I recognize that there is a Christian theocracy in America. All Americans who are Christians are among the people who govern America with our votes, as our Christian beliefs are in us and are not grounds for excluding us from the right to vote in public elections. On that basis, there must be a popular American Christian theocracy under the principle of majority rule in America.


David Dodd Aug. 5, 2010 @ 7:47 p.m.

I would love to direct you toward Thomas Jefferson, but unfortunately Texas has permanently killed him and no one else seems to care. Sad, really, when you think about it. "In God We Trust"? Perhaps. The problem is in defining God. Unfortunately, politics uses this as a false pretense.


a2zresource Aug. 5, 2010 @ 9:22 p.m.

What I am speaking of is less about politics than most non-Christians think.


David Dodd Aug. 5, 2010 @ 10:42 p.m.

Feel free to enlighten me, my friend, I love these types of discussions. I think that if people could freely talk about this sort of thing, we'd likely be better off as a society. I think that Christians (as well as non-Christians) have every right, and perhaps even every duty, to vote according to whatever principles they defend, without reproach from those who might endorse their candidates from diametrically opposed principles.


MsGrant Aug. 6, 2010 @ 9:26 a.m.

This is the point I was making on Siobhan's blog. How can you discount religious beliefs in the decision-making process if those deeply held convictions are the determining factor in how a person votes? There is no division of church and state when the "issue" (for lack of a better word right now) is what some consider a moral one. There are issues that are easy. Yes or no. Taxes. Build a stadium. Typically your religious beliefs are not going to affect how you vote. But when it comes to deeply personal issues, do we allow religion to decide? If indeed the majority of Americans are voting based on their religious beliefs, can the higher courts come in and pronounce those laws unjust?


a2zresource Aug. 7, 2010 @ 1:10 p.m.

If I read the opinions of the United States Supreme Court correctly, then an individual's religious opinion leading to a vote or other government decision can carry no more weight than a non-religious opinion, which is to say that the Constitution and the government institutions empowered thereunder must be neutral in the treatment of religion as part of the public discourse.

As Mr. Chief Justice Burger opined in LEMON V. KURTZMAN (1971), "Our prior holdings do not call for total separation of church and state; total separation is not possible in an absolute sense. Some relationship between government and religious organizations is inevitable", 403 US 602 at 614. Neither is it possible to separate the influence of individual religious morality from the decisions by individual voters as to MATTERS WHERE THE INTERESTS OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT ARE UPHELD AND PRESERVED that coincidentally are found to be consistent with Christian religious teachings on the morality of public relations.


David Dodd Aug. 7, 2010 @ 1:40 p.m.

Both pocket change and folding money contain the phrase, "In God We Trust".

The U.S. was founded by people who, in part, arrived at the New World to escape persecution based on their religious beliefs. It is very interesting, however, to note many of Jefferson's writings - mainly in his correspondence - where he was deliberate in insisting that any religious belief play no part in politics. But even through those letters one gets a sense that Jefferson had absolutely no issues with politicians endorsing their religions. As though a natural occurrence, perhaps religion (or non-religion) should shape our morality, we seem to act according to whatever ties we maintain with whatever religious beliefs we carry with us. The only important thing, then, would be to realize this, and rather than to deny it perhaps we should acknowledge it in order to avoid inadvertently allowing it to affect our judgment in a blind manner.


a2zresource Aug. 7, 2010 @ 3:19 p.m.

At the time Jefferson wrote prior to the Revolutionary War, "religion" meant one of a rather limited set of things: (1) Roman Catholicism, where canon law was still very much a real legal thing in the world with the force of the Inquisition, (2) the Church of England, of which the Crown was Protector of the Faith even if it meant hacking off the head of the Queen, (3) the state churches, of which there were several, or (4) any other church existing with congregations on then-English colonial soil.

I don't think any of the Founding Fathers was interested in establishing a Church of the United States of America, which was why the First Amendment became the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, in order for there to be a ratified Constitution of the United States of America. At the time, nobody was prepared to do away with the official churches of any of the individual states that had them, but they (the state churches, not the states) did slowly disappear in the decades after ratification.


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