On the word “seperation” of Church and state

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Andres Ortiz 9 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #1178

    Victor
    Member

    [color=blue:qtw4j9d7]I found this an interesting read and just wanted to share it.[/color:qtw4j9d7]

    In defending school choice or God in the Pledge of Allegiance, it is too easy to find oneself on the wrong side of the “wall of separation” between church and state. But as Professor Philip Hamburger reveals in his timely and well-researched tome, Separation of Church and State, few know the secret history of this American doctrine.

    The phrase “separation of church and state” was employed most famously by President Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802; he asserted that the principle was established by the First Amendment. According to the “separation myth,” there is a straight line from Jefferson’s letter to Justice Hugo L. Black’s 1947 decision in Everson v. Board of Education, in which the “wall of separation” became official constitutional law. But Hamburger shows that the real truth is rarely pure and never simple.

    Far from being the intention of the Founders, the idea of separation of church and state began as a slur. Though the First Amendment guaranteed religious freedom and prohibited the federal establishment of any church, the states were free under the Constitution to have officially supported churches. Most states had established churches with ministers receiving state salaries. Dissenters, members of religions that were not officially sanctioned, had often to pay taxes to support the ministers of the established churches; these often urged disestablishment. In a gross caricature of the dissenting position, establishment ministers accused dissenters of attempting to separate church and state, undermining the foundations of the state. Far from it, the dissenters railed against the union of church and state, which they associated with Catholic Europe and Anglican England, while maintaining that there existed an important sociological connection between religion and government. They believed that religion provided a moral foundation for government, which should govern in a manner consistent with Christianity while not tampering with religious freedom. The antiestablishment position was to restrain government, but not churches. There was, in other words, a complex middle ground between union and separation of church and state; but heated rhetoric and wild accusations made it difficult to see.

    Continued:
    http://www.catholicleague.org/research/hamburger.htm

    #5868

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:kn4p33lw]They believed that religion provided a moral foundation for government, which should govern in a manner consistent with Christianity while not tampering with religious freedom.[/quote:kn4p33lw]
    I agree with this completely. With the absence of some moral framework how is the government to determine what is right and what is wrong?

    That’s why we have laws allowing abortion and the death penalty but against murder.

    #5874

    [quote:3kkwvtjd][quote:3kkwvtjd]They believed that religion provided a moral foundation for government, which should govern in a manner consistent with Christianity while not tampering with religious freedom.[/quote:3kkwvtjd]
    I agree with this completely. With the absence of some moral framework how is the government to determine what is right and what is wrong?

    That’s why we have laws allowing abortion and the death penalty but against murder.[/quote:3kkwvtjd]

    I too agree that a “moral framework” is required for a country and its people, however, what one person might consider to be “consistant with Christianity” may be considered, by another, as an attack on their freedom of religion.

    #5883

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:iix45g6d]I too agree that a “moral framework” is required for a country and its people, however, what one person might consider to be “consistant with Christianity” may be considered, by another, as an attack on their freedom of religion.[/quote:iix45g6d]
    But as Christians we believe there is an objective truth. Isn’t that what we should be fighting for regardless of who it offends?

    #5890

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:n0n8xtu9][quote:n0n8xtu9]I too agree that a “moral framework” is required for a country and its people, however, what one person might consider to be “consistant with Christianity” may be considered, by another, as an attack on their freedom of religion.[/quote:n0n8xtu9]
    But as Christians we believe there is an objective truth. Isn’t that what we should be fighting for regardless of who it offends?[/quote:n0n8xtu9]

    [color=darkred:n0n8xtu9]I think so. My personal struggle is fighting off the claim of “theocracy”. There is no doubt that I want my morality (Church teaching) implemented into government, but who doesn’t? But I wouldn’t want to make “you must believe in Christ” a rule of law. How do you guys know where to draw the line? [/color:n0n8xtu9]

    #5896

    [quote:20b2ioqz][quote:20b2ioqz][quote:20b2ioqz]I too agree that a “moral framework” is required for a country and its people, however, what one person might consider to be “consistant with Christianity” may be considered, by another, as an attack on their freedom of religion.[/quote:20b2ioqz]
    But as Christians we believe there is an objective truth. Isn’t that what we should be fighting for regardless of who it offends?[/quote:20b2ioqz]

    [color=darkred:20b2ioqz]I think so. My personal struggle is fighting off the claim of “theocracy”. There is no doubt that I want my morality (Church teaching) implemented into government, but who doesn’t? But I wouldn’t want to make “you must believe in Christ” a rule of law. How do you guys know where to draw the line? [/color:20b2ioqz][/quote:20b2ioqz]

    That is a tough one to answer Victor. I think that common sense is the most important thing to consider. I think its safe to say that Christianity has changed societies across the world for the better over history. A lot of what we consider to be “humanism ethics” were not in place until Christianity came to most cultures.

    We need freedom of religion. But if we throw out the basic ethical core of Christianity, society in general will revert to something that most people would not want to live under.

    I hope that makes some sense. I got a lot of my mind lately. <img src=” title=”Confused” />

    #5899

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:47jlpnpg][color=darkred:47jlpnpg]I think so. My personal struggle is fighting off the claim of “theocracy”. There is no doubt that I want my morality (Church teaching) implemented into government, but who doesn’t? But I wouldn’t want to make “you must believe in Christ” a rule of law. How do you guys know where to draw the line? [/color:47jlpnpg][/quote:47jlpnpg]
    Well, would it be a true belief if people were forced? No.

    In a “free society” like the one we claim to live in a theocracy probably wouldn’t be good, but in a strictly Christian environment or country a theocracy might not be so bad.

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