The Free Speech Thread

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  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    She might have been referring specifically to the phrase "separation of church and state", which is actually nowhere to be found in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Christine O'Donnell Stuns Audience With 1st Amendment Gaffe

    by FRANK JAMES



    Quote:

    Just when you thought Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware, could do nothing further to top herself, she does.



    At a Tuesday morning debate with her Democratic rival Chris Coons, she appeared to be aggressively ignorant of the fact that the First Amendment requires the separation of church and state.



    The Washington Post reports:



    Quote:

    The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O'Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.



    Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that Quote:

    "religious doctrine doesn't belong in our public schools."







    Quote:

    "Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?"



    O'Donnell asked him.



    When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell asked:Quote:

    "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"







    Her comments, in a debate aired on radio station WDEL, generated a buzz in the audience.



    "You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp,"
    Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone said after the debate, adding that it raised questions about O'Donnell's grasp of the Constitution.



    Not only is this extraordinary because O'Donnell is running for the U.S. Senate, but she represents a political movement, the Tea Party, that has made a fierce adherence to the Constitution one of its fiercest principles.



    http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolit...ment-ignorance







    Then again she might have gotten it wrong---again.



    FIRST AMENDMENT:

    Quote:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;......



    There are two portions to the 1st Amendment regarding religion. The first is called the Establishment Clause and the second is the Free Exercise Clause. The ?Congress shall make no laws respecting? is where the State shall make no laws thus separating the State from the Church.



    The other side of separation of state and church is that in publicially funded schools, you can't teach religious doctrine ie Creationism. Private and parochial schools are free to teach Creationism because generally they are not publicly funded.



    Two Supreme Ct. cases touch on this issue:



    Quote:

    Lemon v. Kurtzman @ http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1970/1970_89

    Established what is called the Lemon Test

    To be constitutional,

    1.a statute must have "a secular legislative purpose,"

    2.It must have principal effects which neither advance nor inhibit religion,

    3.and it must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion."



    Quote:

    Edwards v. Aguillard @ http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_85_1513

    A Louisiana law entitled the "Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act" prohibited the teaching of the theory of evolution in the public schools unless that instruction was accompanied by the teaching of creation science, a Biblical belief that advanced forms of life appeared abruptly on Earth.



    The Court held that the law violated the Constitution. Using the three-pronged test that the Court had developed in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) to evaluate potential violations of the Establishment Clause



    O'Donnell questions separation of church and state

    By BEN EVANS

    The Associated Press

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010; 2:44 PM



    Quote:

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



    The phrase "separation of church and state" is usually traced to President Thomas Jefferson. In a letter in 1802, he referred to the First Amendment and added that it built "a wall of separation between Church & State." The relationship of government and religion continues to be debated in American law.



    Erin Daly, a Widener professor who specializes in constitutional law, said that while there are questions about what counts as government promotion of religion, there is little debate over whether the First Amendment prohibits the federal government from making laws establishing religion.



    "She seemed genuinely surprised that the principle of separation of church and state derives from the First Amendment, and I think to many of us in the law school that was a surprise," Daly said. "It's one thing to not know the 17th Amendment or some of the others, but most Americans do know the basics of the First Amendment."



    O'Donnell didn't respond to reporters who asked her to clarify her views after the debate. Her campaign manager, Matt Moran, later issued a statement saying that O'Donnell wasn't questioning the concept of separation of church and state.



    "She simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution," Moran said.



    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...101902501.html







    Tape of Comment in Debate@



    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...T2010101903659
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Rush: Media Twist O'Donnell-Coons Exchange on Church and State



    Quote:

    BEGIN TRANSCRIPT



    RUSH: There was a debate between Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons, and the way the media... I read this this morning, and I knew -- I just knew but I didn't have time to get into the details at the time, but I knew -- with what I had read that it could not be this way. There was a story that was written in such a way as to make the reader believe that Christine O'Donnell did not know that the First Amendment prohibited the government from establishing a religion. The story was written in such a way they had Christine O'Donnell saying, "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?" What she was talking about was this idiot Coons talking about "the separation of church and state." She was saying, "Are you telling me separation of church and state's in the Constitution?" because it isn't.



    There's nothing in the Constitution about separation of which you need and state. It was Coons who couldn't figure out what's in the Constitution. It's Coons who didn't know what he was talking about. And so the panic in the State-Controlled Media, they write a story making it look like O'Donnell doesn't know what she's talking about. They had to misquote her and take her out of context in order to make this point. "Are you telling me that that's in the First Amendment?" meaning, the government cannot officially sponsor a religion. That's not what she was expressing incredulity over. She was incredulous that somebody was saying that the Constitution said, "There must be separation between church and state." Those words are not in the Constitution.



    BREAK TRANSCRIPT



    RUSH: Back to Delaware here. I'm reading this story today, and it makes it out like Christine O'Donnell did not know that the First Amendment forbids the establishment of religion by government. My first reaction when I read it was to call somebody. I said, "What the hell is this?" I said, "This can't be. I'm not going to call anybody. This has to be an out-and-out lie." Here's a partial sound bite from a debate this morning in Wilmington. At the Widener Law School during the debate ba-da ba-da ba-da, a discussion of evolution and creationism, after Coons said, "Private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that religious doctrine doesn't belong in public schools." Christine O'Donnell and Coons had this exchange about "the separation of church and state."



    O'DONNELL: Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?



    COONS: It's in --



    IDIOT LAW STUDENTS: (laughter)



    COONS: Excellent point. ...



    IDIOT LAW STUDENTS: (laughter)



    COONS: Hold on. The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish any religion?



    RUSH: Could you replay the sound bite? I need to hear the whole bite. Somebody interrupted me during the -- replay the bite. Here's what Christine O'Donnell said.



    O'DONNELL: Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?



    COONS: It's in --



    IDIOT LAW STUDENTS: (laughter)



    COONS: Excellent point. ...



    IDIOT LAW STUDENTS: (laughter)



    COONS: Hold on. The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish any religion?



    RUSH: And she said, "Are you telling me that's in the First Amendment?" What she meant was, "Are you telling me separation of church and state is in the First Amendment?" It's not! Christine O'Donnell was absolutely correct. The First Amendment says nothing about "the separation of church and state." This is a modern and incorrect description of the prohibition of the establishment of a national religion, pure and simple. And the left has taken this to say that religious people cannot be in government and that you can't teach something like creation in the schools while you can teach evolution, because evolution isn't religion but creationism is. Intelligent design can't be taught because that's a religion. Evolution isn't.



    Yet both require faith, because neither can be proved as an explanation where all this came from. Nobody can prove where this came from! You can't say that we evolved from nothing, and the anti-creationists don't want to believe that there's a God with intelligent, efficient design, and all that. She was not saying she didn't know that government shall not establish a religion. So that's the bite. You heard the laughter. Now, Michelle Malkin has a different take. Chris Coons cannot name the five freedoms in the First Amendment. This is what's not being reported. ""Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons can't name the five freedoms in the First Amendment. But all you'll hear from the MSM today is that Christine O'Donnell -- correctly -- questioned Coons' claim that the phrase 'the separation of church and state' appears in the First Amendment.



    "Coons' ignorance doesn't fit the O'Donnell bashers' narrative. So they'll pretend this didn't happen," and here's the story. "Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell questioned on Tuesday whether the Constitution provides for the separation of church and state. The comment came during a debate on WDEL radio with Democratic opponent Chris Coons, who argued that local schools should teach science rather than religion, at which point O'Donnell jumped in. 'Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?' she asked. The audience at Widener Law School was taken aback, with shouts of 'whoa' and laughter coming from the crowd. Coons then pointed to the First Amendment, which states: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'



    "'You're telling me the First Amendment does?' O'Donnell interrupted to ask. Following the next question, Coons revisited the remark -- likely thinking he had caught O'Donnell in a flub -- saying, 'I think you've just heard from my opponent in her asking "where is the separation of church and state" show that she has a fundamental misunderstanding.' 'That's in the First Amendment?' O'Donnell again asked. 'Yes,' Coons responded. O'Donnell was later able to score some points of her own off the remark, revisiting the issue to ask Coons if he could identify the 'five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.' Coons named the separation of church and state, but could not identify the others -- the freedoms of speech, press, to assemble and petition -- and asked that O'Donnell allow the moderators ask the questions.



    "'I guess he can't,' O'Donnell said." So when he got caught with his own intellectual pants down he ran to the moderator for cover. All she was saying was the Constitution doesn't say anything about "separation of church state." listen to the bite again, because the scary thing here is that the audience laughed. That's the scary thing. The scary thing at a law school, the scary thing is that a bunch of idiots laughed at the notion that the Constitution doesn't say "separation of church and state." Here's the bite again. It's number 31.



    O'DONNELL: Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?



    COONS: It's in --



    IDIOT LAW STUDENTS: (laughter)



    COONS: Excellent point. ...



    IDIOT LAW STUDENTS: (laughter)



    COONS: Hold on. The First Amendment establishes the separation, the fact that the federal government shall not establish any religion?



    RUSH: That's not in the Constitution. "Separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution, and the fact that people laughed about this is what's really scary. Most of the Framers and the congressmen who were first elected to the House and Senate prayed every day and went to church in Congress on Sundays, and in fact the House is opened every day with a prayer! Apparently back in the day, the Founders didn't know that there was separation of church and state. All the Founders said was that the state shall not establish an official religion. It does not say that people in government shall not practice or cannot practice a religion. The Senate opens with a prayer every day, as does the House. The House has a chaplain, for crying out loud!



    So this story was purposely written to make it look like Christine O'Donnell does not know what's in the First Amendment, when she was right. Nowhere in the Constitution will you find the words "separation of church and state," and nowhere in the Constitution will you find anything written to convey the meaning that religion is not permitted to be part of government. All it says is that the government shall "establish" one. The United States government cannot proclaim, "This is a Christian nation." It cannot proclaim, "This is a Jewish state," cannot proclaim the official religion of our country is Islam. They cannot do it. But we can have Islamists in government, we can have Christians in government, we can have Jews in government, and they can pray while serving! This has been one of the tricks of the left for as long as I've been alive.



    To get God out of our culture, to get God out of the schools, to get God out of everyday life. It's to try to say that the Constitution prohibits God, that's what they want the interpretation of the First Amendment to be. The Constitution does not prohibit God. I mean, for crying out loud, look at the Declaration, acknowledged as one of our founding documents. We are all "endowed by our Creator." The reason for this phrase in the First Amendment was where were these people fleeing? England! The Church of England. Henry VIII established a religion so he could get divorced. Pure and simple, he wanted to get a divorce. Religion said, "No." "Okay, I'm going to make my own religion. Screw you! I'm gonna behead somebody. Screw you!" They were fleeing religious persecution. The scary thing is that a bunch of dummkopf, dingleberry law students and audience at a law school laughed at the correct portrayal of what's in the Constitution.



    Christine O'Donnell may be as "stupid" as Justice Scalia. You want to know what he said about it? Justice Scalia: "In holding that the establishment clause prohibits invocations and benedictions at public school graduation ceremonies, the court with nary a mention that it is doing so lays waste a tradition that is as old as public school graduation ceremonies themselves and that is a component of an even more long-standing American tradition of nonsectarian prayer to God at public celebrations generally. As its instrument of destruction, the bulldozer of its social engineering, the court invents a boundless and boundlessly manipulable test of psychological coercion." That is Justice Scalia writing about people amplifying the establishment clause to suggest that God can't be mentioned, that prayers cannot happen at public graduations.



    That was Justice Scalia writing about those on the Supreme Court who would rule that God could not be part of anything to do with government or anything public. The Constitution doesn't say it. Christine O'Donnell was right. Chris Coons couldn't name the five freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment. (interruption) Christine O'Donnell is... (interruption) Well, does she...? Snerdley says that Christine O'Donnell's not slick; she doesn't know how to say it to get past these connivers and SOBs. I guess not if you want to look at it that way. The guy says establishment of church and state. She says, "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?" She knows full well it's not. It's not that she's not slick enough. She's assuming that everybody is as smart as she is. She's assuming that everybody's as informed as she is. That's the mistake many of us conservatives make: We assume everybody knows what we know. We assume everybody is as informed as we are. That's why I say it was really scary that these lamebrains at that law school laughed at the absolute correct assertion that she made.



    END TRANSCRIPT



  • wormholewormhole Posts: 864member


    semanticsguru.
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    This is the "free speech" thread, after all.
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    By Jess Bravin



    Tuesday?s debate in the race for Delaware Senate got right down to details?constitutional details, that is.



    Quote:

    Quote:

    ?I didn?t bring my Constitution with me. Fortunately, senators don?t have to memorize the Constitution,?



    Christine O?Donnell, Delaware?s Republican Senate nominee, declared at the forum, held in the moot courtroom of Widener University.



    Ms. O?Donnell attacked her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, for insisting that public schools teach evolution but not ?intelligent design,? which posits that life forms are too complex to have evolved through natural processes and must have been created by a conscious being such as God. Mr. Coons, the New Castle County executive, said that public schools could not teach intelligent design or similar theories, like creationism and creation science, because they were ?religious doctrine? rather than science.



    Quote:

    ?That is a blatant violation of our Constitution,? Ms. O?Donnell said. ?The Supreme Court has always said it is up to the local communities to decide their standards.?



    That?s generally true?except when it comes to teaching religion-based nonscientific theories of human origin. In 1968, the high court struck down an Arkansas law prohibiting instruction in evolution. In 1987, the court invalidated a Louisiana statute requiring that ?creation science,? an antecedent to intelligent design, be taught alongside evolution.



    Ms. O?Donnell likened Mr. Coons?s position on evolution to those of ?our so-called leaders in Washington? who have rejected the ?indispensible principles of our founding.?



    When Mr. Coons interjected that ?one of those indispensible principles is the separation of church and state,? Ms. O?Donnell demanded, ?Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state??



    The audience exploded in laughter.



    The Bill of Rights begins with the command, ?Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,? but it doesn?t specifically use the words ?separation of church and state.?



    In 1802, however, President Thomas Jefferson used the metaphor to explain the framers? purpose, and courts since have followed his guidance.



    The moderator moved on, but Ms. O?Donnell later returned to this question, demanding of Mr. Coons,Quote:

    ?So you?re telling me the phrase, ?the separation of church and state,? is found in the Constitution.?



    Mr. Coons began reciting the Establishment Clause, as it is known, prompting Ms. O?Donnell to ask, Quote:

    ?That?s in the First Amendment??







    After the debate, an O?Donnell campaign spokesman said his candidate ?simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution.?



    Coons campaign spokesman Daniel McElhatton said,
    Quote:

    ?It is clear that Ms. O?Donnell does not believe in the separation of church and state, something the framers believed in so strongly that they made it the very first amendment.?



    Ms. O?Donnell?s unfamiliarity with the Constitution extended beyond the First Amendment, when she was asked her view of tea party proposals to repeal some or all of the 14th, 16th and 17th amendments.



    She said she would retain the 17th Amendment, ratified in 1913 to make U.S. senator an elected position, rather than appointed by state legislatures.



    Quote:

    ?Can you remind me of what the other ones are??



    she asked.




    The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, resolved the constitutional dispute that sparked the Civil War, empowering the federal government to safeguard individual rights from encroachment by the states. Among other provisions, it guaranteed American citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., nullifying Dred Scott v. Sandford, the 1857 Supreme Court ruling that blacks could not be U.S. citizens.



    Some conservatives have proposed repealing the birthright clause, which they argue has encouraged illegal immigration by mothers seeking to provide their children with U.S. citizenship.



    The 16th Amendment, ratified in 1913, authorized the federal income tax.



    Ms. O?Donnell did not respond directly to the question, instead stressing that she favored solving immigration problems and lowering taxes.



    Ms. O?Donnell did say she agreed with Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court?s 1965 decision voiding a ban on contraceptives for violating a constitutional right of privacy.



    Mr. Coons said it was inconsistent to back Griswold while opposing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 opinion holding that women had a right to abortion under the privacy theory. ?You can?t have Roe v. Wade without Griswold v. Connecticut,? Mr. Coons said.




    Ms. O?Donnell, who opposes Roe v. Wade, responded that she favored Griswold because it applies to married people, not the so-called right of privacy.?



    Mr. Coons, who attended Yale Law School, criticized his opponent for a
    Quote:

    ?fundamental misunderstanding of what our Constitution is, how it is amended, and how it evolves.?



    He made no bones about his own constitutional philosophy, firmly siding with the liberal jurisprudence that produced Griswold, Roe and other decisions that limited state power over individual rights.



    Such opinions
    Quote:

    ?interpreted the Constitution in a modern context in a way that fulfills the early promise of the founders,?



    Mr. Coons said.



    Asked to name recent opinions with which they disagreed, the two candidates cited starkly different examples.



    Ms. O?Donnell, who in a prior appearance could not name any such cases, explained that under Chief Justice John Roberts and his late predecessor, William Rehnquist, the court has been on ?the right track,? producing few objectionable decisions.



    One, however, was Kelo v. New London in 2005, when the court ruled that local authorities can force landowners to sell their property when the government slates an area for economic redevelopment. The court said redevelopment is covered by the Fifth Amendment, which bars taking private property for ?public use without just compensation.?



    Quote:

    ?I don?t think the government has a right to dictate what someone does with their private property,?



    Ms. O?Donnell said.



    Mr. Coons cited a 2000 case, Bush v. Gore, which halted a recount of disputed ballots in Florida while Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush was ahead. Mr. Coons called it ?an inappropriate judicial intervention? driven by the justices? political leanings.



    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/1..._share_twitter



    Quote:

    Senator Byrd always carried the Cato Institute?s pocket edition of the Constitution as he made that vital point in Senate debate.



    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/rober...-constitution/



    O'Donnell's Constitutional Ignorance Extends Beyond Church and State

    Nicole Allan is a staff editor at TheAtlantic.com, where she writes for the Politics Channel.

    OCT 20 2010, 10:50 AM ET



    Quote:

    Yesterday's Senate debate in Delaware generated headlines about GOP candidate Christine O'Donnell's comments about the separation of church and state. When Democratic nominee Chris Coons said that public schools are not legally allowed to teach the theory of intelligent design alongside evolution, O'Donnell called this stance "a blatant violation of our Constitution." When Coons pointed out that one tenet of the Constitution is the separation of church and state, O'Donnell asked him, "Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?"



    The audience laughed and the blogosphere latched onto O'Donnell's question as an indication of her ignorance on Constitutional matters. In a legal analysis of the debate, however, the Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin reveals that O'Donnell had a point:



    The Bill of Rights begins with the command, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," but it doesn't specifically use the words "separation of church and state."



    In 1802, however, President Thomas Jefferson used the metaphor to explain the framers' purpose, and courts since have followed his guidance.




    The moderator moved on, but Ms. O'Donnell later returned to this question, demanding of Mr. Coons, "So you're telling me the phrase, 'the separation of church and state,' is found in the Constitution."



    Mr. Coons began reciting the Establishment Clause, as it is known, prompting Ms. O'Donnell to ask, "That's in the First Amendment?"



    After the debate, an O'Donnell campaign spokesman said his candidate "simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution."



    But Bravin draws attention to other areas of O'Donnell's Constitutional ignorance:



    Ms. O'Donnell's unfamiliarity with the Constitution extended beyond the First Amendment, when she was asked her view of tea party proposals to repeal some or all of the 14th, 16th and 17th amendments.



    She said she would retain the 17th Amendment, ratified in 1913 to make U.S. senator an elected position, rather than appointed by state legislatures.



    "Can you remind me of what the other ones are?" she asked. ...



    Ms. O'Donnell did not respond directly to the question, instead stressing that she favored solving immigration problems and lowering taxes.



    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...d-state/64862/
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    This is the "free speech" thread, after all.



    Then why are we off topic on:



    Quote:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;



    and the Separation of Church and State?



    Oh, BTW more on the Separation Clause:



    Quote:

    In 1802, President Jefferson wrote a letter to a group of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, in which he declared that it was the purpose of the First Amendment to build
    Quote:

    ??a wall of separation be- tween Church and State.??



    In Reynolds v. United States, Chief Justice Waite for the Court characterized the phrase as Quote:

    ??almost an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment.??



    In its first encounters with religion-based challenges to state programs, the Court looked to Jefferson?s metaphor for sub- stantial guidance.



  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post


    http://cnn.com/video/?/video/politic...tion.gaffe.cnn

    semanticsguru.



    But O'Donnell has the right to say that she understands the Constitution---even though it's obvious that her knowledge is lacking.



    and that's two thimbs up!!!!



  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Being ignorant of our founding documents has the same effect as intentionally ignoring them.



    Obama omits 'Creator' from Declaration of Independence...again



    Quote:

    It has to do with this idea that was started by 13 colonies that decided to throw off the yoke of an empire, and said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”



    From the Declaration:



    Quote:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.



    Endowed by whom or what, Mr. President? The government?







    "It was a completely unintentional omission and I have fired the teleprompter responsible for it!"
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,271member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Then why are we off topic on:







    and the Separation of Church and State?



    Oh, BTW more on the Separation Clause:



    What those quotes fail to note, is that the understanding of the time referred to a state religion as in the state picks your religion for you and you must be of that religion.



    This does not mean absence of religion, but rather that the state cannot mandate you be Catholic or Jewish as examples.



    When you look back at the history of Europe and the rise of nation/states from the various monarchies exerting their influence in conjunction with the church, it is easily understood.



    There is a reason Protestants and Catholics are still killing each other in Northern Ireland as an example. The concept of religion as something not part of your ethnic identity is not universally accepted worldwide. In the United States, you do not have to be Spanish and Catholic. You can be Spanish and whatever you want.



    That still doesn't mean the state has the right to exclude religion though.
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    This is the "free speech" thread, after all.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Then why are we off topic on:



    Quote:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;



    and the Separation of Church and State?



    Oh, BTW more on the Separation Clause:



    Quote:

    In 1802, President Jefferson wrote a letter to a group of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, in which he declared that it was the purpose of the First Amendment to build
    Quote:

    ??a wall of separation be- tween Church and State.??



    In Reynolds v. United States, Chief Justice Waite for the Court characterized the phrase as Quote:

    ??almost an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment.??



    In its first encounters with religion-based challenges to state programs, the Court looked to Jefferson?s metaphor for sub- stantial guidance.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    What those quotes fail to note, is that the understanding of the time referred to a state religion as in the state picks your religion for you and you must be of that religion.



    This does not mean absence of religion, but rather that the state cannot mandate you be Catholic or Jewish as examples.



    When you look back at the history of Europe and the rise of nation/states from the various monarchies exerting their influence in conjunction with the church, it is easily understood.



    There is a reason Protestants and Catholics are still killing each other in Northern Ireland as an example. The concept of religion as something not part of your ethnic identity is not universally accepted worldwide. In the United States, you do not have to be Spanish and Catholic. You can be Spanish and whatever you want.



    That still doesn't mean the state has the right to exclude religion though.









    At the time the 1st Amendment was drafted, there were already different religions being practiced within the new United States. Some of the religions came to America to escape religious persecution.



    Quote:

    In the drafting of the Constitution, Madison originally proposed ?The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.? The House proposed ?Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.?? The Senate version was ?Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, ...??



    In a joint conference committee the final language was drafted.



    Quote:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof......







    In the House debate, Madison stated
    Quote:

    ?he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any Manner contrary to their conscience.??



    It was not until Everson v. Board of Education where the Supreme Court declared that the Establishment Clause forbids the aid of one religion over another or the preference of one religion over another but also the aid to all religions.http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...ol=330&invol=1





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    [B]That still doesn't mean the state has the right to exclude religion though.



    No it wouldn't under the Separation of State and Church. However, a religious organization that discriminates against gays, lesbians and non-Christian believers can be excluded from a publicly funded university.



    Quote:

    The Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit, holding that the college's all-comers policy is a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition on access to the student organization forum; and, therefore, did not transgress First Amendment limitations.



    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-1371.ZS.html
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member








    Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.



    By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN



    Quote:

    It?s time for our politicians to take the religious literacy quiz.



    In a debate on Tuesday with Democrat Chris Coons, Republican Senate candidate from Delaware Christine O?Donnell seemed to be learning, in real time and reluctantly, that the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of religion.



    As Coons was arguing against the teaching of creationism in the public schools on the grounds that the First Amendment mandates the disestablishment of religion, O?Donnell said, ?The First Amendment does? Let me just clarify: You?re telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment??



    Coons, who seemed surprised by the question, responded by quoting chapter and verse: ?Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.? To which O?Donnell, channeling Homer Simpson, asked, ?That?s in the First Amendment??



    As the author of Religious Literacy and adviser to the recent Pew Forum U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, each of which demonstrated the ignorance of Americans about most things religious, I am not surprised that candidates for the U.S. Senate seem as surprised to learn about the Bill of Rights as I am by the latest plot turns in "Glee." (Emma? With John Stamos? Really?)



    In fact, in a quiz I gave Boston University students a few years ago, only 41 percent were able to name the free exercise clause, only 23 percent the establishment clause.



    And in the recent Pew Forum religious literacy survey, American adults demonstrated that they had about as much of a grip on what the Supreme Court has said about religious establishment as does O?Donnell. Only 36 percent knew that public schools could offer comparative religion courses and only 23 percent knew that public school teachers could read from the Bible as an example of literature.



    A few years ago, as I was traveling around the country arguing for religious studies courses in the public schools, I challenged journalists to start asking political candidates basic questions about religion. I don't care whether Mitt Romney is a Mormon, I said, but I do care whether he knows which religion predominates in Indonesia, and in India.



    I also said that, if politicians are going to invoke Christianity and the Bible to support their positions on abortion and immigration and stem-cell research, then voters have the right to know whether they know anything about that tradition and that scripture.



    Far less controversial than that stance is this: voters have a right to know whether candidates for the U.S. Congress have even a passing acquaintance with the Constitution.



    ?That?s in the First Amendment?? She Who Would Be Senator asked. Yes it is, O?Donnell, yes it is.



    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/1...ent-ignorance/
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,271member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    At the time the 1st Amendment was drafted, there were already different religions being practiced within the new United States. Some of the religions came to America to escape religious persecution.



    In a joint conference committee the final language was drafted.







    In the House debate, Madison stated



    It was not until Everson v. Board of Education where the Supreme Court declared that the Establishment Clause forbids the aid of one religion over another or the preference of one religion over another but also the aid to all religions.http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...ol=330&invol=1



    No it wouldn't under the Separation of State and Church. However, a religious organization that discriminates against gays, lesbians and non-Christian believers can be excluded from a publicly funded university.



    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-1371.ZS.html



    Fine, I enjoy your postings, but why fill me in on what I already know? You've essentually given a longer version of what I already said. Noting a 5-4 decision and having one side declare that they agree with the reasoning of the 4 isn't some sort of ignorant or extremist position. It simply means the matter is still being worked out publicly and one side would rather exclude the other from discussion rather than have the public hear and weigh in on the merits. If O'Donnell has the same view as 4 justices, then that view is an informed but disagreeing view.



    Also on the matter of the case itself, people wonder why when they give the public the right to discriminate, the public begins de-funding those public organizations and forming separate ones. At some point the government has to reflect the consent of the governed. If it doesn't that consent (and subsequently the funding) will be withdrawn.
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member




    By TOM BREEN, Associated Press Writer ? Thu Oct 21, 9:54 am ET

    Quote:

    KING, N.C. ? The Christian flag is everywhere in the small city of King: flying in front of barbecue joints and hair salons, stuck to the bumpers of trucks, hanging in windows and emblazoned on T-shirts.



    The relatively obscure emblem has become omnipresent because of one place it can't appear: flying above a war memorial in a public park.



    The city council decided last month to remove the flag from above the monument in Central Park after a resident complained, and after city leaders got letters from the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State urging them to remove it.



    That decision incensed veterans groups, churches and others in King, a city of about 6,000 people 15 miles north of Winston-Salem. Ray Martini, 63, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, launched a round-the-clock vigil to guard a replica Christian flag hanging on a wooden pole in front of the war memorial.



    Since Sept. 22, the vigil has been bolstered by home-cooked food delivered by supporters, sleeping bags and blankets donated by a West Virginia man and offers of support from New York to Louisiana.



    Quote:

    "This monument stands as hallowed ground," said Martini, a tall, trim man with a tattoo on his right arm commemorating the day in 1988 when he became a born-again Christian. "It kills me when I think people want to essentially desecrate it."



    The protesters are concerned not only about the flag, which was one of 11 flying above the memorial when it was dedicated six years ago, but about a metal sculpture nearby depicting a soldier kneeling before a cross.



    Quote:

    "I won't let it fall," Martini said. "I have already told the city, before you can take it down, I'll tie myself to it and you can cut me down first."



    The identity of the resident who complained about the flag, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, has not been made public. But the state chapter of the ACLU has no problem with the vigil.



    Quote:

    "We were concerned when the city was sponsoring the Christian flag, but we don't have any concern with veterans groups displaying the flag," legal director Katy Parker said. "We think it's great the city is offering citizens a chance to express their opinions."



    The protesters, though, aren't satisfied with the vigil. They're planning an Oct. 23 rally in support of their ultimate goal, which is for the city to restore the Christian flag to the permanent metal pole on the memorial.



    At a recent public hearing, roughly 500 people packed the King Elementary School gymnasium, many waving Christian flags. Of more than 40 speakers, no one spoke in favor of removing it.



    Quote:

    "We've let our religious freedoms and constitutional rights be stripped away one by one, and I think it's time we took a stand," King resident James Joyce said.



    Mayor Jack Warren said the city won't make a decision until it can go over its options with legal counsel. One possibility is designating a flag pole at the memorial for the display of any religious emblem, he said. Another is selling or donating the memorial to a veterans organization, essentially privatizing it.



    Quote:

    "What it comes down to is: What can we do and what can't we do, what's legal and what's illegal?" he said.



    Created by a pastor in New York City a little over a century ago, the flag, which sets a red cross in a blue square in the upper left corner of a white field, has been used by both liberal and conservative Protestant churches, but rarely draws much attention, according to Elesha Coffman, a history professor at Waynesburg University.



    Quote:

    "I would guess most churchgoing Protestants in America have never even noticed if there is a Christian flag in their own sanctuary," she said. "It's just kind of there, unless there's a controversy, and suddenly people pick it up."



    In King, it's virtually inescapable. Gullion's Christian Supply Center, an area retailer, has sold hundreds of flags since the dispute began, according to Leanne Gay, who was running a tent at Calvary Baptist Church in King where everything from Christian flag decals to T-shirts were for sale.



    Quote:

    "In the first couple weeks, we were running out of flags every two hours or so," she said.



    The Rev. Kevin Broyhill, pastor at Calvary Baptist, donated the flag now flying at the vigil. But Broyhill thinks having it returned permanently to the memorial is a losing legal strategy. He wants the city to transfer the memorial to a veterans group, which would make it private land.



    Quote:

    "Right now, the judges on the Fourth Circuit Court are very liberal," he said. "This battle's already been fought in court."



    Broyhill is probably right, according to Larry Little, a lawyer and professor of political science at Winston-Salem State University.



    Quote:

    "They know they'd lose," he said of the city council. "They would have to use taxpayers' money to defend what any lawyer worth a grain of salt could tell them is a violation of the separation of church and state."



    For veterans who say they're honoring the sacrifices of fallen comrades or Christians who say they're defending their faith, though, such a compromise seems like a sellout.



    Quote:

    "That's an easy out," said Eugene Kiger, who has been part of the vigil since the beginning. "The people here saw what was happening and said, 'Somebody has stood up. It's time to stand up with them.'"







    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101021/...flag_defenders
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:

    .....but, if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought that we hate. I think that we should adhere to that principle with regard to admission into, as well as to life within, this country. And recurring to the opinion that bars this applicant's way, I would suggest that the Quakers have done their share to make the country what it is, that many citizens agree with the applicant's belief, and that I had not supposed hitherto that we regretted our inability to expel them because they believed more than some of us do in the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount.



    UNITED STATES V. SCHWIMMER, 279 U. S. 644, 654 (1929), Justice Holmes dissenting opinion with Justice Brandeis concurring
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    By Václav Havel and Desmond M. Tutu

    Friday, October 22, 2010



    Quote:

    Immediately after the imprisoned writer Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this month, for more than two decades of pursuing democratic change in China, the Chinese government responded by calling him a criminal and accusing the Nobel Committee of blasphemy. It sent security agents to the Beijing apartment of his wife, Liu Xia, took away her mobile phone and placed her under house arrest. We have seen this before: in the dark days of apartheid, under the long shadow of the Iron Curtain. Whenever we took a small step toward securing the freedom of our people, we were stripped of our own.



    As we write, Liu remains cloistered in a remote prison in northeast China. This fourth prison sentence of 11 years came after he co-authored Charter 08, a document calling on the Chinese government to institute democratic reforms and guarantee the freedoms of assembly, religion and expression. Though Charter 08 was modeled after Czechoslovakia's Charter '77, the fundamental values it invokes are no more Western than they are Chinese.



    We nominated Liu for the Nobel Peace Prize this year because of the universality of his call for fundamental freedoms for his people.



    At its core, Charter 08 asks the Chinese government to honor rights enshrined in the Chinese Constitution. The government has already signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and ratified the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights. In a recent interview with CNN, premier Wen Jiabao acknowledged that "Freedom of speech is indispensable.... The people's wishes for, and needs for, democracy and freedom are irresistible."



    This need not be a moment of shame or insult for China. This should be a moment of pride, celebrating the fact that one of China's own is recognized as the world's greatest contributor to that which all nations seek: peace. It is an affirmation of one of humankind's oldest living languages that Liu's words in Charter 08, Chinese words, could inspire such admiration. It is a testament to the strength and courage of the Chinese people that Liu's actions have earned such widespread respect.



    Despite its initial reaction, this remains an opportunity for the Chinese government to turn the page on a century of victimization. We know that many wrongs have been perpetrated against China and its people throughout history. But awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu is not one of them. Nor is the peaceful call for reform from the more than 10,000 Chinese citizens who dared to sign Charter 08.



    Today, more than at any other time in history, the world looks to China as a leader. China has a chance to show that it is a forward-looking nation, as it has been for thousands of years. If it keeps Liu behind bars, the Chinese government is no more progressive than the ever paranoid and closeted Burmese junta, the only other regime with the gall to lock away another recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi. Release Liu, and China continues its impressive emergence on the world stage. Beijing helped keep the global economy afloat amid recent crisis; now it can show the world that it has the confidence to face criticism and embrace change.



    China has made such brave strides before. Thirty years ago, while we were still being punished simply for speaking our minds, the Chinese government opened up its economy and unleashed the industriousness and ingenuity of the Chinese people on the world's markets. The world has watched with awe as China pulled itself out of poverty and into a thriving, dynamic future. This is a moment for China to open up once again, to give its people the ability to compete in the marketplace of ideas where they will surely prove just as extraordinary.



    We have seen this story in the churches of Soweto and the theaters of Prague. We know how it ends. We are able to write today, free of fear and full of hope, because our people won our freedom back. In time, Liu and the Chinese people will win their freedom.



    After Liu's sentencing last year, he said in a statement: "I have long been aware that when an independent intellectual stands up to an autocratic state, step one toward freedom is often a step into prison. Now I am taking that step; and true freedom is that much nearer."



    The Chinese government can continue to fight a losing battle, against the forces of democracy and freedom that its own premier recently called "irresistible." Or it can stand on the side of justice, free Liu Xiaobo and immediately end the house arrest imposed on his wife.



    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=artslot



    Václav Havel is a former president of the Czech Republic. Desmond Tutu is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town. They are honorary co-chairs of Freedom Now, which represents Liu Xiaobo as his international legal counsel.





    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...101103077.html
  • finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    Law vs. Legislation







    Do you have a Cliff or Spark Notes version?
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
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