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Paul on Separation of Church and State


Can DP help me address this when trying to explain it to other people? A fellow I know brought this up as the reason he won't vote for Dr. Paul, because he is (I think, he didn't explicitly say) concerned that Ron will use his power to turn the U.S. into Happy-Go Jesus Land.

I conceded that Ron may have made an error in his essay (Jefferson did in fact write about the wall, and was a founding father).

However, as I understand it, Ron is arguing that the wall of separation is not in the Constitution. However, we have Establishment Clause (Shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion).

As I understand it, this means that:
1. Federal government is prohibited from establishing a state religion.
2. If we extend this idea to the states, then states may not establish official religions.
3. We can then reason that states and local municipalities are forbidden from enacting law or policy of the same.

In the essay, Ron goes on to complain about the government sponsored persecution of religion (removal of christmas trees from public and private places, similar things).

Is Ron's intent to simply argue that because government cannot act to sponsor a religion, it cannot either act to persecute a religion, in this case the Christmas situation?

The points my "opponent" brought up:

"As an atheist I can't vote for Paul because of his bible pushing and disbelief in separation of church and state."

" He said the founding fathers didn't want separation of church and state, you are saying he says it's ok for the people in the government to let their religion influence their decisions, and jefferson says there should be a "wall of separation between church and state" so if tehre's a wall of separation then how would church be able to influence the state's decisions? Common sense and morality should influence the state's decisions. Not religion. Romney believes in separation of church and state and he even believes in evolution. It's weird for a "mormon", I know, but it's a step in the right direction when someone's religion does not hold back science. "

As an aside, I strongly suspect we may have been holding two separate conversations at times. Either that or this man's reading comprehension skills are not the best. Not to engage in ad-hominem, but it just struck me that my statements were not being understood 100%...

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The underlying idea is

The underlying idea is promoting one religion over another. If you allow Christians to put their Christmas tree, you should allow Muslims to do whatever, atheists to do whatever, etc.

The thing is, I would argue that if they put up a Christmas tree, that isn't really religious. Christmas is a Christian holiday but also a Western holiday. Now if they put up a nativity scene, one might have a point.

Obviously, this issue is usually brought up in public schools.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

I wish that people would not

I wish that people would not engage in name calling on here. I frequently like to point non Ron Paul supporters, misinformed people, or people who just have questions to the Daily Paul. If they see us calling non Ron Paul supporters idiots, they are going to be turned off and it is going to be very hard for them to respect us and the things we believe.

Sorry, I made a mistake in

Sorry, I made a mistake in how I posted this. It was supposed to be in reply to the person who said, "First of all, this guy is an idiot..."

The more I think on the

The more I think on the conversation, the more I come to a conclusion.

The man, after a point, started bringing up minutia and repeating himself.I think it's because of one important thing.

He wasn't actually concerned that there might be a Pope Ron Paul of the Church of Murrica.

He is one of those Atheists who hold themselves in such high regard they view religious people as subhuman in their morality.

I find this particularly offensive and it does the cause absolutely zero good as well. I am an Atheist myself and always cringe when I come across people like this, who are willing to put blinders on and look at the world and people through a filter of "If it's not Atheist it's garbage."

Ultimately, unless Ron Paul were to be Atheist, or at least not very visible in his religion, this guy would not know or care about Paul's personal opinions.

He even went on to say he supported Romney, but would be fine with Obama. Romney and Obama believe in a god and are religious. So how can he justify that? He can't. He just doesn't like Paul's criticism of government attacking religious expression in public spaces, because he feels using state power to persecute religion is just fine and dandy.

I for one couldn't disagree more. History teaches us that state persecution of religion only emboldens the people involved ever more. Take the German persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses and Jews during WWII as an example.
If you want people to stop being religious, state force isn't the way to do it at all.

But I digress. I think I've with your help well analyzed myself and have not been found wanting. Thanks guys. :)

*Edited for grammar

Please don't interrupt me.

Ron Paul is exactly in line with the Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...


Contained in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this clause prohibits the government from establishing an official religion. It also prohibits the government from preferring one religion over another, preferring religion over nonreligion, or vice versa.


The states cannot make a law that would violate any section of the Constitution, so the idea that they may try to enact a state religion is null.

So the question boils down to: Is your friend willing to gamble on the infinitetismal chance that Ron Paul "might" take away his right to be free of religion over the almost absolute certainty of the continued erosion of ALL of his constitutional liberties?

Your "friend" has their

Your "friend" has their priorities upside down.
The dead soldiers in/and undeclared wars is far more important.
The money losing its value is far more important.
The rights of all is far more important.
Your friends worry over something so frivolous says something about what they value.

"[When] the principle that force is right is become the principle of the nation itself, they would not permit an honest minister, were accident to bring such an one into power, to relax their system of lawless piracy." --Thomas Jefferson to Caesar Rodney, 1810

Speaking of science and Jefferson...

"I fear, from the experience of the last twenty-five years, that morals do not of necessity advance hand in hand with the sciences." --Thomas Jefferson to M. Correa de Serra, 1815

13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he shall hate the one, and love the other, or else he shall lean to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and riches. - Luke 16

First of all this guy is an idiot

"you are saying he says it's ok for the people in the government to let their religion influence their decisions"

Peoples beliefs affect their decisions, if they actually believe their religion it is going to affect how they vote, only an idiot would tell someone I want to make sure that your beliefs have no affect on your actions. Actions simply prove what you actually believe.

Furthermore the first amendment was put into the constitution to make sure there would be no state funded church. Every christian should be thankful otherwise or country would be just as secular as any europeon country. seriously they all still fund state churches but yet they are way way more secular than America, want to know why because their "minister, preacher, preist" has faith the government will always pay his bills so he went to college to get an easy job, whereas in america there is a need for a man to have faith (misplaces or not) and a need for hard work, a lazy preacher in america will go hungry not so in europe. Heck he should be pushing a state church so that we can be like england and fill pulpits with men that openly do not believe in God.

You know nothing about

You know nothing about religion in Europe. In Europe, they've actually learned that having faith means little. You need to take action. Just having faith is useless.

One of the dumbest things Mitt Romney said, when asked the first thing he would do if the US was attacked, was say, "I'd pray". Yeah, like that would do anything.

Dividing religion and government is a good thing. Europe attitudes about religion come from the fact that the don't have this albatross could the South who believe in fairy tales.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

In my understanding it's as

In my understanding it's as simple as saying that the Church is one thing and the state is another. Each thing important but one thing should not be used to accomplish what the other thing was created to do.

Here's my opinion

I think Paul believes politicians can have their own religions, and those religions can influence their decisions; as long as those decisions don't affect the freedom of religion and the Bill of Rights. For example, a politician voting against a war because of his religion is fine, but a politician voting for a mandate forcing people to go to church isn't.

It is an enormous simplification to speak of the American mind. Every American has his own mind.

~Ludwig von Mises

Tell Your Friend To Prioritize

All issues are not equal.

Dr. Paul will spend his tenure ending war, protecting liberty, and saving the country from runaway inflation and bankruptcy. Merging church and state are not exactly high on the to-do list.

I've heard some similarly complain that he has said he doesn't believe in evolution. When he reaches the White House that will be about as consequential as his favorite color.

Better that we elect someone who will allow the banks and military industrial complex to ru(i)n the country?

"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

I'm not really into be ruled by an athiest cult

And I would think he could understand that. I'm not interested in being ruled by religious leaders, either.

It's of no business of the government, period. Thus, "Congress shall make no law. . . ."

For any particular religion to receive any favor or discrimination by unconstitutional legislation or executive fiat is repugnant in a free society, as even are public exhortations by government officials.

The constitution was very specifically constructed as to not not step on the toes of any religion, because the founders understood that discriminating against any or raising any particular one up was an unconstitutional abuse of power not granted.

However, just like our representatives are allowed to root for certain sports teams or have favorite economists and speak their opinions about any topic, they may certainly express their personal views and beliefs and philosophies and how they may inform him or her on a particular issue.

Even if a representative is voting for religious reasons, so long as he or she is not passing legislation to bolster or discriminate against an establishment of religion, there should never be an issue.

These are my thoughts and opinions, and couldn't claim to be able to speak for Ron.


Henry the VIII

didn't like the pope telling him he couldn't get divorced so he forced the Anglican church on all his subjects. The Founders didn't want that to happen here. In fact religious persecution is why the pilgrims left England in the first place as we all know.(or should know)

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"- Homer Simpson