CA 9th Circus Court: Public School Prayer is Constitutional

California’s 9th Circus Court of Appeals is no stranger to controversy. In fact, overt displays of judicial activism and a leftist tilt that would put Noam Chomsky to shame has made it the most overturned appellate court in the nation.

Yet, in a recent decision, the long-vilified court ruled that school prayer in public schools does not violate the Constitution. Could it be that the court has changed its ways? Not exactly. School prayer is only constitutional if it relates to the Islamic faith.

The Circus Act

This latest display of judicial activism has not received due attention. A recent piece in the Investor's Business Daily explains:

In a recent federal decision that got surprisingly little press . . . California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court [read: Circus Court] of Appeals ruled it's OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises, including:

Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . ."

Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger."

Chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.

Professing as "true" the Muslim belief that "The Holy Quran is God's word."

Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially "becoming a Muslim" for two full weeks. IBD

The Circus' ridiculous ruling is yet more evidence of its antipathy toward the Judeo-Christian faith that informs Western civilization. More importantly, the hypocrisy of the Circus is undeniable.

Previous Circus Act

A previous ruling by the Circus found that the pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional because it is contains the oppressive words "under G-d" (Newdow v. United States Congress, 2002). They reasoned that this was a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment:

"The Pledge, as currently codified, is an impermissible government endorsement of religion because it sends a message to unbelievers 'that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.'"

Republicans and democrats alike were horrified by the ruling:

Outraged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blasted the ruling as "outrageous," "nuts," and "stupid." The U.S. Senate was so outraged by the decision that it passed a resolution 99-0 "expressing support for the Pledge of Allegiance" and asking Senate counsel to "seek to intervene in the case."

"Our Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves. This is the worst kind of political correctness run amok," [Senator Kit] Bond said. "What's next? Will the courts now strip 'so help me God' from the pledge taken by new presidents?"

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said President Bush believes the ruling is "ridiculous."

"The view of the White House is that this was a wrong decision, and the Department of Justice is now evaluating how to seek redress," Fleischer said. CNN

The Supreme Court subsequently overturned that decision on a technicality.

Who Runs the Circus?

Many republican commentators have charged that judicial activism is a liberal phenomenon. In the 9th Circus, this seems to be the case.

According to Wikipedia the Circus is "the most democratic Circuit Court in the nation. 67% (16 out of 24) of its active judges were appointed by a Democratic President."

By the way, a liberal democrat in California is a socialist by any other standards and, as a Californian, I can vouch for this.

At the same time, I don"t care if it's republican or democratic activism that informs these ridiculous decisions. The job of these judges is to decide cases in accordance to the Constitution, not to decide the Constitution in accordance to the cases. Political views have no more place in a courtroom than does sex, ethnicity, or religion. There are two possible solutions to this growing problem:

(1) Judges start doing there jobs

(2) Judges start finding new jobs

I don’t know about you, but I find option 2 to be far more enticing.

Read the IBD article in its entirety (it's worth it!).

Hat Tip: CA Conservative

Posted by Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 3:43 PM
Comments
Comment #150575

This confirms what we long suspected. Liberals are all about promoting a Koran based world view. The California beaches will never look the same.

Posted by: Schwamp at May 23, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #150577

Hey, as long as the schools don’t make kids become “Extreme Muslims” for 2 weeks then I think we’re OK.

Posted by: Craig at May 23, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #150584

You know, I might even have taken you seriously if you had had the ability to try to make a point without resorting to punny insults.

I have Michael Savage for such garbage. I don’t need it in WatchBlog.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 23, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #150587

“By the way, a liberal democrat in California is a socialist by any other standards and, as a Californian, I can vouch for this.”

This is total and complete horseshit.

As for the topic, I’m a liberal Democrat who lives in California and I’m 100% against this ridiculous ruling. I don’t think there should be ANY religious observances of ANY kind in ANY public school, ever.
Teachers talking about various cultures and have brief discussions about what their faiths are? Sure. But no observances — school isn’t the place for prayer, it’s the place for learning about everything but religion and sprituality. There are churches, synagogues, temples and mosques for that, and there are religious schools if people want their kids to study religion(s) along with the rest of their learning.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 23, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #150588

“Hey, as long as the schools don’t make kids become “Extreme Muslims” for 2 weeks then I think we’re OK.”

you can’t really be serious, When do the children get to Christians or Buddhists or Jews for 2 weeks? I think you miss the point here that if it’s not okay for one group, it can’t be okay for another…

JT

Posted by: JayTea at May 23, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #150589

Lawnboy,

You don’t have to take me seriously. It’s the rulings you should be concerned with.

As for the Michael Savage reference, I actually got the “Circus” reference from the Wikipedia article that I cited. Click on the link, scroll to the bottom of the “Political Liberalism” section that it brings you to, and there it is. Also, Wikipedia credits the line to Rush Limbaugh.

So you know, the only talk radio that I listen to is Armstrong and Getty. They’re awesome and they go great with a cup of coffee in the morning.

Now, why don’t you try commenting on the content of the article, rather than trying to find a way to weasel out of making a substantive argument about the court itself.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #150591

I doubt the founding fathers are spinning in their graves. The “under God” portion of the pledge wasn’t added until 1952.

A true separation of church and state is vital to this nation. There should be no mention of God in any government document, including currency. Children in public schools should either not be taught anything about religion, or should take a “World Religions” class that looks at all religions, including atheism, comparatively and historically, with no mention of any one belief being right or wrong. There should be no endorsement of God, such as currently exists in the pledge, and certainly no recitation of “Praise be to Allah”.

This is another example of partisanship gone crazy: neo-cons want to federalize Christianity, so the far left does everything it can to battle against that. There is a great book just out by former Senator Kassich that dissects the need for compromise in today’s government. I’m a hardcore progressive, but I found this book by a former Republican leader incredibly insightful. If everyone in congress were to take it to heart, who knows what we could accomplish?

Posted by: David S at May 23, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #150593

A couple of questions…

Do the cops know what the judges on the 9th are smoking?

Does this mean you can refuse to be sworn in to testify before the 9th on the basis of seperation of church and state?

What’s next?

Will we have to throw our money in the shredder until we get the new bills with “In Allah We Trust” on them?

Posted by: Jim T at May 23, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #150596
Now, why don’t you try commenting on the content of the article, rather than trying to find a way to weasel out of making a substantive argument about the court itself.

When you write a serious article that doesn’t rely on insults, then I’ll consider it worth a response.

When you write something further from the gutter than calling millions of people socialists as what you probably take for a vicious insult, then I’ll consider a response, and, as a human, I can vouch for this.

I don’t care if you have a source for your insults. Does that actually matter? You chose the gutter. Don’t blame the gutter.

For now, I consider this article to be one of the worst articles posted on WB in a long time, and I hope that you actually try to engage in debate next time instead of insults.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 23, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #150597

Dr P (or anyone),

Can you please provide the case citation or simply the case name? I’m reviewing the 9th Circuit’s opinions from this year and can’t find any case resembling the editorial.

Thx

Posted by: CPAdams at May 23, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #150606

The 9th may have had the most cases overturned, but as a percentage of cases heard by the Supreme Court, they performed about average, with 75% of cases overturned. The individual state courts were overturned at a rate of 81%, while 4 other appellate circuits were overturned 100% of the time. The 9th circuit hears by far the most cases of any appellate court, so it would make sense that they would have the most cases overturned. Of all cases heard by the Supreme Court, 74% were overturned.

Anyone who wants to look at an appellate court from a partisan viewpoint can find one they disagree with.

Posted by: David S at May 23, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #150607

This case came from a history class in 2001. Other than the 9th Circuit upholding the initial ruling of the judge as well as the decision on appeal, are there any updates? What happened to the Saudi spy?

Eklund v. Byron Unified School District.

You can use religious texts in class. For example, when teaching “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, I read sections of Genesis to the class. It is permissable to use religious texts in a cultural context, to provide background, but cannot be religious instruction.

This is a slightly ridiculous topic, and very dated.

Posted by: phx8 at May 23, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #150610

LawnBoy, you must never read the Liberal section of Watchblog if you think this post is “one of the worst” by your standards. The difference is that these “insults” are not needed to make a point, which is why most people would find them funny. I think most conservatives can laugh at the drek that is posted from the Lib side as well (which is why many resort to PERSONAL insults just to get a rise). My guess is that the insults here probably irritate you so much because you have no response for the actual content of the post.

Interesting how some have taken offense to the socialist comment, my Liberal friends here in California would take that as a compliment.

Posted by: Craig at May 23, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #150614

CPAdams,

Clck here for the case number, etc.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #150619

never mind,

I found it. It’s Eklund v Byron Unified School District. It wasn’t a published opinion. The problems with the case were (1) it was a history class taught by non-Muslims who were teaching cultural sensitivity of some sort, not Islam.

I think the result might have been different if the school district were somehow in an area with a majority Muslim population.

More importantly (at least from a legal point of view), (2) one of the named plaintiffs were parents who did not have children who had taken the class, but were suing to prevent the school from possibly teaching that class to their children in the future.

Just like the case by the lunatic atheist trying to remove “under God” from the pledge of allegiance, these parents lacked standing.

I understand Dr P’s argument, but the case is a non-event.

The 9th Circuit was following its own precedent from a case decided a decade earlier. Here is the 10th Circuit in Utah citing the same case used to dismiss the case above”

Courts have consistently recognized the hazards of interceding in academic matters or overturning faculty judgments. As the Ninth Circuit observed[in Brown v Woodland Joint Unified Sch Dist], “if an Establishment Clause violation arose every time a student believed that a school practice either advanced or disapproved of a religion, school curricula would be reduced to the lowest common denominator, permitting each student to become a ‘curriculum review committee’ unto himself.”

Utah judges agreeing with Noam Chomsky’s more liberal friends.

Case closed.

Posted by: CPAdams at May 23, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #150623

phx8,

I couldn’t agree more - this posting was a reach.

Dr P, maybe no one is upset because there is nothing to be upset about or they wanted to avoid looking foolish by suggesting a controversy where none exists.

Posted by: CPAdams at May 23, 2006 5:57 PM
Comment #150627

Actually, CPAdams, you have proven their hypocrisy:

Just like the case by the lunatic atheist trying to remove “under God” from the pledge of allegiance, these [one of the sets of] parents lacked standing.

The difference being that the “lunatic’s” case was heard and supported by the 9th court, only to be later thrown out by the Supreme Court for that very technicality.

Yet, the court wouldn’t bother to hear this case even though at least one of the sets of parents did have standing. On the link I provided, which connects to the National School Boards Association, nothing is mentioned about the case being thrown because of a lack of standing. But, if true, as long as one of the two sets of parents did have standing, the case should have been heard.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #150634

Did I miss something? Or, didn’t our government from Bush down through the intelligence agencies state emphatically that the U.S. needs intelligence officers now, and for decades to come, which have an understanding of Islamic and Middle Eastern nations? I suppose we could just hire al-Queda, but wouldn’t it be better to raise and train Americans for these jobs, and if not in our schools, then where?

I would have thought the some on the right would have jumped on this as an open door to Christian observance in class as fair and equal treatment. Confused, they are, I think.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 23, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #150636

For all those who do not want “religion” taught in our public schools you will have to fight hard to win the battle. Humanism is taught daily in nearly every public school in America. Nobody protests that. Only if GOD is mentioned, then chicken little syndrome steps in to raise the fear that somebody might find a hope for themselves by believing in GOD. For a couple of centuries it did not hurt anybodys psyche to learn about GOD or of those that relied upon GOD for their daily existence. All of a sudden we have become so knowledgeable and wise that we don’t need GOD.
It reminds me of a joke.

The annual meeting of some scientists was taking place and they came to a conclusion that they did not need GOD anymore, because they were healing people and cloning and all kind of things that were really cool. They appointed a representative to talk to GOD and let him know that they did not need Him anymore. The representative went to GOD and informed him that the scientists did not need Him anymore and He could just get on down the road. GOD acknowledged their request. But, He told the representative that before he left that they should have a man making contest. The representative agreed and reached down for some dust of the earth to form his man. GOD stopped him and told him, “No No you have to get your own dirt”.

That is exactly what people of many shades want to do today and that is leave GOD out of my life and then wonder why they cannot solve even the most simple problem, crisis or situation.

How can anybody deny the GOD that created this earth where the oil is that is the main basis for tennis shoes, floor tiles, much of the building materials within the school building? How can anybody deny the GOD that created the man or woman that is teaching the class or administrating the school system?
How can anybody deny the GOD our forefathers relied upon for wisdom in drafting our constitution?
Learning about GOD and who He is is a vital part of living.
As far as separation of church and state, how many time does it bear repeating that the separation clause does not appear in the constitution and is simply bogus. There is not a separation of church and state as a constitutional principle. It is only a figment of some people’s immagination.
For a closer this time, prayer was never taken out of public school. Most seniors have to pass final exams.

Posted by: tomh at May 23, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #150637

David
Try as I might, I can’t find the words “separation of church and state” in the constitution. I do read “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. This was written into the constitution to put aside the fears of those who came to America to worship and exercise religious freedom, as opposed to being forced to attend the state mandated church of england, or lose rights of citizenship,freedom or worse. Atheist claims of prayer in school “mandating a religion” are absurd! Praying as you wish, to the god of your choice in silence, or not praying if you so desire is the best example of freedom. No one in todays society would punish a child for not praying, (and don’t give me the argument of feeling pressured, remember the old sticks and stones? The separation of church and state is a construct of our friends Marx/Lenin, you know, the old religion is the opiate of the masses guys. But for a subtle reference to your point of view by Jefferson in a few documents, the overwhelming documentary evidence shows the founding fathers recognized religious freedom as one of the best means of insuring the continued exsistence of this marvelous experiment of freedom. By restricting prayer you restrict individual freedom. Do you really read the constitution that way?

Posted by: JR at May 23, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #150639
Did I miss something? Or, didn’t our government from Bush down through the intelligence agencies state emphatically that the U.S. needs intelligence officers now, and for decades to come, which have an understanding of Islamic and Middle Eastern nations? I suppose we could just hire al-Queda, but wouldn’t it be better to raise and train Americans for these jobs, and if not in our schools, then where?

Alright that was pretty clever.

I would have thought the some on the right would have jumped on this as an open door to Christian observance in class as fair and equal treatment. Confused, they are, I think.

Right right, hey public schools, you let Ala in under the guise of “multiculteral studies” so how about letting JC back in? No? Liberals fought how long to get rid of Him? Oh, ok, just thought I’d ask.

Posted by: Craig at May 23, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #150644

Craig, observance out. Education in. As in: practicing religion in school, out, teaching about religions in school, in. This is what all the liberals I know have been working for, including the ACLU.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 23, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #150648

David Remer,

That line of reasoning—because there have been calls for intelligence officers with an understanding of the Middle East we should be training our kids accordingly—could also lead to the conclusion that kids should be trained to handle sophisticated weaponry.

As for the equal treatment idea, I don’t support prayer in school, and I’m especially against selective prayer that would appeal to a minority rather than a majority of students. College is an altogether different story, as students can elect to participate in a class that focuses on a specific religion.

Though a slightly different topic, I do believe that the Pledge of Allegiance should be mandatory, especially in public schools. As a kid, I pledged in school everyday and I think that I’m a better person for it.

phx8,

Judicial activism is a very relevant topic today. In fact, I’ve heard democrats complain about it on a fairly consistent basis since President Bush’s Supreme Court nominations.

Offended readers,

This post is not designed to be offensive. My remark that liberal democrats in CA are socialists by any other standard is true. Why do you think CA has the reputation it does in the larger American community. Regardless, don’t be so sensitive, everyone. If we can’t break a few balls along the way than we won’t have much fun in the process. Go ahead, call me a right-wing fanatic; it doesn’t bother me. In the end, we can remain friends.

Personally, I love liberals. If I didn’t, I would have no family to speak of.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 6:55 PM
Comment #150654

tomh:

You say: For a couple of centuries it did not hurt anybodys psyche to learn about GOD…

Are you so sure? Imagine being a Jew in a public school in, oh, let’s say 1950, in a town where 99% of the people are devout Christians. At that time I’m sure there was a lot of God and Jesus allowed in schools at that time. How do you think that Jewish kid would feel growing up in that environment? Probably pretty outcast and ostracized.

Now imaging it’s the year 2016 and through some very hard work by Muslim missionaries, 75% of Americans have voluntarily converted to Islam. Also, between now and then our government has wisely listened to you and decided we should teach about God in schools because “Learning about GOD and who He is is a vital part of living” and that whole separation thing is a bunch of bull.

So, now you send your kid to school and they are teaching about God…well, actually they are teaching about Allah now, since that’s the majority point of view. And now your kid comes home from school looking at you like you’re some kind of kook for beleiving this whole “God” and “Jesus” thing, ‘cause that’s certainly not what they teach in school.

See, tomh, if you turn the tables you should see how, since religion is and should be a matter of faith and belief, we need to leave religion up to the individual and the family. If we allow God in schools, we’ll never agree on who’s version of God is right.

Posted by: Jeff at May 23, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #150655

JR-

Liberals, including the ACLU, support the rights of individuals to pray wherever and whenever they want. Just don’t expect anyone else to. However, “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, reads to me as “congress shall not acknowledge religion”.

tomh-

Humanism is a philosophy, not a religion. I think if you study the subject from a secular point of view, you’ll realize that Humanism is the basis for all major religions. Perhaps this is the common ground needed to reach an acceptable compromise?

No one is trying to take “GOD” (guaranteed overnight delivery?) or God, as it may be, out of your life. I just don’t want it in mine, and you have no right to put it there. Or maybe I want to worship a different god, or many gods, maybe I want to change which god I worship everyday. It’s my choice, no one else’s, and by inserting religion into anything that is federally mandated you endorse that religion. Is your faith so weak that you need to have it re-inforced by the government, or are you just scared that others may not buy into your school of thought unless it is the only thing they are presented?

Posted by: David S at May 23, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #150658

tomh,

“That is exactly what people of many shades want to do today and that is leave GOD out of my life and then wonder why they cannot solve even the most simple problem, crisis or situation.”

How is it that anyone is denying the you the ability to have God in your life?

“How can anybody deny the GOD that created this earth where the oil is that is the main basis for tennis shoes, floor tiles, much of the building materials within the school building? How can anybody deny the GOD that created the man or woman that is teaching the class or administrating the school system?”

How can anybody PROVE that God did indeed create all of this you speak of, without using FAITH as the criteria?

Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #150663

Jeff

What you don’t understand is that tomh and others live in 1950s TV land where everyone is white and Protestant, so there’s no problem shoving white, Protestant ideals down everyones throat. So you just take your atheistic ideas right on out of here, because Ward, June, Wally, and the Beav are going to have a little prayer time now.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at May 23, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #150676

Dr. Politico-
1) I am a Democrat and a Liberal.
2) I am a Roman Catholic.
3) I support the Separations of Church and State.

Without the 3rd, I might not have become the 2nd. I have always been a stubbornly independent-minded person. I didn’t become a Christian of any real kind until I learned for myself at a liberal arts university what exactly the theology was.

I think we should teach kids about different religions in social studies class, and get into the the details like they did. There’s no harm in those children reciting those words one time. I’d have issues if they made a regular habit of it, or tried to get kids deep into the theology without dealing with the criticisms. I would also wish to see other religions dealt with, as well.

I wasn’t deprived of information about Buddhism, Islam, or other forms of Christianity while I made my choice. In fact, I went to Baylor University, a Baptist college, so I got a pretty good glimpse at Evangelical Christianity.

As a matter of fact, it helped me to get past many of my prejudices about Devout Christians in general.

If I had been forced to Christianity, I would not have developed any real faith, most likely, at least not in the time and manner that those imposing it on me would prefer. As it is, though, I was allowed to work through my issues with the religion, and so I became a convert.

Here, people are trying to act like teaching about Islam and reciting its prayers as a matter of learning about the culture, in what is likely a one time class or set of classes is equivalent to an state indoctrination into a religion. Also, they treat the relaxed attitude of most schools towards the sciences, social studies, and the subjects of art and literature as if they themselves represent a religion.

It seems to me that some just want the world to hand them the advantages solely. They want officially led school prayer, a curriculum that offers a hagiography of America and its history, and science that conforms to their views, rather than the current academic consensus.

But this is America, and in America, you compete, you don’t dominate. That’s the point of the Separation of Church and State. Christianity does not need the support of Caesar to succeed in gaining converts and turning people towards good. If you need evidence of that, look at how many people go to church regularly here, with our secular government, and look how many do the same in Europe, where many of the nations have established religions, or did in their recent history.

I do no think its a coincidence that here where politics and religion could not consummate their relationship, religion flourished, and that where it did intermingle, religion withered. There’s a price to be paid for such entanglement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 23, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #150677

Dr Politico, I was raised pledging allegiance to the flag too! It made me neither a better nor worse person. I never accepted pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth. I saw what that does to people in WW II.

I have always tried to carry an allegiance to the principles and ideals of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, as well as to my faith. But, I cannot and will not pledge allegiance to any nation, this one or any other that turns its back on the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

The flag is a symbol, get ‘em 10 for a dollar at a party favor store. I will never owe allegiance to a piece of cloth. Symbols have ways of changing when no one is looking. Our nation is only as great as its actions, of, by, and for its people, and how it conducts itself in the human affairs of other nations. If our nation’s people turn their back on the principles of our founding documents, which we are doing today, I reserve the right to turn my back on that nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 23, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #150691
This case came from a history class in 2001. … This is a slightly ridiculous topic, and very dated.

I just thought that was worth repeating. It’s pretty pahetic when overzealous right-wingers have to reach back into ancient history to keep their “culture war” going.

The simple fact is, no one is stopping you from saying a prayer at school, and no one is forcing another religion down your throat. Get over it.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #150695

AP,

Before you go calling people pathetic, make sure you have your facts straight (don’t rely on other posts).

The case was filed in 2002. The decision was issued in November 2005.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #150696

BTW,

judicial activism may escape may not be on your radar, but other democrats may disagree with you since Bush’s Supreme Court nomiations.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #150702

Dr Politico:

I am not that concerned with the Supreme Court. Nearly all Justices went to the Left or Center after being given the job by RightWinger.

I expect these new Justices to do the same.

Posted by: Aldous at May 23, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #150703

I am just curious what the reaction would be if a school district in Boston would have it’s students live as Southern Baptists for two weeks. Any thoughts?

Posted by: submariner at May 23, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #150715

The thing that most people project in their writings is the establishment clause of the first amendment, which is to say the government cannot establish any state religion. That is fine. But it does not stop there. It also says that there shall be no prohibiting the free exercise thereof. That is the part that twists too many peoples shorts. The argument that people are required to practice any religious exercise particularly in a public school is a bogus argument. Kids that don’t want to participate in any exercise where there is a spiritual application just sit there and wait for the time to pass. That is a typical child or teenager. If mandatory attendance to a school function is necessary, it is usually so that kids aren’t running around the school grounds while an assembly is in progress or similar situation.

To me the bottom line is that with all the idiocy of establishment of a religion is going on, the free exercise of ones choice is being negated. And that is shameful as well as unconstitutional.

Posted by: tomh at May 23, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #150720

When I went to school in Tennessee in the 50’s there was prayer in school. It was just before lunch when the class would stand up and repeat:
God is Great God is Good and we thank Him for the food. Deep theological stuff there.

After 1963 when Madlyn Murray O’Haire prevailed in the supreme court I never missed prayer in school.

Futher the church I attend didn’t quite agree with the Protestant majority…Baptist…who ran the devotionals in school. We, for innstance, do not celebrate Easter since every Sunday is an observance of Christ’s ressurection. Nor christmas since there is no proof He was born on Christmas.

Our sixth grade teacher, during the Kennedy/Nixon election year told the class that it made sense
to have a Protestant president since wer were all Protestant..Well I consider myself just a Christain. A girl in that sixth grade class who I had a crush on was Catholic. I felt bad for her when the teacher said that.

All I learned about religion as I understand the Bible I learned at home and at Sunday School.

As for the pledge. Mr. Remer is right. The flag is only cloth.

Posted by: bigkenzombie at May 23, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #150731

tomh:

This entire thread is about a HISTORY lesson being taught in HISTORY class.

The question is simple:

Do you think knowing something about Islam would help understanding Arab History? Kinda hard to explain the Crusades without religion, eh?

Posted by: Aldous at May 23, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #150733

I think this country was based on majority rule, and then we let one or two minority athiests screw up everything. If they don`t want to pray in schools then don`t, sit down and shut up while the others that do pray. No one is trying to convert anyone, but we shouldn`t have to give up are god if its agreed upon by the majority. Why should the rights of one, rule the over the rights of many. But if you haven`t noticed we have been screwed by the rights of one for years by the extreme left. They say its in the name of PC and not to offend anyone, but I have been offended most of my life and no one cared, because I was with the majority. I say if your PC or offended by me or my god, then sit down and shut up, while its my turn to do my thing, I have sat down and shut up all my life, while you did your thing. Trying to kill off my god with your no god, and trying to shut me up with my majority way of thinking. If we all have freedom of speech then why is it that the minority and the left are the only ones with freedom of speech. If the right chooses to use this freedom of speech, there`s always a left wing group ready to protest our freedom of speech. Now watch how many say I`m a heartless conservative and protest my freedom of speech. I`m not, I`m down the middle. If life was fair, that would be nice. But its not and never will be. So lets try to make things a little more fair and less of, my idea is the only idea. Now play nice and God Bless.

Posted by: John at May 23, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #150744

John:

Because if you had ever studied History, you would know that its always the Majority the massacres the Minority.

The problem with religion, again if you studied your History, is that it is the most commonly used justification for the oppression of a Minority.

Religion justified Slavery, the persecution of Jews, the persecution of the Irish, the Puritans, etc.

The Founding Fathers knew this which is why there is a Separation of Church and State.

Posted by: Aldous at May 24, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #150748

ive noticed,that every day in the House of Reprensitives,A Chaplain says a prayer, before the start of business.. Any comments.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 24, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #150749

Rodney Brown:

Yeah. Did the Chaplain mention any specific Diety when he prayed or is it the basic generic version?

Posted by: Aldous at May 24, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #150750

So it’s OK for kids to pray to Allah, but not to God. I reckon next the 9th circus will make it mandatory that kids pray to anyone but God.
While I would be surprised to see some Liberals defending the decision, I’m glad to see from scanning through the comments that most here seem to be condemning it. At least y’all are be consistent.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 24, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #150752

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Posted by: womanmarine at May 24, 2006 12:37 AM
Comment #150754

Back to ancient history again, eh Aldous?

Posted by: scolex at May 24, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #150756

Aldous, thank you for the comment, i am trying to get a definition of what constitutes a religion. strictly, from a bystanders point of view.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 24, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #150757

Is Jack on vacation? Where’s the real conservative writers at? I even find myself missing E.Simonson these days! Geeze, politico, you posted practically the same thing just the other day. How about something worth reading next time?

Posted by: beijing rob at May 24, 2006 12:58 AM
Comment #150761
I think this country was based on majority rule, and then we let one or two minority athiests screw up everything.

John,

You thought wrong. This country was definitely not based on majority rule. If this country had been set up as majority rule, then we would simply hold a public vote on everything and the majority opinion would be carried. However, the founding fathers set up a Constitutional Representative republic instead. The Constitution has served to protect the minority from the majority. Majority rule does not equal freedom, it equals tyranny.

Liberals are trying to protect freedom of speech and religion by not allowing an authority figure or the majority from imposing their belief system on others. True freedom can only come when individuals decide for themselves what is best for them. Involuntarily holding someone and Requiring them to be subject to your belief system or your rituals does not equate with freedom.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at May 24, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #150768

JayJay, good point, but turn it in the direction of the ninth circuit. I think that this is part of John’s point. You could not possibly believe that the founding fathers had the ninth circuit in mind, could you?

Posted by: scolex at May 24, 2006 1:35 AM
Comment #150769
The case was filed in 2002. The decision was issued in November 2005.

How does that change the fact that you can say a prayer in school and no one is trying to shove someone elses religion down your throat? Get over it. This is a non-issue.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #150779

“How does that change the fact that you can say a prayer in school and no one is trying to shove someone elses religion down your throat? Get over it. This is a non-issue.”

You’re right AP. Though, if I were you, I would handle one argument at a time, instead of taking single lines out of my responses to make hollow points (including my responses to your posts).

Of course, I’m sure you’ll find a way turn this response into what you see as the quintessential example of how right-wingers dodge the issues and blame the left in the meantime.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen your last ten posts, and all of them, in accordance to party lines, point to the inadequacies of the republicans. Perhaps you would be less arrogant in your responses to my posts if you would finally realize that the democrats are equally dissapointing.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 24, 2006 2:08 AM
Comment #150787

The problem with the arguments about the ACLU etc being fair is that thier actions show they often are not. I guarantee that if it was children being told to recite the Nicean Creed as part of “Catholic Week” or taken to a river to get saved for “Baptist Week” the ACLU would scream bloody murder. If any reference to Christianity is banned, then any reference to any God, gods, or other diety should be banned as well.

The Constitution says that the state cannot impose an official religion, but it cannot restrict the free exercise of religion either. If we as Christains want to put up a nativity during Christmas on public property, it should be our right. However, we also need to respect the rights of others, which means if the local Jewish communitiy wants to put up a Menorah, they must be allowed as well. If the local Church of Satan wants to put up whatever display they might use for whatever holidays they celebrate, they must be allowed to do this as well.

Both sides are aggravating as they try to have thier cake and eat it too. All religions should be respected. We as Christians should respect all others as God’s children. At the same time, we should not be completely run out of public life as well. The Founders would probably be stunned to see the diversity of belief now in America. But I imagine they would be horrified to see the core beliefs our nation was foounded on to be treated as a dead letter by both sides.

Posted by: 1LT B at May 24, 2006 2:55 AM
Comment #150793

JJ said:
You thought wrong. This country was definitely not based on majority rule. If this country had been set up as majority rule, then we would simply hold a public vote on everything and the majority opinion would be carried.

So what your saying is that we don`t get to vote and elect people that share our beliefs, and that we don`t go to the poles and vote on props, like school taxes, gay marriage, gambling in states. Thats not a public vote, and the majority doesn`t win, right.

JJ said:
However, the founding fathers set up a Constitutional Representative republic instead.

So what your saying is the founding fathers set up a election system were the public could vote an elect people with the same beliefs and ideals by majority support.

JJ said:
The Constitution has served to protect the minority from the majority.

So what your saying is the Constitution was constructed to protect the minority from the majority. As if the founding fathers would have ever had, an anything goes policy as long as the majority doesn`t agree with it.

JJ said:
Majority rule does not equal freedom, it equals tyranny.

JJ your right majority doesn`t equal freedom, that would mean that one athiest couldn`t screw up everything for everyone. You know what equals tyranny? Extreme left wing elected officials adding there own beliefs and ideals with ammendments to the contitution to push there agenda on the rest of the people with there little tack on ammendments to a really needed bill. thats tyranny. Not that the right doesn`t do it. Its wrong no matter who does it.

JJ said:
Liberals are trying to protect freedom of speech and religion by not allowing an authority figure or the majority from imposing their belief system on others.

So what your saying is that liberals are protecting us by taking away our religion and not letting our (elected by the majority) authority figures uphold are beliefs.

JJ said:
True freedom can only come when individuals decide for themselves what is best for them.

So what your saying is True freedom comes from anarchy.

JJ said:
Involuntarily holding someone and Requiring them to be subject to your belief system or your rituals does not equate with freedom.

So what your saying is that the one athiest should be aloud to push his or her belivefs on the majority but you can`t do it to the minority. So we all get together and elect a spokesperson for our ideas. (You agree the one with the most votes wins). But one person from the minority comes along and we all have to make one happy and the majority that won takes a back seat again.

Seems to me that the left wants to protect us by imposing there beliefs on the rest of us and taking away are freedoms and rights of the majority and give them to the minority. Thats all the other people who are not on the left.

I say whos gonna protect us from the left

I get what your telling me JJ.

I really don`t agree though. I think the majority rules, only gets to happen when the dems win.

Posted by: John at May 24, 2006 3:17 AM
Comment #150794

Funny nobody answered my question:

Would knowing something about Islam help a HISTORY Class understand Middle East History?

This is the cusp of the issue. Dr Politico’s concerns are irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Posted by: Aldous at May 24, 2006 3:47 AM
Comment #150801

Aldous,

Learning about Islam would help a history class understand the history of the region. So would a study of Judaism, the Hellenic religion, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. However, there’s a big difference between learning about the tenents of Islam and being forced to recite Allahu Akbar under teacher coersion, which I think was the original point. Beyond this, the draconian suppression of anything related to Christianity’s place in world and Western history (except of course to point out when its been used as an excuse to commit genocide) is a double standard that is ridiculous. I believe more and more that the agenda of the left is to attempt to write any positive reference to Christianity out of Western history as part of a broader agenda to replace it with a socialist secular-humanist society. Its the same with race. When Europeans conquer, its wrong. When other races do the same thing, we’re encouraged to judge them by the circumstances. Its transparent brainwashing to anyone who bothers to investigate it.

Posted by: 1LT B at May 24, 2006 6:21 AM
Comment #150813
Perhaps you would be less arrogant in your responses to my posts if you would finally realize that the democrats are equally dissapointing.

Nope.

And there’s no equality about it. Republicans are far more disappointing than Democrats. I’m disappointed in their lack of fiscal responsibility, their lack of Christian values, and their incompetence in waging war, responding to national disasters, and protecting America.

Oh, and I’m disappointed in their institutionalized culture of corruption, as well. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi actively called for an investigation of Jefferson, but the world is still waiting for Hastert or Boehner to call for a House Ethics Committee investigation of Tom DeLay.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 7:53 AM
Comment #150818

John-
The whole anti-PC thing strikes me as just making another mistake to react against somebody else’s mistake. The problem with PC is that nobody can keep from being misinterpreted or being offensive 100% of the time. It’s not right to punish people for saying bad things about others that might be true. However, there’s a difference between opposing the illogical act of leaving Arabs alone in terms of screening for terrorism or something like that, and committing the opposite error of singling them out as a matter of racial profiling.

The problem with Anti-PC, is you’re using somebody’s intellectual mistakes to justify archaic prejudices and points of view that would otherwise be difficult to support in our times. It’s a free pass on being a small-minded bigot, and that’s no better to me than being the language police with a rod up your butt.

Nobody told me I could share my views and not have to face criticism. Nobody told me that when I became a Catholic and a Christian, that I wouldn’t be singled out for that by prejudiced folks. There are some who would tell me I’m not really Christian, others who would jump to conclusions that every priest is a child-molestor or sexual hypocrite. Celibacy, in this day and age, is treated like a form of insanity.

But you know what? I expect that, and as a Christian, I’m told to expect that. Whichever direction you slant, you should not expect a free pass on disagreements. You should especially not expect to be a Christian and not get challenged for those beliefs.

I think you’re mad over nothing. I’d wish you’d wake up and realize that just because you can’t get your way, you don’t have the power to make every decision, doesn’t mean you don’t have the power to decide things for yourself.

On the subject of majority rules, a majority of people can support a law that bans gay marriage, but that law has to answer to a higher law, which might included the fourteenth amendment and the tenth. Here, the majority would have to ask whether the federal government had the right to tell the states what to do on this matter, or to single out gays from everybody else to ban from marriage.

They set up a system of elections, but they limited what those people could do. One of the things was freedom of speech. The majority could not conspire to deprive a minority of the freedom to express themselves. They could not force a religion on them, or cause a religion to be favored, supported or made official by them. The majority may decide what becomes law, but only with thorough agreement and much trouble can it redefine what can become law, and what is unconstitutional.

The problem is, you’re focused on defending against people’s agendas that you’re neglect that much of what’s being called judicial activism is the opposite. The problem is, you’ve got legislators who aren’t writing laws according to the constutition. It wasn’t a left wing court that struck down those laws, it was a Center right court.

I think you’re too focused on getting your way to enjoy the actual freedoms you have. We keep the schools clear of officially impose religion, because nobody has any business telling our kids what religion to follow in our stead. This thing in California was about educating kids. They weren’t told to mean what they said, they weren’t told they’d have to say this from now on before they got into school.

You’re asking who’s going to protect you from the left? I ask: Do you really need protection? You’ve already got it. Enjoy your first amendment rights.

Ron Brown-
Tell me something: what do you gain from name calling, regarding the 9th Circuit? Do people who call Bush names gain credibility, or do they seem like people who can’t moderate their emotions well enough to respect others? I think politics by name-calling is undignified.

Another question: Is it a bad thing that the 9th circuit fits its locale’s politics? I thought that was the point of federalizing the courts, letting locals have their decision. If the Supreme Court thinks they screwed up, they can knock the decision down, and the circuit court has to respect that.

Dr. Politico-
The real question is, does having a short class educating students about the tenets of Islam, which includes the recitation of a few example prayers equal a daily policy of school prayer?

Also, are you aware that the courts and the executive branch under Clinton maintained that school prayer was permitted when it was student initiated, non-disruptive, and not lead or organized by a school official?

1LT B-
They’re not taking the children on a pilgrimage to Mecca, or taken to a mosque and force to pray there. It’s also important whether the school official proselytizes or requires additional follow up (like going back for a few weeks). Just because some guy has me read the content of a prayer off a blackboard and discuss it, doesn’t mean he’s just made a Muslim out of me. Neither does recitation of the Nicean Creed make a person a Catholic, as long as that’s done in a setting where the students are allowed to discuss what the parts of the creed mean. Teaching about a religion by examples is not the same thing as forcing a religion on them.

The trouble with the way you’re approaching all this is that you’re taking any bit of education of a philosophy other than straight Christian religion as somehow radioactive, infecting people insidiously at first exposure. The truth is people are a heck of a lot more robust in their beliefs than you give them credit for. One class about Islam will not have our children praying five times a day to Mecca. If I write:

There is no God but God;
And Mohammed is his prophet.

Does that mean I’m no longer a Catholic? Does that make me a Muslim? No. I’m simply relating a piece of material for the sake of talking about it. Words are not magic spells like that. There has to be more behind it than that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #150822

1LT B:

FYI… for all you know, they were planning to teach Judaism, the Hellenic religion, Christianity and Zoroastrianism the week after.

Posted by: Aldous at May 24, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #150825

Stephen,

As always, well said.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 24, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #150828

At my step daughter’s awards banquet last night the Principal asked the Head Coach to say grace before we ate. He responded with a Christian based prayer. Sound like a Constitutional crisis?

Posted by: George in SC at May 24, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #150831

Dr. Politico,

Let’s say the Supreme Court passes a law to have organized religion taught in the class room. Let’s say the official religion to be taught is Christianity. Perfect world, perfect world right?
Who teaches it? What do they teach?
Do they teach that on 9/11 god punished the U.S. for gay tolerence?
Do you want your daughter taught that she is to be the servent of men?
Do you want them taught that other religions are not to be respected and are lies or condemns those who choose not to share in your beliefs to burn in hell?
Religion is personal. It is private and should remain so.
If you are so worried that little freckle-faced Christian children are being converted to Islam, you did not read the case correctly. If you think that there are not court rooms all across this nation that are biased or practice judicial activism you don’t get out much.
Do you think a person of color is fighting an up hill battle in a Alabama court regardless of the charges? Hell yeah
Do you think a company accused of polluting a river is going to get any consideration by the courts in Vermont?
Tom Delay getting convicted in Texas?
These are all forms of judicial activism.
Can you see same sex marriage even coming to the table in a Mississipi court room?
Hell no!
Why not post about tolerance? Why not post about all the great things Christianity(real Christianity) is about?
Imagine if Falwell(Christian leader who claims to speak with God) or Pat Robertson(Christian leader who claims to speak with God)were teaching this class?
“God’s pattern is for men to be the leaders, both in the church and in the family… “Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them.”
Pat Robertson, reciting a passage from I Timothy in his book, Bring It On, quoted from Nicholas D. Kristof, “Peter, Paul, Mary … and God” (The New York Times: February 28, 2004) ††

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
Pat Robertson, fundraising letter, 1992

“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”
Jerry Falwell 2003

“And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, “You helped this happen.”
Rev. Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F. Harris, “God Gave U.S. ‘What We Deserve,’ Falwell Says,” The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)
Yikes!


Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 24, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #150838

just a few things here.
1. If you had taken the history class you’d realize that the Allah that the Koran talks about is the same God you(and the Jews by the way) are praying to. Learn a new thing today.
2. “Congress shall make no law…” is saying that no law should govern a man’s conscience - that’s it. It makes sure that I don’t have to start practicing whatever brand of christianity that GWB pretends to practice because he (or congress) says so.
3. All Liberals (especially me) do NOT want to become Muslim. I’m guessing you said that in the heat of the moment. Or perhaps you don’t grasp what liberalism means aside from “Doesn’t agree with conservative christians”.
4. my opinion only - That history class SHOULD have covered ALL major world religions to an equal degree unless the class was specifically about muslim countries or some such thing. Religion is the basis in some way or other for almost every war that has ever been. Taking a few weeks to understand the “biggies” won’t hurt anyone.

Posted by: kp at May 24, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #150844

kp-
Relating to number four, I think the point can be made that the history of religions should be taught without rolling out that line about religion being the cause of most wars.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s involved in a lot of them, but so are nonreligious things like greed, ethnic hatred, political differences, and self-defense. Any strong belief system can lead people to do terrible things in the belief that better things will come of it. That’s human nature, more than its religious nature.

If people go beyond a simplistic understanding of what motivates folks, I think we can come to understand that the problem isn’t that people are religious, the problem is that people are people, and religious devotion in a person doesn’t necessarily mean a righteously led life.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #150852

well said.

Posted by: kp at May 24, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #150853

kp
The God I pray to is not the God of Islamic beliefs. Read the Qouran.

JayJay
The Majority does rule in this country. They also rule with the protection of the Minority. If this is not so then why does it take a 5-4 decision of the Supreme Court to enforce the constitution?
Why does it take a majority of votes to enact legislation?
Why does it take a majority of votes to change the constitution?
Why does it take a majority of people voting for a proposal put before them for the proposition to pass?
The minority has a right to put before government institutions documents to get recourse or remuneration for their actions.
And finally, we are close to being a tyrannical government when activist judges enact law from the bench. When 80% if the people pass a document to change the constitution and a wacko judge says they are wrong, that is tyranny.
And just for clearing up something. Majority=the greatest part of a total sum. All others are equal to the lesser part of a total sum.

Posted by: tomh at May 24, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #150861

tomh-
You are well within your rights to claim that your form of worship does not claim the same God as the Muslims do. However, if we are speaking historically, the God of Islam is supposed to be the God of Abraham, and the religion is an outgrowth of that tradition. Jesus and Mary are included among the verses of the Qu’ran.

As for the translations, you have to be careful. First and foremost, no translation is considered the Qu’ran. It is considered an interpretation. Second, the view you get of Islam may vary with the translator in question. Dawood’s translation, for example, is seen by someas presenting Islam in an darker light than the original text merits.

Also, you should consider that as this is done to the Qu’ran, it can and is done to the bible. Both works are best interpreted as a whole, rather than being torn apart as grist for the mills of propaganda.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2006 11:41 AM
Comment #150869

What’s funny here is how the religious right goes out of its way to pretend how it is so oppressed. What’s the figure? Some 80% or so of the country self-identifies as christian? (Someone can get the exact number.)

At best, “Dr.” P. mischaracterizes the 9th Circuit case. Simply put, a short-term “role-playing” exercise in history class is not the same thing as forced participation in daily prayer. P.’s implication to the contrary is shameless equivocation.

Frankly, were it necessary to educate the poor oppressed christians in this country about their own core beliefs, we could set up an appropriate role-playing exercise. For instance, with regard to the birth of Jesus, I would be glad to play the role of the guy Mary slept with when Joseph wasn’t looking. Casper the friendly ghost can play Jesus between the ages of 12 and 30.

Posted by: Homer at May 24, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #150886

83% of Americans are Christians.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #150895

Dave s, the catholic group, the knights of columbus. first started the campaign on april 22, 1951, to have the words (Under God )added to the pledge. history says many resolutions went before congress. then in early 1954 president eisenhower heard a sermon by his reverend, mr.Docherty and the reverend Docherty said the pledge with the words (under god) added, and mr eisenhower was impressed. then congress passed the resolution in the spring of 1954, then president Eisenhower opted to sign the bill on Flag Day June 14, 1954. the Reverend Docherty grew up in Scotland, and became a u.s. Citizen in 1960.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 24, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #150914

Thanks, Rodney. I had always thought it was ‘52, but it being ‘54 doesn’t change my point. We made it through the first 178 years without “under God”, if it bothers people why not remove it?

I definitely understand people’s fears, that God is being stripped from everyday life and swept under the rug as if religion were something to be ashamed of. I wonder if Jesus were here today how many conservatives would chide Him as a “bleeding heart”? My religious upbringing and continued belief in Jesus is what guides most of my political beliefs: anti-war, anti-death penalty, pro-life, pro-social services. I believe that religion, and Christianity in particular, has been hijacked and is being used as a political tool.

Posted by: David S at May 24, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #150929

I will concede that sometimes majority does rule, but not always. The ultimate rule is the U.S. Constitution. Majority rule can come into play there if the extraordinary measures are taken to change it, but even then, the majority of Americans don’t always win. Consider that the U.S. Constitution as originally written forbade an income tax. An amendment was passed by the majority of lawmakers, but do a majority of Americans really want an income tax?

Even electing our leaders is not always majority rule. If it was then we would have had President Gore in 2000, as a majority of Americans voted for him. However, majority rule was overruled by the goofy electoral system and we wound up with President Dubya instead.

States can put amendments to the voters and get them passed by a majority of citizens, but the court will not uphold that majority rule if the law goes against the U.S. Constitution. That is why some are fighting hard for a Constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. If one of the majority rule state cases ever comes before the Supreme Court it will be struck down as unconstitutional.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at May 24, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #150963

JayJay
marriage is a state issue and not a federal issue. Therefore when a state passes an amendment to their state constitution by a very substantial margin, then the will of the people should be abided by. The United States Supreme Court has no business dealing with it. Whenever the people speak through the ballot box, it should be taken as a majority and minority voice speaking. Nothing else.
In the manner of presidential elections, the electoral college is the deciding factor. The electoral college gives equal footing to the states with a lesser population. If we went to a popular vote for president, then 80% of the states would never get any attention. That means that CA, TX, FL, NY, PA, IL, OH, and a couple of marginal states would dictate the outcome and the other 40+ states would have absolutely no voice.

Posted by: tomh at May 24, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #150986

tomh-

Marriage is a state issue, but no state can make any law that restricts civil rights. That is where the Supreme Court come in to play. States can pass any laws they want, as long as they comply with the US Constitution. A state could not, for example, ban firearms, even though it is the states responsibility to regulate firearm sales. Civil rights issues are not decided by majority rule. That is the entire purpose of the Bill of Rights. By your logic 1950’s Alabama was right in segragating their schools because it was the will of the majority. The clear purpose of those precious ten ammendments is to protect the minority against an over-reaching majority.

Posted by: David S at May 24, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #150988

Furthermore, One Voter = One Vote. No tipping the scales just because you choose to live in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by: David S at May 24, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #150999

tomh,

The states are bound by the U.S. Constitution just the same as the federal government. The states cannot make a law that goes against the U.S. Constitution even if it is the will of the Majority in that state. Marriage equality is the business of the SCOTUS as it is an issue of civil rights and equality under the law.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at May 24, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #151005

tomh-

Obviously, by bringing states’ rights to regulate marriage into this discussion, you are referring to the gay marriage issue. I’m pretty sure I’ve got you pegged properly as a Christian Conservative, so let me ask you: Why does gay marriage bother you so much? It strikes me as such a non-issue, I don’t understand why conservatives get so up in arms about it. Will it really affect your life that much if they call it marriage or domestic partnership? And if you’re concern is the sanctity of marriage in society, why not an ammendment against divorce? I’m not trying to get any specific response, I’ve just never heard a logical, fact-based argument against gay marriage that doesn’t include biblical references. Can ya help me out?

Posted by: David S at May 24, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #151024

The homosexual left has a fifteen year agenda to change morality beyond marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation of our society. The issue is not a civil rights issue. That is an insult to all Americans. Already there are arguments as to who gets custody in a marriage where the gender is the same for each adult. There is at work the from homosexual left that they will attack all churches that will not allow homosexuals in leadership capacity despite the teaching of the church. The ACLU is at work to fight the multi adult marriage. Canada has legalized it and the ACLU want to catch up to Canada. This will lead to the further immoral demands to have marriage be anything anybody wants and that is not the intention of marriage. I am not going to cite the references for the above. If they came from a conservative source, I would be labled as many things that have “right wing” connected to it. It I cited a source from the left then I would have misread it or put a spin to it. I have researched it thoroughly and the left and the right are in agreement to the above facts.

Posted by: tomh at May 24, 2006 6:23 PM
Comment #151025

tomh
I actually HAVE read the Koran(Q’ran, Quoran…) If you haven’t, you can go to gutenberg.com and download 3 side by side “translations” to help you. (for free! The Bible is there in several versions too)
You and I Tom live very much in our hearts I think. You are passionate about what you believe and I am passionate about what I believe. However, just like you can’t really help who you fall in love with, a passionate heart is not always the best decisionmaker. That’s why we have all the debating and voting and courts. Our founding fathers were not trying to get rid of God, they just wanted religion to be a private not a legislated matter. That kind of rational and well thought out method of doing things is what made this country great. It has nothing to do with “under God” being in the pledge of allegiance or prayer in schools and everything to do with the Constitution and the wisdom of those who wrote it.

Posted by: kp at May 24, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #151026
The homosexual left has a fifteen year agenda to change morality beyond marriage.

15 years? My handbook says 17 years. Did you get a different handbook? Or did you just make this up?

Marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation of our society.

That’s a fine opinion. David asked for a fact-based argument, though.

The issue is not a civil rights issue. That is an insult to all Americans.

Bullshit. That’s your counterspin for the fact that you don’t want other Americans to have the rights you have. Calling the other side an insult without justifying yourself isn’t a logical, fact-based argument.

You might find the issue insulting, but for people on the other side it really is about civil rights.

Already there are arguments as to who gets custody in a marriage where the gender is the same for each adult.

Why shouldn’t there be?

There is at work the from homosexual left that they will attack all churches that will not allow homosexuals in leadership capacity despite the teaching of the church.

Ummm… Really? In your horror fantasy or in mine?

The ACLU is at work to fight the multi adult marriage. Canada has legalized it and the ACLU want to catch up to Canada.

Actually, Edith Barlow, a mother of five in the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., was denied permanent residence and has been asked to leave the country after ten years in Canada.[Wikipedia] She’s being kicked out because Canadian law doesn’t recognize polygamy.

Facts are fascinating things.

This will lead to the further immoral demands to have marriage be anything anybody wants and that is not the intention of marriage.

Again, opinion.

I am not going to cite the references for the above. If they came from a conservative source, I would be labled as many things that have “right wing” connected to it. It I cited a source from the left then I would have misread it or put a spin to it. I have researched it thoroughly and the left and the right are in agreement to the above facts.

Since you are wrong on the facts, I’m not worried about your claims of having researched the issues or being worried about an ad hominem attack. I think you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

If you provided real sources, I’d read them. However, since the only thing I’ve found that supports your claim of legalization of Polygamy (not the issue at hand, anyway - nice diversion) are articles about people proposing that Canada should legalize it, you show nothing but confirmation of David’s point.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 24, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #151032

Thanks, LawnBoy.

tomh-

You constantly refer to morality. Morality is something that differs based on peoples’ belief systems, or religions as the case may be. Morality is best determined by individuals, not governments.

Laws are passed to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, and that no one person or group’s actions do unjust harm to another. Until you can posit some evidence that gay marriage would cause you or another any actual harm, or that it is somehow unfair, gay marriage should be legal. Your inability to make a sound argument on a topic that obviously means a lot to you shows just how untennable your position is.

Posted by: David S at May 24, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #151069

Dr Politico

a liberal democrat in California is a socialist by any other standards

Democrats are to socialism as Republicans are to National Socialism. Grow up and stop the name-calling.

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 24, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #151359

tomh, just a thought, about your post about the Electoral College, they way you Explain it,i think. would or could it give a smaller or minority state ,a tiny little more say in the Election?

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Posted by: christian34q at July 24, 2014 12:16 PM
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