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 Separation of church and state

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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

Separation of church and state Empty
PostSubject: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 8:41 am

It is one of our most honored and honorable rights.

Is the "Christian right" wrong?
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KatjaB
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KatjaB

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Age : 48

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 10:10 am

Did not want to leave you all alone over here.

Huggles,
Katja
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alice
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alice

Number of posts : 15672
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Age : 72
Location : Redmond, WA

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 11:00 am

Ann,

They are wrong. They have gone off the deep end. Everyone should be free to practice their own religion . This is a diverse country.

God is all powerful and Obama cannot get rid of Him and has not even tried to.
To deny a woman an abortion in the case of rape is over the top.

If the Republicans want to believe all of that rubbish--fine. I don't want their small-mindedness inflicted on our nation.
The election is over--they lost--big time.

Onward!


Last edited by alice on Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10705
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

Separation of church and state Empty
PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 12:46 pm

Agree, Alice.

I wish the separation of church and state also applied to families where religion and politics have caused separation of family ties. If one is not an active member of their faith, they are sinners (unbelievers). And, if that church supports a political candidate, church members who do not follow are considered in the same vein. I'm not theorizing here, I'm stating a fact that exists within my own American family. First is the religious belief (dogma). Second is the support of the party the church endorses. I am the black sheep of the family. Given the history of the family and children produced by them, I think the black sheep family excels in honesty and in family values. Another factor that makes that relevant is the exposure my family has had to the world at large. My kids lived and went to school in a number of different countries and were exposed to a variety of cultlures. People must recognize that we are all part of a world community. To think that our world is our country is problem number one. We talk much about the diversity of the USA. I think much of that talk is about how things once were. Trying to be secular or isolated from the rest of the world has caused and continues to cause problems. Understanding other cultures and the mentality of the people is required if we truly seek peace. I like the diversity of the world at large. Language plays a large role.

Education is so very important. Learing doesn't stop when one leaves school. I don't think I'll live long enough to learn all the things I wish to know. The interest in learning has increased but the capacity to retain informatin has diminished. Such is life.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 2:11 pm

When I read about situations like yours, Abe, I feel grateful for the atmosphere of community tolerance in my home town. My early lessons involving religion were that my friends went to different churches. Some were Baptists. They were not allowed to dance. Their parents never drank alcohol. Some of my friends were Catholic. They didn't eat meat on Fridays. Some were Jewish. They didn't eat pork, and worshiped at a synagogue on Saturdays instead of a church on Sundays. That was OK, though, because we were all aware that we worshiped the same God, and God did not have a problem with our differences. As a child, I attended the Presbyterian Church. We could do pretty much whatever we wanted to do, but the Sunday sermons were pretty boring. When I was fourteen, my little brother died, and no one could explain to me how a loving God could allow that to happen. One Sunday a little over a year later, I went with a friend to her church - an Episcopal Church, and got caught up in the beauty of the service. I wanted to know more about it, and was told that I could attend an Inquirer's Class. My parents knew I was still having trouble with this God who let innocent children die, so they gave their permission. I was the only adolescent in a groups of adults of all ages. I was given as much respect as everyone else. My questions were honored, my discussion points were listened to. At the end of the class, I told my parents I wanted to be confirmed into that church. They hadn't expected that, but had a couple of long talks with our next door neighbors, who were members of that parish, who told Mom and Dad that they would be happy to take me with them on Sundays, and my folks relented - after all, this was the same God.

That Inquirer's Class turned me on to an interest in theology, and I started asking a lot of questions. I considered becoming a Catholic, but realized that as an Episcopal, I was much freer to worship as I chose, and our service was based on the Mass, anyway, so I stayed, and when I left for college, I continued going to the campus chapel.

When Bill and I started talking marriage, I knew that he would never leave the Methodist Church, so I changed my membership. I often talked with the rector at the Episcopal Church, though, and he encouraged my interest in theology, and suggested some books and theologians I might appreciate.

Of course, I was aware - more and more as I grew older, that there was some dissension between groups, and my senior year in high school, I was shocked to learn that antisemitism was alive and well - in a neighboring community where I was spending much of my time that spring, since I was representing my home city at what is still called the Neches River Festival. I found the concept appalling, and when I started college in that same community, I said so, and learned for the first time that people who supposedly worshiped the same God could be cruel to those who didn't go about it in the "right way."

After my divorce and move to Houston, since I was teaching at an experimental school which was dedicated to helping students who were "at risk," and buoyed by a relative lack of bigotry in my upbringing, I started seeing even more deeply that there are no special people - no superior groups. We are all the same. Along with that, I found myself reading and studying about cultures that supposedly worshiped other gods, and became more and more convinced that those "gods" were just different perceptions of the same Source of Being that we all recognize as God in one form or another.

My chosen career, after parenting, was teaching, but if I did well in that job, it was because I've never stopped seeing myself as a student. Learning about life is a continuing process - one that for me, I truly believe, has been guided by that Source, even when I did not at all like the direction the path was taking.

One of the things that I have come to believe is that the answers often lie in the practice of acceptance - of myself, of my experiences, of others, of diversity, and that a lack of acceptance leads to extremism and polarities, and that if evil exists, it is in those extreme positions. We cannot come together and get along unless we let go of an either/or need to be on the "right" side.

It is not about who is wrong or who is right. Differences form from the different perspectives that we develop through experiencing life. Nobody is "wrong." Nobody is "right." The conservative perspective is the other side of one coin. It is a complementary force to the progressive force, and serves to keep us from choosing change merely for the sake of change. We need each other.

Our state has been caught up in a religious battle involving forces who see a need to change and opposing forces who are resisting that change. It is inevitable that these forces have become entangled with similar forces in our perspectives of a higher power, as well as those between the spiritual and the scientific poles.

It is interesting that the new science of quantum mechanics involves an uncertainty that approaches a concept of Power that is not unlike the Power of God. Science and religion are becoming complementary as well

The reason our founding fathers insisted on keeping politics and religion separate was to see to it that no single group be allowed to dictate our perceptions of right and wrong. The job of the state is to find a balance - a centering point where our differences become less important than our common goals. In that sense, our recent election can be enlightening, if we look at it as a symbol of where we are as a people.

But we cannot achieve peace through angry retaliation. We must open our minds to the idea that other perspectives have validity, and incorporate the disparate parts into a workable whole.
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PennyDeerhill
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PennyDeerhill

Number of posts : 28
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Age : 49

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 2:19 pm

I don't know how it is in the rest of the United States, but the southern USA (specifically Alabama and Tennessee) doesn't recognize the separation of church and state. So much that it made me very sad to be an American. If it says anything, my polling station was the church, and there were no partitions between voters, people were intimidated and coerced by preachers and local business owners to vote a certain way.... I dreaded voting for as long as I lived there. Prayers were said in schools even if the class was multi-cultural/multi-religious, and those who were non-Christian were forced to be exposed to that feeling of "I don't belong" every day of school. Talk about inspiring bullies to pick on kids....Even here in Tennessee, its better than it was in my home state of Alabama.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 2:59 pm

Penny, from reading your posts, it seems clear that you are an individual who is going her own way. That is a good thing.

The only power the church has over any of us is the power we give it. That is especially true in the USA, where our freedom is protected by our constitution.

Fundamentalists control through fear - the fear of an eternity of Hell for those who don't tow the line.

It is all in what you believe. If you believe in a God who rules through fear of retribution and punishment, your actions will echo that belief.

A former bishop of the Episcopal diocese where I live was visiting here one Sunday. He made the statement, "The opposite of faith is not doubt; the opposite of faith is religious certainty." I like that.

Trust yourself enough to be a little skeptical. Trusts your instincts. Decide who and what you want to be, set your own path, and just keep stepping forward.

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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 3:37 pm

The diversity in the United States is more than we realize. However, little of it is found in the Republican party. Therefore, they could rally around a few bits of religious dogma. Those states with Republican majorities have already implemented religious based legislation.

Not far removed from our "maybe ally" Egypt where the Islam extremists are demanding that the government rule by the law of Islam - which puts Christians in peril.

When the religious right rules through legislation, the lives of others with different perspectives on their spiritual lives are in peril. A blatant example is abortion.

We escaped this time. But it was too close for comfort and the "Christians" are crying foul and listing all the disasters that have already begun to fall upon us because of the turn from the true party of Christians and patriots.


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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

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Age : 80
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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 4:40 pm

Excellent posts. I like the information and perspectives that each has based on experience. We can read books galore and often they tend to jumble the mind instead of making things more clear. The most recent book I read seemed to put it all together for me. I mentioned the name of the book in an earlier post and the intent was not to promote a book, but to share some enlightenment I found. We eventually find what we're looking for if we continue to seek.
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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

Number of posts : 4334
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Age : 76
Location : Duette, Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 5:02 pm

I grew up not influenced by any church until I went to live with a foster family at 15. In my childhood, I considered religion a lot of bunk... It did not relate to me and I thought it was a bunch of hooey. I still do, basically. Churches are there to make money just like political parties. I see no redemption in any of them, no spirit that connects any of their Gods to my life.

I consider myself part of the spiritual flow, the plasma, the ever and never ending flow of life. I consider that I do not have to worship anyone, I just have to be and I belong in the flow. I think of it like a jet stream of life. Once you are born, you are on that jet stream. It is fast and flowing right along.

Once a person gets bogged down in religious dogma, the dogma pollutes and confuses the mind and the flow of life is stymied causing people to consider themselves unworthy of the life they have been gifted.

The good that religions have done is that they keep the common people, like me and most people from running too far amuck in society and killing willy nilly, but it has not controlled the people who have a lot of money and can get away with anything and everything.

I have more, but I am tired.

Love

Betty
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 5:09 pm



Betty wrote:
Quote :
I consider myself part of the spiritual flow, the plasma, the ever and never ending flow of life. I consider that I do not have to worship anyone, I just have to be and I belong in the flow. I think of it like a jet stream of life. Once you are born, you are on that jet stream. It is fast and flowing right along.
Cool
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 5:16 pm

Is the Christian right wrong?
Not from their perspective.

The wrongness comes from their propensity to inflict their belief's on others.

We all have heads and should be able to arrive at our own conclusions without government assistance or intervention.


People are born with an innate moral sense--they could try using it.


Believe as you wish. The fact of the matter is your belief changes nothing.
You can think smoking is good for you, that your book is the best book ever written and whatever else you fancy--it won't make it so:) SORRY!
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 5:27 pm

Anyone remember this book?

http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Wars-Struggle-Define-America/dp/B001KG4F3Q

It's been around a while, but it still gives one of the best explanations of the dilemma that I have come across.

Quote :
from an Amazon review of Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

.................Hunter defines a cultural conflict as "political and social hostility rooted in different systems of moral understanding" (42). According to Hunter, the culture war in America revolves around different worldviews, "our most fundamental and cherished assumptions about how to order or lives - our own lives and our lives together in this society" (42). The contemporary culture war is "a struggle over national identity - over the meaning of America, who we have been in the past, who we are now, and perhaps most important, who we, as a nation, will aspire to become in the new millennium" (50).
------------------------------------------------
I am a European citizen and often quite puzzled by what is going on in America. This book gave me a really good perspective on the backgrounds of some American discussions, such as Intelligent Design and why the evolution-creation struggle constantly revolves around education textbooks.

Moreover, this book also made me realize that in contemporary Europe there are plenty of signs that, perhaps, a European culture war is at hand...
A wide-angle view on American society... February 22, 2006
By T. A. Smedes
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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 5:31 pm

Dear Alice,

The Christian right would burn people at the stake that did not agree with them. they need to be exported to an island where they can crucify each other until only the one who is SURE they are in possession of the will of God, straight from his/her mouth,,would be left alone there to starve and revel in the glory that they knew they were given the word straight from God that they had the truth and pray ike mad for manna from heaven.

Love,

Betty
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptyFri Nov 09, 2012 7:37 pm

Betty,

We can't do that. We must let them believe as they wish.
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptySat Nov 10, 2012 6:38 am

I admit to a subtext of anger that people who claim spirituality can be hateful and cruel. We can all have those feelings; but we try to depend on our higher selves to open our minds and show tolerance at least.

I have many good friends who sit in judgment of me because the church I attend is Unity - a non-denominational Christian-based church. Many fundamentalists consider it a cult - similar to the Mormon church. When did God strike them with the one answer to enlightenment? I know I have been a seeker of spiritual understanding most of my life and have not been struck yet with the one answer. Even in my church, they have some mystical things that don't appeal to my understanding; however, as Ann found a church home as a young woman, I found Unity as my church home as an adult.

The things being said on the Internet still (how dumb of me to thing the election would stop the hate-mongering - now they are working on destroying Obama to make sure 2016 is the year of the Republicans) are hateful, cruel and irrational. God's wrath is on its way.

My friend just sent me an email purportedly of a op ed in a Praque newspaper that sums up the U.S. citizens as the height of stupidity for electing President Obama - as proof that President Obama should not be in office. How ridiculous is that? And that thing has been circulating the Internet since 2008.
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptySat Nov 10, 2012 6:54 am

DK. that's a hard place to be in.

It isn't about you. It's about them. They are seeing their world changing and it it very scary for them, so they lash out.
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptySat Nov 10, 2012 8:36 am

alj wrote:
DK. that's a hard place to be in.

It isn't about you. It's about them. They are seeing their world changing and it it very scary for them, so they lash out.


There is another troublesome fact they are facing--their leaders lied to them.
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptySat Nov 10, 2012 8:54 am

My friend called from California today. She told me I better have knee surgery quickly because President Obama already stole $716 billion from Medicare and by the time I need surgery the death panels will be in place and likely more benefits lost....
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Separation of church and state   Separation of church and state EmptySat Nov 10, 2012 9:47 am


Such rubbish! She is not a friend, don't call her and quit taking her calls--no wonder you are down!

We can choose our friends.

I really think it is high time you moved on and acquired new friends.
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