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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

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.

How do you choose to spin this?

For example, the establishment clause has been interpreted in entirely opposite ways: complete abolishment of religion in government, or not even limiting states' ability to establish each own's state religion. Or as another example free speech and the Fairness Doctrine.

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Last Post by sneekula
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    Keep in mind that the southern states seceded from the union.. it was almost like any other war.. The United States vs. the confederates. However, the US was intent on conquering the confederates. After the Appomattox surrender, the United States had won that territory through war. They could do what … Read More

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    the Confederacy had every right under the constitution and their status as states in the union to cede from the union. The Unionist invasion of the Confederacy was that, a foreign war of agression by the Union for economic gain. Read More

  • [QUOTE=Salem] What's the difference between a regime and an administration?[/QUOTE] I'm supprised you had to ask -- or is that just a ruthorical question :) [quote] [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regime"]In politics, a regime is the form of government: the set of rules, both formal (for example, a constitution) and informal (common law, cultural … Read More

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>>complete abolishment of religion in government
Yes, I agree with that. There should be a wall between government and religion -- one should not cross the boundries of the other. The government should stay out of the church's business and the church should stay out of politics. Times have changed -- religion no longer has any place in public schools or in government. There are just too many different religions here to allow public school teachers to teach any one religion -- teaching about religion is ok as long as it is not conflicting with other people's beliefs.

>>or not even limiting states' ability to establish each own's state religion
The first amnendent certainly does prohibit states from doing that.

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>>complete abolishment of religion in government
The government should stay out of the church's business and the church should stay out of politics.

To the extent that if no are not atheist you cannot hold elected office? Where is the dividing line for you?

>>or not even limiting states' ability to establish each own's state religion
The first amnendent certainly does prohibit states from doing that.

It most certainly does not.

[edit]

Let it not be presumed, though, that America was without any laws concerning religion. Prior to the signing of The Constitution in 1787, several states established laws which required that a person believe in God, or even be a Protestant, in order to hold certain public offices. For example in North Carolina's 1776 constitution it stated:

XXXII: That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
How do you choose to spin this?

For example, the establishment clause has been interpreted in entirely opposite ways: complete abolishment of religion in government, or not even limiting states' ability to establish each own's state religion. Or as another example free speech and the Fairness Doctrine.

Ah, well.. I am no supreme court justice.. but to me, the first amendment simply states that the federal government shall make no laws regarding religion whatsoever. The U.S. government cannot declare a national religion, incorporate religion into the educational system, nor any other organization at the national level. However, it says nothing in the constitution regarding particular states' rights. My interpretation is that state legislatures can pass laws regulating religion.. as it would not conflict with the first amendment at all (since it pertains to the federal government.). However, many states have adopted the federal constitution and amendments into their own state constitutions...

>>complete abolishment of religion in government
Yes, I agree with that. There should be a wall between government and religion -- one should not cross the boundries of the other. The government should stay out of the church's business and the church should stay out of politics. Times have changed -- religion no longer has any place in public schools or in government. There are just too many different religions here to allow public school teachers to teach any one religion -- teaching about religion is ok as long as it is not conflicting with other people's beliefs.

Yup, I agree. Separation of church and state. [public] Schools should not teach any form of religion at all..

[edit]Since it is not mentioned in the constitution anywhere regarding religion and the powers of each state, then the states have the power to make laws regarding religion however they see fit.. siting the 10th amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

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I think religion should be allowed in public schools and that's not just because I'm a Christian. I think that learning about different religions helps everyone to better understand the origins and beliefs of each one. I don't think it should be mandatory, but I do think it should be an option. Some teens are just really ignorant about religions/atheism/agnosticism/etc. I've had a few friends that didn't know the difference between being an atheist and agnostic. Not only that, but a lot of people have talked about Hinduism/Buddhism/Islam and mixed up all of their beliefs. They would say stuff like is Islam and Muslim the same thing? Or isn't Hinduism where they bow down towards Mecca? -- I think people are very ignorant when it comes to different beliefs in our world... and religion is a big part of many cultures. You cannot learn about the world's largest cultures without bringing religion into it.

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hmm.. I do see your point there. Perhaps a "World Religions" or something class would be a great place to learn about other religions. However, most colleges offer that class anyway..

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hmm.. I do see your point there. Perhaps a "World Religions" or something class would be a great place to learn about other religions. However, most colleges offer that class anyway..

That's true...

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The ONLY thing the 1st states is that the FEDERAL government shall not force people to observe any specific religion.
It says NOTHING about whether agents of the federal government can be religion, or even openly religious, in the execution of their duties, as long as they don't force others to join that religion.

It explicitly states NOTHING about state and lower governments.
IF an individual state wishes to establish a state religion, it is free to do so unless prevented by its own state constitution.

It also states NOTHING about private citizens establishing religious requirements for for example their employees or customers.

It certainly does NOT state that schools (most or all of which aren't run by the federal government) are not allowed to teach their pupils about religion, cannot offer a morning prayer, or cannot be used as a venue for sunday school or other meetings of religious groups.

So it is highly specific. The federal government is not allowed to require citizens to be a member of any religion.
That's it, no more no less.

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Yup, I agree. Separation of church and state. [public] Schools should not teach any form of religion at all..

Which is NOT what the first means. The first does NOT state that the "state" shall not be religious. It only states that the "state" shall not force its citizens to adopt any specific religion.
It doesn't even state that the "state" isn't allowed to promote a specific religion, as long as it doesn't do so by force (which might be interpreted as not giving preferential treatment to some religions over others, but even that may be stretching the definitions).

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>>To the extent that if no are not atheist you cannot hold elected office?
Of course relegious leaders can hold elected government offices just like anyone else. What I meant was that they should be prohibited from preaching politics at the pulpit or practicing their religion at official government functions and meetings. Fortunately I don't think we have ever had very many such problems -- a few but not very many.

>>[public] Schools should not teach any form of religion at all..
Why not? Don't you think people should know that religion exist in this world ? Students need to know that there are Christians, Muslems, Hindues, etc. Religion is part of the history of our planet and should be taught in history just like everything else.

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Establishment of state religions is prohibited by the 14th amendment

And thus not the 1st...
IMO the 14th is restrictive of individual rights and therefore unconstitutional (as the constitution is designe to define the power of the federal government, not limit that of others).

There have been a lot of USSC rulings about what the 1st amendment means, most recently about teaching creationism in public schools and the states rights to establish religion.

Not all of which would stand up to close scrutiny and several of which will likely be overthrown if challenged before the USSC again.

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Which is NOT what the first means. The first does NOT state that the "state" shall not be religious. It only states that the "state" shall not force its citizens to adopt any specific religion.
It doesn't even state that the "state" isn't allowed to promote a specific religion, as long as it doesn't do so by force (which might be interpreted as not giving preferential treatment to some religions over others, but even that may be stretching the definitions).

umm yea, I said that public schools *shouldn't* teach religion.. not that the first amendment prohibits it. Had you read my initial post, you would have seen that my stance on the amendment is the same as your own.

I do not think religion should be taught in public schools, because it is already taught at a college level. Perhaps it should be offered as an elective class.. but I do not think it should be required..

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And thus not the 1st...
IMO the 14th is restrictive of individual rights and therefore unconstitutional .

Impossible. The 14th amendment is part of the constitution and by very definition can not be declared unconstitutional. It would require another amendment to abolish it.

BTW: you sure seem to know a lot about US politics for someone who does not live here. Was you educated here ?

>>I do not think religion should be taught in public schools, because it is already taught at a college level.
That might be ok if everyone attended college. But they don't. Kids need a basic understanding of the different religions a lot earlier than 18 years old.

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I think religion should be allowed in public schools and that's not just because I'm a Christian. I think that learning about different religions helps everyone to better understand the origins and beliefs of each one.

This is allowed and happens; I had a class like this.

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Well, it also happened to have voided part of the US charter, the Declaration of Independence, depending on your view.

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Wikipedia has an interesting article about it.

Indeed.

A number of individuals argue that the ratification of the 14th Amendment violated Article V of the Constitution. For instance, Bruce Ackerman argues that:

  • The 14th Amendment was proposed by a rump Congress that did not include representatives and senators from most ex-Confederate states, and, had those congressmen been present, the Amendment would never have passed.
  • Ex-Confederate states were counted for Article V purposes of ratification, but were not counted for Article I purposes of representation in Congress.
  • The ratifications of the ex-Confederate states were not truly free, but were coerced. For instance, many ex-Confederate states had their readmittance to the Union conditioned on ratifying the 14th Amendment.
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This is allowed and happens; I had a class like this.

Really? We don't have classes like that at any of the schools around here.

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And thus not the 1st...
IMO the 14th is restrictive of individual rights and therefore unconstitutional (as the constitution is designe to define the power of the federal government, not limit that of others).

I can't speak for 'unconstitutional', but I've seen enough written about the historical evidence for political foul play in its passing that I'm skeptical. As was mentioned elsewhere, many southern states were not counted for the purposes of its passing, because they refused to accept the 14th.

However, the Radical Republican Congress which imposed the 14th also imposed the 13th amendment, accepting the ratification of the southern states for it. There were no major changes in state governments between the two amendments. Logically, therefore, if the arguments given for the passage of the 14th amendment are valid (southern states aren't part of the union and therefore aren't needed to ratify the amendment), then the 13th amendment would seem to be invalid, as non-union governments were allowed to ratify it. And if the 13th is valid, then the 14th isn't.

I also recall reading about a state legislature (sorry, can't recall which state) which voted on the amendment while some seats were under contention. (Seats were held by Radical Republicans, but there was a question of whether or not they had actually won those seats.) After the amendment was ratified, it was discovered that those seats should have gone to the Democrats who opposed the Radical Republican seatholders. But the Radical Republicans refused to allow the ratification to be nullified, despite the circumstances behind it.

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Keep in mind that the southern states seceded from the union.. it was almost like any other war.. The United States vs. the confederates. However, the US was intent on conquering the confederates. After the Appomattox surrender, the United States had won that territory through war. They could do what they wanted with it.. They chose to reinstate all the states back to the union, abolish slavery, and pass laws making it illegal to secede to the union.. forever determining that the federal government is superior to the states. So, those civil war amendments did not necessarily have to be agreed upon by the entire US, just the union states.. who won the war.

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Then why even bother with getting the southern states to ratify the 13th? The Radical Republicans seemed to be treating the provisional southern governments as states again until the south refused to bow down on the 14th amendment.

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the Confederacy had every right under the constitution and their status as states in the union to cede from the union.
The Unionist invasion of the Confederacy was that, a foreign war of agression by the Union for economic gain.

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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.

We need to read this as it was actually intended. We are not allowed to use any language which did not yet exist at the time the Bill of Rights was written.

An "establishment of religion," in the language of the late 18th century, was a church or a religious sect, just as a business was an "establishment of purveyance".

The establishment clause says that Congress shall make no law about a church (or religious sect).

It says nothing about a separation of church and state. That is in the Communist Manifesto.

It says the state shall not control any church.

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McCain vs. Madison

For him, the First Amendment is a philosophical mistake that limits our true calling to national greatness. It is a mistake that might be corrected by proper laws and compliant courts.

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> distrust of government as "a ceiling on our greatness"
Because all those regimes which had a compliant population who let them get away with whatever they wanted to have all turned out so fabulously right?

As well as being a "ceiling", it's also a "floor" in the otherwise bottomless pit into which you might fall. Mmm, that would be all those regimes I mentioned earlier.

Q: What's the difference between a regime and an administration?

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While I'm certain there are many, the main one that springs to mind for me is:

"Administration" is what it's allies call it.
"Regime" is what it's enemies call it.

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