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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Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:33 am
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"In the course of the

"In the course of the opposition to the bill in the House of Delegates, which was warm & strenuous from some of the minority, an experiment was made on the reverence entertained for the name & sanctity of the Saviour, by proposing to insert the words "Jesus Christ" after the words "our lord" in the preamble, the object of which would have been, to imply a restriction of the liberty defined in the Bill, to those professing his religion only. The amendment was discussed, and rejected by a vote of agst." (James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance)

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:34 am
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"The appropriation of funds

"The appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, [is] contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment'" (James Madison, Veto, 1811)

sunnysmiles11
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 10:34 am
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what lovely language, no one

what lovely language, no one speaks this way anymore - what a shame.. thanks for the quotes..

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:34 am
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"We should begin by setting

"We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions ... shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power ... we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society." (John Adams)

proudfam68
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proudfam68 06/15/08 - 10:34 am
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how do i turned off computar?

how do i turned off computar?

sunnysmiles11
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 10:35 am
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it's amazing to me the amount

it's amazing to me the amount of emotion and meaning that our forefathers conveyed in such simple, benign words

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:35 am
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"As to religion, I hold it to

"As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious protesters thereof, and I know of no other business government has to do therewith." (Thomas Paine, the Rights of Man)

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:35 am
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"All national institutions of

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish [Muslim], appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the profession of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?" (Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason)

proudfam68
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proudfam68 06/15/08 - 10:36 am
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thomas jefferson wuz teh

thomas jefferson wuz teh biges evil evar dam whitey an ur 9/11

sunnysmiles11
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 10:37 am
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fo sho put dat der foot pedal

fo sho put dat der foot pedal on da flo and stomp it a bit, dat'll turn da ting off

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:37 am
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And unless mr jesusiscoming

And unless mr jesusiscoming cares to continue, I will call it a day. Isn't he supposed to be in church anyway?

sunnysmiles11
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 10:38 am
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have a great one..

have a great one..

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:42 am
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When a religion is good, I

When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.
- Benjamin Franklin: in letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:43 am
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Couldn't resist that last

Couldn't resist that last one...

The Knave
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The Knave 06/15/08 - 10:46 am
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On government's encouragement

On government's encouragement of public religiosity: "If we pursue this way, if we are decent, industrious, and honest...then it is my conviction that in the future as in the past the lord God will always help us." (Adolf Hitler) ----"I implore you to recognize the Church as a lady and in the name of the Pope take the King as lord of this land and obey his mandates. If you do not do it, I tell you that with the help of God I will enter powerfully against you all. I will make war everywhere and every way that I can. I will take your women and children and make them slaves....The deaths and injuries you will receive from here on will be your own fault and not that of his majesty nor of the gentlemen that accompany me." ("The Requirement", read by Spaniards to native tribes in the New World.) --- Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the the current moral values, not of men who whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and and tolerant.

sunnysmiles11
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 10:46 am
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don't you just love Ben?

don't you just love Ben? He's my favorite..

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:48 am
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In relation to the Pledge of

In relation to the Pledge of Allegiance itself, when the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 it read:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

This is a fact that is easy to verify and a part of relatively well-known public record. Why then is this fact not stated more often in the debate surrounding the inclusion of "under God" in the Pledge? It's easy to understand that many Americans feel the way they do about the Pledge when so few know that it was originally written without the words "under God" in it.

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:51 am
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The first continental dollar

The first continental dollar designed by none other than Franklin, had no reference to God. The mottos on this coin are "Mind Your Business" and "We Are One." During the Revolutionary War states issued their own currencies as well. The fifty dollar note from South Carolina makes no mention of God, and in fact has an image from Greek mythology on the back of the note, depicting Atlas. The motto in Latin on the front of the bill reads: "Let foresight guide our people."

Patriot08
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Patriot08 06/15/08 - 10:52 am
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In 1865, with the conclusion

In 1865, with the conclusion of the Civil War, a new Act was passed by Congress to allow the addition of the phrase "In God We Trust" to currency. "In God We Trust" was still not the national motto at this point and was not used on all money. It was simply allowed to be used on coins, and was used mostly on small denomination coins along with the national motto, "E Pluribus Unum."

sunnysmiles11
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sunnysmiles11 06/15/08 - 10:54 am
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Patriot, you should change

Patriot, you should change your moniker to History Prof.. you remind me of my Political Science Prof at ASU - whose class I really enjoyed and from whom I learned a great deal.

pah4r
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pah4r 06/15/08 - 11:06 am
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Cain, if for one moment you

Cain, if for one moment you would open your mind you would possibly understand that all combatants in time of war should be treated as our fine military, and in some instances our citizens are by those that would obliterate our society if not for our willingness and fortitude to do what may be required to defend our land and the likes of you.

grouse
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grouse 06/15/08 - 11:35 am
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Oh come on, forcing school
Unpublished

Oh come on, forcing school children to invoke God in a state and federal supported school is unconstitutional. Yes, we have the right to be free of government supported religion. Jesus said, when you pray, do it alone where no one can see. Don't make a spectacle of it. If only the Christians would follow his teachings.

The Knave
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The Knave 06/15/08 - 12:55 pm
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AMEN and AMEN, Brother

AMEN and AMEN, Brother Grouse. ---- The "holy" book in Matthew 6:5-6 lays out some rules about praying. It says that you should pray in private, "but thou when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy father which is in secret, and thy father which seeth in secret shall reward thee".

Christians are to pray in private, with their room door closed. Matthew implies that Christians do this because Christians trust that God knows their secrets, and rewards their trust in it. Matthew precedes this with a description of how HYPOCRITES PRAY IN PUBLIC where other people can see them praying, "that they may be seen". Praying to God in order to appear good is a way of wearing the "good guy badge" and is a selfish method to gain social esteem.

Many Christian scholars and preachers, and most lay Christians plainly and simply ignore these instructions. They pray in public, for display, on television and in the media. How ironic is it that a Christian prays in public, displaying their affiliation to God, yet they ignore the instructions they believe their God has sent them? They are rebelling against their God, whilst pretending to be serving it!

lord griggs1947
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lord griggs1947 06/15/08 - 01:26 pm
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The phrase the separation of

The phrase the separation of powers doesn't appear in the Constitution nor do other matters that are implied there;so, it is so silly to bray that separation of chucch and state doesn't appear there when it is so implied. Those theocons are ever so wrong! John Randolph is so right [ albeit, I don't care if religious groups rent school buildings when school is not in session.]. The Court rules out state-mandated Bible-readings and prayers, not Sky Pappy .No agent of government can promote religion in public schools [Thecons refer to them disparingingly as government schools.]. No self-respecting god would command worship anyway. No self-respecting god would want human or other animal sacrifice for expiation. See my threads at the reigion forum to see that there is no need to posit the ground or depth of being period! We naturalists reject the supernatural and the paranormal as beyond reason. Selah.

jack
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jack 06/15/08 - 03:05 pm
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Cain, when was the last time

Cain, when was the last time you were prosetalized by the Wisonsin Evangelicals? Hmmmmm didn'think so. Just more of your atheistic blatherings. The Founders wanted to assure we had no governement SPONSORED religion (Church of England), thus the freedom to exercise one's religion as they see fit in this country is a fundamental right that these leftist nutcase organizations would take from us. The courts have already decided if one non-profit student organization is alowed use of the school's facilities, student religious oranizations have the same right. Cain tblowing out his miserable rear end doesn't change the law or the Constitution.

jack
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jack 06/15/08 - 03:07 pm
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Cain, take this and cram it

Cain, take this and cram it where't shine (if you can get past your head)
http://www.adl.org/religion_ps_2004/facilities.asp

jack
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jack 06/15/08 - 03:19 pm
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Cain, the ASCOTUS made one

Cain, the ASCOTUS made one (there are others) totally without merit other than the desires of the extreme leftists whnfortunately sit on the court. pefully, this ruling will be over turned whn the court regains it's sanity and has people who can READ and interpret English (The Constitution). No where in our or any one else's history, have enemy combatants been allowed to use our courts. What the leftists have done is assume the role of a super, non-elected government unto itself that is not equal to Congress and the Executive Branches as intended in that Constitution you like to misquote.. As Justice Scalia said in dissenting, this ruling will be very bad for the united states. Like Jackson, Bush should tell them that they made the decision, now enforce it.

jack
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jack 06/15/08 - 03:26 pm
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Shibvas, I haven't heard

Shibvas, I haven't heard anything from then Islam being taught in schools, but no Christianity. I get the impression that it doen't matter to the ACES what student religion wants to use school facilities, but have a right to do so. Courts have already ruled on in favor of the student religious orgs. In fact, there are church services being conducted in public scho(after school hours). BTW, why should public funds be used to build Muslim foot washing facilities but not allow religious groups to use school facilities? The same for PRIVATE prayer rooms DURING school hours for Muslims-spearate for males and females no less? Direct violation of the SCOTUS decision.

jack
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jack 06/15/08 - 03:43 pm
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Proudfam, this country was

Proudfam, this country was just fine until African slaves were sold to white slave traders, brought here and then released. Country been screwed up ever since. Guv'munt schools went down the drain with the Brown Vs Board of Ed SCOTUS decison in 1954 integrating schools. Now, call me a racist, but that's usual when presented with facts. Just look at the A/RC school system as a prime example.

jack
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jack 06/15/08 - 03:46 pm
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BTW, Proudfam, those slaves

BTW, Proudfam, those slaves were sold by Africans to those "whity". slave traders. If anyone has a legitimate gripe (but you never hear them) are the American indians.

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