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New amendment would protect attacks on religion by ‘intolerant people’
Catholic News Agency ^ | July 1, 2005

Posted on 07/02/2005 5:57:22 AM PDT by NYer

WASHINGTON D.C.— A constitutional amendment that would protect public expressions of faith and religion was introduced, after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling removed the Ten Commandments from a Kentucky courthouse, reported CNSNews.com.

Buoyed by pro-family groups, more than 100 congressmen proposed the Religious Freedom Amendment.

"Intolerant people have been attacking the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, voluntary prayers at school, and other religious expression, but this amendment will halt those attacks," said Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) in a statement.

The Supreme Court has sent the clear message to public officials that “they will face an onslaught of expensive litigation unless they remove the Ten Commandments from public property,” he said.

The amendment reads: "To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience: The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage and traditions on public property, including schools. The United States and the States shall not establish any official religion nor require any person to join in prayer or religious activity."

"Our founders created a country and a Constitution that protected the ability of individuals to freely express their respective religions in public life,” said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md).

“What they opposed was a state religion,” he explained in a statement. “The latest pair of Supreme Court decisions adds to decades of confusion about what seems so simple to most Americans.”

A two-thirds vote in the House and Senate is required to pass the constitutional amendment. Then, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the 50 states.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: 109th; amendment; constitution; freespeech; istook; mccreary; religion; religiousliberty; supremecourt; tencommandments

1 posted on 07/02/2005 5:57:23 AM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 07/02/2005 5:58:25 AM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

Don't we already have an Amendment for this? "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise ..."

I hesitate to criticise dear Rep. Istook and his supporters, but what's the use of another Amendment, when SCOTUS will simply rule that it doesn't mean what it says? Like, how much more clear could "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged," be?


3 posted on 07/02/2005 6:01:32 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I am saying that the government's complicity is dishonest and disingenuous." ~NCSteve)
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To: NYer
This is the wrong approach. We need a constitutional amendment to abolish judicial review. That will correct our entire misguided judicial philosophy of making law from the bench, not just dealing with one case. And it has the added attraction of fixing the real problem once and for all.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
4 posted on 07/02/2005 6:05:40 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: NYer

The empty suits in the Senate will shoot it down when it gets to them.


5 posted on 07/02/2005 6:06:43 AM PDT by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: NYer

I don't know preceisely what this is getting at. Is this a proposal to end first amendment rights of people to criticize a religion? I don't agree with that. One should be free to criticize any religion in public as a private person. Just look at the law in Australia punishing a Christian pastor for criticizing Islam, and the proposed law in UK that would punish the same thing.


6 posted on 07/02/2005 6:07:18 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: NYer

The amendment reads: "To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience: The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage and traditions on public property, including schools. The United States and the States shall not establish any official religion nor require any person to join in prayer or religious activity."

A fitting Amendment that shouldnt be necessary, but sadly is, due to the Supreme Court re-writing of the constitution.


7 posted on 07/02/2005 6:08:07 AM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: Tax-chick

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged,"

I expect this to be re-interpreted to mean the right to wear tank tops!


8 posted on 07/02/2005 6:09:11 AM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: NYer

Oh, you mean like liberals who constantly attack Conservative Christians day in and day out? You mean like liberals who hate organized religion and anybody that dares make it part of their life?


9 posted on 07/02/2005 6:09:17 AM PDT by JarheadFromFlorida
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To: Unam Sanctam

"Is this a proposal to end first amendment rights of people to criticize a religion?"

Read the text of the amendment and ignore the misleading headline... it does nothing of the kind. It simply preserves (returns) the right to engage in voluntary, noncoercive religious expression in public places.


10 posted on 07/02/2005 6:11:12 AM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: Unam Sanctam
Is this a proposal to end first amendment rights of people to criticize a religion?

You can take it to the bank that should this amendment pass the first group of people to embrace it will be the moslems.

Doesn't our Republican controlled congress have something better to do with their time? First we are visited yet again by another flag burning amendment and now this. Meanwhile our borders are a free-for-all zone and the USSC just ruled that private property really belongs to the State. They need to quit wasting time with these pointless "feel good" amendments and actually do something about the issues that truly and adversely affect people!

11 posted on 07/02/2005 6:13:49 AM PDT by Drew68 (IYAOYAS! Semper Gumby!)
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To: WOSG

:-).


12 posted on 07/02/2005 6:15:01 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I am saying that the government's complicity is dishonest and disingenuous." ~NCSteve)
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To: Unam Sanctam
Italian author is being jailed for criticizing islam in Italy because its against the law to disparage a religion. This is not the way to go. What's being proposed in the name of Christianity will be trumped by muslims. We will have verses from the koran displayed right next to the ten commandments.
13 posted on 07/02/2005 6:28:39 AM PDT by photodawg
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To: Tax-chick
The catch phrase there is "Congress shall make..." The Founders didn't provide for "Supreme Court shall make no laws..."
Hopefully, Bush will nominate a SC Justice who follows the Constitution. I have my pen and stationary all set to encourage my CINO Senators, Mikulski and Sarbanes, to support the Nominee and the Constitution they swore to uphold.
But then, what did Mother Teresa say about a Nation that will kill it's babies?
14 posted on 07/02/2005 6:47:29 AM PDT by pieces of time
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To: WOSG

If that wasn't a possiblity it would be very funny.


15 posted on 07/02/2005 6:49:18 AM PDT by pieces of time
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To: WOSG
The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage and traditions on public property, including schools. The United States and the States shall not establish any official religion nor require any person to join in prayer or religious activity.

Isn't that just a rewrite of what the first amendment already says, just wordier?

16 posted on 07/02/2005 6:52:55 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: NYer

I appreciate the sentiment but a "loser pays" law would be more effective and you wouldn't need a Constitutional Amendment.


17 posted on 07/02/2005 6:55:35 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Unam Sanctam; WOSG

It does seem that such an amendment shouldn't be necessary, but it may be. The act of at least trying to pass such an amendment may call attention to the fact that it appears that Christianity, the Ten Commandments, or anything that relates to the Judeo-Christian God are the only things that seems to be unprotected from political correctness, "hate-speech", etc. If other religious are attacked or questioned, whoever made the statement is viewed as "intolerant".

And look at all the trash Hollywood and "artists" have generated that has been anti-God. Maybe such an amendment, or the attempt to pass such legislation, will stop at least some of that bile.


18 posted on 07/02/2005 6:58:26 AM PDT by Joann37
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To: Joann37

Do you think that this would make muslimes stop wanting
to kill christians and jews?


19 posted on 07/02/2005 7:04:21 AM PDT by jusduat (I am a strange and recurring anomaly)
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To: pieces of time

Excellent points.


20 posted on 07/02/2005 7:07:54 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I am saying that the government's complicity is dishonest and disingenuous." ~NCSteve)
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To: NYer

Uhhh. The Constitution already allows for the free exercise of religion. Why does the Constitution need to be changed? The problem is with the judges who have "interpreted" the Constitution to the point that what it's understood to mean is often in diametric opposition to what it actually says.

This is the wrong strategy and it attacks symptoms rather than underlying causes.

If you want to get me excited, propose a constitutional amendment that either limits the tenure of Federal judges or reverses Marbury vs Madison. Preferably both.


21 posted on 07/02/2005 7:11:22 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Eastern Catholicism: tonic for the lapsed Catholic)
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To: exDemMom

Uh, yup.

Kind of like the flag-burning amendment ... where did SCOTUS get off thinking torching a flag was 'free speech' that couldnt be regulated but putting out flyers that say a Congressman is a corrupt nincompoop *could* be regulated?

Our Constitution is being destroyed by wilful mis-interpretation.


22 posted on 07/02/2005 7:15:26 AM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Uhhh. The Constitution already allows for the free exercise of religion. "

Uhhh, the ACLU-amended SCOTUS-Ginzberg-Breyer-Souter-OConnor-Stevens version does *not*.

The Supreme Court has now redefined the Establishment Clause to enforce a secularist view that doesnt allow any act that might 'promote' religion. In their book, a single plaque on a courthouse wall is equivalent to "Establishment", irregardless of the fact that "Establishment" to our founders meant stuff like forbidding folks of the 'wrong' religion from even holding office, etc.


23 posted on 07/02/2005 7:18:11 AM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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later pingout.


24 posted on 07/02/2005 7:24:14 AM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: RKBA Democrat

"If you want to get me excited, propose a constitutional amendment that either limits the tenure of Federal judges or reverses Marbury vs Madison. Preferably both."

Limiting tenure won't change their stripes ...
and Marbury v Madison reversed? Never happen. Amendments are hard enough, and hte Democrats would have a good case to oppose it (do you *really* want the courts to *not* be able to overturn laws? What about recent "Kelo" decision?); 'rollback of our rights' to the umpteenth degree. the best we could hope for would be some Article III section 2 shots across the bow from Congress to limit review in some cases.

This "Freedom of Religious Expression" amendment is a good idea, it encapsulates the proper understanding of the 1st amendment, highlights the problems of which you speak, *and* would be agreed to by 80% of Americans.

Nevertheless, you are right that this addresses just one facet of the challenge from liberal judicial activism. the *real* solution is to defumigate our law schools and the courtrooms of these "living Constitution" ACLU-brow-beaten Judicial activists. Term limits can't help much because it is a matter of the *whole legal culture* being pulled over to the dark side of judicial activism. The only ones resisting are the explicit conservatives of the Federalist Society stripe.

A Scalia Court majority is our best and only hope at this point.

One more reason to support Luttig for USSC.


25 posted on 07/02/2005 7:27:36 AM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: Tax-chick

we do have an amendment We also have a Supreme Court that
believes they alone can say what any amendment means -and
quite often of late what they say it means has zero relation to what the clear language and original intent meant-so by all accounts we need either a new Court--or a new amendment and as weveryone knows it is easier for a mere politician to write a new amendment than it is to Impeach an unjust Judge.


26 posted on 07/02/2005 7:31:32 AM PDT by StonyBurk
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To: StonyBurk

I see your point ... but I don't see why anyone would think a new amendment would make a difference. If SCOTUS is going to "interpret" using Babelfish, they can amend until you're blue in the face, but it won't do any good.


27 posted on 07/02/2005 7:34:25 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I am saying that the government's complicity is dishonest and disingenuous." ~NCSteve)
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To: WOSG

"Uhhh, the ACLU-amended SCOTUS-Ginzberg-Breyer-Souter-OConnor-Stevens version does *not*."

So what would lead you to believe that a new and improved Constitutional amendment would be any more likely to be observed by the judiciary than the current one?

The problem is not with the Constitution, which is laregely sound, but the cast of characters who are interpreting it to mean whatever they think it should mean. You have to look at far more basic issue: should unelected judges with lifetime tenure be able to have veto power over laws that they don't like?

The answer in my view is a clear NO.

In my view until you address that very basic issue, all the Constitutional amendments in the world aren't going to fix the problems that we're running into. You go through the work to pass an amendment to the Constitution and the judiciary just reads it how it reads the existing Constitution: however it pleases.


28 posted on 07/02/2005 7:35:23 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Eastern Catholicism: tonic for the lapsed Catholic)
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To: photodawg

And then people can see for themselve which one makes sense.

The idea that every single religion in the world needs to have a placard is not reasonable. Of course liberals are not reasonable.

It wouldn't hurt, but there's not enough room unless a whole wing of a building is dedicated to that purpose. Actually, it would be interesting, because every monotheist religion in the world has the same basic moral absolutes.

The idea of an amendment is perhaps admirable, but the problem is so deep, that those who hate God no matter what name He is called (but have an strange attraction for Islam, oddly enough) will worm their way around this one, too. I mean, the amendment protecting religious expression is already as clear as day.


29 posted on 07/02/2005 7:36:14 AM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: jusduat

Good question- short answer-NO- neither will it make the demigods in black believe they are in position of power to
proclaim the Constituion and Law means only what they say it does at that moment in time. The foundations have been destroyed and th epolitical house erected by Franklin and
his peers when we were a Christian nation is about to fall
for every nation divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided agaist itself shall not stand.


30 posted on 07/02/2005 7:37:11 AM PDT by StonyBurk
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To: Tax-chick

I think it is true nobody does think a new amendment will make any difference but it does allow the merepoliticians to claim they did something.Oldest shell game on the book


31 posted on 07/02/2005 7:39:50 AM PDT by StonyBurk
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To: StonyBurk

Ah, now I understand you! Thanks!


32 posted on 07/02/2005 7:40:38 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I am saying that the government's complicity is dishonest and disingenuous." ~NCSteve)
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To: Tax-chick

this is what I call a "fundraising amendment."

There's no other reason for such legislation. Of course, almost 95% of the proposals never get through anyway.


33 posted on 07/02/2005 7:42:30 AM PDT by Loud Mime (We want educated people voting, not indoctrinated)
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To: Loud Mime

I see your point.


34 posted on 07/02/2005 7:43:29 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I am saying that the government's complicity is dishonest and disingenuous." ~NCSteve)
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To: WOSG

"Limiting tenure won't change their stripes ..."

No it won't, but it will allow you to get rid of the worst actors over time.

"Marbury v Madison reversed? Never happen. Amendments are hard enough, and the Democrats would have a good case to oppose it (do you *really* want the courts to *not* be able to overturn laws? What about recent "Kelo" decision?)"

I very much doubt that either conservatives or liberals would push for an end to Marbury v Madison. But that's really where the problem lies (as well as with the unelected nature of the Federal judiciary).

The point of contention in the political sphere is less over the proper role of the judiciary but of getting judges appointed that represent one's own political bent.

And yes, I would like to see an end the unelected judiciary's ability to overturn laws. That's a tool that's been used to achieve bad ends as often as good. If judges were elected, I'd have much less of a problem with judicial review. But Federal judges are not elected and are almost completely unaccountable for their actions.


35 posted on 07/02/2005 7:50:49 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Eastern Catholicism: tonic for the lapsed Catholic)
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To: RKBA Democrat

"So what would lead you to believe that a new and improved Constitutional amendment would be any more likely to be observed by the judiciary than the current one? "

Yes, for one reason, that it would be explicitly passed to correct wrong SCOTUS rulings. They would be forced to correct the relevent rulings.

"The problem is not with the Constitution, which is laregely sound, but the cast of characters who are interpreting it to mean whatever they think it should mean."

I agree emphatically, and why I say a Scalia Majority is necessary.

But you seem to be arguing that this amendment is a band-aid ... well, even if so, if you are bleeding profusely, a bandaid wouldnt hurt, it will help. Let's not have the good be the enemy of the best. We need to address this on multiple fronts, it's a big issue.


36 posted on 07/02/2005 7:50:57 AM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: NYer
"Intolerant people have been attacking the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, voluntary prayers at school, and other religious expression, but this amendment will halt those attacks," said Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) in a statement.

Not so Rep Istook. Read your bible and discover that God Himself is not tolerant. It is people who demand tolerance who have been attacking the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, voluntary prayers at school, and other religious expressions.

37 posted on 07/02/2005 8:38:30 AM PDT by Luke (CPO, USCG (Ret))
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To: NYer

Well .. I don't like the wording of "intolerant people". Any non-Christian is "intolerant" of anything to do with GOD or Christians, etc.


38 posted on 07/02/2005 9:30:00 AM PDT by The Final Harvest (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
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To: RKBA Democrat

I very much doubt that either conservatives or liberals would push for an end to Marbury v Madison. But that's really where the problem lies (as well as with the unelected nature of the Federal judiciary). "

I'm not sure I agree, and there is the rub. The judiciary *needs* the right to interpret the Constitution in a way to trump laws that Congress passes, or the Constitution is a dead letter. McCain-Feingold would have *no* constraints on it, "Kelo" and Eminent Domain would run riot, etc. In fact, without Marbury, no Supreme Court would have stopped the early New Deal, and we'd be a europeanized, socialized state by now.

On the other hand, the *misuse* of that judicial power in the hands of 'living Constitution' judicial activists has killed the constitution and our democracy ...

Choose your poison. The only salvation is the concept of "judicial restraint" where the judges check themselves in their actions.


39 posted on 07/02/2005 4:04:13 PM PDT by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: thompsonsjkc; odoso; animoveritas; DaveTesla; mercygrace; Laissez-faire capitalist; ...

Moral Absolutes Ping.

I am not opposed to this amendment; but I really doubt it will do any good even if ratified. Why not? We already have such a simple one. And those who hate God and want to eliminate Him and any reference to His existence in the public sphere won't understand or abide by any new amendment.

What's the answer to stop the forcible establishment of atheism as the state religion in this country? I wish I had an answer.

Million Man/Woman Pray ins?

Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.

Note: There are none so blind as those who don't want to see.


40 posted on 07/02/2005 8:56:23 PM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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