Freedom of Religion and the ACLU
By Joseph Cook, Grade 10

Since 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has supposedly been “our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”

Though this is their goal, their agenda has been undermining our rights, through misinterpretation of the Constitution.

Though the ACLU has done some good, it has done more harm to America than help. Since there are countless examples of the ACLU’s misinterpretations of the Constitution, I will explore the issue, which is at the forefront of their liberal agenda—supposed “religious freedom”.

On the ACLU website, under the “Religion & Belief” section, they state that:

“The right to practice religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.”

This much is accurate. The Constitution does guarantee a certain extent of freedom of religion. The statement continues by saying, “The ACLU works to ensure that this essential freedom is protected by keeping the government out of religion.”

Here we find a fatal flaw in ACLU’s position.  Where in the Constitution does it state, or even suggest, that we are protected when the government is kept out of religion?  Certainly the government is not meant to restrict or regulate religious activities which stay within the bound of morality, but its job is to restrict and regulate those who attempt to use free speech or religion as a claim to participate in immoral practices. Religion also plays an important role in government.

Let’s look at the Constitution to understand this issue. Amendments to the Constitution have been introduced over time. Not too long after the Constitution was introduced the Bill of Rights was added. At the forefront—in fact the very first amendment, religion was covered. Obviously this was an important issue to the founding fathers. The First Amendment states, “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.”

That statement seems clear and straightforward, and perhaps it is. If one looks at the religious beliefs of the majority of founding fathers, most believed in (or respected) Christianity. Thus, we would expect their beliefs to affect their writing. There are only two basic ways to understand the first amendment. Either those who wrote the document intended to provide a government with protection from criminals, and a moral basis for interpreting laws; or they intended to provide a government that simply let man do as he pleased with no interference whatsoever. If the latter was the case, and is viewed as such today, America will undoubtedly run the exact course the Roman Empire did—slow, gradual breakdown until it collapses under the weight of an immoral, hollow, meaningless society.

If we look at earlier versions of the first Amendment—before it was refined into the current version we see now—we may understand the intention of the writer even better, despite the fact that their Christian beliefs are documented well.

James Madison first introduced the wording as such:

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.”

Not too distantly removed from England, Madison understood that establishing an “official national religion” is dangerous because it can easily become corrupted and damage the integrity of both religion and law. That does not mean however, that religion is useless in society.

Congress later refined Madison’s writings, but the amendment undoubtedly held the same meaning as Madison intended with his “rough draft”. “The full and equal rights of conscience” means, doing what you understand to be morally right.  Madison, and the other signers, were restricting a national recognized religion (to prevent the problems which are created by such) but in no way restricted a public display of religion.  It guaranteed the right to practice religion publicly—within the bounds of “conscience.” Conscience, as understood then and demonstrated in later years when Webster’s 1828 dictionary was published is defined as, “Internal or self-knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong; or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them...”

 A great many of our founding fathers’ consciences were directed by Scripture. It is undoubtedly true that they governed with the beliefs they held dear. James Madison said, “While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.”

Madison was asserting his belief in Christianity, while saying we must give all others equal freedom as ourselves because freedom does not come without responsibility. That responsibility is living a moral life.  If morality is not present in a culture it will follow an all to consistent downward path—demonstrated throughout all of history, most notably (as mentioned before) the Roman Empire. 

Thus may we return to the original statement by the ACLU. Does keeping the government out of religion truly preserve our freedom? No! It undermines the authority of law by essentially claiming that anything put under the title of “belief” (homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, etc.) is Constitutionally allowed simply because it is an expression of free speech, or a religious belief. Such is not the case. Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary—which expressed the definition of words in that time defined religion (with the first point) as such:

“1. Religion, in its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of his will to man, in man's obligation to obey his commands, in a state of reward and punishment, and in man's accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties. It therefore comprehends theology, as a system of doctrines or principles, as well as practical piety; for the practice of moral duties without a belief in a divine lawgiver, and without reference to his will or commands, is not religion.”

Another alternate definition for Religion, follows this personal input of his own.

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.”

He then goes on to alternately define religion as:

“4. Any system of faith and worship. In this sense, religion comprehends the belief and worship of pagans and Mohammedans, as well as of Christians; any religion consisting in the belief of a superior power or powers governing the world, and in the worship of such power or powers. Thus we speak of the religion of the Turks, of the Hindus, of the Indians, as well as of the Christian religion. We speak of false religion, as well as of true religion.”

 In conclusion, the first amendment guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom to do anything we want to. Nor should the government be free from religion.  Freedom comes with the responsibility, and cannot be retained with morality. John Adams expressed this truth when he said:

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

If morality and religion are abandoned, then the stability and preservation of a nation is at risk. The ACLU seeks to retain our rights, and does so in some cases. But when it comes to religious freedom, they have misunderstood the intention of our founding fathers, and instead attempt to support and further the slow disintegration of a culture.

This and many other things have led to the breakdown in the understanding of what religious freedom truly is, and consequently the loss of that freedom. We must endeavor to understand the true meaning of the Constitution, and the consequences of what we believe.

Sources:

Constitution Information:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/html/amdt1toc_user.html
http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/html/amdt1afrag1_user.html#amdt1a_hd8

Webster’s Dictionary:
http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/search/word,conscience

Wallbuilders:
http://www.wallbuilders.com/default.asp
http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=123
http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=63

The ACLU:
http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/birth-control
http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief

Shelby Higdon
3/14/2011 10:22:21 pm

I personally believe that religion should be kept out of public schools. In Georgia, some public schools force the kids to read from the bible every morning. Government has incorporated religion into many things, like our pledge of allegiance . Did you know that the "Under God" part was not in the original pledge? Religion is something to be practiced at home or church, not at school. School is meant for learning, not religious teachings.

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Lena<3
3/14/2011 11:40:56 pm

I have to disagree with you Shelby, i think its a great thing that they have kids read the bible every morning. its not going to kill them to learn of the Lord. And school is made for learning, and they can learn about the Lord Jesus Christ. Where can you back up that "under god" wasnt in the pledge? Can you give me a link or somthing i would love to see it. (not being sarcastic im serious). If the school is teaching evolution, im going to stand up for my religion an my God. And if you dont understand let me give you an example... If I am your teacher and i am makeing rude comments on how your mom cant clean her own house arnt you going to stand up and tell me that your mother is the cleanst person you know and you can eat off her floor!!! i would stand up and say whats write.
And that was just an example. But there is nothing wrong with religion in our schools. it keeps kids out of trouble thats how i see it.

Well not trying to start stuff i say all of this with love...

<3-Lena Lebron

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Christy
3/15/2011 08:52:31 am

I believe that even if everyone in the classroom doesn't believe in a certain religion, they should still learn about it. So what if kids have to read the Bible? It's good for them to read it for educational purposes, if not religious. I'm Christian, but I would be willing to read other religious texts just to find out what other people believe. In fact, I plan to. How can we understand each other if we don't learn about each other's beliefs?

You both bring up some very good points, though. It's best for religion to be kept separate enough so that no one feels belittled or persecuted, but it's not like we can pretend religion doesn't exist.

And on a personal note, your conviction rocks, Lena. :D

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Lena&lt;3
3/15/2011 10:42:33 am

Thanks Christy(: And Shelby i really am not trying to be rude and hurt full thats just how i feel. If you guys have any questions i check this everyday and i will answer with respect.

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Jana :D
3/15/2011 11:36:04 am

Good for you Lena and Christy! I know I probably sound like a grwonup... how ironic! But, anyway... I agree with both of you on the subject! Most kids that dont have a religion that go to school are more "Never been introduced to a certain religion" than "Nope, I just dont beleive in any God!" Now I'm not sure if this is true for everybody, but from my experience, it is. Also, I agree with Christy when she says that kids should be able to read the bible and pray. I think that personally, if you don't want to say the prayer for specific reasons, then you dont need to say it. But you should. Lena, what you said about "under God" not being there originally, It's true! Read this book: Hereo Type! It is a reallly good book, and will give you the info that you need to know! Anyway... It's not going to hurt to read the Bible, buit if you find something offencse for doing that, then stand up and protest, Religion cannot be forced upon someone... they are supposed to embrace it by their own mind. That's what I have to say... for now until I can have discussions on this topic!

Joeseph! Great job! You sure know how to stir up a discussion!

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Shelby Higdon
3/15/2011 09:32:51 pm

I see what you're saying, but religion should not be something forced upon you. Your religion should be something spiritual, not something discovered in a classroom. Think about it, If you were Jewish, or Muslim, Pagan, Hinduist, Atheist or any other religion, would you want to be forced to read another religion's holy book? What if you were forced to read the Koran or the Torah? Wouldn't that make you a little upset or make you feel like another religion is being forced upon you? When I went to public school and people found out what my religion is, I was made fun of, I lost friends, people didn't understand....but that's how it is in the real world and that's how kids are nowadays. It's not right, but nothing is being done to stop it. I just think that school isn't the best place for religion. Like I said before, I think it should be practiced at home and church, not at school. I don't have a problem with Christianity, don't get me wrong. Practically all my friends are Christian, but that doesn't mean that I want to be forced to study it. I feel as long as you respect my religion, then I'll respect yours, and vice versa.

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Lena&lt;3
3/15/2011 11:32:22 pm

Plz Shelby dont think we are gaining up on you, but this is quit a discussion.
@@ Jana thanks for that!! I really didnt know that under god wasnt in the pledge.

@@ Shelby if i was forced to read a Muslim bible i think it would be an experience about another religion. It is great for christians to know knowledge of other religions. I wouldnt believe it but i would challange my teachers with the knowledge i have of the lord against the muslim bible. (well thats just what i would do)
And i understand what your saying about it being forced upon me.

And do you mind me asking whats your religion?

Most kids that are in public school dont really believe in anything, trust me iv been there since the 1st grade, and the curtainly dont show it either.

The school honestly cant make you do anything. What i mean is if the school said to bow down to budda im not going to do it and if i get in trouble than oh well because i know my parents will have my back. does that make a lil sence?

But i get what you are saying and im sorry you got made fun of. There probably not worth being friends with.

Quick Question for All....
Do you guys believe in abortion?

***I just need a few suggestions thx***

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Jana
3/16/2011 03:30:58 am

@Lena: Thanks Lena! It's okay! I actually didn't know that either until I read the book I reccommended to you! Abortion... I'll have to think upon that. Get ready for somemore profound thoughts. lol :)

@Shelby: Read your newest comment and I think that reason why I didn't agrre with you before was because you didn't make your self clear. I do disaggree with you in some cases but I am more open to your point. I agree that you shouldn't have to do something that's against your faith whether it is to Christ or Buddha or even your faith of no God. I think that people should have their own ideas and opinions. I know that if there is something offensive to that "faith" you should do what you feel is right. I mean I'd wlak out of a class talking about evolution! Heck!(pardon the language) Id even stomp my foot and right out disagarre!

All: School isn't the place to learn religion... it's ironic! (Shelby for you) School is the place that kids love and hate at the same time. It doesn't have the right air. It's for the home for your guardians to teach you and for you to make up your mind about your faith. If anyone wanted to know! I'm in 6th grade and 11yrs.

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Shelby Higdon
3/16/2011 08:01:15 pm

I see what you're saying and that's your right. If you don't want to learn about something that goes against your faith's teachings, then you shouldn't be forced to have to sit there.

@Lena
sorry..I forgot about the links for the original pledge...here's just a couple. :) Sorry again!!!!

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

http://www.oldtimeislands.org/pledge/pledge.htm

http://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

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Shelby Higdon
3/16/2011 08:05:16 pm

Oh, and I don't think you're ganging up on me. This is a heated debate...lol besides, text can be taken differently than oral discussions, so I won't take anything the wrong way unless there's just no other way to take it. lol

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Rachael
3/16/2011 10:19:42 pm

If it's not too late to add something...

I say I have to agree with Christy. It won't hurt to read some other religions texts. They aren't saying, "Oh we are all going to read the Muslim bible and become muslinms!". They just might want to be familiar with the texts of other beliefs. If anything it can just be to understand the culture more. It can also help you strengthen whatever faith you have. I don't go to public school, but ever here on flvs, we learned about the big bang in science. I made sure to tell my teacher my beliefs and tell her that I didn't believe in the big bang, and even though I will answer the questions, I don't believe in that.

Anyways...about abortion (tough topic) I'm firmly against it.

With love,
Rachael

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Lena&lt;3
3/16/2011 11:31:15 pm

@Jana: Wow your 11 yrs and you are adding great things to this conversation. I would have never know!! You speak like your at least 14 yrs lol. I am 15 if anyone wanted to know.

@Shelby: Thanks for thous websites!!! And no problem, this is a heated discussion!! As long as it dosnt get nasty and rude im okay lol. But im not sure you read what i said before... i was asking whats your religion if you dont mind me asking,(you dont have to say if its private) I am a christian.

@Rachael: Its never to late to add somthins add away!!!(: And i do agree with you and Christy. if we can learn other beliefs like of the big bang theory and evolution why cant we learn about God our Lord. It would be nice for kids at school to know the 10 commandments i think because it sure will get kids thinking and asking there parents. Do we or do we not learn so much religiouse point of views in History?? do we or do we not learn so many "ways" the world was created in science?? Why is it schools will teach every religion and every belief in school but CHRISTIANITY!!!! I think its because they know there is some truth to it. (even thou i believe it is the truth). Thanks for letting me know if you believe in abortion or not(:

I personally dont believe in abortion under any sercomstance... its not only because its wrong to kill a baby, but becasue what they do to these young girls. they have teen sex ed at a place called Plant Parenthood and what they teach girls in that class is to further there distance with the teens parents, encourege them to dress inapprpriate clothind, and when girls come in they give them birth control that dosnt work so they are most likly to get pregnat. I encourage everyone to watch the movie..."Blood Money" here is a trailer it can explain my points perfectly....

http://bloodmoneyfilm.com/

If you do watch the trailer plz give me feed back. ^^This is for all to watch^^

***oh and for the future i know i will miss spell alot of words and probably not make any sence in questions its because i dont go back and read what i have and i am the worse typer ever lol***

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Lena&lt;3
3/16/2011 11:34:47 pm

Shelby: I looked at thous websites and thanks alot for taking your time and putting that up there i really appreciate it!!!(:

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Lena&lt;3
3/17/2011 12:07:25 am

lol one more thing Blood Money Trailer is only 2 minutes and 42 Seconds.... just thought i let you know that it wasnt like a 30 minute trailer lol

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Jana
3/17/2011 01:11:47 am

@Lena
I feel so mature! But I usually dont act this way. But I agree on doing What you feel on doing is right according to your "faith" like musilim, Christian, or none at all, you should't have to do it! Because you have to keep what you think is to personal to be doing at school to your self. If God wanted us to learn about him in non Christian, or catholic schools than all school would be in churched! I'm not saying school is not for religion exactly, I'm just saying that the school line and the religion line can't be merged together, they are two different things! Thats my opinion!

Abortion: I don't believe in it. How could you kill your own baby, a living thing, a part of you. Even if I couldnt keep it, I'd give it away instead of killing. If you kill your baby, your a murderer, that' s how I feel.

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Lena&lt;3
3/17/2011 03:32:18 am

@Jana
i honestly thought you were older lol!!! I think that maybe God dosnt have bibles in school is because he is testing us to see if we are true christians.

I cant stress this enouff but i think everyone should watch the trailer for "BLOOD MONEY" After i watched the trailer i bought the movie!!! lol its in my dvd player right now. Im not trying to sell you the movie all i ask if for you guys to watch the trailer.

If your against abortion your main point of view is how could they kill the baby but when you watch "BLOOD MONEY" you will get a different view on what they do to the poor mothers. they basiclly use them!!! This topic gets me fiered up lolz...


I recommend this for everyone. You may want your parents permission if your under 13 i dont want you to get into trouble. there is no innapropriate language and i think it would be great for every young woman to see.

http://bloodmoneyfilm.com/

With Love Always,
Lena Lebron

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Jana
3/17/2011 10:34:13 am

@ Lena... I try to remember to watch it.. kind of busy.. when your on the last module of math and you need a A! only 7 or so more assignments left!

Blood Money.. why do they call it that?
true Christians! What do you mean by that.. explain.. please!

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Shelby Higdon
3/17/2011 08:20:37 pm

@Lena
I don't really care what people think about my religion. lol. That's just how I've always been. But, at the moment, I really don't have a religion. I grew up believing in God, but then I reached a certain age and I started asking questions. I'm still trying to figure out what religion is for me, what clicks with my way of thinking. Of course, this is only natural, and I'll discover myself oneday. :) But yeah, I could really care less what others believe in. As long as you're faith makes you a good person, that's all that matters to me. :)

And as for abortion: I am against abortion with one exception. If somebody is just careless and gets pregnant, then I don't think abortion is the answer. It's not the baby's fault; it's the person who decided to act in a sexual manner's fault. Abortions are not the answer to unwanted pregnancies due to carelessnes or permiscuity. The only situation where I think abortion is appropriate it if you are raped and you concieve. Having a baby that was the result of rape would not be a pleasant experience. The entire time you are pregnate, you will be thinking: the father of this baby is the man who took advantage of me and raped me. And when you give birth to the baby, every time you look at him or her, you will have unpleasant memories.
But over all, ABORTION IS MURDER!!!

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Lena&lt;3
3/18/2011 12:21:52 am

Jana:
I total understand your busy lol dont stress it haha... and were did i say that?? I know i said it but i forgot were haha... I would be happy to let you know what i ment thou haha...

Shelby:
I understand what your going throu.. everyone at a point questions there religion. I did im not going to lie and it was a difficult time for me. dont worry all your questions will be fullfilled someday. Do you know that no one is a good person... If we all break the 10 comandment then no one on this earth is good.

I agree if you are carless to get pregnat then you should take on that responsability. and yes abortion is murder!!!! I cant believe people think its okay.... Topics like these get me fired up lolz...

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Lena&lt;3
3/18/2011 12:23:36 am

Jana:
They call it Blood Money because the abortion clinics get money for killing the child in the whomb.

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Lena&lt;3
3/18/2011 12:27:24 am

Jana:
Found It!!!! Lol
I said that he was testing us to see if we are true christians because there are alot of false christians out there. there are people out there that are murdering, doing drugs, being abusive, and being inapropreatly but they are calling themselves christians! i understand everyone is going to fall but one you keep on doing the same thing over and over again, and your not reading your bible than your a false conver.

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Shelby Higdon
3/18/2011 08:06:35 am

I totally respect your opinion. :)

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Jana
3/18/2011 09:13:55 am

@Shelby

I dont get it.. How could someone tease smeone for not making up their mind on a certain religion?

@Lena

I'm so going to watch it. I will, thanks!

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Lena&lt;3
3/18/2011 10:13:58 am

@Shelby
Thx, i totally understand where your coming from(:

@Jana
Let me know what you think when you see it.

This has been a great conversation guys, i got to share my opinion and learn neat facts from you guys.

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Shelby Higdon
3/18/2011 09:22:23 pm

Because I don't believe in God...They called me a devil worshipper and they told me a whole bunch of really rude things....it was just really hurtful. My response to them was, "How can I worship something I don't believe in?" I don't believe in the devil either, but it was just so heartbreaking to have people that you thought were your true friends constantly hurting you with their words and actions.

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Lena&lt;3
3/20/2011 08:57:49 am

wow that awful!!!

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Jana
3/21/2011 03:27:48 am

Dude! Just cause you don't believe in God doesnt mean you need to be called that. In Jamaica, some people don't worship God, they worship Ja. Which is the word for their God! Let's call them Devil worshippers. Let's call the muslims that and the Jews, and the Buddist, and everyone else! Come on like I don't believe what I just put up there, I was being sarcastic. That's being ignorant!

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Christy
3/21/2011 03:51:10 am

Clearly, someone entirely missed the "Love thy neighbor" part of the Bible. .-.

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Shelby Higdon
3/21/2011 10:34:56 pm

Yeah I know. But, you know, I respect others because that's just the kind of person I am. I don't judge anybody, because I'm not perfect, so I have no right to judge. If I don't like somebody, it's because I know how that person acts and I don't like their personality. Those are the kind of people I try to stay away from if I can help it. :)
@Christy
Exactly!!! That's the question that always runs through my mind when things like that happen. :)

You guys are great!!!!! ILY!!!!

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John Hurley
3/25/2011 01:11:12 am

i think society in general, and more specifically the public school system, is obsessed with what us politically correct.

I could have been a contender. I could have had class.

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Lauren
3/25/2011 02:49:10 am

Hi Joesph!
Awesome post!! I agree with Christy...even if someone is not a religion i think they should still learn about it so they can relate to someone who is of that religion. I am a Jehovah's Witness so I don't celebrate Holidays or Birthdays and I don't really partake in government affairs because Jesus told us "to be no part of the world". But I still enjoy reading and learning about the government and respect everyone for their individual decision for religion- even if it's not mine.

@Shelby
I can't beleive whoever said that to you! :( You are entitled to your own oppinon. BTW Anyone who says that clearly doesn't have firm beliefs themselves ;)

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Joseph Cook
3/25/2011 10:13:13 am

I appreciate the discussion that my article has created. I would like to re-quote part of the article where James Madison said:

“While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.”

He, as a Christian he could not deny others the freedom he had, yet he longed for others to have Spiritual freedom through Christ.

Religious freedom is not the ability to silence Christianity in the classroom, and promote humanism (the idea that everyone can find the answer in themselves)

The founding fathers realized that this nation would fail, if it was not distinctly Christian, thus they based our nation's core laws on the Bible.

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Leisa
4/10/2011 09:52:41 am

I'm very late, but I'd like to (politely) disagree with anyone who says school is not the place to discover or learn about religion. I'm a "strong" Christian, but I still enjoy learning about other religions. I agree with Christy and think that learning other people's religions really gives you insight to many of the cultural problems/misunderstandings today. I only wish that my public school would have us read the Bible, Torah, Qu'ran, ancient Hindu texts, etc. But since religion is such a touchy subject for people nowadays, I guess I'll just have to research all of it on my own...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. Thanks to the author! Best of luck to you, Joseph. :)

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Rachael
4/11/2011 09:54:36 am

Hi Leisa!

Wow! you put all my thoughts into words! I completely agree with you:) It really does give you the cultural stuff that goes on today.

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Grace
4/16/2011 12:59:49 pm

First of all, thank you, Joseph, for this very informative and helpful article. :) I say "helpful" because of the fact that discussion revolving around this topic of government and religion goes on all the time, and it is, for lack of a better term, nice to have quotes and things from people (such as James Madison) who were behind the foundations of this country. It helps in the way that people can read about the evidence of such foundations (I hope that makes, at least, some sense). So again, great work, Joseph. :)

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Christy
4/18/2011 02:19:02 am

I'm so glad you guys can see my point of view. Religion shouldn't be forced on anyone, but it should be learned. Learning about other's beliefs won't change mine, so I don't see the harm.

And, Shelby, no problem. ;) And if you have any questions about Christianity, you can talk to me. I might know a few things. :)

By the way, how many of you are planning to join the newspaper?

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John
4/21/2011 06:30:23 am

on the subject of America failing, Joseph, a democracies average lifetime is about 240 years. Socialistic, and further left societies, defiantly take a few years off. For example, the USSR only lasted 80 years, and Nazi Germany lasted roughly 10.

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Anna
5/4/2011 11:42:39 pm

I'm also coming in late here, but I would like to bring up a point: I believe that religion should be taught in schools. However, I do not believe you should be forced to learn about it, so not before middle school. But, in every middle school and high school, there should be a religious education class. I do not believe the government should have any involvement whatsoever, and that religion should not influence government. Unless it hurts people, religion is normally not a problem. By the way, I also think that abortion is a choice. I would never get one myself, but I respect others' choices, as I do in religion.
-a 7th grade Agnostic Unitarian

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Joseph
5/9/2011 11:54:02 pm

Anna, how can religion not influence government?

In our nation it was the founding principle upon which our freedoms are based. Scriptural obedience was the driving force behind political reform during the era of the Revolution. The Founding Fathers did not want to establish a governmental religion (an "official church") But they realized that Christianity was vital to a nation's success. Daniel Webster, a famed orator, Senator, and Secretary of State (known as the "defender of the Constitution") once said:

"[T]he Christian religion – its general principles – must ever be regarded among us as the foundation of civil society."

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Anna
5/17/2011 03:00:15 am

Joseph, our government cannot function if it IS being influenced so much by religion. I believe there is a type of government based on religion, and they never last long. There's a lot of corruptness in our government, and if we could keep religion out of it, it might be a bit better.

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KelseyG
5/20/2011 10:51:24 pm

Okay, so I made my mind up about the whole 'should the Bible be brought into school' topic. Yes, I believe it should be in schools! It is an excellent piece of literature and history (and, of course, truth) for kids and teens to read. I just don't think they ought to teach it. The Bible is meant to be taught in the church and in the home.

And, Anna, I'm going to have to side more with Joseph on the religion in government topic. There isn't any way that government can't be influenced by religion (at least, not from what I see). Everyone is biased to one opinion or another, I believe that it's the same with religion. Everyone believes something. A nation is definitely going to have religion in it's government, and there's no way around it unless out government is run by a bunch of opinionless robots, which I don't see happening.

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Shelby Higdon
5/23/2011 11:01:17 pm

Government that is based on religion is called a Theocracy. I also agree taht government and religion should not mix, but also that the government should go back to how it was when it first evolved in this great country. did you know, when our government first started, they only ment once a year, or at times of war? Now it's a full time job.

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Grace
5/26/2011 09:00:41 am

I'm pretty sure the whole point of having Christianity as the foundation of this country was to keep corruption out. I think the corruption has come from leaders of this country abandoning those morals, values, standards, etc.

That's just my opinion.

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