Thursday, June 14, 2012

Just When Did We Lose Sight of the Jeffersonian Principle Of Seperation of Church and State?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

The Hill - Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), two vice presidential favorites, took very different tacks during their speeches at the Faith & Freedom Coalition's lunch on Thursday.

Portman focused on intensely personal anecdotes that underlined his faith, including how he quit a job in the first Bush White House to be with his mother after she was diagnosed with cancer, while Rubio delivered a sweeping speech about faith and American exceptionalism that had the religious, conservative audience on its feet on a half-dozen occasions.

"If we turn to our creator for comfort and for guidance, what do we find? We find that our faith is deepened," Portman told the audience before telling a story of deciding to quit to return to Ohio for his mother, calling it "the best decision I ever made."

Rubio, on the other hand, went big, giving a speech that ranged from the early Christians' torture at the hands of the Romans, touched on the Founding Fathers and wove together his view of American exceptionalism with his faith.

"Americans' freedoms are deeply ingrained in our faith," Rubio said at one point. "America's not just a great nation. At its core, it's a blessed one.

"Because our rights find its source in your creator and your God … the only power that government should have is the power you agree to give it," Rubio continued. "You cannot have your freedom without your faith, because the source of your freedom is your faith. {Read More}

Clearly ones faith is important. However, on an individual basis, as accepted and understood by the individual.

A common misconception of the religious socon fundamental right is that ethics and morality requires a foundation in their particular views on faith. Nothing could be further from reality, and nothing is more dangerous politically. For those who doubt this look to history as it is replete with examples.

Religious fervor is every bit as dangerous as any other ideology taken to an extreme. Which is why Thomas Jefferson worked diligently to ensure his proper concept of "separation of church and state" became part of the American lexicon. Read more here and here.

Indeed the words "separation of Church and State" do not appear anywhere in the Constitution. But thinking individuals such as Thomas Jefferson and other enlightened founders of our nation understood the dangers of mixing Church with matters of State. We would do well to honor their desire (and wisdom) by keep the two entities separate and apart with respect to decisions concerning the state.

Every citizen of this democratic republic should feel free to practice their chosen faith. The state by the same token has no right nor authority to allow itself to be influenced by or to make decisions based on religious considerations. This is true as it relates Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, Zoroastrianism, or the Gods of Greek mythology. When contemplating the preceding statements try to recall the tyranny inflicted by religious purist and zealots that populated the Church of England and how the State was influenced and in some cases controlled by their religious ideology.

There was rational and enlightened thought behind the beliefs and principles of Thomas Jefferson (and others of the Enlightenment) that gives reason to the concerns many express today over the rhetoric of the social conservatives (socons) and the Christian fundamentalists, (fundies).

There are many forms of tyranny. Religious fundamentalism, sanctioned by the state is just as insidious a tyranny as any other because it denies and takes away the very fundamental rights of free will. A tenet of the Christian religion.

While at present we are a long way from devolving into a church/state tyranny. However, keep in mind it could, and very likely will happen unless enlightened classical thinkers remain ever vigilant. It is clear many American politicians and lawmakers don't give much thought to these dangers. In fact, at times it almost seems they welcome the thought of a government influenced by the faith they choose to believe in.

Great thinkers and and lawmakers (also devout), recognized as dangerous the mixture of Church and State in the late 1700's and early 1800;'s. We can only hope the people in control of our government and our churches remain as enlightened today. Judging from the rhetoric I have my doubts.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. I agree with everything that you just wrote, Les. The only problem is that this bible-thumping all too often seems to sell. And it isn't just the Republicans who are doing it. Just listen to Mr. Obama sprinkling it in/pandering away.

  2. i would agree also, Les but for one thing. everything you say would be true in a government unchecked. the founding fathers instituted a form of government of checks and balances.
    it is with these checks in place that allows religions to participate in governmental affairs.
    a trivial fact might help you. did you know that it was against the law in one State for an Atheist to run for governmental office until 1929?

    1. Your cogent point is? As I admit to having difficulty finding it.

  3. It just goes to show, be careful how you vote. If I were an Objectivist, I would avoid a GOP one party state. Things could get really bad if we did that again. Think about it.


    1. I suppose in part that is why I posted this.

  4. my point being, my friend, is that if your viewpoint on the church/State relationship was true that fact in regards to Atheists would not have existed.

    that State would have had to change that law prior to being allowed entry as a State just as Utah had to change their laws in regards to polygamy prior to being allowed entry.

    1. Perhaps my friend. However, I remain in disagreement with you on this point.

  5. that be your choice, my friend but at least i gave you something to think about now because you see that it makes your viewpoint irrational unless you can reconcile that fact to your viewpoint.

    1. I have no need to reconcile a thing. My views are perfectly rational. What I will do my friend is to give you the opportunity, should you choose to accept it, is to explain here, on the pages of RN USA in great detail the rationale supporting your position.

  6. if that be true, then we have found another area of disagreement the idea of rationality. in every class of logic i took i was taught that when a belief was in conflict with a fact then the belief was irrational. and to continue that belief was called rationalization. i guess i was taught wrongly by your standards.

    apparently you learned a different way of rational thought.for i just presented you with a fact that conflicts with your belief.

    1. No Griper, you just presented me with a premise that supports yours.

      I believe the correct reference to conflict you mentioned is this Griper since you found a contradiction... Check your premise.

      I need not as I find no contradiction.

      I refer you back to my offering in my prior comment my friend.

  7. Republicans are the party trying to inject religion into our government. In the 1950's it was Republicans who wanted "God" in the pledge. It's Republicans who want to deny birth control and abortion based on their religious beliefs. It's Republicans who want to add Constitutional amendments reflecting their religious beliefs. I would call those efforts unamerican.

    1. Anon - On these points I concur, completely. So your point is?

      To bash Republicans I assume. You have come to the wrong locale if that is your desire as I am not a Republican. I am by far more interested in issues that transcend partisan ideology. Both parties su*k and neither party gets my full support.

      I am by far more interested in liberty versus tyranny, and both parties posses a great tendency towards tyranny.

      Nuff said\.

  8. The point is, it's not representative of what happened, to simply blame both sides. Democrats are surely more responsible for the welfare State, than Republicans. The Republicans are surely more responsible than Democrats, for pushing legislation based on their religious beliefs.
    What politicians do (pass laws or not) day to day, month to month, or decade to decade; is never representative of principles, or political purity. We must recognize who and where our mistakes are coming from.

    1. Agreed. Principles do however matter. Ethics and morality define a people and a culture. Reason and logic should define principle.

      The reality they often don't is the root of our troubles. At least IMO anyway.

  9. i didn't present a premise, Les, i presented a fact in history.
    if i had presented a premise in support of my position you would know my position on this issue and that is one thing you do not know.

    a couple of more facts of history for you too.
    If you want to present the founding fathers as Deists, your best example is Thomas Paine not Thomas Jefferson.

    Thomas Jefferson as well as Geo. Washington were Episcopalians and leading members of the governing body of the church they were members of.

    1. As you wish...

      They were for the most part all Deist. But if you wish to believe otherwise fine by me...

      Read Thomas Jefferson, learn to understand his words, rather than how you moght use them (erroneously) to fit your own conclusions.


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