Yes. If you cite your reason as "it goes against my religious beliefs," then oh well. Your religious belief is a choice. Laws cannot be passed nor changed because it harms your belief in god or because your "god" said so. This country was made as a secular country. Respecting and consulting are two separate things. The first is what the Founding Fathers wanted us to do, the latter is what they didn't want us to do.
If YOUR religious beliefs directly effect other people, especially if these other people do not share your beliefs, then yes. This is why stem-cell research, abortions, etc are being halted. Because the religious right keeps halting progress. Your ability to swing your arm ends at my nose.
Basically, yes. If the church is trying to pass a law, for example, that makes school prayer mandatory at the beginning and end of each school day and everybody is required to go to church or receive a fine, then yes, absolutely. You have the freedom to believe in whatever god you wish, go to church, pray in public, etc. What you cannot do is say that my kids have to learn about creationism (which isn't even a real hypothesis, let alone a theory) and not evolution (which is a proven theory). Or even say that both should be in science classes. One involves science, one involves a fairy tale. Long story short, since the country is secular, no decision can be made to EXCLUDE those who are not of any particular religion for the sake of not hurting your feelings because you have a particular belief; which, again, you CHOOSE to believe.
Yes, it does. You can freely do what you want regarding your religion. But if something like abortion comes up, you cannot say that it should be illegal because it goes against your religious belief. As previously stated, abortion involves choice. If you don't want tax dollars going towards that, too bad. I don't want my tax dollars going towards the military (at least, in these days, since we're in meaningless wars), but they do. I don't want my tax dollars going towards locking people up for weed, but they do. Get over it. It is gonna happen.
Separation of church and state DOES work both ways. The state cannot MAKE YOU believe in one particular religion, nor can it persecute you for ANY religious belief you hold. And the church is not allowed to influence the state in any matter, because then the beliefs of one group are being forced on the rest (which is where the evolution in schools debate comes in. However, it shouldn't even be a debate).
The country is about the PEOPLE. NOT the people's beliefs or lack thereof. What we can all agree on is that we are people. Religious beliefs have no bearing on anything that goes on outside of your own existence or those who share your beliefs. Separation of church and state is clear to those who understand that this country WAS NOT founded on religious belief, let alone Christianity. I have never heard anybody BUT Christians have some issue with separation of church and state. Wonder why that is...
On the issue of the OP, I don't see much of a problem. It is people finding a reason to be pissed off. Do they have a case? Maybe. But I don't think it should have been mentioned. It is as dumb as the debate about the mosque or rec center or whatever the hell it was. Now, if they were petitioning the "In god we trust" signs, then absolutely, they have a definitive case.
Ladies and gentlemen, the perfect, living, breathing example of the modern liberal warped view of the Constitution.
Rather than address each piece of your post, let me go back to what I've already stated numerous times in this thread, as it is the root belief behind your post.
If you think that the 1st Amendment was written to keep the opinion of religious people out of any law-making, you're wrong. Period. And your whole argument goes down with it. That's simply all there is to it.
As I've stated, the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution says this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now. Let's go back once more to things I've already stated. The word "respecting" does not equal "advocating." It is NOT, let me emphasize, NOT saying that Congress isn't permitted make any law that makes any religion "look good." It is NOT saying it's illegal for Congress to advocate any religion in any way, hence, it is perfectly legal for Congress to rule that the street sign is indeed, Constitutional, by being funded by the state. Bottom Line: It IS Constitutional for the State to acknowledge religion. It is NOT Constitutional for the State to DETRACT from religion or it's believers.
Does that sound one sided? Good. Because it was meant to be. As has been stated, the 1st Amendment of the Constitution was done so to protect the church from the state (for reasons why, see the hundreds of years of religious oppression that preceded this signing of the Constitution.) And it ends there. Separation of church and state never comes into it, because that line doesn't exist. You really think a bunch of God-fearing men (although largely Deist) would write a binding document saying that the beliefs of a religious group are irrelevant? That they would tell the grand portion of the population that their opinion on the issues don't matter? That a grand majority of them would sign something agreeing that their own opinions on something are irrelevant?
PLEASE tell me you haven't actually deluded yourself into thinking that..
The entire premise
of the Constitution is that each man is created equal with certain unalienable rights by his Creator
, yet you somehow believe that the men who lived and died for that sentiment, put into law that the opinion of those who believe in the Creator don't matter?"Every man created by God is equal, and his opinion matters! Except for those that believe in the Creator! Their opinion should be ignored!"
(God being a general term in this case)
I feel bad for our Founding Fathers. They did everything they could to try and prevent something like this from happening, but people will always find a way to undermine and back-door something to achieve their own agenda. People will always look for the loophole or will misconstrue a vague definition to get it their way. Sad, sad day in the U.S. when people start believing that the opinion of Christians, or Muslims, or Buddhists, or so on, are just irrelevant. I really don't know if there's any bouncing back from that.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.
Edited by Cat'sGrowl, 22 June 2011 - 01:22 AM.