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Confused about the Church/State Issue

It looks like undergraduate rabbinical students will be eligible for state-tax funded tuition assistance.%0D %0D I walk through my city college campus and I see signs for all these religious clubs. I really don't understand why a state school needs to accommodate religious organizations. I guess part of my tuition goes into a club fee that supports these religious groups. That is wrong.

by Anonymousreply 905/22/2013

America is a theocracy, OP. Why are you confused?

by Anonymousreply 104/01/2011

I take it this is an open admissions city college?

by Anonymousreply 204/01/2011

All city colleges are.

by Anonymousreply 304/01/2011

Eeeeeverybody's on the government tit somehow, OP. May as well try and get some of your own before it runs dry.

by Anonymousreply 404/01/2011

the establishment clause prohibits the government from "establishing" a religion. However there is also the free exercise clause which prohibits the government from preventing the free exercise of religion.%0D %0D Thus for example: We have no school prayer in public schools. This is because the act of teaching/education is a government action. The supreme court has long held school prayer acts as, "indirect coercive pressure upon religious minorities to conform to the officially approved religion." However the supreme court has also supported the right of a teacher in a public school to wear a cross. there is a fine line between establishment and free exercise. Usually religious groups in public colleges are student run and are treated in the same manner as say the ski club or glee club.

by Anonymousreply 504/01/2011

Serious question:

What would happen if our government just stopped recognizing religion? You can practice whatever religion you want but that's your personal choice and it just ends there. No more tax exempt status, no more holidays based on religion, no more basing laws on the Bible or any other "sacred" text.

I know there's no way to truly escape the influence of religion but could a secular government like that work in theory? How many kids might have escaped molestation if the Catholic priests had been treated like the criminals they are instead of allowing the Church to handle/ignore the problem? How much time and money could we save if we stopped trying to pass laws based on Biblical "law"? Are there any countries that function completely secularly? Sincerely curious.

by Anonymousreply 604/02/2011

I want to know, too

by Anonymousreply 704/02/2011

[quote] All city colleges are.%0D %0D Open admission? Nope. The community colleges are, but the 4 year colleges are not.

by Anonymousreply 804/02/2011

Eight years ago, in an opinion warning of the “violent consequences of the assumption of religious authority by government,” retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor offered a challenge to her fellow conservative justices eager to weaken the wall of separation between church and state: “[t]hose who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?”

Today, there are five justices on the Supreme Court who would trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly. And they just announced that they will hear a case that gives them the opportunity to make this swap a reality.

O’Connor was the Court’s leading supporter of the view that government cannot endorse a particularly religious belief or take action that might convey such a “message of endorsement to the reasonable observer,” and this view put her at odds with the four other members of the Rehnquist Court’s conservative bloc. When she left the Court, she was replaced by staunchly conservative Justice Samuel Alito, and most Court observers expected decades of precedent protecting against government endorsements of religion to fall in very short order.

Instead, the Roberts Court’s majority has thus far been content to chip away at the wall between church and state a piece at a time. In Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Court immunized many Executive Branch actions from suits claiming they violate the Constitution’s ban on “law[s] respecting an establishment of religion.” And in Arizona Christian School v. Winn, they empowered government to subsidize religion so long as those subsidies are structured as tax benefits and not as direct spending. But the core question of whether the government can “demonstrate . . . allegiance to a particular sect or creed” likely still must be answered in the negative.

The case the Court agreed to hear today, Town of Greece v. Galloway, is likely to change that. The ostensible issue before the Court is whether a municipal legislature violated the Constitution’s ban on separation of church and state when it began its meetings with overtly Christian prayers roughly two-thirds of the time. Yet the case also explicitly tees up the question of whether a government “endorsement” of religion of the kind rejected by O’Connor is permitted under the Constitution. If you’re placing bets, the odds are overwhelming that five conservative justices will say that such an endorsement is permitted.

With O’Connor gone, the much more conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy becomes the swing vote on questions of church/state separation. Kennedy has held that “government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise,” but it is not clear that he would forbid much else under the Constitution’s ban on government establishment of religion. By the end of the next Supreme Court term, however, it is very likely that his views will carry the day.

by Anonymousreply 905/22/2013
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