Saturday, August 16, 2008

Church and state?

Can we truly separate church from state?

I had a pretty important typo on that post.
I can't separate it in my heart.

I’m asking if any of you have ever really been able to. Sure we can use reason to do so but can your heart go along with it?

And if the movie was even close to being right the men involved in the declaration had trouble also.

Too bad Mark is out of town this is a good one for him to dig into. I have so little time right now so please feel free to speak freely.


Kansas Bob said...

Maybe it is more about seperating the governments (church and state) and not the people? Not sure that I could do it.. but then again I am not a politician :)

Lynne said...

It's interesting how it plays out differently in different countries.Here we have no enunciated doctrine of separaration of church and state, but in a very secualr country there is no advantage for a politician in playing the religion card. twenty years ago we had a prime minister who was an avowed atheist,and no one saw that as a [olitical disadvantage. OTOH, we have things like scripture teaching in public schools, which would be unthinkable in America. (And lunchtime christian groupswhich can pray, study the bible etc as much as they want. They have the same status in the school as something like the chess club)

But when it comes to people, if Christ is my Lord, He is the Lord of all my life, and that impacts on everything I do, though not in the sameway. He affects how I dress (with consideration for others) how I cook (with an attitude of hospitality) and how I vote (seriously considering the issues to decide what i believe is best for my country.) Incidentally, in Australia, there is no one particular political party that is seen as the one Christians should vote for, and in most churches voters would range across the political spectrum. But most people keep their political views to themselves -- this is the country that invented the secret ballot!

Mark said...

I'm Back!!!

The founders believed in a divine being, but they did not want a state sponsored church, or a church sponsored state. You can not leave your beliefs at home, they influence the choices you make. But, and a big but, no doctrine should become the law.
Should Home Depot be open on Sunday's? The bible says we should rest, but is that a decision for the Oklahoma legislature? or is it a choice that should be made by the Home Depot?
Don't put your belief system on me. And I will not force mine on you.
Just because I beleive that gay marriage shold be legal, does not mean I thin your church should be forced to conduct gay marriages, or that you should be forced to marry someone who is gay.

Joe said...

The separation of church and state only bans the government from promoting or opposing any religion. For example, the government is not allowed to conduct prayer in a publicly funded school, however, the government is also prohibited from restricting a student’s right to pray in school as long as it is not disruptive to the educational process, i.e. the student could not stand and pray out loud during class. Public schools are not allowed to teach or promote religion, however, students may and often do form religious groups and hold meetings in the school, when and where such non-educational activities are held, and promote new membership.

Every citizen is allowed to take any matter important to them into consideration when deciding how to vote. It is the government that must govern only according to the Constitution. Our government is obligated to consider all citizens equally. Therefore, legislators cannot enact laws that would enforce the dogma of a religion since it would impose that dogma on citizens that hold to a different belief. Therefore, a religious wedding ceremony is outside the jurisdiction of the government. The constitution does not prohibit two people of the same sex from living together as a couple and consequently the government should guarantee all couples the right to do so. I believe in same-sex civil unions and that same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as any married couple. However, religious organizations are allowed to limit the definition of marriage as their beliefs dictate, recognize only such marriages that are conforming and deny, if they choose, membership to persons that do not comply.

Elected officials are obligated to execute their jobs without religious bias. They must decide on such matters as abortion and marriage according to the Constitution without regard for their own personal religious beliefs. A juror must do the same thing when deliberating. The juror must limit the deliberation to the evidence presented in the trial, with respect only to the applicable laws and without regard for the juror’s personal opinion. Our politicians are obligated to govern in the same way.

I believe that many of our elected officials fail to perform constitutionally and obviously many of them actually make promises to religious groups in order to get their votes. Such conduct in my opinion is unconstitutional regardless of my own religious beliefs.