separation of church and schools

thot-juice replied to your chat “Western Christians: Religion has no place in public life. The hijab…”

Jewish people have said Happy Hanukkah to me because they assumed I was Jewish. It was a mistake. Relax. And what is wrong with public schools having Christmas plays as long as participation isn’t mandatory?

First of all, nobody every said that to you assuming you were Jewish, that’s a bullshit lie you made up for the sake of having an argument. 

Second of all, even if they did, it wouldn’t even be remotely the same, because it’s not the dominant culture imposing hegemony on a minority. 

Thirdly, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? What’s wrong with public schools not obeying the laws of separation of church and state? What’s wrong with forcing non-Christian children to choose between exclusion and participation in something that outright violates their beliefs? 


Let me say that again: 


You’re a horrible, selfish person.

anonymous asked:

I dont get how the answer is X... Please explain????...

Okay, so, the first bit involves words that can precede other words. Each box represents a separate word 




Which leads to BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE 

If you google that phrase (and, guys, may I say? I EXPECT folk to google this shit! It’s a quiz for the iPhone age, and I try to design the quiz to involve stuff you have to suss out for yourself, and then stuff you have to google.) 
So, if you google that phrase, you find this Wikipedia article 

Now, some people thought it was a reference to the movie, and they would just type the year the movie was released in Roman numerals (a common practice in older films.) However, that ignores the top question:


And, as ever, this is a wretched pun. 

Bell, book, and candle refers to excommunication by anathema. 

excommunication. X. Communication. Form of communication.

Anyway, that was at least more clever than the solution to the most recent clue. Oof. 

Like Dust

Dean/Cas AU. Cas and Dean have a complicated companionship from the moment they meet. Its a lot like two people from two different sides of the tracks. He’s spent a lot of his life trying to figure out what Dean Winchester even is, and he finally might get the chance when Cas comes back after college on a break before getting his career making job in California.

Chapter 1: Always Running

What is Dean Winchester?

He was a lot of crumbling things. Bruised things. Hard, faded, well-loved, small things. Describable things that in the bigger equation as a whole made Dean Winchester an indescribable thing.

Castiel grew up in the Midwest to a modest living family in a town surrounded by corn and soy fields, rivers, crawdads, old cars, dust, and nosy neighbors. The second to youngest son of six children. It was a loud youth.

Being a one school town as it was, eventually he would have had to meet Dean Winchester. He should have, probably, met him much soon then he did. In the very least, it could have been more normal of a first encounter.

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u know how ur taught in school abt the separation of church and state and yet u can still to this day go into almost any gov building and see it overflowing with christian symbolism? weird.

anonymous asked:

If you have the time, could you make a post about France's secularism ? I'm sick of people telling secularism is racist when, in the privacy of our homes and outside public spaces (IF you work for a public service, actually), we can do whatever we want. Tumblr never speak of people born in very religious families that find a relief in secularism. Thank you for everything you've done already.

You’re welcome, it’s the minimum :) also sure thing I can have a go at this, though before I even try I’m gonna link at this and this wherein actual French people went at it on the subject, and I’m sure I had another fairly long one reblogged but either it’s in the queue or I’m confusing it with the second link above. ANYWAY, French followers feel free to add/correct to anything - I’ll try to make it as short and bare-facts as possible.

So, facts:

  • Premise: when we talk about secularism, we also talk about laicism. Laicism in general is not exactly what laïcité is in France, but for the sake of the argument, when talking about laicism we’re generally talking about separating the religious sphere from the public sphere. The two things are in theory not incompatible. I can be religious and supporting laicism if I say that anyone can preach what they want and people can go to Church and so on but at the same time you can’t forbid gay people to get married because the State religion doesn’t like it and so on. This also then ended up more or less merging with secularism which is a word that originated in the middle ages - basically secular comes from the latin term saeculum which was used to refer to everything that wasn’t religious. With secularism we mean a school of thinking that separates Church/religion from state matters as well, so basically a secular nation is a nation where you have private freedom of worship and you can practice whichever religion but religion doesn’t matter as far as the public sphere goes and it can’t matter as far as the country’s laws are concerned. IE, in theory in a secular country I shouldn’t be able to deny someone abortions on the basis that any religion thinks it’s a sin. And so on. Obviously this is a thing that is valid in theory and not in practice - as in, I live in Italy which should be a secular country even if Catholicism is the State religion, but the Church still has more than enough saying when it comes to whichever laws they implement but anyway this isn’t about how Italy fails at laicism even if it tries. Anyway, since we’re talking in theory, we can assume that even with all the differences in between countries, all of Europe is a secular continent since in every nation there’s a basic separation of Church and State as far as the constitutions are concerned.
  • With that out of the way, let’s move closer to the main point. Europe wasn’t always secular - actually secularism has been a long process that started in the modern era. A few of the most important landmarks in there were the protestant split which brought on the last religious wars we had in Europe (the last one is the thirty years’ war, after then we’ve had a lot of wars but not for religious matters anymore or at least not in the way they happened before) and the whole cuius regio eius religio principle - basically it’s that you should follow the religion of your sovereign, which bypassed the influence of the Catholic Church as a whole since it didn’t make the Pope more powerful than said sovereign and so on. Now, I’m really oversimplifying on that point so I urge anyone interested to look it up more in-depth, but I need to get on to the last premise before I actually talk about France.
  • Last premise in question: throughout the Middle Ages and up until the Italian unification, the Catholic Church was actually an imperial power. And what we have to keep in mind is that it didn’t survive on the power of spirit and abstinence, there was a lot of money thrown into the game - like, the Protestant split also happened because Luther was outraged that the Catholic Church would sell indulgences for money (basically you were paying to shorten your years in Purgatory). The bishops/clergymen/what have you owned land, owned money, owned possessions and so on. (And even these days the Church isn’t exactly drowning in debt - look up the IOR scandal from a couple years ago.) Anyway throughout the modern era they lost power also because, putting it in very plain terms, people were starving and bishops/noblemen were the part of the population which was actually rich. (With that I don’t mean the random priest running the church in a small village, I mean actual people with power.)
  • On to France, or better, not yet but in a moment: even with the whole cuius regio eius religion thing above, it’s not like everyone was hunky dory in Europe back then because lo and behold, people’s lives still sucked anyway because freedom to worship what your sovereign worships isn’t exactly freedom of religion and anyway the situation as far as the most important countries were was: absolute monarchy in Spain, Austria, Russia, Portugal and France (and the one in France was the absolute monarchy - Louis XIV rings any bell?), a less absolute monarchy in England but it had become less absolute after the whole part where they decapitated one king and had a republic for the first and only time in their history, and different sovereign states in Germany, more monarchies in the Scandinavian area and then Italy was basically half conquered by Spain, one quarter was the Church state and the rest were either small principalities or republics on the decline or occupied by the French/whoever else. Only thing all of these had in common: if you were noble/a clergyman/had managed to land a fairly good bourgeois job you had a nice life, if you were a low commoner/farmer/insert-the-majority-of-the-population-here your life sucked because basically 10% of the population had 90% of the money/resources/wealth. Now obviously this varies from State to State - like, obviously merchants in the Netherlands were a lot and were fairly rich and so on, so don’t take me at face value here, but that was the general situation.
  • At this points, FINALLY we get to France where in all this situation we had an absolute monarchy - or better, the absolute monarchy, again see Louis XIV, you don’t get people to call you Sun King because you fancy it. Also, important: the basic principle of absolute monarchy (on which said monarchs argued with the Pope for ages because it basically trumped the Pope’s right to undermine their authority) was that the king was there because God commended it. It’s called divine right of kings and basically says that if you’re king of a nation God appointed you to rule it, and since God can do no wrong then you as a king can do no wrong and your subjects can suck it up. Now, this exists because during the middle ages the Popes were like ‘since God appoints the Pope and what the Pope does is God’s will then we can have a say in the matters of every Catholic country in Europe’, and considering that Charlemagne’s empire was names Sacred Roman Empire it should give the idea of why it was important for the monarchs to assert that God didn’t need the Pope as an intermediary. So basically religion in this case was double-tied with this kind of power, as what the king did was intended to be God’s will. Let’s just remember this concept, because it’s a key concept.
  • So, France is an absolute monarchy and in years between Louis XIV’s death and 1789, the situation was as I said above - 10% of the population had 90% of the money and the rest was starving and good luck to them. Other than that, the financial situation wasn’t exactly that splendid because the French had heavily helped the United States during the american revolution (because of course they had to help when the US were fighting against Britain..) and had sent money/troops/what have you in large quantity but ended up mostly gaining debts, and the dude who says ‘maybe we could tax the nobles and the clergymen’ got exiled because he dared suggest they paid. So they ended up taxing the commoners even more. EEEH BAD IDEA.
  • Meanwhile, there was the Enlightenment school of thought that had started from France and was deeply connected with their specific political situation. Now the Enlightenment varies from country to country and from exponent to exponent (Voltaire, Hume, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Descartes, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Bacon and Beccaria are all more or less belonging to that movement but they all had different positions and so on), but the key concept is the importance of reason. Now I’m going to cut this short because if I start blathering about it I’ll break out my university course notes and we’ll be here until tomorrow evening, but basically if you’re encouraged to think individually, use reason and logic and so on, you’re obviously going to go against the establishment, which is what we described above. Now the three key figures of French Enlightenment are Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu though the key work is the Diderot/d’Alambert Encyclopedie, and now I’m going to make it really bare-bones. The basics for the three of them are: Rousseau theorized that the better government was actually a republic ran by commoners rather than a sovereign which goes against English enlightenment thinkers but I’m gonna shut up, Voltaire was one of the most important secularists in history and he was deeply against religious power being rooted in the public sphere and all of his work uses satire and irony to get to the point, while Montesquieu is the one who theorized the separation of powers within the State and, consequently, the separation of Church and State.
  • I’m gonna take a moment on that, because that theory is still relevant today and it’s pertinent to our topic: at the time, the French monarchy was structured into clergy/aristocracy/commoners. He said that instead there should be monarchy/aristocracy/commoners, that monarchy was a sovereign power that had to be distinct from administrative power, and that administrative had to be divided into executive, legislative and judicial and that all should keep the other in check while also keeping the sovereign in check. This basically takes out the clergy from power and eliminates the feudal scheme of French absolute monarchy.
  • These people lived throughout the entire 18th century and they had great influence, or as much as they could given the circumstances.
  • Now, in 1789 the French revolution starts, I can’t possibly go into the reasons in an already fairly long tumblr post because people are still debating it today anyway so I’ll cut on that, there’s enough literature to go if you want to read about it, and cut to the point, which is that when the French revolution started we had a situation where common people were starving, the clergy was seen as part of the enemy as it was one of the two privileged categories, the wealth was distributed like that and the intellectual climate in between the bourgeois and the people who actually studied/read treatises and so on was very profoundly shaped by Enlightenment ideas. As a consequence, the moment the revolutionaries were in power, the Catholic Church was pretty much destroyed as a power anyway - in between expropriation, killing the clergymen or sending them into exile, seizing their property and so on, since it obviously was an obstacle to the revolutionary ideals they tried to remove also its cultural influence - if you look at the revolutionary calendar, it doesn’t even have the Christian festivities. This kinda failed because it had the opposite effects amongst actual religious people, but at the same time when the revolution was over and Napoleon stepped in and he compromised with the Church, he didn’t give them back the power they had before and didn’t reinstate their properties. He also made sure that priests got allowances from the French state and not Rome and he made all religions equal, Judaism included (which was pretty big). That is something that never quite went away and actually after Napoleon it stayed in the roots of the constitution.
  • Mind that the French were the first nation in Europe to do such a thing. Which is also why other European nations wanted to shut the revolution down quick - after all, if people could just say fuck you to the king and his god-appointed monarchy by getting rid of religion in the first place in France who says they couldn’t do that anywhere else?
  • From that point on, in France it’s always been something that’s deeply linked with their laws/constitution. I think it was in 1882 or anyway the late 19th century that they sanctioned the separation between State and Church also by making sure school was entirely secular (which is not the case here in Italy for one..) and at the beginning of the 20th century they got rid of recognized religions in the first place. Like, in France as far as I know you don’t recognize religions, you recognize religious organizations that have to obey to laws and that can’t interfere with the public sphere at all. Which brings the whole ‘no religious symbols whatsoever in school and public places’ debates and so on. Actually wait let me look it up *looks it up* okay, it was in 1905, they proclaimed a secularism law which pretty much forbids to recognize religions as above and to finance them with a few exceptions.
  • This means that politicians shouldn’t be making declarations plainly about religion (like, they can say their morals are catholic-based but they can’t say ‘I’m going to ban abortions because the Bible says it’s a sin’) and they aren’t supposed to let religion rule their choices. They did have a lot of catholic presidents, but as they were laicians as stated above, they didn’t let religion interfere with their ruling (like I think it was de Gaulle who didn’t take the communion in public because he didn’t think it was appropriate to do it in front of non-catholic citizens?) and so on. And you can’t publicly say you belong to a religion. And so on.
  • That above is what they call laïcité, and it’s not just separation of Church and state. Is completely keeping religion private and to yourself rather than letting it interfere with the public in every way. Heck, it’s in their constitution - it says France is a secular republic using that word, not secular (it’s two different words as stated above). It says it’s indivisible, secular/laïque, democratic and so on. It’s an absolutely fundamental part of France’s very roots and the reasons above are probably a very not in-depth explanation. But basically it’s something that they feel is rooted into the French revolution, which is something they justifiably feel is fundamental to their history, never mind that it’s not at all comparable with the British republic (which had a leader who pretty much tried to re-do a monarchy anyway) and so it was the first republic in Europe where commoners actually had the upper hand and which was originally funded on modern principles that came from Enlightenment and which we all consider old news today like the separation of powers, the Church and State being two different entities, a republican system rather than a monarchy (and anyway all monarchies in Europe right are representative in various degrees - the British are sort of an exception in the way they’re attached to the institution of course, but this is not the problem at hand).
  • Now this mindset also implies that when you’re in private, you can do whatever the fuck you want. You want to worship whichever religion, go ahead. You just have to do it in private/in your congregation as long as you don’t disrupt public order and you don’t do anything else other than practicing your religion and leave everyone else alone. it’s not racist. It’s valid for everyone. You can be Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Buddhist, belong to fucking Scientology or be pagan, no one gives a damn and you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t let it interfere with your work if you hold a public position or you ask to be given preferential treatment. Like, you can argue how much you want about wearing religious symbols in school, but no one can wear any, so it’s valid for everything. De Gaulle might not have taken the communion in public but no one told him he couldn’t take it in private or that he couldn’t confess or what have you.
  • Tldr: in France secularism/laicism/religion not being allowed in public spaces isn’t a whim, is a principle/concept that is deeply rooted in French history and in its background and in its culture, and dismissing it as ‘they don’t let people worship whatever they want!’ is completely stupid since it means dismissing all the cultural baggage and historical notions that come with it.
  • Second to last thing: in Europe, everyone knows. If someone chooses to emigrate to France and expects to be able to not being secular in public offices and to wear religious garb in schools and so on, my advice would be to pick another country. I’m not saying it to dismiss the importance of religion for religious people obviously, but that’s the way things work in France and I highly doubt anything will make it change especially since they see it as a fundamental part of their culture and their identity. They’re not going to accomodate anyone on that matter, and if you know that you should pick your battles. It’s as if someone Protestant came to Italy, went to live in a relatively small town - let’s take my grandmother’s village as an example, it’s 1200 inhabitants and it has three churches, all catholic, and that’s it - and complained that there are three Catholic churches but no Protestant one. Or as if someone Muslim went there and complained that there’s no mosque. In Italy like 97% of the population is Catholic, if someone came here and expected to find different places of worship in smaller cities I’d tell them what the hell did you expect, of course there wont’ be. Which is not exactly the same in scope, but you get my meaning. It’s a cultural thing and it’s not an irrelevant cultural thing. Just to make sure that everyone gets the scope: when we take la France est une République, une, indivisible, laïque et sociale, which is the first article of the French constitution, it’s culturally equivalent to what is the first Amendment to the US constitution. Same as liberté, egalité, fraternité, is comparable to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness from the declaration of independence. You can’t just dismiss it as ‘they’re racists/they’re too strict/they should allow this this and that because religious freedom’, because it’s not what it’s about.
  • Also: this post is very oversimplified and I generalized a lot of things for the sake of getting the bigger picture. Anyway if someone who knows more than me on the subject sees that I got anything terribly wrong please comment and I’ll edit accordingly.

Last thing which I’m not gonna put in that list since it’s personal and not an historical fact that you can disregard as much as you want - actually since this post is long and this is just my personal experience I’ll cut it since the actual answer is just in the points above, this is more of an addendum concerning living in wholly secular/partially secular societies. Premise: I’m Italian. I’m also atheist. I also live in Rome.

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anonymous asked:

Do Marxist advocate freedom of religious belief and its practice?

  1. Marxists do advocate for freedom of religious practice and beliefs. There is no fundamental contradiction between being religious, and being a Marxist. One must be active in analysing one’s beliefs, regardless of whether or not they are religious in nature. There are contradictions that we all have within our thought, and we should work to remove them.

  2. Marxists should not care whether or not you pray to HaShem, or Allah, or Odin, or however you view G-d. What you do in the privacy of your home, and in your religious organization, is your business. However, let us say that you are espousing beliefs contradictory to Marxism. For instance, spouting beliefs that are reactionary in nature (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia etc.) a Marxist would not allow you to hide behind a veil of religious freedom”.

An example of something that is allowed: you are a Christian, and your belief is that it is the message of the gospel to help the poor, that would be good and acceptable.

An example of something that would not be acceptable
: you are a member of the Christian Identity sect and you believe that Jews are demons and must be killed, this is a reactionary belief and is not protected under religious freedom.

  • Marxism allows for freedom of religious practice and thought, so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. For instance, you can personally feel that you would not want an abortion, no one will force you to have one, but if you talk about how G-d wants it to be illegal and you attempt to legislate that then you are doing something that is not acceptable.
  • Marxism is secular, socialist governments are not going to be “One Nation under G-d”, they are not going to be religious in orientation. This does not mean that you cannot be religious and a socialist, it means that you cannot try to force your faith on others.

Quoting V.I. Lenin in “The Attitude of the Workers’ Party to Religion” (1909):

For example, the question is often brought up whether a priest can be a member of the Social-Democratic Party or not, and this question is usually answered in an unqualified affirmative, the experience of the European Social-Democratic parties being cited as evidence. But this experience was the result, not only of the application of the Marxist doctrine to the workers’ movement, but also of the special historical conditions in Western Europe which are absent in Russia (we will say more about these conditions later), so that an unqualified affirmative answer in this case is incorrect.

It cannot be asserted once and for all that priests cannot be members of the Social-Democratic Party; but neither can the reverse rule be laid down. If a priest comes to us to take part in our common political work and conscientiously performs Party duties, without opposing the programme of the Party, he may be allowed to join the ranks of the Social-Democrats; for the contradiction between the spirit and principles of our programme and the religious convictions of the priest would in such circumstances be something that concerned him alone, his own private contradiction; and a political organisation cannot put its members through an examination to see if there is no contradiction between their views and the Party programme.

But, of course, such a case might be a rare exception even in Western Europe, while in Russia it is altogether improbable. And if, for example, a priest joined the Social-Democratic Party and made it his chief and almost sole work actively to propagate religious views in the Party, it would unquestionably have to expel him from its ranks

We must not only admit workers who preserve their belief in God into the Social-Democratic Party, but must deliberately set out to recruit them; we are absolutely opposed to giving the slightest offence to their religious convictions, but we recruit them in order to educate them in the spirit of our programme, and not in order to permit an active struggle against it. We allow freedom of opinion within the Party, but to certain limits, determined by freedom of grouping; we are not obliged to go hand in hand with active preachers of views that are repudiated by the majority of the Party.“

The CPSU (b) under Stalin would later ratify in the Constitution of 1936 that “in order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of anti-religious propaganda is recognized for all citizens.”, and defend the rights of clergymen:

Stalin himself proposed the draft constitution of 1936 at the Congress of Soviets…. There were several motions proposing that the clergy should not be entitled to civil rights or the franchise; it was urged that there was a danger that the clergy would carry on anti-Soviet agitation. The proposer of one of these motions contended that the granting of the franchise to the clergy might result in anti-Soviet members gaining admittance to the representative bodies. Stalin defended the grant of the franchise to the clergy.

It was impossible, he contended, to make exceptions; all must have equal rights. It did not matter so very much if the clergy agitated; that would merely spur on the local Communist organizations to work harder and improve their propaganda. They had to learn to combat hostile propaganda…. Stalin’s defence of the rights of the clergy actually brought him popularity among the peasants.
(Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 272)

  • Religion is not the issue, it is the fact that religion and politics are inseparable, we have seen this since at least Ancient Rome, where Cicero discussed the fact that while he may not have believed in Gods, he believed religion is an important source of order, and as such was an Augur. Religion has often been used for political purposes, whether it is enforcing order or disrupting it.

As Marxist-Leninist-Maoists, and communists in general, I feel the words of Mao Tse-tung echo our goals most concisely “Destroy the old world; forge a new world.” 

So I feel that most simply, yes, religious freedom is advocated by Marxists. But I feel like it must be qualified. Yes, as long as you’re not using religion as an excuse to espouse reactionary ideals (which is a problem in current society.) I personally, am religious, so that is the perspective that this is coming from.