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Author Topic:   Is America a Christian Nation?
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3167 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 7 of 206 (546866)
02-14-2010 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
02-14-2010 8:15 AM


Evidence.
Find the word "Jesus" or the Ten Commandments in the Constitution and then you can start to make a case.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Percy, posted 02-14-2010 8:15 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Phat, posted 08-06-2011 3:13 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3167 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 70 of 206 (547777)
02-22-2010 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Buzsaw
02-22-2010 3:36 PM


Re: Representative Leadership
Buzsaw writes:

Again, it would take an establishment law for that to ever happen. That's why it didn't happen when exercise of religion was within government facilities. No law established anything by them doing that. Along came representatives who decided that that was not good policy and they discontinued it.

If however, the majority of the people's reps decide that we should go back to more exercise within government and the courts didn't overturn, no law of Congress can stop them from doing it as per the amendment.

I think that you're confusing two ideas here. That's understandable, since the distinction between religious activity within a government facility and religious activity sponsored or promoted by the government itself isn't always so clear.

Look at a range of actions to see how they differ.

Case 1: A county board of supervisors passes regulations that require every resident to attend services at a Methodist church every Sunday. Clearly unconstitutional. Doesn't matter if 99% of the county are Methodists.

Case 2: A state prohibits anyone who doesn't believe in Almighty God from holding public office. Clearly unconstitutional. Despite this, seven states still do exactly this. In Arkansas being an atheist even makes you incompetent to testify in court cases. I guess that no one there thinks that you're telling the truth unless you promise that you believe that God is gonna strike you down if you don't.

Case 4: All the teachers at a public school are required to begin class in the morning with "a minute of silent prayer." Unconstitutional. This is still the sort of school prayer that got the boot years back. It fails the test because 1) the teachers are acting in their official capacities as government employees; 2) they're specifically calling for prayer, albeit silent prayer of the students choice; and 3) they're making this activity mandatory, although I can't see how they're going to make sure that the kids are praying instead of thinking about lunch or getting a D in Chemistry. On the other hand, if by school prayer you mean students getting together at lunch to read the Bible and pray, then that just fine and has never been illegal, despite fundies trying to whip themselves up into a frenzy of indignation.

Case 5: A valedictorian asks everyone at graduation to join her in prayer. Probably constitutional. Here's where the distinction is subtle. The valedictorian here isn't a school official, but a private individual expressing her own personal beliefs, even if at an official school event. One could make the case that this is still a case of government approval of religious activity, but you'd be on thin ground.

Case 6: A state park allows the use of public space for a church to hold sunrise services on Easter. Conditionally constitutional. There's nothing wrong with people using public space for whatever they want, providing that they're following the general park rules, e.g. no candles for services if open flames are prohibited. However, the park has to allow everyone equal access. They can't say yes to the Baptists and no to Hindus, Wiccans or even atheists. (The likelihood of atheists attending Easter services is doubtful, but they they could have Solstice Appreciation Day, I suppose.) If the park did discriminate on the grounds of religious belief, they'd clearly be showing government preference.

Case 7: A local pro-Palestinian group refuses a request by a pro-Israel activist to speak at their monthly meeting. Constitutional. Case law regarding discrimination by private organizations is often complex, but in this case we have a private group asserting its right not to sponsor messages that it doesn't approve and in fact directly contradict its own central message. A country club might be prohibited from refusing membership to Jews, but the pro-Israel activist would have a hard time finding a court that would force the pro-Palestinians to host her.

Case 8: A mosque posts a large sign on its lawn saying: "SUBMIT NOW TO ALLAH OR FACE THE FURY OF HELL." Clearly constitutional. This is a private group expressing the beliefs of its members on private property. Even if someone might not like it, the First Amendment clearly allows this sort of religious expression.

So to get back to Buz at long last, I believe that what the above illustrates is the nature of government neutrality with regards to religion. If by "religion within government facilities" you (Buz) mean non-discriminatory use of public venues for religious purposes, I don't see a problem with that. But if you mean Congress ought to start basing more legislation on Christian beliefs, then that's not how this country is supposed to work, no matter how many of those Congress-critters or their constituents are Christian themselves.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : Clarification of Case 4.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Buzsaw, posted 02-22-2010 3:36 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-22-2010 8:29 PM ZenMonkey has responded
 Message 75 by Buzsaw, posted 02-22-2010 9:52 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3167 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 72 of 206 (547795)
02-22-2010 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Dr Adequate
02-22-2010 8:29 PM


Re: Representative Leadership
Doh! I think I was going to do another school prayer example, and then lost track.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-22-2010 8:29 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3167 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 80 of 206 (547841)
02-23-2010 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by Buzsaw
02-22-2010 9:21 PM


Re: James "I Wrote The Bill Of Rights" Madison
Sigh.

Buz, your quotes here are often either outright fabrications or simply unconfirmed. This is what happens when you get your information from right-wing/Christian websites. It's an echo chamber of cut-n-paste - someone makes something up and then it gets passed on from website to church bulletin to website again. Relieable sources, who've actually done the research, usually don't confirm the validity of these quote-fests.

But even if these quotes are all acurate, they'd still be completely irrelevant. It doesn't matter one little bit whether the Founders and their friends were true blue Bible-believe Christians or if they were incestuous goat-fuckers from Mars. George Washington may have grown dope too, but that doesn't make us a nation based on marijuana appreciation.* It's the Constitution that the founders produced that matters, not their personal beliefs. It's the Constitution that establishes the foundation of the United States. And unless you show me all those references to Jesus and the Ten Commandments in the Constitution that I seem to have missed, you can produce all the Praise-the-Lord quotes that you like, fake or otherwise. It still doesn't make this a Christian nation.

*Yeah, I know, he only grew it for hemp to make rope with. Another president who didn't inhale.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Buzsaw, posted 02-22-2010 9:21 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Buzsaw, posted 02-23-2010 3:57 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
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