Here’s the hullabaloo: The Democratic and Republican candidates for Senate in Delaware answered audience questions at a law school. At one point, Republican Christine O’Donnell challenged Democrat Chris Coons: “Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?” This question prompted surprise from the audience and scrutiny from the media.

Coons responded, “The First Amendment establishes a separation.”

O’Donnell countered with “The First Amendment does? … So you’re telling me that the separation of church and state, the phrase ‘separation of church and state,’ is in the First Amendment?”

Reaction to these remarks reflects two possible interpretations:

  1. O’Donnell means that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not literally in the Constitution.
  2. O’Donnell wasn’t careful in her choice of words.

This semantic dilemma pinpoints a few words that may help you understand this election season.

If O’Donnell intended to point out that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not literally in the Constitution, then her statement is an example of originalism, “the belief that the United States Constitution should be interpreted in the way the authors originally intended it.” Her campaign issued a statement supporting an originalist intent for the remarks.

(In the spirit of precise definitions, do you really know the story behind why the actual Boston Tea Party protestors dumped tea in Boston Harbor? Explore the meaning of “Tea Party,” here.)

In the U.S., originalism (or strict constructionism) has become associated with political conservatives. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a well-known proponent of this view. When a politician rails against “activist judges” who “legislate from the bench,” you can surmise he or she is informed by an originalist stance.

Here’s the text of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights:

“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.”

Many scholars (and judges) interpret this famous text to imply a separation of religion and government. If you read the amendment literally however, you may beg to differ. The root of “literal” is the Latin litteralis, “of or belonging to letters or writing.” Traditionally, a literal reading refers to what a text (often the Bible) says exactly, rather than its mystical or allegorical significance.

Some people may ascribe mystical value to Freudian slips, something said aloud that wasn’t necessarily meant to be . But what is the technical name for a slip of the tongue? Here’s your answer.

NCR Increasing Focus on Self-Service Retail Kiosks.

American Banker January 22, 2008 | Lowe, Frederick H.

NCR Corp. is making a bigger push in the fast-growing self-service retail kiosk market, a segment made possible by the success of the company’s main product line, automated teller machines.

It rolled out two self-serve products last week: NCR Xpress Entertainment and ReadyStation. The Xpress kiosks store up to 1,000 DVDs and video games people can buy or rent, and the ReadyStation bill-payment kiosks run on NCR’s EasyPoint Xpress kiosk platform.

NCR introduced both products at the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo in New York.

Observers said the rollouts signal a strategic shift at NCR.

“NCR has a big vision. They are trying to dominate self-service and all of its manifestations,” said Gil B. Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles. “This includes financial self-service, which is ATMs, and retail self-service, which is kiosks. NCR feels it can replace a lot of manual tasks with kiosks.” The shift does not mean NCR is abandoning its core business of ATM manufacturing, though an executive of the Dayton, Ohio, company said at the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery Conference & Expo in November that it is putting less emphasis on the term ATM because it is too narrow. site adp self service

In December, at NCR’s analysts day conference, where the company’s top executives laid out their plans to Wall Street analysts, the company said it planned to expand its deployment of retail self-service kiosks to the travel, hospitality, health-care, gambling, entertainment, and government sectors.

The new machines are not NCR’s first move into the self-service market, Mel Walter, its vice president of business development, pointed out. Travelers already use NCR’s self-service kiosks to check in at airports, people use other models to register for doctors’ appointments, and a growing number of supermarkets are installing NCR’s self-checkout shopping systems.

“We’re not starting without movement,” Mr. Walter said in an interview. “Well over 50% of our revenues come from self-service.” What has changed is that NCR is increasing its focus on this market after the spinoff of its Teradata warehousing business last year.

“NCR is going to devote more resources in the future to self-service,” Mr. Walter said. “We expect our retail self-service business to grow at a faster rate in the future than financial self-service, or our ATM business, because retail self-service is growing from a much smaller base.” It is a smaller base with a big upside, Mr. Luria said. “The retail aspect of self-service has grown rapidly, and the potential is great if NCR captures the market.” During the presentation to Wall Street analysts, NCR said the entire market for retail self-service systems in North and South America was about $7.1 billion last year.

The emerging kiosk market for car rentals and airport check-ins adds $3.8 billion, making the self-serve market comparable to the ATM market in the region, which had $4.4 billion in sales last year.

NCR’s self-service business, which includes parts of its retail automation unit and other business lines, reported 2006 revenue of $2.4 billion, said Robert Kramer, a spokesman; its ATM business generated revenue of $1.4 billion. Overall revenue for the year was $6.1 billion.

At the analyst day, NCR presented slides showing that consumers are eager to use self-service machines. see here adp self service

In 2006, the company said, 66% of travelers and 70% of business travelers used kiosks to check in at airports. And by 2011 consumers will spend more than $1 trillion a year through self-service kiosks, NCR predicts.

Self-service kiosks appeal to the young in particular. About 71% of those in the 18-to-24 age bracket prefer them, the company has found.

The success of the ATM, which had its 40th anniversary last year, has made the growing market of self-service kiosks possible, Mr. Walter said.

“There are 1.75 million ATMs worldwide, and the machines processed over 60 billion transactions last year,” he noted. “Consumers are migrating to self-service because they have become used to using ATMs.” Just as the ATM made consumers comfortable with self-service kiosks, NCR’s spinoff of its Teradata warehousing business in October to shareholders opened the door to NCR’s pursuit of the self-service market, Mr. Walter said. Since the spinoff NCR has redefined its business model as 100% self-service, he said. “The spin-off of Teradata created the new NCR,” he says.

In 2006 NCR shipped an estimated 18,995 ATMs, making it the world’s largest ATM manufacturer, according to the 2008 ATM&Debit News EFT Data Book.

Mr. Lowe is the editor of ATM&Debit News, a SourceMedia Inc. publication, where this article first appeared.

Lowe, Frederick H.


  1. JD -  February 24, 2012 - 9:49 am

    The phrase itself comes from a letter Written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Church, stating that “there must remain a wall of separation between church and state”.

  2. Parch -  November 8, 2010 - 5:29 am

    wow. the moderators here are really passive-agressive. leave a good post up for 2 or three days and delete it over the weekend. bravo.

    look up a text version of the constitution. press Ctrl-F to bring up the “find” tool. type “separation of church and state”.
    tell me what you find.
    here, i’ll help… you won’t find anything. it’s NOT THERE.

  3. iviegrace -  November 1, 2010 - 12:43 pm

    i think that what you said is good

  4. Waleno -  October 28, 2010 - 3:32 pm


    I replied to this already and it was up for a day but then it disappeared. your first argument is circular in that it relies on a preexisting belief. these things do not stand as testable evidence. There is no singular event that a hypothesis can be formed from resulting in testable/measurable evidence of an form of “god”. If there was that would be science. as it is a feeling of awe and wonderment does not work as a substitute.


    If this post gets deleted I will be upset. Christian apologist posts are not deleted by the moderator but I have had posts deleted and do not think it is fair.

    My previous post was better but I do not have the inclination to rewrite it.One last thing though. The variation in any particular belief’s definition between different peoples is sufficient to prevent them from being categorized as the same. We may call all languages “language” but they are not the same. Each of the people you mentioned had a conception of god that is seriously different from the premise you are defending.

  5. Nanner -  October 26, 2010 - 9:29 pm

    *Cough, cough*

  6. Nanner -  October 23, 2010 - 1:58 pm

    Touche’! You picked up exactly on the point I was making. That is if the teaching of intelligent design is banned from the classroom on the grounds that it is promoting a religious establishment, the teaching of the big bang is equally guilty of the same grounds. To claim otherwise in any way is a logical fallacy. Now, contrary to the final statement of my post, do I don’t actually believe teaching of big bang/evolution is unconstitutional. I was simply demonstrating the absurd by being absurd. I believe a ban on teaching EITHER theory is unconstitutional censorship. I see no inconsistencies with teaching about both so long as all are presented properly – as right theories that lack definitive reason to ignore other possibilities.
    And to clarify your question, there is no one specific religious institution that is the main supporter of intelligent design, it merely exists that most religions claim a god-head as a creator, and therefore ‘intelligent designer’ of the world. Though, not all intelligent design theories involve a godhead, as some believe the possibility of alien, or ‘life force’ designers. Religious folk are merely a subset of all those who entertain the possibility of intelligent deisgn.

    1. “Intelligent Design argument is creationism in a different pair of pants” No. By definition, Creationism is only a subset of intelligent deisgn, but intelligent design encompasses several possibilities that are NOT religious (alien origins).It’s equivalent of “All modern airline terror attempts have been perpetrated by male Muslims, therefore all Muslim males are terrorists and only Muslim males are terrorists” An absolutely absurd proposition. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the provocative example given the news this week!)
    2. “there is absolutely no scientific basis for a theory of Intelligent design.” DNA sequencing, the Krebbs cycle, The existence of electricity and gravity, along with our apparent lack of understanding to explain its existence yet in our modern wisdom. The very nature of matter and energy to interchange. The polarity that causes water to become less dense when it freezes (essential to life on earth). The evidence is more basic than many, but still present. The logical assumptions for the first explorers to set eyes on the Mayan Ruins was not, Wow – how amazing that such a wonder was formed by chance! It was – “wow, who the h#$@ put these here?” And that is a question that has been asked since the beginning of time: How can an organized, artful and necessarily intricate existence become of an environment dominated by entropy? Yes, obviously natural selection contributes to the evolution of life, but it does not adequately account for its beginnings.
    3. The existence of an Intelligent Designer is not considered merely by just us weak-minded, short-sighted buffoons who have no apparent understanding of scientific method – but also by weak-minded, short-sighted geniuses who also must also have total disregard for scientific method, yet discovered the equations that can accurately predict gravity, harness electricity, and illuminate the bulb dangling over what seems to me a somewhat unprecocious existence.
    4. The mindset which wishes to undermine religion by excluding intelligent design from curriculum is growing weaker and weaker, and obviously acting in desparation and gasping for what little reason yet exists to support it. I will let the readers of this thread to decide for themselves which of us has the narrow mind and lack of understanding fo the scientific method.If you don’t like the mention of Einstein, perhaps some others would suit you?
    Fred Hoyle (British astrophysicist): “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
    Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”
    Arthur Eddington (astrophysicist): “The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory.”
    Stephen Hawking (British astrophysicist): “Then we shall… be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.”
    Antony Flew (Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater) “It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”
    Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics): “From the perspective of the latest physical theories, Christianity is not a mere religion, but an experimentally testable science.”
    In Optics, 1704, Newton wrote: “God in the beginning formed matter.”
    Regarding the Bible, Newton wrote: “The system of revealed truth which this Book contains is like that of the universe, concealed from common observation yet the labors of the centuries have established its Divine origin.”

  7. JRoy -  October 23, 2010 - 9:12 am

    I believe that people need to go back to the roots of why they put Separation of Church and State in the constitution. At that period in time, the English supported a specific religion, and priests of that religion had as much power as a government official. The Founding Fathers wanted to keep that from happening, so they wanted a separation of Church and State, but not as extreme as we have today. It pains me to know people who use BCE and CE. I believe that people need to stop making this more of a problem then the Founding Fathers made it.

  8. Waleno -  October 22, 2010 - 7:28 am


    You do not have a very good understanding of science. The Intelligent Design argument is creationism in a different pair of pants; still the same thing. More importantly, there is absolutely no scientific basis for a theory of Intelligent design.

    You say: “There is no more legitimate scientific acceptance of the big bang and millions of years of natural selection than there is of intelligent design.” Your statement is absurd. There is a lot of evidence for both the big bang and natural selection. You obviously don’t understand the place math holds in science or anything about logic.

    Over time scientists refine their theories based on empirical evidence. Intelligent Design apologists simply refine their arguments. That is how Intelligent Design came about; Creationists realized their arguments did not sound scientific enough. The main problem here is that they don’t have any science to back up their arguments and don’t bother evaluating the science in support of the scientific model. (I personally believe this is because they are afraid of conversion by their rational mind)

    On the scientific side of things, the only reason Intelligent Design proponents (ID’s) are still in this debate is because of the egalitarian stance most scientifically minded people take to an argument. This, in fact, characterizes the scientifically minded person. We bother to learn the position of the other person and realize their is some validity to what they feel if not what they say. We also try to keep an open mind to all possibilities in realization that all knowledge and understanding is fallible and that progress can only be made if we are willing to allow our assumptions to be tested. ID’s don’t bother to do any of this. what they argue and believe is not science and has no place in a classroom where science is taught.

    We will keep you technology going; your cellphone, your car, your TV and your Facebook are all possible through science. You just keep on with your wild unfounded speculation. It is a free country. But please, stop quoting Einstein, you soil his name.

  9. KyCavalier -  October 22, 2010 - 6:10 am

    One last thought…if you don’t want someone with moral religious convictions making sure you keep your rights in office; then what do you want? So, you are saying that I should keep my moral religious convictions from affecting my judgement when it comes to laws and running government? So, you want me to be a liar, cheat, adulterer, thief, murderer; those things directly affect government. If you don’t like that kind of person, which everyone complains about it every time you talk about government…then you are only getting what you are subconciously arguing for. To use Jefferson as the only one out of hundreds of founders as your example flies in the face of true scope of our history. If you can’t see how we, America, have been different than that of the rest of the world, then your relativism (religious thought) has affected your judgement. Which is what you are again, arguing against.

  10. KyCavalier -  October 22, 2010 - 6:01 am

    First of all Baptist Roger Williams, and you did not read it @Bruce, in his original “separation of church and state” specifically said that it is a one-way wall…the church affecting the state and not the other way around. You need to go back and reread Roger Williams again to see that he specifically stated that this wall, if not there, would taint the church…has it did in Europe and not the other way around. To state this arguement to say it was used to make the first secular state is rediculous. You people who want to use this phase as the other way a around. Civil unions, marriage laws other than one man and one woman, flies in the face of the “,<—comma or PROHIBITING the FREE exercise thereof." This means that I wouldn't be able to exercise my "free exercise there of" to say that I'm against it. So, civil union laws, gay marriage laws, me be able to stand on a street corner to preach, are laws that would effect my "free exercise thereof." Besides PROFESSORS OF POLITics ( I had everyone of you under the rug in college) history states specifically that our government used millions of laws to specifically advance religion, but not effect it…Virginia had a tax that went to the Anglican church until the 1830s, Kentucky passed laws to make public lands useable for churches, church services, etc. However, the Democrats of 1850 constitutional convention, as they do today, in KY left out preachers being able to hold office, why? So, they couldn't effect public opinion over slavery. The Northwest Ordinance specifically states that schools will be used to advance morals (Article III).

    Also, the President leaving out "endowed by their creator" in the last four speeches, is very important to note in this debate…THOSE WORDS were CHOOSEN VERY CAREFUlly by Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues to state that there is only ONE PLACE rights come from…this completely separated our founders from anyone else in the history of the world. In a secular evolutionist RELIGIOUS society those rights would come from fickle, depraved men…so as the 20th century taught us…those countries that went that way killed millions. Why? Because if rights came from whoever is in charge and not God, if you don't like what I say…you'll kill me. So, if you progressives want to use that as an arguement…why are you arguing? You are using your arguement against yourselves. If you want man to be in charge of your rights what does it matter to you who's in charge? OoooH….so it does matter doesn't it? Hedonism is what you want…that's cool…at least state it as your objective.

  11. Robert -  October 22, 2010 - 1:16 am

    Everyone is so damn literal they seem incapable of stringing together two clauses in a simple sentence. The three words are “The Federalist Papers.”

  12. Hoodaloo -  October 21, 2010 - 8:22 pm

    It is true that the phrase, “separation of church and state,” isn’t in the constitution. Now what…It seems we have many arguments which are simply concerned with the fact that that phrase doesn’t appear in the constitution. I’m not sure why it matters if it is or not.

    The rules for how congress shall make and pass laws IS in the constitution, however. Isn’t that all that matters?

    O’Donnell is technically right, but, if elected, I hope she follows the rules established by the constitution for making and passing laws.

    You said, “I will even go beyond this assertion to add that I in fact view the very prohibition of teaching intelligent design in public institutions as, itself, an unconstitutional law made in order to propagate the establishment of a religion…”

    I think I agree with you up to the point, “…in order to propagate the establishment of a religion…” Whether I agree with you here is really irrespective of the point that it appears – to me, at least – to be unconstitutional.

    It appears to be unconstitutional due to the grounds that prohibiting the teaching of intelligent design violates the clause of the first amendment that states: “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Prohibition of the teaching of intelligent design would then seem to be the result of an unconstitutional law that demands one specific religion not to have the freedom to exercise their ideals, assuming intelligent design is derived from a specific religion (is it?). Anyways, this was just something that piqued my curiosity.

  13. Tom K -  October 21, 2010 - 3:58 pm

    “I think that is was Thomas Jefferson who came up with the concept of ‘Church and State’ separation.”

    Wrong. The idea went back a long way. Most of the founding fathers shared a distrust of religions, and of Christianity in particular. They had witnessed the nefarious role it played in European politics.

    Jefferson just expressed the idea more succinctly than anyone else. For example: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.”

    Thomas Paine wrote: “Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.”

    John Adams: “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.”

    George Washington: “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated.”

    The Constitution is not a single document. It’s much more than that. The Constitution is a living body of law that addresses thousands of questions that the founders never dreamed of. Where, for example, do you find the Internet in the Constitution? Where are integrated schools and public facilities? Where do you look in the Constitution to find out whether waterboarding is torture? Or even that torture may be prohibited? Where does the Constitution give the government the authority to search airline passengers traveling from Sacramento to Los Angeles? Where does the Constitution say that the police may search your car?

    The notion that Constitutional questions can be decided without reference to subsequent court decisions, customs and practices is just ridiculous.

    Separation of church and state IS in the Constitution. It could not be more clear, both from their writings of the Founders and from the Constitution itself, that they feared theocracy. Not only does the First Amendment explicitly prohibit government support of any religion; not only does Article 6 prohibit any religious test for high office, but there is a huge body of Constitutional law that has built a firewall between religion and government. And that works both ways: government may not meddle in religious affairs; no church may stake a claim on any branch of our government.

    Would you really want it any other way?

  14. smartalek -  October 21, 2010 - 3:48 pm

    “the base of people who generally read this stuff is of the left and probably have their noses in the air when they pontificate.”
    Stan on October 20, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Not all the time, Stan.
    We only do that when talking to people who have demonstrated, by deed and/or by word (whether spoken, written, mis-spelled on signs or blog comments, or whatever) that they’re either ignorant of specific facts (and not interested in learning the facts), misinformed (ditto), or ineducable.
    Now, of course, that does imply that if a certain person *never* hears anything from a lefty without the lefty’s nose being in the air… well, I’ll leave the rest as an exercise for the reader, as they say.
    BTW, thanks for acknowledging that normal Americans are “of the left” (“the base of people who generally read this stuff”) and eager to learn new things — and it’s your side that are both out-of-the-mainstream and revel in your ignorance (since you clearly don’t “generally read this stuff” such as dictionary sites, etc). That’s a most unusual degree of honesty and self-awareness for a wingnut; there might be hope for you yet.

    “The Bill of Rights could not be issued today. It references ‘their creator’.”
    Dallas on October 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    No, it doesn’t.
    You’re thinking of the Declaration of Independence.
    However, we all thank you for giving us such a perfect example of the wingnut “thought” process (using the term loosely, of course) and mode of argumentation:

    “The words ‘separation of church and state’ don’t appear in the Constitution, but in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, so the US is a Christian Nation!
    “And the words ‘their creator’ don’t appear in the Constitution, but in the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, so the US is a Christian Nation!”

    And then you complain when normal Americans call you crazed…

    (Note to the general public: Oh, I’m being MEAN? UN-CIVIL? ELITIST, even? Sorry, my patience runs a bit short when dealing with people who tell me I’m literally going to hell because my politics match what our Lord Jesus Christ, told us in Matt 5:1-48, and not what Glenn Back said they should be.
    Ditto when I’m told I’m “un-American” when I stand for the Constitution as it was written, and not as interpreted by the pResidential administration that thought it was ok to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant BEFORE 9/11. Oh, you didn’t know W had tried to do that? That’s your “liberal media” for you. And if you didn’t know that, what else haven’t they been telling you, hmm?)

  15. Logician -  October 21, 2010 - 3:14 pm

    Isn’t it simply the case that while the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the First Amendment, the concept of separation of church and state is entailed by what is written there. The state, more precisely, the legislative branch, i.e. congress, can act only by establishing laws. If there were no separation of church and state, the latter could establish laws that either respect an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof. Thus, by claiming that Congress shall not make any such law, the First Amendment entails that there shall be a separation of church and state (I’m ignoring some modal niceties here).

  16. WALNUT -  October 21, 2010 - 2:46 pm


  17. Nanner -  October 21, 2010 - 2:18 pm

    @Political Theory Prof
    As a Christian Right Wing Wacko conservative-libertarian type, you may find encouragement in the fact that I agree with the premise of your first paragraph, that laws must be justified with reason that is not linked to religion. But what I do NOT agree with is this:

    “Any act of the public, whether it be teaching creationism or banning gay civil unions or marriage, is an act made in ‘respect to the establishment of [a] religion.’”
    Quite contrarily, most liberals assume that the teaching of intelligent design is equivalent to creationism. Creationism IS a religious teaching, which rightly has no place in public education because the ‘who’ and perhaps the ‘how’ answer to how the world came about is related to theology. However, Inteligent design is agnostic. It recognizes no specific god or creator. It only acknowledges the possibility that some being, alien or supernatural force created the universe in a purposeful manner.
    There is no more legitimate scientific acceptance of the big bang and millions of years of natural selection than there is of intelligent design. Most notably, Einstein himself acknowledged the following:
    Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

    I will even go beyond this assertion to add that I in fact view the very prohibition of teaching intelligent design in public institutions as, itself, an unconstitutional law made in order to propagate the establishment of a religion – that being the religion of atheism, because the teaching that big bang/evolution is largely presented in schools as widely accepted scientific theory (as much as gravity for example) instead of merely one of a few possibilities. This has in the inherent effect of promoting the theology of the lack of existence of an intelligent designer and therefor, also of any monotheistic religion in favor of a humanistic religion.

    This site itself defines religion as such:
    “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

    Teaching that there is in fact NO intelligent designer of the world which has come about as a random result of an explosion, is inherently a teaching concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, and therefor a religion. I move that this teaching be banned in public schools.

    Anyone else!?

    (I will address gay marriage in a later post…gotta run now!)

    Religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

  18. It's not pronounced Eye-rack -  October 21, 2010 - 12:16 pm

    Liberal-bashers are missing the point.

    They are not the entirety of the population of the United States, no matter how much they wish they were. And not everyone shares their views concerning religion and worship.

    Religious oppression is undesireable. The Pilgrim Fathers, whose brave settling of this land made possible the founding of this great nation, came here to escape religious oppression.

    The Framers of the Constitution knew these two very important points, that not everyone (even then) shared the same religious views and that religious oppression is just plain bad.

    Any law regarding religion would be religious oppression — government officially opposing or supporting one religion over another, or requiring or restricting a religious observation regardless of what you want.

    On the other hand, what other point does a religion have in concerning itself with government other that to introduce legislation regarding itself and its views. And that would automatically make it religious oppression.

    That’s why there’s a separation, to prevent religious oppression. You know, religious oppression, that thing that makes the Taliban who they are. And Americans are nothing like the Taliban, right?

  19. Progressive in Texas -  October 21, 2010 - 11:52 am

    To Tom K. at 9:42 a.m.:

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. You did a lot to advance the substance of this discussion.

    I wish the same could be said for the vast majority of the posts in this forum.

  20. rusty nail -  October 21, 2010 - 11:43 am

    It somantically says it…

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