• Is The USA Still A Secular State?
    49 replies, posted
Time and time again, I have read articles about Christian America. I hear about the bible belt on the news. Plenty of times I've heard arguments in politics backed by Christianity ( mostly on gay marriage ). However, our government is secular, in that we are not tied to a religion, nor are our laws or acts of war. But both Democrats and Republicans seem to focus on their religion in political races now. Why is that so important? You don't have to be Christian to be a good politician. I'm not trying to make an atheist/faithful thread here. It just seems to me our nation is derailing from what it was based upon. [quote] "Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the ten commandments."What in hell scares people about talking about America's foundation of faith?" - Sarah Palin[/quote] It seems to me this is just a partnership of convenience, and politicans are using religion to get into office--- Going as far to say stupid shit like above, how are these people candidates for leaders in America? Also, I know thats Sarah Palin, I'm not using her as a reference to the Republicans- Just a reference to dumbasses. For reference, Part of the Treaty Of Tripoli I am basing my argument off of: [Quote] [B]As the Government of the United States of America [I]is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion[/I][/B],—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] 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. [/Quote] So, should we just disregard the Treaty of Tripoli, or should we keep to what got America going? My stand is no, America isn't, nor was it Christian. Also, a side question that I am asking those who know more about Christianity than I do; Would God/Jesus align himself with the poor, or the wealthy? If poor, how can the republicans run as Pure Devoted Holy Christians?
[quote]Would God/Jesus align himself with the poor, or the wealthy? If poor, how can the republicans run as Pure Devoted Holy Christians? [/quote] Considering there are more then a few lines in the Bible criticizing the wealthy or praising the poor, He'd definitely be aligned with the poor.
I don't know about the rest of the USA, but Utah is almost a [I]de facto[/I] theocracy.
Well, the bible does mention separation of Church and State, Jesus T.D. Christ, himself, says that Church and Government need to be separate, and that Governments should not use religion to gain power.
The United States is no longer a rsecular state and i think it has been falling from that for quite some time now. I walk down the street and ask people their religion and views. I hear atheist or unsure more than any other religion out there (at least here in Colo., USA), and i'm pretty sure most of the politicians are the very same. If they were true devoted christians they wouldn't do half the shit they do. Our country is no longer a [b]Democratic Republic[/b] but more so a Corpotocracy ruled by Capitalism. It is the corporations and their rules/laws that run this country now, not the morals and guidance of a "[i]higher power[/i]" as written in the Bible or such. Religion has become an excuse to maintain the image of a respectful person. Politicians claim to Christianity (or Mormonism if you're voting for Mitt) to save face for their own actions. I'm sure some believe and actively go to church and take action in their faith. Most however, are slime that will lie to your face to sell you their grandmother for a few bucks. What makes you think they'd hold high regard to lying about their religion if they're willing to lie to you about bills that strip your rights and regulations that only impose restrictions on the common man but not the wealthy and rich. You're a peon, and they're the [i]Elite[/i]. pfft...
Definitely not. This is totally obvious if you just read a few quotes from modern politicians. It's ridiculous. Also, look at the Pledge of Allegiance. We weren't truly a secular state, even from the beginning.
[QUOTE=Avanti;37447659]Definitely not. This is totally obvious if you just read a few quotes from modern politicians. It's ridiculous. Also, look at the Pledge of Allegiance. We weren't truly a secular state, even from the beginning.[/QUOTE] "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1953.
Sorry, alt account. Mobile was logged into that one on accident.
[QUOTE=Avanti;37447659]Also, look at the Pledge of Allegiance. We weren't truly a secular state, even from the beginning.[/QUOTE] But that wasn't originally added in.
Technically, yes Realistically, not even close
When studying Sociology, I researched this very topic, and most sociologists concluded that due to the size and numbers involved in everything related to America, America itself is its religion. It was also noted that religion DOES extend through government as an undercurrent. For example, you only have to look at the (at the time, much publicised) controversy of JFK being a Catholic.
Gay rights issues in America are for the majority based on religious reasoning. The debate of whether evolution should be taught in school is based on religious reasoning. Anti-choice abortion ideals are generally based in religious reasoning as well. The fact that our government is even taking these into consideration should show that it is, in fact, not a secular society with secular ideals.
[QUOTE=Keys;37443064]The United States is no longer a rsecular state and i think it has been falling from that for quite some time now. I walk down the street and ask people their religion and views. I hear atheist or unsure more than any other religion out there (at least here in Colo., USA), and i'm pretty sure most of the politicians are the very same. If they were true devoted christians they wouldn't do half the shit they do. Our country is no longer a [b]Democratic Republic[/b] but more so a Corpotocracy ruled by Capitalism. It is the corporations and their rules/laws that run this country now, not the morals and guidance of a "[i]higher power[/i]" as written in the Bible or such. Religion has become an excuse to maintain the image of a respectful person. Politicians claim to Christianity (or Mormonism if you're voting for Mitt) to save face for their own actions. I'm sure some believe and actively go to church and take action in their faith. Most however, are slime that will lie to your face to sell you their grandmother for a few bucks. What makes you think they'd hold high regard to lying about their religion if they're willing to lie to you about bills that strip your rights and regulations that only impose restrictions on the common man but not the wealthy and rich. You're a peon, and they're the [i]Elite[/i]. pfft...[/QUOTE] I don't think you understand what secularism is. Secularism is the separation of church and state. [editline]28th August 2012[/editline] Also, a government ruled by morals and guidance from a higher power is called a theocracy. A democratic republic is rule of law, with government officials elected by the populace.
[QUOTE=DainBramageStudios;37427227]I don't know about the rest of the USA, but Utah is almost a [I]de facto[/I] theocracy.[/QUOTE] Resident of Utah. You're correct.
Whether the U.S. is a secular state now or not, it is certainly better than it was before. Remember, that as recently as the 50's the KKK was a respected organization with a massive amount of power in the government. I don't see WBC writing healthcare legislation. [editline]29th August 2012[/editline] And Jesus would definitely be aligned with the poor, in fact most of his sermons attacked the rich and wealthy for exploiting the poor.
Yes Jesus lived in poverty, and if he gained some wealth, he would rather share it. And instead of the feeling of hate, he would love. Sounds like a simple, cliche motherfucker but I guess we all have something to learn from him.
religious population =/= non-secular state. just because people make political decisions based on religious views doesn't mean america isn't a secular state.
[QUOTE=BoysLightUp;37452394]religious population =/= non-secular state. just because people make political decisions based on religious views doesn't mean america isn't a secular state.[/QUOTE] but when people go around saying "America is a Christian country" it threatens that secularity. [editline]29th August 2012[/editline] also, every time the government mentions god (money, pledge of allegiance, etc) it becomes less secular. A truly secular state would not mention religion at all, except for saying that they would not discriminate at against any of them.
i would like to point out that the house of representatives, is made up of representatives (duh) from every different part of america, so you have some reps that are Mormon, some that are baptist, and some that are Muslim, that doesnt mean that the federal goverment is strictly christian when one rep says that America is god-blessed, remember, for the first ~60 years of the country, the main group in power in congress and across the federal government was predominately Anglo-christian, and though they kept church seperate from state, there are a few small customs here and there like the motto "in god we trust" thats printed on our money the term secular state only implies that church law, is seperate from federal law. today, people are more paranoid of religous groups than ever before, but i still firmly believe that every politician up there would commit political suicide if they declaired that the united states was a christian only country
[QUOTE=The Kakistocrat;37455014]but when people go around saying "America is a Christian country" it threatens that secularity. [editline]29th August 2012[/editline] also, every time the government mentions god (money, pledge of allegiance, etc) it becomes less secular. A truly secular state would not mention religion at all, except for saying that they would not discriminate at against any of them.[/QUOTE] Is 'In God We Trust' still a common phrase?
I think the problem arises from a large subset of the American population, who misunderstand the concept of secularism. Many Americans don't actually know about what America's founding values actually were about and this has been fuelled by a campaign of deliberate misinformation from right wing news sources such as Fox as well as corrupt religious politicians in positions of power - I believe the Texas State Board of Education recently revised their history text books to downplay the importance of secularism in the early stages of America. As a result, people genuinely believe that America was and is a Christian country. If you make a list of some of the most inflammatory quotes made about religion by, say, Benjamin Franklin and show them to your average God-fearing American, they just won't believe you. They'll assume you're making those quotes up, because it doesn't fit with the narrative that has been drummed into them. When your money says "In God We Trust" and American flags hang in your churches, can you blame them? When you hear the phrase "traditional American values" you get an image of Mom and Pop in a Cadillac with the children driving to Church, not of separation of Church and State. There's also a fear of atheists lingering from the McCarthy era; the fear of Communism that was so hyped up also became linked with atheists - communists were atheists after all, and atheists didn't fit the fervently pro-Christian stance of McCarthy; I understand that schools in America open with the Pledge of Allegiance which contains the phrase "One Nation Under God" - where is the space for atheists? If it's one nation under God, people who don't believe in God aren't part of your nation. They're outsiders. Interestingly, McCarthyism also ties in to the high levels of homophobia in American society - homosexuals were seen as potential targets of blackmail and so untrustworthy (it was a big deal to be gay in America back then, so communists could blackmail gay people in Government positions into revealing secrets). As a result, openly atheist people in American politics are very rare (I imagine there's a fair few atheists pretending to be religious just so people will vote for them). Meanwhile, the further right you go the more religious you tend to get, so while there's a lot of very loud voices from the Christian fundamentalists there's not really that many voices opposing them, and those who do oppose them are easily dismissed as "liberals" or "the liberal media". There's a hegemony of belief as well - JFK was a controversial president because he was [i]Catholic[/i]. The political atmosphere in America is very different to most other places. American politicians can exploit a certain archetype - you see it quite often in rural candidates and Sarah Palin was quite notable in her approach - "Well, I'm not one of those fancy city sorts with their book learnin', but I know right from wrong and I'm a God fearing American!". There's a myriad of factors at play here really, but a nation that genuinely and repeatedly has to have political debates about whether scientific fact should be taught in schools, where the people have been indoctrinated to vote against their own interests and where people frequently get harassed about being atheist can not be considered secular. America hasn't been secular in a very long time.
[QUOTE=Memobot;37456935]Is 'In God We Trust' still a common phrase?[/QUOTE] yes. have you looked at a quarter lately? [editline]29th August 2012[/editline] [QUOTE=Sableye;37455485]i would like to point out that the house of representatives, is made up of representatives (duh) from every different part of america, so you have some reps that are Mormon, some that are baptist, and some that are Muslim, that doesnt mean that the federal goverment is strictly christian when one rep says that America is god-blessed, remember, for the first ~60 years of the country, the main group in power in congress and across the federal government was predominately Anglo-christian, and though they kept church seperate from state, there are a few small customs here and there like the motto "in god we trust" thats printed on our money the term secular state only implies that church law, is seperate from federal law. today, people are more paranoid of religous groups than ever before, but i still firmly believe that every politician up there would commit political suicide if they declaired that the united states was a christian only country[/QUOTE] "In God we trust" still violates secularism. And the Idea that America is a Christian nation is alive and well. [URL="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/pastor-introducing-rick-santorum-america-a-christian-nation/2012/03/20/gIQAHeMlPS_blog.html"]http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/pastor-introducing-rick-santorum-america-a-christian-nation/2012/03/20/gIQAHeMlPS_blog.html[/URL] Not a politician himself, but still shows it's a common idea. [URL="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/10/sarah-palin-american-law_n_569922.html"]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/10/sarah-palin-american-law_n_569922.html[/URL] And yes, some politicians do believe we are a christian nation with laws based on christian values.
No I haven't. I'm not American and have no reason to see one.
It's a secular state, just a lot of people (republicans) have trouble accepting that.
[QUOTE=The Kakistocrat;37455014]but when people go around saying "America is a Christian country" it threatens that secularity. [editline]29th August 2012[/editline] also, every time the government mentions god (money, pledge of allegiance, etc) it becomes less secular. A truly secular state would not mention religion at all, except for saying that they would not discriminate at against any of them.[/QUOTE] doesn't matter what people say, what matters is the legislation which actually defines the state - hence, all that's relevant is things such as the presence of the word "God" in state songs, etc. however, i'm under the assumption the official white house statement on that matter (as appeared on FP) was that God in this context referred not to the god of Abraham, but to the concept of one's saviour, be that Christ, Jehovah, Allah, FSM, whatever your pick. that argument therefore applies to the cash.
[QUOTE=BoysLightUp;37479925]doesn't matter what people say, what matters is the legislation which actually defines the state - hence, all that's relevant is things such as the presence of the word "God" in state songs, etc. however, i'm under the assumption the official white house statement on that matter (as appeared on FP) was that God in this context referred not to the god of Abraham, but to the concept of one's saviour, be that Christ, Jehovah, Allah, FSM, whatever your pick. that argument therefore applies to the cash.[/QUOTE] however, its still a kick to the face of atheists or agnostics to say any god, as the original intention was to separate ourselves from the godless communists (yay mccarthyism!)
[QUOTE=RichyZ;37480067]however, its still a kick to the face of atheists or agnostics to say any god, as the original intention was to separate ourselves from the godless communists (yay mccarthyism!)[/QUOTE] but i'm arguing it's just as inclusive to atheists as it is to anyone else, as directly stated by the white house as of (last year or this year, can't remember). besides, "under god" is a hell of a lot older than the 50s - while it may have only been formally introduced then, the "under god" concept goes back to 19th century, according to this, anyway: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance#Addition_of_.22under_God.22[/url] regardless if it was inserted in reference to abraham's god, its meaning has changed to what the white house says it is now, and their description actually includes all people, spiritual or not. hence, i can't see the need for immediate change. not to mention none of this has to do with secularism anyway, as god in a song doesn't grant any church political power. hell, israel officially declares itself a jewish state and it's still not a theocracy (as the jewish religion has no special political power)
[QUOTE=BoysLightUp;37480114]but i'm arguing it's just as inclusive to atheists as it is to anyone else, as directly stated by the white house as of (last year or this year, can't remember). besides, "under god" is a hell of a lot older than the 50s - while it may have only been formally introduced then, the "under god" concept goes back to 19th century, according to this, anyway: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance#Addition_of_.22under_God.22[/url] regardless if it was inserted in reference to abraham's god, its meaning has changed to what the white house says it is now, and their description actually includes all people, spiritual or not. hence, i can't see the need for immediate change. not to mention none of this has to do with secularism anyway, as god in a song doesn't grant any church political power. hell, israel officially declares itself a jewish state and it's still not a theocracy (as the jewish religion has no special political power)[/QUOTE] You're misreading you're source. Louis A. Bowman was born in the 19th century, not said the pledge in that form. It states there, [quote]At a meeting on February 12, 1948, Lincoln's Birthday, he led the Society in swearing the Pledge with two words added, "under God." He stated that the words came from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.[/quote] So, it's still less than 70 years old. Also, when did the White House say that it was just as inclusive to atheists? Can I get a source on that? I don't think the White House makes decisions like this, rather that it's the Supreme Court's decisions that do. I really would like a source on this. And how doesn't the national pledge of allegiance/money/etc not have to do with secularism? It does grant certain religious power. In the United States, it would be very difficult to be elected to a position of power if you were an atheist, compared to a Christian. It would only be more difficult for a Muslim, I believe, and that in itself is also not secular and biased.
Unfortunately, No. I mean, even in our pledge of allegiance we say "One Nation, Under God" No matter your religious views, you should [I]never[/I] want a combination of church and state. Just look back to the medevial times. Look at all the shit that happened when church & state mashed together.
honestly despite whole the christian patriot movement, america in general has been going through a lot to de-jesus itself it's definitely getting more secular.
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