Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for every man and woman who has served our country in order to keep us free. No matter how much people complain about what is going on, no matter how bleak things may seem, we are very privileged to live in the United States. A new day is coming and hope is in the air again. And it is our brave military who have made it possible to look to a bright future. Thank you.

Today's book is a non-fiction book examining the separation of church and state. During this long election season, we have heard many speeches that included religious references. Be it a simple "God bless you all" to some rather strong religious rhetoric. Just what does the constitution say about the separation of church and state?

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

When people are begin to talk about the separation of church and state, they cite the First Amendment. But what does it really say. Does the Amendment say that the government cannot promote religion? In the Pledge of Allegiance, is the term "under God" a violation of the Amendment? Or does the Amendment imply that the government cannot promote one religion over others but can promote religion in general? These are the questions that lawyers and scholars have struggled with for many years. Come along and join the discussion of the separation of church and state.



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