Separation of Church and State?

October 1, 2010 | By | 23 Replies More
Church and State

(c) 2010 Tony Coyle. No rights reserved.


I was on my way to lunch today, when I saw an ad on a local ‘mega-church’ billboard. It was promoting a “Restoring America Conference”.

This is a church. It pays no taxes. It should have no say, as an entity, in our political process.

Based on the speakers, this will not be about Restoring America in any social sense – something that a church should indeed participate and lead. This ‘conference’ will undoubtedly be a rabidly right-wing diatribe from start to finish.

In addition to Dr Lee, the Pastor of this megachurch, the keynote speakers are advertised as

  • Herman Cain, talk-show host,
  • Fred Barnes, Fox News Contributor, Editor Weekly Standard Magazine,
  • Walid Shoebat, Expert on Radical Islam. and
  • Ann Coulter, a NY Times Best Selling Author.

Cain calls himself the “Hermanator”, and undoubtedly sees himself as a local evangelical Tea Party leader. Recent posts on his site include “A Presidency in Free Fall”, “Liberal SIN tactics gone wild”, and “Dems scramble for a new message since the nation still hates ObamaCare”.

Barnes is the executive editor of The Weekly Standard (The ‘Neo-con bible’) and a regular Fox News ‘contributor’. One of his recent commentaries on Fox (h/t MediaMatters) denied that America was suffering in any way from “Islamophobia”. His magazine recently labelled President Obama as a “Hyper Partisan”. I suppose it takes one to know one.

Shoebat is, according to his own site, a ex-PLO terrorist, converted to Christianity. His claim to having participated in PLO activities are disputed in Palestine by his family and by the bank he says he bombed! His family also dispute that Shoebat is an assumed name. Some state that he is merely a dupe for Zionists, who enjoy having a pet ex-terrorist to spread the word.

As for Coulter. She is well known on the right-wing circuit, although she had a recent falling out with Joseph Farah of World News Daily for accepting a speaking engagement at the recent Homocon, reported across the web. This does not make her less right wing. It merely demonstrated that she’ll talk to anyone for a fee.

I have absolutely no problem with free speech, not do I have a problem with Partisan speech. I do have a problem when political speech is not only associated with religion, but sponsored and promoted by a religious organization.

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Category: advertising, American Culture, Current Events, hypocrisy, Politics, Religion

About the Author ()

I’m a technophile with an enduring interest in almost anything real or imagined. I suffer fools badly, and love trashy science fiction, plot-free action movies, playing guitar, and baking (especially scones. You haven’t lived ’til you’ve eaten my scones. I’ve recently undertaken bread, and am now in danger of gaining in a matter of weeks the 60 pounds I’ve lost in the past 2 years). My wife & I are Scottish, living north of Atlanta, GA, with two children, one dog, and a growing collection of gadgets. I work for a living.

Comments (23)

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  1. Rabel Fibal says:

    Yeah, let's knock down Herman Cain because he's black(uncle tom)? Because he thinks for himself;outside the fake black leaders that tell everyone they are a victims of whitey?

    So, what happened to our Ivy League schools(Princeton, Yale, Harvard, William and Mary) who's main theme is to teach men to become Christian Pastors/ leaders…What a change in 200+ years. Now, we have the whole Obama court(Kegan) made up of a bunch of Harvard pukes, that could hold no candle to the men who once roamed these campuses.

    So, did these people of wealth and education learn to govern because of institutions that promoted religion? What do the Ivys' promote now: feminism, anti-capitol, anti-war, the Religion of Evolution, Revised American history?

    I have a problem with publically funded institutions teaching young minds the aforementioned…yeah I know that most of these are private, but the grants, loans and research are funded(taxed)off the backs of working religious(Christian) people.

    …yes Tony, you do have a problem with free speech. You will probably go to name calling next.

    • Tony Coyle says:

      Rabel

      Your post is a racist canard. Care to provide anything factual, or will you simply stay with unsubstantiated attacks?

      I said nothing about Herman Cain's race. I said he was a typical Evangelical Tea Partier with delusions of grandeur. Do you dispute that analysis? He calls himself the Hermanator! Every post is a rant against Obama and the government. I don't see anything in his history ranting against the Bush administration, despite that administration's woeful record on deficit spending. If he thinks so much for himself why does he sound just like all the other tea party reich wing pundits?

      Your poor white mans burden is a sick attempt at the historic revisionism you accuse the Ivy League of doing. How many judges have been appointed by Obama to that Court you denigrate? What is their majority allegience? You dislike Kagan? So do I, for the record. I think she is a poor choice for Supreme Court, for many reasons, primarily that she is too strict a constitutionalist while too willing to be revisionist in favor of corporate interests. But she does not make the Court Obama's! It is not Obama's court – it is Robert's!

      I have major problems with publicly funded institutions NOT teaching our children to think, and instead teaching them to simply accept authority and pass tests.
      I have major problems with asshats like you making so much noise beyond their ability to think or argue rationally, such that our national dialog is not on matters of substance, but on stupidity (like O'Donnell ranting on masturbation, Broun ranting about the CDC being 'food police').

      I have no problem with free speech, but it seems that you have major problems with it.

  2. It always amuses me when I hear the charge of Revised American History leveled against people and institutions that tend to teach what actually happened as opposed to how people would like to remember it. There's an almost religious reaction in opposition to finding out how things actually worked.

    Rabel, it must be hard work to go around so angry all the time.

    Still, you made me curious. Turns out five of the current bench went to Harvard. Scalia, Ginsberg, Breyer, Roberts, and Kagan.

    Two went to Princeton—Sotomayor and Alito.

    Thomas went to Yale, Kennedy Stanford.

    But Ginsberg also went to Columbia, Alito also went to Yale, and Kagan has degrees from Oxford and Princeton.

    Ivy League, yes indeed (except for Stanford, I think). And what are we to make of all this?

    Not a damn thing. They had the money, the academics, and the opportunity to attend the best. Isn't that what we want in our leaders? The best?

    As for them not holding a candle to those who went before, to whom do you refer? And how does it relate? Bush went to Yale (both Sr. and Jr.) and that's not much to brag about. But maybe that's an unfair example.

    You list the things you despise. Feminism, anti-capitalism (which is a specious charge—Harvard MBAs still rule the world), anti-war (but who isn't opposed to war? I mean, really, isn't that just an admission that you don't want to talk to Others just kick the shit our of them?), evolution, and real American history.

    So you don't like women, you think rich people are wonderful, you like to bully, you hate science, and you'd rather not know anything real about history.

    Name-calling here is unnecessary. I think you have characterized yourself for all of us quite ably. Just one question—how do you keep the soil out of your nostrils with your head buried in the ground like that?

  3. Rabel Fibal says:

    Clouded with superiority, you can never see that everything is blamed on Bush, even the weather of Katrina…Bush's fault. How convenient of you to elude the fact of our nations best Universities were made to make man better than he is, spiritually.

    Now these Red-Diaper Doper-Babies teach Gender Studies, Social Diversity with much emphasis on big business being the problem with America. You don't like to admit that many in Obama's court are from Harvard.

    Can you even tell me why you have the freedom of speech? hint:(US military victories)

    While others burnt their draft cards, others had to fill their space and spill their blood.

    …freedom of speech is not free– it was paid for!

  4. Rabel,

    Where to begin? No one blamed the hurricane on Bush—the condition of the levies, the tardiness and incompetence of the response, yes. Cutbacks, so rich people can stash some more money in the Caymans. Tax cuts. Always tax cuts.

    You should read a bit about the early Republic and the common antipathy toward a standing army. Militiamen often refused orders from federal troops.

    But what's the point? You argue with labels, and I have to admit you come up with some doozies. "Red-diaper Doper-babies?" And I posted who had gone to Harvard on the current Supreme Court, which doesn't seem like denial to me. My question was, so what?

    I have seen this rhetoric before. It comes from people who rave and extoll the wonderfulness of our Freedoms, but every time the country exercises those freedoms, you cry warnings that we are doomed because we don't exercise them the way YOU think we should.

    But this has reached a new low, even for you, Rabel, so I'll tell you what. You go live in the country you want, I'll live in this one. We don't seem to speak the same language. I don't speak Bullshit very well, but I can recognize it when I hear it. And you, sir, are full of it.

  5. Rabel Fibal says:

    Your right Mark, I stand corrected on name calling, it just feels good! No I am not angry, but appalled, bewildered, and apathetic to the liberal mindset. This is your world, I'm just living in it…I live for the next kingdom come.

  6. Rabel Fibal says:

    Well obviously I'm living in a land of forgotten heroes, and gravy-training it in mambie-pambie land. Be it from me to hurt anyone's feelings…

  7. Tony Coyle says:

    Rabel

    Well obviously I’m living in a land of forgotten heroes, and gravy-training it in mambie-pambie land. Be it from me to hurt anyone’s feelings…

    you are not even making sense.

    Do you have some meds you should be taking?

  8. Rabel Fibal says:

    'Gulp' ah,there…much better. uh-hum.

    Notice Tony how you avoided the freedom of speech issue. You see, I try to answer, but my writings get edited by Erich, or some moderator to stay on the topic, I understand this. But how do I have freedom of speech on this website when my points and feelings are not all taken in to account. You only get an edited version of opinion. Nice work Erich…

    So without further editing… Tony, where did you get your American Freedom? From Scotland, England (Magna Carta)? No, you are enjoying the fruits of "We the people", who fought and died in wars, or walked a picket line, or helped slaves to freedom, suffragettes, etc…

    I mean as someone as foreign as you, Scotland must not have been so great to live? But you enter our sanctum, and tell us Native Americans(someone born here)with your sanctimony; on how we should think and live.

    Where did you get your freedoms Tony? Be careful, your peers are watching…

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Rabel: You were off topic, so I edited that comment. Stay on topic and you'll generally be OK.

    • Tony Coyle says:

      Rabel

      You really are an odious little weasel, aren't you?

      I left Scotland because I was asked to come here. I was headhunted. Sought out. Personally invited. Who invited you?

      I bring a substantial amount to this, my adopted country. I bring a great deal of expertise (at least, my consulting clients throughout the Fortune 1000 seem to think so, as do my employers). I participate in my local community, as do my family. In order to participate further, my family and I are pursuing citizenship.

      However, none of that is relevant to your sad little outburst of hate.

      Where did YOU get your freedom, weasel? If you have been here since birth, then you got your freedoms handed to you on a plate, without any scrutiny or 'test'. Have you ever stood on a picket line? freed a slave? fought in a war? No? Didn't think so!

      I doubt very much that you are a Native American – I know of none with such a maligned sense of animus towards others. Oh! You mean your ancestors came here and stole the lands from the indigent population! That kind of Native American?

      Careful Rabel – your true colors are showing (or shouldn't I use the word 'color' regarding you?)

      Regarding your claim to being edited — Care to summarize exactly what Erich is supposed to have excised from your comments? You'll see from the other comments that pretty much everything is allowable – unless you demonstrably break the rules (which are very few indeed).

      Like everything else you say – I consider this a lie unless you can demonstrate otherwise.

  9. Rabel Fibal says:

    By the way guys and gals,

    Ms. Harvard Kagan has never heard a case…she can teach all day long, but has yet, to hear a case. I cannot believe she made it, and maybe today, we will see how she votes…

    I cannot wait for GOP and Dems to get spanked this November. Anyone for some American Tea?

    • Tony Coyle says:

      Ravel, re Kagen. Is this supposed to be news?

      And don't you mean the tea party people on the republican ticket? gloating, Rabel? Whatever for? Surely you are not in the pocket of Koch Industries and the other Astroturfers?

      BTW: This is definitely Off Topic

  10. Rabel Fibal says:

    Tony,

    I think it is great that you got to come here and contribute to the greater society! I'm sure you improved the companies' return, and applaud you on taking that on…I have no problem with people getting citizenship the legal route. The US wants the world's best, not the criminals(human trafficers, drug smugglers) and so forth…

    I truly believe that most in the world want to be Americans; (and not to be taken care of), but that most want to show their gift or potential in a 'free society'. I would like to see the reasons why immigrants choose America verses the Common Wealth, or other European countries.

    Do muslims go to Europe based on their economics, local, or do they know that taxes will take care of their daily needs. France is now seeing that they cannot sustain this, encouraging French people to have French babies. Or, do moderate muslims like the freedoms that they didn't have in their original state. All are born with freedom in their heart and soul, and America is the place to pursue a dream.

    • Tony Coyle says:

      Rabel – enough with your rabid stance. This is your last post on this topic. More will simply be deleted.

      You demonstrate a vile perspective that is the worst of American Exceptionalism. I work here because there are companies large enough to employ my services. There are many places I would rather live, but this is where my commercial future lies. I seek citizenship because I recognize that I need to participate fully as a citizen to have any influence in the society.

      People go places for many reasons. Your vile insinuations are simply that. the vast majority of those muslims you are talking about have been French Citizens for many generations. France asked most of those North African muslims, colonial citizens all, to come to France. Just as Britain asked many from the Caribbean to come to the UK. Just as America has asked many Mexicans to come to the US! That last may not have been a formal request, out loud and in the open, but it was made by our demands for cheaper produce, for people to provide us services, to mow our lawns, clean our cars, and maintain our homes.

      So yes – they come for economic reasons. That they are then denied opportunity is not their fault.

      The problem is not immigrants. The problem is bigots. Like you.

  11. Rabel Fibal says:

    smchfrRblsfrdmfspchThnksTnyymdmyfrstpntydntblvndvrstyfpnnll

    Disemvoweled for O/T and personal taunts.

  12. Karl says:

    I can see why the older Hebrew texts may have been mistranslated once in a while.

    smchfrRblsfrdmfspchThnksTnyymdmyfrstpntydntblvndvrstyfpnnll

    Possible translation.

    So much for Rabel's freedom of speech.

    Thanks

    Tony, You made my first point you don’t believe in

    diversity of opinion. lol.

    • Tony Coyle says:

      Karl

      Never said you had a problem with diversity of opinion no but you quoted Rabel right back without comment. I apologize if my response suggested that you agreed with his comment.

      Personally, I have no problem with diversity of opinion, either.

      I do have a problem with obvious trolls continuing to troll when asked numerous times to desist. While I appreciate that you can reemvowel (not so hard, is it, so it is not complete censorship) the point stands. I have no problem with comments off-topic… the best conversations are dynamic, after all. I have a major issue with one-topic assholes who simply troll every thread with the same racist bullshit.

      word.

  13. Karl says:

    Never said you had a problem with diversity of opinion. Just doing a little translation/interpretive work.

    I have no problem with you having the right to edit/delete comments that are antagonistic to you personally, and even to the intended purpose of the blog site overall.

    Ad hominim and strawmen attacks do make for pretty useless dialogs.

    • Tony Coyle says:

      Thanks, Karl

      For what it's worth – I have absolutely no problem with personal attacks, since they are never personal. If you knew me, they would be personal. If you know me only through this site, they cannot be personal, can they?

      I do have a low boredom threshold (part of my 'big 'E' personality). That's why such trolls get trounced eventually.

      Keep me entertained, and I'll leave the comment be. Bore me (in addition to the trolling) and …. the sack awaits.

  14. Erik Brewer says:

    I agree with separation of church and state if you mean to keep the state from controlling the church but if you mean that the church (members of the church) are not to be involved in the affairs of the state, then I have to disagree with you entirely. By stating the second argument then you negate the Christians ability to participate in politics. As a Christian, the beliefs that I have infuse into every part of my life, even my politics. By doing this you limit a person's freedom of thought/expression/speech.

  15. Jerry Bryson says:

    Jesus seems to have no interest in politics. He came with the Gospel — that God is available to all, directly, without any state priesthood. That threatened the claim of government of deriving its authority from the divine, and of the state official religion of having any particular use at all. No wonder they crucified him.

    "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." Do your duty to God; do your duty as a citizen. Do not let religion or the state dictate what your duties are to the other.

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