Politics Celebritized

Is politics entering Clintonworld?

It is.

When it comes to Barack Obama, Peggy Noonan propounds:

What does he believe? What does he stand for? This is, after all, the central question. When it is pointed out that he has had almost--almost--two years in the U.S. Senate, and before that was an obscure state legislator in Illinois, his supporters compare him to Lincoln. But Lincoln had become a national voice on the great issue of the day, slavery. He rose with a reason. Sen. Obama's rise is not about a stand or an issue or a question; it is about Sen. Obama.

And John Fund notes the media attention of Barack Obama and Al Gore:

If Mr. Obama chooses to sit 2008 out, he won't be the first person to play the media like a fiddle, being coy about his intentions in order to boost his profile. Al Gore has followed his wife's advice to leave the door open for a 2008 presidential bid in part to fuel interest in his global-warming documentary and book.

Then there is the Supreme Court's craved media attention:

Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer recently debated their competing views of the Constitution. Breyer and retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have talked publicly and repeatedly about threats to judicial independence. Justice Samuel Alito proudly affirmed his membership in the conservative Federalist Society, speaking in a packed ballroom at its recent convention.

Perhaps most noteworthy, though, has been the media-friendly attitude adopted by new Chief Justice John Roberts, in contrast to his predecessor William Rehnquist. Roberts recently was featured on ABC News' Nightline discussing both his view of the court and his son Jack's Spiderman imitation at Roberts' introduction by President Bush.

I'm not even going to mention YouTube's position in altering the political scene.

This new American generation, for the most part, doesn't know poverty or starvation. Because times are good maybe we have stopped thinking about issues. Social security? We brush it off, 30 years is light years away. Immigration? As long as I can purchase cheap goods, forget about solutions. Prosperity in America continues to hit highs. The Dow just surged over 12,500 -- a record. I hate to use the words "decadent" and "complacent" to describe our societal attitude because they have lost meaning -- too overused among conservative commentators describing contemporary America. But, because times are good politics is losing what politics is about: governing. So we have someone like Obama thrusts to the fore. Politicians after all are a representative of the people and Britney Spears lifestyle and Rosie O'Donnell vs. Donald Trump do enchant us.

Politicians rising without platforms are set to increase. A great smile, good looks, awesome communication skills (no matter how empty the rhetoric) -- the only requirements. The 109th Congress -- '04-'06 -- was labeled a "do-nothing Congress." "It failed to enact a host of once top-priority legislation on issues such as overhauling Social Security, immigration and lobbying laws. None of those is expected to be resolved in Congress' brief lame-duck session after the elections."

This is now 2007: a year more media saturated than ever. Fertile soil for a Clintonworld.

Posted by Mike Tate at January 1, 2007 1:52 PM
Comments
Comment #201102


Politicians rising without platforms are set to increase.

Posted by Mike Tate


Hum…maybe you’ve been watching to much TV.
Obama’s platform is right here;

http://obama.senate.gov/issues/

In terms of what he’s done so far? More then all the republican Senators put together in this one action.

Bloggers help Obama pass Senate pork bill
Saturday, September 9, 2006


By William Neikirk - Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON — Teamed with Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, Sen. Barack Obama has scored the biggest legislative victory of his Senate career on a bill to establish federal searchable databases of all government contracts, loans, grants and special-interest spending commonly known as pork.

Coburn of Oklahoma and Obama (D-Ill.) overcame the secret opposition of two powerful Senate veterans, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), partly because Internet bloggers on the left and right tracked down and disclosed that first Stevens and then Byrd had stealthily put holds on the bill.


If you’re looking to find empty shells of politicians look to all those we’ve just kicked out…not the new ones pushing new ideas.

Posted by: muirgeo at January 1, 2007 3:19 PM
Comment #201115

Mr. Tate
I was going to point out a bit more politely perhaps that Obamas positions are out there for all to look at if they chose.
I must say also that I do appreciate a really good orator for a change. Of course oratory does not necessarily mean good policy but it is no mistake that some of our best presidents were also our best orators. Lincoln in particular changed the whole signifcance of the Civil War from a regional conflict to a moral imperative with a few sentences in the Gettysburg Adress. Other examples include the Rosevelt Presidents,JFK in Berlin. They had the ability to galvanized us for action. I hope his entry into the scene will raise the level of discourse.

Posted by: BillS at January 1, 2007 5:28 PM
Comment #201118
Politicians after all are a representative of the people and Britney Spears lifestyle and Rosie O’Donnell vs. Donald Trump do enchant us.

Um, speak for yourself.

Posted by: Trent at January 1, 2007 5:54 PM
Comment #201124

“This new American generation doesn’t know poverty or starvation”.

If they put the repubs back in power in ‘08 and continue down the road taken over the last six years, believe me, young people will, in short order, get to know what poverty means. We are well on our way.
Why don’t the people who post on this board explain the last six years, explain their two votes for the “W”, and explain why in the world we should ever trust republican conservatives with power again? Mike, Jack, Ben, Eric, “Sicilian Eagle”, justify your votes for w and the repubs!
Start out your explaination with the words: “I voted for w in 2000, 2004 and if he could run again I would vote for him again because . . . .”
Is that a sentence that you could finish with a straight face???

Posted by: Charles Ross at January 1, 2007 6:10 PM
Comment #201125

Charles Ross

I was not in your list, but I will respond.

Neither Al Gore nor John Kerry hold family values. Their values are materialistic. They are power hungry. I voted for Bush because he represented more of the values that I consider dear. He did not meet all the standards that I have, but on my checklist he had more checkmarks.

Posted by: tomh at January 1, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #201128

Charles Ross
Its going to be hard to find a viable candidate for president in 2008.First who would want the job now with the lack of respect for the office that has eroded past 15 years? Who has past experience dealing with the following, terrorist attacks on american soil, fighting terrorism globaly without much aid from allies..Korea,Iran and Syria all American haters.Clinton and Bush have had to deal with something that no other president had to face before. So looking forward Charles which of your candidates has the experience to handle all this plus domestic problems?

Posted by: dolan at January 1, 2007 8:20 PM
Comment #201129

I voted for G. W. Bush and I would vote for him again because:

He lowered taxes on all Americans as one of his first priorities in office taking us out of an inherited recession from the previous Administration.

He faced the challenge of pursuing corporate cheats, even though some were acquaintances, who were later convicted “without pardon”. We now have fewer problems with corporate fraud.

Ashcroft’s Justice Department was instructed to go after Jack Abramoff even though they knew he had ties to Republicans as well as Democrats, and that it would hurt Republicans more since they were the majority Party.

He immediately faced the catastrophic attack of 9/11 and responded with grace and dignity. He found out the perpetrators and pursued them rather than sit on his hands as the previous Administration had done on at least three previous occasions.

He cooperated with the 9/11 Commission investigating prior knowledge and welcomed their suggestions, implementing all but one. At the same time, a member of the previous Clinton Administration was convicted for stealing documents related to their responses to prior terror attacks alledgedly hiding them under a trailer so that they were unavailable to the 9/11 Commission.

He defeated an enemy that the former Soviet Union could not defeat, giving birth to a new Democratic government in Afghanistan.

He chose to act to remove Saddam Hussein from power who was the most destabilizing force in the Middle East at the time. He is establishing a new Democratic government in that country as well; attempting to make peace with a people who regarded us as the enemy by protecting them from vicious insurgents and extremists within their country. Though this desire to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people has been difficult, it has not been helped by Democrats who have likened our own military to Hitler’s Nazis.

He has faced profound natural disasters in nearly every year of his Presidency, except for the last hurricane season, yet, our markets continue to set records of over 12,500, and our economy has shown incredible resiliency.

His Administration’s unemployment rate is at 4.4%

His Administration’s overall unemployment rate is lower than the previous Administration’s at 5.29%.

His Administration’s average hourly wage is higher than the previous Administration’s.

He believes in a faith-based program for social solutions rather than government bureaucracy.

I could go on, but, my fingers are getting tired!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 1, 2007 8:33 PM
Comment #201131

tomh
Al Gore does not hold family values? FYI
I do not share this often but in Gores 2000 run for president I was working for the Dems as a volunteer in my region. Every weekend there was an elderly couple that would come in to walk pricincts for Gore rain or shine. It was hard on them but they shoed anyway. Finally someone asked them why they were so motivated. Their story was this. Their son had been horribly wounded in a military helocopter crash. This was before we were at war,remember,and there were not so many causulities. He was doomed to live out his days in a VA hospital. They did not go into the details. It was too painful for them. Al and Tipper Gore met with them at a military base. The Gores grieved with them and prayed with them for about an hour. Gore gave them his direct phone number in case they had ant difficulties with the VA. He did this as VP.There was no press,no public announcement. They were so moved by the Gores compassion that the couple wanted to help him get elected as a thank you. You may disagree with Gore on policy but do not belittle his values. You will be wrong.

Posted by: BillS at January 1, 2007 8:40 PM
Comment #201133

JD
Please clarify what you are talking about concerning conviction and allegations of hiding documents from the 9/11 commission. With sources please.

Posted by: BillS at January 1, 2007 8:50 PM
Comment #201135

BillS,

Berger Hid Classified Documents, by Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer- AP Story

Sandy Berger Probed over Terror Memos
Fox News.com July 20, 2004

This story received almost no air time from the MSM, but should have been a big issue. That is why we conservatives are leary of the MSM!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 1, 2007 9:56 PM
Comment #201145

JD

He immediately faced the catastrophic attack of 9/11 and responded with grace and dignity. He found out the perpetrators and pursued them rather than sit on his hands as the previous Administration had done on at least three previous occasions.

Yes he did. Sort of. He invaded the wrong country, under questionable circumstances, but he did it with grace and dignity.

He cooperated with the 9/11 Commission investigating prior knowledge and welcomed their suggestions, implementing all but one.
And don’t forget how he “forgot to get warrants for his phone taps”.
He defeated an enemy that the former Soviet Union could not defeat, giving birth to a new Democratic government in Afghanistan.

Yep - he did a great job of finishing that one - that’s why the Taliban is coming back into to power in so many small cities, and there has been no peace there in years. BTW just who is the leader there anyway?

He chose to act to remove Saddam Hussein from power who was the most destabilizing force in the Middle East at the time. He is establishing a new Democratic government in that country as well; attempting to make peace with a people who regarded us as the enemy by protecting them from vicious insurgents and extremists within their country. Though this desire to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people has been difficult, it has not been helped by Democrats who have likened our own military to Hitler’s Nazis.

Sure did - in fact he is forcing Iraq to have a government it does not want or understand. And I just love how the insurgents adore our being there!!! They welcome us with such open fire it almost makes my poor ‘ole’ heart swell with pride. And can’t we all see how the hearts and minds of ALL the Iraqis just fall right into to line when the so ‘respected US’ tells them what to do.

Don’t forget the WMDs that were actually found in in Iran with their nuclear power development. Saddam was such a major force even He didn’t know about Iran.

He also has done something no other US President has ever done!!! He managed to invade a country without their ever firing a shot at any American CITIZEN (military officials don’t count, remember)- and without support of most of the world, or at the request of said country.

He has faced profound natural disasters in nearly every year of his Presidency, except for the last hurricane season,

…But the only real major natural disasters during his terms so far are the hurricanes of 2004 - which - ooopppssss, he ignored for days while on vacation (that ranch of his certainly can’t run itself), and then told his appointee (oopps - incompetent person),what a great job he was doing - and obviously oblivious of what was NOT being done.

….faced profound natural disasters…except for the last hurricane season
Hey!! You got that right!!!! We agree!!!!

He believes in a faith-based program for social solutions rather than government bureaucracy.

Oh - Yes - oppps - forget separation of Church and State (unnecessary amendment course)and also believes that mandating policies will make them happen - NCLB comes to mind.

I could go on, but, my fingers are getting tired!
Good line!!! I’ll borrow it too, Okay?


Posted by: Linda H. at January 2, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #201146

muirgeo,

Can you name one issue that Obama is championing across the country? Where is HIS issue? He just continues riding the media roller coaster…

Posted by: Mike Tate at January 2, 2007 12:25 AM
Comment #201166
Can you name one issue that Obama is championing across the country? Where is HIS issue? He just continues riding the media roller coaster…

You could say the same thing about McCain and Giuliani, or Hillary Clinton for that matter. None of them has really stepped up to the plate yet and offered a big theme or issue. But the election is still years away, so that’s hardly surprising.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 2, 2007 12:27 PM
Comment #201167
This story received almost no air time from the MSM, but should have been a big issue. That is why we conservatives are leary of the MSM!

You cite Fox, the highest rated cable news show, and AP, the biggest news agency. By definition, they are mainstream.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 2, 2007 12:37 PM
Comment #201168

“I voted for w in 2000, 2004 and if he could run again I would vote for him again because … .”

of the years 1992 through 2000?

Posted by: kctim at January 2, 2007 12:37 PM
Comment #201170

Linda H.

“Oh - Yes - oppps - forget separation of Church and State (unnecessary amendment course)and also believes that mandating policies will make them happen - NCLB comes to mind.”

Can you please find me the ammendment you are speaking of, that says anytjing about seperation of church and state.

Posted by: Keith at January 2, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #201194

BillS

That kind of story can be said of Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, Clinton and Clinton, Biden, and on and on. It has nothing to do with his values. It is politics.

Posted by: tomh at January 2, 2007 2:56 PM
Comment #201197

At some point Obama is going to have to start stating where he stands on issues. Then we’ll find out about the real Obama.
So far the only thing he has going for him is the press hype. And sure hope that’s not enough for the majority of the voters in this country.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 2, 2007 3:17 PM
Comment #201204

tomh, I think that conservatives have really been used over this issue of “family values”. The repubs are not about family values, they’re about money. “Family values”, as an phrase, is out there and repeated ad nauseam for one reason only: it costs nothing. It’s like “flag-burning”, or “defense of marriage”. They are meaningless little catch phrases that can be trotted out to mobilize voters and soon discarded. As soon as it became apparent that moving to protect the life of Terry Schiavo was going to cost them, (money, power), the repubs could not back-pedal quick enough. Do you really think bush even remembers her name?
Is abortion the taking of a human life? Well millions of babies have been aborted under repub bush, repub senate and repub house and repub courts. Why? because it would be enormously costly to the people in power to actually stand up and oppose it. One hears a hundred times more often that homosexuality is wrong than one does any criticism of abortion. Think about why that is. It distinctly demonstrates not only a LACK of family values on the part of people whom you support but also a level of hypocrisy and cynicism that is astonishing. Regards

Posted by: Charles Ross at January 2, 2007 5:29 PM
Comment #201207

tomh
Just politics.? There was NO press there. Did you not read it.

Posted by: BillS at January 2, 2007 5:50 PM
Comment #201208

Dolan, comment 201128. Your point that the world is in one hell of a mess is well taken. I think the next election will produce a president, republican or democratic, who is immensely more qualified and competent then w. Both Giuliani and McCain are both conservatives who would serve well. What we have now is an opportunistic ideologue who came ill-prepared to govern. The dem’s bench is rich and deep. I like Biden in particular. Ms. Clinton can not win, Obama can not win. This is why they are always pushed as the front runners on the Conservative talk shows. I like Kucinich as well, a more honest man you could not find, also unelectable.
I am reading a book titled “The Radical Right” It was written in 1963 and is a compendium of articles written by the right’s critics. It is striking that the same slogans and shallow philosophies promoted back then are present in today’s dialogue. The only difference is that the John Birch fringe freaks were just that in 1960. Today, they run the show. Do you like what you see???

Posted by: Charles Ross at January 2, 2007 6:11 PM
Comment #201218

Keith,

Amendment I

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

“United States Constitution”

Posted by: Linda H. at January 2, 2007 7:58 PM
Comment #201219

To you “church and state” believers.

How do you define “establishment of religion”?

How do you define “prohibiting the free excercis thereof”?

What do you consider “religion”?

Everybody has a “religion”. To some it is their bottle, to others it is their meth rock, to some it is the green in their “wallet”, to others it is the boat, to others it is power, to some it is a believe in God the Creator, to others it is the god of their spiritual beliefs. I could go on and on. But I want to hear what others think a “religion” is. And their definitions as questioned above.

Posted by: tomh at January 2, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #201227

Geez, tomh…

Posted by: Linda H. at January 2, 2007 10:40 PM
Comment #201230

tomh,

How about, “All good and perfect gifts come from above”? Above, of course, meaning the government!

How about, We the people, in order to form a completely perfect and holy union devoid of any deity other than the Federal government, to protect us, provide for us, watch over us, take care of our village children, etc., etc., etc.”? Does that constitute a religion?

JD

Posted by: JD at January 2, 2007 11:18 PM
Comment #201232

JD
It sure does!!

It can be called several names.

“Big Daddy Does It Church”

“I’m from the government and I’m here to help ya religious cneter”

“I don’t believe in nuttin’ spiritual congregation”

“Anarchy Anonymous”

“The Devils Dictators”

This is starting to be fun, but I’ll drop it here.

Posted by: tomh at January 2, 2007 11:24 PM
Comment #201234

Funny thing about the First Amendment is those that want to use it to get religion out of every part of life forgets is that it only prohibits the Government from establishing a National religion. It says nothing about religion can’t influence the Government.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 2, 2007 11:45 PM
Comment #201261

Ron Brown

We are making progress in understanding. Way to go Ron. That is absolutely true. To those who are “separated from state believers”, the question is what religion is being established. I thought that most religions have already been established.

Posted by: tomh at January 3, 2007 7:42 AM
Comment #201309

For those of you over on the right who regularly argue against separation of Church and State, my readings of the words of Jesus MANDATE separation of church and state. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars, Render unto God that which is Gods”. Government is clearly Caesars, Church is clearly Gods. This is clear even to me, a non-Christian.

Posted by: Richard at January 3, 2007 2:10 PM
Comment #201316

Richard

According to your line of thinking then, Christians are not supposed to participate in government?

Posted by: tomh at January 3, 2007 2:17 PM
Comment #201331

No, they are just supposed to separate their religious impulses from the requirements of government. And recognize the difference.

Posted by: Richard at January 3, 2007 3:30 PM
Comment #201334

Richard
So by your reasoning an athiest is supposed to separate their beliefs from the requirments of government and know the difference too. Or are they exempt from it sense thay don’t belive in God?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 3, 2007 3:38 PM
Comment #201335

No Tomh, I think he’s saying that your relationship with god is your own personal business. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Well, I think the key word there is “personal”. (private, no body else’s business, between you and the lord). So if any government entity came to you and tried to define this “personal” relationship you would of course reject that. The reverse is also true re: for example, the placement of religious symbols in the public space. If you know what the word personal means then you should also know that public space is the opposite of that. There should be NO reference to god at any level in the public discourse. It shouldn’t be in the form of prayer, symbols, references on currency, songs, hymns.
How come I never here christians demanding that their congregations pay their fair share in taxes. Do you want religion to be involved in the public life? start by insisting that church’s carry the load like any other business. (and believe me, anyone on this board who is naive enough to believe that religion is not an extremely prosperous service industry, is beyond all help!)

Posted by: charles Ross at January 3, 2007 3:40 PM
Comment #201339

Richard, Charles Ross

You are thinking from a secular viewpoint. This nation was not founded as a secular nation. We are a religious nation. The country was founded by religious men whose values were consistent with Judeo-Christian values. They, for the most part were not deists. They were Christian. The “separation of church and state” phoney argument is a secular argument. The founding fathers put the first amendment in place to assure that nobody set up a national Babtist or national Methodist, or national Presbyterian and on and on, religion. They went even further to say that all religions can excersize their faith freely. This whole position of “separation of church and state” is a fraud. There has never been a doctrine of “separation of church and state” except for the secular people who what to separate GOD from state and people. A quote from the Jefferson Memorial: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of GOD?”

Liberty, no matter which or what liberty, come from GOD the Creator of the Universe. This was acknowledged by our founding fathers over and over again.

BTW—That freedom of religion is for the gnostics, agnostics, athiests, etc. too.

Posted by: tomh at January 3, 2007 4:34 PM
Comment #201367

The years between 1992 and 2000 were the most prosperous for most people that I know. Not for you, kctim? I know you’ve said before you left the military then because of a dislike of the then current CIC but was that era really bad? Hatred is a bad thing.

Posted by: ray at January 3, 2007 7:32 PM
Comment #201379

Ok regarding Obama’s platform at
http://obama.senate.gov/issues/

I’m LMAO. Read his platform. It says nothing. Its a bunch of broad general statements that even his opponents would agreee with. Don’t get me wrong he comes across as a real nice guy but Presidential material?

I guess if Hollywood has any say so he will be President as I’ve noticed the TV talk show hosts stumbling over themselves to give him higher praise than the last host gave him.

Posted by: Carnak at January 3, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #201400

tomh:

As I read the history of this country, I read a continuing struggle between the theist and the rationalist. The theists striving to insert their religious law (their law, not that other Christian cult’s version). The rationalists working to maintain and even increase the separation. It is too easy for each side to read only part of the writings of our founding fathers so as to reinforce our own uninformed decisions. Much of our legally mandated separation of church and state is due to the various churches deciding “better separation of church and state than letting THOSE FOLK (other churches) set the law”. Recently one end of the American religious spectrum has managed to take control of one of the nation’s 2 major parties. This is what is putting separation at risk.

Posted by: Richard at January 3, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #201418

tomh, and now the rest of the story… in deed I tremble for my Country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan.
That is the rest of the quote your partial quote was taken from. I dont think Jefferson is suggesting the preacher should also be the politician in this quote.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2007 3:46 AM
Comment #201433

Ray
Yes, it was really that bad of an era. Both, for me personally and for our country.
But then again, illegal war, American troops dying for another country, illegal immigration, govt terrorizing citizens, govt corruption, over taxation, Presidential abuse of power and the lose of rights and freedoms, piss me off ALL the time, rather than only when its the “other side” doing it.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2007 9:31 AM
Comment #201467

tomh,

What are you talking about? Be specific. Prayer in schools? The 10 Commandments in courthouses? Creationism as a scientific theory?

You should get away from the “everything is religion” argument. It’s mere sophistry, as you well know. “Belief” and “religion” are not synonymous.

Posted by: Trent at January 4, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #201482

charles Ross,
Thank you for expressing what I wish I could say. Your points are well taken.

Personally, I think that tomh, is having some kind of idiotic fun. Wish I understood the joke.

Posted by: Linda H. at January 4, 2007 2:59 PM
Comment #201491

“Recently one end of the American religious spectrum has managed to take control of one of the nation’s 2 major parties”

How so?

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2007 3:58 PM
Comment #201500

Linda H
No Joke. The definition of terms would certainly clear things up. A religion can be anything, period.


j2t2
Of course they are not synonomous. Anything else to say. Did I indicate that a preacher should be a politician? No! What ever you are paraphrasing has no relevance to the “separation” argument. The point I was trying to make is that the founding fathers were overwhelmingly Christian. The “separation” argument is a secular argument, where there is an attempt to rid the government of any mention or recognition of GOD the creator of the Universe. Attempt after attempt has been and continues to be to get rid of the second phrase of the freedom of religion amendment. That phrase says you can make your religion your possissions, your children, your favorite sport, your vices, etc.. It also prohibits anybody from stopping you from making those things your religion.

BTW—the Bible teaches that pure religion is taking care of the widows and the fatherless.

Posted by: tomh at January 4, 2007 5:28 PM
Comment #201502

Oops
The synonomous statement should be in response to Trent. Sorry j2t2

Posted by: tohm at January 4, 2007 5:29 PM
Comment #201537

tomh,

“The point I was trying to make is that the founding fathers were overwhelmingly Christian.”

So what?

Virtually everyone of European decent, at that time, was a Christian.
At that time you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Christian, but this is not the 1700’s.

For better or worse America is no longer just a “Christian” country.

Posted by: Rocky at January 4, 2007 8:11 PM
Comment #201540
Everybody has a “religion”. To some it is their bottle, to others it is their meth rock, to some it is the green in their “wallet”, to others it is the boat, to others it is power, to some it is a believe in God the Creator, to others it is the god of their spiritual beliefs. I could go on and on. But I want to hear what others think a “religion” is. And their definitions as questioned above.

tomh,

If you use the broadest possible extension of “religion,” then the term ceases to be useful. For our purposes here, the sense of religion as implied in the First Amendment is what matters — unless you think Congress is prohibited from making laws prohibiting crack cocaine.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, religion is “1. the belief in a superhuman controlling power, especially in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship. 2. the expression of this in worship. 3. a particular system of faith and worship. 4. life under monastic vows (the way of religion). 5. a thing that one is devoted to (football is their religion).”

I submit the founding fathers did not intend the sense used in the fifth definition.

At any rate, (1) there is no mention of God in the Constitution, (2) Madison said “religion best flourishes in greater purity without [rather] than with the aid of government,” and (3) Jefferson created a version of the Gospels without the miracles. The clear intent of the founders was to create a secular system of government. The deist views of Jefferson or the Christian views of some of the other founders are quite irrelevant.

Again I ask, what specifically are you advocating? Prayer in schools? Creationism? The 10 Commandments in courtrooms? Has the government prevented the free exercise of your religion?

Posted by: Trent at January 4, 2007 8:50 PM
Comment #201544

Trent

Again, here is the answer.

The secularists are trying to remove all reference to GOD from the public face.

There that is it in plain simple language.

The founding fathers relied upon “Almighty God” in their daily lives. The “Almighty God” they reference is the Creator of the Universe and they derived their wisdom from GOD. There is much written about this subject by the founding fathers.

Posted by: tomh at January 4, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #201549

tomh,

Anyone who wants to completely eliminate references to God is just an extremist. Anyone who opposes governmental endorsement of religious views has amble Constitutional support.

In the blue column I’ve argued that student commencement speakers who were selected based on neutral criteria (such as academic accomplishment) should not be prohibited from discussing the role of God in their lives. To me this is permissible because it does not imply governmental endorsement of the student’s views.

For that matter, in my own classes, I feel completely free to discuss books of the Bible as literature. This is permissible, in my opinion, because I am not using my state-supported job to endorse religion. By the same reasoning, I have no problem with college courses on comparative religion, or on the structure of belief systems, or the like because they, properly taught, are not endorsements of religion but simply involve the study of religion.

School-organized prayer is clearly an endorsement of religious views, not matter how watered down the prayer is. The 10 Commandments in courthouses is clearly an endorsement of Judeo-Christian religious beliefs, despite the fact that some of the Commandments represent good civic values. Creationism taught as science is just silly because it demonstrates either an utter ignorance or an utter disregard of what science is.

Posted by: Trent at January 4, 2007 9:20 PM
Comment #201553

tomh, I dont know who started the problem , the secularist or the religious zealots but I do agree that some take it to far. I think the secularist have to fight the issue at every step no matter how small any more, as the religious right press ever harder seeking to incorporate their religious beliefs into the law of the land. If democracy is to prevail the seperation of church and state must also prevail.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #201562

Trent, j2t2

Those are opinions. I respect you for having opinions, whether they agree with me or not.

Since I am preparing for a 4 day business trip and will have limited access to a computer, I will leave it there for now.

Posted by: tomh at January 4, 2007 11:11 PM
Comment #201585

I would only add to comments I’ve made above by noting that some entities need enemies to justify/energize/focus themselves and I would include just about all evangelical churchs under that. If you notice, Tomh did not call me a secularist, he said I was writing from a “secular viewpoint”. The word secularist sounds unfamiliar and somewhat silly. It implies that I belong to an organization called “the secularist’s” or “secularist’s united” or “secularist united to uphold secularism”.
Secularism is nothing. It is the absence of something. It is a creation of the evangelists, a pot into which they can throw anything they wish and, finally, it provide an enemy that gives them purpose.
I am posting this on another’s computer because my computer is blocked from posting on this board. Isn’t democracy great?!!!

Posted by: charles ross at January 5, 2007 1:31 AM
Comment #201633

Richard,

Are you saying, in relation to theists and rationalists, that the Republican Party is then irrational, and the Democratic Party is rational?

Boy, are you misdirected if that is what you think!

You are also greatly in error. Throughout our history churches have been the meeting places for government action. It was often the central gathering place of most towns and cities. Now, there would be a great outcry if the town hall meeting was held in a church. What a drastic change. Churches were also the local school building. Now there are Bibles being confiscated from children for simply reading them in school. If you think that the church is trying to take over government, you have it completely backwards, about as wrong as you could possibly be! It is the violations of decency and the religious discrimination that church members are experiencing that has perpetuated this shift toward one particular Party that is sensitive to their needs.
It is not the church’s fault that the Democrats nearly side with the opposition’s beliefs on every issue sacred, or even important, to the church. This is why it is hard for me to believe that a Democrat could actually be a true believer. To compromise one’s spiritual beliefs just to be called a rationalist by someone who has it all backwards, just doesn’t make sense to me!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 5, 2007 2:45 PM
Comment #201636

Bibles confiscated? Religious discrimination? JD, most of us live in the United States; what country are you in?

Posted by: Trent at January 5, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #201654

Jd,
Huh - how many building were large enough to hold the entire town? The were also used for courtrooms too, as well as places for the townspeople to dance and share with each other.

Under your ideas, maybe I should ask our minister if we can have a big formal dance there - punch and all, right after we decide to execute the man down the street for being an agnostic or atheist.

I don’t know about the god you belive it, but the GOD I read about, trust and have faith in, still tells me He is the Judge of His creations, not me.

Posted by: Linda H. at January 5, 2007 5:17 PM
Comment #201706

Trent,

The good ole USA, believe it or not! I suggest you open your eyes and become informed about the happenings in the school systems today. One of the best places to learn is the website of the National School Board Association. You will see the number of lawsuits brought against school districts in the United States for just such behavior! Linda H. called it boring reading in another post. I guess everything is boring when it does not comply with one’s personal views. But, you may find the number of cases rather enlightening.

Linda H.,

A feeble attempt at a straw man. I suggest you comment upon what I actually said. I did not judge anyone, however, we are certainly given the right to judge all things whether they be good or evil. In fact, a wise man is wise for doing so. However, I thank you for agreeing with the facts I mentioned that churches were once the centers of the community. They were respected and applauded for the great works that they do. Today, about the only time you hear a Democrat talk about church, God, or a Christian, or a Christian’s views and beliefs, is to degrade them with some half-wit accusation made up within the hatred and bigotry of their own hearts.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 12:40 AM
Comment #201709

Charles Ross,

“There should be no reference to God at any level in the public discourse. It shouldn’t be in the form of prayer, symbols, reference on currency, songs, hymns”. Charles Ross

What is your definition of public discourse?

If a child is walking down the hallway of school singing “Amazing Grace”, should he be immediately silenced by his school teacher and sent to the Principal? Would this be appropriate for religious singing in the public discourse?

If a child is reading his Bible “during quiet reading time” at school, should his Bible be confiscated as it was in one school district in the U.S.? Would that be considered public discourse?

If a school holds a “Diversity Week Discussion”, and a Christian child wishes to voice her opinion that her religious beliefs teach that homosexuality is unnatural and wrong, should she be barred from entering into the discussion, as happened at another school in the U.S.? Does this constitute no reference to God or religion in public discourse?

Should Watchblog ban me from having conversations such as this regarding religion and its effects on politics, because “it” is certainly in the public discourse?

One last question:

How do you define censorship, and a violation of freedom of speech, or violation of freedom to practice one’s religion without government infringement, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution to ALL Americans?

JD


Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 1:15 AM
Comment #201715

JD,

I went to the National School Boards Association website. I couldn’t find anything about Bible confiscations or the like. I don’t want to spend a lot of time clicking every link to find something relevant, so if you could provide some direction, I’d appreciate it.

Posted by: Trent at January 6, 2007 2:40 AM
Comment #201742

test, test. This is only a test.

Posted by: charles Ross at January 6, 2007 1:22 PM
Comment #201744

And you won’t find anything it’s made up to try and bring up a non issue. Thats what reps no Neo-CONs do set up a straw man. If It did happen it was one teacher not school policy.

Posted by: Jeff at January 6, 2007 1:34 PM
Comment #201746

JD, I would admit that the reference to “public discourse” is a little ambiguous when it comes to what is and is not appropriate. I would also admit that in this issue, as in most, there is a balancing that needs to occur between the right of someone to express their religious viewpoint and my right not to hear that viewpoint (I would never object to religious programing on television (I might ridicule but never object!), I just delete the channel out of my remote. I would never object to the promotion of religious views on property owned by the faithful, I just stay out of churches.)
I think the most illuminating example of inappropriate intrusion of religion into the public domain was the inclusion of the words “under god” into the pledge of allegiance in 1954. This was just an attempt by the radical right of the day (including McCarthy) to shove their viewpoint down the throat of the non-believers.
Although my remarks could be interpreted as being anti-religious I don’t feel that I am. I am anti “having jesus-god-christianity shoved down my throat”!
I am not a christian, I am not an atheist, I am one of tens of millions of americans who are really not taken up by the subject either way. I find it curious that so many christians, caught up in their own “personal” relationship with the lord, have this need to make sure that I know about it.

Posted by: charles Ross at January 6, 2007 1:50 PM
Comment #201766

Trent and others,

The NSBA has a religion section in which pending and settled lawsuits are listed, though you say that you do not want to click on each religious lawsuit listed due to the time it would take to read them all.
I know there are a great many and it takes some time. This should tell you something about our school systems.
I listed a few more examples in the blog on the Liberals and Democrats side. It has since been archived. It is the last Freedom of Religion article that was archived, not the one that is new. If you do not wish to go to the NSBA and find each of the examples that I found, including the teacher’s aid that was suspended for wearing a necklace with a cross on it, to each his own. You can choose not to educate yourself on a subject if you wish, but I would prefer that you not comment on a subject that you know nothing about!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 4:37 PM
Comment #201781

JD,
I actually went to the web site you listed, and point-clicked the majority of the sites - after getting extremely bored by what appeared to be mostly “christians (lower case intended) suing because they don’t like something or another),no where could I any of the examples you listed.

You are right, churches used to be gathering points for the entire community. Of course in those days, the members of the community tended to be rather inclusive. If I remember correctly, most blacks were still in some form of bondage, most people had little to no education,farmering was the main economic source, and the Bible was interpreted the way the traveling preacher wanted to read it. You know back in the old days of American growth.

While not many traveling preachers are still around, the Bible is still interpreted the way the reader wishes and wants to read it.

Posted by: Linda H. at January 6, 2007 6:10 PM
Comment #201792

Linda H.,

Many Blacks are still in bondage to the Democratic Party, in my opinion. How little that has changed! Considering the fact that nearly six out of ten can not read by graduation, few still have much in the way of education. Farmering is still quite a huge business in most of the Midwestern states, California, Florida, etc. etc. etc.! However, now preachers are some of the most intellectual and well-read persons coming out of four year colleges today.
For one who claims to believe, trust and have faith in God, you seem to have a really disingenuous attitude toward His ministers and the sheep of His flock.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 7:54 PM
Comment #201794

P.S.

The proper spelling for Christian is with a capital letter in that it represents the followers of Christ also capitalized.

Not using the capital is like considering it proper grammar to spell Bill Clinton - bill clinton.

Thanks!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 7:59 PM
Comment #201797

Charles Ross,

“I would also admit that in this issue, as in most, there is a balancing that needs to occur between the right of someone to express their religious viewpoint and my right not to hear that viewpoint.”

Charles, you are very close to understanding!

The Constitution does not give you the right not to hear someone else’s viewpoint. It is nowhere to be found within our Constitution. Fighting to silence someone else’s viewpoint is censorship, and a violation of their rights to free speech and free exercise of religion, especially when the government is used for this purpose. It is unConstitutional for the government to act in this manner.

The good news is that you do still have the right to change the channel, or walk away, if you so choose. However, I would think that as open-minded as most liberals claim to be, they would at least have the decency to listen and perhaps start a dialogue.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 8:21 PM
Comment #201807

JD,

“The good news is that you do still have the right to change the channel, or walk away, if you so choose.”

Unfortunatly, most humans don’t come with volume controls or channel tuners.

Posted by: Rocky at January 6, 2007 9:17 PM
Comment #201809

Rocky,

Come on now. When was the last time a Christian followed you into the bathroom, your home, your office, etc. etc. etc., screaming at you about Christ?

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 9:36 PM
Comment #201810

Trent,
Most of what I said earlier was not directed at you, but rather “and others”!
Directions for NSBA:
Go to NSBA home page
Click on school law at top of page
click on school law issues
click on religion “news” or “recent cases”

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 9:41 PM
Comment #201816

Well! Yes! this is encouraging! So you agree, JD, that in situations where I can just walk away or turn the channel, where I have a choice, it is perfectly acceptable for any to express their faith in any way they choose. So I’m sure you would also agree, taking a couple of “what if” situations here:
I went into the federal building here in Portland land on Thursday, went through security and onto the IRS office, (Long, sad story, I won’t retell it here). “what if” there was a picture of Jesus up there on the wall between the ones of W and Shooter; would you say, using what we have agreed upon, that it would be inappropriate for this picture to be up there (you know the one, where J. is looking skyward, hand on his breast, with a heavenly light shining down?). Inappropriate because I have business in this building and I can’t just “walk away”?
How about if my son is on a h.s. football team, on the field and everyone want to kneel down and say a prayer? Since the kid really can’t just walk away from that, is that inappropriate?
Or how about if I’m called to jury duty, I walk in, there’s a two ton monolith containing the ten commandments in the lobby; I am compelled by law to be there. Would this display of religious symbol be inappropriate?
I’m glad we’re having this conversation JD! You’re very close to understanding!!

Posted by: charles Ross at January 6, 2007 11:09 PM
Comment #201818

Charles Ross,

Situation 1- If other employees within the building are allowed to display on the wall pictures of their families, loved ones, favorite artists, pop stars, public figures, etc., then that employee should be allowed to also display a picture of Jesus as is his right to religious expression. To give an example, I walked into a government social services building to interview for a government job in St. Louis, MO, and met with an African American who had a mural-sized, and I mean about a 4’ x 6’ picture of Malcolm X, a fairly radical Islamist. Is that distasteful to you? Should it be allowed? Yes, if others are allowed to post pictures in their offices.

Situation 2- Your son has a right to walk away from the prayer huddle if he so chooses for religious reasons. He is not obligated to pray with the team. However, your son is not authorized to prevent the others on the team from praying if they would like to do so. That is freedom of religion guaranteed by the United States Constitution, which does not stipulate the public event, or designated location, by the way.

Situation 3- You would have the right to view it or not view it based upon your own preference. I do not agree with all of the so-called art at the local museum. I view what I like, and pass by that which I don’t like. I think it odd that some are so offended or uncomfortable to sit in a courtroom and listen to a case where there happens to be a plaque of the ten commandments hanging on the wall, or a two ton monolith as you put it in the rotunda or lobby. If there was a nude statue in the lobby, and I felt that public nudity is indecent, I would probably just walk past it, and figure that others call it art. So what?

Whay say you?

JD

Posted by: JD at January 6, 2007 11:37 PM
Comment #201824

JD,

Thanks. It looks like a useful repository of case information.

I for one am not offended by symbols of Christianity. To paraphrase an old cliche, some of my best friends are Christian. However, I do not feel that public money should be used in the promotion of religion. I believe that is a reasonable interpretation the courts have made of the First Amendment. Otherwise, we would tend to have the government supporting one particular religion. That is my opinion, and the opinion of the courts.

When it comes down to particular cases, there probably will be times when I would agree the government has gone too far. Censoring the religious content of commencement speeches made by neutrally selected students is one such case. I agree with your point that the Constitution does not guarentee that we will never see or hear that which offends us; however, that’s not the issue here.

Many are deeply suspicious of those who push for religious expression in governmental facilities. The stated purpose of many of these people is, in fact, to use governmental power to promote their particular religion (I trust I don’t need to provide links here, but can if requested). The push to get “Intelligent Design” into science classrooms is a good example. Sometimes in defense of the government neutrality defenders go too far. It’s a delicate balance, and finding that balance is difficult.

Posted by: Trent at January 7, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #201827

Trent,

Thank you for taking the time to actually search out the evidence of what I have been saying.

The balance thing is something upon which we agree. However, it is my opinion that when balance is necessary, one must lean toward freedoms guaranteed within the Constitution. I am not sure if you went to the webpage of the Freedom from Religion Foundation as I suggested in the Archived article on the Left wing side of this blog, but I would suggest that you do if you haven’t. I honestly think that if you want to see real motives behind the groups that are pushing this “establishment clause” thing, you have to study them a bit. Most of its members are atheists who promote setting up their own displays, while trying to remove those of other Constitutionally protected groups. It is helpful to know one’s opposition when one feels their beliefs are being unnecessarily attacked.
Even those, perhaps like yourself, but I will not speculate, who feel somewhat in the middle on this issue would be wise to become informed about the other side and why Christians feel as though they are getting pushed out more and more in many arenas of public discourse. I appreciate the time you must have taken to read up on it.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 7, 2007 12:21 AM
Comment #201834

JD, The far right fundamentalist have been attacking the public school system for years. So have the atheist. I feel for the school boards as they are caught up in this battleground. No matter what they do they are wrong and subject to a time and money consuming lawsuit. Perhaps if both sides would give it up and let the children learn what they are going to school to learn it would be beneficial to the children. I kinda doubt this is going to happen though as each side knows its much easier to bend the younger minds to their will. So I guess we will continue to see the radical Christians and the Atheist continue this nonsensical battle. As for myself, I believe the overall percentage of this nation is roughly about 80% Christian, 2% Atheist, 18% other. In addition the radical Christians seem to be much more organized and better financed, so to me they are of greater concern as a threat to the Country. Their continued assult on the Constitution is especially worrisome. The Robertsons, Falwells and Dobson types of the world, in my opinion do a disservice to the Christians of this Country but they seem to be the ones speaking for the Christian community. Perhaps its time for the Christian community to clean house and get back to being what they were in the past if they want to use the past as a compass for today.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2007 1:00 AM
Comment #201861

How have the radical Christians been attacking the School system for years? Perhaps you can give some examples. However, if you want to state that one standing up for their Constitutional rights so that they are not treated unfairly with religious discrimination is an attack, then it would be difficult to reason with you.

As for the school boards being wrong no matter what they do, I would say that they would be right if they followed the proper guidelines set up by the U.S. Constitution that says they can not discriminate against those with religious beliefs.

I agree that the Christians are more organized. Christians have been at the forefront fighting against discrimination of all types for not only years, but decades and centuries for that matter. This is why folks like Dr. M. L. King, and others have been so successful in their endeavors. I also agree that about 80% of Americans call themselves Christian, while probably only half that actually practice Christianity and are well informed on the issues.

As far as Christianity getting back to what it used to be, even Jesus confounded the political rulers of His day, in so much that they had to kill Him. His disciples were accused of “turning the world upside down”. They were as much a driving force in their communities and countries as Robertson, Falwell, and others.

The real reason Christians are so maligned by the left is that they are a definite threat to the power structure that the left has locked in place. This is particularly true of the morally dysfunctional Hollywood elite on the left including the comedians of today that take pot shots at Christians at every opportunity. And not just Christians, but anyone coming out of the Hollywood establishment who have a Republican or religious view are ridiculed and shamed for not towing the liberal elite line. This is also particularly true toward the women’s groups and Black community. The left has tried to win over women and Blacks with their inequality messages, while also incrementally passing off the immoral doctrines of pro-abortion and entitled welfare to keep these groups aligned with them. Any women and Blacks that think differently become immediate targets of the left, with name-calling such as uncle Tom, and other descriptions that would be unacceptable if used by the right. The church’s teaching is in direct conflict with these liberal ideas, and the more in-roads the church has within these groups regarding these issues, the greater the threat to the Democratic Party. This is why the Dems and the left wing elite have to discredit and spew hatred for the church in the way that they do!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 7, 2007 12:02 PM
Comment #201877

JD, Certainly from your viewpoint we could allow creationism taught as science, allow the fundamentalist to dictate what can and cannot be taught in public schools, however most uf us can see that the narrow viewpoint of the fundamentalist is not an acceptable alternative to educting our future generations. Hence the fight. I agree with the court decisions most of the time as a way to stop the spread of the theocracy movement in this country. I also support the atheist, although mostly I disagree with their position, because the fundamentalist are far more dangerous to the welfare of this country. So while you believe you are standing up for your constitutional rights I believe it is an attack on the public school system that must be countered. So when the atheist goes overboard in what appears to be pointless arguements, I can understand why.
I also believe your linking Dr. King and other Christians that actually support and defend human rights with the fundamentalist Christian movement as nothing more than the fundamentalist hiding behind the good Christins of this country.
As far as Hollywood, as with most business today money talks, they will sell whatever you buy. Dont buy what you dont like, support what you like and they will respond. The predatory capitalist the fundamentalist vote for and support would have it no other way.
Render unto Ceasar that what is …. enough said?
We do agree that the fundamentalist Christians are a threat to the power structure, in fact they have been a part of the power structure for sometime now, and in my opinion are part of the problem.
As far as abortion and welfare let me say this, the only reason I support the pro choice position is because the fundamentalist rage against it and want to make it illegal. Yep I personally am very glad the we didnt choose abortion nor have my children, so I feel particularly blessed with the grandkids I have. I feel for those that chose to have an abortion but I support the fact that they can get a safe and legal abortion, afterall its their life, their choice and they have to live with it. So to me it seems the fundamentalist would try to dictate their religious beliefs unto the population as a whole, by force of law. That is what I am against. Welfare has been reformed for a decade now and I support the changes as positive, why would you still be complaining about welfare, after all it was the repubs who put the current system into law.
I dont try to spew hate for Christians, I do want the seperation of church and state to remain in full effect to keep our democracy strong. Any preacher that would want to be a politician, well suffice to say I would not want to get my spiritual education from them.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #201925

JD, you are purposely blurring together religious expression with all other forms of expression, as if religious expression, in the public space, has the same right as all other. This is simply not true. In point of fact, it IS unconstitutional to have the ten commandments in public offices, federal, state or local. Prayer in school IS unconstitutional, and finally, you will never, ever see a picture of Jesus in a federal building. Why? BECAUSE IT VIOLATES THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!! It endorses a particular religion and that is unconstitutional.
This argument reminds me of the debate between proponents of evolution theory and the notions promoted by creationists. The logic goes: “well, evolution is just a theory, don’t you know, and MY theory is that we didn’t evolve, we were created at one time by a creator, and since MY theory is just as good as yours, both should be taught in school.”
What you’re saying is that you think every body has their own ideas of expression, nudity, Malcolm X, whatever. Just because MY idea of expression happens to be about christianity, doesn’t differentiate it from any other subject of expression and therefore it should be allowed in the public space (for this argument let that mean, government facilities, government sponsored transportation, things of that nature.)
I would argue, just as vigorously, against the notion of imposing taxes upon religious organizations. It represents an interference in the practice of religion, an, and this is an important word, INTRUSION by government into religion. By the same token, religious expression, into the domain of government is an intrusion. I have never heard an endorsement of the notion from any christian that religious organizations should be taxed! Why? Because they obviously regard such a move as being an unconstitutional intrusion by government. Do you understand this point? Regards

Posted by: charles Ross at January 7, 2007 6:49 PM
Comment #201927

j2t2, et.al.

Define radical Christianity. If you think believing the bible and its principles are radical then I feel compeled to label lefties, athiests, etc. as radical.

Real quick on abortion. Who speaks for the child?
Where are the rights of the child being expressed?
Everybody has rights but the child.

If there is a theocracy movement in this country, who is there leader? Those you mentioned as a bigger threat (Dobson, Falwell, Robertson) are not trying to bring a theocracy to this country.

The argument narrows down to the free excercise clause in the first amendment. Everybody should be able to express their faith openly and freely.
Afterall, we kill babies freely and openly. Madonna can do her thing and it’s all ok. Marilyn Manson can do his thing and it’s all ok. But let a Christian want to do their thing and you have to take on the court system to get it done and sometimes it does not get done.

Posted by: tomh at January 7, 2007 7:05 PM
Comment #201929

charles ross,

You bet I am blurring religious expression with other forms of expression, because there is no difference. Religious expression is protected by law. If individuals have rights within their government offices to express themselves in any way, then those individuals have rights to express themselves religiously. However, if the Federal government were to issue a policy that Judaism is the only religion we shall recognize in the United States, this would be a violation of the establishment clause. I have never heard the Federal government or any therein try to set up any religion as the religion of the United States of America. There is no national religion, like unto the eagle being our national bird. The United States can recognize religions without endorsing them, just as surely as you can recognize Judaism without being a Jew. In fact, in order to obtain a minister’s license in most states, one’s church must be recognized by that state. Is that separation of church and State? I suggest you better tell that African American running the social service office in St. Louis to take down that picture of Malcolm X, because he was one of the designated mullahs of the Nation of Islam in the 1960’s, under Farakhan. However, I doubt that is going to happen.

As for imposing taxes on religious organizations, they choose to be a tax exempt entity. It is not mandatory. They are not taxed because most of the work that they do is charity in nature, and they are “not for profit” groups.
Actually, I would that they were not tax exempt. If they were not tax exempt, the government would have no authority to withhold their right of naming the candidates of their choice during the elections, or participating in the campaign process for the candidates of their choice, because they pay taxes to the government and therefore, would not be under tax exempt restrictions from participation. They would simply be another special interest group like the trial lawyers, teacher’s unions, environmentalists, Hollywood elites, etc., etc., etc.! I find it silly that people keep bringing up this issue that churches do not pay taxes, and then claim that churches are trying to take over government. It is the fact that they do not pay taxes which excludes them from government participation like other tax exempt organizations. I can imagine what would happen if churches decided to opt out of their tax exempt status and actually started campaining for candidates. Then, you guys would really be screaming!!! There would then be an all out persecution of the church, based upon your notion that the church is not to have any dealing with the government at all, even though the church is made up of American citizens. You know, at one time as Linda H. pointed out people thought that women and Blacks should have no say in the government either. They also said that Blacks should not be educated. Funny how some things never change, except, of course, the groups who are oppressed!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 7, 2007 7:30 PM
Comment #201935

JD, although you would rather that churches opted out of their tax exempt status, the fact is that churches have made a positive affirmation to opt in!
Churches recognized by the IRS as being legitimate religious organizations are not exempt from taxes because they are a “not for profit group”. That is simply a statutory regulation enacted by congress as part of the internal revenue code. There is no constitutional issue in taxing a “not for profit group”. Once again you are mixing up two very different types of entities. Isn’t the Sierra Club also a not for profit group? Are they not, therefore exempt from taxes? Do they not, in fact, endorse issues and candidates? Are not churches, in fact, forbidden from doing same?
There is a distinction to be made here. The Constitution is a creation. In that constitution provisions were made for a court of last resort, the supreme court. This supreme court, over many years, has ruled numerous times, that there are boundaries for the participation of religion in general and religious groups in particular, in the public sphere.
I agree that this is a contentious issue because all to often the distinctions become blurred. Why no prayer at a high school game but yes for start of congress, Why no christian symbols allowed at a court house but “trust in god” on the currency. Very confusing, but to say that religion expression has the same rights as any other is just not borne out by law and reality.
I also agree with you that Churches should be taxed and allowed to express themselves as they wish, but know that the government is not forcing them to elect tax-exempt status, what does that tell you?? Regards

Posted by: charles Ross at January 7, 2007 8:01 PM
Comment #201946

tomh, go to www.theocracywatch.org to find out more about radical Christians. I realize that the majority of Christians are not Theocrats but they do exist in substantial numbers. I also do not consider everyone who believes in the bible to be a radical Christian just those that want to use the bible to govern this nation.
I also would not include Madonna or Manson in a serious discussion of religious freedom. However any Christian is free to do exactly as Madonna or Marilyn just not in public schools, but then I havent heard of Madonna or Manson having a concert at the local elementary, have you? To my knowledge Christians are free to express there faith in any non government place in the country, why would any body think otherwise?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2007 9:29 PM
Comment #201947

JD It seems to me that you like to portray the church as being persecuted. I find that ridiculous.The “church” wields immense power with the current administration and in the famed 109th. In addition it seems the reson you would like to see no seperation between church and state is to allow the cons/repubs to make political inroads with women and blacks in an effort to weaken the liberals/dems. Is that a fair representation of your goal?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2007 9:54 PM
Comment #201954

j2t2

No, that is not correct. I said that the Democratic Party has helped to corrupt what was once a very religious people, (Blacks and women), with promises of equality while incrementally brainwashing them into believing equality meant the right to kill unborn children and to demand entitled welfare. Assistance to the poor in the form of welfare has been the catalyst over the last forty years that liberal Democrats have used to bait the Black community into their fold, primarily because they made up a significant portion of the poor. Abortion rights is the issue that Democrats have used to try to convince women that they care about them. Abortion has been depicted by the Democratic Party as a liberating thing for women. Both of these issues are immoral, and have led to dependency upon welfare within the Black community and an attitude of entitlement which has destroyed the Black family unit. How can anyone not see the evidence of this? It has also led to the destruction of the family unit with women disregarding the sanctity of life for their unborn children, prefering instead an excuse for irresponsibility. I believe much of the neglect that occurs today regarding children has been brought about by this attitude that Democrats have professed to women that their children are not as important as they are. Therefore, a woman ought to be able to do what she wants to do with no thought to responsibility for her children.

It is the morality and responsibility for actions taught within the church that is so dangerous to the power structure built by the Democrats over the last forty years. This is why as the church becomes stronger within these groups the Democrats will become weaker. This is also why the Democrats and the liberal elite have to attempt to discredit and weaken the church. It is not the grand scheme of the church to weaken Democrats, but rather to show a once very religious people the way that they have been enticed away from God by a significantly evil and immoral force in my opinion. Where the church becomes stronger, immorality should naturally become weaker.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 7, 2007 11:23 PM
Comment #201956

j2t2

I am still waiting for the definition of a radical Christian.

Because someone declares themselves to be a Christian and works to have Christian ideals put forth in society does not make them a radical Christian. I would call them strong in their beliefs but not radical.

BTW radical means—of or going to the root or origin; fundamental
It also has other meanings that don’t apply to this discussion.

Posted by: tomh at January 7, 2007 11:37 PM
Comment #201960

tomh, I was using the word radical as in favoring extreme change, which I would think applies to this discussion.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2007 12:03 AM
Comment #201986

j2t2,

So, with your definition of radical, that would make just about everyone in the Democratic Party a radical who supports a pull out of Iraq. Certainly, that would include just about every person in the Democratic leadership. After all, a pull out in Iraq would be a pretty devastating example of extreme change that the liberals in D.C. have been promoting for about two years now, right?

JD

Posted by: JD at January 8, 2007 7:29 AM
Comment #201990

iJD, And we were having such an interesting discussion. Actually radical would refer more to the cons/repubs that got us into being the aggressor nation and invading a soverign nation and putting our Country into that position to begin with.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2007 9:03 AM
Comment #202000

j2t2

By your use of the word radical meaning extreme change does not make any sense. The Evangelical Christians in this country do not seek any extreme change. That is something people like to put on paper to sell their writings as well as MSM spewing forth. Then the faithful followers pick it up and run with it. The Evangelical Christians only want what GOD has ordained through the Constitution. Nothing more; nothing less. It is sad to see “educated people” get so smart they don’t need GOD anymore.

Posted by: tomh at January 8, 2007 10:17 AM
Comment #202037

j2t2,

I disagree. Changing the regime in Iraq was to make Iraq more mainstream. It was already run by a radical.
What the left wants to do is pull our troops; a radical move to give the country of Iraq back to the radicals. Not surprising, considering the left!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 8, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #202054

j2t2,

Getting back to the previous discussion:

The majority of people feel that abortion and welfare without work are both wrong. However, they will not stand up and say it for fear of the names that they will be called by the left if they do.

This is the kind of psychological brainwashing I am talking about. If a woman even decides to be a stay at home mom these days, she is attacked as being backward or having no ambition, when perhaps she only wishes the best for her children. If she is against abortion she will be attacked as a religious zealot; a Sunday school mom. If she is a Republican- well I don’t think I can list some of the things that Condie Rice has been called by the left here and mainly because she is a Black Republican woman! A Republican woman is almost forced to live in fear these days by the left. Can you imagine how Ann Coulter would be treated if she were invited to the View by Barbara? Rosie would go ballistic on her! This fear has caused many women not to express their opinions. Though they feel abortion is wrong and would never do it themselves, they will not speak out against it. Refusing to speak out against something one knows is wrong is called tolerance these days. Jesus called it sin. I know the story about the “Let he among you that is without sin cast the first stone”. However, it is taken completely out of context. Jesus also said to the adulteress, “Go and sin no more.” The people around her wished to stone her. Jesus had compassion. Most Christians do not wish to stone anyone, or as Linda H. put it, “execute the man down the street for being an agnostic or atheist”, but we do wish to pull those out of the darkness in which they walk.

The Black community is a community that I have a real heart for. That is why I speak here about them so often in my postings. They have certainly received their fair share of discrimination. However, I have seen so many within the the Black community come so far who have attained an education and have gotten a good job through hard work. I believe the Democrats gave up on much of the Black community in the education process, much like G.W. Bush believes. They have not been getting educated properly, and I believe much of that is because they have been programmed by the Democratic Party that they can “fall back on welfare” because the Democrats will always make sure that it is there. I am deeply disturbed by the people that are considered role models within the Black community and the culture which is taking it over. The Democrats talk about a Republican culture of corruption and place Barak Obama in the forefront of that message. However, has he looked closely at the gang mentality that is prevalent in Black culture, and the get rich quick materialistic, and drug ideology that is coming through rap, R&B, and other forms of music and culture within that community? How can Blacks and Women be collectively represented within the Democratic Party, when so much of the Black culture depicts their women as ho’s and b______”? Perhaps, someone can explain this to me. These same rock culture leaders speak out at their concerts and in public as supporting the Democratic Party. It is unfortunate that these youth, and not so young, have so much influence on Black youth today. Yet, when leaders like Colin Powell and Condie Rice come to the forefront, they are called uncle Toms and the like. This is very disturbing. Even great Black figures like Bill Cosby have pointed this out, and got a pretty good tongue lashing from the left for doing so. M.L. King must be spinning in his grave!!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 8, 2007 3:18 PM
Comment #202062

“the black community has received their fair share of discrimination” ????????????????

I have to ask: what planet to you live on!!!!!

Posted by: charles Ross at January 8, 2007 3:50 PM
Comment #202074

charles ross,

What is it you disagree with?
Was this too much of an understatement?
How about the Black community has received more than their share of discrimination. You’ll get no argument from me on that!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 8, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #202089

To the anti-Christian group

If you should succeed in removing “Under God” from the pledge and removing the Ten Commandments from public view, etc. are you then going to the forefront to remove Easter, Christmas, Good Friday from the national holiday list? Are you going to forefront to demand government offices should be open on Sundays? And no Christmas or Easter breaks for Congressmen?

Of course you won’t.

How pathetic of you.

Posted by: tomh at January 8, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #202107

tomh,

Not now, but give them a week, a month, a year, a decade, etc.!

They always do things incrementally because it is easier to fool people that way!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 8, 2007 7:44 PM
Comment #202109

JD

Amen. They are experts at testing the waters. Of course there are some, myself included, that pray for the rapture soon.

Posted by: tomh at January 8, 2007 8:06 PM
Comment #202119

Boy you two really get full of yourselves dont you. Here we are having a decent conversation and then all of a sudden the right wing religious fanatics cant help themselves and just have to start showing their true colors. Your partisan rhetoric crap is a waste of my time to respond to so let me just say that I am more determined than ever to fight for a wall of seperation between church and state. You hide behind the church but its obvious your motives are political.Such a disappointment.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2007 9:55 PM
Comment #202120

Artifical intelligence is no substitute for natural stupidity.

Posted by: tomh at January 8, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #202125

j2t2,

I also was enjoying the conversation. Perhaps, tomh and I went overboard joking back and forth, but no more so than any late night talk show host on any of the mainstream or cable channels talking about Christians or G.W. Bush. Or, any of the left wing bloggers on the other side at times. Sorry to offend!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 8, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #202230

P.S.

tomh,

Don’t pray for the rapture too fervently.

We have to convert some of these liberals to take with us first. After all, there are no poor in heaven. What a perfect place!

Though Jesus also said it is difficult for a rich man to get there.

JD

Posted by: JD at January 9, 2007 9:13 PM
Comment #202448

tomh, Gnothi Seauton my friend Gnothi Seauton.

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