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The Myth of the Wall of Seperation

Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
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8/17/2013 4:32:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It has long been said that the Founding Fathers intended that religion and the State should be seperate. This is a myth, what they really advocated for was a one-way wall between the State and the Church.

The idea that religion shouldn't have any influence on politics whatsoever is completely contrary to the first amendment.

http://www.tgm.org....

Discuss.
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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8/17/2013 5:03:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Who's saying religion can't influence politics? It very clearly does and I don't think it's at all inhibited in doing so is it?
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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8/17/2013 5:20:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 4:32:39 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
It has long been said that the Founding Fathers intended that religion and the State should be seperate. This is a myth, what they really advocated for was a one-way wall between the State and the Church.

The idea that religion shouldn't have any influence on politics whatsoever is completely contrary to the first amendment.

http://www.tgm.org....

Discuss.

The problem is, of course, that allowing laws to be based solely on one religion DOES prevent the "freedom OF religion".

For example: If you only argument against, say, gay marriage is one based in religion, while THEIR religious beliefs are that marriage is a sacred act that they should enter into to codify their relationship, enacting a law to prevent them from doing that IS preventing them from exercising their own religious freedom.

Religion can be part of the decision-making, but it can't be imposed. That "one-way" wall description from the Baptists ignores the fact that there are OTHER gardens, as well. It presupposed only 1 garden and the "wild", when in order to actually protect the multitude of gardens, we have to prevent encroachment overall.

I would argue that freedom FROM religion is freedom OF religion; that without the first we can't have the second, because the imposition of religion of one group onto the whole is very much antithetical to freedom of religion.
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Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
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8/17/2013 5:24:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 5:03:03 PM, lewis20 wrote:
Who's saying religion can't influence politics? It very clearly does and I don't think it's at all inhibited in doing so is it?

Well the problem is that there are already many public buildings who disallow students from using the Lord's Prayer at the end of their graduation speeches, etc.

It seems the idea of a wall makes people think the Founding FCathers wanted freedom from religion when they talked of a "wall of seperation" whereas in reality they wanted people to be free to practice their faith uninhibited by the State. It seems as if Liberals are using the principle of the wall of seperation to force the State to strongarm people into abandoning their religious values.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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8/17/2013 5:33:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 5:24:17 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:03:03 PM, lewis20 wrote:
Who's saying religion can't influence politics? It very clearly does and I don't think it's at all inhibited in doing so is it?

Well the problem is that there are already many public buildings who disallow students from using the Lord's Prayer at the end of their graduation speeches, etc.

That's not their free exercise of religion alone, though, which is the part often ignored in discussions like this. They're also imposing their religion on others.

It seems the idea of a wall makes people think the Founding FCathers wanted freedom from religion when they talked of a "wall of seperation" whereas in reality they wanted people to be free to practice their faith uninhibited by the State. It seems as if Liberals are using the principle of the wall of seperation to force the State to strongarm people into abandoning their religious values.

That's an argument I frequently hear. It's absurd. The problem isn't any individual's religious values. It's when they try to impose those religious values on others that the problem arises.
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YYW
Posts: 36,426
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8/17/2013 6:42:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 4:32:39 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
It has long been said that the Founding Fathers intended that religion and the State should be seperate. This is a myth, what they really advocated for was a one-way wall between the State and the Church.

The idea that religion shouldn't have any influence on politics whatsoever is completely contrary to the first amendment.

http://www.tgm.org....

Discuss.

Actually, neither of those stories are quite true. The founding fathers didn't all think that there should be a separation of church and state, and even those who did didn't think that for the same reasons. Of those who did advocate for a separation between church and state, though, about half were trying to protect the church from the state while the other half were trying to protect the state from the church.

The First Amendment, though, was designed to protect those essential liberties which were deemed most fundamental to a free society (religion, speech, assembly, press, petition). The reason that the first amendment was worded that way (with religion first) is simple: they believed that people should not be restricted by the state to believe as they chose. But, that's a different issue than relegating the church and the state to entirely different realms.
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