Democrats & Liberals Archives

Katherine Harris: Thomas Jefferson was a liar!

Well that’s it! It’s all settled! None other than Florida Republican Katherine Harris, has finally settled the debate about the proper role of religion in politics. Apparently, according to Harris, Thomas Jefferson was a big fat liar when he called the first amendment’s Establishment Clause a “wall of separation between church and state.” Harris believes she knows more about the founder’s intent than the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence! Simply amazing.

And God Votes For... Drum-roll Please...

The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers. ~Katherine Harris, Florida Baptist Witness

I must have skimmed over the part of the Constitution that says that God chooses our rulers. If God chooses our rulers, then why does he choose such crooks and liars? Does he only choose the leaders of America, or all world leaders? If he only chooses American leaders why? What makes America so special to him? If he chooses all world leaders then didn't we go against God's will when we overthrew Saddam? Harris obviously didn't think her idiotic statements through.

God Votes For... Satan?

If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin. They can say that abortion is alright. They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, we are leading them astray and it’s wrong. ... ~Katherine Harris, Florida Baptist Witness

Wow, someone has a superiority complex. I don't even know where to start with this statement. Maybe we should ask Harris' Campaign Manager Bryan Rudnick who is Jewish (apparently he doesn't know any better).

“I joined this campaign because Congresswoman Harris is a passionate supporter of Israel, the Jewish people and always has the best interests of all Floridians at heart. As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I know that she encourages people of all faiths to engage in government so that our country can continue to thrive on the principles set forth by our Founding Fathers, without malice towards anyone.” ~Bryan Rudnick

Without malice towards anyone? Well, devil boy, from her statements and actions I would say Ms. Harris has shown extreme malice towards homosexuals. Apparently, she doesn't see homosexuals as "anyone," as real people with real feelings who want equal opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. It's sad that people in this country get elected by blatantly discriminating against others because of sexual orientation and/or religious beliefs.

Does He or Doesn't He?

Harris said her remarks in last week's edition of the Florida Baptist Witness were intended for Christian voters who mistakenly believe the constitutional separation of church and state prevents them from participating in politics, even voting.

"My passion is to make sure that people participate in the process. Everyone should vote. Everyone should be engaged, but the problem is a lot of Christians believe they should not participate because of the separation of church and state." ~Palm Beach Post

Now Katy, if God chooses our leaders as you assert, then why should Christians bother to vote at all? God will simply pick the person he wants anyway, right?

Asked what she meant when she said neither the Founding Fathers nor God intended the United States to be a "nation of secular laws," Harris said she was referring to the Ten Commandments as the foundation of the Judeo-Christian society and its laws. ~Palm Beach Post

The Ten Commandments are the foundation of our society and laws? Without even looking at the history of the founding of our country, this view is weak at best. The first 3 command the worship of Yahweh as God, something strictly forbidden in the Constitution for the government to establish. The 4th, keeping the Sabbath, is all but ignored in the law, and I am not sure the last time anyone was arrested for not honoring their mother and father, the 5th. The other 5 are common-sense commandments that prevent harm to others, not exactly something exclusive to Christianity.

"God is the one who chooses our rulers"

God doesn't seem to be too happy with Ms. Harris these days. Her opponent, Democrat Bill Nelson is clobbering her in the polls: Nelson (D) 61%, Harris (R) 33% ~Rasmussen. Maybe God is trying to tell you something Katy.

Posted by JayJay Snow at August 29, 2006 1:48 AM
Comment #178016

Wow. She is scary sounding. Unfortunately when I travel to certain parts of the country, I hear a lot of talk like that.

I wonder if she is really believing the stuff coming out of her mouth, or if she is simply trying to win over the more impressionable voters. I wondered this about Bush in both elections as well. I’ve seen video of Bush speaking as a youth, and he sounded perfectly normal. As a presidential candidate, he dumbed the words way down. I almost found it insulting, but not much was made of it. Maybe the idea itself seemed offensive, but it was a very real impression.

Maybe someone from Florida who is more familiar can tell me if she’s really that adament of a religous nut or if she is rallying the troops, so to speak.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 2:33 AM
Comment #178021

Katherine Harris is a moron, a third-rate political hack with a fourth-grade religious view of the world.

I think she would represent the Phallic State magnificently in the Senate. She would bring honor and religious rectitude to an institution much in need of her moral certitude. Unfortunately, she’s a tad behind in the polls. Too bad—she would have made a wonderful, walking, talking advertisment for the religious morons and cretans that have shanghied the Republican Party.

It is a disappointment the nation is going to have to deal with—for all of eight seconds, then move on to more important matters.

It’s interesting. The GOP refuses to support their own candidate for Senate in CT, they’ve tried to derail the Harris ‘juggernaut’ ever since she decided to run, Republican candidates are running away from the Prez as fast as their porky little legs can carry them. Question is, who the hell do do they believe in anymore? Where is Lawrence Welk and Lee Atwater when you need them?

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 29, 2006 2:53 AM
Comment #178029

Jay Jay,

Damn it’s good to see you Blog. I feared you’d given up. My abilities have been very limited.

Anyway, Harris is now “collecting her dues”. She was faithful to Gods Only Party (aka GOP) and now it’s her turn but she’s learning that women are a lesser entity among the truly annointed leaders.

Just imagine being her and hearing, “Sorry babe, we appreciated your help but we can’t help you now”. At least she’s not a guy or she’d get a free hunting trip with “dead eye Dick”.

The truly “telling” part of this story is the prominance of the Religious Right among the Republicans. I know no one believes me but we are much closer to a Dominionist Theocracy than anyone could imagine. Once in a while someone like Harris lets the real agenda slip out and then you see all of the PARTY leaders “back-paddle” so fast it would make a shark dizzy.

To the die-hard GOP’ers I’d say, “loyalty, what loyaty”? You think we were tough on ol’ Joe just watch this $h!t.

Greeeeeeaaaaat damn topic to bring up after all the Lieberman crap Mr. Snow!


Posted by: KansasDem at August 29, 2006 4:06 AM
Comment #178034

Katherine Harris was the one who orchestrated the favorable election results in Florida which got GWB elected. Now, she’s hoping that her previous actions will get her the support of the GOP. Unfortunately, she’s too much of a crackpot and idiot even for the GOP to support! Let’s hope that she’ll get so P.O.’d that she’ll come clean about her actions during that election.
Anyway, anything she says during her campaign is just so much tripe, and should not be considered. She’s going to lose, which is right and proper. She’s a wackjob who needs to become invisible as soon as possible. (unless she proves what we already know, which is that the election was stolen). I just hope that she has solid evidence, because her word is hardly worth anything.

Posted by: Cole at August 29, 2006 4:43 AM
Comment #178035

Makes it hard to believe that Jeb actually slept with her! What a wacko. And to think there are actually a whole lot of people that agree with her.

Posted by: mark at August 29, 2006 6:21 AM
Comment #178037

Katherine Harris is an idiot, but I do feel kinda sorry for her.

She wanted to run for Senate in 2004, and the Bushies told her that if she made way for Mel Martinez she could run in 2006. She waited her turn, and now she is the overwhelming favorite to win the nomination. Unfortunately for her, she now has enough GOP knives in her back to start a cutlery store.

As someone pointed out, Republicans should keep this example in mind when they talk about Dems being unfair to Leiberman. At least Leiberman legitimately lost the primary. In Harris’s case, the GOP is saying that no matter how popular she is with the rank and file, they simply won’t support her.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 29, 2006 7:07 AM
Comment #178038

Katherine does what every good politician does, cater to her audience. The high and mighty dems actually call her a wacko? Well, she might be but you huys re-elected McKinney after she blamed the Jews for her inital lost!

You guys re-elected Marion Barry after he was caught dealing drugs..

You guys re-elected ted Kennedy for how many years and how many stupid comments? Didn’t he kill a women?

Jessee & Al. Nuff said for space and time sake.

Hillary told a black Baptist congregation that the Republican-controlled House “has been run like a plantation. I wonder what emotion she was catering to?

Corrine Brown D. FL. said Hispanics and whites “all look alike to me.”

Steven Ybarra a DNC official called Rosario Marin “house Mexican for the Republicans”. Nice use of and old slave term.

Howard Dean- Aaaayyyyaaaayyyyyy!! among other moronic outbursts.

If these parties would tend to business rather than spending all there time looking for ways keep the other down, something might actually get done.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 29, 2006 7:20 AM
Comment #178040

Well put curmudgeon. Whats about Nagin and his chocolate City. Plenty of blame to go around so lets do like curmudgeon says and get things done and stop playing the blame game. Grow Up.

Posted by: Thomas J Frederick at August 29, 2006 7:28 AM
Comment #178043

Any candidate that expresses their true beliefs on any issue has my respect, whether I agree or vote for them or not.

There are very few politicians who tell you what they really think anymore because they are afraid of losing power. So they hide behind their political parties and hold their wet finger to the political winds and truly flap their lips accordingly.

We will never know the true nature of most politicians because most do not even know themselves.

Posted by: cliff at August 29, 2006 8:32 AM
Comment #178046

Curm -

So, that’s your argument. “You guys do it too”? Wow… breath taking. So, it’s no longer who is doing the best but just setting the minimal requirements of if-anyone-does-it-everyone-can?

The issue here is the blatant disregard for the Constitution that an elected official is showing… and you simply excuse that because she is REP? If not, then why do you immediately jump to the “DEMs do it too” excuse? Aside from naming Katherine as a member of Congress… where exactly does JayJay mention or blame Republicans for anything that Harris has done. This thread is specifically about Harris - so try to stay focused and discuss her recent actions (rather than trying to cloud the waters with irrelevant party bantering.)

Posted by: tony at August 29, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #178050


Point of detail. Jefferson was not present at the Constitutional Convention. He was in France that whole summer.

He did draft to Declaration of Independence, with edits by Franklin & Adams. Since Franklin was present at both writings, you might have been better off choosing a compare him to Harris. Since Franklin wrote about everything (sometimes from multiple sides) you would have no trouble finding a good quote.

Come to consider it, however, this has nothing much to do with the founding ideals. The idea of homosexual rights probably never occurred to anybody writing the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, although they did seem to think about God a little.

Posted by: Jack at August 29, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #178052

Katherine HARRIS IS
SHE IS A FOOL WITH A LOOSE TONGUE AND WILL NEVER WIN THIS ELECTION. Now The Urban Ditcionary even gives her status, “1. Katherine Harris crazy
247 up, 13 down
(n.) As insanely optimistic as Congresswoman Katherine Harris. Usually characterized by an overly optimistic estimation of someone’s chances of achieving success.

Did you hear Jim just bought 500 dollars in lottery tickets? That boy is Katherine Harris crazy if he thinks he’s going to hit the jackpot.”

Thay says it all for me.

Posted by: Ray at August 29, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #178055

One would have to wonder how much lead was in all Harris’ bright read smooshy lipstick to have affected her brain so quickly.

Posted by: Lynne at August 29, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #178056

The woman has a Glam-shot for her official web site. How serious can anyone take her?

She’s like Ann Coulter with a job.

Posted by: tony at August 29, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #178058

As a follow up to Jack:

Franklin Quotes pro and con:

“I have lived, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”


“When a Religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its Professors are obliged to call for help of the Civil Power [government], it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”

As to the “Wall”:

The ‘wall of separation between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.
-Chief Justice Rehnquist in his dissent in Wallace v. Jaffree

Posted by: George in SC at August 29, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #178059

Wow!!!!! What moronic bull —— statements. You must be a member of your daddys (gw) team of morons at the whitehouse katy.

Posted by: Juan at August 29, 2006 10:25 AM
Comment #178062

I want to get something straight with all of you right now. These neocons that call themselves Christians are lying to you. You know that they lie to you in every other point, so why do you believe them when they say they represent God?

God tells us to live peaceably with all. He tells us to love one another. He tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil. Do these sound like neocon traits to you?
Sadly, I know more atheists who live up to these standards than Christians.

The people of Israel were once ruled directly by God, without the help of man. They rejected Him and His leadership, and called for a king. So God allowed them to choose their king.

A pure theocracy is impossible until the return of Jesus. When will that be? Today? Probably not. Soon? I see wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes in diverse places, and many who falsely come in His name. So, yes. Soon.

I call on all true believers to join the fight against corruption in our government, and bring down the evil that has taken over our leadership.
I call on all nonbelievers to join with the true believers to accomplish a common goal.

Fight this evil with all that you are, and we can once again have leaders instead of megalomaniacs.

As for theocracy, I am content to wait for Jesus to establish that Himself. He is God; He doesn’t need our help for that.

Note to neocons: Pharisees, your day approaches. You will stand in judgement before the men you betrayed. You will stand in judgement before God, whom you cause others to reject.

Posted by: ChristianLeft at August 29, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #178079

It sickens me to see how good people’s words get twisted By the liberal media.If she were an atheist liberal or a Islamic fascist, nobody would be concerned.but since this woman has a purpose ,she has to be submerged in liberal propaganda. I agree with her,her words have been twisted unmercifully.

Posted by: Greyson in SC at August 29, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #178081

Harris’ words are probably more anti-Semitic than Mel Gibson’s!!

Who does she think is in the Congress??? It’s by far a majority of “Christians”…probably not just “her kind”…and what about the Jews who serve in Congress???

She’s certainly opened a can of worms…but she’s probably expressing the true feelings of the neocons she helped take over our government!

Posted by: Lynne at August 29, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #178086

Anyone else find it interesting that Rehnquist’s remarks about the falacy of a separation between church and state were in remarks wrote in dissent? Meaning whatever church and state issue was decided, and I didn’t take the time to look it up, enough judges thought there is a separation, making his a minority view.

Posted by: David S at August 29, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #178089


Do you really believe that? Go back and read what she said. She basically said if you’re not Christian, you’re unqualified to lead. If you waiver on any of those positions, the way Cheney does on Gay Rights, you must not “know any better” and should not be in a leadership role. I would feel bad for Republicans, but y’all created this monster.

Posted by: David S at August 29, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #178090

I love the folks who are saying: “Stop insulting her! It is bad for the country”. I love it. Bush and his cronies polorize an entire nation into an extreme position with their high-handed and confused policy-making, and we can’t even talk about it. What is it killing the mood? I’d hate to break up such a nice republican party. With Iraq and Afghanistan faltering, record debt, crappy homeland security, social issues galore in N.O., a teetering economy, and middle class americans being unnecessarily squeezed in every concievable way, I’d say the republicans in power killed the mood years ago.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing frustration at past mistakes. Just so long as we do not forget the lessons learned. Bushies, are you getting this? You have to LEARN from the MANY mistakes! Although, I am envisioning legions of followers covering their ears and eyes, humming the national anthem repeating “I support the troops” over and over in their heads.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #178093

David S-

Yes, it was a minority opinion. But often times, dissents are used as a basis for overturning the precedent later on. It is public record, and forever embedded in our case-law. Anyone can use it to support their arguments in future cases.

Granted: the majority opinion carries more weight.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #178097

When people stick there feet in their mouths like that, Democrats are rarely inclined to go out of their way to defend them. Often such episodes are followed either by apology or obscurity. If Democrats were perfect, we wouldn’t be a minority party. If Republicans were perfect, they wouldn’t be on their way towards becoming one.

Let’s conclude that nobody’s perfect, that each party has racists, and that the main difference, if one exists is that one party, in the name of political incorrectness, barely stands in the way of racial stereotyping if at all, and the other, beholden to more inclusive principles, is more likely to shun or give the cold shoulder to those who get too frisky with their comments.

I believe that the Separation of Church and State is not a lie, but a success story. We don’t have the kind of religious terrorism, or the history of sectarian war that less tolerant locales have. We don’t have near the corruption in our churches that many places with established churches do. We don’t have people killing each other over differences of religion, much less minor differences of doctrine.

The fact is, like Jefferson said, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg if one guy worships twenty gods or none. Because of this enforced apathy, nobody much is going around breaking peoples legs about religious matters.

Because of this separation, Catholics can live comfortably under protestants, protestants under catholics, atheists under Muslims, and vice versa. If you look at the rest of the world, you will see what happens when the Wall of Separation is not in place. We are fortunate to be spared that kind of grief, and I’m quite sure that our freedom of religion is the one reason we are more religious than other countries which have or had established churches and sectarian laws.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #178101

The sad thing is that seperation of church and state is mandated not only by the constitution, it is also mandated by the words of Jesus, as recorded in the bible..”Render unto Caeser that which is Caeser’s render unto God that which is God’s. Government is Caeser’s, and even in the pagan Roman Empire was due respect. A christian’s faith is Gods, and the Christian is supposed to be a shining example in their life of the love, honesty, and generosity. Helping widows and orphans, visiting people in prison, etc. I judge the Neocon by the standard THEIR book mandates as the standard. They fall far short.

Posted by: Richard at August 29, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #178103


I agree that there are many Christians that are poor examples of proper behavior. I don’t really know what a neocon is but Ms. Harris is neo-looney. I think I prefer my politians more tradional — at least they know I know they are lying.

WRT Jesus and the Second Coming: It seems incongruous to say that Jesus has any desire to rule Man in the civil sense, that is, to create a theocracy. To rule in Man’s life is one thing, but for matters of government, politics, etc., I believe he said: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” which to me says that His rule is personal, separate from the lowly matters of polity. I believe He fully supports the separation of church and state and therefore not a theocracy.

Posted by: Charles Adams at August 29, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #178109


From Wikipedia, the definition of neo-conservative:

“Historically, neoconservatives supported a militant anticommunism, tolerated more social welfare spending than was sometimes acceptable to libertarians and mainstream conservatives, supported civil equality for blacks and other minorities, and sympathized with a non-traditional foreign policy agenda that was less deferential to traditional conceptions of diplomacy and international law and less inclined to compromise principles even if that meant unilateral action.

Compared to other U.S. conservatives, neoconservatives may be characterized by an idealist stance on foreign policy, a lesser social conservatism, and a much weaker dedication to a policy of minimal government, and, in the past, a greater acceptance of the welfare state”

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #178113


What wall? Where in history is this wall of separation outside the last 60 years or so?

Certainly during the time of the founders, when Sunday services were held in the Capital and national days of prayer were regularly proclaimed. Most inhabitants of this country lived under state established religions all the way through the early 1800’s. Still today I can’t buy a beer on Sunday, and my wife can’t pick up a pair of pantie hose on the way to church.

I agree with Judge Rehnquist, the “wall” is a is a metaphor based on bad history. It takes a Hugo Black reading of the 14th Amendment to re-write enough history to even make an argument for it, and both of those happened at least 100 years after the Jefferson wrote the letter to the Baptist.

Religion and politics have been and always will be intertwined in this county because we have a representative form of government. Having religious people elected to office and promoting religious ideas is just a natural consequence of that representation. A politician like Katherine Harris, espousing religious views, is predictable.

We are a great nation not because we have some invisible wall of separation between church and state. We are a great nation because we have a representative government that reflects nature and the temperament of its people.

Posted by: George in SC at August 29, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #178118

“Republican candidates are running away from the Prez as fast as their porky little legs can carry them. “


Posted by: Observer at August 29, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #178122

George in SC-

This is an excerpt from Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”:

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

…Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself, than this thing called Christianity.”

Obviously the idea that christianity and the US government should be seperate existed in the very beginning.

The term “wall of seperation” comes originally from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802.
A copy can be read here:

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #178123

The two easiest ways to start a fight in the USA is to discuss either Religion or Politics. I find that I don’t have a problem with Jesus, I just can’t abide some of his FAN clubs, and I don’t have a problem with the Democratic or Republican parties, I just can’t stand some of their FAN clubs. I don’t really need anyone telling me what I should or should’nt believe whether it’s political or religious. The best way to get me against either one is to try telling me that I HAVE to be something that in all conscience I find that I oppose. Does it peeve you to believe that I perceive the web you weave and keep on thinking free?

Posted by: Highlander at August 29, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #178131

But we have an occupant of the White House who takes his marching orders from God. I guess that the ultra-right wing will believe anything if one of their heros tell them. Then we have the blind leading the blind and only then will they inherit the wind.

The Secretary of State of Kansas gave an award to Harris one year after she hosed the nation with the 2000 election. Does that tell you that Kansas’ Sec. of State is as much of a fool as Harris, possible more so?

Hope springs eternal, who knows we might have those Republicans in Congress finding jobs with PACs and lobbings firms after Novembers election.

Contrary to popular right wing thought, God is not a Republican, I think He, or She, is an Independant.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at August 29, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #178132

ps: We do have Separation of Church and State as long as certain Churches are allowed to become the State.

God help us all! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Posted by: C.T. Rich at August 29, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #178135

Nice piece, Jay Jay. I was wondering if anyone in the Blue Column would comment upon her outrageous remarks.

Ray, “Katherine Harris Crazy”! Love it!

The way I see it, the next step for Harris now is to start crying mascara tears during all public appearances, because between her creepy clown-like make up, and her transparently false religiosity, she’s teetering in three-inch heels along the same gutter as her spiritual sister, Tammy Fay Baker.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 29, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #178138


In the same book he also said:

The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Where, say some, is the king of America? I’ll tell you, friend, He reigns above.”

Quote mining one individual statements in an effort to establish the context of a document with so many fingerprints on it is fun, but in the end it’s also pretty meaningless. A better practice would be to look at history and see how society functioned upon passing of the Constitution. Using that method you will see States still holding on to their established religions (First Amendment not applying to States)and people still subjected to State laws firmly grounded in religious principle (people were citizens of States not the United States).

Posted by: George in SC at August 29, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #178139

“It sickens me to see how good people’s words get twisted By the liberal media.”

You lost me when your called her “good people”.
Even her own party knows she’s nuts.
Catch up.

Posted by: Observer at August 29, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #178142

these are the people that get on my nerves. they use the bible instead of common sense as there moral compass. l do not support abortion or gay marrige, but just like war and capitol punishment they are neccesary evils. l would rather that all men pursude women but thats not every mans role in life. l would prefer all women had thier child after becoming pregnent, but that is not always in the best intrest of the unborn child. the world is a cruel place. sometimes l think republicans and religous zelots see the world as black and white. however, it has been my experiance that it is many shades of grey. when l finally meet a person that can convince me otherwise maybe l’ll change my mind, but l doubt that person could ever exsist.

Posted by: dan at August 29, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #178143

She isn’t nuts, just a little desparate. She knows how politics works. She helps her rich white christian friends and they help her. It’s a club. She’s been booted because she’s too obvious about it. She’s not terribly bright and a little unstable.

The Democrats have their club, too. Some localities are more honest than others, but ultimately your either in or out. She’s out and will lose.

The tragedy is the USA loses. Government has become way too powerful. Way too much money flows through its coffers. It no longers aids the weak, it victimizes them. It is the distributor of the spoils to its pirates.

Posted by: gergle at August 29, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #178146

I just have one thing to say…If there is not seperation of church and state then let them pay taxes

Posted by: dacon at August 29, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #178149

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read. —Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Dragon at August 29, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #178150

George in SC-

Your quoting him talking about a nation under God, which doesn’t undermine my own quote at all. Mine was about his distrust for government endorsement or involvement in any one organized church.

The purpose was exactly what you claimed it wasn’t. To look at the way the framers viewed religion working in society (ie. to “look at history and see how society functioned upon passing of the Constitution”).

The whole point was that the idea of a wall was there and that was a direct influence upon the phasing out of states endorsing religions.

I think you are confusing a lot of different things by trying to simplify this. To what end? I am well aware of my history. My quote was not an attempt to decieve, but merely provide direct evidence of, the distrust of organized religion by founding fathers.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #178152

Yes even the Republicans have Thier Al Sharptons.Want to trade?

Posted by: offthehook at August 29, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #178162

No, no everybody has it wrong, maybe she should get elected, that way when she starts spouting her stuff, Democrats and others can show how stupid she sounds and is, and therefore not to be taken seriously.

Posted by: KT at August 29, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #178167


Was that really fair to Tammy Fay?(After all some of Tammy’s best friends are gay, and she knows it).

Posted by: mark at August 29, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #178171

To all: I find this to be a worthy side-bar:

The independent thread has got a really good reason to email your senators immediately.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590) was submitted by Senators Obama (D) and Coburn (R) and seeks to simply create a public database to let people know how their money is being spent. It was placed on “secret hold” by an anonymous senator…effectively killing it.

I, for one, want to know who it was. Let’s find out.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #178173

The problem is not so much that the Christian right tries to bring religious precepts to politics.The problem is the precepts they are trying to bring are so narrow and bigoted.

Many are useing gay bashing as a political tool because they can no longer get away with race baiting. Sadly that is progress in a way. Astounding they call themselves Christians.

Posted by: BillS at August 29, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #178176

George in SC-
There was never a “Church of America”. The constitution explicitly forbids it. The national days of prayer have always been non-binding, and Sunday services have been non-denominational (and would have had to have been so from the start)

Of course, there was once more religious influence on the lawmaking and other things, but even then, the constitutional prohibition against laws interfering with a person’s religion made sure that many such religions, though perhaps locally discriminated against, would at least have a general place in America.

We are a great nation because our government cannot dictate to the people what they should think, who they worship and whether they should, or what they are allowed to believe. There are those who would impose their brand of Christianity on millions of unwilling Americans. I thank God, being a Catholic myself, that America never got to the point where it could officially suppress or impose religion. I thank God that as a young man who took his own ideosyncratic path towards religion that the wall of separation wasn’t a lie.

By saying it’s a lie, people like Katherine Harris invite the government and the law into precisely the sanctuary they should not be allowed: people’s consciences. Consider what the Nazis did to Christian religion in Germany, what the Soviets and the Maoists did to religion in general. If a public official is free to use his position to proselytize his religion (I have no problem with them doing so on their private time), then another public official is free to put the government’s backing behind oppressing it. I would disallow both. No teacher can tell me to be an atheists, and no protestant can force my children (when I have them) away from the path I would bring them up in. Secularity in America is not the absence of religion or a religion itself, it is the absence of its compulsion.

I don’t buy the argument that the government should enforce Christian religion. I think it should enforce the truce between all religions and the truce between those who are religious and those who aren’t. The Government should simply mind its business.

The government should work for all people without favor. I personally think the Blue laws are a waste of legislation. Either people will honor a Sabbath and keep it holy, or they won’t. Writing a law to force that on them actually takes the initiative out of their hands.

The Separation of Church and State is a necessity for both, the first to keep it free of interference, and the second to keep us free of it. The constitution should be the legal basis for our law. If we want to impose laws that tangentially bear on religious issues, we should put it up to a vote under the auspices of the constitution, rather than employing the tactics of dominionism to undermine the law and its authority.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #178181

“Was that really fair to Tammy Fay?(After all some of Tammy’s best friends are gay, and she knows it).”

Oh sure, NOW she’s their friend. But back when Tammy was opening all those checks from the god-fearing gaggle who hung on her every tear-streaked word, she’d have claimed they were E-vil, and in league with the Dev-il.

Hmmm. Maybe when Harris falls all the way into the gutter she’ll have a similar epiphany?

Posted by: Adrienne at August 29, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #178183

If god chooses our rulers, then god sucks big time. He should know better.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 29, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #178185

Hey Adrienne:

They finally got all of Tammy Fay’s make-up off—you know what they found?

Jimmy Hoffa.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 29, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #178186

George in SC and Kevin as well,

I hate to seem well modern, progressive, non-traditional….. But really, are we to argue about what was said 200 + years ago? George, I think we might have progressed just a bit…

Posted by: 037 at August 29, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #178188

The real religion is this country is consumerism. That’s the ideological air we breathe. What we really need is a separation of Capitalism and State.

Posted by: Trent at August 29, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #178190

Ha! That’s a good one, Tim. :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at August 29, 2006 7:54 PM
Comment #178191


“…are we to argue about what was said 200 + years ago?”

That is unavoidable in our constitutional democracy. However, I’m going to assume we agree that the words need to carry more than just literal meaning if they are to have their intended lasting effects.

It is not that there are crazy judges on a rampage to recreate laws. Judges are forced to provide reasoning for every decision handed down, and they are overseen by a higher court until you reach those 9 lucky studs. But even they must explain (in GREAT detail usually…Thomas and Scalia excluded) exactly how they came to their decision.

Then it is public record, and can be second and tripple guessed by the public and congress, who can then either re-write a law, or amend the constitution. It is a great process of check and balances. George, in his haste to make a counterpoint designed to bash liberal judges, obviously chose to look past this with his analogy.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 29, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #178196


Ahhh, the “all the other kids are doing it” excuse. C’mon - I quit letting my son get away with that when he was eight years old. How lame can you get?

The hurricanes will continue until you learn to STOP VOTING REPUBLICAN” — God
Posted by: Elliott at August 29, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #178198

1)Katherine Harris is an idiot.

2)She should be banned from public responsibility, along with anyone else who displays similarly repulsive and offensive remarks.(Jesse, Al)

3)There is separation of Church and State.

4)This does not mean that Christians are forbidden from voting their values, our laws should be the view of the majority. (With minority rights protected.)

5)Note minority rights

6)VERY FEW in America actively wish for a theocracy. Those who do should be deported to Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Silima at August 29, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #178199


As you usual you write far more than I have the energy to respond to, so forgive me if I just tackle the first part (I say that admiringly by the way!).

No there never was a “Church of the America” and yes the establishment clause expressly prohibited it. But was that due to the desire for a secular government and a wall of separation or was it due to federalism and the sovereignty of the individual States? Because at the time they ratified the Establishment clause almost all States still had established religions.

Oh and the blue laws do suck, but that’s just a part of the South.


There would be no need to return to history on this subject provided the arguments that this country was once secular or that the founding fathers envisioned a secular government are abandoned.

In my posts above you will see no argument for more religion in government; just the desire to settle most political questions in the legislatures and in the town halls of America. But for the past 60 years or so progressive people have been using the wall metaphor and the courts in an attempt to circumvent the legislative branch and either restrict religious speak in government or strip our country of its religious underpinnings. It’s the argument not the idea that I (and the late Chief Justice Rehnquist) object to.

Posted by: George in SC at August 29, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #178201

Stephen actually said ther are people who want to forcibly convert to Christianity. I have never met anyone with such ambitions, and I’m an Apostolic Pentecostal(Jesus Freak), you know, an unapologetic Holy Roller. I don’t want to forcibly convert anyone, I’m simply trying to guard against the government trying to forcibly convert me or my kids to its established religion, Atheism. I know you’re gonna say I’m a whacko, fanatic, zealot, blah blah blah, but what concerns me is that the same people who champion the aforementioned “Wall of Separation”(libs) are the same who think it’s okay for the government to sell anyone’s home, property, or church to WalMart(the five most liberal judges on the SCOTUS). The logical conclusion would be that the government could force people to sell their churches, and then tear them down because of the Great Wall of Liberal Totalitarianism uh, I mean the Wall of Separation.

Posted by: Duane-o at August 29, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #178203

I don’t believe church and government should mix. There should be a seperation. I think a lot of people miss on the establishment clause, the key word ESTABLISHMENT, I don’t really think anyone in government wants to establish a state religion. Harris I think was wrong when she said what she said. I do think there are some out there in government that would like to strip this country of all religious beliefs.

Posted by: KAP at August 29, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #178206

Katherine Harris is a moron, a third-rate political hack with a fourth-grade religious view of the world.—-$$$—-
then why are the left so scared of her why worry she does not have a chance to remain in the big time right right ya ya na na the truth is that
where ever she runs for office what ever office she will destory her opponent and the louder her opponent’s scream’s and cry the more names they call her the more powerful her political clout grows. Listen to the things that are said in this post,the left is all are scared shitless as they should be, she is going up and the left is going down. maybe GOD is on her side maybe not, but she can give the left the screamin squrit’s and that is good for my vote.I really injoy listing to the left choke on there cud and do nothing to make our country better stronger or safer only thinking of how to steal the next election to regain power with there coordinate, disproportional, culture of corruption.

Posted by: Middle of the Right at August 29, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #178213

According to William O Douglas, just prior to the time the constitution was be written there was anti-Catholic legislation on the books in most states, Some states discriminated against jews and atheists, Maryland made the denial that Jesus was the son of God a capital offense, a majority of the colonies had an established religion that was supported by taxation. The established church frequently reprsented a minority of the people. As a result, toleration one for the other became a necessity. Many opposed measures aimed at making the citizen revere any one religious doctrine. It was in this atmosphere of great diversity of religious views, of intense conflict and rivalry, that men like Madison and Jefferson worked for disestablishment, for seperation of church and state, and for liberty of conscience.
He would probably disagree with Rhenquist.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 29, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #178218

George in SC-
Read Closer. Eight of the original states either never established a church, or disestablished before the civil war. Nearly all had some kind of religious tolerance legislation (though sometimes that toleration was restricted to Christians)

Even among the others, the last evolution of Church and state comes with the 14th Amendment. With the 14th Amendment, the bill of rights applies to the states.

The earliness with which many states turn to disestablishing churches and passing religious tolerance laws, even among the Johnny-come-lately states indicates that interest was nation wide in preserving and maintaining these freedoms. This wasn’t a fluke of national vs. local law.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #178240

I’m from the same county as Katherine Harris, and I just remember when someone tried to hit her with their car. She is not loved here.

Posted by: Sheila at August 30, 2006 6:11 AM
Comment #178244

“I’m from the same county as Katherine Harris, and I just remember when someone tried to hit her with their car. She is not loved here.”

Sounds like your area could use better driving instructors…

Improve their aim.

Posted by: tony at August 30, 2006 6:36 AM
Comment #178250

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

The Levitical Laws were from GOD and governed temporal and Spiritual matters!The people rejected GOD as a government and chose a man to rule them,but GOD still expected the king to obey HIM and when King Saul continually disobeyed GOD he was replaced by King David who did as GOD asked with some notable exceptions,but,repented and returned to obedience and was GOD’s choice of best king,but was not allowed to build the Temple because of his SIN.Solomon was faithful,then fell away,but returned to GOD and was allowed to build the Temple.It was later destroyed because the people fell away from GOD under unfaithful kings and the people were enslaved by a godless nation!The people repented and were delivered only to fall away again and again until they were occupied by the Romans.CHRIST was born,the peolpe mostly rejected HIM and the Temple was destroyed for the last time.
See the pattern!Obey GOD as a nation and keep HIS laws and be blessed,reject HIM and you will be rejected.I could say more,but I have to work for a living!!!!!!!

Posted by: rdavidc at August 30, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #178251

The “separation of church and state” phrase has been taken completely out of context to mean something opposite of what it originally intended and a thorough study of the context and origin of this phrase makes this quite apparent. (unfortunately, it seems Katherine Harris could benefit from some research herself)
Luckily, I’ve done the work for you!
“Separation of Church & State” - Tyranny or Liberty?

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” - John Adams, October 11, 1798

The historical record shows that the 1st Ammendment was written to PROTECT religious expression from government, not to separate them. In fact, the House of Representatives called for a national day of prayer and thanksgiving on September 24, 1789 - the same day that it passed the First Amendment. Unfortunately, rather than ensure the government doesnt establish a state-sponsored religion, judges and politicians are increasingly stretching the 1st Ammendment to marginalize any religious thought in the public arena.
This is a clear violation of the original intent.

Traditionally, the Church of England, as supported by the Royal Crown, held legal priority over all other demoninations. King James I had established the Anglican Church as the Church of England, and openly persecuted seperatists. Many of these seperatists fled to Holland, including those who settled in Leiden, to later become the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock in 1620. When other seperatists groups followed, the Pilgrims drafted the Baptist Confession of 1612 to distinguish themselves. In this document, we find the first public claim for religious liberty.
Article 84: “That the magistrate is not by virtue of his office to meddle with religion, or matters of conscience, to force or compel men to this or that form of religion, or doctrine: but to leave the Christian religion free, to every man’s conscience, and to handle only civil transgressions (Rom. xiii), injuries and wrongs of man against man, in murder, adultery, theft, etc., for Christ only is the king, and lawgiver of the church and conscience.”
Notice that this declaration doesnt call for any ‘separation’ of religion from the public realm, but specifies that public officers shall not meddle in religious affairs.

The Puritans, on the other hand, didnt share such a libertarian view of religious freedom. The Puritans, believing the English Crown to be drifting towards Catholic tradition,feared the Crown would someday embrace Catholocism as the state religion. Therefore, in the New World, the Puritans defined religious freedom as their mandate to preserve Puritan ideals, and saw an alliance between religion and government as a way to maintain this purity. This inevitably led to a persecution of seperatists by Puritans, often using the alliance of religion and government to impose such persecution.

Roger Williams, a fierce advocate of religious liberty from Rhode Island, spoke out against the growing culture of church/state alliances and originated the “wall of separation” metaphor when he spoke of “a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world.”

This figurative language clearly implies that the church should be protected from the world, not vice-versa. Williams later reaffirmed this theme when he proclaimed, “God requireth not a uniformity of religion to be enacted and enforced in any civil state; which enforced uniformity (sooner or later) is the greatest occasion of civil war, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of the hypocrisy and destruction of millions of souls.”
Again, notice that the focus is on protecting religious expression from government…a secular government is never implied.

In the 18th century, separatists who held a special disdain for the Puritan system, Baptists in particular, began to rebel against the cooperation between political and religious groups. As the culture of dissent grew, various new separatist groups appeared and, while naturally disliked by other groups, they were given great freedom and tolerance within their communities. However, the Anglicans were still receiving a disproportionate amount of tax exemptions and government benefits. As the public protest grew, citizens took issue not with the provision of public funds to religious groups, but to the EXCLUSIVE provision to any single group. While debate on this matter flourished, the argument was never for a secular state, but for a non-denominational state and this philosophy took root in America’s early civilization.

This leads us to the Bill of Rights.

Religious liberty was a core philosophy in drafting the Bill of Rights, but many separatists were still unconvinced 11 years after it was ratified. This sentiment is best expressed in the famous Danbury Baptist Association letter sent to President Thomas Jefferson, on October 7, 1801, which stated their concern that whatever “religious privileges they enjoy, they enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights”.

It is Jefferson’s response on January 1, 1802, in which we first find the specific phrase, “separation of church and state”.
“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.”

Given the national discourse and specific context of FAVORITISM of one sect over another, and the absense of any discussion regarding PROHIBITION of religion, it is clear that Jefferson doesnt refer to a ‘wall of separation’ to imply that religion be removed from the public realm, but only to protect religion from the potential of state DISCRIMINATION. The 1st Ammendment, when read for what it IS, and in keeping with the focus of ALL the Ammendments, is written to restrict government, not religion.

Unfortunately, in 1947, the Supreme Court used the “wall” metaphor in the Everson v. Board of Education decision:
“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” The Court perverts the context and meaning of the phrase, and laid the foundation for a principle totally OPPOSITE of what the 1st Ammendment and the “wall” metaphor actually stood for.

Furthermore, the Court also established the radical claim that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment applied to individual states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, thereby preventing states from making religious laws according to the wishes of their constituents. This claim is utterly ridiculous and shows a complete disregard for historical context and judicial restraint.

A plain reading of the precise 1st Ammendment text, “CONGRESS shall make no law…”, should make it sufficiently clear that it applies to FEDERAL government. Jefferson demonstrates an understanding of this in his Danbury response:
“…the WHOLE American people which declared that their legislature…” and in his letter to Rev. Samuel Miller on January 23, 1808, “Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government. It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority…”

Predictably, many will justify the Court’s interpretation of the establishment clause by questioning the MEANING of words and the changes in meaning since the original writings.However, the framers predicted these squabbles over language and to avoid any possible debate in interpreting the Constitution, they specified that intent should always be found in the meaning OF THE DAY.

Thomas Jefferson demonstrated this in his inaugural address when he acknowledged his responsibility to uphold the Constitution “according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people at the time of its adoption—a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated [it]”
James Madison also warned,
“[if] the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the Nation… be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable [government], more than for a faithful exercise of its powers.”

This sentiment has been supported by the courts:
Justice Sutherland stated in Euclid v. Ambler Co., 272 U.S. 365 at 387 (1926), “the meaning of the constitutional guaranties never varies, [although] the scope of their application must expand or contract to meet the new and different conditions which are constantly coming within the field of their operations.”

For the record, when referring to historical definitions of “establishment”, such as in the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY, colonial usage of the word shows that in the context of religion, the word “establish” or “establishment” refers only to a legislative actions amounting to exclusive priveledges for religious organizations.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 30, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #178252

Secularism is the absence of official religion. It is disestablishment’s final result: Everybody is free, as citizens, to worship as they please. There is no requirement that personal religion be given up, merely that people not use their power or their public positions as a pulpit to preach from, to have the government supporting their religion.

As for Kelo, I hate it. Your assumptions that I would support such a thing, that most liberals would support it (much less Kelo), and your belief that such plans are in the works are wrong.

Your churches are in no danger, and we are not a threat to you. Having few ill intentions, we will not feel the antipathy to be justified. If you treat us like a threat, many of us will assume that you’re simply being belligerent to us. That will lead many of us to simply dig in our heels on the matter.

You should not malign our character without cause. We are not trying to spread atheism. Most of us, by a large margin, are not even atheists. We just believe that Government should be kept out of the religion business and vice versa. The separation is a truce, and a truce doesn’t work when one side can seize power over another. An atheist might have the advantage of being able to come to the job with no religious inclinations to push to the side, but they do so lacking the power to enforce this on anybody else. All a religious person has to keep in mind is that the restrictions on their job serve to protect them as well, not merely from atheists, but also from power hungry rival religions that might use the engine of government to reap advantages for themselves and sow disadvantages for the competition.

If you believe in a free market approach where government does not try to through the competition towards one corporation or another arbitrarily, simply look at the separation as being the same thing, only with religion. By not giving any religion special treatment or persecution, or an official pulpit to preach from, the government is prevented from interfering in that competition

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #178259

No matter how you interpret the Constitution and Separation of Church and State… one thing I think it totally clear:

It was written to prevent people like Harris from gaining the power they wish to install the religion of their choice into our government.

Posted by: tony at August 30, 2006 9:11 AM
Comment #178260

Its strange how many people have different ideas of what constitutes freedom and free markets, etc.

An employer is free to dictate any restriction of religious expression as employment is a contract between two free parties. If a religious man resents his faith being restricted, go find another job.

However, the government is another story. Religious freedom does not end in the government schools, the courts or the White House.

Personal expression of faith BY a public servant or by an individual IN a public place does not constitute the government ESTABLISHING any such religion.

To restrict religious expression in public schools, courts or public places IS a violation of religious liberty as government clearly PROHIBITS the FREE EXERCISE of faith.

The secularist often tries to cloak their impositions in vague terminology….confusing the mater with semantics, but clearly, they ARE trying to limit, restrict the free expression of those who adhere to faith.

It may be uncomfortable to actually read the historical context and concede the tyranny imposed on your fellow citizens, but its clear who is imposing their will on others’ rights.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 30, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #178262

Matt Goldseth-
You misunderstand the argument. It’s not public expression that’s the problem. It’s the use of public office to push legislation and policies that force one groups religious doctrine on another.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #178266

“The issue here is the blatant disregard for the Constitution that an elected official is showing… and you simply excuse that because she is REP?”


Trying reading comprehension. The constitution does not state anyhting about a “Wall” You are thinking of Pink Floyd. This is why prayer, Bible Study, Religous monuments were tolerated in our land until the 1960s. I does say a lot about FREEDOM of SPEECH which she exercised.

A letter to the Danbury Baptist is not the contitution and the intent of that letter could be argued all day long. So I will not since it is moot. If you study the Baptist situation at the time, the letter actually is perfectly clear. I do know these facts.

1. Congress prayed and read Scripture.
2. Schools read the Bible and Prayed.
3. Religous monuments were prevelant throughout the country.
4. Christmas was stiil Christmas.
5. Governmental speeches constantly referred to God.
5. Congress was postponed at one time to recognize a celebration of Sunday school.

All up to the 1960s. Maybe the Liberal dems are actually calling Jefferson a liar!….or did it just take us that long to “get it right”. Hard to believe I was actually a part of that dysfunctional party.

Last thing, dems should spend less time criticizing and more time providing solutions. Dems have a enough nut cases of their own to start a circus.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 30, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #178270

The comment was made:
” judges and politicians are increasingly stretching the 1st Ammendment to marginalize any religious thought in the public arena.”

This is a common complaint I hear from the religious right (actually to be accurate they should be called the Christian Right — or perhaps to be brutally honest — the UnChristlike Christian Right)
it is totally laughable how they use the term
“ANY religious expression” when what they actually mean is THEIR version of religious expression (i.e. the slander they have the gall to call Christianity)
I do not see them demanding Giant Buddah’s to be erected next to the 10 Commandments (which is not even Christian really, but Old Testament and part of the original Jewish faith??)
This is all BS and it is scary to hear these people who actually fervently believe this crap.
It would be nice if they actually practiced what was preached by the one they call their saviour!!

Note: you are pissed at these judges because they are not allowing you to use public forums to preach to the rest of us — to use these public forums ONLY for YOUR version of religion — NOT
“ANY” form of religion
Note how you conveniently ignore the instances where the Judicial System has ALLOWED public displays of religious items — when the opportunity is provided for EQUAL opportunities for all and when it is obviously presented in an informative manner, not a preaching, converting form of display.
You are free to practice your religion — as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rest of us practicing ours —
Pray in school, that’s ok
Trying to force the entire school to observe a moment of prayer is not ok
too bad you can’t see the difference and can’t enjoy the liberties you DO HAVE versus those caught in countries that practice what you THINK would be ideal (you are also free to move there!!)

Posted by: Russ at August 30, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #178271


When was the wall of separation built?

-The First Amendment was ratified in 1791
-Jefferson’s letter was in 1802
-Most State support for Religion ended by 1850
-The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868
-The Supreme Court effectively ruled in Gitlow v. New York, 1925, that the 14th ended state support of religion
-The Constructionist courts (my reference to Black) began in the late 30’s.

Kevin23 argues above that “the idea of a wall was there and that was a direct influence upon the phasing out of states endorsing religions.” It was less a legal wall and more of a concept. But if you were a citizen of Maryland in 1867 that concept wasn’t doing you much good:

That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons, professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty

All of these dates in history could be considered building blocks to the wall (continuing the metaphor), but to say it was built by the founding fathers upon ratification of the 1st Amendment is just bad history. And it is clear, because we are still debating this in 2006, that construction of “the wall” is still a work in progress. Again Justice Rehnquist’s dissent (of which I agree):

The “wall of separation between church and state” is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.

Posted by: George in SC at August 30, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #178273

Why do right-wing Christians constantly see every reference to “God” as a reference to their “God”? Did it ever occur to them that not everyone who beleives in “God” considers themselves to be a Christian? A large number of the founding fathers who have been quoted on this thread were actually Diests, not Christians. In addition, the practice of Christianity has certainly changed throughout the history of this country. Unitarians far outnumbered evangelicals at the time of the founding. Check the names of the most influential of the founders - George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison - and offer me any proof that they were in fact practicing Christians. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was attacked by the Federalists in the 1800 campaign as not being a Christian. If you take the time to actually read historical speeches and texts, you will notice a large number of references to “God”. What you will not find is a large number of references to “Jesus”. If this country was infact based upon Christian principles, why no references to the central fugure?

Its a shame that persecution has replaced love as the rallying cry for right-wing Christians. Unfortunately, they misunderstand the Constitution as badly as they do the Bible. And they have no more knowledge of the true history of their country than they do of the true history of their faith.

Posted by: Axis of Evil at August 30, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #178276

I have no problem with a government official looking for answers in prayer to whichever God are of thier liking. I have a problem when that same government official uses thier position to even suggest that I do the same. I have a problem when that same government official maintains that the person sitting next to them at work is inferior because their God’s are not the same.

This is exactly the behavior we are seeing from Katherine Harris. Regardless of how good a Christian she is, or even how fine a statesman she could become, she has shown that her opinions are much more valuable than the opinions of others, and therefor has no place as a representative.

Posted by: DOC at August 30, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #178282

George in SC-
I think it’s fair to say that it was in development from the start, though it would take years to develop to our degree of secularity.

You can say the notion of our cherished modern rights being created wholesale from the start is erroneous, but I think it’s fair to say that the explicit separation of Church and State within the Constitution was the essential seed of this political shift.

Looking at our history, we can be thankful for that shift. America’s strength is it’s ability to engage in non-destructive assimilation, forming relationships between countrymen often in spite of racial, ethnic, religious and other differences. This not only works within our borders, but outside of it as well.

It is not our freedoms that our enemies fear, it’s the ability to connect to people within their closed systems and influence them. This ability springs, though, from the necessity that we have to respectfully deal with folks other than ourselves. More and more, people like Harris are trying to push us towards a system that suits their sensibilities. It is no small thing for her to claim the wall between church and state is a lie. That is part of what she is called upon to uphold an defend, and part of what allows us to transcend the cultural barriers that would come with being an explicitly Christian nation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #178288
The Levitical Laws were from GOD and governed temporal and Spiritual matters!


I strongly disagree with you. The Levitical laws were from the YHWH gods. I am a Gnostic and in no way do I believe that the YHWH gods are the Father Jesus talked about. The YHWH gods are homicidal egomaniacs; absolutely nothing like the God Jesus talked about. The Old Testament is full of atrocities committed by the YHWH gods; dashing little ones to pieces, the killing of all first born, slashing open the bellies of pregnant women, killing entire communities (except virgins who were taken to be raped), this kind of disgusting behavior is throughout the Old Testament, all with the blessings of the YHWH gods.


Thanks, I haven’t given up yet, although I am very burned out on all this desperate fearmongering going on in politics right now.


Thomas Jefferson was the logical choice, since he is the one who coined the phrase “separation of Church and State,” the phrase that Harris specifically called a lie. I’m not sure why I would have written this about Ben Franklin, it wasn’t his phrase. I know Jefferson was out of the country at the time of the Constitutional Convention, but he still had a lot of influence on it’s content through his writings.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at August 30, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #178289

“1. Congress prayed and read Scripture.
2. Schools read the Bible and Prayed.
3. Religous monuments were prevelant throughout the country.
4. Christmas was stiil Christmas.
5. Governmental speeches constantly referred to God.
5. Congress was postponed at one time to recognize a celebration of Sunday school.”

You forgot to mention that it use to be a crime (minor fine) to miss church on Sunday.

People also use to have slaves, burn witches and die from tooth decay. The Constitution was written to encourage evolution of our government… built in improvement. I think it’s working…

Posted by: tony at August 30, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #178292

George in SC-

I don’t get the significance of quoting someone talking about a preference to christianity. So what? He was probably doing what people naturally do, and played to his audience. Hell, that quote could be heard today in some states, and nobody would think twice about it. It didn’t condemn any other religion, or anything else but praise christianity.

The ONLY thing you are saying is that the concept of the “wall”, which does stem directly from the founding fathers AS WELL AS many others as the nation evolved, is still changing along with the times. So, just like every other legal precedent or statute, its meaning becomes necessarily different as society changes. This is the whole concept of a “living document”. To say that because people still debate its current meaning that it is not legitimate is utter nonsense…maybe just wishful thinking. We still debate the meaning of most amendments and statutes. As well we should.

And the mere fact that you found a dissenting opinion, and try very hard to echo it, does not change history, facts, or the legitimacy of the constitutional priciple. It is merely a dissent. And Renquist was an admittedly deeply religous man who sided this way in almost every case involving religion. Legal scholars take this into account, and only give it its appropriate weight.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 30, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #178296

I would like to add that, Renquist was not an elected official. The Supreme Court has a speacial privelege in being able to determine the course of society, without having had been elected by the public. They may have any opinion they chose. Their task is to determine constitutional law. Congressmen do not have that same privelege.
To expand on the point that Kevin23 made, condemning a person that praises a religion, is quite different than condemning other religions in comparison to your particular flavor.
This is what Harris has done.

Posted by: DOC at August 30, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #178368

Hey Tony:

“Sounds like your area could use better driving instructors… Improve their aim.”

I haven’t laughed outloud like that since…I looked in the mirror this morning while I tried to shave.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #178390


Get off the Gnonsense already. The YHVH GOD is the one who made this terrible planet, right? What about the first chapter of John that states of Jesus “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
Jesus Hebrew name is Yeshua which means YHVHsalvation or YHVHsaviour. Why would the “real” god tell Joseph to name His son after a homicidal megalomaniac? There is a good reason Gnosticism and bloodletting were debunked and dispensed with; they just don’t make any friggin’ sense!

Posted by: Duane-o at August 30, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #178411


You claimed above that it wasn’t your side’s intention to restrict public expression of religion, just keep it from being legislated,etc.
However, you’ll see not long after that post a member of your side declared that Christianity doesn’t deserve to be expressed in a public forum, and I haven’t seen you respond to correct your co-wall of separation pusher. Let me ask you this, would you be willing to let my Pastor preach a sermon in the U.S. House or on the White House lawn? Didn’t think so.

Posted by: Duane-o at August 30, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #178444


Gnosticism is no more nonsense than Pauline Christianity.

The YHVH GOD is the one who made this terrible planet, right? What about the first chapter of John that states of Jesus “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”

The YHWH gods made this planet in the same way that man makes things- from pre-existing matter. In John Jesus is speaking of the Most High Father, who did make all things including the YHVH gods and the matter that they used to fashion this world.

Jesus Hebrew name is Yeshua which means YHVHsalvation or YHVHsaviour. Why would the “real” god tell Joseph to name His son after a homicidal megalomaniac?

Actually, Yhowshuwa means Jehovah-saved, Yeshuwa means “he will save.” Both names were popular Jewish names and appear several times throughout the OT. The NT manuscripts are all written in Greek and they all give Jesus the Jewish (not Greek) name Iesous.

The Father did not tell Joseph to name his son after YHWH, an angel told Joseph to name his son Iesous, “for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) There is no mention of YHWH.

The OT states, in Isaiah chapter 7, that YHWH will give a sign and he will be called Immanuw’el (God with us), which is carried over to Matthew 1:23 as a self fulfilling prophecy. This is the one and only place in the entire NT that the name Emmanouel (Immanuw’el) appears. Jesus is never called by the name Immanuw’el.

There is a good reason Gnosticism and bloodletting were debunked and dispensed with; they just don’t make any friggin’ sense!

Gnosticism was never debunked, it was violently suppressed by the Catholic Church. It doesn’t make any friggin’ sense to you because you have allowed yourself to be brainwashed by the mainstream church and have closed your mind to the truth. There is a good reason that Jesus urges us to seek the truth in the Sermon on the Mount:

  • Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For each one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. ~Matthew 7:7-11
Posted by: JayJay Snow at August 31, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #178470

Stephen Daugherty

Matt Goldseth-
You misunderstand the argument. It’s not public expression that’s the problem. It’s the use of public office to push legislation and policies that force one groups religious doctrine on another.
No, I think we agree there.

In fact, I provided a thorough post illustrating exactly that. People of faith shouldn’t use the office to ESTABLISH faith….however, that doesn’t mean they should be barred from expressing their faith by keeping a bible on their desk, having a replica of the 10 commandments in their chambers or praying with other willing officials.

A reasonable person can see those are reflective of the INDIVIDUAL’s beliefs, not the government’s new mission to establish some christian theocracy.

Unfortunately, many…inclusing a few posters here, seem intent on fudging that fine line to incrementally gravitate to the other extreme and begin using government to PROHIBIT and RESTRICT such expression.
And when someone steps up and tries to protect that fine line from being crossed, often THEY are labeled as theocratic zealots. Tricky, tricky.

Its interesting to note that nobody has yet rebutted the specific points in my post regarding the context of the Danbury Letter or Roger Williams origination of the term.

In the end, those trying to continue this fallacious modern version of “separation of church and state” must rely on historical and political ignorance to succeed.

It is no small thing for her to claim the wall between church and state is a lie. That is part of what she is called upon to uphold an defend, and part of what allows us to transcend the cultural barriers that would come with being an explicitly Christian nation.
I didnt hear the original context of these remarks, but if they are hers,then they are unfortunate as they imply she could use some education on this issue as well…Maybe Harris is unaware that Jefferson was right on.
Her statement should be directed at the modern zealots perverting the intent and accuracy of Jefferson’s original statement.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 31, 2006 8:29 AM
Comment #178471

Don’t be so quick to assume my answers. I’m fine with religious expression in public forums. If that Preacher can make his sermon in the Capitol and on the White House Lawn, that’s fine with me, so long as other preachers, speakers and other folks aren’t being cut out of the deal. These are places that represent the American people as a whole. So long as each person is presented without favoritism or endorsement, it doesn’t bother me.

You assume things I have not said I would support, as if I’m hiding my real answers from you. These are my real answers: The only places I would cut religion expression out is where they can be assumed to represent the Government’s official position, because this government, by the law of the land, is supposed to have NO position with regards to religion. It can neither advocate nor persecute a church, or those who lack any.

Some Christians fear this arrangement, balk at being prevented from using offices to spread their word, from using schools, pledges, and dollar bills to encourage belief, but as a Christian myself, I believe that religion that builds its support on edifices of the state, is a religion half dead already. Religion that builds itself on God and God alone can survive the worst persecution, the worst deprivations, and even the deaths of its adherents.

Our religion survived for years as an outlaw faith. It would be tragic that this would be necessary again, but we should be tough enough to weather virtually anything, and yet still be able to turn the other cheek.

The abolition of officially led school prayer is far from the worst that could happen. It may be for the best. Our indoctrination will determine our Children’s first experience of faith, not some barely noticed wall paper of dollar bills, a pledge kids earnestly make but make into a nearly mindless habit, or some school official making some bland, non-denominational prayer into the PA. If you’re depending on a watered-down public school prayer, a dollar bill, and a pledge that didn’t even originally feature the words “under God” to bring your children to God’s grace, to make them faithful follower, then you are likely more responsible for their shallowness of religious experience than some judge or bureaucrat.

Besides, public religion ultimately entails people engaging in religious behavior, to impress others, to placate officials looking over their shoulders.

I don’t need my government’s approval to believe in God.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2006 8:33 AM
Comment #178473

JayJay,A study of the Old Testament will reveal to you that it is a history of what took place in GOD’s purposed effort to bring JESUS CHRIST into the world to redeem all who believe and obey from eternal punishment.God’s people did not always do exactly what HE told them and HE will deal with them.The New Testament is the history of the Church/Kingdom GOD established through CHRIST to fulfill the promise of redemption GOD made in the Old Testament.There is only one GOD!I urge you to read HIS historical account and believe or not.The only true and living GOD gives you and all on the earth that choice and that is why HE caused certain men to write it down,so we could know.It is up to you,I will not say any more about it.

Posted by: rdavidc at August 31, 2006 8:56 AM
Comment #178491

Sad thing is, many Christians know this country’s history and laws yet want them to benefit them only. I don’t buy alot of dribble from alot of religions other than Christian myself, but to eliminate their constitutional rights threaten everybody’s including some bible thumping church folk. You think those in power are going to bend to a preacher in their office if they don’t want to? Get real.

Posted by: Bear at August 31, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #178501

Matt Goldseth-
This is not about the behavior of the private citizen. As far as I’m concern, people are free to do anything that does not cause civil disturbance or is not otherwise illegal. With the First amendment’s prohibition of laws that get in the way of people’s freedom of religion, people should feel secure in that.

It’s an empty promise, though, if we have a judge who can endorse, as an official of the state, a set of religious doctrines. The Ten Commandments is picked because of the universality of a few of its laws, but a number of commandments deal with the exclusive authority of God, the call to attend Church on the Sabbath, and a prohibition against idol worship. It’s not a neutral statement for a govenrment to make. If a Wiccan, a Hindu, an Agnostic, or an outright Atheist shows up in that court, and a Christian plantiff or defendant shows up on the other side, what assurance do they have of the courts impartiality, especially in the face of the Judge’s outright endorsement of one religion. Even if the magistrate in question believes and intends the display to be personal, he or she is an official who represents the law, represents more than him or herself. They speak for us all, in their role as judge.

Additionally, that space belongs to everybody. Now, we can either flood the space with every symbol of every religion that asks for it to be put there, or we can simply keep the court a blank slate, a neutral space, a secular truce between the religions and between those with religious beliefs and those with none.

It should be of great interest to you that many of the people who advocated this separation were not atheists- many were of religious sects who found things like enforced prayer and the casual use of God’s name in civil affairs to be objectionable.

The Baptists in particular objected to being required to register for preacher’s licenses in colonial days, believing that only God’s calling and the prayerful consideration of the matter by the congregation was necessary.

Jefferson’s original statement has not been perverted. It’s been adapted to much more secular times, where many Americans, by choice have taken other directions, directions that scare some religious conservatives and radicals. Like Jefferson said, it neither breaks his leg nor picks his pocket how somebody else worships. The attempts to inject religion into the public sphere are an attempt to change the culture by brute force, by putting the government’s authority behinds the trappings of religion. What advocates of this miss is that they’re handing the tools of government to those who are hostile to religion. If a Judge can advocate Christianity from the bench, another can denigrate and demonstrate open hostility to it, going far beyond the enforcement of secular neutrality

In short, you’re handing the zealots of other religions and militant atheists the tools to use their offices to attack Christianity. Secular neutrality gets in your way, but it also gets in theirs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #178520


Believe me, I have been studying the OT, the NT, and the Gnostic Scriptures for over 5 years. Even without the Gnostic Scriptures it is apparent that the gods (yes, gods. The underlying word is Elohim, the plural form of El) of the OT are not the same Father that Jesus spoke of. YHWH did not need to kill innocent children and give virgin girls up to be raped to bring Jesus Christ into this world. That doesn’t even make any sense.

Over and over in the OT YHWH is ordering the mass murder of children, pregnant women, & the rape of virgins. How does any of that correspond to a God of Love, as described in the NT? The NT also describes God as pure light with no darkness at all, yet the OT is constantly describing YHWH in and as darkness. The NT says that the Father is not even capable of evil, yet the OT tells us that YHWH has evil spirits at his command. The NT tells us not to fear the Father because there is no fear in love, yet we are told to fear YHWH in the OT. The OT is Satan’s biggest accomplishment.

  • Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. ~Psalm 137:9

And mainstream Christians say their God is against abortion. Pshaw.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at August 31, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #178563
It’s an empty promise, though, if we have a judge who can endorse, as an official of the state, a set of religious doctrines. The Ten Commandments is picked because of the universality of a few of its laws, but a number of commandments deal with the exclusive authority of God, the call to attend Church on the Sabbath, and a prohibition against idol worship.
Show me a judge who is prosecuting adulterers, idol worshippers and sabbath breakers….and I’ll stand hand in hand in calling him out as a judge who is violating constitutional principles by establishing religion.

However, I se no violation when you…
Show me a judge who keeps the Ten Commandments as a reminder of the historical FACT that our system of law is inherited from Judeo-christian civil law
Show me a judge who keeps a plaque of the 10 Commandments because he PERSONALLY lives his life according to them.

If a Wiccan, a Hindu, an Agnostic, or an outright Atheist shows up in that court, and a Christian plantiff or defendant shows up on the other side, what assurance do they have of the courts impartiality, especially in the face of the Judge’s outright endorsement of one religion.
That’s a ridiculous point if you think about it. Perhaps you’re unaware, but you’re casting aspersions onto a judge simply because he is open about his faith.
How does the christian defendent know what an agnostic, secular or WIccan judge thinks? What is his assurance?

That’s why we have an appeals process.
And if anything, the judge who is open about their faith leaves more room for scrutiny than the judge who reveals nothing about themselves which may arouse suspicion about motives.

Even if the magistrate in question believes and intends the display to be personal, he or she is an official who represents the law, represents more than him or herself. They speak for us all, in their role as judge.
Nonsense…judges are people, not computer programs.
All people have predispositions, tendencies, prejudices, etc. It is simply ludicrous to suspect the greatest sin from those who are open about themselves, while assuming nothing about those who reveal nothing about themselves.
Additionally, that space belongs to everybody. Now, we can either flood the space with every symbol of every religion that asks for it to be put there, or we can simply keep the court a blank slate, a neutral space, a secular truce between the religions and between those with religious beliefs and those with none.
Or you could tell judges to simply UPHOLD THE LAW regardless of their beliefs.
You could simply concede that every agnostic, athiest, christian, muslim and johnny wooha is free to express themselves so long as they dont violate their authority by ESTABLISHING a religion.

Granted, liberals came up with some fancy notion that judges could “INTERPRET” the law rather than simply uphold it and defend rights…so this is a stickier mess to monitor than it once was.

It should be of great interest to you that many of the people who advocated this separation were not atheists- many were of religious sects who found things like enforced prayer and the casual use of God’s name in civil affairs to be objectionable.
Actually the people who advocated separation of church and state focused on the FAVORITISM of one religion over another. Never, not once in public discourse, did any party support the idea of REMOVING religion from the public forum.
If you haven’t researched the history, I provided some background on this post already.

You say “ADAPTED”, I say “PERVERTED”.
Either way, modern zealots continue to prey upon the ignorance of the populace in misrepresenting the clear context of Jefferson and Williams….

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 31, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #178570

Jay Jay
That verse refers to the end times and is about the sinful city Babylon. I suggest you read the whole psalm and not just pick verses from the bible and take them out of context. That’s the trouble with a lot of people who pick verses out of the bible and comment on just that verse when the whole chapter means something else. Plus the gnostic gospels were written some three centuries after the fact their credibility is worthless.

Posted by: KAP at August 31, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #178578

a pledge that didn’t even originally feature the words under God, Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2006 08:33 AM

Under god being inserted in between one nation, and indivisible, which may have been the main point they were trying to make.

And on the Gnostic point, At the time when the Council of Nicea was convened for settling the quarrels of certain bishops, and for the purpose of examining into the canonicity of the three hundred more or less apocryphal gospels that were being read in the Christian churches as inspired writings, … these bishops were a set of illiterate, simple creatures that understood nothing; which is as though he had said they were a pack of fools…the Canon was not decided by a careful comparison of several gospels before them, but by a lottery. Having, he tells us, promiscuously put all the books that were referred to the Council for determination under a Communion table in a church, they (the bishops) besought the Lord that the inspired writings might get up on the table, while the spurious writings remained underneath, and it happened accordingly.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 31, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #178599


You said see no problem with:

“a judge who keeps the Ten Commandments as a reminder of the historical FACT that our system of law is inherited from Judeo-christian civil law”?

Well, our system is derived from a lot of other things as well. Putting only one of them on display seems to be indicating a preference. And I would much rather see something much more directly relevent to our system, like the constitution. I’m not against the ten commandments being displayed, but claiming historical significance is MAYBE 5% of the real reason. If that. Religous significance during a time of a fundementalist movement seems MUCH more accurate. Which is why they take offense at the notion of removing it from PUBLIC sight only.

or “a judge who keeps a plaque of the 10 Commandments because he PERSONALLY lives his life according to them”?

Then there is absolutely nothing gained by advertising that fact. Why are some of these judges so adament that they be either huge eye-catching displays, and that they be displayed in plain view of the general public? It seems to me they should put them in their chambers…they deliberate there anyway, right? I have no problem with people having symbolic reminders for themselves, but I do when the goal clearly seems to be something else…something much less private.

As for the establishment clause, I agree with your point about judges being people. But your statement about “interpreting” law as opposed to “upholding” it in relation to establishment of religion is missing key historical context. The nation was primarily christian, much more so than today. So there was no need to interpret the meaning of the establishment clause in such a way as to quell concerns from those of other religions that Christianity was more favored. But the principle was there.

When the need arose, the courts did there job and upheld the spirit of the law. And no, this does not equate to legislating through the court. It is simply using your brain to figure out, via legislative history and other formal supplimentary documentation, how the constructionists would have viewed a particular set of facts. There is room for error, but judges are forced to provide reasoning, which can be overturned. They are people after all. But they are usually not hell-bent on distorting the law for personal reasons. This is a great way to ruin your career as a judge.

You call it “perversion” and I call it “changing with the times.” Honestly, use your head, think about the personal priorities of individual judges, and then tell me which is more accurate. Are they simply relating to the parties in their courtroom and trying to give a law its intended effect as they it to a unique situation in each case? Or is it more realistic to assume that legislators (yeah those scumbags we all hate right now) will diligently pre-concieve of EVERY possible scenario before the law is ever enacted or tested, thereby eliminating the need for “interpretation” to specific and unique cases?

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 31, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #178605


Don’t start spinning Hebrew out of whole cloth to a student of the language of the Kingdom. “He will save” is transliteratedYoshia, because the verb form has to have the “ee” sound to be correct. Yeshua is simply a shortened version of the name Yehoshua (Joshua). You will notice once in Acts and once in Hebrews where the name Jesus was used when the author was clearly writing about Joshua, the successor to Moses. The names are one in the same and they imply YHVH (or YHWH, spelled Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey, Vav being a “W” sound in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic but is a “V” sound by itself or can be an “O” or “U” vowel, depending on the dagesh mark. There are some who argue that the original name, from where the Greek writers got “Iesous”, was Yeshuas, the “S” sound at the end making YHVHsaviour a masculine word, and this actually may be correct. And why does Jesus refer to the Temple in Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) as His Father’s House? Wasn’t that supposed to be the House of YHVH Elohim? Elohim would seem like a plurality to anyone who has studied Hebrew for about ten minutes, but anyone who goes a little deeper into Hebraic studies will tell you that not every yod-mem means “more than one”. For example, “Heaven” is “Shamayim” in Hebrew, but it’s talking about only one Heaven. Some Hebrew words end with ‘EEM to suggest greatness or vastness, like Shamayim or Elohim. I commend you on your five year studies of the Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim(OT) and the B’rit Chadasha(NT), but i’ve been studying them since I was knee high to a grasshopper(about 25 years) and learn new things every day. The Revelation of the Scriptures does not come through one’s own knowledge, but through the leadership and guidance of the Ruach HaKodesh(Holy Spirit). I suggest you ask Him to dwell in you and stop trying to lean on your own understanding in an effort to vindicate yourself of things you obviously feel guilty about. I continue to pray for you. Until next time, Yehvarekhekha YHVH(say Adonai for Lord) veyishmerekha, ya’er YHVH(Adonai) panav eleykha veyasem lekha shalom. (That was a blessing on you, BTW)

Oh, yeah one other thing. I don’t get brainwashed by the Roman perversion of Christianity who burned people at the stake for believing, as I do, that Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, Jesus is the Holy Ghost and when you baptize in His Name you get the whole kit’n’kaboodle. Please don’t lump me in with the heretic hunters.

Posted by: Duane-o at August 31, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #178607

Sorry, I didn’t intend to use all that text as a link! You might want to go to It’s a great place for the beginner to get started in Hebrew.

Posted by: Duane-o at August 31, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #178632

Matt Goldseth-
The definition of a Religiously based government should be that scripture or a body of religious scholarship (such as Sharia) is designated as basis for legislation and jurisprudence.

As much as you can claim that the basis of America’s law is Christian jurisprudence, the only mention of religion in the original constitution forbids religious test.

As somebody already pointed out, many states did otherwise, establishing tests that required people to state they believed in God, in Jesus Christ, even in Protestantism.

Yet a federal oficial, elected or not, could serve without even believing in God.

If a federal or (thanks to the 14th Amendment)state judge doesn’t need to profess belief in God to practice jurisprudence, how Christian is the law really intended to be?

Couple this with the First Amendment, which clearly forbids state support of religion and forbids state interference with individual’s practice or non-practice of religion which Jefferson is clearly quoted as supporting (it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket…), and you have a hard case to make that there wasn’t a strain of secularism built into our government.

Times have changed. Society has changed. Community standards have changed, as have the expectation the law itself has of officials.

When a Judge walk into the courtroom, they are the court, and they act as an official of the government. As such, their beliefs come second to their duties. If they believe one way, and the law says something else, they are obligated to follow the law. What historical facts they are relating or the character of their personal relationship with their God is irrelevant.

Heck, if they are Christians, they’re not supposed to be ostentatious about their piety anyways. We’re not the ones they’re supposed to be convincing.

It’s not a ridiculous point, for an atheist, an agnostic, or a polytheist to object to a judge representing the court in their presence displaying religious doctrines that condemn their chosen practices. If a Judge representing the judiciary has already seen fit to break with the impartiality they are obligated to with such displays, why should they expect that impartiality when a judge hands down a decision on an issue or is handed one from a superior court? They’ve already used their public office to make a statement favoring their religion. Why wouldn’t they rule accordingly?

The discipline that impartiality requires is a part of being a judge. Within the law, they are free to use the court to rule according to their personal beliefs. Every judge, though, represents the government, and the first and fourteenth Admendments together obligate courts at all levels to respect the separation of Church and State, to favor no religion and persecute none either. If they are to uphold the law, it cannot simply be what doesn’t get in the way of their personal beliefs.

As for interpretation of the law, what do you think a judge does? Real life is messy and often multiple laws and questions of law apply to a case. Interpretation is necessary to sort through the mess.

This is not about removing religion from the public forum. It’s about removing it from government control. I don’t want my government sticking it’s nose in my religious business.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #178642


You seem to agree with me on the “wall” issue; sorry for accusing you of views held by more ignorant lefties. You seem to have a decent grip on what the first amendment stands for, but sadly, I believe you’re in the minority among a lot of your liberal comrades who truly believe the first amendment silences religious speech in public. Why don’t you come down on them when they make such erroneous statements the way you do when someone from the right goes a little far?

One more thing to JayJay,
Why did Jesus say the greatest commandment was “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength, when the Hebrew text clearly has the tetragrammaton(YHVH) in place of LORD(Adonai, which is what a rabbi says whenever coming across YHVH in scripture to avoid taking HaShem[the Name] in vain)? Why would Jesus say a scripture telling people to love YHVH was the first(greatest) commandment? While we’re at it, why did Jesus quote scriptures involving YHVH all the time throughout His Ministry, like telling Satan “Thou shalt worship YHVH thy God and Him only shalt thou serve”,or”Thou shalt not tempt YHVH thy God.”?

Posted by: Duane-o at August 31, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #178692
“He will save” is transliterated Yoshia


Wikipedia? I do not claim to know Hebrew, so I have to rely on other sources. Wikipedia is not what I would call a reliable source. According to the much more reliable Strongs Dictionary, Yeshuwa means “he will save; Jeshua, the name of ten Israelites, also of a place in Palestine: —Jeshua.”

I’m not sure who you are trying to impress with all that other jibber, but how you pronounce YHWH in meaningless to me. Elohim is mistraslated as God. The explanation you give is an attempt to rescue the monotheism of the Bible. Elohim is used throughout the OT, not just in reference to YHWH. It is translated correctly when used in reference to other Gods. BTW, how can the OT be monotheistic when it clearly mentions other Gods?

  • For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments. ~Numbers 33:4

How does YHWH execute judgment against gods that don’t exist?

  • For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward ~Deuteronomy 10:17

Forget that this passage calls YHWH a terrible god, how can YHWH be God of gods, if there are no other gods?

  • God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. Psalm 82:1

Among what gods?

  • What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men. ~Daniel 2:11

I think “they” is pretty plural.

Some Hebrew words end with ‘EEM to suggest greatness or vastness, like Shamayim or Elohim.
  • When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

    For the LORD’s (YHWH’s) portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. ~Deuteronomy 32:8

The word used here to describe the greatness of God is elyown, not elohim. Here YHWH inherits his poeple from the Most High. If YHWH inherits something, doesn’t that mean there is someone above him to pass it down to him? According to this passage, it is the Most High.

The Revelation of the Scriptures does not come through one’s own knowledge, but through the leadership and guidance of the Ruach HaKodesh(Holy Spirit). I suggest you ask Him to dwell in you and stop trying to lean on your own understanding in an effort to vindicate yourself of things you obviously feel guilty about.

The first thing I did when starting on this spiritual journey is turn to God and ask for guidance. Everything I have learned over the last 5 years was shown to me by God through the Holy Spirit, I truly believe that with all my heart. The Revelation of Scripture is meaningless to me, it is the revelation that God shows me through everyday experiances that truly matters. I am not sure what you think I feel guilty about, but if I truly believed that mainstream Christianity was right I would be the first to say so. I am not the kind of person to pull punches, I believe in laying it out on the table. What I lay out there might not always be right, but each new challenge brings me closer to the truth.

Why did Jesus say the greatest commandment was “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength, when the Hebrew text clearly has the tetragrammaton(YHVH) in place of LORD(Adonai, which is what a rabbi says whenever coming across YHVH in scripture to avoid taking HaShem[the Name] in vain)? Why would Jesus say a scripture telling people to love YHVH was the first(greatest) commandment?

This statement is more than a little dishonest. The text does not say “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God”, it says “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.” BIG difference. The underlying word in the OT for LORD is YHWH, a proper noun. In the NT, the underlying word is “kurios,” a title, not the proper name YHWH. The proper noun YHWH appears nowhere in the NT.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at September 1, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #178695
That verse refers to the end times and is about the sinful city Babylon. I suggest you read the whole psalm and not just pick verses from the bible and take them out of context.


The context is not the problem, the evilness of the act is the problem. Regardless of the sins of Babylon, being happy about bashing innocent little ones againt the stones is the problem. What was the sin of all those children throughout the OT that YHWH ordered to be dashed to pieces?

That’s the trouble with a lot of people who pick verses out of the bible and comment on just that verse when the whole chapter means something else.

I have been trying to get that exact point across to mainstream Christians about those passages regarding homosexuality. For some reason taking those passages out of context and using them against their fellow man is the Christian thing to do.

Plus the gnostic gospels were written some three centuries after the fact their credibility is worthless.

Where was this established at? The Nag Hammadi library was dated to the third century c.e. The collection is a copy translated into coptic from earlier manuscripts. Therefore, they were at least written before the third century c.e. and had probably been in circulation for some time before they were translated into coptic. Some of the Gnostic scriptures, including the Gospel of Thomas, are believed to be older than some of the canonical gospels. None of the canonical scriptures were written at the time of Jesus. In fact many were written hundreds of years after his death.

The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas is the only gospel, that I am aware of, that claims to have been written while Jesus was on earth. The Gnostic “Pistis Sophia” claims to be a transcription done within the first 11 years after Christ had risen. If those claims are true (there is no way to prove or disprove that) then these two Gnostic scriptures outdate any of the canonical scriptures.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at September 1, 2006 2:20 AM
Comment #178782


Something else to consider, is that there is quite a bit of time between the Ministry of Christ and the ministry of Paul. Between that time, the original Christians were Gnostics. Why Paul was even neccessary to follow the Son of God is an enigma. You would think that the Son of God would have done the job right and there would be no need for Paul. In fact, there is no need for Paul because Christ did do the job right. Mainstream Christianity shouldn’t even be called “Christianity” at all, it should be called “Paulianity.”

Posted by: JayJay Snow at September 1, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #178841


“They is pretty plural isn’t it?”
Once again, context is key. That statement was made by a Babylonian mystic who believed in many gods. Let’s keep it honest, OK? The Hebrew language has exceptions to its rules just like English does, and one such exception is that if you are speaking of something vast or great you can pluralize it to emphasize such greatness. This leads to some confusing things like calling YHVH “Elohim” and then telling people “Not you shall have other elohim before me.” It’s like English’s words like can, trust, state, and tire which all can have entirely different definitions.

None of the canonical New Testament was written HUNDREDS of years after Christ, and you know it. Scholars disagree whether the names of the authors is actually who they claim to be(I believe they are), but they are in agreement that they all were written during a time in which it is conceivable that those original Apostles could have been the authors. Where are you basing your findings that all Christians were Gnostics before Paul? So Paul converted Peter, James, John, Philip and the rest of the twelve from what The Master actually taught them, without even a struggle? I guess he convinced John, one of Jesus’ closest confidants so much that he later wrote a scathing rebuke of the Gnostics(1st epistle of John). Gnostics believe they can achieve Christlike transcendence through some special knowledge, but Jesus said “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?” I interpret all scripture, Old and New testaments, through the filter of the Red Words. When you do so, you see a million piece puzzle come together to create the greatest masterpiece of all time.

BTW, if you don’t claim to know Hebrew, why do you try to convince people on this site who may not know the language the definition of Hebrew words? If you don’t know the language, how do you know you’re right? I do know Hebrew (intermediately) and trust me, if you see a firefighter running up a ladder you say “yoshia hana’erah”(He will save the young woman) Not Yeshuah which is the feminine word “salvation” or Yeshua which is a proper name, one which everyone of consequence agrees is a shortened Y’hoshua(YHVH is saviour). It was shortened because the priests of the second Temple era wouldn’t allow people to put part of HaShem in their kids’ names or anywhere else for that matter, but the meaning of the names stayed the same.

Oh, yeah, when YHVH passed judgement on the gods of the Egyptians the images probably fell apart like Dagon did when the Philistines brought the Ark of the Covenant into his chamber(1Samuel 5:4)
One more thing, I see you’ve gone from trying (pathetically) to explain away Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality in Romans 1, and trying to quote Paul’s writings to support Gnostic beliefs, to attacking Paul instead. Jesus didn’t need Paul any more than He needed Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, and Jude. He needed someone to write the New Testament for the sake of people in 2006!!


Posted by: Duane-o at September 1, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #178926


It occurred to me that it really doesn’t matter, (to me anyway), if Elohim means 1 God or 1,000 Gods, it doesn’t change my core beliefs. Therefore, I concede that point to you.

The “special” knowledge that Gnostics refer to, is not knowledge of thought, it is knowledge that comes from personal experience and a personal relationship with The Father through Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Paul didn’t convert any of the apostles. Nobody knows for sure who wrote the books of the NT, or who may have changed them. I have tried to make my arguments using only the books of the Bible since many Pauline Christians believe they are authoritative and most (some?) know them. Besides, it does nothing for my argument to just dismiss them outright if your arguments are based on their authenticity. However, only so much can be explained by using a “reader’s digest” version. I happen to believe that many of the Gnostic texts are also authoritative and fill in many of the blanks left by the abridged version. Therefore, it is not always possible to explain my beliefs based on the canonical texts alone. If you do not believe that the Gnostic texts are authoritative, which obviously you do not, then the argument is rather moot. My beliefs are based on more than just the words found on the pages of the Bible, they are also based on the Gnostic texts, my own personal experiences and my personal relationship with The Father. Taken together my beliefs are going to be drastically different from someone who does not value the same resources.

It is not my intention to change anyone’s mind; your beliefs are between you and your God. My only intention is to show people that there are beliefs out there that differ greatly from their own, and deserve to be respected under our Constitution just as mainstream beliefs.

BTW, I don’t have to know Spanish to be able to do research and find out the meaning of a word/phrase or how it is properly used. I’m not sure why Ancient Hebrew would be any different. I have only found two sources that make the statement about plural words being used to indicate greatness in Ancient Hebrew- you and one that debunks that theory. Nevertheless, as I said, I digress.

I have always questioned the authority of Paul and Luke. As I said above, I try to stick to the canonical texts when making my arguments, of which Paul and Luke are a part. That does not necessarily mean that I believe they have any authority over my own beliefs, only that sometimes their writings support them.

According to one Gnostic text, the Pistis Sophia, the Father chooses three of the disciples to be scribes, and where two or three of those witnesses agree authority is established. Those three are Matthew, Philip, & Thomas. So if I go by what that text says only Matthew, Philip, & Thomas are divinely inspired.

At any rate, neither of us are going to change our beliefs anytime soon. However, each new challenge causes me to question and come that much closer to the truth. My journey has only just begun and I have much more to experiance and learn. I do appreciate your help, through your challenges, along the way. Thanks.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at September 2, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #179121

She is guilty of attempted theocracy, a high crime in a country whos’ forefathers included the likes of Madison, Jefferson and Paine. Amongst our forefathers were many Christians and deists and some of them were very devout yet the majority of them given the examples of England and Europe understood the necessity for the seperation of church and state. Harris has an indisputable disconnect with one of the fundamental and original philosophies of our nation.

Posted by: cliff at September 4, 2006 12:09 AM
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