoubtedly the most important architect among the Members of the House of the Amendments which became the Bill of Rights.... His original language, "nor shall any national religion be established," obviously does not conform to the "wall of separation" between church and State idea which latter-day commentators have ascribed to him. His explanation on the floor of the meaning of his language--"that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law" is of the same ilk.... It seems indisputable from these glimpses of Madison's thinking, as reflected by actions on the floor of the House in 1789, that he saw the Amendment as designed to prohibit the establishment of a national religion, and perhaps to prevent discrimination among sects. He did not see it as requiring neutrality on the part of government between religion and irreligion."

From my perspective, it seems that you have a problem with Christians/Christianity. You state a few of the mistakes that Christians have made over the past 200+ years. Christians have failed on many things and will continue to. This is just a fact of life we all make mistakes.
Scyrone

Pro

"To pass a law saying that it breaches the 1st Amendment is completely wrong."

Heh, I see you barely read my argument on individuality. The Constitution applies to the individual. Not a group. Every person shall have the free practice of religion. Your practice of religion does not include displaying the Ten Commandments. It does not say in the Bible "Thou shalt display the Ten Commandments everywhere". It does not say ANYTHING about Christmas. Those holidays and the Ten Commandments and your megalomaniac God can be practiced exactly where they are supposed to be, in a Church. THAT is what the Constitution permits you. If every person has the right to freedom of religion then every person has the right to be free from religion. Separation of Church and State is meant to be there. It is an accepted law. It does not contradict your freedom of religion because the Church is far from the Constitution. I wouldn't be the first one to say "You might not see it but it is there." Separation of Church and State might not be part of the Constitution, but it is there, just like a pathetic argument for God.

"By displaying the Ten Commandments in public or governmental places they are exercising their right which is also stated in the first amendment"

But Congress is not a person. They are a group of people set out by the Government. The Constitution applies to each of them individually, not them as a group. There is a major difference between a person and people. As Congress, they may not respect a right of establishment of religion, but as each of there own selves, they may do as they please religious wise.

To sum myself up:

1. Separation of church and State does exist

2. It does not defeat the purpose of the 1st Amendment, it upholds it.

3. The Constitution applies to the individual self, therefore so does the first amendment.

4. Therefore, it is not constitutional for Congress or forms of government or leadership to display God-loving symbols.

5. Ergo, Separation not only exists, but has a purpose for its existence.
Debate Round No. 3
43 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
clsmooth, how was Harry S Truman (his full name) a mass-murderer? If it weren't for him, we might have been taken over by the Japanese (Not to mention every single American citizen would have been killed, according to their plans, and there were several more plots by the Japanese government to take over the United States, e.g., University of Osaka, and numerous other Japanese universities' campuses on American soil.), and millions more people would have been killed if not for the nuking of Hiroshima, as well as Nagasaki.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
I am a libertarian, we should have more freedoms (limited to the United States Constitution), but I am not crazy like some are. I actually think you are a great debater, Solarman. But we're not lunatics.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values, but we do have separation of church and state.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Who are you, Lincoln? You SAY you believe in less government and more freedom, but you argue for more of the former and less of the latter. Since when were FDR, Churchill, or Stalin for less government and more freedom? Why not idolize Hitler and say you're for tolerance? It would be no less illogical.
Posted by FrontLineConservative 9 years ago
FrontLineConservative
solarman-
have at it! i don't know what to say anymore. we believe in less government and love freedom.

personally, ron paul wouldn't be a bad president. but, he's not my first choice.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
E tu, solarman? Another FDR fan "conservative"? Give me a break! You guys love the government and hate freedom. This is what "conservatism" has become and why there is NO DIFFERENCE between conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans. This is why you guys can't stand Ron Paul -- he points out that you guys are about two degrees to the right of Hillary, and 178 to the left of Thomas Jefferson, Grover Cleveland, and every great American Patriot.
Posted by Solarman1969 9 years ago
Solarman1969
hey front line

It is nice to see another conservative show this libertarian that he is a lunchbox and way out in left field and not in political reality- not even close!

yeah- were liberals! HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !

Fred's the man- I hope he gets the nod
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
What? I have nothing against foreign-owned companies, you idiot. I'm a capitalist!

Churchill was a warmongering statist bastard who manipulated the U.S. into a war that his pathetic country could not win. Neville Chamberlain was an idiot socialist. You are a dumb liberal. Churchill, Stalin, and FDR -- three peas in a pod. Don't you know the conservative Old Right in the U.S. opposed them all? Of course you don't. You were brainwashed by socialist schoolteachers.

To be fair, thinking FDR was a good president doesn't really make you a "socialist" -- it makes you either a fascist or a complete idiot. My bet is both.

Why would I attack you for your religious beliefs? Almost all of my favorite intellectuals are Christians; most of the others are/were Jewish. Most atheist "intellectuals" are warmongering idiots.

I attack you because you insulted me and then proceeded to show your lack of intelligence and your liberal-interventionist (mis)understanding of history and complete lack of economics education. Maybe one day you'll get it.
Posted by FrontLineConservative 9 years ago
FrontLineConservative
clsmooth-
You are a piece of work. I'm really glad that you are contributing your input by way of this comment board. I absolutely love how you labeled me a "liberal" because I think that FDR was a good president. You thought that you had me on with Abraham Lincoln, but I know all too well that he did not end slavery. You were so close but yet so far away.

ExxonMobil... I really wish I knew what you do for a living. My great-granddad worked for ExxonMobil for 40+ years. He's a sell-out, right? Working for a foreign owned company!

I love how you think that FDR "lied" us into the war. I bet you are a modern day Neville Chamberlain. Let's just appease our enemies in hopes that they won't attack us. That worked real well for him. I wonder what your thoughts are on Winston Churchill? He must be a "warmongering liberal" for fighting the Nazi regime.

You're from Michigan. I'm from Texas. In your eyes Ron Paul can't do anything wrong. You're entitled to that opinion. Just as you are entitled to calling me whatever you want. I really don't care... my self confidence isn't measured by whether or not someone on debate.org agrees with me or not. You might gauge your confidence on that, but not me.

I didn't attack your religious beliefs... you don't have any for me to attack. Your profile states that you are an atheist. I'm a Christian... go ahead attack me. I'm not going to cry about it.

It's a great thing that we can debate topics that are not going to sway people one way or the other.

Keep it up clsmooth! Go ahead and keep on making those personal attacks on a comment board. If that's not classy, I don't know what is.

I'm done addressing you. I don't have the time or the desire to continue to read what you write down. College is a b*tch sometimes, right?
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Exxon and Mobil are the same company. If they "and all the rest colluded" then there would be some company who would sell for the "real" price. You honestly think every oil source could collude? That's a fantasy. But if it were true, guess what -- the market would develop alternatives. When GM started working on electric cars, the Saudis ramped up oil production to clash the price of oil, thus making the electric-car R&D unattractive. The electric car was scrapped.

Ron Paul cannot and would not try to overrule local and state laws. But yes, in a laissez-faire capitalist society (i.e. a free society), anyone would be able to use their property however they saw fit, so long as they did not violate the property rights of their neighbors. The government would not own any land, because that is the essence of communism. So ANWR would be owned by someone -- maybe the environmentalists would buy it to keep it safe. Of course, you, being a proto-commie, would probably advocate the government taking it back by force to be put to "better use" -- just as you advocate mercantilist wars for oil. That's not capitalism, my friend. You need to get off the colodial silver, put down the bong, give up your study of Eastern religions and study Austrian economics, because you're way off in your analysis.
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