U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-15-2008, 08:50 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,756,977 times
Reputation: 4000

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Here are a few quotes:
There is little enough reason to launch yet another Founders Quotes War. The outcome is known in advance, and would be portended by a brief analysis of the last two in your list.

The first sentence of the quote attributed to Jefferson is taken from a letter to Charles Thomson of January 9, 1816. The context from which it was removed is a scathing rebuke of organized Christianity, in which Jefferson proclaims himself -- with his denial of all miracles and of the divinity of Jesus -- to be the "real" Christian. The second sentence is fabricated. There is no known source for it.

The quote attributed to Madison is fabricated in its entirety. There is not one shred of evidence that Madison ever wrote or said such a thing. If any doubt this, address an inquiry concerning the matter to...

Curators, The Madison Papers
The University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Here is a quote from the letter you will receive back...

We did not find anything in our files remotely like the sentiment expressed in the extract you sent us. In addition, the idea is inconsistent with everything we know about Madison's views on religion and government, views which he expressed time and time again in public and in private.

They have been sending out this same letter since 1993. Not that it has done very much good.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-15-2008, 08:57 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,756,977 times
Reputation: 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
Speaking only of T. Jefferson, he had at least a familiarity with Islam in addition to the Greek and Roman myths, as he owned an English translation of the Koran.
That would be the one upon which Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was sworn into Congress in 2007, I believe...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-15-2008, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,329,921 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
There is little enough reason to launch yet another Founders Quotes War. The outcome is known in advance, and would be portended by a brief analysis of the last two in your list...
Fair enough. However, there can be little doubt that the Founders did not intend to strip religion and its influence upon individuals in the government. They did seem to want to avoid the government endorsing a particular sect or congregation but I am not convinced that most of them would have wanted to purge any reference to Christianity from the government, let alone a generic reference to Deity.

The purging of any reference to Deity by government or on public property seems to be the goal of those whose cause is the separation of Church and State today. That is inconsistent with many of the quotes that I have read from the Founders.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-15-2008, 09:18 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,756,977 times
Reputation: 4000
Memo to Files:

Successful religions do not develop moralities. They import them from the secular societies in which they find themselves, attach a supposedly divine imprimatur to them, then mirror them back as endorsements, approbations, and affirmations to the secular societies from whence they came. This is the predominant ecclesiastical business model. This is how the doctrine of the divine right of kings came into being. This is how the Southern Methodists, Southern Presbyterians, and Southern Baptists all came into being through their wondrous discovery of scriptural support for the institution of slavery. This is how modern Christrianity came to embrace and extol the virtues of wealthy business moguls and consumerists where it began as a religion of the poor, the excluded, and the downtrodden railing against the excesses of the established classes. The religion that fails to reflect and endorse the morality of the society that it inhabits will continue to be a religion in the short run only.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-15-2008, 09:36 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,756,977 times
Reputation: 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Fair enough. However, there can be little doubt that the Founders did not intend to strip religion and its influence upon individuals in the government. They did seem to want to avoid the government endorsing a particular sect or congregation but I am not convinced that most of them would have wanted to purge any reference to Christianity from the government, let alone a generic reference to Deity. The purging of any reference to Deity by government or on public property seems to be the goal of those whose cause is the separation of Church and State today. That is inconsistent with many of the quotes that I have read from the Founders.
The thrust of the founders was to establish religion as an individual matter of conscience. There was not, and is not, any intent to suppress personal religious belief or expression. Within such a regime as the founders imagined and sought to establish, there is no role for the state. It may act only to protect and defend the religious rights of individuals. It may not itself advance the interests of any religion, and it may not itself interfere with the practice of any religion (save on the usual grounds of furthering a legitimate state interest in protecting the rights of others, usually children). The ACLU as one supposedly antagonistic example regularly defends rights of free exercise, from the right of the KKK to burn crosses, to the right of sidewalk preachers to use bullhorns, to the rights of those wishing to erect religious displays within a public forum to do so free from undue state interference or restriction. The imagined campaign to remove God and religion from the public square is entirely a scare-tactic invention of the modern religious right.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-15-2008, 09:47 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,189,381 times
Reputation: 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
That would be the one upon which Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was sworn into Congress in 2007, I believe...
The very one. How anti-American of him!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-15-2008, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,329,921 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
The thrust of the founders was to establish religion as an individual matter of conscience. There was not, and is not, any intent to suppress personal religious belief or expression. Within such a regime as the founders imagined and sought to establish, there is no role for the state. It may act only to protect and defend the religious rights of individuals. It may not itself advance the interests of any religion, and it may not itself interfere with the practice of any religion (save on the usual grounds of furthering a legitimate state interest in protecting the rights of others, usually children). The ACLU as one supposedly antagonistic example regularly defends rights of free exercise, from the right of the KKK to burn crosses, to the right of sidewalk preachers to use bullhorns, to the rights of those wishing to erect religious displays within a public forum to do so free from undue state interference or restriction. The imagined campaign to remove God and religion from the public square is entirely a scare-tactic invention of the modern religious right.
We agree that the Founders intended to protect the right of the individual to practice religion (or not to practice) as he sees fit. I still maintain, however, that many, if not most of the Founders would have no problem with references to Deity from public figures, on public property, or even occasional references to Deity in public schools.

I disagree that the campaign to remove God from the public square is "imagined." There was a case in San Diego where a cross was ordered removed from public property. In fact, Congress was considering selling the land to an individual how would keep the cross on the property. How about the Ten Commandments case in Alabama? There is a reason why Christmas and Easter Breaks in school are now call Winter and Spring breaks. There is the effort to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Finally, there is the removal of references to God in the National Cemetery ceremony for veterans.

I am not interested in getting dragged into a debate about merits of each of the examples above. Some of them I don't really care about and others I do. I cite them only as evidence that the campaign is not "imagined."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-15-2008, 10:13 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,756,977 times
Reputation: 4000
Another Memo to Files:

The salubrious effect upon society at times attributed to religion in their writings by many of the founders and by other notables of their time needs to be understood in some context. There were in that time (as in long previous times), two widely dispersed and almost universally accessible institutions of social unity -- churches and taverns. Among a widely scattered and almost entirely agrarian population, these were the two and pretty much only places where common interests regularly came to the fore -- where a man might meet with other men and talk and debate and sometimes fight. There were no other widely available institutions capable of promoting any sort of social communication or cohesion, and in many ways, it may quite fairly be said that churches and taverns have been fighting for audience share in this matter for centuries. It is against this backdrop that comments regarding the potential beneficial aspects of religion should be taken. Rather than being endorsements of any bit of faith or dogma, they are expressions of a need for the more consistently civilizing and unifying effects that religion might be thought to have over taverns within a democratic republic, a system of government which all but demands that community debate and discussion be rationally engaged in within one forum or another.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-15-2008, 11:19 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,756,977 times
Reputation: 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
We agree that the Founders intended to protect the right of the individual to practice religion (or not to practice) as he sees fit. I still maintain, however, that many, if not most of the Founders would have no problem with references to Deity from public figures, on public property, or even occasional references to Deity in public schools.
No one is trying to stamp out these things today. Public figures do not give up their individual rights, the right of religious speech on actually public property is vigorously defended, and any student or teacher may discuss religion or pray within a public school. The key in each case is that the state not in any way be a sponsor of such activity. Nor may it stand by while practitioners establish conditions under which others suffer any compulsion to be exposed to such activity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
I disagree that the campaign to remove God from the public square is "imagined." There was a case in San Diego where a cross was ordered removed from public property. In fact, Congress was considering selling the land to an individual how would keep the cross on the property.
This is not just a cross. It is a 30-foot tall singularly religious icon that the city put on top of a mountain where citizens would be forced daily to see it. This is a patent state endorsement of one religion over another and the cross has been unconstitutional since the day it was first erected. When challenged, the city "sold" the small bit of property directly beneath the cross to a hastily assembled private charity. The courts threw the sale out. The city tried to donate the land to the federal government. That was ruled unconstitutional. The city has lost case after case after case, because it had no case to begin with. It has accomplished nothing since 1989 except to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on a quixotic mission to defend an illegal religious endorsement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
How about the Ten Commandments case in Alabama?
Judge Roy Moore's monolith was no less illegal from the outset. Citizens were regularly compelled by the state to be present in the courthouse, and in the dead of night (with Coral Ridge Ministries having been granted exclusive rights to film the event), Judge Moore caused his ten commandments to be placed where none could have avoided viewing it. He was rightfully ordered to have it removed, he refused to do so, and he was then rightly impeached and removed from the bench, and his monument was at last spirited away. Another triumph for religious freedom in America.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
There is a reason why Christmas and Easter Breaks in school are now call Winter and Spring breaks.
The reason is called respect for the religious rights of others. Insistence upon using the holidays of one and only one religion as the formal names of public school vacation periods is an obvious sign of state favoritism for that one religion. Christians, in this case, do not have a right to complain of discrimination for their being treated in some cases as equals, rather than as superiors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
There is the effort to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
It plainly doesn't belong there. It transforms what had since its inception been a unifying national pledge that (nearly) all could recite equally into a sworn acknowlegdement of and pledge to the deity of one particular religion. "God" is not a generic term. There is only one religion that names its deity that and spells it that way. Read the original 9th Circuit ruling in the Newdow case. It is an eloquent and persuasive discourse regarding the issues at the heart of the matter. There is a reason that the Supreme Court did not later decide its hearing of that case on the basis of either the law or the facts. Had they, the outcome would have been a foregone conclusion. So they tossed the case on an arcane standing argument not relied upon before or since.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Finally, there is the removal of references to God in the National Cemetery ceremony for veterans.
You'll need to provide for me the particulars you mean to refer to here. At long last, the array of religious and other symbols that veterans and their families can have carved onto tombstones has been expanded beyond the narrow and discriminatory limits of days gone by. But maybe you mean to refer to some other act not clearly enough specified...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
I am not interested in getting dragged into a debate about merits of each of the examples above. Some of them I don't really care about and others I do. I cite them only as evidence that the campaign is not "imagined."
In a forum called Great Debates, I don't believe you can introduce "evidence" and then refuse to debate the nature of it. That nature reveals that the incidents cited are evidence only of a campaign to put an end to blatant usurpations accomplished through illegal and unconstitutional activity on the part of various state agencies. That is a vastly different thing from a campaign to remove God and religion from the public square.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-16-2008, 12:41 AM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,189,381 times
Reputation: 838
I agree with everything saganista said up to this point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan
There is a reason why Christmas and Easter Breaks in school are now call Winter and Spring breaks.

The reason is called respect for the religious rights of others. Insistence upon using the holidays of one and only one religion as the formal names of public school vacation periods is an obvious sign of state favoritism for that one religion. Christians, in this case, do not have a right to complain of discrimination for their being treated in some cases as equals, rather than as superiors.

Unfortunately, this is an instance in which I believe it has nothing to do with respect and everything to do with paying lip service to respect. The fact that the winter break is centered on the Federal holiday of Christmas and the Christian New Year is not changed by calling it Winter Break. Nobody is fooled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan
There is the effort to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

It plainly doesn't belong there. It transforms what had since its inception been a unifying national pledge that (nearly) all could recite equally into a sworn acknowlegdement (sic) of and pledge to the deity of one particular religion. "God" is not a generic term. There is only one religion that names its deity that and spells it that way. Read the original 9th Circuit ruling...(snip) ..they tossed the case on an arcane standing argument not relied upon before or since.

It was an invention of the Red scares of the 50's, unlike the bulk of the pledge. It is a violation of good sense, as well, but... never mind.

And I did not understand that about the ruling! Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan
Finally, there is the removal of references to God in the National Cemetery ceremony for veterans.

You'll need to provide for me the particulars you mean to refer to here. At long last, the array of religious and other symbols that veterans and their families can have carved onto tombstones has been expanded beyond the narrow and discriminatory limits of days gone by. But maybe you mean to refer to some other act not clearly enough specified...

He's right on this one. In the process of folding the flags, historically there has been an explanation of what each of the 13 folds they make symbolize. The explanation is strongly Christian, though there are some adjustments made for the Judaic soldiers.

This explanation has been banned as of a couple months ago, if I am not mistaken. I think the ban was wrong, just as I thought the practice without regard to the individual was wrong, as well.


Steve L. Muro, the director of the National Cemetery Administration's field programs office, ordered cemetery directors to stop the readings.


Quote:
"There are no federal laws related to the flag that assign any special meaning to the individual folds of the flag," Muro wrote in a memo obtained by FOXNews.com. "The National Cemetery Administration must not give meaning, or appear to give meaning to the folds of the flag by endorsing or distributing any handouts on 'The Meaning of Each Fold of an Honor Guard Funeral Flag."
http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/flagmemo.pdf



Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan
I am not interested in getting dragged into a debate about merits of each of the examples above. Some of them I don't really care about and others I do. I cite them only as evidence that the campaign is not "imagined."

In a forum called Great Debates, I don't believe you can introduce "evidence" and then refuse to debate the nature of it. (snip) That is a vastly different thing from a campaign to remove God and religion from the public square.

Thank you.

It goes beyond the issue of "the public square."

The assumption that the majority has the right to celebrate however, whenever, and wherever they want to, in terms of public facilities, spaces, and organizations imposes a huge burden on those whose beliefs do not fall within the mainstream.

A mere "Oh, you don't have to join in the group prayer if you do not want to" creates a separation and exclusion. It creates a bias, an inherent prejudice. The other is marked by that above and beyond any choice s/he might have made.

And I quote: "What's the matter? Isn't out God good enough for the likes of you?"

Having heard that after school in high school when a student chose not to participate in a 'voluntary' prayer session the coach held before a football game, I can no longer "just go along" with the practice. Lives are at stake.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top