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Thread: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    I agree with you in general, but I think the question is not quite as simple as you suggest. The Supreme Court has made clear in several of its Establishment Clause decisions that the clause means something more than just to prevent Congress from establishing an official national religion. What it has not been able to make very clear, ever since it first interpreted the clause in Everson v. Board in 1947, is how much more.
    No doubt...society has forever been massaging the Constitution and Bill of Rights into something that it was into something that it wants.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    Actually, the key word is incorporation, which is the legal process by which most of the Bill of Rights is extended to the states.

    Contrary to your claim, preventing student prayer at a public high school graduation as part of the proceedings makes perfect sense. It is sending a clear message to all that the state is sponsoring a religious activity, and that is precisely what is barred by the First Amendment. The school still can set aside a private area for attendees to make religious observances; they just can't have someone on stage, as part of the ceremony, leading people in prayer.

    We should also get real, and recognize that most Americans would be infuriated if the student was praying to Allah, instead of engaging in Christian prayers....
    Yes.
    "Prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment and the development of the incorporation doctrine, the Supreme Court in 1833 held in Barron v. Baltimore that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal, but not any state governments. Even years after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court in United States v. Cruikshank (1876) still held that the First and Second Amendment did not apply to state governments. However, beginning in the 1920s, a series of United States Supreme Court decisions interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to "incorporate" most portions of the Bill of Rights, making these portions, for the first time, enforceable against the state governments."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorp...Bill_of_Rights

    Noting the highlighted, I don't think those on the right here really want to go back and reverse all of that. It makes me wonder if Justice Thomas really thought through what he's opined on this church/state issue. Or maybe he thinks we should selectively reverse things he doesn't like, leaving stand what does like?
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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    Communities are allowed to engage in religious practices.

    City, state and federal governments are not.



    It also protects the freedom of belief for individuals, did you forget?

    It is also routine to rely on exactly these types of materials to determine the intent of the law or Constitutional provision in question. Have you never appealed to intent, or the Declaration of Independence, or Federalist Papers, in a discussion about constitutional law? You do know that is standard practice, across all ideological positions, yes?



    No Church of America. No religious control over government. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    [/QUOTE]Im not much interested in ideological positions. ideological positions tend to cause all manner of things to become bastardized. And yes...Im quite aware...no establishment of religion and no restriction of free practice of religion. Unfortunately people have become convinced that in addition to their right to be offended by anything they like, that somehow they should have the right to NOT be offended and to that end, they should be able to limit or restrict other peoples rights. Its seen in such stupid arguments as the protesting of crosses on the highway because some mindless **** is 'offended'.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    By inference, the government cannot establish an unofficial religion either. If the majority of a community is religion X, and laws universally support religion X over other religions, and religious expression is left to majority vote (so that only religion X would ever be represented) then what is the practical difference between that and making religion X official?

    And not establishing a religion and protecting free exercise cannot reasonably be interpreted as anything but separating government from religion.
    Any community that is formed by citizens with a majority religious background will carry those influences into their decision making. Baptists will comprise the largest majority of most small southern towns. Logically, every rule or ordinance they vote for will be for what they perceive as the betterment of their community and that may very well be guided by their religious foundation. That us 'normal' and perfectly acceptable. What would be unacceptable would be if those small cities declared their version of the Baptist faith as the official town religion and the pastor as their town leader. It would also be unconstitutional if the town declared it illegal for Muslims or Catholics to congregate.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    Im not much interested in ideological positions. ideological positions tend to cause all manner of things to become bastardized.
    I can't help but notice that you seem offended by the suggestion that church and state should be separate.

    At any rate, it seems clear based on the text, the writings of the ratifiers, and much of the context that the intent was to keep church and state separate -- as much for the church as for the state and citizens.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    The difference between the phrases separation of church and state and Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion is not a small one.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    The difference between the phrases separation of church and state and Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion is not a small one.
    Jefferson clearly disagreed.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    Jefferson clearly disagreed.
    Then he was wrong. The first phrase "separation of church and state" would include anyone in government doing anything even closely related to faith, while the phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" would only include things done by congress, passed into law, and done towards the effort of respecting the establishment of religion.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    Then he was wrong. The first phrase "separation of church and state" would include anyone in government doing anything even closely related to faith,
    How did you arrive at that conclusion? He was wrong about what his own words meant? Separation of Church and State means that neither controls or influences the other. Now Jefferson felt that he should not do even minor things like declare a day of Thanksgiving or prayer, but it seems clear to me that he meant that as a personal preference and not as a strict rule.


    while the phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" would only include things done by congress, passed into law, and done towards the effort of respecting the establishment of religion.
    Meaning the government should not dictate a proper religion and no religion should dictate a proper government. Separation. In Connecticut at that time there was no separation...the leaders of the state were the leaders of the Congregationalist Church and they governed both in tandem.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

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    Re: Why Jefferson wrote "separation of Church and State"

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    I can't help but notice that you seem offended by the suggestion that church and state should be separate.

    At any rate, it seems clear based on the text, the writings of the ratifiers, and much of the context that the intent was to keep church and state separate -- as much for the church as for the state and citizens.
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