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Author: Subject: Seperation of Church and State

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 08:31 PM
One of the main principals this country was created on was the separation of church and state but yet the far right believes we should cross that line in public places as though their beliefs and religious practices are the one everyone should follow....which is no where close to realistic or the way our founding fathers went about creating this country

The governor of the Texas wants prayer days....so who's prayers are we gonna say....his religions....what about museum prayer or Jewish prayer will it their prayers only the ones the governor chooses

quote:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday defended his upcoming Christian prayer gathering as a "simple," non-political event that has come under attack from intolerant atheists.

"I can't wait until the 6th of August rolls around and we fill up Reliant Stadium with people who are Christ-loving and realize that our country has gotten off track," Perry said a day after an atheists and agnostics group sued to stop the governor from using his government office to promote or recognize the Houston event, called The Response.

"Just like back in days of old, God is the same God we had from the days of Israel, and in the book of Joel it said to blow the trumpet and assemble the people and go into a day of fasting and prayer to ask for God's direction ... it's nothing more than that."

"The event's not political, it's going to be simple," Perry told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and American Family Association President Tim Wildmon in an interview on Todayís Issues Washington Watch Edition, which the council posted on its website Thursday. The event will be "people calling out to God, that's all."

Perry has invited Obama administration officials, the nation's governors and Texas lawmakers to attend.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation lawsuit alleges Perry violated the First Amendment's establishment clause by organizing, promoting and participating in the event.

Perry's office issued a press release June 6 announcing the event, and The Response website features the governor in a video inviting people to participate.
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The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which unsuccessfully sued to stop a national day of prayer earlier this year, filed the case on behalf of 700 members in Texas.

"Isnít it just the type of intolerance to say that we canít gather together in public to pray to our God?" Perry said Thursday. "That is amazing to me.Ē

He called organizers of The Response "a very diverse group" of "Christian leaders of all races, of all ages, of all Christian denominations."

The event is being sponsored by several evangelical Christian groups, including the American Family Association, which has been criticized by civil rights groups for promoting anti-homosexual and anti-Islamic positions on the roughly 200 radio stations it operates.

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Among The Response endorsers listed on its website are Pastor John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, who has said God sent Hitler to hunt Jews so they would return to Israel, and Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., who has called Oprah Winfrey the harbinger of the anti-Christ.
Video: Dangers of sex with demons highlighted by Perry prayer participant (on this page)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said that it does not oppose politicians taking part in religious services, but that Perry crossed a line by initiating the event, using his position as governor to endorse and promote it and by using his official website to link to the organizer's website. The plaintiffs also contend that Perry's use of Texas' official state seal to endorse the event and his plans to issue an official proclamation violate the Constitution.

An appellate court in April dismissed the group's previous lawsuit against the Obama administration over the National Day of Prayer, on which people of all faiths were invited to take part. The three-judge panel ruled that the group could not prove that they had suffered any harm when the president issued a proclamation observing the day.

In the lawsuit against Perry, the foundation complained that it had suffered from Perry's official promotion of the event because a major billboard company denied the group's attempt to purchase advertising in the Houston area to protest the event.

The lawsuit is "legal harassment," Eric Bearse, a spokesman for the AFA and The Response. So far, he told CSMonitor.com, 6,000 people are planning to attend, including Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

Perry on Thursday continued to promote the event during the interview and agreed with interviewers who said he could not be kept from participating in the event, which he called necessary for the nation.

"I know my limitations, I want God helping me, guiding me, giving me direction," Perry said.

"It's not about me ... It's about him ... lifting this nation up, give us a blessing, and give us direction, and frankly forgive us for the sins we have committed."

"I hope literally hundreds of thousands if not millions across this country that day will go into a spiritual, truthful, fasting and praying mode. Lifting up this country and asking for Godís will to be done."



Sad.... very sad


[Edited on 7/15/2011 by goldtop]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 09:17 PM
We had a governor here several years ago, Fob James, and his son wrote a 'state prayer'. Even in this Bible thumping state, that didn't go over very well. I hope the good people of Texas put a stop to this nut job.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 09:33 PM
quote:
Sad.... very sad



X2


X3

 

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 10:01 PM
The Senate opens each day of business on public property with a prayer. They even have their own chaplain. Maybe saying some prayers for the country at this Relaint Stadium deal might do some good. Worth a try at least....can't hurt.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 10:18 PM
I don't know.....he had everyone praying for rain that never came during a drought.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 10:45 PM
quote:
The Senate opens each day of business on public property with a prayer. They even have their own chaplain. Maybe saying some prayers for the country at this Relaint Stadium deal might do some good. Worth a try at least....can't hurt.


OK, But what about the Senators who believe in Separation of Church and State, but sit there because walking out in protest would probably look bad to their constituents?

Imho, "Forced prayer"...not good.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 10:49 PM
quote:
One of the main principals this country was created on was the separation of church and state but yet the far right believes we should cross that line in public places as though their beliefs and religious practices are the one everyone should follow....which is no where close to realistic or the way our founding fathers went about creating this country.


Actually, the 1st Amendment says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

So why can't people use public places for religious worship? To not allow that would be to "prohibit the free exercise thereof", and "abridging freedom of speech", wouldn't it?

 

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 11:05 PM
I have no problem with public prayer as long as I don't have to join in if I don't want to. That's why Fob ran afoul when he had his son create a state prayer.

I was in high school when prayer was still allowed in schools and students were victimized by teachers who felt it was their duty to share their religious beliefs. It was mandatory for each student to read a verse from the Bible and lead the class in prayer. It was very uncomfortable for those of us who aren't comfortable doing that. I didn't mind the law removing mandatory prayer from school.

 

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  posted on 7/14/2011 at 11:27 PM
quote:
The Senate opens each day of business on public property with a prayer. They even have their own chaplain. Maybe saying some prayers for the country at this Relaint Stadium deal might do some good. Worth a try at least....can't hurt.


Who's prayer shall we decide is for everyone and all religions....and will everyone agree that it's the prayer that represents their beliefs.....Those who want to force religion down the throats of others only want their prayer to be the one....that is where the problem begins and it only will get worse as it continues to be forced on those who don't want it....we are a secular nation and I don't think the senate or any other government body should be saying prayers they should be correcting our countries problems...They all individually can go to their own church and pray until they turn green for all I care...but it's a waste of my tax payer dollars for them to spend 1 second on religion mumbo jumbo during their time on the job in a secular nation. Oh and obviously the prayers haven't been answered....look at the $hit pile this country is in....maybe if they skipped the prayer they'd have time for what really counts....saving our country from a depression

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 12:18 AM
quote:
Those who want to force religion down the throats of others only want their prayer to be the one....


This would appear to be so............sadly.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 07:01 AM
quote:
The Senate opens each day of business on public property with a prayer. They even have their own chaplain. Maybe saying some prayers for the country at this Relaint Stadium deal might do some good. Worth a try at least....can't hurt.


Imagine the outrage if this were a Muslim prayer service being organized at Reliant Stadium. I can't help but wonder what the good Governor of Texas and others who are defending him on this would have to say about that.





[Edited on 7/15/2011 by gondicar]

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 07:01 AM
So Rick Perry is forcing the residents of Texas into Reliant Stadium and making them pray? I live here, and I haven't received my marching orders yet. Politicians can and do participate in all kinds of religious activities on a daily basis, and some participate in none. That is as it should be. Only when one is forced to participate in a religious function or expression by the state is the act unconstitutional. But to endorse or engage in a religious function is not unconstitutional just because he is an elected official.

"I have no problem with public prayer as long as I don't have to join in if I don't want to."

That's it in a nutshell.

"OK, But what about the Senators who believe in Separation of Church and State, but sit there because walking out in protest would probably look bad to their constituents?"

Then they probably haven't been honest with their constituents in the first place. Their job is to represent their constituent's interests, not their own. Be upfront about your beliefs, either way, and live with the consequences.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 07:17 AM
I will add that Perry has always struck me as an extremely manipulative and self-serving politician, and I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 09:05 AM
quote:
Seriously though, that part of the Constitution seems so difficult for some people to grasp.


I've read the Constitution a hundred times and the phrase "seperation of church and state" doesn't appear one time. If it's there I can't find it. The simple idea of the government not establishing a mandatory state religion has been twisted a million different ways into what people want it to mean.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 09:22 AM
quote:
One of the main principals this country was created on was the separation of church and state but yet the far right believes we should cross that line in public places as though their beliefs and religious practices are the one everyone should follow....which is no where close to realistic or the way our founding fathers went about creating this country
I'm not religious in the least, so I have no dog in this hunt. In fact, I find the practice of most religions to be rather unsettling, although I do support most of the moral and ethical teachings at the core of most religions.

That said, any interpretation of our Constitution that avers that the separation of church and state means the complete banishment of any religious reference or associated activity by elected officials is drastically wrong. It's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

The intent is that the US govt would never officially align itself with a single religion, or have policy to adopt a religion as the official, govt-sponsored theology of the land. That's all. It doesn't place limits upon individuals - even elected officials - to practice religious observation in any way they see fit as long as it doesn't affect the rights of others.

How are the rights of other Texans being hurt by what the Governor is doing here? Are they being forced to attend? Is some form of compliance being required of them? I think the fears are out of proportion to the issue on this one.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 09:26 AM
quote:
It's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.


Isn't it the same thing, though, really? The key word is freedom. Free to be religious and free to not be religious.

quote:
The intent is that the US govt would never officially align itself with a single religion, or have policy to adopt a religion as the official, govt-sponsored theology of the land. That's all. It doesn't place limits upon individuals - even elected officials - to practice religious observation in any way they see fit as long as it doesn't affect the rights of others.


But the government does in a way, given the tax exemption status available to religious organizations, IMO.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 09:28 AM
Credit to goldtop for making the clear distinction "far right." To deny the intentions of the religious far right when it comes to government simply requires more research into the things they say.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 09:28 AM
quote:
quote:
Seriously though, that part of the Constitution seems so difficult for some people to grasp.


The simple idea of the government not establishing a mandatory state religion has been twisted a million different ways into what people want it to mean.


FWIW, the same could be said of the 2nd amendement, among others.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 09:51 AM
quote:
quote:
Seriously though, that part of the Constitution seems so difficult for some people to grasp.


I've read the Constitution a hundred times and the phrase "seperation of church and state" doesn't appear one time. If it's there I can't find it. The simple idea of the government not establishing a mandatory state religion has been twisted a million different ways into what people want it to mean.


So you believe the country was founded so we could again be bogged down with Religious dogma. The separation of church and state was one of the prime reason the pilgrims left England and established a life here. To have their own choice. I believe with our freedoms comes some personal responsibility....Just because I have the right to do something doesn't mean that I should do it anywhere at anytime. A responsible person can distinguish were that line should be drawn. It's awful arrogant for the Governor of a State to believe that he should be leading us in prayer because again who choose the prayer to be said....and does it cover everyone....

Doug....no I'm sure he hasn't mandated everyone to go....but he believes they should....and that right there is the problem.....He wants everyone to join in to "His" prayer and "his" beliefs....and that is 100% against how we live here

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 09:53 AM
quote:
Isn't it the same thing, though, really? The key word is freedom. Free to be religious and free to not be religious.
Exactly. But the thread seemed to be started on the basis of being offended that the Governor of Texas would even talk publicly about or be involved in a religious event. He can do anything he likes regarding religion as long as he's not involving his state in a "official" capacity or placing requirements on his fellow citizens to support the event in some way.

quote:
But the government does in a way, given the tax exemption status available to religious organizations, IMO.
Yeah, that's one I've never really agreed with. It's well intentioned, but perhaps it's time to stop that one.

But if we're going to do that, then lets stop all sponsorship of societal goals via tax code. No more distinction for married couples vs single, no more exemptions for kids, no more deduction for mortgage interest. Of course, I'd like to replace all income-based taxes with a single consumption tax. That change would stop all these problems instantly.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 10:03 AM
quote:
Exactly. But the thread seemed to be started on the basis of being offended that the Governor of Texas would even talk publicly about or be involved in a religious event. He can do anything he likes regarding religion as long as he's not involving his state in a "official" capacity or placing requirements on his fellow citizens to support the event in some way.


Well, there's other stuff too...

quote:
Transcript shows Perry likening office to pulpit
Allusions to his faith could either help or hurt him, analysts suggest
By PATRICIA KILDAY HART
AUSTIN BUREAU
July 14, 2011, 5:41AM


Employing deeply religious language that national experts say affords both power and peril for his political career, Gov. Rick Perry in late May told a group of East Texas business leaders that he was "called to the ministry" at age 27, suggested that the governor's office was his pulpit and that God put him "in this place at this time to do his will."

According to a transcript of the private meeting, organized to raise funds for Perry's Aug. 6 "day of prayer and fasting" at Reliant Stadium, the governor stated that property rights, government regulation and a "legal system that's run amok" were threatening the American way of life and "it's time to just hand it over to God and say 'God, you're gonna have to fix this.'&#8201;"

Perry spokesman Mark Miner could not verify an Internet transcript of the remarks, but said it contained nothing inconsistent with the governor's belief that "every Christian is called into ministry" whether serving as a church leader or in the workplace, and that "God provides opportunity throughout peoples' lives to do his will." Eric Bearse, a spokesman for "the Response," confirmed the meeting was a fundraiser for the Houston prayer event.

Historians and political scientists say that Perry, who is actively testing the waters for a presidential campaign, may be ratcheting up religious rhetoric to seize the mantel of evangelical candidate in the Republican primary, but could frighten away a more mainstream general election electorate.

"This speech is a good example of both the power and the peril of politicians talking about their faith," said Dr. John C. Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron and senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. "To the extent they can mobilize people's deepest sentiment, it can be very effective for them. On the other hand, it can also frighten people because it sounds like too much of an intrusion of religion into the public sphere."

For the immediate goal of seizing a lead in the GOP primary, Perry's strong appeal to the religious right "will play incredibly well," pollster Anna Greenberg suggested.

"I don't think there is anything off-putting about his language or his imagery in the Republican primary," said the senior vice president at the national polling firm of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner.

Pitfalls of declaring faith
According to a transcript of the Longview meeting, Perry said his faith grew after his service in the Air Force, when he returned to live in his parents' home in Paint Creek. "God was dealing with me," he said. "At 27 years old, I knew that I had been called to the ministry. I've just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was gonna have. I still am. I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will."

To advocates of religious tolerance, that borders on "a theocratic declaration," said C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Interfaith Alliance.

"The problem is not faith. The problem is the public assumption that he understands God and the will of God so perfectly that he can implement for everybody God's policies for this nation," Gaddy said. "I think there are a lot of people uncomfortable with that ó and I am one of them."

The American public is accustomed to politicians who talk openly about their faith.

"Voters very much want their leaders to believe in God, to have an internal moral compass," said Greenberg.

Remarks 'innocuous'
Baylor historian Thomas Kidd saw Perry's remarks - in the context of a fundraiser attended by evangelicals - as fairly "innocuous."

Kidd sees a challenge for Perry as he moves to other parts of the country less familiar with what Green called "a strong evangelical accent."

"You can do this in Texas. It is more challenging on a national level," he said

Outside the evangelical community, voters will be suspicious of a politician who links political and religious roles, Greenberg said, adding that "separation of church and state is still a majority position in this country."

At one point in his remarks, Perry reminded the gathering that he had recently signed imminent domain legislation because "ownership of personal property is crucial to our way of life."

Tort reform not doctrinal
After saying that property ownership was in jeopardy because of taxes, regulation and the legal system, Perry said, "And I think that it's time for us to just hand it over to God and say, 'God, you're going to have to fix this.'&#8201;"

Greenberg noted there are "a lot of people, even in the evangelical community, who don't like the mixing of politics and religion" for issues on which religious doctrine is silent. "Tort reform is pretty far afield," she suggested.

Buchanan warned that if Perry initiates a presidential campaign, opponents will be studying every recorded sentence he has uttered.

"To imply he's got God's direct guidance - if I were advising him and had his best interests at heart, I would downplay that kind of thing," Buchanan said. "But he's road-testing it."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7652531.html#ixzz1SBcbrFQA


Um, yeah.

quote:
According to a transcript of the private meeting, organized to raise funds for Perry's Aug. 6 "day of prayer and fasting" at Reliant Stadium, the governor stated that property rights, government regulation and a "legal system that's run amok" were threatening the American way of life and "it's time to just hand it over to God and say 'God, you're gonna have to fix this.'&#8201;"



Um, yeah.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 10:06 AM
quote:
quote:
Isn't it the same thing, though, really? The key word is freedom. Free to be religious and free to not be religious.
Exactly. But the thread seemed to be started on the basis of being offended that the Governor of Texas would even talk publicly about or be involved in a religious event. He can do anything he likes regarding religion as long as he's not involving his state in a "official" capacity or placing requirements on his fellow citizens to support the event in some way.

quote:
But the government does in a way, given the tax exemption status available to religious organizations, IMO.
Yeah, that's one I've never really agreed with. It's well intentioned, but perhaps it's time to stop that one.

But if we're going to do that, then lets stop all sponsorship of societal goals via tax code. No more distinction for married couples vs single, no more exemptions for kids, no more deduction for mortgage interest. Of course, I'd like to replace all income-based taxes with a single consumption tax. That change would stop all these problems instantly.


If he was simply going to a religious event why would it be news. I'm sure lot's of our local, state an federal representatives go to church and religious events all the time but they keep it a private spiritual experience and that is what it should be. I'm very much a believer in God and Jesus but my spirituality is my private set of beliefs and because I respect yours I will not bog you down with mine. I would appreciate if our elected officials would do the same


I'm for the consumption tax....

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 10:08 AM
quote:
I don't know.....he had everyone praying for rain that never came during a drought.


the governor of Oklahoma, I just read, is asking for prayer as well. I see no problem with that. To ask for prayer, generally and not as a mandate, what's the harm. Pray or not, to whatever g(G)od, I see as being a good and positive thing. Don't forget, praying for rain during a drought and not getting rain doesn't mean God didn't answer, He just said "no".

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 10:14 AM
quote:
So you believe the country was founded so we could again be bogged down with Religious dogma.
Where is he trying to force his beliefs into codified law? Until that happens, doesn't he have the right - just like any person - to express his beliefs? If the voters of Texas find that offensive, they can vote him out.

quote:
It's awful arrogant for the Governor of a State to believe that he should be leading us in prayer because again who choose the prayer to be said....and does it cover everyone....
It seems like he'll only be praying with those that freely chose to attend this event. How is that imposing on people who aren't there, or want nothing to do with this?

I find it interesting that the group making noise about this calls themselves "The Freedom from Religion Foundation". I won't pretend to know their agenda, nor do I care. But their name certainly implies a clear mission: to oppose religious expression and activities. That seems far more anti-Constitutional than anything the Governor is doing. It seems they want to impose their beliefs of no-religion, not honor our lawful tradition of the freedom of the individual to practice the religion of their choosing.

Does anyone really believe that their rights are being subjugated by elected officials imposing the dogma of a specific religion into law? Don't we have bigger problems to be worrying about?

 

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  posted on 7/15/2011 at 10:27 AM
quote:
Does anyone really believe that their rights are being subjugated by elected officials imposing the dogma of a specific religion into law? Don't we have bigger problems to be worrying about?


Would you be comfortable with a President who said "We just need to turn our problems over to God and say, God, you take care of it?"

He is probably running for President. Michele Bachmann IS running for President. Entering dogma into governance is something neither of them hide. Bachmann makes no effort to hide it. It's there.

Y'know how there are Islamic Republics like Iraq, where Islam is the basis of all laws and no laws can be made which contradict the laws of Islam? Would you be comfortable with America becoming a Christian Republic along those same parameters?

[Edited on 7/15/2011 by Bhawk]

 

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"Live every week like it's Shark Week." - Tracy Jordan

 
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