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Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

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Scoot: Is separation of church and state a good thing?

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson was among the speakers at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. He jokingly said that the Republican Party must be desperate if they asked him to speak!
Robertson, who has made a series of controversial statements about homosexuals and blacks, told the Republicans gathered in New Orleans, “you can’t be right for America if you’re wrong with God” and that to “turn the Republican Party around” they must “Get Godly.”
It is without criticism of Phil Robertson’s or anyone’s Christian or religious beliefs that I question if the problem with the Republican Party is that it needs to “Get Godly.” While I’m not certain what Robertson meant, considering what is known about him, I would suggest that he is talking about the Republican Party doing more to openly support and promote Christian values and beliefs. And if the comments made by Robertson are advice on what the direction of the party should be in order to win the White House in 2016, then there is a strong implication of a President espousing Christian beliefs.
During the presidential election of 2012, there was a lot of talk about the role specific religious beliefs played in the lives on candidates and even the idea that if elected – religion would play a part in the decision-making process of the Republican president.
When Phil Robertson says the Republican Party needs to “Get Godly,” or when a candidate for public office boasts about their religious convictions and the part those convictions will play in government – the question of "separation of church and state" immediately comes to the forefront.
The Constitution does not mention God or religion, except that the government is forbidden to sponsor or require religion. The widely used phrase “separation of church and state” actually came from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In reference to the First Amendment, Jefferson wrote, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith and his worship, that legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation of Church and State.” And that is the historical reference point for “separation of church and state.”
In 1803, James Madison said, “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”
George Washington said, “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
As with any constitutional issue – the phrase in the Constitution regarding no government sponsorship of religion and Jefferson’s declaration of a “wall of separation of church and state”  – there is an opportunity for interpretation. But the intent of our founding fathers seems quite clear. There is no mention of Christian beliefs, religion or God in the Constitution. If there was a motivation to rule America by Christian beliefs (as so many suggest) then something more specific would have been mentioned.
The debate over “separation of church and state” will never end, but regardless of what the Constitution says – or doesn’t say – do we want a President or any elected official to use his or her specific religious beliefs to guide their decision-making while in office? That should be a frightening thought to all Americans, especially in light of the many politicians who have promoted their Christian moral beliefs during a campaign only to fall short of upholding their beliefs while in office.
The Republican Party was damaged by the inference that religion was an important part of the party’s platform and agenda. The implication of religion and politics invokes the idea of government-led influence on the personal and religious lives of individuals.
During the presidential campaign of 1960, John F. Kennedy, a Catholic running for president, went to great lengths to convince voters that he was running as a Democrat and not as a Catholic and that his Catholic beliefs would have no influence on the decisions he made as President of the United States. Kennedy’s victory over Richard Nixon should be used as a precedent for every president. It is appropriate for any President to be religious and maintain strong moral values – but not use a specific set of religious beliefs as a compass for America’s direction.
Why are so many Americans afraid of the idea that there is a separation of church and state? What if government is void of religion – like the Constitution? Would that diminish the faith of any Christian or religious person in America?
Our faith – our religious convictions – live within our hearts and minds, and not in any government position or institution. Asking the government to support and promote Christianity is implying that the government – rather than the Bible or religious leaders – is the best source of religion in America.
Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour – who is also a prominent voice in the Republican Party – told the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in reference to a political party’s purpose is to win elections, “I hope we will not let purity be the enemy of victory.”
Those who endorse government support and promotion of  Christian beliefs are naïve to the implications of what they wish for!

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Topics : PoliticsReligion_Belief
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Locations : MississippiNew Orleans
People : George WashingtonHaley BarbourJames MadisonJohn F. KennedyPhil RobertsonRichard NixonThomas Jefferson

06/03/2014 9:55AM
Scoot: Is separation of church and state a good thing?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
06/03/2014 3:20PM
The concern is, the country has gone further down a dark road, since Godly principles was pulled. No one wants a leader who bring the hand of a fire and brimstone preacher, that is the job of Christian pastors and leaders. But the need is for a person not swayed to special interest that go against the good of the parish, state or the country. A person's deep beliefs, what they maybe, are simply what drives each of us, in what we do and say. Complicated, it is not, government should not tell us how or where to worship, nor should they tell us we can not worship and believe. The path we are on now is bringing chaos and trouble as the years go by. President Reagan, was a great example of how to balance this issue in his life, and a he is the model of a President, that we need for this country's future, despite which party offers as a candidate. God Bless America and New Orleans.
06/03/2014 3:33PM
scooter trashing Republicans again
Dangerous that WWL lets a clown with so much pent up rage host a radio show.
06/03/2014 3:37PM
We have a domestic terrorist in the White House
named Barrack Obama. It might be time to pray a bit ...
06/03/2014 3:42PM
Scooter worships Obama
and government. There is no separation for Democrats. Government is their God.
06/03/2014 3:47PM
If the GOP would just endorse scooter's
deviant sex life, he would quit trashing them every day. Sorry Scooter, your behaviors are way too vile .... lol.
06/03/2014 4:00PM
Scoot is a true hack.
With all the constant scandals and failures of the Obama Administration, it is amazing that Scoot continues to view Christians and Republicans as the greatest threat to our country.
06/03/2014 6:47PM
Christianity = religion of peace
Nobody I know espouses a national religion of christianity. The problem now is that people are so uptight that now a politician or regular person cannot even mention they are Christian without offending someone
06/03/2014 6:58PM
Good for Obama ...
.... that white liberals think blacks are inferior. Obama is only in half as much trouble for bringing home a deserter in exchange for the terrorist dream team.
06/03/2014 7:54PM
Not in the constitution
as the constitution sets the organization of the government, but Thomas Jefferson did reference god and a creator in the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. The founding fathers were influenced heavily by human experience and were guided by their faith. Not all of the fathers were of any particular religion, but most of them believed in a god of some sort. Morality does matter. People guided by their faith and morality are what makes a virtuous person. We need people who are virtuous in places of high power. Scoot - you miss the point of "getting godly"
06/03/2014 8:39PM
Scooter only cares about promoting homosexuality
Scoot is a hard core DemWIT hack. Nothing new.
06/03/2014 9:18PM
Obama is a traitor.
Need to lock this primate up.
06/03/2014 10:02PM
Obama continues to embarrass the county
and weaken it.
06/03/2014 10:09PM
Susan Rice continues to spread her legs for Obama.
She is a lying WH0RE.
06/04/2014 12:48PM
Hillarious. Great political humor.
Democrats hate Republicans and vice versa .... the country is very divided between the productive and the leeches. Obama has America in the toliet.
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