Separation of Church and State
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 042901)

In the United States, we're all well aware of our success at separat-
ing church and state, with notable failures, some having to do with
our laxity/failure in church/state separation, others having to do
with the manner in which our society is leveraged off of christian
dominance due, primarily, to the dominance of christianity amongst
our European and European-impacted ancestry ...

1) Efforts to support public prayer at football games - actually, you
might consider that a success, since the courts have ruled against
said activities,

2) "In God We Trust" on currency,

3) "One Nation Under God" in the Pledge to the painted cloth known
as the U.S. flag,

4) Efforts to diminish/toss/sterilize the teaching of evolution (the U.S.
remains one of the most evolution-ignorant countries in the western
world) as well as white-washing history and ignorantizing (OK, not
a legit word, but hey, it fits) our children regarding the *facts* on
religions and their deleterious impacts on human history, in an effort
to make certain the christian faith continues to be the dominant reli-
gious influence in this country,

5) "Thank God" becoming an icon of "atta-boy" acceptance in
secular goings-on, as if by saying it you're giving a 'thumbs up' to
church-perpetuation of brainwashing from generation to generation
(not really a church-state separation issue, although of note, poli-
ticians have recently become quite pronounced in their "Thank
God" efforts to get votes/approval from constituencies - pro-God
for votes),

6) Government hired clergy in the military and cooperation between
the government and churches in the manipulation of prisoners and
victims of drug/alcohol abuse, not to even mention the support of
(or, if you prefer, lack of opposition to) the drug war on the Ameri-
can people which is tearing our country apart and rendering our
civil liberties as fodder for fascism,

7) Government leniency in prosecuting parents and others who use
religion as a motivation to withhold medical care from children, many
of whom die and suffer in pain because of said leniency (in Colorado,
recently, the state passed a law to eliminate said leniency, too late
to help those innocent children already victimized [murdered by chris-
tian parents] in that state),

8) Support for parental brainwashing of children,

9) Church-run schools to make sure the brainwashing sticks,

10) Federal funded money for churches to do charity work (hint-here's
a handout, worship god),

11) Penetration of fundies into the bowels of republican conservatism,

12) Occasional mass murders/suicides by those seduced into the
more cultist elements of faith-following ...

- - -

As for what western culture has wrought, never forget that which
is our history and that which we must all endeavor to never allow
to happen again ...

The Church as Sinner (041701)
"... Constantine's Sword : The Church and
the Jews: A History ... by James Carroll ...
maps the profoundly troubling two-thousand-
year course of the battle against Judaism and
faces the crisis of faith it has provoked in his
own life as a Catholic. More than a chronicle
of religion, this dark history is the central tra-
gedy of Western civilization, its fault lines
reaching deep into our culture. ..."

Witches (033001)
"... Do you think christians are just in calling
God a 'God of Love' and in calling blind faith
'moral' when blind faith has been used to
inspire such horrors -or- when a 'God of
Love' has allowed his followers to commit
such horrors in this real world we all share?"

Christian Church History (022001)
"... I do think the Roman Catholic religion
is a disease of the mind which has a
particular epidemiology similar to that of
a virus... -Richard Dawkins ..."

Book references:

Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious
Murder and Madness, by James A. Haught
"Chronicles the grim spectrum of religious persecution
from ancient times to the present."

Holy Hatred : Religious Conflicts of the '90s,
by James A. Haught
"From the Catholic-Protestant killings in Northern
Ireland to the Branch Davidian cult tragedy in Waco,
Texas, religion is still a powerful force that pits people
against each other. In this volume, an award-winning
journalist who has chronicled many recent surges of
religious hostility, traces the origins of various conflicts,
their significant developments, and current status."

The Dark Side of Christian History, by Helen Ellerbe

"Over a period of nearly two millennia, the Christian
Church has oppressed and brutalized millions of
individuals. Meticulously researched and courageously
written, this book examines the Church's devastating
impact upon human freedom, dignity and spirituality."