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Separating Church and State

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No Swearing Allowed

No, I’m not talking about profaning the courts. Or then again…

What I am talking about is the Supreme Court’s decision today that says the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed inside courthouses because they violate the doctrine of separation of church and state.

The decision was split so closely that even the supreme court itself doesn’t really know what to do with this conundrum.

Time and again the courts have made clear they have an aversion to anything that smacks of ‘religion’. So I’m a-thinkin’ maybe we should get rid of the swearing of oaths as well.

Indeed, what is the point if there are no ‘absolutes’ to swear by? On your mommas’ grave perhaps? And what does the judge think of all that cussin’ going on. I say let’s be rid of it once and for all!

I mean, really… the western world’s legal system ‘was’ based on certain moral precepts (theft, murder, etc.) from the ten commandments (notice that I used ‘was’ instead of ‘is’).

Trying to separate law from religion is like separating the… well, church from the state. Make sense? I’m glad it does to you because the whole notion is contradictory to my sensibilities.

Questions:

  • Is this just another example of a social trend that can’t see the end beyond the means?
  • Is it a decision trying to strike a fair balance, or is it just another anti-religion decision?
  • Or, how can you find balance and justice in a world with no absolutes to judge it by?
  • On the whims of a partisan judge perhaps?

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    • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

      I mean, really… the western world’s legal system ‘was’ based on moral precepts from the ten commandments

      Do you have proof of that?

    • http://www.dailyfisk.com/ BB

      Umm, yer jokin’ – right?

    • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

      Before any credit is given to the Creator for the establishment of Western Rule of Law, let’s be a little real here. Our system of laws come from a dispute between a Pope and a King. That dispute resulted in the signing of the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215. Click on Magna Carta to read the English translation.

    • Bennett

      Regardless of whether our society’s moral values mirror various religious moral values, the two are NOT necessarily connected.

      We don’t need “ten commandments” to establish what we, as a society, feel is right, wrong, just, and unjust.

      As we evolve, our notions of what role and responsibilities we want our government to play in our lives change, we tweak the rules to reflect a new consensus. We expand liberties, we give more aid and shelter to those in need.

      The different cultures in the world are changing, evolving into clearer and fairer places for individuals to live better and happier lives. We don’t need some mythic “divinity” to show us how to conduct our affairs.

    • http://dailyfisk.blogspot.com/ BB

      #3… yes, it is true the Magna Carta is the precursor for liberties of “freemen” and civil procedure, but when it comes to matters of moral conduct – i.e. theft, murder, etc., certain elements of the “Creators” Ten Commandments do predate it substantially.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      you got some Questions, eh?..ok..here goes..

      Question – *Is this just another example of a social trend that can’t see the end beyond the means?*

      as i have said before, the Ends NEVER justify the Means, what so many seem to forget is that this was the final Lesson of Jesus…

      oh?..you doubt?..think about the Passion for a moment…remember the 50,000 followers and the fact that even some Disciples advocated rising up against the Romans rather than submitting to arrest? that would have been the Ends justifying the means…instead the Means were more important (“render unto Ceasar”)and Jesus followed the Law all the way to his Death…that’s conviction of your Faith right there, to set yoru life on the line to support your Ethics

      this whole bit is the same..the separation of church and state is to protect both the church (any church) as well as the minority, from the tyranny of the majority and/or the government

      Question – *Is it a decision trying to strike a fair balance, or is it just another anti-religion decision?*

      careful, your bias is showing…it still bloggles my mind when anyone in the majority(christians) try and sell me that they are being discriminated against…an attempt at fair balance..see my answer to the first Question, and think about it a moment

      Question – *Or, how can you find balance and justice in a world with no absolutes to judge it by?*

      it’s called the Rule of Law, based on the social covenant embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights…no absolutes there, just a Code set up via representative democracy (a Republic) in a manner Lincoln described as “a Government of the People, by the People, and for the People”

      hope that helps…

      just my one sixth billionths of the world’s Opinion…

      your mileage may vary

      Excelsior!

    • http://dailyfisk.blogspot.com/ BB

      #4… I was referring to our legal system (especially criminal law) being “based on moral precepts from the Ten Commandments”. Not civil liberties.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      and which commandments were those?

      last time someone go tlocked up for first degree graven images perhaps?

      or second degree not honoring the parents?

      here’s the tricksy one…
      how many hindu’s have been arrested in the US for placing Vishnu before Jehovah?

      and is it a felony or a misdemeanor for coveting my neighbor’s goat? it is a very pretty goat…

      you get 3 out of 10..and they are NOT exclusive to the “commandments” same exact 3 are in Confucian law as well

      so spare me..they can be thought of as an historical, or a religious text

      but they have NO place in a secular government

      i can understand some folks wanting their holy scriptures to be made a Law, notice how well it worked for the Taliban…

      nuff said?

      Excelsior!

    • http://dailyfisk.blogspot.com/ BB

      #6 & 8… the principle of separation of church and state was to protect the Church FROM the State, but it would appear the reverse is now in order.

      It would also appear that you agree with the notion “or is it just another anti-religion decision?”

      Thanks for the input.

      Cheers.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      i think that it is not “anti-religious” , merely that it is working to maintain the separation between church and state

      big difference

      and it is my Opinion, based on reading Jefferson, Franklin and others of the Founders that it was for BOTH

      the idea was a religiously pluralist society, unhampered by the government…to accomplish this the government was intentionally made as secular as possible, hance the wording of the First Amendment

      but i understand we will more than likely disagree on this one

      luckily we are able to, thanks to the “separation”

      otherwise i would have been burnt as a heretic long ago

      Excelsior!

    • http://dailyfisk.blogspot.com/ BB

      Is burning heretics illegal???

      Since when?

    • wahoo

      As any fool knows, the real basis for our country is:

      I. Thou shalt have many other gods — such as Hollywood actors and baseball players…
      .
      II. Thou shalt make unto thee any graven image such as your Rolls Royce, Corvette, your Harley…

      III. Thou shalt take the name of the LORD thy God in vain with such words as goddamit and chrissakes..

      IV. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy by using it to work off your hangovers…

      V. Dishonour thy father and thy mother by rotten behavior such as pushing drugs and committing other felonies…

      VI. Thou shalt kill by abortion, drive-by shootings, and high school massacres…

      VII. Thou shalt commit adultery at every opportunity…

      VIII. Thou shalt steal whenever no one is looking…

      IX. Thou shalt bear false witness against thy neighbour in your business dealings and wherever else possible…

      X. Thou shalt covet any thing that is thy neighbor’s especially when he is away…

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      since Salem…

      and no, i’m not that knid of heretic

      but i digress…

      Excelsior!

    • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

      The underlying argument always has two passionate sides. One loves Christianity and doesn’t want people bashing it. The other bashes it, either blatantly or subtlely.

      For fear of repeating myself for the severalth time, there needs to be a recognition of religion in general in a public setting that doesn’t favor, or perhaps even call out a specific, walk of faith, but provide an outlet for the spiritual citizen to pray/meditate/wish upon a star.

      And on the social scale, people need to talk about different religions with a more open mind — wait, no, open heart.

      And at this point, as usual, I direct further reading to my column earlier this year:
      “Church, state are nation’s odd couple”
      (2/1/2005)

      Your homework is to read it and write a 500-word report on what you thought about it. Have it on my desk by tomorrow or you won’t go out to recess.

    • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

      there needs to be a recognition of religion in general in a public setting …..but provide[s] an outlet for the spiritual citizen to pray/meditate/wish upon a star.

      Why does there need to be something in the public setting for you to pray? Can you elaborate? You mean it’s not enough for you to pray to your God yourself, you need some public structure, endorsement or ‘outlet’ bolstering your faith? Why? Is it too weak to stand on it’s own?

      The spiritual citizen needs to pray upon a star, I don’t see why they can’t do that in their backyard, on a hilltop or even in the park down the street. It’s possible to pray in all those places right now. Actually, you can even go to your mall and sit in the food court and have a discussion with the Lord if it makes you feel better. Would that public setting work for you and make your faith stronger?

    • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

      Steve, religion and faith transcends interpersonal peace. It’s communal.

    • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

      read: intrapersonal.

      You get the point.

    • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

      so go to a church. where exactly do you need to pray?

    • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

      Church is a great place for that. But life extends beyond church.

      And it happens so often in so many ways.

      • What is reciting a fight song at a football game?
      • What is a “moment of silence?”
      • What is a funeral?
      • What is a candlelight vigil?
      • What are protestor cries?
      • What do little kids do when they throw pennies in a wishing well?
      • What is an athlete doing pointing to the sky after a homerun/touchdown/big play?
      • What does a family do when they visit their ancestor at a war memorial?
      • And, finally, what is the difference between those and prayer? Those and meditation?
    • beadtot

      ‘Separation of church and state’ is about the widening channel between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland state. As acknowledgement of the possible impending loss of Martha’s Vineyard, women in California have invested their own time and labor to initiate ‘commemorative’ vineyards — no argument could be made to oppose the efforts.

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      I say we all burn Gonzo now! Just for fun!

    • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

      Matt – not 500 words, but:

      Your Feb post is based on the proposition that religion doesn’t harm people even when combined with politics. This is contrary to historical fact. See the inquisition, the crusades, etc etc etc etc…, the KKK, 9-11. Fanaticism kills, and organized religions, like nations, lend themselves to fanaticism.

      Perhaps you mean that the harm is not necessary. But then you beg the question: what conditions must be met to avoid it?

      Mark

    • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

      MDE – for even listening to be you get 9 marks out of 10. And you’re right – they’re dangerous.

      But you’ll have extremists with any belief/ideological structure: extreme liberals, extreme conservatives. It’s difficult for mainstream society to accept a lot of their ideas.

      What can be done to avoid fanatics? Nothing that I can think of.

      But rest assured the Inquisition and the Crusades both happened about 1,000 years ago, so we’re probably a bit smarter since then. Groups like the KKK put their faith to shame. Same with those involved in toppling the WTC.

      So if there is a way to avoid tragedies like this, keeping religion a private matter is probably the worst thing you can do! Imagine the dangerous ideas you can come to believe if nobody’s around to questeion it!

      Our religions need to be shared and discussed in an intellectual setting. I know some cynics might say “religion” and “intellect” are mutually exlusive, but they probably know nothing of either themselves.

    • Nancy

      Matthew, anyone at a football game who wants to pray is able to do so. Ditto in any of the other situations. Ditto even in school. Many and many a time, before I became an apostate, I said many a fervent prayer (to myself) before an exam. No one is preventing anyone from praying, on their own and to themselves. What IS banned and SHOULD be banned is the obvious desire of the religious to make everybody else pray with them, including those who may not want to or don’t share their faith.
      You wanna pray in public? By all means, bow your head and murmur a quickie to yourself. Just don’t insist that everybody else either pray with you, or keep silent while you carry out your praying. Otherwise, that’s what homes and churches are for. I would also remind the religiously afflicted that the bible is quite explicit about people NOT praying in public, which is always conveniently forgotten. You’re supposed to go into your ‘closet’ and pray IN SECRET, NOT out in public where you can be seen being so pious by all…unless you want your reward (such as it is) here on earth, that is.

    • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

      Chris “Hardballs” Matthews had a special last night before the Bush Propaganda Address called ‘One Nation Under God.’ What struck me was the fact that fundamentalist Christians are now claiming that they are the victims of discrimination and they are not allowed to practice their faith the way they choose.

      I’m all for people practicing their faith as long as it does not encroach on the rights of another. I’m also all for churches paying their fair share for public services like police, fire, rescue and infrastructure.

    • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

      re: “Our religions need to be shared and discussed in an intellectual setting.”

      I am all in favor of the public display of meta-religion.

      Mark

    • Nancy

      Amen, Silas. Gee…between you and Gonzo, I can’t figure out which one I want to marry. Hmmm…mebbe I’d better convert to something that allows polyandry….

    • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

      When Christians are fired for the beliefs expressed OUTSIDE the workplace, is that encroachment?

      People have a funny idea what encroachment of their rights is. It isn’t being free from being offended. It isn’t free of never having to be bothered by it. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the government starts bankrolling churches.

    • Nancy

      Actually, it has and does, and still is, thanks to the stealth tactics of various congressmen like the guy from Alaska (brain pop: his name just disappeared from my memory) who just got caught bankrolling a private, unaccredited, evangelical christian ‘college’ (except as mentioned above, the staff aren’t quite qualified for that level) to the tune of several millions at taxpayer expense. And not just Alaskan taxpayers, either. You. Me. And I don’t know about you, but I’m inclined to take it out of his hide, if I can, at the very least.

    • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

      Good banter, everyone.

      I think it’s safe to say the majority of us are on the same page here.

      Consider my work on this thread over.

    • wahoo

      Just to show how brazen some are about showing their religious beliefs in public, a little 8-year old girl tried to sing her favorite song about God in a school talent show. But — have no fear — our public servants were near — and they stopped the little bitch before she warbled…

    • Nancy

      Some people on either side of the argument don’t have exercise any common sense; what can you say? It’s one thing for the KID to voluntarily sing because it’s her favorite song. It’s another for a teacher to organize everyone to sing it. That apparently doesn’t get thru to some persons who should know better.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      ..::: looks at comment #27, blinks twice:::..

      why Nancy…i’m flabbergasted…

      i didn’t even know ya cared

      now, about converting to the Following of JuJu….

      Excelsior!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      I’d be in favor of the govt bankrollingthe church of andy!

    • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

      Nancy-

      Is the bankrolling a Church or bankrolling some guys friends… pork-barrel spending happens all the time, I’d rather the federal government stop doing all of it.

    • Nancy

      Lessee…I read it in one of the weekly news mags, & 2 papers, and online. Ted Stevens diverted +$1 million to the Alaska Christian College, run by the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska, an unaccredited school attended by all of 37 students in Anchorage. This despite that Anchorage seems to have several perfectly good public schools these same students could have attended.

      That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Anyway, Stevens & the Church & the School are all being sued for violations of the federal funding laws, etc. etc.

    • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

      Again, sounds like pork-barrel spending with a religious target.

      I’d rather eliminate all pork-barrel spending regardless of the beneficiary.

    • Nancy

      I myself would settle for a constitutional amendment that bars congresspersons from adding ANYTHING not directly and 100% pertinant to whatever bill it is they’re working on. I also am strongly in favor of making them READ every single line of every single bill, per a previous thread.

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      the president should have what almost every state senator has….line item veto power!

    • Nancy

      I thought he did. Wasn’t there a bill earlier that Bush said he would line-item veto? I seem to remember one….

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

      He doesn’t on a budget

    • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

      People have a funny idea what encroachment of their rights is. It isn’t being free from being offended. It isn’t free of never having to be bothered by it. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the government starts bankrolling churches.

      The government has been indirectly bankrolling churches from day one. It’s called tax breaks, loopholes, etc. Priests get a salary that’s subject to taxes but the way they live far exceeds their “means”. The Church organizations themselves enjoy many perks that we’d never get.

      Insofar as encroachment of rights is concerned, I don’t consider a kid singing a Christian Hymn in a school music competition as an encroachment. I consider a Southern Baptist Anti-Abortion person shoving a plaquard in my face saying “You Kill Babies” an encroachment. And what Fred Phelps and his followers do to gays, especially the family of Matthew Shephard, not only encroachment, but harrassment and a hate crime. Phelps should lose his tax status and his community status. He should be thrown out of any Baptist convention.

      I had a very long conversation with my Native South African white doctor who happens to be Dutch in origin. She’s white, get it? We talked about racism. I said that I believed racism and bigotry were alive and well in America and were hidden under that thin layer of skin you get on pudding. She agreed wholeheartedly and told me that she never saw racism and bigotry as rampant as it is in the United States. And this from a former resident of South Africa, no less! Yep, we’re one Nation Under God, alright.

    • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

      Actually, a good portion of what we consider to be the ‘common law’ which the Constitution is based on, predates Christianity in Europe and can be traced back directly to the legal systems of the Germanic peoples, particularly the Saxons and the Danes. The gave us the concept of conciliar government, the idea of the militia, much of our civil law of torts and the idea of trial by jury, to mention only a few elements. And all of these came from a non-Christian, but very legalistic society.

      Dave

    • wahoo

      But that does not account for why the Founders established Christian practices which held for about 200 years in this country.

      But the non-Christian basis for the country does make an interesting fable.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      “christian practices” ???

      like symbolic ritual cannibalism?

      read the Founder’s work, and the works they referenced

      but then, Mr Nalle doesn’t need my help here…

      time for sleep…

      Excelsior!

    • wahoo

      Sorry gonzo — DEEDS… not WORDS — tell us what the Founders intended.

      For almost 200 years the public school day began with a Christian prayer right out of the New Testament and readings from both Old and New Testaments.

      That is a perfect example of what the Founders intended for this country.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      i disagree wahoo, with all due Respect

      just because something was done wrong for a long time, does not make it correct

      we had slavery for how long?

      did that make it right?

      nope

      and when what we have are the direct words of those who helped write our founding documents…that fits bets

      for the most part, what was going on in thosde one room schoolhouses of our past had much to do with the teachers, and very little to do with thoughts of our Constitution

      keep the two apart

      just my one sixth billionths of the world’s Opinion ( shared by Jefferson and others)

      your mileage may vary

      Excelsior!

    • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

      Doesn’t the first of the 10 Commandments, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” (Exodus 20:3, KJV) when posted on or in government buildings suggest that the “me” it refers to is the US government?

    • wahoo

      Sorry gonzo — you have a twisted mind.

      You are trying to equate SLAVERY with PRAYER.

      It was known at the time by the Founders that slavery was immoral — but abolition was not something the Founders could achieve without a civil war.

      Keep in mind that many freed their slaves at the time.

      And certainly — at the time — it was not known — nor was it considered by the Founders — that public prayer was wrong.

      Was slavery considered wrong at the time? Yes.

      Was public prayer considered wrong at the time? No,

      You say — “What was going on inside one room schoolhouses of our past had much to do with the teachers, and very little to do with thoughts of our Constitution.”

      Yeah — the Founders were blindsided by those unscrupulous teachers — and it was not known what those teachers were doing for almost 200 years.

      What is gonzo smoking?

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      ah, so it’s an argument you are wanting?..fair enough

      i made an analogy between the institution of slavery, and prayer in the public school

      very different from “public prayer” to me..perhaps we would need to define out terms

      but i digress

      i have no problem with anyone worshiping however they choose, i DO have a problem with having ANY kind of religious practice integrated with our secular government or it’s institutions fo rthe same reasons Jefferson and the Supreme Court do..among other, more personal ones

      why you ask?

      simplicity itself, different folks have different Faiths..or none at all…and since history has shown us that the single greatest cause of war has been arguments over Religion, it shows the wisdom of our foundsers to keep “faith” out of “government” and government out of matters of faith

      now..i will readily agree i have a twisted mind…but i do stand firm upon this Principle

      that make it clear for you?

      Excelsior!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

      now gonzo, how about nativity scenes and menorahs and the like on public property? We can throw santa and whatever else you wanna throw in there with it…no problem…make it so everybody’s covered…

      and the deal with the commandments….is it that big a deal to put a rock on the front lawn?

      I can relate to keeping it out of the classroom…I would like to see a moment of silence or something along those lines…let everybody do what everybody do kinda thing…

      I’m just asking…I’d say something along the lines that I value your opinion…but then I’d be blowing smoke up your ass and I know it’s a very uncomfortable feeling…

    • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

      It was known at the time by the Founders that slavery was immoral […]

      I’m not sure how true this is.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      i have no problem with a moment of silence..it may even be quite beneficial to a lot of folks…and it does nto promote nor discriminate for or against any faith or lack thereof

      and i have to stick by the Principle here..no signs of Faith on government property…nativity’s, menorahs …. decorate your home , church , synagogue etc however you like…

      why is it so hard to understand and accept that Government is secular, and Faith/Religion is personal to the Individual…whose Right to worship or not, in the manner they choose will NOT be infringed as long as it does not compromise the Rights of another

      the ten commandments especially does NOT belong there…read the first one again and maybe you can see why it is discriminatory and offensive to some

      i do hope that helps

      Excelsior!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

      but that’s my point…how is a rock discriminating against anyone? It’s the asshole behind the bench that’s gonna do any discriminating.

      A depiction of some tablets that may or may not look like the commandments did when or if Moses bought them down off the mount is nothing more than art…is it not?

      I mean…why get your panties all in a twist over a rock! We fund crucifixes submerged in urine with tax dollars…so what’s the big deal if a piece of art, depicting a set of laws handed down by a god is set in front of a building that hands out justice? Will it change the justice that’s handed out inside the building? I doubt it…but like you say…your mileage may vary!

      When I lived in Surprise, AZ I actually had a discussion with the mayor…I went to a council meeting…fuck they’re the most boring things in the world…rather have root canal!…anyway…someone had bought up placing a nativity scene in front of city hall…a local strip mall btw…and of course..it was mentioned that it was inappropriate due to it’s religious nature…ok fine I thought…then…this dumbass mayor…makes a recommendation that a mennorah be placed out there…I asked her…isn’t a mennorah religious? She tried to tell me it wasn’t!

      anyway…I think there was a “holiday” tree in front of the building…

      It just seems to me that there are plenty more important issues that these asshole that are called supreme are making decisions on than where art work can be displayed…and that’s all it is…religious art work…but art work just the same. You could paint the building purple and turn it upside down and the justice that’s meted out inside shouldn’t change…no?

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      it ain’t the rock, it’s the words of the first commanment especially…

      when displayed as “art” there doesn’t seem to be a problem…many cases, including the supreme’s chambers, there are depictions of good ole Moses with the tablets…but they just have roman numerals, NOT the words…that kind of thing i have no problem with

      little details i know…

      and to me, the first Amendment is very important…silly me, i spent 4 years voluntarily defending the Constitution…

      i guess i just can’t get out of the habit

      Excelsior!

    • wahoo

      Gonzo — You have missed the point by trying to worm out of what I said about “public prayer”, by saying that “prayer in the public school” is “very different from “public prayer” .

      No — it’s not. It is not just the teacher who cannot lead a school prayer — a student cannot publicly pray in the building.

      Now isn’t that a denial of “freedom of speech”?

      But — our laws are so screwed up that a Muslim prayer CAN be led by a teacher.

      Do you not see the hypocrisy of our courts and our government in trying to squelch Christian practices only?

      And you say that you — “have no problem with anyone worshiping however they choose, i DO have a problem with having ANY kind of religious practice integrated with our secular government or it’s institutions fo rthe same reasons Jefferson and the Supreme Court do..among other, more personal ones”

      There never was any “integration of religious practice” in the public schools — but there was the FREEDOM of any religious group to participate in school activities.

      Now only Christian groups are denied this freedom.

      And you claim that — “since history has shown us that the single greatest cause of war has been arguments over Religion, it shows the wisdom of our foundsers to keep “faith” out of “government” and government out of matters of faith”

      Your claim about “the cause of war” does not prove that the Founders wanted to outlaw Christian practices such as school prayer or other public manifestations of Christianity.

      You say that you — “have no problem with a moment of silence, it may even be quite beneficial to a lot of folks…and it does nto promote nor discriminate for or against any faith or lack thereof”

      But the ACLU is also against that and has won in court.

      And your statement that — “i have to stick by the Principle here..no signs of Faith on government property…nativity’s, menorahs …. decorate your home , church , synagogue etc however you like…

      These are practices that were allowed without question for 200 years. When did your principle kick in. Was it in 1789?

      And there is nothing in the Constitution that comports with your saying — “is it so hard to understand and accept that Government is secular, and Faith/Religion is personal to the Individual…whose Right to worship or not, in the manner they choose will NOT be infringed as long as it does not compromise the Rights of another.“

      Your particular phraseology here may be in Gonzo’s Constitution — but it is not in the US Constitution.

      And it is very strange that — “The ten commandments especially does NOT belong there…”

      But they are posted in stone in government buildings in Washington…

      I find many things that our government does to be offensive. Does that give me the right to claim that my rights are being infringed by what I find “discriminatory”?

      So if one person claims discrimination — the rest of the nation has to be discriminated against?

      Beam me up.

      P.S. gonzo — I too have combat medals — so don’t crow about it…

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      wahoo, perhaps i am not making myself clear enough

      NO RELIGION IN GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS…fucking period

      not muslim,christian,buddhist or even JuJu

      if there is any allowing one, it’s wrong..i don’t give a flying rat’s ass whose it is…i DO care that ANY such practice violates the Rights of individuals that don’t follow that Faith…

      so spare me the empty rhetorical bullshit about christians being denied but muslims allowed, etc…NONE of it belongs, in my own Opinion

      i will give one clear example of why atempting discourse with you is pointless..

      i say..
      *i DO have a problem with having ANY kind of religious practice integrated with our secular government or it’s institutions*

      and then you try and “quote me as saying
      *“integration of religious practice” *

      not the same thing is it…yet those quotation marks are yours

      you then go on numerous times and either misconstrue my statements, or draw erroneous extrapolations…whether this is an honest mistake, or a deliberate attempt i cannot say for certain

      i’ll just stand by my own words and let the gentle Readers decide…

      nuff said!

      Excelsior!

    • wahoo

      Gonzo — pay attention…

      We had acceptance of Christian religious practices in the public schools of this country for 200 years.

      Can you deny that?

      Only since 1964 have the courts infringed on these 200-years old rights — and the reason given is that the minority feels discriminated against.

      Can you deny that?

      But what has happened — is that the minority is now granted rights which are denied Christians.

      Can you deny that?

      You may be against this current practice — but that does not change the practice. The point is that I am talking reality and you are talking something else.

      Can you deny that?

      I fail to see why you are steamed up over — “religious practice integrated” versus “integration of religious practice”…

      Take your meds and relax a little.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      wahoo…attempting to tell me what to do is no way to sway me towards your assertions, you’ve tried it twice so far

      wahoo sez..
      *We had acceptance of Christian religious practices in the public schools of this country for 200 years.*

      yep, we did..and we had practice of slavery for more than 200 years…do you deny that? did the tradition of it make it right?

      wahoo sez..
      *Only since 1964 have the courts infringed on these 200-years old rights — and the reason given is that the minority feels discriminated against.*

      there were no “Rights” concerning that…a “tradition” of it being done..yes…but please point out where it says anyone has the “Right” to do so?
      since there is no “right” it cannot have been infringed…once again attempting to insert a fallacious Postulate to build an argument on…

      wahoo sez…
      *But what has happened — is that the minority is now granted rights which are denied Christians.*

      no “right” was violated…the “rights” of all under the First Amendment were delineated and implemented..

      you last two paragraphs are non-sequitors and deserve nothing but contempt and disdain…

      nuff said?

      Excelsior!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

      I do agree with the point about one person whining about something and all of a sudden it’s not exceptable anymore…there is something about a majority…

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      yes Andy..but it is the Rights of an Individual against the tyranny of the majority in many cases

      if the majority in a town were satanists, and required a black mass and prayers…how would that christian kid feel?

      don’t you think that jewish kid’s Rights were being trampled?

      that is a silly analogy, i know..but it does make the point, eh?

      Excelsior!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

      I hate yeahbuts…..but I gotta…it just seems like that’s an attitude of if I can’t be happy…ain’t nobody gonna be happy. That’s the feeling I get from guys like ole whathisname that wanted under god taken outta the pledge just because it bothered him…not because it bothered his daughter, the one saying it…if he can’t be happy…he’s gonna make everybody else miserable!

      There’s always gonna be a few disgruntled employees! All that coveting and shit!

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      heh..you do know that the “under god” part was added in the 50s, yes?

      it was NOT in the original draft

      and i disagree with the, *he’s gonna make everybody else miserable!*, bit…not everybody..i would have been quite pleased if he had won

      i doubt i would have been alone

      your mileage may vary

      Excelsior!

    • Bennett

      I would have been happy. But I would have settled for changing out “god” for “-educated”.

      As in “One nation, under-educated, with liberty and justice for all.”

    • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

      andy marsh writes, “there is something about a majority…”

      Indeed, there is something about the tyranny of oppressive, angry mobs, which is why America is not a democracy, but rather a representative republic.

    • wahoo

      What gonzo cannot deny — he avoids.

      I would be the first one to agree that if there was — from the outset — a prohibition against prayer in public schools — that — without question –it should be the law of the land.

      But when the claim comes up 200 years after the fact — I get suspicious that it is a sham.

      It should be clear to anyone with a brain — that if the Founders wanted a “wall of separation” it would have been in place for the first 200 years.

      Now it may be that some don’t want to hear that being said — but that does not change the fact that our recorded history proves it.

      And gonzo’s ridiculous comparison of “slavery” and “acceptance of Christian religious practices in the public schools of this country for 200 years” — shows how shallow his argument really is.

      And gonzo — slavery existed in this country (not colonies) for about 70 years — not “more than 200” as you claim.

      And the 200-year old practice of public school prayer was not a problem in 1964 — except to Madyln Murray O’Hare — an atheist “minority”.

      So the country had to conform to this one-person minority according to our activist courts. And, in 1964, the vast majority in the country — who had no problem with public school prayer — had to step aside to accommodate the ruling of an activist Supreme Court which favored the atheist O’Hare.

      O’Hare had no “right” to impinge on what had been accepted from the founding of the country — and since she had no “right” it cannot have been infringed…

      There is no restriction in the US Constitution prohibiting prayer in public schools.

      “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.”

      What is prohibited in the US Constitution is the government “establishing a religion” — and that has never been done.

      If prayer in public schools is “the establishment of religion” — why is it that no one saw this infringement for 200 years.

      Get it?

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      i avoid nothing

      my comparison is valid in that i consider both to be wrong in that each practice infringes on the Rights of the minority

      logical fallacy on wahoo’s part…there are far more folks infringed upon than a single atheist…any non-christian, and even soem christians , find it offensive and oppressive when in Institution fo the government condones an exclusionary religious practice

      what is so difficult for you to comprehend?

      factual error,,,wahoo sez…
      *But when the claim comes up 200 years after the fact*

      shall we say from 1776 to 1964?…that’s less than 200 years…but that is not really important…the date of the establishment of the public school system is..and would be more accurate..i also would like to see some evidence of exactly when this practice was instituted, and proof that all schools followed it

      just kidding..i was nitpicking in retaliation for the bit about how long america had slaves

      once again, gentle Readers, we see a prime example of someone attempting to twist and manipulate some facts and some assertations to make the point, rather than discuss it on the merits alone

      “tradition” and because “it used to be this way” does NOT make something correct…just like when the South used the same arguments for slavery

      i think you belittle both religion and our government by mixxing the two

      see how well it worked out for the Taliban?

      ok..that was harsh…but they and Iran are the only fundamentalist governments i can think of right now

      me..i think Wisdom resides in the words “render unto Ceasar…”

      finish the Quote and you might see what i mean

      Excelsior!

    • Bennett

      wahoo, you really try, don’t you? I mean, this is damned important to you, personally?

      You are using the classic misinformation technique or stating a falacy, and then pretening it’s fact for a later statement, to whit:

      “O’Hare had no “right” to impinge on what had been accepted from the founding of the country — and since she had no “right” it cannot have been infringed…”

      Your opinion about her “right” to do something, and then you twist it to refer to the legal term “right”, as in bill of rights. It doesn’t wash.

      You see, in a free society any citizen has the “right” to question authority, laws, rulings, and government.

      Sorry, try again, this time keeping in mind that we see through your silly tricks.

      “Tricks are for kids.”

    • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

      wahoo asks, “If prayer in public schools is �the establishment of religion� — why is it that no one saw this infringement for 200 years.”

      Our recognition of the strength of our diversity is something that we have only just begun to realize.

      It is hard to believe that a mere 50 years ago the only Americans who were recognized as Americans entitled to full and complete Constitutional rights were “white” (the political concept of race was thought of as legitimate science back in those days), Christian and male.

      Those bad old days are gone for good now — regardless of a small, but vocal minority who’d like to turn back the clock on our progress — and almost all Americans (our recognition of gay rights still needs work) are now considered equally deserving of Constitutional rights regardless of the color of their skin, gender or religion.

      Bigotry against non-“whites” and non-Christians is now widely viewed as unacceptable under any circumstances and tolerance has finally become a mainstream American value — at least in theory, if not always in practice.

      Now that we have become more tolerant of our diversity, the infringements of the past have become more readily apparent and our laws have evolved to accommodate that sentiment.

    • wahoo

      Gonzo claims — “tradition” and because “it used to be this way” does NOT make something correct…just like when the South used the same arguments for slavery”

      Again gonzo brings up slavery and misses the point — prayer in public school was an inherent part of life in this country for 200 years. Never was prayer in public schools condemned as an evil. But slavery was condemned as an evil by many in this country as soon as the country was formed —

      And you must know this — but you have no other argument so you keep flashing the slavery card.

      And now you argue that prayer in public schools never should have been.

      But everyone was just too dumb to see it was a violation of the law.

      Gonzo — you surely must be jesting.

      ***
      And Bennett

      Don\t try to read my motives and I won’t play Ouija Board with yours.

      Games are for kids.

      As far as when I said — “’O”Hare had no “right” to impinge on what had been accepted from the founding of the country — and since she had no “right” it cannot have been infringed…” I was merely paraphrasing gonzo’s confusing statement —

      Which said– “there were no “Rights” concerning that…a “tradition” of it being done..yes…but please point out where it says anyone has the “Right” to do so?
      since there is no “right” it cannot have been infringed…once again attempting to insert a fallacious Postulate to build an argument on…”

      I couldn’t figure it out what gonzo was saying — so I kicked it back to him…

      No offense meant.

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      i have plenty of Arguments..none of which you seem to be able to Quote correctly, or comprehend

      so i’ll just let what i have put out there stand …and bow before the Quote from Jefferson who says it far better than i can

      then suggest that wahoo try and take it up with the Supreme Court

      as i have stated previously..i used the analogy of slavery to make the point , which you keep ignoring or glossing over, yet can’t seem to refute

      Excelsior!

    • wahoo

      Jefferson’s letter is NOT the US Constitution — which had many other contributors.

      And don’t forget that the Supreme Court makes mistakes — in 1858 it ruled that slavery was legal.

      Poor Dred Scott… The Supremes screwed up and he suffered for it.

    • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

      re: “Our recognition of the strength of our diversity is something that we have only just begun to realize.”

      From an atheist:

      We’ve thrown out the baby. The constitution’s wording clearly states that laws restricting the free exercise of religion are not ok. Why can’t folks (eg) pray wherever, whenever, and however they want to. Why must we assumed that the sole follower of JuJu in the room has to be uncomfortable in the presence of a black mass incantation? And if he is, so what, so long as he’s not the sacrifice? If a Catholic feels the need to genuflect in the middle of a test – go for it even if it’s a distraction. Muslims – roll out your rugs in class when necessary. You want to rock out to “Onward Christian Soldiers” in the auditorium? Do it.

      Fuck the twisted logic of the Supremes. Public property vrs private property bullshit. I read no exception clause in the big C.

      The situation now is not one of acknowledgment and tolerance of diversity but, rather, suppression and avoidance of it.

      Mark

    • Bennett

      Whether it was in the Constitution or not, your claim that the concept of a “wall” between Christianity and government didn’t happen for 200 years…

      Is total horseshit.

    • http://www.psychopundit.com Dave Nalle

      >>But that does not account for why the Founders established Christian practices which held for about 200 years in this country.<<

      What Christian practices would those be? The only Christian practices the founding fathers established was the practice of making sure that Christianity and government weren’t intertwined in the negative way they’d seen in England and Europe.

      Keep in mind that they were coming from the rule of a country with a state religion, and they wanted to avoid that same type of institutionalization of religion, as much for the good of the church as for the good of government and society. Given the context and what they wrote about it, the idea that they intended anything but a secular state is ridiculous.

      Dave

    • wahoo

      If there was a “wall” it was pretty damn porous for 200 years.

      Where was the “wall” for 200 years while there was prayer in public schools every day of the school year?

      Were the Founders — for the rest of their natural lives, — the Congress for 200 years, — all the Presidents and all the state courts, the state appeals courts, the District Courts, the Circuit Courts, and the Supreme Court — for over two centuries — all asleep while the kids prayed in their schools? Were the sneaky little bastards praying and not telling their government?

      How did it come about that the entire government was asleep for ten times longer than Rip Van Winkle? — asleep until the magic fairy (Madyln Murray O”Hare) touched the Supremes with her magic wand — and they suddenly woke up and realized than the country had been hoodwinked for two centuries by the little bastards…

      And speaking of horseshit — that’s what the kids said when someone told them that they had been breaking the law during all their school years…

      Yes — the only Christian practice the founding fathers established was the practice of making sure that Christianity and government weren’t intertwined in the negative way they’d seen in England and Europe.

      That’s about the extent of it.

      The Founders did not like the fact that the King of England was also the Head of the Church of England.

      They said — no to a President who would also be Head of the Church of the United States.

      Keep in mind that they were coming from the rule of a country with a state religion, and they wanted to avoid that same type of institutionalization of religion, as much for the good of the church as for the good of government and society.

      Given the context and what they wrote, the idea that they intended anything but a government with complete freedom of religion is indeed ridiculous.

      And complete freedom of religion is the freedom to express it wherever, whenever and however one wants.

      Including classrooms in a public school — as it had been done for 200 years — before the magic fairy appeared in a vision to the Supremes.

    • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

      And complete freedom of religion is the freedom to express it wherever, whenever and however one wants.

      Except that in the classroom, as Lisa McKay pointed out above, the students didn’t practice however they wanted. It was determined FOR THEM which prayers they would say and when, even if they weren’t Christian. Sorry, but that’s not religious freedom. That’s indoctrination.

      The fact remains that organized prayer — any religion’s prayer — has NO PLACE in public schools. If individual children want to pray during the day, they are free to do so, without using the school’s public address system to force their religion upon other students. If you want masse prayer, go to church.

    • http://www.psychopundit.com Dave Nalle

      >>If there was a “wall” it was pretty damn porous for 200 years.< <

      Whatever perversions of the intent of the founders went on really can't be blamed on them.

      >>Where was the “wall” for 200 years while there was prayer in public schools every day of the school year?< <

      There were no public schools at the time of the founding of the country or for more than a generation afterwards. The first public schools were founded by activists many of whom were also ministers. They borrowed from the model of parochial schools for the structure of their schools, and sometimes that included prayer. That doesn't mean that doing so was right or Constitutional.

      >>Were the Founders — for the rest of their natural lives, — the Congress for 200 years, — all the Presidents and all the state courts, the state appeals courts, the District Courts, the Circuit Courts, and the Supreme Court — for over two centuries — all asleep while the kids prayed in their schools? Were the sneaky little bastards praying and not telling their government?< <

      As I pointed out, the founders were all dead by the time the first public school was founded, so there's no connection there at all.

      >>How did it come about that the entire government was asleep for ten times longer than Rip Van Winkle?< <

      Not asleep, negligent and corrupted.

      >>And complete freedom of religion is the freedom to express it wherever, whenever and however one wants.<<

      Sure, so long as it’s not disruptive and not specifically sanctioned or encouraged by the school. I’ve got no problem at all with unorganized, silent, non-genuflecting prayer.

      Dave

    • wahoo

      Yes — Complete freedom of religion is the freedom to express it wherever, whenever and however one wants.

      But — except in the classroom?

      What kind of freedom is that?

      A basis freedom has to be checked at the school door?

      Anywhere else? Just schools? Is that in the Constitution?

      Prayer in school can be done in ways to accommodate different religions — but an outright ban on prayers — especially Christian prayers — is an affront to the religious freedom the Founders left us.

      No prayer in public school may have been the decision of the Supreme Court in 1964 — but it is as wrong as the decision this week that our property rights have to be checked in at the door of government — when a private developer has a better use for our property.

      It is also as wrong as the 1858 Dred Scott decision that kept a man in slavery.

      The issue here is not whether prayer is or is not good in public schools — the issue is what the Founders had in mind when the Constitution was written.

      Prostitution of the Constitution by activist judges is the biggest problem our country faces.

    • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

      Complete freedom of religion is the freedom to express it wherever, whenever and however one wants.

      some religions smoke hash or eat peyote. Let’s put hookahs and bongs in all the classrooms. Just, you know, to accommodate all. For some people, sex is their God. Do they get to use the teachers desk or just go at it, right up against the chalkboard?

      Now, none of this shit about doing it after class, or down the hall. Dammit, it’s gotta be right smack in that classroom or it’s a prostitution of the Constitution.

    • wahoo

      Dave claims that — “Whatever perversions of the intent of the founders went on really can’t be blamed on them.”

      Who can we blame for these “perversions”? The rest of the stupid country?

      Then — There were no public schools at the time of the founding of the country or for more than a generation afterwards“?

      Wrong.

      And — The first public schools were founded by activists many of whom were also ministers?

      Wrong again Dave.

      For example — Congress, by an Act of May 3, 1802, established the City of Washington and provided for the establishment of public schools.

      AND PRAYER WAS ALLOWED.

      Not “more than a generation” and not established by activist ministers.

      Dave — where do you dig up your bullshit?

      And — now that I am getting Dave’s bullshit — it’s time to do something constructive.

      This has become non-productive.

      Sayonara.

    • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

      The issue here is not whether prayer is or is not good in public schools — the issue is what the Founders had in mind when the Constitution was written.

      I don’t really give a shit what they had in mind, in part because we can’t read their minds. I care about NOW. Besides, they also thought women shouldn’t vote or have other legal rights, and that it was okay to own other human beings. They’re not exactly the perfect pillars of freedom they’re made out to be.

      Prayer in school can be done in ways to accommodate different religions — but an outright ban on prayers — especially Christian prayers — is an affront to the religious freedom the Founders left us.

      Thank you for confirming that you believe Christianity deserves special treatment.

      The practice of religion has no place in public schools. You can go to your church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of WORSHIP to practice your religion with a group of like-minded people. A school is for learning, not worship.

      But — except in the classroom?

      What kind of freedom is that?

      Speech is also not exactly “free” in the classroom. It’s restricted. Should we all go ape shit that kids can’t tell the teacher to go fuck off without fear of punishment?

      A basis freedom has to be checked at the school door?

      Um, yup, just like speech. The school uses tax money. Therefore, the school is acting as an agent of the government. Thus, no government sponsored religion. It’s really quite simple: if the school teaches religion, the government teaches religion. And that’s a no-no.

      Anywhere else?

      Yes, anywhere an agent of the government is in a position of power/authority over the citizenry.

      Is that in the Constitution?

      The Constitution is, as you know, quite brief. The Supreme Court interprets it, sometimes to our liking, sometimes not.

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      Ok Margaret – but please explain to me how displaying the 10 commandments is tyrannical…I looked up the word and it just doesn’t fit…

      1. A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.
      2. The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
      3. Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: “I have sworn… eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” (Thomas Jefferson).
      4. Use of absolute power.
      5. A tyrannical act.
      6. Extreme harshness or severity; rigor.

      That’s my problem here…I don’t see the tyranny that you do I guess.

      Just because somebody doesn’t like it, doesn’t make it tyranny.

      By the definitions above, I lived in tyranny for 20 years!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      bhw – so…every state college that has a theology department should be shut down!

    • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

      no Andy..a theology class is the perfect place to put this shit

      that’s an elective ducational forum to discuss and learn matters of religions

      big difference

      have more coffee

      Excelsior!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      I wasn’t talking to you gonzo! bhw said religion had NO PLACE in public schools…that was my point.

      And thank you..I think I will have another cup!

    • Nancy

      The number of times during my school years I prayed, silently & no doubt fervently, unremarked and w/out fanfare, at my desk just prior to an exam are beyond my counting. No one inquired & I didn’t volunteer I was doing it…sort of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, as it were. So, I practiced my (then) religion, and nobody else was involved or offended. The difference between what I did then, and what christians are demanding today, is that they want public acknowledgement and recognition of some kind of formalized opportunity for prayer in the schools, whereas mine was entirely personal & voluntary.

      There is absolutely NOTHING stopping any kid who wants to say a quickie, from doing so now, in school, as long as it’s silent and undemonstrative, and frankly that’s the directive JC gave for prayer: “in secret”. Period. NOT “in concert”, or “in public”, or “out loud”; IN SECRET. Possibly that’s why an awful lot of my prayers seem to get answered: I don’t make a parade of them. Christians who claim they are being persecuted because their kids can’t stand up and loudly proclaim their version of faith in front of others are actually trying to use semantics to weasel an opportunity for proselytizing. Fortunately, they’re as transparent as baggies, which is why everyone else objects to this crap.

      You or your kid want to pray? No problem: do it now. Where you are. Where ever you are. But you don’t have to do it aloud, you don’t have to make a show of it, & you don’t have to involve others either voluntarily or thru coercion either direct or indirectly. Except in churches or the privacy of your home, prayer is not and should never be a group exercise to be rubbed in the faces of others. Christian zealots as well as those of other religions tend to forget that their rights end when they begin to infringe on the rights of others. And God is NOT an excuse.

    • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

      Andy, you know perfectly well what bhw meant, and you also know perfectly well that the *practice* of religion and the *study* of religion are two entirely different things. And if you’re pouring another cup, no cream and sugar for me, okay?

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      OK! no cream and sugar!

      Are you telling me that just because I know stuff I’m not allowed to ask stupid questions? You’re gonna take all the fun out of this!

      Everybody else does!

    • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

      Sorry, Andy – it’s just that I’m a liberal, and apparently we’re all humorless and mean, or so I’ve been told ;-)

      Thanks for the coffee, and enjoy the weekend!

    • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

      What Lisa said, Andy.

    • Nancy

      Yo, everyone! Have a SAFE & fun 4th!

    • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

      I read that somewhere!

      I know you’re mean bhw! You’ve ALWAYS been mean! At least to me!

      oh yeah…I’m telling!

    • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

      BTW, Andy, I never said “religion has no place in public schools.” Reread my comments:

      The fact remains that organized prayer — any religion’s prayer — has NO PLACE in public schools

      and

      The practice of religion has no place in public schools.

    • http://www.psychopundit.com Dave Nalle

      >>Who can we blame for these “perversions”? The rest of the stupid country?< <

      Religious zealots and foolish people in the last 50 years or so for the most part.

      >>Then — There were no public schools at the time of the founding of the country or for more than a generation afterwards“?

      Wrong.< <

      Actually, right. There were no public schools as they now exist - free government run schools - until the 1830s. Prior to that there were a few schools which were called public schools and worked on a fee basis with free education for the poor like the system in DC and like the system in Philadelphia, but they were not public schools in the modern sense, but more like charter schools or private community schools.

      >>And — The first public schools were founded by activists many of whom were also ministers?

      Wrong again Dave.< <

      Actual state-sponsored public schools began being founded in the 1830s and were founded in response to the Free School Movement, many of the leaders of which were ministers. This is just fact. You can go look it up if you like.

      >>For example — Congress, by an Act of May 3, 1802, established the City of Washington and provided for the establishment of public schools.< <

      I lived in DC for many years and am quite familiar with its history. The truth is that the act you refer to created a single school which was essentially a private fee-based school. Actual public education as we know it wasn't up and running untill 1874.

      >>Dave — where do you dig up your bullshit?< <

      From history books. What with the PhD in history and 20 years teaching college I find them pretty easy to read.

      >>This is getting unproductive<<

      Spinning bizarre fantasies usually is.

      Dave

    • Shark

      I blogged on this a year and a half ago.

      Check it out if ya wanna see what happens when the Christoid logic is applied equally to all.

      There’s nothing left to say.

      …um, except that I wish the Christoids would practice what they preach…

      Matthew 6:6: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret, will reward thee openly.”

      =======

      PS: Bloke, glad to see ya back, but don’t start with me on this church stuff!

      PPS: Don’t forget: 9/11 was a faith-based initiative!

      xxoo
      S

    • Shark

      DaveNulle: “…What with the PhD in history and 20 years teaching college I find them pretty easy to read…”

      Dave, you’ve met Dr. Carmine?

      You two should get along swell. Maybe even get a room!

      xxoo
      Shark (a handsome, 6’4″ Greek god with a Nobel Prize… at least on the internet!)

      PS: Gotta run! Time to update my fake credentials!

    • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

      andy, it is not the display of the Decalogue that is tyrannical, although I do think it is sacrilegious when it is placed upon government buildings because of the suggestion that the “me” in the first commandment (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” — Exodus 20:3 KJV) refers not to God, but to the US government, which is made up of flawed mortal humans elected by other flawed mortal humans.

      You wrote that “there is something about a majority…” and I responded with my general opinion of majority rule, which is that it is tyrannical and oppressive.

      Our Founders designed our three branch system of checks and balances precisely because they wished to avoid the tyranny of majorities. America is democratic to be certain, but it is most decidedly not a democracy (which literally means “mob shout,” BTW) for this very reason.

      MDE, wahoo had asked, “If prayer in public schools is ‘the establishment of religion’ — why is it that no one saw this infringement for 200 years.”

      And I pointed out the reasons why it took until the 1960s for people to realize the infringements of the past.

      Americans used to be rather intolerant toward non-“whites,” non-Christians and non-males. We always had our diversity, but the recognition of plural equality took time to come about.

      Now that we have become more tolerant of our diversity, we have become more sensitive to infringements upon our non-“white,” non-Christian and non-male citizens and our laws have evolved to accommodate this new recognition of our society’s pluralism.

    • http://www.dailyfisk.com BB

      It’s good to be back Shark (I think).

      As always I look forward to your razor wit, but I caution you with the commenting because your bias is starting to show.

      P.S.: I’ll put in a good for you with the Pope.

      Heh.

      Double P.S.: I hope you will check out my new blog and consider being a contributing writer. It would be a pleasure.

    • shadetreelawyer

      “Americans used to be rather intolerant toward non-“whites,” non-Christians and non-males. We always had our diversity, but the recognition of plural equality took time to come about.

      YES. It took time.

      AND it took Constitutional Amendments.

      “Now that we have become more tolerant of our diversity, we have become more sensitive to infringements upon our non-“white,” non-Christian and non-male citizens and our laws have evolved to accommodate this new recognition of our society’s pluralism.

      THEREFORE, let us take this evolution and accommodate it by codifying it rather than relying on activist judges to do it. Until that is done, there will be disharmony in the country.

    • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

      shadetreelawyer, I offered no solutions to any modern problems, I answered a question about our nation’s history and why many of our laws with regard to religion — specifically Christianity — in the public square have changed over the years.

      BTW, there really is no such thing as an “activist judge.” Some people — usually those whose understanding of how our system of government works is sorely lacking — use the expression “activist judges” to refer to judges who hand down decisions they do not like. Our disharmony often stems from widespread ignorance of our history, government and Constitution.

    • shadetreelawyer

      An activist judge is one who creates law where none existed previously, typically by resorting to novel interpretations of the Constitution, where the Constitution is silent.

      And in these cases, social, cultural and other norms are contravened, thereby causing unrest in the country.

      Keep in mind that the Constitution provides resolvement of such issues by Article 5 of the US Constitution which states, “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution…”

      Activist judges have no regard for Article 5 of the US Consttution, and therein lies the problem.

    • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

      “An activist judge is one who creates law where none existed previously, typically by resorting to novel interpretations of the Constitution, where the Constitution is silent.”

      Sometimes upholding our Constitution and the recognition of progress make new laws necessary when they are not forthcoming from the Congress, such as those laws made to abolish the horrible institution of segregation once and for all.

      In order for us to continue to fulfill the promise of freedom as it was laid out by our Founders some social, cultural and other norms need to be contravened — even if doing so will cause unrest.

      Segregation was once considered a social and cultural norm and doing away with it caused quite a bit of unrest, but it was the right thing to do anyway because the tyranny of the majority cannot be allowed to rule in a free nation.

      If it weren’t for our system of checks and balances, we’d still have such things as “whites only” drinking fountains and restrooms down here in the South — or we’d just be getting around to voting whether or not a majority wished to continue to arbitrarily tyrannize millions of people.

      Would you want the recognition your civil rights to be decided by a majority vote?

    • jojo

      An “activist judge” is an agenda driven idiot suffering from a post-traumatic god-complex.

    • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

      Snark: “Dave, you’ve met Dr. Carmine?”

      No, snark. but then I don’t put Dr. before my name, PhD after my name, or perform surgeries for fun.

      But hey, unlike some folks from Austin I do use my real name on the internet. I’m such a poser…

      Dave

    • Shark

      DaveNulle: “…unlike some folks from Austin I do use my real name on the internet. I’m such a poser.”

      Dear Davey,

      Just fer the record:

      1) I’m not from Austin.
      2) I’m not a real folk.

      and…

      3) yes — you are a poseur.

    • http://www.dailyfisk.com BB

      A word of advice to all.

      They don’t call him the “Shark” for nothing.

      And when it comes to wrangling words, better to make friends than enemies.

    • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

      >>1) I’m not from Austin.< <

      Ah, so even your previous alleged place of residence is a fraud.

      >>2) I’m not a real folk.< <

      Clearly.

      >>3) yes — you are a poseur.<<

      No, just a poser. I have to work my way up to being a poseur. Perhaps some day…

      Dave

    • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

      The definition of activist judge that was given, is a judge that creates law. No judge creates law. Give me one judge and the specific law he/she wrote that was created please.

      A judge says something must be this or that way, and society via Congress or the states creates the law. Somebody who’s job it is, to interpret the Constitution, interprets it, and then we the people do what is right and create the laws.

      I haven’t seen things been happening any other way.

    • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

      Usually, when people who use the expression “activist judges” talk about such judges “making new laws,” they are referring to the striking down of old laws, which is not really making a new law. But putting it into those terms makes the propaganda (of those groups that object to certain court decisions) far more effective.

      And sometimes, discourse with people who use the expression “activist judges” requires the use of their terminology rather than that which might be too difficult to explain briefly — especially to people whose knowledge of our system of government might be incomplete.

    • http://www.dailyfisk.com BB

      It’s called the law of judicial precedent.

      Today CNN likened the appointment of a supreme court judge akin to appointing a cardinal (and I don’t mean baseball).

    • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

      Okay, let’s see. I clicked on that link in 111 to read about the law of judicial precedent.

      And it says this:
      Allen, in his review of the history of the doctrine, presents evidence that English judges were making use of previously decided cases as guides as early as the thirteenth century. But it was not until the sixteenth century that the availability of reports of decided cases…brought any certainty or consistency into the operation of what gradually became the doctrine of binding precedent.

      So what conservatives are telling me is that ‘activist judges’ are doing something that they have been doing since the thirteenth century and conservatives are upset about it.

      But when it comes to public prayer or second class citizenship for me, ‘but that’s the way it’s always been done for 200 years’.

      Geesh.

      Just another example of moonbats at the helm of this country/movement. It’s time to send another check to Howard Dean.

    • http://www.dailyfisk.com BB

      I believe the point that was being made is some “activist judges” abuse their judicial authority to promote self-serving agendas, and to create (or interpret) law in their own image.

      The double indemnity is that they are appointed by politicians. Hence, the reason why supreme court appointments are so important and affect everyone.

      Shiznit.

    • catherine

      You can no more seperate this country from a relgoius nation no more than you can deny your flag! 47 of the states’ constitutions, each one openly expresses the idea of a covenant between people, made in the sight of God. For instance the character of Virginia, drawn up for the londen company in 1606. I, James by the grace of God, King of England, ect… defender of the faith.. to deduce a colony of sundry of our people into the part of America, commonly Known as Virginia… wich may my the providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the gloryof his Divine Majesty, in propgating of Christian religion to such people… William Penn referred to Pennsylvania as a “holy experiment,” and after independence many state constitions were written, using more explicit reference to God’s supreme government and just moral order. The preamble to the Massachutes Constitution, adopted in 1790 reads: We therefore the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with greatful hearts, the goodness of the great legistlator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, delibertly and peaceably, without fraud, violence, or suprise, of enterinf into an original, explicit, and solem compact with each other; and forming a new constitution of civel government, for ourselves and posterterity; in devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting design, do agree upon, ordain, and establish the following Declaration of rights and frame of government, as the Constitution of the common wealth of Massachusetts Quoted; Healing Americas Wounds by; John Dawson
      In 1636, Harvard was foundend on the motto; Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to cosider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound Knowledge and Learning and seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let everyone seriously set himself to prayer in secret to seak it of Him.. My point is the are you trying to promote an ignorant nation founded on what you think it should be? these are our roots maybe why no other republic has lasted over 200yrs long can you prove another has? while belittling the bloodshed of those who were willing to die for Freedom based on religous ground what would a nation with no moral be willing to Die for their own selfishness to take away our hope It is the soldier by; Charles M. Province IT IT THE SOILDER, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. IT IS THE SOILDER, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. IT IS THE SOILDER not the campus orginizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate. IT IS THE SOILDER, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a free trial. IT IS THE SOILDER, who salutes our flag, who serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag. in loving memory of PFC Robert M. Wilson 82nd airborne. So remember this how irony can be a funny thing, when a plague comes thru or maybe a famine hits a land its usually that people finnally find religion when you relize your not as Great as you thought and your clinging to a religion and hope and a God to save you in suffering or disaters you will be wishing and praying someday yourself that He’s going to listen to you. Through out the beginneng of time the oldest wars in history were religious wars no one deny religion any more than he can deny repeated history or the very institution that birthed a mighty nation we should have never been as arrogant with how blessed we are by a Living God.

    • Liberal

      An activist judge is a judge whose ruling you disagree with.