You Are No Longer in Control…

Some points I wanted to make as a follow up to yesterday’s Separation of Church and State post.

– The focus of the entry was really more to show how much I enjoyed having a discussion in which one side did not feel it absolutely necessary to tear down the other. This is the type of discussion I wanted to engage in with my question about Separation and State. Unfortunately some people (as expected) totally missed that part of the entry.

– I have said this before and I will say it again. Religious people are not the problem and people who are not religious are not the problem. Extremists of any kind are the problem. This post inspired people from both extremes to reply and I welcome everyone’s opinion. That being said, don’t label me based on one opinion on one topic. I hate being boxed in.

Just because I feel that church and state should be separate does not mean that I do not see the merits being a person of faith can carry. It does not mean I am discrediting those who hold their religion as the center of their moral foundation. There is nothing wrong with this. There is something wrong with forcing others to abide by that same moral code when they do not share your faith.

Government officials are people. These people do have there own personal beliefs and they will undoubtedly shape the way they do heir jobs. But we have a system of checks and balances for a reason. This system is what is supposed to separate us from the rest. It’s what is supposed to be so great about our democratic model. It’s what we have in place to prevent personal beliefs from shaping our laws. 

“If you think this country is so horrible then maybe you should go live somewhere else.” I always laugh when some form of that comment is thrown at me. Let me tell you why people get so angry with topics such as these. They want to be in charge and they are frustrated when they feel that they are not. Simple as that.

With people who have not traditionally been in power the story remains the same. They want a seat at the table. They are frustrated and tired of being left out. Would this make you angry? It would make me angy.

With people who have traditionally been in power, they see change as a threat. They feel like their place at the table is bing taken from them. It scares them in many ways. Would you be angry if someone was trying to take what you thought was yours? What your forefathers fought and died for? I would too.

When all of these emotions collide there is often very little room left for reason. It is not the presence of religion that makes people unreasonable, but rather it’s the fear that takes over. This is what politicians play on. This is what divides us. The fear.

– Lastly, what is the purpose behind separation of church and state? This was a question addressed by many who replied to yesterday’s post. The purpose of separation of church and state, as it exists today, is to do exactly what the statement implies. To keep the entity of religion (ANY religion) completely separate from the government. This does not mean that the government is advocating atheism. It is not denouncing religion.

Some of you made mention to Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. There was speculation to why the idea of separation of church and state came about in the first place. It was meant to protect the church.

Well here is the fact of the matter. Whether it was originally meant to protect the church or not is irrelevant. It is no longer meant to protect anyone in particular. It is simply meant to guard against the government promoting or favoring one religion over any others.

There are many things that have changed in this country over time that go against what our founding fathers may have intended. Our founding fathers did not intend for women to have the right to vote. Does that mean we should not have ratified the 19th ammendment? Our founding fathers found nothing wrong with having children work. Does that mean we should not have child labor laws?

Our country was founded as a Christian nation over 225 years ago. The different parties in our government were merely different factions of the same group. Because of this some of our earliest legislation and ideals may not have been as all inclusive as we would like to believe. Our government has slowly been moving in the direction to correct this. The evolution of separation church and state is just one example.

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37 comments

  1. “When all of these emotions collide there is often very little roomleft for reason. It is not the presence of religion that makes peopleunreasonable, but rather it’s the fear that takes over. This is whatpoliticians play on. This is what divides us. The fear.”So very well said. Fear is indeed the enemy when it comes to trying to reason together.I appreciate you bringing the issue to the table, and letting everyone have a say, and engaging with them. I learned a lot, and came out on the issue far more moderately than I would have expected, just by virtue of your challenge.

  2. The beauty of the Constitution is that it can always be changed. The beauty of the Constitution is that it makes no set law other than faith in the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves.

  3. Separation of Church and State was setup to not allow one to control the other.   It does not mean that the moral issues taught in the bible were to be thrown out just because it they are considered religious.  The settlers came to get away from the control that the church had on their government and they wanted a more free community.  I believe that those who are extremist on both sides of this issue are what causes most of the problems in this area.  Thank you for your post. It was very interesting.

  4. Well, the church should simply give up the pretense of spiritual relevance if they want to get into politics. One has nothing to do with the other.Further, this country was NOT, was not founded as a Christian country. The religious beliefs of the founders are not generally well understood, and the subject of much mythologizing, including false claims by the Christian right along the lines of what you’re stating here. Thomas Jefferson is the first example. People construe him as a Christian, because of the Jefferson Bible. But if anyone would actually read that book, to which Jefferson had given the title of “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” then they would realize that the last thing he was, was a Christian. In fact he was one of the first people to clearly understand that Christianity was the distortion by Paul of the teachings of Jesus, and that most specifically Jesus was never a Christian. Jefferson was profoundly interested in the teachings of Jesus, but he clearly thought Christianity a fraud. He wisely did not dare publish this book during his lifetime, so it was only published posthumously.

  5. I know this has NOTHING to do with your post. But I just noticed your birthday. The exact same month, day & year as mine. Cool. Okay. Now I’m going to read your post!!You have good points!

  6. I wish I could have these affluent conversations with my family… Thanks for the post =D You made some very true points *_* it was a great one by the way 🙂

  7. Well said. The problem with some religious folks is that they think laws will change people. While laws may change certain behaviors, evil always finds a new way to express itself (as I stated in my post today). True change comes from within–from being loved, from loving someone else, from an encounter with God, from finding self-respect, from maturing, etc. Laws are necessary, but they’re not going to change mankind.

  8. @RogierFvV – I was gonna say all that (ok, most of it anyway). I’m glad i read the comments first.Everything else you said, Dave, I can agree 100%.I was going to say something about fear in my comment yesterday, because I believe that is the root issue. I just ran out of time.

  9. “They want to be in charge and they are frustrated when they feel that they are not. Simple as that.”  HEY! why do you always have to be bashing me infront of my friends!?!? i think you SHOULD go take your blogging to another country…on a more serious note, loud families are AWESOME….

  10. See Dave, this is why I like you. No backpedaling, pansy talk, trying to appeal to the masses BS. I respect you for even posting this. As far as I’m concerned, people who can’t see past their fixated assumptions aren’t worth the effort.

  11. okay now i have time to comment. uhh…yeah boo to those that try to put you in a box! grrr. and i get that sometimes in person, “If you think this country is so horrible then maybe you should go live somewhere else.”way to be open-minded O.o

  12. …..i dont think i missed the point in your post…however I tried to answer your question as honestly and openly as i could haveand no…i dont label you anything other than Mr. Smooth.lol (you have to laugh at that right?)

  13. Oh, there you go again, dear one, trying to use REASON and LOGIC to help people understand an important point about our country. Don’t you know that oh-so-many folks out there would rather repeat the rhetoric they’ve heard said than actually think about what the right thing to do is? These folks aren’t interested in your logic or your reason. They don’t care that our country was founded by people who know exactly how oppressive state-run religion could be so they wanted America to have freedom OF religion. (not “from” as so many like to pretend is actually the argument.)I think of it this way: If I were a Muslim or a Wiccan or a Hindu or an athiest, would I really feel “free” in a country that governed strictly from a moralistic code based on one version of the Christian faith? Wouldn’t I feel the same way a Christian would being governed by fundamental Islamic law in Pakistan or some other country? I would not feel “free,” which is one of the primary reasons for our system of government. But, there I go again, applying not only logic and reason to the argument but also compassion and empathy. Most people simply don’t care about such things, I’m saddened to say.

  14. There are times that I want to bitch-slap you… but this is not one of them. Well written and thought out! I agree whole-heartedly. I shall go read your other entry after my shower!

  15. @vanedave – I’m just not in the mood for being replied to by a bunch of people I don’t even know. (My comment is on the first page of comments; the first page attracts the most attention.)It’s bad enough I disagreed with soccerdadforlife over on GodlessLiberal’s site. I wasn’t really in the mood for that either. Did it anyway.

  16. The fear Is the problem. And too many people did miss the point you were trying to make. The original post was good and this one is amazing! I knew I liked reading you for more than your good looks and sense of humor. 

  17. Okie dokie. I promised you my two cents, so here they are: I agree with you about almost everything you said. The only thing I don’t agree with is that we were founded as a Christian nation. (Of course, this is really only because once people start saying that they tend to begin talking about how dirty and corrupt modern politicians are without regard for the questionable morals of most of our forefathers. We gripe about Bill Clinton’s bedroom without thinking about Thomas Jefferson’s or Ben Franklin’s. It’s a personal grievance, I think. I don’t like that people forget that our dear forefathers were…well…just people, too.) The best point you made–fear. We allow that to be used as tool against us far too much. This was a great post–as was the post before! I am sorry I am so late on weighing in.

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