Posts tagged Seperation Of Church And State
Posts tagged Seperation Of Church And State
A chaplain under Col. Brian Duffy’s command posted an essay entitled “‘No Atheists in foxholes’: Chaplains gave all in World War II” on the base website (implying it represented government policy) which derided the service of atheists in the military in Christian Supremacist terms.
After taking prompt & courageous action in defense of his troops’ 1st Amendment rights, Col. Duffy is now under attack by the extremists of American Family Assn. Christian supremacists.
Signing this petition will express your support for his actions and counter one asking him to reverse his stance.
Please support Col. Brian Duffy by signing this petition.
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
— James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785)
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."
— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr - August 10, 1787
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind."
— Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
"Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than thsoe which spring from any other cause."
— George Washington, letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22, 1792
"When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."
— Benjamin Franklin, Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Richard Price
Ever think we’re finally approaching a clear understanding of the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution? Think again. Every week seems to bring a fresh controversy about the separation of church and state in public life, whether it be a public memorial featuring a cross or a Christian prayer said before a city council meeting. Religion is seeping into the public education system as well, with legislators finding ways to introduce biblical ideas into public school courses or funnel public money to parochial schools through voucher programs.
In a major win for school voucher advocates, the Indiana Supreme Court on March 26 upheld the state’s school voucher program, which allows low- and middle-income families to send their children to private and parochial schools using public money. As the New York Times reported, the majority of approximately 9,000 families that have enrolled since the law passed in 2011 have selected schools with a religious affiliation for their children. That’s because the majority of approved private schools are parochial, a statistic not unique to Indiana.
Voucher programs have long raised questions about the separation of church and state, namely whether taxpayer money should be used to fund religious schools that are not subject to government oversight. In 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court declared Ohio’s school voucher program, where the majority of public money was used to enroll students in parochial schools, constitutional in a 5-4 ruling. Writing for the conservative majority in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said the “Ohio program is entirely neutral with respect to religion” and “permits … individuals to exercise genuine choice among options public and private, secular and religious.” Many groups, including the ACLU, disagreed with the ruling as the so-called “genuine choice” provided by school vouchers is usually limited to religious schools.
Since 2008, our members have been complaining to us about the campaign of disinformation —the “Big Lie” so destructive of the public understanding of the precious constitutional principle of separation between religion and government.
We’re using the same format as one of Hobby Lobby’s previous ads, focusing on the real views of U.S. Framers and Founders. The Hobby Lobby ads invariably scream “In God We Trust.” Our ad invites the reader to “Celebrate our godless Constitution” and says “In Reason We Trust.”
Although FFRF can’t compete with Hobby Lobby by running ads in virtually every daily, we are undertaking the single most expensive ad campaign in our history to counter the Religious Right message.
As of today, FFRF’s ad is scheduled to run on July 4 in:
The ad is also scheduled to “play in Peoria.” Taking our message of “In Reason We Trust” to parts of the bible belt, FFRF has also contracted to run the ad in:
Most of the ads are in black and white but a few will run in color, including in The New York Times. (It’s still possible some dailies above may refuse the paid ad but we’ve finalized placement.)
Help FFRF celebrate our government’s independence from religion and our work to counter the relentless propaganda of the Religious Right by donating to FFRF’s Advertising Fund. We’d be especially grateful for contributions if you happen to live in one of the areas where the ad will run.
Dan Barker & Annie Laurie Gaylor FFRF Co-Presidents
Please donate to FFRF’s Advertising Fund (on the dropdown menu for “Is this donation for a special project” click “advertising and billboard fund”) or earmark checks to the Advertising Fund and send to FFRF, PO BOX 750, Madison WI 53701.
Fun Fact: “Religious Freedom” Doesn’t Mean “Freedom To Force Everyone To Follow Your Religion.”
The Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy today released a new position paper that details a disturbing expansion and entrenchment of Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. military — a cultural force which remains at times both tacitly and overtly endorsed by senior military leaders.
Over the past decade there have been multiple news reports highlighting an intensified tension regarding what constitutes proper religious expression in the U.S. military. However, there has been a scarce amount of thorough research examining the connection between these reports and, in addition, proposing possible solutions. As a result, there has been a lack of information with which to stoke change.
CFI’s position paper, titled “For God and Country,” presents several case studies demonstrating a clear pattern of unconstitutional religiously sectarian behavior; explores the merits of the competing philosophical perspectives on the proper role of religious expression by men and women in uniform; and concludes with recommendations that those in power should implement immediately in order to fully protect the U.S. military’s necessarily secular foundation and the religious freedom of all who volunteer to serve.
"For God and Country" was authored by James Parco, PhD., Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), an associate professor of economics and business at Colorado College. Parco graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991, was a member of the faculty for many years, and retired from active duty as a lieutenant colonel in 2011. He has also served on the National Security Council at the White House during the Clinton Administration, as well as in a diplomatic capacity overseas with the American Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Read the full position paper here.