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Senate candidate clarifies remarks opposing church state separation
October 27th, 2010
09:46 PM ET

Senate candidate clarifies remarks opposing church state separation

In an interview with CNN, Colorado's Republican Senatorial nominee Ken Buck made clear he believes in the separation of church and state. He defended comments he made last year during a candidates forum in which he challenged the way courts have interpreted the First Amendment's religious protections.

Buck told CNN, "I have said I agree with the establishment clause. I agree with the idea that there is a separation of church and state. That teachers should not be leading prayer – a particular kind of prayer in classrooms. What I have said is that I think the federal government and we as a society have come too far in trying to separate good organizations that perform good functions for people just based on the fact one has a religious association and one doesn't."

CNN asked Buck to address the issue after a video of him surfaced Monday in which he says, "I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. It was not written into the Constitution." That video, posted on the left-leaning website ThinkProgress, was taken during a candidates forum last year.

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christmas • Church and state • Holidays • Politics

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Andrew VA

    He should have just said "Im too stupid to live. Somebody please shoot me. Or vote for me. I can't remember which one I was supposed to say.."

    October 30, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  2. Frogist

    I think it's very true what Peace2all said that the people who want little or no separation of church and state only want that for their own particular brand of religion. I would wager that many of these same people are the ones scared about Sharia law. But don't they realize that if you remove the boundaries to govt-influenced religion, then you open up the way to govt giving not only christianity favoritism, but favoritism to islam, judaism, pagan tradition, satanism etc etc... And what of the various kinds of Christians? Are we all going to be ok with a Mormon govt? How about a Catholic one? Would Ken Buck be for that? I highly doubt it. What these tea party candidates are for is not less stringency between govt and all religions... only their religion as interpreted by them.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Frogist

      Buck also said "And if religious organizations are performing some of those functions without proselytizing then I think the federal government should include both."
      The gov't already does that with a number of religiously-based charitable organizations so long as those religious organizations do not discriminate in their hiring processes. He's implying something false and then trying to knock down one of our most important tenets with it.

      October 28, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Hey CK..!

      Agreed... And, by virtue of the fact of their being 'religious organizations,' it is automatically *inferred* whether they are 'overtly' proselytizing, or proselytizing by context..i.e... beliefs as to who they are, is still there. You can't separate them.

      So, let's keep all things churchy out of our government... Please..

      October 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  3. David Johnson

    Alas, all that Peace2All and Sum Dude and Luke have said, is music to my ears. Why can't the rest of America see things this way?

    I watched Keith Olbermann last night. He did a commentary on the Teabag Party candidates. It was one of his best. These people are insane. I can't imagine them running the country.

    October 28, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  4. Sum Dude

    Religion has no place in good government. Government is a secular activity, one that quickly becomes corrupted when religion comes into play.

    Your religion is for the next world. This world is not yours to ruin, yet you are doing that very thing by not keeping your religion "holy" and separate from what is not "holy".

    By interjecting your religion into politics, you corrupt your religion. It no longer does what it says to do, but is used against you and becomes a way of leading you around by the nose instead of staying clean and separate from politics and government.

    The separation of religion and secular government preserves and protects each from the corruption of the other.
    That's why it is so important. We see the results of ignoring these common-sense principles every day now.

    A secular activity MUST remain secular or give up any pretense to effective and sensible results.
    A religious activity MUST remain separate from secular activity for it to remain pure and uncorrupted by the taint of secular motivations.

    That "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" is Jesus himself separating religion and secular government!

    To keep them separate is the only way of preserving both. Nobody is supposed to mingle them until the Messiah comes, since Jesus said to wait – then WAIT and quit being such thick-headed lumps about it!
    He could have, supposedly, gathered all the angels around and forced the world to have him as King over all, but he DID NOT....
    So WAIT and quit trying to corrupt our secular government with your religion! You're not supposed to do that yet! Okay????

    October 28, 2010 at 3:18 am |
  5. chdarrell

    Where does the First Amendment say people of faith have to be silent in the public square? Where does it say people can't vote their religious convictions? Where does it say that people are prohibited from bringing their deeply held moral convictions into politics? No where. Instead of arguing about whether America is or was a Christian nation, how about exercising the rights and guarantees in the First Amendment to make sure it stays that way. http://tinyurl.com/2aqsfmu

    October 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Reality

      Being vocal in the public square: ( a reiteration for those in need)

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      4. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @chdarrell

      YOU SAID-–

      "Where does the First Amendment say people of faith have to be silent in the public square?"

      ME-– As far as I know... It doesn't say you (people of faith) have to be silent. If you haven't noticed there are fundamental christians, mulims, etc.. standing out on the street corners screaming at the top of your lungs to 'repent' because jesus is coming.' And let's be honest here. When you say..(people of faith), judging by the rest of your post, I am going to assume, you 'really' mean christians(especailly the ones you approve of.)

      So, you have your 'free speech.' But, honestly, I personally am sick and tired of you guys mouthing off about all of the 'non-believers' going to hell, etc... But... you 'do' have your 'free speech.'

      YOU SAID--

      " Where does it say people can't vote their religious convictions?"

      It doesn't say people can't vote their religious convictions. However, what does your religious convictions have to do with creating more jobs, balancing the budget, multi-cultural relationships, allowing new technology like 'stem cell' research (oooooops), I guess that last one... you guys *do* get in the way by voting your religious convictions.–Oh well, maybe a good case to *not* vote your religious convictions.

      YOU SAID--

      "Where does it say that people are prohibited from bringing their deeply held moral convictions into politics? No where."

      ME-- Well, true.. but, that is where we start getting a little dicey with that one. If... you are talking about politicians. Please see my response above, as to what does your "deeply held moral convictions" have to do with politics...?

      YOU SAID--

      "Instead of arguing about whether America is or was a Christian nation, how about exercising the rights and guarantees in the First Amendment to make sure it stays that way."

      ME---First, in that last sentence, you are 'presupposing' that we(America) is absolutely a 'christian' nation, and let's keep it that way.

      "To make sure it (America) stays that way(a Christian nation)." Hmmmmm. that would sure leave out a lot of other people, that don't want a 'theocracy' like Iran and other countries that have state approved and sponsered religions. Not to mention, again, the diversity of people in our country of different faiths, cultures, etc...

      Just because 80% or so claim to be 'christians' there sure are, and continuing to be a vast difference in what it means to be a christian, as witness to the hundreds of denominations of christianity.

      So, let's keep America a christian nation, really doesn't hold water in your argument for me... and I am guessing a lot of others here on this blog.

      But, good luck to you on that whole let's make everybody a christian thing.....

      October 28, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  6. HotAirAce

    Hey, no problem! Elect this guy and everyone will have a job – you just have to give up your consti-tutional rights. That's if you believe the lying right wing religious wacko.

    October 27, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  7. Luke

    Let me get this straight.

    First he said, "I do not agree with the separation of church and state." Then he said, "I agree with the establishment clause." So, a rational person has to ask himself, "Does he even know what the establishment clause is or what is means?" Clearly this man is one of two things; an idiot or a liar. Either way, not fit to serve public office.

    October 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • bluemeat

      the multiple orifice masquerading as a hemorrhoid party can only make sense of this total nonsense.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • ayeelle

      haha! maybe he should have been taught this way in his early years:

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIEHWpNKW14&w=640&h=390]

      October 29, 2010 at 6:26 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.