frame

Should the Church and State remain separate or be interconnected?

Opening Argument

Do you believe that our government will function best if we base our country's judgements on religion or remain secular to preserve the identity of our citizens? 
  1. Should the Church and the State remain seperate or be interconnected?

    10 votes
    1. Yes
      50.00%
    2. No
      40.00%
    3. Yes, but the country must have some sort of religious background
      10.00%
«1

Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • NopeNope 158 Pts
    I think church and state should be separate. That is the kinda thing that makes the US such a great place. It offers many freedoms and I think this freedoms will be better protected if church and state remain separate.
    DrCerealSkepticalOne
  • The church and state should be separate, but there are some cultural things which should be implemented into the legal system. One example would be polygamy being illegal in the US. 
  • NopeNope 158 Pts
    edited November 28
    Why is polygamy illegal. Why can'y you marry who ever you wan't as long as they wan't to.
  • @Nope It's a cultural thing. Another example would be the requirement of the English language as a core subject. Assimilation is an important part of a nation, or the nation's identity becomes blurred. 
    Nope
  • Church and state ought to be separated for many reasons, however I find the most compelling reason to be the fact the founding fourfathers made it clear that church and state should be separate, even though many of them were religious themselves.

    The declaration of Independence and constitution both make no mention of God, especially an abrahamic god. 

  • VaulkVaulk 289 Pts
    Public Service Announcement:

    The Constitution of the United States makes no mentioning of the "Separation of Church and State".  What it actually says is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    So what does this mean?  Well I can tell you specifically what it does NOT mean.  It does NOT mean that the Church and the State must remain separate or that the individual states cannot establish a State Church.  In FACT most Americans are totally oblivious that on Independence Day 1776, nine of the original 13 colonies had established State Churches.  In 1791 when the 1st amendment was adopted, four of the fourteen States recognized an official State Church.

    In 1789 when the Constitution was adopted, there was a fear that the new National Government would interfere with the already established State Churches or might establish a National Church.  Congressman James Madison responded to the wishes of his State Convention by speaking to his Congressional colleagues about the dangers of establishing a National Church where one religious sect might obtain a pre-eminence over others.  Looking at the 1st Amendment, we can see that he accomplished his objective.

    Now here's the kicker, the 1st Amendment DOES NOT prevent the establishment of Religion in general, but an establishment of Religion by Congress.  What's more is that there is absolutely no preventative measure within the Constitution that would prevent the States from establishing their own State Religion...nor will there likely ever be.  

    So in the case of things like Public Schools allowing prayer, reciting "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and allowing the practice of Religion within Schools...Public Schools are regulated by the state.  This is why when you need to find out what's allowed and not allowed in your School...you have to consult your State's Education Code.  States are perfectly able to establish Religion within the State and what's even bigger is that Congress can do NOTHING to stop, regulate or control it as per the 1st Amendment.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
    https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html
    WilliamSchulzDrCereal
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • Church and state ought to be separated for many reasons, however I find the most compelling reason to be the fact the founding fourfathers made it clear that church and state should be separate, even though many of them were religious themselves.

    The declaration of Independence and constitution both make no mention of God, especially an abrahamic god. 

    However, there are lines that states God's presence: 

    1."and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them," (Beginning of the Declaration, lines 3-5)

    2."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," (Lines 8-10)

    3."And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." (3 lines from the end)

    God is present in the Declaration of Independence, according to these 3 direct quotations, making your last argument invalid. As for your first points, Vaulk did a GREAT job breaking down the church-state argument!

    Source: http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1776-1785/the-final-text-of-the-declaration-of-independence-july-4-1776.php ;
    DrCerealSkepticalOne
  • VaulkVaulk 289 Pts
    edited December 1
    @WilliamSchulz

    Nicely put, and let's not forget the first three lines of the last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence which identify a singular Supreme Authority:

    "We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions", 

    I'd also point out that there is a supreme court judgement (Everson V Board of Education) that upholds the case of Separation of Church and State by making specific reference to Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists in which he referenced a metaphorical "Wall".  This however, is as solid an argument for the separation of Church and State as “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”  ~ George Washington is an argument against it.

    Essentially, if anyone (Including the supreme court) is going to use the argument that Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. President) once mentioned a metaphor in a letter to a group of Baptists that somehow serves as a supreme authority on the separation of Church and State...then by the exact same logic I can use a quote from the FIRST President of the United States that specifically contradicts Jefferson's metaphor to show that it's more of an authority.

    https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/christian-presidential-quotes-22-awesome-sayings/#ixzz4zquaR4oY

    Lastly, a little something to chew on:

    “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”  ~ James Madison


    DrCerealSkepticalOne
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • Vaulk said:
    Public Service Announcement:

    The Constitution of the United States makes no mentioning of the "Separation of Church and State".  What it actually says is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    So what does this mean?  Well I can tell you specifically what it does NOT mean.  It does NOT mean that the Church and the State must remain separate or that the individual states cannot establish a State Church.  In FACT most Americans are totally oblivious that on Independence Day 1776, nine of the original 13 colonies had established State Churches.  In 1791 when the 1st amendment was adopted, four of the fourteen States recognized an official State Church.

    In 1789 when the Constitution was adopted, there was a fear that the new National Government would interfere with the already established State Churches or might establish a National Church.  Congressman James Madison responded to the wishes of his State Convention by speaking to his Congressional colleagues about the dangers of establishing a National Church where one religious sect might obtain a pre-eminence over others.  Looking at the 1st Amendment, we can see that he accomplished his objective.

    Now here's the kicker, the 1st Amendment DOES NOT prevent the establishment of Religion in general, but an establishment of Religion by Congress.  What's more is that there is absolutely no preventative measure within the Constitution that would prevent the States from establishing their own State Religion...nor will there likely ever be.  

    So in the case of things like Public Schools allowing prayer, reciting "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and allowing the practice of Religion within Schools...Public Schools are regulated by the state.  This is why when you need to find out what's allowed and not allowed in your School...you have to consult your State's Education Code.  States are perfectly able to establish Religion within the State and what's even bigger is that Congress can do NOTHING to stop, regulate or control it as per the 1st Amendment.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
    https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html
    Public Service Announcement:
    I believe that the Supreme Court disagrees with you.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • VaulkVaulk 289 Pts
    edited December 1
    @DrCereal

    PSA: The "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the way in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Additionally, see above where I already addressed the Supreme Court's decision in Everson V Board of Education.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/supreme-courts-decisions-separation-church-and-state-are-flawed
    DrCereal
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • DrCerealDrCereal 80 Pts
    edited December 1
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    PSA: The "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the way in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Additionally, see above where I already addressed the Supreme Court's decision in Everson V Board of Education.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/supreme-courts-decisions-separation-church-and-state-are-flawed
    My argument wasn't that the Supreme Court somehow invoked Jefferson. (My argument actually has nothing to do with any of the founding fathers.) My argument is that the Supreme Court determines what the constitution says so law is what they say. They say there's a wall between church and state so there is. Denying this simple fact is rejecting the way our government is set up.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • DrCereal said:
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    PSA: The "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the way in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Additionally, see above where I already addressed the Supreme Court's decision in Everson V Board of Education.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/supreme-courts-decisions-separation-church-and-state-are-flawed
    My argument wasn't that the Supreme Court somehow invoked Jefferson. (My argument actually has nothing to do with any of the founding fathers.) My argument is that the Supreme Court determines what the constitution says so law is what they say. They say there's a wall between church and state so there is. Denying this simple fact is rejecting the way our government is set up.
    That would also be saying that the Supreme Court is infallable, which it is not. Just because the Supreme Court said that slavery was okay after Dred Scott did not make it so 10 years into the future.
    VaulkDrCereal
  • VaulkVaulk 289 Pts
    @DrCereal

    Sincerest apologies but I was unable to find anywhere in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the responsibility, liability, accountability, jurisdiction, authority or power to "Determine what the Constitution says".

    My referencing skills are probably really off and I just missed it, could you please provide a reference of the Constitutional Law that establishes the Supreme Court as being able to say that something is Constitutional and it subsequently becomes so.  I just know it's there somewhere but I didn't find it.
    DrCereal
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • DrCereal said:
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    PSA: The "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the way in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Additionally, see above where I already addressed the Supreme Court's decision in Everson V Board of Education.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/supreme-courts-decisions-separation-church-and-state-are-flawed
    My argument wasn't that the Supreme Court somehow invoked Jefferson. (My argument actually has nothing to do with any of the founding fathers.) My argument is that the Supreme Court determines what the constitution says so law is what they say. They say there's a wall between church and state so there is. Denying this simple fact is rejecting the way our government is set up.
    That would also be saying that the Supreme Court is infallable, which it is not. Just because the Supreme Court said that slavery was okay after Dred Scott did not make it so 10 years into the future.
    Arguably a strawman. I'm not at all saying the court is infallible, which no one is. I was simply saying they have the power of judicial review so denying the seperation of church and state is a denial of the government.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    Sincerest apologies but I was unable to find anywhere in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the responsibility, liability, accountability, jurisdiction, authority or power to "Determine what the Constitution says".

    My referencing skills are probably really off and I just missed it, could you please provide a reference of the Constitutional Law that establishes the Supreme Court as being able to say that something is Constitutional and it subsequently becomes so.  I just know it's there somewhere but I didn't find it.
    Marbury v. Madison.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • DrCereal said:
    DrCereal said:
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    PSA: The "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the way in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Additionally, see above where I already addressed the Supreme Court's decision in Everson V Board of Education.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/supreme-courts-decisions-separation-church-and-state-are-flawed
    My argument wasn't that the Supreme Court somehow invoked Jefferson. (My argument actually has nothing to do with any of the founding fathers.) My argument is that the Supreme Court determines what the constitution says so law is what they say. They say there's a wall between church and state so there is. Denying this simple fact is rejecting the way our government is set up.
    That would also be saying that the Supreme Court is infallable, which it is not. Just because the Supreme Court said that slavery was okay after Dred Scott did not make it so 10 years into the future.
    Arguably a strawman. I'm not at all saying the court is infallible, which no one is. I was simply saying they have the power of judicial review so denying the seperation of church and state is a denial of the government.

    I see you disliked my post, so let's review your arguments that points to why I'm not straw manning you. You said that the Supreme court determines what the Constitution says and whatever goes is law. Sure, but then you indirectly stated, denying this is denying the Supreme Court has authority, and therefore you reject the infallability of the government. It seems like just because the Supreme Court made a desicion, that automatically makes it correct. That is why I called you out for infallability claims, so I have not straw manned you in any way, I just debunked your claims.
    DrCereal
  • DrCereal said:
    DrCereal said:
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    PSA: The "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the way in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Additionally, see above where I already addressed the Supreme Court's decision in Everson V Board of Education.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/supreme-courts-decisions-separation-church-and-state-are-flawed
    My argument wasn't that the Supreme Court somehow invoked Jefferson. (My argument actually has nothing to do with any of the founding fathers.) My argument is that the Supreme Court determines what the constitution says so law is what they say. They say there's a wall between church and state so there is. Denying this simple fact is rejecting the way our government is set up.
    That would also be saying that the Supreme Court is infallable, which it is not. Just because the Supreme Court said that slavery was okay after Dred Scott did not make it so 10 years into the future.
    Arguably a strawman. I'm not at all saying the court is infallible, which no one is. I was simply saying they have the power of judicial review so denying the seperation of church and state is a denial of the government.

    I see you disliked my post, so let's review your arguments that points to why I'm not straw manning you. You said that the Supreme court determines what the Constitution says and whatever goes is law. Sure, but then you indirectly stated, denying this is denying the Supreme Court has authority, and therefore you reject the infallability of the government. It seems like just because the Supreme Court made a desicion, that automatically makes it correct. That is why I called you out for infallability claims, so I have not straw manned you in any way, I just debunked your claims.
    You both seem to be ignoring me, and I know the reason for this is that I have been arguing the wrong thing (which is all that I'm guilty of).
    I'm not at all arguing that there should be a seperation between church and state. I was stating that there is because the Supreme Court, using their powers, determined that there is.

    Should and is are not one and the same.

    "Sure, but then you indirectly stated, denying this is denying the Supreme Court has authority, and therefore you reject the infallability of the government."
    I have not implied once that the government is infallible. Your post was technically a strawman because it assumes that I'm saying their decision was correct. I'm only stating that their decision is what is because that is the way the government works; I'm not currently arguing that it was correct. Thus, your interpretation of my argument is incorrect which renders it a strawman. You haven't debunked anything.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • DrCereal said:
    DrCereal said:
    DrCereal said:
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    PSA: The "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the way in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Additionally, see above where I already addressed the Supreme Court's decision in Everson V Board of Education.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/supreme-courts-decisions-separation-church-and-state-are-flawed
    My argument wasn't that the Supreme Court somehow invoked Jefferson. (My argument actually has nothing to do with any of the founding fathers.) My argument is that the Supreme Court determines what the constitution says so law is what they say. They say there's a wall between church and state so there is. Denying this simple fact is rejecting the way our government is set up.
    That would also be saying that the Supreme Court is infallable, which it is not. Just because the Supreme Court said that slavery was okay after Dred Scott did not make it so 10 years into the future.
    Arguably a strawman. I'm not at all saying the court is infallible, which no one is. I was simply saying they have the power of judicial review so denying the seperation of church and state is a denial of the government.

    I see you disliked my post, so let's review your arguments that points to why I'm not straw manning you. You said that the Supreme court determines what the Constitution says and whatever goes is law. Sure, but then you indirectly stated, denying this is denying the Supreme Court has authority, and therefore you reject the infallability of the government. It seems like just because the Supreme Court made a desicion, that automatically makes it correct. That is why I called you out for infallability claims, so I have not straw manned you in any way, I just debunked your claims.
    You both seem to be ignoring me, and I know the reason for this is that I have been arguing the wrong thing (which is all that I'm guilty of).
    I'm not at all arguing that there should be a seperation between church and state. I was stating that there is because the Supreme Court, using their powers, determined that there is.

    Should and is are not one and the same.

    "Sure, but then you indirectly stated, denying this is denying the Supreme Court has authority, and therefore you reject the infallability of the government."
    I have not implied once that the government is infallible. Your post was technically a strawman because it assumes that I'm saying their decision was correct. I'm only stating that their decision is what is because that is the way the government works; I'm not currently arguing that it was correct. Thus, your interpretation of my argument is incorrect which renders it a strawman. You haven't debunked anything.
    You were making a pro seperate church and state argument in your first post, by saying that the SC disagrees with Vaulk! In addition, you say, "There is a wall between church and state, so there is." You assume the court is correct by not disagreeing with the ruling. Your argument is, "If the Supreme Court made a judgement on an issue, then we'll accept their decision and move on." Which is entirely not true for every scenario! Even though you don't directly claim to call the decision correct, the nature of your posts have pointed to such. Therefore, my infallability argument still works. 

    I understand that you perhaps just wanted to share a case where the SC disagreed with the interconnection of church and state, but if you make such comments like "Public Service Announcement, the Supreme Court disagrees with you." you should have a stance on the issue, and by not making a standpoint, it is assumed that you do not oppose the decision, so either it doesn't matter to you or you want a seperate church / state. That's fine, but just say it then!
    DrCereal
  • VaulkVaulk 289 Pts
    edited December 4
    DrCereal said:
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    Sincerest apologies but I was unable to find anywhere in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the responsibility, liability, accountability, jurisdiction, authority or power to "Determine what the Constitution says".

    My referencing skills are probably really off and I just missed it, could you please provide a reference of the Constitutional Law that establishes the Supreme Court as being able to say that something is Constitutional and it subsequently becomes so.  I just know it's there somewhere but I didn't find it.
    Marbury v. Madison.
    So if I understand you correctly, you weren't able to find anywhere in the Constitution that gives them that power and instead referenced the Supreme Court stating that the Supreme Court has the power?

    So then...by your logic, if the Supreme Court determines that the Supreme Court has the power to do something....that means it's automatically constitutional?
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • Vaulk said:
    DrCereal said:
    Vaulk said:
    @DrCereal

    Sincerest apologies but I was unable to find anywhere in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the responsibility, liability, accountability, jurisdiction, authority or power to "Determine what the Constitution says".

    My referencing skills are probably really off and I just missed it, could you please provide a reference of the Constitutional Law that establishes the Supreme Court as being able to say that something is Constitutional and it subsequently becomes so.  I just know it's there somewhere but I didn't find it.
    Marbury v. Madison.
    So if I understand you correctly, you weren't able to find anywhere in the Constitution that gives them that power and instead referenced the Supreme Court stating that the Supreme Court has the power?

    So then...by your logic, if the Supreme Court determines that the Supreme Court has the power to do something....that means it's automatically constitutional?
    In this case, yes. They gave themselves (sounds sleazy, I know) the power of judicial review so they have it. The only reason I would say this is because the power could have been taken away from them with a constitutional amendment, but it never was; was it? I'm assuming that it was meant to be apart of the government; otherwise, it probably should have been removed at this point.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • Well, I think the church and the state should have a very small connection. However, the church is based on religion, so the state has no right to force it to something against "the will of God." But I still think that all churches should pay some (very little) tax. This is because Jesus Christ liked to help the poor, and I think churches can achieve that by paying a bit of tax. The tax money could eventually go to poor families who need help. 
  • NopeNope 158 Pts
    Ghosty Why not just have them donate a charity. That way sense taxes are used for government things they can be sure to not have their money spent on not poor people sense not all government things are poor people. Would that not be easier?
    WilliamSchulz
  • Nope said:
    Ghosty Why not just have them donate a charity. That way sense taxes are used for government things they can be sure to not have their money spent on not poor people sense not all government things are poor people. Would that not be easier?
    It is an interesting point, but if the government forced religious institutions to pay taxes, would it be possible for churches to become bent on income and not the spread of God's word?
  • Ghosty said:
    Well, I think the church and the state should have a very small connection. However, the church is based on religion, so the state has no right to force it to something against "the will of God." But I still think that all churches should pay some (very little) tax. This is because Jesus Christ liked to help the poor, and I think churches can achieve that by paying a bit of tax. The tax money could eventually go to poor families who need help. 
    Paying money to the richest government on the planet seems to me to be the opposite of helping the poor.
  • @CYDdharta @Nope @ WilliamSchulz
    True, but a lot of churches are extremely wealthy. As God said, everyone is equal, so why shouldn't they pay (at least a little) tax? I have to admit, making them have a charity seems a better idea. However, as America moves closer to science and further from religion, many atheists believe that it's only fair that churches should pay tax as well. Churches are for religious people to come and practice their religion to feel closer to God and to cleanse oneself of one's sins. Missionaries are the one who try to spread God's word. But yes, churches do play some part in doing this. I don't think there really is a true solution for this.
    BaconToes
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