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The Decalogue And The Demagogue
Americans United ^ | Oct 2003 | Americans United

Posted on 11/23/2003 3:33:43 PM PST by Kerberos

The Decalogue And The Demagogue Lessons From Alabama

Now that the media circus created by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and his Ten Commandments display has died down, it’s a good time to step back and debunk some oft-repeated Religious Right assertions about this case:

• Moore’s display of the Ten Commandments was a courageous act.

It wasn’t. It was the act of an aspiring theocrat and religious zealot. This country does not have religious courts or anything like them. When you come before a judge, your age, sex, race and religion should be irrelevant. What you believe – or don’t believe – about God should be of absolutely no relevance to the state.

Moore’s display made religion not just relevant but paramount. It sent a message that the Alabama Supreme Court operates from a religious perspective. The state’s highest court had a favorite religious code, carved on a two-ton rock in the rotunda. Courts like that might exist in Iran; they ought to be alien to the United States.

• Moore just wanted to “acknowledge God.”

Moore is free to pray and read the Bible on his own in his private office whenever he feels the need. But he does not have the right to endorse any religious code in his official capacity or imply that Alabama courts have even a quasi-official religion.

Moore told a Promise Keepers rally in Atlanta recently that church-state separation is “a fable.” That’s a strong clue revealing what this crusade was really all about: furthering Religious Right attacks on that important constitutional principle and paving the way for fundamentalist government in the United States. Moore’s goal was to advance the Religious Right’s repressive agenda, not acknowledge God.

• The Ten Commandments are the foundation of U.S. law.

Wrong. The Ten Commandments are an important moral code to millions of believers, but they are not the foundation of American law. U.S. law does not require citizens to worship only one god, and it does not ban the production of graven images. We do not require citizens to keep the Sabbath holy, force people to honor their parents or punish coveting. We don’t even punish lying, unless it’s in a court proceeding or in some other venue where criminal conduct is involved. (Two of the Commandments ban killing and theft. These prohibitions have been adopted by societies of many religious hues throughout history as common-sense rules for peaceful living.)

Most of the Commandments deal with humankind’s relationship to God. The state has no business regulating this relationship. Who would want to live in a country that mandated worship of God in certain ways? Who would want to live in a nation where people were fined or imprisoned for not going to services on the Sabbath (which day is it anyway?) or for saying something a cleric deemed blasphemous? Moore’s actions not only violate church-state separation, they mislead Americans about the ultimate source of our law. That source is the Consti­tution – not the Bible or any other religious book.

• The Ten Commandments are displayed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

No display anything like the one in Alabama appears in the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court’s main chamber contains a frieze that depicts great lawgivers throughout history. Moses is part of this frieze. He is depicted holding two tablets, one of which contains some Hebrew letters. The frieze also depicts Hammurabi, Solomon, Confucius, Mohammad, Augustus, Charlemagne, Napoleon and others. The point of this display is educational and artistic, not an endorsement of one religious tradition.

A second high court frieze includes a single tablet with the Roman numerals one through 10 on it. Some Religious Right activists have assumed that this is intended to represent the Ten Command­ments. In fact, Adolph Weinman, the sculptor who designed the frieze, stated publicly that the tablet symbolizes the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution – our Bill of Rights.

• • •

The Montgomery showdown was telling – and disturbing – for many reasons. It exposed, for example, just how extreme some leaders of the Religious Right are these days. James Dobson of Focus on the Family was not alone in backing Moore’s defiance of the federal courts. Despite all of their “I love America” rhetoric, many in the Religious Right have nothing but contempt for America’s secular democratic government and our system of law.

The imbroglio also underscored that defenders of church-state separation have some work to do. One poll that came out during the showdown indicated that 77 percent of Americans support displaying the Ten Commandments in government buildings. This is a strong warning that our educational efforts have not been as persuasive as they need to be. We ignore that message at our own peril.

Courts are an important line of defense in the battle to maintain church-state separation. But we cannot rely on them to do all of the heavy lifting for us. If the American people do not truly value the wisdom of the founders and appreciate why they demanded that religion and government be separate, eventually Moore and his Religious Right allies will start to win. They could begin remaking this nation to their liking, discarding the legacy of religious freedom.

We all got a glimpse of what a Religious Right-dominated America would look like in Montgomery recently. Our challenge is to make sure it never comes to pass.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: christianright; demagague; religiousfreedom; theocrocy
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1 posted on 11/23/2003 3:33:43 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: k2blader; Arthur Wildfire! March; Byron_the_Aussie; dsc; TigersEye; Sockdologer; Ribeye; ...
Ping
2 posted on 11/23/2003 3:35:06 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: All
"ARE THEY FOR US OR AGAINST US?" (Updated Daily - Click Here.)

3 posted on 11/23/2003 3:48:23 PM PST by Cindy
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To: Kerberos
The Liars of Americans United may lead silly women astray
but the foundation for our Law and our Republican system of
government is the Bible/ Christianity.And as demonstrated in the first history of the United States --and as James
Wilson taught ;"Human Law must rest its' authority,ultimately ,upon the authority of that Law which is divine."There is ample evidence to suggest Roy Moores'
suppporters are right. Oh and the transcripts of the little
Inquisition of Roy Moore clearly prove Bill Pryor wanted it
clear it was about "acknowledgment of God"
4 posted on 11/23/2003 4:52:54 PM PST by StonyBurk
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To: Kerberos
Ah yes, another attempt at secular revisionism. I came across a couple interesting tidbits this weekend.

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson

He was also visionary when he wrote: "The Constitution...is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape as they please." The Constitution was not to be a malleable object to suffer the changing whims of populism.

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We haved staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the ten commandments." James Madison

Ben Franklin called for each session of the Constitutional Convention to be begun by prayer so that God could them through such momentous events. He also requested that each assembly of Congress be started the same.

The point - a state religion was to be avoided but guidance from religion was necessary for good government, as well as recognition of our Judeo-Christian roots in our government and laws.

Now, was Judge Moore wrong in his refusal to remove the statue. Yes. He was duty bound to follow the writ of the higher court, even if it was wrong.

Was placing the statuary of the Ten Commandments in the courtroom wrong? Not at all. Many court buildings from the beginning of our history have had similar statues. Some now even include Jewish and Muslim religious art works. U.S. law does stem from the Ten Commandments to Roman law to English Law to Colonial Law. The Ten Commandments in a court building is an example of the history of law.

Side note: Somehow people like yourself protest the Ten Commandments but not the Koran or Torah.

The revisionism of the Supreme Court sculpture is an intriguing attack that has cropped up from the Left recently. They had been described that:
"The sculpture over the east portico of the building is entitled: JUSTICE THE GUARDIAN OF LIBERTY. Moses is the central figure holding the two tablets of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, one in either hand, stark reminder of the origin and basis of our legal system."(Millard, The Rewriting of America's History)
But while the artists usually agree that the figure is Moses, suddenly the two tablets with the I through X numbering has been changed from the tablets that Moses carried to a 'representation of the Bill of Rights.'

Of course, the 1975 official U.S. Supreme Court Handbook, prepared under the direction of Mark Cannon, Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice, states: “Directly above the Bench are two central figures, depicting Majesty of the Law and Power of Government. Between them is a tableau of the Ten Commandments…” and “To the right of visitors is a procession of historical lawgivers of the pre-Christian era:…” and “To the left are historical lawgivers of the Christian era…” (evidence for Millard's position).

However, this description was removed in 1988 in response to p.c. pressure, giving Lefties an excuse to say look, the Curator does even include the Ten Commandments. It was there - but was censored by a secularist Left. In 1999, the censorship was covered with the brand new magic inclusion that they represented the Bill of Rights.

Inside the chamber is another sculpture that:
"depicts "The Power of Government" and "The Majesty of the Law." Between these two allegorical figures, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS stand out in a position of prominence. The seated figure representing "The Power of Government" has his elbow squarely resting upon God's Ten Commandments, showing from whence our power is derived."(Millard)
Again, the tablets have been magically transformed into the Bill of Rights. Years ago when I was there, the guide said they were the Commandments...go figure. The description was excised and then covered up at the same time as the previous example.

But wait - it gets better: The two tablets with just the Roman numerals is a common Christian religious architecute and art symbol. The Library of Congress has pictures of identical tablets with Roman numerals in many historic churches.

From the Oscar S. Stauss Memorial, Washington, D.C. (by Adolph Weinman - sound familar?)
Weinman's own meaning is: "The grouping represents Justice, portraying Religious Freedom. A reclining, draped damsel leans upon a tablet containing the Ten Commandments in Roman numerals. Her hands are clasped in prayer."
The inscription reads:
"Our Liberty of Worship Is not a Concession Nor a Privilege But an Inherent Right"
The tablet looks exactly the same as at the Supreme Court!

Similar examples can be found in the architecture of the Library of Congress and the National Archives - All described as the Ten Commandments. Besides, there is a second scuplture inside the Supreme Court building that is nothing but Moses and the Ten Commandments.

5 posted on 11/23/2003 6:08:22 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Ophiucus
Straw man- red herring alert.
6 posted on 11/23/2003 7:48:41 PM PST by CalvaryJohn (What is keeping that damned asteroid?)
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To: Kerberos
Ker, I'd appreciate it if you'd answer my posts rather
than pinging me to new "articles."

If you can defend your position, by all means, do.
But simply posting up a lot of material doesn't prove your
point.

If you're here to discuss and debate, I'll be happy to engage you - but if all you want is attention - join a cheerleading squad.
7 posted on 11/23/2003 8:09:38 PM PST by Sockdologer
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To: Kerberos
Some people think this is about cramming religion down other people’s throats. They are wrong, for a government that prevents acknowledgment of God is just as coercive as one that demands His acknowledgment. What is best, and what history shows the founders wanted, is a government neither prevents nor demands, but does allow, its officials to acknowledge God Almighty.

I am in favor of “religious neutrality”. True religious neutrality means there is no coercion by the state- in either direction. Officials should not be coerced to acknowledge God, nor should they face coercion to silence His acknowledgement. That is balanced; that is fair; that is what takes government out of the church police business. Right now the Supreme Court of the United States is in the Church Police business- and we want them out of it.

We don’t want a false faith imposed on the people from above. Nor do we want it stifled from above. We simply want justice. We want the Constitution of the United States to be respected rather than twisted – twisted beyond all recognition.

Some people think this is about a piece of rock now in a closet of an Alabama court house. They are also mistaken. That is just a symbol. It is the philosophy behind the removal of that symbol that should concern every citizen. The judges in this nation have told us that, “the state cannot acknowledge God”. THAT is the issue.

There are two radical and opposite concepts of faith and government, each of which will destroy a country, and then there is the middle ground. Our ideas, which have preserved and nurtured this nation, are that middle ground.

The first extreme is that only one belief system is true, so government demands its officials (and sometimes citizens) practice that and nothing else. This radical idea is held by the Taliban. This idea blatantly destroys liberty, and it is the enemy of Christianity. There is no such thing as imposed Christianity. So that’s one extreme.

The other extreme is that government officials are prevented by the state from acknowledging God all. It is based on radical secularism- one God is just as good as another, that is to say, they are all equally irrelevant. Such thinking cannot acknowledge that Mother Teresa’s Catholicism is better and truer than Satanism. Besides being radical and extreme, this philosophy has one more drawback – its just plain stupid. Worse than that, this idea also destroys liberty, not openly, like the Taliban, but subtly. By denying all Gods, it ultimately makes the state out to be god.

Those are the two radical ideas, but there is a third concept of faith and government, one that has been shown to preserve liberty. Its one that allows us to use our common sense and say it’s OK to admit that Mother Teresa’s God is better than Marilyn Manson’s. It’s the position of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson in the main, George Washington, and me right here. Here is the middle ground: Though the state should have no official religion, State officials can acknowledge God - but cannot impose His reverence on any citizen.

This is really not that difficult. There is a difference between a public official acknowledging God and a public official imposing God’s worship on others. That is the middle ground of liberty, and on that ground we stand. By the grace of God, we shall not be moved.

Amazing isn’t it, how some people try to say we are the extremists? Actually we are balanced on the middle ground between religious and secular extremism.

Let me make it plain for them. We have religious extremism, secular extremism, and balance. Religious extremism = government using force to demand its officials and people acknowledge a god. Secular extremism = government using force to prevent its officials and people are from acknowledging God. Balance = officials are allowed to acknowledge God, but no one has to.

Which of those ideas is not extreme? Hint; it’s the one that gets the government out of using force to either establish or prevent religious exercise. We are not the extremists. We are in the middle and the Taliban represents one group of extremists, and unfortunately our Federal courts are at the other extreme. What kind of muddled thinking could possibly conclude that we are the extremists here? We are the ones out to STOP the extremists, on both sides.

It’s really this simple, which of these three words should be in the middle, Demand, Prevent, or Allow? Even a child can see that to allow something to occur is maximizing freedom, and that to demand that something occur is one extreme and to prevent something from occurring is the other extreme. Christians are in the middle, secular and religious extremists oppose us and the middle ground of Liberty. The Taliban wants to demand, the courts want to prevent, and the Christians want to allow.
8 posted on 11/23/2003 8:19:48 PM PST by Ahban
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To: Kerberos
Awesomeon the ping!!! More Socialist/Islamofascist/DNC slimes identified!!!
9 posted on 11/23/2003 8:35:44 PM PST by EUPHORIC (Right? Left? Read Ecclesiastes 10:2 for a definition. The Bible knows all about it!)
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To: CalvaryJohn
Straw man- red herring alert.

Uh oh...his posted article or my response?

I'm guessing the article but I just wanted to make sure. :-)

10 posted on 11/23/2003 9:50:53 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Kerberos
Got another one for you. Federal District Judge Myron Thompson in ruling against More also stated that his ruling did not invalidate ALL decalogues and included the Supreme Court sculptures AS decalogues, meaning that the tablets are the Ten Commandments and not the Bill of Rights.
11 posted on 11/23/2003 10:26:51 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Ophiucus
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We haved staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the ten commandments." James Madison
Madison never said that. It was apparently invented for an inspirational calendar in the late 1950s and attributed to Madison. David Barton picked it up and spread it all over the place as part of his "America's Godly Heritage" presentation. Madison scholars found it to be completely inconsistent with his other writings and asked for a source.

As a result, Barton had to admit that several of the quotations that he had used could not be confirmed.

-Eric

12 posted on 11/24/2003 5:08:39 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Ahban
Some people think this is about cramming religion down other people’s throats. They are wrong, for a government that prevents acknowledgment of God is just as coercive as one that demands His acknowledgment. What is best, and what history shows the founders wanted, is a government neither prevents nor demands, but does allow, its officials to acknowledge God Almighty.
Ours does. It protects the right of all officials to free religious expression on a personal level. Justices and Presidents may attend religious services, and many do. They may even preach their faith at them.

What they may not do is endorse or support specific religious viewpoints in their official status. That is not "free expression", but Establishment.

-Eric

13 posted on 11/24/2003 5:12:24 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Ophiucus
Similar examples can be found in the architecture of the Library of Congress and the National Archives - All described as the Ten Commandments. Besides, there is a second scuplture inside the Supreme Court building that is nothing but Moses and the Ten Commandments.
There's also one of Mohammed.

-Eric

14 posted on 11/24/2003 5:16:01 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Ahban
Well and clearly stated! I agree.
15 posted on 11/24/2003 5:32:11 AM PST by FairWitness
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To: Kerberos
This article is unreasoned, unsupported garbage.

Let's go back to your last thread. You have yet to acknowledge, with reason and honesty, the challenges given you there.

16 posted on 11/24/2003 7:29:15 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: Ahban; Kerberos; .30Carbine
Very well said, Ahban. The government that is allowed to coerce in either or any direction will soon expand itself to coerce in every direction. We can look to our own past to see the proof of that.

"Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God." Thomas Jefferson
(wasn't he the 'deist' who didn't believe in the metaphysical aspects of Jesus life? Thought so.)

"Resistance to tyranny is resistance to tyranny." TigersEye

Judge Moore lost his job because he wouldn't say what he was told to say; or not say as the case may be. Judge Moore was neither accused nor convicted of violating any law prior to the hearing that removed him from his seat as Chief Justice. How could he have? Congress has, rightly, made no law prohibiting the acknowledgment of God by any citizen of the United States. The Supreme Court itself opens every session with an acknowledgment of God.

17 posted on 11/24/2003 7:55:30 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: E Rocc
Madison never said that. It was apparently invented for an inspirational calendar in the late 1950s and attributed to Madison.

I read over the link you provided - interesting. Problem is, nothing was mentioned about it being "invented." It did say it was unconfirmed in a primary source but in character of Madison. I noticed that the 'unconfirmed' quote from Sam Adams had been updated to 'confirmed' so maybe in time, this quote can be found or disproven.

Originally, I saw the quote in a secondary source, lost it, then saw it again in an O'Reilly column attributing it to a letter between Madison and Jefferson. Maybe we should ask O'Reilly which one.

18 posted on 11/24/2003 8:44:52 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: E Rocc
Ours does. It protects the right of all officials to free religious expression on a personal level.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it make any distinction between public and private, personal and official respecting freedom of expression or freedom of speech.

Article. VI.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

What they may not do is endorse or support specific religious viewpoints in their official status. That is not "free expression", but Establishment.

How is it establishment? Endorsment or support of an existing viewpoint hasn't created the view so it isn't establishing it. It doesn't make a law requiring reverence or adherence to a viewpoint so it isn't coercive and therefore establishes no government authority respecting the viewpoint. It doesn't effect the source of the viewpoint so it is neutral respecting a previous or private establishment of religion.

Endorsement and/or support without the means to coerce either acceptance or rejection of a religious view is nothing more than expression. The only means government has to rightly coerce anyone in anything is by the law and there are no laws requiring acceptance or rejection of any religious view. Only Congress can make laws and Congress is expressly prohibited from making any law respecting an establishment of religion.

To prohibit acknowledgment of God in any forum is to make law respecting an establishment of religion. As far as Judge Moore goes he set no precedent on behalf of government in terms of acknowledging God as a higher authority than government. The Declaration of Independence itself does that.

The Declaration of Independence

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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ...

There it is in black and white: the source of our Rights is our Creator. Define Him/her/it as you will they don't come from men or government. Now here are some of the Rights that it refers to:

Amendment I

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.

Where is there any possible inference of the meaning of the word 'establishment' in the simple acknowledgment of God by prayer, picture display or by display of a monument? 'Express' and 'establish' are not synonyms and mean very different things unless the meaning of 'is' isn't is anymore.

19 posted on 11/24/2003 8:53:54 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: E Rocc
Further reading of your source site has revealed:

It was apparently invented for an inspirational calendar in the late 1950s and attributed to Madison

This is untrue. Barton when challenged by critic Barry Hankins was able to show that the quote not only was older than himself but had been in "circulation for generations" and was attributable to an older, non-modern historical text.

As a result, Barton had to admit that several of the quotations that he had used could not be confirmed.

Not true. Barton wrote a second book, as he put it "to raise the bar" and use legal "best evidence." Best evidence goes to primary sources. His previous work with over 750 footnotes had been based on historical texts of the late 1700's through the late 1800's. The second book, 1400 footnotes, used only primary sources and only 14 of the previous quotes, used in much earlier historical works, could not be confirmed in a primary source.

This all happened before the 'Madison scholars' criticized the Madison quote.

20 posted on 11/24/2003 9:02:18 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Kerberos
Please remove me from any ping list you may have compiled.

Thank you.
21 posted on 11/24/2003 9:04:30 AM PST by k2blader (Haruspex, beware.)
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To: E Rocc
There's also one of Mohammed.

Yet no controversy....wonder why.....

22 posted on 11/24/2003 9:08:02 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Ahban
Well and truly said. Bravo
23 posted on 11/24/2003 9:12:27 AM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: E Rocc
What they may not do is endorse or support specific religious viewpoints in their official status. That is not "free expression", but Establishment.

I must disagree. Madison, who proposed wording of the First Ammendment to the House and later concurred with the House commitee changes, said that "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." (from the Annals of the House Procedings, 15 Aug, 1789)

The same day that the House passed the First Ammendment, they passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1789, holding that "[r]eligion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." How could they pass that one the very same day if they intended NO interaction between government and religion?

The next day, and this is so wonderfully timely, The House asked for Pres. Washington to issue a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Washington's Proclamation said, in part:

"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us. "And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best."

Adams, Madison, Monroe, Lincoln, among others, all issue Thanksgiving Proclamations in a similar vein.

Did Washington violate the First Ammendment? No - no mention of a National Religion for All....but lot's of official mentions and appeals to God.

24 posted on 11/24/2003 9:45:58 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Ophiucus
Just the article- I almost always click on the last post to reply. FRegards,
John
25 posted on 11/24/2003 10:38:04 AM PST by CalvaryJohn (What is keeping that damned asteroid?)
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To: TigersEye; E Rocc
Bravo yourself Tigerseye, on your #19. Perhaps it would help Eric if I gave an example. If there was a federal law that officials had to be of a certain faith, that would be a prohibited federal establishment of religion.

If there was a law that said they had to perform certain religious duties, that would be an establishment. If an official CHOOSES to do these things, that is an expression of religion. It is up to the voters to decide to what degree they want their federal officials preaching at them.

In the Context of the 1st Ammendment you can't have an establishment of religion without a law. Read it again. No religious activity is can be PROHIBITED or DEMANDED by Congress, or by out of control judges usurping the power of same.
26 posted on 11/24/2003 4:44:22 PM PST by Ahban
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To: Ophiucus
"Side note: Somehow people like yourself protest the Ten Commandments but not the Koran or Torah."

Wrong, I don't care for that either. But if we are going to allow the Ten Commandments, then we have to allow others also. That is if we really are a nation of freedom of religion.

27 posted on 11/25/2003 8:25:46 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Ahban
In the Context of the 1st Ammendment you can't have an establishment of religion without a law. Read it again. No religious activity is can be PROHIBITED or DEMANDED by Congress, or by out of control judges usurping the power of same.
Jefferson and Madison both used the word "separation" in reference to the Constitutionally defined relationship between religion and government. For over one hundred and fifty years, the Supreme Court has consistently supported their definition. Any preference by a government entity for one faith or group of faiths over others constitutes a prohibited Establishment.

For example, while Moore was Chief Justice, he could go to church all he wanted. He could post the Commandments in his home, on his lawn, or in his private office. All this was done as a private citizen.

I think we can all agree that he would be forbidden from lecturing a defendant about behaving in an "unchristian" manner, or urging them to pray, while sitting on the bench as a judge. Such would be Establishment.....a clear indication that the Law favors one set of religious beliefs over others. Our point has always been that for Moore to post the Commandments (indeed a specific version of them) in the courthouse and refer to them as the "Laws of God" was the same thing: an entity of the government endorsing one particular religious belief. Moore's comments during the debate only made it clearer that that was his intent.

It seems that some deeply religious people feel that recognition of a Supreme Being is not a religious belief in and of itself. It is. Conversely, a failure to mention God under any circumstances is not an implicit endorsement of atheism or even agnosticism.

-Eric

28 posted on 11/25/2003 9:42:03 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Kerberos
But if we are going to allow the Ten Commandments, then we have to allow others also.

But that's a problem - currently, the Koran is allowed, the Ten Commandments are not allowed.

That is if we really are a nation of freedom of religion.

That is what we used to be. A country with freedom of religion not freedom from religion. Now, we are heading towards a nation of freedom from Christianity.

I can understand the overall reason. The Left has a concerted plan of attack to change us completely into a socialist, cradle to grave, state. That necessitates the removal of the old rights (speech, religion, bear arms, etc.) and removal of the core traditional values of a unique American culture. A Balkanized, hyphenated, secular, morally ambivalent, 'non-judgemental' and 'tolerant' (except when it comes to conservatives because they are evil and believe in those annoying freedoms) America will be easier to play the divide and conquer game.

29 posted on 11/25/2003 9:46:53 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Kerberos
Name-calling in the title of the article makes me highly suspicious this will ever be worth my read.

Shalom.

30 posted on 11/25/2003 9:58:17 AM PST by ArGee (Scientific reasoning makes it easier to support gross immorality.)
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To: Ahban
Thank you for your excellent, not to mention sane and rational, post! I can only hope that someday I too might be able to be as expressive with my thoughts, via the written word, as you have demonstrated to be.

But at any rate lets go through it.

“What is best, and what history shows the founders wanted, is a government neither prevents nor demands, but does allow, its officials to acknowledge God Almighty.”

And this is a tough question, should our elected officials be allowed to make references to their religious believes? Where does their function as an elected official end and their personal life begin, or are the two one and the same? I too do not think that the founders intended all religions beliefs or perspectives be removed from public life, but at the same time they were keenly aware, from a world historical perspective, of the suffering and oppression that came with a commingling of church and state.

They also were very aware of the importance of a spirituality portion of ones life and believed it to be an important component to the success of a free country. That does not however mean that they intended this country to be exclusively a Christian nation as the Christian right myth purports. They intended this to be a country where people of all beliefs could pursue their spirituality without oppression and interference from others. And I also believe that the phrase “freedom of religion” also means freedom from religion, as the religious test for office of the Constitution would seem to support.

“We want the Constitution of the United States to be respected rather than twisted – twisted beyond all recognition.”

But weather or not it is being respected, or being twisted, is it not really a matter of subjective opinion? I just love the use of the phrases here of “judicial activism” and “following the rule of law” when describing a court ruling in a case. By using the term “judicial activism” it is demonstrated that the majority here does not agree with the decision, but when using the term “following the rule of law,” it is meant that most here do agree with the decision. When in both instances what is being done is that judges are interpreting the law, as they understand it to be, which is what they are in place to do. It is part of the checks and balances of government.


“This is really not that difficult. There is a difference between a public official acknowledging God and a public official imposing God’s worship on others. That is the middle ground of liberty, and on that ground we stand.

How is it in the middle ground? Is not Judge Moore’s placing the Decalogue in the Courthouse rotunda on others who may not share those same beliefs? And if we are going to allow judge Moore to such to achieve equal treatment under the law, or achieve the middle ground does that not mean the with have to also include writings from the Talmud, the Torah, the Koran, and the Sutras? Or do the people who follow those faiths not have the same rights as Christians when it comes to public places?

Again, thanks for your thought provoking post.

K
31 posted on 11/25/2003 4:07:48 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: CrimsonLily
Ping
32 posted on 11/25/2003 4:11:46 PM PST by garybob (More sweat in training, less blood in combat.)
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To: Ophiucus
Bravo,Ophiucus. I know that the most dangerous and despicable threat to the American Constitution and bill of rights is the anti religious left and the many liars, thieves and fools who support and elect these communistic politicians to power. I despise the liberal left and pray daily that the good Lord Jesus Christ will bring their reign of terror and bloodshed to an early end.
33 posted on 11/25/2003 4:27:28 PM PST by wgeorge2001 ( In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.)
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To: Ophiucus
"But that's a problem - currently, the Koran is allowed, the Ten Commandments are not allowed."

Oh come on, you're talking about one instance where a Koran was put on display at a police station. And the article failed to mention if that was the only religious symbol of if there were others. How many Decalogue’s do you think are on display in the schools and courthouse across the country?

34 posted on 11/25/2003 4:34:38 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: wgeorge2001
Thanks. It's amazing how much things have changed in the last 25 years.
35 posted on 11/25/2003 6:51:30 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Kerberos
I'm talking about multiple instances. It even happened in a small town near where I live. A homeroom in the public school had representations of the Ten Commandments, the Torah, the Koran, and Hindu scrollwork of some kind. The ACLU sued and only the Ten Commandments was mentioned in the lawsuit.

How many Decalogue’s do you think are on display in the schools and courthouse across the country?

That's a good question worthy of some research. I would bet that there are more Decalogues on display than there are McDonald's restaurants.

36 posted on 11/25/2003 6:59:51 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Ophiucus
"The ACLU sued and only the Ten Commandments was mentioned in the lawsuit."

Then if that is true, then that's a problem. The issue with religious displays does not single out any one group. Either we allow them all in, or there all out.
37 posted on 11/26/2003 4:12:42 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos
Kerebos, well thanks for the civility of your reply. I am blushing over here.

If the government ever got off of that middle ground, and tried to impose a worship of a particular god, even mine, I would stand against it. There is no such thing as imposed Christianity. That is not where the threat is today. Today the threat is that legitimate free expression and exercise of religion is being suppressed by the federal government of the United States in a manner inconsistent with our Constitution and History.

I think we have a sharp worldview contrast here. A God who is not God of every area of life is no God at all. If God is to be excluded from all aspects of government (and now government touches so much that this would practically expell Him from public life) then He is no God at all. I can't separate my faith from my politics, or my business, or my marriage, or anything else. If there is a "kingdom" where God is irrelevent, then that undermines the very concept of "God".

Look, there are two incompatable worldviews here. It is not like a secular world view won't offended anybody but a religious worldview will. Somebody HAS to be offended. I am not compartmentalized in my thinking. I can't go to church on Sunday and worship a God that I then think is irrelevant, and should not even be mentioned in the rest of life.

There are millions more like me. Somebody has to be offended. Someone has to be excluded. Either the radical secularists have to be offended, or the whole-life Christians have to be. You seem to think (perhaps you will reconsider) that the answer is to make the rules in advance so that the Christains are the ones to be offended no matter how many hearts and minds they persuade. For example 77% of Americans disagreed with the removal of the monument in Alabama.

Some Christians, not a majority by any means, want to make the United States a Christain nation. Since Christianity is a relationship, I am not sure you can have a Christian nation. You can have a nation of Christians though. I suppose you can also have a nation that acknowledges Christ, even while supporting the right of all of its citizens to worship or not as they please.

Let's pretend for a moment that some group of Christians want to go beyond recognition, and use the government to DEMAND a public profession of "faith" from every govenment official. Don't you see that this is simply the opposite extreme (and just as immoral) as what we have now? Secularists now use the government to FORBID a public profession of faith from every government official. Either of these extremes amounts to a religous test for office. One is a test for a particular faith, the other a test against any faith, but both are religous tests.

It does no good to hop back to the idea that they can PRIVATELY express any faith they want. A faith that can only be expressed privately is no faith at all. The real faith in that case would be in the power that one yields to when they decline to acknowledge their God, not that God Himself. Ones god, by my understanding, is whatever or whoever comes first in your life.

You are using a religous test for office to automatically exclude all of those who believe their faith must rule over all areas of their lives. This is now being done regardless of the will of We The People, and all governments ultimately derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

So here I am in the middle. Don't use a religous test to DEMAND or FORBID acknowledgement of God by any public offical. If you are just talking about officials expressing themselves, verses Congress passing laws, there is no violation of the 1st ammendment. Let the voters themselves decide how much they want to be preached to.

I realize this means that some people might have to listen to ideas with which they might happen to disagree. Too bad-that is the price of living in a free country where government can neither FORBID or DEMAND, but rather must ALLOW, free expression, even on religious matters. I wish I lived in such a country, for I was born in such a land. I remained in place, but that country was taken from me.

Officials of other faiths have the same rights as Christians regarding public expression, but that does not mean that a public official must acknowledge all Gods or none at all. That is just another way of making all God's irrelevant, which dienfranchises those who feel that one God is more relevant than others.

I would not expect a Jew or Hindu or Moslem elected to office to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Neither would I want a law saying they can't. Public officials of all faiths should have the right to advance their beliefs. I don't want to make the rules in advance so that only one side is allowed to win- which is what the secularists are imposing on America now. I want FREEDOM.

If we elect Christains, Jews, athiests, or whatever then that is up to WE THE PEOPLE. There is no institutional commitment to Christainity, except that which is written on the hearts of the voters.
38 posted on 11/26/2003 8:10:12 AM PST by Ahban
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To: E Rocc
please see my #38 as regards faith that is only to be expressed on a "personnel level".

As regards to your Establisment point, it is hard to draw a line where "Expression" ends and "Establisment" begins. Every expression of faith by a government official, even attending a worship service, even in private conversation, to some extent establsihes that faith.

Where does one draw that line? Lucky for us, the founders did it for us. They explicity stated that the establishing of religion that was to be denied was this kind of establishing : Congress was not to make any LAWS establishing a particluar religion.

I admire the elegance and balance of that limitation. It allows all officials to exercise their faith on the job or off. It denies one particulary important group of officials- Congress, from making their exercised religion into law.

All the trash the courts have attempted to expand these words into is just that: trash. The words mean what they say and no more or less.
39 posted on 11/26/2003 8:22:26 AM PST by Ahban
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To: Ahban
“Kerebos, well thanks for the civility of your reply”

No problem. In making these posts I am, in spite of popular opinion, looking for a good argument, someone to poke holes in mine. Unfortunately what I predominantly get is the same old tired mantras.

“I think we have a sharp worldview contrast here”

And I am not so sure we do, granted there is some points we disagree on, and that may be more on method as opposed to principle, and then I believe that there are some we agree on although maybe not precisely, but at least we may be in the same ballpark. And then again, maybe I am not being clear enough on my position, a distinct possibility J
“If the government ever got off of that middle ground, and tried to impose a worship of a particular god, even mine, I would stand against it.”

As I would hope that anyone who believes in freedom of the individual would. The problem is that I see many on this board that would think that is just oke dokey, that is of course if it is their particular god that is being mandated.

“Let the voters themselves decide how much they want to be preached to”

I think some of them are.

“A God who is not God of every area of life is no God at all. If God is to be excluded from all aspects of government (and now government touches so much that this would practically expel Him from public life) then He is no God at all. I can't separate my faith from my politics, or my business, or my marriage, or anything else.”

And you should not have to expel your beliefs from any portion of your life; to do so would be akin to not having a belief in the first place, and this is where we may differ on opinion.

I follow a religion, (and I am not going to disclose what my religion is as to prevent this thread from digressing from principles into personality, and that is not directed at you) that we do not have our text hung in the courthouse and we do not insist that our children do their practices at school, and I find that I have no problem following my beliefs at home at work or anywhere else.

So I have to wonder what is it that makes it such a strong mandate for Christians to have their symbols and practices all over the place? Are they afraid that if they do not their religion will go by the wayside? And if it were to do so does that not raise a significant question as to weather or not it was meeting the needs of the people to begin with? I find that if a religion meets ones needs of finding peace and meaning of life and helping to build their spirituality people are naturally drawn to doing such, it is just part of the inner needs we have. But then again my religion has a practice of attraction, not promotion.

And we certainly have no interest in any faith based initiative program that the government has to offer. We do not want the government involved in any of our affairs and I have talked to some Christians, even some on this board, whose church feels the same. I applaud them for that decision since after al the FBI is just another socialist redistribution of wealth scheme, and I am not a socialist.

“It is not like a secular world view won't offended anybody but a religious worldview will. Somebody HAS to be offended”

There is always somebody who is going to be offended, so what. For me this issue is about principles, not if someone gets offended or not.

“Some Christians, not a majority by any means, want to make the United States a Christian nation.”

And there is the scary part, as I know these people exist. They are called theocrats and they are just as big a threat to freedom as the communist eve were Like you I tend to believe that they are a minority, at least I hope so, but I am also aware that their numbers are growing and they are also embedded with what is many times referred to as the Christian right.

I have read some of their positions about wanting to replace the codified law of the land with the law of the bible and have even seen post on this board that thinks it to be a great idea.. To me that advocates nothing short of revolution and needs to be stopped dead in its tracks wherever it is founds. There is no difference between these people and the Islamic radicals of the Middle East. They are just another brand of utopians just like the ones on the other side of the isle. The only difference between the two is the method they employ to reach their version of the utopia.

“Let's pretend for a moment that some group of Christians want to go beyond recognition, and use the government to DEMAND a public profession of "faith" from every government official. Don't you see that this is simply the opposite extreme”

Absolutely, I could not agree more and that is what we need to avoid. But as you pointed out early is that we need to find the middle way here although many conservatives would view that position as being wishy-washy and not standing on principle. Rush Limbaugh immediately comes to mind, and I love Rush’s show, but I disagree with him on this point.

And it is unfortunate that we have come to this point in our country but like it or not here we are. But the more I think about it, and honestly I miss the nativity scenes at the city display these days, but it really is more a reflection of how technology is changing the world. Meaning that we are a much more transient society than we were just 20 years ago and much more so than we were just 50 years ago certainly more so than what the framers could have ever envisioned. We have people from all over the world who are now coming to live in this country, and yes an argument can be made that we could do a better job of our immigration policies, and with them they bring their religions, customs, and belief systems.

So if we allow Christians to display their religious symbols on public property, remember that’s property we all pay for, are we not also obligated to let others display theirs? Can you begin to imagine what a fracas that could turn into? But unlike many on this site I believe that the first amendment says “freedom of religion” not freedom to be a Christian, so if the rules apply to one they must apply to all. Isn’t that they way our system of government is suppose to work?

40 posted on 11/26/2003 11:56:47 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos
Then if that is true, then that's a problem.

It is a problem. Check how many tmes the ACLU, or anyone else on the Left, has sued over school or public building displays of Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hannuka, etc.

Either we allow them all in Now you're getting closer to the First Ammendment.

41 posted on 11/26/2003 6:04:16 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Ophiucus
"Either we allow them all in Now you're getting closer to the First Ammendment."

That's been my position all along, but one has to ask the question of how big of a mess that could end up being. Last time I checked, and it has been some time ago so the exact number could be off, but it was thought that there were 187 religions in the world that have active participants. Can you see trying to accommodate all 187 down at the local courthouse?


42 posted on 11/27/2003 3:07:16 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: E Rocc
"It seems that some deeply religious people feel that recognition of a Supreme Being is not a religious belief in and of itself. It is. Conversely, a failure to mention God under any circumstances is not an implicit endorsement of atheism or even agnosticism."

Bravo

Very well put.

43 posted on 11/27/2003 3:14:54 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Ahban
No religious activity is can be PROHIBITED or DEMANDED by Congress, or by out of control judges usurping the power of same.

The question I ask, and is never answered, is; 'since judges only have the power to rule on laws that have been established what law did they rule on in reference to Judge Moore's monument?' Congress, the only body Constitutionally allowed to make law, has made no law prohibiting the display of the Ten Commandments. The 1st Amendment prohibits them from doing so.

44 posted on 11/27/2003 6:41:32 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: Kerberos
How is it in the middle ground? Is not Judge Moore’s placing the Decalogue in the Courthouse rotunda on others who may not share those same beliefs?

No. It is not the equivalent of making a law respecting an establishment of religion which is the only thing the Constitution prohibits.

And if we are going to allow judge Moore ...

We did not allow him to. Alabama State law gives the privilege of choosing decorations for the Rotunda to the Chief Justice. Therefore it is by the rule of law that he chose what he chose.

... to such to achieve equal treatment under the law, or achieve the middle ground does that not mean the with have to also include writings from the Talmud, the Torah, the Koran, and the Sutras? Or do the people who follow those faiths not have the same rights as Christians when it comes to public places?

When the people of Alabama lawfully elect a Chief Justice who wishes to place something from the Talmud, the Torah (the Decalogue?) or the Sutras he/she may do so. What could be fairer?

Freedom of expression for all as protected by the U.S. Constitution, equal representation of the people's will through the elective process where everyone has a vote and a protected privilege of office as proscribed by State law arrived at through the legislature for the dispensation of authority overseeing public properties? This provides the fairest representation of the will of the people through republican principles of democracy. Nothing has been imposed upon anyone. Citizenship in each State and the Union itself is voluntary. All are free to leave any or all States at any time.

There is no right to have one's personal views promoted by the State, or anyone else, just because you have a right to hold any view you wish. There is no right to not be offended because your view is not the most popular view.

45 posted on 11/27/2003 7:09:43 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: TigersEye
"There is no right to have one's personal views promoted by the State,"

And that is exactly my point in all these posts; there is no right for any one group to have their religious symbols posted in public places. However some seem to have difficulty understanding that.

Oh and by the way.

Happy Thanksgiving.
46 posted on 11/27/2003 7:39:37 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos
Here's hoping you had a great Thanksgiving!

... there is no right for any one group to have their religious symbols posted in public places.

I understand that perfectly. Here are my rebuttals to that position.

1. Judge Moore is not a group he is one person who, as Chief Justice, had the lawful sole authority to choose what to display in the JD Building Rotunda. No single or multiple groups or individuals have the right, privilege or legal sanction to intrude on the Chief Justice's decision. Nor does the Federal Court.

His choice couldn't violate an existing law such as decency laws or safety laws but the fact is the monument violated no existing law. That's, not coincidentally, why no law was cited in any of the rulings on the matter.

2. The people of Alabama have a right, by law, to elect their Chief Justice. Judge Moore was well known as the "Ten Commandments Judge" when they elected him because he had been unsuccessfully challenged twice before for displaying the Decalogue in his courtroom. The whole of the people of Alabama made their choice based on this knowledge.

3. The Decalogue is not a symbol of one religion alone if it is a symbol at all. It is a set of temporal laws held in esteem by three major religions; Jewish, Christian and Muslim. More than that they are, as Judge Myron Thompson himself said, undeniably the source of much of western civil law today. He did not rule for their removal on the basis of their religious symbology and himself asserted that there was nothing wrong with publicly displaying the Decalogue on government property. The problem was clearly that the person who ordered their display actually believed in their divine origin and said so. More precisely Roy Moore said that God was the ultimate authority over men. What a radical thought! Is there some other way to view the concept of "our Creator?"

4. Every citizen has a right to assume the authority of any public office or trust that he/she has earned the privilege of holding and met the lawful requirements thereof irregardless of religious views or religious non-views.

Article. VI., Clause 3;

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

This clause confirms that no religious test is required but it does require that the officer or trustee be bound by Oath or Affirmation. Who is that Oath or Affirmation given to? God. That is not a contradiction. A test would be to demand proof of one's belief (which cannot really be proven) or to specify what religion or sect of a religion the Oath is given through. None is ever specified.

What is especially significant to Judge Moore in this clause is what the Oath binds one to do. Support the Constitution. What is the Constitution founded upon? The Declaration of Independence. What does the DoI found its authority upon?

The Declaration of Independence:

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, ...

Establishes the source of men's Rights; the authority they are founded upon...

--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --

Establishes the source of government's "just power."

--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, ...

Recalls the source of government authority and the source of man's authority to give it.

For those who are willing to read and understand what Judge Moore has said he has stated clearly that the only thing he is doing is recognizing just what I have pointed out above. God is the authority upon which the authority of the Constitution (and thereby the government through men) is founded. He has called it his duty to do so and since he has sworn an Oath to support the Constitution is seems only appropriate to support it by restating its foundational basis. He cites the Alabama Constitution as basing its authority in God's authority too. Even if it didn't do so specifically (and it does) how could any State be a member of the Union of the United States without being under the authority of the U.S. Constitution which derives its authority from God?

You may choose to read more into what Judge Moore has said and done than this but that does not make it so. He has done nothing more than reaffirm his Oath of Office and nothing different than the court that removed him from office which was to open with a prayer to God. As the lawful chooser of Rotunda decorations he chose his favorite set of laws by his favorite lawmaker and included several Founding Father quotes. This is nothing different than another affirmation of the source of Man's Rights. The basis of Constitutional authority as stated by design, by the Founders, in the DoI.

"I fervently invoke the aid of that Almighty Ruler of the Universe in whose hands are the destinies of nations."
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) eleventh President of the United States, expressed these words in his inaugural address in 1845.

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

The extent of "separation of church and state" in the Constitution is no more than those words from the 1st Amendment. Apart from the third clause of Article Six, which requires an Oath of Office and prohibits a religious test to hold office, there is nothing more than that. Nothing at all.

No right of equal religious representation or support. No prohibition of speech or religious expression by government officers or trustees. No prohibition of spoken or monetary support of any established religion. (Any religious group or congregation with an ounce of sense would avoid gov. money like the plague IMNHO)

Just; "no law respecting an establishment of religion."

That phrase is important to understand. Although a law might be made by Congress to fund a particular establishment of religion it would not be a law "respecting an establishment." 'Respecting' means 'concerning.' To meet that criteria the law in question would have to make some demand or alteration on the established order of the religion. Unless the religion in question itself had a proscription against outside help or government help such a law would not effect its establishment.

47 posted on 11/28/2003 6:35:34 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: E Rocc
Jefferson and Madison both used the word "separation" in reference to the Constitutionally defined relationship between religion and government.

Yes, so they did. Here is the only statement in the Constitution that covers that "separation."

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

That's it and that's all. It says nothing else, it authorizes nothing else, it prohibits nothing else. Anything else that Madison or Jefferson said about it can not expand the power of the Constitution beyond that statement. Whatever else they said about it is just rhetoric.

For over one hundred and fifty years, the Supreme Court has consistently supported their definition.

Could you cite some references? After all the Supreme Court supports the notion that sucking a babies brains out as it's being born doesn't violate its Right to life so it would be helpful to know the context and details of their 'support of Madison and Jefferson's positions on "separation of church and state."'


48 posted on 11/28/2003 6:58:09 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: Ahban; All
Today the threat is that legitimate free expression and exercise of religion is being suppressed by the federal government of the United States in a manner inconsistent with our Constitution and History.

Therein lies the answer to why this case is about more than a threat to Christianity and more than just a threat to all religion.

... religion is being suppressed by the federal government of the United States in a manner inconsistent with our Constitution and History.

Religion and freedom of speech are being suppressed in this case but the key phrase is "a manner inconsistent with our Constitution and History". The Constitution is what is specifically under attack. Religion will exist whether it is legal or not. The Constitution only exists so long as its principles are understood and upheld. Those principles are consistently being undermined. Once the Constitution is rendered completely impotent and irrelevant it will be replaced.

If Algore had won the election in 2000 the principle of republican elective process would have been overthrown. That would have been severely crippling to the Constitution but not a death blow. The "Roy Moore/Decalogue" case cuts the Constitution off from its root, its initial authority, which was placed in an unamed God, "Our Creator." This was a completely non-sectarian reference to divine authority. Non-sectarian not just in the sense of divisions in Christian theology and not just in the sense of diverse religions but in a whole sense including non-religious and non-deist views. It was a placement of authority above and beyond man's will.

In spite of the fact that Judge Moore is a Christian and in spite of the fact that the Decalogue is the focus of this controversy neither Judge Moore, nor Christianity, nor God, nor the Ten Commandments is in any real peril here. Judge Moore demonstrated this on the personal level by refusing to deny his beliefs for the sake of a job. He lost his job but his core convictions remain untouched. God remains untouched. Christianity is untarnished by this. The Ten Commandments have in no way been altered by this.

The Constitution, however, has been severed from its root. Divine authority. Anything and everything it speaks to and protects is now up for grabs. There is only one replacement for divine authority among men; the rule of men. Those who seek to do this know that and want that.

I for one, a non-Christian, non-Jew, non-deist period do not want that. Without its root in divine authority over man's authority our Constitution is nothing more special than the constitution of the former Soviet Union. No rights at all just privileges of the State. The equality of men has rarely been surpassed as it was there. Religious man and atheist alike were equally subject to the brutality of statist authority. Defy the State on any issue there and the result was the same.

In spite of the imperfections of our Constitution, being instituted by men, and the erosions of its original intent and meaning over time by usurpers it is still the best invention yet created by men to prevent the tyranny of men over men. As long as it exists it offers some protection and has the potential to be perfected. It can only exist as long as it is connected to its ground.

China has millions of Christians. What it doesn't have is law to protect them ... or anyone else.

49 posted on 11/28/2003 8:19:17 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: TigersEye
Whoa! That was great. That was a forceful post. Once in a while I save parts of a thread, to use it for a book when I get rich and famous. This post would be a great way to end that chapter, if you have no objections.
50 posted on 11/28/2003 9:20:02 AM PST by Ahban
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