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Re: "Separation of Church and State": Bush Forbids the Ambassador of the US to Attend Church of the MP

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    ... JRS: If the President of the United States can forbid an ambassador to attend a particular church, while representing this country abroad, where is the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2005
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      > Interesting article today in Novyj Region 2 In Russian):
      >
      > http://www.nr2.ru/kiev/44736.html
      >
      > It says:
      >
      >
      > The President of the United States George Bush forbade the American
      > Ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst, to attend the Holy Protection
      > Monastery in Kiev.

      JRS: If the President of the United States can forbid an ambassador to attend a particular
      church, while representing this country abroad, where is the "separation of Church and
      State"?

      It would appear that, as in the old Soviet Union, this is "separation" is to be a one-way street:
      Sens Unique, Einfach, Odno Napravlenie.

      The separation of Church and State can be invoked to forbid crosses in State emblems,
      Christmas decorations in public buildings, school prayer, the display of the Ten
      Commandments in a court house.

      But under Maggie Albright, the State Department issued a direct order that members of the
      Serbian Orthodox Church were not to be aided in entering this country, except in the case of
      mixed marriages (to members of other faiths).

      If the President can forbid an ambassador to attend a church of a given denomination while
      abroad, presumably he could also forbid government employees to attend Russian churches
      (or Serbian churches) in this country.

      The idea, however, of forbidding someone to go to a given church would be unthinkable if,
      instead of an Orthodox Church, the question were one of going to any other denomination
      whatsoever.

      That would include Islam, the Jehovah's Witnesses (who do not recognize the government),
      the Moonies, any sect one could name. All of those would be covered by "freedom of
      religion".

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
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