Seperation of Church and State


Want some of my Kool-aid?
They find a need for identifying their religion on their IDs or, who knows they might forget which one they are. (That may have sounded mean but I meant it in the most Joking of manners).

iThink, I admire your convictions, but I still have not been swayed by your opinion. Like the other two posters who responded to your first I still see no proof of fact. It seems that everything hinges on your belief that there is a god, and though you claim to know someone who has seen god, unless they can show proof it is purely hearsay, I have known people who have spoke in tongues in church and claim to have seen god, but when people are creating an Illusion it is easy to be sucked in, but if your friend truly saw god, it would be great if he shared some proof so us non-believers have a chance to not burn in hell(yes I know the whole saving hook "Only be saved through our lord jesus christ"). Until s/he can prove it I am not convinced. As far as this statement:
(A) Please quote one factual statement uttered by any Founding Father that ever alluded to the freedom of religion meaning anything other than the right to worship God as one sees fit. Please refer me to the quote that states that Satanism was considered. It is an insult to their work of good and defies reason and logic.
I don't remember anywhere in the Constitution it saying we had to worship a christian god... Satan is a pagan god as well as the christians whipping boy. And as far as it being an "insult to their work of good and defies reason and logic", have you every read anything about satanism from a non-christian point of view, it says nothing about doing evil, it is all about carnal pleasure, and we are all derivatives of beasts, so how can carnal pleasure be wrong if it wasn't for a society that feels they should regulate what I do behind my closed doors. And what of all the Indians and Chinese and Balinese etc... who for a very long time and some still do believe in multiple gods, did the founding fathers really mean to discriminate against them??? According to your argument, Indians aren't protected by the rights to freedom of religion because they worship a sun god, a moon god, an earth god... no I know deep down (and this is not fact because it is on my faith) that the founding fathers meant all religions, even ones they did not agree with.

I would like to ask a question to everyone, I am creating a bbs like this one for political reasons (pro-environmental), but if it was free and open would people be interested in a bbs where everyone could debate religion and daily politics?


Old Rhapsody User
I don't know about something like that. One of the things that make this discussion not escalate beyond an interesting aside is that most of us have had contact with each other outside of this post in other areas of this site. I believe that iThink feels a freedom of anonymity in his post that we don't because we exist in a social structure that we care about. When all is said and done we are all going to be here still, helping and sharing with each other, but iThink may not (though he is welcome). That makes this a unique situation were we can share our views openly without forgetting we are all friends here.


Not a Moderator

Would you please expand on your statement of having a witness of God? Are you saying you, yourself, have witnessed God? Or you know someone who has witnessed God? I know dozens of people, including myself who have NOT witnessed God, does this mean God singles out people he feels worthy of presenting himself too? Why would he not show himself to everyone and put a stop to this question?


I would be gladly participate in your bbs!



Want some of my Kool-aid?
You get the Idea, actually soapbox was taken, so i got (vox means voice). Right now it is in development but people can check it out if you want:)
Black Sheep of the Racer family:

Once again the voice of thoughtfulness and reason.

After reading your post above, I agree with your assertion. Many of us have spoken in other threads and have a sort of 'relationship' - good or bad. This helps keep this sort of discussion as cool as it's been - mostly.

Oh, never answered the "what religion are you?" question from earlier. forgot. Snake Dancers/Poison Drinkers - Just Joking! -



In the interest of time, let me respond in general to all the unbelievers.

I never said anything to refer to Christianity when I made reference to the freedom of religion being the freedom to worship God as one chose. Even Christians have a different interpretation of scripture, and the makeup and personality of God. Every religion finds their version of God right and good otherwise why worship Him. It is also assumed that Satan is evil by definition. I didn't claim someone can't worship who they may, I just made a common sense point that it is a contradiction of terms to make the church of Satan a legitimate religion when by definition he is described as the antithesis of God. If being carnal is not evil then what is evil. Jefferson referred to natural law as moral law. The existence of God is so fundamental that once He is eliminated from the picture anything goes. You and I can then commit the most outrageous and henious acts and defend it as being our own personal moral and religious beliefs and therefore our right.

In regards to the witness that I received, suffice it to say that God communicated with me in a spiritual sense in answer to a sincere prayer of faith. The specifics are personal, but I can say that the (revelation if you would) occured over 20 years ago, and it was real and powerful in a way that cannot be communicated with words, and the memory of that experience has not faded.

By definition, faith are things hoped for that cannot be seen. This is the motivating factor to seek a sure knowledge. This is as clear as I can make it. I have a sure knowledge of Gods existence. It is not faith or belief. I'm puzzeled by the numerous posts which assume that my statements are not factual because you have no evidence. How does a third parties lack of evidence change a fact. You have my testimony, and I might add that there are millions of people who have that same witness. To be fair and accurate you should be saying that you don't know that what I am saying is factual or not. If I used the same standard as you, then I would demand that you prove to me that my statements are not factual. Because it is impossible to do so, you must then state that you don't know whether it is an opinion or fact because you have no proof to the contrary.

Maybe this is a bad example, but let me pose a number of questions. Do any of you exist? If one is honest the answer would be yes. Can you prove to me that you exist? Even if you were to show up on my doorstep I can call you an illusion, but it doesn't change the fact that you do exist. My lack of evidence (or disbelief) that you exist has no bearing upon the truth.

Is sugar sweet? It is a fact that sugar is sweet but you cannot prove it to me if I have never tasted it for myself. Just because I have not tasted sugar doesn't change the fact that sugar is sweet. And if you had tasted sugar and knew for yourself that it was sweet then you could factually state to me that it is sweet even though I have no evidence that it is sweet. If you want proof for yourself, you will have to go out (if you would) and taste the sugar.
This is getting old.

Last post and you'll never have to hear me in this thread again.

Facts are facts because (1) they can be proved and observed consistently, (2) they can be reproduced and (3) the proof and the reproduction mentioned are universal and unchanging.

Your sugar example: anyone CAN taste sugar and know it's what we call sweet. You can scientifically test it and see that it contains the compounds that make things we call sweet, well, sweet. This can be done over and over with the same results. Those results will not change over time or because some new pope, "True Believer," or whatever changes the "rules" of what sweet is.

Do I exist: I don't really know. Do you? Maybe this is all that bad season finale of St. Elsewhere in which it was all a dream. The old saying, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound," is similar. I would assume it does, but I DON'T KNOW. As someone fairly learned, I think it does make a sound and that I do exist in some sense. This is because, in the tree's case, I've seen trees fall and they ALWAYS have made a sound. I wouldn't say that I know for a FACT that my witnessing the tree fall doesn't somehow influence the situation and make the sound , but that's a stretch. Is sound relative? Yup. Is sweet relative? Yup. Is faith in any god (and, yes, satan to some is a god. The antithesis of anything is something by definition. What's the opposite of matter? Antimatter. And while we all know "we canna mix mattah and antimattah!" we know it is something. Which doesn't exist, black or white? Which is the 'god' that is the antithesis of the other? Is satan the guy you 'witnessed' or was it 'god?') relative? Yup. Is existence relative? Yup.

I guess I do have faith in something. I have faith that when a tree falls in a forest and I'm not there to hear it, it does make a sound- I think.

Look, I respect your opinion. I just find it severely lacking in logic. I'm actually happy that religion or your god or whatever seem to make your life better FOR YOU. Respect me enough to allow the Framers' views (this has been debated enough and I don't see your 'FACTS' in any way swaying ANYONE) and later judicial interpretations on separation of church and state to stand.

And I hope to, well, whoever, that the Framers' ideas of the separation of church and state as consistently interpreted by the courts and enforced by lawmakers remain around long enough to keep people like you from forcing your god on me and any kids I may decide to have.


Simply Daemonic
je pense donc je suis lol

(I think therefore I am)....

Lets just lay this religion thing to rest. People may believe in whatever they want to believe in :) Lets just leave it at that...besides we are here to help others with MacOS X, and debate some inteligent problems.

Trying to convince one another that a God exist or does not exist reminds me of jehova's witnesses trying to convert you or something. Lets just agree to disagree withough being diasgreeable :cool:


Want some of my Kool-aid?
To be fair and accurate you should be saying that you don't know that what I am saying is factual or not.
In fact I did say that in one of my earlier posts, that I have seen no proof so that is what I base my opinion on, if you have some proof I would love to see it. As far as Satan being the antithesis of god, that is only in christian religions, in paganism and seen in eastern religions, satan or the equivalent is not "evil" they are just opposed to the most popular god, but required just the same like the ying and yang, the ruler needs a scapegoat or advisary to balance him out, zues had many gods that played that role, in mayan religions , the sun god had the moon god as an advisary... it is all a matter of perception whether satanism (and "satan") is evil. I personally don't believe in god and thus satan... so I see it from an outsiders point of view.

APB and Admiral: Please don't take this the wrong way but I like how this conversation is going so to say we should stop and just agree to disagree is counter productive, we are adressing this in the proper forum, and I appreciate iThinks point of view, and I don't want everyone to agree with me, that goes back to the original post, we live in a country where I can say it pisses me off about the seperation of church and state issue and we can have a productive discussion about it, so if you want to step away thats cool, but I really like how the conversation is going and iThink has some valid points and I think i do as well, so I really don't see a problem here. Again I don't mean any disrespect but thats why I like it here.


Simply Daemonic
Let it continue, I have no prob, I just would like to see
inteligent arguments (like thus far) and not the "it is because I say so" and then people start flaming. I rather enjoy the thread :)


Old Rhapsody User
I enjoy this too. I love how iThink drops in and then make a quick retreat every couple days after stirring up the waters. The only part that is getting old is iThink's argument as to the definition of what a "Fact" is. The facts are that iThink lacks a mastery of the facts, which is not uncommon in any philosophical discussion, but it have slowed us getting to the interesting stuff (more information on iThinks beliefs and why he/she feels others need to believe as him/her).

iThinks assertion that the Constitution NEEDS a reference to a deity is countered quite easily with the writings of Kant on ethics and morals. Kant, a firm believer in God, felt that morals and ethics needed to be part of the nature of being human. Working from a primary ideal (the Christian statement: "Do onto others as you would have others do onto you") he was able to derive duty and reason without divine intervention (and the most important finding was that good, ethical and moral acts have no reward, for the moment that you do good to get something for it, it is no longer good).

In the end we all know that iThink is here to dictate his/her beliefs, and my only request would be to have more information on them. That would make this more enjoyable to me.:D
I simply meant it was getting old for me. Have at it.

It is getting old for me because I believe that iThink is confusing facts with opinions at best and delusions at worst. Think about it. His witness - whatever that is - could have been a schizophrenic episode. He won't elaborate (he doesn't have to obviously), but I minored in psych and have seen schizophrenics claim the same sort of thing. I AM NOT SAYING YOU ARE SCHIZOPHRENIC! I am only stating that there is more than one possible explanation for what uThink.

For me the dialog consisting of I know god exists cuz I know vs. No and could you please elaborate (which never truly happens - the elaboration that is) is pointless TO ME.

The original topic of separation of C&S is a great topic and I would continue in that discussion. It just seems when I or another bring up FACTS regarding the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, judicial rulings, scholarly research on the Framers' intent, etc..., there is never a response to those points (maybe rarely, but I can't remember one that was accurate FACTUALLY).



Old Rhapsody User
I don't have a background in that area, but I was under the impression that in many episodes of schizophrenia are accompanied by religious experiences that are more real and far deeper than the normal person could experience. I always thought that an anthropological study of religion would be greatly aided by noting the effect of real religious intervention on ones life (this would be similar to looks at the social ramifications of actual alien contact verses the professed belief in extraterrestrial life).

Math can be very boring, so I enjoy dabbling in other areas from time to time (computers are a good example of this). :D


[Do I exist: I don't really know.]

I think this speaks volumes of why my statements will never be excepted as facts. I think there is more of a problem of being in denial on the opposing end than with me having a problem with the definition of facts.

[And I hope to, well, whoever, that the Framers' ideas of the separation of church and state as consistently interpreted by the courts and enforced by lawmakers remain around long enough to keep people like you from forcing your god on me and any kids I may decide to have.]

Again I am perplexed why you are so fearful that your ears might hear a different point of view than your own. This is usually referred to as closed mindedness. One would think that dialogue from many points of view is the fist step to coming to a knowledge of truth. Let me be emphatic about this one point. I don't care whether you believe me or not. It was never my intention to convert you to my way of thinking. You can trust your lawmakers, and judges, and I'll put my trust in a Higher source. I have first hand experience with these so called secular leaders and more times than not they are liars. I'm sure there are honest and inspired individuals in governement, I have just never met one. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of corrupt religious leaders as well, which strengthens the argument that there is really only one way to get the truth. Go directly to the source.

At the risk of being pummeled by comments that make no sense to me, I will use a similar argument. Why should any of us believe the Founding Fathers or anyone else for that matter in anything? Why believe any human philosophy? There is no proof that there is any truth in what they say. Remember that there is no truth or absolutes. Anything goes. Electricity is still a theory even though we know that it exists. As I recall a few years back that the speed of light was for sure the fastest. The things that we claim to be facts can only be proven in the environment in which the experiments are conducted. Who is to say whether those facts will hold water if conducted in a different undiscovered environment where different laws apply. In the end there is no hope for any of us because there are no assurances. Everyone has a theory and opinion. That philosophy sounds pretty dark and hopeless to me.

[Anyone CAN taste sugar and know it's what we call sweet.]

Likewise anyone can know what I know if they take the initiative and make the effort. God is no respector of persons but one must seek Him. It's called agency.

Is satan the guy you 'witnessed' or was it 'god?')

Trust me on this one. I have done enough good and evil in my day to be able to discern the difference between the two. It's called light and darkness. Can you discern the difference? And no I don't do drugs and have not been abducted by aliens. And no, I didn't know for sure whether God existed before I took the time to contemplate, study, and then sincerely ask. I knew no more on the subject than many of you.



Want some of my Kool-aid?
We all need to keep an open mind in these discussions. You have your faith and convictions just as I do and many other here do, but in this setting we are sharing our thoughts and beliefs, not with the intention of converting, but to inform. I am not sure who posted the thing about:
And I hope to, well, whoever, that the Framers' ideas of the separation of church and state as consistently interpreted by the courts and enforced by lawmakers remain around long enough to keep people like you from forcing your god on me and any kids I may decide to have.
but i sort of agree with them, but maybe not put quite so harsh. It's not that my family and I are close minded, but when it is put in a forum of school, or anything that we are somewhat required to go to (court, dmv, state house, etc...) to favor one religion over another to me is wrong, that is the equivalent of the state saying this god is better than the rest. Because of our guaranteed rights of freedom of religion, to sanction one belief or another is in violation of that. Now this is in no way saying that our schools don't need a little push to teach better values (honesty, right from wrong, etc...) but this has to start with the parents at home, so doing it through religion can put children against their parents. My feeling is that there is nothing wrong with sending your children to private schools if you want them brought up and taught with a faith based schooling, and I know I will get flamed for this one... I... agree... with ... Bush... on the school voucher program, because just as I don't want my tax dollars going to support religion in schools, I don't see why a Christian or other religious person should have to pay both for public schools and private schools just because of their faith, that is also supported by freedom of religion in my eyes. So I don't think I am closed minded because I don't want your religion in my schools, I think I am open minded because I don't want to send my children to private school, but I also want them to not be subjected to the ten commandments and school prayer or ridiculed because they don't participate in an after school club for prayer. Children are cruel to their peers, (I am sure a lot of us are geeks here and remember how horrible High School was). Not to point out one religion over a nother, but my freshman year of highschool I went to a predominately Mormon school and got beat up quite often because I did not go to their church (along with being different). I am not saying that Mormonism caused them to this, just that as children sometimes when you are different you are targeted, and now to the point... Why make my children stand out just because they don't beleive in your god. Sorry for that being so long winded :D .
I love hearing different points of view. If nothing else, it's entertaining. I don't love having those views foisted on others (This thread is about separation of church and state - remember). I disagree with you not due to your own personal BELIEFS (not facts as I have yet to actually get one from you), but because the nature of this thread is the discussion of the separation of church and state. You show (1) a severe misunderstanding of the meaning of this and its interpretation and (2) a tendency to want to repeal or change these principles. Unacceptable to me. Your belief in a god - acceptable to me completely. You may be correct. But I'll stick with my FACTS as they relate to the separation of church and state, not my beliefs or lack thereof. If there is a god or not does not matter to this discussion. It's an interesting aside, but that's all.

If you knew me you would know that I could never be called closed minded in ANY sense of the term. Look to other posts to see some of my views, or maybe these FACTS will upset your worldview and opinion of me.

Re: your "why believe anything" statements, we do the best we can. Reasearch. Science (which evolves by the way; which is why your later statements in that paragraph make no sense - and who told you Electricity is a "theory"? Certain principles of elictricity COULD be considered theories but not electricity itself). Personal experience. Yes, even your beliefs and faith to an extent. But we're talking about, for the most part, the Constitution and its interpretation. It's a document you can read. It's been interpreted by very intelligent people for a long time. Yes, opinions on things political change over time. So what? That's the point of this thread...I think, SoapVox - don't want to put soap...errr...words into your mouth. I don't dislike your posting your opinions on these interpretations - I like it whether you want to believe me or not, but I despise individuals trying to misrepresent their own opinions as facts in any discussion. Deny it all you like, this is what you're doing.

What if What if What if. You miss my point. There are absolutes and we do the best to seek them out. BUT, we use FACTS and concrete evidence and research - not some possibly idiosyncratic episode that cannot be reproduced or proven in any scientific manner or possible psychotic break. Like I've said you are confusing FACTS with your own opinions. Come on! "FACT: God Lives." ??

Look up fact in a dictionary.


iThink, I don't know you. While some of this was a bit personal I really mean no true insult to you. We just disagree. I also want it to be PERFECTLY clear - crystal - that I have no qualms with your personal religious or spiritual beliefs. I've said I'm agnostic. Part of me kinda hopes you're right. My parents both died when I was young and I lost 4 men under my command between the Gulf and Sarajevo. I hope there is some heaven or whatever or a god that is taking care of them - I obviously couldn't.


Old Rhapsody User
“I think there is more of a problem of being in denial on the opposing end than with me having a problem with the definition of facts.”

iThink, you do realize that you are throwing out “denial” as a buzz word and are not pointing to any actual statements. I don’t personally think that pointing out weaknesses in your arguments are show any form of denial. And I personally have invited you to provide us with proof of these facts of yours. I can think of no greater sin than that of withholding information that would save us, can you?

“Again I am perplexed why you are so fearful that your ears might hear a different point of view than your own. This is usually referred to as closed mindedness....”

You need to consider your presentation here. Your first post included “Facts” of which you seem to be the only one privileged to, and then assumed that because you had these facts behind you that you could dictate to us how things really are (I think a little resistance is understandable). Remember that all of us have different points of view here.

“At the risk of being pummeled by comments that make no sense to me, I will use a similar argument. Why should any of us believe the Founding Fathers or anyone else for that matter in anything? Why believe any human philosophy?...”

This statement show that you believe that other suffer from an inner anarchy that you yourself feel. There are people who I know that cannot control themselves without the concept of someone looking over their shoulder every minute of every day (most have compulsive disorders), and they feel everyone must also have this belief or anarchy shall rain down on us. This is not the case. Many of us are quite capable of living without a deity hanging of us ( you remind me of a character in a Phillip K. Dick novel, “Eye in the Sky”, a truly great book).

“...things that we claim to be facts can only be proven in the environment in which the experiments are conducted...”

and on and on. The facts of science are open to peer review, others working to recreate them, and constant modification. “Cold Fusion” was a good example of science without peer review, and when all was said and done, so was it.

“Trust me on this one. I have done enough good and evil in my day to be able to discern the difference between the two...”

I have complete faith in that statement, because you have the posturing of a reformed person (dare I say born again?).

In the end, your arguments have lacked the facts that we need to give them a fare hearing. Your presentation is that of being dictatorial rather than helping us see how your way is the correct way (speaking of sweat, have you heard the one about flies and honey?). And again I look forward to your next installment.