I know I promised to write about the objections of the AU (Americans United for Separation of Church and State), but while I was doing research on them, I stumbled across their comments page about the separation of Church and State on their site. I read through all their comments, some 130 of them, to get a feel for both sides of the issue. Needless to say, all but one subscriber were pro the AU position, which is not surprising. However, I found interesting comments from a subscriber who called himself yahweh (lower case "Y") obviously to taunt Christians and Jews, as his comments indicated.
The arguments mostly revolved around the constitution and whether the Framers of the constitution were Christian or not. Quotations from Framers proving both positions were cited, which I didn't verify. However, yahweh's comments seemed to deserve particular attention. My comments that I posted on their site are below.
I couldn’t find any rational argument about the constitution. What is rather sad is yahweh’s blatant disrespect for Christianity. The constitution was drawn up to prevent tyranny from both religious as well as secular quarters. Judging by your taunting disrespect for Christianity, whether you believe it or not, place you, by your own admission, squarely in the secular-tyranny corner against which the Framers drafted the constitution. (They also made sure that the constitution does not frame a democracy but a republic, to protect the nation against mob-tyranny.)
The Framers were not all Christians although they proclaimed Christian virtues. Why? Because they recognized that the Judeo/Christian civil/economic model is the only model in the history of mankind that provides universal liberty and prosperity. There has never been and never will be another civil/economic model that will be able to surpass the Judeo/Christian model in its virtues. It’s recognition of that reality on which Christians claim that the Framers were of the Christian persuasion; and it’s their contra-Christian statements that non-Christian proponents use to claim the contrary. Both are correct. Basically, it’s not important of what particular religious conviction the Framers were.
The Framers recognized that there is no such thing as a secular form of government. Once a government has claimed ’secular’ status, it is firmly on its way to become tyrannical. Similarly, once a government has claimed ‘religious’ status, it, too, is firmly on its way to become tyrannical.
So, what, then, is this we have here in the U.S.? Is it a Christian constitution or a secular constitution? The Christian and non-Christian Framers realized that the constitution can be neither. It has to be a civil/economic model that leverages the precepts of the Judeo/Christian doctrine without requiring its practitioners to become converts.
We have a model of government that was founded on Judeo/Christian principles, for which participation is not seated in the belief in the doctrine, but it is seated in the application of its precepts.
This principle was not invented by the Framers but it is a generally accepted principle throughout history. It is equally applicable to civil and criminal law. The thief sits in jail because, while knowing the precepts of the doctrine of the law, he was not obedient to them and suffered the punishment that follows disobedience. It is irrelevant whether he believed in the law or not. The honest man avoids prison for fear of the punishment and shame that a conviction brings, whether he believes in the law or not. Obeying the doctrine is the sole prerequisite for the obedient to reap rewards and avoid punishment while disobedience is the sole cause of punishment and loss of rewards for the violator. Believing in the doctrine is not required.
So, yahweh, (purposely not writing your name with a capital letter because you apparently believe it’s a statement of belief if you should write Jesus’ name with a capital “J”, which is a requirement for proper syntax) there is really no need for you to ridicule other people’s religion since it doesn’t concern you and it is, quite frankly, none of your business what others believe. Islam is an exception on this rule: the terms of their doctrine, like Christianity, is accessible by anyone, clearly defined and comprehensible. Their doctrine, unlike Christianity, teaches that the one, who doesn’t believe it, should be killed. Muslims in the U.S., who are enjoying the liberty and prosperity that our constitution brings, are caught in the middle: they don’t want to sacrifice the liberty and prosperity that the Judeo/Christian civil/economic model brings, but they are terrified at the wrath of the “true” Muslims, those who are clearly identifiable by their doctrine. (Incidentally, the attacks on 9/11 struck a huge chasm in Islam, too.)
The important thing, if you wish to be obedient to the constitution, is to accept and become obedient to the Judeo/Christian civil/economic model without the necessity to believe in its doctrine. It is clear you despise (not only don’t believe) the doctrine of true Christians and their God, which is fine. That’s your prerogative. But you should refrain from openly injuring them by your blasphemous (to them), public outcries purely to demonstrate your disdain for their doctrine. To Christians, Jesus is God Almighty, the prophesied Messiah, Son of God. You are not pressured, enticed or discriminated against to believe it but you are, by the constitution’s spirit and call to unity (E Pluribus Unum) prohibited from injurious actions against them. If you continue to act out your disdain for Christians in this way, you are a proponent of tyranny of the secular kind, which makes you an enemy of the constitution and thus, an enemy of America. And, it appears, so is AU. I am still catching up on their modus operandi and beliefs, so I will reserve judgment on that.
Let’s just get something else out of the way. The “Christian” part of the Judeo/Christian economic model, excludes theocratic religious doctrines, such as Roman Catholicism (Pope is the boss, Cardinals, Bishops and Priests are the “informed” and the regular folks are the laity), Mormonism, Islam, and Scientology. The classic accusation of so-called violence in the name of religion lies at the door of theocracies, not true Christianity. Not everyone who claims to act in the name of God does so in the name of God.
Well, how do we know what is true Christianity or Judaism or a true of anything for that matter, even a true American? You have to look at the doctrine. The doctrine must be clearly defined and freely available for all to read. For those who claim to be Christians, you must look at the Bible and the Bible only. It is clear for all to read and judge whether someone is a Christian or not. Reading it to determine if someone claiming to be so is a true Christian doesn’t make you a believer, so there is no need to fear reading the Bible. Roman Catholicism, for example, has additional doctrines added to the Bible, such as the Magisterium and Church Tradition. So, they cannot really claim to be “true” Christians; they are, rather, “true” Roman Catholics. Similarly, Mormons cannot claim to be true Christians either, because they added the Book of Mormon to their doctrine. They can, at best, claim to be “true” Mormons. In the same vein a true American is someone who is obedient to the U.S. constitution. Anyone is free to judge a professing Christian by the Bible; a professing Roman Catholic by the Bible, the Magisterium and their church’s traditions; an American by the constitution; and so on.
Judaism shares with true Christianity a crucial element in the understanding of governments and that is the calling: “Do whatever you do as if you are doing it for God and not for men.” Therein lies the foundation of our constitution and the requirement that all, believers and unbelievers, partake in the precepts of this doctrine, not to enslave it’s adherents, but to liberate them and make the bounty of its fruits a reachable pursuit for all who are obedient to it. From that stems the highly successful and rich doctrine of capitalism. Those are the tenets of the constitution of the United States of America.
Having “one nation under God” and “In God we trust” publicly displayed should not offend anyone because it’s not there to shove Christianity in anyone’s face but it’s the free expression of the people, some believing it expresses their faith in God and others acknowledging the precepts on which our constitution was founded. (Incidentally, that taxpayer money should pay for license plates of any nature is wrong. Why can you and I not pay for our own license plates, regardless of the inscriptions on it?)
People who speak like yahweh does, are saboteurs of this truth; ignorant at best. I don’t mean to insult you, yahweh, but I want to bring to your attention that your utterances are destructive and counter-constitutional, despite your apparent defense of it. Rather show respect to all Americans, not only those who sing in your choir.
Finally, folks, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments.