A philosopher has the sight to understand that government cannot rule individuals' religion. Yet our political leaders have not come to the same conclusion. Worldwide there are millions of people who must adhere, at least outwardly, to the religious dictates of their political leaders. The U.S. is not an exception. Are the right and left not leaning toward one religion or another? By virtue of the politics the individuals in government endorse, they are sending a message to the country about values and morals; therefore, they are indirectly addressing religion.

Our forefathers left their homes to escape the English government's control. People flee their homes in our day to escape similar entrapment. Will there be a time that government thinks like Locke and allows us to be free to pick our own path. As Locke stated, there is no suggestion in Christianity that we were to be herded like the flocks we tend.

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Comment by Jeff H on October 3, 2009 at 4:04pm
The forefathers came to America to escape religious persecution. They Founding Fathers wrote decisive protections of Religious Freedom into our Constitution.

Whether you recognize it or not, your rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are endowed by your creator. Rights determined by a government can be ammended, or taken away by that same government. Rights endowed by the The Ccreator can only be modified by The Creator.

I've said so before, Locke was a putz.

Enjoy the first video on the list, titled "Remove God and Say Goodbye to Your Rights"

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=111409

It is important to make sure to ground your opinions in historical fact.
Comment by Phi 214 Lynn Honegger on October 3, 2009 at 8:02pm
I must have worded it poorly. I am aware that the forefathers came to escape religious persecution specifically. That is why they allowed for religious freedom and God in the Constitution.

I missed your earlier statements on Locke being a putz. Can you please give me a summary of your comments on him? It would take me weeks to figure out how to find them.
Comment by Jeff H on October 3, 2009 at 9:43pm
In a nutshell, one will never divorce religion and government where then population votes.

First, people (rightfully or wrongfully) use religion as a blanket of expectations. A Conservative Evangelical candidate can typically be expected to vote one way, a Liberal Progressive another. Obama successfully packaged himself as a Christian in the election, although he would seem to have distanced himself from that position since.

Second, people "Vote Their Conscience" and most often a person's sense of morality and ethics is tied up in their belief system, whatever that is. In that way religion will always we at the foundation of elected governments. Dictatorships and monarchies don't have those liabilities.

Did you watch the video, and if so, what were your thoughts?
Comment by Katinka Hesselink on October 4, 2009 at 1:22pm
Locke was talking about people getting killed or actively persecuted for having a certain belief. That's not how it is in the US now, is it? Sure, there is social pressure to conform, but that's not something the laws can interfere with - even if they try with anti-discrimination legislature. In short: I think the US DOES live up to Locke's ideals to a large extent.
Comment by Jeff H on October 4, 2009 at 8:14pm
Locke was a profound relativist. Thus ones religion had no place in a ethical or moral decision because it wasn't common to all. I don't believe that personally. I believe there is A TRUTH, and it can be known by humankind.
Comment by Phi 214 Lynn Honegger on October 6, 2009 at 7:41pm
I side with Locke on the religion and ethics issue. Religion obviously has an effect on how we think morally and ethically, but it does not belong in the process. I believe that a moral conclusion I reach may be vastly different than that of someone following an Eastern religion or an aetheist. I believe there is a truth and whether it is called God or any other name, it exists.
Comment by Phi 214 Lynn Honegger on October 6, 2009 at 7:46pm
I believe that people in the US are still actively being killed or persecuted in the US. I know that gays are targeted and have been murdered for their lifestyle which is directed by their beliefs. There are murders based only on the religion of the target. I think that the murders in the US are far fewer and don't make the headlines, but they exist if you look.

I agree there will never be a law powerful enough to stop people wanting others to conform. However, I believe that the US is indirectly involved with religion simply because the members hold to their religious beliefs.
Comment by Jeff H on October 6, 2009 at 8:03pm
From whence the comes a universal ethic.

You can't use the morality of humanity, it is too diverse and short sighted.

You can't base it on the majority rule, because when one minority is eliminated, the remaining majority will look for another one to attack. It is the human condition.

You can't use the naturalistic morality. It is simple selection of the fittest, or in many cases the most amoral. If I can kill you what you have is mine.

Where would you go to for a source of moral or ethical code?
Comment by Phi 214 Lynn Honegger on October 6, 2009 at 8:05pm
Jeff, can you meet in chat? I'm lost and would love to go step at a time.
Comment by Maegan Wood on October 7, 2009 at 8:39pm
I know I am new to this but I just wanted to add that if one is religous then that religion, and all of its beliefs, are tied to that one's person-ness, if that is a word. It would be hard to completely remove any religion from law because the law makers are people and people are religious.
I would like to reiterate what Jeff said earlier the founding fathers came here to escape religious persecution and in doing so looked to create a society where that would never happen. They wanted to be accepting of all religions, but the majority, as it has turned out, of people in this country are Christian. So, when majority rules is the way of business and the majority of people follow the same religion, the morals that they hold which are due to that religion help them to make decisions about the laws they wish to create. If you look it all really boils down to who we are, what we believe, what we want for our country and ourselves, therefore religion can never fully be removed from legal debates.

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