In God we trust debate AGAIN!

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by jedifighter, Jul 11, 2002.

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  1. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    The following was emailed to me by a fellow JC'er, fom the editorial pages MSNBC website. I post this in its entirety so that I cannot be charged with giving partial information. The points I would like to illustrate with this are:
    1. futher clarification of the Separation Clause
    2. Piggy's claim that no one has been injured by the act of not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.


    RELIGION AND DEVOTION to God should, like St. Paul?s charity, not be puffed up. God does not reward the loudest voice. Moreover, the ?under God? inclusion in the pledge is, as the much-maligned majority in the Ninth Federal Circuit ruled, unconstitutional.

    Let us revisit the framer?s purpose in creating a wall between church and state. The First Amendment admonition is intended to ensure that no state official will be able to claim God?s endorsement in the creation of law and public policy.

    No teacher in a public school will be able to legally fool with a child?s mind.

    No Jewish child in a public school will be recruited to play a shepherd in a holiday Nativity pageant, (?Oh Divine Savior, thank you for dying for my sins?).

    No public money will be used to the benefit of religious institutions or the evangelical promotion of any faith.

    The Separation clause ensures the continued vitality of the state and of religion. It ensures that religion will remain a private choice free of state promotion or interference.

    And it is working.

    America is the most religious society in history. We sing in more church choirs, attend more church services, throw more holy water and burn more incense than any other national community in the history of civilization.

    God bless us for that.

    But please, keep worship out of the government?s hands. Calling on God in public ceremonies requires that we choose a certain God, whose God? (? ... one nation UNDER ALLAH??)

    It is true that God appears on our currency, and prayer recitation opens our sessions of Congress. God is so popular in the U.S., so woven into the lives of so many American citizens that the task of keeping the First Amendment wall strong is often difficult, complex.

    But it is worth the effort; its purpose is noble. It is to ensure that Americans remain free to worship a God of their choice, free to pray in one?s home and at one?s privately funded place of worship. It ensures that no money from other Americans will benefit someone else?s religion. That?s no small issue due to the billions in tax exemptions offered to religious institutions. This raises the tax bite of all our citizens.

    The First Amendment also affirms the right of citizens to be without any faith at all. To be atheists. The late Madalyn Murray O?Hair used to say on the daytime DONAHUE show, ?Your religious deductions are raising my taxes. Worship anything or anyone you please, but don?t make me pay for it!?

    Our constitution obliges no one to worship, pledge allegiance, or believe in anything, not the flag, not even the United States itself.

    In 1943 The Jehovah?s Witnesses won a Supreme Court decision that challenged Pennsylvania?s law requiring public school students to recite the pledge.

    Witnesses argued that their faith disallowed the salute even without the ?under God? reference which did not become the standard text until the early ?50s. Jehovah?s Witnesses were being abused everywhere, stones were thrown at their children, a Kingdom Hall in Kennebunk, Maine, was burned to the ground, over one thousand assaults were reported. America was at war and these kids would not salute the flag. There was no overstating the loathing for them.

    I continue to marvel today at the courage of those first graders who, accepting the instruction of Mom and Dad, stood mute while the ?good? American children, like the Congress on the Capitol steps, proudly pronounced their allegiance.

    In one of the most important decisions in the history of the Supremes, U.S. Justice Robert Jackson wrote, famously ...

    ?If there is any fixed star in the Constitution
  2. JamesMadison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Well some the comments in green are not entirely accurate.

    As I indicated in my opening post on page five of this thread public money has gone to the benefit of private religious schools. This public money was used to purchase school books for these religious educational institutions. In addition public busing, again paid with public funds, has been allowed to take students to religious schools.

    The intent of the Framer's was never to have a complete separation of Chuch and State. This is also evident in my first post on page five where President James Madison signed a bill designating a National Day of Prayer and make conspicuous references to a Supreme Being in his proclamation. A Supreme Being which blessed people of the human race implying this Supreme Being is activel participating in human affairs.

    Benjamin Franklin aided in the creation of schools which instructed its students in the Christian faith. So did Jefferson. So the intent of the Framer's was not to have a complete and absolute wall between religion and the state and their actions indicate this fact.

    I will leave all of the other points I made in my opening post on page five stand on their own in that particular post. No point in reiterating them again.
  3. Mister_Bunny Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2001
    star 3
    I would just like to tell Piggy that he has it very, very wrong... it is not "cool in the gang"

    it is Kool and the Gang.

    Please get it right next time, thanks.
  4. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Hi James. I have a few rebuttals for your opening remarks on page 5:

    The phrase "Under God" does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the judicial opinion by the Ninth Circuit, I have read the entire opinion, is a very weak argument with some very weak assumptions. This opinion also vastly departs from existing legal precedent in the field of Establishment Clause Jurisprudence. The Ninth Circuit makes it clear any reference by the state or congress to religion is a violation of this provision in the First Amendment and not only is there no legal precedent to support this view but it is also historically incorrect and a very remissed interpretation of the Establishment clause.

    This is not wholly accurate. There is a set precedent for the case Newdow has filed. Let me quote directly from the Ninth Circuit's ruling:
    1)Factual and Procedural Background
    Newdow is an atheist whose daughter attends public elementary school in the Elk Grove Unified School District ("EGUSD") in California. In accordance with state law and a school district rule, EGUSD teachers begin each school day by leading their students in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance ("the Pledge"). The California Education Code requires that public schools begin each school day with "appropriate patriotic exercises" and that "[t]he giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America shall satisfy" this requirement. Cal. Educ. Code § 52720 (1989) (hereinafter "California statute"). To implement the California statute, the school district that Newdow's daughter attends has promulgated a policy that states, in pertinent part: "Each elementary school class [shall] recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag once each day."

    The classmates of Newdow's daughter in the EGUSD are led by their teacher in reciting the Pledge codified in federal law. On June 22, 1942, Congress first codified the Pledge as "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Pub. L. No. 623, Ch. 435, § 7, 56 Stat. 380 (1942) (codified at 36 U.S.C. § 172). On June 14, 1954, Congress amended Section 172 to add the words "under God" after the word "Nation. " Pub. L. No. 396, Ch. 297, 68 Stat. 249 (1954) ("1954 Act"). The Pledge is currently codified as "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 4 U.S.C. § 4 (1998) (Title 36 was revised and recodified by Pub. L. No. 105-225, § 2(a), 112 Stat. 1494 (1998). Section 172 was abolished, and the Pledge is now found in Title 4.)

    Newdow does not allege that his daughter's teacher or school district requires his daughter to participate in reciting the Pledge. Rather, he claims that his daughter is injured when she is compelled to "watch and listen as her stateemployed teacher in her state-run school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that our's [sic] is `one nation under God.' "

    Newdow's complaint in the district court challenged the constitutionality, under the First Amendment, of the 1954 Act, the California statute, and the school district's policy requiring teachers to lead willing students in recitation of the Pledge. He sought declaratory and injunctive relief, but did not seek damages.

    2)Re: Standing
    Newdow has standing as a parent to challenge a practice that interferes with his right to direct the religious education of his daughter. "Parents have a right to direct the religious upbringing of their children and, on that basis, have standing to protect their right." Doe v. Madison Sch. Dist. No. 321, 177 F.3d 789, 795 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc); see also Grove v. Mead Sch. Dist. No. 354, 753 F.2d 1528, 1532 (9th Cir. 1985) ("Appellants have standing to challenge alleged violations of the establishment clause
  5. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Some more rebuttals:

    I'd also like to add no other U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have more of their decisions overturned or reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court than the Ninth Circuit. After reading this opinion I can understand why.


    How does this information (true or not--I've not yet seen a document accounting this) affect the case? It is irrelovent.

    So for those who have beliefs/interpretations the Establishment Clause precludes any religious reference at all, whether general or neutral, I simply fail to see how you arrived to such an interpretation/belief when this is not what the Establishment Clause says. The Establishment clause allows references to religion.


    Justice O'Conner's "endorsement" test (one of 3 tests used to analyze alleged violations of the Establishment Clause) says:
    The Establishment Clause prohibits government from making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person's standing in the political community. Government can run afoul of that prohibition in two principal ways. One is excessive entanglement with religious institutions . . . . The second and more direct infringement is government endorsement or disapproval of religion. Endorsement sends a message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.

    Now for the historical support. The Fourth President to the United States, and Father of the U.S. Constitution, James Madison, an adamant believer in the doctrine of a separation between church and state, signed a law passed by Congress in 1812 designating a National Day of Prayer.


    To refute this idea of the Founding Fathers being all about mixing and matching Religion and government, let me provide you quote by Thomas Jefferson in response to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association, who were persecuted because they were not part of the Congressionalist establishment in the state of Connecticut:
    January 1, 1802
    Gentlemen:

    The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which are so good to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should `make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore man to all of his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

    I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessings of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.

    Thomas Jefferson

    Sources: Robert S. Alley, Professor of Humanites, Emeritus, University of Richmond, from his article, "Public Education and the Public Good," published in William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Vol. 4, Issue 1, Summer 1995.
    And Lipscomb, Andrew and Bergh, Albert, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 16, pp. 281-282.


  6. JamesMadison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Well the Framer's actions more appropriately reflected by their conduct not some concilliatory response to an individual with a grievance. Here are some prime examples of the Framer's intent not to have a complete and absolute separation between Church and State.

    "In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the necessity of a public religion . . . and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern." Consider also the fact that Franklin proposed a Biblical inscription for the Seal of the United States; that he chose a New Testament verse for the motto of the Philadelphia Hospital; that he was one of the chief voices behind the establishment of a paid chaplain in Congress; and that when in 1787 when Franklin helped found the college which bore his name, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning" built "on Christ, the Corner-Stone." Franklin certainly doesn't fit the definition of a deist.

    Nor does George Washington. He was an open promoter of Christianity. For example, in his speech on May 12, 1779, he claimed that what children needed to learn "above all" was the "religion of Jesus Christ," and that to learn this would make them "greater and happier than they already are"; on May 2, 1778, he charged his soldiers at Valley Forge that "To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian"; and when he resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the military on June 8, 1783, he reminded the nation that "without a humble imitation" of "the Divine Author of our blessed religion" we "can never hope to be a happy nation." Washington's own adopted daughter declared of Washington that "you might as well question his patriotism and to question his Christianity."

    Alexander Hamilton was certainly no deist. For example, Hamilton began work with the Rev. James Bayard to form the Christian Constitutional Society to help spread over the world the two things which Hamilton said made America great: (1) Christianity, and (2) a Constitution formed under Christianity. Only Hamilton's death two months later thwarted his plan of starting a missionary society to promote Christian government. And at the time he did face his death in his duel with Aaron Burr, Hamilton met and prayed with the Rev. Mason and Bishop Moore, wherein he reaffirmed to him his readiness to face God should he die, having declared to them "a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of the death of Christ." At that time, he also partook of Holy Communion with Bishop Moore.

    The reader, as do many others, claimed that Jefferson omitted all miraculous events of Jesus from his "Bible." Rarely do those who make this claim let Jefferson speak for himself. Jefferson own words explain that his intent for that book was not for it to be a "Bible," but rather for it to be a primer for the Indians on the teachings of Christ (which is why Jefferson titled that work, "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth"). What Jefferson did was to take the "red letter" portions of the New Testament and publish these teachings in order to introduce the Indians to Christian morality. And as President of the United States, Jefferson negotiated treaties with the Kaskaskia, Cherokee, and Wyandotte tribes wherein he provided?at the government's expense?Christian missionaries to the Indians. In fact, Jefferson himself declared, "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus." While many might question this claim, the fact remains that Jefferson called himself a Christian, not a deist."

    James Madison, with his Proclamation of Designating a National Day of Prayer, demonstrates the Framer's did not at all interpret the Establishment Clause to operate as a complete separation between religion and the government.

  7. JamesMadison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Hi James. I have a few rebuttals for your opening remarks on page 5:

    "The phrase "Under God" does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the judicial opinion by the Ninth Circuit, I have read the entire opinion, is a very weak argument with some very weak assumptions. This opinion also vastly departs from existing legal precedent in the field of Establishment Clause Jurisprudence. The Ninth Circuit makes it clear any reference by the state or congress to religion is a violation of this provision in the First Amendment and not only is there no legal precedent to support this view but it is also historically incorrect and a very remissed interpretation of the Establishment clause." James Madison.

    "This is not wholly accurate. There is a set precedent for the case Newdow has filed. Let me quote directly from the Ninth Circuit's ruling:
    1)Factual and Procedural Background
    Newdow is an atheist whose daughter attends public elementary school in the Elk Grove Unified School District ("EGUSD") in California. In accordance with state law and a school district rule, EGUSD teachers begin each school day by leading their students in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance ("the Pledge"). The California Education Code requires that public schools begin each school day with "appropriate patriotic exercises" and that "[t]he giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America shall satisfy" this requirement. Cal. Educ. Code § 52720 (1989) (hereinafter "California statute"). To implement the California statute, the school district that Newdow's daughter attends has promulgated a policy that states, in pertinent part: "Each elementary school class [shall] recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag once each day."

    The classmates of Newdow's daughter in the EGUSD are led by their teacher in reciting the Pledge codified in federal law. On June 22, 1942, Congress first codified the Pledge as "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Pub. L. No. 623, Ch. 435, § 7, 56 Stat. 380 (1942) (codified at 36 U.S.C. § 172). On June 14, 1954, Congress amended Section 172 to add the words "under God" after the word "Nation. " Pub. L. No. 396, Ch. 297, 68 Stat. 249 (1954) ("1954 Act"). The Pledge is currently codified as "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 4 U.S.C. § 4 (1998) (Title 36 was revised and recodified by Pub. L. No. 105-225, § 2(a), 112 Stat. 1494 (1998). Section 172 was abolished, and the Pledge is now found in Title 4.)

    Newdow does not allege that his daughter's teacher or school district requires his daughter to participate in reciting the Pledge. Rather, he claims that his daughter is injured when she is compelled to "watch and listen as her stateemployed teacher in her state-run school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that our's [sic] is `one nation under God.' "

    Newdow's complaint in the district court challenged the constitutionality, under the First Amendment, of the 1954 Act, the California statute, and the school district's policy requiring teachers to lead willing students in recitation of the Pledge. He sought declaratory and injunctive relief, but did not seek damages.

    2)Re: Standing
    Newdow has standing as a parent to challenge a practice that interferes with his right to direct the religious education of his daughter. "Parents have a right to direct the religious upbringing of their children and, on that basis, have standing to protect their right." Doe v. Madison Sch. Dist. No. 321, 177 F.3d 789, 795 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc); see also Grove v. Mead Sch. Dist. No. 354, 753 F.2d 1528, 1532 (9th Cir. 1985) ("Appellants have standing to challenge alleged violations of the establishment clause of the First Amendment if they are directly affected by use of [t
  8. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Enlightening.

    One last question:

    Why?
  9. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    Why?


    Because it is not harming anyone and nobody is stopping you from using that money, or not standing for the Pledge. Do what you want. You have the freedom not to stand for the Pledge or use American Currency but good luck in life without using money. That is your right under the laws of the land in this country. Your rights aren't being violated, this little girls rights aren't being violated. The Father is being a complete idiot,and anyone including that court who can't see that has some problems. How can it be hurting her if she wants to do it and her mother (the other parent) encourages her to????? So first off the whole case is invalid, and it just goes to show how bad our Justice system is. This case should have stayed in Judge Judy's court or been thrown out.


    P.S. Sorry Mister Bunny. Kool in the Gang thank you.
  10. JamesMadison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Why????? What are you asking?
  11. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Piggy, I've already cited a case (explicitly for your benefit, actually) wherein indiviuals were harmed. If that example somehow does not answer the question of "Who has been harmed?", then please be more specific, and I'll endeavor to find another case.

    Also, I must point out that Newdow did not say his daughter was being harmed. He filed the suit under the charge that his rights to raise his daughter under the religion (or lack thereof in this case) of his choice were being infringed upon. It has been accepted in the past that a parent has the right to raise their child as they see fit. How can you possibly deny this?

    And I asked "Why?". It is a loaded question, I know, but has yet to be answered. Legally, James has assured us that there is no legal precedent that suggests that "Under God" is unconstitutional. Morally, Piggy has assured us that no one gets hurt. Both (and others) have repeatedly stated that the writers of the Constitution were Christian, and thus suggest that there was never meant to be an "actual" separation of Church and State.

    So I ask, Why? If the framers did not want a Separation, why does Article [I.] of the Amendments to the Constitution say "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."?

    According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:
    re·spect·ing
    prep.
    With respect to; concerning.

    es·tab·lish·ment
    n.
    Something established, as:
    a) An arranged order or system, especially a legal code.
    b) A permanent civil, political, or military organization.
    c) An established church.
    d) A place of residence or business with its possessions and staff.
    e) A public or private institution, such as a hospital or school.

    re·li·gion
    n.
    1. a) Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    b) A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.


    So what you all are saying is that, despite what the Constitution says, it is not only legally okay, but actually endorsed by the "Framers" to allow Christianity (not just any religion) to pervade a government that claims otherwise. Is that an accurate statement?

    On another side note, I was speaking with a good friend of mine last night who resides in Europe. He laughed when I told him about this debate on the net, and told me I was being foolish. "Everyone here knows there is no such thing a Separation of Church and State in [your] country," he told me. "It's laughable that people would still believe such a thing after witnessing everything [the US] has done."

    Maybe he is right, and we truly are no better than the empire we fought to break from 230 years ago.
  12. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "Piggy, I've already cited a case (explicitly for your benefit, actually) wherein indiviuals were harmed. If that example somehow does not answer the question of "Who has been harmed?", then please be more specific, and I'll endeavor to find another case."

    Yeah you go do that.


    "In 1943 The Jehovah?s Witnesses won a Supreme Court decision that challenged Pennsylvania?s law requiring public school students to recite the pledge.

    Witnesses argued that their faith disallowed the salute even without the ?under God? reference which did not become the standard text until the early ?50s. Jehovah?s Witnesses were being abused everywhere, stones were thrown at their children, a Kingdom Hall in Kennebunk, Maine, was burned to the ground, over one thousand assaults were reported. America was at war and these kids would not salute the flag. There was no overstating the loathing for them"

    Well if this is your example then you have just lost. If you read what you wrote then you would see that our country responded in the right way. The Jehovah's witnesses won there case in court because what was being done to them was wrong,and it's cases like this which I will support 100% people fighting back when they are being physically singled out for their believes. That is wrong. So where is your argument? This was in 1943 Cheevyo not 2002. Case was settled.

    "I continue to marvel today at the courage of those first graders who, accepting the instruction of Mom and Dad, stood mute while the ?good? American children, like the Congress on the Capitol steps, proudly pronounced their allegiance"

    Good it's their right to do so Cheevyo I have no problem if you don't want not stand for the pledge all the more power to you. Once again where is your argument and point of these examples. They are further validating my point that this country will not stand for people being persectuted for their religious believes.

    "Also, I must point out that Newdow did not say his daughter was being harmed. He filed the suit under the charge that his rights to raise his daughter under the religion (or lack thereof in this case) of his choice were being infringed upon. It has been accepted in the past that a parent has the right to raise their child as they see fit. How can you possibly deny this?"

    "Newdow does not allege that his daughter's teacher or school district requires his daughter to participate in reciting the Pledge. Rather, he claims that his daughter is injured when she is compelled to "watch and listen as her stateemployed teacher in her state-run school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that our's [sic] is `one nation under God.' "

    Well if this isn't the biggest load of junk I've ever heard of. His daughter is being injured as her stateemployed teacher in her state-run-school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that our's sic is one nation under God. That is a load of BS. This case should have been thrown out, and he should be charged a fine for wasting the courts time with this petty, lame excuse for his daughter being injured.

    I can deny it because he is one of two parents. The mother has no problem with this and the girl doesn't either. Therefore 2 against 1 is enough for me to say this case is not valid and this guy needs to shut up and move on. This guy has gone as far as to have all mention of God or anything semi-religious stricken from the Inaguration process of a President. How can you say that this guy hasn't gone to far when his daughter who is the most important part of this case says she likes to say the pledge and "Under God"? Who cares what this lamo father thinks???? especially when the other parent has no problem with it. I could understand if both parents said the same thing and that the daughter doesn't want to say the pledge but that isn't the case here. It's only HIM!!!

    "So I ask, Why? If the framers did not want a Separation, why does Article [I.] of the Amendments to the Constitution say "Congress shall make no law respecting an
  13. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Oh and there are other religions which use the word "God" as the name of their creator not just Christian so this even further shows that his case isn't valid.

    Not mine.

    Even so, that doesn't explain to me why I don't see Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists clamoring to support "under God" in the pledge... Hell, most Christians were rather indifferent to the issue until fundamentalists started raising their arms when the Constitutionality of the 1954 Act came into question.

    I wonder if any of the pro-"Under God" folks even knew what the First Amendment says prior to this latest hoopla.

    Lastly, why do we need government bothering to promote religious ideology with our children in the first place? Are you too lazy to spend time with your kids at home and in church discussing "god's" virtues? Prayer, the pledge, Creationism... all being touted as a necessary and integral part of our kids education.

    Why? Can they not think for themselves? Why is it consistently the fundamentalist position to indoctrinate children at that impressionable age? Out of fear that they might decide differently if they knew how to think for themselves? What does that say about fundamentalist beliefs in the first place?

    That which cannot stand and draw people on the merits of its own substance, and has to rely on marketing to proliferate is, for all intents and purposes, a product, not faith. Why not sign the merchandising rights to Mattel and hire BBDO to do a multibillion dollar advertising campaign while you're at it?
  14. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
  15. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    <shakes head in marvel>

    You never cease to amaze me, Piggy. First and foremost, I have to address your blatant attack of Mr. Newdow both as a person and as a father, the latter of which you apparently disregard in full:
    Who cares what this lamo father thinks???? especially when the other parent has no problem with it. I could understand if both parents said the same thing and that the daughter doesn't want to say the pledge but that isn't the case here. It's only HIM!!!

    As I understand the circumstances, it's also a broken marriage. I said it before and I'll say it again... You are obviously not a father. The guy should be applauded for looking out for his daughter, regardless of his religious position. Admit it, Piggy, you just don't like him because of his belief--after all, if he were not an atheist, he would not have filed the suit. If my assessment of your view is true, then you would be considered intolerant, a trait most unbecoming for a Christian.
    So you tell me where the government is forcing you to say the Pledge...

    Well, there is this, as mentioned before:
    In accordance with state law and a school district rule, EGUSD teachers begin each school day by leading their students in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance ("the Pledge"). The California Education Code requires that public schools begin each school day with "appropriate patriotic exercises" and that "[t]he giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America shall satisfy" this requirement. Cal. Educ. Code § 52720 (1989).
    ...or forcing you to use money which has "In God we Trust" on it.

    That's easy. I'm forced to use United States currency every time I pay taxes. Everything else I buy using currency I'm sure you will quickly argue to be "a luxury"... like food, etc.
    Therefore when our founding fathers created the 1st Ammendment it speaks of the government establishing a national religion which everyone in our land must become.

    Then why didn't they write that, instead of saying "...shall make NO law..."? As I illustrated above, the definitions of the words used do not indicate any "implied" guide that allows the government to recognize (passively or otherwise) any religion. Unless, of course, you have a gripe against the dictionary, as well.
    Oh and there are other religions which use the word "God" as the name of their creator not just Christian so this even further shows that his case isn't valid.

    True, but others don't use the term [G]od. How does that then include "everyone"? It doesn't.
  16. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "You never cease to amaze me, Piggy. First and foremost, I have to address your blatant attack of Mr. Newdow both as a person and as a father, the latter of which you apparently disregard in full:"

    He is a complete jerk. He is using this issue to gain custody of his child and to get his agenda passed. Read on what else he is trying to change and you will see this guy is a wacko.

    "As I understand the circumstances, it's also a broken marriage. I said it before and I'll say it again... You are obviously not a father. The guy should be applauded for looking out for his daughter, regardless of his religious position. Admit it, Piggy, you just don't like him because of his belief--after all, if he were not an atheist, he would not have filed the suit. If my assessment of your view is true, then you would be considered intolerant, a trait most unbecoming for a Christian."

    I could care less if he goes outside and worships the frogs. I'm intolerant to stupidity and trying to change something which isn't hurting anyone including his daughter. That is what I'm intolerant too. Stop asuming things about me, because you don't know jack about me. Yes I'm a Christian but I'm not some Pat Robertson or someone who screams hell fire, and religion is the last thing which is influencing my opinion in this matter. Infact on a scale of 1-10 it's around a 2.

    I don't like people who want to start trouble, and this guy is starting trouble. He isn't interested in the interest of his daughter if HE WAS interested in his daughter he would spare her all the pain of a media divorce and just let a divorce court decide what is best for his daughter and family. But he went beyond this and in the process has ticked me and others off by coming up with a very lame BS case about his daughter being harmed. I don't need to be a father to see that. And for your information I do have a 10 year old sister and have experience with kids and the last thing I would ever do is get my family involved in a media freenzy. So you can admire this idiot all you want but to me he is an idiot and will always be an idiot atheist or not.

    "In accordance with state law and a school district rule, EGUSD teachers begin each school day by leading their students in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance ("the Pledge"). The California Education Code requires that public schools begin each school day with "appropriate patriotic exercises" and that "[t]he giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America shall satisfy" this requirement. Cal. Educ. Code § 52720 (1989)."

    Geeze all this is saying if you knew anything about policy it's stating that every morning each class is to do "appropraite patriotic exercies". It does not say every child must stand and participate. It's a policy schedule. Know the difference. To break it down like a 5 year old.

    8am school bell rings

    8:15 POA

    8:20 Morning announcements

    11:00 LUNCH

    11:45 Nap time

    2:15 school ends.

    That is all this is saying. They are rules to which how each school day will begin and end, and since most of the kids in each class participate in the POA with no religious problems then what is the problem????

    "That's easy. I'm forced to use United States currency every time I pay taxes. Everything else I buy using currency I'm sure you will quickly argue to be "a luxury"... like food, etc"

    Missed my point AGAIN!!! What I'm saying is when was the last time anyone refused to use the currency because it said "In God we Trust" on it??????? Never, because anyone of any religion will overlook it.


    "Then why didn't they write that, instead of saying "...shall make NO law..."? As I illustrated above, the definitions of the words used do not indicate any "implied" guide that allows the government to recognize (passively or otherwise) any religion. Unless, of course, you have a gripe against the dictionary, as well. "


    I don't know why. Why don't you phone a founding father and ask them. They left everything broad so that you can have different interpretations of
  17. JamesMadison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Cheveyo,

    I did make it very clear in one of my posts what I was and was not arguing and did so because my argument was being vastly misconstrued.

    So let me again reiterate. The Framer's of the Constitution never believed or intended for there to exist a complete and absolute Separation between Church and State. What they intended by the inclusion of the Establishment Clause was to preclude the government from declaring a national religion.

    The Framer's never intended to prohibit the government from making laws which generally or neutrally referenced religion and this can be reflected by the wording of the relevant provision itself.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an Establishment of Religion."

    "Establishment of religion" narrows the focuse of the entire provision. This provision does not preclude Congress from passing laws which are respecting a non-denominational religious belief. This provision only precludes Congress from passing laws which do respect a particular religious denomination or establishment of religion(both denomination and Establishment are synonymous). An establishment of religion is any formal religious faith with rules, norms, rituals, prayers, idols, and practices shared by all of its members uniformly. This would qualify Judaism, Christianity, Budhism, Islam, and some others as this is not an exclusive list. However, what the Establishment clause Does allow are laws referencing religion in a non-denominational manner or non-establishment manner

    Hence, Congress can and has passed laws in which no particular religious establishment was respected and a primary example is the Congressional law designating a National Day of Prayer in which Madison defended as not violating the estabilshment clause. Since no particular religious establishment or denomination was referenced by the Congressinoal law passed in 1812 or in Madison's proclamation it did not violate this provision of the Constitution(I have already cited a few cases in which the Court has validated this neutral view). In other words, the law and the Proclamation were non-denominational and I have already elaborated upon the reasons why Madison believed this was the case in a previous post and am not going to repeat them.

    Now the relevant query to the issue at hand is whether or not the phrase, "Under God" satisfies this idea of religious neutrality. I argued, by use of an analogy using Aristotle in an earlier post, it did.

    Hence no violation of the Estabishment clause.

    Now why was it included in the Pledge? I know of the reasons but why don't you enumerate them and tell me the significance of each to the discussion. Then I will reply.
  18. JamesMadison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    "Then why didn't they write that, instead of saying "...shall make NO law..."? As I illustrated above, the definitions of the words used do not indicate any "implied" guide that allows the government to recognize (passively or otherwise) any religion. Unless, of course, you have a gripe against the dictionary, as well." Cheveyo.

    Well the Establishment clause, "Congress shall make no law respecting an Establishment of Religion," do in fact serve as a guide to the government to recognize, passively and otherwise, any religion.

    In order to accurately and completely interpret a clause, provision, or statute you cannot isolate definitions of the words and look at them singularly to extrapolate the meaning of the entire statute or clause.

    You have to look at how the words are located in the clause or statute and how they are arranged in a sentence in the statute or clause. Hence, the words taken together, "Establishment of religion" is very narrow in scope of religions affected.

    The clause, "Congress shall make no law respecting an Establishment of Religion" does allow the government to recognize religion. What it prohibits is the government from passing a law recognizing a particular type of religion and it is an "Establishment of religion," not "Any and ALL regligions." "Establishment of religion" narrows what types of religious references the government can and cannot make. "Establishment of religion," is much narrower than the word "religion" or "Any and all religion". Congress cannot pass a law respecting a religious establishment, synonymous with the more contemporary term of Denomination. Hence, Congress cannot pass any law respecting Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism as these are all "religious establishments" or particular religious "denominations". So what the Establishment clause does allow are laws referencing and respecting religion which is non-denominational/establishment(like the law of 1812 calling for a National Day of Prayer and James Madison's Proclamation of the Prayer).

    If it ever were the Framer's intent to preclude the government from respecting religion in general then they most certainly could have chosen words to reflect this intention such as, "Congress shall make No Law Respecting Any religion." However, this was not their intent and it is reflected in the wording of the Establishment clause and by their own conduct.

    So yes the Establishment clause does operate as a guid for the government directing them to what religious references they can respect by law and which they cannot. Only those laws which reference or respect a particular religious establishment/denomination are prohibited.


  19. Darth_Athrenino Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 2
    "One Nation Under God." is not unconsitutional, in fact this country was founded on God. Our very same Consitution was set on the basis of religon. And we are noy brain washing children nor adults. You can choose your own path, we can not choose your path for you, but...I highly suggest you don't make that choice until you understand this situation clearly, and have actually studied the life of those people whom had signed the consitution. I think you may find the information you uncover to be very intersting and useful later on down te road.
  20. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Ok, Piggy, whatever. [face_laugh]
    How does taking it out include "EVERYONE"??? IT DOESN'T. So were right back to square one now aren't we and that is why I'm not interested in changing anything until people's lives are in danger.
    That is a ridiculous statement. A pledge swearing allegiance to this nation does not need to have a reference to any religion. period. We're talking a about pledging to a country, not a church.
    Geeze all this is saying if you knew anything about policy it's stating that every morning each class is to do "appropraite patriotic exercies". It does not say every child must stand and participate. It's a policy schedule. Know the difference.
    Oh my golly! How could I be so dense!! Hear all along for the past 3 decades of my life I've been under the impression that the term "state law" meant STATE LAW!!! I like how you morph the meanings around like that. This is how criminals stay out of prison (with the help of re-defining their lawyers). ;)
    Missed my point AGAIN!!! What I'm saying is when was the last time anyone refused to use the currency because it said "In God we Trust" on it??????? Never, because anyone of any religion will overlook it.
    Well, Piggy, if you would state your point more clearly, I could hit next time. You asked me to show you where the government was forcing people to use said currency. I showed you. Now to answer your "Re-worded" question: I don't know of a specific case where someone did not use the currency given them. You can chalk it up to several reasons; greed, the fact that it is the only legal tender, the fact that bartering is no longer an accepted practice, and stealing is illegal. Therefore, in order to survive, one must either beg for food on the streets or use US currency. But why does your argument stand as "proof" that it doesn't offend or need a change?

    James, I understand your point of view thoroughly, as--like you said--you've given it a number of times. That does not mean I agree with it. Hence the argument.

    This debate is groing stale, fast. You contradict yourself when you say:
    The Framer's never intended to prohibit the government from making laws which generally or neutrally referenced religion and this can be reflected by the wording of the relevant provision itself.
    then say recite Article [I.] which does say "...shall make no law..."

    You cite in your contradiction that the definitions of the words should not be taken into account when spoken or written together in their context. WHAT?!? How does their definition change? And can you give me another example of word meanings changing due to the context with which they're said? I would like an example in the real world, not the legal world (where rules, meanings, and the universe as a whole are bent, twisted, and reshaped to fit the argument). As has been noted, the Framers took quite some time, and went through many different drafts, to get the wording that they wanted. Why, then--if they wanted less of a Separation wall--did they write it as it is now?

    Given the definition of the words in the sentence, I have to assume this was not their intent. I would say I know for sure, but I wasn't alive 200 years ago, and thus was not present for the conversations surrounding the drafting of the final document. I must leave it to conjecture. Sadly, I am not as well-versed in presumptions and assumptions as you are, since I don't know how you can be so certain they didn't mean what they wrote.

    Rather than give you the heated lecture on the definition of Establishment of Religion (which literally translated means "religious organization", and thus means "any religion"), I will instead ask you to post proof that "Establishment of Religion" doesn't mean "Any and All religion". What you have stated is your "interpretation" of the term, which somehow defies the very definition of it.

    Darth_Athrenino....
    ...
    ..
    Nah... I won't respond to that. ;) Too
  21. JamesMadison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002




    "You cite in your contradiction that the definitions of the words should not be taken into account when spoken or written together in their context. WHAT?!? How does their definition change?" I never said this Cheveyo. I said something quite different.

    What I actually said was the meaning of a statute or constitutional provision cannot be extrapolated by looking at the meanings of words isolated from each other. What must be taken into account is there arrangement and how this arrangement along with the definitions allows one to deduce the meaning of the statute or text being interpreted. Where your analysis fails is by not considering the word "Establishment" precedes "religion". In other words the Framer's carefully qualified what exactly they did or did not want the government doing and it was passing a law respecting an "Establishment" of religion or as you note a "religious organization." This does not preclude congress from making laws which respect "religion" which is non-denominational/establishment and as a result "religious organization" does not at all mean "any religion" because Congress can make references to religion in a non-denominational, non-religious organizational manner. So I really don't see how your conclusion follows that the clause, "Congress shall pass no law respecting an Establishment of Religion," to a conclusion Congress cannot make any reference to non-denominational, non-establishment religious ideas or practices.

    Or have I misinterpreted your argument? Are you saying Congress can make laws referencing religion so long as it does not respect a particular religious organization or are you saying the Clause prohibits not only religious organization references by law by but also prohibits Congress from passing laws referencing religion even when done so in a non-denominational manner, which is synonymous to saying not referencing a religious organization?

    The clause only prohibits one kind of action by Congress and it is a law where Congress is respecting an Establishment of Religion or as you correctly say a Religious Organization. What are some examples of a Religious Organization? Judaism, Christianity, Islam or Budhism. These are examples of a religious organization.

    Some examples which are not of a religious organization. Those like Aristotle who believed in a First Cause, or an unmoved mover. Anyone who believes in a Supreme Being or Higher Power. Hence, Congress can and has passed laws respecting a Supreme Being or a Higher power and even designating a National Day of Prayer to this Supreme Being or Higher Power.

    As I noted before, Father of the United States Constitution James Madison singed the Congressional Law calling for a National Day of Prayer and used non-denominational/non-religious organization references such as "Almighty power, Omniscient and Supreme being, Almighty and Holy One," and said this does not violate the Establishment Clause. Why, because the Establishment Clause only prohibits references to Religious Organizations or laws which respect a religious organization it does not Preclude Congress from passing laws which do not respect any establishments of religion or religious organizations and the Law and his Proclamation do not respect any religious organizations and hence no violation. This is of course from a man who believed in a Separation of Church and state but did not at all believe in an absolute separation and this is evidenced by his conduct. Care to comment on this bit of historical fact which weakens your argument the Framers intended for an absolute separation? Care to comment on the other historical facts I gave in an earlier post where the Framer's conduct clearly demonstrated it was not their intent to have a complete and absolute separation? This is reflected by their conduct and the wording of the Clause.

    "As has been noted, the Framers took quite some time, and went through many different drafts, to get the wording that they wanted. Why, then--if they wanted less of a Separation wall--did they w
  22. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "That is a ridiculous statement. A pledge swearing allegiance to this nation does not need to have a reference to any religion. period. We're talking a about pledging to a country, not a church. "

    It's no more rediculous than what you said and I'm pointing it that out. What good will it do to take it out??????? Because by doing so your saying everyone who has done it for 48 years and those who don't mind saying the POA at all weren't supposed to do it, and were wrong. Like Darth Atherenino this nation was founed on the basis of God. That is FACT and you cannot not twist historical fact to help show your side. So unless you can come up with some other proof that this nation was founded by Christians for Christians then you lost.

    "Oh my golly! How could I be so dense!! Hear all along for the past 3 decades of my life I've been under the impression that the term "state law" meant STATE LAW!!! I like how you morph the meanings around like that. This is how criminals stay out of prison (with the help of re-defining their lawyers). "

    It's State Law pertaining to how a school day will be organized and run. There are State Laws for all public schools of when they start school to when they end it. The POA part is State Law that must be done every morning. Now that is all it says. The next part is which you and others are trying to squeeze into this State Law is that every child has to participate in the POA which isn't true at all. That State Laws doesn't say every child must do it. So once again do you see the difference or do I have to spell it out to you like a 5 year old once again.

    STATE LAW: Required by law

    POA must be done in the morning.

    STATE LAW: What it doesn't say it has to do.

    POA must be done in the morning, but doesn't mean that every child has to participate in this due to religious conflicts.


    Furthermore what the heck is this country coming to when people have a hard time with allowing children to POA to the country they live in???????? You eat, sleep and breath under the protection that this country provides and you cannot stand every morning for the POA is really sad if you ask me, and some people need to get their priorities straight. You see once again maybe this is where the generation in 1954 was a hell of a lot better than the one we have here in 2002. You didn't have this kind of mumbo jumbo going on in the 50's and once again another reason why I was born in the wrong generation. I would do anything, pay any cost if I could live back then. But that is just me.


    Oh and did you read the Articles of Confederation yet????
  23. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    For Clarification, here is my argument:
    It is my belief, as interpreted by the Constitution, that the government "Shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion". As I see it, the government has been violating this "guide" from day 1 (if you take into account your previously mentioned laws passed by James Madison and others). The very mention of "God" defies this "guide".

    What do I want out of all this? 1 of 2 things--if I cannot have both. As a natural-born citizen of these United States, I want our government to:
    1. acknowledge that there is no true Separation of Church and State, rather than hiding behind "interpreted loop-holes" in Article [1.] of the Ammendments to the Constitution.
    2. I would like to see the government operate wholly outside the realm of religion, an area in which it does not belong if this is to remain a free state. I believe no mention of any diety belongs in a pledge of allegiance, or on government currency, or in publicly funded schools, or anywhere else. I believe no government-collected funds (taxes, etc) should be expended for private schools, religious or otherwise. Non-religious private schools do not request government aid, so why should those schools of a religious affiliation?

    Our current President is still attempting to implement laws and policies that would lend additional government funding only to those schools who practice faith-based educational policies (see Bush's "Faith-Based Initiative"). Despite it's flagrant constitutional violations, Bush justifies his initiative because it promotes stronger family values. Surprisingly, many in the senate agree with this plan. Some cite that it does not violate Article [1.] because of the precedents you have mentioned above (the interpretation that God is an ambiguous term).
    Now, having said that...


    James, you said:
    What I actually said was the meaning of a statute or constitutional provision cannot be extrapolated by looking at the meanings of words isolated from each other. What must be taken into account is there arrangement and how this arrangement along with the definitions allows one to deduce the meaning of the statute or text being interpreted.
    which was in reference to my previous statement:
    You cite in your contradiction that the definitions of the words should not be taken into account when spoken or written together in their context.

    Please tell me how these two statements are NOT synonymous. And please tell me how (outside of your law classes) you can change the meanings of words just by putting them in a different sentence. That's a neat trick, and I'd like to see how I can apply that in real life. In grammar, the meanings of the words make up the sentence, not the other way around. (This, among other reasons, is why I distrust lawyers.)

    As I noted before, Father of the United States Constitution James Madison singed the Congressional Law calling for a National Day of Prayer and used non-denominational/non-religious organization references such as As I noted before, Father of the United States Constitution James Madison singed the Congressional Law calling for a National Day of Prayer and used non-denominational/non-religious organization references such as "Almighty power, Omniscient and Supreme being, Almighty and Holy One," and said this does not violate the Establishment Clause.
    What he did do, however, is segregate from the population (and hence discriminate against) those who did not/do not believe in an "Almighty power, Omniscient and Supreme being, Almighty and Holy One".

    The former only prohibits laws respecting religious organization such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Budhism but does not preclude religious references which do not represent any religious organization.
    The name "God", as spelled with a capital, does in fact represent specific religious organizations. It very clearly excludes those theologies or philosophies w
  24. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Piggy, you and your irrational way of thinking scares me. More importantly, you bore me. Twice now you've suggested I have the intelligence of a 5-yr-old (very mature). This seems to be your only way of getting the upper hand on me, so I'll leave you to your delusions.

    Everything--and yes, I do mean EVERYTHING in your last post has been discussed before. I will not repeat my answers. If you would like to AGAIN hear my answers, please go back to the original thread, and look within this thread, for those answers.
  25. Calen2kk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 1
    I say get rid of the 'In God We Trust' thing. I mean why doesn't it just say, 'In The Boogey Man We Trust'. Or any other mythical character. And which God do they trust in anyway? That Christian one? I mean, English money has our Queen on it, relevent I think. And we know she is real, not the boogeyman or god or something. Anyway, I say it goes.
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