Group wants to strip away all public expressions of faith

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Regarding the front-page article of July 7 (“Prayer breakfasts scrutinized”), here are some thoughts about the Freedom From Religion Foundation and its threatening moves toward legal action against the city of Augusta and Mayor Deke Copenhaver:

LET THERE BE no mistake: The Freedom From Religion Foundation is, itself, a religion of self-exaltation and secularism, and a very aggressive one at
that.

While its members say they stand on the First Amendment – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...” – they attempt to use the law and the courts to impose their secular religion on others.

Their website even boasts of “DeBaptism” certificates that are simply renunciations of the Christian faith and, effectively, into their secular “non-church” church.

If people want to be debaptized, that is OK with me, but I object when the FFRF’s legal moves appear to be intimidating attempts to remove all presence of faith from the public sector and replace it with their own atheistic and secular faith.

This is prohibited by the First Amendment, since this cornerstone of religious freedom permits all religions to be freely exercised – even secular ones. Unfortunately, the secularist religion is very intolerant of the beliefs of others.

While proponents of secularism love to quote Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 regarding the “wall of separation” between church and state, it is clear in the context of the letter that our third president was more interested in protecting the church from the state than the other way around.

ALSO, THERE IS ample evidence that the Founders were decidedly religious and saw no problem having displays of religion in the public arena. The U.S. Capitol was even used by both Jefferson and James Madison for public church services by different denominations on a number of occasions. I think that just this example should help people see that what Jefferson meant by the “wall of separation” is quite different than what the FFRF is promoting.

Whether they were Christian or Deist, virtually all of the Founders believed that public and private belief in God, His natural law and much prayer were essential for the ongoing operation of a free society. I’m sure they would have all attended a Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Augusta if the event had been around then.

The use of taxpayer resources, the Congress or the courts to attempt to impose secularist religion on all other religions should be thought of as both unconstitutional and illegal by those who affirm First Amendment rights.

While FFRF “ministers” have the same right to promote their religion as everyone else, it is neither moral nor just for them to assert that their viewpoint must be observed by everyone. What the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says is that taxpayer resources, the Congress and the courts cannot be used to establish any particular religion, even a secular one such as the FFRF’s.

THAT MEANS that no one can make or enforce a law that says that one particular brand of church must become the official church of the land.

That is exactly what the atheists of FFRF are seeking to do. Apparently, what they cannot do directly they are trying to do indirectly by intimidating others with threats of a lawsuit.

(The writer is an Augusta resident.)

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Chris 232
91
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Chris 232 07/15/12 - 12:32 am
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The religious right love to
Unpublished

The religious right love to call atheism a "religion." Nothing could be further from the truth! To claim that atheism is a religion is like saying "baldness" is a hairstyle. The FFRF has my support -- abolish the mayor's prayer breakfast and kick religion out the door.

myfather15
56558
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myfather15 07/15/12 - 03:28 am
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9
Religion? I'm not sure about

Religion? I'm not sure about but atheism is definately a strong yet misguided faith. Atheists believe in different beginnings of the earth and human beings. Some believe evolution, some the big bang theory and so on. Yet, any of those you believe in require a serious blind faith, as the atheists claim Christians and other religions have. There is ZERO evidence to prove evolution. There is also ZERO evidence to prove a astroid struck the earth millions of years ago to somehow create life.

Many credible scientists have stated for evolution to be factual, it would require that we have to have species in all forms of the evolution process, in existence today. That means we would absolutely have to have the monkeys, neanderthals and fully developed human beings all in existence at the same time. You can not have a slow evolution process without having all of them exist currently. Those supporters of evolution love to overlook this when making their arguments.

I've have actually spoke with many people who are atheists and had good converstations with them. I won't say what I said changed their minds, but they definately didn't discard my words as nothing. The Truth of God's word doesn't go against science, its supports it. Traditional religous teachings of MEN, does go against science. The earth is absolutely not 6000 years old, it is millions of years old. In my OPINION, the greatest proof of God's existence and Him proving it to man came with the discovery of DNA. This is God's fingerprint on man. Every single human beings DNA is different from all others.

He is real, He does exist and He shall return to make things right again. Its just unfortunate that many will not be able to participate in a true world of PEACE and if they do get to take part, it won't be a big part. They will be lowest on the totem pole for sure.

Techfan
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Techfan 07/15/12 - 04:03 am
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If you're a member of a

If you're a member of a secular religion, do you also have to be a carnivorous vegetarian?

skeptic griggsy
39
Points
skeptic griggsy 07/15/12 - 05:06 am
0
1
Truth
Unpublished

Chris, that's just part of their absurd straw man about us!
Myfather15, you just refuse to understand evolution, so learn how it words instead of presenting yourself as a gross ignoramus! No, what an absurd contention that all those species would still have to exists ranks with all my ancestors would still have to exist!
You depend on false misinterpretations of the evidence for your theism. Talk Origins has science-based articles exposing the creationist stupidity!
Learn from Chris,Techfan, Rhetor and me instead of prattling nonsense!
He no more exists than gremlins and demons and perpetual motion machines. In the old threads, I flay in detail the theistic superstition, that along with its twin, the paranormal are what Paul Kurtz, Mr. Exuberance, calls " The Transcendental Temptation." a must read tome.
http://fathergriggs.wordpress.com

Rhetor
1082
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Rhetor 07/15/12 - 04:49 am
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4
No US court will strip away

No US court will strip away public expressions of faith which are, contrary to this uninformed column, fully protected by the First Amendment. What the courts consistently do is to prohibit using the power of government to spread one particular religion. You can preach your religion from church, synagogue, mosque, or temple; you can preach your religion from the street corner; you can rent a hall and have any kind of prayer breakfast you want. All of that is protected by the First Amendment. Do those things and God bless. Government agencies cannot have prayer breakfasts; this rule is not for the purpose of supressing your religion, but merely to prevent the government from favoring one religion over another.

Fundamental_Arminian
1871
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Fundamental_Arminian 07/15/12 - 08:10 am
8
5
MPB not known for publicizing itself

    No US court will strip away public expressions of faith which are, contrary to this uninformed column, fully protected by the First Amendment. What the courts consistently do is to prohibit using the power of government to spread one particular religion (Rhetor).

You write as if the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast were used as an evangelical outreach tool. I've seen no billboards, pamphlets, etc., publicizing the MPB and pressuring people to convert to Christianity or to any of the other religions represented at the MPB. Can you tell us what evidence you have of that kind of activity from the MPB?

skeptic griggsy
39
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skeptic griggsy 07/15/12 - 09:34 am
0
0
Eh?
Unpublished

So what! Red herrings.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 07/15/12 - 09:51 am
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Pop Quiz: Can you find where

Pop Quiz: Can you find where the US Constitution says "separation of church and state"?

Answer: It ain't in there.

The Constitution has been "interpreted" over the years to say many things it doesn't.

Take abortion for instance. The plain language makes it very clear that there is a right to life, liberty and property in the Constitution, but there is no right to abortion.

iLove
626
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iLove 07/15/12 - 10:09 am
0
0
Atheism
Unpublished

In order to NOT believe, first you must believe....right?

TParty
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TParty 07/15/12 - 11:46 am
10
3
Myfather

Just whoa... Wow... where to begin....

First of all- atheists are just people who not believe in god. The fact they have a title is weird, because what do you call someone who does not collect stamps? Atheists tend to believe in science, and science is something amazing and wonderful and always seeking the truth. There is no blind faith in science, that's the beauty of it. Scientists and engineers did not put man on the moon, and bring them home safely on faith that their ideas would work.

When you say "Atheists believe in different beginnings of the earth and human beings. Some believe evolution, some the big bang theory and so on." I hope you do not mean that people say evolution is one way of thinking, and the big bang is a different way; because evolution shows how life has evolved here on Earth, while the big bang is a theory of how everything we see in the universe developed.

Evolution is basically proven. Just like gravity. Gravity is only a theory- but the high standards that science has for itself, it will remain a theory, which is not a bad thing. A theory is simply the most elaborate form of consistent scientific knowledge not yet disproved by experiments. The amount of evidence fro evolution is over whelming...

You're right- there is no evidence that an astroid struck earth brought life with it, but comets and astroids have struck earth through out it's history. And a strong theory is that a comet brought life- but you're right- we cannot prove it.

Your second paragraph is so wrong on so many different levels, I worry what would happen if you really learned what scientists say... I imagine it would be like when Neo found out what The Matrix was... It's clear though that you do not know the even the basics in the subject you are talking about.

I don't know what is god's word- if it's the old testament, then no, that word does not support reality.

The Earth is not millions years old either, it's billions. Roughly 4.54 billion years old...

I'm shocked to read your comment, and I'm concerned on how many people believe and agree with you. Take your faith out of it- that's different. I'm talking about sound science only... Do others believe this?

Jon Lester
2480
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Jon Lester 07/15/12 - 12:04 pm
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3
Just how sincere do you think that prayer breakfast is?
Unpublished

Would the mayor do it if it weren't good politics?

Chris 232
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Chris 232 07/15/12 - 12:14 pm
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Well said, T-Party. It's
Unpublished

Well said, T-Party. It's scary to think there are people out there who do not except evolution.

Jane18
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Jane18 07/15/12 - 12:25 pm
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7
myfather15's comment

You are right, myfather. TParty doesn't know how to read with understanding the Old Testament. I would remind TParty that so many times JESUS would ask someone, "Haven't you read?" HE was talking about the writings of the prophets GOD was instructing, and that definitely was the Old Testament. Don't let it bother you what TParty said, he/she once called me crazy, and trust me, I am far from it!! Guess what? He/she is the only one that has ever said that to me, I know there are some that cannot see or hear truth. Maybe one day......

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 07/15/12 - 12:38 pm
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6
Who sparked the big bang and

Who sparked the big bang and established the rules of science?

TParty
6004
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TParty 07/15/12 - 01:10 pm
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3
Jane- just leave the Old

Jane- just leave the Old Testament out of this for a moment, because I'm talking purely in the science field.

People want to believe the Old Testament is real, Qur'an is the word of god, or worship the Twilight books- that's a personal belief- go for it.

But science- that is real and tangible knowledge, with testable experiments and predictions. The higgs boson particle is a clear example of what science is. The computers we are typing on is something more tangible what about science is and what it can do.

This talk of evolution being false, and other things... even the Catholic Church agrees evolution is real.

TParty
6004
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TParty 07/15/12 - 01:15 pm
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4
@ Insider Information

I don't know, and neither do people who have studied these questions their entier lives know what/sparked the big bangs and rules of science. In fact, even our conventional knowledge of 'rules of science' is being changed all the time as we focus in the quantum mechanics and physics realm.

And if you want to say god set it all up- then the obvious question is, where did god come from?

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 07/15/12 - 01:31 pm
4
6
In the beginning, God created

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) If you believe in scripture, then there is your answer. God has always been. If you don't believe there is a God or in His Word, then it doesn't matter who made God.....you don't believe in Him so no answer will satisfy you.

TParty
6004
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TParty 07/15/12 - 01:55 pm
5
3
ICL- For scientists and

ICL- For scientists and people who want to know more, the way things work, and came to be- your answer is not enough. You mention Genesis- and you might think rainbows came around because that was gods way of reminding people that god will not commit genocide by killing everyone on the planet (minus Noah and friends). However- that will not cut if for others. Answers will satisfy me- the ones about meteorological phenomenons, spectrum of lights, optics, the atmosphere... all sorts of things to learn!! It's very exciting, and leads to other glorious things.

Jake
34040
Points
Jake 07/15/12 - 01:56 pm
3
8
He always was and will always be............

Good comments TParty. Our brains have been structured to think in absolute terms that things begin and end. It's all a trick so we won't question where God/god came from because, after all, "He always was and will always be" so that's what makes him God/god and that theory of diety has been interpreted by humans from the beginning of their existence in one form or another based upon archeological evidence and current religious practices. The idea is to feel so insignificant as an evolving human race that there must be a "higher level" setting all this up.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 07/15/12 - 03:41 pm
3
7
Tparty and Jake, your

Tparty and Jake, your comments just proves my last statement. TParty, you state you want to know more but when the answer is not what you want to believe or hear, you dismiss it. What if the simple answer is, God. Keep searching, one day you will find the answer you seek. I can guarantee, you still won't like the answer.

Jake, His purpose isn't to make us feel so insignificant. Quite the opposite. I am so humbled and honored that an Awesome God, who created me, would love me so much, faults and all, to think I'm so SIGNIFICANT, that He would lay down His life for me. If you wish to think you are higher and more signifcant than God Jehovah, and that his purpose is to belittle you, that truly is a sad thing.

Trick us so we won't question? ....now you sound like the serpent in the garden of Eden. God doesn't mind questions, most just aren't willing to listen to the answers.

csraattitude
24
Points
csraattitude 07/15/12 - 04:34 pm
5
7
Freedom from Religion?

When Im on my death bed, I know I won't say........"to whom it may concern"................People, you better be ready!!!

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 07/15/12 - 06:03 pm
4
3
"You state you want to know

"You state you want to know more but when the answer is not what you want to believe or hear, you dismiss it. What if the simple answer is, God."

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” -NDT

TheBigBonk
116
Points
TheBigBonk 07/15/12 - 06:04 pm
1
1
Can you imagine what if
Unpublished

Can you imagine what if MyFather were a school teacher and presented his beliefs to little kids? Talk about child abuse!

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 07/15/12 - 07:02 pm
2
5
Likewise TParty, The good

Likewise TParty, The good thing about God is He is the Truth whether we believe or not.

Gage Creed
19387
Points
Gage Creed 07/15/12 - 08:40 pm
2
3
To quote a supporter of

To quote a supporter of FFRF..."It's scary to think there are people out there who do not except (sic) evolution." Your Honor..the defense rests...

HighSociety
1841
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HighSociety 07/15/12 - 08:41 pm
1
0
Soapy, you remind me of Kenny

Soapy, you remind me of Kenny from South Park.

itsanotherday1
48270
Points
itsanotherday1 07/15/12 - 08:42 pm
0
2
I just wish extremists on

I just wish extremists on both sides would shut up and sit down. Live and let live unless is specifically infringes on someone else's well being. If someone invited to the breakfast has a specific issue with it, then fine, it is a legit argument. Otherwise, just MYOB since the mayor having a prayer breakfast isn't involving anyone in religion beyond those invited.

itsanotherday1
48270
Points
itsanotherday1 07/15/12 - 08:42 pm
0
2
I just wish extremists on

I just wish extremists on both sides would shut up and sit down. Live and let live unless is specifically infringes on someone else's well being. If someone invited to the breakfast has a specific issue with it, then fine, it is a legit argument. Otherwise, just MYOB since the mayor having a prayer breakfast isn't involving anyone in religion beyond those invited.

myfather15
56558
Points
myfather15 07/16/12 - 02:47 am
1
2
Tparty, you state that my

Tparty, you say I don't know what I'm talking about, then you say gravity is a theory. Wow, enough said on that. Jump off a building sometime and you will see its not a theory, but I don't suggest you actually try that.

Tparty, you state that my second paragraph is wrong on so many levels you don't know where to begin, yet you don't cite a single specific place where it was wrong and ZERO proof to back any of YOUR OWN claims about science. Nice!!!!

@Chris; I'm sure you think its scary that there are people out here who do not believe in global warming as well. If anyone believes in anything different than liberal nonsense, I'm quite sure its scary to you guys. Whats scary to me is that people would ACTUALLY believe they came from ignorant monkeys. Maybe you did, but I assure you, I did NOT.

myfather15
56558
Points
myfather15 07/16/12 - 02:59 am
2
3
This is the problem with

This is the problem with leftists in this Country, they always quote their opinions and beliefs as facts of science. Claiming there is no question about it. First of all, you can only trust science as far as you can trust the SCIENTIST!! Who did the research? Is that person a committed left or right wing person? Do you know they would NEVER falsify evidence to support their point of view??? Scientists have done it many times, so be careful with the answer.

Just as in global warming, there are just as many credible scientists that believe evolution to be a complete myth than believe it as truth. So which scientist do we believe? The one who says evolution is real or fake? You say you are a believer in science and thats good, but which one? Only the studies that agree with your opinion? My guess is that if certain scientists came out tomorrow and said they had found undisputable evidence of God's existence and provided that evidence, that you would most definately not believe that science. Or at the vey minimum, you would greatly question that type of science.

The TRUTH is that there will always be things science and men can't explain. I realized evolution and the big bang theory are very diffferent. The evolving process is completely different than how everything started. But where did the astroid come from that struck the earth and cause life? Where did the earth come from? Can the science that you support explain these questions?

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