From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Proof that Bush loathes separation of church and state
January 23, 2004 1:08 PM
Here's what Bush said about faith-based programs this morning speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
There has been discrimination against faith-based programs in Washington, D.C. Sure, you can receive a federal grant, but you have to take the cross off the wall in order to do so, or the Star of David down, or the crescent. Well, how can you be a faith-based program if you can't practice your faith? All of a sudden, you become just another program.
Ding ding ding!!! You can't have a faith-based program without faith. That's why faith-based programs are a bad idea! Ever thought of that George?
Here's how he addresses that little problem called separation of church and state: "We strongly believe in the separation of church and state here in Washington, D.C. and that's the way it's going to be."
Notice the language. He doesn't say "I strongly believe" he says "We strongly believe...here in Washington, D.C." He generalized it, making "we" all the people in Washington D.C. -- and not specifically himself. Then he closes with "that's the way it's going to be" since he's clearly not all that thrilled about the whole thing.
Proof that Bush loathes separation of church and state
Next Entry: Small win for Patriots Against PATRIOT (01.27.2004)
Previous Entry: David Kay: "I don't think they existed." (01.23.2004)
Read the 24 comments.
damn you're an idiot. you can spin any comment with the best of the insane liberals in washington.
do you know what the "separation of church and state" is? my guess is you don't since what you have written proves nothing.
the separation of church and state does not mean that politicians can't believe in god. it doesn't mean that they can't talk about religious things. have you heard of thomas jefferson or george washington or alexander hamilton. they believed in God, they were part of the founding fathers, jefferson helped write the constitution and d.o.i and he mentions God quite frequently. in fact, the whole reason the US exists is that the pilgrims came looking for religious freedom.
in case you haven't noticed, the government of the united states wasn't founded on the premise that government cannot have religious feelings. what the separation of church and state means is that the government will not advocate, will not force people to become a part of, or will not deny anyone the right: to practice any type of religion.
nowhere has bush said "everyone must be a catholic."
nowhere has bush said "if you're not a christian, you're not an american."
no where has bush said "if you're a moslem, you can't be in america."
it fact, everything is the exact opposite.
you're hatred for bush and anything that isn't a raving liberal is obvious - and thats ok - you certainly have a right to be that way. i've got no problem with that.
but i do have a problem with people talking about issues to which a. they don't know what they're talking about and b. they're wrong.
my guess is you've never had any formal education on anything political. thats ok. i went to a very liberal university and graduated MCL with a degree in poli sci and public admin so don't feel bad that i know more 'FACTS' than you do. most liberals don't like to deal with 'facts' and prefer to deal with lies. or, they take those 'facts' that they know are true, but that they don't like, and 'spin' those into something resembling a 'lie.'
anyway, good luck in your quest to dethrone bush. if you can get him out of office and put in a raving liberal congratulations. please feel free to right back something along the lines of 'you're an idiot' or 'you only follow bush because you can't think for yourself' or 'the dixie chicks don't like bush either' or' bush is an idiot who can't speak clearly' or 'yeah, well, but um, shut up.' its all good. i won't be around to read it.
some people will believe only what they want to believe no matter how ludicrous despite enormous amounts of undisputable evidence to the contrary: those people are called liberals.
Sat Jan 24 2004 10:04 PM
Government funding of religious preaching is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.
Sun Jan 25 2004 12:14 AM
OT rant and pitch:
Why Support Howard Dean...?
Ever since former Vermont Governor Howard Dean entered the race for president two years ago, he has been the leader in setting the debate. Dean stood up to George W. Bush when few others would and pressed other Democrats to do so as well. Howard Dean has energized the base of the Democratic Party, and as the candidate of hope, vision, courage, and experience, has created a real chance for at victory for working people in 2004...
Dean Delivers Health Care
While other candidates endlessly talk about healthcare, Howard Dean, who is also a medical doctor, has delivered it. While Governor of Vermont, Dr. Dean provided healthcare coverage for 99% of children under 18, for low- and middle-income families, for seniors and the disabled, and for expectant mothers in the state. He also required that mental illness and substance abuse receive the same coverage that serious physical illness does. Gov. Dean also provided a prescription drug coverage program for seniors and the disabled while Congress talked about it. Because of a strong commitment to helping seniors live productive lives at home, Gov. Dean shifted funds from nursing homes to other services, such as home health care, so more seniors could live with dignity in their own homes. Gov. Dean's vision for the future includes an effective and practical kind of social responsibility. His Success By Six program in Vermont places a strong emphasis on early childhood prevention and health care, with visits to the homes of all new parents who request help (91% do). This long-term vision is designed to help prevent child abuse, which has dropped 45%, which in the long run, creates healthy, productive, fully functional family support that will keep these children out of prison when they grow up. Gov. Dean did all this, while balancing the budget, cutting taxes and not by slashing funding for education, police, fire departments and other vital services.
Job Creation and Fiscal Responsibility
In his eleven-year tenure as Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean created 20% more good-paying jobs, lowered the unemployment rate, and raised the minimum wage. He also balanced the budget year after year--and he did so while cutting taxes twice, responsibly, and while providing funding for health care, school reform, and the protecting the environment. When Gov. Dean took office in 1991, he inherited a record deficit. When he left office eleven years later, he left the state with a record surplus and a solid rainy day fund in case of an economic down-turn. Because of Gov. Dean's fiscal management skills, he was able to pay down the debt and take Vermont from the lowest bond rating in New England to the highest. With the Bush Administration giving trillions of dollars of irresponsible tax cuts to the wealthy and shifting the taxes to state and local governments while charging it to our children and grandchildren in the form of debt, the country is going to need an experienced fiscal manager to pull us back from the brink of economic disaster.
The (right kind of) Money to Win
On January 1, 2004, the Dean campaign announced another quarter of record-breaking fund-raising, citing $15.38 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. This put Dean at $40.78 million for the year. But with nearly 300,000 contributors and an average contribution of under $100, Dean is not beholden to special interests or fat-cat donor, but to us, the people. In addition he can go back to the well again and again. It's a source of funding that is unlikely to dry up, making a 50-state primary strategy possible to fight for restoring American prosperity to everyone. In addition, in a savvy general election strategy, the Dean campaign decided to forgo matching funds. Giving up this public financing will make Gov. Dean financially competitive with George W. Bush and his millions of dollars from fat-cat special interests. By opting out of the tax funded campaign system, the Dean campaign is not required to adhere to limiting primary spending limits - limits that would surely cripple any Democratic presidential campaign by March of 2004 and allow Bush to attack our candidate without the ability to respond. With Gov. Dean's proven record of balancing budgets, expanding healthcare and creating jobs, they had better worry. Everyday people, when they learn who Gov. Dean is, and look at his record will see that he is a REAL leader and support him.
You should too.
The above is from a new two-sided flyer "Tired of affordable healthcare?" which is part of the "Re-Select Bush" guerrilla campaign I have up on my Gore4Dean website. (http://www.gore4dean.com/why.html)
This piece shows on one side, Washington/Bush's failure to address the serious issue of affordable healthcare. The back has the above copy which lays out the solid record and real reasons why everyone should support Howard Dean. PLEASE download and distribute it as far and as wide as possible.
p.s. if you are so inclined to donate to Dean for America, please consider hitting the bat via my Dean Team bat on my website for the effort.
Sun Jan 25 2004 11:44 PM
"Government funding of religious preaching is a clear violation of the separation of church and state."
Where does it say in the constitution that there is a "seperation of church and state". It ACTUALLY says there will be no governmental sponsorship of a religon. Subcontracting a service to a group that happens to have a religious affiliation is hardly "sponsoring" a religon. The fact that these faith based organizations can provide services usually at a fraction of the cost (with better results) of what the government can, should not disqualify them from being a "paid" subcontractor.
Believe it or not I attended a public school that had Catholic nuns teaching teaching in it - they where the only ones willing to take the low pay in the rural community I grew up in. Should they have been disqualified from employment? They would have had a hell of a case for discrimination. I know that idea of a nun in full dress teaching in a public school is enough to make an ACLU lawyer's head explode but her qulaifications where above reproach and the results speak for themselves.
Mon Jan 26 2004 6:55 AM
From Americans United for Separation of Church and State's ...And 10 Other Myths About Church and State:
MYTH: Separation of church and state is not in the U.S. Constitution.FACT: It is true that the literal phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution, but that does not mean the concept isn't there. The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."What does that mean? A little history is helpful: In an 1802 letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson, then president, declared that the American people through the First Amendment had erected a "wall of separation between church and state." (Colonial religious liberty pioneer Roger Williams used a similar phrase 150 years earlier.)Jefferson, however, was not the only leading figure of the post-revolutionary period to use the term separation. James Madison, considered to be the Father of the Constitution, said in an 1819 letter, "[T]he number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church and state." In an earlier, undated essay (probably early 1800s), Madison wrote, "Strongly guarded...is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States."As eminent church-state scholar Leo Pfeffer notes in his book, Church, State and Freedom, "It is true, of course, that the phrase 'separation of church and state' does not appear in the Constitution. But it was inevitable that some convenient term should come into existence to verbalize a principle so clearly and widely held by the American people....[T]he right to a fair trial is generally accepted to be a constitutional principle; yet the term 'fair trial' is not found in the Constitution. To bring the point even closer home, who would deny that 'religious liberty' is a constitutional principle? Yet that phrase too is not in the Constitution. The universal acceptance which all these terms, including 'separation of church and state,' have received in America would seem to confirm rather than disparage their reality as basic American democratic principles."Thus, it is entirely appropriate to speak of the "constitutional principle of church-state separation" since that phrase summarizes what the First Amendment's religion clauses do-they separate church and state.
Mon Jan 26 2004 7:21 AM
And here's the other side of the argument from the Jeremiah Project. Basically they disagree with Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black's interpretation of the Constitution:
The assault on America's religious underpinnings is based on a distorted interpretation of the establishment and free-exercise clauses of the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..."Only a lawyer could claim not to understand the plain meaning of those words. The Supreme Court has taken Jefferson's "separation" clause (divorced from Jefferson's own explanation of the phrase) and used it to create a new, and completely arbitrary, interpretation of the First Amendment.In 1947, with the United States Supreme Court's decision in Everson v. Board of Education, Justice Hugo Black construed the First Amendment in a more restrictive fashion, giving an absolute definition of the First Amendment Establishment Clause which went well beyond the original intent of the framers of the United States Constitution and paved the way for future cases that would further restrict religious expression in American public life. This ruling declares that any aid or benefit to religion from governmental actions is unconstitutional. As Justice Black said: "The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach." Hardly what Thomas Jefferson meant or what the constitution guaranteed!"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" had always meant that Congress was prohibited from establishing a national religious denomination, that Congress could not require that all Americans become Catholics, Anglicans, or members of any other denomination. This understanding of "separation of church and state" was applied not only during the time of the Founders, but for 170 years afterwards. James Madison (1751-1836) clearly articulated this concept of separation when explaining the First Amendment's protection of religious liberty. He said that the First Amendment to the Constitution was prompted because "The people feared one sect might obtain a preeminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform." The complete and radical disassociation between Christianity and the State that is sometimes advocated now is not what they had in mind. It's clear that they had seen entirely too many religious wars and religious tyrannies in Europe, and thus that they did want to make sure that no specific church or creed had authority over the State.
One point to note here is that, based on the 1947 Supreme Court ruling, "separation of church and state" is the law of the land whether it was the intent of the founders or not. It's also funny that both sides quote James Madison.
Mon Jan 26 2004 7:58 AM
Much like the "right to privacy" the "separation of church and state" where created from blank spaces in the constitution and are only valid as long as the SUPREME (talk about your "godlike" connotations) Court says otherwise.
Mon Jan 26 2004 11:21 AM
Christopher (the irony of it has not escaped me):
"Hardly what Thomas Jefferson meant...??"
Sounds like the Jeremiah Project either didn't do it's homework, or conveniently ignored the historically documented facts. Justice Black's "a wall between church and state" is almost a direct quote from Jefferson himself:
"...I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State..."
Not that this matters, since the Project's own arguments actually *defend* Justice Black's interpretation. The Project admits that the intent of the Establishment Clause is to prevent the government of our country from declaring any religion as preeminent. How could a government do this while simultaneously promoting one religion *almost exclusively*? Talk about paradox. Fortunately, Justice Black recognized this potential for conflict of interests when he delivered his interpretation.
By backing a particular faith's organizations, symbols and references, the U.S. government shows favor - it gives preference to one religion over others, sometimes by implication, sometimes by outright declaration. In doing so, it sends a clear message which religion is considered the religion of the state, whether or not it passes laws in open declaration of that fact. Sounds like exactly what the American people, through an act "solemnly revered" by Jefferson, hoped to prevent in the Bill of Rights. Justice Black recognized this loophole, and - based on the original intent of the Clause - crafted his interpretation to limit such work-arounds.
Despite this, favoritism for the Judeo-Christian religion is rampant and mostly unchecked in our government. Think about this example: Our Pledge does not say "under Allah" or "under Shiva" or "under Buddha." It says "under God" - and no amount of meally-mouthed waffling can controvert the fact that such references are intended to mean the Judeo-Christian god. That version of the Pledge, by U.S. law, is recited by children across the country, regardless of respect for their own beliefs. "Thou shalt have no God before me" indeed.
The Judeo-Christian religion has a corner on the government of this country (and I'd like to see anyone successfully argue otherwise). So of course its followers piss and moan whenever anyone speaks out about it. Dissenters are harangued, harassed, and belittled. (Put down a "raving liberal" lately?) Facts are distorted to confuse or mislead. For an example, see Ashcroft's interpretation of the 9th Circuit Court's ruling requiring the removal of "under God" from the Pledge. He'd have folks believing that the ruling was to remove the Pledge from schools altogether. (Those un-patriotic liberal bastards!) If all else fails, John, manipulate the data. (Hell, that should be the rallying cry for the entire Bush administration.)
Try to make sure that the U.S. government treats all religions - all humans - equally, and you're branded a treasonous, Satan-worshipping freak. I suppose, though, that's not what the forefathers intended when they said "all men are created equal." In many minds, that equality was meant for the Judeo-Christians - all others are inherently less equal.
The funniest thing about all of this is: you can bet the Judeo-Christians would feel differently if they weren't the unofficial officially recognized religion. Yep. Hypocrisy is alive and well in America.
Thank God I'm agnostic. ;)
(Oh, BTW: In response to Mr. "I Know the Facts:" Graduating from college, no matter where or in what program does not make one more able to think for him-/herself, nor does give one a better grasp of the facts - it gives one a better grasp of his or her professors' version of the facts. Free thinkers are free thinkers, regardless of higher (ahem) learning. Possessing a piece of paper from an institution, while nice when attempting to impress people so inclined to such impressions, is ultimately meaningless. More people should see with their own eyes, and think their own thoughts.)
Wed Mar 3 2004 12:22 PM
Bush has never made any mention about make everyone one religion or thatevryone must practice one religion. However, separation of church and state mean that government is forbiden to enter the relm of religion.. The politician can pratice religion, sure. But, make laws, regulation, and giving funding to religious based organizations is a very strong conflict of interest and way over steps the boundaries of separation of church and state. Bush has repeatedly crossed this line, and because this religious right control over the white house Bush has now lost my vote.
Fri Mar 12 2004 10:34 AM
Proof that Jim Gilliam loathes Jesus Christ:
Look at the closing signature. His own intolerance and distain is visible against religion. Why not use "damn" or the culturally acceptable "F*** Y**"? Why not choose the name of some other deity to use in vain? Your lack of respect is showing. You expect more of others than you expect of yourself. Small wonder you demand strict adherence to the 1947 decision 'Everson versus Board of Education of Ewing Township' where the words "a wall of separation between church and state" were first penned by an ACLU attorney named Leo Pfeffer and cited by Justice Hugo Black in the Supreme Court decision.
Fri Apr 2 2004 11:50 AM
Jesus Christ, Rick, you really need a sense of humor!
At least I capitalized the name of our lord and saviour, right? Don't I get respect points for that? Please?
Fri Apr 2 2004 12:08 PM
wow, derek... you are a fool.
Apparantly you think the only way separation of chuch and state is violated is if our president forces us to believe in Catholicism: ("nowhere has bush said "everyone must be a catholic.")
You also think its pretty cute to stamp a "you are a liberal, so you dont know what you are talking about" sign on to your argument when someone does not agree with you.
I particularly think your claim that "a. they don't know what they're talking about and b. they're wrong." is exceptionally amusing. It was your comment that stated that Jefferson mentions your "God" frequently in the Constitution and in the declatation of independence. So who doesnt know what they are talking about now? Let me explain...
Well, Jefferson contributed largely to the D.O.I., not the Constitution. Jefferson was also an anti federalist, meaning he was opposed to the constitution... but you said said differently, and I'm the "liberal," so you MUST be right.
Speaking of Jefferson's contribution to the D.O.I... Jefferson was a deist, so his view of God is quite different from yours. Deists believe in a god, yes, but that God does not interfere with human life. God is man's creator, but it ends there. Didn't you notice Jefferson mentions "nature's God".... well, maybe you should read it.
As far as your knowledge of the "FACTS" are conserned, if forgot that whatever you know about politics makes you the expert on everything... certainly you know more than any "liberal" idiot... yeah right.
Oh yeah, this response goes a little beyond "the dixie chicks don't like bush either." But how is that possible? You are the expert on everything, and that is the response that you told me i would give you...
You know, maybe instead of being pissed at "liberals" for who knows what (i clearly cant tell from your pathetic agrument), you should get some real Facts together.
Wed Apr 21 2004 11:43 AM
Wow. It really blows me away how easily swayed some of these radically right individuals have been regarding this "War on Terror". I've read a lot of comments on your site Jim and there's few common things I would like to point out among these "patriots" who question your allegiance to America.
For some reason they like to tie in the 9/11 attacks with the primary reason why the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell) had attacked Iraq. How did a manhunt for a religious radical and his gang become focused on declaring war on somebody who apparently possessed (repeated ad nauseam) these mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction? Why has this focus changed?
And as for his response to the 9/11 attacks, any elected leader would have done the same regarding the military campaign in Afghanistan. Mr. Dubya just happened to be at the right plave and the right time. For God's sake you can put a space monkey on th throne of the Whitehouse and he'd still get the approval rating that the current prez received. But that's just me babbling off topic (I guess Bush and I have soemthing in common).
If the main reason why Bush attacked Iraq was to overthrow a dangerous dictatorship regime, why isn't he doing the same to the other 50% of developing countries who are suffering the same kind of tyranny? Why not attack North Korea? Or even Cuba for that matter? If U.S. really was fulfilling it's self appointed role of global policing, there wouldn't even be a debate whether conscription would be reinstated (which the Bush Adminstration is trying to push for 2005 should he get re-elected which I might add ).
I read an open letter to the president:
Let me tell you what I think about the war on terror, I liken it to the war on drugs. It will never ever end. Kill one extremist leader, another pops up,( or we install our own hand picked dictator, who will inevitably turn on us).Destroy one terrorist cell, another pops up. Let me clue you in. These people believe they are serving god, they are fighting a holy war, and they will never stop. And as long as they have money, people will arm them. Just like junkies will never stop buying dope and drug dealers will never stop trying to supply them with it. Though I feel this way, it doesn't mean I don't believe we need tighter security in our country and at our borders, we need that and we need to figure out a way to protect ourselves with out destroying our personal freedoms. But invading countries, fighting invisible boogie men, sending our soldiers to die, killing innocents by the hundreds to find a few guilty men, its god damned wrong.This war on terror, will never end, and meanwhile our nation crumbles bit by bit. What of the economy? What about heath care? What do you plan on doing about education? Have you noticed that children in this country are not being well educated? It's sick and wrong, the richest nation in the world and our children barely receive education? When will you make time for this country while you are off destroying and rebuilding other nations? For some reason, when ever I think about this war on terror, the Crusades come to mind. -Spacekitten7
This person couldn't have expressed my opinion of Bush's Imperialism into words more clearly, thus I must give proper credit.
The blind faith some of these individuals is astonishing and annoying at the same time. To be persecuted as a liar or a conspirator with no grounds to base your "lies" on Jim, are being made by the same kind of people who imprisoned Galileo and his enlightened followers for proving that the earth was round and revolved around the sun. The same kind of people who burned women at the stake for having a questionable birth mark on the skin of their child.
These are God's men. Born again uneducated fundamentalist Christians who believe that their country men are doing a good thing.
THE EVILEST OF DEEDS ARE PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.
Sun Apr 25 2004 11:50 PM
Come the millenium month 12,
In the home of the greatest power,
The village idiot will come forth to be acclaimed the leader--Nostradamus, 1555
We should have seen it coming.
Mon Apr 26 2004 12:10 AM
Very related to this thread.. I think everyone should certainly check this out:
It'll clear up any misconception about Bush bringing in Christianity exclusively into Federal government.
Thu May 6 2004 12:57 PM
Derek, Aside from the fact that you seem deeply disturbed and confused, I wanted to let you know that the word "right" that you used is actually spelled "write"in the context which you used it in.
Glad to see that all that education really worked out for ya. By the way, did you ever actually attend classes?
Sun Sep 26 2004 7:07 AM
Y do u care??:
Go bush!! ur so stupid get over ur ignorance and face tha facts! UR WRONGE!!!
Thu Oct 21 2004 5:20 PM
Well, your argument is weak. Seperation of church and state is not a good idea! Our country was based upon religion! If it weren't for religion, you wouldn't be here right now! You would probably be living with Dutch people speaking some other language and living under the rule of a king! I don't think you want that! I know I don't.
Thu Oct 21 2004 5:23 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
Christi, seperation of church and state is what prevents fanatics and zealots from telling me whats good for me and what i ought to do. Its sep. of c n s that allows us to live free. Because its not practiced inthe middle east is why they're going to hell in a hand basket, both muslims and jews. They take that $#!T too seriously and produce too many fanatics who think they know the mind of "Him". Same goes for the US and its bible belt thumping evangilcals who want to bring about the end times and use bush to further their cause. I say screw that.... you want the end of the world, do it on your own time or just kill yourself. But dont drag me down with your stupidity (not you-you, but them-you. This isn't a personal attack but im taking the Dennis Leary position on this. If i want to eat buckets of fried cheese while masterbating to porno in the confines of my abode, i have that right, and no right wing christian quack is going to tell me otherwise. Men greater then they fought and died to give me that right, so all religion can stick it in their tail pipes and smoke it. One last thing, your country wanst based upon religion... it was based upon the rule of law. The founding fathers may have been christian, but they realized the inherent danger of imposing ones will on a populace. Thats why you have a constitution and a congress, not a king. Live with it!
Fri Oct 22 2004 4:59 PM
In response to Derek,
Now is it that you want proof of the definition of what it means to have a separation of church and state? Or evidence you deem acceptable to prove George Bush has violated this? As for the founding fathers you mentioned, you need to do a little reading. They were not Christian Orthodoxy, but deists and freemasons. On my next post is a copy of the Danbury Letter from Thomas Jefferson for proof of definition. Below that is the link to PBS (is that acceptable evidence?) Which has a copy of the document signed by Bush creating a Jesus Day. I believe that is a violation, right? finally, why is being a liberal a dirty word? I am proud to be a liberal and word on the street is we make better lovers.
PBS: The Jesus Factor:
Thu Nov 4 2004 7:48 PM
Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists
The Final Letter, as Sent
To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Jan. 1. 1802
TREATY OF TRIPOLI John Addams
As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
Thu Nov 4 2004 7:51 PM
Bush said that things would be much easier if he was a dictator. Do you wonder why... "a ____ whose CHARACTER is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a people who mean to be free" (T.J sounds like Machevelli though) And what are the conservs trying to preserve anyway. "slavery, war, ignorance = freedom, peace, strength" Orwell. And the Pilgrams who believe that everyone is going to hell if you don't follow our dogma because their Christ like killing/slaughtering/genoicde/mass murder what every you want to call it they did to the Indians after they helped the diseased people escape from death.. I think Bush and his followers are all "Pilgrams" this especially for that G.W supporter
Mon Dec 13 2004 9:28 AM
Who tells people that this is country is based on religion? People came over here for many reasons. I mean, there's greed, opportuinity, better life, escape from religious prosecution which falls under a better life. There is not mention that this country was build on religion. Jefferson stressed in a letter that the first ammendment is there for the soul purpose of making a wall between church and state. It doesnt mean you cant be religious. NO. Just don't use yoru religious beliefs in the legal system. Its a really simple thing. Religion cannot come into play in law and law cannot interfer with religion. When Bush says that God told him to attack terror then that is breaking it. When Bush says that the chief justice's power comes from God, then that is breaking it. This a really simple concept. A religious nut cannot run a country when most opinions on many subjects have to do with his religious beliefs based on the Bible. I don't get why people do not understand this. And when you say that Jefferson mentioned God all the time, that is not true. Yes, je believed in that but he never brought it into the country he was making. When a president swears on a Bible in the inarugeration, he doesnt have to bring God or the Bible into it. Read the constitution. When it says "in God we trust" on our currency, that was put there by eisenhower along with the "under God" in the pledge of allegence in the 50s. Do your research. Even when the fore fathers were planning our countries legal system, Benjamin Franklin suggested to have a prayer before each meeting and it was NOT allowed because Jefferson and Washington wanted to keep God out of it as much as they can.
So i say that Bush has broken this seperation of church of state that IS supposed to be a principle. And if it isnt mentioned in text, just think of this. "Religious tolerance" isn't either, along with other phrases that have become sononomous with the Constition and law.
Wed Jan 19 2005 10:17 AM
Don't forget: Ben Franklin was a believer. He also co-founded U. Penn because he recognized the need for American colleges that WEREN'T religious! ... Oh, and Franklin also intentionally inserted the phrase "self-evident" ("We hold these truths to be...") into the constitution because he really seriously disagreed with the principle implied in Jefferson's original wording - "sacred"... Sacred and government just don't mix!
It seems that the very religious will not stand merely for having their right to express their spiritual beliefs privately; contrary to what such persons might indicate, there seems an obsession with finding a way to incorporate religion into government... To speak of separation of church and state to such persons isn't possible, therefore.
Those who believe in this important tenet of our government must be wary. The president is enamored of forcing the spiritual into the realm of the purely secular government (which it must be in order to serve all Americans equally... in particular, those who don't care for religion). It isn't necessary - or even significant - that one believes ANYTHING religious in the U.S., but conservatives will not allow this. It offends their casually elitist sense of 'purity.'
Thus, when it seems right-wing efforts to make the country (read: government) somehow 'holier' are thwarted - by good constitutional sense - people like the president complain of being 'discriminated' against. Mr. President - surely you don't believe that one who is allowed explicitly to believe as s/he would is a victim of discrimination...? No one dictates that the religious abandon their beliefs, after all!
As much as it might seem desirable at times (!), this nation can't police your mind... And if the religious are being given that much room to operate, the president should feel free to reach into those deep family pockets and fund faith-based programs in private.
Nobody's stopping him... and I doubt the Klan will burn a cross on his lawn for it.
Mon Mar 14 2005 9:20 AM