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RSS Espbeetle

Reward Points:2
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4 points

Most words posted and things of that sort are definitely going to encourage spamming, so you might not want to implement those.

How about most viewed/read debate?

How about the ability for senior members to monitor who has voted you up/down?

Also, a statistic showing who you most frequently agree/disagree with would be useful.

Some of these may be dangerous but they're possibilities.

2 points

From Erin Roneree:

No, I do not believe in the separation of church and state as it is currently defined in the American culture, though I do support the separation as it was envisioned by our Founding Fathers. According to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, and contrary to the popular belief of today, the state should be kept out of the church, NOT the church out of the state. This phrase has been distorted from its original intentions. Also contrary to popular belief, note that this statement is not found in the constitution. The reference (1) states: “Although most people believe the words "separation of church and state" are actually in the U.S. Constitution, the words cannot be found there. Rather, they are words penned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter which explains the First Amendment of the Constitution or at least Jefferson’s view of it. The actual words in the First Amendment of the Constitution read as follows: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . .’ ”

The USA was founded on Christian principles. In the rarely quoted first sentence of the Declaration of Independence (reference 2) our forefathers made direct reference to God as the Creator of all men – “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another 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, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” The Declaration also more famously states “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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The founding fathers believed that the existence of a Creator God was so evident that it was not even necessary to qualify their statement! Under the modern definition of “separation of church and state”, this document would never have seen the light of day, the drafters would have been accused of being religious fanatics, and people like Blammo would be calling for them to be fired.

Most of the founders were, in fact, Christians (references 3,4,5) – Also, as you will see from reading my attached reference 6,

“ 1) Emblazoned over the Speaker of the House in the US Capitol are the words "In God We Trust;" 2) The Supreme Court building built in the 1930's has carvings of Moses and the Ten Commandments, 3) The liberty bell has a Bible verse engraved on it.” (More are listed in my reference 6).”

So why then did our founding fathers feel the need to talk about separation of church and state? The pilgrims were forced to leave Europe due to religious oppression from the state and “state church” and they did not want to experience the same thing in their new nation. I like the way my reference 6 puts it: “The pilgrims were ultimately forced to leave Europe and flee to the land we now know as America because of persecution and oppression. This persecution and oppression was a result of the Church of England, the Anglican Church, becoming the state church. It was an unholy alliance giving more power to both the church and the state to control the people. 

The Anglican Church was a denominational church that persecuted religious nonconformists like the Puritans that just wanted to believe in the Bible and worship accordingly. As such they were not really a denomination. They were more of a doctrinal religion. In this case the denominational religion was the evil and the doctrinal religious group was the victim.”

For the sake of my argument, let’s define the words doctrinal and denominational, as I understand them from this paragraph. Doctrinal means to be concerned with the teachings of a particular faith (e.g. Christians are doctrinally concerned with the Bible). Denomination is a particular sect of a particular faith (e.g. Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian Christians have different teachings about the Bible).

Continuing on from the same reference: “Our framers feared a state denominational church based upon European history. The constitutional restrictions were targeted at our government to prevent it from making a denominational religion the state church. We actually embraced the Christian Theism doctrinal religion as the state religion. Now we are rejecting any expression or symbol of our doctrinal religion, which our framers embraced. We are treating the doctrinal religion of our heritage like a virus that must be expunged from the public square. We also have inverted the original intent of the "Separation of Church and State" metaphor6.”

Lastly, know that yes I am a Christian. I believe with all my heart that I am a sinner and that Jesus Christ is my Savior. But I have only been a Christian for six years, so was not raised with this worldview. When I was 21 years old I came to faith in Jesus Christ and have been studying the Bible and topics like these ever since. Prior to coming to faith in Christ, I held many of the views of those that are debating against me. I highly recommend reading the references that I have noted below. They provide much insight to this topic. See also reference 7, which provides an interesting perspective on mixing church and state that I did not specifically write about in my argument (mainly because I am so tired and can’t focus anymore!)

1 http://www.allabouthistory.org/separation-of-church-and-state-in-the-constitution-faq.htm

2 http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/document/index.htm

3 http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/heritage/ heritage19.html

4 http://www.wallbuilders.com/

5 http://watkins.gospelcom.net/foundingfathers.htm

6 http://www.allabouthistory.org/separation-of-church-and-state.htm

7 http://www.allabouthistory.org/mixing-church-and-state-faq.htm

Espbeetle has not yet created any debates.

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