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BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?

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Dave (the ancient mariner) 19 Apr 05 - 05:27 PM
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Dave (the ancient mariner) 19 Apr 05 - 05:41 PM
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Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Apr 05 - 10:46 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Apr 05 - 10:47 PM
robomatic 22 Apr 05 - 12:40 AM
John P 22 Apr 05 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,CarolC 22 Apr 05 - 11:51 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 22 Apr 05 - 01:37 PM
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Bill D 24 Apr 05 - 06:26 PM
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robomatic 24 Apr 05 - 08:50 PM
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Dave (the ancient mariner) 24 Apr 05 - 09:32 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 24 Apr 05 - 10:16 PM
John P 25 Apr 05 - 01:28 AM
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Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 09:25 AM
John P 25 Apr 05 - 11:04 AM
Amos 25 Apr 05 - 11:11 AM
John Hardly 25 Apr 05 - 11:13 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 11:21 AM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 12:20 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 12:39 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 01:54 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 08:06 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 10:05 PM
Ron Davies 25 Apr 05 - 10:53 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM
John P 26 Apr 05 - 12:25 AM
Ron Davies 26 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM
Amos 26 Apr 05 - 11:42 PM
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Dave (the ancient mariner) 27 Apr 05 - 01:00 PM
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Subject: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 04:47 PM

I just now heard one of the best distillations of the Ten Commandments on Public Property Issue. It was by Rev. Ian Wrisley of Crested Butte, Colorado, a self-described Evangelical Minister who comments on NPR. Just now he spoke eloquently on the issue of government sponsored presentations of the Ten Commandments. I cannot relay word for word his comments, but I thought they were spot on: That what is being proposed, however well intentioned, is to put religious themes at the service of the State for State purposes. This is a pretty good definition of blasphemy.

What the gentleman said served me in three ways...It was a very well written and delivered piece in itself, it spoke eloquently to the issue, and it reminded me of something I already knew, there are some very fine thinkers among the Evangelical population of the US. It will show up on npr.org as an audio file and I hope to give it a re-listen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 04:57 PM

congress shall make no law prohibiting the free practice thereof


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:08 PM

One nation under God.

Except for the far left liberal element, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:17 PM

The one here in Texas was actually installed when CB DeMille's movie " The 10 Commandments " was released. So it was a commercial. Not really an outpouring of religious sentiment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:28 PM

Yes, that would be the far-left liberal element who wrote the constitution and who did not, coincidentally, write any "pledge of allegiance" to any flag containing the words Martin Gibson glibly regurgitates.

(a bit of history, Martin: the words Under God were actually added to the pledge through a campaign by the Knights of Columbus in 1954. The original pledge would have included the word liberty, but educators were reluctant to have their students espouse equality for women and blacks.   So the pledge is at once aggressively Christian and embarrassingly reminiscent of Jim Crow.

Anyway, to conservative Jewish ears the "pledge" verges on idolatry. How can you pledge allegiance to a flag of all things? many people who are not at all left-wing liberals (like Amish, Menonites, and other very conservative religious groups) do not recite the "pledge."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:30 PM

Now I ain't gonna get into no Bible thumpin' here but, hey, what exactly wrong with the Ten Commandments? Heck, I think they oughta have 'um on the back of buses. If everyone followed these ten simple rules of behavior you could throw the millions of pages of laws out the window...

BUT, with that said... I'd like to see passages other holy books of other relgions as well on stone and on the back of buses...

Morality is not something that we as Christains can say we have the market captured. Quite the opposite, with way to many of my fellow Christains not following the teachings of Jesus Christ...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:34 PM

I have seen old films of swearing in of witnesses in court which did NOT include the caveat, "so help you god." Anyone know when and why that was added and, if it is still in use?

Separation of church and state is my religion...

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:46 PM

Wesley: I also heard that about the installation of "10 Commandments" monuments as a publicity stunt. I'm wondering if it is a myth because:

1) Hollywood producers are not known for spending a lot of dough they don't need to (i.e. not one thin dime), and stone monuments couldn't have been very cheap.

2) In Hollywood, they don't have 10 Commandments. They've been reduced to 8, and 3 of those are "Do the best you can!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:53 PM

My understanding was that DeMille sent Chuck Heston and Edgar G Robinson to many of the installations as part of a publicity campain. I'll try to get some facts and references since I don't want to rely on my memory.

How about the Sermon on the Mount ? Can you imagine "blessed are the peacemakers" printed on the wall of the Pentagon ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Piers
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:54 PM

As Karl Marx said, 'The executive of the modern state is but a commitee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie'. And oh how the bourgeosie (capitalists) benefit from the source of their income having their heads full of ancient moral dogmas and superstitions that reinforce the class system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 06:05 PM

Guest, of course I knew about the 1954 change. so what?

It's been well accepted for the last 50 years except for a handful of aetheists.

In God we trust.

What's your fat ass answer on that?

Piers, who gives a shit what Karl Marx said about anything except some Commie like yourself?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 06:05 PM

Hmmm.....

"Thou shalt not kill" is an ancient moral dogma and superstition ? I think not. I'd just rather not have it printed on my public buildings that I help pay for with my tax dollars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Scoville
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 06:13 PM

And some very liberal religious groups decline to say the Pledge for conservative reasons. Many [otherwise decidedly leftist] Quakers do not because traditionally they frown upon pledging allegiance to something that might conflict with their allegiance to God above all others.

I'm not at all religious but I don't have anything against the Ten Commandments themselves, only their form. I would similarly oppose having text from Faith & Practice hung in courtrooms and schools, not because I have anything against it for its own sake, but because not everyone is Quaker and not everyone should be expected to play by Quaker rules.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 06:22 PM

Actually, I 'd like to see "Thou Shalt Not Kill" in every governmental office in the land, including the oval office an in every office and restroom in the Pentagon.... And on the back of every danged bus in the world in what ever laguage is common to those areas... Yeah, I'd like to see it printed on McDonld's wrappers and I like to see it on little crome emblems on the back of every new car. Heck, I'd like to see it printed on every sheet of toilet paper, every knapkin, every paper towel and box of bullets....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Piers
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 06:26 PM

Martin Gibson unfortunately many, many, many more people give a shit about what Marx said well after his death than would give you the steam off their piss whilst you are alive.

Wesley - Even 'thou shalt not kill' is a moral dogma, there are situations when you may have to kill or be killed, or kill to prevent more killing. And it's not as if pacifism and christianity go hand in hand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John O'L
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 06:56 PM

Piers -
We all know that life depends on other things dying. We all know what the intention of the commandment is: Thou shalt not kill unnecesarily - thou shalt not murder. ]

The place is full of murderers, some of them filling the most powerful positions in the world. I think Bobert's idea of having it written everywhere you look is a brilliant one.

Thou shalt not kill.

Don't forget it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 07:13 PM

Okay, they repeated the commentary and it still sounds good to me the second time around, some excerpted remarks:
- - - - - - - - - - -
Ian Wrisley:
Doroty Sayers called it a great mistake to present Christianity as something charming and popular.
The argument for posting them on public property is that the Commandments belong there because they are not religious but cultural, legal, historical. This is a copout, it might keep God in the picture as instrument of history but not as Lord of history. More is lost to the religious concept than can possibly be gained.
Government can't be trusted with metaphysics. When in school, my principal recited Lord's Prayer every day. This was simply a power play on his part, a way of exercising his authority.

Governemt is not giving legitimacy to religion, they are using religion to buttress their own legitimacy.

It was the religious devout in this country that obtained from Thomas Jefferson the promise of a wall between church and state.

Definitioin of blasphemy is to make secular that which is sacred. Posting Ten Commanments on gov. property is a case study in blasphemy.
- - - - - - - end of remarks by Minister Wriskey


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 07:49 PM

I saw the thread title and was thinking it was ten commandments ON public property, ie on the subject of, not located on. Rather a diffrent idea...

Seperation of Church and State is a good idea, and should be stuck to.

Bunnhabhain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 07:58 PM

"And ye harm none" works as well...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:31 PM

Piers, What you say is probably true about Karl Marx.................................in China. Not in the U.S. In case you hadn't noticed, the only Marx who has had some impact here is Groucho. And thank God. Karl Marx preached for a Godless soul. Is that you? Fine with me. Except please stay out of my neighborhood.

Which 10 Commandments do you non-believers have a problem with?

Wesley S., what's wrong with it on a building we pay taxes for? Isn't it more about humanity than religion overall? Aren't the 10 Commandments something all humanity can live by? Isn't that why they were given to the world?

I'd rather see them on a government building instead of a sign that says "closed Saturday and Sunday."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:44 PM

Danged! I hate it when I agree with Martin....

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr....

But, yeah, I would take a the few steps further and have the messages of peace form the books of other religions also be prominently displayed... This way, there's no one thinkin' that anyone is tryin' to tam something down his or her throats... Yeah, a little Koran and a little....

See, the religions that I know of teach peace and love... Hey we need more of that...

Yeah, lets plaster the walls with pro-life scriptures... Put 'um on the back of busses... Heck, put 'em on cerial boxes...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:52 PM

How about:

"You will have no God except me."

Which is fine, so long as there is no other religion in the US...

Not all of them are as common as "Thou shall not kill" with those with diffrent beliefs, Martin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:58 PM

Forget the Koran, bobert. Put that on the back of a bus and it will probably blow up.

What would you rather have, pro-death scriptures?

The majority of this country is judeo-Christian. Peace and love, yeah ideally.

No one is saying you have to read anything, bobert. No one is saying you have to believe the 10 Commandments either as being to Jewish, too Christian.. Shit, lie if you want, steal if you want, kill if you want, covet your neighbor's wife with big tits if you want. I don't see any of that as necessarily being about religion. Sounds like just good laws to me. We'll leave you alone to be your politically correct offended self.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:21 PM

Now I ain't gonna get into no Bible thumpin' here but, hey, what exactly wrong with the Ten Commandments? Heck, I think they oughta have 'um on the back of buses. If everyone followed these ten simple rules of behavior you could throw the millions of pages of laws out the window...

There is at least one commandment that applies only to the monotheistic religions. The "no gods before me" commandment. So by endorsing these commandments and not giving equal consideration to the many religions in the world (and in the US) that are not monotheistic, the US government shows bias against the religions that are not monotheistic. And that is institutionalized discrimination.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:24 PM

You obviously know nuthin' of the Koran, Martin... Or the Bible... Or yer Jewishness....

All you know is how to be offensive...

Great...

Okay, big guy, what laws, commandements, suggestions, etc. do you think are good?

Thou shalt insult yer fellow man?

Thou shalt reaffirm that you are a jerk on a daily basis?

Well, Martin, you seen to have them bases covered purdy well here...

Get a real life that doesn't beg the real world into Martin's world to watch Martin masterbate... Yeah, that's all it is... Nuthin' more and nuthin' less...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:29 PM

So you also think we should give equal consideration to "the great god Calu," people who believe that cats are gods, people who pray to golden calves, and statues of of multi-bodied animals?

I love living in America just the way it is. Take your bullshit political correctness and shove it, CarolC. No wonder you are an outcast from society. We let people believe anything they want. No one is not telling them to. The many religions of the world are a minority here aznd don't add up to squat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:34 PM

Oops. Sorry Bunnahabhain. I somehow missed your post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:37 PM

[bleep] (for antisocial behavior)You also somehow missed out on brains and a good odor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:44 PM

*Anybody have a problem with photography, sculpture, painting, sketching and drawing? Maybe we should abolish all art.
*Anybody here curse or swear?
* How do you honor the Sabbath?
* Anybody covet his neighbor's ass?

"The 10 Commandments are found in the Bible's Old Testament at Exodus, Chapter 20. The tradition is that they were given directly by God to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai after He had delivered them from slavery in Egypt:


"And God spoke all these words, saying: 'I am the LORD your God…

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour's.'

Where I Got It


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:48 PM

So you also think we should give equal consideration to "the great god Calu," people who believe that cats are gods, people who pray to golden calves, and statues of of multi-bodied animals?

Yes, Martin. The US government is constrained by the US Constitution to not enforce any specific religions. That is the same constitution that protects your right to practice your own religion as you see fit. People who worship cats have the same exact rights under the constitution as you do, whether you like it or not. I don't think, on the subject of religion, you want to be pushing for majority rule in the US. That was tried before, and members of your own religion bore a lot of the brunt of that discrimination.

When I was in the sixth grade, one of the teachers at my school was a very ignorant and also very intolerant woman. When the school held a picnic for the crossing guards and some of the students said they could only have kosher hot dogs and hamburgers at the picnic, that teacher said, "Why do you need special treatment? Why can't you just be like everybody else?"

It was wrong for that teacher to do it, and it's wrong for the US government to do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:24 PM

robomatic,

That's pretty much as I see the issue. If it's as part of a "general history of law" presentation -- as it might be as part of a piece of public art that includes things like a representation of the Code of Hamurabi, etc. then I wouldn't be against it. In that context it's just acknowledging, generally, the development of western law.

But as a manifestation of a "Christian nation" I'm firmly against it, and I think that, as the fellow you paraphrased said, it profanes the ten commandments -- presenting them as some sort of talsiman rather than what they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CStrong
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:30 PM

>>And thank God. Karl Marx preached for a Godless soul. Is that you? Fine with me. Except please stay out of my neighborhood.<<

And what makes it YOUR neighborhood? Aren't there other people in it?

Oh. Guess not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:33 PM

"Isn't it more about humanity than religion overall?" --- No...not to those who are pushing one particular brand of religion.

"Aren't the 10 Commandments something all humanity can live by?" Maybe...maybe not, but that particular formulation of rules is expressly connected to one particular religious tradition, and primarily is used to promote and support that tradition!

"Isn't that why they were given to the world?" -- They weren't...they were discovered in some old manuscripts....We don't know who wrote them. If you think they are good rules, and they are certainly not BAD rules, then live your life by them, and other good rules not precisely covered. But don't USE that set as if you can prove they are divinely inspired. Admire them, refer to them, enlarge on them...but don't cram them down people's throats.

"In God We Trust" --What about those who don't, and are still good people? Why can't we honor our country and swear to protect it without reference to religious background?


The right to religious freedom must be protected....people should be able to worship freely IN THEIR CHURCHES, but in this country Freedom OF Religion must include freedom FROM religion for those who wish it.

If most of the country were atheist, and you and 12 friends were the only Christians...or Jews...around, your right to worship and practice of your religion should never be infringed....and the reverse is true. If there were only 3 atheists in the country, there should STILL be no religious message in state and public documents or practices.

Fairness and freedom should never be a matter of majority vote or luck or trickery or state mandate. Certain personal choices should always be both freely chosen and not subject to the whims of the current power structure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CStrong
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:36 PM

Bill
Amen. So to speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:41 PM

Yes, Cstrong, plenty of other people in my neighborhood. People with families, people who go to church., not many commies like you, thank God.

Perhaps you would be right at home in China.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CStrong
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:56 PM

Martin

1. Show me where it says I'm a commie.
2. Show me where it says I don't go to church.
3. Show me where it says I don't have a family.

Wrong on all three counts. I also vote in every election, give heavily to charity, and am gleefully faithful to my wife. And my mother has never worn Army shoes. (He won't get that one, folks.)

Although I will fit to the death--well, up to the point of personal discomfort--for your right to argue, you ought to know something: you don't do it well. You fire off your first salvo and respond to rebuttals with vulgarisms. Rhetoric, Martin. Logic. Reason.

Fake it if you have to.

Let me frame your response for you: I'm just an ignorant Commie shitball with a sexual attraction to goats who wear strap-ons.

Nighty-night.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 11:08 PM

*grin*...saves 'ol Martin some typing


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 11:11 PM

Ahhhhh, CStrong, no reason to ask Martin fir any facts.... He has repeatedly said that he doesn't involve himself with, ahhh, facts. He's way too busy trying to impress himself on just how rude he can be.... Most of the time I jsut ignore him as he has allready trivialized his own self.... He's kinda like a troller... Always lookin' fir someone who actually gives a flyin' crap about whatever crap he has just said...

Like who cares??? He's like Intellegent Life Lite...

Just enjoy him as entertainment and you'll be fine... Okay, if you wanta fire a shot at him now and then, it's okay....

But he ain't worth gettin' all hot and bothered over...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 11:13 PM

Hey, Bill D.: Another amen, from a Christian, for what ya just said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 11:17 PM

Oh, yeah: one more "amen", for your last contribution, Carol C.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 11:22 PM

As a fellow Jew, one of the main thing I disagree with Martin on is support for things like this. Right now, at this particular moment, conservative Christian elements generally support Jewish people's rights.    And most Christian people in this country are genuinely tolerant of other religions. BUT there is a sizable minority of Christians who think that Martin and I are no better than Satanists, and THEY ARE THE ONES PUSHING FOR THIS. They support Jews now, because it is politically expediant. But their goal is to turn this into an officially Christian country, and as soon as it is feasible they will not hesitate to destroy Judaism and whatever other religion gets in their way. Right now, they don't have to, because they can get numbnuts Jews to support them with "They're YOUR commandments too!" But after Islam and Buddhism are excluded from public life, WE'RE NEXT. It will be prayers to Jesus at every Government- sponsored event. And Martin's children or grandchildren will have to say:

"I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the Christian States of America, and to the Government for which it stands, one Nation, under Jesus Christ, with Liberty and Justice for all Christians."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 11:59 PM

Thank you, Ebbie, for a more correct translation of the 6th commandment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Piers
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 03:33 AM

Martin Gibson there are certainly more Marxists in the USA than people who give a monkeys about what you say. Owing to th eoppressive state regime there are probably more Marxists in the USA than China too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,jeffp
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:22 AM

Bill and Carol essentially summed it up for me. I'm a Christian, but I don't believe I have any right to shove it down anybody's throat. I don't believe the government has a right to either. In fact, they have a duty not to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:56 AM

frogprince and jeffp--if more Christians had your attitude, we would all get along better. Thanks for the reasonable outlook.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 12:43 PM

Well your constitution may prevent the government from favouring a particular religion. It doesn't stop them using one to garner votes under false pretences does it?
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 01:01 PM

indeed not, Giok...I'm not sure anything can prevent subterfuge and hidden agendas. But having that clause IN our constitution gives some leverage to approach the most egregious attempts to officially favor one religion.

copyright laws don't prevent someone from changing YOUR tune and words a bit and trying to pass it off as their own, but they slow down wholesale theft.....we gotta have something.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 02:12 PM

Does the wholesale theft of votes come under that heading Bill D?
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Nigel Parsons
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 02:12 PM

So how does this tie in with the news that a death sentence handed down by a court in Colorado has been overturned because some of the jurors referred to the Bible during their deliberations?
Denver Post


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,jeffp
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 02:20 PM

The rules on juries forbid the consultation of any outside sources in the jury room. This was held to exclude bibles as it would any other source. If it had been the Talmud, the Koran, or any secular commentary on law and punishment, the result would have been the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,katlaughing coming through the backdoor
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 02:28 PM

BillD - thanks for that excellent post, esp. the part about FROM religion.

Bobertdarlin'...why must there be ANY RELIGIOUS teaching displayed on government buildings, buses, etc.? WHY don't people who bleieve in this stuff LIVE IT and lead by example, NOT try to force upon everyone, esp. perfect strangers? I believe it is because they lived FEAR-based lives and are trying to control everything around them. If I believed Jesus was in a grave, I am sure he'd a been turning over in it for upteen years for all that has been done in his name!

NERD, thank you for your posting, too. Well-said!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,jeffp
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 02:30 PM

Guest 11:56, I suspect you'd find there are a lot of Christians like frogprince and me. We just don't get much press - because we don't seek it out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 02:55 PM

Has anyone noticed the cognitive dissonance between not coveting anything of your neighbors, and the notion that you must have only one God because "the Lord is a jealous God"? Surely jealousy involves covetousness of a neighbor god's admiration, creations, or following?

Ah well, religion has never been under any constraints to be consistent in normal terms, dealing as it does with the extraordinary! Sorry for the thread creep!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:05 PM

I don't believe in a "jealous" God. It just doesn't make sense. One of the big problems in organized religion - in my opinion - is that we attempt to recreate God in our image. Not the other way around. Jealousy is a human emotion - not a Godly one. Of course I don't believe in Hell for the same reasons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:09 PM

Here's the commentary in whole. I know that's counter to the way we're suppose to post, but I just had this sent to me by a friend who knew I'd like it.

by Ian Wrisley - transcribed from: NPR's All Things Considered, March 29, 2005



Later this year, the Supreme Court issues a decision about government displays of the Ten Commandments. Defenders of the displays say that the Commandments are being displayed, not to endorse a religion, but to show their influence on the development of American law. Commentator and minister Ian Wrisley says neither argument makes him comfortable.



            Dorothy Sayers said that, it was a great mistake to present Christianity as something "charming" or popular. Maybe that's my problem with this whole Ten Commandments controversy. People who want the Commandments on government property are forced to argue that the Commandments belong there, precisely because they are not religious.

            They talk about the Commandments as a cultural, legal, historical document. This kind of thing might keep "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, but only as an impotent artifact of history, not the Lord of history. It's a hollow victory. When the government adopts religious symbolism, it ought to scare the bejeebers out of people. Why? Because governments can't be trusted with metaphysics - that's why. When I was in the 8th grade, our principal said the Lord's Prayer over the loudspeaker every day. In his mind, it was just another way to control unruly adolescents. Communion with God lost out.

            When governments use religious symbols, they're NOT giving legitimacy to religion, they're using religion to prop up their own legitimacy. What's most confusing to me is that the people clamoring for religious symbols on government property are my fellow evangelicals.   It was, after all, the Baptists that needed Thomas Jefferson's assurance that the government would keep out of religion. His response to them gives us that great phrase, "...a wall of separation between church and state."

            The Baptists and the rest of us were protected from the encroaching hand of government. Two hundred years later, the evangelicals are asking the government to encroach! "Blasphemy", is a word we evangelicals don't use much anymore. It means to make secular, that which is sacred. Posting the Ten Commandments on government property is a case study in blasphemy. As a Christian, I find the commandments too sacred to be possessed by any government. If anything, the faithful belong to the Commandments, but that's another conversation...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:12 PM

"Does the wholesale theft of votes come under that heading?"

Yeah...to me it does... but they are usually smart enough to avoid leaving direct proof lying around. Intimidation and such are fair game, though. Boy if we could PROVE something about Diebold voting machines, that would blow the lid off!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Don Firth (through the cat flap)
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:13 PM

For what it's worth, I think Jesus had something fairly specific to say about public displays of religion:

Matthew 6:—
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling with many words, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

". . . No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
And he says quite a bit more. I think one of the points he was trying to make was that your religious beliefs are a personal thing. Making a big show of it or trying to cram it down someone else's throat is a lousy way to go.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:58 PM

Animal Farm?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:58 PM

A WALL of SEPARATION between Church and State. What an immortal, powerful, clear, simple, and complete idea.

Maybe the Republicans should read up on Jefferson. They might like some of his ideas enough to stop trampling them.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 05:03 PM

CENSORSHIP ON MUDCAT LIVES


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 05:05 PM

I think the point he was making was that pride is a shockingly dangerous sin that corrupts absolutely.

It's only too easy for the religiously observant to get proud of their godliness. Therefore, public religious exercises (including public monuments) should be avoided to remove the temptation of other people admiring one's godliness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 05:09 PM

Piers, if there are Marxists here fine. But they shouldn't be entitled to any benefits of living in this country.

Is that what you do? condemn the country but sponge off of it anyway? Wouldn't put it past you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 05:29 PM

The whole point of democracy is that, as long as they pay their taxes and obey the law, citizens (including the Marxist ones) are entitled to all the benefits their country has to offer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 06:04 PM

That's right. and freedom of speech allows me to tell them to go to hell and show them no respect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 06:23 PM

Many of the benefits of living in this country are socialist in nature. Roads, public schools, the military (to whatever extent one can consider the military a benifit), fire and police departments, public libraries, the public airwaves upon wich our television and radio signals travel, the space program, highway rest stops, national, state, county, and municipal parks... these are all socialist institutions (or commodities used in a socialist manner).

And the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist (although he didn't put in the "one nation under God" bit).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 08:14 PM

John Hardly:

Thank you for the full text. It captured the principles involved in a nutshell IMHO.

Robo


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 08:57 PM

Sure, CarolC

That's complete and total bullshit.

And because of the military, we have a country for you to sponge off of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 10:56 PM

It's not bullshit, Martin. It's reality. Socialism is collective ownership, and collective administration. All of the things I have mentioned fit that description.

And the Pledge of Allegiance was, indeed, written by a self-described "Christian Socialist" by the name of Francis Bellamy:

The Pledge of Allegiance
A Short History


(Google search, "Francis Bellamy" + socialist


"Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).

Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government would run a peace time economy similar to our present military industrial complex.

The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston.

In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'

His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]

Dr. Mortimer Adler, American philosopher and last living founder of the Great Books program at Saint John's College, has analyzed these ideas in his book, The Six Great Ideas. He argues that the three great ideas of the American political tradition are 'equality, liberty and justice for all.' 'Justice' mediates between the often conflicting goals of 'liberty' and 'equality.'

In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.

Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 10:58 PM

for you to sponge off of

And this is a lie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:02 PM

Wellm Kat, it ain't got one thing to do with the dreaded RELIGION thing but just common sense. The "10 Commandments" aren't anyhting but just good ol' common sense....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:06 PM

Bobert, sorry to disagree. Thou shalt have no gods before me, and the commandment about honoring the sabbath are not just common sense. They are specific to certain religions and have no bearing of any kind on people who don't belong to those religions, and are not in any way related to having common sense or not having common sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:11 PM

In addition, if they are common sense, they do not require the weight and bias of a subset of religions to enforce or even encourage them. Why not put up posters with truisms on them from philosophers or poets ? Why something that is so inextricably linked to so small a segment of the world's religious legacies? It is like insisting on teaching only from philosophical texts by German thinkers, or left-handed writers.

Why not quotes from the Koran, the Tao-te-Ching, or the Upanishads, then? Why be so bloody narrow minded about our public spaces when we pretend to stand for a new standard of freedom for all men (the generic sense, not the gendered sense). This is not supposed to be a nation of Christians, it is supposed to be a nation of human beings of ANY religion. What part of the word ANY don't you understand?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CStrong
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:16 PM

CarolC
Don't confuse Martin with long sentences. And he doesn't care if the accusation he hurls is true or not. When our responses start confusing him, he usually drops out of the thread.

My non-religious take: second commandment (or if you're a Unitarian, "suggestion") says it all. And if you can't muster the love, respect is probably enough.

Jeez, we even have to love Martin. Well, as the Buddhists advise, "strive."

The Buddhist stopped at a hot dog stand and said, "Make me one with everything."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:24 PM

Then he paid for it with a ten and the guy pocketed it. "Hey!" says the Buddhist, "Where's my change??!!!!" "Change only comes from within, man." he was told.

:)


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:28 PM

I remember reading this when I was a junior in high school...for some reason, it has always stuck with me:


"With the old Deities hath it long since come to an end:--and verily, a good joyful Deity-end had they!

They did not "begloom" themselves to death--that do people fabricate! On the contrary, they--LAUGHED themselves to death once on a time!

That took place when the unGodliest utterance came from a God himself--the utterance: "There is but one God! Thou shalt have no other Gods before me!"--

--An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such wise:--

And all the Gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and exclaimed:
"Is it not just divinity that there are Gods, but no God?"



from "Also Sprach Zarathustra
                ...Fredrich Nietzsche (this is an English translation, I don't know exactly how it might read in German...I remember it differently, but that was 50 years ago)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Piers
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 01:45 AM

Good one Gibson, you resort to insinuation and insult because you've got no arguments against socialism/communism except the irrational prejudices of patriotism/nationalism/religion/racism that the rich spew over us to keep us from seeing the exploitative workings of the capitalist economy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 02:08 AM

You are only the servant/caretaker for future generations.



You memeroy will remain clean clear and vivid on the plains of North Dakota - just as those from 1499 are honored and revered today.




BULL SHIT!~!!!!!!!!




Moses was the only big man with 10 (and his were from GOD)/////



Your ten will never play - there is no reason to "buy in."

Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:06 AM

sounds like they've been passing the bong around but we're still a few messages short of attainingy koombayah


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: RichM
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 09:25 AM

"bleep] (for antisocial behavior)"


This is your best comment, Martin Gibbers.
I like this new bleep thing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Ian Wrisley
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:26 PM

Robomatic:

Would you like an actual transcript of my commentary?

Ian Wrisley


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:54 PM

Guest 'Ian Wrisley'

Sure

Robomatic


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 05:17 PM

that's right Piers. I resort to patriotism and you resort to just being a socialist maggot. socialism is dead in this country, thank God.

but don't worry, Piers, Ho che Minh would have loved you.

Most socialists have been known to be Jew haters. doesn't surpirse me. why debate with someone who I would obviously hate like yourself. It's just not worth my time.

Ever consider buying a one way ticket to China, Piers? there's a lot of little chinese guys making .50 an hour and wearing gray T shirts that you can join in having some rice out of a paper cup with. They are your socialist brothers you know.

I am so glad that you are such a silent voice in America.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wesley S
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 05:29 PM

Piers - You can't win with Martin. He's the master of hate here at the Mudcat.

We just can't figure out of he's a right-handed Master Hater or a left-handed Master Hater.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 11:31 PM

"Most socialists have been known to be Jew haters."

Most of the ones I know are Jews...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 08:02 AM

We should make a distinction between Socialists, who can be good people, usually Democrats (only better organized), and have sensational picnics with volleyball.

Distinct from Communists, who have a sense of humor not much different from Nazis, dress without flair, have a penchant for taking over countries and shooting vast quantities of people over rather abstract issues and think that denial IS a river in Egypt.

Many Jews have been Socialists to this day. Some Jews have been Communists despite great anti-Semitism within Communist governments. Jews are not typically allowed to be Nazis unless they are just 'dying' to join.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 09:49 AM

What most people don't seem to realize about Martin Gibson and his ilk is that they are engaged in an attempt to overthrow the Constitution of the United States. All of his cries of being a patriot are a ruse to distract us from the fact that he is really an anti-American traitor.

Yes, Martin. Treason. You.

I'll turn your own argument back on you: if you don't like living in a free country, go live in Iran or Israel or some other theocratic state. But stop trying to ruin my country.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 10:15 AM

As I mentioned a few times early in this thread, I am not for he display of the Ten Commandments in government buildings -- except as they may be part of a whole "history of western law" kind of display.

But this hyperventilating as if the sky is falling is overlooking one important detail...

...all these cases of the Ten Commandments on display in governmental buildings revolve around their removal from government buildings. These are not new cases of people insisting on putting up new displays -- these are cases brought by those opposing existing displays.

This distinction is important because, even though it still may be a worthy goal to remove the displays -- it may be a step in greater liberty -- all the liberties we currently enjoy exist despite these displays.

If the displays were actually robbing us of religious liberty as we claim, we would already done be robbed. We're not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 11:35 AM

HUNH???

Whaddaya expect? Somebody with a mask and a gun?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Piers
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 12:01 PM

Robomatic, 'We should make a distinction between Socialists . . . [and] Communists'. What cobblers! The words are interchangeable (social/common ownership being the same thing). Whatever some people may say that socialism/communism is. It means social/common ownership, which obviously means social/communal control and free access to goods and services - you can't buy what you already own.

The bureaucratic class who controlled the means of producing and distributing wealth in the so-called socialist/communist countries have a vested interest in calling their version of capitalism socialism/communism. Just as the private class who control the means of producing and distributing wealth today have a vested interest in calling those versions of capitalism, socialism/communism.

Those who think that religion and socialism/communism are compatible are misguided, it shows no understanding of the origins of religion and divisive social role of religion. How can you believe that we can change and control our own world if you believe we are controlled by another?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 12:36 PM

All the talk of going to hell in a handbasket is ironically failing to notice that we are not currently in hell though the handbasket we're in has only changed in the direction favored by those who most seem to be complaining about the direction in which they fear it is going (relative to those who have posted to this thread).

Ailing Man: Doc, will I be able to play piano after this?

Doc: Sure. Don't see why not.

Ailing Man: GREAT! I've always wished I could play the piano.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 12:53 PM

Hmm, I just tried to post here but the computer ate it.

John Hardly's last two posts are ridiculous. If a man shoots someone in Alabama, it does not change my life much. We would be sad, but we wouldn't say the country has gone to hell in a handbasket. If, however, the courts ruled that from now on, anyone could shoot anyone else, the country will have gone to hell in a handbasket. The rulings of the courts drastically affect the way we live our lives. For people who feel strongly about religious freedom, but who live in Maine, what goes on in Texas might be noteworthy, but not immediately alarming. The moment a Federal court makes a ruling, it becomes alarming.

So, John, just because our religious freedoms have not yet been taken away because a few crackpots in Kentucky and Texas, doesn't mean it can't be overnight by a few crackpots on First Street in Washington, DC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 01:14 PM

What I'm saying is that this seems to be unwarranted alarm because nobody is suing to get more Ten Commandments displays erected in government buildings. The actions are the opposite -- the displays are already in existance and have been, in many cases, for decades if not centuries.

That means that we would only expect (should nothing be done henceforth) the level of religious oppression from which we might already suffer from the existance of these displays.

These suits (over the displays) do not demonstrate a move toward greater religious oppression (if, indeed, we have ever had religious oppression). These suits are exactly opposite of that -- they are a sign of moving away from these displays.

The only ones who should, therefore, be fearful of the direction that these lawsuits is moving us is those to whom these displays represent religious freedom -- the side currently losing all the suits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 01:44 PM

Oh, I get it.

The reason there are no lawsuits, as you say, to get displays put up is that individual judges, ironically, don't bother with the legality. They simply put displays up illegally, and force others to sue to have them removed.

This is a common tactic on the right these days: do something illegal but relatively popular. This forces the Left to openly take an unpopular position just to prevent the law from changing based on your precedent.

But even so, you are wrong. There are periodic lawsuits to get public monuments of the Ten Commandments restored, too. The most famous one was the stone monument in Alabama a couple of years ago; I believe the case is still on appeal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 01:46 PM

By the way, the Schiavo case was an example of the same tactic: do something illegal to make the Left look bad (force-feed a woman against her own and her guardian's wishes, which forces the Left to advocate killing her). But in that one it looks as if the Right Wingers overestimated the popularity of their position; most people in the US supported the husband.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 01:56 PM

Judge Moore is no longer Judge Moore. The display is no longer in the courthouse.

The feeding tubes were were installed illegally? By the doctors? You mean she was treated by right-wing zealot doctors? Wow. The conspiracy runs deep. :^)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 03:42 PM

I am not an atheist. Like most people in this world, I believe in a divine creator (or creators), and to that extent I am religious.

To use an analogy, I see God (Gods) as the manufacturer of this universe.

This, to me, makes organised religions, the various wholesalers who sell on the product to priests (imams, rabbis, monks etc.), who then retail it to us. Each level modifies the product, and sets conditions of sale and prices, which benefit that level of the organisation.

So the product is handled by men, in such a way that those men may gain control of the largest proportion of the population possible.

The end result is that there is little resemblance between the original product, and what we receive.

Having been indoctrinated in the Christian faith, I try to do what I believe Christ would really have wanted. I live my faith without reference to priests, doctrine, or dogma.

I believe every person on this earth has the right, and perhaps the duty, to do the same in whatever form he/she believes to be right. Even atheists can, and do, live a useful and moral life, benefitting the community, and harming no-one, and may be more acceptable to God than some religious fanatics who will kill to impose their faith on others.

Organised religion has been corrupting the message for thousands of years, so I deal directly with my concept of God, and he always answers my prayers, tho' he doesn't always say yes.

Don T


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 07:11 PM

I don't belong to an organized religion.

I'm Jewish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 07:54 PM

Don't be a fool, John Hardly. The tubes were installed by doctors following orders from within both the executive hierarchy and the judicial system. Those orders were repeatedly found to have been unconstitutional (and therefore illegal) by later courts. Just as a cop who follows a right-wing nutcase's orders is not necessarily a right-wing nutcase himself, so a doctor following a court order is not necessarily in agreement with the court.

While the attempts to keep Sciavo alive were at first motivated only by the parents' litigation, as you have seen over the last few weeks, it had been made into a political issue, for precisely the reason I stated: it forced the left to advocate killing this woman. (Unless you actually think Tom DeLay gives a damn about her, which would make you pretty naive, I think.)

And as to the Ten Commandments issue, it's true that the display is no longer in the courthouse. But there is still a movement to replace it, and the case is in fact going before the Supreme Court. Not because it naturally would do so, but because there is a significant MOVEMENT expending a great deal of effort and money to get the ten commandments displayed on Public property.

Your claim that "nobody is suing to get more Ten Commandments displays erected in government buildings." is true but it is meaningless. No-one has to "sue" to get a display on public property; in fact, that is almost never the way this would get done. It would get done by a campagin followed by a vote in the legislature. And these campaigns and votes in the legislature are in fact happening all over the country.

The reason SUITS are used to REMOVE the displays is that the essential argument is that the displays are unconstitutional. You establish that in the courts, not in the legislature. A suit could not be used to PUT a display on public property unless you were arguing that it were illegal NOT to have it, which everyone knows is not the case with the ten commandments.

So your statement about suing is irrelevant. The fact is there are significant campaigns all over the place aimed at putting religious displays on public property, and they often succeed. The fact that a few of the lawsuits aimed at getting rid of the lawsuits ALSO succeed is not evidence that we're moving away from religious oppression, much as you would like to think so.

This from Salon.com, coincidentally posted there today:

"Since 2003, the movement to display the Ten Commandments on government property has spread faster than SARS on an Asian chicken farm. One Indiana county cleverly displayed the Decalogue as a historical document alongside other such documents, and on March 29 of this year the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its right to do so. The day before, the Mississippi Senate had voted to display the Ten Commandments in all public buildings.

The Moore case has been taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 07:57 PM

Oops. In my above post, the sentence

"The fact that a few of the lawsuits aimed at getting rid of the lawsuits ALSO succeed is not evidence that we're moving away from religious oppression, much as you would like to think so."

Should read

"The fact that a few of the lawsuits aimed at getting rid of the DISPLAYS ALSO succeed is not evidence that we're moving away from religious oppression, much as you would like to think so."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 08:04 PM

CarolC,

Well, not exactly...

Thou shalt have no other Gods before me... Hey, if one takes that to mean a belief in Christainity then that's the way the see it but it doesn't have to mean Christainity...

Think about it.

One thing that all religions have in common is a "higher power". Okay, some folks believe in many "higher powers"... Could it not be argued that in *any* religion that its members would at least submit to the "higher power" of that religion?

Yeah, just because the "Ten Commandemnts" comes from a book of the Judio/Christain faith, they are universal enough to cover other religions...

I have said that I think that pieces of other religions should also be on display that teach the same lesson thou perhaps using different words that are written in different holy books...

I think I'll stick with that position...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 09:15 PM

Thou shalt have no other Gods before me... Hey, if one takes that to mean a belief in Christainity then that's the way the see it but it doesn't have to mean Christainity...

It only applies to the monotheistic religions. Many religions have more than one diety, and so according to the ten commandments, those religions are in violation of the commandment about worshipping only one God. So while it's not specifically Christian in nature, it does discriminate against all of the polytheistic religions, of which there are many, with many millions of adherents.

One thing that all religions have in common is a "higher power". Okay, some folks believe in many "higher powers"... Could it not be argued that in *any* religion that its members would at least submit to the "higher power" of that religion?

They might submit to higher powers, but they are inviolation of the commandment to only worship one God.

Yeah, just because the "Ten Commandemnts" comes from a book of the Judio/Christain faith, they are universal enough to cover other religions...

No they're not. They discriminate against all religions except for the monotheistic religions that honor the sabbath.

And my biggest complaint about your post is your suggestion that the ten commandments are only common sense. Some of them are, and some of them have nothing whatever to do with common sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 09:31 PM

But I *said* that some relgions have more than a single "higher power". It doesn't change the spirit of the Ten Commandments, which I feel are universal....

You shall have no other God*s* before Me doesn't imply a single higher power...

Hey, I'm not arguing how amny angles can dance on the end of a pin here...

All I am saying is that there is nothing inherently wrong with the Ten Commandments, for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddists, Muslims 'er whatevers...

And I have also said (once again) that scriptures from other Holy books, from other relgions, that preach love and the goodness of man, should be on display where ever the Ten Commandments are dispalyed...

I just don't see the argument here...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 09:35 PM

I have to go with CarolC on this one. Why is keeping a Sabbath Day holy common sense? Why is worshipping without the use of images or idols common sense? Why is having only one God common sense? Why is not saying the name of your god common sense? Right there, that is four of the Ten that are simply specific practices of certain religions, not moral precepts at all, let alone common sense ones. In other religions, you can say the names of gods, worship before pictures or statues of them, have several gods of equal importance, and not have a seven-day cycle.   

Then we have things like "Honor your father and mother." Okay, but what if they're mass murderers? How then do I honor them? How does "common sense" help un interpret this very vague commandment? So that's a fifth one that is impenetrable to mere common sense.

The other half...maybe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 09:53 PM

I like to keep things simple:

Why is there 'a' God?

Because it ain't YOU (and it ain't me)

Why is there just ONE God?

Because one is enough!

(I'm sure you folks are aware of the apocryphal story of young Abram and his father Terah the idol maker, right?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 12:13 AM

There's nothing wrong with them, Bobert, for you and anyone else who embraces them as a part of their religious/spiritual beliefs. For everyone else, some of them are edicts that amount to discrimination when combined with government in a country like the US.

How about if I start telling you that what I believe is just plain common sense and I put commandments in your courthouses that tell you that you shalt believe in reincarnation, and also that you shalt worship me because I am a tiny spark of divinity. Or maybe that you shalt put offerings of food out for my friends' golden statue of the god Pan. You might not want that one in your government buildings. The commandments that I have a problem with have no more basis in common sense than what I have just given here as examples.

You don't have to like the separation of church and state, but that's what is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. So tough luck.

You are perfectly entitled to your beliefs, robomatic. But you are not entitled to force your beliefs on anyone else. At least not in the United States, you're not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 08:19 AM

Well, this one certainly can not be won or lost... I am curious as to which particular commandment would you find offensive? I can't think of one that wouldn't also be found in Koran is one shape of form. All religions tend to bring out the goodness of man. And like I have been saying, if other sctiptures from other religions were also on display, I think mankind, just maybe, would make a greater effort in acting with more love and kindness.

I am not advocating chuch rule here but trying to find some middle ground where the *universal goodness of various religions* could be made more accessible to the population an the whole.

Like I said, and you may have said, this one is a toughie because there is a fine line...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:00 AM

Yer both missing the point here.

Its inappropriate (and as determined by the courts, illegal) to display ANY religious materials of whatever variety, denomination, cult, what-have-you on/in public property as this constitutes an endorsement.

Its not a case of "equal time" making it right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:49 AM

You are perfectly entitled to your beliefs, robomatic. But you are not entitled to force your beliefs on anyone else. At least not in the United States, you're not.

That's your opinion, Carol. In fact, it is customary in this country for just about all of us to obtain our beliefs that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 11:47 AM

I would agree with you, Greg.....actually, I do agree with the idea of your comment. What I still think is extenuating about the notion of banning ALL displays that may be construed as religious is that it is awfully hard to divorce a nation from its history. And it is entirely possible for images to be both religious and secular.

For instance, in the context of the history of law it would be "unscientific" (if, in fact, anthropology, archaeology, and sociology are "science") to dismiss the Ten Commandment's role in the development of western law -- just as it would be equally unscientific to dismiss the code of Hammurabi, the Magna Carta, or other significant documents.

That means that a if the demand to not have "religious" displays cannot make such objective judgements as to aknowledge such history, then I guess it would lead to either a total ban on art in government buildings, or a representation of a false history.

I don't think that the acknowledgement of our history is the same thing as endorsing the faith of (the majority of) our founding fathers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 12:03 PM

I am curious as to which particular commandment would you find offensive?

Bobert, I've already told you three or four times. I find the ones that tell people that tell people whom to worship (and how many of them) and when, offensive.

The "no other gods before me" one. And the "honor the sabbath and keep it holy" one. These are not common sense... they are just practices that are specific to some religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), and have absolutely nothing whatever to do with the rest of the religions in the world. You are aware that those three relgions are not the only religions in the world, aren't you?

Yer both missing the point here.

Its inappropriate (and as determined by the courts, illegal) to display ANY religious materials of whatever variety, denomination, cult, what-have-you on/in public property as this constitutes an endorsement.


I'm not missing the point, Greg. That is my point. I'm just trying to show Bobert what the shoe would feel like on the other foot.

That's your opinion, Carol. In fact, it is customary in this country for just about all of us to obtain our beliefs that way.

It's not my opinion, robomatic. It's the law of the land. People can force you to pay lip service to certain beliefs while you are growing up, but nobody can force you to believe anything. Especially not the government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 12:12 PM

Oops. This part of my last post:

I am curious as to which particular commandment would you find offensive?

Was from Bobert, and should have appeared in italics.

John Hardly, why don't we display the code of Hammurabi and the Magna Carta in our courthouses, then?

And if we were to post our founding fathers' spiritual beliefs in our courthouses, the religious right in this country would have fits. Some of the beliefs of the founding fathers are considered "satanic" by many members of today's religious right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 01:30 PM

I've often heard it said that there is religious reference in the artwork that appears above the Supreme Court. I've done a brief search and can't find any pictures. I do like this guy's take on the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 01:31 PM

"To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"[The Ten Commandments] are the charter and guide of human liberty, for there can be no liberty without the law." -- Cecil B. DeMille


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 01:40 PM

Sorry, Dave, but "morality" don't equal "religion".

All you have to do is look at Tom DeLay.

Nor, for that matter, does athieism equate with immorality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 01:41 PM

As I said above bobert, the ten commandments contain specific instructions to:

Rest one day out of seven
Not say God's name outside of worship
Not worship before images or idols
Not have more than one God.

Hindus are not supposed to follow these rules. Following these rules would make them bad Hindus.

THAT is why some people find them offensive. This is not so hard to understand, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 01:47 PM

Church and State

One of the most tiresome piece of rhetoric floating around these days is the notion of a "constitutional separation of church and state." Anyone can read the Constitution, but in this age of interactive media and TV I suppose that very few people read much of anything. If one reads the Constitution it will be discovered that the First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or interfering with the free exercise thereof." That puts it very clearly that the federal government cannot pass a law stating that a particular denomination or belief is the established or official religion of the United States nor interfere with its citizens practice of their faith. To construe that to mean that government should ban all references to religion, especially the Christian faith, and all religious expressions from all "public" places, schools, and the courts, is absolute and utter nonsense. The notion of a total "separation" between the two was, by the way, the sole thought of Thomas Jefferson in some of his writings. Whether Jefferson's idea was right or wrong is of no matter. There is no constitutional separation of church and state. Period. Read the Constitution yourself.

Maybe if our elected representatives in congress tried reading the Constitution too, with specific emphasis on the Bill of Rights, it might help to prevent the encroachment on all of our basic liberties that has been underway for some time now.

"To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding
God from more and more of our institutions everyday; I say The
First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the
people of this country from religious values; it was written to
protect religious values from government tyranny." -- Ronald Reagan

Conversely, I do not believe that politics or "political correctness" has any place in the Church--despite the political activism demonstrated by many denominations and churches. What I believe is proper role between the "church" and "state" is that the "church" serves as the conscience of the state by keeping religious principles in the minds of the people and by promoting a moral and upright government. With Judeo-Christian principles pretty much having been thrown out the window by the current governments of the world it seems that they no longer respond to their "conscience." In fact they seem to try to pressure the "church" into parroting the "party line" as was done to many churches in Nazi Germany and which would then lead to a corruption of faith. The church must be ever vigilant against this. No wonder they don't want religion and religious thought to interfere with their doings.

By the way, the US Bill of Rights, the first ten articles of the Constitution, is a listing of the rights of all people granted by their Creator, and not privileges granted by the state to be modified or limited at the whim of some government bureaucrat. They are properly called "Articles" rather than "Amendments" since the are inalienable rights and can not be repealed or diminished by government fiat. Read them. You will be surprised.

Father John Schaefer


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:12 PM

To construe that to mean that government should ban all references to religion, especially the Christian faith, and all religious expressions from all "public" places, schools, and the courts, is absolute and utter nonsense.

All references to religion is not what is being contested. The problem is that the courts (and other public places) are endorsing one set of religious beliefs over all others. That is most certainly against the Constitution.

By the way, the US Bill of Rights, the first ten articles of the Constitution, is a listing of the rights of all people granted by their Creator

"Their" creator being the operative word here. Your belief about who, or what, created you may be a very different thing than my belief about who or what created me.

But I don't think you have anything to worry about, Dave, (tam), since the Constitution of the United States does not apply to Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:23 PM

I think I may have just contradicted myself. Let me try to put it more effectively (with any luck)...

Nobody is saying that religion is bad. Nobody is saying that we have to hide the fact that religion exists. But what we are saying, is that the Constition says that the government cannot endorse any particular religions. To have one set of beliefs on display in government buildings in an endorsement of particular religions. To have any set of beliefs on display in government buildings is unconstitutional because it is not possible to include beliefs from every single set of beliefs that exist. So to have any beliefs on display does discriminate against someone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:35 PM

John, do a Google image search for:

"supreme court" building moses


lots of pics


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:37 PM

Sorry, Father John

It may be absolute and utter nonsense, but it has generally been the Supreme Court's understanding that there is a separation of Church and State. Just because you say "period" does not make you an authority. Most people who ARE authorities believe that there IS a constitutional separation of Church and State.

You also make some howlers. In excoriating people for not reading our government documents, you make it obvious that you have not read them yourself. To wit:

"The US Bill of Rights, the first ten articles of the Constitution, is a listing of the rights of all people granted by their Creator"


You just made this up. It's nowhere in the Bill of Rights. Nor is the bill of rights intended to express "the rights of all people," since

1) it pertains only to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore to Americans

2) it somehow did not pertain to Black people for many years.

Also, The US Bill of Rights is NOT the first ten "Articles" of the Constitution. The Constitution has seven articles, each of which is broken down into several sections. It is followed by ten "amendments," so called in the document itself--although they are also called

"ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution."

So at best one could consider them articles 5B through 5K.

The statement that rights are endowed to all people by a creator comes from the Declaration of Independence. (Remember that one, Father?) The rights in question are simply "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Those are the ONLY rights specifically said to be endowed by a creator.

Two things mitigate this in terms of its effect on the US law.

1) The reference to a creator was not in Jefferson's original draft, nor in the draft prepared later by John Adams. It is, in fact, something of a historical mystery how the word "creator" got into the declaration, but it IS in the version copied out by Jefferson and signed by the states. Probably someone on the "Committee of five" felt it would be easier to get the whole group to agree if the word was in there. So its status in terms of the intentions of the "founding fathers" is in serious question.

2) (More importantly) The Declaration of Independence, interestingly, is not a law. It predates both the constitution and the United States itself. The Supreme Court has repeatedly found that no legal decision may turn primarily on the Declaration of Independence. No legal decision by the court has ever been made on the authority of the Declaration.

What this means is that

1) The Declaration may be used as a general guide to understanding the intentions of the Constitution, but law comes from the Constitution, not the Declaration.

But

2) The idea of the "creator," because it is a late and poorly-understood addition to the Declaration, does not add much to our understanding of the intentions of the constitution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:41 PM

"The Constitution of the United States was designed for a moral and religious people and is inadequate for the government of any other kind." - John Adams


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:45 PM

Let me amend my pervious statement. The amendments at best would be understood as articles 8 through 17.

"Pursuant to Article 5" refers to the fact that it is under article 5 that one amends the constitution, not that the amendments themselves are pursuant to article 5.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:47 PM

moral and religious people and is inadequate for the government of any other kind

Even if we accept this on its face value, the Constitution says that the US government is not allowed to tell anyone which religion people are supposed to embrace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 02:54 PM

I enjoy reading these discussions. I personally believe that the US Constitution is a very remarkable document, and the best example of what a constitution should be. It stands as a shining example of the best in human endeavours to obtain rational and decent government.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 03:03 PM

Using John Adams to support putting the Ten Commandments on public property is another howler, Dave.

John Adams was a Deist.

The primary tenet of Deism was a rejection of "revealed religion," faith based on the pronounced revelations of God to followers.

The Ten Commandments is a specific example of revelation, hence the very thing Adams and his fellow Deists REJECTED about Christianity!

John Adams was also a staunch supporter of religious freedom and of separation of church and state. His specific position was:

"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling
with religion."

Like many other Founders, Adams goes much further in his private letters. Despite public statements on the value of religion and morality, many of the Founders (including Adams and Jefferson) were not Christians. John Adams writes to fellow Deist Thomas Jefferson:

"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved--the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

Jefferson's unorthodox views on religion, as well as his distaste for Christianity, were well-known even in his own day, and he was often scorned by clergy as an "atheist". In his private letters, he writes to Dr. Woods:

"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."

The positions of the "Founding Fathers" are pretty clear, and only by distorting their words or taking things out of context can anyone make it appear as though they ever would have supported such displays.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 03:05 PM

CarolC, Correct me if i'm wrong, but the Christian religion is not being forced on anyone by displaying the Ten Commandments. The mere display of a pre Christian fundamental basics of law, is not trying to say we should be Jewish either. The foundations of US law are as much based on Judeo Christian values as any other. The Ten Commandments are a fundamental basis for modern law. The Iroquois League had as much to do with the foundation of the US Constitution, and as such the law respects their belief system too.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 03:09 PM

Nice post, Dave (your 03 Apr 05 - 02:54 PM post). I agree. I can get pretty emotional when discussing the Constitution because it, and the Bill of Rights, are what make this nation possible. Without those, we are not a nation... we are just a landmass with a lot of people on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 03:15 PM

CarolC, Correct me if i'm wrong, but the Christian religion is not being forced on anyone by displaying the Ten Commandments.

You are wrong about that. I, myself, have experienced discrimination in the courts here in the US because I am not a Christian. I would probably have been treated better than I was had I at least been Jewish (although this particular court would have preferred Christian), but anything else was not acceptible.

The mere display of a pre Christian fundamental basics of law, is not trying to say we should be Jewish either. The foundations of US law are as much based on Judeo Christian values as any other. The Ten Commandments are a fundamental basis for modern law. The Iroquois League had as much to do with the foundation of the US Constitution, and as such the law respects their belief system too.

Regardless of how the law was developed, for the courts to display the ten commandments causes a blurring of the line between church and state. And as I said in the beginning of this post, I have been subjected to the kind of discrimination that can happen when the courts (or the government) endorse some religions over others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 03:26 PM

This is cut from John Adams innaugural speech.

I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.

With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared without hesitation to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 03:44 PM

CarolC I regret that you have been subjected to discrimination in the courts. One can never be complacent enough to trust that there will not be abuses in and of the system, but I do believe there are few places on earth that you can obtain a better justice system than the USA. Having said that there are fewer and fewer examples of justice prevailing in current interpretations of laws, both international and domestic. Striving to improve them we should not forget the initial foundation stones.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 04:05 PM

Well, as someone who has lived almost all of my life in this country, and as someone who expects to live at least some portion of the rest of my life in this country (and all of the rest of my life as a citizen of this country), I would have to say that from my perspective, posting the ten commandments in public buildings is a gross violation of the initial foundation stones. And the Constitution of the United States backs me up on that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 04:38 PM

"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion."

That quote from Adams could also read, "Nothing is more dreaded than religion meddling with the national government," which is exactly what's happening right now. If the meddlers are successful, then the next step will be what Adams dreaded.

That little coup was accomplished in Rome in the forth century, when the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. That lent religious dogma the force of secular power, and visa versa. Constantine stated, "Dogma is what I say it is." The State and the approved religion became one, and any lack of faith (the approved faith) became treason. The history of the next many centuries is full of the abuses and atrocities that this brought about.

Humanity has been through this lesson before, but it seems that humanity is comprised of a lot of slow learners.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 04:40 PM

John Adams also said 'You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.'


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:03 PM

In his inagurual Adams was assuring people that he would not discriminate against them because they were Christians. Nowhere does he either say "I am a Christian" or "this is a Christian country." He just says "I respect the religion of people who call themselves Christians, and if that helps to make me politically acceptable, then I am happy to serve."

Adams was a bit unusual, in that he called himself Christian in the sense that it was often used at the time: "civilized and moral." But he did not believe, for example, in the divinity of Christ, making him not quite what modern Christians would call "Christian."

More quotes from Adams about Church and State, the bible, etc.:

"Checks and Ballances...are our only Security, for the progress of Mind, as well as the Security of Body. Every Species of these Christians would persecute Deists, as soon as either Sect would persecute another, if it had unchecked and unballanced Power. Nay, the Deists would persecute Christians, and Atheists would persecute Deists, with as unrelenting Cruelty, as any Christians would persecute them or one another."

letter to Thomas Jefferson, 25 June 1813


"We have now, it seems a National Bible Society, to propagate King James's Bible, through all Nations. Would it not be better, to apply these pious Subscriptions, to purify Christendom from the Corruptions of Christianity; than to propagate those Corruptions in europe Asia, Africa and America!"

letter to Thomas Jefferson, 4 November 1816

He was not big on dogma or on bible-quotes, and the Ten Commandments on Government space would horrify him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:27 PM

John Adams also said 'You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.'

Precisely so. The ten commandments are religious artifacts that are a part of the religions of some human beings. They do not carry any greater weight or credibility than any other set of religious beliefs or laws in this country. So in that respect, even though some people consider the ten commandments to be divine laws, they are not inherently so. For many people of many religions, they are just another set of human laws that are promoted under the name of some religions as being divine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:34 PM

Okay, CarolC. Make you a deal. How about posting the *six* Commandmentds that you find are more universal along with scrptures fro other religions that are also universally accepted?

Deal?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:35 PM

Thanks, Mary! I should have tried that.

If I've read it once, I've read it 100 times -- the "strict constuctionists" can't possibly know what was in the minds of the founding fathers -- can't possibly divine the intent of the Adams, Jeffersons, etc.

...and yet, here we have proof positive (not opinion) from one I would assume not a "strict constructionist" of exactly what would (and I quote) "horrify" Adams. LOL!

What's more, while Dave (the ancient mariner) quotes the actual words of Adams, Don corrects them! LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:39 PM

I am a Christian but I am not arguing with your interpretations, having a strong belief in basic right and wrong. I do on the other hand find your vehement dislike of Christianity disturbing. The basis of these laws give non Christians and Christians their moral code. We have used them to establish law just like we used the Hippocratic Oath to found our medical code of ethics. The law is not forcing you to change your humanistic values, merely applying a moral code to follow. The majority of the Founding fathers were influenced by Judeo Christian morals. The likes of John Adams et al were influenced by them regardless of religious bias. I deduce from your beliefs that the use of any icon is wrong; therefore using your logic we should demolish the Statue of Liberty and the blindfold, sword and scales of justice?

Yours, Aye. Dave (the perplexed mariner)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:42 PM

Why post them at all, Bobert? I would be much more impressed, and pleased, if they would post the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That makes far more sense to me.

And how are they going to select which other religions to represent? No matter how carefully they try, they will not be able to avoid leaving someone out, because there are just too many kinds of religious and spiritual beliefs in the world to be able to accomodate them all.

Why don't you just post your ten commandments in your church, where they belong, and work towards having words in our government buildings that promote what this country is really supposed to be all about... freedom and democracy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:48 PM

Are you addressing me, Dave?

I don't have a vehement dislike of Christianity. My husband is a Christian. He thinks I am one of the most Christian people he knows. And I am not a secular humanist. I am a very spiritual person.

But I know what it's like to have a religious majority controling the way things are done and how people are treated, and it's unconsitutional for the US government to participate in such things.

It is not anti-Christian to suggest that what Christians believe to be absolute truth is not necessarily absolute truth. It's just facing reality. My spiritual beliefs would probably make you, as a Christian, very uncomfortable. And I will not ever attempt to impose those beliefs on you. But neither do you have a right to try to impose your beliefs on me. And telling me that I must accept your idea about what is and is not divine law is an imposition of your religion upon me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:54 PM

I missed this part...

I deduce from your beliefs that the use of any icon is wrong therefore using your logic we should demolish the Statue of Liberty and the blindfold, sword and scales of justice?

Does the Statue of Liberty have the ten commandments posted on it? If so, the commandments should probably come down, but I don't see anything particularly religious about the statue itself, nor the blindfold, sword, or scales of justice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 06:00 PM

"I'm just an ignorant Commie shitball with a sexual attraction to goats who wear strap-ons."

Tell me more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 06:17 PM

Why post them at all?

Well, I think there's a fine reason and it really has nothing to do with any particular church having power over the state...

We have thousands of laws in out country and millions of law breakers. And what happens to a law breaker when he gets caught? Well, sometimes nothing at all but most of the time some form of punishment. Be it a fine, or probabation, 'er whatever...

But what this has reduced moraluity down to, ahhhhh, is thousands of laws and thousands of punishments...

But has this system alone made people more moral? Well, no. I would argue that it has made people less moral in that it removes one's behavior from the spiritual to the legal and therein lies a large obsticle if the human race is to survive...

Now I don't want to get to far up on my soapbox here, but we need to simplify it for folks. As long as there are thousands of laws with thousands of loopholes it gives mankind way too many choices...

This is why a George Bush, procalimed Christain, can get about another 100 million procalimed Christains to invade Iraq and kill 100,000 people. Loopholes...

Now if "Thou shalt not kill" and verses similar from other holy books had been printed on the backs of buses and hung in schools then I'd dare say, irregarless of one's particular religious beliefs, then maybe the message would have sunk in to the point when George Bush went before the country to sell his war, the country would have not been such an easy sell...

Okay, that's on a national level.

Now if we take it to the personal level and the message that killing is spiritully wrong, except in extreme cases of self defense when lesser means have been exhausted, then I would argue that we wouldn't be a nation where its citizens are at war with each other...

This is my point. Yes, I am a Christain but I do not hold these views because of my Faith but because of my humanism...

I'm sure that we could get folks who represent all the various Faiths, put them in a room, find commonality and put together a nice PR program to change folks hearts. And if it involved the schools, or court rooms or backs of buses, I can't see where the Founding Fathers would have one bit of trouble with it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 06:20 PM

Code of Hammurabi


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 06:22 PM

Why put laws where people can't see them and read them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM

Ok then... let's put my one law up in all of the courthouses, schools, and all other government buildings in the US. It's more of a law that describes reality as I see it, and according to my spiritual beliefs, rather than a law that says "you do this or you'll face consequences". But I think it covers every kind of good that the ten commandments address that isn't specific to any religions, and since it is my own belief, I think it should take precedence over yours. Here it is:


Whatever I do to another, I also do to myself.


There. That's enough. You don't need anything else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 07:43 PM

My last was for Bobert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 08:04 PM

Okay, maybe it might eventually be wittled down to that one simple, yet humanistic, thought but as an intermediary step I think we're gonna need a little more direction. Thou shalt not lie. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt kill. Thou shalt not covert one'd neigbor's wife...etc... (And scriptures in other holy books from other religions, as the Koran...)

Then maybe, once we get folks spiritually up to speed then generalize it...

Can we find agreement here, CarolC? I can't see where this is giving any religion any level of control over the state...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 08:06 PM

Good idea, Carol. The KIS principle. Won't need lawyers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 08:21 PM

Okay, maybe it might eventually be wittled down to that one simple, yet humanistic, thought but as an intermediary step I think we're gonna need a little more direction.

Why? All of your examples have loopholes. What about a little white lie to save someone from suffering? Surely that has some good in it, right? Or what if I am just taking my neighbor's lawn mower because I mowed his lawn for a whole summer and he never paid me for it? Or maybe my neighbor's wife came on to me first, and my neighbor was cheating on her anyway so he didn't really deserve her...

I think my way is much simpler and way more effective. No loopholes, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 08:47 PM

John Hardly--

you're taking something I said and something I didn't say and acting as if I said them both. I never said anyone couldn't possibly know what was in the mind of Adams. You can't combine one statement by me and one by someone else and act as if the same person said them!

So let's see, your most substantive contributions so far have been the erroneous claim that there aren't any movements to get more such displays anyway, and then combining claims by different people to make it look like someone has contradicted himself. Good job!

I have also quoted the actual words of Adams, by the way, but you ignore those words because they do not support your position. The fact is, when Adams mentions a creator or God or "a supreme Legislator" he does so in very general terms. He never supports such ideas as the necessity of avoiding Idols, or celebrating the sabbath, or that there cannot be more than one God (though his references would suggest at least that his own beliefs included a Zeus-like overlord of Gods); he even goes so far in the quotes above to call the Bible itself "the Corruptions of Christianity." So how can we infer that he agrees even with the content of the Ten Commandments, let alone with their public display?

Moreover, he openly states that, given state sanction, "these Christians" (as he calls them) would persecute not only other religions but also one another.   I think it's pretty clear from this that he did not support giving State sanction to any one religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:23 PM

CarolC,

No, I think that jumpin' to you version of the "Golden Rule" ain't gonna bring enough folk along. We gotta play on their *supposed* beliefs. That means bringin' along something that is familiar...

You are jusr introducing *your* scripture... Fine, but someone is gonna come along an' say, "Hey, you a re CarolC-ist..."... See what I mean?...

Why not take familiar territory and use it to build a more spiritually hooked up population???

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:38 PM

No, I think that jumpin' to you version of the "Golden Rule" ain't gonna bring enough folk along. We gotta play on their *supposed* beliefs. That means bringin' along something that is familiar...

I disagree. Seems to me the ten commandments have been given quite a long time to accomplish what they are supposed to do, and they haven't been very effective. History shows that. Some of the most egregious crimes in recorded history have been committed by people weilding those very commandments. I'd say, based on that history, that the ten commandments are not at all effective in promoting a civil (or even moral) society.

You are jusr introducing *your* scripture... Fine, but someone is gonna come along an' say, "Hey, you a re CarolC-ist..."... See what I mean?...

Yes, that's right. That's what it looks like when someone else does it. You don't think it's appropriate when I do it. I don't see any reason why I should accept it when you or anyone else does it.

Why not take familiar territory and use it to build a more spiritually hooked up population???

The fact that you don't see the flaw in this statement shows just how religio-centric you are. It is familiar territory to some people, but to Buddhists, for example, a belief in the concept of Karma is what they are used to, not the ten commandments.

Can you see now why this shouldn't even be an issue? Everyone has their own ideas of what is the most effective way of conveying whatever their sense of morality is. The law in the US is quite well codified. We don't need to use someone's religious laws in order to help people understand the reason we have laws.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:56 PM

No, I don't, Carol... I really don't see where my modest proposition is flawed at all...

It represents the *art* of compromise...

You're new scripture, while humanistic enough, isn't a realistic outcome... Yeah, while I love it... it is very much for dreamers... Hey, all I am saying here is that why not use the political rrealities of situation to take the firts step to a ore universal scriptural end???

I think what you are proposing is, in a perfect world, great. This is not a perfect world...

Like I said, the *art* of compromise....

Like Ben Franklin once said, "The longest journey begins with a single step". What I have proposed is that first step.

What you are proposing is the destination...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 10:14 PM

Well, lucky for me, Bobert, the Constitution of the United States supports my position, and that's all that really matters to me in this case.

However, if you are as concerned about the activities of the religious right in the US as you say you are, you might want to consider adopting a different stance than the one you are taking. Because what you are saying is really not much different that what they are saying in this case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 10:50 PM

No, not really, Carol because in drawing the Christain Right into *our* conversation we take folks who have been brainwashed by the Jerry Falwell's and turn them into folks with whom we will now be sitting accross the table from... Yeah, think about it... It could represent an *opening* to take back a lot of *supposed* Christains by empowering them while teaching them the art of compromise...

This ain't rocker surgery here. Just good ol' fashion salemanship. Yeah, you can stake out yer new scripture and get absolutely nada or you can *compromise* yer positiona and maybe move a little closer to yer perfect world...

My position is that if we can use the strengthes of various religion to a position of commonality then, hey, it is a first step..

If you want to continue the debate over how many angeles can dance on the end of a pin, to stick to yer position irregarless of it's unrealistic reality of ever 'rounding the curve, then so be it...

I have offered a *compromise position*...

And one that does not subvert the Founding Fathers desire that one church does not take over the government...

I know of no other words to state my modest proposal so you may continue to *hold the fort*, as that is yer right, but I am out of this thread until there is some movement on yer dogmatic position...

But with that said, you know that this ol' hillbilly not only loves ya but has come to yer defense a time 'er two 'round this joint...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 11:04 PM

No, not really, Carol because in drawing the Christain Right into *our* conversation we take folks who have been brainwashed by the Jerry Falwell's and turn them into folks with whom we will now be sitting accross the table from... Yeah, think about it... It could represent an *opening* to take back a lot of *supposed* Christains by empowering them while teaching them the art of compromise...

This ain't rocker surgery here. Just good ol' fashion salemanship. Yeah, you can stake out yer new scripture and get absolutely nada or you can *compromise* yer positiona and maybe move a little closer to yer perfect world...


Ain't gonna happen, Bobert. When religion gets mixed up with politics in this country, the result is always in the direction of more extremist fundamentalism.

I consider you a good friend, Bobert, even though I've never actually met you face to face, but I'm not going to take people trying to turn this country into a theocracy lying down. I'm going to fight it.

Anyway, posting anyone's commandments in government buildings is unconstitutional, and I am against it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 11:26 PM

Is it mandatory in the USA for the Constitution to be displayed in schools? Serious question. Here, we display copies of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and teach it in Social Studies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 09:03 AM

Just found out that Dave (the ancient mariner) cut and paste his ridiculously off-the-mark-readings of the constitution from a site by someone who calls himself "Father Frog."

http://home.sprynet.com/~frfrog/religion.htm

This just gets funnier. Dave cuts and pastes from a guy who says "all of you should go and read the constitution because it says THIS!" BUT, Dave doesn't bother to ACTUALLY read the constitution, which does not say what he claimed it did.

Hyporcrisy? Sure! Carelessness? Yup! Bumbling? You bet!

Was he sufficiently embarrassed to shut up?

No such luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 09:29 AM

Because my "for example" (of "religious" images appear along side non-religious images as an example that many images have dual context) was called into question, here is an example.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 11:00 AM

  It was, after all, the Baptists that needed Thomas Jefferson's assurance that the government would keep out of religion. His response to them gives us that great phrase, "...a wall of separation between church and state."


Worth repeating. A wall of separation. Take your confabulations of theology and get them the hell out of the public sector, out of the civic dialogue, out of the commons. Keep them in your private homes and hearts, where the voice of God belongs, not in the workings of social establishment bringing the diverse together to build a better nation. There, let the spirit of the universe work as it may without forms or the slathering of cheap tongues.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 11:07 AM

A link to the REAL God and guiding principle of societies . . . .

LINK


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 11:12 AM

Oh, Mammon, put your wig-hat on!! LOL, Brucie!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 11:33 AM

Dear Guest I have read it and I admire it. I have no axe to grind with you or anyone else. I posted some quotes and arguments to stimulate dialogue not suppress it. I'm just enjoying reading all the posts to this thread and do not feel obligated to post to every comment. If you are trying to insult me or irritate me let me inform you, it is somewhat akin to a flea crawling up an elephants tail intent on rape. The flea may accomplish its mission, but for the most part the elephant will continue on oblivious to the fact. Have a nice day....


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 11:36 AM

Dave,

Where ya been? This thoroughly messes up the "Dave's not here" line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 12:22 PM

For those of us who like to read and investigate other opinions, this appears to be a good site to read about Jeffersons wall between church and state.http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html#wall


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 12:54 PM

Excerpt:

One of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, is directly responsible for giving us this phrase. In his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, then-President Jefferson used the phrase - it was probably not the first time, but it is the most memorable one. He said:


Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, [the people, in the 1st Amendment,] declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.


Jefferson did not have a hand in the authoring of the Constitution, nor of the 1st Amendment, but he was an outspoken proponent of the separation of church and state, going back to his time as a legislator in Virginia. In 1785, Jefferson drafted a bill that was designed to squash an attempt by some to provide taxes for the purpose of furthering religious education. He wrote that such support for religion was counter to a natural right of man:


... no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.


Jefferson's act was passed, though not without some difficulty, in Virginia. Eyler Robert Coates wrote that the act was copied in the acts or constitutions of several states, either in words or in concepts. Jefferson himself was in France by the time word of the act reached Europe, and he wrote back to America that his act was well-thought of and admired.


Jefferson's letter specifically pointed out by the Supreme Court in Reynolds v US (98 US 145 [1878]).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 01:13 PM

"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the
highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced
patriots to prevent its ruin."
— Samuel Adams


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 01:30 PM

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." -- John Adams


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 08:22 PM

Is it mandatory in the USA for the Constitution to be displayed in schools?

It's been a while since I've been inside a public school here in the US, but in all of the times that I ever have been in a public school here in the US, I've never, ever seen the Constitution displayed in one. Which isn't necessarily to say that none of them had one, but if they did, I sure never saw it. And I'm pretty sure the answer to your question is "no".


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 09:37 PM

Thanks, Carol.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 08:50 AM

Somehow I don't really care what any of the founding fathers had to say on this or any subject. Or rather, I only care about it as interesting historical anecdotes that don't have anything to do with how we run our country. I do care about the part of Constitution that says that Congress shall make no law establishing a religion. When our government puts overtly religious scriptural quotes on the walls of our official buildings, it is de facto establishing a religion. The fact that Congress has not disallowed this is the same as Congress ordering it.

And really folks, get your religions away from me, you sanctimonious bullies. What part of not establishing a religion don't you understand? What part of forcing your beliefs down the rest of our throats seems like a good idea to you? How do you make this seem appropriate to yourselves? Do you have no sense of ethics at all? Do you think that I'm goint to suddenly become a Christian because of seeing the 10 Commandments on the courthouse wall? Is your faith really so weak that you have to parade it in front of non-believers in order for you to feel secure? And don't give me that crap about our laws being based on the Bible. They are more surely based on ancient Athens and the Magna Carta. They are more surely based on 18th century French philosophers. This is supposed to be the land of the free, and as soon as you start forcing your religion on me from our courthose walls, I feel less free. You, on the other hand, have to torture logic and common sense to the breaking point to claim to feel less free because of not being allowed to force you beliefs on others.

On a more pragmatic side, do you really think I'm not going to appeal any judgement against me made in that courthouse on the grounds of religious discrimination? I'm pretty sure I could get the fact that I'm not a Christian into the official trial record if I really wanted to.

Sorry for the rant. This is a topic that seems important and the conversation here has been going off onto tangents.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:50 AM

Sorry for the typos. I should've proof red it better . . .

JP


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:59 AM

Well ranted, in any case, Sir P!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 11:24 AM

I'm afraid this tension will always be with us....those who do not feel the need for a religion, especially some particular brand, will always object to perceived attempts to 'establish' it, while those who DO feel the need and believe they have found a 'truth' must find it almost painful to not share 'the good news' with others, especially when their religion is full of admontions to "become fishers of men" and the like.

It becomes almost irrelevant what "ultimate truth" might be, as long as there is no way to resolve it among those who either accept or reject specific formulations.

The ***ONLY*** (note emphasis..*grin*) way to deal with it is to allow belief and practice for those who choose, while protecting those who do NOT choose from insideous pressures to conform. What we mostly argue about is where to draw the line between allowing and protecting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 12:24 PM

Or, Bill, it could be nothing more than the probablity that the Nation -- and therefore its imagery -- was founded by guys who, though they did not believe in the same religion (and had a close enough historical proximity to remember a persecution that arose from differing interpretations of religion having governmental power to abuse, to at least know what they didn't want that) nevertheless, by virtue of little more than history, geography, the difficulty of travel of that day, and seredipity, believed enough in common (religiously speaking) that they maybe failed to see how the acknowledgement of their common history would one day be interpreted as an endorsement of a religion (as the nation expanded to include FAR more divergent religions than those of a Judeo-Christian history).

Some folks seem to want to maintain the history. Others seem threatened by our history (no matter where we are currently).

Nothing like a good run-on sentence that I'm too lazy to edit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 01:27 PM

Well said, John P!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:04 PM

I think the founding fathers are very clear on the issue. They tried to be inclusive and not exclusive of all religions, providing people believed in decency and obeyance of the law as laid down in the constitution. A healthy respect for basic rules and some checks and balances against government abuse are thereby written into US law. The respect for belief in something greater than the individual was their guidline for drafting the articles. Choosing to base their law on something higher than themselves, means they were not just thinking in narrow terms of self interest. The fact that these laws were guided by a majority of Judeo Christian ethics is something that should be of comfort rather than vehement objection. Any attempt to remove icons from buildings is an insult to the majority of people who believe in their value. I state majority from the knowledge that Christianity is a major religion of the majority of Americans. Therefore is an assault and affront on that belief system.

Most republics were throughout history far from forgiving and kindly to their people; and led eventually to dictatorship and ruin. I agree it is wrong to flaunt and impose fraudulent Christian rule over everyone, but it is also abuse not to recognise and commemorate historical foundations of law and good government. Like most people here, I do not want to see extreme Christian groups try to gain control of government, thereby imposing their version of religion on everyone. The greatest example of what I see as an assault on the foundations of the US constitution, is to remember that Rome was not defeated by a superior enemy or world power, but by internal vice corruption and degredation of standards. I do hope the US does not follow the same route.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:21 PM

Well said,. Dave. I think there are other parallels. Rome, Athens, London and now Washington have all reached a point where their mechanical systems and technologies were head and shoulders beyond those of the nations of Africa, Asia and India. in each case they sought to keep their huge economic and technological gears turning through imperialism. Our Founding Fathers represented the incredible proposition that we could export, instead of enforced technology, a few central ideas germane to all humans and by doing so, could ensure the rest followed suite. In each of these national histories, the time came when the adventures of exporting by force became a national pastime, and those adventures in each case were followed by the decline and collapse of the empire so begun. Instead of exporting ideas, as we did to Japan, we are exporting force and conquest using higher technologies.

Rome did the same with its roads and bureaucracies, England with its early Industrial Age methods and organizations, Athens as well. Persia did it also, and lay in ruins not much later.

Gives one to think, doesn't it?

I am still puzzling over these links. It is almost as though getting too far ahead leads into a natural life cycle of adventurism and imperialism, which leads to downfall. Tricky slope indeed, eh, wot?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:23 PM

I do not want to see extreme Christian groups try to gain control of government

It's too late. They already control it. What they are doing now is solidifying and tightening the control they already have. And that is the situation that some of us are trying very hard to correct.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:53 PM

As a Jew, I certainly do not feel at all threatened by Christians.

I do however feel threatened by the Commie/Marxist/souless aethiests/old hippie/society misfits that post here how they have a problem with the Ten Commandments and religion in general.

the hypocrites who love when their villages put up those nativity scenes and Christmas symbols before Thanksgiving sure aren't too vocal then, and no one is listening much anyway.

Robo, Judiasm is organized thank God. It's obviously your choice if you don't want to be a part of it. I have found great friendships thru great Jewish organizations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:56 PM

Amos, Carole, Take comfort from these words...
"In harsh or melancholy epochs, free men may always take comfort from the grand lesson of history, that tyrannies cannot last except among servile races. The years which seem endless to those who endure them are but a flick of mischance in the journey. New and natural hopes leap from the human heart as every spring revives the cultivated soil and rewards the faithful, patient husbandmen." -- Sir Winston Churchill

From my observations there is little servile about Americans ;-)
My only concern is the lack of decent politicians to vote for.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 05:48 PM

Sorry, Dave, but you're WAY off the mark.

Should you care to investigate, I think you'll find that just about nine out of ten ( if not 100%)of the the "founding fathers" (ugh! I hate that cliché) were firm believers in Rationalism and the writings of the Philosophes- the intellectual movement which held that we can arrive at the truth by using our reason rather than relying on any external authority or special revelation (church, God, etc)and that the system of government they devised and the Constutiuon they created was based on Rationilist precepts rather than those of "Judeo-Christian ethics"[sic]- whatever you intend that to mean.

Read up on your Leibnitz, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Descartes, then check out Locke & Adam Smith.

Then get back to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Kim C
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:00 PM

Y'know what? I don't care. They can post whatever they want. Just because it's in public doesn't mean anyone has to read it.

Let's consider those 10 Commandments just for a second. Don't most world religions abide by most of those same tenets? Don't most human beings of decent character, whether they're religious or not, abide by most of those same tenets? Think about it. Even if you don't agree with "thou shalt have no other gods before me," how in the world can you argue with no killing, no stealing, no messing around with your neighbor's spouse? Those are things that cause trouble for people, regardless of religion, or lack of it.

Anyhow, like I said, I don't care. I'm secure enough in my own beliefs not to feel threatened by whatever displays people want to make in public, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Mormon, whatever. I have more important things to concern myself with, and I think the state probably does too.

I have never, ever in my life, been offended by anyone's display of faith, although I have found some displays a little silly. But being offended by someone else's religion is just beyond my understanding, not to mention a total waste of my time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:03 PM

Fair enough, Greg, but you cannot blot out their mystic streaks and strange New Order symbolism; perhaps they were all Masons or some such? :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:04 PM

But that's how so called liberal SOO-DOH intelectuals think Kim C.

Especially the ones that mouth off here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:09 PM

You're mistaken, Martin. No-one I've read here is offended by the religion of others.

We're a little better raised than that.

But we are offended that our government should dramatize a bias favoring one religion, to the exclusion of others, when by rights the government should have no hand in the fostering of religious belief at all except to honor all religious belief as a right of the individual.

But your hatefulness is probably incapable of that distinction.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:18 PM

The Bill of Rights

I wonder who reads it? Beautiful piece of writing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:19 PM

From my observations there is little servile about Americans ;-)

Mr. Churchill obviously wasn't thinking about the effect of television on the populace when he said that. We don't need to be servile in order to find ourselves being subjected to tyranny. We only need to be misled. And the fact that a large percentage of people in the US believed (and many still believe), that the Saddam Hussien was responsible for what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, and that that was the reason we invaded Iraq, is proof that the people in this country are capable of being misled on a massive scale.

My only concern is the lack of decent politicians to vote for.

And then there is that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:26 PM

Kim C, it is apparent that you did not read through this thread prior to making your 05 Apr 05 - 06:00 PM post. Your questions have been addressed and answered several times already.

And the answer is "no". It is not true that most religions abide by the edict to worship only one god, or to honor the sabbath and keep it holy.

I would suggest reading the thread next time to save yourself the trouble of posting needlessly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:29 PM

Greg F. You might disagree with me, but do not presume to think that I have not already read those works; that displays arrogance and intolerance on your part not mine. As for me being "way off the mark" I know many better educated people who hold similar opinions as mine, and therefore I consider myself fortunate to be in such good company mate; and you are entitled to your opinion.

Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practise these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy' - Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:32 PM

Polytheism - Modern World
Polytheism still represents much of the world today. Except for the monotheistic (belief in one God) religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, most of the world's religions are overwhelmingly polytheistic. Polytheism characterizes the beliefs of Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shintoism in the East, and also contemporary tribal religions in Africa and the Americas. These religions are widely practiced throughout the world and remain very popular in their ancestral areas.

Quote from this link . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,brucie
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:33 PM

Sorry. The above post was by me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:37 PM

Nice quote, Dave. (The one from Tenzin Gyatso.) I take it you are suggesting we replace the ten commandments in our courthouses with that quote, then? Might be worth a try.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:52 PM

Carole, The mistake made was in not displacing Saddam the firat time; and in waiting for that corrupt, innefectual organization the UN to solve the problem. But that is another topic for a thread :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:53 PM

Well I think we could benefit from his wisdom :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 07:04 PM

The UN was on top of the problem that the US used as its justification for the invasion (WMD). And that has been proven, it's not just an opinion. However, the fact that a large percentage of people in the US believed that Saddam had anything whatever to do with 9/11 (which he did not), is proof, not only of the fact that we are capable of being misled on a massive scale, but also that this has, in fact, been done. So there really is nothing separating the people of the US from tyranny.

And Kim C, I am not offended by public displays of other people's religions. As long as the displays are not mandated or sponsored by the government or any government officials in (or on) government buildings. I am offended by discrimination, and by anything that weakens and/or violates the Constitution of the United States.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 07:34 PM

I have to admit that I am more than a little bit annoyed by your mischaracterization of the reasoning that many of us have for not wanting the ten commandments to be posted in government buildings, Kim C.

If we were offended by public displays of other people's religions, we would be calling for the removal of all religious symbolism from the outside of churches, synagogues, and mosques. We would be waging a campaign to remove all crosses and Stars of David from cemetaries. We would be out removing the little crosses that people plant by the side of the road to commemorate the deaths of loved ones in traffic accidents. I don't see anybody here in this thread calling for these things.

To suggest that it has anything whatever to do with being offended by seeing public displays of other people's religions is a complete mischaracterization of what people in this thread are saying, and also of what really matters to those of us who are arguing against religious symbolism in government buildings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 07:44 PM

There's little doubt that the philosophers(ies) of the day were influencing the religious beliefs of the day. Also just as unlikely that one can read the writings of those involved in the founding of our country and the structuring of its government and conclude that these were a bunch of atheists.

Sure, you can take isolated writings (like Franklin's f'rinstance) and conclude that at least some of them were not Christians by a modern day definition.

...neither were that rationalists by a modern day definition (meaning that they did not accept the modern notion that rational thought would lead to naturalism -- rather, they thought that rational thought, and a unified world view would lead to spiritual enlightenment -- a "religious" outcome).

I'm coming away from this discussion pleasantly heartened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 07:57 PM

11. You shall not emulate Flamenco ted and swoop on 00 posts.

hows that for number 11? lighten up people!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 07:58 PM

Thou shalt not kill...

200...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 08:00 PM

Danged!

I'm 201...

Makes me made nuff to kill...

Jus funnin'...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:21 PM

Fair enuf, Dave, but if you've read 'em, and read the writings of the "founding fathers"[ugh!] that reference 'em, how is it you manage to miss and/or completely ignore the Rationalist basis and foundation in favor of your religious extrapolation?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:57 PM

Greg, I did not ignore that influence, but you conveniently ignore the religious connotations that were inherently part of their belief system.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 07:29 AM

But Dave has completely ignored MY point, which was that many of the founding fathers were not only "not Christians in the modern sense" but not Christians at all. They were Deists, and had rejected this sort of revelation. To them, "revelation" was the ability of a person with his or her own senses to see the evidence of God, screw commandments and prophecies and holy writ. So yes, they had religious beliefs, but those beliefs often did not include the ten commandments.

This argument goes in circles anyway. People aren't really listening, they just want to have their way. As CarolC says, the constitution and the Supreme Court have consistently favored the side that would keep religious displays off of government property.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 08:57 AM

"the religious connotations that were inherently part of their belief system"

Or not, Since those of 'em who were not Deists were of the athiest or agnostic persuasion, e.g. Partick Henry, of the famous "Forbid it Almighty God!!" speach. Just because they made literary references to a God doesn't mean they were "believers".

& dito Nerd re: circularity, so Adios.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Kim C
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 09:47 AM

Just stating my opinion, Carol, like everyone else. I apologize if you found it needless or redundant. Since posting my opinion is apparently needless and redundant, I reckon I'll save myself the trouble in the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Mary in Kentucky
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 12:37 PM

Don't worry Kim, it's just your turn "in the barrel." ;-) (It's her MO)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 01:33 PM

It's not the stating your opinion part that I have a problem with Kim C, it's you telling us what our opinions are that I particularly dislike. And yes, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from doing that in the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 01:41 PM

That's odd, Mary. I thought that was your MO. What a coincidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 01:50 PM

Y'know what? I don't care. They can post whatever they want. Just because it's in public doesn't mean anyone has to read it.

Let's consider those 10 Commandments just for a second. Don't most world religions abide by most of those same tenets? Don't most human beings of decent character, whether they're religious or not, abide by most of those same tenets? Think about it. Even if you don't agree with "thou shalt have no other gods before me," how in the world can you argue with no killing, no stealing, no messing around with your neighbor's spouse? Those are things that cause trouble for people, regardless of religion, or lack of it.

Anyhow, like I said, I don't care. I'm secure enough in my own beliefs not to feel threatened by whatever displays people want to make in public, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Mormon, whatever. I have more important things to concern myself with, and I think the state probably does too.

I have never, ever in my life, been offended by anyone's display of faith, although I have found some displays a little silly. But being offended by someone else's religion is just beyond my understanding, not to mention a total waste of my time.
(Kim C)

It's not the stating your opinion part that I have a problem with Kim C, it's you telling us what our opinions are that I particularly dislike. And yes, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from doing that in the future. (Carol)

Wolfgang (puzzled)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 01:53 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Kim C
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 06:00 PM

I'm secure enough in my own beliefs not to feel threatened by whatever displays people want to make in public, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Mormon, whatever. I have more important things to concern myself with, and I think the state probably does too.

I have never, ever in my life, been offended by anyone's display of faith, although I have found some displays a little silly. But being offended by someone else's religion is just beyond my understanding, not to mention a total waste of my time.


Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 07:34 PM

I have to admit that I am more than a little bit annoyed by your mischaracterization of the reasoning that many of us have for not wanting the ten commandments to be posted in government buildings, Kim C.

If we were offended by public displays of other people's religions, we would be calling for the removal of all religious symbolism from the outside of churches, synagogues, and mosques. We would be waging a campaign to remove all crosses and Stars of David from cemetaries. We would be out removing the little crosses that people plant by the side of the road to commemorate the deaths of loved ones in traffic accidents. I don't see anybody here in this thread calling for these things.

To suggest that it has anything whatever to do with being offended by seeing public displays of other people's religions is a complete mischaracterization of what people in this thread are saying, and also of what really matters to those of us who are arguing against religious symbolism in government buildings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 02:31 PM

Debate with facts and stop being personal. This is some food for thoughts and comments.

http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=70


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,guest from NW
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 03:00 PM

what is so hard for you people to understand? america is not a "christian" nation. it is a nation that forbids its gov't to establish a state religion. it (in principle) accepts all religions. so if we don't have a state religion, that means either NO icons of religion on public, tax-funded property or an assortment of religious symbology from many different religions to accomodate all views.
personally, i like the "no religious symbols" option. keep your religion in your church, your heart, your home, your family, talk about it with interested friends but keep it OUT of public buildings. but if you insist that the 10 commandments must be displayed then you should fight equally hard to display quotes from the koran and other alternative texts or else you're just a prosthelytizing (sp?) christan jerk trying to force your beliefs on me. and i don't like it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 03:28 PM

"How was prosthelytizing today?" asks his wife the salesman when he comes home.
"Not bad. Two legs, a left hand and a nose".

Wolfgang (grin)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 03:33 PM

Now the serious post: proselytizing

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,jeffp
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 03:35 PM

Wolfgang:

ROTFL


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 03:35 PM

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Deism


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 04:23 PM

Interesting link, Dave. It certainly looks like Deists can't be considered Christians.

Deism is concerned with those truths which humans can discover through a process of reasoning, independent of any claimed divine revelation through scripture or prophets. Most Deists believe that God does not interfere with the world or create miracles.

So that rules out the ten commandments from the perspective of those "founding fathers" who considered themselves Deists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 04:28 PM

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

How is posting a religious something-or-other on government/public property defined as Congress making a law? It seems to me that individual state constitutions would have to be consulted as well.

Next I suppose you'll be wanting them to remove "In God We Trust" from the money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 05:00 PM

Well, as a matter of fact, yes!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 05:41 PM

Casual Observer, my understanding is that the Supreme Court is right now considering two cases that involve ten commandments displays in court houses. From what I have read, they will probably make a ruling on it in June. There are some important standards for adjudicating establishment clause cases, and I guess that will be what the Supreme Court will be looking at when making their determinations. These standards involve, among other things, the question of whether or not the presence of religious diplays in government buildings will have the effect of promoting any particular religion or religions.

This page has links to some of the cases that have established the standards that courts are currently using to make these determinations:

http://members.tripod.com/~candst/tnppage/eclauidx.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 06:06 PM

Thanks for posting that link, Dave. That's what I've been pointing out all along. As the Ten Commandments are a form the "revealed word of God," they are expressly rejected by deists like Adams and Jefferson.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 06:12 PM

Don't like God?

have a problem with seeing stuff religious and with people with faith?

Don't worry. I am really glad you are offended.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 06:17 PM

Casual Observer, in relation to the United States of America 'In God We Trust' is not a time-honored legal sentiment. It dates from the Eisenhower administration in response to the Un-American Activities Commission when many Americans were afraid of appearing or being judged to be Communistic or un-American in some fashion. It was not a shining moment in our history.

If the 'founding fathers' had added the slogan to our beginnings I would feel differently about it. In actual fact, it was 1954, nearly 200 years later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 06:19 PM

I, personally, don't "have a problem seeing stuff religious and with people with faith", and I am not offended.

Sorry to dissappoint.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 06:39 PM

It is disgusting that those who venture in to lawmaking are so cavlier about trampling the precedents described above.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 07:40 PM

How many of the signatures were from Deist's? According to a survey in Virginia in the 1700's 78% of the population were Christian. James Madison was certainly influence by Christianity, as was Jefferson, wether they may be Deist's or not is debatable, as the Deist's seem to have kept very private on the issue


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 07:53 PM

as the Deist's seem to have kept very private on the issue

Not at all surprising considering how much persecution people who aren't Christians are subjected to by some of the ones who are. When I am in an area that is mostly inhabited by fundamentalist Christians, I don't talk about my spiritual beliefs either. That's one of the reasons I am so adamant about the separation of church and state. I would like to be able to feel more free to express my spiritual beliefs openly. Last time I did that in a mostly fundamentalist Christian area, I was persecuted mercilessly. And as I said before, it happened in the courts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: frogprince
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 08:51 PM

I wonder a little if some people here are reacting, not to what has actually been said on the thread, but to what they hear because they remember the rhetoric of Madalyn Murray O'Hair and her circle; I maintained some repect for O'Hair's stance, until I heard her personally holding forth on radio; she made it plain she didn't want anyone to have the right to express religious faith anywhere she might encounter it. I still respect her position on more-or-less mandatory school prayer, etc., but she could also be one "piece of work".
Incidentally, we have a small pagan group in the area who put a sign on their place of worship; our local state representative was quoted in the county paper as promising to get them out of the neighborhood. (He's pro "marriage protection act", anti the teaching of evolution, the whole stereotypical ball of wax.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 09:05 PM

I read a sad and stupid narrative yesterday by an intelligent young woman who stopped at a roadside cafe for some food to go, in Texas. While she was waiting for her order two beefy tall young belt-and-boot boys sauntered up and started asking her questions about her beliefs, and challenged her for wearing the Prince of Darkness on her t-shirt. She was wearing a tshirt advertising Linux, with the little horned possum critter on it. They asked her politely and just slightly threateningly to leave the cafe and barely let her get and pay for her food. They didn't want no truck with them Satanist city slickers.

I swan!!!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 09:27 PM

10 Commandments in courthouses--231 posts? And from reading some of them, the US must be in imminent danger of becoming a theocracy.

This is a non-issue. I suppose you want the 10 Commandments out of all courthouses because of the "camel's nose in the tent" syndrome.

Based on the vehemence of opposition here, and elsewhere, the danger of Anglicanism or any other brand of religion being established as the state religion is highly overrated. As you know, the danger of a state religion, which had been experienced under the Church of England, was the fear addressed by the 1st Amendment. Not likely now.


There is, however, a danger that if you push too hard for purging the 10 Commandments from all courtrooms, you will , as pressure groups did last year, alienate moderates, energize the "true believers" on the other side, and hand the 2008 election to the next right-wing demogogue.

"When will they ever learn?"

Doug R. Larry K, et al. will of course be grateful.

If all you want to do is vent, then fine. But please keep it here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 09:32 PM

My crime was having the audacity to home school my son while not being a Christian. And this in an area where home schooling was not only legal, it was being done by quite a few Christian families in the area. I was taken to court and subjected to having my civil rights violated for nine months at a cost of thousands of dollars to me and a hell of a lot of trauma for my son.

Camel's nose in the tent my ass. That whole damn camel is standing right in the middle of the tent and it's shitting on the Constitution of the United States.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 09:42 PM

Obviously, Carol, what happened to you is inexcusable. But pushing to take the 10 Commandments out of courthouses is not going to stop that.

And, I repeat, what happened in 2004 should be a warning. The Democrats can not afford to be type-cast as anti-religion. The right wing demogogues know how great that approach works, and will be only too happy to use it again---and you would be handing them some wonderful ammunition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Once Famous
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 09:50 PM

Ah yes, Carol C. but you didn't admit that you had a problem with God, so I wasn't really disappointed and you didn't let me down.

OK, you can back peddle now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 09:55 PM

Some say they've passed their darkest hour
Those moderates are back in power.
Oh, they listen close with open ears
They'll help us out in a couple a hundred years.
But DON'T PUSH 'EM!,whatever you do...
Or else you'll get those extremists back in!

.....Phil Ochs


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 11:12 PM

Greg--

Sorry, Greg, there is a difference between protest song and the real world. And if you want to play into the hands of the demogogues, be my guest. But if you're tired of being "governed" by right-wing Neanderthals, you have to learn to pick your fights. And, I submit, this one is not worth fighting. People who burn with a passion to remove the 10 Commandments from courtrooms are in a distinct minority in the real world (as opposed to the Mudcat world) and will wind up squandering their talents and energies which are sorely needed on other issues.

And, as I said, the Doug R's and Larry K's will cheer you on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 06:37 AM

Founding fathers blah blah blah, Judeo-Christian society blah blah blah, doesn't hurt anything blah blah blah, good rules to live by blah blah blah, just don't look blah blah blah, other things to be worried about blah blah blah.

It's all a bunch of crap, folks. Putting scripture on the courthouse walls is establishing a religion. Anyone who can't see that is being willfully obtuse. It's wildly discriminatory against those who aren't part of that religion. It's ethically odorous. It flies in the face of instructions given in another part of the same scripture. It's a bunch of people in the majority forcing the rest of us to smell their butts. Stop it now. Please be good people, not bullies.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 07:26 AM

It's only esrablishing religion if the scriptures are all from one particular relgion...

I have suggested that if scriptures from various relgions that instruct us all to be more caring and loving toward one another, including some of the 10 Commandments which are universal, would be a good thing. I don't see where doing that *establishes* a relgion or makes folks bullies???

I pointed out earlier that there a lot of just decent common sense in many scripture, be them from the Bible, the Koran or whatever. And here we are all trying to live in an increasingly hostile world allowing the Christain Right to pit Chrstains and Jews against thos of Islamic Faith... We'd sure better start finding ways the bridge the gap and I think it can be done but not so long as we're instructing our governemnt to heep people in the dark... Hey, I want to be able to walk into a school or court room and learn not only what Christains have to offer mankind but other relgions as well...

And this from a Christain...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 07:33 AM

US treasury's history of 'In God we trust'

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:12 AM

I beg to differ, Ron.

I've been watching the tide of creeping "christian" fundamentalism in the U.S. pretty closely for some time, and the way its been unfolding I don't think the Neville Chamberlain approach is going to be terribly effective against the right-wing neo-conservative fundamentalist wacko bloc. The Ten Commandments issue per se is not a different fight but a constituent part of the much larger fight.

Good 'protest songs' tend to reflect the "real world" pretty accurately most of the time, even if a bit hyperbolic. Its good to see that Phil's words still have the power to piss people off. May just get 'em thinking, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:33 AM

How about if they post the Code of Hammurabi instead?

My personal impression of some people is that they don't want to be exposed to anything religious because they're afraid they might be tempted to join that religion, whatever it is. If it brings something good into your life - what's the big deal? Do as you please and let others enjoy the right to do the same.

Religious zealots may make a lot of noise now and then, but in the US they're a microcosm of society. It doesn't do to pay them much mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:51 AM

I could understand an objection to having a new edifice plastered with religious symbolism, but to erase something decades old is just childish and malevolent provocation, it serves no purpose other than to insult people of good faith. To point out that 76.5% of Americans identify with Christianity is very important, because a militant minority will not acheive their objectives, and may very well hurt their cause by uniting moderates with radicals.
I have no more to say on this matter, but I thank you all for getting me back into some books I havent read in ages ;-)

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:03 AM

exactly my sentiments, Dave. Well said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:06 AM

...76.5% of Americans identify with Christianity...

According to who? and what precisely do the weasel-words "identify with" mean?

Jus' curious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptical
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:20 AM

I am having trouble simply accepting that any court, without any just cause for inquiry, simply came into a legal homeschooling situation and shut it down.

Around here homeschoolers do not go before the courts to ask permission to homeschool.

I'm having trouble imagining a court asking the religious persuasion of a person brought before it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:21 PM

Obviously, Carol, what happened to you is inexcusable. But pushing to take the 10 Commandments out of courthouses is not going to stop that.

I disagree entirely. Not having a mindset that promotes putting them there in the first place might have prevented that from ever happening.

I don't have a problem with God, Martin. Not your concept of God, nor my concept of God/Divinity, either. What I have a problem with is people imposing their concept of God on other people. You should know why doing that is a bad idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:23 PM

A fundamentalist Christian attorney who lived in my community petitioned the court to allow him to take me to court to force me to stop home schooling my son. The court granted his petition, and he took me to court in order to try to make me stop home schooling my son.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:24 PM

...and I have the court records to prove it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:28 PM

And the basis for his petition was that you were not a Christian?

How did he even know you, or the fact that you are not a Christian?

Why would the courts grant the petition on that basis?

...Nothing more than that you were not a Christian? Really?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:28 PM

In the link Wolfgang posted, the following appear as quotes from letters received by Salmon P. Chase, to encourage the "...recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins."

"...This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters."

"Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins."

When the recent commotion occurred in Alabama, Justice Roy Moore continuously used the words " I should be allowed to acknowledge Almighty God" in his defense for having sneaked the monument into the courthouse. Built into that is the presupposition that God needs to be acknowleged!
When I was a child, the Pledge of Allegiance did not have the words "under God" in it...this was inserted after lobbying by Christian groups.

These attitudes do not seem to me to be the nice, friendly statements of universal "... just decent common sense" that Bobert suggests. They seem to me to be attempts to make the religious words, attitudes and formulas of one brand of religion seem natural and universal. I suspect that, if Buddhists, Muslims, Gnostics...etc..were to lobby to have some of their ideas and phrases added to various courthouse walls and lawns, we would see some very interesting debates!

Sure, Ron, you do have to be careful how you choose your battles, and what order and with what weapons you fight them, but some things MUST be faced, and this country MUST follow the difficult path of defending the right to practice any recognized religion, while doing nothing to appear to officially favor any of them.

It's too bad that some zealots feel that they must use the old "you're either for us, or you're against us" line, but if they win by bullying and intimidation, they will get the idea that that is an acceptable technique, and we see far too much of that as it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:36 PM

Had I been a Christian, he would never have filed the petition. He stated many times that I shouldn't be allowed to home school my son because my spiritual beliefs were unnaceptible to him. I might have been subjected to less discrimination had I been Jewish, but I don't have any way of knowing that for sure. This attorney even accused me in court of being a Witch (because I once read Roald Dahl's children's book "The Witches" to my son). I am not a Witch, but even if I were, my right to be a Witch is protected by the Constitution.

This was in a small, fairly isolated community where everyone knows everyone else's business, and all of the Christians sure as hell know who isn't a Christian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:40 PM

Carol demonstrates my point....certain people feel that IF they are convinced they are 'right', then everyone else must do it, (whatever the 'it' is) their way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:50 PM

So only Xtians were allowed to homeschool in that community? Did they all go to the same church? How did the lawyer find out that you read the "witches" book to your son?

...and, again, a lawyer petitioned the courts to have you desist from homeschooling because you were not a Xtian?

There was no other reason for the petition than the fact that you are not a Christian?

Did the boy's father have nothing to say in the matter?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:50 PM

And I have no idea why the court accepted the petition. That one puzzles me to this day. I can only guess that the judge who accepted the petition was just trying to go along to get along, and avoid a lot of headaches from the local fundamentalist Christians at some later date.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:57 PM

So only Xtians were allowed to homeschool in that community? Did they all go to the same church? How did the lawyer find out that you read the "witches" book to your son?

...and, again, a lawyer petitioned the courts to have you desist from homeschooling because you were not a Xtian?

There was no other reason for the petition than the fact that you are not a Christian?

Did the boy's father have nothing to say in the matter?

And, what headaches could fundamentalists cause for the judge? You mean threats of violence?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 12:59 PM

I was divorced from my son's father. The attorney who filed the petition had been appointed by the court to represent my son during the custody battle during which I was granted full custody of my son. Two years after the custody battle had been resolved, and after I had been granted full custody by the court, that attorney took it upon himself to petition the court to stop me from home schooling my son.

After nine fairly hellish months for both me and my son, the court ruled against the attorney and ruled that because I had full custody, I had a right to home school my son.

And yes, that attorney had told me many times that had I been a Christian, I would have been treated very differently. He may have been trying to coerce me to become a Christian, but he also completely disaproved of me as a human being because I was not a Christian. During the custody battle, he tried to have my son taken from me because I was not a Christian. He wasn't successful with that agenda either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:01 PM

You underestimate the amount of power the fundamentalist Christians have in some communities, Skeptic. I still don't know why the judge took the case. But my guess is that it had to do with not wanting to lose political capital in the community.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:09 PM

After all this, it finally comes out that the court ruled in your favor?! And that the lawyer wasn't randomly picking on you for your lack of Xtianity? And yet your whole premise is that you can't get a fair shake from our courts because there's a 10 Commandments display somewhere in Alabama? They ruled in your favor!

Hmm, wonder why I'd be skeptical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:18 PM

Carol can speak for herself - but the point is that the case never should have benn in the courts in the first place. And yes - the lawyer was picking on her due to her choice/nonchoice of religious beliefs. And I'll assume Carol that you wern't reimbursed for your court costs ? You should have been.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:23 PM

Beware the Bob Jones University trained lawyer.

The ACLU would have loved to be carol's lawyer if it that cut and dried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:23 PM

After all this, it finally comes out that the court ruled in your favor?!

So what? It should never have gone to court in the first place. And the fact that it was is discriminatory. Have you ever been dragged through the courts for months on end with all of the attendant financial and personal costs? To do it to one person, specifically because that person is not a Christian, while not doing it to any of the families who were Christian is discrimination as well as an abuse of power.

And that the lawyer wasn't randomly picking on you for your lack of Xtianity?

Yes he was. He would never have done it had I been a Christian. The fact that I wasn't a Christian was the deciding factor in his decision to take me to court for home schooling, and it was his stated reason for his premise that I shouldn't be allowed to home school my son.

And yet your whole premise is that you can't get a fair shake from our courts because there's a 10 Commandments display somewhere in Alabama? They ruled in your favor!

I did most certainly not get a fair shake. A fair shake would have been not being subjected to the personal and financial costs of being dragged through the courts for months on end, and all of the other bullshit that comes with being taken to court, including the trauma to my son during that whole process. And the 10 commandments being displayed in courts is just one example of the kinds of discrimination that people experience because of fundamentalist Christians. It's a symptom of the mindset that causes discrimination and abuses of power that happen quite often all over this country. Remove any trappings of government favoring one religion over others and it becomes a little less easy for these kinds of things to happen in the first place. And this happened in the state of Maryland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:24 PM

Wesley, I had to pay the attorney who took me to court for the privelege of being taken to court by him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:25 PM

Even if that were the case, Carol C's premise was that she could not get a fair hearing in an American court because, at least in part, we have "religious" symbols in our courthouse.

She was demonstrably misleading and non-sequitor in her arguing. She got a fair hearing (unless, or course she thinks she should have lost but did not).

I have two friends who are small town judges. I'll have to ask them, but I think they would be doubtful of the circumstances as well.

I would have to wonder what made this lawyer, appointed for her son, question the home schooling. In my State, the only thing that brings it into question -- brings a case like hers to court -- is a student failing standardized testing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:27 PM

The ACLU would have loved to be carol's lawyer if it that cut and dried.

yup


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:28 PM

ACLU wouldn't touch it because it had originally been a family court issue (the custody battle).

Ironically, it was a Christian home schooling family who provided me with the most help because they, quite rightly, knew that this attorney was creating a dangerous precedent for the other home schooling families in the area.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:29 PM

Even if that were the case, Carol C's premise was that she could not get a fair hearing in an American court because, at least in part, we have "religious" symbols in our courthouse.

I never said I couldn't get a fair hearing. I said that I had been discriminated against. And I was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:31 PM

Testing had nothing to do with it. Nobody in that county had to submit their children to any testing whatever. No home schooling families in that county were held accountable to any standards whatever. That was the rule for everybody. My son was not given any standardized tests, and neither were any of the other home schooling families.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:33 PM

Give it a rest, Skeptic. You are being rude. Carol did not lie in this exchange, and if you think it's fair to be taken to court when you're minding your own business, then sure she got a "fair shake." Your skepticism is really just thinly-veiled antagonism. Nothing she said was particularly implausible to me, and I am neither a legal system neophyte nor generally gullible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:37 PM

Carol - I'm glad it was a Christian home schooled family that gave you some help. There are people with religious beliefs that live in the 21st century. We just have to learn to be more vocal so that the fundamentalists don't have their way and take over. Being a person of faith doesn't give you the right to cram it down other peoples throats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,skeptic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:47 PM

Were the Xtians home schoolers who came to your aid "fundamentalist"?

(If so, Wesley's bigotry-laden charge is moot)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 01:56 PM

See, even though "skeptic"'s questions have all been answered satisfactorily, it's not enough. It's no longer skepticism, just bile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 02:04 PM

Fanatacism is an ugly disease whether East or West, and this lawyer was no exception. To think he charged the interested party for his prosecution? What a load of codwallop. I'd hang the bugger, me.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 02:14 PM

I have an observation, and a question.

Homeschooling regulations vary from state to state. It may be possible that in some states, teaching a child outside of a recognized institution may only be allowed on religious grounds, whatever they may be. Carol, were there any such rules in your state?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: jeffp
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 02:26 PM

Not in Maryland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 02:56 PM

Just to keep the record straight, I belong to a Lutheran church in my neighborhood, so I am, at least outwardly, a Christian. But as far as my actual religio-philosophical beliefs are concerned, I am still working that out, and I don't intend to go into it here.

I can definitely see Carol's point. The arrogance of some fundamentalist Christians seems to know no bounds. The following is anecdotal, but within my experience (more than just the following incident), typical:

Some years ago I was working at Boeing as a production illustrator. My work day was frequently interrupted by a fellow named Ivan who belonged to a hard-charging, socially (politically) active fundamentalist church. Sometimes for hours a day, Ivan would stand beside my drawing table and try to engage me in religious discussions. His motivation was obvious. He was hell-bent on saving my soul (whatever that means).

I was not the only one he hit on, but he seemed to find me particularly fascinating (a challenge, perhaps) because I was able to argue Bible verse for Bible verse with him. I must admit that I took a measure of delight in the many times I was able to call him on verses that he quoted out of context and point out to him that he was misinterpreting them, and then tell him what—in context—they really referred to. He assumed I was an avid Bible scholar (and if so, how come I didn't believe as he did?). I told him (perhaps a mistake) that when I was at the University of Washington, I had taken a course called "The Bible as Literature." This course was taught by Dr. David C. Fowler, the same professor who taught "The Popular Ballad," covering many of the Child ballads.

Now Dr. Fowler made it abundantly clear that we would be reading the Bible as literature—as short stories, novellas, essays (e.g., Paul's Epistles), poetry, etc.. Our religious beliefs were our own, and there would be no class discussion of personal beliefs or interpretations. And he enforced this quite strictly. Whenever a student would wander off into a religious interpretation, as a few frequently tried to do, he firmly steered the discussion back to the literary aspects of what we were discussing. The result was that we were not reading the Bible verse by separate verse, but in long sections, straight through, like a short story or a novel, as written, the whole picture as the authors wanted their stories, essays, and poetry presented.

So when Ivan (or anyone else) starts quoting disconnected verses, I can usually recognize them and recall the context—which, more often than not, yanks the rug out from under the Bible-thumper who's trying to sell me a bill-of-goods.

Okay, how is this an example of fundamentalist Christian arrogance? It was shortly after Ivan learned about the existence of the U. of W.'s "Bible as Literature" course (I should have kept my mouth shut!) that his church, and a coalition of other fundamentalist churches in his area, filed suit against the University of Washington and Dr. Fowler, to have the course removed from the catalog on the basis that a state-funded university was allowing one of their professors to "teach religion."

Of course, if they'd had their druthers, they (one of the same outfits that tries to get selected books yanked from school and public libraries) would have been teaching their particular brand of religion in every grade school, high school, and university in the state. But their primary bitch (unstated, of course) with the university and Dr. Fowler was that those who took the course knew the Bible too well, and their proselytizers such as Ivan were stumped by people who could blow them out of the water by quoting the Bible right back at them!

But it doesn't end there. Eventually Boeing fired Ivan. He wasn't doing his own work, and he was forever interrupting his co-workers and not allowing them to do theirs either. When reprimanded, he replied haughtily that he had "more important work to do. God's work!" They put up with it for months, and then finally canned him.

Then he sued Boeing for firing him because of religious discrimination in the work place.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:14 PM

Wesley, they were fundamentalists, but much more moderate ones than that attorney. I had been casually acquatinted with them for a few years prior to being taken to court for home schooling my son. But I harbour no illusions about the reason they helped me to the extent they did. They knew that my case had the potential to set a dangerous precedent for all home schoolers.

Having said that, they were/are lovely people, for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect.

Casual Observer, jeffp is correct. There were no rules in that county at the time that specified who could home school and who could not. It was legal for anyone who wanted to, to home school their children.

Here's a rough timeline of how it happened...

I decided to home school my son.

Within a week or two of starting to home school my son, I got a letter from that attorney telling me that I had better put my son back in school by a certain date (about a week or two later) or he would take me to court.

Shortly after the date passed for his ultimatum, I received a copy of his petition to the judge, along with a date by which I had to file a response.

I submitted my response to the petition myself because I didn't have an attorney at the time.

Shortly after that, the judge decided to take the case.

In the meantime, I had sent letters out to all of the home schooling families in the county, letting them know what was going on, and inviting them to attend the hearings so they could see for themselves.

The father in the home schooling family that was so helpful to me was a tax attorney. He decided to take my case, even though he had no courtroom experience.

There were several hearings held over a period of about nine months.

At the second to last hearing, the attorney who had filed the petition asked me, "What do you know about Wicca?"

My attorney objected, and the judge told the other attorney to explain why he had asked that question.

The other attorney said that he was going to prove that I was engaging in evil practices and he was going to show that this made me unsuitable for home schooling my son.

The judge instructed me to answer the question.

I said that I knew that Wicca was a nature-based religion, somewhat like the religions of the Native Americans, and that was about all I knew about it.

The attorney said, "What about that book you read to your son? The one about the Witches?"

I said, "That book, written by the same man who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, is available in childrens libraries and the children's book sections of book stores. It is about a bunch of witches who turn children into mice."

By this point, everybody in the courtroom had their mouths hanging open in disbelief that that attorney had just done what he did.

Anybody who doesn't believe what I have just written can go listen to the tape of the hearing in the Garrett County Courthouse in Oakland, Maryland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:15 PM

LOL, acquatinted...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: jeffp
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:22 PM

So, you painted yourselves blue together?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:27 PM

My God, Carol...what a misadventure, and what a whoreson to visit it on you!! It shows plainly that the world is full of heros manning the ramparts in acts of heroism of every scale; you should get a medal for rebutting that butthole!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:32 PM

Looks like it, jeffp ;-)

Thanks Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:34 PM

When I was in 7th grade (1st year of what was then called 'intermediate' school) in Wichita, Kansas, my science teacher, Mr. Williams, whom I greatly respected, informed our class that we were to do the reading in the Christmas pagent. This meant memorizing the passages which included "and it came to pass that in those days there were shepherds, keeping watch..." etc...and the rest of the basic bible story of the birth of Jesus. All very traditional and King James format

At that time, I was still technically a Methodist, and didn't really dispute the theology, but I already wondered why we were taking time from science class to do this. I really doubt that there were any kids in that class who were NOT Christian...(this WAS Wichita!) I do know that as I went on through school and began to look at the issue, this incident loomed larger & larger in my mind. NO ONE was asked if they were Jewish or Pagan, or if they had a problem with participating....we were TOLD.

For many years after, even as I wondered about the basic theology and learned about alternatives, I felt awkward and uncomfortable about not seeming to think the same way as most of my peers and didn't feel I dared even bring up some topics. It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I really discovered Philosophy and that some people actually could explain WHY we didn't all have to believe the same way.

There have been times I wanted to go back and look up Mr. Williams and ask him why it had been done that way.....but I'm sure it's best that I never did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:41 PM

Okay, so the lawyer was a first-rate idiot who had no business getting into your business. Just think of it this way - one day he'll be dead, if he isn't already.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 05:45 PM

He's hardly the only one like that out there, Casual Observer. That's why we need the protections that are provided us by the separation of church and state.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 06:15 PM

CarolC, Unfortunately you were the victim of an interefering vindictive asshole of the first order. He is a disgrace to his profession. I allowed my children to read The Golden Bough, The Lancashire Witches, and several other books on cults and religions, perhaps he would like to take me to court too...

Yours, Aye. Dave (who would have thrown it out of court first day had he been the judge)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 06:31 PM

GregF, Sorry I failed to respond to your question. Perhaps this will help. Based on 1990 statistics and I checked with 2001 stats and its about 76.5% now; but I cannot find a link to use and i'm in a hurry to go out.....
Christianity 151,225,000 86.2%
Nonreligious 13,116,000 7.5%
Judaism 3,137,000 1.8%
Agnostic 1,186,000 0.7%
Islam 527,000 * 0.5%
Unitarian Universalist 502,000 0.3%
Buddhism 401,000 * 0.4%
Hinduism 227,000 * 0.2%
Native American Religion 47,000 --
Scientologist 45,000


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 06:44 PM

Thanks Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 07:13 PM

Appreciate it, Dave, but whould still like to know WHOSE stats & just how the poll question was phrased- I sure as hell don't know what "identify with" means in this context.

If you have time at some point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Dave's son Andrew
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 07:27 PM

GregF. This is for my dad. I looked up his search history and found several sites he used, but this is the only one I could find that had the 2001 stats.


http://www.teachingaboutreligion.org/Demographics/map_demographics.htm#The%20Big%20Picture


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: frogprince
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 07:45 PM

I think that "identify with" is an extremely broad catch-all, including everyone from staunch church members through those who would look up a Christian clergyman to perform a wedding or funeral, and on down to those who don't consider themselves atheists and who just kinda think that, as to religion, they guess they must be whatever most Americans are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 09:26 PM

GregF, I just happened to hear on CSPAN today that many of these statistics can be obtained from the CIA Factbook. here.

For the United States it says: Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10% (2002 est.)

On this site it says:
Religion: This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population.

But I don't see the answer to your question, how is religion defined, or what questions were used in determining the facts quoted. There is a statement on the contact page that they will respond to email questions that are not answered in the FAQS. Might be worth a try if you really want to know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:02 PM

Don,

You know I love you, man, but every time you describe your experiences with "fundamentalists", though I've met people of the ilk you describe, I never concluded -- probably because I lived among them -- that those you described were the rule and not the exception.

And fundamentalists are divided, NOT monolithic -- even (especially?) over issues like the subject of this thread. I mean, fergoshsakes, robomatic started the damn thread with a quote from one of 'em.

This constant mudcat drumbeat of the redneck, sheepfucking, green-toothed, undereducated, mean-spirited, brutal fundamentalist is just not the description of the people that I grew up with. Did I mention "undereducated"? Don, it sounded to me like you are the one who came out of the situation you described in such detail with the elevated hubris to think that you started a whole Christian movement in response to your brilliant Bible knowledge! ...and yet, somehow you came away with the impression that it was the Christian who lacked the humility. The fundamentalists I know who do like to have a good discussion don't shrink at another's Bible knowledge. But then I guess I haven't met as many from the sheep-fucking side of the "family" of god. :^)

Even the ones I know that may bristle at the notion of "Bible as Literature" would not be doing so because of the possibility that you were going to outwit them -- though many, many I know would be the first to admit to being susceptible to the outwitting.

I know arrogant ThMs and ThDs and I know humble ones.

I also know that those same fundamentalists that you all are saying are running the world sounded exactly like you in the 80s and 90's. MUCH ink was spent describing the government's intervention in the rights of Christian parents to homeschool. The liberal juggernaut with it's Christian hating agenda was just as feared as you fear this notion of a fundamentalist government taking over.

It's a good time to be alive in that regard -- if, after living these last 20 years, you can't see the hypocricy on both sides of an issue then you probably are an extremist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:11 PM

Carol:

That experience you relate sounds like a nightmare and a half.

While not departing from my original position, there are some good secular points to be made by the Ten Commandments, no matter what religion one aspires to, whether they are posted in public or not:

That in worshipping God we avoid worshipping humans.

That the law isn't (or shouldn't be) so far removed from us as to become too complicated or require an intermediary.

That we should realize these fundamental truths on a regular basis.

And a big implication:

If we behave properly to each other, we'll stay out of court (although not always).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:30 PM

If you search the link a bit you would have found this, plus several diagrams and graphs explaining the denominations and methodology. there are other sites I suggest you look and read if you dont believe these stats.
Yours, Aye. Dave
. Religious Identification Among American Adults

The first area of inquiry in ARIS 2001 concerns the response of American adults to the question: "What is your religion, if any?" This question generated more than a hundred different categories of response, which we classified into the sixty-five categories shown in Exhibit 1 below.

In 1990, ninety percent of the adult population identified with one or another religion group. In 2001, such identification has dropped to eighty-one percent.

Where possible, every effort was made to re-create the categories respondents offered to the nearly identical question as in the NSRI 1990 survey.

As is readily apparent from the first Exhibit below, the major changes between the results of the 1990 survey and the current survey are:

a. the proportion of the population that can be classified as Christian has declined from eighty-six in 1990 to seventy-seven percent in 2001;
b. although the number of adults who classify themselves in non-Christian religious groups has increased from about 5.8 million to about 7.7 million, the proportion of non-Christians has increased only by a very small amount - from 3.3 % to about 3.7 %;
c. the greatest increase in absolute as well as in percentage terms has been among those adults who do not subscribe to any religious identification; their number has more than doubled from 14.3 million in 1990 to 29.4 million in 2001; their proportion has grown from just eight percent of the total in 1990 to over fourteen percent in 2001 [note 5];
d. there has also been a substantial increase in the number of adults who refused to reply to the question about their religious preference, from about four million or two percent in 1990 to more than eleven million or over five percent in 2001.

Exhibit 1 provides the most comprehensive profile of religious identification among the U.S. adult population today and compares the current pattern of identification with what the pattern was in 1990 [note 6].







NOTE: All figures in Exhibit 1 are rounded.

As is evident from Exhibit 1, with respect to religious self-identification, approximately ninety percent of America's adults are clustered in twenty-two groups. Therefore, the remainder of the analysis in this report focuses on the distribution of adults across these twenty-two groups

2. Religious Institutional Membership in Selected Major Religious Groups

Closely akin to religions group identification in the minds of most people is membership in or affiliation with a place of worship. Indeed, in his classic definition of religion, the nineteenth century sociologist Emile Durkheim characterized religions as systems of belief that unite a group of adherents into common modes of worship, which in turn are organize adherents into churches (or synagogues, temples, mosques or whatever else a group may chose to call the place in which a group of kindred spirits come together to celebrate, worship and recognize the commonality of their beliefs) [note 7].

More than half (54%) of the adult population in America reside in a household where either they themselves or someone else belongs to a church, or temple, synagogue or mosque or some other type of place of worship. To be sure, the significance of membership (its importance, its criteria, and even its definition) varies greatly from one denomination or faith to another. This study is not in position to evaluate the meaning or importance of religious institutional membership for particular groups.

On the other hand, given that about eighty percent of adults identify with some religious group, there appears to be a considerable gap between "identification" with a religion and reported "membership" or "belonging" to a an institutional embodiment of that faith community. That difference between religious identification and belonging could well contain the seeds of a potent cultural shift in which religion means something quite different to those who adhere to one from those who see themselves as the institutional custodians of one.

More than thirty years ago, the sociologist Thomas Luckmann anticipated the emergence of an increasingly de-institutionalized form of religious identification in an incisive analysis of modern religious life, The Invisible Religion. In that work he concluded: "The modern sacred cosmos legitimates the retreat of the individual into the 'private sphere' and sanctifies his (or her) subjective autonomy." [note 8]

Luckmann's analysis notwithstanding, aggregated survey data from the General Social Survey 1972-1994 showed a persistence of church membership among a somewhat larger percentage of U.S. adults than found in the current study. Among a nationally representative sample of 1,481 American adults surveyed in by GSS between the early 1970s and the early 1990s, 61% had indicated membership in a church.

The decade of the nineties appears to have been a period in which religious institutional membership slid, underscoring what Luckmann described as the rise of "invisible religion."

Exhibit 2 below describes the varied pattern of religious institutional membership among the twenty-two largest religious groups - including "no religion," which is the choice made by a very large number. Except where otherwise noted, we have limited our analyses to these twenty-two groups, which encompass nearly 190 million adults or nearly 92% of the adult population.




As Exhibit 2 illustrates, there are notable differences between various religious groups with respect to the relationship between identification and affiliation. For example, 68% of those identifying themselves as Lutheran report church membership, while only 45% of those who describe themselves as Protestant (without a specific denominational identification) report church membership. Nearly 68% of those identifying with the Assemblies of God report church membership. Church membership is reported by 59% of Catholic adults. About 53% of adults who identify their religion as Jewish or Judaism report temple or synagogue membership. Among those calling themselves Muslim or Islamic, 62% report membership in a mosque.

Perhaps, it will come as no surprise to religious leaders, but nearly 20% of adults who describe themselves as atheist or agnostic also report that either they themselves or someone else in their household is a member of a church, temple, synagogue, mosque or some other religious institution. On the other hand, nearly 40% of respondents who identified with a religion indicated that neither they themselves nor anyone else in their household belongs to a church or some other similar institution. It is this group in particular that best exemplifies the notion of "invisible religion" first proposed by Luckmann.

The obvious difference between the percentage of the total adult population that identifies with one or another religion and the percentage that report living in a household where either they themselves or someone else is a member of an organized religious body draws attention to the difference between identification as a state of heart and mind and affiliation as a social condition.

The difference in the proportions between identification and affiliation in each group draws attention to the possible differences in the value and meaning attached to affiliation within various religious movements. For example, it is instructive to note that among adults identifying themselves as Buddhist, just 28% report affiliation with a temple. Among adults identifying themselves with "native American religion," affiliation with a church or temple or some other religious institution is just 16%.

Differences between the percentages of identification and affiliation also draw attention to differences in meaning associated with religion itself. For some, religious identification may well be a social marker as much as a marker designating a specific set of beliefs. For others, it may be a reflection of a community or family anchor point to one's sense of self. For other still, it may simply be the "gut response" evoked by the question, "What is your religion, if any?" without any wider emotional, social or philosophical ramifications.

This survey made no attempt to define for people what the meaning of any religious identification might be. Rather, it sought to detect what those identifications might mean for those who claim them. The survey went beyond the simple questions of self-labeling and institutional membership to inquire about a number of key questions such as general outlook (weltanschauung) and beliefs with respect to God.

3. Religious or Secular Outlook Among American Adults

Apart from identification with one or another of a wide range of religions, ARIS 2001 sought to determine whether and to what extent American adults consider their outlook on life to be essentially religious or secular.

Detecting people's worldview or outlook with respect to religion is potentially very challenging. Some would argue that it cannot be done at all with the tools of survey research. Yet, much can be gained by asking rather simple questions of a broad and representative spectrum of people. While not much will be learned about any one individual or even a single group, great insights can be gleaned about the mindscape of diversity in the American population as a whole.

To that end, this survey asked respondents the following: "When it comes to your outlook, do you regard yours as Š (1) Secular, (2) Somewhat Secular, (3) Somewhat Religious or (4) Religious?" Respondents were also permitted to indicate they were unsure or a little of both.

Ninety-three percent of survey respondents were able to reply to this question without much difficulty. In all, sixteen percent (16%) described their outlook as secular or somewhat secular, while seventy-five percent (75%) described their outlook as religious or somewhat religious. Just one percent said they were "a little of both" and two percent said they were unsure. Five percent declined to answer the question.

The question yielded the distribution shown below in Exhibit 3, which indicates that at least ten percent of the population clearly and unambiguously considers itself "secular" rather than "religious." Another six percent regard themselves as "somewhat secular."





Our interviews on the question of outlook, as our questions on other matters of belief, generated a fair amount of ambivalence, which is reflected in the high proportion of respondents who fall into the category of "somewhat," that is "somewhat secular" and "somewhat religious." Certainty apparently is the possession of only a minority - though, to be sure, a larger minority among the religious than among the secular.

More interesting still are some of the demographic characteristics of the adult population, which seem to be associated with the disposition to be more or less secular, or more or less religious in one's outlook. Exhibits 4, 5 and 6 provide a glimpse at some of those associations.

- Women are more likely than men to describe their outlook as "religious."
- Older Americans are more likely than younger to describe their outlook as "religious."
- Black Americans are least likely to describe themselves as secular, Asian Americans are most likely to do so.












4. Religious Switching Among Selected Religious Groups

More than thirty-three million American adults, about 16% of the total U.S. adult population report that they have changed their religious preference or identification. Perhaps, this phenomenon of "religion switching" is a reflection of a deeper cultural phenomenon in contemporary America. In the early 1990s, the sociologist Wade Clark Roof described the increasingly middle-aged baby boomers as a "generation of seekers." [note 9] However, the 1990s were also a period of great immigration and great economic boom. Therefore, the religious life of the nation has been influenced by social forces that are wider and more varied than simply the aging of the 'boomers.'

As will be seen in the Exhibit below, switching has involved not only the shift of people's spiritual loyalties from one religion to another -- which could reflect some kind of spiritual seeking -- but also, and perhaps more importantly, a dropping out of religion altogether. To be sure, there is no indication in the current data whether the "religious switching" actually occurred in the 1990s or earlier. Surely, for our older respondents the switching very likely had occurred earlier.

Exhibit 7 below describes the patterns of "religion switching" among the twenty-two largest aggregates. As was indicated earlier, taken together these groups constitute about ninety percent of the entire adult population residing in the U.S. currently.


Click here for Exhibit 7

The top three "gainers" in America's vast religious market place appear to be Evangelical Christians, those describing themselves as Non-Denominational Christians and those who profess no religion. Looking at patterns of religious change from this perspective, the evidence points as much to the rejection of faith as to the seeking of faith among American adults. Indeed, among those who previously had no religion, just 5% report current identification with one or another of the major religions.

Some groups such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses appear to attract a large number of converts ("in-switchers"), but also nearly as large a number of apostates ("out-switchers"). It is also interesting to note that Buddhists also fall into this category of what one might call high-turnover religious groups.

5. Marital Status Among Selected Religious Groups

In most people's minds there is a close association between religious belonging and family values, though to be sure that latter concept is often quite vague as to its meaning. For both demographic and sociological reasons, the present study also focused on household structure, marital status and the religious composition of households.

As context for a discussion of the marital status patterns of different religious groups, it should be noted that the U.S. Census reports the following distribution for the marital status of Americans aged fifteen or older.



US CENSUS FACT BOX I

Married 115,580,691 54%
Single, never married 58,049,225 27%
Separated 4,795,275 2%
Divorced 21,365,741 10%
Widowed 13,887,524 7%
TOTAL 213,678,456 100%
Source: USCensus QT-02 Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000 (American Fact Finder)




Because ARIS 2001 has defined its survey population as "adults 18 or over" its distribution varies slightly from that of the US Census, which recorded marital status information for all people aged fifteen or older. In addition, as the fact box below shows, ARIS also included an additional category for "single, living with partner." It also recorded those who refused to supply marital status information.



ARIS 2001 FACT BOX 2 (Weighted Estimate)

Married 122,053,785 59%
Single, never married 40,914,395 20%
Single, living with partner 11,101,951 5%
Separated 3,431,149 2%
Divorced 15,005,207 7%
Widowed 12,502,674 6%
Refused info 2,959,032 1%
   TOTAL 207,968,192 100%




Exhibit 8 below draws attention to the variations among the different religious groups with regard to household structure.


Click here for Exhibit 8


The data in Exhibit 8 underscore the accuracy of conventional wisdom in the main: those who identify with one or another of the main religious groups are considerably more likely to be married than those who have no religion. Particularly the "no religion" group was far more likely to be either single, never married or single, living with a partner than any other group. Indeed, the "no religion" group shows the lowest incidence of marriage (just 19%) of all twenty-two groups. In sharp contrast, those identifying with the Assemblies of God or Evangelical/Born Again Christians show the highest proportions married, 73% and 74% respectively.

The percent currently divorced or separated varies considerably less, from a low of six percent (Jehovah's Witnesses) to a high of fourteen percent (Pentecostals).

In Exhibit 9 the study looks at the patterns of divorce and separation between 1990-2001 across the twenty-two religious self-identification groups. While this comparison offers no dramatic changes over the past eleven years, it does underscore the constancy of most of the patterns.


Click here for Exhibit 9


6. Mixed Religion Families Among Selected Religious Groups

Much as normative marriage patterns serve as a sociological buttress to traditional religious identification and belonging, they may also mask underlying change. As we noted earlier, ARIS2001 shows substantial shifts toward secularism among a large number of American adults.

Therefore in this section of the report we look at the incidence of marriage across religious lines. We should add that ARIS2001 is the first national survey that has looked at the religious composition of marriage and domestic partners in large enough numbers to be able to make generalizations among different groups. Because of the size of our sample and the nature of our questions, this survey has generated a wealth of data that will require much further mining with regard to issues pertaining to interfaith households.

ARIS2001 found that of all households that contained either a married or domestic partner couple, 22% reported a mixture of religious identification amongst the couple. At the low end there are the Mormon adults who are found in mixed religion families at 12% and such other groups as Baptists, those adhering to the Churches of Christ, Assemblies of God, the Evangelicals and those adhering to the Church of God (all at about 18%). At the high end we find the Episcopalians at 42% and Buddhists at 39% living in mixed religion families. In all, about 28 million American married or otherwise "coupled" adults live in a mixed religion household.


Click here for Exhibit 10

7. Age and Gender Patterns Among Selected Religious Groups

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of age and sex either in the life of the individual or in the life of any group. Personal outlook is often deeply influenced by these two rather obvious personal attributes. The future of a group is also often shaped by the relative distribution of the old and the young and the relative proportions of males and females. Therefore Exhibits 11 and 12 explore these demographic patterns in the current survey, and for comparison purposes in NSRI 1990.








As in 1990 so too in the current study, the Buddhist and Muslim population appears to have the highest proportion of young adults under age thirty, and the lowest percentage of females. A number of the major Christian groups have aged since 1990, most notably the Catholics, Methodists, and Lutherans. Congregationalist/United Church of Christ and Presbyterian adherents show an older age structure with three times as many over age 65 as under age 35. Baptists also have fewer young adults than they had in 1990. Among Jews the ratio of the over-65 to those under-thirty has shifted from nearly even in 1990 to about 2:1 in the current study. It should be noted, again, that this survey has focused only upon adult adherents. The observations about age structure do not include the children who may be present in the household of adult adherents.


8. Race and Ethnicity Among Selected Religious Groups

Although the ideals faith are supposed unite people across the great chasms carved by race and ethnicity, social scientists have long noted the in a manner of speaking "Sunday morning service is the most segregated hour in America." ARIS2001 addressed the interplay between faith, ethnicity and race by inquiring into each component of those who were surveyed.


Click here for Exhibit 13


Exhibit 13 describes the make-up of each of the twenty-two major religious groups in terms of proportion non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Asian or Hispanic or something else. It should be noted that these characterizations were provided by respondents as answers to fairly straight forward objective questions.

- "Would you consider yourself to be White, Black, or of some other race?"
- "Are you of Hispanic origin or background?"

9. Political Party Preference Among Selected Religious Groups

Given the current debates over a wide variety of public policy issues in which religious convictions and principles are thought to be of some consequence, this study sought to determine with generally broad brushstrokes to what extent religious groups might differ with respect to the political party preferences of their adherents. Exhibit 14 below describes that pattern.


Click here for Exhibit 14


To be sure, political party preferences probably fluctuate more than do religious preferences. It is especially difficult to determine from survey data the extent to which political party preferences are influenced by the heat of the most recent elections. Those caveats aside, the data in Exhibit 14 point to some important continuities as well as shifts.

Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and those with no religion continue to have a greater preference for the Democratic party over the Republican - much as they did in 1990. Evangelical or Born Again Christians and Mormons are the most apt to identify as Republicans. Buddhists and those with no religion are most likely to be political independents. In keeping with their theology, Jehovah's Witnesses disavow political involvement.


10. State and Faith

The final section of this report pays due recognition to the fact that America is also the United States - a name which often masks as much diversity as it portrays unity. With respect to religion in particular, states differ considerably in the religious make-up of their populace. That diversity is likely to contribute as much as any other source of social variation to differences in their cultural and political climate.



















Despite the growing diversity nationally, some religious groups clearly occupy a dominant demographic position in particular states. For instance, Catholics are the majority of the population in Massachusetts and Maine as are Mormons in Utah and Baptists in Mississippi. Catholics comprise over 40% of Vermont, New Mexico, New York and New Jersey, while Baptists are over 40% in a number of southern states such as South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.

Historical traces of the Bible belt in the South and an irreligious West are still evident. Those with "no religion" constitute the largest group in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Wyoming. In contrast, the percentage of adults who adhere to "no religion" is below 10 % in North and South Dakota, the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Such religious concentrations might well have significant impact on host of public policy issues as well as on such matters as religious-based philanthropy.

It remains the challenge of further explorations of these and related data to discover the complex ways in which the religious identification patterns of the American populace shapes the culture and fate of the United States.


Notes:

5 The growth in the "no religion" population appears to be reflecting a patterns that has also been noted widely in England.

6 Barry A. Kosmin & Seymour P. Lachman, One Nation Under God: Religion in Contemporary America (New York: Harmony Books, 1993)

7 Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (New York: Free Press, 1955).

8 Thomas Luckmann, The Invisible Religion (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1967).

9 Wade Clark Roof, A Generation of Seekers: The Spiritual Journeys of the Baby Boom Generation (San Francisco: Harper, 1993)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:20 PM

Bill--

1) If posting the 10 Commandments officially favors a religion, it's Judaism. But I don't think that's what's being alleged here.

2) Re: your 12:40 PM post: Carol's experience does not in fact prove your point. The question is whether the 10 Commandments should be posted in a courtroom. Carol's point had to do with home schooling. Nobody should be allowed to require anybody to be of a certain religion in order to home-school. Nobody in the 10 Commandments case is requiring anybody to do anything except exist with the 10 Commandments prominently featured in the courtroom.

Demonstrable harm was done to Carol. (In fact, if there are states which will not allow home schooling unless the parents are Christian--not Maryland, we've established--that would be a good campaign for anybody who feels the First Amendment is threatened.

No demonstrable harm is done to anybody forced to sit in a room with the 10 Commandments. (Do you think a plaque of the Commandments is equivalent to a swastika?) Nobody is forced to recite or hear anything.

Harm will definitely be done if attacks on the 10 Commandments plaques energize the religious Right.

Listen to what Dave (ancient mariner) said earlier "To erase something decades old...serves no purpose other than to insult people of faith."

Mudcatters (with one obvious glaring exception) are reasonable and tolerant people.
Dave is very calm and logical, and obviously no member of the rabid Right. Do you think the Jerry Falwell, etc. disciples will be calm and logical?

And remember, they do vote, sometimes in even greater numbers than Mudcatters do.




Greg--

I would be sorry to see you waste your talents and energies on the 10 Commandments issue when many others more crucial need addressing.

RE: protest songs--you may like them, but how many people do you think they really change? They're great at rallying the faithful---hymns for secularists-- but beyond that, the burden is on you to prove they do anything but make you feel good.

Your Chamberlain analogy is strained, and, through overuse, this metaphor has lost its punch. Not every compromise is a Munich Agreement.

By all means, do whatever you want-- somehow I suspect you will anyway. But I'm telling you that if you require of your presidential candidate in the primaries-- if this is still an issue then-- that he or she commit to removing the 10 Commandments from all courtrooms, you will live to regret it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CarolC
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 10:06 AM

Thanks robomatic.

While not departing from my original position, there are some good secular points to be made by the Ten Commandments, no matter what religion one aspires to, whether they are posted in public or not:

That in worshipping God we avoid worshipping humans.


I disagree with the idea that this one fits the criteria of a secular point. For one thing, there may be religions that involve worshiping people. But also, using myself as an example, I don't have a concept of "worship" in my spiritual belief system. That word has no meaning to me. Same with any attempt to define divinity. According to my own spiritual beliefs, to define divinity is to limit it. And in my belief system, divinity is not something that can be limited. Worshipping something requires some degree of definition of what is being worshipped. Also, according to the what I believe, to worship something is to create a separation between the self and the thing being worshipped. In my spiritual beliefs, there is no separation between the self and divinity. So the use of the word "worship" violates my spiritual beliefs.

Ron Davies...

If the posting of the ten commandments is determined, under the establishment clause, to have the effect of promoting the monotheistic religons over others, the demonstrable harm caused to me by the court having taken the case against me by that attorney, could (and should, in my opinion) be used as an example of the negative effects that this promotion of the monotheistic religions has on people who are not of those religions. The posting of the ten commandments is only one example of the ways in which the monotheistic religions are promoted by the US government. But it happens to be the one that we are discussing in this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 12:19 PM

Ron...I carefully did not say 'prove', which implies a strict logical connection. I said 'demonstrates', to suggest that Carol's experience was an example of what happens when a class of beliefs is used to attempt to interpretate and manipulate laws. Fortunately, they did not succeed in the long run, although they caused her much distress in the process.

I submit that it should not be necessary to demonstrate immediate and direct harm to any one person or group in order to show that a particular practice is generally unfair and tends to support one religio/cultural group over others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 04:03 PM

John, I'm not saying that all fundamentalists are like my old buddy Ivan.

I was merely describing, realistically, an actual experience. I don't claim that my knowledge of the Bible is superior to, say, the pastors of most churches or to a whole lot of other people. The point I was trying to make was that many fundamentalists, particularly the more aggressive and argumentative sort, set themselves up as authorities on the Will of God, basing it all on their piecemeal, pick-and-chose reading of the Bible, and then, when challenged by someone who is reasonably knowledgeable about the Bible themselves, fold up like a cheap lawn chair and stand there either smoldering or feeling a self-righteous pity for the poor sinner and consigning them to the depths of Hell. As if they truly think they know the Mind of God. Now, that's what I call hubris.

I have known and still know a large number of deeply religious people, some of them fundamentalists, who accept me as I am:   an armchair philosopher, a seeker, a sojourner—a questioner who isn't satisfied with the too-easy answer. Either fully consciously or deep down, they realize that they really don't know any more than I do, and often question the nature of their own faith. The essence of religion is mystery. And to claim that you know for certain eliminates (at least in your own mind) that mystery, and hence, any real possibility of religious experience. I maintain that the opposite of faith is not doubt; the opposite of faith is certainty. If you're certain, you don't need faith. Certainty, provided it is objectively verifiable, is not religion. It's science. (And science itself is not all that certain.)

The ones who get up my nose are people like Ivan, and several others I have run into from time to time, who, not knowing me from Adam's off ox, automatically assume that my soul needs saving, and they're going to get me to "accept Christ as my Savior" if they have to hog-tie me to a chair and beat me with a rubber hose. The incident I described is not the only encounter, by any means, that I've had with aggressively evangelizing fundamentalists.

Now, on a one-to-one level, it's no problem. I can deal with it. But—I especially resent it, on several levels—personally, philosophically, morally, religiously, politically, and patriotically—when people of this ilk arrogate to themselves the right to try to legislate, locally, or especially nationally, their particular idea of religious morality and force everyone to believe as they think they should believe. Or turn them into unwilling hypocrites by forcing them to behave as if they believed. Giving religious dogma the force of secular power leads to things like the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and the Taliban. I will fight this sort of attempt to breach the wall between religion and government with every fiber of my being and every resource at my command.

That's my stand. And that, after all, is the basic subject of this thread.

As a liberal (progressive), and as one who attends a Christian church with some regularity, I have no brief against Christians—or anyone—home schooling their children. My only concern would be that the basic "three Rs" and a fairly objective approach to history and civics be taught competently. But testing, such as the GED and SAT, can determine that.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 04:17 PM

Don, this old saying is worth remembering. "Religion believes itself to be eternal truth, science knows itself to be the partial truth."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 06:58 PM

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, "what about all religious Icons being removed"?

A common representation of Justice is a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. The origin of the Goddess of Justice goes back to antiquity. She was referred to as Ma'at by the ancient Egyptians and was often depicted carrying a sword with an ostrich feather in her hair (but no scales) to symbolize truth and justice. The term magistrate is derived from Ma'at because she assisted Osiris in the judgment of the dead by weighing their hearts. [1]

To the ancient Greeks she was known as Themis, originally the organizer of the "communal affairs of humans, particularly assemblies." [2] Her ability to foresee the future enabled her to become one of the oracles at Delphi, which in turn led to her establishment as the goddess of divine justice. Classical representations of Themis did not show her blindfolded (because of her talent for prophecy, she had no need to be blinded) nor was she holding a sword (because she represented common consent, not coercion). [3]

The Roman goddess of justice was called Justitia and was often portrayed as evenly balancing both scales and a sword and wearing a blindfold. She was sometimes portrayed holding the fasces (a bundle of rods around an ax symbolizing judicial authority) in one hand and a flame in the other (symbolizing truth). [4]


Also The Statue Of Lberty...
In Roman mythology, Liberty is Libertas, the goddess of freedom. Originally a deity of personal freedom, she evolved to become the goddess of the commonwealth. Her temples were found on the Aventine Hill and the Forum. She was depicted on many Roman coins as a female figure wearing a pileus (a felt cap, worn by slaves when they were set free), a wreath of laurels and a spear.

Libertas was presented in 1884 as a gift from the French Grand Orient Temple Masons to the Masons of America in celebration of the centenary of the first Masonic Republic, as much as a gift from France to America. The cornerstone of the statue has an inscription that records that it was laid in a Masonic ceremony. It is believed that Bartholdi conceived the original statue as an effigy of the Egyptian goddess Isis, and only later converted it to a 'Statue of Liberty' for New York Harbor when it was rejected for the Suez Canal. The statue of Isis was to be of "a robed woman holding aloft a torch" (Weisberger, Bernard, Statue of Liberty: 1st Hundred Years, p.30, quoted in Lloyd, James, Beyond Babylon, p.103).


Again, not one Christian is calling for their removal from public view, strange isnt it?

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:07 PM

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
Albert Einstein

;-) Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:12 PM

They will, now that you've told them the symbols are Pagan in origin, Dave. That's all it takes. (Just try to put a Pentagram up in one of the courthouses that is a part of the controversy... Judge Moore's courthouse in Alabama, for instance, and watch the fur fly).

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:13 PM

My last was in response to this from Dave...

Again, not one Christian is calling for their removal from public view, strange isnt it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:27 PM

LOL I hope not CarolC but you are probably right I should not have posted it eh? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:43 PM

Damn i lorst me cookie again ;-) The above was me ;-)
Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 09:22 PM

I grew up in a fundamentalist family. They took the Bible 'literally', except when they did not.

A week or so ago I had a run-in with a middle-aged man who came up to me on the sidewalk where I was waitng for a taxi.

After small talk about the rainbow on the hillside, he said, Do you believe in Jesus?

I said, Well, I'm not sure. I believe there was a teacher named Jesus who lived on the earth, yes. But I'm actually more of a Deist. I get the impression that Jesus himself was a Deist.

He said, Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. When we pray, we have to speak in the name of Jesus, not in the name of God.

I said, Yes, and you know, that's odd. In the only example of prayer that Jesus gave us, he didn't.

He said, You're prideful. You are going to Hell.

I said, And you are rude and annoying. You may go now.

He yelled back, You are going to Hell.

I took a step toward him, feeling like bonking him with my bag of books. He skedaddled.

I wasn't necessarily proud of how I reacted. But I am glad that I may have given him something to think about. Or at least, to pray about. *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 09:42 PM

Well done, Ebbie!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 09:48 PM

hahhah Actually, it was kind of fun, Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 12:13 AM

and you think we have problems?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 12:59 AM

Carol:

That in worshipping God we avoid worshipping humans.

I disagree with the idea that this one fits the criteria of a secular point. For one thing, there may be religions that involve worshiping people. But also, using myself as an example, I don't have a concept of "worship" in my spiritual belief system. That word has no meaning to me. Same with any attempt to define divinity. According to my own spiritual beliefs, to define divinity is to limit it. And in my belief system, divinity is not something that can be limited. Worshipping something requires some degree of definition of what is being worshipped. Also, according to the what I believe, to worship something is to create a separation between the self and the thing being worshipped. In my spiritual beliefs, there is no separation between the self and divinity. So the use of the word "worship" violates my spiritual beliefs.

Carol: I understand your point, however in positing the idea of a God that is 'NOT' you or I and thus enables us to be equal we create the secular world.

Even if the rest of your paragraph is meant tongue not in cheek I think you are going to an interesting semantic place to come up with a verb that violates your beliefs. It is not necessarily unconstitutional for someone to feel violated in their own mind so long as you are not violated in the common law. For instance, I genuinely abhor the existence, concept, and use of licorice, but that doesn't mean I won't see it at the candy stand and i can't legally remove it because it deeply offends me.
(I hope you don't think of this as a run-around).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CarolC
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 11:57 AM

Carol: I understand your point, however in positing the idea of a God that is 'NOT' you or I and thus enables us to be equal we create the secular world.

I don't find that I can agree with this. If we posit an idea of a God that is equally present in all of us, we can still have equality. But neither premise can really be considered secular.

Even if the rest of your paragraph is meant tongue not in cheek I think you are going to an interesting semantic place to come up with a verb that violates your beliefs.

Not really. I didn't come up with it. It's been there all along, and it's not uncommon for me to find myself being questioned by people about whom or what I worship. A bit tricky to do if I don't have a concept of "worship" in my spiritual beliefs.

It is not necessarily unconstitutional for someone to feel violated in their own mind so long as you are not violated in the common law. For instance, I genuinely abhor the existence, concept, and use of licorice, but that doesn't mean I won't see it at the candy stand and i can't legally remove it because it deeply offends me.
(I hope you don't think of this as a run-around).


The idea, or even the knowlege that some people do practice "worship" doesn't offend me. Nor does finding the symbols of their "worship" in the world around me cause me to feel offended or violated.

But if I am asked (as I was by that attorney), whom or what I worship, and then I am judged and discriminated against because my answer is that I don't have a concept of "worship" in my spiritual beliefs, that is a violation of my constitutional rights. If the commandment to worship one god is posted in the courthouses, and if someone is trying to get equal justice under the law in those courthouses, it becomes much easier for people to do what that attorney did and discriminate against those who do not comply with the commandments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 01:35 PM

Robomatic,
You said:
. . . in positing the idea of a God that is 'NOT' you or I and thus enables us to be equal we create the secular world.

A statement like indicates that you need a trip to the dictionary and a basic course in logic. You are reaching way to far to try to support something that is not rationally able to be supported: the idea that posting scriptures on the courthouse wall doesn't mean that the government doesn't support and establish that religion.

Why not just have a secular government? Why try to pretend we are getting there through something as blatantly non-secular as the statements, "I Am the Lord thy God." and "You shall have no other Gods before me."

Why isn't it good enough for you to practice your religion at home and in your church and why, being an American, don't you want to leave the courthouse walls alone??

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 02:01 PM

Hiram Percy Maxim said of his French Hugenot
ancestors:

"They came to worship according to the dictates of
their conscience and to prevent others from doing the
same."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 11:46 PM

GUEST: LOL
John P: You are not wrong, but consider: "They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" I know that sounds like God saying "fiat mundi secularus" but hey... if it works...
Carol: My comments were not in reference to your relation of going to court against the Christain attorney, they were only related to explaining that the Ten Commandments IMHO have some beneficial secular qualities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 12:40 AM

Robomatic:

The premise of our republic is that educate individuals CAN be trusted to think through their own ethics questions without dogma.

Why distrust individuals empowered with information?

Why might we need dogma on the walls of buildings to guide us? Whatever is wrong with being guided by character, a sense of justice, a code of conduct, moral sensitivity or the letter and spirit of the law?

Those guides, I expect, will see you through far more than any dogma.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 06:10 AM

Bill--

The unfairness of having to sit in a courtroom where there is a religious plaque which makes you uncomfortable is way down the scale of discrimination and harm. (Ask any black person).

I think we will never reach agreement on the 10 Commandments point. All I ask is that we keep the debate here and do not try to push to remove the 10 Commandments "in the real world", since that campaign will unavoidably have the effect I cited earlier.

To quote one of your favorite groups of folksingers, the Rolling Stones: "You can't always get what you want."

The Democrats were smeared last year as being unpatriotic and against religion.

Haven't we learned anything from 2004?




Carol--

I'm sorry for your treatment at the hands of that idiot bigoted fundamentalist, who not only cannot be seen as typical of people of faith, but also has no claim to even be called a lawyer. (Even watching "Perry Mason" you would learn a lawyer is not supposed to ask a question in court unless he knows the answer. That fool had no idea how you would answer the question about the book.)

You really should be reimbursed court costs--can't a legal aid society help?

However, in your post of 8 Oct 2005 10:06, you're stretching. Does not compute. That sort of reasoning is why I am not a Democrat. Though for damn sure no Bushite either.

I don't think the posting of the 10 Commandments will be determined to favor one religion over another by the Supreme Court. Avoiding that was the goal of the First Amendment, as I said earlier--primarily to avoid the Church of England situation, with its particularly noxious Test Act, etc. The point never was to expunge religion from public life.

As for favoring "the monotheistic religions over others", no Supreme Court, especially not this one--one of the few times I agree with them-- is going to bend over backwards for the benefit of Wiccans and other polytheists, to remove all traces of the US Judeo-Christian tradition from public life.

Good luck even removing "under God" from the Pledge, even though that's a recent addition. And please don't try to do it until we have a more reasonable regime than the current one.

You are not only bashing your head against a brick wall, but you have also disturbed a very large hornets' nest on the wall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 07:26 AM

That's kids what I have tried to say all along, Bill, but got my posts all Boberdized...

Yeah, I don't think that the Supreme Court is going to have SWAT teams converge on every public building riding it of either the 10 Commandments or other scriptural writings...

I have seen the so-called Christain Right up close in my life time in chueches that split down the middle and I've seen two fine men fired as pastors. One got speaking out against the Vietnsam Way. The other for standing up for the rights of homosexuals...

So, I think it is well past time to fight back and especially by those who are Christian but detest the the hypocrisy of the Christian Right and their bully tactics. One way to do that is to open up our public institutions to all the various religions and find those overlapping areas that teach love and kindness... This will not only corner the CR but will have a positive impact on the spiritual development of everyone...

Hey, I don't care if one decides to be a Pagen 'er and athiest 'er whatever just as long as they at least have some opportunity to do the engage in the spiritual exercise to arrive at these beliefs...

(Of course, I would be more pleased if they choose Jesus but...)

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 08:35 AM

"Whatever is wrong with being guided by character, a sense of justice, a code of conduct, moral sensitivity or the letter and spirit of the law?"

a sticky subject, indeed.

Tough to find the balance between making sure that government does not establish (or favor) a specific religion (unless one religion is expressly denying the rights of another) without both implying the falseness (couched in the language of empiricism) of all religion and the disenfranchisment of the religious from the public discourse.

And yet, historically there has been little "moral sensitivity" without a religious basis -- even if those practicing "moral sensitivity" are no longer religious but merely raised by the religious or influenced by a pervasive culture of religions.

And "the letter and spirit of the law" is what we're all "fighting" for. The secularists want to shape the letter and spirit of the law as much as the religious do (and have).

And they have. The secularist philosophy is winning the day -- all public policy is still moving in that direction (which is the point I've made all along about these 10 commandment displays -- they are being defeated).

Every law in our country that has ONLY religious foundation is being soundly thrashed and defeated no matter how loudly the religious might protest. The aforementioned displays, abortion on demand, restricitions on homosexuality. Only those laws that share both religious and pragmatic (the coin of the secular realm) basis are not in play.

In this democracy we all (so far) get to hash this out. But it's not enough, as currently fought, for the secularists to have their say in our democracy. No, they wish to make sure that the religious do not have their say. And they are couching this wish in language that is MaCarthy-like in its paranoia

If I were to make a guess I'd say that one strong reason the secularist so wishes to remove these decades (centuries) old displays is that it is harder for the secularist to maintain the arguement of the harm of religion while still acknowledging our history of having been developed while fully steeped in religion and religious people.

Furthermore, that "steeping" resulted in a pretty damn good constitution as well as an arguably pretty sound government and governmental mission. These public displays that hint of our history and the role that the religious played in it are a constant public reminder that those of judeo-christian philosophical extraction are not the demons that the secularists need to make us out to be in order to disenfanchise the current crop of religious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 08:35 AM

Amos You Wrote:

The premise of our republic is that educate individuals CAN be trusted to think through their own ethics questions without dogma.

Why distrust individuals empowered with information?

Why might we need dogma on the walls of buildings to guide us? Whatever is wrong with being guided by character, a sense of justice, a code of conduct, moral sensitivity or the letter and spirit of the law?

Those guides, I expect, will see you through far more than any dogma.


There is ALWAYS dogma. For example: "The premise of our republic is that educate(d) individuals CAN be trusted to think through their own ethics questions without dogma."


"Why distrust individuals empowered with information?" it is not a matter of distrust, although distrust exists among pretty much all individuals empowered with information. If you look around the planet you will see there is plenty of information. Information is so plentiful as to be without extrinsic value these days. More important is to have a 'core' assembly point for our multicultural society to respect. A set of values we agree on. This I think is at the heart of a great deal of what we might term "Fundamentalist angst". The Fundamentalists among others are afraid that with the loss of the divine origin of our social and moral compass, our concepts AND our civilization will decay from the root. The secularly driven have done nothing but augment those fears. I think it is the 'other' main reason 'W' got elected.

I am suggesting that the ten commandments is a very useful moral 'Rosetta Stone' It enables us to say "I go my way, you go your way, but I know you're teaching your kids to: Refrain from murder, refrain from stealing, respect your elders, etc.

Without the Ten Commandments, we are left with the law. And a bright man once wrote: "The law is an ass!" Having a simple set of principles we all UNDERSTAND and think well on, is quite useful.

If we pull back a bit and look at the overall view of the situation, I think we see that the 'secular' side looks on the situation as an unwanted intrusion, and the 'religious' side looks on the situation as salvaging a remnant.

Thanks to all of you on this thread I think I'm learning more about the underlying issues involved under the rather simple title heading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 10:54 AM

Apologies, the previous post was mine. I dropped my cookie and had to pick it up off the floor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 11:53 AM

I'm sorry for your treatment at the hands of that idiot bigoted fundamentalist, who not only cannot be seen as typical of people of faith, but also has no claim to even be called a lawyer. (Even watching "Perry Mason" you would learn a lawyer is not supposed to ask a question in court unless he knows the answer. That fool had no idea how you would answer the question about the book.)

But the problem is that it wasn't just that one attorney (whom, I agree, shouldn't be an attorney... so why is he?). It was a whole cultural mindset of the area in which I lived. The attorney, the Judge who accepted the case, the various people in the community who sided with the attorney who took me to court. The Christian right has a very firm grip on the whole cultural and political climate of that area. Even the few Jews who live there are keep a very low profile about their religion. It is not a freedom of expression or freedom to practice their own religion issue when the religious right expects to be able to have power over other people in their midst, rather than just being good Christians with regard to their own behavior.

who not only cannot be seen as typical of people of faith

You say "people of faith" as though you think Christians are the only people whose spiritual beliefs qualify as "faith".

I agree that there are as many kinds of Christians as there are Christians. My husband is of the sort who prefer to mind their own business and to give other peope the benefit of the doubt (what I would tend to see as a genuinely "Christian" attitude). Christians like my husband are not the problem. It's the Christians who believe they have a divinely ordained right to meddle in the lives of others who are the problem. There really isn't anything you can tell me about these kinds of fundamentalists that I don't already know. And I must say, that attorney really is very typical of a significant percentage of fundamentalists. My own mother was a fundamentalist, and some other members of my family are as well. At my mother's funeral, the pastor spent at least fifteen minutes beating us over the head with exortations to join his church or burn in hell. And he was a Presbytarian minister. That's utterly dispicable behavior, in my opinion. And I told him so after the funeral. He looked a bit puzzled at first, and then he just made it clear that he didn't really care because, as far as he was concerned, he was right and I was wrong.

However, in your post of 8 Oct 2005 10:06, you're stretching. Does not compute. That sort of reasoning is why I am not a Democrat. Though for damn sure no Bushite either.

I assume you mean 8, April, and not October, Ron. It may not compute for you, but then you don't seem to understand the problem. And I wouldn't really expect you to. I would have to say, based on what I have seen in your posts to this thread, you appear to be a part of the problem. And I am not a Democrat, either.

You really should be reimbursed court costs--can't a legal aid society help?

No, they would not help. But it was more than ten years ago. I have moved on with my life, and chalked the whole thing up to experience. I do not expect to ever be reimbursed for any of it.

I don't think the posting of the 10 Commandments will be determined to favor one religion over another by the Supreme Court.

We shall see.

Avoiding that was the goal of the First Amendment, as I said earlier--primarily to avoid the Church of England situation, with its particularly noxious Test Act, etc. The point never was to expunge religion from public life.

Well, now that I understand (from what I have learned from Dave) that Pagans are well represented in the symbolism and in the philosophy of the legal system in the US, I guess maybe you're right about that. But we'll have to stop calling the foundation of our society and form of government "Judeo-Christian", because it is quite clearly just as much Pagan as it is Judeo-Christian

You are not only bashing your head against a brick wall, but you have also disturbed a very large hornets' nest on the wall.

Sometimes you have to get the hornets out of the nest before you can knock it down. And I'm quite used to bashing my head against brick walls. If I weren't ever willing to make the attempt, brick wall or no brick wall, I never would have won either the custody battle, or the home schooling battle. Both of them were lost causes. But I let my "faith" carry me through and, in the end, my faith did not let me down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 12:01 PM

Carol--

So anybody who doesn't agree wholeheartedly with you is "part of the problem". Very revealing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 12:16 PM

So anybody who doesn't agree wholeheartedly with you is "part of the problem". Very revealing.

Anybody Ron? As far as I can see, you're the only person in this thread about whom I have made such a statement. I find it much more revealing that you would be so dishonest as to suggest that just because I have said that you are a part of the problem, that means I have said that everyone who disagrees with me is a part of the problem. How does that commandment go... the one about not bearing false witness? Looks like maybe you need to spend some time brushing up on your commandments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 01:18 PM

It's just very interesting that sympathizing with you, agreeing your treatment by that so-called attorney was abominable, suggesting that the local legal aid society should have been able to help, is all not enough for you.

There should be room for moderates in this discussion. But moderation doesn't seem to be a big part of your world view.

If the US is polarized between the Jerry Falwells and the absolutist secularists such as you seem so far to be, it's no wonder there's so much bad feeling.

The main problem as I see it is that the Neanderthal Right is very well organized and funded. The rest of us therefore should try to find a middle ground we can defend and not squabble so much among ourselves. The problem with your quixotic quest to expunge religion from public life is that it unites the opposition without any benefit to your side. You show every sign of playing into the hands of the demogogues (again).

I'm sure Doug R, Larry K etc. are applauding you every step of the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 01:37 PM

It's just very interesting that sympathizing with you, agreeing your treatment by that so-called attorney was abominable, suggesting that the local legal aid society should have been able to help, is all not enough for you.

How about just accepting that Christianity is one religion among many, with the same, but no more rights in this country than any other religion? That would suit me much more than sympathizing with me about what a lousy lawyer that attorney was.

There should be room for moderates in this discussion. But moderation doesn't seem to be a big part of your world view.

Not according to your definition of moderate, which seems to be whatever you decide it is. I happen to think that what I said in my first response in this post is an excellent example of moderation.

If the US is polarized between the Jerry Falwells and the absolutist secularists such as you seem so far to be, it's no wonder there's so much bad feeling.

I am not a secularist in my own spiritual life. But don't let the truth get in the way of your agenda. It's the public sphere that I maintain is secular, and the Constitution of the United States provides the basis for my stance in this regard.

The main problem as I see it is that the Neanderthal Right is very well organized and funded. The rest of us therefore should try to find a middle ground we can defend and not squabble so much among ourselves. The problem with your quixotic quest to expunge religion from public life is that it unites the opposition without any benefit to your side. You show every sign of playing into the hands of the demogogues (again).

You keep pulling accusations against me out of your little magician's hat that really don't have anything at all to do with me or what I have said or done or what I am saying or doing. I don't know where you are getting these ideas, but they really are quite fantastic. Which "quixotic quest" are you referring to?

I'm sure Doug R, Larry K etc. are applauding you every step of the way.

I think they can speak for themselves. In fact, I'm sure they can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 03:09 PM

"way down the scale of discrimination and harm."

yep, Ron...I agree. As you have noticed, I am not out doing a Carrie Nation number on wall plaques. But "down the scale" is not OFF the scale. Wrong is wrong, even if it is not "clear and present danger".


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 03:12 PM

(have you read the "Destruction of Justice" thread yet? I hope you see how these issues are connected....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 03:59 PM

(have you read the "Destruction of Justice" thread yet? I hope you see how these issues are connected....)

Good point, Bill. What people like Mr. Davies are calling a "backlash", people like you and I tend to see more as a "ratchet job".

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 10:07 PM

Goddammit CarolC ... I wish you would stop making sense.

I spent a good two hours digesting the contents of this thread when I only meant to give it a look-see. I could've been practicing my instrument instead.

Are there lawyers or jurists in the legal system who can defend an opinion with fervent tenacity and righteousness as well as CarolC? asks this GUEST rhetorically. Damned too few, sorry to say.

Keep on keepin' on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 11:12 PM

Yeah, I rarely agree with CarolC, but if she ain't a lawyer, it shows she's got some principles, howsomever deep they buried be!











(with apologies to the many fine members of the legal profession currently using mudcat)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Apr 05 - 12:21 PM

Let us not forget to change the names of the days of the week, named after old Pagan gods.

Wednesday (Odin's day): how can you expect a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a secularist expect to use such names loaden with of one particular religion's sybols and gods.
Friday (Freia's day), Thursday (Thor's day), Saturday...

Same right of course for the names of some months: Januarius (heavens beware) is unacceptable as the name of a month for all followers of other (or no) cults. September, October, November, December are truly PC-names. All other months should be named the same way.

Not to forget the stars: Why should we keep Orion (a Greek half god) as the name for one star set. That's as wrong as keeping Cassiopeia. Pleiades, however, is a good name, and can be kept.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Apr 05 - 12:56 PM

(Wolfgang..my college German professor was explaining the days of the week and the history of the names in German....but when he came to Samstag, he quipped, "I'm not sure about this....I don't know of any Teutonic gods named Sam.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 11 Apr 05 - 06:50 PM

Wolfgang:

Thank you for the alert.....posted....Delay without delay.....working on a bill to change names of days of the week to....Oneday, Twosday, Threesday, Foursday, Fivesday, Sixday.....
currently disagreement on whether names should be cardinal or ordinal.

... Will advise media when determination made which one is the Sabbath. Blood may flow!

Yours in Christ
L'Chaim
Salaam Aleikum

Rib


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Apr 05 - 06:51 PM

So mote it be...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Apr 05 - 06:56 PM

I had a Grade 10 student today ask if he could do a novel project on Orwell's "1984". I replied that not only was his timing right on, but he might notice some similarities to current world affairs. We shall see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 11 Apr 05 - 10:46 PM

OK, Carol-

My main point is that for many reasons having nothing to do with this issue, I would like to not have another 4 years of a dangerous demogogue as "leader" of the US. ( There are plenty of other candidates for the role of demogogue after Bush.)

As I've said several times, in 2004 the Democrats were smeared as unpatriotic and against religion. The more you and others push to have the 10 Commandments removed from courtrooms, "under God" taken from the Pledge, "In God We Trust" removed from coins, etc. the more likely that gambit will work again. It worked like a charm last time. It makes no difference that you're not a Democrat.

As long as you keep your views here and don't push "in the real world", fine. But if you do push, the Right will use that approach.   And it works, especially in the South (which you no doubt know since you live there) as well as the southwest, and mountain states--i.e. where the US population expansion is happening.

There were even a lot of Hispanics who voted for Bush last time. It turns out a lot of them, (the fastest growing population segment in the US by far,) responded to the "values" approach Bush made, whether or not they realized it was a code-word.

Opposition to Bush and successor reactionaries will ignore this at their peril.

Your interpretation of the Constitution is also in dispute, as I and others have noted earlier. There's no point in carrying out a "quote war" of "founding fathers", though I and others certainly could.

I think you also know exactly what I mean in citing Doug R and Larry K. They are in a distinct minority on Mudcat, but in the real world it's different.

Reality must be dealt with, not denied.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 04:37 AM

Hi, Ron.

In the real world you're right. But what has to be remembered by all is that Bush's margin of victory was slim. The Dems have GOT to field a candidate who espouses family values within the framework of peace and concern for the poor of the US. Bush has three years to step on his crank. The Dems have three years to STOP stepping on theirs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 06:33 AM

Samstag: the etymologists don't agree. A minority thinks it comes from Saturn's day (like in English), the majority think it comes from dies sabbati and is short for Sabbat Day.

The Northern German say Sonnabend, that is Sunday Eve.

Robo, thanks for the effort, but I must seriously (grin) protest Twosdays, for that is too near to the old word and may violate some feelings. Sevensday also is unacceptable because it prefers one group, the Seventh day adventists.

So up to the next protest it should be Onesdays, Threesday, Foursday, Fivesday, Sixsday, Eigthday, Ninethday.

On second thought, Three alludes to the Christian trinity, One alludes to the Muslim and Jewish idea of God...

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 06:41 AM

That smacks of numerology. Give me...

Grapesday, Orangesday, Applesday, Plumsday, Peachesday, Bananasday, and Kiwisday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 07:41 AM

We talk a lot, but when you look into the facts of history, you will find that someone else had the idea first, and took it a lot further.


The French Revolutionary Calendar

Robo "Diderot"


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 11:16 AM

All well and good everyone. But if we are going to acknowledge the Pagan origins of our day names and our judical symbolism, we need to stop calling the US a "Judeo/Christian" nation, because it quite clearly is not. And that's fine with me, because it takes some of the wind out of the sails of the religious right when they try to support their positions by saying that, after all, this nation is founded upon Judeo/Christian principles.

But I bet if we were to do that, the Christian right (particularly in the South, as Ron has mentioned) would be the first to make the moves that some of you have been, rather glibly, suggesting, to have the names and symbolism changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 11:01 AM

I'm not getting how the names of days and months compare to having scriptures from one religion posted on the courthouse walls. Oh, it's a joke. OK, then.

Ron, in the "real world" as you so quaintly put it, the theocrats are taking over the country. Have you noticed that Tom DeLay is still very powerful? As soon as the Commandments on the Walls became a big deal for the fundies, it became a big deal for everyone who believes in freedom.

Actually, before all this became big news, I didn't know such a there were courthouses officially devoted to Christianity. I wouldn't have thought such a thing would be possible in America. I am horrified. Get the scriptures off the walls, and get them off NOW. Maybe it's not a big enough deal for you to make it worth fighting about, but it is for me and for lots of other people.

Why are you so quick, in the name of pragmatism, to let them get away with trying to take over the country? That's what has killed the Democrats for me -- trying to act like Republicans, trying to be pragmatic in the name of winning.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 10:26 PM

John--

Perhaps you prefer losing. Some of us don't. Some of us are tired of Bush and not looking forward to the next reactionary demogogue.

Your mileage may vary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 05:12 AM

I'm not getting how the names of days and months compare to having scriptures from one religion posted on the courthouse walls. Oh, it's a joke. (John P.)

You're not getting it? The gods from one religion are used to designate periods of time or stars in English. How awful must that be to use these names for all those not being followers of those religions. Shouldn't they be eliminated as well from the language? You think that's a joke? I think so too, but I also think some of the arguments I have read here are a joke. The examples only exaggerates a tiny bit the argumentation of some.

I also happen to think that the ten commandments should not be displayed in courtrooms etc, but some arguments for that I did consider so silly that I have tried to show how silly they sound to me by a little exaggeration.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 07:54 AM

Wolfgang, comparing apples to oranges is not a matter of exaggeration to make a point. It's comparing two different things and trying to make them seem similar. The fact that the English language uses words based on mythology is not comparable to our government officially establishing a religion by placing its scripture on the walls of buildings to which we go to get supposedly impartial judgements. So, yeah, the joke is OK. The serious point you are trying to make with it is off the mark.

There are also not a whole lot of people -- not even the neo-pagans -- who still worship the old Greek, Roman, and Norse gods. So those names are not really associated with a religion. They are just relics of history.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 09:24 AM

The fact that the English language uses words based on mythology is not comparable to our government officially establishing a religion by placing its scripture on the walls of buildings

I completely agree with that, John. My exaggeration was not directed to the idea to keep the buildings free of a display of the ten commandements but to some arguments in support of that idea I have read.

[On the other hand (tongue in cheek), I could as well disagree with that sentence, for are the ten commandements not also just words based on mythology?]

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 09:52 AM

. . . for are the ten commandements not also just words based on mythology?
Well, of course. I just didn't want to be the first to say so . . .

JP


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 12:57 PM

Cartoon....Moses, coming down from the mountain top, reporting to his people..."Well, I have some good news and some bad news. I did get him down to 10 commandments.....but the one about adultry stays."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,pinion
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 03:12 AM

Martin Gibson's comment here demonstrates exactly why the government should not display religious sentiments. Without stopping for breath he states that this is "ONE NATION under God" except for people he doesn't like. This is typical of the religious people of this country and an intolerable stance for the government to endorse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 09:46 AM

I'm afraid that repeating that US law is not Judeo Christian in origin is simply not true. Modern statistics show that Christianity is still the predominant religion of the USA. The vast majority of the people involved in constructing the Constitution were influenced heavily by the Christian religion, constantly repeating otherwise is flying in the face of fact.

"The country's first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams,
were firm believers in the importance of religion for republican government." --official Library of Congress statement

"...both the legislators and the public considered it appropriate
for the national government to promote a nondenominational, nonpolemical Christianity."--official Library of Congress statement


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 10:05 AM

Dave,
Of course the founding fathers were heavily influenced by Christianity. The point is that it doesn't matter. A majority of Americans today are also heavily influenced by Christianity. That doesn't matter, either. Our courts have been fairly consistent in interpreting the Constitution's injunction against establishing a relgion to mean that our government can't, in fact, establish a religion. Can you really be honest with yourself if you say that putting scripture -- including an order to have no other gods -- on the walls of the courthouse isn't an attempt to establish a religion?

Even if you can convince yourself that it isn't such an attempt, can you try to understand that there are millions of American citizens who aren't Christians and who feel excluded from equal protection under the law because of the scriptures on the walls of the halls of justice? I feel discriminated against. Is the governmentally sanctioned statement of someone else's faith really worth that to you?

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 10:25 AM

John, What I fail to understand is the irrational urge to trash the very symbols and foundations stone of American Law. These symbols are an attestment to the fair application of law to everyone, Non Christian and Christian alike. The US constitution is the most remarkable document ever written, it should be a comfort to all to see these foundations displayed on the halls of justice. They are alongside and below Pagan symbols too as I have already mentioned above, without any objection raised by anyone to their display.
There are a number of people posting here who completely refuse to see the facts. The United States Constitution is firmly established under these laws, and any attempt to deny this is ludicrous.

"The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code."
John Quincy Adams. Letters to his son.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 10:38 AM

official Library of Congress statement

HOLY SHIT! Then it HAS to be the One True Word of God!

The US constitution is the most remarkable document ever written
spoken like a mindless Jingo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: jeffp
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:07 AM

6. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

7. Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

8. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

9. Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

10. And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

11. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

12. Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.


Where is this in the Constitution?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:16 AM

The foundation of American Law, Dave, are the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, and the original Constitution.

John is correct when he says religion does not matter. It has no place in the commons of social discourse. Lawmakers and voters should by trying to discharge their responsibility as citizens of a nation under law, not trying to dramatize their kooky versions of an undefinable metaphysic. To resort to religion in this realm of discourse is as bad as resorting to voodoo or alchemy.

Seek all the blessing you want to seek from the Infinite, in the privacy or your home or among your congregation. When you come to the commons to debate social engineering and the best way to build free nations and have free people, leave your religion the hell out of it. It only clouds issues and makes nonsense of what must be made clear and sensible if it is to work.

If any of the postulates from the Ten Commandments, the Wisdom of Lao-tzu, the Koran or any other source (including Marx and Darwin) are genuinely workable and should stand, by reason of merit as social guides, on a par with the fundamentals mentioned above, let them find their way into the common discourse, written in clear and common language, leaving out obscure magick and un-testable claimed authorities. Surely we have had enough foolish incantations. I, at least, am sick unto laughter at the pseudo-reverent, arrant Mongolism of humans running around scraping for imagined companions.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:17 AM

It's just politically irksome for many to accept that those of Christian heritage could possibly devise such a great and fair and workable constitution. Any reminder of that reality flies in the face of the current distortion that we are force-fed -- that Christianity is a cruel and oppressive religion.

It's not the religious content that is prompting the move to ban all religious symbolism -- it's that it's to hard to completely revise our history with these reminders that point contrary to the secularist picture of a cruel and oppressive Christianity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:36 AM

If the issue was as simply as you put, Amos, there'd probably be few like me arguing with you. The reality though is that there is an attempt to disqualify any moral (morals - the stuff of law) belief that one may arrive at via religious belief from the public legal debate.

I've said many times that democracy has the means to naturally weed out that which is idiosyncratically religious without attacking individual groups. If a moral issue is brought to the public arena with only religion as its source of reason, it will likely not survive democracy. It is only those things that the religious and non-religious alike agree on to a greater degree that become our code.

Religion does not have to be rendered impotent for democracy to survive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:49 AM

We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! [April 18, 1775]

John Adams:
" The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
• "[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."
–John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --October 11, 1798

"I have examined all religions, as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life, would allow; and the result is that the Bible is the best Book in the world. It contains more philosophy than all the libraries I have seen." December 25, 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson

"Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell." [John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, April 19, 1817] | photographs of this letter: Page 2.... page 1.... page 3... page 4
.......click here to see this quote in its context and to see John Adams' quotes taken OUT of context!


Samuel Adams: | Portrait of Sam Adams | Powerpoint presentation on John, John Quincy, and Sam Adams
" He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all." [ "American Independence," August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia]

" Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system." [October 4, 1790]

John Quincy Adams:
• "Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" "Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity"?
--1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.

"The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code."
John Quincy Adams. Letters to his son. p. 61

Elias Boudinot: | Portrait of Elias Boudinot
" Be religiously careful in our choice of all public officers . . . and judge of the tree by its fruits."

Charles Carroll - signer of the Declaration of Independence | Portrait of Charles Carroll
" Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." [Source: To James McHenry on November 4, 1800.]

Benjamin Franklin: | Portrait of Ben Franklin
" God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel" –Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech

"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?" [Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787]

In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."

In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."

Alexander Hamilton:
• Hamilton began work with the Rev. James Bayard to form the Christian Constitutional Society to help spread over the world the two things which Hamilton said made America great:
(1) Christianity
(2) a Constitution formed under Christianity.
"The Christian Constitutional Society, its object is first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States."

On July 12, 1804 at his death, Hamilton said, "I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me."

"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests." [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]

"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man."

John Hancock: | Portrait of John Hancock
• "In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, …at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness… Resolved; …Thursday the 11th of May…to humble themselves before God under the heavy judgments felt and feared, to confess the sins that have deserved them, to implore the Forgiveness of all our transgressions, and a spirit of repentance and reformation …and a Blessing on the … Union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights [for which hitherto we desire to thank Almighty God]…That the people of Great Britain and their rulers may have their eyes opened to discern the things that shall make for the peace of the nation…for the redress of America's many grievances, the restoration of all her invaded liberties, and their security to the latest generations.
"A Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, with a total abstinence from labor and recreation. Proclamation on April 15, 1775"

Patrick Henry: | Portrait of Patrick Henry
"Orator of the Revolution."
• This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed."
—The Last Will and Testament of Patrick Henry

"It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]

"The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed."

John Jay: | Portrait of John Jay
" Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Source: October 12, 1816. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed., (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970), Vol. IV, p. 393.

"Whether our religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab ["Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?" 2 Chronicles 19:2] affords a salutary lesson." [The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1794-1826, Henry P. Johnston, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1893), Vol. IV, p.365]

Thomas Jefferson:
" The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man."

"Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus."

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever." (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]

Samuel Johnston:
• "It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans (Muslims), pagans, etc., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, [unless] first the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves.
[Elliot's Debates, Vol. IV, pp 198-199, Governor Samuel Johnston, July 30, 1788 at the North Carolina Ratifying Convention]

James Madison
" We've staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart."

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We've staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]

• I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare the unsatisfactoriness [of temportal enjoyments] by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.
Letter by Madison to William Bradford (September 25, 1773)
• In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.
" An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia" Approved February 2, 1813 by Congress

"It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other."

• A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven. [Letter by Madison to William Bradford [urging him to make sure of his own salvation] November 9, 1772]

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22;
"For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
He will save us."
[Baron Charles Montesquieu, wrote in 1748; "Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power. If it [the power of judging] were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislature if it were joined to the executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor. All would be lost if the same … body of principal men … exercised these three powers." Madison claimed Isaiah 33:22 as the source of division of power in government
See also: pp.241-242 in Teaching and Learning America's Christian History: The Principle approach by Rosalie Slater]

James McHenry – Signer of the Constitution | Portrait of James McHenry
Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.

Jedediah Morse: | portrait of Jedediah Morse
"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg | Statue of John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg
In a sermon delivered to his Virginia congregation on Jan. 21, 1776, he preached from Ecclesiastes 3.
Arriving at verse 8, which declares that there is a time of war and a time of peace, Muhlenberg noted that this surely was not the time of peace; this was the time of war. Concluding with a prayer, and while standing in full view of the congregation, he removed his clerical robes to reveal that beneath them he was wearing the uniform of an officer in the Continental army! He marched to the back of the church; ordered the drum to beat for recruits and over three hundred men joined him, becoming the Eighth Virginia Brigade. John Peter Muhlenberg finished the Revolution as a Major-General, having been at Valley Forge and having participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Stonypoint, and Yorktown.

Thomas Paine:
" It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author."
" The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal." "The Existence of God--1810"

Benjamin Rush:
• "I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism." "By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds." [Letter written (1790's) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America]
• "Christianity is the only true and perfect religion."
• "If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into our world would have been unnecessary."

"Let the children who are sent to those schools be taught to read and write and above all, let both sexes be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education"
Letters of Benjamin Rush, "To the citizens of Philadelphia: A Plan for Free Schools", March 28, 1787

Justice Joseph Story:
" I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations."
[Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593]
" Infidels and pagans were banished from the halls of justice as unworthy of credit." [Life and letters of Joseph Story, Vol. II 1851, pp. 8-9.]
" At the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration [i.e., the First Amendment], the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship."
[Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593]

Noah Webster: | Portrait of Noah Webster
" The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men."

"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."
[Source: 1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language]

Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If our government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. [Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49]

"All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." [Noah Webster. History. p. 339]

"The Bible was America's basic textbook
in all fields." [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5]

"Education is useless without the Bible" [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5 ]

George Washington:

Farewell Address: The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion" ...and later: "...reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle..." | photo of Farewell address original manuscript


" It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible."

"What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ." [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]

"To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian" [May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge]

During his inauguration, Washington took the oath as prescribed by the Constitution but added several religious components to that official ceremony. Before taking his oath of office, he summoned a Bible on which to take the oath, added the words "So help me God!" to the end of the oath, then leaned over and kissed the Bible.

Nelly Custis-Lewis (Washington's adopted daughter):
Is it necessary that any one should [ask], "Did General Washington avow himself to be a believer in Christianity?" As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic devotion to his country. His mottos were, "Deeds, not Words"; and, "For God and my Country."

" O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon."
" I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me."
[George Washington; from a 24 page authentic handwritten manuscript book dated April 21-23, 1752
William J. Johnson George Washington, the Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35.]
Click here for George Washington's Prayer Journal

"Although guided by our excellent Constitution in the discharge of official duties, and actuated, through the whole course of my public life, solely by a wish to promote the best interests of our country; yet, without the beneficial interposition of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, we could not have reached the distinguished situation which we have attained with such unprecedented rapidity. To HIM, therefore, should we bow with gratitude and reverence, and endeavor to merit a continuance of HIS special favors". [1797 letter to John Adams]

James Wilson: | Portrait of James Wilson
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
Supreme Court Justice appointed by George Washington
Spoke 168 times during the Constitutional Convention

"Christianity is part of the common law"
[Sources: James Wilson, Course of Lectures [vol 3, p.122]; and quoted in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, 11 Serg, & R. 393, 403 (1824).]

________________________________________________________________________
Public Institutions
Liberty Bell Inscription:
" Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof" [Leviticus 25:10]

Proposals for the seal of the United States of America
• "Moses lifting his wand and dividing the Red Sea" –Ben Franklin


• "The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night." --Thomas Jefferson

On July 4, 1776, Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams "to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America." Franklin's proposal adapted the biblical story of the parting of the Red Sea. Jefferson first recommended the "Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by night. . . ." He then embraced Franklin's proposal and rewrote it

Jefferson's revision of Franklin's proposal was presented by the committee to Congress on August 20, 1776.

Another popular proposal to the Great Seal of the United States was:
" Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God"; with Pharoah's army drowning in the Red Sea

Click here for a larger image

The three branches of the U.S. Government: Judicial, Legislative, Executive
• At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22;
"For the LORD is our judge,
the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
He will save us."

Article 22 of the constitution of Delaware (1776)
Required all officers, besides taking an oath of allegiance, to make and subscribe to the following declaration:
• "I, [name], do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:51 AM

Sorry, I forgot to add.. Refute what these esteemed Gentlemen said and wrote not what I said and wrote..

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:48 PM

Without challenging the words of anybody in the preceding ten posts I would not the following:

Christianity nor any religion has remained immutable from its founding. The tender sympathies of our founding fathers with respect to Christianity as promoter of liberty represents well over a millenium and a half of developing understanding, most importantly culminating in the period of rationalism surmounting theology called The Enlightenment. Christianity has still been used to buttress the Divine Right of Royalty.

One fascinating aspect of the law as we practice it is the considerationi of motivation toward establishing a crime and determining a penalty: viz. If I was careless on a job and dropped a wrench and it hit Mr. Smith in the head and sent him to the hereafter, I may not be put on trial at all, and if I am, it will be over claims of negligence or indifference. If I creep up behind Mr. Smith and brain him with that same wrench, I may go on criminal trial for first degree murder with my life on the line. Mr. Smith is just as dead either way, but I think every human being on earth would perceive justice in the distinction being made as to how he came to be dead.

I have the same feeling about the Ten Commandments in public. If they crop up in an illustration or as part of a display of the concepts behind our judicial system, I have no problem with 'em. If it comes from an avowedly activist source, seeking as an act of power to install them, I consider it to be as the good Reverend said at the outset of this thread "blasphemy".

I believe the framers and our American forefolk used the language of God in their everyday talk. Many of us American descendents use that sort of language in our everyday talk. But like ourselves, they were creatures of their time (lucky for us). There is a bit of selective quotations in the above posts, to bring in Jesus Christ. I have seen numerous references to our forefathers and it is clear that some of them, not all of them, appreciated the wisdom of Jesus' words in the New Testament without necessarily subscribing to the theology of him as the Son of God. Furthermore, there are some explicit wordings I'd call to your attention: From the Declaration: "The laws of nature, and of nature's God". This is a deist concept of God, explicitly not Christian, and ties into the new age in which Galileo established that the Church (any church) was a poor source of astronomical theories, and that Isaac Newton and many others had established that the world as we know it operates on highly logical and mathematical principles, so that God is not necessary to make every Sparrow fall, God has only(!) to establish the inverse square law of gravitational attraction.
I think we all of us are even now incredibly lucky to have had such great people at work two hundred forty years ago. They were Christian folk, but they were no 'mere' Christian folk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:50 PM

Why should anyone refute? No one is disputing the faith of any founders. These men (and all men and women in the USA) are (and should) be free to express their religious beliefs in letters to their sons, conversations with coworkers, whatever. Precisely the fact that - in spite of all their talk of God in their personal writings, and even at the constitutional convention - God and Jesus are not mentioned in the Constitution makes a GIGANTIC point doesn't it?

Is there any reason why religious people (off whatever religion) can't found a completely secular institution?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:54 PM

Wow, Dave!! Impressive piece of work, I must say.

Odd how Jefferson's wall of separation is conveniently omitted from your list of selected assertions.

I believe that following a good number of the Ten Commandments is vital, not because of their theism but because they are viable MORAL precepts.

I believe that it is possible, as John wrote above, to bring into the framework of law those moral precepts that are necessary to the public good framed as clear and enlightened guidance. But to the degree these make some assertion about their Authority other than natural law, they will be failures, complexified and tangled up with the unseeable, the untestable, the unworkable, the authoritarian, the arbitrary and the dogmatic. These are the characteristics of bad law.

They may or may not also be the characteristics of bad religion, but I am not in a position to judge other men's religions. That is why I do not want them entered in to law.

Christianity has much to recommend it in terms of ethical insights. To complicate the social framework by adding to those the heavy and unmanageable freight of after-death experiences, angels and deities, demons and afterlife destinations is to make ridiculous the noble effort of building a better civilization.

Let those insights become, for examples, laws against adultery, laws that seek to love their neighbors as themselves, laws that discourage covetousness if possible, but for the love of all that is good about the open association of free men, leave religiosity out of the commons. It is as useful as a beached whale at a garden party.

I consider the religious views of the people you cite to be immaterial, but that they want to dick around with the assertion that some form of Christianity was built in to the Constitution -- which prohibits the nation's lawmakers from establishing ANY religion for good and sufficient reason -- is just, to my mind, absurd.

I appreciate your scholarship, and in no way do I mean to trifle with your or anyone else's religious beliefs. But you will concur that even under the umbrella of Christianity there as many versions of doctrine as there are ticks on a blue hound. To even invite these complexities into the social fabric of our legal system is to invite failure and disaster and irremediable divisiveness. Do you know how many men have died just because they thought three-in-one was a better description of divinity than one-in-one, or two-in-one or all-in-one??? You want Congress to take that on, when they can't even stay out of bankruptcy?

Believe me, let anyone believe what they may, to enter those beliefs into our arena of law and social structure is organizational suicide. Theocracy and freedom do not mix.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 01:15 PM

"Is there any reason why religious people (off whatever religion) can't found a completely secular institution?"

No. And that's part of what I've been trying to get at -- they did. And they weren't ashamed of the heritage that led them to that grand endeavor (as robomatic so eloquently stated). The Christianity of that era was instrumental in their founding of the secular US government -- and they didn't see the same kind of division that is now being demanded. They didn't develop the secular government as anti-religious or religion-free (as regarding informing its participator's moraity). In fact, they seemed to operate on the assumption of understanding the integral and necessary part that religion plays in informing morality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 01:22 PM

I have no desire to see religious fanatics run either the courts or use government office to enforce their belief system. Like most people here, I grew up with the knowledge that most people sow their wild oats all week, then go to church on Sunday to pray for crop failure. But I do admire the checks and balances placed into the Constitution to prevent such abuse. I did not forget Jefferson in earlier posts.
Here is some more food for thought on the seperation aspect.
Congress finds the following:

(1) On November 11, 1620, prior to embarking for the shores of America, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact that declared: `Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia,'.

(2) On July 4, 1776, America's Founding Fathers, after appealing to the `Laws of Nature, and of Nature's God' to justify their separation from Great Britain, then declared: `We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'.

(3) In 1781, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and later the Nation's third President, in his work titled `Notes on the State of Virginia' wrote: `God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God. That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.'.

(4) On May 14, 1787, George Washington, as President of the Constitutional Convention, rose to admonish and exhort the delegates and declared: `If to please the people we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair; the event is in the hand of God!'.

(5) On July 21, 1789, on the same day that it approved the Establishment Clause concerning religion, the First Congress of the United States also passed the Northwest Ordinance, providing for a territorial government for lands northwest of the Ohio River, which declared: `Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.'.

(6) On September 25, 1789, the First Congress unanimously approved a resolution calling on President George Washington to proclaim a National Day of Thanksgiving for the people of the United States by declaring, `a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a constitution of government for their safety and happiness.'.

(7) On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address on the site of the battle and declared: `It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.'.

(8) On April 28, 1952, in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), in which school children were allowed to be excused from public schools for religious observances and education, Justice William O. Douglas, in writing for the Court stated: `The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State. Rather, it studiously defines the manner, the specific ways, in which there shall be no concern or union or dependency one on the other. That is the common sense of the matter. Otherwise the State and religion would be aliens to each other--hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly. Churches could not be required to pay even property taxes. Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups. Policemen who helped parishioners into their places of worship would violate the Constitution. Prayers in our legislative halls; the appeals to the Almighty in the messages of the Chief Executive; the proclamations making Thanksgiving Day a holiday; `so help me God' in our courtroom oaths--these and all other references to the Almighty that run through our laws, our public rituals, our ceremonies would be flouting the First Amendment. A fastidious atheist or agnostic could even object to the supplication with which the Court opens each session: `God save the United States and this Honorable Court.'.

(9) On June 15, 1954, Congress passed and President Eisenhower signed into law a statute that was clearly consistent with the text and intent of the Constitution of the United States, that amended the Pledge of Allegiance to read: `I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.';

(10) On July 20, 1956, Congress proclaimed that the national motto of the United States is `In God We Trust', and that motto is inscribed above the main door of the Senate, behind the Chair of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and on the currency of the United States.

(11) On June 17, 1963, in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963), in which compulsory school prayer was held unconstitutional, Justices Goldberg and Harlan, concurring in the decision, stated: `But untutored devotion to the concept of neutrality can lead to invocation or approval of results which partake not simply of that noninterference and noninvolvement with the religious which the Constitution commands, but of a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular and a passive, or even active, hostility to the religious. Such results are not only not compelled by the Constitution, but, it seems to me, are prohibited by it. Neither government nor this Court can or should ignore the significance of the fact that a vast portion of our people believe in and worship God and that many of our legal, political, and personal values derive historically from religious teachings. Government must inevitably take cognizance of the existence of religion and, indeed, under certain circumstances the First Amendment may require that it do so.'.

(12) On March 5, 1984, in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Lynch v. Donelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984), in which a city government's display of a nativity scene was held to be constitutional, Chief Justice Burger, writing for the Court, stated: `There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life from at least 1789 . . . [E]xamples of reference to our religious heritage are found in the statutorily prescribed national motto `In God We Trust' (36 U.S.C. 186), which Congress and the President mandated for our currency, see (31 U.S.C. 5112(d)(1) (1982 ed.)), and in the language `One Nation under God', as part of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. That pledge is recited by many thousands of public school children--and adults--every year . . . Art galleries supported by public revenues display religious paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries, predominantly inspired by one religious faith. The National Gallery in Washington, maintained with Government support, for example, has long exhibited masterpieces with religious messages, notably the Last Supper, and paintings depicting the Birth of Christ, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection, among many others with explicit Christian themes and messages. The very chamber in which oral arguments on this case were heard is decorated with a notable and permanent--not seasonal--symbol of religion: Moses with the Ten Commandments. Congress has long provided chapels in the Capitol for religious worship and meditation.'.

(13) On June 4, 1985, in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985), in which a mandatory moment of silence to be used for meditation or voluntary prayer was held unconstitutional, Justice O'Connor, concurring in the judgment and addressing the contention that the Court's holding would render the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because Congress amended it in 1954 to add the words `under God,' stated `In my view, the words `under God' in the Pledge, as codified at (36 U.S.C. 172), serve as an acknowledgment of religion with `the legitimate secular purposes of solemnizing public occasions, [and] expressing confidence in the future.'.

(14) On November 20, 1992, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Sherman v. Community Consolidated School District 21, 980 F.2d 437 (7th Cir. 1992), held that a school district's policy for voluntary recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance including the words `under God' was constitutional.

(15) The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals erroneously held, in Newdow v. U.S. Congress, (9th Cir. June 26, 2002) that the Pledge of Allegiance's use of the express religious reference `under God' violates the First Amendment to the Constitution, and that, therefore, a school district's policy and practice of teacher-led voluntary recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.

(16) The erroneous rationale of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Newdow would lead to the absurd result that the Constitution's use of the express religious reference `Year of our Lord' in Article VII violates the First Amendment to the Constitution, and that, therefore, a school district's policy and practice of teacher-led voluntary recitations of the Constitution itself would be unconstitutional.

SEC. 2. ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

(a) REAFFIRMATION- Section 4 of title 4, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`Sec. 4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery

`The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: `I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.', should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.'.

(b) CODIFICATION- In codifying this subsection, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel shall show in the historical and statutory notes that the 107th Congress reaffirmed the exact language that has appeared in the Pledge for decades.

SEC. 3. REAFFIRMING THAT GOD REMAINS IN OUR MOTTO.

(a) REAFFIRMATION- Section 302 of title 36, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`Sec. 302. National motto

`In God we trust' is the national motto.'.

(b) CODIFICATION- In codifying this subsection, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel shall make no change in section 302, title 36, United States Code, but shall show in the historical and statutory notes that the 107th Congress reaffirmed the exact language that has appeared in the Motto for decades. Attest:

Clerk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 01:32 PM

Dear Clerk:

No-one in the Universe who is very sentient can avoid the Big Question of origins and powers greater than the Universe.

The use of the word God is a different matter altogether, since ti defines boundaries to the free exercise of religious thought just as it would if the word Yaweh, or Kong, were used instead.

But at least, it can be interpreted as inclusive of all those who reflect on the nature of the transcendent infinite.

The "Ten Commandments", being as they are a crude moral code forwarded by an obscure cult from the third century BC, is another matter altogether.

If you insist on calling God into it, at least leave the definition of the word, and all the implications thereof, to the free moral choice of the citizenry and keep the goddamned law-makers out of it. Leaving God to the individual is the most God-like choice you could make.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 01:44 PM

I found this site very informative on the subject.
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 02:11 PM

Excerpts:

"Baptist Preacher's Objections to the Constitution
The influential Baptist preacher, John Leland, wrote a letter, containing ten objections to the Federal Constitution, and sent it to Colonel Thomas Barbour, an opponent of the Constitution in James Madison's Orange County district. Leland's objections were copied by Captain Joseph Spencer, one of Madison's Baptist friends, and sent to Madison so that he could refute the arguments. Leland's final objection was that the new constitution did not sufficiently secure "What is dearest of all---Religious Liberty." His chief worry was "if a Majority of Congress with the President favour one System more than another, they may oblige all others to pay to the support of their System as much as they please.""

Madison's Notes for the Bill of Rights
Madison used this outline to guide him in delivering his speech introducing the Bill of Rights into the First Congress on June 8, 1789. Madison proposed an amendment to assuage the anxieties of those who feared that religious freedom would be endangered by the unamended Constitution. According to The Congressional Register Madison, on June 8, moved that "the civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed."

To Bigotry no Sanction"
President George Washington and a group of public officials, including Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, left New York City, the temporary capital of the United States, on August 15, 1790, for a brief tour of Rhode Island. At Newport, Washington received an address of congratulations from the congregation of the Touro Synagogue. His famous answer, assuring his fellow citizens "of the Stock of Abraham" that the new American republic would give "to bigotry no sanction, to persecution not assistance," is seen here in the copy from Washington's letterbook.

Thomas Jefferson's reply of January 1, 1802, to an address of congratulations from the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association contains a phrase familiar in today's political and judicial circles: "a wall of separation between church and state." Many in the United States, including the courts, have used this phrase to interpret the Founders' intentions regarding the relationship between government and religion, as set down by the First Amendment to the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . ." However, the meaning of this clause has been the subject of passionate dispute for the past fifty years.
Presented here are both the handwritten, edited draft of the letter and an adjusted facsimile showing the original unedited draft. The draft of the letter reveals that, far from dashing it off as a "short note of courtesy," as some have called it, Jefferson labored over its composition. Jefferson consulted Postmaster General Gideon Granger of Connecticut and Attorney General Levi Lincoln of Massachusetts while drafting the letter. That Jefferson consulted two New England politicians about his messages indicated that he regarded his reply to the Danbury Baptists as a political letter, not as a dispassionate theoretical pronouncement on the relations between government and religion.



The emphasis of the Founding Fathers on some religious basis for morality is understandable and readily defensible, but it is not enforceable; thus Jefferson's doctrine about the wall of separation is profoundly the correct answer for the great social experiment that the rest of the Constitution presented to the surprised world.

There is no question that some form of generic religiousness -- a respect for the universe and its spiritual mysteries and the questions of human origin and destiny -- serves as a well-spring for moral and ethical powers which are vital for any citizen to be able to draw on.

But this only works if it occurs under an umbrella of profound respect for individual free choice.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 02:17 PM

Religion does not have to be rendered impotent for democracy to survive.

If your religion can be rendered impotent simply by having its artifacts removed from the public sphere, it can't be much of a religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 04:07 PM

CarolC. Neither can the government idly stand by and allow an attack against artifacts as stated in this rulling..
`But untutored devotion to the concept of neutrality can lead to invocation or approval of results which partake not simply of that noninterference and noninvolvement with the religious which the Constitution commands, but of a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular and a passive, or even active, hostility to the religious. Such results are not only not compelled by the Constitution, but, it seems to me, are prohibited by it. Neither government nor this Court can or should ignore the significance of the fact that a vast portion of our people believe in and worship God and that many of our legal, political, and personal values derive historically from religious teachings. Government must inevitably take cognizance of the existence of religion and, indeed, under certain circumstances the First Amendment may require that it do so.'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 04:10 PM

What ruling is that, Dave, and to what does it refer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 04:21 PM

On June 17, 1963, in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963), in which compulsory school prayer was held unconstitutional.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 06:05 PM

LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 07:14 PM

That was a good ruling. I remember compulsory school prayer. I stood in the doorway of the classroom and waited until they were finished.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 06:09 AM

I notice that, while applauding the decision from which Dave's excerpt is taken, nobody is actually addressing the point his quote raises.

Very revealing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Nerd
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 06:59 AM

Dave is a windbag. His first two "official Library of Congress Statements" were taken from here, complete with line breaks:

"http://www.eadshome.com/QuotesoftheFounders.htm"

(Welcome to EadsHome Ministries,
where Jesus is Lord, and everything is free!)

Neither is a Library of Congress statement. The first seems to have originalted on Wikipedia.

Dave, you can't just cut and paste reams of nonsense from ministry websites and claim it is our government speaking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 07:05 AM

What about Dave's post of 18 April 2005   4:07 PM? Is it an accurate quote or not?   I'm sure nobody here would want to stoop to an ad hominem attack.

If accurate, how about actually grappling with the issue?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 09:46 AM

Are there any non-christian judges in the USA?
If so, just have them put some texts from their belief systems in their courthouses.

If a few verses from the Koean, some lines from Hindu scripture, a paragraph or two from Confucius, and a copy of Desiderata were displayed in different courthouses, what would be the reaction?
If they can stay, then let the commandments stay. But if they have to go, they ALL have to go.

Desiderata


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 09:47 AM

Koean? Koran (or Quoran) even


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 10:49 AM

Oh, cut it out with that "very revealing" BS, Ron. Who do you think you are, Sigmund Freud? Anyway, Freud was a pervert.

I didn't address the actual quote because it would appear to me that the actual ruling trumps the quote. I would like to see that quote in its larger context. All by itself it is almost completely meaningless.

robomatic, were there any other Jewish kids in your classes? Do you mind if I ask you what part of the country you were living in during the time of mandatory prayer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 11:57 AM

If public school prayer is compulsory, or even allowed, who picks the prayer? Can a muslim teacher (or principal) have the class bow to Mecca?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 12:07 PM

BTW, CarolC nails it with the "actual ruling trumps the quote" line. Works for this (or any) ruling, works for the constitution (quote the writers' other correspondence all you want, the fact that they didn't put God in the constitution trumps 'em all).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 01:20 PM

The quotes are from the Library Of Congress. The actual documents used to back up some of my posts are available online too if you care to check Nerd. Interesting that you can insult someone without debating facts. Non of my detractors have yet to counter any of the quotes or references I have made; which is a classic example of my mind is made up dont confuse me with facts syndrome.

CarolC these judgements are made by the same people you accuse of being rabid right wing extremist Christians; strange that they have always ruled in favour of keeping religion a private matter?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 01:22 PM

By the way Nerd I am not a US citizen...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 02:26 PM

CarolC these judgements are made by the same people you accuse of being rabid right wing extremist Christians; strange that they have always ruled in favour of keeping religion a private matter?

Where did I accuse the people who made those judgements of being "rabid right wing extremist Christians"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 03:24 PM

I am sorry for my choice of words Carol, brought on by frustration from the above responses to my posts by people who cannot think and read.. I think my point was that whilst protecting you from religious persecution, the court is very clearly stating that you and others with similar opinions, will not be supported by the Constitution, or the judiciary, which clearly has a duty to recognise and defend religion. The use of religious icons and fundamental belief in their use as the moral and fundamental principal of US law is clearly enshrined in the Constitution as stated in the ruling The seperation of church and state was designed to prevent denominations controling federal government. Clearly the intent was to recognise this as prevention from domination by a majority rule, enforcing observance of their particular version of faith, not as some people believe to exclude religion from US law. The States themselves have an overiding ability to mention God in their law but federal system prevents religion being an issue in the judiciary..
Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 03:47 PM

Dave, I'd still like to see that quote in its larger context before I decide whether or not I accept your premise. For all I know, that quote could have been from a dissenting opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 03:49 PM

The use of religious icons and fundamental belief in their use as the moral and fundamental principal of US law is clearly enshrined in the Constitution...

kinda like the headache brought on by people who can't read, think, reason, or write coherently, I suppose...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 05:27 PM

a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular and a passive, or even active, hostility to the religious. Such results are not only not compelled by the Constitution, but, it seems to me, are prohibited by it. Neither government nor this Court can or should ignore the significance of the fact that a vast portion of our people believe in and worship God and that many of our legal, political, and personal values derive historically from religious teachings. Government must inevitably take cognizance of the existence of religion and, indeed, under certain circumstances the First Amendment may require that it do so.'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 05:32 PM

Is that also from the same author and decision as your previous quote? Who wrote it? Was he or she using it as a part of the main decision or was he or she writing a dessenting opinion? How does that quote fit into the larger decision? What came before it? What comes after it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 05:41 PM

Supreme Court judgement On June 17, 1963, in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 06:22 PM

Carol--

I'm so sorry I offended you--I must have, to have called forth your rather intemperate response (19 Apr 2005   10:49 AM).

Very revealing.

Especially since, as you will note, my comment was not aimed at any one person.


In fact, Dave's quote is not meaningless, much as you want to dismiss it. You seem to want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The quote was cautioning against doing precisely that. It's no wonder you did not want to deal with it.

By the way, the quote I refer to, which by the way, is also the subject of your current back-and-forth with Dave, is from a concurring opinion by Justice Goldberg, joined by Justice Harlan, of the 17 June 1963 Supreme Court decision.

As I said before, moderation does not appear to be a big part of your world view, understandably colored by your home-schooling ordeal.

Oh no! Don't tell me you're offended again. You'd be advised to develop a thicker skin.

As far as perversions go, my suggestion would be to consult "Martin". You know he's our resident authority.

Looking forward to your typically calm and well-reasoned answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 06:35 PM

That phrase implies an assumption about other people's reasons for not commenting on the thing you are making that point about, Ron. Otherwise you wouldn't use the word "revealing" (and I believe that was the second time you did that... which is why it is beginning to annoy me). You do not know other people's reasons for not commenting on anything. You may think you are a mind reader, but you are not. You may be very presumptuous, but you certainly don't know what's in my mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 10:15 PM

Btw, the quote is meaningless unless it is given in context. If it is a dissenting opinion, that means it's not a part of the ruling... just a rider to show what the dissenting judge or judges had to say about the issue. I notice that even though I have asked twice, nobody who is arguing on behalf of that quote has offered to tell me whether or not it is a dissenting opinion. If I am to be expected to look it up myself, and to do the work for the people who are supposedly "defending" this quote and its validity, it's going to have to wait until I have more time to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Apr 05 - 10:32 PM

Carol--

You're not a very careful reader. (Perhaps it's not just the Bushites who fit this mold)

In fact, in my most recent post (19 Apr 6:22 PM), I specified exactly what Dave's quote was from--a CONCURRING opinion by Justice Goldberg, joined by Justice Harlan, of the 17 June 1963 Supreme Court decision in question.

No sweat off my back if you believe me or not--as you point out, you can do the research yourself (if you don't believe me)--it took me all of 5 minutes.

If you don't like my "Very revealing"--sorry--it was a perfectly apt comment (both times)----and you will have to steel yourself to possibly hear it again, if the occasion arises. After "Martin's" bons mots, I would think this would be water off a duck's back.

If you can't stand the heat...

Back to the quote--if by some chance you do want to accept it as legitimate, it raises a very valid point--in fact the crux of the problem:   what exactly should be the permissible accommodations between church (and synogogue) and state in order to be productive of religious and political harmony. It is not in fact necessarily a wall, much as you and others may like that metaphor--yes, I know it comes from Jefferson. The answer may well however, be not a wall, but peaceful coexistence. (You can already forget about knocking out "In God We Trust" from coins, and "So help me God" from oaths.)

If you still need consultation on perversions, "Martin" is always available.

Apropos of nothing, I will say, however, that you're more than holding your own on the Anti-Semitism thread. Quoting somebody's chosen author back to him is always a nice touch. As in many other cases, the answer there is nowhere near as cut and dried as some seem to think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CarolC
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 11:08 AM

No it wasn't at all revealing, Ron. It is just as possible that the reason some people haven't commented on the quote is that they have not been at their computer lately. There's just no way to know what someone's reasons are for not posting something.

And now I am finished talking to you. You are much too dependent upon making intrusive personal statements and assumptions as a substitute for real and reasoned debate with people. I find this form of argument way too tedious to be willing to devote any more time to it. If I have a response to that opinion, it will be for Dave, who doesn't usually need to use those kinds of tactics in order to try to elevate himself above the other people in the discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 03:34 PM

Try to show enough respect for this forum not to revert to childish personal insults to the people using it. I am not a university educated person and in no way think myself more knowledgable on this issue than any other person here. I was not aware of the Ten Commandments being so contentious until recently, and my love of American history led me to read more on the matter.

From several recent newsites I found that the Supreme Court will make a judgement on this matter. I honestly think the principals set by the 1963 concuring opinions of justices Harlan and Goldberg are the finest example of how well the judicial system handles the first amendment. I do not consider myself an expert in American Law, but from everything I have read on this history supports the principals they stated. We shall see if it prevails.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 08:03 PM

But the most important commandment is still 'Thou Shalt NOT get caught ' !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 08:04 PM

400 !!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 10:46 PM

not quite 400 ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 10:47 PM

BINGO!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 12:40 AM

CarolC:
robomatic, were there any other Jewish kids in your classes? Do you mind if I ask you what part of the country you were living in during the time of mandatory prayer?

A town near Boston, there were more Brians than Roberts in my class. When we moved there I was the only Jewish kid in my class, the only Jew a lot of those kids had seen, poor things. The Demographics changed over the following twenty years and a lot more Jews moved in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 11:27 AM

Dave said sometime earlier:
a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular and a passive, or even active, hostility to the religious.

One of the problems we are facing is that many religious people assume there is a hostility to religion in situations where there is no such hostility. Wanting to not have scriptures on the courthouse walls is not hostility and does not imply any such hostility. It just means that the rest of us don't want your religion enshrined on our halls of justice. Most of us have great respect for your and eveyone else's religions. Perhaps you ought to try to relax your defensiveness muscle.

What seems to be missing is any respect from you for all of us who are not relgious or who are not Judeo-Christian. How would you like to live in a country that guaranteed you equal rights under the law based on religion but then had scriptures from one religion -- a relgion that is guilty of extreme excesses within curent society -- posted on the wall of the building you went to for justice?

I'll ask a couple of questions I asked earlier and never got any response to:

Why isn't it good enough for you to practice your religion at home and in your church?

Why, being an American, don't you want to leave the courthouse walls alone??

OK, I've also said this before: quoting the writings of the founding fathers is pointless. It doesn't sway anyone. It doesn't matter what they thought. It's a waste of your time and my bandwidth. Stick to the point. Don't go off the deep end trying to prove that relgion is OK. Of course it is, and no one has said otherwise. We all know that the founding fathers were mostly Christian. So what?

Also, the Supreme Court didn't rule on scripture on courthouse walls in 1963. You have jumped from the specific to the general. Please don't take this issue to be a general assault on religion. It's really not. Churches are still there, and still beautiful. Prayers are still heard everywhere. People still preach to those around them without getting arrested. Bible hasn't been banned, and won't be. Try to get some perspective. We're only asking for one seemingly obvious thing. You seem to be investing it with lots meaning that's not there.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: GUEST,CarolC
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 11:51 AM

Thanks, robomatic.

From grade 2 to grade 4, I was in public school in Rhode Island (Warwick). There was one Jewish family in our neighborhood. Everyone else was either Catholic or Protestant. I used to be told on a regular basis that I was going to go to hell by some of the kids I went to school with because I didn't belong to their religion. But I was not the only kid of my religion in my school, and I imagine that kind of thing had a lot less impact on me than your situation had on you.

Grades 5 through 12 were in the Washington DC area where there was way too much diversity for anyone to be bothered with getting on anyone else's case about their religion (with the notable exception of that one teacher in the 6th grade).

Interestingly, when I have lived in areas that had very homogeneous populations in terms of religion (as well as race and ethnicity), in the absence of more obvious differences, people would create differences to squabble over.

In one town in western Maryland (Accident, Maryland), there are three Lutheran curches. Two of them are right next door to each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 01:37 PM

John P.

1. Those were not my words They are a 1963 Supreme Court ruling against mandatory school prayers; and a concuring opinion by two Justices of that court.

2. Those words were saying exactly what your point is about respecting all religions without favour, hostility and repression of people with no faith or different faiths.

3. The Constitution made it very clear that the Founding fathers did not want a country divided by religious strife, and tried very hard to enshrine that in the Constitution. To say that the USA was founded by Deists and not Christians is completely fallacious. A few were, most were definately not.

4. Using the words of the people who drafted and signed the constitution is the only logical way of interpreting their intent. In every regard I have tried to follow the rule of evidence, and only used original documented quotes, not the unconfirmed and bogus ones that are circulating around on this issue.

5. I am a Christian, I was raised a Christian and had I been raised a Jew I would be a Jew. Had I been raised a Moslem I would indeed be a Moslem. Therefore Like Winston Churchill, I am "not a pillar of the Church but more of a flying buttress--I support it from the outside."

(for those of you who love history 9th April 1963 JFK made Sir Winston S. Churchill an honorary US citizen)

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 06:15 PM

I'll ask a couple of questions I asked earlier and never got any response to:

Why isn't it good enough for you to practice your religion at home and in your church?

Why, being an American, don't you want to leave the courthouse walls alone??


JP


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 07:16 PM

John, let me answer your questions with a question.

Do you want to be responsible for removing this bell from a public building because it has a biblical quote inscribed on it?

"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof - Lev. XXV, v. x. By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania [sic] for the State House in Philada."

Liberty Bell Inscription


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 05:46 PM

No. Don't answer my questions with a question, especially one that is unrelated to the discussion at hand. Just answer the damn questions. Justify yourself directly, not by quoting history, not by going off on tangents, not by pulling in lots of extraneous side issues, not by pretending you don't understand that the Bill of Rights exists to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Explain, in your own words, how you think that posting religious scripture on the courthouse wall should not be construed by any rational person -- and especially by people who don't share that religion -- as an establishment of religion. Explain why -- in the face of direct biblical injunctions to the contrary -- you want your worship to be both public and government sponsored. Explain why you want something that looks very much like theocracy in America. Explain why you seem to think that requiring you to take the scripture off the courthouse wall is an attack on religion in general. Explain yourself, sir, in plain language that stands up to logic, or shut the hell up.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 06:02 PM

I echo John P's attitude on this. Sidestepping the issue will not do. If you cannot explain succinctly why it IS good to show favor to one particular religious tradition, you either do not understand the issue, or you understand all too well that it (favoritism) can NOT be defended reasonably.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 06:15 PM

because it isn't showing favoritism. It is acknowledging history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 06:26 PM

*wry grin*...now, John...History can be quite well 'acknowledged' without stamping it *OFFICIAL*


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 06:27 PM

Columnist Ellen Goodman: "In this monumental epic, however, let me side with Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Commmittee: "How strange it is to create a graven image out of a document that says we are not supposed to have any graven images!"

Commandment 4: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Commandment 5: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And then the loyal people literally prostrated themselves before it! LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 06:43 PM

It most certainly can. Sadly, I fear that rampant revisionism (from both sides) is at the core of the desire of both sides to win this one.

Those on the extreme right wish to maintain their delusion that this is a Christian nation -- on the order of God's promised land/people Israel.

On the other side stand folks who, like many on this site, would like to enhance their ability to revise history to reflect a Christianity that they believe to be the reality -- a barbaric, ignorant, sheep-fucking, redneck Christianity incapable of the genius that founded our constitution. The thought that Christianity would actually be instrumental in the founding of our nation and its constitution (with, ironically, its "no establishment" clause) is not the Christianity they wish to paint for them and theirs and future generations.

Get rid of any outward signs and symbols that refute their view of the Christianity as evil, and a nation founded on anti-religious secularism, and they make great strides toward their brand of revisionism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 07:02 PM

Here is my Solomonic compromise (wise guy that I am).

If I were made king for a day (how constitutional is that?) I would issue the decree that any display on any public building that is older than 100 years would have the protection offered and honored any historical site in the US. It cannot be removed.

Any religious imagery placed on public buildings within the past 100 year would have to be removed.

This way we protect a history that should not be allowed to be revised so easily.   And we show ourselves willing to adapt to a changing demographic and a democratic mandate that is leading us into a more and more secular direction. A "secular direction" was always, I believe, the intent of our Nation. I just don't think that that intent also included the modern day addition of anti-religion.

And I fear that if this kind of compromise is not made, religious persecution will be the next pendulum swing because, all this chicken-littling about the power of the religious right is ignoring the fact that our society, our culture, is only moving in one direction. And it will continue in that direction. And it is not the direction that the religious right wants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: robomatic
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 08:50 PM

The discussion you guys are holding right now is one of the things that makes me proud to be an American.

I kind of like John Hardly's suggestion, but I would make it twenty years, and I would make the law sunset itself in twenty years, just to get us past this period of political posturing. This doesn't mean that all sorts of monuments would go popping up in twenty years, it means that hopefully in a few years we will be more rational on the issue (of course, we'll be irrational about something else entirely by then).

Little known but somewhat idiotic legislation is a hallmark of late night talk shows. Passing overwrought laws as a result of political power squabbling is like going to the tattoo parlor after an all night drinking session. You wake up the next day with long-term bad news.

As Dickens observed: "The law is an ass" by which he meant that men and women who enact foolish, unenforceable, overly circumscribed, and poorly worded laws make asses out of all of us. My observation re: the commandments is that whether or not you are of the faiths that espouse them, they represent the elegant simplicity which can hold together a complex society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM

Well, I kinda like John Hardly's proposal myself, but how about 77.739 years? *grin*...we could get all sorts of opinions about how old it should be before it's historical.
It is a fact that we NEED to know the status and relevance of all aspects of out culture and history. Some influences are more dynamic and significant than others, but influential doesn't mean they deserve preferential treatment.

Sure...I'll vote for you as King for a Day, John H....you get July 23rd...in return, I want August 18th, just in case you overlook anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 09:32 PM

Very well John. If you insist that my question is completely offside. I will state my reasons simply this way. Your attack on these Internationally recognised historic symbols of law is not supported by the Constitution of the USA. To order their removal from public buildings is a blatant attempt to impose your religion, which for want of a better and more accurate description is atheist. Atheists do not have the right to establish and impose their belief on the USA. The Constitution forbids it.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 10:16 PM

Sorry, I forgot to add, this example is to stop a minority from imposing themselves on the majority.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 01:28 AM

Dave,
I must have missed the part where there is any agreement on what we all consider to be symbols of law. I thought the only things that really mattered were the Constitution and various acts of Congress. The Constitution has that tricky bit about not establishing a religion, and you still haven't said anything about how the whole scripture thing isn't establishing a religion. I guess you don't have a response to that. Why don't you admit it and go away?

I am not attempting to impose my religion on anyone. It is the height of facetiousness to claim that asking you to not shove your religion in my face is depriving you of something.

What makes you think you know anything about my religion, or have the right to say anything negative about it? You pompous ass, speak what you know about or shut the hell up.

I think I need to stop debating with you -- you are obviously not going to see any point of view but your own, and I'm not going to suddenly decide that officially enshrining Christianity is OK. I'm tired of hearing you spout the religious right's talking points, and I'm sure you're tired of me yapping at your heels like a little dog.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 01:41 AM

John Hardly,
I generally like your proposal as well. I must take exception, however, to something you said:

On the other side stand folks who, like many on this site, would like to enhance their ability to revise history to reflect a Christianity that they believe to be the reality -- a barbaric, ignorant, sheep-fucking, redneck Christianity incapable of the genius that founded our constitution. The thought that Christianity would actually be instrumental in the founding of our nation and its constitution (with, ironically, its "no establishment" clause) is not the Christianity they wish to paint for them and theirs and future generations.

I haven't seen anything like this viewpoint put forth anywhere in this discussion. In fact, most of us who have been arguing against the scriptures on the courthouse walls have been quite respectful of Christianity, and quite willing to admit that the founding fathers were Christians, and most Americans today are Christians. Where did you get the idea that anyone here thinks Christianity is incapable of genius, or was not instrumental in the founding of our nation?

Yes, there are ignorant, barbaric, redneck Christians. But there are a lot more good, kind, intelligent, thoughtful, ethical Christians. Yes, Christians have done and are still doing evil in the name of Christianity. Many more of them are doing good, and bringing blessings on everyone around them.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 08:45 AM

Problem is also that for the last decade or so, and especially at present, ignorant, barbaric, redneck "Christians"[sic] are making a lot of noise, being generally obnoxious, their outlandish behavior and demands are all over the media and they appear to have the ear of the Prez and other functionaries in Congress.

One would think that the more numerous good, kind, intelligent, thoughtful, ethical Christians would rise up as one and oppose these nutters- and their Congressional flunkies- strenuously, but they don't.

Its a mystery.

And now we also have Pope Torquemada I.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:25 AM

Well John you try to place so many restrictions on how I might respond to you that i'm at a loss for words. When I give historic examples of what my position is you cry foul. When I use the very words of the framers of your Constitution you cry not fair. When I use Supreme Court Rulings you say they dont apply.

I was not saying anything derogatory about your religion which I do not know so I stated:"which for want of a better and more accurate description is atheist" just to make my point in the example I was using, on why the constitution does not support the removal of these symbols. You may call me names, and tell me to go away, and all the other childish schoolyard bully tactics, but I choose to remain and debate rationally and without emotion and anger; in other words to exercise my right of freedom of speech, which I continue do so without animosity to, or with, anyone on this forum.

Displaying historic symbols of law is not an attempt to establish a religion, it is a decoration appropriate to the use of the building they are in. Not one law or person is making you worship them or join the religions they represent. Many of the symbols of justice are of pagan origin, and I draw your attention to your own words on this: 14th april 0745am. "There are also not a whole lot of people -- not even the neo-pagans -- who still worship the old Greek, Roman, and Norse gods. So those names are not really associated with a religion. They are just relics of history." The fact remains they are religious symbols, and unless you include them on your list of religious symbols to be removed, you are being selectively hostile to a few select religions, and therefore trying imposing your belief system on the law. Clearly any contrary opinion to your own invokes absolute vehement anger towards it. I suggest you take two Smarties, lie down and relax, and try and post something logical in the morning.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:04 AM

Greg,
The problem is that the extreme right-wing Christians who have taken control of the Republican party are not ignorant rednecks. They are very well educated, very articulate, very intelligent people who also appear to be very power mad. They are involved in a well-funded and well-organized attempt to overthrow the Constitution and force us all to live in a theocracy. The ignorant rednecks just go along for the ride because they don't know any better than to let their passions get inflamed by divisiveness and bigotry. The really scary part is that they have perfectly nice and well-educated folks like some of the folks in this discussion going along as well. Religion is by it's very nature irrational, so if you needed the irrational support of a lot of people to gain power for yourself it would be a good tool to use.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:11 AM

Well, that's why Rove and Bush courted them -- birds of a feather kind of thing, doncha know! :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John Hardly
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:13 AM

"I haven't seen anything like this viewpoint put forth anywhere in this discussion.

Religion is by it's very nature irrational

They are very well educated, very articulate, very intelligent people who also appear to be very power mad"


I could point out the inherent inconsistancy between the second and third comment, but they, together quite eloquently answer your own objection to my earlier comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:21 AM

Dear me. 80% of the American population are irrational? well better head for the hills guys, cause they are going to win any vote on this matter. Oh! perhaps you dont believe in democracy either?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 12:20 PM

It's going to take me a little while to read these carefully and give them enough of my attention to do them justice (pun not intended), but for anyone who wants to read the actual decision, along with the three concurring and one dissenting opinions that are the actual and whole context of the quote that Dave (tam) posted on 18 Apr 05 - 04:07 PM, here they are...

Opinion of the court

Justice Douglas, concurring

Justice Brennan, concurring

Justice Goldberg with whom Justice Harlan joins, concurring

Justice Stewart, dissenting


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 12:39 PM

BTW, concurring opinions such as the opinion that Dave's quote came from, are also riders to the decision (along with dissenting opinions), and are not the actual opinon or ruling itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 01:54 PM

Here is the crux of the court's opinion in that case:

"The place of religion in our society is an exalted one, achieved through a long tradition of reliance on the home, the church and the inviolable citadel of the individual heart and mind. We have come to recognize through bitter experience that it is not within the power of government to invade that citadel, whether its purpose or effect be to aid or oppose, to advance or retard. In the relationship between man and religion, the State is firmly committed to a position of neutrality. Though the application of that rule requires interpretation of a delicate sort, the rule itself is clearly and concisely stated in the words of the First Amendment. Applying that rule to the facts of these cases, we affirm the judgment in No. 142. In No. 119, the judgment is reversed and the cause remanded to the Maryland Court of Appeals for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 08:06 PM

The neutrality of the State demanded by the first ammendment must be applied to every situation. Simply put, they cannot favour the non religious over the religious. If the judiciary are expected to remove a specific religious symbol, they must remove all religious symbols or they break that neutrality. If all religious symbols are removed then the seal with which these laws are authenticated will have to be replaced, because a religious symbol is on the seal. The Liberty Bell would have to be removed from public buildings, because it has a biblical inscription on it. Complicated isn't it?

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 10:05 PM

Yes it is, Dave. I await with interest the court's decision on this matter in the two cases before them now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 10:53 PM

I can't believe people are still wasting so much time and talent-- (obviously very articulate and intelligent people)--trying to have the 10 Commandments removed from courthouses.

(I'll have to say that I won't be taking up Google's wonderful offer of 10 Commandments bumper stickers and yard signs--even with same day shipping and low cost-- (did anybody else get that at the bottom of the Reply to Thread on this thread?),-- severely tempting though such an offer is. Gee, I could be the first one on my block.   In fact, there is no doubt I would be.)

Time and talent are so needed elsewhere, whether to push for a rise in the minimum wage (a development which would actually help a lot of people, rather than be an intellectual exercise) or to try to stop drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or try to ensure judges will not be removed for "exceeding their authority"--or any number of other, more pressing priorities than removing plaques from courtrooms.

There are so many good causes. This is not one.

It is a classic lousy idea from a political standpoint--we should actually be trying to make common cause with the foot soldiers of the Religious Right--by appealing to them on the basis of pocketbook issues--like raising the minimum wage.

This is not a slippery-slope situation, nor the opening wedge in Taliban America, overheated rhetoric to the contrary. There are far better places to fight the good fight for the Establishment Clause.

But if you insist on pushing it, it's fairly evident how the Supreme Court is likely to decide---and all we say here will be "a tale told by an idiot......"

Carol has indeed given the crux of the Schempp decision--no surprise there.

However, each case is different. In seeking to divine what the current Court is likely to say on this case, there are other tea leaves (in the same decision), which Carol, for her own inscrutable reasons, has not mentioned.

Indications of the Court's likely stance are clearly given in the concurring opinion (to the Schempp decision), cited by Dave and me--see Dave's 11th citation (posting of 18 April 2005 1:22 PM).

In addition, the actual opinion of the Court itself in the Schempp decision (not just a concurring opinion) also sought to draw distinctions relevant here.

The Abington school officials' last argument, in an attempt to justify school prayer, was that if school prayer were eliminated, the Court would have to declare unconstitutional every vestige of "co-operation or accomodation between religion and government" . The Court was at pains to deny that this was so--"For not every involvement of religion in public life violates the Establishment Clause."

For many reasons the Court felt that chaplains at military establishments and prisons were fine. Specifically they felt this because there was no element of coercion.

Similarly, there is no element of coercion in sitting in a courtroom with a plaque of the 10 Commandments--you must just co-exist with it.

They felt that "invocational prayers in legislative chambers, state or federal", were also fine.

They also noted approvingly an earlier decision "McGowan vs Maryland"--"the Establishment Clause does not ban federal or state regulation of conduct whose reason or effect merely happens to coincide or harmonize with the tenets of some or all religions".

They continued-- (remember this is part of the decision itself, not a concurring opinion)---"This rationale suggests that the use of the motto "In God We Trust" on currency, on documents and public buildings and the like may not offend the clause."..."The truth is that we have simply interwoven the motto so deeply into the fabric of our civil polity that its present use may well not present that type of involvement which the First Amendment prohibits".

(Continuing) "This general principle might also serve to insulate the various patriotic exercises and activities used in the public schools and elsewhere, which, whatever may have been their origins no longer have a religious purpose or meaning. The reference to divinity in the revised pledge of allegiance, for instance, may merely recognize the historical fact that our Nation was believed to have been founded "under God". Thus reciting the pledge may be no more of a religious exercise than the reading aloud of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which contains an allusion to the same historical fact".

So--we can forget about trying to delete "under God" from the Pledge.

Regarding the 10 Commandments, Robomatic put it wonderfully well:---"Whether or not you are of the faiths that espouse them, they represent the elegant simplicity which can hold together a complex society".

I would add that the 10 Commandments can easily be justified in a courthouse from a historical perspective---as one of the codes of conduct which form part of the background of American jurisprudence. Obviously the Koran and other candidates of that nature cannot be justified in a courtroom on that basis.

This has been a fascinating debate, but we really should end it--especially considering the influence (already noted) that our words are likely to have on the Court.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM

Here Endeth The Lesson, Amen ;-)

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM

However, each case is different. In seeking to divine what the current Court is likely to say on this case, there are other tea leaves (in the same decision), which Carol, for her own inscrutable reasons, has not mentioned.

LOL

I appreciate that you consider my reasons inscrutable. And I do prefer to keep it that way. However, I have already stated my reason for not looking to see what any of the other "tea leaves" might have to say about what the court's future decision might be, in my 25 Apr 05 - 10:05 PM post. It's actually quite simple...

"I await with interest the court's decision on this matter in the two cases before them now."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: John P
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 12:25 AM

John Hardly,
One of my pet peeves is people who quote from earlier in the thread to make some sort of point, and do it incompletely and inaccurately. You said earlier:
On the other side stand folks who, like many on this site, would like to enhance their ability to revise history to reflect a Christianity that they believe to be the reality -- a barbaric, ignorant, sheep-fucking, redneck Christianity incapable of the genius that founded our constitution. The thought that Christianity would actually be instrumental in the founding of our nation and its constitution (with, ironically, its "no establishment" clause) is not the Christianity they wish to paint for them and theirs and future generations.

That's when I said:
I haven't seen anything like this viewpoint put forth anywhere in this discussion.

Juxtaposing this against my statements
Religion is by it's very nature irrational
and
They are very well educated, very articulate, very intelligent people who also appear to be very power mad
is not arguing cleanly. You can disagree with me if you like, but don't take a different comment of mine completely out of context to try to prove that I am in some way inconsistent.

By the way, you seem to be assuming that I think it's a bad thing that religion is irrational and that I don't consider myself irrational in this way. You also seem to think that people who are actively working to force Congress to cut off funding for federal courts when the courts make decisions they don't like aren't power mad. What do you call it?

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM

1) I wasn't serious about "inscrutable".

2) As Carol says, we'll have to wait and see how the decisions turn out. However, as Dave and I have pointed out, there are some pretty strong indications of the Court's likely stance. In fact, I believe the 1963 decision was under the Warren Court, often accused (absurdly) of being wild liberals. This Court is likely to be more conservative, so more likely to lean in the direction Dave and I have suggested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 11:42 PM

Some religion is transcendent and meta-rational; other religion is merely irrational.

Vive la difference, les copains!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 12:33 AM

1) I wasn't serious about "inscrutable".

That's a real shame. Ah, well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 01:00 PM

I love that word Ïnscrutable" reminds me of a verse

The perverse sexual habits of the camel
are stranger than anyone thinks.
At the height of the mating season
He tries to mate with the Sphinx
But the posterior orifices of the Sphinx
are clogged by the sands of the Nile
Which accounts for the hump on the camel
And the Sphinx's inscrutable smile.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 10:40 PM

Supreme Court decision


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for posting the decision CarolC, interesting but predictable.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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