US Supreme Court rules on 10 Commandments


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Fly320s
June 27, 2005, 11:27 AM
The ruling is in, the 10 Commandments have to go from the courtroom.

Since this isn't gun related, I'll leave it at that. See your favorite news source for more information.

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Beren
June 27, 2005, 11:30 AM
Not so much that they have to go, but they have to go outside. They can be "on government property" but "not in a courthouse."

CentralTexas
June 27, 2005, 11:36 AM
they don't have to "go", they just can't be in a court room so that it appears it is a government sponsored endorsment or christian court.
I really wish a small town in Michigan with a heavy moslem population would take over city or state gov. and put the Koran up in the courtroom and force a moslem prayer on all the public school kids. That would clarify things I bet.
CT :rolleyes:

Derek Zeanah
June 27, 2005, 11:46 AM
Personally, I'd like to see a mural of Ganesh in a US Courtroom. I believe he's the Hindu god that oversees the sphere of "justice"...

longeyes
June 27, 2005, 11:49 AM
Would someone please tell the Ten Commandments to use the servants' entrance from now on?

Vernal45
June 27, 2005, 11:49 AM
I really wish a small town in Michigan with a heavy moslem population would take over city or state gov. and put the Koran up in the courtroom and force a moslem prayer on all the public school kids. That would clarify things I bet.

NOPE, That would be acceptable in the name of tolerance and diversity. :banghead:

Henry Bowman
June 27, 2005, 11:58 AM
As of a few minutes ago, the decision was not up on the official SCOTUS site. Anyone have a link?

MrTuffPaws
June 27, 2005, 11:59 AM
NOPE, That would be acceptable in the name of tolerance and diversity.

Doubtful. As long as the 10 are represented with other historical law documents, it is fine to have it up.

This case was: Courtroom puts the 10 up, gets sued, puts up some other docs to try to cover their butts, gets called on it and found wrong.

Blinocac200sx
June 27, 2005, 12:04 PM
I'd like to know how displaying another countries original laws is itself a law regaurding the establishment of religion?

dolanp
June 27, 2005, 12:17 PM
Ruling: http://wid.ap.org/scotus/pdf/03-1693P.ZO.pdf

MudPuppy
June 27, 2005, 12:21 PM
An of course the 10 commandments are carved into the wall in the chambers of SCOTUS, yes?

Another example of our US royalty telling us to "do as I say, not as I do".

Since 1980, there have been two families with immediate family members in one of the two highest posts in the US government.

1980-88 GB Sr as VP
1988-92 GB Sr as Pres
1992-2000 BC as Pres
2000-08 GWB as Pres
2008-16 Hillary is being offered as a serious candidate.

Crown 'em and be done with it.

dpesec
June 27, 2005, 12:36 PM
Well I guess we'll be building a new building for the SCOTUS. They have them inside the courtroom.
Hummmmmm.

dpesec
June 27, 2005, 12:37 PM
simple, because the tyrants said so.

bogie
June 27, 2005, 12:39 PM
I don't see what the big deal is, unless you're a religious fanatic in search of a theocracy.

Walt Sherrill
June 27, 2005, 01:19 PM
An[d] of course the 10 commandments are carved into the wall in the chambers of SCOTUS, yes?Along with examples from other great legals systems, including the Code of Hammerubi.

All such examples were presented as representations of LAW and legal systems, not as professions of religious tenets or having religious value. The purpose there was obviously SECULAR in nature and by the standards offered in previous rulings, and in this one, perfectly legal.

CZ 75 BD
June 27, 2005, 01:56 PM
Top Ten Signs That The Supreme Court Ruled The Wrong Way on the Ten Commandments Cases

10. Justice Breyer's first-born son suddenly feeling "under the weather".
9. God now saying that justices are allowed "on" heaven, but not "in" heaven.
8. When the bailiff cried "God Save this Honorable Court!" at the beginning of the session, he suddenly turned into a pillar of salt.
7. Every evening, it seems like it now takes Justice Souter 40 years to find his car in the Supreme Court parking lot.
6. Justice Scalia's Sunday golf game interrupted by plague of locusts.
5. Testimony from false witnesses now completely admissible.
4. Justice O'Connor suddenly the recipient of unwanted "coveting."
3. The Potomac turned blood red. Wait! -- that's just pollution.
2. Manna supply has suddenly run out.
1. The golden calf the justices had installed inside the court suddenly burst in twain.
http://www.colossusblog.com/mt/archives/000752.html :p

dev_null
June 27, 2005, 02:02 PM
> I don't see what the big deal is, unless you're a religious fanatic in search of a theocracy.

+1

Pilot
June 27, 2005, 02:44 PM
I don't see what the big deal is, unless you're a religious fanatic in search of a theocracy.

+1

The big deal is that the Supreme Court sole responsibility is to interpret Constitutional law. There is NOTHING in the Constitution about seperation of church and state. The Constitution prohibits a state sponsored religion and guarantess freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. By ruling like this the Supreme Court has once again ignored the Constitutional law and ruled how they felt. This along with the land grab precedent they just set is the new legal reality we have to deal with. The rulings are not based on law anymore, its just made up by the S.C. judges.

How about their previous ruling that law schools can use a quota system to insure diversity in applicants? This is actually against the Constitution which guarantees we're all treated equally no matter what race, creed, religion or color, yet the Supreme Court upheld quotas.

This trend is scary folks. Wake up.

Watch the 2nd Amendment is next.

dev_null
June 27, 2005, 03:00 PM
I'm not buying it.

There is plenty of clear precedent for 200+ years on the separation of church and state (which exists as much to protect churches as for the disestablishment clause). To argue otherwise is to emulate the famous ostrich.

Walt Sherrill
June 27, 2005, 03:33 PM
How about their previous ruling that law schools can use a quota system to insure diversity in applicants? This is actually against the Constitution which guarantees we're all treated equally no matter what race, creed, religion or color, yet the Supreme Court upheld quotas. Yeah, and where were those activist judges when, for 100+ years, we had slaves, counted as 3/5ths of a person. And, even if they escaped slavery (by running away), they had to go back, if caught (ala Dred Scott).

And where were they when we sent American Citizens to Concentration Camps during WWII, causing them to lose their property, simply because they were of Japanese dissent. (The Supremes allowed that, too -- even though those folks were clearly not treated equally because of their race and creed...)

Oh, I see... they were just supporting time-honored precedent and supporting and protecting the Constitution.

Slavery was bad, but the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII remains one of the low points our history -- with little real justification. (History created and sustained slavery far too long, but racism seems to be the only excuse for the Concentration Camps.)

With the cases in question, I suggest you read the court opinions -- available on line -- rather than the pre-digested pablum available to us on the news. If you do, you'll see that there was a lot of underlying law and history taken into consideration. While you may not agree with the decision, it was not not entirely an irrational decision -- and it didn't jump, fully formed, into existence as the decision was written.

I just finished reading the Scalia dissent in the McCreary County case. He's pretty brutal in his condemnation of the majority opinion, and personally attacks Justice Steven's opinion. In doing, so, however, he offers little real LEGAL justification for his viewpoint. Scalia just attacks a viewpoint he disagrees with and offers up warm and fuzzy points that seem to have even less basis in law and precedent than the majority opionion of the court.

Now its on to the Orden v. Perry decision..

CentralTexas
June 27, 2005, 03:35 PM
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

or this?

"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moor, 1800.

"Believing... that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate 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." --Thomas Jefferson to Danbury Baptists, 1802. ME 16:281

"As the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,--as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquillity of Messelmen, --and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mohammedan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever interupt the harmony existing betweenthe two countries"--Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, Article XI, written by Joel Barlow (USA diplomat) and Hassan Bashaw (of Algers), late during George Washington's second term and later ratified by President John Adams. Original and copies preserved in the national Archives in Washington, DC. under Treaty series no.358. Official Senate treaty found in the American State Papers, Foreign Relations, II p. 18-19. "Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America" vol.2, edited by Hunter Miller, US. Government printing office, 1931, p.349-385.

James Madison
Called the father of the Constitution, Madison had no conventional sense of Christianity. In 1785, Madison wrote in his Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments:

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

CT

Pilot
June 27, 2005, 03:49 PM
Well I'm not buying it. I have read the opinions. All I see are quoted passages of books and treatises NOT the Constitution which is the law of our land. That their job, not quoting books, European law or anythign else. The fact that they can justify leaving the Ten Commandments up in the Supreme Court but forces other courts to remove it speaks volumes. There is more precedent for keeping religious symbols in public places than not. Look at your money, read the Constitution. Where do you think our laws came from? That's right the Ten Commandments.

When judges can blatantly invent law and act using personal feelings rather than actually looking at the law, we are in serious trouble. What the hell does slavery have to do with this? It only makes my point. Judges have perverted our laws and legal system for years. Its time to remind them we do have written laws which they must follow.

RevDisk
June 27, 2005, 03:50 PM
The big deal is that the Supreme Court sole responsibility is to interpret Constitutional law. There is NOTHING in the Constitution about seperation of church and state. The Constitution prohibits a state sponsored religion and guarantess freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. By ruling like this the Supreme Court has once again ignored the Constitutional law and ruled how they felt. This along with the land grab precedent they just set is the new legal reality we have to deal with. The rulings are not based on law anymore, its just made up by the S.C. judges.

Incorrect.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.



My freedom from religious coercion is spelled out clearly in the First and Ninth amendments. If someone doesn't get the idea clearly enough, well, that's what the Second amendment is there for.


The ruling is in, the 10 Commandments have to go from the courtroom.

From what I gather, it's all or none. You can't stick just the 10 commandments on the wall and forbid all others. If the 10 commandments go up on the wall, the Wiccan Rede or Code of Hammerubi can also. To do otherwise violates the above meantioned Amendments, in addition to Amendment XIV. "Equal protection" and such.

America is not a theocracy. It is a Constitutional Republic.

ojibweindian
June 27, 2005, 03:57 PM
There's far more to freak out over than just this. The SCOTUS has really bent us over this session.

TheEgg
June 27, 2005, 03:57 PM
IBTL


Lights out soon, I hope.

Walt Sherrill
June 27, 2005, 04:05 PM
What has slavery to do with this? It has to do with INTERPRETING the Constitution!

I thought all men were created equal? Clearly not the case. The Constitution said it and then immediately ignored it. On the other hand, show us where, in the Constitution, God is even mentioned. (Hint: He isn't.)

The Declaration of Independence, which is often cited in these discussions, isn't part of our legal system; the Constitution is. Using the Declaration as justification is no different than using other historical documents or letters from the time.

Some have argued, correctly, I think, that the writers of the Declaration had to say "God gave us these rights" -- as they were fighting a ruler who had been appointed by God. That's what DIVINE RIGHT RULERS like King George claimed, anyhow -- God gave them the job, and who were we to act up?! It was fight fire with fire or really get burned.

The only other mention of religion in the Constitution, except for the First Amendment, is a passing one, in stipulating that there shall be NO RELIGIOIUS TESTS for holding office. You'd think, if our Founding Fathers were so enamored of building religion into government, they'd make us profess our faith when we took office or accepted a government job, wouldn't you?

God and religion were clearly important to our Founding Fathers. Its clearly important to people, today. BUT IT IS NOT A DUTY OF GOVERNMENT TO PROMOTE RELIGION! That's your duty, and the duty of those who share your faith. Why do you want GOVERNMENT to do it for you?! What else do you want government to do for you?

If you're ever in a religious minority, you'll understand this better. And at the rate some groups and religions are growing in the US, you may see it before your die.

I don't want a public school teacher -- a government employee -- leading my kids in prayer or teaching my kids religious values. If those values are going to be so watered down as to be acceptable to everyone, they'll be meaningless, anyway.

Teaching these things are my job and your job and, if you go to church, the Church's job. Its not something to be left to a government employee.

dev_null
June 27, 2005, 04:16 PM
TE: Already more heat than light here. :D

rock jock
June 27, 2005, 04:18 PM
The big deal is that the Supreme Court sole responsibility is to interpret Constitutional law. There is NOTHING in the Constitution about seperation of church and state. The Constitution prohibits a state sponsored religion and guarantess freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. By ruling like this the Supreme Court has once again ignored the Constitutional law and ruled how they felt. This along with the land grab precedent they just set is the new legal reality we have to deal with. The rulings are not based on law anymore, its just made up by the S.C. judges.
+1

There is plenty of clear precedent for 200+ years on the separation of church and state (which exists as much to protect churches as for the disestablishment clause). To argue otherwise is to emulate the famous ostrich.
From http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=9:

Therefore, if Jefferson’s letter is to be used today, let its context be clearly given-as in previous years. Furthermore, earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter-words clearly divorced from their context-have become the sole authorization for a national policy. Finally, Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.

For example, in addition to his other statements previously noted, Jefferson also declared that the “power to prescribe any religious exercise. . . . must rest with the States” (emphasis added). Nevertheless, the federal courts ignore this succinct declaration and choose rather to misuse his separation phrase to strike down scores of State laws which encourage or facilitate public religious expressions. Such rulings against State laws are a direct violation of the words and intent of the very one from whom the courts claim to derive their policy.

One further note should be made about the now infamous “separation” dogma. The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment-as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

neoncowboy
June 27, 2005, 05:11 PM
My (admittedly simple) question about the whole thing is:

When a courthouse is built and the inscription of the 10 Commandments is inscribed in it's stone facade...how is this the same thing as Congress passing a law respecting the establishment of a religion? Congress doesn't pass laws to determine the courthouse construction design comittee's work.

IMO, the whole Jefferson 'wall of separation' has been GROSSLY distorted and taken out of context, hijacked by secularists in an attempt to absolutely remove God from all facets of public life. You're an atheist and don't want government to ever mention God? Fine, vote for atheist representatives, write them letters encouraging their platform of atheism.

That's what representative goverment is.

I'm a Christian and want my government to acknowledge, revere and awe God...as an American with representative goverment I believe I have that right.

Derek Zeanah
June 27, 2005, 05:18 PM
Neon:

Do I have the same right to keep this guy on the walls too?

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=25883

Would that be my right as a Hindu (not that I am, but for argument's sake)?

How about having Sharia law etched into the courtroom chambers? Would you feel like you were getting a fair shake with a Muslim judge, in a courtroom whose adornments were all Muslim?

Or would you also have the "right" to demand that your judge be of the same religion as you, and to hell with the whole "blind justice" and "rule of law" thing?

Courts are about enforcing the law. In this country, the law is based on reason, not on a belief structure. If you go on a chainsaw rampage in the middle of some coven's sabbat, you can't turn around, point to the 10 commandments on the wall, and claim "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" gets you off the hook.

Law. Not religion.

neoncowboy
June 27, 2005, 05:27 PM
Do I have the same right to keep this guy on the walls too?

That's a category fallacy.

I don't have the 'right' to a Christian government anymore than you have a right to a Hindu one.

What I have a right to is representative government. Or, government comprised of representatives chosen by the people, including me. Representatives who think like me, who share my values, who think of morality the same way, who see human nature as I see human nature and yes, who share my religion.

So, sure...if you can elect a majority Hindu government that then decides to adorn courthouses with images of (false) gods...I guess that's what a representative goverment is, one that looks like the people it represents.

But you can't...not in America anway. I can elect a majority of representatives who identify themselves as Christian, because our nation predominantly identifies itself as Christian. So how is the 10 commandments on a courthouse, prayer in school, prayer in congress or any other public/government acknowledgement of Christianity anything other than representative government?

rock jock
June 27, 2005, 05:52 PM
Good summary, neon.

dev_null
June 27, 2005, 05:56 PM
Thomas Jefferson on Separation of Church and State


"[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom... was finally passed,... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination."
-Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:67


"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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 & State."
- Thomas Jefferson, 01 Jan 1802


"From the dissensions among Sects themselves arise necessarily a right of choosing and necessity of deliberating to which we will conform. But if we choose for ourselves, we must allow others to choose also, and so reciprocally, this establishes religious liberty."
-Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:545


"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others."
-Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse, 1803. ME 10:378


"Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone. I inquire after no man's, and trouble none with mine."
-Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814. ME 14:198


"Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on ... the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science."
-Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:281


"No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced [in the elementary schools] inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination."
-Thomas Jefferson: Elementary School Act, 1817. ME 17:425


"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State."
-Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1810. ME 12:345


"I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another."
-Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:78


"The advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from [the clergy]."
-Thomas Jefferson to Levi Lincoln, 1802. ME 10:305


"The clergy...believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion."
-Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800. ME 10:173


"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."
-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813. ME 14:21


"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."
-Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:119


"We have no right to prejudice another in his civil enjoyments because he is of another church."
-Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:546

R.H. Lee
June 27, 2005, 05:56 PM
Each judge presides over his individual courtroom. He should be able to put up any damn thing he wants. The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom OF religion, unrestrained by the state. Not freedom from religion. See the difference?

dev_null
June 27, 2005, 05:57 PM
What God Has Put Asunder: James Madison Quotes On Church And State


Total Separation

"[T]he number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State."
–Letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819


Three Pence Only

"[I]t is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties....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?"
–From the "Memorial and Remonstrance," 1785


Disproving The Old Error

"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity."
–Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec. 3, 1821


Ye States Of America!

"Ye States of America, which retain in your Constitution or Codes, any aberration from the sacred principle of religious liberty, by giving to Caesar what belongs to God, or joining together what God has put asunder, hasten to revise & purify your systems, and make the example of your Country as pure & compleat, in what relates to the freedom of the mind and its allegiance to its maker, as in what belongs to the legitimate objects of political & civil institutions. Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt. in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history."
–"Detached Memoranda," date of authorship unknown, estimated between 1817 and 1832


Teaching The World

"We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt."
–Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822


The Worst Of Government

"In the Papal System, Government and Religion are in a manner consolidated, & that is found to be the worst of Govts. In most of the Govts. of the old world, the legal establishment of a particular religion and without or with very little toleration of others makes a part of the Political and Civil organization and there are few of the most enlightened judges who will maintain that the system has been favorable either to Religion or to Govt."
–Letter to Jasper Adams, 1832-1833 (date uncertain)


Freedom For Every Sect

"Having ever regarded the freedom of religious opinion & worship as equally belonging to every sect, & the secure enjoyment of it as the best human provision for bringing all either into the same way of thinking, or into that mutual charity which is the only substitute, I observe with pleasure the view you give of the spirit in which your Sect partake of the blessings offered by our Govt. and Laws."
–Letter to Mordecai Noah, May 15, 1818


No Intermeddling With Religion

"There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it, would be a most flagrant usurpation. I can appeal to my uniform conduct on this subject, that I have warmly supported religious freedom."
–Journal excerpt, June 12, 1788


Forbidding Everything Like An Establishment

The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion."
–"Detached Memoranda"


Torrents Of Blood

"Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts of the secular arm, to extinguish Religious discord, by proscribing all difference in Religious opinion. Time has at length revealed the true remedy. Every relaxation of narrow and rigorous policy, wherever it has been tried, has been found to assuage the disease."
–"Memorial and Remonstrance"


Equality Of Rights For Sects

"Among the features peculiar to the Political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious Sect. And it is particularly pleasing to observe in the good citizenship of such as have been most distrusted and oppressed elsewhere, a happy illustration of the safety and success of this experiment of a just and benignant policy. Equal law protecting equal rights, are found as they ought to be presumed, the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country; as well as best calculated to cherish that mutual respect and good will among Citizens of every religious denomination which are necessary to social harmony and most favorable to the advancement of truth."
-Letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820


Religion Without The Aid Of Law

"The settled opinion here is that religion is essentially distinct from Civil Govt. and exempt from its cognizance; that a connexion between them is injurious to both; that there are causes in the human breast, which ensure the perpetuity of religion without the aid of the law; that rival sects, with equal rights, exercise mutual censorships in favor of good morals; that if new sects arise with absurd opinions or overheated maginations, the proper remedies lie in time, forbearance and example; that a legal establishment of religion without a toleration could not be thought of, and with toleration, is no security for public quiet & harmony, but rather a source of discord & animosity; and finally that these opinions are supported by experience, which has shewn that every relaxation of the alliance between Law & religion, from the partial example of Holland, to its consummation in Pennsylvania Delaware N.J. [etc.] has been found as safe in practice as it is sounds in theory. Prior to the Revolution, the Episcopal Church was established by law in this State. On the Declaration of independence it was left with all other sects, to a self-support. And no doubt exists that there is much more of religion among now than there ever was before the change; and particularly in the Sect which enjoyed the legal patronage. This proves rather more than, that the law is not necessary to the support of religion."
- Letter to Edward Everett, March 19, 1823


No Congressional Chaplains

"Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation."
-"Detached Memoranda"

dev_null
June 27, 2005, 05:58 PM
Other documents

Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, 1796-1797.

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion ... "
- Article 11, Treaty of Peace and Friendship
between The United States and the Bey and
Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, 1796-1797.


The treaty was written by Joel Barlow, negotiated during Washington's administration, concluded on November 4, 1796, ratified by the Senate in June, 1797, and signed by John Adams [2nd U.S. President] on June 10, 1797. Jefferson was Vice-President when the treaty was ratified and signed.

[I understand there is some controversy about whether this is a binding treaty. Nevertheless, regardless of whether or not it was ratified, it clearly shows the authors' intent.]



"I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. ... That the most acceptable Service we render to him is doing good to his other Children. That the soul of Man is immortal,and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental Principles of all sound Religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever Sect I meet with them.

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity... I do not perceive, that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the Unbelievers in his Government of the World with any peculiar Marks of his Displeasure... "
- Benjamin Franklin, on his deathbed



"But when the divine gift of reason begins to expand itself in the mind and calls man to reflection, he then reads and contemplates God and His works, and not in the books pretending to be revelation. The creation is the Bible of the true believer in God. Everything in this vast volume inspires him with sublime ideas of the Creator. The little and paltry, and often obscene, tales of the Bible sink into wretchedness when put in comparison with this mighty work.

"The Deist needs none of those tricks and shows called miracles to confirm his faith, for what can be a greater miracle than the creation itself, and his own existence?

"There is a happiness in Deism, when rightly understood, that is not to be found in any other system of religion. All other systems have something in them that either shock our reason, or are repugnant to it, and man, if he thinks at all, must stifle his reason in order to force himself to believe them.

"Except in the first article in the Christian creed, that of believing in God, there is not an article in it but fills the mind with doubt as to the truth of it, the instant man begins to think.

"The truth of the first article is proved by God Himself, and is universal; for the creation is of itself demonstration of the existence of a Creator. But the second article, that of God's begetting a son, is not proved in like manner, and stands on no other authority than that of a tale.

"What truth there may be in the story that Mary, before she was married to Joseph, was kept by one of the Roman soldiers, and was with child by him, I leave to be settled between the Jews and Christians. The story however has probability on its side, for her husband Joseph suspected and was jealous of her, and was going to put her away. 'Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was going to put her away, privately.' (Matt. i, 19).

"The belief of the redemption of Jesus Christ is altogether an invention of the Church of Rome... "

[A person] "... may believe that such a person as is called Jesus (for Christ was not his name) was born and grew to be a man, because it is no more than a natural and probable case. But who is to prove he is the son of God, that he was begotten by the Holy Ghost? Of these things there can be no proof; and that which admits not of proof, and is against the laws of probability and the order of nature, which God Himself has established, is not an object for belief. God has not given man reason to embarrass him, but to prevent his being imposed upon.

"He may believe that Jesus was crucified, because many others were crucified, but who is to prove he was crucified for the sins of the world? This article has no evidence, not even in the New Testament; and if it had, where is the proof that the New Testament, in relating things neither probable nor provable, is to be believed as true?

"When an article in a creed does not admit of proof nor of probability, the salvo is to call it revelation; but this is only putting one difficulty in the place of another, for it is as impossible to prove a thing to be revelation as it is to prove that Mary was gotten with child by the Holy Ghost.

"Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests.

"It honors reason as the choicest gift of God to man, and the faculty by which he is enabled to contemplate the power, wisdom and goodness of the Creator displayed in the creation; and reposing itself on His protection, both here and hereafter, it avoids all presumptuous beliefs, and rejects, as the fabulous inventions of men, all books pretending to revelation.

-Thomas Paine, OF THE RELIGION OF DEISM COMPARED WITH THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION (excerpted)

stonewall34
June 27, 2005, 06:26 PM
Does the heart good to see so much quoting of the founders in this discussion (particularly Madison). That being said I believe that the original intent of the founders was for the government (particularly the national branch) to be absolutely neutral in matters of religion. The danger in giving preferential treatment to any religion is that that religion can have an inordinate amount of influence over policy. The founders were influenced by the example of the excesses of the state-sponsored religions in Europe. They wanted to avoid this excess and to allow each person to decide what religion if any they wanted to practice. The danger to me is when groups attempt to restrict the ability of religious people to practice their religion as they see fit on their private time and in their private lives. This is where I totally disagree with the stand of some on how religion should be practiced. If you don't like what's being said in a private discussion LEAVE don't force someone to conform to your beliefs simply because you disagree with them. As to religion in the schools I know I am very uncomfortable with someone not of my persuasion teaching my child how to pray some watered down prayer and forcing them to say it. My wife and I have solved this problem by sending our daughter to a private Christian school where she can be taught by people who largely believe as we do. If we simply allow all people to practice their religion as they see fit we would not have half the problems that we do today. Also as Jefferson said we should allow religious discussions to be conducted in a reasoned rational way and allow each person to decide on their own, after all the gospel of Christ is not meant to be forced down people's throats it is a decision one can only make on their own and after careful consideration of what they believe.
Stonewall34

MrTuffPaws
June 27, 2005, 06:36 PM
Each judge presides over his individual courtroom. He should be able to put up any damn thing he wants. The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom OF religion, unrestrained by the state. Not freedom from religion. See the difference?

Then you wouldn't mind the 11 Satanic laws being in a courtroom either? What about the 5 pillars of Islam?

If you read the case, this is not a ban of the 10 commandments, it is a regulation. In other words, all or none. Thankfully, you don't have freedom from religions other than Christianity, nor do I. If you are going to show ancient laws, then play homage to all of them, religious or not. This is the reason why the 10 on the wall of the SCotUS is not in violation.

R.H. Lee
June 27, 2005, 06:40 PM
Then you wouldn't mind the 11 Satanic laws being in a courtroom either? What about the 5 pillars of Islam?
Nope, because any judge that displayed those would be considered a quirk and an oddball. After all, that judge does have 'freedom of expression' also. What about his 1st amendment rights?

Glock Glockler
June 27, 2005, 06:48 PM
If you are going to show ancient laws, then play homage to all of them, religious or not

Why, necessarily, would you show homage to all laws? Though it takes the exercising of a value judgement I would hope that one would pay homage to good and productive laws. Not all law is created equal.

MrTuffPaws
June 27, 2005, 07:29 PM
^^^^^^

Maybe I should have stated historically significant laws.

RevDisk
June 27, 2005, 08:23 PM
Nope, because any judge that displayed those would be considered a quirk and an oddball. After all, that judge does have 'freedom of expression' also. What about his 1st amendment rights?

The Judge checks some of his 1st amendment rights at the door when he dons the black robes. This is called "professionalism". Sadly, not all judges do so. But justice is supposed to be equal.

I could care less if someone considers my religious beliefs quirky or odd. Attempting to use state sponsored coersion is a dual edged sword when it comes to religion. I've seen many Christians get bent out of shape when it comes to the 10 commandments.

There are many different sects within Christianity, and apparently not all of them get along. I'd find it darkly amusing to see a zealot of one sect get slammed by a zealot judge of another sect. If one pushes for more religion in government, expect to see it. Be careful what you wish for, my friends, you may just get it.


But you can't...not in America anway. I can elect a majority of representatives who identify themselves as Christian, because our nation predominantly identifies itself as Christian. So how is the 10 commandments on a courthouse, prayer in school, prayer in congress or any other public/government acknowledgement of Christianity anything other than representative government?

What you're trying to do is argue the side of the anti-gunnies. (See, I can make this related to RKBA!) We are a Constitutional Republic. 51% of the population cannot vote away the rights of the other 49%. We are a representative democracy except when it comes to civil rights. They are off-limits to all but a Constutitional amendment.

If 51% of the country is Christian, that does not make this country a Christian theocracy. Again, the 51% can TRY to make this beautiful country into a theocracy. But that's why the Second Amendment exists.

gc70
June 27, 2005, 08:26 PM
Some very interesting quotes have been cited in which many of the Founding Fathers spoke eloquently against mixing church and state. Nevertheless, the Founding Fathers found no inconsistency in personally invoking the deity within a governmental context.

Below are excerpts from the first five Presidents' inaugural addresses, in which they invoke the deity.

George WashingtonHaving thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.
John AdamsAnd may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence.
Thomas JeffersonAnd may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.
James MadisonBut the source to which I look or the aids which alone can supply my deficiencies is in the well-tried intelligence and virtue of my fellow-citizens, and in the counsels of those representing them in the other departments associated in the care of the national interests. In these my confidence will under every difficulty be best placed, next to that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future.
James MonroeRelying on the aid to be derived from the other departments of the Government, I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my fellow-citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.
The hallmark of the above quotes is that the five Presidents invoked the deity in a marvelously non-sectarian way. Maybe they just understood the whole diversity/sensitivity thing better than we do today.

RevDisk
June 27, 2005, 08:48 PM
The hallmark of the above quotes is that the five Presidents invoked the deity in a marvelously non-sectarian way. Maybe they just understood the whole diversity/sensitivity thing better than we do today.

Possibly because a number of the Founding Fathers were deists and/or unitarians.

dev_null
June 27, 2005, 09:49 PM
I would appear that by and large people fall into one of two camps on this issue: for displaying the Decalog in secular governmental edifices, and against doing so.

From what I've observed, people who are against it come from all different religious backgrounds, from atheist to polytheist to agnostic to devout members of various Jewish, Christian and other major world religious sects.

People who are adamantly for it, on the other hand, seem to come almost exclusively from only one religious group: Protestant Christian.

That in itself seems to me to speak volumes about whether this is indeed a secular issue or one of advancing the opinions of one group at the expense of others'.

All standard disclaimers apply.

- 0 -

BTW, someone explain to me again how all this is gun-related?

neoncowboy
June 27, 2005, 09:52 PM
If 51% of the country is Christian, that does not make this country a Christian theocracy.

:shakes head:

Is it not amazing to anyone else here that the 10 commandments, which are historically significant as the foundation of our modern law, being etched on courthouses is likened to 'Christian theocracy'?

We don't expect or want a Christian theocracy.

That's not what it is when we ALLOW Christians to participate in the leadership and direction of the nation.

It is just a shame to me that 'separation of church and state' has taken on the perverse, extreme, ridiculous characteristic that it has...where we can't have the 10 commandments etched on buildings anymore. As if acknowledging our nation's being founded on those very principals somehow tramples people's civil rights.

:banghead:

Derek Zeanah
June 27, 2005, 10:06 PM
Is it not amazing to anyone else here that the 10 commandments, which are historically significant as the foundation of our modern law, being etched on courthouses is likened to 'Christian theocracy'?You misspelled Hammurabi's Codes (http://eawc.evansville.edu/anthology/hammurabi.htm).

RevDisk
June 27, 2005, 10:29 PM
Is it not amazing to anyone else here that the 10 commandments, which are historically significant as the foundation of our modern law, being etched on courthouses is likened to 'Christian theocracy'?

Depends on the circumstances.

If the 5 pillars of Islam, 10 commandments, Wiccan Rede and Code of Hammurabi are equally etched, we have a republic.

If the 10 commandments are etched and no others are allowed, I'd say that'd be totalitarian, theocracy or oligarchy depending on your opinions.

Derek Zeanah
June 27, 2005, 10:38 PM
Hey Rev, don't forget my elephant-nosed god!

Throw Thoth in as well - maybe Hermes -- it seems our judges need all the help they can get nowadays. :D

Walt Sherrill
June 27, 2005, 10:39 PM
Is it not amazing to anyone else here that the 10 commandments, which are historically significant as the foundation of our modern law, being etched on courthouses is likened to 'Christian theocracy'?Please explain how the 10 Commandments are the foundation of our modern law...

I hear this a lot.

It was my understanding that our legal system was based strongly on English common law -- which is many, many generations of tried and true practice -- and statutory law, which has NOTHING to do with the 10 Commandments.

Perhaps I have missed something -- it wouldn't be the first time.

The Supremes called the Kentucky lawmakers on this point, too, by the way. They said the lawmakers made the assertion, but didn't substantiate it. If its true, you should be able to do so and find the evidence.

neoncowboy
June 27, 2005, 10:44 PM
If the 10 commandments are etched and no others are allowed, I'd say that'd be totalitarian, theocracy or oligarchy depending on your opinions.

Except that our nation wasn't founded on those ideals. Those ideals aren't intricately woven into our history, culture and character as a nation. The ideals of Christianity are...or have been until recent years.

And the only group I'm seeing being told 'you can't' is Christians. The Surpeme Court isn't erasing the influence of Wiccans from the public record, but of Christians.

The more important issue at hand is just that representative government ought to be allowed to be that. I'm not trampling anyones rights by wanting my congressmen and senators to pray, to acknowledge God, to be humble before Him, to desire justice, to have faith...I just want my government to represent me...to LOOK LIKE me! I never said Hindus weren't allowed...if the people are hindu and mobilize to elect hindu officials who bring to government their uniquely hindu views, that's representative government. I wouldn't like it, but I wouldn't want ti to be banned or anything 'totalitarian' like that.

gc70
June 27, 2005, 10:50 PM
We have lost any semblance of balance and tolerance regarding the "establishment" issue. People on both sides of the argument have gone to ridiculous extremes, with each feeding on the actions of the other to fuel their determination to be the victor in the argument.

neoncowboy
June 27, 2005, 11:01 PM
We have lost any semblance of balance and tolerance regarding the "establishment" issue.

No kidding.

To the same extent that we've 'lost any semblance of balance' ragarding congress' right to control interstate commerce.

Common sense and prudence has been totally suspended in our nation's courts.

CentralTexas
June 27, 2005, 11:01 PM
can beat up your god!
I just wanted to say that before someone else here did... :p
CT

I would like to point out and you cannot dispute that the BOR isn't about what the majority wants, it's to protect the rights of the individual.
If you disagree see if you can find a junior high civics teacher to ask.
So keep saying it's a representative christian nation etc. till you are blue in the face, it doesn't make it true...
CT

neoncowboy
June 27, 2005, 11:09 PM
I'm still just confused at how allowing courthouses to display teh 10 commandments is a violation of the bill of rights.

What right is hindered by a courthouse being decorated with the 10 commandments?

The right to feel comfortable?
The right not to be confronted with the 10 commandments?
The right to a government that refuses to acknowledge God?

And anyway, the 1st amendment is about limiting congress' powers. Inscriptions on courthouses, prayer in schools, 'In God We Trust' on money, et al doesn't really have anything to do with congress...but with our national heritage and culture.

The 1st amendment doesn't read, 'national cultural practices shall not develop respecting establishment of religion...'

gc70
June 27, 2005, 11:40 PM
Neon, as today's two differing Supreme Court decisions reflect, the 10 Commandments can mean different things in different contexts.

Yes, the 10 Commandments reflect a historic legal code. The Texas case permitted the 10 Commandments to be displayed within the context of a broader display of historic documents.

Yes, the 10 Commandments also reflect a divine code and underpin Judeo-Christian religious beliefs. The Kentucky case prohibited displaying the 10 Commandments as a thinly-veiled surrogate symbol for Christian beliefs.

1A says you have the right to pursue any religious beliefs you want to, without the government trying to impose a particular brand of religion on you.

Unfortunately, the 10 Commandments have often been misused as a "code sign" for Christian beliefs. In that context, the 10 Commandments are effectively a marker that says "this is Christian territory." And that is not a very neutral position for the government to take.

RevDisk
June 27, 2005, 11:47 PM
Hey Rev, don't forget my elephant-nosed god!

Throw Thoth in as well - maybe Hermes -- it seems our judges need all the help they can get nowadays.

Oh, I didn't forget, Derek. I myself am respectful of the Thuggee, who venerate Kali. My spirituality is geared towards less... subtle deities. Kali, Samedi, etc.

An aside, the Cult of Thuggee had both Muslim and Hindu members.


Except that our nation wasn't founded on those ideals. Those ideals aren't intricately woven into our history, culture and character as a nation. The ideals of Christianity are...or have been until recent years.

And the only group I'm seeing being told 'you can't' is Christians. The Surpeme Court isn't erasing the influence of Wiccans from the public record, but of Christians.

Oh? Our nation was founded on the ideal of freedom. Not religion. The only meantion of religion was in the Declaration of Independence, nowhere in the Constitution. In the Declaration of independence, the only religious references were "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and "their Creator". I see no reference to Judeo-Christian, Islamic , Hindu, or any other religions. Perhaps you are reading some version I don't have access to?

Again, this is rather similuar to an argument with a gun banner. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are VERY clear. This is not a dictatorship of the masses. This is a Constitutional Republic. Your vote cannot be used to strip away Constitutional freedoms. 51% of the voters cannot take away RKBA nor create a 'Christian nation'.

Whip out your copy of the Constitution, read it, and then please explain to me the section that says we should favor any perticular religion(s) over any other religion(s).

As for "you can't" and Christian persecution, point out to me any Wiccans that wish to have the Rede plastered in courthouses and no other religious doctrine. Point out Hindus that wish to enforce a caste system in the American legal system. Point out to me Muslims that wish to make halal the law of the land. Or for that matter, Jews wishing to make all American food kosher.

Yea, you might find one or two lunatics if you search really hard. The vast overwhelming numbers just wish to have their religion respected and treated as equal to any other. I do see the removal of crosses and such from public view as kinda stupid.

But I also see the denial of equal treatment of all religions as being an un-Constititional crime. I swore an oath to defend the Constitution with my life. Are you willing to die to protect religions not your own, and willing to respect other religions that you disagree with?

If so, take a long look at the Constitution and decide if you really respect that document. The Constitution promotes freedom, not repression.


What right is hindered by a courthouse being decorated with the 10 commandments?

The right to feel comfortable?
The right not to be confronted with the 10 commandments?
The right to a government that refuses to acknowledge God?

If you stop me on the way to the market and wave a copy of the 10 commandments in my face, I'll smile and wish you a good day. If the government does the same, I smile and mentally inventory weapons nearby. Same for any religious doctrine. I don't care if the government wants to promote Judism, Christianity, Hindu, Islam or Satanism. All or none. It's not nothing to do with "feeling comfortable" and all to do with the Constitution.

The government has a right to acknowledge what deity or deities it wishes to. Favoring a deity over all other deities is when I get annoyed. You seem to be missing this basic principle.

Glock Glockler
June 27, 2005, 11:53 PM
What I would like to know is why if a body of govt likes a bit of writing that happens to be what some people consider holy then it's a de facto endorsement of that religion?

If a govt had taken a great quote about law or justice from an ancient Greek parable and used that for a decoration in a public building does that mean they are advocating Hellenic paganism?

This absurd dichotomy that we have to have Wiccan and Hindu quotes in courts if we allow the 10 commandments is essentially content discrimination based on religous association. Does Vishnu have any really good and witty quotes that would be relevant in a court atmosphere, and if so have you been specifically denied having that verse in a govt building after you petitioned for it's inclusion?

There is no discrimination if you have not petitioned and been denied on it's religous association, so there is no basis for claiming that you have been denied equal protection. The 10 commandments are basically rules for people to play nice in the sandbox, and a court is where people end up when they don't play nice in that sandbox, rather ironic isn't it?

CentralTexas
June 28, 2005, 12:12 AM
on the money argument! I carry a dollar bill that doesn't say "In god we trust", it's from the 1930's before it was added to the currency, what does that prove???? We weren't a christian nation then?????. It was a 1950's reaction to godless commies that got it added to the money. Politics, pure an simple.
It proves NOTHING! Nada! Zip!
It's right up there with I can prove America is a christian nation because:
Bookstores have books with the "GOD" word it them!
thousands of cars have the little christian fish symbol on them
Micheal Jackson believes in Jesus (juice anyway)
AAARGH!
CT

beerslurpy
June 28, 2005, 01:17 AM
I'm totally digging your Ganesh dude. That's what we're replacing the 10 commands with, right? Far out. </stoner>

Do not give my god a peanut </apu>

romulus
June 28, 2005, 02:12 AM
Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.

That was Franklin Delano...who here thinks he was talking about Islam or Wicca? Or some sort of libertarian ideal...what overt willful ignorance.

Taurus 66
June 28, 2005, 04:35 AM
Ruth Bador Ginsburg along with her four henchmen will ALWAYS rule in favor of anything "anti-family", "anti-military", "anti-police", "anti-amendments & American freedom". Has anyone noticed so far the "5-4" vote on every issue? It's never 6-3?? or 7-2?? What?? It's a setup of the most basic kind in the US Supreme Court! It's a current socialist structure designed to carry out their prime directive, and that is to destroy America from within. Impeachment is a valid option, however, these heads are so drunk (and corrupt) with power, it would require actual physical removal from the bench.

Walt Sherrill
June 28, 2005, 07:25 AM
Yesterday's decision on P2P software was 9-0. It happens.

bogie
June 28, 2005, 07:31 AM
What gets me is that a lot of folks have completely ignored the more important decision, on private property rights, in favor of going apebleep over this essentially metaphysical cluster....

You can still have the 10 commandments in your church. Problem is, the shopping mall folks want your church...

dev_null
June 28, 2005, 10:02 AM
RevDisk, when I see a vever for Legba and am sworn in on a copy of The Book of the Law, I'll know we've moved on. :evil:

TheEgg
June 28, 2005, 10:05 AM
My issue with this decision is not about the result but the "process".

It is how this decision, along with many, many more coming from the court in the last 20+ years shows the fundamental abandonment by our S.C. of any kind of coherent judicial philosophy.

Instead, they have become a super-legislature, a body answerable to no one in which the personal opinions of the judges hold sway, and they no longer give due deference to the Constitution, the Legislature, or precedent. Basically, anything they like gets upheld, and anything they don't like gets tossed.

This results in legal and constitutional chaos. The way they did this decision is going to result in MORE lawsuits, not less. They tried to split a legal hair and have it both ways -- that fails far more often than it succeeds.

In reality, the S.C. is now ruling our country by fiat, having abandoned all restraint and the historic modesty of their role envisioned by the founders.

So don't get bogged down in your zeal for religion, or your contempt for it. All of us are equally damaged by rulings such as this and the others coming out of the court.

roo_ster
June 28, 2005, 11:20 AM
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article VI, Paragraph Three
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


For folks who claim to read, know, and respect the US Constitution as written, I see an awful lot of horse manure being thrown about. Also, the ignorance of the history and circumstances of the time is impressive and Brady-esque.

See, the pertinent part of Amendment I is:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

This says nothing about a "wall of separation," neutrality, irreligion, hostility to religion, mandatory endorsement of religion, or an even hand with regard to religions. It simply states that Congress will not pass a law making any religion the national religion (as they had in many european countries at the time) and that the US Congress can't tell you what to worship. Also, you don't have to be a particular religion to hold an office at the federal level.

However, this allows for the individual States to do so, as several did at the time of ratification of the US Constitution.

So, if the state of Kentucky wants to wallpaper its courtroom with copies of the Ten Commandments, require holders of state offices to be deacons in the Catholic Church, and make Catholicism the Kentucky State Religion; that is the business of the State of Kentucky, the Kentucky Constitution, Kentucky's voters, and their elected representatives. The SCOTUS has no leg to stand on to make any ruling becasue the US Constitution has not granted fed.gov the authority to act in such a case.

Also, Amendment I precludes an establishment of religion but does not preclude other legislation which has an effect on or acknowledges religion. Examples close to home are religious establishments' tax exemptions and immunizations of poor children in private religious schools. Examples more contemporaneous to the founding fathers have been given.

If we want fed.gov to have the power to act in such cases, we have an amendment process. This is the same answer I would give to the anti-gunners who don't like what Amendment II says.

*********

In the recent SCOTUS cases, I had hoped that both Kentucky and Texas would come out on top, not because I want the Ten Commandments plastered on the walls of courthouses and in their restrooms above the urinals, but because I wanted to be pleasantly surprised that the SCOTUS would stay within the bounds of the US Constitution.

With Raich, Kelso, and now the Kentucky ruling, this has been a bad year for those who take the US Constitution at its word.

R.H. Lee
June 28, 2005, 11:27 AM
I really don't see what problem people have with "Don't commit murder" "Don't commit perjury" "Don't steal", etc. Sounds pretty secular to me, unless of course, you believe God gave those commandments to Moses and that somehow upsets you.

CannibalCrowley
June 28, 2005, 12:03 PM
I really don't see what problem people have with "Don't commit murder" "Don't commit perjury" "Don't steal", etc. Sounds pretty secular to me, unless of course, you believe God gave those commandments to Moses and that somehow upsets you.Please explain how "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" is secular.

Rebar
June 28, 2005, 12:10 PM
I have to say I'm suprised by some folks vitriolic hatred of their own culture.

The 10 commandments (from the Judaic, not Christian tradition), are the very foundation of Western law, and the Judeo/Christian, Greco/Roman traditions are the foundation of Western Civilization. It is entirely appropriate to have the commandments on the courthouse, on the outside at least, as an acknowledgment of the roots of our law. In the same way most courthouses and other government buildings have Greco/Roman columns on the outside, to acknowledge those very important roots.

Islam, Hinduism, Wiccan, etc., cannot make the same claim, in fact many like Islam are profoundly anti-Western. What's next, you're going to demand Islamic minarets added, or a stonhedge-type stone ring, if Greek style columns are on a building, to be "fair" to those cultures? Rediculous. Jettisoning our Western Culture and heritage is not "fair", it's cultural suicide.

Henry Bowman
June 28, 2005, 12:18 PM
Please explain how "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" is secular. That is an excellent point. However, I believe that this has been secularized as "There is true right and wrong. Do not engage in moral relativism." That is, don't try to rationalize you bad deeds by saying that "It's not my fault because . . ." or "In a parallel dimension . . ." or "If it feels good, do it."

In other words: You are not above the law.

R.H. Lee
June 28, 2005, 12:29 PM
Rebar is exactly right. We are, and have been, committing cultural suicide. That is the root of the problem. And CC, I'm trying to understand (honestly) what your particular objection to the 10 commandments is. Do you object to their display because you think God actually handed them to Moses (as law for the Jews), or because some religious people claim them as tenets? Do you object to a public profession of faith? Do you fear that others faith will be imposed on you by force? Please explain how you are threatened by the display of something as benign as the 10 commandments in a public place.

Mr. James
June 28, 2005, 12:38 PM
Nicely struck, jfruser and Rebar.

The Constitution is supposed to limit the powers delegated to the federal government. Individual states did have official state religions at the time of the Constitution's drafting - and that was all according to Hoyle. Don't like the state religion? Move.

The laws of many states were specifically, intentionally anti-Catholic. The Republic survived, and the Catholics came anyway... Now there are mosques in the least likely of places. So it goes.

Raich, Kelo and now this case show the Supremes are completely untethered from any foundation in law.

dev_null
June 28, 2005, 12:40 PM
I have no problem with the decalog being publicly displayed on private grounds. I do object to tax monies being spent on creating, displaying and maintaining them, or to having them publicly displayed on edifices of the secular government. I agree with the concept of their inclusion in a historical display that also shows other sources of our modern rule of law.

As to their cultural significance, I remind you that a court is a hall of law, not culture. If you wish to have them included as part of a museum display, that's another story -- provided other sources and influences are included. Otherwise, this is all just a smokescreen for pushing your version of the One True Religion (tm) on everyone.

I still maintain that there is widespread acceptance of the ruling and the thought behind it among a great cultural and religious diversity, but that the opponents are exclusively, or at least overwhelmingly, Protestant Christians. This fact also drives home the impression that this is one particular group attempting to advance their own religious agenda.

I also maintain that this has nothing to do with guns.

Frankly, if you want a country that resembles a Christian Taliban, go found your own.

hecetu aloh

- 0 -

R.H. Lee
June 28, 2005, 12:50 PM
As to their cultural significance, I remind you that a court is a hall of law, not culture. dev null, I have no objection to your objection. However, may I remind you that the law and the culture are inextricably entwined, as the adjudication of law is only a reflection of the culture.

Also, the phrase 'Christian Taliban' is hyperbole is it not? Or are you really in fear of some kind of Inquisition here, in this country?

pax
June 28, 2005, 12:56 PM
Closed because this really has nothing to do with guns and thus does not belong on THR. I suggest y'all start a thread on APS, if you haven't already.

pax

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." You cannot teeter if you don't allow totter. -- Lance Stellan

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