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Joined: 9/13/2010
Msg: 1
Church and StatePage 1 of 14    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
So I'm from Canada. I'm more than aware that the US has an election coming up. I'm also more than aware that the republicans are trying to select a leader. We get your news up here in the Great White North, we have all the tv stations including Fox, CNN, etc. so we're relatively well informed about what is going on in politics.

What I don't understand is why is it seemingly so important that a candidate go to church and what religion they are. I have voted in every election since I was of voting age. I have never wondered what religion the person was that I was voting for. Up here we just don't care if the leader of our country is catholic, mormon, druid, pagan, baptist, etc.

Why is religion such a big deal in the U.S.?
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 2
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 7:45:02 AM
We have a large, vocal minority of christian extremists who insist that the US must become a theocracy. They will never shut up even if they get their way. They will then fight among the thousands of cults as to which theocracy will rule.

Religious mind control is a huge business here with mega-churchs making mega-billions of bucks a year, tax free to now act as lobbyists for theocracy establishment.

To understand it better, one need to look at the dominionists and reconstructionists running the far chrisitan right. Canada is not immune from this infestation either.
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 3
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 7:57:57 AM
I don't understand it either. It's hypocritical. Everyone makes a big show of their religion. It's all superstition anyway. I'm more devoted to my god than you are to your god. My god is real and yours is false. Of course, something like 30% of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim and another 40% are "unsure," so you know we aren't dealing with people who are very bright.

Myself, I'm looking for someone with leadership skills.
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 4
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:21:26 AM
"Do you think canada will ever have a prime minister of colour? Correct me if I'm wrong but things seem very homogenus in the northern atmosphere."

We have probably the greatest cultural diversity in MP's and MPP's than any government in the world. We had a female prime minister (Kim Campbell) in 1993. So, we are not as homogenus as you may think. We call individuals who where not born in Canada as refugees and immigrants not - ALIENS! Just saying!
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 5
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:22:55 AM

Why is religion such a big deal in the U.S.?

Much like many things.

It is a big deal because the people that want it to be a big deal make it so.

Has anyone ever heard of a 700 club viewer flying a plane into a building?

Nope they just use them to haul diamond-mining equipment to Robertson's mines in Liberia and then disguises it as an operation to relief supplies to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda, but its ok because supply side jesus says so.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 6
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:28:56 AM
Actually, Riptide, I have heard of a Christian flying a plane into a building. It happened not all that long after the 9-11 mess, and it wasn't as big a plane, and not as packed a building, but it fit the description. Oh, and don't forget those Christians down in Waco, who after killing a number of local law enforcement people, killed all of their own children and themselves in an act of terrorist-type defiance. Pretending they weren't "real" Christians doesn't change the facts.

OP, though there is indeed a long established, and official supported freedom of religion in this country, it was never set up that way because religion was frowned upon. It was set up that way, because having someone in charge of your government, also being able to tell you what to believe in in church was frowned upon. This was no doubt in large part, in order to allow a nation to be united, whose colonists had all come from different religious backgrounds.

The politicians advertise their religiousness for the same reason all salespeople advertise anything: they know that it plays well in some areas, and that it doesn't usually cause much trouble for the folks who are not religious. So though many, if not most politicians are full of crap, when it comes to their claimed religious convictions, the fact that they claim them really isn't hypocritical relative to our separation of Church and State. I think it actually makes the true believers feel a little more comfortable with having Church and State be separate, if they think that at least the guy in charge is sort of one of them.
Joined: 3/9/2008
Msg: 7
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:36:35 AM
The only reason why Christian extremists in this country don't act like jihadis is they are mortally afraid of government organizations like the FBI and the ATF.
But weaken those institutions enough, and you will see these crazies start coming out more.
Anyone who wants to abolish the Fed doesn't know life before the Fed.

But to your question, yeah, this faith requirement is stupid.
Faith should not be an issue but it is.

There are those who believe this country should be a Christian theocracy.
Well, there's fine examples of that abroad and I welcome them to try living it them for a while. In fact, when you look at the Republican platform... low taxes, limited government, men with guns, huge militaries, religious zealots, free market capitalism, women as second class citizens... all those elements exist in some of the most terrible places on Earth. I must invite them to live in a third world first to see if they like it that way. Because it will be that way if all of the above become a reality.

The problem is, they want only THEIR religion to be the state religion. They may want to espouse openness to other faiths, but as history will show, other faiths are soon marginalized and eliminated once a theocracy is in full place.

The people who want this for the USA don't understand the implications of such a type of rule as a theocracy. They've never experienced it in their lifetimes and probably would never want to live in one if they are on the minority receiving end.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 8
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:37:47 AM

Why is religion such a big deal in the U.S.?

When I go down to visit the States, I find that religion is a major influence in everything they do.

I had a meeting with a web design company that offers SEO.
During the conversation he stressed that they were a "Christian based company".
I thought that the oddest thing!

Personally ... that voided the deal for me.
Religion is a personal thing.

Maybe people are brainwashed into believing that if you are christian you are honest.

That's the biggest load of crap, as my fist husbands father was a minister and the ex (a ministers son), embezzled $50K off of his fathers church.

So to me ... not all religious people are honest.

So yup ... I think it's brainwashing and lack of good judgement.

Terrible way to run a presidential election.
Joined: 3/9/2008
Msg: 9
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 8:44:46 AM
FRankensteen did remind me that yeah, aside from DAvid Koresh and the Okahoma bomber, there is that one guy who flew a plane into the IRS!

He was despondent over taxes! REally? The guy owns a freaking plane! How poor does he think he is??? Anyway, yeah, there are Christian crazies too...
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 10
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 9:04:49 AM
McVeigh was Christian identity. Abortion clinic bombers and murderers, mosque fire-bombers, Nativism, and a number of other acts by an exploding growth of hate groups in the US are motivated by their faiths. When DHS rightfully noted the gravest terrorist threat in the US was the growth of far right hate groups, the DHS was politcally pressured to back off and pretend it was not happening.

The same political pressure is placed on the media and politicians to ignore the growing threat of theocracy advocates. If we look at the trends of states and federal legislation focus, it's pretty easy to see an inordinate amout of time and energy expended to promote and pass theocratically motivated social hot button laws. We tend to see this much more when far right christians dominate legislative houses. Many come in by stealth, many others because of pandering to their base.

The "base" is a rather bullying bunch as well. The push for public prayer in schools and public hearings is to help pressure compliance for non-believers or less than perfect christians. In the bible belt, after asking your name, the inevitable second question demands to know "what church do you attend". Enemies lists are mentally taken for future reference. A buddy of mine, outspoken over school prayer proposals, went to a public meeting on the subject. His bumper sticker targeting the issue, apparently outraged the righteous and his car was severly vandalized for his sin.

In the last presidential election we were threated wish the prospect of a dominionist VP a heartbeat away from the presidency, and this year we still have the threat of a dominionist republican contender for President. Santorum is the only remaining dominionist in the field that included Perry's and Bachmann's dominionist dreams.

They are organized, well funded, and dedicated to tearing down not only the US government, but the governments of all the nations of the world who do not accept their god and christ as the leader of all. Their bible says that's what they must do. They can't help it.

And lest we forget, the biggest act of christian terrorism occured in Iraq due to the bloodlust to punish people who had nothing at all to do with 9/11 because it was an easy target to avenge our loss. Millions have and will die from the aftermath of our WMD use there. We didn't fly planes into their buildings, but dropped a lot of explosive stuff from our planes.
Joined: 4/16/2009
Msg: 11
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 9:33:59 AM
My votes don't go by rather a candidate I vote for is religious, or not. I vote for whomever is more suitable for leadership over my country. Someone who can relate to the needs of the American people, and get the job done.

Even if President Obama was a Muslim, or an Atheist, that wouldn't deter my vote.

Of course we can't say the same for Obama hatemongers who believe him to be a terrorist because his middle name is Hussein.
Joined: 7/15/2011
Msg: 12
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 10:32:18 AM
"Why is religion such a big deal in the U.S.?"

This is all part of a multi-sided problem. From the extremely religious, to the laws of our land, to the leaders of the various groups, the change in divorce law, and finally & most importantly to one of the core issues MONEY!!

While occassional flare ups happened, the problem was if not ignored, certainly not center stage, until the shift in the mindset of people in the 60's. Prior to that, people went to church, life went on, some believed, some didn't.

The change in the dynamics of communication and the speed of it, created profound differences. TV, brought the differences of people into our homes every night, much faster than before.

About this time, divorce went from a series of particular reasons, to "no fault", and the amount of divorces exploded! This conflicted heavily with most religions and churches stance on family life. People also started to question their own beliefs about whether there was or is a god. Sex outside of marriage proliferated quite a bit, spurred on by the women's movement (the right to do with their body as they saw fit) and the scientific development of birth control pills.

Then Roe v Wade, opened the abortion door. Much of this happened as the religious stood by aghast. Of course everyone of these things, started to shrink church membership and participation. That's where the MONEY comes in! Religion is BIG BUSINESS! The actual number 1 seller of all time is the bible! Not only is it sold more than any other book, it is found in almost every hotel room.

Now that screws with the guys at the top of the religious organizations income. Less members, less attending means less income.

People and religious leaders fought back. Some changed to experience in worship, some loosened the rules, still the trend continued. Finally in the 80's Ronald Reagan, embraced the conservative christians, and they were off to the races. After helping him win the presidency, they embarked on the road of putting the gene back in the bottle!

The fervent, became politically active, and as they began to have victories, albeit minor ones. They started to press for more and more changes. Since our nation chooses to view life as black and white, or in this case liberal and conservative. The religious naturally moved into the republican party, to affect more change back toward where they believe we should be.

Under the guise of "we are the righteous", they have moved into trying to make abortions difficult, since they haven't been able to get the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v Wade. Let's face it, if they could make certain states to function as a theocracy, they can win the war, one state at a time. Their claim of persecution, is a ruse, to allow them to further their political agenda, trying to blur the line of seperation of church and state.
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 13
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 10:38:49 AM
I must have posted this a dozen times or more, but once again, I see the nonsense being spread that the U.S. is at risk of becoming a theocracy. Some spread it because they have no idea how the U.S. government works, and some do it purposely to deceive people.

In either case, the ones spreading the falsehood invariably consider themselves liberal. But their animosity toward religion shows they are anything but. It is they themselves who are intolerant and narrow-minded.

These are the very first words in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The Supreme Court calls these words the "Establishment Clause," and beginning with Everson v. Board of Education in 1947, it has decided quite a few cases involving it.

Those decisions have sketched out the boundary between church and state in America, even if the line they draw is fuzzy and shifting. But one thing is clear--at a bare minimum, the Establishment Clause is an absolute ban on theocracy, everywhere in the United States. Not one justice in even one of those cases has ever questioned that.

Or maybe we're about to abolish the Establishment Clause by constitutional amendment. Right. After all, it's only been around since 1791.

since they haven't been able to get the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v Wade.

You're a little behind the times. The Court looked like it was going to overrule Roe in Casey, twenty years ago, but in the end it stopped short of that. It settled for just reversing a big part of that notorious decision.

What Roe does now is prevent any state law from absolutely banning abortion before the fetus is viable. It doesn't prevent them from prohibiting abortion after viability, though, or from restricting it before that time.
Joined: 7/15/2011
Msg: 14
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 10:53:32 AM
WOW!! That didn't take long now did it! hahahaha!!

However "congress shall make no law" doesn't mean diddly in affairs of the various states, now does it? Each state may enact it's own laws, or in this case, hurdles to get over. Vaginal probes, forced screenings of films of abortions for potential candidates for one, laws to force you to explain your use of birth control with your employer, doctors permitted to lie to patients about pregnancy's...the list is long and distinguished from these fanatics.

"their animosity toward religion"

See this is the one that gets me. It is the ultimate straw man! I don't care what church you attend, how often you attend it, what you believe or don't. You are free to practice whatever religion you wish. I could care less!

When you as a group of religious fanatics, try to affect changes in the laws, that restrict MY or anyone elses life, or ability to do things, based solely on YOUR beliefs, it's patently WRONG!!!!!!!!

So go back to your churches, make sure they don't take birth control, don't have abortions, abide by any rules you as a group choose to make. It's all good, BUT don't tell me what I can and cannot do, I don't belong to your religion.

Can I make that any clearer?
Joined: 2/14/2012
Msg: 15
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 11:00:15 AM

What I don't understand is why is it seemingly so important that a candidate go to church and what religion they are.

Because to some people that is their way of life.
People like consistency and sameness.
They want to vote for people that are like them.
If they are like them, then they "must" have similar values, so will represent them.
People create shortcuts like that to make their life easier.
If they can identify with the person, they form positive associations with them.
Why are there different types of commercials, that try to be cool, funny, or show hot chicks and not just have a picture of the product and a sign that reads (or for the radio guy or girl say) "buy our shit, it's awesome."

Why is religion such a big deal in the U.S.?

Because there are a lot of voters in the U.S. to whom religion is a big deal, it makes up who they are, or a big part, even if they deny it.
Because religion is a shortcut to them for "values."
 want to travel
Joined: 7/29/2006
Msg: 16
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 11:22:03 AM
You know, we have some very right wing conservative church goers in Canada too !
for instance, there is a 24 hour vigil at one of our hospitals that provide abortions, it has been going on for a few months now
It just seems like it is not cool to bring up religion at election time, kind of like if one of yours would burn the US flag
some thing are just not done
I still do not have an idea what religion our prim minister is, it is not to be found anywhere, not that it matters...
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 17
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 11:42:40 AM
The Bible Belt politicians have too much power/say-so IMO. We r supposed to have seperation of Church & State...Altho I am not traditionally RELIGIOUS, I so BELIEVE IN GOD...but he/she is not legalistic...and would work thru people of any affiliating one religion w/ God just doesn't work in my mind.

Everyone has a right to God as they understand him/her. or not...
Joined: 2/8/2011
Msg: 18
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 12:42:39 PM

Why is religion such a big deal in the U.S.?

Because this is a country of bigots.
(Religion has only been a major focus since Reagan made it the focus during his campaign, btw. And the Founding Fathers did most certainly NOT want for religion to become an issue. They were secularists.)
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 19
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 1:54:47 PM

We r supposed to have seperation of Church & State

Yes and no. The First Amendment has two guarantees of religious freedom, and the second one comes right after the one I quoted in #16. It prohibits government from making any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, and it's called the Free Exercise Clause.

There is some tension between it and the Establishment Clause. The Supreme Court has noted that interpreting the Establishment Clause to make the wall between church and state too solid risks violating the Free Exercise Clause. It is a balancing act, and a very difficult one.

When all the Court's decisions on this are considered together, the result is a wall which has a few holes in it. If the oven down at Grace Lutheran catches fire while the ladies in the flock are making pumpkin bread for the church bake sale, the city fire department is mixing church and state--even if only very slightly--by responding. But a claim that the local law which allowed it to respond therefore violates the Establishment Clause will go exactly nowhere.

However "congress shall make no law" doesn't mean diddly in affairs of the various states, now does it?

As a matter of fact, it does. The Supreme Court, through the Fourteenth Amendment, has extended the First Amendment's guarantee of the free exercise of religion to apply also to state governments. That's been true for quite a few decades now.
Joined: 3/15/2009
Msg: 20
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 2:15:13 PM
(So to me ... not all religious people are honest.)

Exactly...just like there are people who never go to a place of worship and/or formally claim a religion who are good people and contribute to society.

I don't care if my elected President is black, mixed raced, white, Mormon, Jewish, gay, straight, grew up poor, or even with a platinum spoon in his/her mouth. I care about their capabilities.
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 21
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 2:40:27 PM
Thomas Jefferson was a man of deep religious conviction — his conviction was that religion was a very personal matter, one which the government had no business getting involved in. He was vilified by his political opponents for his role in the passage of the 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and for his criticism of such biblical events as the Great Flood and the theological age of the Earth. As president, he discontinued the practice started by his predecessors George Washington and John Adams of proclaiming days of fasting and thanksgiving. He was a staunch believer in the separation of church and state.

Together with the Free Exercise Clause ("... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"), these two clauses make up what are called the "religion clauses" of the First Amendment

The establishment clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the "separation" or "no aid" interpretation, while the second approach is called the "non-preferential" or "accommodation" interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government's entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

Apparently, for the GOP, Christianity is not a religion.
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 22
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 3:16:19 PM

I must have posted this a dozen times or more, but once again, I see the nonsense being spread that the U.S. is at risk of becoming a theocracy. Some spread it because they have no idea how the U.S. government works, and some do it purposely to deceive people.

Well, well... what do you know...

So, as certain as you are that it is IMPOSSIBLE to establish a Christian theocracy anywhere in the US and as certain as you are that 'concerns' in that regard are tantamount to conspiracy theory then you must be equally certain that all the rabid, right-wing delusions about a 'jihadi conspiracy' to impose Sharia law in the US are merely conspiracy theory about an impossible event...

Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 23
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Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 3:49:23 PM


Right. Since liberals love sharia law so much... That is because Islamic law, like every other liberal cause is considered, 'the little guy' and liberals get to play David against goliath again.

So much fun playing the hero isn't it.

I agree with separations of church and state and that federal legislation should be careful about making sure that a basis for a law exists outside of a religious interpretation. It isn't all that easy though as just about everything can in some way be linked back to it. It is sometimes easier to judge by the bad things that are allowed to happen.

Funny though... the right tries to restrict abortion and changes to definitions of marriage where liberals want to abolish the constitution, states’ rights, the economy, and individual freedoms so that we all stop eating McDonalds because carl's jr is an affront to the liberal religion.

I fully support including atheism as being included in the first amendment. And it really pisses people off. Just proves that it is the right thing to do. If they didn’t pretend to be so oppressed and weak I’m sure atheists could make quite good politicians and I wouldn’t mind seeing republican ones. But including atheism under the first amendment would level the environment and that isn’t in liberal’s best interest. They need the advantage.
Joined: 11/21/2011
Msg: 24
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 3:54:43 PM
It has become a bigger and bigger deal because Humanists, Atheists, the agnostics have gotten more and more shrill and pushy over the years.
And noting that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the faith based community's have determined to be at least as vocal as their heathen brethren.
Mostly both sides are defending hard fought territory.
Because its a diametrically opposed paradigm there can be no compromise on any issue.
Eventually they'll stop throwing words and then bottles rocks and bullets will ensue.
Its good to have people whom will stand up for what they believe in, really get off the couch,get involved, and DO something eh?

One has to hope that a third party will come in and get them both under control,.......and that they'' join together and kick that third parties hiney!
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 25
Church and State
Posted: 4/1/2012 4:52:43 PM

Right. Since liberals love sharia law so much... That is because Islamic law, like every other liberal cause is considered, 'the little guy' and liberals get to play David against goliath again.

Let me get this must open every post with a flame...

where liberals want to abolish the constitution, states’ rights, the economy, and individual freedom

And follow up with more flames..

Your who;le post reads like blah blah blah...commie, socialist, liberal...blah blah blah
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