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BS: Ten Commandments on Public Property?

Dave (the ancient mariner) 28 Jun 05 - 09:30 AM
CarolC 27 Jun 05 - 10:40 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 27 Apr 05 - 01:00 PM
CarolC 27 Apr 05 - 12:33 AM
Amos 26 Apr 05 - 11:42 PM
Ron Davies 26 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM
John P 26 Apr 05 - 12:25 AM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM
Ron Davies 25 Apr 05 - 10:53 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 10:05 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 08:06 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 01:54 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 12:39 PM
CarolC 25 Apr 05 - 12:20 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 11:21 AM
John Hardly 25 Apr 05 - 11:13 AM
Amos 25 Apr 05 - 11:11 AM
John P 25 Apr 05 - 11:04 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Apr 05 - 09:25 AM
Greg F. 25 Apr 05 - 08:45 AM
John P 25 Apr 05 - 01:41 AM
John P 25 Apr 05 - 01:28 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 24 Apr 05 - 10:16 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 24 Apr 05 - 09:32 PM
Bill D 24 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM
robomatic 24 Apr 05 - 08:50 PM
John Hardly 24 Apr 05 - 07:02 PM
John Hardly 24 Apr 05 - 06:43 PM
Ebbie 24 Apr 05 - 06:27 PM
Bill D 24 Apr 05 - 06:26 PM
John Hardly 24 Apr 05 - 06:15 PM
Bill D 24 Apr 05 - 06:02 PM
John P 24 Apr 05 - 05:46 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 22 Apr 05 - 07:16 PM
John P 22 Apr 05 - 06:15 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 22 Apr 05 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,CarolC 22 Apr 05 - 11:51 AM
John P 22 Apr 05 - 11:27 AM
robomatic 22 Apr 05 - 12:40 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Apr 05 - 10:47 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Apr 05 - 10:46 PM
Leadfingers 21 Apr 05 - 08:04 PM
Leadfingers 21 Apr 05 - 08:03 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Apr 05 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,CarolC 21 Apr 05 - 11:08 AM
Ron Davies 20 Apr 05 - 10:32 PM
CarolC 19 Apr 05 - 10:15 PM
CarolC 19 Apr 05 - 06:35 PM
Ron Davies 19 Apr 05 - 06:22 PM
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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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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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 06:02 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 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 08:04 PM

400 !!!!!


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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