Non-Religious Sanctuary Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darkside_Spirit, Feb 1, 2002.

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  1. Mister_Bunny Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2001
    star 3
    As a small example of what harm these McCarthyism-era words can cause if kept in the pledge...

    George Bush, Senior, made use of these "easily skipped over" words in the pledge when he was running for President:

    Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?

    Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in god is important to me.

    Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?

    Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

    Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?

    Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists.


    I found that here

  2. Ki-Adi Bundi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2000
    star 4
  3. Rogue_Solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2001
    star 3
    What Ki-Adi Bundi said. Eewk! I knew I didn't like that president...
  4. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    Bush Snr, in that much-quoted statement, took the liberty of summarily revoking the citizenships of 5-10% of the population. Imagine the outcry that would ensue if those comments were directed against a religious group. Anyway, Bush Jnr is now acknowledging that "people can be good without faith", et al, which represents significant progress for the respect given to non-believers. Perhaps by the end of this century, American politicians will have abandoned the implied link between religion and morality altogether (although I wouldn't put money on it).

    In some ways I'm fortunate to live in the UK. We have a much larger proportion of non-believers here (45% say they have no religion, with 30% specifically rejecting belief in God) and religion is something of a taboo subject for politicians. If Tony Blair were to end a speech with "God Bless Britain" or a Bible reference, he would be laughed out of the podium. There is generally a much more secular outlook on things. It can be very interesting to compare the US and the UK. The US has strict separation of church and state, but religion is a huge issue: atheists are unelectable, creationism in schools continually comes up, etc. The UK still has the Established Church, faith schools, blasphemy laws, bishops in the second chamber, and all sorts of leftover links, but the general outlook is far less religiose.
  5. ktwsolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2001
    star 4
    Ah, the Bushes, so fun to have around.
  6. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    And if the rote repetition were found to improve Patriotism, it would have long ago been updated to include a pledge not to be involved in criminal behavior, etcetera, etcetera.

    Funny, Bunny, but actually this is a great point. We could get into a whole discussion on the value (?) of ritual, something I have always found creepy.

    The Bush links don't surprise me, but then I find the allegations of the Bush family's anti-semetism and fondness for eugenics pretty convincing (his father, the senator, did support Hitler back before WWII, and wasn't the only American to do so).

    If Tony Blair were to end a speech with "God Bless Britain" or a Bible reference, he would be laughed out of the podium.

    Scary thing is, this was true in the US during the 70's and part of the 80's. Go back and TRY to find Reagan saying anything more overtly religious than "God bless America" - and even that was sort of eye-rolled with a "well, he's 8 billion years old, whatever" response. Even from his fans - they thought it was kind of funny.

    What happened to change it, of course, is that the Southern Baptists started buying the Republican party in 1979 - that's when suddenly the Republicans were pro-life and started praying at caucasus and so forth. Mark my words, there's a group calling themselves "Southern Baptists" that's out to take over the US and make it a fascist country.

  7. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    Firstly, I'm going to repost comments I made in the school voucher thread.


    Let's first establish that these vouchers remain government money. In the case of benefits or tax cuts, the government is giving money back to the individual, and they can spend it how they choose. That principle does not apply here because:

    1. The private citizen never sees the money. They can't put it in the bank.

    2. The citizen cannot spend the money however they like, either. It must be directed towards educational purposes.


    So, this isn't a government benefit, delivered into the citizen's hands. Rather, the citizen simply has a restricted degree of choice over where the government money allocated for their child's education goes.

    Now let's look at the First Amendment implications:

    1. Religion is included in the list of approved educational services. In other words, religious purposes are deemed beneficial by the state. This violates the Establishment Clause because it amounts to an endorsement of religion.

    2. In the test case concerned, the only available private school was a Catholic one. This disadvantages nonreligious parents because religious parents had somewhere to spend their education vouchers, but the nonreligious did not. Again, this amounts to an endorsement of religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause.

    3. Related to the above point, we could well see the vast majority of "private" voucher schools having a religious orientation. This would, through supplying public money to the private religious schools, force nonreligious parents to send their children to be religiously indoctrinated, in order to secure them an education. This amounts to state-aided religious compulsion, in violation of the Free Exercise clause.



    Also on the topic of school vouchers, I'll quote some of the comments made by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

    As Justice Breyer wrote in his dissent, "Parental choice cannot help the taxpayer who does not want to finance the religious education of children."

    Ohio taxpayers are being granted no choice but to subsidize religion, to pay for bibles, crosses, religious instruction, rosaries, chapels, salaries of religious teachers, and an educational system permeated throughout with sectarian religion

    It is farcical to maintain that the voucher scheme is not direct subsidy of religion. Just as in the Milwaukee voucher program, state checks for vouchers are sent directly to the Cleveland private schools, mostly Catholic, for parental endorsement.
    />/>
  8. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    "What happened to change it, of course, is that the Southern Baptists started buying the Republican party in 1979 - that's when suddenly the Republicans were pro-life and started praying at caucasus and so forth. Mark my words, there's a group calling themselves "Southern Baptists" that's out to take over the US and make it a fascist country."

    Alright then, your words are marked.
  9. Mister_Bunny Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2001
    star 3
    You don't suppose that some of the priests who have been thrown out of their positions of authority for acts of child molestation might now be applying for a job somewhere else?

    Say, maybe, I don't know, maybe a Catholic school?

    Sad but true... since the church has been so quick to cover up these "little indiscretions" without complaints or convictions, it would seem that there is no oversight for such a possibility. My apologies in advance to the many children who will be molested on my tax dollar.
  10. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    My father - a Baptist minister - was taught in a respected college in North Carolina that most of the Christian private schools in the east and particularly southeast US sprang up in response to "desegregation", providing whites who wanted their kids kept away from non-whites (like laundry, I guess) somewhere segregated to send them. Until they were forced, most of these schools didn't allow non-whites, or particularly sought to keep out blacks. Many of them were not accredited, or barely accredited. These schools then wound up with kids from a mix of families: non-racist Christians seeking a religious school environment, racist Christians, and racists who didn't give a flip about religious but wanted their kids segregated. And this is why these schools have a reputation for NOT having a high academic standard - the primary motive in founding them was NEVER about providing a better education than public schools.

    So there's a second reason not to want your tax dollars supporting religious schools - check out any stats, and you will find these schools perform poor to mediocre with extremely rare exceptions. Why should I pay to turn out ill-educated kids I then have to share the world with?

    And worse, what if that core motive of racism is still present in some of those schools? What if even a subtle undertone of "thank heaven we're safe in here from those urban [n-word] brats" pervades the atmosphere? Black taxpayers are supposed to pay for this? I don't think so.
  11. Vagrant Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 3
    I demand that "in God we trust" must be replaced with "in Thor we trust", or "in Allah we trust". Or they could print money with equal amount of gods in that line.
    And let's add "in humanism we trust"?
  12. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    How about "In god we trust" being replaced with "Oh, crap"?
  13. Mister_Bunny Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2001
    star 3
    Or they could just switch to the pledge and motto that our founding fathers suggested...

    No pledge.

    E Pluribus Unum as the motto.

    Or... how about we put "In No God We Trust"?

    Wait, that wouldn't be constitutional to be endorsing such a thought.

    It's exactly the point that Michael Newdow made on Hannity & Colmes on the day of the ruling:

    HANNITY: You have no tolerance.

    NEWDOW: No, I think you can go and pray to Jesus or God or whatever you want any time you want. The government may not.

    HANNITY: Well, I can't...

    NEWDOW: And when atheists take over this nation, I think I'm protecting you. You won't have to worry about them saying that we are one nation under no God.


    I didn't see the show, but the transcript looks like he solidly answered Hannity's attacks.
  14. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Well before Hannity even spoke he had a disgusted look on his face. You could tell he hated Newdow right off the bat. This was one of those rare occasions that i agreed with Colmes. But i think Colmes was more respectful towards Hannity than Hannity was to Newdow, Colmes asked if Newdow could at least understand why some people feel so passionately about this, and Newdow just said, " i understand people are blinded by religion." Which is pretty true, but Colmes was trying to draw out a more respectful tone from the guy, which he didn't get.

    So anyway, apparently i'm anti- American. I always thought i was a bit patriotic, but i guess not?

    Here's a good example of how i feel about it:

    cool cartoon

    This should make you sick:
    lame cartoon

    Yikes. Anyway here's some more pledge cartoons:

    some more pledge cartoons
  15. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    The joke has been made before, but the ultimate God of the United States is the Almighty Dollar. God apparently can't even penetrate the Republican party without 20 years of cash infusions from the Southern Baptist party - er, I mean church. ;)

    Bow down before the one you serve - you're going to get what you deserve

    ---NIN ("Head Like a Hole", my favorite little diddy on the love of money)

    Edit: OH WAIT! I've got it!!!!! This version is true, works for everyone from Jehovah's Witnesses to atheists, and comes with a free windshield washer valued at $35.

    "I pledge allegiance to the Republic of the United States of America, and to the people for which it stands, one nation, under no gold standard, with liberty, justice and fake book-keeping for all."
  16. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
  17. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    Just wanted to post something I saw on infidels.org this morning. [Note: easily offended Christians are strongly advised not to click on that link.]

    50 Fun Things For Non-Christians To Do In Church...

    25. Hide near the baptismal pool with a block of sodium. At the first mention of "fire and brimstone", throw it in.


    I fell about laughing when I saw that. :D
  18. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Even better if you say in a deep voice, "Behold, the beast!"
  19. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    i always enjoy praying pantless
  20. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    Okay, I gave you leeway, I gave you time and I gave Kessel Runner the benefit of the doubt, but really, I see no point in the continued existence of this thread. It's a place where you can poke fun at religions, mainly Christianity, and feel like you're getting away with it. Enough is enough. There's no real discussion there about atheism or being an agnostic.

    Therefore - there is no thread. Let the idea rest for a while, then if in a few weeks or a month you want to discuss atheism and agnosticism in the changing world climate, go for it. But give it time. Do not start up right away.
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