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cecildooderbop's avatar

Strict separation between church and state?

Asked by cecildooderbop (192points) March 4th, 2009

HELP. I’m writing a case for my debate class. I am on the pro side of strict separation between church and state. What are some good arguments I can use? Or good moral arguments?

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18 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

The church looks to God to solve problems (or claims to)
The state looks to itself to solve problems.

dynamicduo's avatar

How about the fact that the population of the state may not all be of the same religion, so whose religion would be made into laws, and how would members of other religions react to being forced to follow another religion’s laws?

cecildooderbop's avatar

@dynamicduo- I’m taking the religion especially in school argument as one of my reasons and including that. I just need another argument!

dynamicduo's avatar

You may also get a lot of knowledge by looking at countries where this is not the case, such as Iran and Iraq/Afghanistan prior to September 11th. See how their religion affects their laws and the rights of all people (namely that women don’t have any rights).

essieness's avatar

That’s how the founding fathers WANTED it?

cwilbur's avatar

Can you come up with any good arguments against the separation of church and state?

asmonet's avatar

Yeah, I think your opponent has the much more difficult assignment. :D

Allie's avatar

If there were no separation between church and state, whose church rules would you follow? Would there be exceptions? How would you define the exceptions? Starts to get messy, doesn’t it…

toleostoy's avatar

@Allie: that’s pretty easy. you’d follow the state church’s rules or (assuming the state doesn’t allow religious freedom) be persecuted. The English would be Anglican, Germans would be Lutherans, Italians would be Roman Catholic, Russians would be Orthodox. And don’t forget that it’s not about following church rules, it’s about follow state rules because the people in the state are the ones with the swords.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Actually, the Orthodox in Russia do persecute non-Orthodox. Their grand poobah gets treated like a king, and has sat in on cabinet meetings.

Allie's avatar

@toleostoy And what about the Lutherans who live in Italy? And so on…. And what about the religions of the people in the state. Leaders have to remember to be neutral, which may be difficult.

mrswho's avatar

From the Peter Woll reader on the Supreme Court case Engle v. Vitale Justice Black’s opinion on the case “It is neither sacrilegious nor anti religious to say that each separate government in this country should stay out the business of writing or sanctioning official prayers and leave the purely religious function to the people themselves and to those the people choose to look to for religious guidance.” I think that thats the most interesting part of the argument. Not only is the union of church and state wrong because tax payer money is going to fund religions that the individual might not support, but also because it isn’t good for the religion in question.

Religion weakens and undermines the state, it takes its power that ought to be logically granted to it and regularly revised as times changed, and introduces the idea of faith into the government where it is not only out of place but outright dangerous.

Government, likewise, cannot legislate religion because the state exists to make people do thing that they do not want to do, like pay taxes and jail criminals. An entity that is formed to make people do things has no business in something as intimate and personal as faith. The two don’t jell.

Good luck with your debate!

suzyq2463's avatar

Here’s an anecdote, if you’d like to use it (it’s true):

My son is in fifth grade in a public school. One day his writing/reading teacher went off on a diatribe against vegetarianism. The teacher pulled out his Bible and proceeded to declare to his students that the Bible teaches you shouldn’t be vegetarian (my son is a vegetarian, so he felt this was directed at him). And just for good measure, the teacher told them that the Bible tells us we don’t come from monkeys. Yes, this is a public school. This is an egregious example of unabashed, unrestricted, and a tolerated mixture of church and state. This teacher was clearly out of bounds, but doesn’t care about the law (and neither does the principal). We live in a part of Texas where separation of church and state is clearly not valued.

Allie's avatar

Ever notice how you always find a Bible in the drawer at h/motels?

laureth's avatar

@Allie – The Gideons raise money to put them there. I wonder if things would go a little differently if some group paid to put copies of the Constitution in U.S. h/motel rooms?

toleostoy's avatar

@Allie: the state can either let them be, or the state can follow the course of history and have them executed for not converting. by the way, i like the separation of church and state. i am just saying if there is state-church union, the state can enforce it through violence and coercion. I just don’t think Jesus would like it very much.

Allie's avatar

Here’s a letter from God…

Storms's avatar

In the sense that most people mean it, you can’t separate Church & State any more than you can separate People & State. What I’m saying is that we need to be governed by a super-advanced AI.

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