Crosses on the Highways

Exactly what does it hurt to have crosses dotting the land reminding us that people have died?

Where I live there are crosses and memorials on just about every road I travel reminding me that someone has died using the roads.
Many of them are in places that are hazardous for all of us. Places where, in a split second, it could be ME that the cross is there for.
A dangerous intersection. A bad curve.
My daughters have asked me about the crosses.
It gives me another chance to teach them that driving needs to be taking seriously. That if they don't pay attention to what they are doing their name may end up on one of those memorials.

In Utah a fight to keep the crosses for fallen troopers is underway.
Troopers. State Troopers.
These fallen heroes worked for the State. They died protecting the people of their State but some believe that memorials to remember them should not be on State property. Their families are fighting to keep the crosses on display. Their families should be able to choose the memorial that honors their hero.

'Rally decries atheists' bid to remove crosses'

From the article:
"Doug Wright of KSL radio, who was been a champion of the UHP cause, called the suit and American Atheists Inc. egregious and insensitive."

....And has a lack of respect.

Posted by Dawn at December 14, 2005 8:39 AM
Comments
Comment #102296

Are you saying you think they shouldn’t have the right to sue? Or just that you disagree with them?

Posted by: Dave at December 14, 2005 9:31 AM
Comment #102299

Dave,

I think everyone does have a right to sue, however, there needs to be another law that states…

“If you sue me, and you lose, you pay my expenses immediately.”

That would greatly reduce the stupid lawsuits that abound in this country.

As far as the crosses are concerned. Whatever happened to long-standing precedents? Traditions and history are being obliterated.

The bigger issue is this…Do we as a country allow minority groups (I use minority in the broadest sense of the word) to change the social and moral landscape of the country to suit them?

Posted by: Cliff at December 14, 2005 9:41 AM
Comment #102305

The crosses are 12 feet tall and placed there by the state. Anyone not a christian would think they were in Klan territory and be waiting for the flames. So, it sounds pretty much against the establishment clause to me.

Also, are you saying that everyone who loses a suit was “stupid”? There are already nuisance suit laws on the books in many states. I don’t think this makes the criteria.

Posted by: Dave at December 14, 2005 10:02 AM
Comment #102307

I have seen these crosses and have no real problem with them. Some however are marking the burial sites of dogs, cats and possibly even other pets. These, IMO should not be permitted.

Also, many of these crosses are located in easements for electric companies, highway department, phone and so on. This could be a serious problem in extreme weather or other dire circumstance.

Posted by: steve smith at December 14, 2005 10:03 AM
Comment #102309

Look at this as the win-win situation it is:

A group of instigators stirs the pot and gets a lot of publicity for an outrageous cause; and the christians can get angry and act persecuted because society is trying to outlaw their religion yet again.

It’s the others that get to watch the drama that aren’t so lucky.

Posted by: Schwamp at December 14, 2005 10:04 AM
Comment #102311

Also, the atheists are being ridiculous. What about vegetarians, should there be no McDonalds, Burger King, Hardees, etc. signs so as not to offend them.

Posted by: steve smith at December 14, 2005 10:06 AM
Comment #102316

What if the trooper was Jewish or Muslim or Bhuddist? Would there be a star or crescent or whatever? Also, some people love their dogs more than people, so why not for dogs? They’re loved too dontchya’ know.

Posted by: Dave at December 14, 2005 10:16 AM
Comment #102317

As a driver from another state, I would construe the cross as an endorsement of Christianity and not as a memorial to fallen Troopers. It would seem more fitting and less offensive to use a symbol that would be recognised as a memorial to State Troopers— like a badge, or a “Smokie” hat. But I really don’t think memorials have a place on the public roads. Drivers don’t need more distractions. Memorials belong in the graveyard, or in this case, perhaps on State Capitol grounds.

Posted by: Lee Bergstrom at December 14, 2005 10:17 AM
Comment #102319

Wouldn’t be ironic if someone ran off the road and was killed running into the Cross?

Posted by: Lee at December 14, 2005 10:21 AM
Comment #102322

Dave,

Also, are you saying that everyone who loses a suit was “stupid”? There are already nuisance suit laws on the books in many states. I don’t think this makes the criteria.

I don’t think they are “stupid”, however, an anti-suit type law should be imposed that protects people (especially private citizens) from lawsuits, without having to sue. In otherwords, if someone is sued and they win, they are compensated for the expense they incurred to protect themselves.

I have a good personal friend who was sued recently by a guy that he sold a house to 5 years ago. He sued because the house supposedly wasn’t what he bought 5 years ago. The suit was thrown out, but my friend had to spend $2,500 in legal fees to do it. I believe that a court imposed instant restitution should take place on his behalf for actual expenses incurred.

Back on topic…
I’m not against the crosses but 12 feet seems a bit much.

Posted by: Cliff at December 14, 2005 10:36 AM
Comment #102324

On a county route near my home, there is a small cross (3-4’ high) that has flowers routinely placed around it. It signifies the location where a young mother was killed by a drunk driver, and there is a small sign naming the lady and that how she died. The family places the flowers there on a regular basis as a memorial to her.

It’s not a distraction, and is actually fairly easy to miss, if you don’t know its there. But it serves as a nice reminder of this woman’s life, and also as a reminder of how her life was cut short by someone making a horrible decision.

I don’t know her religion, nor do I particularly care. It helps her family deal with their loss, and it reminds others of the importance of our decisions.

I don’t mind the crosses, and wouldnt mind other symbols either. I can see how it might get out of hand if too many of them go up, or if they are too big, since it could be distracting. Otherwise, I don’t see it as anything more than someone creating an argument where there should be none.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 14, 2005 10:46 AM
Comment #102325

“Their families should be able to choose the memorial that honors their hero”

This is all its about, nothing more, nothing less.
These groups have a political agenda and are acting like scared, immature children.
Their fabrications of some evil Christian takeover are getting tiresome.

Posted by: kctim at December 14, 2005 10:51 AM
Comment #102326

Everyone that is not a Christian thinks they were put there by the Klan?!!! Come on that is stretching it a bit. The cross as been around a long time and most people know it has been used as a memorial or a grave marker. If anyone is offended by a cross as a memorial marker—you need to get a life. Law enforcement officers protect everyone—they give up family time and they put up with the pits of humanity and they will protect you even if you don’t deserve it—give the people in Utah a break and by the way—Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Polly at December 14, 2005 10:57 AM
Comment #102327

Can’t the Utah State offer a space for memorials to their fallen state troopers???
Whatever the shape, drivers will hardly notice the name of fallen ones written on road sides memorials anyway… And what’s the link between the location and the place where the trooper actually died?

In France we eventually have these black human shaped panels, one per road victim, placed on road sides. One by one, the emotional effect is less than when I see a group of 2, 3 or more are on the same place side by side.
I always though that if these memorials were grouped in the same place, our 5000 deaths per year on the roads will be very more heartfull to see. And effective: Spreading them is less.

Lee,

Wouldn’t be ironic if someone ran off the road and was killed running into the Cross?

In such case, how one could figure out who died because he was driving badly from the one who died because he was fighting a wrong war?

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 14, 2005 10:59 AM
Comment #102329

This is a local issue until someone pushes the “it’s unconstitutional” argument. Then the stakes become much higher and it draws national attention (I’ve only been to Utah once in my life and I’ve never seen one of these crosses). Unfortunately, that is the real motivation (along with money) behind these types of suits, and it is sad that a trooper’s death and a State’s tribute to his/her life are used as political fodder.

Of course, that political fodder comes from both sides (remember the judge in Alabama).

As to the question of constitutionality, based on the last ruling of the Supreme Court, “it depends…..” That solves it I’m sure!

Posted by: George in SC at December 14, 2005 11:00 AM
Comment #102330

My bad, I confuse state troopers with state soldiers. I should have check before (aka actually follow the link).
I stand corrected.

Sorry if my mistake offense any of you.

Sincerelly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 14, 2005 11:06 AM
Comment #102331

The original intent of the Constitution was freedon OF religion, ie. one particular belief was not to be held above another BY the Government. But as in all liberal interpretations this is now to be taken as freedom FROM religion. It is being pursued by those whose religion is no religion allowed. Which if allowed to continue results in nothing more than religious persecution. The left discovered a magic bullet in their ‘victory’ against the tobacco industry. They can now sue all their ‘enemies’ out of existence.

Posted by: pige at December 14, 2005 11:10 AM
Comment #102333

Philippe:
Amen, and tres bien! You’re preaching to the choir there, mon ami.

Would’nt it be ironic if the family of a person killed on the road was wiped out as they placed fresh flowers on the roadside memorial!

Posted by: Lee at December 14, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #102342

While I am shocked by the lawsuit and don’t support it in any way. I wonder if the people who take such indignation at the suit would still do so if they wanted to put up Stars of David and Muslim Crescents only.

Posted by: chantico at December 14, 2005 11:45 AM
Comment #102344

Philippe:

Your mistakes never offend. After all, you are French and therefore require a little more leeway.

I’m only kidding!! You may take the obligatory swipe at me for being an American just to even the score.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 14, 2005 11:49 AM
Comment #102345

Dave,
“The crosses are 12 feet tall and placed there by the state. …”

So if they were smaller you would not have a problem with them?

Lee,
“Wouldn’t be ironic if someone ran off the road and was killed running into the Cross?”
“Would’nt it be ironic if the family of a person killed on the road was wiped out as they placed fresh flowers on the roadside memorial!”

You use the word ‘ironic’. I’m assuming then that you are joking?
You couldn’t be hoping for these accidents to have reason to remove the memorials - could you?


Don’t most people see crosses as a sign of death and not religion or the KKK- unless they are at the top of a church steeple?

Posted by: dawn at December 14, 2005 11:52 AM
Comment #102348

To me the issue is not whether it is a cross, a sign, a wreath or whatever along the highway is inappropriate!
ANYTHING along the side of the road is distracting to drivers and increases the risk to EVERYONE on the highway, either as a passenger or driver.

Here in WV, we have I-64. Locals refer to it as the “Highway of Death” or the “Memorial Highway.”
There is currently a spot where a driver fell asleep at the wwheel, crossed the median and crashed into an oncoming vehicle killing all 4 passengers instantly. (19yr old Mom, 21yr old dad, 43 yr old Grandmother and an 8yr old boy) The surviving family members place 4 wreaths at the site of the accident. They keep them clean and groom the ground around them. They change them seasonally, sometimes they place 4 crosses (aprox. 3 feet tall) with a wreath draaped over them. I drive by them at least twice a day. I admit it does male me think of the tragedy everyday and I am reminded of the pain experienced by this family and their on-going grief over such a loss. It also distracts me from attention to the highway and other drivers on this particularly dangerous stretch of highway.
I personally have no problem with these memorials being crosses, wreaths or whatever, but to say they serve a purpose other than for the families of the victims is to ignore the danger it places on others.

If we continue to place these memorials along our highways, after time there will be one every foot or so…who will really be remembered then?

The AAI may be fighting specifically because they are crosses, but I ask everyone in defense of this to think, and to ask yourselves, “Would you be so appalled at their removal if they were, say marble tombstones as opposed to crosses?”

One more question: I(f they are allowed to stay and the “tradition” of honoring fallen patrolmen continues, how long do you think it will be before they decide to add firemen, paramedics, state highway crewmen, or any other catagory of people? Are their deaths any less tragic or less important? Where are their roadside memorials?

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 14, 2005 12:00 PM
Comment #102356

This is just silly. If the troopers are Christian, let them be remembered by a cross; if they were of another faith, let them be remembered by whatever symbol for that faith. The point isn’t the religious symbol; the point is that these troopers die doing their jobs and so properly need to be remembered. Any public servant who risks their life in such a way deserves remembrance. Further, I don’t see it as violating the Church/State seperation if the the State is willing to pay for any symbol reflecting the trooper’s particular faith (now, I know, practically speaking, they are prob all Christian, but since we are talking constitutional law here, we are also talking only principles).

Posted by: ant at December 14, 2005 12:24 PM
Comment #102376

Instead of crosses by the side of the road, I think American’s should start putting up blood splattered Santa’s holding severed heads.

Just kidding!

BTW, I find it strange that when Cindy Sheehan went to Bush’s ranch and put up a cross to represent every U.S. soldier who had died in Iraq, nobody in this column liked that very much, yet now you’re defending it because people you consider “good christians” want to do the same by the side of other roads.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 14, 2005 1:07 PM
Comment #102386

I love seeing things along the road. It reminds me of a ‘FREE’ country. Free to practice my reliiong, which is getting harder to do every day. I, myself am a Christian. My family are Catholic. It doesn’t matter what you are as long as you have Faith in what you beleive in! My brother dies in a car crash-it was suicide! There is a 3-4 ’ cross up on the hill where he dies. many of his family & friends still visit on special occasions. Yes, it has gotten out of hand when liqour or other parafanalia are left there. But that is why I visit - to clean it up & make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. It is a daily reminder to those that know him of the hardships he went through.

Across the street there is a JESUS sign in big white letters about 4 feet high for the holidays. The people that have a problem with it live up the street. They have their religious symbols in their yard! What makes them allowed to have their religion but not others to display how they beleive.

This country was founded on strong Biblical principals. That was when our Cuntry & People were strong. Since the bible is being take away- there is discord among it’s own people. There is fighting over religion, over what political party you are in.everything you can imagine. I am sure there are other things to focus our energies on. I am no saying that I beleive Oure Country is Perfect-We are from it. But having a divided country leaves us wide open to be hit again by others who hate us. Also, MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!! (Every religion, ever person!)

Posted by: Xaris~Tamara Santagato at December 14, 2005 1:24 PM
Comment #102394

While I am shocked by the lawsuit and don’t support it in any way. I wonder if the people who take such indignation at the suit would still do so if they wanted to put up Stars of David and Muslim Crescents only.

Posted by: chantico at December 14, 2005 11:45 AM

I think the suit is stupid and hope that the judge thinks so too.
I really don’t care if they put up crescents ,stars, crosses, badges, or anything else. All the state is doing in this case is remembering the Troopers that have died in the line of duty. Some states put crosses up where someone has died in a wreck. This is to remind drivers to be careful.
If you go to a National Cemetary you’ll see the symbol of the persons religion on the grave stones. As far as I’m concerned they could do that along the roads too.
Anyone that wants to get any religious items out of public display is trying to push their religion of Secularism on everyone else. They are also violateing the 1st Admendment. Something that they want to blame other religions of doing. So they don’t have much room to talk.
Why don’t yaall Secularist come up with a symbol for your religion? I wouldn’t have any problem with it being displayed on the court house lawn or any other public place. Along with the symbols of the other religions.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 14, 2005 1:55 PM
Comment #102397

BTW, I find it strange that when Cindy Sheehan went to Bush’s ranch and put up a cross to represent every U.S. soldier who had died in Iraq, nobody in this column liked that very much, yet now you’re defending it because people you consider “good christians” want to do the same by the side of other roads.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 14, 2005 01:07 PM

It wasn’t her putting up crosses that I objected to. Or her being against the war. It was her insistance that Bush meet with her again after he had already taken the time to meet with her. Why diddn’t she say what was on her mind then?

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 14, 2005 1:58 PM
Comment #102399

Xaris~Tamara Santagato

Well said.
And Merry Christmas to you too.

And Merry Christmas to the rest of yaall.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 14, 2005 2:01 PM
Comment #102406

I have no problem with a memorial to people falling in the service of the public, but these troopers were serving the entire state, Atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, not just Christians. A memorial with their badge or badge number would be more approbiate. Using 12 foot high crosses was a way to interject religion to men who died in service of a secular government funded and supported by all. There is all this talk of Christians being oppressed which some conservatives use to take the mantle of victimhood, a charge usually leveled at liberals. But how are Christians being opprosed they can go to any number of churches, look at Christian broadcasts, open Christian schools, etc. as of course they should and yes many of them are liberals. God is not a registered Republican or Democrat. All that is being asked is restrict displays on public property, schools, courthouses, etc and or using public funds. If it is so important that crosses be used a private site cemetary or a state troopers association would be better. If they truly would want to memorialize these troopers perhaps erecting a professional billboard saying Trooper John Doe killed by reckless driver on such and such a date. Please slow down. Or Don’t Drink and drive. That would memorialize them and profide for the public safety which is the cause they died for. (If the family wanted a picture of the deceased it could be though I could see not wanting to see a loved one looking on me everyday).
Freedom to practice YOUR religion is the right to practice YOUR religion not to make me participate in it or fund it.
ps I have no problem with roadside crosses put up by families. If that helps them great. The founding fathers had every opportunity to make this a Christian state they choose not to. Christ has no need to brow beat others in others. Those who claim to follow Jesus would forgive those that “sin” against them by disagreeing. I have no need to remove religion from public life but I would hate to see Christianity which comes in many flavors reduced to some bland civic religion thrusted on every one. Let religion be a matter of sincere personal belief not submission to the majority.
Franco

Posted by: Franco at December 14, 2005 2:11 PM
Comment #102427

Xaris~Tamara Santagato


Across the street there is a JESUS sign in big white letters about 4 feet high for the holidays. The people that have a problem with it live up the street. They have their religious symbols in their yard! What makes them allowed to have their religion but not others to display how they beleive.

Nothing! You, I and everyone of us are free to display ANY reilgious displays we choose IN OUR OWN YARDS! and it makes no difference whether the people “up the street” like it or not. The argument comes from religious displays in government buildings or government owned roads and highways, or even being purchased by the government for public display. That’s when some of us and I am one of them draw the line. It is not that I object to the display itself, but of the implication that our government is sanctioning one religion over another.

Since the bible is being take away…

I can’t stress this enough: The Bible is NOT being taken away!!!IT IS THE SAME THING! Otherwise you would be forced to hang a star of David or a copy of the Quran or the Jewish Torah right beside your bible. It IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN one’s personal choice, and has been since the founding of our country!

This specific issue is the display of a cross (IMO cross or anything else) along the state owned highways designated for the use of ALL of US.

Ron Brown:

It wasn’t her putting up crosses that I objected to. Or her being against the war. It was her insistance that Bush meet with her again after he had already taken the time to meet with her. Why diddn’t she say what was on her mind then?

Because at the time he first met with him, she (and millions of other Americans too) TRUSTED HIM! only to realize (too late) that he had lied about the War!

Why don’t yaall Secularist come up with a symbol for your religion?

well, if I MUST call it a religion:

We already have one…several actually: “Old Glory”, The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 14, 2005 3:21 PM
Comment #102430

Hey….

Somehow I lost part of my message in the post

(must be another one of those LIBERAL tricks)

What WAS posted:

I can’t stress this enough: The Bible is NOT being taken away!!!IT IS THE SAME THING! Otherwise you would be forced to hang a star of David or a copy of the Quran or the Jewish Torah right beside your bible. It IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN one’s personal choice, and has been since the founding of our country!

This should read:
I can’t stress this enough: The Bible is NOT being taken away!!! You are free to read the Bible, study the bible, Follow the Bible, attend the church of your choice etc, etc, etc. and NO one is trying to prevent this. Someone from another thread wrote, Freedom OF religion is not the same as Freedom FROM religion. I submit: IT IS THE SAME THING! Otherwise you would be forced to hang a star of David or a copy of the Quran or the Jewish Torah right beside your bible. It IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN one’s personal choice, and has been since the founding of our country!

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 14, 2005 3:31 PM
Comment #102446

Philippe-

You forgot to add the red blood tire marks that are on the heads of the little black figures! I’ve always thought that was a nice touch!

Posted by: George in SC at December 14, 2005 4:39 PM
Comment #102453

dear Sassy~ I never meant to insult you or anyone. You are right. Everyone has the right to practice their own religion. I just do not want to be punished because I carry my bible with me evrywhere I go because I read it alot.

I was in court once & when the judge asked me to ‘swear on the bible’…I asked him if he had one-he did not!

No, I don’t believe government offices should be one-religion. However, I do beleive that they should show some sign of their founding fathers & what they beleived in. they beleived in the bible. It just shows where we had come from. I do not see it a crime to show where the birth of our country was from. It was from the freedom to beleive in what religion we so do wish.

Posted by: Xaris~Tamara Santagato at December 14, 2005 4:57 PM
Comment #102458

I understand every person has their own opinion. People must realize that their opinions are just that~OPINIONS.

We must show that we are strong by being able to share our opinions, even differences, without anger.

The fighting amongst the people in our own country over religion, politics, and other stuff need to realize that their opinions are valid. Just others may not agree with them. Also, because others do not agree doen not mean that there should be fighting over it.

Many feel that their opinions are the correct ones. Everyone feels they are right. The difference is in how we handle ourselves as human beings & Citizens. Other countries look at us and see fighting amongst ourselves over opinions.

We need to show other countries that even though we may not agree, that we are all of One Country! There is strength here in the United States. As long as we can get along with each other & put all this petty fighting aside.

Everyone must share their opinions. that is what makes this country great! but fighting over things that need not be fought over is a waste of time. There are many other issues out there that do need our attention & our focus.

May God Bless the USA & All who live here (legally!)

Posted by: Xaris~Tamara Santagato at December 14, 2005 5:13 PM
Comment #102459

The legality of these, and any other roadside displays are probably regulated under the Highway Beautification Act of 1965. The HBA regulates the location and frequency of billboards and other eyesores. Non-complying structures (like shrines in the right-of-way) should be removed for the safety and unobstructed enjoyment of the road.

I think that the shrines only serve the vanity of the surviving family at the expense and safety of the motoring public. They gotta go.

I do like the bloody Santa and servered head idea from Adrienne though— If I die on the road, that’s EXACTLY what I want!

Posted by: Lee at December 14, 2005 5:14 PM
Comment #102496

Adrienne
Just read your link. My wife says I’m jealous because I didn’t think of it. yeah right. Well maybe just a little teny tiny bit.
Christmas is getting too commerical these days. When stores are putting Christmas items out and decorations up in October it’s getting out of hand.
However if the State of Georgia decides to put anything along the roads to mark where people have died in wrecks I’m going to recommend the bloody Santas. They may be tacky but no one will sue on religous grounds.
Oooooo. Wait a minute, I forgot about the Jehovah Whitnesses. Well there goes another good idea down the tubes.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 14, 2005 7:18 PM
Comment #102503

I am getting sick and tired of people who obviously don’t know the constitution mis-representing it. Seperation of Church and State was never intended to protect the State from the Church but rather the other way around. However, our for fathers didn’t count on 10% of the populous having enough power to out law Christianity. Today the single most discriminated group in America is the Christian Church. Next thing you know these relitively small groups of anti-God liberals will be demanding that we take the crosses off of the tombstones at Arlington and other National cemetaries. Try taking it off of my Grandpa’s, but come armed or don’t come.

Posted by: Joe at December 14, 2005 7:35 PM
Comment #102517

Joe:

Thanks for saying what I was trying to!
Amen to that!

My son was told by his school that he couldn’t take his bible to school even though he reads it every day. It violated their school constitution. Yet my son said that books on abortion & other religions were easily available in an elementary & middle-school library.

I wonder how many people that are born here actually know the Constitution and how many are willing to say that it was based on Christianity!

Posted by: Xaris~Tamara at December 14, 2005 8:15 PM
Comment #102550

Xaris~Tamara,
You didn’t offend me. I didn’t mean to make you feel as though you did. Your son has every right to bring his bible to school and read quietly to himself. I understand the school is freaking out, but perhaps you could speak to them. As long as he doesn’t try to read it to the other kids he certainly has EVERY right to do so.

Joe:

Next thing you know these relitively small groups of anti-God liberals will be demanding that we take the crosses off of the tombstones at Arlington and other National cemetaries.


I am definitely one of those bleeding heart Liberals to whom you refer, but Godless? No sir. I am one of those who insist on programs to help feed the poor, provide medical care for those without any and champion for financial assistance for low income families. I went to LA for Katrina relief. I will continue to fight for assistance for those who have less. If Christ were here today he would remind us “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” Matthew 25: 34-46.

You also wrote:

I am getting sick and tired of people who obviously don’t know the constitution mis-representing it.

Obviously, that would be YOU!

Here, Have a few links:

http://www.deism.org/foundingfathers.htm

George Washington, the first president of the United States, never declared himself a Christian according to contemporary reports or in any of his voluminous correspondence. Washington Championed the cause of freedom from religious intolerance and compulsion. When John Murray (a universalist who denied the existence of hell) was invited to become an army chaplain, the other chaplains petitioned Washington for his dismissal. Instead, Washington gave him the appointment. On his deathbed, Washinton uttered no words of a religious nature and did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance.


John Adams, the country’s second president, was drawn to the study of law but faced pressure from his father to become a clergyman. He wrote that he found among the lawyers ‘noble and gallant achievments” but among the clergy, the “pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces”. Late in life he wrote: “Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!”

It was during Adam’s administration that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which states in Article XI that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”

James Madison, fourth president and father of the Constitution, was not religious in any conventional sense. “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”
Ethan Allen, whose capture of Fort Ticonderoga while commanding the Green Mountain Boys helped inspire Congress and the country to pursue the War of Independence, said, “That Jesus Christ was not God is evidence from his own words.” In the same book, Allen noted that he was generally “denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian.” When Allen married Fanny Buchanan, he stopped his own wedding ceremony when the judge asked him if he promised “to live with Fanny Buchanan agreeable to the laws of God.” Allen refused to answer until the judge agreed that the God referred to was the God of Nature, and the laws those “written in the great book of nature.”

http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/ffnc/

Thomas Jefferrson even cut out parts of the Bible and created his own “the Jefferson bible.”

To say they were not religious is wrong, but to say they were Christians is equally wrong. Check it out yourself.

http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume2/ushistor.htm

sorry, but I strongly disagree with you and I DO know something about the Constitution.


sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 14, 2005 10:44 PM
Comment #102552

Xaris~Tamara,
You didn’t offend me. I didn’t mean to make you feel as though you did. Your son has every right to bring his bible to school and read quietly to himself. I understand the school is freaking out, but perhaps you could speak to them. As long as he doesn’t try to read it to the other kids he certainly has EVERY right to do so.

Joe:

Next thing you know these relitively small groups of anti-God liberals will be demanding that we take the crosses off of the tombstones at Arlington and other National cemetaries.


I am definitely one of those bleeding heart Liberals to whom you refer, but Godless? No sir. I am one of those who insist on programs to help feed the poor, provide medical care for those without any and champion for financial assistance for low income families. I went to LA for Katrina relief. I will continue to fight for assistance for those who have less. If Christ were here today he would remind us “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” Matthew 25: 34-46.

You also wrote:

I am getting sick and tired of people who obviously don’t know the constitution mis-representing it.

Obviously, that would be YOU!

Here, Have a few links:

http://www.deism.org/foundingfathers.htm

George Washington, the first president of the United States, never declared himself a Christian according to contemporary reports or in any of his voluminous correspondence. Washington Championed the cause of freedom from religious intolerance and compulsion. When John Murray (a universalist who denied the existence of hell) was invited to become an army chaplain, the other chaplains petitioned Washington for his dismissal. Instead, Washington gave him the appointment. On his deathbed, Washinton uttered no words of a religious nature and did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance.


John Adams, the country’s second president, was drawn to the study of law but faced pressure from his father to become a clergyman. He wrote that he found among the lawyers ‘noble and gallant achievments” but among the clergy, the “pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces”. Late in life he wrote: “Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!”

It was during Adam’s administration that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which states in Article XI that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”

James Madison, fourth president and father of the Constitution, was not religious in any conventional sense. “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”
Ethan Allen, whose capture of Fort Ticonderoga while commanding the Green Mountain Boys helped inspire Congress and the country to pursue the War of Independence, said, “That Jesus Christ was not God is evidence from his own words.” In the same book, Allen noted that he was generally “denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian.” When Allen married Fanny Buchanan, he stopped his own wedding ceremony when the judge asked him if he promised “to live with Fanny Buchanan agreeable to the laws of God.” Allen refused to answer until the judge agreed that the God referred to was the God of Nature, and the laws those “written in the great book of nature.”

http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/ffnc/


Thomas Jefferrson even cut out parts of the Bible and created his own “the Jefferson bible.”

To say they were not religious is wrong, but to say they were Christians is equally wrong. Check it out yourself.

http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume2/ushistor.htm

sorry, but I strongly disagree with you and I DO know something about the Constitution.


sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 14, 2005 10:47 PM
Comment #102557

Dear Sassy,
I don’t belive Joe ever claimed that the fore-fathers were Christians themsleves. That is a whole nother debate not worth getting into right now. But even Deists have Christian principles and founded our nation on those very ideas. Nonetheless, the crosses on the sides of highways or in Arlington National Semetary are symbols. They are not claiming that the person is a Christian or believes in Christ, they are simply a symbol that is recognized by most every person in this nation. The symbol itself does not obstruct the freedom of any of the fallen soldiers, it merely recognizes that the person is no longer with us and offers them the peace that i am sure anyone, whether they believe in life after death or not, would also bid them.

Posted by: missy at December 14, 2005 11:36 PM
Comment #102560

I’ve made my entire family swear to NEVER erect a cross for me on the side of some road, should I ever die in a motor vehicle accident.

I am impermanent here, and when it is my time to go, it is done…

Posted by: MJ Shaw at December 14, 2005 11:47 PM
Comment #102569

Sassy:
Wow! Strong post. I’ll spend days on the links. Great material—thanks.

MJ: I’m designing a 40 ft tall solid granite obelisk to be placed at my crash site, decked out with flashing neon lights and a marching band— cuz I’m just so darned important!

Posted by: Lee at December 15, 2005 12:54 AM
Comment #102573

Ron, glad you liked that psycho-santa link. I’m really hoping that no child under the age of seven will ever have to walk past it!

Sassy, very nice post!

I admire the Jefferson Bible almost as much as admire every other brilliant thing the man produced.
I find it amazing how he managed to carve away all the hocus pocus in favor of focusing on the real, shining jewel to be found within the New Testament — the ethical teachings of Jesus.

I’m an agnostic who believes that divinity is a great mystery, and one that cannot be simplistically explained or handed to anyone — whether by dogmatic sermons, mindless memorization, rote ritualism or any other sort of show biz. However, I very highly esteem and respect the kind of freethinking, yet thoughtful and considerate effort that Jefferson engaged in, in order to produce his own stripped down, no-nonsense version of the bible.
I think it’s a great read, too.

Btw, if you haven’t already, you might enjoy reading what I thought was an excellent article that appeared in the December Harper’s. (Hey, I just went and looked online for it, so now you don’t even need to go buy it! :^) It’s called ‘Jesus Without the Miracles’ written by Erik Reece.
In it, he talks a lot about The Jefferson Bible, and a certain commencement address given by Ralph Waldo Emerson at Harvard’s Divinity School, and how each of them contain oddly coincidental but very strong similarities to the heretically banned (and thus destroyed), ‘Gospel of Thomas’ which was rediscovered along with the many other gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi in 1945.
Fascinating stuff — though possibly only to nerds like us! ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at December 15, 2005 1:51 AM
Comment #102627
This country was founded on strong Biblical principals.

I wonder how many people that are born here actually know the Constitution and how many are willing to say that it was based on Christianity!
Posted by: Xaris~Tamara at December 14, 2005 08:15 PM

Xaris~Tamara,

Say what? Can you back this statement up? I think this is one of those history revisionist things. The Constitution is a secular document, and nowhere does it appeal to God, Christianity, Jesus, or any supreme being.

Sassy liberal brought up some of the numerous examples that our Constitution is not based on Christianity.

The treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli was passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797. This was the 339th time that a recorded vote was required by the Senate, but only the third time a vote was unanimous. There is no record of any debate or dissension on the treaty. It was reprinted in full in three newspapers - two in Philadelphia, one in New York City. There is no record of public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers.

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

President Adams signed the treaty and proclaimed it to the nation on 10 June 1797. His statement on it: “Now be it known, That I John Adams, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the said Treaty do, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, accept, ratify, and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof. And to the End that the said Treaty may be observed and performed with good Faith on the part of the United States, I have ordered the premises to be made public; And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all other citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof.”

Thomas Jefferson was outspoken about his strong opposition to the intermingling of Church and State.

I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799.
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression. -Thomas Jefferson, “First Inaugural Address,” March 4, 1801
I will never, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Dowse, April 19, 1803.
The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. -Thomas Jefferson
And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together. -James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

Separation of Church and State Quotations

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 15, 2005 4:46 AM
Comment #102657

Hi Joe,

“However, our for fathers didn’t count on 10% of the populous having enough power to out law Christianity.”

If you have any examples of anybody who wants to outlaw Christianity I’d love to hear about them.

“Today the single most discriminated group in America is the Christian Church.”

I’m in Church most Sundays and I pop in on other days as well. I haven’t noticed any discrimation against that or any other Church around here.

Can you provide any examples of Churches being discriminated against?

When government gets in the religion busines then religious persecution becomes the law of the land.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 8:04 AM
Comment #102693

SassyLiberal and JayJay-

Another interesting site that you should consider is the Religion and the Founding of the American Republic found at the Library of Congress. I think you will find this exhibit mostly balanced.

Of particular interest is Section VI. “Religion and the Federal Government.”

When the Constitution was submitted to the American public, “many pious people” complained that the document had slighted God, for it contained “no recognition of his mercies to us … or even of his existence.” The Constitution was reticent about religion for two reasons: first, many delegates were committed federalists, who believed that the power to legislate on religion, if it existed at all, lay within the domain of the state, not the national, governments; second, the delegates believed that it would be a tactical mistake to introduce such a politically controversial issue as religion into the Constitution. The only “religious clause” in the document—the proscription of religious tests as qualifications for federal office in Article Six—was intended to defuse controversy by disarming potential critics who might claim religious discrimination in eligibility for public office.
That religion was not otherwise addressed in the Constitution did not make it an “irreligious” document any more than the Articles of Confederation was an “irreligious” document. The Constitution dealt with the church precisely as the Articles had, thereby maintaining, at the national level, the religious status quo. In neither document did the people yield any explicit power to act in the field of religion. But the absence of expressed powers did not prevent either the Continental-Confederation Congress or the Congress under the Constitution from sponsoring a program to support general, nonsectarian religion.

Historically, religion played a much more prominent role in the public square than it does now. It was in our military, our school houses, and was the primary basis for what social services were provided. Whole communities, even entire States, were devoted to a particular religion or belief. Even 50 years ago, there existed more religion than less within our government at all levels (until the 1960’s New York State ruling).

Can you imagine the outcry today if GW Bush held a Sunday church service in the Supreme Court building or Capital in much the same way as did Jefferson and Madison?

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief, to apply moral teaching to public questions.
-Ronald Reagan

Posted by: George in SC at December 15, 2005 9:10 AM
Comment #102696

The secularists DO have a sign for their faith, ACLU.

Posted by: pige at December 15, 2005 9:13 AM
Comment #102701

Hi George,

The Constitution is based on the philosohy of secular humansism…that man can rule himself fairly.

Our founding fathers were well aware that religion and government is a bad mix. They knew that the mix of religion and government had caused vicious sectarian slaughter in Europe for hundreds of years.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 9:19 AM
Comment #102709

LouisXIV-

History is very unkind to your argument.

Posted by: George in SC at December 15, 2005 9:34 AM
Comment #102738

Hi George,

What have I said that isn’t true?

You are aware that government getting in the religion business in Europe resulted in sectarian slaughter on a large scale? I’m talking about historical fact here.

You are aware that the Consitution is based on the philosophy that man can rule himself fairly? That philosohy is secular humanism.

What have I said that history doesn’t support?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 9:59 AM
Comment #102755

sassyliberal
While I don’t know if George Washington ever professed to be a Christian or not. He did acknowldge God.
“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benifits, and to humbly implore His protection and favor.”
Geroge Washington, 3 October 1789. Proclaiming a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving.

John Adams might not have become the preacher that his father wanted him to. But in 1756 we made the folowing statement.
“Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only Law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. What a paradise would this region be!”

Our Founding Fathers may or may not all have been Christians, but they ALL acknowledged God and his law as supreme.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 15, 2005 10:42 AM
Comment #102757

*sigh*

Going for yet another run around the lunatic left hypocricy tree, eh? Typical Jeffersonian ideology aka situational ethics.

Jefferson=Condemn slavery while owning and abusing slaves-Jefferson

Lunatic Left=Condemn radical right wingers of imposing their beliefs on the rest of us…
while their own atheistic beliefs have been imposed on the rest of us for decades.

Both the radical right and the lunatic left have belief/non-belief in God/Creator as foundational to their ideologies. Yet it is the lunatic left who has had the federal government establish their sect over all others.

I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799.

Cut and paste, trim and tuck, anything goes as each person sets about making up their own rules.

Jeffersonian ‘Bible’= ‘Hey, “Christ Incarnate” is a bit much for me, I’ll just snip off a finger here, a toe there for myself and toss the rest in the arena as lion chow.’

If you really want to go another round on the leftie progressive spin cycle, maybe review the last 20+ comments in these threads so perhaps we can cover some new ground before everyone gets sick and falls off the merry-go-round.

Bush vs. The United States (Part 1)

History or Philosophy?

It is however quite hilarious to watch their contortions when the Bill of rights they spout off about so much, is by their own arguments, unconstitutional in that they are granted by “our Creator”. Protect the Bill of Rights, vote all democrats out of office. :-(

Posted by: jo at December 15, 2005 10:47 AM
Comment #102760

Hi Ron,

“but they ALL acknowledged God and his law as supreme.”

What “law” of God’s are you refering to? You’re not saying that all of our founders wanted people to be exucuted for blasphemy as it says in the Bible are you?

“Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics and geometry”-Thomas Jefferson

“One day the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in the United States will tear down the artificial scaffolding of Christianity. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 10:54 AM
Comment #102769

LouisXIV-

That our founding fathers wanted secular government is not true. They did not want a national religion as James Madison intimated in introducing the Bill of Rights, but there was never any effort to secularize government.

Again I think the exhibits I linked to showing the role of religion in our founding government are pretty convincing on this point. Also, you must take Federalism into account when you look at the Constitution. At our founding the State had a much more prominent role in our government (and that’s an unfortunate statement).

Religious taxes were laid on all citizens, each of whom was given the option of designating his share to the church of his choice. Such laws took effect in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire and were passed but not implemented in Maryland and Georgia.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports
-George Washington

Posted by: George in SC at December 15, 2005 11:40 AM
Comment #102774

Jefferson is very interesting. The left says he was a wise man and that we should listen to his words. That he knew about the so-called evils of religion way back in the 1700s and warned us.
Funny how we should listen to his wise words concerning religion but ignore his even wiser words concerning our right to keep and bear arms.

Listen to our founding fathers, well, when they agree with our agenda that is.

“When writing in 1824 to the great English Whig John Cartwright, Jefferson could observe: “The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in THE PEOPLE;… that it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED…”

Posted by: kctim at December 15, 2005 11:50 AM
Comment #102791

Hi George,

“That our founding fathers wanted secular government is not true.”

They said they did. They created a secular document to found our country on (the Constitution).

“but there was never any effort to secularize government.”

There was a HUGE effort to secularize government. The Constitution was unprecidented in it’s secularism.

The first three words of the Constitution make it clear that it’s based on the philosophy of secular humanism.

“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”

John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88)

“it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”!!!!!!!!



Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #102792

Hi George,

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports”

One of the ideas of the European enlightenment was that religion is an important moral force. All sorts of enlightenment philosophers who were skeptical of religion believed it was necessary for the masses in order to have an orderly society.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 12:43 PM
Comment #102794

It is interesting how much the communist manifesto has in common with the humanist manifesto.

Posted by: jo at December 15, 2005 12:48 PM
Comment #102796

Hi Jo,

You’re accusing Jefferson et. al. of being communists?

I don’t know much about the communist manifesto. What similarities are you talking about?


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 12:58 PM
Comment #102800

Louis,

i did not address you, nor will i be responding anymore to partisan bait. Try another corner.

Posted by: jo at December 15, 2005 1:06 PM
Comment #102802

Hi Jo,

What “parisan bait”?

I’m curious about what similarities that the communist manifesto and the humanist manifesto there are.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 1:10 PM
Comment #102804

Jo

It is however quite hilarious to watch their contortions when the Bill of rights they spout off about so much, is by their own arguments, unconstitutional in that they are granted by “our Creator”.

I’m sorry, perhaps you could point out to me and the rest of us “Lunatic-Left-Athiests” where in the Bill of Rights to which you refer, “our creator” is in any shape or form linked to Christianity. Many religions support the notion of a divine creator. Some Native-American beliefs support the notion of Mountains or rocks as the creator, and upon death you “become” or revert back to the same form. Judaism supports a belief of God (yes, the very same God) as the creator, but rejects the notion of Christ as God’s son, or the “Messiah” altogether. They are still waiting for the Prophesies of the Old testament to unfold. Muslims also believe in the same God as the creator, but believe just as was Mohammed, Christ was a Messenger of God. So your argument that the bill of Rights supporting Christianity doesn’t hold much water.


“Lunatic Left=Condemn radical right wingers of imposing their beliefs on the rest of us…
while their own atheistic beliefs have been imposed on the rest of us for decades.

Wrong again. I am not an athiest. Just because I believe (as DID our Founding Fathers) Religion MUST be kept OUT of Government, by no means makes me an athiest.

Do you even have a clue as to what my personal religious beliefs and practices might be? You don’t. Because I am NOT imposing them on you or anyone else. I RESPECT your opinions as your own. BECAUSE I have this belief I will (and DO, I might add)fight for your right to speak your mind and for you to be able to practice your beliefs. But I don’t particularly want to hear them.

I read the threads you linked in your post. ????? I saw countless futile efforts on the part of Christianity supporters to ineffectively disprove the Founding Father’s own words as to why we MUST have a secular Government. Otherwise we would be a government “bY the Christians, Of the Christians, For the Christians.” Then the rest of us can watch as they destroy themselves and the rest of us arguing about which form of Christianity will prevail.

One more Question please:

Suppose we as a society decide it is ok to teach “Creationism” as an accepted form of SCIENCE (refraining from comment). Whom will you then consider qualified to teach the theory? Since there are many different versions of this as well, would you be satisfied with, say, ME teaching your children this (theory)?

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 15, 2005 1:13 PM
Comment #102812

Louis XIV-

Again, history is very unkind to your arguments.

John Adams continued the practice, begun in 1775 and adopted under the new federal government by Washington, of issuing fast and thanksgiving day proclamations. In this proclamation, issued at a time when the nation appeared to be on the brink of a war with France, Adams urged the citizens to “acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation; beseeching him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offences, and to incline us, by His Holy Spirit, to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction.”

Fast Day Proclamation, March 23, 1798

Posted by: George in SC at December 15, 2005 1:30 PM
Comment #102816

missy:

Nonetheless, the crosses on the sides of highways or in Arlington National Semetary are symbols. They are not claiming that the person is a Christian or believes in Christ, they are simply a symbol that is recognized by most every person in this nation.

By that logic, I suppose you would be JUST as pleased to support the placing of a Swastica along the side of the highway to memorialize the fallen troopers. After all, it too is “simply a symbol that is recognized by almost every person in this nation.”

somehow…..I don’t think so, even though you further assert that:


The symbol itself does not obstruct the freedom of any of the fallen soldiers, it merely recognizes that the person is no longer with us and offers them the peace that i am sure anyone, whether they believe in life after death or not, would also bid them.

I indeed bid them peace and further wish for peace for their families, “Heil”

kctim:

“When writing in 1824 to the great English Whig John Cartwright, Jefferson could observe: “The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in THE PEOPLE;⦠that it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

I myself and I venture to say almost all lefties concur we all have the right to bear arms. See, the problem here lies in the actual wording of the CONSTITUTION. You and others supporting your position conveniently omit the important part about “well regulated militia.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I do not want to infringe on your right to bear arms, but assault rifles should be REGULATED!!

sassyliberal


Posted by: sassyliberal at December 15, 2005 1:35 PM
Comment #102822

Sassy-

What is an assault rifle?

Posted by: George in SC at December 15, 2005 1:45 PM
Comment #102823

Hi George,

“Again, history is very unkind to your arguments.”

That’s the second time you said that and I’m now requesting that you support it or retract it.

If you have any evidence that the Constiution isn’t based on the philosophy of secular humanism I request that you produce it.

My argument goes: The Constitution is based on the philosphy that man can rule himself fairly. That philosophy is secular humanism.

Please indicate where history is unkind to my arguments or retract the statement.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 1:46 PM
Comment #102829

Sass
It was not my intent to bring up the 2nd to discuss. We look at it in two different ways and can wait until somebody makes it a topic, sorry about that, dont want to derail this thread.

I was just showing how convienent it is for the left to accept “some” of Jeffersons words but be unwilling to accept the ones that do not agree with their agenda.
The People means one thing here and another thing there, is how they look at things.
The People means The People. You cant ignore or change things to mean or say something so that it agrees with an agenda.

Posted by: kctim at December 15, 2005 2:03 PM
Comment #102831

LouisXIV-

I supported my statements both times with links to exhibits from the U.S. Library of Congress. I think that pretty well covers it….

As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him
-John Adams, Secular Humanist

Posted by: George in SC at December 15, 2005 2:14 PM
Comment #102832

My brother, his fiancé and best friend, all in their early 20s, drowned on a very dangerous road that was known by the local road commission to flood. When they tried to cross the roadway they determined that the water over the road was too deep and attempted to back out. It is unclear if the car was swept off the road and into the river or if because of the poorly designed road, they were unable to navigate their way out and drove into the river. (The road was designed to follow the river that ran along side it, therefore twisted with the river at the area. The place that the car left the roadway, there was a sharp curve in the road, and due to the flooding and the fact that this happened late at night, the roadway was indistinguishable from the river. There were no guard rails and no signage to indicate were the curves in the roadway were at.)

One of his friends managed to get out through an open window, but the other three died tragically, because this road was poorly designed and poorly maintained. There was not so much as a guard rail between the roadway and the river there wasn’t so much as a road sign to indicate that the road twisted. The road seasonally floods and the county road commission knew this. In fact, people who lived in the area including a local law enforcement officer complained to the road commission that the road was flooded. The road was inspected by a road commission official earlier in the day before the tragedy, and was determined by them to be passable, and therefore they never closed the road, even though there was rushing water over the roadway.

I have only been to the place once, right after the incident, and have never been back. My other family members have never been back either, and my mother has never been able to go there at all. The day I was there, I was in disbelief at the condition of this road, it looked like the road led right into a lake. It is inexcusable that this road had not been closed or improved. From what I have heard from my brother’s friends who frequent the site to make sure the road commission closes the roadway when flooded, there have been no improvements to this road to make it safer. Not so much as a guard rail. My brother and his friends tragic deaths would serve their memory and the community much more by making improvements to this dangerous roadway. I would much rather see a guard rail erected, then a cross or some other symbolic memorial.

Prior to my brother’s death, gates that would have been permanently installed on this road were purchased by the road commission with the specific intent of being used to close off this road in the event of a flood. The incident that killed three young people happened on Feb 13, 2001, those gates, to my knowledge, to this day have not been installed but sit in a road commission warehouse. Why? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I can tell you that it is political in nature and involves the road commission’s insurance carrier.

To me a memorial is nice, but fixing the problem that caused the tragedy to occur in the first place is much more important to prevent tragedy from happening again.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 15, 2005 2:23 PM
Comment #102833

Hi George,

I very much encourage you to support or retract your statement about history not being kind to my arguments.

If you can find anytyhing that actually pertains to what I said about the Constitution that would be a good start.

“History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.”
Thomas Jefferson, to Baron von Humboldt, December 6, 1813


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 2:25 PM
Comment #102842
Going for yet another run around the lunatic left hypocricy tree, eh?

Jo,

I am very disapointed. I have had lengthy debates with you and have for the most part we have stuck to the issues at hand, without resorting to name calling. Hopefully, your future comments will be of substance. Name calling is the lowest form of debate.

It is interesting how much the communist manifesto has in common with the humanist manifesto.

More substance please, less acusations.

i did not address you, nor will i be responding anymore to partisan bait. Try another corner.

Jo,

Please go back and re-read your comments about the “lunatic left” then tell us who is the partisan baitor?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 15, 2005 2:45 PM
Comment #102853

Jo:
“Typical Jeffersonian ideology”

“All men are created equal.” “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Government geared to the average citizen, rather than to the rich and well-born. America owes so much to Jeffersonian ideology.

“Yet it is the lunatic left who has had the federal government establish their sect over all others.”

Are you not free to worship whatever and wherever you want? Yes you are. Therefore, this is a bullsh*t..

“I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799.
Cut and paste, trim and tuck, anything goes as each person sets about making up their own rules.”

Exactly. All men and women equal. All equally free to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

“Jeffersonian ‘Bible’= ‘Hey, “Christ Incarnate” is a bit much for me, I’ll just snip off a finger here, a toe there for myself and toss the rest in the arena as lion chow.’”

Yes, carve it all away, in order to expose the pure heart and the philosophic mind of a mortal man — unadorned by the imposition of social or political machinations, or primative superstition and magic. Bloody brilliant.
Hooray for the Enlightenment! Otherwise all America’s would have been forced to live under the dark, forbidding clouds of what Jefferson called “Soothsayers and Necromancers”.

“It is however quite hilarious to watch their contortions when the Bill of rights they spout off about so much, is by their own arguments, unconstitutional in that they are granted by “our Creator”.”

What’s really contorted is to claim that the word “Creator” is in our Constitution, when that word actually only appeared in the Declaration. The Bill of Right’s has nothing to do with Gods or Creators, it has to do with We the People. That means every one of us, the religiously pious and the non-pious alike.

“Protect the Bill of Rights, vote all democrats out of office.”

The Democrats may be the only ones who can save our Bill of Rights. Seeing as how the majority of Republican’s have been doing their level best to scrap the Constitution, and kill off our civil rights and liberties with the Patriot Act.
However, I was happy to see today that at least eighteen Republican representatives in the House weren’t going along with that idea.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 15, 2005 3:26 PM
Comment #102866

Louis XIV-

From my earlier post:

Again I think the exhibits I linked to showing the role of religion in our founding government are pretty convincing on this point. Also, you must take Federalism into account when you look at the Constitution. At our founding the State had a much more prominent role in our government (and that’s an unfortunate statement).

And as I originally quoted from the LOC:

That religion was not otherwise addressed in the Constitution did not make it an “irreligious” document any more than the Articles of Confederation was an “irreligious” document. The Constitution dealt with the church precisely as the Articles had, thereby maintaining, at the national level, the religious status quo. In neither document did the people yield any explicit power to act in the field of religion. But the absence of expressed powers did not prevent either the Continental-Confederation Congress or the Congress under the Constitution from sponsoring a program to support general, nonsectarian religion.

You seem to have ignored this as “not pertaining” to what you have said.

Here’s a second opinion along the same lines. In a response to Kramnick and Moore’s “Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness”, American University Professor Daniel L. Dreisbach, D. Phil authored this article back in 1997: A Godless Constitution?: A Response to Kramnick and Moore

I haven’t read Kramnick and Moore’s piece, but it appears it is along the same lines as yours.

The suggestion that the U. S. Constitution is godless because it makes only brief mention of the Deity and Christian custom is superficial and misguided. Professors Kramnick and Moore succumb to the temptation to impose twentieth-century values on eighteenth-century text. Their book is less an honest appraisal of history than a partisan tract written for contemporary battles. They frankly state their desire that this polemic will rebut the “Christian nation” rhetoric of the religious right. Unfortunately, their historical analysis is as specious as the rhetoric they criticize.

Dreisbach is a little more wordy than my “history is unkind”, but I think you will get the point.

Posted by: George in SC at December 15, 2005 4:06 PM
Comment #102871

Hi George,

“You seem to have ignored this as “not pertaining” to what you have said.”

You seem like a nice fellow.

Let’s go slowly this time.

Do you aknowledge that the Consitution is a document based on the philosohy that man can rule himself fairly?

Do you have any historical evidence that that Constitution isn’t based on that philosophy?

You’ve presented nothing that shows that the Constitution isn’t based on the philosophy that man can rule himself fairly.

Once we establish that the Constitution is based on the philosophy that man can rule himself fairly, (I can provide mountains of evidence to support that), then we can discuss whether the idea that man can rule himself fairly.

For now I’ll assert that the idea that man can rule himself fairly is humanism as a primae facie argument.

Do you aknowledge that the Consitution is a document based on the philosohy that man can rule himself fairly?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 4:32 PM
Comment #102874

Hi George,

“Dreisbach is a little more wordy than my “history is unkind”, but I think you will get the point.”

I very much encourage you to show that history is unkind to what I said about the Constitution is based on the philosophy that man can rule himself fairly.

Do you have a shread of historical evidence that the Constitution isn’t based on the idea that man can rule himself fairly?

If you can’t produce any evidence then I request that you retract that statement.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 4:37 PM
Comment #102876

I think there is an important distinction we need to make between the founding fathers personal religious beliefs and their beliefs in the role religion should play in the government. It is clear from historical documents, including in bills they passed, that the founding fathers thought the more separation there is between Church and State, the better. When one of the founding fathers expressed his thoughts on religion they were free to do that by the very document they had drafted. That does not mean that they intermixed those beliefs with the founding documents. In fact there is strong evidence that they went out of their way to exclude them.

Religion should not be a part of the law, but expression of religious beliefs in the debate on the issues should not be discounted. Nor should personal religious beliefs be suppressed when serving in office, as long as those personal beliefs are not imposed on the people through laws and legislation.

Some feel that is exactly what is being done when religious symbols are placed on publicly owned and/or operated institutions or property. As such, these people, who may very well be a small minority, have the right under the Constitution to bring their grievances to the government, through the judicial branch, and have their day in court. Our judicial branch is obligated to follow the laws set forth in the constitution. Some will argue that judges have made many decisions that were not based on the constitution and label them “activist judges”. I think that is not a fair charge, because our Constitution was actually quite brilliant in it desire to be timeless.

If you read our Constitution it is interesting that the sections that deal with the power of the government are very clear and specific. It spells out in great detail the functions, responsibilities, and limits of the federal government, how the representatives of each branch are to be chosen, and even going so far as to say who can and cannot represent us.

However, if you look at the sections of the Constitution that deal with our rights and our freedoms, they are much more vague, and much more brief, therefore much more open to interpretation. I believe this was done intentionally by the founding fathers. Why? Because they knew that time was not static. What they knew was that government needed to be limited in it’s powers, but that other issues regarding personal liberties would and should change with the times.

They also knew through their experience with the Articles of Confederation that the document was too difficult to amend, and one of many purposes for the Constitutional Convention was to address this concern. They did make changes to the procedure in the Constitution to make it slightly easier in this respect, but I believe they intended to make that procedure unnecessary by being very specific about the powers of the government and vague on issues of personal liberties. This would protect our system of government from being easily changed by the courts, leaving it to the other branches to initiate difficult amendments. This would ensure that the changes to the way government worked were widely accepted. It would also allow our personal liberties, rights and freedoms to change with the changing times, not through the difficult to impossible task of amendments, but by allowing the court of the time to interpret the meanings based on the times.

Of course, I have no proof that this was their intent but, if you think of it in these terms, as I do, our founding fathers were quite brilliant in crafting a document that did just that. Are there some rights granted by the courts that the founding fathers never intended? Yes, but I think that was exactly what they intended to happen.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 15, 2005 4:39 PM
Comment #102878

Hi George,

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I’d say that indicates that the Constitution is based on the idea that man can rule himself fairly. There is nothing about God ruling over us…..It’s clearly about man ruling himself fairly.

I think it’s time for you to support your assertion George! What historical evidence do you have that shows that the Constitution isn’t based on the idea that man can rule himself fairly?

It is time for you to support or retract there George! Show us what you’re made of George! Support your assertion or admit that you can’t!

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 4:42 PM
Comment #102890


Louis,

It is also interesting to note that the oath of office in the Constitution never mentions God or swearing on a stack of bibles. The words “so help me God” were spoken voluntarily by George Washington at the end of his oath of office, and almost every president has added it since. This is important because it illustrates that the framers of the Constitution exercised there right to express themselves freely, yet went out of their way to exclude religion from the Constitution itself. This debunks the theory that the Constitution is based on Christianity.

The strongest evidence by far though, still comes from the unanimous passage of the treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli in 1797. Just 10 years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution. I think these people would know better than anybody today what this country was founded on. They were quite clear in the Treaty of Tripoli: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;”

This one section of the Treaty of Tripoli makes all arguments that the country was founded on Christian principles moot. If you ignore this then you are simply blinded by a personal agenda.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 15, 2005 5:18 PM
Comment #102892

Louis,

sorry, my last post should have been addressed to
George in SC. as well, or anyone else that thinks the country was founded on Christian principles.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 15, 2005 5:22 PM
Comment #102896

Hi JayJay,

You provided a great quote!

The preamble to the Constitution makes it extremely clear that it’s based on humanistic rather than religious philosophy…..it essentially says so in so many words.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 5:27 PM
Comment #102914

“I’m designing a 40 ft tall solid granite obelisk to be placed at my crash site, decked out with flashing neon lights and a marching band— cuz I’m just so darned important!” — Lee

Important or not, you are impermanent as well… As we all are.

Make sure you don’t die on the road beside my property; because you can rest assured I be tearing it down regularly and with a smile on my face. Your grave marker is for your grave, not the side of the road or on the edges of someone’s land.

Posted by: MJ Shaw at December 15, 2005 6:53 PM
Comment #102915

Jay Jay,
You’re so right. The founders had every chance to be specific about using the word God in the formation of our government had they wanted to, but instead the more neutral term Creator was used. And to me it is very telling that when it was used, it was only to send a message to King George — making the bold distinction that we would be a nation where equality and reason would always reign, rather than the dictates or whims of a King and his religion.
I also agree that they seem to have been deliberately vague regarding personal liberties. In fact, Jefferson believed that the rights and liberties ensured by the Constitution should be examined and possibly altered to reflect the changing attitudes of every generation (he advocated for allowing this to occur every nineteen years). Being a man of the Enlightenment, he would probably never have entertained the notion that an entire generation or more of our people would wish to take us back to the tyranny and violence of the past, where mandatory or institutionalized religious observances automatically meant all men would NOT be viewed as equals. Where the liberty and the pursuit of happiness of one segment of our society would mean nothing to another segment, due to prejudices born of religion.

Indeed, Jefferson’s writings suggest that he truly believed America would continue to break away from old pre-established patterns found in the rest of the world. That we would be a truly modern nation, and that our people would continue to naturally follow the reason of natures laws, and choose more freedom and tolerance, rather than less.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 15, 2005 7:03 PM
Comment #102921

Adrienne:

BRAVO!!!!!

sass

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 15, 2005 7:26 PM
Comment #102941

Louis,

Something else that backs up the thought that our founding fathers used humanistic rather than religious philosophy is the motto “In God we Trust”. The first use of “In God We Trust” was in 1864, when it was placed on United States 2 cent coins, largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the American Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize God on United States coins. The motto did not appear on all forms of money until 1956, when an act of congress made it our unofficial national motto.

Our official and original national motto was the secular “E pluribus unum” which means “One out of more.” It referred to the integration of the 13 independent colonies into one united country. This stands in stark contrast to the national motto that congress adopted in 1956.

“E. Pluribus unum” was first proposed by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in 1776, but was not adopted as our national motto until 1782. “In God we trust” showed up for the first time 82 years later and not adopted as our unofficial national motto until 180 years later. The act of congress in 1956 did not supersede “E. Pluribus unum.”

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 15, 2005 9:15 PM
Comment #102943

Hi JayJay,

I’d forgotten about the E plurabis unum being the motto.

The Constitution was criticized by fundamentalists when it was written for being “Godless”.

The founders knew just how bad the mix of religion and government had been in Europe and made a decision not to have that here.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 15, 2005 9:21 PM
Comment #102964

Thanks, Sassy!
Another good point, Snowman. Nicely done.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 15, 2005 10:50 PM
Comment #102974

Here’s a perspective that many of you may not have considered. What about the people who live where the crosses (I’m talking about the small roadside memorials) have been placed? Not long ago, I was unfortunate enough to discover the body of a young man in my front yard. The ATV he was a passenger on, had crossed a busy road late at night, and was hit by a truck, throwing him into our yard. As if this was not bad enough to deal with, we had to live with the memorial.. NOT to his life, but to his death.. right outside our fence, where we had to deal with it every day. I understand that people don’t want us to forget, but for someone who can’t escape the reminder, it’s a bit unfair. We had no say in the placement of the memorial, and no choice but to be confronted with it, and consequently, the flashback to that boy’s lifeless body in my yard. I don’t think it is healthy to bring a cemetery-like atmosphere to our roadways and public places.

Posted by: Roberta at December 15, 2005 11:59 PM
Comment #102989

Roberta,

You make an excellent point. If a roadway is so dangerous that it needs to have a reminder that it killed someone, then something needs to be done to fix it. As I said before a roadside memorial would not be for the family, as I or my family have never returned to the site of my brother’s death. I go to the cemetary to remember him. Right of ways are not the proper place for makeshift cemetaries.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 16, 2005 1:04 AM
Comment #102991

Thanks Adrienne,

Let me see if I can think of any others. The Pledge of Allegiance didn’t originally contain the words “under God” but everybody knows that! Don’t they?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 16, 2005 1:08 AM
Comment #103076

i apologise. My knee-jerk comments yesterday were selfish off-handed responses as i was heading out the door. i was wrong to post them.

Communism, socialism and Secular Humanism all consider religion deleterious, reluctantly allowing it only to appease the unenlightened masses.

Mirroring the far right’s fingers-in-the ears ranting that everyone should disregard physicality, is the far left’s invectives for us to dismiss spirituality. Both sides stand firmly in BELIEF, not empirically proved fact, as neither the existence or non-existence of God/spiritual things are proven. My preferred ideology being one of balance, i find both extremes nonsensical and the endless egoistic arguments inane.

Yet it is the left, while simultaneously shouting for science, who deny Secular Humanism’s very foundation is grounded on faith, on the pre-conceived, pre-judged BELIEF in the non-existence of the spiritual. At least the far rights concede that faith and belief are the fulcrum in this carnival ride.

We can never get anywhere until the far lefts openly admit that their conclusions are no more or less reliable than other views as they start from a similarly non-scientific, faith-based assumption. Nor can we get anywhere until both sides concede it is not for government to circumscript individuals’ God/Creator-given free will or the expression thereof.

Jefferson’s wording in the declaration of Independance (not the bill of rights, my bad) includes the word “Creator”. Who/what that means is a matter of FAITH and belief, NOT science. To live in a free and open society, it is necessary to respect others’ faith/belief and tolerate its expression (not advocate its repression). It is egomaniacal to demand another’s faith (such as far right christian fundamentalists) not be uttered or discussed in public schools. If a child wants to bring his Bible to school and disuss it with his friends, it should be no more resisted than a child bring a Platonic work and discussing that. Open discourse is necessary. Our children should not be deprived of information. History abounds with examples of divergent philosophical/religious bents both encouraging and discouraging scientific discovery and advancement. Blocking the discussion of these subjects and how they effect other subjects is, again, a mirror of Middle Age elitist subjugation of the proletariat with knowledge/information suppression.

i disgaree with the contention that governance by the governed is a humanist invention as Christianity has had conciliar governance for millenia— Council of Jerusalem in the Book of Acts chaired by St James with participation of clergy, elders and ‘all’, whose copmbined judgments governed the universal (catholic) church. Note even the ‘congregational’ protestant denomination.

As for the crosses on the sides of the highway, i do not think most find them anymore distracting than the more numerous flirtatious billboards or street signs proclaiming local student accomplishments.

p.s.
Adrienne, i agree that the Patriot Act severely undermines our civil liberties once protected by the Bill of Rights.

p.p.s.
JayJay, May i ask where you are from? You sound very much like a friend of my daughter with the same name.

Posted by: jo at December 16, 2005 6:45 AM
Comment #103187

JO,

You don’t have a real understanding of secular humanism.. Please check this link . Question: Would you support the right of a muslim child bringing in a Quran to school and trying to convert your child?

jayjay, adrienne, sassy,

Great posts, thanks…

Posted by: Dave at December 16, 2005 1:00 PM
Comment #103190

Try this
too

Posted by: Dave at December 16, 2005 1:04 PM
Comment #103218

i am familiar with that link.. and from it offer this except (emphasis my own):

perhaps less confrontational synonym is scientific humanism, which the biologist Edward O. Wilson termed “the only world-view compatible with science’s growing knowledge of the real world and the laws of nature”

And this opinion is promulgated throughout our public schools and society at large… if you are not a secular humanist, you cannot deal with science.

from your second link:

A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

Please cite some peer reviewed papers supporting that spiritual things have been weighed and scientifically tested with results of positive evidence of their non-existence.

Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

Please explain to me how this is not a biased anti-faith ideology and how people of faith should not be offended by the government’s establishing this world view above all others.

A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

Please explain how Secular HUmanists are supporting an open marketplace of ideas by suppressing any ideas other than their own? How can other ideas be viewed with skepticism if they are hidden away and barred from the public square?

And no, i would not mind a Muslim bringing their Quran to school and discussing it. My daughter’s best friend is Muslim.

Posted by: jo at December 16, 2005 2:03 PM
Comment #103228

JO,

Thanks for the apologizing. I get frustrated here when people try to have meaningful debate and others interject with names and labels. The only possible result of name calling and affixing labels is that it discourages others from expressing their opinions for fear of being labeled a lunatic, or whatever. Until we stop seeing people as left or right, Democrat or Republican, and start focusing instead on the issues at hand we can never move forward. That is true for here and in Washington. But that was the past, apology accepted, now lets move forward without the derogatory labels.

We can never get anywhere until the far lefts openly admit that their conclusions are no more or less reliable than other views as they start from a similarly non-scientific, faith-based assumption.

Depends on the reasons that led us to that conclusion. Our personal faith and beliefs do not necessarily have anything to do with our views on every issue. We must draw on many sources of reason to reach our conclusions. If we rely on faith-based assumption alone, then yes, I absolutely agree with you.

Nor can we get anywhere until both sides concede it is not for government to circumscript individuals’ God/Creator-given free will or the expression thereof.

100% in agreement.

It is however quite hilarious to watch their contortions when the Bill of rights they spout off about so much, is by their own arguments, unconstitutional in that they are granted by “our Creator”….Jefferson’s wording in the declaration of Independence (not the bill of rights, my bad) includes the word “Creator”. Who/what that means is a matter of FAITH and belief, NOT science.

I don’t think anybody is discounting that many of our founding fathers believed in a higher deity. The point is that despite their personal beliefs they went out of their way to separate Church and State. More important is to note how they used the word “Creator”. In the Declaration of Independence. It is worded “endowed by their Creator”. “Their” is the important word here. You may have a point if they had used the word “Our”, but they deliberately used the word “their”. Our founding fathers were quite deliberate and careful in how they used their words.

To live in a free and open society, it is necessary to respect others’ faith/belief and tolerate its expression (not advocate its repression). It is egomaniacal to demand another’s faith (such as far right Christian fundamentalists) not be uttered or discussed in public schools. If a child wants to bring his Bible to school and discuss it with his friends, it should be no more resisted than a child bring a Platonic work and discussing that. Open discourse is necessary. Our children should not be deprived of information. History abounds with examples of divergent philosophical/religious bents both encouraging and discouraging scientific discovery and advancement. Blocking the discussion of these subjects and how they effect other subjects is, again, a mirror of Middle Age elitist subjugation of the proletariat with knowledge/information suppression.

Jo, I agree that everyone has a right to express their religious beliefs. The problem is not with individuals, it is when the state starts expressing religious beliefs. We should be just as deliberate and careful as our founding fathers in what the state advocates and how. If someone puts up a religious symbol in their front yard, then their is certainly nothing wrong with that. When the state starts putting religious symbols in the road right of way, then we have a problem.

When we talk about religion in public schools, we must tread very carefully. I think the problem with trying to introduce creation in the science class is that it simply does not belong there. Does religion play a role in history? Yes, sometimes an important role, and there should be nothing wrong with discussing the role religion played in historic events, as long it doesn’t involve advocacy.

I do not see anything wrong with students who bring their Bibles to school and reading them to themselves in their free time, and as long as it did not become disruptive, or the child tried to impose thier beliefs on other children. I don’t know who brought this up, but if my child were told they couldn’t bring their Bible to school to read to themselves during free time, they would have a hellacious fight on their hands. I guess the real issue is how much do you trust strangers with your children when it comes to such a personal subject, even in the context of history. Most don’t even trust our schools with the basics.

i disgaree with the contention that governance by the governed is a humanist invention as Christianity has had conciliar governance for millenia— Council of Jerusalem in the Book of Acts chaired by St James with participation of clergy, elders and ‘all’, whose copmbined judgments governed the universal (catholic) church. Note even the ‘congregational’ protestant denomination.

Jo, that all just depends if the governed set up their governance as secular or based on religious principles. Our governance was set up on secular humanistic principles not on Religious ones, and that is hard to argue with. There is vast amount of proof that no matter how our founding fathers believed personally, the government is to be secular.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 16, 2005 2:24 PM
Comment #103238

jo:

Communism, socialism and Secular Humanism all consider religion deleterious, reluctantly allowing it only to appease the unenlightened masses.

Mirroring the far right’s fingers-in-the ears ranting that everyone should disregard physicality, is the far left’s invectives for us to dismiss spirituality. Both sides stand firmly in BELIEF, not empirically proved fact, as neither the existence or non-existence of God/spiritual things are proven. My preferred ideology being one of balance, i find both extremes nonsensical and the endless egoistic arguments inane.

Yet it is the left, while simultaneously shouting for science, who deny Secular Humanism’s very foundation is grounded on faith, on the pre-conceived, pre-judged BELIEF in the non-existence of the spiritual.”

Again jo, you are displaying a complete ignorance of what the term Secular Humanism actually means. With your first sentence you prove that you are trying to make this into an argument between only two things: theism and non-theism. But that is a false and illogical argument, because there is theism (what you are advocating), there is non-theism (what many Atheists advocate), and there is polytheism (which Secular Humanism allows for).
And again you are trying desperately to insist that a lack of religious faith must be equated to a religion itself. This is also an entirely false and illogical argument, because atheism, and agnosticism are philosophies that are not organised entities the way religions are.
Secondly, people who promote Secular Humanism (separation of church and state which allows for polytheism) and want our government to remain the secular entity it has always been are in fact, just as likely to be those who have a religion as those who are not religious. Because there is nothing about the concept of secularism which requires the demise of religion. Nothing.
Instead, all that secularism calls for is to have religion removed from public (ie. state and federal government) support and public lands — though not necessarily from public view. This way, religion can remain a personal, voluntary endeavor rather than a forced, omnipresent, socially-mandated one.
In other words, this is about freedom of choice.

“i disgaree with the contention that governance by the governed is a humanist invention”

I think you are disagreeing only because of your bigotry and prejudice against your idea (which is wrong) of what secular humanism is. I also think that Sassy and JayJay and Louis and I have done a very good job of proving that the conception and form that our government took was not only unique and unprecedented in the history of the world before it’s formation, but that our founders purposefully intended to keep it strictly secular in order to allow peaceful polythesim to flourish in America.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 16, 2005 2:46 PM
Comment #103253
And this opinion is promulgated throughout our public schools and society at large… if you are not a secular humanist, you cannot deal with science.

I consider myself a Christian and a secular humanist and I can deal with science just fine. Science is the explanation of how things work, not who made them work. Religion deals with who made things work, not on explaining how they work.

The recipe for “Intelligent Design”: Take one part public science class and one part church service of your choice, mix, bake for 1hr. Makes one serving.

Please cite some peer reviewed papers supporting that spiritual things have been weighed and scientifically tested with results of positive evidence of their non-existence.

Please cite some peer reviewed papers supporting that spiritual things have been weighed and scientifically tested with results of positive evidence of their existence. The key part here is “must be weighed and tested by each individual”. There is no scientific proof either way, therefore it is up to the individual to decide for themselves.

Please explain how Secular Humanists are supporting an open marketplace of ideas by suppressing any ideas other than their own? How can other ideas be viewed with skepticism if they are hidden away and barred from the public square?

Jo, What is you definition of the “public square”? Is this blog in the public square?

And no, i would not mind a Muslim bringing their Quran to school and discussing it. My daughter’s best friend is Muslim.

I don’t think it should, or can be prohibited for children to bring religious symbols to school. And if a discussion comes about between peers then there is nothing wrong with that either as long as it is a discussion and not a sermon. I do think it is important to discuss the role of religion in the world and historic events. If we had a better understanding of the beliefs of the Middle East we might be in a better position today. With that said, it would become a difficult task to accomplish without advocating. If the curriculum were impartial and comparative in nature, I actually think that would be a positive thing. I don’t think you could make such a class mandatory, but it should certainly be available as an elective course. Before we even think of tackling such an undertaking, I think it is more important to tackle the basics. The U.S. education system is among the worst in the world. Some countries are turning out students who speak 4 or more languages fluently upon graduation. The U.S. is struggling to just turn out students who can use English properly.

That is both embarrassing and a national disgrace. Before we can even think of introducing ideas like comparative religion it is critical that we focus first on vastly improving our standards for the basics. Only then is it appropriate to look at expanding the curriculum into elective areas, until then the argument is moot. Also, children are very impressionable. I think there is a huge difference between peers discussing things, and a discussion between an authority figure like a teacher and a child.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 16, 2005 3:17 PM
Comment #103264

JayJay~
I agree with the fact that our students do need to learn more. My son was top of his 6th grade class yet he still has trouble understanding other poeple & other religions.

He is interested in other religions & frequently we discuss them. I, myself, am a born-again christian hwo came from a catholic family. I also went to several churches growing up-Methodist, Baptist, Assembly of God etc.

I beleive as you do, that if we understand other’s religions & repspect them, maybe we wouldn’t be in the predicument we are in being in Iraq.

I am all for my child learning of other religions & feel it should be a subject taught in school. In health classes our hcildres are learning about abortion & things I feel I should be responsible for teaching my child.

As long as it is not sided but taught in a manner that all understand it but are not being preached to-I am all for it!

Posted by: Xaris~Tamara at December 16, 2005 3:44 PM
Comment #103266

JayJay,

Thank you for your graciousness in accepting my apology. i too am often frustrating by the name calling and rhetoric and am ashamed that i particpated in such base behavior. Now, moving forward…

We can never get anywhere until the far lefts openly admit that their conclusions are no more or less reliable than other views as they start from a similarly non-scientific, faith-based assumption.
Depends on the reasons that led us to that conclusion. Our personal faith and beliefs do not necessarily have anything to do with our views on every issue. We must draw on many sources of reason to reach our conclusions. If we rely on faith-based assumption alone, then yes, I absolutely agree with you.

“Depends” can also be used by the far right to dismiss secular humanist conclusions as faulty for leaving out any and all possibly important spiritual variables. It goes both ways, both sides must respect, not agree with, the others’ legitimate right to pursue their objectives in the light of their own reasoning… which ever faith foundation they choose, humanist, atheist or other.

*In the Declaration of Independence. It is worded “endowed by their Creator”. “Their” is the important word here. You may have a point if they had used the word “Our”, but they deliberately used the word “their”. Our founding fathers were quite deliberate and careful in how they used their words.
Ah yes, important note. Thank you for pointing it out. “their” spiritually based Creator is just as credible and constitutionally acknowledged as “their” materially based Creator. Setting one over the other is unconstutional persecution based on beliefs (religion).

Jo, I agree that everyone has a right to express their religious beliefs. The problem is not with individuals, it is when the state starts expressing religious beliefs.
Religious and philosophical symbols and monuments have been a historic part of our nation. The state is not a theoretical government of a theoretical people. Barring religious expression on public properties is barring those segments of the society from free expression. The public lands belong to ALL the people, peoples of faith and not. Imo, there is more public space alotted to the expression of peoples with an absence of faith than the expression of peoples of faith. Both should be expressed as BOTH are American and both make us what we are.
When we talk about religion in public schools, we must tread very carefully. I think the problem with trying to introduce creation in the science class is that it simply does not belong there.
Does religion play a role in history? Yes, sometimes an important role, and there should be nothing wrong with discussing the role religion played in historic events, as long it doesn’t involve advocacy. You and i may not agree with strict creationism, yet abiogenesis and alchemy are still covered briefly. i agree that it will be complicated to walk a line; but the benefits of open public discourse worth the effort— at least our founders seemed to value it highly.
I do not see anything wrong with students who bring their Bibles to school and reading them to themselves in their free time, and as long as it did not become disruptive, or the child tried to impose thier beliefs on other children.
Children in school are educated, or should be, in logic, reason, argument and debate. We are all different in many ways and religion should not, imo, be expempted from participation anymore than should race or gender discourse merely because they are often contentious. Does a gay discussing his sexuality automatically mean he is ‘imposing’ his sexuality on others? SHould discussions of sexuality then be barred from the public sqaure and schools? Of course not, yet this is exactly the charges levelled at free expression and particpation by peoples of religious faith.
i disgaree with the contention that governance by the governed is a humanist invention as Christianity has had conciliar governance for millenia— Council of Jerusalem in the Book of Acts chaired by St James with participation of clergy, elders and ‘all’, whose copmbined judgments governed the universal (catholic) church. Note even the ‘congregational’ protestant denomination.
Jo, that all just depends if the governed set up their governance as secular or based on religious principles.
The Christian Church was of course set up based on the principles taught by Christ. The United States merely reiterated the teaching of separation: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
Our governance was set up on secular humanistic principles not on Religious ones, and that is hard to argue with. There is vast amount of proof that no matter how our founding fathers believed personally, the government is to be secular.
i disagree. Humanism is a belief, not a science. Yes, many founders were believers, many Christians and deists, some humanists and probably an atheist or two in the mix; however, they set up the government to be secularnot humanist. Separate, not absent or hidden away, as is evident in many of their writings and speeches both private and public, personal and official. There are many other secular nations in the world not founded on humanism. Humanism should have as much, not exclusive, not more, free expression in our public square as any other belief system, spiritually based or not. Posted by: jo at December 16, 2005 3:46 PM
Comment #103279

jo,

Tsk tsk, where to begin? I’ll provide a limited response:
There is a tremendous difference between a belief and an approach. Belief does not require the support of objective and reproducible evidence. Humanism requires this for a point to be held valid. Religion, on the contrary, necessitates the suspension of evidentiary requirements. Humanism, among many many other things, says we don’t have to have a theistic approach to live morally. That is a definition of secular. So: Humanism is secular. Without a god based morality how would you propose the government procede without humanistic approaches?

As for bringing the bible to school… Do you remember the problems that caused religious groups to be banned from using school facilities? It was because the groups used it to prosylytize in the school. School facilities were being used as shock troop staging areas for coverters. So you didn’t answer my quesiton:
Would you support the right of a muslim child bringing in a Quran to school and trying to convert your child?

Posted by: Dave at December 16, 2005 4:35 PM
Comment #103282
Belief does not require the support of objective and reproducible evidence. Humanism requires this for a point to be held valid.
Please provide documented, reproducible evidence of the non-existence of spiritual things. Or do you decide in this case to, erm, ‘suspend evidentiary requirements’?
Without a god based morality how would you propose the government procede without humanistic approaches?
With secular approaches.
Would you support the right of a muslim child bringing in a Quran to school and trying to convert your child?

lol, i will go with JayJay’s method here and say, it depends. If a first grade muslim child tried to convert my first grader, no problem. If a high school muslim child tried to convert my high schooler, no problem. However i would have a problem with a muslim high schooler trying to convert my first grader. So too would i have a problem with a high school homosexual trying to convert a grade schooler.

Posted by: jo at December 16, 2005 5:10 PM
Comment #103288

jo:
“Religious and philosophical symbols and monuments have been a historic part of our nation.”

So what? Our history has also been filled with slavery, racial prejudice, womens subjugation, and child labor, too. And historically America has mounted signs that said “No Coloreds Allowed”, or “No Women Allowed” and the like. Historical precedent does not necessarily conote fairness and justness.

“The state is not a theoretical government of a theoretical people. Barring religious expression on public properties is barring those segments of the society from free expression.”

Bullsh*t. Your religious expressions belong on your church lands and private lands. No one is suggesting they be hidden out of sight — they can be right out there for all of you to enjoy. Just keep it out of the public spaces, so that in those places all American’s will know that in the eyes of their government, all men and women really are created equal.

“The public lands belong to ALL the people, peoples of faith and not.”

Exactly. Which means that all of us should be able to agree that our public places must represent all of us, rather than only some of us. Namely, the FLAG or the EAGLE are symbols that can and do represent all American’s.

“Imo, there is more public space alotted to the expression of peoples with an absence of faith than the expression of peoples of faith.”

Oh, really? Strangely I’ve never noticed any Atheist or Agnostic statuary or symbols anywhere in America. Or are you trying to suggest that an ABSENCE of statuary and symbols is a representation of those philosophies? Does this also mean that trees and flowers should be considered instances of Pagan symbolism, as well? How about Art, does that count?

Oh and btw jo, the second commandment says: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images” and yet all you people want to do is litter our public places with your graven religious images. And amazingly enough, often it is statues of the ten commandments themselves that really get your undies in a giant bundle! How ironic is that?

Both should be expressed as BOTH are American and both make us what we are.”

A clear separation of church and state has made this nation what it is, and made our people what they are — a land of tolerance and acceptance of all faiths as well as the absence of faith. To express our belief in that kind of freedom, and the unity of these United States, we can look only to the flag and the eagle.

“there should be nothing wrong with discussing the role religion played in historic events, as long it doesn’t involve advocacy.”

No, not discussing. Mentioning, sure. In-depth discussions of religion belong in places of worship and in privately owned Religious Schools. Not in our Public Schools.

“Humanism is a belief, not a science. Yes, many founders were believers, many Christians and deists, some humanists and probably an atheist or two in the mix; however, they set up the government to be secular— not humanist.”

The definitions of Secularism and Humanism:

Secularism: the social ideology in which religion and supernatural beliefs are not seen as the key to understanding the world and are instead segregated from matters of governance and reasoning. Secularism is commonly defined as the idea that religion should not interfere with or be integrated into the public affairs of a society. It is often associated with the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, and plays a major role in Western society. The principles of separation of church and state in the United States and Laïcité in France draw heavily on secularism.
Humanism: is a broad category of active ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on our ability to determine what is right using the qualities innate to humanity, particularly rationality. Humanism is a component of a variety of more specific philosophical systems. Humanism entails a commitment to the search for truth and morality through human means in support of human interests. In focusing on our capacity for self-determination, humanism rejects transcendental justifications, such as a dependence on faith, the supernatural, sacred texts, or religious creeds. Humanists endorse a recognition of a universal morality based on the commonality of human nature, suggesting that the long-term solutions to our problems cannot be parochial.

Our government is both Secular and Humanist — and rightly so!
Religion should hold no place in our government, with our tax dollars in public support, or on public lands. Period.

Anything else must be viewed as an advocation of Theism — which isn’t American at all.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 16, 2005 5:36 PM
Comment #103297

As I’ve been reading the comments on this thread about the Consitiutional limits placed on the Government concerning religion I have to wounder. How many really know what the 1st Admendment really says.

ADMENDMENT 0N OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

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

Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion,
The Government cannot setup a state church.
NO REGLIGION CAN BE THE NATIONAL RELIGION.

or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

The Government cannot stop anyone from practiceing regligion as their conscious.

or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press;

All of us has the right to express beliefs. Weather they’re political or regligious. And the press has the same right.

or the right to peaceably assemble,

We can assemble for whatever reason we want as long as it’s peaceful.

and to petition the Government for a redress of grevances.

We can let our elected officials know when they do stupid things.

The 1st admendment DOESNOT give you the right of freedom from religion. It DOES give you the right NOT to practise one.
It also DOESNOT ban religious symbols from public property or display. This means that banning them is unconstitutioinal.
This is a good arguement for getting rid of the activist justices on the unSupreme Court and getting Justices that will interpit the Constitution insted of makeing law according to their whims like they’ve been doing for the last 50 years.


Posted by: Ron Brown at December 16, 2005 7:02 PM
Comment #103321
Humanism is a belief, not a science.

Jo,

We have discussed Humanism before, and as I said then humanism is a generic term that can have several meanings. It really is not a very well defined term, and it’s meaning has changed with history. The meaning can also change depending on it’s context. Which of these definitions of Humanism are you talking about?

Humanism General: Humanism involves any concern with humans (including human needs, human desires, and human experiences) first and foremost. This often means giving human beings a special place in the universe on account of their abilities and faculties. Humanism is less a philosophical system, a set of doctrines, or even a specific system of beliefs, than it is an attitude or perspective on life and humanity.

Cultural Humanism:

Greek Cultural Humanism: Greek humanism can be identified by a number of shared characteristics: it was materialistic in that it sought explanations for events in the natural world, it valued free inquiry in that it wanted to open up new possibilities for speculation, and it valued humanity in that it placed human beings at the center of moral and social concerns.

They tried to analyze the workings of the world from a naturalistic perspective rather than as the arbitrary actions of some god. This same naturalistic methodology was also applied to the human condition as they sought to better understand aesthetics, politics, ethics, and so on. No longer were they content with the idea that standards and values in such areas of life were simply handed down from previous generations and/or from the gods; instead, they sought to understand them, evaluate them, and determine to what degree any of them were justified.

Ancient Roman Cultural Humanism: As it rose to dominate the Mediterranean, Rome came to adopt many of the basic philosophical ideas which were prominent in Greece. Added to this was the fact that the general attitude of Rome was practical, not mystical. They were primarily concerned with whatever worked best and whatever helped them achieve their goals. Even in religion, gods and ceremonies which did not serve a practical purpose tended to be neglected and ultimately dropped.

Cultural Humanism sought to free humanity from the fear of death and of the gods, which he considered the primary cause of human unhappiness. They believed all religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher. They also regarded religion as something made by and for humans, not a creation of gods and given to humanity. And postulated purely natural causes for earthly phenomena in order to prove that the world is not directed by divine agency and that fear of the supernatural is consequently without reasonable foundation.

Renaissance Humanism: Man is capable, a being able to make rational decisions. These decisions may be correct or incorrect — right or wrong — but they are individual decisions. Man can understand the world and make moral choices which affect his own destiny. The central focus of Renaissance Humanism was, quite simply, human beings. Humans were praised for their achievements — achievements attributed to human ingenuity and human effort rather than divine grace. Humans were regarded optimistically in terms of what they could do, not just in the arts and sciences but even morally. Human concerns were given greater attention, leading people to spend more time on work that would benefit people in their daily lives rather than the otherworldly interests of the Church.
Reformation Humanism: a principle aspect of humanist thought involved critiques of the forms and dogmas of medieval Christianity. Humanists objected to the manner in which the Church controlled what people were able to study, repressed what people were able to publish, and limited the sorts of things people could even discuss amongst each other.

Many humanists, like Erasmus, argued that the Christianity which people experienced was nothing at all like the Christianity experienced by the early Christians or taught by Jesus Christ. These scholars relied heavily upon information gathered directly from the Bible itself and even worked to produce improved editions of the Bible along with translations of the early Church Fathers, otherwise only available in Greek and Latin.

They decided that they would have access to a more authentic and appropriate Christianity by paying more attention to the words in the Bible than the traditions handed to them by religious authorities. The principle that ideas and learning should be available to all people, not simply a few elite who might use their authority to restrict the learning of others. For humanists, this was a principle to be applied widely in that manuscripts of all types were translated and eventually printed cheaply on the presses, allowing almost anyone to have access to the wisdom and ideas of ancient Greeks and Romans.

The Reformation Humanist were responsible for spuring the Protestant Reformation 100 years later. Protestantism has taken two different routes over time. On the one hand we have had a Protestantism which has focused upon adherents the more emotional and dogmatic aspects of the Christian tradition, giving us today what is commonly called fundamentalist Christianity. On the other hand we have also had a Protestantism which has focused upon rationalistic studies of Christian tradition and which has valued the spirit of free inquiry, even when it contradicts commonly held Christian beliefs and dogmas, giving us the more liberal Christian denominations we see today.

Religious Humanism: Shares with other types of humanism the basic principles of an overriding concern with humanity — the needs of human beings, the desires of human beings, and the importance of human experiences. For religious humanists, it is the human and the humane which must be the focus of our ethical attention.

What differentiates religious from other types of humanism involves basic attitudes and perspectives on what humanism should mean. Religious humanists treat their humanism in a religious manner. This requires defining religion from a functional perspective, which means identifying certain psychological or social functions of religion as distinguishing a religion from other belief systems.

The functions of religion often cited by religious humanists include things like fulfilling the social needs of a group of people (such as moral education, shared holiday and commemorative celebrations, and the creation of a community) and satisfying the personal needs of individuals (such as the quest to discover meaning and purpose in life, means for dealing with tragedy and loss, and ideals to sustain us).

For religious humanists, meeting these needs is what religion is all about; when doctrine interferes with meeting those needs, then religion fails. This attitude which places action and results above doctrine and tradition meshes quite well with the more basic humanist principle that salvation and aid can only be sought in other human beings. Whatever our problems might be, we will only find the solution in our own efforts and should not wait for any gods or spirits to come and save us from our mistakes.

Secular Humanism: Secular humanism of course shares with other forms of humanism the basic principles of an overriding concern with humanity, the needs and desires of human beings, and the importance of human experiences. For secular humanists, it is the human and the humane which must be the focus of our ethical attention.

What differentiates secular humanists from other sorts of humanists can be found in the nature of the concept of secularism. This term can be used in more than one way, but two of the most important are found in the concept of secular humanism.

In the first place, secular humanism is necessarily non-religious. This doesn’t mean that secular humanists are anti-religious — there is a difference between non-religion and anti-religion. Although secular humanists are certainly critical of religion in its various guises, the central point of being non-religious simply means that it has nothing to do with spiritual, religious, or ecclesiastical doctrines, beliefs, or power structures.

The “secular” of secular humanism also means that, as a philosophy, it does not give any place to the veneration of things holy and inviolable. Acceptance of humanist principles lies in a rational consideration of their value and appropriateness, not in any sense of their having a divine origin or of their being worthy of some form of worship. There is also no feeling that those principles themselves are “inviolable,” in the sense that they should be beyond critique and questioning but instead should simply be obeyed.

Secular humanism also commonly makes advocacy of secularism a defining principle. What this means is that secular humanists argue for a separation of church and state, for a secular government that gives no special consideration to any theological or religious systems, and for a secular culture that values diversity in religious viewpoints.

Such a secular culture is also one where critique of religious beliefs is accepted rather than pushed aside as “rude” and inappropriate on the notion that religious beliefs, whatever they are, should be placed above criticism. Secularism in this sense becomes a close companion of the humanist principles which value freethinking and free inquiry, no matter what the subject.

Sometimes, when religious fundamentalists criticize modern secular humanism and accuse it of infiltrating our cultural institutions for the purpose of undermining them and eliminating all vestiges of Christianity, they are actually conflating secular humanism with cultural humanism.

When I speak of Humanism I am refering to Secular Humanism. I think you are refering to Cultural Humanism, no?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 16, 2005 8:53 PM
Comment #103339

Ron:
“It also DOESNOT ban religious symbols from public property or display. This means that banning them is unconstitutioinal.”

Ron, you’re wrong here.
Our Constitution is a guarantee of equality and rights for ALL American citizens. All our laws have come as a result of that document. When our founders used the words “We the People”, that automatically meant our laws would get their authority by the consent of the governed — and that means every one of us, NOT just a majority.
The first amendment prohibits all establishment of religion, (being large or small, regardless of precedent, or majority sentiment) therefore, it is automatically establishing religion to put ANY religious symbols on PUBLIC lands.
When some of our people do so in defiance of the minority, it is ALWAYS in direct violation of American Constitutional principles. And morally speaking, it is dead wrong for our nations majority to demand a superiority that Constitution gave to NONE of us.

The founders in their brilliance and by their extraordinarily careful wording were actually making sure that the rights of ALL would be protected. And they also knew that could only happen when all constitutional principles were consistently and steadfastly upheld.
Otherwise, the whole document would lose it’s meaning.
That is the problem with the unconstitutional provisions within the so-called “Patriot Act”. This is why it’s so objectionable to so many Americans, and also why it is finally facing such resistance in the Senate.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 16, 2005 10:42 PM
Comment #103363

Jo, Jo, Jo…

So too would i have a problem with a high school homosexual trying to convert a grade schooler.

I find myself at a loss as to even where to begin. I don’t want to derail the thread here so all I will say is please…please, do some research…talk to some gay men (or women for that matter), but understand: Homosexual DOES NOT mean pedophile or sexual predator! Nor do Homosexuals try to convert anyone!

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 17, 2005 12:20 AM
Comment #103443

Hi Ron,

“NO REGLIGION CAN BE THE NATIONAL RELIGION.”

But you thing that the government should put up signs mandating which God must be worshiped?…I’m refering to the Ten Commandments of course.

Do you think it’s the government’s business to put up signs mandating which God must be worshiped?

Don’t get me wrong here. I love the Ten Commandments. I don’t think it’s the business of the government to tell us which God we must worship.

Religion is a private rather than a governmental matter.



Posted by: LouisXIV at December 17, 2005 8:59 AM
Comment #103447

I find myself at a loss as to even where to begin. I don’t want to derail the thread here so all I will say is please…please, do some research…talk to some gay men (or women for that matter), but understand: Homosexual DOES NOT mean pedophile or sexual predator! Nor do Homosexuals try to convert anyone!

sassyliberal

I begg to differ, YES some of those that are gay do try to convert a straight person (IF) they turn them on meaning they (Adult Male/Female) attracts them sexualy but kids they respect them for the most part.

(I could go wayyy into the the real world of truth with the above statement but for now I’ll be cool out of some respect for those that are gay that may be reading this.)

How can you sit there and say a person that is drawn to the same sex have limits to what he/she will or will not do whe they have all ready crossed the line of what is normal?

And yes I have a two members out the closet and one who is dead from AIDS also had a few more freinds who were gay or thought about crossing the line.

Question…How can two human clones (If there were such a thing come to be in to our world) know the differnce between each other unless he/she ask?…Answer they could not the same is true in the case of Homosexuals they cannot tell if the other person is gay unless they ask and if they get positive answers yes or no they adjust their position according to the response they get but if the person is unsure of him/herself the full blown Homosexual moves in for the kill and then tries to convert.

Rarely does the gay person try to convence a person who is straight and confident in him/herself to change that would risk being laughed at or worse injury.

It’s just a simple as this, once you cross the line of what is normal or sinful then (ALMOST) anything goes and to put it in a nut shell the mind was not made by the Creator to do such things to the body check your blueprints it’s called the Bible plainly states what can and cannot be done to the Mind, Soul and Body and if these directions are not followed all Hell breaks loose!!!

No If Ands or Butts about it period end of story.

The Creators book has been tamperd with down through the years but for the most part it is still intack, read it understand that the Creator has not lied all this time and I don’t think he has any plans to do so any time soon.

But to the issue at hand I belive the signs would have more “Punch” if they put emty beer cans and or emty beer boxes next to the crosses if drunk driving was involved, just plain ol crosses don’t drive home the message that this substance will stop your body functions if handled incorrectly.

The manufactures of alcoholic drinks would probably back some bill to ban the excersise of this form of free speech but that would at least flush out the members of congress that were getting “Kick Backs” from the Alcohol Industry and we could adjust our votes to rid our country of “Killer Sell-Out Rodents” come election time.

-Just thinking outside the box while I’m still outside the box and breathing…

Posted by: T.P. at December 17, 2005 9:09 AM
Comment #103448

I find myself at a loss as to even where to begin. I don’t want to derail the thread here so all I will say is please…please, do some research…talk to some gay men (or women for that matter), but understand: Homosexual DOES NOT mean pedophile or sexual predator! Nor do Homosexuals try to convert anyone!

sassyliberal

I begg to differ, YES some of those that are gay do try to convert a straight person (IF) they turn them on meaning they (Adult Male/Female) attracts them sexualy but kids they respect them for the most part.

(I could go wayyy into the the real world of truth with the above statement but for now I’ll be cool out of some respect for those that are gay that may be reading this.)

How can you sit there and say a person that is drawn to the same sex have limits to what he/she will or will not do whe they have all ready crossed the line of what is normal?

And yes I have a two members out the closet and one who is dead from AIDS also had a few more freinds who were gay or thought about crossing the line.

Question…How can two human clones (If there were such a thing come to be in to our world) know the differnce between each other unless he/she ask?…Answer they could not the same is true in the case of Homosexuals they cannot tell if the other person is gay unless they ask and if they get positive answers yes or no they adjust their position according to the response they get but if the person is unsure of him/herself the full blown Homosexual moves in for the kill and then tries to convert.

Rarely does the gay person try to convence a person who is straight and confident in him/herself to change that would risk being laughed at or worse injury.

It’s just a simple as this, once you cross the line of what is normal or sinful then (ALMOST) anything goes and to put it in a nut shell the mind was not made by the Creator to do such things to the body check your blueprints it’s called the Bible plainly states what can and cannot be done to the Mind, Soul and Body and if these directions are not followed all Hell breaks loose!!!

No If Ands or Butts about it period end of story.

The Creators book has been tamperd with down through the years but for the most part it is still intack, read it understand that the Creator has not lied all this time and I don’t think he has any plans to do so any time soon.

But to the issue at hand I belive the signs would have more “Punch” if they put emty beer cans and or emty beer boxes next to the crosses if drunk driving was involved, just plain ol crosses don’t drive home the message that this substance will stop your body functions if handled incorrectly.

The manufactures of alcoholic drinks would probably back some bill to ban the excersise of this form of free speech but that would at least flush out the members of congress that were getting “Kick Backs” from the Alcohol Industry and we could adjust our votes to rid our country of “Killer Sell-Out Rodents” come election time.

-Just thinking outside the box while I’m still outside the box and breathing…

Posted by: T.P. at December 17, 2005 9:17 AM
Comment #103449

I find myself at a loss as to even where to begin. I don’t want to derail the thread here so all I will say is please…please, do some research…talk to some gay men (or women for that matter), but understand: Homosexual DOES NOT mean pedophile or sexual predator! Nor do Homosexuals try to convert anyone!

sassyliberal

I begg to differ, YES some of those that are gay do try to convert a straight person (IF) they turn them on meaning they (Adult Male/Female) attracts them sexualy but kids they respect them for the most part.

(I could go wayyy into the the real world of truth with the above statement but for now I’ll be cool out of some respect for those that are gay that may be reading this.)

How can you sit there and say a person that is drawn to the same sex have limits to what he/she will or will not do whe they have all ready crossed the line of what is normal?

And yes I have a two members out the closet and one who is dead from AIDS also had a few more freinds who were gay or thought about crossing the line.

Question…How can two human clones (If there were such a thing come to be in to our world) know the differnce between each other unless he/she ask?…Answer they could not the same is true in the case of Homosexuals they cannot tell if the other person is gay unless they ask and if they get positive answers yes or no they adjust their position according to the response they get but if the person is unsure of him/herself the full blown Homosexual moves in for the kill and then tries to convert.

Rarely does the gay person try to convence a person who is straight and confident in him/herself to change that would risk being laughed at or worse injury.

It’s just a simple as this, once you cross the line of what is normal or sinful then (ALMOST) anything goes and to put it in a nut shell the mind was not made by the Creator to do such things to the body check your blueprints it’s called the Bible plainly states what can and cannot be done to the Mind, Soul and Body and if these directions are not followed all Hell breaks loose!!!

No If Ands or Butts about it period end of story.

The Creators book has been tamperd with down through the years but for the most part it is still intack, read it understand that the Creator has not lied all this time and I don’t think he has any plans to do so any time soon.

But to the issue at hand I belive the signs would have more “Punch” if they put emty beer cans and or emty beer boxes next to the crosses if drunk driving was involved, just plain ol crosses don’t drive home the message that this substance will stop your body functions if handled incorrectly.

The manufactures of alcoholic drinks would probably back some bill to ban the excersise of this form of free speech but that would at least flush out the members of congress that were getting “Kick Backs” from the Alcohol Industry and we could adjust our votes to rid our country of “Killer Sell-Out Rodents” come election time.

-Just thinking outside the box while I’m still outside the box and breathing…

Posted by: T.P. at December 17, 2005 9:17 AM
Comment #103455

This is a good post to end this thread because it goes to point out WHY our forefathers insisted on our government being secular.

TP:

Just thinking outside the box while I’m still outside the box and breathing…


No, actually, you are enclosed within a very tiny box if this is what you think.

you wrote:

I begg to differ, YES some of those that are gay do try to convert a straight person (IF) they turn them on meaning they (Adult Male/Female) attracts them sexualy but kids they respect them for the most part.
How can you sit there and say a person that is drawn to the same sex have limits to what he/she will or will not do whe they have all ready crossed the line of what is normal?
Rarely does the gay person try to convence a person who is straight and confident in him/herself to change that would risk being laughed at or worse injury
And yes I have a two members out the closet and one who is dead from AIDS also had a few more freinds who were gay or thought about crossing the line.
the full blown Homosexual moves in for the kill and then tries to convert.
(I must say, that one made my head spin around!)
It’s just a simple as this, once you cross the line of what is normal or sinful then (ALMOST) anything goes and to put it in a nut shell the mind was not made by the Creator to do such things to the body check your blueprints it’s called the Bible plainly states what can and cannot be done to the Mind, Soul and Body and if these directions are not followed all Hell breaks loose!!!


I think this is a marvelous point as to why there MUST be a clear separation of church and state. These comments are based on pure ignorance of the subject matter. They have NO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH OR EMPIRICAL DATA to support them. This is simple inuendo and stereotypical myth based on interpretation of RELIGIOUS writings. I am sure some of the people who posted educated and well thought-out opinions in this thread that supported religion as part of the government are pulling out their hair at this sort of NARROW-MINDED, IN A VERY SMALL BOX comment!!!!!

You are oh so wrong here! Like I suggested to Jo, Do some research!! Then perhaps (although I doubt it) we can have an intelligent discussion. Until then, go back and watch your cartoons!

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at December 17, 2005 9:52 AM
Comment #103495

LouisXIV:
“But you thing that the government should put up signs mandating which God must be worshiped?…I’m refering to the Ten Commandments of course.”

What always strikes me as rather funny about “the ten commandments statues in the courthouse” issue is the fact that the first and second clauses of the First Amendment actually negate the first four commandments! Yet those on the religious right still insist that our founders based American law on the ten commandments and think that these statues can and should be everywhere.
It’s just so illogical.

Sassy, good replies to jo and TP.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 17, 2005 1:17 PM
Comment #103518
Our Constitution is a guarantee of equality and rights for ALL American citizens.

Your right Adrienne. And to tell me I cann’t have religious symbols is taking away my rights. The thing to remember is the 1st Admendment DOESNOT give the right of freedom from religion. Only the freedom OF it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 17, 2005 3:23 PM
Comment #103519

Adrienne

What always strikes me as rather funny about “the ten commandments statues in the courthouse” issue is the fact that the first and second clauses of the First Amendment actually negate the first four commandments!

Your going have to prove that to me. I fail to see your logic here.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 17, 2005 3:26 PM
Comment #103526

Hi Ron,

“And to tell me I cann’t have religious symbols is taking away my rights.”

Who is telling you that? Of course you can have relgious symbols.

Why do you think the government should sponser religion?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 17, 2005 3:40 PM
Comment #103612
Our Constitution is a guarantee of equality and rights for ALL American citizens. Your right Adrienne. And to tell me I cann’t have religious symbols is taking away my rights. The thing to remember is the 1st Admendment DOESNOT give the right of freedom from religion. Only the freedom OF it.

Ron,

Nobody said you can’t have religious symbols. Deck out your whole front yard with them as far as I’m concerned. The Constitution does not give us the right to be free from religion. It does, however, give us the right to be free from government sponsored religion.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 11:04 PM
Comment #103625

A Marines Prayer
I am sitting here so sad, It is not that I have done anything bad.
Non-religeous, Christian, Muslim, or Jew. I am here fighting for all of you.
But I’m far from home, how I miss that scene, Of family and friends on Christmas Eve.
If I said I wasn’t worried I would be Lying, But it is not just the fear of dying.
It hurts to think of love I can’t show, for my savior that I have come to know.
To think of my parents pain and loss, because they can’t bury me under his cross. Written By Robert Quinn Hurricane West Virginia

Posted by: Robert Quinn at December 17, 2005 11:57 PM
Comment #103628

You are oh so wrong here! Like I suggested to Jo, Do some research!! Then perhaps (although I doubt it) we can have an intelligent discussion. Until then, go back and watch your cartoons!

sassyliberal

What you are doing is trying to defend the homosexuals as tho they are normal people, guess what they are not.
Not in the eyes of the Creator nor in the eyes of man in fact that lifestyle is so ugly straight people have hurt and or killed them and for how long???

Since the days the first books were written if look to those books they got quite a few rock stories and that kind of punishment is still around today.

Back on subject in my mind the symbols mean more than Christ they also mean death as in grave yard death not the just death of Christ.

Who said the cross has to mean it is only limited to religion?

I did not see any mortal law or dictionary that says that the cross is only limited to that meaning.

What you need to do is get out in to the real world away from those phony money making books that say only what YOU want to hear before you try to insult someone who has lived “LIFE”.

And before I forget, Merry Christmas to ya my Sister in Christ!!!

Posted by: T.P. at December 18, 2005 12:09 AM
Comment #103712

I wrote:
“What always strikes me as rather funny about �the ten commandments statues in the courthouse� issue is the fact that the first and second clauses of the First Amendment actually negate the first four commandments!”

Ron:
“Your going have to prove that to me. I fail to see your logic here.”

It is simply this: the first and second clauses of the first amendment give American citizens, and thus our government, the right to totally IGNORE the first four commandments. Americans need not: have no gods but the Lord — we can have any gods we wish. Not worship idols — we can worship anything we wish, including idols. Worry about blasphemy — we can blaspheme anything we like, as much as we like. Worry over keeping the Sabbath holy — we can do whatever we damn well like on that, or any other day. Thanks to our founders, we are free to do as we wish, because our law is independent of the ten commandments and all other religious legal codes.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
This effectively prevents our government from ever passing laws based on the first four commandments. If Congress ever tried to incorporate them into our laws, it would be an establishment of religion.
So, as I said, how can our laws be based on the ten commandments if those two clauses of the Constitution wipe out almost half of those commandments inclusion into our laws? If we were forced by our government to worship a certain way, as the first four commandments demand, then our rights to freely exercise our religions or have no religion would be violated. And accordingly, our freedom of speech would be automatically violated, too.

The Framers of our Constitution decided not to incorporate any portion of the ten commandments into the law of our new nation. None. Yet they so easily could have. Just one more reason to feel certain that a complete separation of church and state was considered of vital importance to those wise and brilliant men.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 18, 2005 3:54 AM
Comment #103728

Oh good grief people, get a grip! i had completely forgotten about this thread— real life and struggling to regain enough composure after the news to comment on the secret surveillance issue without repeating my recent gutter-dive into name-calling.. publicly anyway ;^o


JayJay, concerning Secular Humanism, i have already covered it, using secular humanist sources, in the History or Philosophy thread so will not continue to repeat myself other than to say that an emperically unsupported REJECTION of a Creator is neither nuetral, unbiased or objective and not only anti-faith but anti-American as the Declaration of Independance which first established this nation clearly establishes our governmental recognition of a Creator.

To the homophobes running amuck in this thread:

Take a deep breath. Breathe in…. slowly… and out again slowly….

God created EVERYTHING, visible and invisible.. man and woman created He them. Homosexuals are human beings, children of God created by God for His good pleasure. Is their behavior sinful? Is it an abomination? Read your Bibles and consider for yourselves that sloth and gluttony are likewise sins labelled in Scripture as abominations. Then think twice when you reach for that second helping at your Christmas dinner. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Consider also that Jesus told the Samaratin woman caught in adultery (punishable by death), ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.’. Follow Christ’s example, stop condemning people. Examine yourselves. Let the Light of the Holy Spirit shine into your own hearts.


Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men’s shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.

Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Mat 23:26 [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men’s] bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

1Jo 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.



And now to the faithphobes running amuck in this thread:

Turn off Discovery channel, set down your cocktail and put out your joint (bigoted caricatures are easy… and counter-productive. let’s see if we can kick the habit.)

i said:

If a first grade muslim child tried to convert my first grader, no problem. If a high school muslim child tried to convert my high schooler, no problem. However i would have a problem with a muslim high schooler trying to convert my first grader. So too would i have a problem with a high school homosexual trying to convert a grade schooler.

If you read without prejudice, it is clear that i do NOT fear students of different faiths, ideologies, lifestyles or sexual orientations talking, sharing and discussing such topics with my children… UNLESS their is a significant power difference, which as you noted suggests the possibility of ill or criminal intent.

However, your reaction clearly broadcasts your own hypocrisy and blatant fear of Christians, prejudging that i as a Christian would ignorantly condemn a homnosexual. Yourselves ignorantly condemning me, accepting as a given that persons of faith would with similar power advantage, threaten other children. Your strong protestations against peoples of faith belies that your hateful persecution stems from fear. Do you lack that much confidence in your worldview?

Posted by: jo at December 18, 2005 5:26 AM
Comment #103814

TP:

What you need to do is get out in to the real world away from those phony money making books that say only what YOU want to hear before you try to insult someone who has lived “LIFE”.

??????? Obviously you have lived “LIFE” in some secluded area away from science, society, or anyt other educational medium. If you think I learned ANY of the World’s differing views and spiritual beliefs concerning “their creator” (Yeah, the rock story) by reading some book, you are very, mistaken my friend.

I am a social worker. I learned each of these theories from the people who have their own strong religious beliefs about it and who practice these beliefs every day of their loving, meaningful lives. In order to try NOT to offend others by making IGNORANT statements about them or their beliefs when I have little or no knowledge, I make a point to visit people with differing practices from my own, to learn from them about their lives, their customs, their spirituality and their beliefs. I choose to do so in an effort to remain an intelligent, current, accepting, and well respected social worker and a good citizen.

As I said, I am a social worker. You know, Christ did a lot of social work in his own life, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, comforting the sorrowed. He also traveled into lands where the culture differed from his own. He even hung out with a group of 12 guys that in today’s society would have been considered “those radical, liberal lefties.”

As a social worker, one of the most important tenets of our practice is CULTURAL SENSITIVITY. Perhaps you might just understand this if you EVER bothered to read some “books” yourself.

What you are doing is trying to defend the homosexuals as tho they are normal people, guess what they are not.

At this point, I am only scratching my head in disbelief. ARE YOU FROM THE DARK AGES? I am not even going to respond to that remark except to say that you are seriously misinformed.

… in the eyes of man in fact that lifestyle is so ugly straight people have hurt and or killed them and for how long???

Huh??? (head just spinning once more) Your ignorance on this topic is not so unbelievable, as it still abounds throughout our society, but what is a little surprising is how proud your seem to be of this ignorance. #1 You aren’t seriously saying you condone “gay bashing” are you? #2 People who behave in this manner are reacting to fear of their OWN feelings (conscious or unconscious) of attraction for their same sex!!!!! It is called HOMOPHOBIA! You can find information on it in some of those awful BOOKS you seem to despise. Again, TP and I STILL can’t stress this enough, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF WHATEVER HOLE YOU HAVE IT BURIED IN AND DO SOME RESEARCH!!!!!!!

What you need to do is get out in to the real world away from those phony money making books


Funny you should mention it, especially since I keep hearing how it is being banned and the left are trying to outlaw it, etc. etc.:

The BEST-selling book of all time is the Holy Bible, with more than 6 BILLION copies sold. Whew! talk about a money maker, someone is getting rich, rich, rich!

http://home.comcast.net/~antaylor1/bestsellingbooks.html

And before I forget, Merry Christmas to ya my Sister in Christ!!!

If you hoped to offend me by this comment, You did not. Thank you for the sentiment and Merry Christmas to you too, my brother.

sassyliberal

Robert Quinn:

It hurts to think of love I can’t show, for my savior that I have come to know. To think of my parents pain and loss, because they can’t bury me under his cross. Written By Robert Quinn Hurricane West Virginia

I am sorry you feel this way. I don’t know why your parents would be unable to do so. Since, by your writing it is obviously your wish, I (and most of us evil, liberal-lefties) respect your wishes and will support you in any way I can.

By the way, we are neighbors. I am in Milton, WV.

sassyliberal


Posted by: sassyliberal at December 18, 2005 12:17 PM
Comment #103923
that an emperically unsupported REJECTION of a Creator is neither nuetral, unbiased or objective and not only anti-faith but anti-American as the Declaration of Independance which first established this nation clearly establishes our governmental recognition of a Creator.

Jo,

Ok, we will just have to agree to disagree. I have read the comments from the other thread, and that is fine, but I still say you are confusing the many different types of humanism and they way the term is applied throughout history. Secular Humanism does not REJECT a creator. It simply does not acknowlege who that creator is,(Secular), leaving that part to the individual to decide,(Humanism). For some the “creator” may not be a diety at all, but pure energy generated through a series of scientific or cataclysmic events, that set the steps in motion to “create” life as we know it.

I have never claimed that our founding fathers did not believe in a creator, but they did believe strongly that who or what that creator was/is up to the individual and they should be able to worship (or not) according to thier beliefs without government intervention, nor endorsement.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 18, 2005 4:57 PM
Comment #104006

Jo,
I have to come down on the side of JayJay on our Founding Fathers. Social History shows us that many so called christains broke away from the Teachings of the Churches of the Day and started preaching about a “Creator” of Heaven and Earth that dwelled somewhere on the otherside of Nature. Part Myth, Part Written Historical Records, but mostly takin by The Spoken Word and Actions of Human Nature during the Natural Course of Human History. Check out The Intelligable Constitution and see how and why “We the People” have grown as a Society of Laws based on a simple Ideaology. The Law of the Land is allows Right regardless of who or what it is applied to.

Since religions and societies must follow a set of Rules and Regulations than by allowing Our Supreme Court to hold that which is for now “Unalienable Right Regardless” hopefully our generations of Reasonable and Logical Citizens can come to see a future where every Human can by their own freewill accept the “Laws of Nature” by living within the “God of Nature” design for all things that exist.

Dawn,
Good article; however, 12 FOOT CROSSES might be a bit extreme wouldn’t you say? I would have to limit them to two feet tall except where the Names of the HP would not fit. Yet, I worry about the ability of the lawyers to come to such compromise.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 19, 2005 12:46 AM
Comment #104177

The Constitution does not give us the right to be free from religion. It does, however, give us the right to be free from government sponsored religion.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 11:04 PM

And I’m not advocating Government sponsored religion. And I haven’t seen or heard of the Government doing this.
I do not want the government or anyone else telling me how I worship God. If you look back in history you’ll see that when Government gets involved in religion then folks are persacuted for not beliveing the religion of the state.
That is one reasonwhy the 1st Admendment exist. To stop Government sponsored religion.
But banning religious symbols on public propery is violating the 1st admendment in that it limits freedom OF religion. Religious people own that property just the same as nonreligious.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 10:45 AM
Comment #104186

Adrienne
Ok, I get your dirft on it. It’s true we CAN worship anything and anyway we want. Weather it’s right or wrong is up to our consoius.
But our laws against murder, stealing, and purjury are based on the Ten Commandments. There used to be laws against adultry based on the Ten Commandments.
Do you think we should repeal these laws because they’re part of the Ten Commandments? Isn’t having them violating the 1st Admendment?

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 10:57 AM
Comment #104234

But our laws against murder, stealing, and purjury are based on the Ten Commandments. There used to be laws against adultry based on the Ten Commandments.
Do you think we should repeal these laws because they’re part of the Ten Commandments? Isn’t having them violating the 1st Admendment?

Posted by Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 10:57 AM
===========================================
Ehhh, wrong. Those laws were based on English Common laws. And, it’s not “murder”, it’s “kill”. And it’s not “perjury”, it’s “lie”. The former are legal terms.

Posted by: Dave at December 19, 2005 1:01 PM
Comment #104241
And I’m not advocating Government sponsored religion. And I haven’t seen or heard of the Government doing this.

I disagree, when the government displays a religious symbol above others, then yes they are sponsoring that religion. Unless, they are going to display a religious symbol from each and every religion represented in the U.S., then they should not represent any at all.

But banning religious symbols on public property is violating the 1st admendment in that it limits freedom OF religion. Religious people own that property just the same as nonreligious.

Again, when one religious symbol (the cross is unmistakably Christian to most) is used above all others, then the land that is owned by all Americans is not representing all Americans, it is putting one above all others. I would not have any problem at all with religious symbols placed by our government on public land as long as that symbol represents all religions represented among the people.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 19, 2005 1:23 PM
Comment #104264

Dave, you’re right. English common law. Spot on.

JayJay:
“Again, when one religious symbol (the cross is unmistakably Christian to most) is used above all others, then the land that is owned by all Americans is not representing all Americans, it is putting one above all others. I would not have any problem at all with religious symbols placed by our government on public land as long as that symbol represents all religions represented among the people.”

But why put religious symbols on public lands at all when our flag (or alternately, the eagle) is a single symbol that represents all Americans and our belief in complete freedom of religion, or complete from religion, and in freedom of speech for all?

Posted by: Adrienne at December 19, 2005 2:18 PM
Comment #104267

Whoops. That should read: “in complete freedom of religion, or complete freedom from religion, and in freedom of speech for all”

Posted by: Adrienne at December 19, 2005 2:21 PM
Comment #104307

Hi Ron,

“And I’m not advocating Government sponsored religion. And I haven’t seen or heard of the Government doing this.”

You don’t think that the government should sponser the Ten Commandments in schools and courts?

There are all sorts of government sponsership of the Ten Commmandments.

Do you think it’s the government’s business to put up posters telling people what God they must worship (the Decalogue)?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 19, 2005 3:05 PM
Comment #104308

Hi Ron,

“And I’m not advocating Government sponsored religion. And I haven’t seen or heard of the Government doing this.”

You don’t think that the government should sponser the Ten Commandments in schools and courts?

There are all sorts of government sponsership of the Ten Commmandments.

Do you think it’s the government’s business to put up posters telling people what God they must worship (the Decalogue)?

Don’t get me wrong…I love the Ten Commandments.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 19, 2005 3:07 PM
Comment #104471

Dave
In Exodus 20 where the ten commandments are given verse 13 says - Thou shalt not kill. Ask any Rabbi and they will tell you that the word translated kill is murder in the Hebrew.
Verse 15 says - Thou shalt not steal. This is self explainitory.
Verse 16 say - Thou shalt not bear false whitness againt thy neighbor. Yeah, that is lieing. But purjury is lieing.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 5:48 PM
Comment #104474

Dave
In Exodus 20 where the ten commandments are given verse 13 says - Thou shalt not kill. Ask any Rabbi and they will tell you that the word translated kill is murder in the Hebrew.
Verse 15 says - Thou shalt not steal. This is self explainitory.
Verse 16 say - Thou shalt not bear false whitness againt thy neighbor. Yeah, that is lieing. But purjury is lieing.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 5:50 PM
Comment #104479

Sorry, I don’t know how that got double posted.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 19, 2005 5:53 PM
Comment #104730

Adrienne,
LOL your idea on the America Flag or American Bold Eagle. Works for me!

JayJay,
Would you agree to the “Crosses” if the same law allowed for other falling HP’s could be represented by their religious symbol?

While IMHO I believe that Our Founding Fathers hoped that America would come together as a Society and awaken to the fact that Religion regardless of cluture is based on the diety being unalienable right regardless. Thus, as a Society and Leader of Nations our flag represents the hope of our generations can design and build the first Nation in the World that can be found governing by The Laws of Nature and The God of Nature. Although it is still a long walk, someday hopefully we can get to that “Promise Land.” Thus, does not The American Flag still inspire that goal or do we just become an other England?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 20, 2005 8:04 AM
Comment #106316

Ron,

It’s actually more like “kill illegally”
But if you use that logic, abortion is not forbidden, since it is legal. Are you willing to go there?

Posted by: Dave at December 22, 2005 10:33 PM
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