Pat Condell, in his latest video, "Wake Up America" says he sees "...America's Constitution as the anchor of Western Civilization". As an American, this line jumped out at me. Although I'm somewhat humbled he thinks my country's First Amendment is so important, I'm having a hard time believing the US could be the last "oasis of freedom on this planet".

Does anyone else view it this way? Seeing how religious the US is now and how secular other countries are, the US could be the last oasis? Is your country going down some slippery slope now?

Tags: Condell, Constitution, Pat, US, freedom

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IMO. Yes.

The reality in the US may be that theism in the form Christianity continues to maintain it's stranglehold however, this is often in violation of your Constitution.

I'm a Canadian and Pat is a Brit.

We do not have the Constitutional protections in our countries against the encroachment of religion into the Secular state that you do.

I see it as critically important that Americans take this very seriously, protect your Constitution and ensure that it is not violated.

Every violation that occurs weakens it in law and lays the groundwork for the eventual removal of those protections.

In Canada, even though we don't have strong Charter protections, the Legal system, frequently uses the US Constitution as a guide when determining Civil Rights violations, etc.

If your Constitution didn't exist, we would not have that groundwork for strengthening our laws.

American organizations like the Council For Secular Humanism are doing some very important work in this regard.

Pat Condell is a man whose views I have a great deal of respect for.
I posted that at AN Youtube group
see:

yes, yes and yes
(US citizen speaking)
Just a couple of requests and thoughts to help make this clearer, because I do find the subject interesting. First, could everyone state for which country they are speaking, at least in your first post?

Second, the first amendment is only part of the constitution of the United States in the sub part of the bill of rights. I'm sure you are all aware of this, but the terms seem to be floating around interchangeably. I've added the specific language in hopes of better defining the terms.

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.

Last, the term freedom is loaded with baggage. It should be better defined (both by Mr. Condell and responders). Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary a " the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action" This is the first of 7 of the noun uses of freedom in this one dictionary and each of the 3 contributors has many facets of how they are accomplished making the reality of freedom different based on the individuals vantage point.
...sorry to destroy your and her little delusion about christian church having no or little influence in Germany. They do have, as for example, Germany is ruled by the CDU/CSU (Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union), as their name declares, they are Christian, mostly Catholic in Bavaria, Protestants in the rest of the country, and yes, they see themselves as protectors of a "christian culture", whatever that truely means...There is a church initiated citizen movement against abortion, and there have to be taxes paid for the church. For sure, with a few exceptions, there is no radical christian right, as in the States, but to say, that religion (christian) has no influence in politics, nor everyday life in Germany is a little bit underestimated. And, not to forget, there´s a very well functioning network of conservatives, capitalists and members of the (lower and higher) clerus, that is slightly, but effective working on the restriction of the citizen rights (in Germany called "Grundrechte").
I can´t understand, how your student companion comes to his conclusions; either she´s rather naive, or it´s a simple misunderstanding, or its so much worse over there in the States, that the status quo in Germany seems really harmless to her, compared to your country...
There is a church initiated citizen movement against abortion, and there have to be taxes paid for the church.

See, that sounds just as bad as the fundies over here. Whenever the anti-abortion activists over here picket, or some psycho manages to harm a doctor the whole thing backfires and raises money to make sure more women have access to abortion. The last round of attempted anti-gay legislation in my state (by a religious group that doesn't live here, not our legislators) backfired instead adding more momentum to the gay rights cause. More and more, it seems, people (in my area at least) are telling the churches to either change their policies or get out.
...sorry to destroy your and her little delusion about christian church having no or little influence in Germany. They do have, as for example, Germany is ruled by the CDU/CSU (Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union), as their name declares, they are Christian, mostly Catholic in Bavaria, Protestants in the rest of the country, and yes, they see themselves as protectors of a "christian culture", whatever that truely means...There is a church initiated citizen movement against abortion, and there have to be taxes paid for the church. For sure, with a few exceptions, there is no radical christian right, as in the States, but to say, that religion (christian) has no influence in politics, nor everyday life in Germany is a little bit underestimated. And, not to forget, there´s a very well functioning network of conservatives, capitalists and members of the (lower and higher) clerus, that is slightly, but effective working on the restriction of the citizen rights (in Germany called "Grundrechte").
I can´t understand, how your student companion comes to her conclusions; either she´s rather naive, or it´s a simple misunderstanding, or its so much worse over there in the States, that the status quo in Germany seems really harmless to her, compared to your country...
I'm in NZ, for the sake of clarity.

A friend of mine is studying in Melbourne and she tells me that one of the other international students there is from the US. And he was absolutely convinced that the Constitution of the United States of America was also followed by every other former British Colony.

...

I'm sorry What? This is not an uneducated man - I think he was doing a PhD though I couldn't tell you what in.

NZ, as far as I'm aware (and I did go looking, small govt + tech savvy populace = pretty much everything is online) NZ does NOT have a legally enforcable seperation of church and state, and we do just fine in maintaining it anyway. We have MMP, which is a system which allow minority parties a minority stake in the government and a few of those minority parties are Christian based. However the Greens have significantly more power than all the Christian groups combined.

We maintain a ethically based seperation of Church and State. MP's are committed to maintaining it. We have a lot of pomp and circumstance in the rituals of government (like opening prayers), but they are circuling the drain. We are delightedly incorporating festivals from every large minority into our civic calenders and while I could ask for more fairness in public holidays (mostly Christian) there are technical issues there that need resolving.

And we manage all of this while being extremely socialist *GASP*.

America is meanwhile using all its powers to avoid giving freedom to people, both from within and outside of its borders. People have the right to have their government run the way they want it, and don't need American enforcing their version of democracy.

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