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Ala. Judge Loses Ten Commandments Appeal
Washington Post ^ | July 1, 2003 | Associated Press

Posted on 07/01/2003 2:47:12 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian

ATLANTA - A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a Ten Commandments monument the size of a washing machine must be removed from the Alabama Supreme Court building.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a ruling by a federal judge who said that the 2 1/2-ton granite monument, placed there by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

[snip]

Moore put the monument in the rotunda of the courthouse in the middle of the night two summers ago. The monument features tablets bearing the Ten Commandments and historical quotations about the place of God in law.

[click link to read remainder of article]

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


TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: churchandstate; roymoore; tencommandments
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
You're forgetting about the Native Americans - who were animists. That cuts your percentages down significantly.

I was speaking of citizens (about 3 millions all told). Indians were not citizens at that time. Besides, many of them converted to Christianity, and not forcibly either. In fact, Jefferson and Washington encouraged such missionary work.

451 posted on 07/02/2003 10:02:24 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: Catspaw
Answer the question please: Is posting 10 commandments in a courthouse tantamount to establishing a state religion? Yes or no.
452 posted on 07/02/2003 10:03:03 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: Catspaw
You know that if you answer the question, you will be trapped by either answer. Silence is your best bet.
453 posted on 07/02/2003 10:06:36 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
First - the opinions you reference on prayer are about leading others in prayer - not the right of a person to pray. You can't find a single decision that prohibits a citizen from praying.

Second - Christianity is not in unanimous agreement with Judge Moore's views. He is admittedly pushing a Protestant view. It seems even you would find this inappropriate for a State to do.

Third - As I have said above, ad nauseum - I agree that those Commandments relating to our conduct toward others are a foundation of moral and civil law. But Nos. 1-4? Are they the foundation of all law? If so, whose God is the one true God? Whose Sabbath must be observed under the law? Is the Catholic view, the Protestant view, or the Jewish view of graven images controlling? What about those citizens who don't subscribe to any of those?

454 posted on 07/02/2003 10:10:16 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Spiff
"Each state had to meet certain requirements at the time of their entry into the union. Those requirements were not laid out in the Constitution, but were requirements that were given to the states in order for them to be called states and given entry into the union."

Post support for this falsehood. And then post some evidence that any state after the original 13 had to comply with any kind of "standard" in its Constitution requiring conformity with the Bill of Rights. And then post some evidence that each state can't amend or rewrite its constitution as it sees fit.

You are just making this crap up.

455 posted on 07/02/2003 10:14:09 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
Sorry, dear, I was on the phone with a client almost as whiny and demanding as you are. I'll get the quotes from Judge Moore about what his goal was once the decision loads and I copy it into MS Front Page and post.
456 posted on 07/02/2003 10:16:31 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: exmarine
Read the opinion. When the judge who puts them there - the Chief Justice - does so expressly to exalt his version of Christianity above all other faiths, and refuses to allow other expressions of faith in the same manner, then YES, it most certainly does.
457 posted on 07/02/2003 10:17:50 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
Nope, I'll answer it - see post above.
458 posted on 07/02/2003 10:18:48 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
What if they banned Christianity in their town? Can they do this under the U.S. Constitution? What is stopping them, if the 1st Amendment only applies to Congress?
459 posted on 07/02/2003 10:22:05 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
The 11th Circuit, in this case, believes that was the intent of Chief Judge Roy Moore, and they quote his testimony as the basis for their decision:

CARNES, Circuit Judge:

The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court installed a two-and-one half

ton monument to the Ten Commandments as the centerpiece of the rotunda in

the Alabama State Judicial Building. He did so in order to remind all Alabama

citizens of, among other things, his belief in the sovereignty of the Judeo-Christian

God over both the state and the church. And he rejected a request to permit a

monument displaying a historically significant speech in the same space on the

grounds that “[t]he placement of a speech of any man alongside the revealed law of

God would tend in consequence to diminish the very purpose of the Ten

Commandments monument.” Glassroth v. Moore, 229 F. Supp. 2d 1290, 1297

(M.D. Ala. 2002).

The monument and its placement in the rotunda create the impression of

being in the presence of something holy and sacred, causing some building

employees and visitors to consider the monument an appropriate and inviting place

for prayer.

<snip>

During the trial the Chief Justice testified candidly about why he had placed

the monument in the rotunda. The following exchanges between him and one of

the plaintiffs’ attorneys establish that purpose:

Q [W]as your purpose in putting the Ten Commandments

monument in the Supreme Court rotunda to acknowledge GOD’s law

and GOD’s sovereignty? . . .

A Yes.

1st Supp. Rec. V ol. 2 at 100.

Q . . . Do you agree th at the monument, the Ten Commandments

monument, reflects the sovereignty of GOD over the affairs of men?

A Yes.

Q And the monument is also intended to acknowledge

GOD’s overruling power over the affairs of men, would that be

correct? . . .

A Yes.

Q . . . [W]hen you say “GOD” you mean GOD of the Holy

Scripture?

A Yes.

1st Supp. Rec. V ol. 3 at 34.

 

460 posted on 07/02/2003 10:27:11 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: lugsoul
First - the opinions you reference on prayer are about leading others in prayer - not the right of a person to pray. You can't find a single decision that prohibits a citizen from praying.

Answer me this: If a football coach leads his students in prayer, does that constitute an endorsement by the state of Christianity? This is common sense stuff here (don't expect liberal elitists snobs in black robes to have common sense).

First - the opinions you reference on prayer are about leading others in prayer - not the right of a person to pray. You can't find a single decision that prohibits a citizen from praying.

Wrong. Moore hasn't tried to force his Prostestantism on anyone. He merely posted the 10 commandments. So, go remove decalogue from the Supreme Court forthwith or admit that the ruling is schizoid. There is no avoiding it.

Third - As I have said above, ad nauseum - I agree that those Commandments relating to our conduct toward others are a foundation of moral and civil law. But Nos. 1-4? Are they the foundation of all law? If so, whose God is the one true God? Whose Sabbath must be observed under the law? Is the Catholic view, the Protestant view, or the Jewish view of graven images controlling? What about those citizens who don't subscribe to any of those?

The D of I certainly recognized God's ultimate moral authority - the Christian God. That is clear from thefounders' writings. Commandments 1-4 have to do with man's relationship to God, and 5-10 have to do with man's relationship with other people. Clearly, one cannot enforce 1-4 - these are matters of conscience between a person and God. Therefore, logic and practicality and common sense dictate that our laws must be concerned with the behavior of people as it affects other people. Remember, the purpose of govt is to secure our rights - right to life, liberty, etc. Can you deny that murder is wrong, than stealing is wrong, that lying is wrong, that adultery is wrong? By the way, there were blasphemy laws in our early republic.

461 posted on 07/02/2003 10:28:24 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: inquest
From a purely logical standpoint, the court could have ruled that government should be sterilized from any reference to religion. Stamping "In God We Trust" on all money certainly could look like an official endorsement of religion by the government, especially to those who emphatically don't trust in God.

But this court went out of its way to make clear that it didn't view that and other cited examples as violating the Constitution. Not that it could have, since this court can hardly overrule the Supreme Court.

What seemed to impress this court about this monument was the "in your face" aspect of it. The bigger and more blatant the endorsement of religion (as well as the newness of it), the more likely it's going to be found in violation of the establishment clause.

That seems like a fairly common sense standard to apply, which is why I disagreed with you on that particular point.

462 posted on 07/02/2003 10:33:13 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: lugsoul
Read the opinion. When the judge who puts them there - the Chief Justice - does so expressly to exalt his version of Christianity above all other faiths, and refuses to allow other expressions of faith in the same manner, then YES, it most certainly does.

Again, who are you kidding? There have been other rulings pulling down 10 commandments (Kentucky for example). Are you going to assert that anywhere the 10 commandments are posted it is related to the attempted establishment of a state religion? Let's not obfuscate the intent of these judges - they are looking for an excuse to stamp God out the public square anywhere they find it.

463 posted on 07/02/2003 10:33:38 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: Catspaw
Look, all of these Ten Commandment monuments and plaques have one thing in common: They're not the 10 commandments! They're a very condensed version, extremely condensed in fact. If someone hasn't read the real version in awhile they're an eye opener.
464 posted on 07/02/2003 10:36:36 AM PDT by ReaganWarrior
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To: exmarine
Obviously you haven't read it, but you criticize it freely. This same court, just two weeks ago, upheld the right of a court in Georgia to have the Ten Commandments on its seal.

It is a wonder that you are so quick to criticize a decision you clearly know little about.

465 posted on 07/02/2003 10:38:50 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Catspaw
Funny, if you asked Madison, Hamilton, Washington, Jay those same questionsl, they would all answer the same way as Moore!
466 posted on 07/02/2003 10:40:20 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
"Clearly, one cannot enforce 1-4 - these are matters of conscience between a person and God."

Ever heard of a blue law?

467 posted on 07/02/2003 10:41:46 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Catspaw
Since the Supreme Court has the 10 commandments emblazoned on it, I say we should call for an inquiry as to why they are there. Was Congress and the sculptor attempting to establish a state religion? These rulings are so contradictory, inconsistent and szhizoid, that it is plain to anyone who cares that ideology, not law, is behind these rulings. How many judges on the court are members of the ACLU, and how many lawyers to sue in these cases are members of the ACLU (American Communist Leftists Union)?
468 posted on 07/02/2003 10:43:37 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
You clearly haven't read Moore's own testimony, or his own decisions. He expressly chose this version of the Commandments because it came from the Bible HE recognizes - quite different from the Catholic version, for example.

Look, rant and rave all you want about a decision you haven't read and don't understand. It is useless to debate it if all you do is make general statements that do not reflect what these judges did.

Finally, one thing should be clear. A bunch of people here continually reference the Declaration of Independence. I love the Declaration of Independence. But it is NOT THE LAW.

469 posted on 07/02/2003 10:45:16 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
Since the Supreme Court has the 10 commandments emblazoned on it, I say we should call for an inquiry as to why they are there. Was Congress and the sculptor attempting to establish a state religion?

If you would bother to read the case, this court addressed that very question.

470 posted on 07/02/2003 10:45:29 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: lugsoul
I can see the rulings in other cases, and hear their rhetoric, and I know the god-hating bent of the people behind the "separation" doctrine. They want to erase our Christian heritage. I will fight to the death before I let them do that. I will DEFY these godless amoral morons. It's time to take America back.
471 posted on 07/02/2003 10:45:51 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
Would you prefer that the Supreme Court (and the appellate courts) be prohibited from ruling on this aspect of the 1st amendment and leave that to Christian ministers?
472 posted on 07/02/2003 10:47:34 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: lugsoul
Finally, one thing should be clear. A bunch of people here continually reference the Declaration of Independence. I love the Declaration of Independence. But it is NOT THE LAW.

Anyone who knows the true history of our nation (and hasn't been indoctrinated in liberal lying revisionist history - you know the govt. school version that says our founders were deists and that our nation is not founded on Christian moral principles), knows that the Constitution was written to secure the rights declared in the Decl. of Independence. One is a declaration of moral principle, the other is the legal instrument that secures those rights.

473 posted on 07/02/2003 10:49:51 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: Dog Gone; exmarine
If you would bother to read the case, this court addressed that very question.

That'd be section V. If one bothers to read the case, that is. It's towards the end, so it may be a struggle to reach that point.

474 posted on 07/02/2003 10:53:46 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: exmarine
Quite a rant. "I don't know what these judges did, but I heard some other judges were attacking Christians so these judges are godless morons."

Yep, that makes a lot of sense.

I'm sure you'd be surprised to know that these three judges are all good Christian Southern men. But you'll probably just say it ain't true 'cause they're godless and then call them some names.

Why not just read what they ruled before you go off on them?

Let me ask you a question. When you were a Marine, weren't you required to obey orders? And were you allowed to decide for yourself whether those orders were consistent with the Marine code of conduct, the Constitution, or anything else? Or did you just have to follow them, as your duty?

Think about that, read the opinion, and get back to us.

475 posted on 07/02/2003 10:55:10 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Catspaw
I think it would make a lot of people on this thread happy if we just repeal the 1st Amendment.

Either that, or we could amend it to read

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, except for the one (insert name of poster) personally prefers, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

476 posted on 07/02/2003 10:56:28 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: lugsoul
The real culprit here is the failure of the Reagan-Bush administrations to insist on only conservative judges for the higher and lower federal courts. We will reap the horrors of the treacherous O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and their clones for years to come.
477 posted on 07/02/2003 10:57:10 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Catspaw
I say that most of the justices on today's SCOTUS aren't fit to be judges. They rule based on fiat like the POLITBURO. They are turning America into an oligarchy - or worse. They make a rulings that conform to their ideology (don't try to say they don't) and not the intent of the framers. If the Constitution is a living breathing document subject to change according to social and ideological norms, as I believe at least 5 of the 9 justices believe, then so your God-given rights are also subject to change by the POLITBURO. One cannot logically maintain that constitutional law is governed by changing social/cultural norms and simultaneously hold to any unchanging absolute moral principles.
478 posted on 07/02/2003 10:57:40 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: Theodore R.
There is no culprit in this decision. It is correct. If you've read it, point to something in it that is incorrect. If you haven't, you've no room to say it is wrong.
479 posted on 07/02/2003 10:58:26 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Dog Gone
What seemed to impress this court about this monument was the "in your face" aspect of it. The bigger and more blatant the endorsement of religion (as well as the newness of it), the more likely it's going to be found in violation of the establishment clause.

10 X 0 = 0. If there's no constitutional violation in the expression of a particular belief, then expressing it louder isn't going to create a violation. The court is simply making up the law as it goes, not applying it impartially. It's the typical pattern with activist judges. There's no rhyme or reason to the way they rule; they just find one or two aspects of the case before them that they can latch onto, and then pretend that they've discovered a legal principle. Except it's missing the most important ingredient - PRINCIPLE!

In all their pseudolegalistic attempts at justification, one simple fact stands out: Nobody's rights were being violated. Now they may have imagined that their rights might be violated as a result of this particular expression, but until they can show that they actually are being violated, they don't have a legitimate case.

480 posted on 07/02/2003 10:58:53 AM PDT by inquest
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To: lugsoul
I'm sure you'd be surprised to know that these three judges are all good Christian Southern men. But you'll probably just say it ain't true 'cause they're godless and then call them some names.

Which judges would those be - the ones that support killing babies?

481 posted on 07/02/2003 10:58:54 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
"If the Constitution is a living breathing document subject to change according to social and ideological norms, as I believe at least 5 of the 9 justices believe, then so your God-given rights are also subject to change by the POLITBURO. One cannot logically maintain that constitutional law is governed by changing social/cultural norms and simultaneously hold to any unchanging absolute moral principles."

Is the holding of slaves as property an unchanging absolute moral principle? Or did the Supreme Court have the right and obligation to change this after the passage of time?

482 posted on 07/02/2003 11:00:26 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: inquest
Then you'd have no problem if Congress established an official national religion, so long as it didn't violate anyone's rights in your opinion.
483 posted on 07/02/2003 11:02:05 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: exmarine
One cannot logically maintain that constitutional law is governed by changing social/cultural norms and simultaneously hold to any unchanging absolute moral principles.

Are you talking about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights (added on later, as you know), and/or Amendments 11-27--or do you have a cut-off at some point, say at 11 or 12?

484 posted on 07/02/2003 11:02:07 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Dog Gone
It all depends on what you mean by "establishing an official national religion". If they're granting or withholding privileges, promotions, funding, etc., based on one's adherence to the approved religous practices, then that of course would be a prime facie violation of the establishment clause. If they were to simply pass a resolution saying this is a Christian nation, and that its principles are an integral part of our political tradition, then there is no violation, any more than the appeals to divinity in the Declaration of Independence are a violation.
485 posted on 07/02/2003 11:07:13 AM PDT by inquest
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To: exmarine
I'd expect more character from a Marine, than to hurl accusations against good men serving their country - without any support.

I'm talking about Judge J.L. Edmundson, Judge Richard Story, and Judge Ed Carnes. The three judges who voted in the decision you haven't read (though Edmundson concurred in the judgment only). If you want to call them names and toss around vile commentary about what you claim they believe, you ought to back it up.

You have no shame. It is pointless to debate with one who will simply resort to unsubstantiated charges and name calling, particularly when those charges are hurled against respected men doing work in service to their country.

Where do you think this is, San Francisco? You are talking about three older white men from Georgia and Alabama selected by Republican presidents? You cavalierly lump them in with others you rail against without even taking the time to determine whether anything you say is true.

I've wasted enough time with your low-class crap.

486 posted on 07/02/2003 11:12:00 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: inquest
If they were to simply pass a resolution saying this is a Christian nation, and that its principles are an integral part of our political tradition, then there is no violation, any more than the appeals to divinity in the Declaration of Independence are a violation.

So the "Judeo" in "Judeo-Christian" is really a lie?

487 posted on 07/02/2003 11:12:30 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
I dunno. Judeo-Christian is a word. It can neither be true nor false unless it's part of a sentence.
488 posted on 07/02/2003 11:15:33 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
I think that it's incredibly obvious that if Congress declared Christianity to be the official religion of the United States, even if it said nothing more than that, it would violate the First Amendment.

Some things are simply mandated or prohibited by the Constitution, and you don't have to find someone whose rights have been violated in order declare an act unconstitutional.

489 posted on 07/02/2003 11:24:54 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: exmarine
Maybe the nation was indeed mostly or nearly all Christian, but even back then back then you had agnostics, atheists, and people who didn't think about it one way or another. I doubt this nation has ever been 99.8 percent religious, much less Christian.
490 posted on 07/02/2003 11:30:51 AM PDT by kegler4
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To: lugsoul
And I'm tired of secular amoralists who want to destroy our Christian heritage. I really don't care what you think of me anymore than I would care what Bill Clinton thinks of me. One must consider the source.
491 posted on 07/02/2003 11:31:30 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: Dog Gone
"Official" implies the existence real-world effects stemming from the declaration. For example, making English the "official" language usually means that all official communications of any kind be in that language, and all government employees speak it while on the job. That has nothing whatsoever to do with Moore's Decalogue. He wasn't making anything "official".
492 posted on 07/02/2003 11:32:03 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Uh huh. Looks like Jews don't count in your world.
493 posted on 07/02/2003 11:36:06 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: lugsoul
Is the holding of slaves as property an unchanging absolute moral principle? Or did the Supreme Court have the right and obligation to change this after the passage of time?

Does or does not the SCOTUS exceed its constitutional powers when it legislates from the bench? Yes or no? If you say no, then you have to justify how a court can make new rules and laws to follow (independent of Congress) under the present Articles of the Constitution. These are the men I have no respect for: Taney, O.W. Holmes, Blackmun, Warren, Kennedy, O'Connor, Souter, and their ilk. John Jay should be required reading.

494 posted on 07/02/2003 11:36:41 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: lugsoul
Is the holding of slaves as property an unchanging absolute moral principle? Or did the Supreme Court have the right and obligation to change this after the passage of time?

The difference between the founders and liberals is that the founders believed in unchanging moral laws and the unchanging sinful nature of all men. Liberals believe no such thing. John Jay had more honor and integrity in his pinky than all the liberal justices of the 20th century combined.

495 posted on 07/02/2003 11:40:14 AM PDT by exmarine
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To: Catspaw
You need a more imaginative bait.
496 posted on 07/02/2003 11:45:16 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
You said this:

If they were to simply pass a resolution saying this is a Christian nation, and that its principles are an integral part of our political tradition, then there is no violation, any more than the appeals to divinity in the Declaration of Independence are a violation.

I'm asking you where Jews fit into a Christian nation, and if so, where?

497 posted on 07/02/2003 11:50:52 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: exmarine
You disgrace your uniform by showing such low character, when you slander and insult good men without any knowledge of them. When you say consider the source - well, that is the source of your comments, and all should consider it when reading your posts.
498 posted on 07/02/2003 11:51:30 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
And cowardice too? Answer the question.
499 posted on 07/02/2003 11:52:18 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Catspaw
As free citizens, same as everyone else.
500 posted on 07/02/2003 12:00:58 PM PDT by inquest
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