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Please Donít Take Offense
Townhall.com ^ | July 8, 2012 | Rich Tucker

Posted on 07/08/2012 6:48:54 AM PDT by Kaslin

In spring, bicycles come out of storage, newspaper photographers snap pictures of people riding them, and those photos generate letters of complaint to The Washington Post.

“You do both bikers and wannabes a great disservice in illustrating this article with a photograph of a biker who is not wearing a helmet,” wrote a correspondent on May 19 . "This isn't the first time The Post has done this. Please give more consideration to issues of safety and awareness." A week later, a different writer added, “I would appreciate that The Post (in addition to publishing the helmet comments that have been made previously) convey the safest riding practices."

Notice that the writers aren’t simply complaining that there are riders out there who’re not wearing helmets. These readers simply don’t want others to see people riding without helmets.

A similar thing happens with religious liberty. Some activists don’t want to be exposed to religion in any form, so they’re trying to eliminate any religious displays.

Recall the words of the First Amendment :“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.”

Let’s note that the Founding Fathers wanted to guarantee the free exercise of religion, so they enshrined freedom of religion in the Constitution. The First Amendment ensures there will be no official, state supported “Church of America.” They’d seen the way the Church of England could stifle freedom, and they wanted no part of that.

But while the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, it doesn’t provide freedom from religion. Sadly, though, that seems to be how many want to read the First Amendment.

For example, In the “Mt. Soledad Cross” case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that the federal government could not acquire and maintain a war memorial that included a cross honoring veterans. The court believed that such a display violated the Constitution’s prohibition on Congress respecting an establishment of religion.

To its credit, the Obama administration disagrees. “The decision below, if permitted to stand, calls for the government to tear down a memorial cross that has stood for 58 years as a tribute to fallen service members,” the Justice Department wrote in a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit ruling. “Nothing in the Establishment Clause compels that result, because the Establishment Clause does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm."

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the case at this time, turning the issue back over to lower courts. But even Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. says that if the cross must be removed, the case "unnecessarily fosters the very divisiveness” about religion that the Constitution intended to prevent.

There are other recent challenges to religious freedom.

Frank Buono filed a lawsuit some years ago requesting that an 8-foot tall cross in the Mojave Desert be removed because he “claims to be offended by the presence of a religious symbol on federal land.” The cross is part of national memorial to the 300,000-plus American soldiers who were killed in World War I.

Buono’s case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which shot him down by a 5-4 margin. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that the Constitution’s Establishment Clause “does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm.”

Note how close that vote was. As legal expert Brian Walsh (then at The Heritage Foundation) wrote at the time, “If the Court had affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s extreme decision, it would have opened the door to legal challenges eliminating Stars of David, crosses, and similar religious symbols found, for example, on soldiers’ graves in Arlington National Cemetery and every other federal cemetery.”

As long as there have been humans, they seem to have always worshipped a god or gods of some kind. The genius of the Founders was in allowing people to worship any faith (or no faith) as long as they “demean themselves as good citizens,” as George Washington phrased it in a letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, R.I.

It bears repeating: Americans enjoy freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Trying to obtain it is a misreading of the Constitution, and a waste of time and energy to boot.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: firstamendment; freedomofreligion; justicekennedy

1 posted on 07/08/2012 6:48:57 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Liberals, progressives - anything but.

Almost without fail, if you prick a liberal you’ll discover a tyrant...


2 posted on 07/08/2012 7:07:16 AM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Kaslin

Condoms and bicycle helmets. The 21st century’s last best hope of mankind.


3 posted on 07/08/2012 7:07:43 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: jonno

Yet, these same bicycle riders when coming to an intersection where cars going in their same direction are stopped, and they proceed through the intersection like a pedestrian in a crosswalk, but riding. They want their cake and to be able to eat it, too.


4 posted on 07/08/2012 7:11:45 AM PDT by Gaffer (NOVEMBER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Kaslin

5 posted on 07/08/2012 7:15:45 AM PDT by bgill
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To: Gaffer

Aye. The trouble they must go to in writing about pics of non-helmet wearers. And for what? Who gives a s*** if someone is a “wannabe” or if they’re wearing a stupid helmet??? Those letter writers are insane.


6 posted on 07/08/2012 7:16:58 AM PDT by GodfearingTexan
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To: jonno
Almost without fail, if you prick a liberal you’ll discover a tyrant.

Two of the words in the above sentence are redundant.

7 posted on 07/08/2012 7:36:43 AM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: GreenHornet

Four if you consider “prick”, “liberal”, “tyrant” and “fail” ;-)


8 posted on 07/08/2012 7:42:00 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Kaslin

Liberals are like selfish 5 year olds - they don’t want you to have something they don’t have.


9 posted on 07/08/2012 8:37:43 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (ABO)
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To: Kaslin

Liberals are like selfish 5 year olds - they don’t want you to have something they don’t have.


10 posted on 07/08/2012 8:38:02 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (ABO)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA

I never could understand why LIB moonbats were so adament about wearing bicycle helmets. This is especially because a really hard knock on a LIBs head by concrete might knock some sense into them.


11 posted on 07/08/2012 9:09:00 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Kaslin

In dead seriousness. The day they come to destroy that 58 year old war memorial, they should be met with a protective wall of loyal Americans, who are armed to the teeth.
Coming to destroy that memorial is a re-enactment of the Soviets, nazis, chinese communists, etc.

Our armed refusal to bend to their will has to start somewhere. And it doesnt have to end in violence, they could just leave and abandon their efforts.


12 posted on 07/08/2012 10:07:41 AM PDT by DesertRhino (perI was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Kaslin

In dead seriousness. The day they come to destroy that 58 year old war memorial, they should be met with a protective wall of loyal Americans, who are armed to the teeth.
Coming to destroy that memorial is a re-enactment of the Soviets, nazis, chinese communists, etc.

Our armed refusal to bend to their will has to start somewhere. And it doesnt have to end in violence, they could just leave and abandon their efforts.


13 posted on 07/08/2012 10:08:03 AM PDT by DesertRhino (perI was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Kaslin

Not to worry...Judge Roberts can clarify it for us!


14 posted on 07/08/2012 10:14:50 AM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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15 posted on 07/08/2012 10:15:56 AM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93destr)
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To: Kaslin

There are two kinds of people in the world.

Those who want to be left alone, and those who WON’T LEAVE YOU ALONE!!!


16 posted on 07/08/2012 10:18:23 AM PDT by djf ("There are more old drunkards than old doctors." - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: jonno
Almost without fail, if you prick a liberal you’ll discover a tyrant...

I have a tagline that goes along those lines.

17 posted on 07/08/2012 1:22:36 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: Kaslin

Bump


18 posted on 07/08/2012 1:28:21 PM PDT by fanfan (.http://www.ontariolandowners.ca/index.php?p=1_50_Your-Rights)
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To: hal ogen

Again, they are selfish - they advocate abortion without any feeling whatsoever, but worry about their own head while riding a bike on a street made for motorized vehicles.


19 posted on 07/08/2012 2:14:55 PM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (ABO)
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To: Kaslin
(Article)Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that the Constitution’s Establishment Clause “does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm.”

Which, if the Ninth Circus ever gets its way, would amount to an establishment of scientific materialism -- or materialism in any case.

Which is the state religion of Soviet Communism, which our "progs" revere. For they are not real "liberals" -- "liberals" died out years ago, sidelined and then extinguished in the public forum by the "progs", like a person murdered in an alley by someone who proceeds to put on his (bloodstained) coat, use his cash, and use his credit cards.

20 posted on 07/08/2012 11:41:37 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Gaffer
Yet, these same bicycle riders when coming to an intersection where cars going in their same direction are stopped, and they proceed through the intersection like a pedestrian in a crosswalk

Endorphin dopers. They need to be stopped and tested and, if high, put in the back of a cruiser, taken downtown and booked.

They can get really insane sometimes -- saw one driving wrong-way on a one-way street one time about 12 years ago, doing about 30 mph against traffic doing about the same the other way, zigzagging and whipping in and out of lanes and around oncoming cars and public buses. Guy was certifiable.

21 posted on 07/08/2012 11:47:47 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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