18th April 2008

“The separation of church and state is the foundation of all political liberty.”

Lord Acton1834 – 1902

14 Responses to “18th April 2008”

  1. Tzuriel Says:

    amen.

  2. Critic Says:

    Not only political liberty, but all liberty since the aim of religion is subjugation and domination of the populace through control of all aspects of their lives and the dissemination of ignorance through dogmatic beliefs.

    The current occupant of the White House and his minions have done their best to blur the lines of separation. I hope the next occupant is a real president and reverses these trends. However, I am skeptical of all the remaining candidates.

  3. Chris Says:

    On the topic of the current administration, when did it become forgotten that the President’s oath is to defend the Constitution? Railing on about how job one is to protect the American people, apparently by alienating our unalienable rights. I hope and expect that President Obama will have a much greater respect for our founding documents and the priciples enshrined therein and will work to undo the damage that King George and Darth Vader (VP) have done to our republic, our moral authority and our standing in the world.

    I agree with you Critic. Indeed, even religious liberty is protected by the separation or church and state. These loopy, mushy-brained people that want to force their mystic crap down everyone’s throats fail to grasp that if they were successful, a state religion would almost certainly not be theirs. Their freedom to believe whatever jot and tittle of their little sect would be infringed the moment there was an official opinion on the topic. Yet they keep aiming the gun squarely at the center of their foot.

  4. Critic Says:

    …when did it become forgotten that the President’s oath is to defend the Constitution? Railing on about how job one is to protect the American people…

    Defending the Constitution is not nearly as dramatic as defending the “people” against some outside foe, real or imagined. When you continually hammer folks over the head with the terrible fear that “they” are out to get “us”, you can get away with a lot of shenanigans when no one is watching.

    This method is also used by religious leaders: “Be afraid of hell,” “Be afraid of science,” “Be afraid of anything that makes you think,” they chant while they mentally and physically abuse their flock and generally degrade society with their mindless religion.

  5. Terence Meaden Says:

    “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” James Madison. 1803 (letter)

  6. Chris Says:

    Oh! those heathen Founding Fathers said the craziest things. God: good or at least not harmful; Religion: the bain of human existence. A running theme with these foks.

  7. Critic Says:

    Terence,

    I suppose in the sense of preventing religious civil wars, at least so far, the separation of church and state has been a success in the US.

    However, it would do the religious nutters who are striving to establish a religion-based US government a great service if they would consider that the likelihood of their religion prevailing in a US theocracy is slim. Whatever religion that might be established as the state religion in this brave new world, it will be the religion of the powerful subjugating the weak – as is usual in such circumstances.

    Hopefully the electorate will come to it’s senses and prevent such a catastrophe.

  8. Critic Says:

    Chris,

    You must be wrong – I’ve repeatedly been told that the US was founded as a christian nation by and for christians not for those other heathen religions – and especially not for those evil atheists!

    (Interesting how religious dogma gets practically nothing correct.)

  9. Tzuriel Says:

    Politically, I agree with most of you. Religion is evil when it becomes involved with the state – any and every religion. That is the truth.

    But, alas, Critic, I still say that religion is not evil in and of itself.

    “the aim of religion is subjugation and domination of the populace through control of all aspects of their lives and the dissemination of ignorance through dogmatic beliefs.”

    I’ve gotta disagree. Some religious people do have this aim, and this is what happens when people try to mix religion and state, which is why I will always be against that. But to use state powers to eliminate religion, that is just as bad. Both are forcing your beliefs on everyone else, which is obviously wrong. Also, religion doesn’t control all aspects of your life, or religion not mixed with the state doesn’t. It is not a tenet of Catholicism, for example, that all members must be doing baseball practice at precisely 7 p.m. every Tuesday, NO MATTER WHAT! And, again, not all religions promote ignorance. It should be remarked that many prominent religious people are scientists, philosophers, etc. Anotherwords, thinking professions. There is nothing about being intelligent that makes it impossible for you to be religious. That’s just as bad as the religious argument that says all atheists love depravity and evil (you don’t, do you!? :)). Extremes are always wrong. In subjective matters, using a universal argument is fallacy.

  10. Critic Says:

    …not all religions promote ignorance.

    Name one.

    Extremes are always wrong.

    Quite.

  11. Tzuriel Says:

    Critic:

    Mormonism. I mean, it’s got it’s seminaries (religious teaching for high schoolers) and institute (for college kids), but it always encourages it’s members to be educated. Joseph Smith said that God would ask us concerning our education in the next world, whether we took the opportunities given us to be educated. I had a teacher in institute who wanted more than most else for a student to argue with him concerning the doctrine, not so he could bible bash, but because he wanted us to be intelligent concerning our religious views and everything else.

    I would hazard a guess that Buddhism also promotes religious growth, though don’t quote me on that, because I’m not as familiar with their practices as I’d like to be.

    Also mainstream Islam promotes learning. Don’t forget that, back in the day, Islam was one of the greatest centers of learning on this planet.

  12. Critic Says:

    Tzuriel – you must be kidding! All those great examples merely underline MY point: religion only promotes religious instruction – which is the same thing as promoting ignorance.

    And, thanks for once again bringing up the heyday of Muslim learning in science and technology. Again, this topic merely underlines MY point that religion promotes ignorance. Islam is no longer, and has not been for over 500 years, associated with scientific progress. Islam turned back to religious squabbles and got involved in theocratic arguments leaving their society living in dirt floored huts and shitting behind rocks in the 21st century. It is indisputably clear that religion promotes ignorance – and Islam is a great example.

  13. Critic Says:

    Here’s a great example of religion promoting ignorance and stupidity I got this link from the Bad Astronomer’s blog. It is amazing in it’s stupidity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixfk4LsKWnw

    Oh by. Let’s hear it for Islamic science.

    Now, can I interest you in a dirt-floored hut? There is a nice big rock in the back yard…..

  14. Tzuriel Says:

    Critic:

    Wrong. Joseph Smith was talking about secular instruction, not religious. Any religion expects its followers to study it’s doctrine, of course, but many also expect its followers to educate themselves. Also, there was typo there. I meant “Buddhism also promotes intellectual growth”. You’ll have to forgive me – I’ve been exhausted these last few days, and my arguments are showing it. Not that that’s an excuse, though.

    The point is, it once was. There are a thousand things that contribute to the decline of a society. It should also be noted that the Arabic people were severely fucked by us westerners, so you could blame most of their current state on us, particularly if you’re American (that shame cuts to the core for a boy who’s father serves in the military, but is also deeply aware of his country’s flaws). You, Critic, are trying to say that religion and learning are absolutely non-compatible. My point is that they can be compatible. The examples prove that. I’ll grant that many current religions are not compatible due to the stupidity of their followers, but the religions themselves are not the problem. My parents never minded the fact that I was being taught evolution. In fact, that’s something my father and I have discussed often. He’s got his own theories (don’t worry – this isn’t the “Satan tempts the weak!” theory).