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Separation Church State

  • We will be a better country when each religious group can trust its members to obey the dictates of their own religious faith without assistance from the legal structure of the country.

  • ... religion institutions ... get lavish tax exemptions, subsidies, grants, service contracts, and giveaways of all kinds that keep their revenue stream flowing. It's a business, but one with little or no financial accountability. Religion is this nation's most favored welfare recipient.

  • Throughout history, religion has borne many more thistles than figs. That's why our First Amendment separated religion from government: to keep forever from these shores the religious strife that for centuries had soaked the soil of Europe in blood.

  • Let those who want to run their own lives on religious principles do so, but don't let them run the lives of others.

  • If churches want to exercise their 'religious liberty' by denying services to those who do not conform to their doctrines, they should reject government funding and provide the services on their own dime.

  • If you disagree with your government, that's political. If you disagree with your government that is approaching theocracy, then you're evil.

    • Margaret Atwood,
    • interview with Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason ()
  • Christmas: It's the only religious holiday that's also a federal holiday. That way, Christians can go to their services, and everyone else can sit at home and reflect on the true meaning of the separation of church and state.

  • The concept of religious tolerance has been stretched to its outer limits, implying freedom from criticism and the nonpayment of taxes. Neither patriotism nor religion should be justification for the suspension of reason.

  • May the arm of the first member of Congress, who proposes a national religion, drop powerless from his shoulder; his tongue cleave to the roof of his mouth and all the people say amen.

  • Governments ... should not force and govern belief, which is a matter for the heart and conscience not for temporal authorities.

    • Katherine Zell,
    • letter (c. 1557), in Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization: To 1715 ()
  • The greatest contribution nonbelievers have made to the world has been the Constitution of the United States. Consider how very heretical to a religious world was the idea of a Constitution predicated on 'We, the People,' with no reference to God at all!

    • Queen Silver,
    • "Humanity's Gain From Unbelief," in Annie Laurie Gaylor, ed., Women Without Superstition "No Gods--No Masters": The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ()
  • Government can be moral — and it must be moral — without adopting a religion. Leaders can be moral — and they should be moral — without imposing their morality on others.

  • If we are going to teach 'creation science' as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.

  • Gods and government don't mix. Our secular democracy is one of the most successful in history. Why can't we leave it alone?

  • Our founders clearly created a secular government that was carefully separated from religion. You can peer and probe and dissect to your heart's content, but you will never find Christ or Christianity referred to, even obliquely, in our admirable founding decouments.

  • Those 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?