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Posted: 3/2/2006 6:50:34 AM EDT
There's a discussion going on in the GD that I thought I'd like to bring a portion of in here, for more civilized discourse. Here's a little historical perspective on the 1st ammendment's "establishment clause."

The establishment clause of the first ammendment prohibits CONGRESS from establishing a NATIONAL CHURCH, i.e. a Church of America. It did not apply to State and Local government. For Historical proof, look at the history of state churches.
While the American colonies always practiced more religious toleration than was seen in Europe, they still generally supported one branch of religion. In Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia, the Anglican Church was the established State Church. Under Governor Stone, Catholic Maryland passed the first Act Concerning Toleration, but still established a state church following the conversion of the governor's family to Anglicanism. So by the beginning of the Revolution, 5 states had Anglicanism established as their state church. In the North three colonies were congregational. In addition while New York did not have a State Church, NYC and three adjacent counties had established the Church of England as their official church.
Of course, from the Revolutionary War on, the five Anglican states began to abolish their State Churches since those churches were Anglican (i.e. The Church of England). It didn't make sense to fight a war to free yourself politically from a country only to remain under their religious power. Maryland and North Carolina got rid of theirs in 1776, Georgia in 1777, South Carolina changed from Anglican in 1778, but did not completely do away with establishment until 1790. Thomas Jefferson finally passed his Bill to Establish Religous Freedom in 1785.
State Churches in the North were slower to disappear. New Hampshire kept hers until 1817, Connecticut until 1818 and Massachusetts until 1833.
In an interesting insight into the mindset of the founding fathers attitude towards government powers and how we should read it, the establishment clause of the first ammendment was almost omitted entirely because many believed it was unnecessary. They thought that since the Constitution did not give the government the power to establish a state church it was redundant to say they could not.

Since the Founders allowed the States to keep their State Churches, they obviously only meant for the establishment clause to apply to the federal government. Therefore, saying that the 1st ammendment prohibits a poster of Washington praying is as bad a historical error as saying the 2nd is about Duck Hunting. It is NOT what the founders intended.

My source for this was A History of the Church: From Pentecost to Present by James B North. Published by College Press out of Joplin, MO. Pages 473-487.

Discuss away.


Link Posted: 3/2/2006 9:19:48 AM EDT
I think that is correct if you only look at that one area of the Constitution and only in that limited time period.

The other thing to consider is the FF's made the Constitution modifiable. They did this because the knew what they had come up with was a compromise, and not a perfect document that should remain inviolate.

One such modification was the 14th amendment and one of the general interpretations of it is the BOR is binding on the states. So establishing a state church is not allowed. Just as states at one time had slaves, and now no longer can.

Link Posted: 3/2/2006 10:35:56 AM EDT
14th Ammendment binds the states with the restrictions in the Bill of Rights.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 1:01:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
14th Ammendment binds the states with the restrictions in the Bill of Rights.



Apparently every right except the "keep and bear arms" right.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 2:13:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ghengiskhabb:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
14th Ammendment binds the states with the restrictions in the Bill of Rights.



Apparently every right except the "keep and bear arms" right.



don't get us started on the hypocrisy of that view

Link Posted: 3/3/2006 1:37:00 PM EDT
OK, you could make the argument that the 14th ammendment makes all of the BOR applicable to the States. But how is it applicable? Again, the limitation would be on establishing a state church. If you want to apply it at the local level, a town church funded by town taxes would also be prohibited. It does not forbid any religious influence in the public arena. It certainly wasn't intended to be taken to the lengths it is today.

It seems we've totally forgotten the "free exercise" clause in our enthusiasm to avoid violating the "establishment" clause.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:15:24 AM EDT
Religiouis influence isn't kept out of the public arena.

Any church can put up a billboard. They can rent space on public builboards to spread their message. They can use radio, tv, and internet to spread the word.

Individuals can put crosses in their front yards or build a monument to the ten commandments on their front porch (local property owner's association agreements may prevent that, but that is something they agree to before buying the property)

to even make the claim that religion is kept out of the public arena is laughable. try again

Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:32:07 AM EDT
Dino,

We're using the word public in two different ways.

You're using public in the more generall sense of accessible.

I'm using it in the sense of publicly funded.

A billboard or a sign on someone's private property is not public, hence the use of the word private.

Examples of religious symbols, ideas etc. being kept out of the public arena would include:

Boulder, CO denies formation of Bible Club at public school while allowing a Gay Alliance club to meet.

University of WI denies an RA the right to have Bible Studies in his own dormroom. This was later changed after threat of lawsuit.

San Francisco library has banned church groups from meeting in publicly available meeting rooms open to other groups including Narcotics Anonymous, etc.

These are all examples of where organizations are being banned from using public facilities not because of their actions, but because of their viewpoint. This has been covered by SCOTUS and is declared viewpoint discrimination, yet it still goes on.

Other examples of the violation of religious organizations first ammendment rights include:

Boston, MA: Catholic adoption agencies are being forced to place children with gay couples even though this violates the agencies' religious beliefs.

There are several lawsuits trying to force Catholic hospitals, pharmacists, HMO's to provide abortions or abortion causing medications even though that violates their religious beliefs.

Another example would be the lawsuit trying to ban all religious speech by USAF personnel while on duty. That is content based discrimination and should be illegal, we'll see how it goes.

The example in the GD that got me going was a teacher who was not allowed to have a picture of George Washington praying at Valley Forge on her wall. I've seen GOBS of liberal horse!@#$ on public school walls. So is that a violation as well?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 6:12:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wdsman:
Dino,

We're using the word public in two different ways.

You're using public in the more generall sense of accessible.

I'm using it in the sense of publicly funded. Then we can stop right there. There is NO reason to publicly fund anyone's religion. We do enough by not taxing them. Also your use of the word is extremely imprecise. Corporations that are on the stock market are publically funded. If you mean govermnent funded, you should just say so.

A billboard or a sign on someone's private property is not public, hence the use of the word private. I can put a large siren on my PRIVATE lawn and make a PUBLIC nuisance, hence the word PUBLIC. Try standing naked in my PRIVATE front lawn and tell me if they charge you with PUBLIC nudity....

Examples of religious symbols, ideas etc. being kept out of the public arena would include:

Boulder, CO denies formation of Bible Club at public school while allowing a Gay Alliance club to meet. That is one the students should fight. There is nothing that says students can't get together to pray. I'm not sure why you compare it to the Gay Alliance, last I checked it wasn't a religion. You would have a point if they allowed the Wiccans to form a club...

University of WI denies an RA the right to have Bible Studies in his own dormroom. This was later changed after threat of lawsuit. as it should have been

San Francisco library has banned church groups from meeting in publicly available meeting rooms open to other groups including Narcotics Anonymous, etc. seems like your first example and you can thank our habit of filing lawsuits at the drop of a hat. Anything that might get you sued is verbotten these days. As long as they aren't allowing one religion over another, would be hard to fight successfully without a lot of cash on your side

These are all examples of where organizations are being banned from using public facilities not because of their actions, but because of their viewpoint. This has been covered by SCOTUS and is declared viewpoint discrimination, yet it still goes on.

Other examples of the violation of religious organizations first ammendment rights include:

Boston, MA: Catholic adoption agencies are being forced to place children with gay couples even though this violates the agencies' religious beliefs. are they recieving public funds? If so they must comply with public regulations. They can always refuse public funds and do as they please

There are several lawsuits trying to force Catholic hospitals, pharmacists, HMO's to provide abortions or abortion causing medications even though that violates their religious beliefs. see above

Another example would be the lawsuit trying to ban all religious speech by USAF personnel while on duty. That is content based discrimination and should be illegal, we'll see how it goes. link? The military has broad leeway in telling personnel not to attend certain "religious" functions like anti-abortion rallies for instance. They can also tell chaplians to refrain from bashing other religions while counseling members of other faiths. Is this related to the less than stellar examples of Christianity who were forcing their religion on others at the Air Force Academy? Those are the only instances I know of.

The example in the GD that got me going was a teacher who was not allowed to have a picture of George Washington praying at Valley Forge on her wall. I've seen GOBS of liberal horse!@#$ on public school walls. So is that a violation as well? That teacher had an agenda and chose to file his lawsuit based on his rights of free speech. Any employer can set policies limiting free speech in the workplace. I have to refrain from sexist comments at work for instance. It limits my free speech, but I can always find another job if I find it too limiting. This teacher decided to sue instead of complying with a simple directive or finding a new job. Too bad, so sad.



I belong to a list that compiles examples of people infringing on minority religions. I can post case after case where people in power abuse their authority to prevent minority religions from equal access to facilities/permits/etc...

Its not a problem that only Christians are expreriencing and I think it comes down to a fear of lawsuits in many cases.


Link Posted: 3/7/2006 7:31:12 AM EDT
Dino,

I would be interested in the list you belong to. Minority religions should be free to express their viewpoint as well. I believe they are wrong, but they should be persuaded not silenced! I think it is interesting that you said, "religious influence is not kept out of the public arena", yet you belong to a list that compiles examples of just that, whether they are minority viewpoints or not.

In regard to the Catholic adoption agencies, I do not believe they are receiving govt. funds. The state of MA regulates all adoption agencies and it is on this basis that they are claiming jurisdiction, not because of funding. So even if they were receiving govt. funding, the Catholics could not refuse it and "do as they please" as you suggest.

The same is true of the Catholic hospitals, they are private institutions not receiving govt. funding.

The Air Force example is linked to the Academy instance.

Do you think the teacher in Virginia is the only teacher with an agenda? It's been years since I was in High School, but I can still remember a few left-wing dingbats who certainly had their agenda. Have you read Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind which documents the liberal agenda in our State Universities? Do you think making that teacher take down a poster is going to silence her position? If they were trying to silence her, they were wrong. If they thought this would do it, they were wrong again. I think all teachers should be encouraged to express their viewpoints and all students should be encouraged to disagree with them! Of course, I loved playing the devil's advocate in High School and College.

Honestly, don't you learn more from arguments/discussions with people you disagree with than you do talking with people you agree with. I certainly do! That's why I'd rather read your posts, or Old Guy's or Scuba Ed's etc. than others here who are "on my side."
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 7:51:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 7:55:55 AM EDT by scuba_ed]

Originally Posted By Wdsman:
Dino,

I would be interested in the list you belong to. Minority religions should be free to express their viewpoint as well. I believe they are wrong, but they should be persuaded not silenced! I think it is interesting that you said, "religious influence is not kept out of the public arena", yet you belong to a list that compiles examples of just that, whether they are minority viewpoints or not.

In regard to the Catholic adoption agencies, I do not believe they are receiving govt. funds. The state of MA regulates all adoption agencies and it is on this basis that they are claiming jurisdiction, not because of funding. So even if they were receiving govt. funding, the Catholics could not refuse it and "do as they please" as you suggest.

The same is true of the Catholic hospitals, they are private institutions not receiving govt. funding.

The Air Force example is linked to the Academy instance.

Do you think the teacher in Virginia is the only teacher with an agenda? It's been years since I was in High School, but I can still remember a few left-wing dingbats who certainly had their agenda. Have you read Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind which documents the liberal agenda in our State Universities? Do you think making that teacher take down a poster is going to silence her position? If they were trying to silence her, they were wrong. If they thought this would do it, they were wrong again. I think all teachers should be encouraged to express their viewpoints and all students should be encouraged to disagree with them! Of course, I loved playing the devil's advocate in High School and College.

Honestly, don't you learn more from arguments/discussions with people you disagree with than you do talking with people you agree with. I certainly do! That's why I'd rather read your posts, or Old Guy's or Scuba Ed's etc. than others here who are "on my side."



___

"I believe they are wrong, but they should be persuaded not silenced! "

__

Persuaded by your following of christianity of love and acceptance for all? Or your personal vendetta against minority opinions which must so pose a danger to your psychos and fragility of religious precepts which justifies some sort of persuasive or muting action?

Is your faith so broad, or is your mind-set so narrow?


Ed
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 8:20:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wdsman:
Dino,

I would be interested in the list you belong to. Minority religions should be free to express their viewpoint as well. I believe they are wrong, but they should be persuaded not silenced! I think it is interesting that you said, "religious influence is not kept out of the public arena", yet you belong to a list that compiles examples of just that, whether they are minority viewpoints or not. I'm not sure what you mean. The law says one thing, people do another. Its people screwing up, its not a problem with the law itself. Murder is illegal, but it still happens as well.

In regard to the Catholic adoption agencies, I do not believe they are receiving govt. funds. The state of MA regulates all adoption agencies and it is on this basis that they are claiming jurisdiction, not because of funding. So even if they were receiving govt. funding, the Catholics could not refuse it and "do as they please" as you suggest. If they do not recieve funding, the state is using its regulatory power to enforce standards, which it has the power to do. State's rights can suck when its a liberal state huh

The same is true of the Catholic hospitals, they are private institutions not receiving govt. funding.

The Air Force example is linked to the Academy instance. probably should start a whole new thread on this, we could discuss it for days

Do you think the teacher in Virginia is the only teacher with an agenda? It's been years since I was in High School, but I can still remember a few left-wing dingbats who certainly had their agenda. Have you read Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind which documents the liberal agenda in our State Universities? Do you think making that teacher take down a poster is going to silence her position? If they were trying to silence her, they were wrong. If they thought this would do it, they were wrong again. I think all teachers should be encouraged to express their viewpoints and all students should be encouraged to disagree with them! Of course, I loved playing the devil's advocate in High School and College. Expression is limited in any job. The administration decided his display stepped over the line. From what I have read the teacher in question is a conservative Christian who was proseletyzing to students. He wasn't a history teacher, so he didn't have the excuse he was teaching about Christianity from a historical context. He stepped over the line, offended some parents, and wound up in court because he felt he should have first amendment rights in his work place. I can't wear pro-gun clothing at my place of work. Should I sue for my first amendment rights?

Honestly, don't you learn more from arguments/discussions with people you disagree with than you do talking with people you agree with. I certainly do! That's why I'd rather read your posts, or Old Guy's or Scuba Ed's etc. than others here who are "on my side."



I certainly do, if I came off as hostile it was not my intent. I come here for just these sort of discussions.

methinks I need to use more smileys

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 8:30:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 8:38:55 AM EDT by scuba_ed]
Hi Dino!


ETA:

Re:

"Honestly, don't you learn more from arguments/discussions with people you disagree with than you do talking with people you agree with. I certainly do! That's why I'd rather read your posts, or Old Guy's or Scuba Ed's etc. than others here who are "on my side.""

___

We're in the same boat, again! Probably because those who are so seemingly jeopardized by minorities (regardless of their polemics of: 1) You're a Liberal!; or 2) You're infringing upon rights!) are often seeking a mutual and self-supporting network to buttress themselves.



Link Posted: 3/7/2006 8:34:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
Hi Dino!





howdy

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 9:36:03 AM EDT
RE the Catholic's being forced to grant adoptions to gay couples. What is the difference between the State adoption regulatory group using its authority to command Catholic adoption agencies to place children with homosexuals and a state employment agency telling a church they must hire a homosexual minister when it is against their religion?

As for forcing Catholic hospitals, HMO's and insurance companies to perform and fund abortions, it seems the pro-choice movement has gone from, "Don't like abortions, don't have one" to "Don't like abortions, TOUGH $#!T you're still going to perform them and pay for them!"

What's next, pork manufacturers suing KOSHER meat processing plants because they won't process their pork?

You asked should you sue for your first amendment rights because you can't wear pro-gun clothing. It depends. If a uniform is required of all employees, then no. If individual attire is allowed and other employees are allowed to wear shirts with NIKE, Adidas, Polo or other logos, then you should be able to wear the same style shirts with Browning, Colt, Glock logos. If other employees are allowed to wear t-shirts with writing on them, then you should be allowed to wear t-shirts with gun slogans on them. If the problem your employeer has with your shirts is just because they are "pro-gun" then it is viewpoint discrimination and a violation of your first amendment rights. Who knows if you won a large enough settlement you could spend the rest of your life buying guns, buying and re-loading ammo and shooting on their dime.

I believe the same goes for the teacher. If other teachers are allowed to have posters about subjects not covered in their course of study, then so should the Christian teacher. If posters aren't allowed, fine. Take it down. If CHRISTIAN posters aren't allowed, then it's a violation of the first amendment.

Another question, the poster mentioned used to be considered "fine art." If the teachers poster had been one of the Renaissance artists' depictions of a Biblical scene would it have been allowed or are Michaelangelo's David, Rembrandt's Sea of Galilee et. al. forbidden as well.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 10:04:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
Originally Posted By Wdsman:

"I believe they are wrong, but they should be persuaded not silenced! "

__

Persuaded by your following of christianity of love and acceptance for all? Or your personal vendetta against minority opinions which must so pose a danger to your psychos and fragility of religious precepts which justifies some sort of persuasive or muting action?

Is your faith so broad, or is your mind-set so narrow?


Ed



Come on Ed, what's wrong with persuasion?

We believe we all have an equal right to our opinions, but surely you don't swallow that crap that all opinions are therfore equal. Somebody (most likely nearly everybody) is wrong! And it is not arrogant of me to say that I'm right. We ALL believe we're right, if we didn't we'd change what we believe! It's just not politically correct to be so blunt about it.

Loving and accepting a person does not mean that you don't try to persuade them when you believe they're wrong. In fact, usually the opposite. If some idiot on ARFCOM says it's OK to drop a 20 gauge round down the bbl of a 12 gauge shotgun and then follow it with a 12 gauge round, I'll try to set him straight, but if he wants to go blow up his gun and himself that's his business. If one of my sons thinks it's a good idea, I'm going to try much harder BECAUSE I love him.

I don't have a vendetta against minority opinions (often I'm in the minority), but I assumed by Dino's comment that he was talking about groups like Wiccans, Santarians, etc. I think those people are wrong. So what should I do? Try and silence them as some school boards have tried to silence some Christians? NO. I should dialogue with them. Like we do here. The only vendetta I have is against falsehood and foolishness.

If I had argued that minority opinions should be silenced, then you could have said I fear them and that they are a "danger to (my) pscyo." But how PC are we, if we can't express an honest opinion that we believe someone is wrong and give our reasons for believing so?

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 10:24:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 1:20:31 PM EDT by Dino]
Wdsman,
Do you think as long as we pay lip service to the first amendment and don't formally establish a religion, we can do whatever we please with our laws to force others to conform to a particular religous view?

Just curious.

eta


Originally Posted By Wdsman:
But how PC are we, if we can't express an honest opinion that we believe someone is wrong and give our reasons for believing so?



People come to this place for these kind of discussions. Anyone who steps in here has to be willing to have their views challenged. Its considered impolite to take the same tact with someone who has not willingly entered into that type of discussion.

There is also the matter of respect for other people. For instance, I could truthfully say I put as much stock in Christianity as I do Scientology. It would be extremely rude to Christians to make that comparison, so I don't tend to make the comparison.

Likewise my Wiccan girlfriend of a few years past would be incensed that you link her religion with a corruption of Catholicism like Santeria. A Santeria worshipper might be equally pissed that you linked his religion with a made up religion of a bunch of tree hugging hippies.

Its easy to step on toes with religion. Its even easier when you're the vast majority in a country and feel everyone should toe the line with respect to your beliefs.


Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:54:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 1:25:05 PM EDT by scuba_ed]

Originally Posted By Wdsman:

Originally Posted By scuba_ed:
Originally Posted By Wdsman:

"I believe they are wrong, but they should be persuaded not silenced! "

__

Persuaded by your following of christianity of love and acceptance for all? Or your personal vendetta against minority opinions which must so pose a danger to your psychos and fragility of religious precepts which justifies some sort of persuasive or muting action?

Is your faith so broad, or is your mind-set so narrow?


Ed



Come on Ed, what's wrong with persuasion?

We believe we all have an equal right to our opinions, but surely you don't swallow that crap that all opinions are therfore equal. Somebody (most likely nearly everybody) is wrong! And it is not arrogant of me to say that I'm right. We ALL believe we're right, if we didn't we'd change what we believe! It's just not politically correct to be so blunt about it.

Loving and accepting a person does not mean that you don't try to persuade them when you believe they're wrong. In fact, usually the opposite. If some idiot on ARFCOM says it's OK to drop a 20 gauge round down the bbl of a 12 gauge shotgun and then follow it with a 12 gauge round, I'll try to set him straight, but if he wants to go blow up his gun and himself that's his business. If one of my sons thinks it's a good idea, I'm going to try much harder BECAUSE I love him.

I don't have a vendetta against minority opinions (often I'm in the minority), but I assumed by Dino's comment that he was talking about groups like Wiccans, Santarians, etc. I think those people are wrong. So what should I do? Try and silence them as some school boards have tried to silence some Christians? NO. I should dialogue with them. Like we do here. The only vendetta I have is against falsehood and foolishness.

If I had argued that minority opinions should be silenced, then you could have said I fear them and that they are a "danger to (my) pscyo." But how PC are we, if we can't express an honest opinion that we believe someone is wrong and give our reasons for believing so?




____


Re:

"...but surely you don't swallow that crap that all opinions are therfore equal. Somebody (most likely nearly everybody) is wrong! And it is not arrogant of me to say that I'm right. "


It’s poor sportsman-ship from a hockey-play, and even more so when applied with the brutal intent of your morality blanket as described. Opinions are inherently not equal; and wrongness is ascribed not by the origin of the opinion, but upon a moral basis. Arrogant? If you place your apparent ideal above morals, then arrogance applies. An attempt to persuade someone through blunt-force trauma may be applicable through sport.

We’re not describing sport, and efforts to dissuade minorities (Jews, in my case), has not been successful for millennia.

The essential proposal of persuasion you posit. Persuasion (Jews, in my case)?

Historically, persuasion has been delivered with much more than blunt-force trauma than a baseball bat.

If a crisis of faith exists that would require any sort of persuasion of non-Christians, then Christianity has, as always, few viable alternatives. The first Christian option, then, is the mechanism of denial…the first step in persuasion of others so that one doesn’t seem out-of-step or ridiculous.

If Christianity where to indeed be a force of persuasion; I would then posit that Christianity then do some serious introspection of itself. Either choose between a faith based upon traditional myth, or to wonder why your perceived spiritual crisis would need “persuasion”. This need for “persuasion” bespeaks a problem with your need for persuasion to satisfy your needs.

Indeed, the persuasion you and Christianity need is due to the crisis always having been a problem confronting Christianity: Not only is any Christian doctrine anti-Jewish, but also, too, is this idea of “persuasion”. The ethics of Judaism, esposed by Christian these forms and ideas of non-Jewishness calls any form of Christian legitimacy into question.



Ed


ETA: "Persuasion (or the need to perusade others into the ridicuous) is not needed amongst friends"




Link Posted: 3/10/2006 5:29:09 AM EDT
I just can't figure out where a prayer in school or 10 commandments on a wall or a block of stone (not paid for by tax expenses) is forcing religion on anyone? Or an establishment. No one is forced to participate. It is a relection of the"Public"
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 5:31:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1cheapshot:
I just can't figure out where a prayer in school or 10 commandments on a wall or a block of stone (not paid for by tax expenses) is forcing religion on anyone? Or an establishment. No one is forced to participate. It is a relection of the"Public"



___

Which version of the 10 Commandments?
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 7:09:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1cheapshot:
I just can't figure out where a prayer in school or 10 commandments on a wall or a block of stone (not paid for by tax expenses) is forcing religion on anyone? Or an establishment. No one is forced to participate. It is a relection of the"Public"



1) Children can pray in school of their own volition. Every case where an overzealous teacher or administrator has interfered with voluntary prayer has been overturned in the courts.

2) I can put up a picture of the 10 commandments in my locker or on my car or a monument in my house or on my lawn. If the government allows me to place the same item on government property, it can give the appearance they are endorsing my religion. Esepecially when they don't allow other religions to do the same thing. As someone else pointed out, which version decalogue you going to post? "Exodus 23:19 Thall shalt not boil a young goat in its mother's milk"

3) "noone is forced to participate" as adults this may be true, but children is a different matter. Assuming you weren't homeschooled, you are aware how cliquish schools are. Outsiders do not fare well and its real easy to become an outsider when you don't pray with everyone else.


Link Posted: 3/10/2006 11:21:09 AM EDT
Hi everyone,

This is an interesting thread.

Where is the common sense in interpreting the Constitution?

Praying is a personal and private matter. Government should have no limitations on someone praying. If some student wants to pray in school quietly to themself or address the whole school in a reasonable manner, such as at the beginning of the day, the government has no business telling them they cannot pray. Individual students sharing their religion with other individual students is in no way "Congress establishing a religion" for the country. We should be more accepting to religious people and students in public areas.

Teachers, judges, lawyers, public defenders, governors, politicians, congressmen, presidents, soldiers, officers, garbage truck drivers, postal workers, or tax collectors endorsing a religion or having the appearance of endorsing a religion is not restricted anywhere in the Constitution.

The appearance (by anyone) of endorsing a religion or endorsing a religion does not establish a national religion in any way.

Who cares if you participate in prayer or not in school or any other public place? If I'm a student and some other student says a (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Satanic, Catholic, Mormon) prayer I don't/won't feel offended if i don't agree with it. If I choose to not pay attention, so what? And in any case, most of the prayers kids in school want to say are in line with the majority of the students' faiths anyways.

I think our society has a chronic case of "over-sensitivity" and intolerance when it comes to religion (mainly Jewish/Christian) and government.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 2:56:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2006 2:58:14 PM EDT by Dino]
I agree totally on personally motivated prayer. Prayer was a part of my life until my mid 20's and I only once had any issue with someone objecting (funnily enough at the Naval Academy, which was quickly corrected by my chain of command).

I disagree somewhat on personal expressions of support for a religion. A judge can be a Christian and make personal expressions supporting Christianity. He shouldn't make those kind of statements from the bench, nor should he ask me what my religion is before he passes judgement on me. He also shouldn't sentence me to religious instruction when it conflicts with my religion.

Anyone who has power over us (an officer in the military, a judge, a police officer, etc..) needs to make sure they don't use that authority to push their religious agenda. Those in power have a responsibility to treat us all the same, regardless of religious affiliation.

There needs to be a clear distinction from speaking as a private individual and speaking for whatever office you hold. A big for instance for me is the statement by Bush Sr. that atheists are not true americans. Its fine for George Bush Sr, the guy who runs my local hardware store, to hold that opinion. Its wrong for the POTUS, who I voted for, to make that kind of statement especially since he was not only my President, but also my Commander in Chief as I was in the Navy at the time. It was insulting and played no small part in my voting for Perot that election.

Most people do a very good job of seperating their private religious life from their public persona, but some people step over the line. I will also admit that some people are a bit oversensitive to displays of religion and they need to take a chill pill.

eta: I think GWB does an excellent job of balancing the two worlds. His personal religiousity (whether real or faked for public appeal) doesn't seem to keep him from respecting my rights. Or at least he learned from his father's mistakes. Either way I can live with it

Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:16:41 AM EDT
Dino, I disagree with you on the Pres Bush athiest remark. I feel people in elected office still have freespeech. I think that thats what bugs me the most about the antireligionists these days. Public people can't express a religious opinion publicly. Its wrong to say that in my book. It will either help them or get them voted out. It's part of them you can't seperate it completely.

IMHO
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:17:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1cheapshot:
Dino, I disagree with you on the Pres Bush athiest remark. I feel people in elected office still have freespeech. I think that thats what bugs me the most about the antireligionists these days. Public people can't express a religious opinion publicly. Its wrong to say that in my book. It will either help them or get them voted out. It's part of them you can't seperate it completely.

IMHO



First of all I'm not an anti-religionist. I'm a Unitarian Universalist.

Second of all, try reading what I wrote. He can have whatever personal opinion he wants, but when he speaks as a government official, he needs to toe the line. Whether he likes it or not, atheists are citizens and many of us serve in the military.

You are correct, he has the freedom to say whatever he wants. I have the freedom to vote his ass out of office, which is what I did. It should not have been necessary as his job is to be the president for all of us, not just those who profess a faith in God.

Here is proof that a son can learn from the mistakes of the father:


My job is to make sure that, as President, people understand that in this country you can worship any way you choose. And I'll take that a step further. You can be a patriot if you don't believe in the Almighty. You can honor your country and be as patriotic as your neighbor.
-- George W. Bush, responding to the question, "How you do balance not promoting a particular religion, while still being influenced by your personal faith?" in Sheryl Henderson Blunt, "Bush Calls for 'Culture Change'" (Christianity Today: May 28, 2004)



He gets it, even though Bush Sr. did not.

I'm quite sure GWB isn't any more fond of atheists than his father, but he is aware of the responsibilities of his office.

I have no problem with public people making religious statements publically. Actors do it all the time. It becomes an issue when a holder of a government office (police officer, judge, president, senator, etc..) makes a statement that conflicts with the governmental policies. If my CO had said that in a speech, he would have a complaint filed and be censured for his behaviour. Why should my CINC get away with it?

There is a large difference between a government official speaking out positively about their religion and speaking negatively about certain members of other religions (or no religion at all). GWB has made no secret of his faith or the role it plays in his life. It hasn't stopped me voting for him twice now.



Link Posted: 3/15/2006 1:31:42 AM EDT
My understanding is that the Constitution establishes and limits the powers of the federal government only. Hence the "all powers not listed reserved to the states.." thing.

If state A wanted to have a state church and if state B wanted to ban all guns, there would be nothing stopping them, as long as they didn't usurp the role of the federal government in powers stated in the Constitution. Commerce clause, foreign affairs, etc.

What has happened since then, I don't know. I do know that federal government and the courts will do whatever they want to do and pay no heed to the Constitution or anything else. So it really doesn't mean anything anyway. Good luck getting a state church past the Supreme Court in this environment, for an example. Another example is how the federal government strongarmed desegregation on private businesses via the commerce clause and ransomed the states into changing the liquor laws by withholding highway funding.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:21:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:
My understanding is that the Constitution establishes and limits the powers of the federal government only. Hence the "all powers not listed reserved to the states.." thing.

If state A wanted to have a state church and if state B wanted to ban all guns, there would be nothing stopping them, as long as they didn't usurp the role of the federal government in powers stated in the Constitution. Commerce clause, foreign affairs, etc.

What has happened since then, I don't know. I do know that federal government and the courts will do whatever they want to do and pay no heed to the Constitution or anything else. So it really doesn't mean anything anyway. Good luck getting a state church past the Supreme Court in this environment, for an example. Another example is how the federal government strongarmed desegregation on private businesses via the commerce clause and ransomed the states into changing the liquor laws by withholding highway funding.



by that logic then Texas could decide to have slaves again.

the 14th amendment makes the states toe the line with respect to the constitution, your knowledge is over 100 years out of date.

I agree they overreach with the commerce clause, but the SCOTUS has approved that again and again. I disagree on the government funding to force compliance. If you use government funds, you gotta play by Uncle Sam's rules.

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