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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:26 AM

Should a Constitutional Amendment ban religion from government?

With all the problems going on in the country today, Americans demand that our politicians put rhetoric aside and concentrate on the issues at hand. Whether it's getting people back to work, investing in education, strengthening our health care system or restructuring our tax code, Americans want to see action. However, conservatives these days seem to have their priorities all twisted up.

The Republican-lead House voted and passed a bill in November of 2011 that reaffirmed "In God We Trust" as the nation's motto adding zero jobs in the process. With overwhelming support, 369-9, the bill was passed without much of a fight. The issue of God in government has always been a hot button issue in politics, but a sensitive one as well. The conservatives in the religious right often hold their idea of "God" above everything else and push their faith into the lives of people who either don't share the same beliefs they do or don't want anything to do with them in the first place. The United States was not founded on God and isn't a "Christian Nation" by any means. The United States Constitution is a secular document and should stay that way. The words "God" and "Christianity" are never mentioned in the Constitution and religion is only mentioned sparingly starting with the First Amendment.

--snip--

At every turn the radical religious right seem to continue their agenda of pushing their beliefs on everyone in the country doing exactly what the Founding Fathers didn't want people to do. Whether it's their utter bigotry dealing with gay rights, the lack of concern for the poor as they continue to vote against programs that help them or the intolerance for people who might think differently than they do, something needs to change in the country to make it clear where America stands with religion. The constitution has twenty-seven Amendments and the question needs to be asked if number twenty-eight should be added as an official Separation of church and state. Banning religious ideology and religious text from government buildings, whether a courthouse or a school, should be looked into. People shouldn't be judged by what religious belief they hold, but as Martin Luther King said: "by the content of their character".

The United States is unique in that it has people from all walks of life with many belief systems. Some are Christian, others Jewish, maybe Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist. Others are atheist or agnostic and don't want anything to do with religious dogma, but rather follow a path lead by scientific facts than questionable religious text. No matter what your path is, it should be kept to yourself without any judgment of others. The confusing position of religion in government needs to be ironed out, and unless we take religious judgment completely out of government, things will just continue as they are, and that is a shame.

http://www.examiner.com/article/should-a-constitutional-amendment-ban-religion-from-government

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Arrow 55 replies Author Time Post
Reply Should a Constitutional Amendment ban religion from government? (Original post)
cleanhippie Nov 2012 OP
clydefrand Nov 2012 #1
rurallib Nov 2012 #2
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #8
stopbush Nov 2012 #26
humblebum Nov 2012 #15
okasha Nov 2012 #16
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2012 #31
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #32
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2012 #34
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #35
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2012 #38
tortoise1956 Nov 2012 #36
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #37
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2012 #39
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #40
Starboard Tack Nov 2012 #41
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #42
Starboard Tack Nov 2012 #43
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #44
Starboard Tack Nov 2012 #45
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #46
Leontius Nov 2012 #47
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #50
okasha Nov 2012 #49
okasha Nov 2012 #53
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #54
CAG Nov 2012 #3
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #5
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #9
rug Nov 2012 #4
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #10
unblock Nov 2012 #6
jody Nov 2012 #7
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #11
jody Nov 2012 #12
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #13
jody Nov 2012 #14
humblebum Nov 2012 #17
trotsky Nov 2012 #19
jody Nov 2012 #20
trotsky Nov 2012 #24
jody Nov 2012 #25
trotsky Nov 2012 #28
jody Nov 2012 #29
trotsky Nov 2012 #33
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #18
Leontius Nov 2012 #21
LARED Nov 2012 #23
okasha Nov 2012 #48
LARED Nov 2012 #22
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #51
truebluegreen Nov 2012 #27
madrchsod Nov 2012 #30
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #52
MineralMan Nov 2012 #55

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:31 AM

1. I probably should not be saying this, but I think we need the

constitutional amendment to just BAN RELIGION.
Religion has cause more deaths and disagreements around the work ever since man kind created God in his own image.

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Response to clydefrand (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:39 AM

2. sounds good to me

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Response to clydefrand (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:16 PM

8. Don't quite agree with you on that.

Mostly because it is impossible to ban thoughts and ideas. IMO, the best way is to demonstrate that those thoughts and ideas are not compatible with reality, and then dismiss those that continue to espouse those thoughts and ideas as delusional and irrelevant.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:19 PM

26. Agreed. 99.9999% of the gods man though up for himself have disappeared.

The same will happen with today's pretend gods like Jesus and Yahweh. Eventually, they'll go away as well. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but disappear they will.

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Response to clydefrand (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:10 PM

15. And atheism is still associated with so many more. Should it also be banned? nt

 

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Response to clydefrand (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:09 PM

16. What kind of enforcement do you have in mind?

Civil suits and fines? "Re-education" camps? Pogroms?

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Response to clydefrand (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:00 AM

31. And thank you for that piece of atheistic bigotry

If the people running DU ban me for pointing out that clydefrand is a bigot, then it is clear that objecting to obvious bigotry is worse than bigotry itself.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:29 PM

32. Where is the bigotry?

I don't think you are using that word correctly.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:34 PM

34. In the post to which I was replying

Specifically, your statement "I probably should not be saying this, but I think we need the
constitutional amendment to just BAN RELIGION. " Bigotry, pure and simple. If I were to say, "We need a Constitutional amendment to just BAN ISLAM", or "ban Jews" or "Ban African-Americans", people would be jumping all over me for bigotry. Your statement is just one more piece of bigotry, only apparently atheistic bigotry is acceptable on DU.

I'll make a deal with you: You stop uttering bigoted statements, and I shall stop saying that you are a bigot.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:00 PM

35. I'll make a deal with you instead: You pay better attention to whom you are responding to,

and you will then stop looking like an ignoramus.

Did you happen to notice that the post you called bigotry was not written by me? You were so eager to call someone a bigot that you couldn't even bother to see who it was you were talking to. In your haste to attack, you failed to notice my response to that poster.


But you stay classy.

And have a nice day.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:33 AM

38. You are right, I apologise

Read "clydefrand" for "cleanhippie" in my previous posts. It's still bigotry.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:09 PM

36. This is his opinion. Nothing more.

I don't see this as bigotry. He doesn't say that people who hold religious beliefs are evil, merely that the religions themselves have been at the root of much death and suffering. I agree with the suffering part, but not with the ban on religion. Of course, that's just my opinion.

And before you go flying off the handle at me, I am not an atheist, nor am I a member of an organized church. I don't have a dog in this fight.

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Response to tortoise1956 (Reply #36)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:24 AM

37. That is why I pointed out that I thought he is using that word incorrectly.

And then he went off on me. Must be that christian love I keep hearing about.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #37)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:35 AM

39. His opinion, that religion is evil per se, is bigotry.

Yes, I know what "bigotry" means, and, as Justice Potter Stewart said in another context, I know it when I see it.

And apparently cleanhippie -- yes, I mean you -- believes that it is wrong for a Christian to denounce bigotry. Apparently, what Martin Luther King did was wrong in his eyes.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:40 AM

40. I can tell that you are using your "other ways of knowing" to duduce my opinions.



Good luck with that. Stay humble.

And have a really nice day.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #40)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:56 AM

41. Why do you have a problem with being called a bigot?

Please enlighten us as to what part of the following does not apply to you.

Is Merriam-Webster wrong?
Bigot
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #41)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:23 PM

42. Why do you have a problem being called a bigot?

Please enlighten us as to what part of the following does not apply to you.

Is Merriam-Webster wrong?
Bigot
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #42)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:20 PM

43. Because it applies to you, not me. Isn't that obvious?

I am a non-theist who is not only tolerant of believers, but embrace them and enjoy their company, regardless of any difference of opinion. My opinions of people evolve as I get to know them as individuals. I may be intolerant or dislike individuals like yourself, but I do so based on your behavior and attitude toward entire groups. That's what bigotry is - broad brushing.
You use extremist snippets to paint all believers with the same brush in an attempt to rally your troops. Not an original tactic, by any means. Maybe you'd prefer a world where all believers wear identifying armbands.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:58 PM

44. Because it applies to you, not me. Isn't that obvious?

I am a non-theist who is not only tolerant of believers, but embrace them and enjoy their company, regardless of any difference of opinion. My opinions of people evolve as I get to know them as individuals. I may be intolerant or dislike individuals like yourself, but I do so based on your behavior and attitude toward entire groups. That's what bigotry is - broad brushing.
You use extremist snippets to paint all believers with the same brush in an attempt to rally your troops. Not an original tactic, by any means. Maybe you'd prefer a world where all believers wear identifying armbands.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #44)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 02:19 PM

45. Why has cleanhippie not been blocked from this group?

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:02 PM

46. Why has starboard tack not been blocked from this group?

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:38 PM

47. Every group must have at least one child.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #47)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:55 PM

50. And here you are.

Now ST has a playmate.

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Response to clydefrand (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:43 PM

49. I'm still waiting for any answer to the question I asked.

How would you enforce your ban against religion? Or has it just dawned on you, belatedly, that you're proposing a dictatorship? I do understand your embarassment.

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Response to okasha (Reply #49)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 05:09 PM

53. And waiting. . . . .

N/T

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Response to okasha (Reply #53)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:18 PM

54. Pretty sure he is not coming back to this thread.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:57 AM

3. who needs free speech, right?

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Response to CAG (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:00 PM

5. People have free speech rights, not governments.

The establishment clause should be sufficient to prohibit nonsense like "in god we trust" , but it has been so weakly interpreted that it doesn't.

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Response to CAG (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:17 PM

9. If we were talking about banning speech, you would be on to something.

But were talking about the separation of the government and religion.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:58 AM

4. Right after the constitutional amendment to ban capitalism.

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:18 PM

10. ...from the government. You left that part out.

And banning capitalism from the government is also a great idea.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:10 PM

6. yeah, how about, "congress shall actually abide by the first amendment"?

seriously, if they make all manner of "minor" incursions against the first amendment, how would another amendment on the topic change matters?

the problem is living it, enforcing it.

as long as the supreme court is willing to say that proclaiming that god exists on our national currency isn't establishing a religion, and congress wouldn't dream of impeaching and removing a justice for being patently wrong, there's not much another amendment can do to change things.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:13 PM

7. No amendment can "ban" religion because it is an inalienable/unalienable right. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:19 PM

11. ...from the government. You left that part out.

This is about keeping religion out of government, not banning religion. Its right there in the headline. How did you miss it?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:25 PM

12. OP used the word "ban" and I responded. Since religion is part of a person's beliefs and shapes

 

her/his actions, I don't understand how words or clubs can prevent a person from believing something.

How do you propose to test whether a particular action taken by government is driven solely by a religious belief?

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Response to jody (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:28 PM

13. Then perhaps you should continue reading past the word "ban" before forming an opinion.

No one wants to keep anyone from believing anything.

Read it first, then form an opinion and ask questions.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:42 PM

14. You should read your own OP "Should a Constitutional Amendment ban religion from government?"

 

That's a simple question and addresses one of the inalienable/unalienable rights that preexist our Constitution.

SCOTUS said "We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “{t}his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed. {page 19}."

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Response to jody (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:15 AM

17. Some things are beyond his grasp. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:58 AM

19. You appear to be arguing with a straw man.

You claim: "I don't understand how words or clubs can prevent a person from believing something."

Which is spot on and true. However, no one is claiming otherwise, except for the straw man you've constructed.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:12 AM

20. I'm not arguing, merely stating a fact, "No amendment to our Constitution can ban an inalienable/

 

unalienable right".

Words on paper cannot create a preexisting right nor can words take away that right.

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Response to jody (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:01 PM

24. You're absolutely correct.

But this amendment wouldn't affect anyone's right to believe what they want. Thus your straw man. I'm not quite sure why you're arguing (i.e., "Give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one's view.") in this thread.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:15 PM

25. 12. How do you propose to test whether a particular action taken by government is driven solely by

 

a religious belief?

My posts followed a logical sequence response to the OP author's replies.

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Response to jody (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:59 PM

28. Courts have already managed to handle that question over the years.

How about we just look at the reasons why an action was taken? If no secular purpose exists for the law, it runs afoul of the Lemon test. My personal thought is that this amendment is not necessary - correct enforcement of the 1st amendment would take care of the issue here. But I do appreciate attention being brought to how inconsistent that's been.

You may believe your posts followed a logical sequence, but they did not. You jumped immediately into wondering how this amendment would control what people believe, when that was never part of the discussion.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:36 PM

29. Have a great day and goodbye. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:26 PM

33. I will take that as an admission of error on your part.

No one is trying to prevent people from believing whatever they want.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:27 AM

18. There already is one. It already is banned

The 1st amendment clearly states that government, which makes laws, can't make any religious laws.

What else do you want? Where else can such a thing go? You can't ban the legislators' religions.

Faith based initiatives are clearly unconstitutional and need to go. The tax exempt thing should go too... but it does not favor any one (or two) religions so...

But if religions are gonna become corporations, they should be taxed accordingly.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:21 AM

21. Well let's see here

No state church done, no religious test for office holders done, no church courts done . Seems like this silly childish fear of theocracy is well, silly and childish.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:51 AM

23. The "theocracy is coming any day" meme is like an atheist version

 

of the rapture.

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Response to LARED (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:41 PM

48. More like the radical right's

New World Order. It'll jump out and yel "BOO!!" any minute now.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:28 AM

22. Seems to me if you want to ban religion from government you will need to ban

 

people from government, or only have atheists in government.



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Response to LARED (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:01 PM

51. Not at all.

People certainly don't have to be atheists to avoid pushing religion-based laws. And some atheists COULD push such laws, out of pandering, or because they want social conservativism for other reasons and are prepared to form an alliance with religious right-wingers. I can think of British examples.

I am not in fact sure how well such an amendment would work in practice, but I don't agree with your argument here.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:27 PM

27. Why amend? Enforce!

i.e. it's in there!

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:51 PM

30. we already have separation of church and state.

it`s up to the citizens and their courts to decide what the boundary line is between the two.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:19 PM

52. From an outsider's point of view...

I am not sure how well such an amendment could work. Basically, if you need it, it probably won't work, and if it would work, you probably don't need it. After all, politicians can always claim that their anti-abortion/anti-contraception/anti-homosexuality bills, or harsh policies toward single parents , are due to something other than religion; and sometimes they are.

The UK does not have official church-state separation. While it would doubtless be better if we did, nevertheless we seem in practice to have a lot less intrusion of religion into government than the USA, which does have such separation. And the worst example that I have personally experienced on my patch - when vicious religious-right 'pro-lifers' conducted a smear campaign that contributed to the defeat of my MP in 2010 - could probably not have been prevented by such church-state separation, or by an amendment of the sort that you propose.

The biggest problem in the USA, and to some degree elsewhere, seems to me to be with religious-right pressure groups having a strong influence on voters, the media and the government. And the best solutions seem to me to enforce the rules about religious institutions losing tax-exempt status if they campaign for particular political parties or individuals; and for citizens to always be on their guard against the political influence of the religious right, and never to think that it 'can't happen here', wherever you may live.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:43 AM

55. No Amendment is needed. All that is needed

is enforcement of the existing First Amendment. However, given the fact that a sizable majority of citizens of the US have religious beliefs will probably make that more or less impossible.

That same majority will make it impossible to pass any Amendment like the one suggested. It would be a futile effort. Is that right? No, but it is real.

We can only change the religious orientation of the United State one person at a time. There is no other way.

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