No right to freedom from religion

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This is how far we've slipped in this country:

- A Portland, Ore., elementary school dropped the Pledge of Allegiance from a year-ending ceremony in order not to offend some folks with the word "God."

A mother at Capitol Hill Elementary School said the principal told her in an e-mail that the pledge was dropped "out of respect for the diversity of religious faiths."

In other words, mentioning the word "God" might be offensive to some.

- A school district in Wisconsin is being sued for allowing the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Wisconsin the same access to after-school meeting facilities it grants to all other nonprofit organizations.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has brought the suit, claiming that allowing a religious organization to use public facilities is unconstitutional.

In short, it's not enough to get God and prayer out of schools. Some people want to ban religious people, as well.

The name of the organization itself -- the "Freedom From Religion Foundation" -- indicates a fundamental ignorance of the U.S. Constitution. There is nothing in the words of the founders of this great nation that provides anyone a guarantee of freedom from religion.

In fact, it is utterly the opposite; you have the freedom of religion, as expressed in the opening phrase of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..."

Barring religious groups such as the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Wisconsin, and singling them out based upon their religiosity, is clearly and blatantly "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion.

So, too, incidentally, is the occasional school district's attempt to prevent valedictorians from mentioning their faith in commencement speeches.

The Constitution transparently orders government to be neutral to religion -- not hostile to it. Prohibiting the use of public facilities based solely upon religion is being hostile to religion.

Bright minds, legally educated minds, know this. And still some of them persist in attempting to drive not just God and prayer from the public square and school, but to drive out religious people as well.

The good folks of faith in Wisconsin need to know that they are not alone, and that those of us who know, understand and honor the Constitution will not allow our fellow people of faith to be banished from public life.

As for saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school: When the word "God" is so offensive that the Pledge of Allegiance is dropped, we have fallen far indeed.

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bone
23
Points
bone 06/15/08 - 08:11 am
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(sigh) the enlightenment was

(sigh) the enlightenment was a few years away and religion was a fine set of rules that helped to keep an otherwise illiterate and diverse population from completely dissolving. thanks for the fine quotes, jic, but also remember that hobbes and locke were as influential to the development of our gov't as the Bible (probably more, since jefferson was the main architect of the constitution and he was a deist).

dinohntr
14
Points
dinohntr 06/15/08 - 08:16 am
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Cain - The Constitution

Cain - The Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing a state religion on its citizens. Those who wrote the Constitution were well aware of the religious intolerance and religious wars in Europe caused by governments imposing a state sanctioned religion. At the same time, the Constitution prohibits the federal government from preventing the free exercise of religion. They knew that many people had left Europe due to religious persecution. Some of the colonies, such as Pennsylvania, even established religious tolerance statues before the First Amendment was even written. As to the Pledge - I have no problem with the phrase "...under God". You don't even have to say it if you choose not to. I have more problem with the phrase "... and justice for all." As for the after school meetings, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schools must give equal access to every group if it conducted after school hours and no one is forced to attend. Certainly a religious club has as much right to meet after school hours in a tax supported building as a chess club or science club. Oh, not everyone can afford private school.

SoonerorLater
0
Points
SoonerorLater 06/15/08 - 08:17 am
0
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So Cain and the idiotic

So Cain and the idiotic Supreme Court thinks the Constitution protects the detainees in Gitmo who are sworn terrorists and hate this country and want us to not exist anymore. The Constitution is for the US citizens, one just has to read the Preamble to understand this. "We the People of the United States.......secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves, and our Posterity.....". Thus the Constitution refers to the "People of the United States". It does NOT refer to people not of the United States. Thus our constitution is also under attack and afforded to those all over the world. Cain thinks Christianity and the Bible are a myth, so debating him on these topics and his insane fodder are fruitless. To many times Christianity has taken a beating in this country and a back seat to other religions (namely Islam of late) out of fear of "offending" those who do not believe. When only about 14% of the nation does not believe in God (and Christmas for that matter), the other 86% must not "offend" them. This country is based upon "majority rules", but in this arena the minority has won out because of the sensitivity and "offensiveness" that might affect the minority (such as Cain)

bone
23
Points
bone 06/15/08 - 08:22 am
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actually, this country was

actually, this country was founded on principles that prevent majority domination & oppression: if 86% (and i am not agreeing with this number, by the way) desire something to be forced on 14%, the restrictions of gov't power should keep this from happening. dinohntr, i can't put my hands on my school law text (i'm sure i could google the answer, though), but i believe you are correct about the public use ruling of the supreme court regarding public schools.

soldout
1283
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soldout 06/15/08 - 08:25 am
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If John Cain knew how much

If John Cain knew how much God loved him his attitude would change. If he knew the creator of the universe was willing to become a man and die so John Cain could live forever with his creator; John Cain would change. John Cain is serving somebody.

sunnysmiles11
0
Points
sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 08:33 am
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I think access to our

I think access to our country's resources and protections should be limited to citizens only. I think immigrants who enter our country legally and learn English and the history of our country should be allowed to become a citizen with all the rights and privileges. Illegals should be immediately sent back to where they came from. Those who refuse to conform to become an American - should not get the privilege of citizenship.

sunnysmiles11
0
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 08:35 am
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Citizenship is a privilege -

Citizenship is a privilege - or at least it used to be.. and should become a privilege again.

SoonerorLater
0
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SoonerorLater 06/15/08 - 08:42 am
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bone, I am only stating that

bone, I am only stating that in a poll last year that 86% of those surveyed stated that they believed in God and Christmas. Not that their beliefs should be "forced" upon the minority, but that too often we cowtow to the minority when it comes to certain matters (such as gay marriage, put it to a vote and it would certainly lose overwhelmingly). How can a Maryland school district put in its curriculum that students have to study Islam to gain an understanding of this religion? Should the same be said for Budhism, Hinduism, Paganism, etc? Also, in Minnesota there is a school that is run by a "cleric" where students attend prayers, Christians are "prohibited" from attending, yet this school gets public funding. There are numerous examples where other religions are given more leeway in the public arena than Christianity, so can anyone answer why Christianity is so disrespected and deemed "offensive" when examples are plentiful whereby other religions are given preferntial treatment over Christianity?

sunnysmiles11
0
Points
sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 08:45 am
0
0
With the privilege of

With the privilege of citizenship, comes freedom from religious persecution. Citizenship = Privileges. Our country is at war.. POW's should be treated as accorded in the Geneva Convention and that's it. The Supreme Court has overstepped it's bounds and interfered where it doesn't belong.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/15/08 - 08:53 am
0
0
i think the minnesota school

i think the minnesota school is under investigation and will likely lose its public funding, rjh. i have seen polls that also indicate very few americans want multiple religions taught to their children, which would be a good reason to avoid conflicts of belief and eliminate religious instruction. curiously, though, i believe some hysteria surrounds religion these days and perhaps, in the interest of encouraging understanding, a course of instruction that addresses different cultures thru religious beliefs isn't a bad idea. the problem with such an offering would be to ensure that major religions are presented in a manner that highlights the ways in which believers live according to their faith rather than denigrating one in favor of another.

SoonerorLater
0
Points
SoonerorLater 06/15/08 - 08:59 am
0
0
Harris Poll #11, conducted

Harris Poll #11, conducted from January 21-27, 2003, with 2021 respondants, showed that 90% believe in God. June, 2004 Fox conducted a poll and the results were 93% believers. Baylor University did a study and found 95% believe in God. My 86% was based on a poll around Christmas time when Christmas was under attack, these polls show higher numbers.

proudfam68
0
Points
proudfam68 06/15/08 - 09:02 am
0
0
I blame all u whiteys for our

I blame all u whiteys for our prolems cuontry was ok afore u came here

SoonerorLater
0
Points
SoonerorLater 06/15/08 - 09:04 am
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bone, I agree that if there

bone, I agree that if there was an over arching studying of the different religions and the cultures that they are associated with would be OK. This would certainly give the students an idea of cultures and religion in a broad perspective, but for a school district to accomodate one religion (whether it is textbooks, foot washing station such as Univ of Michigan, or prayer sessions) then it is definately out of bounds.

Does_it_really_matter
1
Points
Does_it_really_matter 06/15/08 - 09:06 am
0
0
As long as we keep losing

As long as we keep losing religious rights and the histories behind them, the easier it will be for Islam to truely take over the world. When we allow things like this to happen, we are giving America away bit by bit. It started when prayer was eliminated in schools.....and it won't end until we all learn the prayers of Islam or we die defending our Christian beliefs. It is happening and will continue to happen.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/15/08 - 09:11 am
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not to belabor the point,

not to belabor the point, rjh, but the baylor study found 92% believed in God OR a higher power (the fox study was designed as a political sampling since only registered voters could be included); that said, i don't believe these polls should be the basis for deciding whether a course of study is right or wrong in public schools. if this were the case, religious instruction that included all major religions could be seen as essential to ensure mutual understandings and parents would be clamoring for plurality of religions in school rather than a single dominant viewpoint. i couldn't imagine being a social studies teacher faced with the task of instructing students of many different backgrounds in a non-denominational survey of religious beliefs as a means to promote cultural understanding.

proudfam68
0
Points
proudfam68 06/15/08 - 09:12 am
0
0
not abowt jesus man bout wite

not abowt jesus man bout wite and black whitey scroo evrythang up

bone
23
Points
bone 06/15/08 - 09:12 am
0
0
i agree with your 10:04 post,

i agree with your 10:04 post, rjh.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/15/08 - 09:14 am
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0
point taken, sunnysmiles. i

point taken, sunnysmiles. i apologize for causing offense and i removed my post.

sunnysmiles11
0
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 09:17 am
0
0
good morning proudfam -

good morning proudfam - everyone has been created equal - how a person fares is according to how hard one tugs on one's own bootstraps. dissatisfaction in one's life should take the finger of blame - turn it around and point at oneself - opportunities abound for those willing to get off their backsides and go after them..

sunnysmiles11
0
Points
sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 09:18 am
0
0
bone, don't sweat it, no

bone, don't sweat it, no offense taken, I will remove mine as well..

proudfam68
0
Points
proudfam68 06/15/08 - 09:18 am
0
0
thas rasist man u a rasist

thas rasist man u a rasist

sunnysmiles11
0
Points
sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 09:22 am
0
0
sho nuf? how u figgur?

sho nuf? how u figgur?

proudfam68
0
Points
proudfam68 06/15/08 - 09:25 am
0
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fo sho cuuuuz

fo sho cuuuuz

proudfam68
0
Points
proudfam68 06/15/08 - 09:28 am
0
0
whitey mad raep an drugs an

whitey mad raep an drugs an "science" an biggest evil avar cawl scat see hur PROOF

proudfam68
0
Points
proudfam68 06/15/08 - 09:29 am
0
0
man look liek whitey but can

man look liek whitey but can tel fo sho cuz he cover in shiznit

Patriot08
0
Points
Patriot08 06/15/08 - 09:30 am
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0
"Believing with you that

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for is faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which 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. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties." Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists.

Patriot08
0
Points
Patriot08 06/15/08 - 09:31 am
0
0
"Congress should not

"Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform" (Madison, Annals of Congress, 1789).

Patriot08
0
Points
Patriot08 06/15/08 - 09:31 am
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"Who does not see that the

"Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?" (Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance)

Patriot08
0
Points
Patriot08 06/15/08 - 09:32 am
0
0
"That religion, or the duty

"That religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience." (Patrick Henry)

Patriot08
0
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 09:33 am
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"I am persuaded, you will

"I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta [Constitution] of our country" (George Washington, 1789).

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