Debate and Discussion

Religion-based Legislation
Polkster at 2:02AM, April 30, 2009
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So I'm writing a paper for this class, it has nothing to do with legislation that's religion-inspired, but it got me thinking… how prevalent is it in the United States? I can think of maybe some limited examples on the local level–the whole intelligent design thing in Kansas–and I suppose you could argue abortion and gay marriage on the state level, but are there any other notable examples? Particularly like ID, where a heap of bullshit tried to displace legitimate objectivity?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Orin J Master at 10:51AM, April 30, 2009
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hmmmm, california passed a proposition (prop 8, i believe?) last election that banned gay marriage. it was funded entirely my religious interests, and while they were trying to claim it was a public thing, it's fairly blatantly strictly over religious preferences if you looked at their arguments.

you might look into that one.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Polkster at 11:06AM, April 30, 2009
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That's kind of a philosophical debate though. The thing with ID is that they're trying to replace science with nonsense. While I have absolutely no problem with gay marriage, you can't go into a lab, swirl some chemicals around, and conclude it ought to be legal.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
megan_rose at 2:10PM, April 30, 2009
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Abortion, stem cells, gay marriage, women's rights, abstinence-only sex-education, intelligent design being taught in public schools… the list goes on. And on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
bravo1102 at 5:56PM, April 30, 2009
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Try http://www.religioustolerance.org/const_am.htm

Free Inquiry magazine has an update on the Church-state battle every issue.

Church-state issues center on basing legislation on religion.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Polkster at 8:33PM, April 30, 2009
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Appreciate it!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Product Placement at 4:29AM, May 1, 2009
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I always found it amazing that a country founded on the idea that state and church should be kept separate gives rise to so many religious fanatics. I honestly wished that people could start to think of God as a kind being that loves us all for our differences. I hate those who practice literal interpretation of the Bible, saying that everything in it was written by God and thus is the honest truth. According to them Earth is only 6000 years old. It was created in 6 days, there really was an Adam and Eve and the great flood actually happened. Anyone stating otherwise is wrong and will go to hell for their blasphemy. I've actually heard that an argument some of them use when they hear someone talk about something that happened millions of years ago is to ask “Where you there? How do you know it actually happened that way if you weren't there?”. Don't they realize that I can turn THE EXACT SAME QUESTION back at them? Where you there when God created Earth? Did you meet Adam? How can you know this is true? Because the Bible says so? Who wrote it? God? Are you sure? Where you there? Heck we can go further. Apparently the Mona Lisa was painted in 1519. But how can we know? None of us was there? Who painted it? Leonardo? Are you sure? Were you there?

I realize the irony of bashing out at literal bible interpreters after just saying something about loving each other for their differences but it's… just so hard.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
Loud_G at 5:22AM, May 1, 2009
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Product Placement
Anyone stating otherwise is wrong

They are ;)

Product Placement
and will go to hell for their blasphemy.

No, they won't.


I think the problem there is that there are some that are very closeminded and strict.

I believe most of the Bible is literal (Most) Yes, Adam. Yes, Eve. Yes, flood. As for time periods I'm a bit more flexible. ;) However, I do not think that people will go to Hell just because they believe something different. (I also don't follow the “every path goes to heaven” dogma either, though. There is one path, but God is merciful to those who didn't find it. He won't hold them accountable for not knowing.

Back on topic though:

A lot of people mistakenly think that Separation of Church and State was put into place to keep the crazies out of politics. This could not be further from the truth. We are not supposed to keep our beliefs out of the government. We wouldn't be human without our beliefs. Everyone has beliefs and a code of morals, whether they have a religion or not.

The purpose of the Separation of Church and State is to PROTECT the religious freedom of others. Not to squash it out of the public scene. It was set up so that there would be no official State/ Federal Religion so that religious persecution would not happen.

Not so that people could vilify those with strong personal convictions in the govt.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
Product Placement at 6:12AM, May 1, 2009
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Loud_G
A lot of people mistakenly think that Separation of Church and State was put into place to keep the crazies out of politics. This could not be further from the truth. We are not supposed to keep our beliefs out of the government. We wouldn't be human without our beliefs. Everyone has beliefs and a code of morals, whether they have a religion or not.

The purpose of the Separation of Church and State is to PROTECT the religious freedom of others. Not to squash it out of the public scene. It was set up so that there would be no official State/ Federal Religion so that religious persecution would not happen.

Not so that people could vilify those with strong personal convictions in the govt.
You're right there. Many people, fleeing the old world, came to America so that they could practice their interpretation of the Good Book. It only makes sense that those ideals would rub into the constitution.

But it goes both ways. Just like government shouldn't tell people who you should believe in, religious special interest groups shouldn't use politics to force their beliefs onto others. A common debate is should the creation theory be taught alongside the theory of evolution. My opinion is a resounding no. The creation theory is a bible story. The evolution theory is science. They don't mix together. And what about other creation theories aside the bible one? The old faith of my people spoke about two primal worlds, one made of ice, the other of fire. The clashes between those two worlds created violent turmoils which created a great giant. This giant made the gods and demons and the gods rebelled against their creator and the demons, killing the giant. From the corpse of the giant our world was made. His blood formed the oceans, his last breath the sky, the soil is his flesh while rocks are made from his bones and so on. What about native American creation theories? There's nothing wrong with learning these stories but it's misleading to teach them together with evolution and claim that they share equal importance.

Intelligent Design vs science is becoming a tired debate. The idea of mixing religion and science together doesn't work. The nature of faith is to provide answers about what is beyond our understanding. The nature of science is to ask questions about what we don't understand. If you embrace faith and trust it to answer all of your questions then you're not thinking like a scientist. A scientist continuously defies the norm, he asks difficult questions and will do everything in his power to answer them. They don't just explore the unknown, they double check and triple check what we believe to be established common knowledge and checks if there are any discrepancies that need to be examined. We thought Newton had figured out how gravity worked but Einsteins theory of relativity corrected some of his mistakes. Maybe one day we'll find something wrong about Einsteins theory and correct that. In religion people are told to accept the answers they're given and not to dwell on it.

Now I don't want to ban religion. Such notion is idiotic to say the least. But religious groups should learn to know their place in the world in my opinion. Stop dwelling on literal translations and instead focus on the morals that the stories teach us. Be kind to one another, help your fellow man, see past your differences and respect life. Embracing such morals would benefit mankind greatly. Too many hard core extremists fail at those lessons and instead of harmony preach hatred and fear mongering. Hate those who believe differently for they are wrong! If anyone deserve to fall out of favor from the lord it should be those type of people.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
bravo1102 at 8:15AM, May 1, 2009
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Several excellent works on the history of Chirstian fundamentalism and young earth creationism. It really helps explain how people can believe such things and also hold with the seperation of Church and State. They also hold with myth that America was founded on Judeo-Christian values. (So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State by Forrest Church) Selective quotations out of context and not understanding that the Constitution doesn't mention God on purpose. Madison by the modern definition of theterm was an atheist as was Thomas Paine. Paine was disowned by American history for a century because of his Free-thinking. (Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby, American Fascists by Chris Hedges, The Creationists by Ronald Numbers, Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth Miller, Religion in America etc.)

For me this started with reading The New Right: we're Ready to Lead in 1980.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM

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