POSTED: Monday, May 17, 2010 - 8:33pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 3:47pm
Faith…religion in the public square. It’s a divisive issue and has been for years. So, se set up a debate, to find out the facts.
Now, to debate this issue, we went to two experts. Barry lynn is the head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Matt Staver of the Liberty council of Liberty University. Both of them have argued these very kinds of cases before the Supreme Court.
Religious symbols in the public square is a contentious issue. Crosses, nativity scenes, Ten Commandments, many courts have ruled that they are both secular and religious to allow them to stay. And that doesn’t sit well with either man.
“Certainly, it would be a big loss if you had to call a religious symbol something other than religious. If you had to say for example that “In God We Trust” doesn’t really mean “In God We Trust” because we’ve said it so many times it just goes in one ear and out the other.”
“I think there’s a profound disrespect when one takes something like the cross, which is the central symbol of Christianity, and have a judge say, well maybe it means somethintg secular.
“That cross is a symbol for hope beyond the grave. And I think that is what it instills in people. I don’t think promotes religion, I think it instills hope.”
“I think that the government should stay out of this business, they should not be defining for religious people what the cross does or doesn’t permit.”
“I think that court ought to make a distinction between an awknowledgment of religion, which is permissable and establishment of religion, which is not.”
“Several of our founding fathers didn’t want there to be a mix between church and state because they were afraid that this would end up hurting the church, that it would water down the message.”
“Things that are passive, that don’t coerce anyone to religious belief, those are permissable awknowledgment. But when it goes across that line, then it becomes an establishment. I think that should be the clear dividing line.”