The Christian Church Should be Funded by the USFG
Debate Round Forfeited
WKOJ has forfeited round #4.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
|Voting Style:||Open||Point System:||7 Point|
|Updated:||2 months ago||Status:||Debating Period|
|Viewed:||219 times||Debate No:||94288|
Debate Rounds (4)
Hello everyone! This debate will consider the merits of the USFG funding the Christian church. My opponent is a newly established DDO user whose first debate is on this topic, and I narrowly missed the opportunity to accept his challenge.
Full Resolution: The USFG should fund/subsidize the Christian church.
R1: Acceptance/Opening Arguments by Pro
R2: Opening Arguments by Con/Rebuttal
R3: Rebuttal, cont.
R4: Final Remarks
I will leave it up to my opponent to define the limits of the USFG and what the "Christian church" actually is, and I will contend if necessary. Best of luck to my opponent in his opening arguments.
Thank you Con, for taking me as an opponent after my other debate ended being bombed.
As the rules say, I'll use this round for Acceptance and arguments.
Opening Arguments of Pro
Before I start, the Christian Church applies to all churches legally approved by the government and represent official branches of Christianity. By funding, I should say that a small portion of the United States income should be sent towards the religion.
I. Christianity Outnumbers Other Religions In The U.S.
It is not a surprise that Christianity is the most sizable religion inside the United States (http://www.gallup.com...) . Such an important religion is bound to have influence within the United States and in order not to upset the country's greatest audience, the U.S. should be expected to start funding their cause. If the American government decides to start funding Christianity in the US, they should expect a greater rise in faith and well-being, as the ideals of the religion represent peace and harmony. A common idea that no one can refuse. This country is also founded upon the ideals of democracy and liberty, where the power stays among the people, and studies have shown that Christians are open about their faith in their jobs. They are also open to their faith and loyal to their own believers in politics, as Christians mostly refuse to vote for any other persons other than their own faith (https://www.usa.church...). Heretofore, it is not an exact merge between Church & State, but a worthy investment for the country to secure a true bond with her people.
II. The Church Helps Others
The Church does more than satisfy their own needs, they also receive many donations which from the U.S. government, should be expected to redistribute their income among the needy within their communities (http://www.mustministries.org...). The US taxation system which favors welfare, should be marginally redirected towards funding the Churches of Christianity as people are more open to donations of faith rather than the poor. Religion is also a great bond for people, and if more resources are allocated in favor of religion, people should find their communities blessed with their regional church to blame for such a positive environment.
III. Does Not Violate 1st Amendment
Most people believe that such a program diverted to funding a faith would shatter freedom of religion in the US which is not true. I am not advocating for State Religion, I am advocating for a gateway of funding that helps in more ways than one, including bonds between the government and people for respect of the majority faith, bonds between each other under the principles of faith. and a reborn community blessed with the resources the nation had granted. The American constitution does not stop state funded churches (https://en.wikipedia.org...) nor does any other amendment stop such funding.
Those are my points for the state to fund Christianity, I hope my opponent goes easy on me! Good luck, friend.
I thank my opponent for his prompt acceptance and opening arguments. I do clarify, however, that my opponent has not yet given us a sufficient outline of how "a small portion of the United States income should be sent towards the religion" and what that process may entail. That is a question worth asking whilst considering the validity of my opponent's claims.
Essentially, my case rests on the assertion that funding the Christian church constitutes a violation of equality under the law, especially when considering the religious affiliations of non-Christians, which are a growing demographic, currently representing over a quarter of the US population. I will explain further.
Here are my opening arguments.
1) Funding ecclesiastical institutions constitutes a violation of equality under the law.
Non-Christians represent a growing American demographic, one that now comprises of just over a quarter of the population of the United States.  By giving money to the Christian Church, the USFG legitimizes a preferential treatment of what I concede to be the "majority religion". Be aware that the resolution specifically sets aside the Christian church for funding; it can be inferred that other religious institutions are not given the same funds. Even if Christians represent the majority of the US population, American religious minorities are therefore treated unequally before the law.
I'm sure my opponent would agree that a just society upholds the principle of equality under the law. A society in which minority religious institutions are not "given their due" is one that is wholly unjust and unfair.  It is the same as saying to a particular supermarket or a specific labor union that they can receive federal funds; even if they provide a service, and even if a majority of Americans may shop there or belong to their organization, the act preferential treatment, in this sense, constitutes an unjust society.
2) The act of funding a religious institution is unconstitutional.
My opponent very curtly dismisses the claim that this funding would be unconstitutional. On the contrary, the funding of any religious institution, regardless of their size, is a violation of the Constitution.
The 1971 Supreme Court case Lemon v. Kurtzman established that the funding of non-state, non-secular institutions violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.  The plaintiff established and the court reinforced a process known as the Lemon Test, for determining the constitutionality of legislation dealing with the funding of these institutions. Several criteria were set forth to define the legality of funding involving religious groups and institutions, including that the statute being considered must have a "secular purpose" and must not result in "excessive government entanglement in religious affairs". Lemon's test also defined several factors to determine what constitutes this "excessive government entanglement", including the nature of the aid provided and the resulting relationship between the government and religious institutions. 
Clearly, federal funding of the Christian church, for whatever reason, is not secular in nature. The funding establishes a direct link between the USFG and the Christian church, resulting in this "entanglement" Lemon describes. It follows that federal funding of the Christian church is obviously unconstitutional; SCOTUS ruled in this manner to specifically avoid this type of legislation from being permitted under the Constitution.
It is clear that federal funding, in and of itself, constitutes a violation of equality under the law, and is clearly unconstitutional. As a fair, just society, we cannot allow the USFG to fund religious institutions.
I await my opponent's rebuttal.
Thank you for your arguments.
A small portion of the U.S. income should be 25% of the current welfare expenditure, which amounts to about $250,000,000 (http://www.usgovernmentspending.com...). I would argue for using welfare budgets because welfare does not have a correlation to poverty and crime and has been considered ineffective by many studies (http://www.heritage.org...).
II. Funding ecclesiastical institutions
Non-Christians in the U.S. only make up 13% of the American population (http://abcnews.go.com...) which is more like 1/9th rather than a quarter, 1/4th. You argue that funding Christians would make religious minorities treated unequally but it wouldn't be under the law that the Christian churches receive their grants, it would be executive orders and federal expenditures; a new form of welfare. So I do agree a just society upholds the principle of equality and law, but Christian institutions would only be given federal grants.
It is not the same as calling the funding equivalent to funding a particular industry or market. Christianity makes up more than 80% of the American public, who would feel much greater bonds to the U.S. government and their treatment to Christian Americans who make up an influential amount of people. The U.S. government would benefit for financial ties with the Christian church. As for the religious minorities, they wouldn't be persecuted, they would simply not recieve grants.
III. Funding a religious institution is constitutional
I'd like to point out that the results of the case came to the conclusion that the "states cannot fund religious institutions" and not the state of the government. The fact that a nation is funding the institution for the secular purpose of welfare and community bonding does not make it unconstitutional. Therefore, government funding does not violate the constitution.
I look forward to rebuttals!
I thank my opponent for his speedy response. Here is my rebuttal.
First of all, I accept my opponent's funding arrangement. Legitimate or not, and regardless of whether I agree with it, there is no point contesting something that does not advance Pro's position nevertheless. This is not a concession, since my opponent's proposed financial plan is not an argument for the inherent validity of the USFG funding the Christian church.
R1) Pro's plan to divert funds from welfare does not take away from the fact that the funding of the Christian church constitutes inequality before the law.
My opponent may dispute the share of the US population comprised of non-Christians; it is irrelevant regardless. The flaw in my opponent's response is his lack of understanding of the principle of equality under the law. Whether it is via executive order or congressional approval, the principle still applies. The method by which the policy is enacted does not affect whether or not it is unjust. Even if segregation under the Jim Crow laws was enforced by executive order, the policies themselves were still wholly unjust.
I have yet to observe a group of people that feels closer to their government because their religious institution is federally supported; if my opponent would like to bring forth evidence for this assertion, I would gladly consider it.
My opponent also infers that a religious group must be persecuted for it to be considered unequal before the law; this is obviously false as I have already shown in the previous round, as preferential treatment in any form is unjust at the government level.
R2) States funding religious institutions meets the same fate as federal funding initiatives.
Lemon v. Kurtzman established the test that I have already explained. Excessive government entangling in religious affairs can occur at the state level and at the federal level, and it is treated the same under the law. The constitutionality of a policy as defined by the Supreme Court sets a precedent that can be applied to all law interpreted from the time the original decision, as shown by many historical applications of legal precedents. 
Regardless of whether the funding is for the "secular purpose of welfare", the fact that the government is directly funding a religious institution fails the Lemon test as established by the SCOTUS.
I have yet to see my claim to unconstitutionality adequately refuted.
Thus far, my arguments stand. Let's take a look at my opponent's arguments. Note that I will leave out my opponent's claim to constitutionality, as my argument already shows that the USFG funding the Christian church is already unconstitutional.
R3) "Majority rules" does not adequately address the problem of inequality before the law.
As we have observed historically, the right to equality under the law does not only extend to the majority. During the Civil Rights Era, for example, whites greatly outnumbered blacks. However, the right to equality under the law still applied to minority groups. Minority religious institutions cannot be treated differently under the law than the Christian church if we are to live in a just society.
The fact that the church helps struggling people is self-evident. Religious charity organizations contribute immensely to our society. However, the preferential funding of the church inherently endorses a belief in the church's righteousness, which is debatable. Beliefs shared by some Christian denominations are directly contrary to current policy (gay marriage is a notable example). It is better, therefore, for the government to stay out of it entirely.
Again, it is unjust to designate the Christian church as a means through which the community can be benefited as a whole; the only institution which, by definition, represents the entirety of the community is the government. It is the government's duty in its own right to care for and represent struggling citizens; this is not to say that the Christian church does not have a right and ability to help in their communities, but it is inherently wrong for the government to funnel relief money through the Christian church, which fails to represent the whole community. The government can perform their own duty as they should.
I find my opponent's arguments refuted. His claim to constitutionality is misinformed. The problem of unequal treatment before the law has not been addressed. The fact that the church helps people is self-evident, but the government can better represent the community by definition, and the funneling of money through a religious institution is a form of unjustly and unconstitutionally instituted welfare.
I await my opponent's response.
I. Christian church funding
I have to argue that I think it is just that the Christian church gets their grants because they will divide it among the community again. Whether or not it is equal, it is fundamentally beneficial.
I should have provided examples before. There are more than 10 countries (Christian) that have agreements with the Church for either political or financial backing and their relationship with the governments are stable (https://en.wikipedia.org...). In some of these countries, there is even heavy financial backings to the Christian community!
I should say now that whether or not it is unequal again, the benefits do condone the special treatment for the greater well being of the country.
II. States funding religion
I think that con is still only making assertions that a federal level would not be condoned by the supreme court as the case you brought up doesn't directly state a problem with the federal government unable to involve themselves in financial religious affairs. This means this argument can only be an assumption on your part.
I have adequately refuted your constitutional claims do to lack of direct SCOTUS statements. Even if you are right, the purpose of this argument shows that it would be beneficial for the government to finance the church, not whether it is allowed.
III. Majority Rules
I think it is unfair to compare religious minorities with ethnic minorities. Black people were treated with horrible lower class remarks while whites were treated without special benefits, just benefits in general. Religion is different as the U.S. isn't banishing or forcing religious minorities into the lower class.
I also think that because the church becomes the new welfare gateway for those helping the community does not mean that the church will invade the USFG and change all laws. It is better for federal welfare to be replaced.
I conclude by saying that my arguments have been provided and I look forward to the debates of my opponent!
I thank my opponent for his valiant efforts and an excellent debate. Here are my final points.
1) The argument that other countries' governments have links to their domestic religious groups displays no warrant nor an impact.
Simply put, there is no substance to this argument. Just because a handful of countries around the world display connections between the church and the state does not mean it is beneficial for us to do so. And where is the evidence this advances their communities? Where is the evidence that this conflation of church and state really helps their society? These questions have not been answered by Pro.
2) The role of legal precedents as established by the Supreme Court is not assumed.
The Supreme Court's role is to interpret the law and set legal precedents for the future courts to act upon to ensure consistency. Lemon v. Kurtzman set a very clear precedent regardless of who Lemon and Kurtzman were; excessive government entanglement in religious affairs is constitutionally unacceptable. The funding of the Christian church, whether or not for redistribution's sake, is not secular; it is the government interfering within the religious sphere and injecting federal funding to advance an institution. All of the criteria of the Lemon test, as I have clarified in the previous rounds, are violated in full.
Pro displays a very clear misunderstanding of the judicial system within the US government when he claims I am assuming the unconstitutionality in this particular case; legal precedents exist, and are in effect. The Supreme Court rules based on these precedents, and ardently upholds them, in many cases. The source I mentioned in the last round proves that. There is a specific legal precedent set in Lemon v. Kurtzman which Pro dismisses without thought, case or rebuttal.
The claim that the Supreme Court has not directly addressed the issue of separation of church and state, and how it may apply in these cases, is ludicrous. The Lemon test, as I have brought up countless times, is clear in its application.
3) The USFG funding the Christian church is preferential treatment nonetheless.
Just like whites vs. blacks under the Jim Crow laws. It may be a crude comparison, but it is certainly valid; preferential treatment by discrimination does not belong in a just society, a point that has not been addressed at all by Pro. Pro makes no effort to refute the core of my argument, and only points out tiny details without addressing the fundamental concepts I have brought forth in the previous rounds.
As of now, at the end of this debate, the validity of my opponent's arguments rests on his assertion that government welfare programs need to be replaced by this new church-run welfare system. Pro never brings up any evidence to suggest this would be beneficial at all. I see no data, nor any sources suggesting countries benefit from diverting welfare through the church. All we got was a list of countries that have done so.
Pro made the bare-faced assumption that the affirmation of the Lemon test has not set a legal precedent, and that the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman does not directly address funding religious institutions. I have made clear arguments on how funding the Christian church would violate the Lemon test regardless of whether it is for the purpose of welfare. These specific points have not been refuted nor even responded to.
I ask voters to consider the validity of my opponent's arguments and weigh them against mine, and one will clearly notice the lack of substance to Pro's claims. There is simply no basis for the Christian church to receive federal funds; it puts minority religious institutions at an inherent disadvantage and is obviously unconstitutional. There is nothing more to say.
I humbly ask for your vote. Thank you all.
This round has not been posted yet.
This debate has 0 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click thelink at the top of the page.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.