A Balancing Act

Decaturguy’s first post raises some interesting questions for both the Democrats and the Republicans, but more so for the Republicans. I, for one, am definitely to the right of Decaturguy on social issues and, no doubt, I am to the right of Bill Simon, Bull Moose, and a number of other commenters on social issues. In fact, I’m one of those evangelical types.1

Strategically, where should the parties fall on social issues? We know, more or less, that the Democrats will tend to be tax and spenders. We also know that the Republicans, for the most part, will be tax and government cutters (yeah, raising taxes in 2003 was not something I would have done). On social issues though, Democrats are trending more urban and liberal and Republicans are more exurban and rural social conservatives. Yet, particularly for the Republicans, now that they have established themselves as a majority there appears to be (as is happening nationwide) a resurgent libertarian movement inside the party that is fiscally conservative and socially liberal, though they’d say moderatel and it particularly exists in suburban Republican strongholds.

Where the GOP will find balance in social issues is going to be interesting to watch. With the gay marriage debate we have seen how the GOP can successfully rally conservatives to go to the polls on social issues. But, the sad thing to me seems to be that we are more likely to fire up social conservatives than fiscal conservatives, when we need both and probably need more fiscal conservatives in government.

I don’t profess to have the answer. Given a socially liberal or socially conservative candidate, I’ll vote for the social conservative. Yes, abortion and traditional values are two big issues for me.2 That does, however lead into races like the Reed v. Cagle race and the Stephens v. Handel race. Sure, we can all say that it is really a matter of ethics and not culture, but we’d be fooling ourselves in the GOP to not admit that there is also a battle going on between the social liberals and conservatives in the GOP. That battle is reflected in races like the Cagle and Reed race. Cagle is just as conservative as Reed, and maybe more so, yet Reed has the Christian Coalition moniker around his neck and some people have a visceral reaction to that.

Again, I don’t have the answer, but this is certainly something both parties are going to have to deal with. To keep the majority, the GOP is going to have to deal with it more than the Georgia Democrats.

Thoughts?

  1. Presbyterian Church in America, not those borderline heretics in the PCUSA.
  2. It’s not that I want the government policing the bedroom, it’s that I don’t want my kid to see the bedroom. Yes, I was raised a rural Southern Baptist and am a Chesterton fan, so I’m naturally predisposed to the idea that some things should be publically frowned upon while we privately turn a blind eye to those who engage in the act.

37 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    It’s not a “balancing act” if one decides he/she is a “true conservative.” Barry Goldwater would kick your butt, Erick, if he were alive today and you told him you were a “social conservative.”

    The Bill of Rights was not written to allow favortism of one type of individual over another, and that includes race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, dog owner or cat owner.

    The idea of “unalienable rights” is that EVERYONE is born with them, not just evangelical Christians or other religious hard-liners. And no religious beliefs should be used to corral people into living or believing in a certain way; this, I would contend, is also an “unalienable right.”

    So, if one wishes to be “socially conservative,” one should work on those issues without requiring government legislation to mandate how people should act or be required to live. Calling it a “balancing act” is to make excuses for your intrusion into the lives of other people.

  2. Erick says:

    The idea of “unalienable rights� is that EVERYONE is born with them, not just evangelical Christians or other religious hard-liners. And no religious beliefs should be used to corral people into living or believing in a certain way; this, I would contend, is also an “unalienable right.�

    I agree with that. I don’t think government should interfere with most social policy, but I think there are areas where the government can get involved. Specifically, I think modern social liberals tend to live and die by the living constitution.

    Take, if you will, gay marriage. It has only been in the last twenty years that gay marriage has really risen as an issue. To say that gay marriage is protected in the constitution is silly. To the extent that the constitution considered marriage, it would have only considered traditional marriage.

    If a state wants to pass a law that makes gay marriage legal, have at it. I have no problems with that. My concern is the court system saying the constitution considered a host of social issues that weren’t even issues when the constitution was founded.

    Now, on a personal level, I do disagree with gay marriage. But, it is a personal, religous belief. However, I’m not going to go try to push my beliefs off on other people as I don’t want them to do the same to me.

    The problem is that the media and others have a stereotypical view of what “born againers” are and only highlight that type. The vast majority of us aren’t like that, but because of a few jerks and a media willing to perpetuate the stereotype, you’d never know it.

  3. Decaturguy says:

    I agree that the framers of the Constitution in the 18th century would not have considered gay marriage as one of those things that the Constitution would protect.

    However, the framers of the Constitution would have also considered black people only 3/5 ths of a person. They would have never considered religious freedom to include some of the religious beliefs that are included today. They would have never imagined that level of technology or freedom to easily move people or goods across state borders around the country that we take for granted today.

    If we want the Constitution to survive it must adapt to different eras. It simply cannot be interpreted through strict originalist intent. What are considered “rights” under the Constitution today cannot necessarily have been considered rights under the Constitution over 200 years ago. Otherwise, we would have a dead document.

    If strict originalist intent prevails, then we will lose a lot of freedom in this country. Do not interpret this as a license for judges to legislate. I don’t believe that. But I do think that they have a duty to interpret the Constitution and Constitutional rights in a modern prism, not simply asking what would the framers have done?

  4. Bull Moose says:

    Okay — I am a solid Christian and just because I’m socially a little more in the middle, does not mean that I’m not conservative.

    I happen to believe that a true conservative government that believes in limited power of the central government would trust its citizens to decide best in most social situations.

    With that said, I think that abortion should be an absolute last resort and that access to an abortion should be treated similar to access to any medical treatement. A minor should be required to have parental or guardian consent (from at least 1 of the parents) and that parent or guardian should be required to be present with the minor at the time of the procedure, anyone desiring an abortion should be required to go through pre and post procedure counseling and there should be a 48 hour waiting period. Additionally, information on alternatives, such as adoption, christian maternity homes, etc…, should be readily made available to someone considering this procedure.

    As for the gay marriage issue, I think that “marriage” is an act of the Holy Word from God and that it is and should be between a man and a woman. However, I also feel that people of the same sex chosing to co-habitate in a loving partnership, should be able to form a civil union and be able to have inheritable rights to one another and other such legal partnership recognitions, including social security, health insurance, life insurance, hospital access, etc… However, at the same time, entering into a union must meet certain criteria and dissolving the union also must happen in an orderly fashion.

    As for other issues, I think that God needs to stay as a central focus in our lives. I think that we’ve gotten way too secular when it comes to celebrating the holidays, especially Christmas and Easter. We need to get back to the roots of what those two holidays represent.

    And in closing, this whole dialogue should take place with love for one another and a commitment to work toward a common goal and understanding — and those who would demagogue the issue or get lost in rhetorical euphemisms should be recognized as those who exist on the fringe. For remember, God says to love one another as he loved us and so we need to strive to be able to apply that principle to some of the social issues that face us as a state and country.

    If more elected officials thought like that — we’d have a better government.

  5. Rebel says:

    Our forefathers founded this nation as “a Christian nation.” Before any of you get your panties in a wad, that quote is from our first Chief Justice of the Sup. Court. Their goal was to avoid religious persecution. They didn’t want to be told to worship as a Baptist or Methodist or Presybterian or whatever. However, they expected all to be of some faith. That’s what has been lost over the years with the new mantra of separation of church and state.

    I too am opposed to gay marriage. Marriage is not just a legal act but a covenant before God. I could live with civil unions as Bull laid out above. I personally wish we could do less gay bashing and more focus on helping the poor in our churches today. Usually the sins we don’t have a problem with are the ones we really pound on. Most preachers don’t take up gossiping, cheating on taxes, speeding, adultry on such a regular basis because it would step on too many toes.

    However, and I don’t mean this as a slam, the first post from our gay poster and he tells us about his personal life. I don’t believe anyone else felt the need at the beginning of a conversation/post to discuss their love relationships. If the gays weren’t always talking about it, perhaps those that attack gays wouldn’t feel as threatened and would tone down their rhetoric.

  6. Harry says:

    It’s my personal belief, from reading the Bible and reflection, that homosexuality is a sin of the same nature as alcoholism and drug addiction. Perhaps other Christians draw other conclusions.

    I’m not trying to take away rights they hold in common with all Americans: to freely associate, to have free speech, etc. I simply oppose the granting of any special rights such as gay marriage, and I maintain my right to speak in public of homosexuality as sin. I condemn the sin and love the sinner.

    The homosexual lobby has managed to get it’s agenda approved by the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies, which means higher insurance and other costs and a weakened cultural morality.

    And yes, I have the right to try to change the laws to conform with my moral code.

  7. Bull Moose says:

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…

    Believe it or not, I know many homosexuals, gay people, whatever you want to call it — who are Christians… Think of it what you will…

    The point that I was trying to make is falling on deaf ears…

  8. Bill Simon says:

    Good, good research, Rusty. Now, if we could just shove Sean Hannity’s nose into it, we’d be well on our way to getting rid of these revisionists.

  9. Rebel says:

    No matter what little factoids our moderate friend has found, the truth and evidence is on the side of a Christian nation. Go to http://www.wallbuilders.com and see the work David Barton has done on the subject. That suggestion is for those reading this thread. Bill & Rusty’s minds are closed – but one day they’ll see the truth.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    Closed-minded? Hardly. More like logic-oriented minds.

    The fact is that, along with the “taxation without representation” battle in the 1700s, the colonies were also operating under the religious eye of the Church of England…a Christian-based England and were forced to do many things in accordance with what the King’s beliefs were.

    Just answer this: WHY would anyone want to found a one-religion-based country if one were attempting to live as free men? There is nothing more constricting than a society based on religion. Look at all of the Islamic nations. The Taliban.

    If this country was founded to be a Christian nation, then we would probably still have witch-trials going on. We would probably still have a slave-based economy. Women certainly would not have the right to vote.

    We probably wouldn’t have the automobile. Required tithings to the Church would limit the amount of capital one could build to invest in non-church activities.

    Rebel, I don’t care what kind of “research” you and Sean Hannnity dig-up and try to throw-out…the fact is, that had this been a “Chrtistian-based nation”, we would not be the country we are today. We would probably be about as advanced as the Amish, and about as weak as well.

    There are entirely too many examples of sheer ignorance demonstrated by various people (not all, mind you, but a lot of the more politically dangerous) of the Christian faith that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that if these knuckleheads had been in charge of directing out nation, we would be in something much like a Third-World country.

    “What’s that, Orville? No way! If God had wanted man to fly, He would have given him wings…read the Good Book if you get anymore fanciful ideas about building machine with wings…”

  11. Rebel says:

    Bill, did you sleep through high school history? The issue in jolly old England was a DENOMONATIONAL one. They weren’t free to be Baptist/Methodist/Episcopalian/etc., but had to worship at the Church of England. One denomonation. They all were of the Christian faith, but there are many expressions of that faith. And they wanted to choose where they worshiped.

    And your hypotheticals about witches, slaves, women, autos and planes were loopy. Put me in the Sean Hannity camp anyday! 🙂

  12. Bill Simon says:

    Loopy? Not based on the interpretations I’ve heard from people in many denominations of Christianity. Several think slaves are “ordained” by the Bible.

    More than a handful think women are to be subservient to men and THAT is oft-stated in the Good Book.

    Besides, do you actually believe ANY group of religious people would not strive to make sure their “beliefs” would be the dominant one in a society? Sure they would, and I would bet the struggle would come down to Catholics vs. Protestants in this country….had we been founded as a “Christian nation.” There would have been so much civil strife that nothing would have been accomplished.

    Apparently you are under the utopian notion that all Christians get along. Ha! What planet are you from? What flavor of Kool-Aid do you drink?

  13. Bill Simon says:

    The best “balancing act” that can be achieved is when NO religion is held-out to be the most important religion. That is what has allowed this country to progress to the point it is now.

    Any attempts to revise this country based on any religion would be more traitorous than a college student burning the American flag.

  14. Rebel says:

    Again, there are denominational differences. But things such as the 10 commandments, the virgin birth, death, burial & resurrection are universally believed.

    The reason our laws were based upon God’s word is that the Word of God doesn’t change based on the most recent election. Our beliefs (i.e. slavery, abortion, etc.) have changed over time and will continue to change.

    “Indeed I tremble when I realize that God is just and his justice will not sleep forever.” Thomas Jefferson – carved in granite in the Jefferson Memorial (obviously totally separate from the state 🙂 )

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Gee, I hate to burst your bubble, Rebel, but it’s time you learned the truth about America: we are not all “Christians” who believe in the virgin birth and resurrection. Some of us believe in God, but we’re treated as second-class citizens for our beliefs.

    By the way, these founding fathers you and others like to quote so much had the opportunity on more than one occasion to integrate into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights any mention of this country being “founded” to be a “Christian nation.” They chose not to, and, in fact, made it a POINT to state that “No religious test will be used” to determine if a person is fit to serve as President or a Member of Congress.

    Oh, and just when was the “Jefferson Memorial” built? Did Jefferson himself have a hand in it?

  16. Rebel says:

    This is going to be a long post – I apologize. But Bill’s point needs to be refuted.

    Article VI of the Constitution states:
    “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Now what does that mean? What I’ve stated earlier – no denominational test would be required.

    Tennessee Constitution of 1789:
    Article VIII, Section II. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.
    Article XI, Section IV. That no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.

    Deleware Constitution:
    Article 22. Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust…shall…make and suscribe to the following declaration, to wit: ‘I, _________, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.”

    Pennsylvania Constitution:
    Frame of Government, Section 10. And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and suscribe the following declaration, viz; ‘I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governour of the universe, the rewarder of good and the punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.’

    Massachusetts Constitution:
    Chapter VI, Article I. [All person elected to State office or to the Legislature must] make and subscribe to the following declaration, viz. “I, ______, do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have firm persuasion of its truth.”

    North Carolina provisions:
    Article XXXII. No person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the state, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit in the civil department, within this state.

    Maryland:
    Article XXXV. That no other test or qualification ought to be required…than such oath of support and fidelity to this state…and a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion.

    New Hampshire, 1784, 1792.
    Part one, Artile I, Section V. Every individual has a natural and unailenable right to worship God according to the dictates fo his own conscience and reason…
    Article I, Section VI. And every denomination of Christians demeaning themselves quietly, and as good citizens of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the laws. And no subordination of any one sect or denominatin to another shall ever be established by law.

    South Carolina, 1778
    Article XXXVIII. That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated…That all denominations of Christian[s]…in this State, demeaning themselves peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges.

    Vermont, 1786.
    Frame of Government, Section 9. And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and suscribe the following decaration, viz: ‘I do beleive in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the rewarder of the good and punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the scripures of the old and new testament to be given by divine inspiration, and own and profess the [Christian] religion.’
    And no further or other religious test shall ever, hereafter, be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.

    Well, that ought to be enough. But it won’t. Because the secular humanists among us will not admit the truth. They and their liberal brethern in the courts have for years attempted to change the direction of this country. But, our nation, has elected leaders who do believe what is above – they’ve chosen conservative, Republican leadership. Thank God!

  17. Bill Simon says:

    Secular humanists? Yes, that is what ignorant morons like “Rebel” (who is too chicken to use his given name) and others call people who are Jewish (like me, you putz) and do not believe their way.

    ALL of those state constitutions, (including Georgia’s, by the way), became extinct upon adoption of the U.S. Bill of Rights within 10-20 years of its passage. Why is that, do you suppose? Because they all got the message that this is to be a country based on the FREEDOM TO PURSUE ONE’S OWN RELIGION.

    One day, Rebel, I hope you have the balls to back-up what you say with your name printed so that everyone will be advised as to just how stupid some people are. Oh, wait…such a thing requires integrity for the truth…something morons such as yourself wouldn’t know if it smacked them upside the head…

    [MODERATOR’S NOTE] This comment will be left up as an example of unacceptable comments. Hostile insults directed towards any other participant on this site are prohibited. Inappropriate portions of this comment have been striken so you get a good idea of what is not prohibited on here. In addition to being rude, it is also childish. PP

  18. Rusty says:

    Rebel,
    You’ve cited state constitutions, but I didn’t notice any references to the U.S. Constitution. You can argue all those individual states were founded as “Christian states” if you’d like, but the individual state constitutions have little to do with the federal document or with the framers’ intent. You might recall there was a document called the Articles of Confederation that was the precursor to the U.S. Constitution. It was found to be too weak to keep the states from devolving into the banana republics they would have otherwise become were there not some basic guaranteed freedoms (including freedom of and from religion), hence it was scrapped in favor of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The fabric of this nation was and is individual freedom. Your “denominations” interpretation is inaccurate as applied to the U.S. Constitution and, therefore, to the nation as a whole.

  19. Rebel says:

    Rusty – While I disagree with your interpretation of my argument, at least you weren’t rude. THANKS!

    The reason the state constitutions are so important is that the folks creating the US Constitution were the same folks that created the state ones. When trying to understand their “intent” looking at other public documents and actions gives insight.

    Also the US constitution does have references – Creator for one – that reference the One who provides the basis for our laws.

    Sounds like this is one of those where we have to agree to disagree.

  20. Bill Simon says:

    Wrong again, Rebel. The word “Creator” appears only in the Declaration of Independence…a document written 11 years before the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

  21. Booray says:

    Decaturguy –

    Responding to your post of far above about original intent.

    I respectfully disagree in the strongest way possible. Clearly, there were flaws in the original text of the Constitution, and there was a method built into the Constitution to fix those problems through amendment. Thankfully, we have fixed most of the problems in the Constitution through this process (e.g. slaveryamendments , disenfranchisement amendments). Those amendments were often bought at a steep price in treasure and blood (the anti-slavery amendments, for instance).

    There are two problems with de-emphasizing the amendment process and letting judges “interpret” changes into the Constitution by seeing it through a “modern prism.” The first is obvious: it shifts enormous power into the hands of the judicial branch, which is appointed for life and accountable to no-one.

    Second, it is dismissive of the cost paid to buy the priceless amendments that have effected wrenching change in our country.

    In reality, there are not huge problems of “meaning” remaining in the Constitution. We have – through the amendment process – cleared up most of the ambiguous meaning that came down from the Founders (3/5ths clause, slavery, disenfranchisement of women).

    At this point, I believe those who press for a “living document” view of the Constitution desire social changes in America they know lack the popular support to be accomplished via amendment (e.g. finding a right to gay marriage in the text of the Constitution). It’s a lazy man’s way of getting a Constitutional amendment without doing the hard work of persuading the people to support one’s cause.

    I am not calling you out personally, simply making a generalization that seems abundantly true.

  22. albert says:

    “””””Wrong again, Rebel. The word “Creatorâ€? appears only in the Declaration of Independence…a document written 11 years before the Constitutional Convention of 1787.”””””

    So the fact that these words were penned prior to the signing invalidates their relevance? Hmmm, must mean that any comment, thought, idea, hunch, document, writing, philosophy, dogma or creed must be useless because the info was based on today’s date. Well heck,,, then just throw out all the law and the constitution because it wasn’t written in the last 30 seconds.

    Bill, your arguments are sometimes as ridiculous as this post. But , Thank God, I am glad you can post em.

  23. Bill Simon says:

    No, albert, what it means is that after 11 years of free reign from the British, and obvious experience by many people about the effects of states being run as “Christian states,” the attendees to the Constitutional Convention decided that enough was enough. And, that the new country (i.e., The United States of America) would be founded on principles exclusive of Christian church edicts.

    Thus the reason why, if you go back and do a little bit of research on what was in the 1777 version of the Georgia Constitution, you will note that this state’s constitution had no mention of Christianity in it. In fact, this state was quite unlike all those states that Rebel quoted above in that they took the “Christian” references of several county names and converted them to non-Christian referenced names (e.g., “Saint David and Saint Patrick” parishes become the county of “Glynn”).

    Albert, again, the point is that people’s minds changed from 1777 to 1787. Thus the reason why it was written that “Congress shall make no law recognizing the establishment of a religion…” If you and Rebel continue to think that this country was supposed to be founded (again, THIS country, the United States of America, as founded in 1787) to be a “Christian-based country,” why would the framers bother to put that establishment clause in the Bill of Rights?

    Why not emphatically state that “This country is founded on the Christian religion and all other religions shall not be recognized?” I’m certain that liberals such as yourselves would love to re-write the Constitution to fit your worldview of things, that’s for sure.

  24. Booray says:

    Mr. Simon –

    A quote from one George Washington in his Farewell Address to the Nation:

    “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness… A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.”

    Notice the intentional use of both the words “political prosperity” in connection with religion? Notice the intentional use of the words “private” and “public”?

    I doubt this will soften your mind, which is clearly afflicted with a bias that is, at present, unsurmountable. I hope it helps enlighten others however.

    Booray Bussey

  25. Bill Simon says:

    Booray, religion is a fine thing…when practiced by individuals on their own. It is not a fine thing to have the state/federal government use it as a “bully pulpit” to indoctrinate free people.

    I am continually amazed at the number of people who proclaim themselves to be “conservative Republicans” who actually want the government to allow the preaching of religious values to all of its citizens, including, and especially, to children. It’s as if they want to chuck the responsibility of teaching their kids right and wrong and leave it to Daddy Guvment.

  26. albert says:

    Thank God Bill you’re not elected to anything. We would end up like Sweden or the Netherlands.

  27. Booray says:

    Mr. Simon –

    When the Declaration and Constitution were written, most schools were not “government” operations. Churches ran them. That is a very different situation from today.

    However, the schools that were government-run (such as UGA, which was founded in the late 1700’s) were openly supportive of general, non-denominational Christian principles.

    The charter of UGA was written by Abraham Baldwin, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention who helped draft the Great Compromise and a signer of the final document. As one of the crafters of our Constitution and the initiator of public education in Georgia, I think his words are quite interesting in this discussion (the following is a quote from the official Preamble to the Charter of the University of Georgia):

    “As it is the distinguishing happiness of free governments that civil Order should be the Result of choice and not necessity, and the common wishes of the People become the Laws of the Land, their public prosperity and even existence very much depends upon suitably forming the minds and morals of their Citizens… This is an influence beyond the Stretch of Laws and punishments and can be claimed only by Religion and Education. It should therefore be among the first objects of those who wish well to the national prosperity to encourage and support the principles of Religion and morality, and early to place the youth under the forming hand of Society that by instruction they may be moulded to the love of Virtue and good Order… And whereas for the great purpose of internal education, divers allottments of land have, at different times, been made, particularly by the Legislature…
    THEREFORE the Representatives of the Freemen of the State of Georgia in general Assembly met this twenty seventh day of January in the Year of our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and eighty five enact, ordain, and declare, and by these presents, it is ENACTED, ORDAINED and DECLARED.”

    America has changed. There is no doubt about that. However, America’s history is unequivocally rooted in non-denominational Christianity. To assert otherwise is either disingenuous or ignorant of our real history.

    Booray Bussey

  28. Rebel says:

    Thanks Booray for providing some more evidence. I’m glad our founders were writers!

    In the case of Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844 our Supreme Court said, in an unanimous opinion, “Christianity…is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers or the injury of the public…It is unnecessary for us, however, to consider the establishment of a school or college, for the propagation of …Deism, or any other form of infidelity. Such a case is not to be presumed to exsist in a Christian country.” “…Where can the purest priniciples of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament.”

    In the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892 our Supreme Court stated, “No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people…This is a Christian nation.”

    The Court continued with example after example after example, citing portions from the forty-four state constitutions (the number of states in 1892). “There is no dissonance in these decarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people.”

    The first we hear our Supreme Ct. use the phrase “separation of church and state” is the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education. And they followed up in 1962 with Engel v. Vitale with the opportunity to take prayer out of public schools. And we see how well our public schools have done since that decision.

    Anyone advocating for the removal of our historical relience upon Christianity for the laws of our land is a liberal and is part of the social engineering movement that wishes to change our culture. What do they want it to be?

    The only constitutional document that mentions separation of church and state is the constitution of the Soviet Union:
    “Article 124. In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R is separated from the State, and the school from the church.”

    Reagan fought the communists all his life – I think it’s a worthy goal of movement conservatives to continue that battle today!

  29. Bill Simon says:

    Reagan was nothing like you folks today who think that the Government should be used to prosleytize your religion on everyone.

    Booray: Just because you can dig-up a lot of quotes from a lot of officials, Supreme Court or otherwise, that doesn’t mean they were right in what they said.

    The Georgia State Constitution clearly disagrees with these folks all through the years:

    Ga. Constitution of 1777: ART. LXII. No clergyman of any denomination shall be allowed a seat in the legislature.

    Ga. Constitution of 1789: Section 18. No clergyman of any denomination shall be a member of the General Assembly. AND
    Section 5. All persons shall have the free exercise of religion, without being obliged to contribute to the support of any religious profession but their own.

    Ga. Constitution of 1798: Section 10. No person within this State shall, upon any pretence, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in a manner agreeable to his own conscience, nor be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall he ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or hath voluntarily engaged to do. No one religious society shall ever be established in this State, in preference to another; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of any civil right merely on account of his religious principles.

    I could go on and on and on with numerous examples of the Georgia Constitution in history. The facts are this: Either you can claim that the founding fathers of the State of Georgia were a bunch of religion-hating Commies OR accept the fact that they worked hard to ensure that religion, be it Christianity or otherwise, was to in no way, shape, or form, be allowed to be dictated by the state government. Further, they worked hard to make sure that no person was required to pay any monies to support a religion.

    By the Constitution of 1798, one could reasonably presume that the state government leaders of THAT time (i.e., OUR history), wished to ensure that religion was completely and totally separate from government.

    You folks, like Booray and Rebel and albert, are the “true” liberals who want to re-write history based on what individuals have said over the years. That ain’t what the Georgia Constitution says and that’s the law as far as I’m concerned. Of course, I know that if you folks had your way, you would be ruling this country based on what the majority believed or thought. Too bad. That’s not this country.

  30. Rebel says:

    Bill – thanks for proving the point.

    No person within this State shall, upon any pretence, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in a manner agreeable to his own conscience

    The OBVIOUS implication here is that Georgians will worship God in a manner they choose, but THEY WILL WORSHIP. Baptists in one building, Methodist in another, Presybertians in another, etc.

    nor be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith

    This requires you to have a faith in the first place!

    nor shall he ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right

    Again, this expects each Georgian will be tithing in their denomination.

  31. Bill Simon says:

    That’s all I’ve ever argued, Rebel. Contrast that with county funds being used to argue that The Ten Commandments deserve to be hung in the courthouse, and you can see why some would object to having their tax dollars spent on such an endeavor.

    Wait, wait…I know what’s coming out of your mouth, and you are wrong. We, as in the Jewish faith, have a different set of Ten Commandments than you of the Christian faith have. The key difference is that in our version, the Commandment prohibiting one person taking the life of another person reads: “Thou shalt not commit murder.”

    YOUR version, including the one that Roy Moore engraved into granite in Alabama reads “Thou shalt not kill.”

    There is a very distinct difference between “kill” and “murder.” Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being. Killing can be a legal process ordered by the government. And, if we still had capital punishment mandated in this country, perhaps we would have a society more respectful of the laws on taking lives.

    But, I digress, Rebel. You seem to believe that anyone who lives in Georgia must adhere to a faith and that is the only way those parts of the Georgia Constitution will apply. That’s assinine. Those parts were written so that the government cannot be used to force religion on anyone, nor use taxpayer money to promote a religion.

    I have a religion, thank you very much, and I don’t care to hear about yours being trumpeted as a tool of my government.

    THAT’S the point of my involvement of this whole thread. This country was founded to be able to provide a place for anyone to pursue their own religion, or, if they so choose, to decide to not pursue a religious belief and also not have government dollars used to promote any religion.

    For the umpteenth time, this country was NOT founded to be a “Christian country” whereby only Christianity gets its voice heard.

  32. Bill Simon says:

    By the way, Rebel, I noticed you still ignored Judaism in your list of whether “Baptists, Methodists, etc.” can worship in their own place.

    Judaism IS a religion, and is a lot older a religion than Christianity, though you completely ignore that in your list of who is free to worship.

    Thank God I have the 2nd Amendment to protect me from moronic, anti-Semites like you.

  33. Rusty says:

    Rebel, re:

    Anyone advocating for the removal of our historical relience upon Christianity for the laws of our land is a liberal and is part of the social engineering movement that wishes to change our culture.

    So… it’s a conservative principle for the government to dictate what god a country’s citizens should worship and how they should worship that god? That makes no sense. I thought conservatives were all about getting the government out of people’s lives. You know, that we were talking about a “conservative” (erring on the side of less than necessary) application of government versus a “liberal” (erring on the side of more than necessary) application.

    It’s funny the religious lobby has taken on the word “conservative” to describe itself… well, funny in an Orwellian “two plus two equals five” kind of way. Very clearly, they (and, from the sound of it, you) are Big Government Social Engineering Liberals.

  34. Booray says:

    Mr. Simon –

    Your quotations from the Georgia Constitution seem to prove your point, but they rely on modern interpretations of 18th century language and incorporate concepts that are so alien to us today as to be unrecognizable.

    1. “Religion” largely meant “Christian activity” in those days (find some old dictionaries from the time period and you will see this is true). “Religion” also tended to incorporate Judaism in most of its forms, but this being the religion from which Christianity sprung, the moral principles cannot be seen to be very different. But on the level of “meaning what the writers intended,” the term “religion” there is not what we take it to mean in the 21st century world (where it means everything else from Islam to satanism).

    2. Banning clergy from serving in the secular government was part of Christian/religious thought, not anti-Christian or secular thought. Goes back to Israelite history, where God required that priests come from one tribe and kings come from another tribe. To get really specific on you here, this concept was translated into the New Testament where Jesus was called a “priest after the order of Melchizedek.” This order of priests were both priests and kings. Many Christians took this as a sign that God intended no person to be both a spiritual authority and an early authority until Christ himself returns. The believe God is sending the message that the concentration of power in one person’s hands (both spiritual and earthly) is more than most can handle well.

    You may think this proves your point about “separation of church and state,” but it does not in any way. I happen to believe that ordained ministers should not be elected officials.

    The point of people like me, Rebel, etc. is we believe the PRINCIPLES of Christianity (particularly the moral principles) should be the unifying foundation of our society and system of government. Since all laws are moral judgements, how can we separate these judgements from the only source of moral credibility that Christians recognize? While God himself separated the line of priests from the line of kings, He also required Israelite kings to study the Law of God every day to ensure they would make wise and righteous decisions.

    You are making understandable leaps of logic based on current premises in our 20th century history/culture, etc. While guys like David Barton have overstated some things related to Christian heritage in America, the overwhelming weight of history is still there.

  35. Rebel says:

    I agree with Booray. Now that this thread has moved to the bottom of the page, and we’ve spent plenty of time going over the same ground, I plan to let this topic alone.

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