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  #51  
Old 05-03-2018, 03:32 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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I'm not against there being a House chaplain. But it occurs to me that a lot of Congressmen might be upset if that chaplain were a Sikh. And in fact this one seems to have been dismissed for being Roman Catholic!

That makes me wonder about the meaning of the office.
  #52  
Old 05-03-2018, 03:38 AM
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I imagine it's more of a hostage situation: If God wants to smite congress, he's going to have to take out the chaplain too.
"Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius."

Last edited by foolsguinea; 05-03-2018 at 03:39 AM. Reason: punkt
  #53  
Old 05-03-2018, 10:09 AM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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And in fact this one seems to have been dismissed for being Roman Catholic!
Um, Speaker Ryan is also a Roman Catholic, so I don't think that's the reason.
  #54  
Old 05-03-2018, 02:58 PM
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Well, it depends on why Ryan did it.
  #55  
Old 05-03-2018, 03:33 PM
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Um, Speaker Ryan is also a Roman Catholic, so I don't think that's the reason.
Ever heard the phrase "cafeteria Catholic"? Ryan likes maybe one or two items on the salad bar, and he gets quite uncomfortable when a priest confronts him with the main entree.
  #56  
Old 05-03-2018, 03:45 PM
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Um, Speaker Ryan is also a Roman Catholic, so I don't think that's the reason.
If one takes as a starting point that Paul Ryan has never sacrificed his principles for political reasons, you might have a point.

The important word in that sentence being "if."

Last edited by Ravenman; 05-03-2018 at 03:45 PM.
  #57  
Old 05-03-2018, 03:53 PM
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I do, in fact, have strong reason to believe that Paul Ryan has never sacrificed his principles for political reasons.
  #58  
Old 05-03-2018, 04:01 PM
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I do, in fact, have strong reason to believe that Paul Ryan has never sacrificed his principles for political reasons.
You think, in his heart, he actually thinks Donald Trump is doing a good job when he hands praise to the President?

Now THIS is a development. The House Chaplain is un-resigning.
https://twitter.com/SamanthaJoRoth/s...30828720328704
  #59  
Old 05-03-2018, 04:36 PM
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I do, in fact, have strong reason to believe that Paul Ryan has never sacrificed his principles for political reasons.
What principles?
  #60  
Old 05-03-2018, 04:56 PM
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Um, Speaker Ryan is also a Roman Catholic, so I don't think that's the reason.
Wrong!

https://twitter.com/FoxReports/statu...117182470?s=19
  #61  
Old 05-03-2018, 05:42 PM
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Fuck the constitution, theocracy rocks!
From the aforementioned Wikipedia page on the House Chaplain:

Shortly after Congress first convened in April 1789 in New York City, one of its "first orders of business" was to convene a committee to recommend a Chaplain,[23] eventually selecting the Reverend William Linn as the first Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives.[24]

This would be the same Congress which drafted and passed the First 10 Amendments to the US Constitution which also included the Establishment Clause.

So, what you'd have us believe is that the Congress decided to assign a chaplain and then not long after write an Amendment to the Constitution which stated that doing such a practice was against the Constitution. All the while continuing to have a chaplain. Because they thought theocracy rocks and wanted to 'fuck the constitution' that they were writing?
  #62  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:21 PM
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nm

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  #63  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:23 PM
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The priest’s defenders have argued that the chaplain can be fired only by a vote of the full House, suggesting his term could last through the end of the year.

“You may wish to outright fire me, if you have the authority to do so, but should you wish to terminate my services, it will be without my offer of resignation,” Conroy wrote.
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  #64  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:24 PM
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Your lack of a decent computer system or phone isn't my problem, guy. But it is the unresignation letter which stated the reason why Paul Ryan wanted him gone is to get a non-Catholic in the position.
  #65  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:32 PM
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Your lack of a decent computer system or phone isn't my problem, guy. But it is the unresignation letter which stated the reason why Paul Ryan wanted him gone is to get a non-Catholic in the position.
FWIW, the link didn’t work for me the first few times I tried it. It works for me now.
  #66  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:36 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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FWIW, the link didn’t work for me the first few times I tried it. It works for me now.
Right. Which is why I changed my post to "nm" once I could read it.
  #67  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:46 PM
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From the aforementioned Wikipedia page on the House Chaplain:

Shortly after Congress first convened in April 1789 in New York City, one of its "first orders of business" was to convene a committee to recommend a Chaplain,[23] eventually selecting the Reverend William Linn as the first Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives.[24]

This would be the same Congress which drafted and passed the First 10 Amendments to the US Constitution which also included the Establishment Clause.

So, what you'd have us believe is that the Congress decided to assign a chaplain and then not long after write an Amendment to the Constitution which stated that doing such a practice was against the Constitution. All the while continuing to have a chaplain. Because they thought theocracy rocks and wanted to 'fuck the constitution' that they were writing?
You'd almost think that modern people aren't the only people who think that their religion is exempt from the establishment clause.

Well, that or the interpretation of the constitution has gradually changed over time such that the establishment clause, one just annoyance over the Church of England, is now interpreted as protecting atheists. But that's crazy talk.
  #68  
Old 05-03-2018, 10:43 PM
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He's coming back. Or, as HuffPo puts it, Ryan dropped the path of priest resistance.
  #69  
Old 05-04-2018, 01:37 AM
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It seems that the reason the chaplain was forced to resign by Ryan was that in November when Congress was debating the tax measures, he urged them in his morning prayer "to guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans."

No winners or losers?
Benefits shared by all Americans?

To Paul Ryan that was blasphemy!
  #70  
Old 05-04-2018, 05:15 AM
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It may be of no great relevance, but it is often said of the chaplain of the Westminster House of Commons that, at the opening of every sitting, he or she looks at the assembled MPs and prays for the country.
  #71  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:40 AM
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Quoth Ravenman:

You think, in his heart, he actually thinks Donald Trump is doing a good job when he hands praise to the President?
No, I think that...
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Quoth Johnny Ace:

What principles?
  #72  
Old 05-04-2018, 08:28 AM
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Serious question:
Why is "tradition" apparently not a sufficient reason for you?

If there is a GOOD reason to change a tradition, then by all means do so. Otherwise, you should think twice before making any changes.
We had some other pretty interesting "traditions", the most heinous of which were justified by the very same religion represented by the chaplain in question, when the constitution was written. We eventually got rid of them, despite the bloofy protestations of some of the more devout Christians in the land.

There are zero good reasons for The Land of The Free to conscience any deference at all to religion in general, and organized Christianity in particular; especially in light of the deathgrip the evangelical elements of that particular brand of nuttery has on the brains of a huge chunk of our population. I'm not saying religion is bad, but the embodiments of it which desire to influence politics should be rooted out and crushed.

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  #73  
Old 05-04-2018, 09:03 AM
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I do, in fact, have strong reason to believe that Paul Ryan has never sacrificed his principles for political reasons.
"Doing what's best for Paul Ryan" is not a great principle to live your life by.
  #74  
Old 05-04-2018, 09:13 AM
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We had some other pretty interesting "traditions", the most heinous of which were justified by the very same religion represented by the chaplain in question, when the constitution was written.
You mean the Catholic chaplain? I doubt Catholics were strong enough to influence the constitution, and were rather the target of rabid anti-Papism themselves, even if that does not rise to the heinousness of the peculiar institution.

I have no use for chaplains myself, I just needed to chime in with a "very same religion" nitpick.
  #75  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:08 AM
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You'd almost think that modern people aren't the only people who think that their religion is exempt from the establishment clause.

Well, that or the interpretation of the constitution has gradually changed over time such that the establishment clause, one just annoyance over the Church of England, is now interpreted as protecting atheists. But that's crazy talk.
Generally speaking, the interpretation of the Constitution gradually changes due to modern things that the writers couldn't have foreseen. It would not apply to a Congressional Chaplain, which is not only something they did foresee, but utilize. And regardless of whether or not they believed their religion was exempt from the establishment clause, they indicated that that is how they viewed the establishment clause that they themselves wrote.

I don't think there you can find a clearer cut case of legislative intent. Though, of course, you could be one of those folks who is a textualist (a la Hugo Black or Antonin Scalia), and that's a perfectly fine way of Constitutional interpretation, but those whose interpretive gloss includes legislative intent aren't really "fuck the constitution" types.
  #76  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:28 AM
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"Doing what's best for Paul Ryan" is not a great principle to live your life by.
It is if you're Paul Ryan.
  #77  
Old 05-04-2018, 12:21 PM
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Generally speaking, the interpretation of the Constitution gradually changes due to modern things that the writers couldn't have foreseen. It would not apply to a Congressional Chaplain, which is not only something they did foresee, but utilize. And regardless of whether or not they believed their religion was exempt from the establishment clause, they indicated that that is how they viewed the establishment clause that they themselves wrote.

I don't think there you can find a clearer cut case of legislative intent. Though, of course, you could be one of those folks who is a textualist (a la Hugo Black or Antonin Scalia), and that's a perfectly fine way of Constitutional interpretation, but those whose interpretive gloss includes legislative intent aren't really "fuck the constitution" types.
The chaplain hasn't changed. Our interpretation of the establishment clause has.

We didn't move the goalpost, we moved the field under it.

Though it's pretty clear that by any plain read, the chaplain was at least a mild flouting of the establishment clause from the get-go. I think a fairly plausible and reasonably fair assumption would be that, as the chaplain predated the clause, his position was 'grandfathered in' - it didn't seem like the sort of oppression they were trying to prevent, and didn't impact or limit the populace at large, so they didn't worry about it. Seems like a reasonable guess to me, anyway.
  #78  
Old 05-04-2018, 12:36 PM
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Though it's pretty clear that by any plain read, the chaplain was at least a mild flouting of the establishment clause from the get-go. I think a fairly plausible and reasonably fair assumption would be that, as the chaplain predated the clause, his position was 'grandfathered in' - it didn't seem like the sort of oppression they were trying to prevent, and didn't impact or limit the populace at large, so they didn't worry about it. Seems like a reasonable guess to me, anyway.
This is pretty much exactly what James Madison said:
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Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom?

In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation.

The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship agst the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers. or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.

If Religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their Constituents shd discharge their religious duties, let them like their Constituents, do so at their own expence. How small a contribution from each member of Congs wd suffice for the purpose? How just wd it be in its principle? How noble in its exemplary sacrifice to the genius of the Constitution; and the divine right of conscience? Why should the expence of a religious worship be allowed for the Legislature, be paid by the public, more than that for the Ex. or Judiciary branch of the Govt

Were the establishment to be tried by its fruits, are not the daily devotions conducted by these legal Ecclesiastics, already degenerating into a scanty attendance, and a tiresome formality?

Rather than let this step beyond the landmarks of power have the effect of a legitimate precedent, it will be better to apply to it the legal aphorism de minimis non curat lex: or to class it cum "maculis quas aut incuria fudit, aut humana parum cavit natura."
De minimis non curat lex: "The law does not concern itself with trifles"
[Ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis offendar,] maculis quas aut incuria fudit, aut humana parum cavit natura: "when many beauties appear in a work, I will not cavil at a few faults that proceed either from negligence or from the imperfection of our nature" (source)

Last edited by MEBuckner; 05-04-2018 at 12:41 PM.
  #79  
Old 05-04-2018, 01:37 PM
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To be fair, Madison wrote that in 1817 and the Detached Memoranda is in warning of the precedents that are being established in regards to religion and wanting to nip those precedents in the bud. In the excerpted part claiming chaplaincies are merely trifle and thus should not be precedent setting behavior.

Interesting he also makes the case, though I'm not sure if he meant it, that not all rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights are absolute, nor should they be applied strictly.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:20 PM
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From the Onion:

House Chaplain Delivers Soulful Prayer For God To Save Weak-Ass, Flip-Flopping Speakers Who Wound Up Looking Like Dipshits In Front Of Everyone
  #81  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:11 PM
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The chaplain hasn't changed. Our interpretation of the establishment clause has.

We didn't move the goalpost, we moved the field under it.

Though it's pretty clear that by any plain read, the chaplain was at least a mild flouting of the establishment clause from the get-go. I think a fairly plausible and reasonably fair assumption would be that, as the chaplain predated the clause, his position was 'grandfathered in' - it didn't seem like the sort of oppression they were trying to prevent, and didn't impact or limit the populace at large, so they didn't worry about it. Seems like a reasonable guess to me, anyway.
You seems to be confusing, as many do, the difference between the establishment or the preference of one faith over another vs the general believe in a Deity. Quite a few of the Founding fathers might be called "Deists" in that they didnt put one faith over another*, the thought was all faiths should be equal. Not that any and all professions of a belief should be banned, in fact they'd be rather shocked at that idea. So SCOTUS is Ok with a Chaplain as long as that Chaplain gives non-denominational preaching mostly. "In God We Trust" is perfectly Ok (No particular deity is specified). Putting up the Ten Commandments (Judeo-Christian) is not- unless you also show other, similar codes of conduct. A generalized belief in a Deity is OK, pushing one religion over another is not.


* yes, several attended a certain church but belonging to a church in those days was also like belonging to a Fraternal organization- you did for the connections, the social events, meeting friends, etc.- not just for the religion part.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:44 PM
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You seems to be confusing, as many do, the difference between the establishment or the preference of one faith over another vs the general believe in a Deity. Quite a few of the Founding fathers might be called "Deists" in that they didnt put one faith over another*, the thought was all faiths should be equal. Not that any and all professions of a belief should be banned, in fact they'd be rather shocked at that idea. So SCOTUS is Ok with a Chaplain as long as that Chaplain gives non-denominational preaching mostly. "In God We Trust" is perfectly Ok (No particular deity is specified). Putting up the Ten Commandments (Judeo-Christian) is not- unless you also show other, similar codes of conduct. A generalized belief in a Deity is OK, pushing one religion over another is not.


* yes, several attended a certain church but belonging to a church in those days was also like belonging to a Fraternal organization- you did for the connections, the social events, meeting friends, etc.- not just for the religion part.
I'm actually not suffering from any such confusion. And I'm aware that the SCOTUS is okay with the current chaplain loophole. But the arguments are quite clear that it is a loophole, and that the chaplain doesn't pass the normal establishment clause tests, not even close.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:42 PM
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If "establishment of religion" is taken very narrowly to mean a printed law forcing every American to belong to one particular denomination of Christianity, then it's plausible for Christian politicians (and, more importantly, Christian voters) to consider themselves off the hook in this regard.

If "establishment of religion" means (as I expected when reading it) the existence of any influence whatsoever, through any public office, on any citizen's religious choices or lack thereof - that would be a different story.

I don't see any commands from the Holy Qur'an carved into American courtroom walls. I don't see any official proclamations on government letterhead of the futility and ridiculousness of all forms of faith either. Until those start being just as prominent and just as frequent and heartfelt as the Christian ones, or until the Ten Commandments and the Bibles are removed from the courtrooms and until there's no more public prayer anywhere and until God is off the money and out of the Pledge (and all the other less-famous religious material is removed from all public places and all government speech) the US government is derelict in its duty and is stealing freedom from its citizens.

I figured out my own position more clearly while I was writing that - sorry if it rambled - but I think avoiding establishment of religion comes down simply to "There must not be freedom of speech regarding religion, for anyone in public office or in public service; civil servants, public office holders, governments, and government agencies must not publish or produce or permit any speech, document, writing, sign, symbol, or depiction, in any form, that could be construed as religious in nature or as having a religious origin or intent".

I'm a Christian, though an atheist one. I don't expect my religion to be fed to the public; I demand that no one else's religion be fed to the public either.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:55 AM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is online now
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I'm actually not suffering from any such confusion. And I'm aware that the SCOTUS is okay with the current chaplain loophole. But the arguments are quite clear that it is a loophole, and that the chaplain doesn't pass the normal establishment clause tests, not even close.
Well the establishment clause test itself was created by the SCOTUS ex nihilo in Lemon v. Kurtzman in 1971. So I have a hard time myself calling a previously existing practice which has existed prior to the Constitutional provision and affirmed by the same Congress who wrote said provision 'a loophole'. Rather, I see it as said Congress didn't intend for the Establishment Clause to cover said practices, and that SCOTUSes in the future decided to respect that interpretation even as they decided to create extra-constitutional tests to judge Constitutional provisions.

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Old 05-05-2018, 09:24 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is online now
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If "establishment of religion" is taken very narrowly to mean a printed law forcing every American to belong to one particular denomination of Christianity, then it's plausible for Christian politicians (and, more importantly, Christian voters) to consider themselves off the hook in this regard.

If "establishment of religion" means (as I expected when reading it) the existence of any influence whatsoever, through any public office, on any citizen's religious choices or lack thereof - that would be a different story.

I don't see any commands from the Holy Qur'an carved into American courtroom walls. I don't see any official proclamations on government letterhead of the futility and ridiculousness of all forms of faith either. Until those start being just as prominent and just as frequent and heartfelt as the Christian ones, or until the Ten Commandments and the Bibles are removed from the courtrooms and until there's no more public prayer anywhere and until God is off the money and out of the Pledge (and all the other less-famous religious material is removed from all public places and all government speech) the US government is derelict in its duty and is stealing freedom from its citizens.

I figured out my own position more clearly while I was writing that - sorry if it rambled - but I think avoiding establishment of religion comes down simply to "There must not be freedom of speech regarding religion, for anyone in public office or in public service; civil servants, public office holders, governments, and government agencies must not publish or produce or permit any speech, document, writing, sign, symbol, or depiction, in any form, that could be construed as religious in nature or as having a religious origin or intent".

I'm a Christian, though an atheist one. I don't expect my religion to be fed to the public; I demand that no one else's religion be fed to the public either.
I think that, respectfully, you have discovered why your own view of the Establishment Clause is incorrect, as it nullifies the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Press, and Free Exercise Clauses. An "establishment of religion" is what they have in the UK, not when some guy says a prayer in the public sphere that nobody has to listen to.
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Old 05-05-2018, 10:25 PM
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What id "dubious" about it? The Chaplain gives a non-denominational benediction. Most members are Christian, and he can give counseling as requested.
yes but it is always a theistic benediction which is the problem I have.
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Old 05-05-2018, 10:26 PM
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I think that, respectfully, you have discovered why your own view of the Establishment Clause is incorrect, as it nullifies the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Press, and Free Exercise Clauses. An "establishment of religion" is what they have in the UK, not when some guy says a prayer in the public sphere that nobody has to listen to.
My view doesn't nullify any of those things; it places reasonable limits on them. "Freedom of religion" means ALL of the Christians (and everyone else) think an atheist President and a Muslim Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Buddhist Attorney General are the best choices because of their skills and their policies - not "Sure we have freedom of religion, you can be any kind of conservative Christian you want!"

If people actually don't have to listen, then make sure the prayer is from a completely different religion every single day, not for special occasions or token appearances.
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Old 05-05-2018, 11:12 PM
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My view doesn't nullify any of those things; it places reasonable limits on them. "Freedom of religion" means ALL of the Christians (and everyone else) think an atheist President and a Muslim Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Buddhist Attorney General are the best choices because of their skills and their policies - not "Sure we have freedom of religion, you can be any kind of conservative Christian you want!"

If people actually don't have to listen, then make sure the prayer is from a completely different religion every single day, not for special occasions or token appearances.
Are you suggesting that a voter should not be able to vote against, say, a Christian candidate for President because he or she is an atheist and would rather vote for the atheist candidate?

Or the opposite. Should a Christian be barred from voting because he or she will only vote for Christian candidates?
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Old 05-05-2018, 11:48 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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It seems the same to me as any case of conflict of interest in a public official. Allowing office holders to endorse (or appear to endorse) any religion over any other, presents the same problems as allowing them to promote their personal stock picks or allowing them to inherit government jobs from their parents.
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Old 05-06-2018, 12:05 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Are you suggesting that a voter should not be able to vote against, say, a Christian candidate for President because he or she is an atheist and would rather vote for the atheist candidate?

Or the opposite. Should a Christian be barred from voting because he or she will only vote for Christian candidates?
No, I'm suggesting that anyone who is elected or appointed to a government job be subject to a complete and very wide-ranging "gag order" on religion-related topics once they take office/start work. That government business be always conducted without a breath of a hint of religion. That all government offices and documents be thoroughly cleansed of religion - no Bibles or Ten Commandments in the courts, no "under God", no public praying, no religious topics in any school of any kind (religion not only out of science class but altogether gone from the school system including out of private schools). You'd be able to vote in a Christian President or an atheist President, because neither one would have any way at all to advance his agenda in terms of religion.
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:15 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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If people actually don't have to listen, then make sure the prayer is from a completely different religion every single day, not for special occasions or token appearances.
So, if 90% are Christian in Congress, and none are Shinto, you'd still expect a Shinto prayer as often as Christian one? The Chaplain is for the benefit of the members of Congress. Yes, some are Jewish, which is why the prayers are non-denominational and why once in a while they have a guest Rabbi.

I am sure if there was a Buddhist Congresscritter, they would include a occasional Buddhist prayer as well.
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:17 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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No, I'm suggesting that anyone who is elected or appointed to a government job be subject to a complete and very wide-ranging "gag order" on religion-related topics once they take office/start work. .
And of course that violates the 1st Ad.
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:05 PM
snoe snoe is offline
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Serious question:
Why is "tradition" apparently not a sufficient reason for you?

If there is a GOOD reason to change a tradition, then by all means do so. Otherwise, you should think twice before making any changes.
This argument is sometimes known as "Chesterton's Fence," because G.K. Chesterton said
Quote:
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”
http://amptoons.com/blog/?p=20177

My thoughts:
1) this isn't a "paradox," really, is it? More of a dilemma. IDK what Chesterton meant by "paradox."
2) the argument is inductive, hence self-justifying. Trusting the wisdom of the people who established past traditions (until proven otherwise) only makes sense as a rule of thumb if ... you already generally trust the wisdom of those people. If your experience has led you to believe that a bunch of crackpots have spent millennia erecting random, useless/harmless fences, you're gonna be a lot more skeptical of the next fence you encounter.
3) all that said, the argument still has some value as an injunction to make decisions based on the best evidence available.
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:38 PM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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I can't find what it costs the US per year, but even if we pay the guy a million dollars a year and provide him with a large staff it's such a minuscule amount of money that it's not even a rounding era on the Congressional budget. Sure, we could do without it, and it doesn't seem to be as necessary as it probably was when Washington DC was a small town and you had to travel long distances from your state to live and work there, but I also don't see any huge need to get rid of the office either. Probably why it's still around is it isn't worth the political capital to do away with it.
Agreed.

But when conservatives have (successfully) complained about their taxes going to pay for abortions, they invariably have invoked the "it's-not-the-lousy-two-dollars-it's-the-principle" argument. I think that's just as valid here.

Last edited by F. U. Shakespeare; 05-06-2018 at 06:39 PM.
  #95  
Old 05-06-2018, 06:48 PM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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How does it "violate the Constitution"?

You know there are Chaplains in the armed services also.
There's more justification for chaplains in the armed services. Unlike elected representatives in Washington, military personnel are often ordered to far-flung locations where such counsel would otherwise be unavailable.
  #96  
Old 05-10-2018, 11:13 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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The main problem with established religion is not the religion itself, it's the ability of some to dictate to others. If I attend your church voluntarily, I conform - I allow myself to be dictated to, in terms of my religious practices, at least while I'm there.

There should be no possibility for anyone to dictate religious practices to anyone else - not prayers, not customs, not one single thing - in the context of a legislative body. Anyone who wants to pray can pray silently and alone.

Heh. Maybe there needs to be a warning period in the US Congress - a month during which every congressional prayer is replaced with a reading of Matthew 6:5-6 - followed by cancellation of the whole public prayer thing.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:13 AM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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A lot of government agencies have chaplains, including public hospitals. But in my experience, most of them have multiple, volunteer chaplains of different faiths. The exceptions are the agencies that run prisons and jails, police departments and fire departments which tend to pay their chaplains, although it may be considered to be a part-time job.

I don't see why Congress can't manage with volunteers and there certainly shouldn't only be one.
They do. And this guy is the paid staff member who handles the administration.

So they could easily split that part off. But they'd probably wind up paying more, and it would mean the volunteers were answering to a person with no relevant experience.

Chaplaincy isn't particularly religious in Aus or the UK, but the job is still largely filled by ministers/rabbi's or religious volunteers etc, because that is the traditional path for people interested in doing "caring and sharing", and they are cheaper than paying for a social worker with equivalent training.

I know that pastoral care positions are more often filled by "non-religious" people in American schools. It's interesting to read here that the Congress chaplain handles so many "religious" duties in Congress -- it's an interesting division of duties.

note: "pastoral care" is the non-religious informal part of being a minister or school counselor. It's the part where you're just a nice person who takes an interest and tries to help out if there are problems
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:26 PM
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JohnT JohnT is online now
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Well, he's back.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politi...-j-conroy-ryan
  #99  
Old 01-04-2019, 06:04 AM
Batano Batano is offline
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So, if 90% are Christian in Congress, and none are Shinto, you'd still expect a Shinto prayer as often as Christian one? The Chaplain is for the benefit of the members of Congress. Yes, some are Jewish, which is why the prayers are non-denominational and why once in a while they have a guest Rabbi.

I am sure if there was a Buddhist Congresscritter, they would include a occasional Buddhist prayer as well.
If only there existed privately funded facilities where people could worship and seek guidance. Until then, I guess they'll need to do it in the Capital Building using public funding.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:21 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
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In tours of the House of Commons in London, it is often said that business commences every day when the Chaplain stands up in front of the MPs, takes a good long look at them - and says a prayer for the country.
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