Is the U.S. secular?


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  1. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm not talking about the people, but the government. And what does "secular" mean exactly?

    My understanding is that the United States government, in all of its branches and extensions, is to be strictly neutral on all religious issues and anything related to religion, neither supporting nor condemning religion in any way, shape or form.

    That seems to be disputed, and politicians routinely violate it (including Obama himself).
     

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  2. Familyguy1

    Familyguy1 Well-Known Member

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    Its the nature of the beast. Also, everyone's own opinion comes into play for things, so when religion does come into play, it shows.

    Secular? No... Separation of Church and State, yeah there is that, but trying to be biased on things that go against your beliefs is difficult.
     
  3. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Separation of church and state implies secularism.
     
  4. n0ct3m

    n0ct3m Well-Known Member

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    If the government was neutral on everything related to religion, then we wouldn't be hearing so much about how Christine O'Donnell dated a witch in High School or whenever it was.
     
  5. tsanuri

    tsanuri Well-Known Member

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    Except for the fact that where the separation of church and state comes from is a letter by Jefferson to the Danbury baptists. And it implies it is a one way street. Meaning goverment can not interfere in religion not the otherway around. And secularism by definition means that religion should be exluded from all public matter. Now I will agree that current interpetion of law goes both ways but reading the letter itself I can not see it there.

    Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists (June 1998) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin

    Where Jefferson was not a religious man in what most would consider if you read his writting he did believe in a higher power. Many times called the creator in his writtings.
     
  6. Familyguy1

    Familyguy1 Well-Known Member

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    Most of them were Deists too.
     
  7. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    The Constitution says Congress makes laws, and the president executes them. It also says Congress shall make no laws respecting or prohibiting the establishment and practice of religion.

    When the President establishes a prayer breakfast, he is violating the Constitution. I think Obama knows that.
     
  8. hakr100

    hakr100 Well-Known Member

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    A public profession of religious belief ought to disqualify a candidate from public office...not the religious belief, but the public profession of it. I won't vote for any candidate who keeps beating me over the head with his/her religious beliefs.
     
  9. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I hate the way Ovbama keeps showing how Christian he is :rolleyes:
     
  10. cjr72

    cjr72 Well-Known Member

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    I'd prefer to know what influences the president, religious or otherwise, than be kept in the dark about it. Plus there's the small issue of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
     
  11. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yes I'd rather know if the President is yet another one of those who believe in a sea-splitting magic stick and talking snakes.
     
  12. Familyguy1

    Familyguy1 Well-Known Member

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    In this day and age, electing someone that is not a part of organized religion seems to be a big no-no...
     
  13. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    Although the US is a secular country, and the separation of church and state is enshrined in the constitution, this does not mean that the government MUST stay 100% neutral or removed from matters related to religion.

    There is 200 years of case law to back several practices that the government engages in, such as giving religious institutions tax exemptions, allowing the use of religious sayings (particular to one religion and not another) on public property, etc. Typically the practices came at times when the country was more homogenous from a religious POV, and now they are enshrined as a reflection of the history of the country and not as religious symbols. That is why, for example, some of our money and many of our court rooms can say "In god we trust" and still be well within the limits of the law.
     

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