Separation of church and state outrage from the ACLU in 3,2,1 NEVER!

By Doug Hagin

Somehow my friends, it is just a different story when a Democrat urges pastors to, uh “spread the word” as Chris at Wyblog duly notes

Remember the inviolate Wall of Separation between Church and State?

If the Church and State are on the same page, who needs walls?

And if the Church does the State’s bidding? Then the fun really starts!

President Obama Calls Pastors To Preach Healthcare

Earlier this week on a conference call, President Obama and his top healthcare officials charged religious leaders across America with spreading a new kind of gospel — the good news of nationalized healthcare. Isn’t it convenient how the pulpit is barred from promoting political opinion, until it is the opinion of the President? According to Politico, “Obama instructed faith leaders to treat the new law as settled fact and use their perches of power to convey that message to congregants and friends.”

And, the State turns a blind eye!

Pastors plan to ‘bait’ IRS with pulpit politics

On Sunday, a group of 100 preachers nationwide will step into the pulpit and say the only words they’re forbidden by law from speaking in a church.

This is a perfect example of why I refer to Liberalism as a ideology of convenience. Liberalism demands no consistency does it? No, instead it demands only that certain feelings be re-enforced. A consistent Liberal would be outraged over this, but, sadly most will defend it, because they agree with the message.

15 responses to “Separation of church and state outrage from the ACLU in 3,2,1 NEVER!

  1. DOUG! Where you been? Good to see you again.

  2. Your complaint and oh-so-witty leftie-rightie commentary is born of misconceptions.

    Separation of church and state does not prevent citizens from making decisions and voicing opinions based on principles derived from their religions. Moreover, the religious beliefs of government officials naturally may inform their decisions on policies. The principle of separation of church and state merely constrains government officials not to make decisions with the predominant purpose or primary effect of advancing religion; in other words, the predominant purpose and primary purpose must be nonreligious or secular in nature. A decision coinciding with religious views is not invalid for that reason as long as it has a secular purpose and effect.

    Nothing in the principle of separation of church and state precludes the President from asking religious organizations and people, just like anyone else, to help explain and promote the government’s health care programs. There is no basis for your supposition that his statements somehow conflict with the principle.

    Wake Forest University recently published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you.

  3. Doug Indeap, you miss the hypocrisy of the left. Blinded by a little knowledge?

    The facts are that the left goes bat shit crazy when conservative preachers make decisions and voice opinions based on their conservative principles, but then actively encourage leftist mongrels to turn around and do the exact same thing.

    Coincidentally, I’m a law school graduate of Wake Forest. It was teeming with leftist professors back then, and I can only imagine it is worse now. Wilson Parker was my legal writing professor. The little, er I mean BIG (like 6’6″) commie was the best prof I ever had cuz he was so tough.

  4. John,

    I think you’re mixing up two different things.

    People (left, right, and center) who care about maintaining the separation of church and state object–and rightly so–when religious folks (whether conservative or liberal) try to resolve policy issues or get laws adopted solely on religious grounds. Our government has no business doing that.

    Apart from that, when religious folks (conservative or liberal) voice their political views or otherwise get involved in politics or public policy (e.g., by discussing health care), there may well be disagreement on the merits of their views, but there is no call to object that they run afoul of the principle of separation of church and state.

  5. Pingback: Separation of church and state outrage from the ACLU in 3,2,1 NEVER! (via Smash Mouth Politics) | Citizen Tom

  6. No Doug, I think you are confused. It is currently a violation of the law for a preacher to say “Vote for Candidate X” because he is advocating for a particular candidate. In my mind there is no difference between advocating for a particular candidate and advocating for the law enacted by particular candidates. The law does not allow churches to advocate for a particular party: Preacher can’t say Vote Democrat, or Vote Republican. Well, this issue is split dead along party lines. Advocating for this particular issue is advocating for the Dems and against the Repugs.

  7. Well, now you’re mixing up two additional things: (1) the constitutional principle of separation of church and state and (2) the tax laws pertaining to nonprofit organizations, including churches.

    The First Amendment does not restrict the political activities of religious organizations; the Internal Revenue Code does. The tax law exempts nonprofits, including churches, from taxation provided they do not engage in substantial lobbying (which allows for some lobbying) and do not endorse or oppose particular candidates for elective office. While you may see no difference between advocating for a candidate and advocating for a law or issue, the law does. The Wake Forest paper does a nice job of explaining the particulars.

  8. People (left, right, and center) who care about maintaining the separation of church and state object–and rightly so–when religious folks (whether conservative or liberal) try to resolve policy issues or get laws adopted solely on religious grounds. Our government has no business doing that.

    Doug, I saw that you included”left, right, and center” and “whether conservative or liberal.” How does a Christian support socialism? I don’t know; it is not on the basis of any sound religious doctrine. Moreover, practical experience has demonstated that socialism does not work. Perhaps that is why you are comfortable with Christians supporting socialism. You know that this support has nothing to do with religion.

    There exists no passage in the Bible where it says God approves of robbing Peter to pay Paul, that is, redistributing the wealth. You cannot find it. Perhaps what bothers you is that you will find the Bible clearly makes charity a personal responsibility, and you will find a commandment against stealing.

    Religion does in fact provide the foundation of our laws. In our era, the major religions say murder is immoral. Therefore, we outlaw murder. However, many pagan societies practiced human sacrifice. Romans murdered people for entertainment. In the 1800’s, Christians outlawed slavery for religious reasons. What is altogether clear in the Declaration of Independence is that the principles of American government are founded upon a religious concept. God endows us with inalienable rights.

    You think otherwise? You enjoy telling others your opinion? You only have that privilege because Christians think God gave you that right. Yet if you and your ilk are successful with your preaching, that is a right you will not be able to keep. Therefore, what you do is curiously self-destructive.

  9. Doug, first, lose the know-it-all attitude. Second, quit putting words in my mouth. I did not author this article. My only words spoken on it are my comments. I never said this behavior was a violation of the First Amendment.

    Also, you keep avoiding my main point: liberals are hypocrites on this issue. They would be going bat shit crazy if GWB had coordinated with preachers to have them advocate against homosexual marriage and the progressive tax rate system.

  10. JD…
    What’s your take on the “flat” income tax…that sure as heck would put a bunch of shyster, tax accountants outta work…and passel of rich bitch avoider’s in the hot seat…!

    How about a “VAT” tax…
    How’s about a combo…?

    We gotta pay for these damn despicable wars, somehow… where’s the darn sacrifice on the part of us civilians…?

  11. I would love the flat tax. Anything other than every body paying the same percentage is flat robbery and extortion in my book.

    No to the VAT tax. No other taxes, period. Users fees, perhaps, such as for national forests, libraries, etc. JUST GET RID OF ALL THE DAMN TAXES!

    • Shift to Wealthier Clientele Puts Life Insurers in a Bind…

      The life-insurance industry has enjoyed beneficial tax treatment for its products for nearly a century. Whenever Congress tried to change that, insurers always had a mantra at the ready: We protect widows and orphans.
      Life insurance needs to be free from income taxes, the industry said, because of its special social function. It keeps survivors from a life of penury when a chief breadwinner dies.
      But in a development all but unnoticed outside the industry, life-insurance companies gradually have shifted away from their broad historical base of middle-class households. Instead, statistics show, an increasing portion of insurers’ business consists of selling large policies to wealthier Americans, often as part of complex estate-tax plans.
      The shift means that a growing proportion of the tax benefits of life insurance go to the well-off, not to the middle class that once was the industry’s backbone…

      Ah yes…a flat tax on individuals and businesses alike; would go a long way in providing an actually fair and equitable tax structure in the US.

  12. Tom,

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at with respect to Christians supporting socialism. My comments had nothing to do with that, and I don’t have anything to say about it.

    Nor did my comments touch on the question whether religion provides the foundation of our laws. I’ll take the bait, though, and respond: While many founders were Christian of one sort or another, care should be taken not to make too much of the founders’ individual religious beliefs. Given the republican nature of our government, it is only natural and expected that the laws enacted by our government–in both the founders’ time and today–largely reflect Christianity’s dominant influence in our society. That said, there is no reason to suppose that Christianity or theism is an inherent aspect of our government. Indeed, any such claim is antithetical to the constitutional principle of separation of religion and state.

    In assessing the nature of our government, the religiosity of the various founders, while informative, is largely beside the point. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that plainly establishes a secular government on the power of the people (not a deity) and says nothing substantive of god(s) or religion except in the First Amendment where the point is to confirm that each person enjoys religious liberty and that the government is not to take steps to establish religion and another provision precluding any religious test for public office. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

    James Madison, for instance, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

    While some draw meaning from the reference to “Nature’s God” and “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence and try to connect that meaning to the Constitution, the effort is baseless. Apart from the fact that these references could mean any number of things (some at odds with the Christian idea of God), there simply is no “legal” connection or effect between the two documents. Important as the Declaration is in our history, it did not operate to bring about independence, nor did it found a government. The colonists issued the Declaration not to effect their independence, but rather to explain and justify the move to independence that was already well underway. Nothing in the Constitution depends on anything said in the Declaration. Nor does anything said in the Declaration purport to limit or define the government later formed by the free people of the former colonies; nor could it even if it purported to do so. Once independent, the people of the former colonies could choose whatever form of government they deemed appropriate. They were not somehow limited by anything said in the Declaration. Sure, they could take it as inspiration and guidance if, and to the extent, they chose–or they could not. They could have formed a theocracy if they wished–or, as they ultimately chose, a secular government founded on the power of the people (not a deity).

  13. John,

    “Liberals” are hardly a monolithic bloc as your generalizations would suggest, and in any event I hardly speak for “them.” Some may well make inconsistent, or even hypocritical, statements. I understand your point, but I don’t yet see that you understand mine. My reply was and is that there is no inconsistency–and thus no hypocrisy–in saying that the government should refrain from adopting laws solely on religious grounds (which is at the root of some of the controversy over homosexuality) and saying the government may urge its citizens, including its religious ones, to understand and support its health care programs (a policy matter largely unrelated to religion).

  14. I don’t like Obama’s policies. I specifically detest Obamacare. And I think it was a bad move politically for Obama to ask pastors to advance his healthcare policy agenda in their Sunday morning sermons. Even if it’s technically not going against the separation of Church and State clause of the BOR, it’s still not right.

    And as another commenter pointed out, if a Conservative politician would have recommended that church pastors sermonize on one of their pet policies, the left would be screaming bloody murder and rightly so.

    It’s just another one of those elitist ” do as we say, not as we do” situations.


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