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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch sued by Atheists and Agnostics
NewYorkTimes ^ | 9/20/2007 | Greg Happel

Posted on 09/20/2007 8:25:00 PM PDT by LinnKeyes2000

North Dakota Is Sued in Church-State Case
By NEELA BANERJEE
Published: June 21, 2007

A group that advocates strict separation of church and
state has sued North Dakota to bar public financing of an association that provides therapeutic and
rehabilitative services for troubled youth by steeping them in Christian teachings, Bible readings,
religious services and rituals.
The complaint was brought Tuesday in a federal court in North Dakota by the Freedom From Religion Foundation,
acting on behalf of three of the state’s taxpayers. It is the most recent in a spate of legal challenges to public financing of religion-based programs.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: church; religion; separation; state
Hello All,
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a 55 year old Christian organization that
helps at risk youth. "Freedom From Religion Foundation" is sueing both DBGR
ND and to stop ND from sending children to DBGR. The "Spiritual Life Program"
is voluntary and DBGR takes no public money for the program which the suit is about.

This Christian organization is being sued and ND state is being sued by
a group of atheists to prevent kids from being placed at the camp and
getting help.

Here is a summary of a DBGR support request letter:
"I never expected to be sued over saying mealtime prayers."
1. The suit also names DBGR (NYT article doesn't mention this)
2. DBGR is recommended by many public agencies.
3. The Spiritual Life Program is voluntary and privately funded
4. Children of other faiths are free to practice their religion off campus.
5. DBGR has already incurred $42,500 in legal fees and the staff
has donated 350 extra hours to help fight the legal battle.

http://www.dakotaranch.org/programs/spiritual.php
http://www.bismarckdems.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=836&Itemid=159
http://www.religionandsocialpolicy.org/news/article.cfm?id=6678

1 posted on 09/20/2007 8:25:05 PM PDT by LinnKeyes2000
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To: LinnKeyes2000

“Show me the money”


2 posted on 09/20/2007 8:27:09 PM PDT by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: LinnKeyes2000
Do they accept money from the state? Your statement and what I read in the article seem to disagree.
3 posted on 09/20/2007 8:30:44 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: LinnKeyes2000

BTTT.......


4 posted on 09/20/2007 8:32:04 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (Mother of the Bride here, treat me with respect for once, will ya? ;))
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To: Graybeard58
Do they accept money from the state? Your statement and what I read in the article seem to disagree.

If I understand this correctly, the DBGR is privately funded, but the suit alleges that some governmental agencies are involuntarily sending juvenile wards of the state to the ranch (and paying their tuition with public funds).

5 posted on 09/20/2007 8:40:15 PM PDT by Antonello (Oh my God, don't shoot the banana!)
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To: Graybeard58
Would anyone have a problem if it were an Islamist Boys and Girls Ranch?

I think they're walking a very thin line here.

6 posted on 09/20/2007 8:54:23 PM PDT by basil (Support the Second Amendment--buy another gun today!)
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To: basil

No problem whatsoever as long as the Islamist Boys and Girls are able to properly wash their feet in Muzzie foot baths at the airport when they fly in.


7 posted on 09/20/2007 9:02:50 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: LinnKeyes2000
It is apparent that it is more important for the godless to push their agenda than it is for these kids to get the help they need.

The DBGR has been a successful program for a long time (and yes, I have sent them donations--and will make sure they move to the top of my list to help them fight this).

I'd wager that that success has them squarely in the sights of secularists whose often failed programs look bad in comparison.

8 posted on 09/20/2007 9:10:27 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: LinnKeyes2000

So is the state now to push atheism? The result is worse than what some thought to be a problem.


9 posted on 09/20/2007 9:19:08 PM PDT by TheLion (How about "Comprehensive Immigration Enforcement," for a change)
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To: LinnKeyes2000

Can’t have it both ways atheists,agnostics and leftists....when taxpayer $$ from millions of christians helps subsidize planned parenthood and the abortions they promote the argument about Dakota Ranch rings hollow.

Atheists can kick God out of their world but have NO right to kick Him out of those who believe in Him.


10 posted on 09/20/2007 9:27:53 PM PDT by tflabo
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To: LinnKeyes2000
Wow - my oldest boy was voluntarily placed at Hanna Boys Center in the CA Napa Valley. They were also for troubled boys and they are a Catholic based organization. They prayed, they had religion class,etc.

We were just so blessed that the San Mateo County Juvinile system was open minded enough to allow his placement there. We were down to very few options: jail or a group home placement somewhere out of state. The juvinile hall would have cost so much per day and the group home would have been @ a cost - to us - in upward of $4500/mo. I was working full-time, my husband had a full-time AND a part-time job, we had a daughter at home and I was pregnant. The county told us we had no choice in the group home placement. He goes - you pay. Period.

Thank God for places like Hanna Boys Center and the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. By the way - it's Freedom OF religion not from it.
11 posted on 09/20/2007 9:37:17 PM PDT by ninergold3 (Don't like my attitude? Then get one of your own!)
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To: ninergold3

So this means the ACLU has given up picking on the Boy Scouts?


12 posted on 09/20/2007 9:45:13 PM PDT by Snapping Turtle (Slow down and get a grip!)
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To: LinnKeyes2000

It would seem to me that the inability of the government to pass a law regarding religion would also mean it couldn’t pass a law stating that an organization can’t receive help just because it is religious. It goes both ways.


13 posted on 09/20/2007 10:27:25 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: LinnKeyes2000
This seems to be the main thrust of the lawsuit:

The complaint says that “children are disciplined for refusing to participate in the spiritual aspects” of their therapy and that objectionable behavior is deemed a “corruption in the eyes of Jesus Christ.”

If that's true then they are in trouble. You can't force kids to participate in religious practices like that. If it's not true, which the camp organizers claim is the case, then they're probably okay.

14 posted on 09/21/2007 12:23:41 AM PDT by tyke
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To: LinnKeyes2000
The original Boy's Ranch was Cal Farley's, close to Amarillo. Founded in 1939, it is still successful and added girls along the way.

It spawned many others, including the one in Mertzon, Tx, not far from Ben Ficklin, TX.

15 posted on 09/21/2007 6:18:28 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: tyke
That may be the main thrust of the lawsuit but according to
the accounting records of DBGR, there is no public
money used in this particular program, "Spiritual Life".
Also, according to DBGR, this particular program is
voluntary.
16 posted on 09/22/2007 8:41:05 PM PDT by LinnKeyes2000
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