What government has the religious basis to righteously lead the people? Has any government found a way to tolerate all religions and lead the people with that in mind? Is the US a leader in this area?

I still believe that given the diverse religions in our country, religion and government must be separate. One cannot coexist with the other because we are not tolerant of the beliefs of others. Locke's philosophy on separation of church and state prevents injustices in the name of religion. I am thinking specifically of the Taliban at this minute. We are far from that form of government, but it is not beyond the realm of belief.

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Comment by Molly Goodman on October 8, 2009 at 12:34pm
Lynn-
As far as I know, no government has been able to lead the people and accept all religions of those people. Throughout history there have always been people that are persecuted, killed, and segregated because of their religious beliefs.

By no means, in my opinion, is the US a leader in the acceptance of all religions. Government, as a whole, might be accepting, but members of society choose to put people down for their beliefs. Even if the government accepted every religion (which I don't believe it is totally there yet) the people would not accept every belief system.

Just some things I was thinking about... Good questions!
Comment by Jeff H on October 8, 2009 at 2:21pm
Molly,

You make a good point, but I might be inclined to see things from the other perspective to balance.

"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."

Where does our government prohibit a person’s exercise of religion? "Make no law" typically means will not forbid. We don't make laws saying "You will promote life" we say "Don't kill". Laws typically are "Don'ts" and that’s ok, we need them. Where is says make not laws regarding establishment of religion, its saying law that would restrict someone saying "This is what I believe, and I want to have an organization of people that share my beliefs". Government can't say... "You can't believe that." It can't close your doors, burn your books or persecute you based on your beliefs.

Government isn't supposed to accept religion. It is supposed to be uninvolved in the exercise (pro or con) of religion unless that exercise harms others. God is written into our Federal Constitution as well as most State Constitutions. It is part of the fabric of our country.

The populace as a whole puts people down for more then just religion. It’s just that religion is so convenient. If it wasn't for religion, it would be ethnic, or appearance, or whether your name had an even or odd # of letters. It’s absurd.

America does a far better job then the vast majority of the world when it comes to allowing people of diverse religion, ethnicity, and lifestyle coexist. One of the days of greatest pride for me is Inauguration Day. The peaceful transfer of power, not matter how divergent the different administrations views, is a celebration of acceptance of our diversity. People will still complain, sometimes vehemently, but in the end we are still "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible" I wouldn't have it any other way!
Comment by James S Saint on October 8, 2009 at 4:17pm
"What government has the religious basis to righteously lead the people? Has any government found a way to tolerate all religions and lead the people with that in mind? Is the US a leader in this area?"

Only Satanism can do that (today called Secularism). But it must leave out real Christianity, because they are opposites. You cannot say, "All people must believe a lie" and allow the truth within those people.

But don't think that I am saying this due to Christianity being my religion. It isn't. I just happened to understand what Jesus was trying to convey and can find no error in anything he said. I could even add a significant little that perhaps he said, but never got recorded (I'm sure there are many such things).

I don't worship in faith. I never have. I analyze for the possibility of truth before the probability of deception. And in doing that, I find that Jesus was far more right than the others. And I find that Secularism cannot allow truth to reign or even exist in any small measure within its reign. Good or bad, that is just the way it is.

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