Author Topic: Framing Separation of Church and State  (Read 650 times)

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Offline seaotter

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Framing Separation of Church and State
« on: August 20, 2014, 08:11:30 AM »
As I was pausing to omit "under god" in the pledge this morning and listening to a Mississippi state senator explain why he opposes equal rights for homosexuals, it occurred to me that these people would easily see that they wouldn't want people dictating their religious beliefs on them, particularly using the state. But they just don't seem to see themselves as forcing their religion on others. When we say separation of church and state  I think they see it as a trump card of their beliefs and it is when those beliefs infringe on my rights. How can we frame "church and state separation" to include the religious majority and show them separation is the guarantee of there religious liberty. Maybe that's it. The pledge and homosexual rights are religious liberty issues.
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 08:16:44 AM »
I always try to bring up Sharia law.  They are always going on about it.  I ask the question...what makes your religious declarations more correct than the Muslim's?  Separation of Church and State protects you from Sharia law.
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Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 08:22:42 AM »
I always try to bring up Sharia law.  They are always going on about it.  I ask the question...what makes your religious declarations more correct than the Muslim's?  Separation of Church and State protects you from Sharia law.

Maybe also point out Europe and the conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants?
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Offline pusher robot

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 09:50:52 AM »
I always try to bring up Sharia law.  They are always going on about it.  I ask the question...what makes your religious declarations more correct than the Muslim's?  Separation of Church and State protects you from Sharia law.

I think the First Amendment is a red herring in this discussion.  The Establishment Clause does not require us to extirpate the moral foundations of every law of any religious basis.  Citizens are fully entitled to press for laws that better conform to their moral principles without regard to the basis of those principles, providing that those laws do not have the effect of requiring individuals to espouse things they do not believe or restrain them from expressing the things they do believe.

As a result, there is no serious objection to anti-gay-marriage laws on Establishment Clause grounds, and what actually protects us from Sharia law (for the most part) is not the First Amendment but the fact that proponents of it are in an extreme minority.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 10:01:32 AM by pusher robot »
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Online superdave

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 10:28:52 AM »
I always try to bring up Sharia law.  They are always going on about it.  I ask the question...what makes your religious declarations more correct than the Muslim's?  Separation of Church and State protects you from Sharia law.
The fact that they don't see how this works is kind of scary. 
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 10:46:09 AM »
I always try to bring up Sharia law.  They are always going on about it.  I ask the question...what makes your religious declarations more correct than the Muslim's?  Separation of Church and State protects you from Sharia law.

I think the First Amendment is a red herring in this discussion.  The Establishment Clause does not require us to extirpate the moral foundations of every law of any religious basis.  Citizens are fully entitled to press for laws that better conform to their moral principles without regard to the basis of those principles, providing that those laws do not have the effect of requiring individuals to espouse things they do not believe or restrain them from expressing the things they do believe.

As a result, there is no serious objection to anti-gay-marriage laws on Establishment Clause grounds, and what actually protects us from Sharia law (for the most part) is not the First Amendment but the fact that proponents of it are in an extreme minority.
The reason creationism isn't being taught in schools is the same reason bans on gay marriage are falling like dominos.  The establishment clause essentially means you cannot legislate from strictly religious demands.  200 years of court decisions support this perspective on the first amendment.  It's why we never had blasphemy laws...which the majority would support at one time in our history.
"I think computer viruses should count as life. Maybe it says something about human nature, that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image."
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Offline pusher robot

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2014, 11:03:26 AM »
I always try to bring up Sharia law.  They are always going on about it.  I ask the question...what makes your religious declarations more correct than the Muslim's?  Separation of Church and State protects you from Sharia law.

I think the First Amendment is a red herring in this discussion.  The Establishment Clause does not require us to extirpate the moral foundations of every law of any religious basis.  Citizens are fully entitled to press for laws that better conform to their moral principles without regard to the basis of those principles, providing that those laws do not have the effect of requiring individuals to espouse things they do not believe or restrain them from expressing the things they do believe.

As a result, there is no serious objection to anti-gay-marriage laws on Establishment Clause grounds, and what actually protects us from Sharia law (for the most part) is not the First Amendment but the fact that proponents of it are in an extreme minority.
The reason creationism isn't being taught in schools is the same reason bans on gay marriage are falling like dominos.  The establishment clause essentially means you cannot legislate from strictly religious demands.  200 years of court decisions support this perspective on the first amendment.  It's why we never had blasphemy laws...which the majority would support at one time in our history.

No, that's not correct. The gay marriage bans are not being overturned on Establishment Clause grounds, but on either Equal Protection or Due Process (14th Amendment) grounds.  The Supreme Court established in McGowan that so long as there is some legitimate secular purpose and no burden on free expression, the motivations behind the laws are basically irrelevant.  (In McGowan, it was a Sunday blue law that was being challenged.)
Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

Offline seaotter

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2014, 11:44:59 AM »
It is true that they aren't falling because of establishment but they should and we do have a case before the courts arguing that very thing over a state ban on gay marriage. Anybody remember where?
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline pusher robot

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2014, 11:57:35 AM »
It is true that they aren't falling because of establishment but they should and we do have a case before the courts arguing that very thing over a state ban on gay marriage. Anybody remember where?

I disagree.  I think it's inappropriate for the courts to probe into whether a person's moral basis for supporting a law is religious in nature or not.  Focus instead should be on the effects of the law and whether they are reasonably justified under the other constitutional protections.
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Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2014, 12:07:35 PM »
It is true that they aren't falling because of establishment but they should and we do have a case before the courts arguing that very thing over a state ban on gay marriage. Anybody remember where?


I disagree.  I think it's inappropriate for the courts to probe into whether a person's moral basis for supporting a law is religious in nature or not.  Focus instead should be on the effects of the law and whether they are reasonably justified under the other constitutional protections.


Well, you have a BYU professor agreeing with you. . . Big surprise   >:D
Yes, I know what I am doing is poisoning the well  ;D

I will post a position which disagrees however
http://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2966&context=journal_articles
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 12:10:08 PM by Desert Fox »
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Offline seaotter

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 04:00:47 PM »
It is true that they aren't falling because of establishment but they should and we do have a case before the courts arguing that very thing over a state ban on gay marriage. Anybody remember where?

I disagree.  I think it's inappropriate for the courts to probe into whether a person's moral basis for supporting a law is religious in nature or not.  Focus instead should be on the effects of the law and whether they are reasonably justified under the other constitutional protections.

Then you're  wrong. To say something is prohibited based only on a religious majority opinion is to favor one religion over another. There must be a clear compelling secular justification or you're violating the first amendment.
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline pusher robot

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2014, 04:29:03 PM »
It is true that they aren't falling because of establishment but they should and we do have a case before the courts arguing that very thing over a state ban on gay marriage. Anybody remember where?

I disagree.  I think it's inappropriate for the courts to probe into whether a person's moral basis for supporting a law is religious in nature or not.  Focus instead should be on the effects of the law and whether they are reasonably justified under the other constitutional protections.

Then you're  wrong. To say something is prohibited based only on a religious majority opinion is to favor one religion over another. There must be a clear compelling secular justification or you're violating the first amendment.

There must be some secular justification, but it doesn't have to be a lot.  That's why the blue laws were allowed to stand.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 04:34:53 PM »
The problem ends up revolving around "Do you hate gays because you think Jesus hates them, or because you're just a bigot?"

The former butts up against establishment, the latter against other bits.
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Offline seaotter

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 08:19:32 PM »
It is true that they aren't falling because of establishment but they should and we do have a case before the courts arguing that very thing over a state ban on gay marriage. Anybody remember where?

I disagree.  I think it's inappropriate for the courts to probe into whether a person's moral basis for supporting a law is religious in nature or not.  Focus instead should be on the effects of the law and whether they are reasonably justified under the other constitutional protections.

Then you're  wrong. To say something is prohibited based only on a religious majority opinion is to favor one religion over another. There must be a clear compelling secular justification or you're violating the first amendment.

There must be some secular justification, but it doesn't have to be a lot.  That's why the blue laws were allowed to stand.

It doesn't have to be much for judges who want to look the other way, but it's still bad law.
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Offline seaotter

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Re: Framing Separation of Church and State
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 08:34:20 PM »
It's why we have ended up with this stupid tradition bullshit.
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

 

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