Ron Paul on Separation of Church and State

(Since I’ve already pissed off the Truthers once today…)

No God Zone questions Ron Paul’s libertarian credentials:

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.

(The above quote is from Paul’s essay “The War on Religion“).

No God Zone counts the references to God in the constitution: zero.

Also of note, from the comments:

Local laws are easier to change and easier to avoid. But that doesn’t mean local violation of rights is okay. It is just another version of the ‘love it or leave it’ school of thought. I argue from a rights perspective and it is wrong to violate rights at ANY level of government.

Ron Paul said it is the government’s funciton to support ‘traditional marriage’ so he is willing to have his view enforced by the state. He only bickers over at which level the coecion should be done. That may be Constitutionalism but it is not libertarianism.

I’ve been trying to come up with a concise way to express my distinction between conservative constitutionalism and libertarianism and I think this hits close to the mark.

Full Story: No God Zone.

More Ron Paul skepticism here and here.

3 Comments

  1. Any references made to God by the Founding Fathers would probably have been in referece to the so-called ‘Nature’s God’ which was a sort of peace-keeping legal convention utilised to maintain seperation of church and state and also guarentee (sp?) fidelity from religious institutions of the day.

    It’s the Declaration of Independance, I think, which makes reference to God
    I was of the understanding that the Founding Fathers were largely atheists and many were Freemasons, in keeping with the intellectual fashions of their class and rank.

  2. And I have been supporting Ron Paul, I feel so dirty.

  3. Local laws are easier to change and easier to avoid. But that doesn?t mean local violation of rights is okay.

    Ron Paul would completely agree with that latter statement, by the way.

    If Ron Paul said the Constitution contains numerous references to God, he was intending to speak in general terms, as in “the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the debates of the Founders, the early Revolutionary speeches, newspapers, and that whole period of time was replete with references to God”. And it was. If he said something more specific but inaccurate, you have no cause to fall upon such a minor mistake to attack the one man in government who is taking the strongest stand for liberty. Minor mistakes are to be corrected, yes, but gently. It’s ironic that you talk about how you “pissed off the Truthers”, but you rush to make conspiratorial accusations against Ron Paul at the first chance you can get. What do you want, communism, fascism, socialism? They’re all the same, and they’re not liberty. Liberty is freedom from government intervention in our lives. Elimination of the IRS. Elimination of empire-building governments. Elimination of government spying on Americans. Elimination of the Federal Reserve’s destructive power to manipulate the economy. Ron Paul is for all of those, and you are upset that on some issue which you happen to care about, he has the audacity to declare that as President he would not have the authority to decide the issue for the entire
    country?

    Yogaboy: They did differ in their opinions. Some were deists (e.g. Jefferson), some were masons (e.g. Washington), and many were Christians. Some were even preachers. So no, despite your hopes and delusions to the contrary, the use of the word “God” by the Founders was not just to appease the religious institutions. Face it, this country has a very strong Christian history, whether you like it or not, and you owe your freedom (what little our modern secular world has left you) to that. Our history is not the godless history
    you would have it to be.

    Fortunately that freedom includes the freedom to hold whatever religious views you like, including atheism. Ron Paul does not personally agree with you (he is Baptist), but you are wrong to imply that he does not support your rights.

    I?ve been trying to come up with a concise way to express my distinction between conservative constitutionalism and libertarianism and I think this hits close to the mark.

    Well, the pure “State’s rights” view is basically libertarianism at a national level, but each state could vary a bit… libertarianism in general promotes libertarianism at all levels. Actually the more libertarian solution for the marriage issue you’re so concerned about is not government recognition of different types of marriages. Government should have absolutely nothing to do with marriage. Government should not know whether I’m married or to whom. Government should have no records of such things, because it’s not any of government’s business.

    Note that since Ron Paul is running for President, even though he supports liberty at all levels, he knows that as President he has no authority to control the states. That is the kind of man we want as president — one who sees strict limits to his own authority.
    It’s always better for liberty that broader levels of government such as the federal are smaller than the smaller, local government. If something unjust is going on at a local level, it’s a lot easier to change than it is to change the federal government, as the quoted comment alluded to.

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