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Hydrocortisone
11-05-2003, 02:32 PM
In Texas, a U.S. District judge decreed that any student uttering the word "Jesus" at his school's graduation would be arrested and locked up. "And make no mistake," announced Judge Samuel B. Kent, "the court is going to have a United States marshal in attendance at the graduation. If any student offends this court, that student will be summarily arrested and will face up to six months incarceration in the Galveston County Jail for contempt of court."

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35420



Should students get 6 months in jail for saying the word 'Jesus'? What happened to the students First Amendment rights?

MrTuffPaws
11-05-2003, 03:24 PM
I personally believe in the separation of church and state, and I think that if a student used the graduation for a bully pulpit for their religion, then they should be punished. Not with 6 months in the hole though.

This would fall under the "cruel and unusual punishment"

cheddarsnax
11-05-2003, 03:31 PM
Having read past rulings by Kent, I question the seriousness of his statement...

TaxGuy
11-05-2003, 03:58 PM
Well, the way the material you quoted was written was not the most objective thing I've ever seen.

I'd imagine that what the judge actually ordered was that no student offer a prayer during a speech at the graduation, and the reason for that is that a long line of precedent holds that praying at school-sponsored events violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Although the Court's never expressly stated it in these words, I believe the reason for the holding in these cases is that one shouldn't be coerced (however slightly) to participate in a religious observance if one chooses to attend a government show. A prayer to a deity is a religious observance, and a public school graduation is a government show, so no one (including kids) should offer up a prayer in front of everyone at a school graduation.

Therefore, the students' First Amendment rights are actually being protected and not hurt by the judge's order (assuming it actually existed; I live in TX and I've never heard anything about it).

Perhaps it would be better if you got to the bottom of a story before immediately getting all outraged about it.

(And yes, Kent's a bit of a weird bird.)

hansel
11-05-2003, 04:06 PM
The whole article is suspect to me. I'd have to see cites from reputable news sources for those incidents before believing any of them.

Ana Byrd
11-05-2003, 04:19 PM
Well, I support separation of church and state, and that's why the state should stay out of this one. Prayers should not be led by public schools, but this isn't the school; this is an individual. His constitutional rights were being protected by being sent to jail for saying a prayer? That's twisting it.

I actually had to check to be sure that wasn't from a parody site. I still doubt its accuracy, though; the article is quite biased.

Homebrew
11-05-2003, 04:50 PM
Damn rodents stole my much better post.

You should always double-check and get the whole story when it comes to World Net Daily. They don't seem to mind bending the truth or even lying when it is in Jesus' name. I think they forgot one of the 10 Commandments.

In 1995, Judge Kent issued a ruling concerning prayers at solemn occassions like graduations. He gave specific guidelines about what was allowed and what wasn't. One of the guidelines he gave was that the prayers were allowed, but they couldn't mention a specific diety. Anticipating a head-strong kid mentioning "Jesus", Kent offered the warning above.

The 5th Circuit in New Orleans affirmed his decision.

When you get the whole story, the nature of the comments change quite a bit. Once again WND has twisted the truth into a lie and have a misleading impression of the ruling.

Kent is a colorful judge. His orders are often humorous. Look some of them up for a laugh.

Homebrew
11-05-2003, 04:54 PM
No misspellings in the first one. :rolleyes:

PatriotX
11-05-2003, 05:32 PM
Just because a judge says something, is different than a judge ordering something.
W/o context this isn't enough to get my hackles up.

"If so much as [extremely small violation] then I'll [extremely harsh punishment]," is a common idiom. I believe that I've heard mothers threaten their own offspring with slow torturous deaths if even one peep were heard out of them.

I'd guess that this an example of the use of just such an hyperbolic, metaphorical idiom.

Further evidence could change my guess.

pizzabrat
11-05-2003, 05:47 PM
Yes. Students should get 6 months in jail for saying the word "Jesus".

kaylasdad99
11-05-2003, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by pizzabrat
Yes. Students should get 6 months in jail for saying the word "Jesus". Well. Thanks for putting that question to bed, pizzabrat.

:D

Shodan
11-05-2003, 09:13 PM
In 1995, Judge Kent issued a ruling concerning prayers at solemn occassions like graduations. He gave specific guidelines about what was allowed and what wasn't. One of the guidelines he gave was that the prayers were allowed, but they couldn't mention a specific diety. Anticipating a head-strong kid mentioning "Jesus", Kent offered the warning above.
Sorry, but this explanation doesn't make a bit of difference from the way WorldNetDaily phrased it.

In both cases, the state is attempting to interfere with the free exercise of religion, specifically the Christian religion. Why it should make any difference that you can mention God but not Jesus is beyond me. Unless you want to argue that the State can establish some religions, but not others.

If I were the valedictorian, I would begin my speech with something like -
I would like to thank my parents for helping me be here today, and my Lord Jesus for making my life worth living. Praise be to His name! See? No one is forced to join in at all.

Regards,
Shodan

Tuckerfan
11-05-2003, 09:41 PM
Hey, Shodan, suppose you'd spent your life being harassed by dirtbags using similar slogans as to what you would open your speech with? Suppose that these same dirtbags would grab you while you're walking down the street and spend 15 minutes screaming in your face similar slogans? Suppose that family members or friends or people who shared a similar philosophy about life have been killed by dirtbags espousing similar thoughts? Would you want to hear that crap at your graduation?

Maybe "no one is forced to join in at all," but they still can be upset by those comments. Better they're not said, IMHO.

ExTank
11-05-2003, 09:46 PM
pizzabrat is obviously a cruel and sick person!

Six months in jail for saying "Jesus" at a graduation? No way!

I, however, can knock together a cross, and get some nails....

Try six months on a cross for a real test-of-faith.

El_Kabong
11-05-2003, 09:56 PM
Sorry, but this explanation doesn't make a bit of difference from the way WorldNetDaily phrased it.

Well, it does make a difference when we consider how WND presented it. The article is presented as a dated news item ("WorldNetDaily Exclusive") when it is worded more as an Op-Ed piece, but if one reads to the end it is in fact is nothing more than a cleverly worded teaser soliciting subscriptions to another WND publication.

Furthermore, the judge's decision is not dated in the article, leading one to believe that it and the other examples (also undated) are recent events. The fact that the ruling, if it occurred, was made in 1995 should have been mentioned.

Now, with all that time having elapsed since, has somebody have news of a case where someone actually was criminally charged (not even sent to jail, just charged) for saying 'Jesus' at a graduation ceremony?

jayjay
11-05-2003, 10:04 PM
It should also be noted that this ghost of an eight-year-old case was resurrected by Ann Coulter, and picked up by WorldNotDaily. Making the way it's presented oh-so-much-more understandable.

Apos
11-05-2003, 10:49 PM
Why would the student get charged with anything? There's no legal basis on which to fine the student. The only people who can be sued for violating anyones Constitutional rights is the government. I smell fake.

Zoe
11-05-2003, 11:05 PM
Shodan: Sorry, but this explanation doesn't make a bit of difference from the way WorldNetDaily phrased it.

In both cases, the state is attempting to interfere with the free exercise of religion, specifically the Christian religion. Why it should make any difference that you can mention God but not Jesus is beyond me.

He said that you can't mention the name of any deity. The example he gave was Jesus. But it was obvious from his ruling that you also couldn't mention Allah, Isis, Zeus, Odin, any of the Hindu Gods and so forth.

The ruling also protected students from prayers to Satan, Lucifer, Old Scratch, Beelzebub, demon gods, pagan gods, the golden calf, and Hollywood idols.

Think of Judge Kent as being a cross between Imus and Judge Judy with a little bit of Judge Larry Joe thrown in. Don't think of him as some deadpan overly straight-laced kinda guy.

Did you even notice that the ruling allowed prayers at graduation?

Have you ever been in a situation where you personally were prevented from praying? Honestly?

At a group gathering such as graduation, it is not only your rights which have to be considered, but also the rights of everyone whose presence is required. Since we can't know the beliefs of everyone, the only fair thing is not to get too specific or -- another possibility -- to pray silently. What is wrong with either of those?

Or do you look forward to a time when black candles and pentagrams will be able to have equal time with Christianity and the worship of dung beetles?

Early Out
11-05-2003, 11:11 PM
Apos, violating a judge's order is called "contempt of court," and can, indeed, net you a jail sentence.

Apos
11-05-2003, 11:31 PM
Not on bullshit grounds, it can't. A judge can't just arbitrarily order any random free citizen to do or not do something just because he feels like it, certainly not when that thing is happening outside his courtroom. That would be a ridiculous abuse of his power.

Apos
11-05-2003, 11:35 PM
At a group gathering such as graduation, it is not only your rights which have to be considered, but also the rights of everyone whose presence is required. Since we can't know the beliefs of everyone, the only fair thing is not to get too specific or -- another possibility -- to pray silently. What is wrong with either of those?

Nothing, if we are talking about politeness and propriety. But from a legal standpoint, it's nonsense. There is no grounds on which the court can control what people choose to say or not say about religion whenever they feel like it. The court can order government employees not to violate the first amendment in situations of mandatory attendance, but there is no crime you can charge a student valedictorian who thanks Jesus in his speech with. It's utterly off-the-wall nonsense.

Early Out
11-06-2003, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by Apos
Not on bullshit grounds, it can't. A judge can't just arbitrarily order any random free citizen to do or not do something just because he feels like it, certainly not when that thing is happening outside his courtroom. That would be a ridiculous abuse of his power. Sorry, Apos, but you're simply wrong about this. If I go to court to complain that my high school is allowing school-sponsored prayers, in violation of the separation of church and state, and the judge agrees with me, he'll issue an injunction. (Granted, the injunction will probably be directed at the school administration, rather than at one of the students.) Then, if the school goes ahead and allows the prayers, they've violated the injunction, they're in contempt of court, and the court can, and will, issue an arrest warrant.

He's not issuing the injunction on his own initiative - he's issuing the injunction in response to a complaint filed by an aggrieved party with standing. The fact that the violation of the injunction happens outside the courtroom is completely irrelevant. And there's nothing abusive about it - this is how judges enforce their orders.

amarinth
11-06-2003, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by Shodan
In both cases, the state is attempting to interfere with the free exercise of religion, specifically the Christian religion. Why it should make any difference that you can mention God but not Jesus is beyond me. Unless you want to argue that the State can establish some religions, but not others.Actually, the entire quote was:
The court will allow that prayer to be a typical nondenominational prayer, which can refer to God or the Almighty or that sort of thing. The prayer may not refer to a specific deity by name, whether it be Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, the great god Sheba, or anyone else.
Christianity was not singled out. The WND article implied that it was.

El Cid Viscoso
11-06-2003, 02:02 AM
Originally posted by El_Kabong

...news of a case where someone actually was criminally charged... for saying 'Jesus' at a graduation ceremony?I would also like to see this information.

Mojo
11-06-2003, 08:20 AM
In addition to the missing info from the Galveston "Jesus" grad ceremony story, the WND ad also had this:
In Missouri, when fourth-grader Raymond Raines bowed his head in prayer before his lunch in the cafeteria of Waring Elementary School in St. Louis, his teacher allegedly (my emphasis) ordered him out of his seat, in full view of other students present, and sent him to the principal’s office. After his third such prayer "offense," little Raymond was segregated from his classmates, ridiculed for his religious beliefs, and given one week's detention.
But as the Washington Post reported:
School officials and the school's attorney have declined to elaborate on exactly why the boy was punished because they are required by law to protect his right to privacy. Superintendent David Mahan responds, however, that the boy "was disciplined for some matters that were totally independent of silent praying. We did a very thorough investigation. We talked to teachers, administrators, and also to some students, and we could not find any evidence of the allegations that the parent and the student made." Rev. Earl E. Nance Jr, a member and former chairman of the St. Louis school board, adds "I don't think the child was prevented from praying over lunch. I think the child was probably instructed in another matter and mistook that for understanding he couldn't pray over his lunch, and went home and told his parents." Nance is the pastor of Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. He characterized the lawsuit as simply "frivolous."
But to answer the OP, I think that yes, if a judge has ordered that only non-denominational prayers are to be given at a graduation ceremony and someone purposefully violates that order, then they should be found in contempt and face a sentence of up to 6 months.

"Worldnet Daily Exclusive" usually means no reputable news source will touch it with a ten-foot pole

Mojo
11-06-2003, 08:26 AM
In addition to the missing info from the Galveston "Jesus" grad ceremony story, the WND ad also had this:
In Missouri, when fourth-grader Raymond Raines bowed his head in prayer before his lunch in the cafeteria of Waring Elementary School in St. Louis, his teacher allegedly (my emphasis) ordered him out of his seat, in full view of other students present, and sent him to the principal’s office. After his third such prayer "offense," little Raymond was segregated from his classmates, ridiculed for his religious beliefs, and given one week's detention.
But as the Washington Post reported:
School officials and the school's attorney have declined to elaborate on exactly why the boy was punished because they are required by law to protect his right to privacy. Superintendent David Mahan responds, however, that the boy "was disciplined for some matters that were totally independent of silent praying. We did a very thorough investigation. We talked to teachers, administrators, and also to some students, and we could not find any evidence of the allegations that the parent and the student made." Rev. Earl E. Nance Jr, a member and former chairman of the St. Louis school board, adds "I don't think the child was prevented from praying over lunch. I think the child was probably instructed in another matter and mistook that for understanding he couldn't pray over his lunch, and went home and told his parents." Nance is the pastor of Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. He characterized the lawsuit as simply "frivolous."
But to answer the OP, I think that yes, if a judge has ordered that only non-denominational prayers are to be given at a graduation ceremony and someone purposefully violates that order, then they should be found in contempt and face a sentence of up to 6 months.

"Worldnet Daily Exclusive" usually means no reputable news source will touch it with a ten-foot pole

jayjay
11-06-2003, 09:41 AM
Mojo, can you give a link to that article, please? I need it for a discussion of this situation on another board, and I haven't been able to find a non-rightwing-biased source for the incident.

PatriotX
11-06-2003, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by Mojo


But as the Washington Post reported:



Do you have a link for this? Pretty please?

vengence will be mine...maybe
11-06-2003, 09:51 AM
Honestly, who cares? This is just one more thing for people to argue about all over the country in all their glory and mediums. There are so many other things to worry about. Everyone is the great debater when it comes to their own opinions. See, I am living proof. Go back to worrying about your bills and your children instead of a high school kid and a judge arguing over saying the word Jesus.

Thank you and good night.

Jackmannii
11-06-2003, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by Zoe
Since we can't know the beliefs of everyone, the only fair thing is not to get too specific or -- another possibility -- to pray silently. What is wrong with either of those?
What's "wrong" (to zealots) about silent prayer is that it doesn't allow you to proselytize to others.

These sorts of controversies are virtually never about an individual's right to exercise his/her freedom of religion. It's about influencing or controlling others.

laigle
11-06-2003, 10:14 AM
No, kids shouldn't get jail time for saying Jesus. It should be public execution, no questions asked.*



*Note to the humorless: the aforementioned was a joke. Jest. Not intended as a serious remark. Taking it seriously can and will lead to you being viewed as a complete doofus by the poster, and possibly others. Continue at your own risk.

Early Out
11-06-2003, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by vengence will be mine...maybe
Honestly, who cares? If you don't care about the issue under discussion, I suggest you refrain from posting. Do you plan to open every GD thread, and tell everyone in it that they shouldn't bother debating the issue? How very thoughtful of you.

Oh, and Jackmannii's words should be carved into a large piece of granite, and dropped on the head of every religious zealot. Well stated!

catsix
11-06-2003, 10:25 AM
At my high school graduation, the school supposedly followed the rule that prohibited them from leading an actual prayer at graduation by suggesting to a student that it would be a very good idea for her to just 'spontaneously' request that everyone join her in a prayer before she gave her speech.

What a neat little way for the school officials to shove through a prayer they wanted at the graduation. Just make it look like it was something the student did, spur of the moment, for her own reasons.

The thing is that even with a secular prayer that doesn't mention any 'god' by name, you're still alienating those who don't believe in any higher power at all.

Oh, and a nitpick to that judge, the Buddha wasn't a god and never will be. The word buddha means that a person is enlightened, and although Siddharta Gautamu was the most famous Buddha ever, he certainly was a man and not a god.

pravnik
11-06-2003, 10:44 AM
The judge didn't just pull this decision out of his ass. The precedent at the time was a SCOTUS case, Lee v. Weisman, which held that a school allowing a rabbi to give an invocation at a graduation ceremony was coercing students to support and participate in religion or its exercise.

The judge's ruling was that school sanctioned, student led prayer at a school event was the functional equivalent of Weisman (a position the Supremes upheld 5 years later in Santa Fe). The court's admonition was an over the top reminder that you don't petition a federal court for a redress of your grievances and then disobey that court's order when you don't like the outcome, unless you want to be jailed for contempt of court.

Shodan
11-06-2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Zoe -
He said that you can't mention the name of any deity. The example he gave was Jesus. But it was obvious from his ruling that you also couldn't mention Allah, Isis, Zeus, Odin, any of the Hindu Gods and so forth. 'Allah' is the Arabic word for God. 'God' is the English proper noun for God.

So you can use certain terms for God, but not others.
Actually, the entire quote was:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The court will allow that prayer to be a typical nondenominational prayer, which can refer to God or the Almighty or that sort of thing. The prayer may not refer to a specific deity by name, whether it be Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, the great god Sheba, or anyone else.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Christianity was not singled out. The WND article implied that it was. In other words, Christianity was singled out. Unitarianism, for example, is allowed, because it uses different terms for God. Judaism is OK providing you use the English translation of 'Elohim'. And Islam and Buddhism are OK, since neither Buddha nor Mohammed are considered deities.

In other words, the judge is an idiot on other topics besides the First Amendment.
Originally posted by Zoe -
Did you even notice that the ruling allowed prayers at graduation?
Yes, I did. Did you even notice that certain prayers were outlawed, but other ones allowed? In what way is this not an establishment of religion?
Originally posted by Zoe -
Have you ever been in a situation where you personally were prevented from praying? Honestly?
No. I have never been subject to an unlawful search, either, but I still object when it happens to others.
Originally posted by Zoe -
At a group gathering such as graduation, it is not only your rights which have to be considered, but also the rights of everyone whose presence is required. Since we can't know the beliefs of everyone, the only fair thing is not to get too specific or -- another possibility -- to pray silently. What is wrong with either of those?
The fact that the decision is being made by the State, in clear contradiction of both the spirit and letter of the First Amendment.

Everybody's rights are being considered. Everyone has the right to freedom of religion. Not just those who are willing to use State-approved words, or pray State-approved prayers, or think State-approved thoughts.
Originally posted by Zoe -
Or do you look forward to a time when black candles and pentagrams will be able to have equal time with Christianity and the worship of dung beetles? They already have this. I am trying to preserve it from encroachment by the State, who want to deny freedom of speech and of religion.
Originally posted by TuckerFan -
Hey, Shodan, suppose you'd spent your life being harassed by dirtbags using similar slogans as to what you would open your speech with? Suppose that these same dirtbags would grab you while you're walking down the street and spend 15 minutes screaming in your face similar slogans? Suppose that family members or friends or people who shared a similar philosophy about life have been killed by dirtbags espousing similar thoughts? Would you want to hear that crap at your graduation?
Someone who "grabs" you and forcibly detains you is guilty of assault and battery, and unlawful detainment.

Atheists have killed millions of religious believers, and Madlyn Murray-O'Hair was a major-league asshole. This has exactly zero to do with whether or not mentions of atheism should be forbidden in public.
Originally posted by TuckerFan -
Maybe "no one is forced to join in at all," but they still can be upset by those comments. Better they're not said, IMHO. How often does this need to be said?

No one has the right to say, "I don't like your ideas, and therefore you are not allowed to express them in public". You don't have the right not to be upset in a public forum.

The judge is subjecting speech to a religious test. Some kinds of religious speech is allowed, and others forbidden.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Not "just a few laws", or "unless it will upset people", or "unless it will shut up those obnoxious folks that we don't like anyway". No law.

The government may not forbid using the name of Jesus in public. Nor Allah, nor Stalin, nor Robert Ingersoll.

Regards,
Shodan

Ramanujan
11-06-2003, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by Tuckerfan
Maybe "no one is forced to join in at all," but they still can be upset by those comments. Better they're not said, IMHO.better left unsaid? sure.

but people taking offense at your words isn't the constitutional basis against school prayer. the idea is that when attending a public event (especially a secular one where people of different religions have a vested interest in attendance), forcing the audience to take part in a necessarily religious observance is essentially government coercion of religious beliefs, and goes against the establishment clause. that they can "refrain" from acknowledging the religious aspects of the observance makes no difference when it is part of the government ceremony, in which they want to take part.

as far as i know, having a student lead the prayer is no different.

pravnik
11-06-2003, 11:00 AM
Here's some more: the controlling 5th Circuit precedent at the time, as described by the majority in Santa Fe Ind. School Dist. v. Doe:

" In Jones v. Clear Creek Independent School Dist., 977 F.2d 963 (1992), [the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals] held that student-led prayer that was approved by a vote of the students and was nonsectarian and nonproselytizing was permissible at high school graduation ceremonies. On the other hand, in later cases the Fifth Circuit made it clear that the Clear Creek rule applied only to high school graduations and that school-encouraged prayer was constitutionally impermissible at school-related sporting events."

So what was Judge Kent supposed to do? Make an incorrect ruling directly against precedent and get reversed?

Homebrew
11-06-2003, 11:31 AM
In fact Kent had ruled that a nonsectarian prayer was okay at a football game and was overruled on that in 1996, IIRC.

NutWrench
11-06-2003, 11:42 AM
Can we still pray to the Supreme Evil One?

jayjay
11-06-2003, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by NutWrench
Can we still pray to the Supreme Evil One?

Yes, you can still pray to Bill Gates. It won't make Windows work any better, though.

Bricker
11-06-2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by catsix

Oh, and a nitpick to that judge, the Buddha wasn't a god and never will be. The word buddha means that a person is enlightened, and although Siddharta Gautamu was the most famous Buddha ever, he certainly was a man and not a god.

To nitpick your nitpick, the Buddha was not merely enlightened, nor does the name refer merely to an enlightened person.

The Pali word arahant refers to an enlightened person. A Buddha is an arahant that also has the ability to teach others to reach the stages of enlightenment; he can see past lives and know what the future holds . While THE Buddha is not the only Buddha - indeed, it's axiomatic that there have been and will be many Buddhas - it is said that a Buddha will appear only every four kulpa or so.

A kulpa: picture a mountain 7 miles high, and a bird bearing the finest silk in its claws brushing the top of the mountain with the silk once every 100 years. The mountain will wear away before a kulpa has passed.

- Rick

Balle_M
11-06-2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Jackmannii
What's "wrong" (to zealots) about silent prayer is that it doesn't allow you to proselytize to others.

These sorts of controversies are virtually never about an individual's right to exercise his/her freedom of religion. It's about influencing or controlling others.

Like NOT allowing someone to acknowlege his or her religion during a major milestone in their life?

Agreed.

Bricker
11-06-2003, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by catsix

Oh, and a nitpick to that judge, the Buddha wasn't a god and never will be. The word buddha means that a person is enlightened, and although Siddharta Gautamu was the most famous Buddha ever, he certainly was a man and not a god.

To nitpick your nitpick, the Buddha was not merely enlightened, nor does the name refer merely to an enlightened person.

The Pali word arahant refers to an enlightened person. A Buddha is an arahant that also has the ability to teach others to reach the stages of enlightenment; he can see past lives and know what the future holds . While THE Buddha is not the only Buddha - indeed, it's axiomatic that there have been and will be many Buddhas - it is said that a Buddha will appear only every four kulpa or so.

A kulpa: picture a mountain 7 miles high, and a bird bearing the finest silk in its claws brushing the top of the mountain with the silk once every 100 years. The mountain will wear away before a kulpa has passed.

- Rick

TaxGuy
11-06-2003, 01:37 PM
Shodan, I'd very much appreciate it if you'd respond to my post above, especially my distillation of Lee v. Weisman and Santa Fe v. Dole. What do you think?

Mojo
11-06-2003, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by jayjay
Mojo, can you give a link to that article, please? I need it for a discussion of this situation on another board, and I haven't been able to find a non-rightwing-biased source for the incident.

I got it from Holysmoke.org (link here (http://www.holysmoke.org/hs00/gingrich.htm)) which claims that it was in the WaPo 12/5/94. SimonX, I can't link directly to it since its in the Post's pay archives.

Shodan, I'm not sure I follow your logic- to me, it seems implied that Allah, Jehovah, Eloiam, et. al. are included in the judges admonition. At the very least, inclusion of their names, as well as Buddha or Mohammed, in the graduation ceremony would at the very least violate the spirit of what the judge is saying. No?

Monty
11-06-2003, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by Balle_M
Like NOT allowing someone to acknowlege his or her religion during a major milestone in their life?

Agreed.

You should write for the wnd. What is prohibited is someone coopting the government sponsored major event of other people in order to showboat their religion. The Consitution is very clear on why that's not permitted. But go ahead and keep on pretending it's not.

Shodan
11-06-2003, 03:12 PM
Responding to TaxGuy's request for a reaction:

Originally posted by TaxGuy
I'd imagine that what the judge actually ordered was that no student offer a prayer during a speech at the graduation, and the reason for that is that a long line of precedent holds that praying at school-sponsored events violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
No, the judge said that prayers of a certain kind were acceptable. They just couldn't use certain religious references (such as the name of Christ, or Allah), but others were OK.
The court will allow that prayer to be a typical nondenominational prayer, which can refer to God or the Almighty or that sort of thing. The prayer may not refer to a specific deity by name, whether it be Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, the great god Sheba, or anyone else.


Which is stupid on several levels.
Neither Buddha nor Muhammed are deities, so that the judge in question is simply demonstrating that he is ruling on a matter on which he is ignorant.
'God' and 'the Almighty' are both translations of terms that would (presumably) be banned, so the ruling is saying that you have to address God using certain languages.
The judge has decided that it is not being forced to participate in a religious practice which is offensive, but only to be forced to participate in certain religious practices - specifically Christian or Islamic ones, or anything beyond a sort of generic theism.
Thus this judge makes a ruling that includes the worst of both worlds. If public prayer at a graduation is an imposition of religion, this judge does not care. That is OK in his book. But not all religions can be imposed - only those of which the court approves. Mushy theism is fine, and the atheists in the audience can go pound sand. But specific Christianity (if that is the religion chosen by the speakers) is out - the judge doesn't like that form of religion, and therefore it cannot be imposed.
Originally posted by Mojo
Shodan, I'm not sure I follow your logic- to me, it seems implied that Allah, Jehovah, Eloiam, et. al. are included in the judges admonition. At the very least, inclusion of their names, as well as Buddha or Mohammed, in the graduation ceremony would at the very least violate the spirit of what the judge is saying. No?Yes, they are included, but it makes no sense.

You can't say "Allah", but you can say "God". You can't say "Elohim", but you can say "the Almighty". So apparently it is OK to use English translations of "offensive" names for God.

"Jesus" in Hebrew means "Yahveh is salvation". According to the "logic" of the judge's ruling, it would be acceptable to pray "in the name of Yahveh-is-salvation", since that is also a translation of a name for God into English, just like "God" is a translation into English of the Arabic word meaning "God".

Actually, you would probably have to translate "Yahveh" too, but it means something like "I Am Who I Am". So it should be OK to pray "in the name of I Am is Salvation". Or maybe just translate "Christ" as "the Anointed One", and use that.

You see what I am saying? This is an exceptionally muddle-headed ruling, that clarifies nothing, and offends everyone. And it establishes the judge's choice for religion as acceptable, but no one else's.

Which makes this a violation of the First Amendment. Voluntary prayers led by private individuals, and not enforced by the state, do not violate the First Amendment.

So if there is a student-led prayer, or the class valedictorian wants to pray to Jesus as part of her speech (or Allah, or the Great Mystery, or whatever), she should be allowed to go ahead. Those who wish to join in may do so; the rest can wait until it is over. And if some atheist winds up in the same position next year, no one can force him to lead a prayer if he doesn't want to.

It's no worse than some blowhard telling you the future is yours to command, when the best job you can find is running the press in the local dry-cleaners.

Regards,
Shodan

Zoe
11-06-2003, 05:30 PM
Shodan'God' is the English proper noun for God.

Cite! Then how can Jehovah be the name of God?

Originally posted by Zoe -
Have you ever been in a situation where you personally were prevented from praying? Honestly?

Shodan: No. I have never been subject to an unlawful search, either, but I still object when it happens to others.

I have been in situations where my relgious rights were violated in the extreme in a public school setting. It happened over and over again despite my protests. Would you also support my rights as a teacher not to have to sit through the hellfire and brimstone sermons which are illegal? Bible readings? Forced public prayer situations?

These situations occured all the time when I was teaching (between 1969-1989, despite the fact that it was illegal. That is where the most frequent breeches of the law were occuring.

I also had harrassment from relgiously conservative school employers for my observance of Ash Wednesday and All Saints Day. And they put me through the hassle every year.

Originally posted by Zoe -
Or do you look forward to a time when black candles and pentagrams will be able to have equal time with Christianity and the worship of dung beetles?

Shodan:They already have this.

Who already has this? Certainly not the schools! And since that was the topic, do you want schools to have to give equal time to all religions?

I am trying to preserve it from encroachment by the State, who want to deny freedom of speech and of religion. (bolding added)

The "it" you are talking about is witchcraft? satanism? You want schools to be free to have satan worship? No thanks! Not in my classroom! I was hired to teach English to students. Their parents and their churches were responsible for their relgious training. There were lots of prayers said in my classroom, but they were silent.

Apos
11-07-2003, 12:00 AM
EarlyOut, you are aptly named. You managed to basically start off by saying I'm just totally utterly wrong, and then quickly switched to an admission that is no different than saying I'm correct. The judge has grounds to make an injuction AGAINST THE SCHOOL. What grounds does he have to bar a private citizen from speaking about their religion? It's the school's Constitutional responsibility to set those rules, not the speaker's responsibility to follow them. The school has the option of simply not inviting people to speak who would lead coerced citizens in prayer. If someone does, it's the schools problem, not the speaker's.

Apos
11-07-2003, 12:14 AM
I agree with Shodan initially. You can't have it both ways. If you are going to leave religion out of government ceremonies, you can't very well pick and choose among religious references. The sheer diversity of belief makes any such attempt doomed to almost immediate obsolescence.

However, it IS the schools' responsibility to not invite speakers who intend to turn a government run and essentially legally mandatory ceremony into a platform for their own evangelism. It isn't a crime for someone to do this, but it is a crime for a school to tolerate it, condone it, or allow it to go on.

For better or worse, religion is singled out as being a special subject when it comes to the government, making it a different matter than blowhards or even political activists who evangelize for recycling programs.

Freedom is the fact that people are free to gather together and pray and evangelize all they want. They just can't enlist government functions and regulations to aid them in doing so.

Nightime
11-07-2003, 12:57 AM
I believe it is unconstitutional to send a student to jail because they thanked Jesus for getting them through high school.

However, the judge could require that the school not allow it.

So, if a student did try to turn his speech into a prayer, the school would get him off the stage, and nobody goes to jail. If the school allowed him to continue, they might get punished. But the student did not break any law.

crazy grady
11-07-2003, 01:32 AM
I tell ya, I am not a Christian per se, but I'll be damned if some farthead judge tells me what I can and cannot say at my graduation.

I'll name the Son of God's name out loud and if any US Marshall wants to take my fat ass away, go for it. Then my parents can go to every media outlet in the nation, write our governor, congressman, senators and the President himself and call 30 Rockefeller in New York to get a jailhouse interview with Katie Couric, AMEN.

The prisoners wont screw with me either. "Why are you in jail boy?", Bubba may ask. "I am here because I said Jesus during a graduation and some peckerwood Democrat liberal judge tossed me in here." You could lock me up with Charles Manson for 6 monthes and i would not be harmed. I would leave that prison a hero.

GRADY

crazy grady
11-07-2003, 01:40 AM
To continue................


when I went to school in "the good old days" (1981-1985) there was a CLICK (Christ Living In Christian Kids) group on my public school campus which met every week with about 300 members.

I did not agree with this, but...............when the school wanted to warn us teens about suicide, sex or drug abuse, they brought in the local baptist church to give us a secular lecture about such nonsense. Really. Our principal would of gave the ACLU a heart attack. I will say if that judge pulled that bullshit in our school, our principal would be the first in line to go to jail.

GRADY

Early Out
11-07-2003, 02:38 AM
Apos, a bit of friendly advice: never, ever tell a judge, "You can't stop me from doing that!" :D

Sure sounds to me like this judge, hyperbolic though he may be, was telling the students that if any of them violated his order, he'd have them arrested for contempt of court. Judges don't make a habit of issuing threats that they can't back up with action. The 5th Circuit affirmed his decision; I can't honestly say that I've read the decision (no law library at my disposal), but I haven't seen anyone else in this thread saying that, while the judge's decision was affirmed, the appeals court said that he went over the line in threatening the students with a contempt citation.

Now, what would have happened if he had actually had, say, the class valedictorian hauled off to the pokey? Since it didn't happen, we may never know. But a judge's powers, when it comes to enforcing his orders, are very broad.

Monty
11-07-2003, 05:29 AM
Originally posted by crazy grady
when I went to school in "the good old days" (1981-1985) there was a CLICK (Christ Living In Christian Kids) group on my public school campus which met every week with about 300 members.

So long as the school is making its facilities available for other groups, then this is not a violation of SOCAS.

I did not agree with this, but

Whether you agree with it or not has no bearing on its constitutionality. See above.

{bolding in this quote is mine}...............when the school wanted to warn us teens about suicide, sex or drug abuse, they brought in the local baptist church to give us a secular lecture about such nonsense. Really.

You must've forgotten the meaning of the word I've bolded. If the individual (somehow, I seriously doubt the entire local Baptist congregation came in and commenced singing, "Just say 'no!'") who was "brought in" happened to be both a member of that congregation and a qualified counselor, then--again thanks to the lecture being secular in nature--there's no violation of SOCAS.

Our principal would of gave the ACLU a heart attack.

"Would have." At any rate, since there's no violation of SOCAS in the event you relate, why would the ACLU have a problem with it?

I will say if that judge pulled that bullshit in our school, our principal would be the first in line to go to jail.

The judge isn't pulling anything in any school. What he's doing is performing his lawful duties in the venue provided for same: the court.

Shodan
11-07-2003, 05:57 AM
Originally posted by Zoe
Cite! Then how can Jehovah be the name of God?
Je·ho·vah - God, especially in Christian translations of the Old Testament.
(http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Jehovah)

God - A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
(http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=God)

Allah

n : Muslim name for God
(http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Allah)
Originally posted by Zoe
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Zoe -
Or do you look forward to a time when black candles and pentagrams will be able to have equal time with Christianity and the worship of dung beetles?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They already have this. I am trying to preserve it from encroachment by the State, who want to deny freedom of speech and of religion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who already has this? Citizens of the United States have the equal right to practice any religion, or no religion, without it being interfered with or enforced by the State.

Student-initiated and -led prayers during a graduation ceremony do not constitute enforcement by the State, since students are private citizens. Court orders by a judge, dictating what kind of prayers must be said and what words can be used, do constitute both an infringement and and enforcement of religious practices by the State.

Originally posted by Zoe
The "it" you are talking about is witchcraft? satanism?
No, equal rights under the Constitution.

Regards,
Shodan

jayjay
11-07-2003, 05:57 AM
Monty, isn't it just so much fun fighting this issue on two different boards simultaneously? :D

Siege
11-07-2003, 06:09 AM
So, Shodan, as I've mentioned, I'm friends with a Wiccan priest and priestess. How would you feel if they came to your neck of the galaxy and led an invocation to the Lord and Lady at your local high school's graduation, especially if that was the only religion mentioned?

Respectfully,
CJ

Typo Negative
11-07-2003, 06:10 AM
Originally posted by Shodan
'Allah' is the Arabic word for God. 'God' is the English proper noun for God.

You're reaching here. Those who use the name 'Allah' have something real specific in mind, don't you think? And if someone want's to talk to you about Jehova, they probably mean something particular, too.

Let's turn the tables for a moment, shall we? Let's say that a High School in the USofA has a predominantly Muslim student body. We should also assume that there are Christians, Buddists, Jews, and all, but the majority are Muslims. With me so far?

Now at the Graduation cerimony, the Validictorian (a Muslim) wants to share the good news of Islam and specifically, Allah. Let us further say that the school has invited a Muslim speaker to address the student body and parents.

You see what I'm getting at, right? The Christian kids and parents might feel a bit like they're getting a bit of Islamic indoctrination, and they might be upset about. They may feel that they shouldn't have to put up with that, their views on faith being, at the very least, equal. They might say "This kind of thing isn't allowed!"

How would you feel about it?


Would you say "Hey, let the kids say what they want. The Muslim speaker, too. They're the majority, after all." Or would you have some qualms about it? Would you feel differently if your child was a student there? I'd like to know.

I don't know about you, but I've known a lot of religious Christians and they'd be up in arms if Allah were mentioned in a positive way in the presence of their children. They would look upon it as something sinister. As if someone were trying to convert them and lead them away from the true religion.

vengence will be mine...maybe
11-07-2003, 08:08 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Early Out
[B]If you don't care about the issue under discussion, I suggest you refrain from posting. Do you plan to open every GD thread, and tell everyone in it that they shouldn't bother debating the issue? How very thoughtful of you.

Your not really debating the issue now are you? Your just complaining about my post. Now, what's really going on here?
Thank you.

Balle_M
11-07-2003, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by Monty
You should write for the wnd. What is prohibited is someone coopting the government sponsored major event of other people in order to showboat their religion. The Consitution is very clear on why that's not permitted. But go ahead and keep on pretending it's not.

So the "right" of someone in the audience to not be offended trumps the student's right to freedom of speech.

Sweet.

Typo Negative
11-07-2003, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by Balle_M
So the "right" of someone in the audience to not be offended trumps the student's right to freedom of speech.

do you really believe that is the issue?

That student has free speech. They can stand on the street and announce their beliefs at the top of the lungs. They write and distibute pamphlets, write to the papers, post online, meet and discuss with others on their own time.

See, the graduation ceremony isn't their own time. it's the public school's time, which kinda makes it a government sponsored event. That's the issue. It comes off as an official endorsement of Christianity.

I asked a question of Shodan a few posts up. Maybe you could read it and answer it also. I would like your opinion on the matter.

Balle_M
11-07-2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by spooje

I asked a question of Shodan a few posts up. Maybe you could read it and answer it also. I would like your opinion on the matter.

If the question is:
"Would you say "Hey, let the kids say what they want. The Muslim speaker, too. They're the majority, after all." Or would you have some qualms about it? Would you feel differently if your child was a student there? I'd like to know."

I've already indicated that I believe in free speech. If the Validictorian decided to wear a Shriner's fez and attribute her success to her worship of Cthulhu, at worst I'd nudge Ms. Balle_M and mumble, "Jeez...what a nutjob." I would NOT run crying to the first judge I could find and whine about being offended.

Monty
11-07-2003, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by Balle_M
So the "right" of someone in the audience to not be offended trumps the student's right to freedom of speech.

Sweet.

Well, instead of making a dishonest characterization of my posting, you could haul off and realize that the rest of the crowd also has rights--and that's what the judge is issuing his orders to protect.

Tuckerfan
11-07-2003, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
Someone who "grabs" you and forcibly detains you is guilty of assault and battery, and unlawful detainment. Hmm, yes, but (at least in this state) finding a cop willing to make the arrest, a DA willing to prosecute, and a jury willing to convict are another matter. Even if I could manage to do all of that, I'd be screwing myself. Why? Because in this state there'd be a media frenzy over the whole business, and I'd immediately lose my job. (My boss being a devout Christian.) Now, sure I could sue him, and I'd no doubt win (eventually). However, since it's taken me three bloody years to a get a job in the industry I'm interested in, and since the media spectacle would make it well-nigh impossible for me to get another job in the field (at least in this state), I think I'll pass. I've been homeless and I've done without food in the past, it's not something I care to repeat.

Atheists have killed millions of religious believersAh, but they haven't had quite the run of it that religion has had, now have they? You've got the various Soviet dictators, potentially Adolf Hitler, a few scattered throughout history and that's pretty much it. The Catholic Church alone is responsible for a goodly number, and when you factor in the other branches of Christianity, Islam, Judism, Hinduism, and Zoasterians (to name but a few) I'd say that the blood on religions hands is greater than that of atheism. and Madlyn Murray-O'Hair was a major-league asshole. I'll see your Madlyn Murray-O'Hair and raise you a Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jim Jones, and Franklin Graham.This has exactly zero to do with whether or not mentions of atheism should be forbidden in public.
How often does this need to be said?So, it's okay with you if a student gets up a graduation ceremony and says, "There is no God, you pathetic losers!"? Using a state sponsored function which is not intended to have a discussion about theology, but is merely a celebration of those who've managed to show up the required number of days for 13 years?

No one has the right to say, "I don't like your ideas, and therefore you are not allowed to express them in public". You don't have the right not to be upset in a public forum. Are you familiar with the phrase "hate speech"? I do have the right, if the ideas which are being expressed are morally repugnant to me to complain, and if those ideas are of a religious nature, in a state sponsored setting, and are given with the expressed desire of "furthering the message" by an elected official, then that is an attempt at state sponsored religion, and is quite clearly against the Constitution. And lest you cry that the Founding Fathers of this country were Christians, you should take a gander at this passage from Thomas Jefferson's autobiography"[A]n amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read, "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination."

-- Thomas Jefferson, 1821

The judge is subjecting speech to a religious test. Some kinds of religious speech is allowed, and others forbidden. As others have shown far better than I: Wrong.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Not "just a few laws", or "unless it will upset people", or "unless it will shut up those obnoxious folks that we don't like anyway". No law.

The government may not forbid using the name of Jesus in public. Nor Allah, nor Stalin, nor Robert Ingersoll.

Regards,
Shodan It can and does, when those expressions are used by elected officials to foist a state sponsored religion on the populace.

Oh, and don't assume that because I agree with the judge that I'm an atheist. I do not discuss my religion with other folks. That way, I'm only slightly annoying, instead of incredibly annoying.

Typo Negative
11-09-2003, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by Balle_M
I've already indicated that I believe in free speech. If the Validictorian decided to wear a Shriner's fez and attribute her success to her worship of Cthulhu, at worst I'd nudge Ms. Balle_M and mumble, "Jeez...what a nutjob." I would NOT run crying to the first judge I could find and whine about being offended. Thank you for the response. For what it's worth, that's the way I'd react to it, too.

But I get a little nippy about what I percieve as the hypocritical reaction from some of our Christian brothers and sisters. I ain't naming no names coughjeryyfallwellbilloriellypatrobertsoncough, but some of them would be absolutely livid, on the verge of coniption, if Allah or Jehova were honored in such a way, or if the Torah or Quaran (sp?) were read from in such a ceremony in front of their kids.

Shodan
11-09-2003, 06:58 AM
Originally posted by Tuckerfan
Hmm, yes, but (at least in this state) finding a cop willing to make the arrest, a DA willing to prosecute, and a jury willing to convict are another matter.
I am sure there must be any number of ACLU lawyers who are slavering for cases such as the one you claim.

If it were me being kidnapped and held for hours, I would be a little more likely to follow thru.
Originally posted by Tuckerfan
So, it's okay with you if a student gets up a graduation ceremony and says, "There is no God, you pathetic losers!"? Apart from the last three words, yes.

Originally posted by Tuckerfan
Are you familiar with the phrase "hate speech"?
I am indeed. It has nothing to do with a student expressing religious faith in public.
Originally posted by Tuckerfan
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The judge is subjecting speech to a religious test. Some kinds of religious speech is allowed, and others forbidden.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As others have shown far better than I: Wrong.
So a judge determining that some prayers are allowed, and others prohibited, is not a religious test of speech?

Prayers are clearly speech. The judge has clearly set up a test. The test is clearly religious, since the judge expressly defines it as such. Which part of this syllogism do you contest?

Originally posted by Tuckerfan
It can and does, when those expressions are used by elected officials to foist a state sponsored religion on the populace.
You mean like a judge determining which prayers in public are OK and which are forbidden?

He is sponsoring a certain form of religion, and foisting it on the populace. Or are you arguing that students are elected officials?

Regards,
Shodan

Mojo
11-09-2003, 11:22 AM
Shodan:
You mean like a judge determining which prayers in public are OK and which are forbidden?
Yes- the judge determined that non-denominational prayers were OK and was laying out guidelines for what was acceptable. The key word is non-denominational, which you don't seem to acknowledge. As I stated before, the type of prayers that you've given as examples of acceptable under his ruling are not non-denominational and while they may not violate the letter of the judges specific examples, they sure violate the spirit. I'd be willing to bet that if you gave a school prayer thanking Mohammed and were cited for contempt, your "but he's not a deity!" excuse wouldn't wash.

No, I don't have a cite for this. And there's a lot of stuff that falls under free speech that isn't allowed at a graduation ceremony. If they want to stand out in the parking lot and thank Jesus (or their deity of choice) they're allowed to do that.

Apos
11-09-2003, 11:50 AM
Shodan is right: this is a dubious religious test, and it is not acceptable. It isn't the government's business to determine what SORT of religious activity is acceptable and what isn't, whta constitutes non-denominational, and what doesn't. It's the government's business to stay out of religious matters entirely, not to become an expert on theology. Judges are not qualified to rule on matters of theology, nor are they empowered to do so.

Tuckerfan: Ah, but they haven't had quite the run of it that religion has had, now have they? You've got the various Soviet dictators, potentially Adolf Hitler, a few scattered throughout history and that's pretty much it. The Catholic Church alone is responsible for a goodly number, and when you factor in the other branches of Christianity, Islam, Judism, Hinduism, and Zoasterians (to name but a few) I'd say that the blood on religions hands is greater than that of atheism.

The Catholic Church, at least directly, can't claim more than a few hundred thousand, though obviously that figure changes depending on what you consider to be their fault. However, one could easily aruge that in many cases their acts had more to do with politics than religion.

However, if we distinguish between someone merely being an atheist and being killed in the name of anti-religion, then Hitler et al's count diminishes quite a bit as well. Further, lives aren't the only things of importance: both religious and anti-religious regimes created climates of terror and intimidation for non-believers and believers both.

This is not really a useful endeavor, however, this counting up of crimes. it's irrelevant to the subejct.

Tuckerfan
11-09-2003, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
I am sure there must be any number of ACLU lawyers who are slavering for cases such as the one you claim. Perhaps, but despite impressions to the contrary, the ACLU is not a fat cat organization and they are highly selective of the cases they handle. They're not going to jump on every case which they feel violates the law. Indeed, the time I spoke to them, they recommended that I speak to a private attorney if I wanted a response in a short period of time. (Gee guys, if I had the money to speak to a lawyer, I wouldn't be calling you.)

[/b][/quote]If it were me being kidnapped and held for hours, I would be a little more likely to follow thru.[/b][/quote]Who said anything about hours?
I am indeed. It has nothing to do with a student expressing religious faith in public.
So a judge determining that some prayers are allowed, and others prohibited, is not a religious test of speech?

Prayers are clearly speech. The judge has clearly set up a test. The test is clearly religious, since the judge expressly defines it as such. Which part of this syllogism do you contest?

You mean like a judge determining which prayers in public are OK and which are forbidden?

He is sponsoring a certain form of religion, and foisting it on the populace. Or are you arguing that students are elected officials?

Regards,
Shodan Frankly, I can't add anything better than what Mojob has said, at this point.

Homebrew
11-09-2003, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by Apos
Shodan is right: this is a dubious religious test, and it is not acceptable. It isn't the government's business to determine what SORT of religious activity is acceptable and what isn't, whta constitutes non-denominational, and what doesn't. It's the government's business to stay out of religious matters entirely, not to become an expert on theology. Judges are not qualified to rule on matters of theology, nor are they empowered to do so. While I would like the Court to rule that "ceremonial deism" is a dodge and just rule the whole thing UnConstitutional, kick out the Congressional Chaplains and knock off all the prayers, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. Kent's ruling in this case was essentially that a non-denominational prayer fit the mold a ceremonial deism, like the opening prayers in the Supreme Court or "In God We Trust" on the money.

Shodan
11-10-2003, 06:40 AM
Originally posted by Mojo -
Yes- the judge determined that non-denominational prayers were OK and was laying out guidelines for what was acceptable. Precisely. The judge decided that certain kinds of prayers were acceptable, and no others.

Which is a religious test, an establishment of religion, and an interference with the free practice of religion, all rolled into one.

Regards,
Shodan

Homebrew
11-10-2003, 08:08 AM
WRONG again Shodan.

Ceremonial Deism. The tradition is why it is allowed at graduation ceremonies but not at football games. I disagree and think it should be banned in both places; but at least it's better than having an Altar Call at graduation.

Something about “protected from establishment clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.”

jayjay
11-10-2003, 08:20 AM
Originally posted by Homebrew
Something about “protected from establishment clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.”

Which is pretty much an inevitable circumstance when a religion becomes associated with a government. It's a very simple philosophical (rather than chemical) reaction...government corrupts religion. It rots it. It empties it of all meaning and significance. Every time religion has reached out to take the government's hand, it's been made a tool of that government.

You'd think the religious people clamoring for government recognition and favoritism would realize this and react strongly against such a mingling.

Mojo
11-10-2003, 09:04 AM
Shodan, how was it an interference with the free practice of religion?

Shodan
11-10-2003, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by Homebrew
WRONG again Shodan.

Ceremonial Deism. The tradition is why it is allowed at graduation ceremonies but not at football games. I disagree and think it should be banned in both places; but at least it's better than having an Altar Call at graduation.

Something about “protected from establishment clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.” You aren't making any sense.

If they are having altar calls at a graduation, then it isn't ceremonial deism. If it has lost meaning thru rote repetition, then it should be just as allowable at a football game as at a graduation. And when you call for banning public prayer, you are interfering with the free practice of religion.

As I said, this is a particularly stupid ruling, with something in it to offend against the rights of practically everyone.

Regards,
Shodan

Homebrew
11-10-2003, 10:12 AM
This ruling is in line with the Supreme Court's ruling in several cases and specifically lines up with Brennan's concurrance in Abington Township v. Schempp about Ceremonial Deism. It was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. It was not a stupid ruling.

Shodan
11-10-2003, 06:52 PM
Plessy v. Ferguson was upheld, too.

Of course it is a stupid ruling.

Regards,
Shodan

'possum stalker
11-10-2003, 08:52 PM
WorldNewsDaily is run by Joseph Farrah. who started it as a Clinton scandal sheet funded by theWestern Journalism Center (http://www.westernjournalism.com/mission.html), which he co-founded.

The WJC is funded in turn by Richard Mellon-Scaife (http://www.publiceye.org/conspire/clinton/Clintonculwar8-06.htm), the billionaire who made Clinton-bashing into a growth industry. The WJC is the organization that brought the world all the half-baked Vince Foster suicide mystery bullshit.

So the OP cite is prolly inflammatory nonsense- has anyone found any independent confirmation of law-enforcement activity against Jesus-talkers? This is the second thread in as many days hydro has opened with a nutty-right cite, then jumped out of the bullring (the previous was the famed "Ann Coulter: Goebbels with tits" exchange). Hydrocortizone, what's your honest opinion?

Do you think students should get (etc.)... word 'Jesus'? Do you think there was ever serious danger of prison time over this one? Or is it more of a 'do not remove this label under penalty of law' kinda thing?

Homebrew
11-10-2003, 09:18 PM
So, [b]Shodan[/b[, are you willing to give up the Congressional Chaplains, Invocations, "In God We Trust" on the money and "Under God" in the Pledge? Because those are allowed as Ceremonial Deism. Otherwise they'd be disallowed. There's only one way to go with this issue. You get what you got or you give it all up. Personally, I'd like to see it all go.

Apos
11-11-2003, 12:39 AM
Ceremonial Deism is a remarkably stupid doctrine. It's not up to the government to decide what is meaningful to people, or what particular theology any given utterance connotes. Almost no religious statement is truly without some underlying theology, and certianly not when exposed to the diversity of human belief and interpretation.

The name is probably the stupidest thing of all: practically an oxymoron for many Deists who all had their own idiosyncratic philosophies, their own conception and names for God, and few of which would consider their beliefs to be in any way ceremonialable (to mangle a word).

Shodan
11-11-2003, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by Homebrew
So, Shodan, are you willing to give up the Congressional Chaplains, Invocations, "In God We Trust" on the money and "Under God" in the Pledge? Because those are allowed as Ceremonial Deism. Otherwise they'd be disallowed. There's only one way to go with this issue. You get what you got or you give it all up. Personally, I'd like to see it all go. Sure.

Student-led prayers at graduations or other public ceremonies, public mention of God and religious references including those made by elected officials, equal access to public facilities by religious groups, and voluntary inclusion of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge all stay. Because none of them constitute an establishment of religion by the State.

Regards,
Shodan

Tuckerfan
11-11-2003, 11:19 PM
Sorry, Shodan, I ain't buyin' it. And based on minty green's comments in this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&postid=4219949) about some "facts" you posted, I ain't buyin' anything else you say, either.

Siege
11-12-2003, 05:12 AM
Shodan, I'd like to repeat my question because I honestly don't know how you'd answer it.

If students at a local high school graduation invoked the Wiccan Lord and Lady and that was the only mention of religion during the ceremony, would you support that as firmly as you would students invoking Jesus (throw in God the Father and the Holy Spirit if you like)?

The reason I ask is it seems to me that all too often the people who most ardently support prayer in schools support only their particular form of prayer in schools.

Respectfully,
CJ

Shodan
11-12-2003, 07:05 AM
If students at a local high school graduation invoked the Wiccan Lord and Lady and that was the only mention of religion during the ceremony, would you support that as firmly as you would students invoking Jesus (throw in God the Father and the Holy Spirit if you like)?
Yes.

And Tuckerfan - I have made some further postings to the thread to which you linked.

Regards,
Shodan

Tuckerfan
11-12-2003, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
Yes.

And Tuckerfan - I have made some further postings to the thread to which you linked.

Regards,
Shodan And so has minty. Nothing you've posted has made me change my earlier statement.