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Title: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 12, 2007, 10:04:07 AM
I had an eventful day yesterday.  Attended and participated in a number of meetings with different organizations/entities.  Most of these meetings involved prayer:

1.  Honolulu City Council Session:  It began with a devotional and prayer by a local pastor.  The City Council members are overwhelmingly liberal Democrat (about 8 out of 9).  I was very surprised.   

2.  State Government Entity:  Attended a meeting that did not include prayer.  I would have fallen off of my chair.   :) 

3.  Nonproft Religious Entity:  The meeting began and ended with prayer.  I was asked to give the closing prayer (I hate doing that.)  These prayers were expected. 

4.  Professional Society:  Attended an annual dinner of professionals.  Not a religious group at all.  The meeting began with a prayer.  The room was overwhelming liberal.

What struck me was what an integral part prayer is in our public life.  I bet the ACLU disapproves.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.   :))   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 10:12:25 AM
I had an eventful day yesterday.  Attended and participated in a number of meetings with different organizations/entities.  Most of these meetings involved prayer:

1.  Honolulu City Council Session:  It began with a devotional and prayer by a local pastor.  The City Council members are overwhelmingly liberal Democrat (about 8 out of 9).  I was very surprised.   

2.  State Government Entity:  Attended a meeting that did not include prayer.  I would have fallen off of my chair.   :) 

3.  Nonproft Religious Entity:  The meeting began and ended with prayer.  I was asked to give the closing prayer (I hate doing that.)  These prayers were expected. 

4.  Professional Society:  Attended an annual dinner of professionals.  Not a religious group at all.  The meeting began with a prayer.  The room was overwhelming liberal.

What struck me was what an integral part prayer is in our public life.  I bet the ACLU disapproves.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.   :))   
Nonsense about the ACLU BeachBum.  We just can't have government proselytizing the people or paying for any religious idols. 

It is a free country.  Pray to your heart's content.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 12, 2007, 10:16:03 AM
Nonsense about the ACLU BeachBum.  We just can't have government proselytizing the people or paying for any religious idols. 

It is a free country.  Pray to your heart's content.

I was kidding about the ACLU.

I agree the government shouldn't be proselytizing. 

It's not just that this is a free country, it's that faith is really interwoven throughout our society, both in the public and private sectors.  It was fascinating to see this at play yesterday. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 10:21:29 AM
I was kidding about the ACLU.

I agree the government shouldn't be proselytizing. 

It's not just that this is a free country, it's that faith is really interwoven throughout our society, both in the public and private sectors.  It was fascinating to see this at play yesterday. 
I know that I can sound like a humorless dickhead on these boards.  I try not to be. 

I know what you mean about watching religion at play in our society. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: headhuntersix on April 12, 2007, 10:33:11 AM
I'm pretty secular..and as a catholic..I get pretty "itchy" I guess when the evengelicals start pushing their agenda. I don't have aproblem with the prayers as u descibed them. Not sure it has any place in schools, however if a town or city, especially in the south is all pretty christian and folks vote for it, then I guess its not a big deal. That said...if the damm rags wanna where full on man dresses and burka's..its gotta be even on both sides. Head scarves sure..but they go to far.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 12, 2007, 10:48:42 AM
I know that I can sound like a humorless dickhead on these boards.  I try not to be. 


Not at all.  I'm just a goof.  I'm the one who keeps a fake cockroach in my office drawer that I have planted around the office more than once.   :)  I live in a house full of kids and I'm an overgrown kid myself (according to my kids).  A lot of what I say is tongue in cheek. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 11:24:04 AM
I had an eventful day yesterday.  Attended and participated in a number of meetings with different organizations/entities.  Most of these meetings involved prayer:

1.  Honolulu City Council Session:  It began with a devotional and prayer by a local pastor.  The City Council members are overwhelmingly liberal Democrat (about 8 out of 9).  I was very surprised.   

2.  State Government Entity:  Attended a meeting that did not include prayer.  I would have fallen off of my chair.   :) 

3.  Nonproft Religious Entity:  The meeting began and ended with prayer.  I was asked to give the closing prayer (I hate doing that.)  These prayers were expected. 

4.  Professional Society:  Attended an annual dinner of professionals.  Not a religious group at all.  The meeting began with a prayer.  The room was overwhelming liberal.

What struck me was what an integral part prayer is in our public life.  I bet the ACLU disapproves.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.   :))   

And the ACLU claims to not have an agenda against Christianity.   ::)  Gimme a break!  You're so right, bro.  The ACLU's beef is not with religion per se, but more specifically against Christianity. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: OzmO on April 12, 2007, 11:28:29 AM
Here's what's happening:


We are confusing a defense lawyer's job of defending a criminal with the assumption the Defense lawyers supports the criminal.

That's what why some of us say the ACLU is fighting Christianity.

They are not fighting it.  They are protecting our rights and not allowing a religious organization to  influence the country through or in the government.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 11:33:36 AM
Here's what's happening:


We are confusing a defense lawyer's job of defending a criminal with the assumption the Defense lawyers supports the criminal.

That's what why some of us say the ACLU is fighting Christianity.

They are not fighting it.  They are protecting our rights and not allowing a religious organization to  influence the country through or in the government.
Then why are there so many lawsuits like the one in New Mexico for city named after the "Three Crosses", or the military gravesite that has the cross on it?  Or how about the frivolous lawsuits all over the country being threatened if a building/city doesn't take down their cross, or the schools that have "Easter" or "Christmas" parties?  You can see where I might come up with the notion that they are out to do away with anything that has to do with Christianity.  Yes?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 11:43:31 AM
Then why are there so many lawsuits like the one in New Mexico for city named after the "Three Crosses", or the military gravesite that has the cross on it?  Or how about the frivolous lawsuits all over the country being threatened if a building/city doesn't take down their cross, or the schools that have "Easter" or "Christmas" parties?  You can see where I might come up with the notion that they are out to do away with anything that has to do with Christianity.  Yes?
B/c Christians wrongly assume that, since the US is a Christian Country, christians should be able to use government to further the ends of the Christian religion.

Sorry for the 'mind-reading' but I'm paraphrasing why these cases arise.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: OzmO on April 12, 2007, 11:47:42 AM
Then why are there so many lawsuits like the one in New Mexico for city named after the "Three Crosses", or the military gravesite that has the cross on it?  Or how about the frivolous lawsuits all over the country being threatened if a building/city doesn't take down their cross, or the schools that have "Easter" or "Christmas" parties?  You can see where I might come up with the notion that they are out to do away with anything that has to do with Christianity.  Yes?

I certainly do, i can see that. 

 Those are clearly a case of things going to far and are a big waste of time and money when there are clearly bigger fish to fry.


But they aren't intentionally trying to do away with anything "Christian"  they are just trying to keep organized religion out of government. If it was a school Passover party and someone protested the ACLU probably would get involved also.   

Are these law suits filled by the ACLU on behalf of a private party or are they filled by the ACLU solely or by a private party solely?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 12:05:52 PM
I certainly do, i can see that. 

 Those are clearly a case of things going to far and are a big waste of time and money when there are clearly bigger fish to fry.


But they aren't intentionally trying to do away with anything "Christian"  they are just trying to keep organized religion out of government. If it was a school Passover party and someone protested the ACLU probably would get involved also.   

Are these law suits filled by the ACLU on behalf of a private party or are they filled by the ACLU solely or by a private party solely?
You write well.  Generally the ACLU writes an amicus brief (friend of the court) on someone else's behalf to make sure that a plaintiff's liberties are well represented.  The ACLU has been plaintiff in cases versus the Justice Department, NSA etc.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 12:18:58 PM
I certainly do, i can see that. 

 Those are clearly a case of things going to far and are a big waste of time and money when there are clearly bigger fish to fry.


But they aren't intentionally trying to do away with anything "Christian"  they are just trying to keep organized religion out of government. If it was a school Passover party and someone protested the ACLU probably would get involved also.   

Are these law suits filled by the ACLU on behalf of a private party or are they filled by the ACLU solely or by a private party solely?
But don't you see how they are going after rights that have been set up for us as Americans?  Here are some questions that we are left with then:

"what should be the relationship between religion and public life?" Does the public expression of religious conviction necessarily infringe upon the religious liberty of another? Does the restriction of religious practice to the private sphere undermine free exercise? What degree of neutrality should our government observe?"


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 12:22:55 PM
I certainly do, i can see that. 

 Those are clearly a case of things going to far and are a big waste of time and money when there are clearly bigger fish to fry.


But they aren't intentionally trying to do away with anything "Christian"  they are just trying to keep organized religion out of government. If it was a school Passover party and someone protested the ACLU probably would get involved also.   

Are these law suits filled by the ACLU on behalf of a private party or are they filled by the ACLU solely or by a private party solely?
The lawsuits are generally filed on behalf of sub-agencies or local chapters of the ACLU. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 12, 2007, 12:23:30 PM
But don't you see how they are going after rights that have been set up for us as Americans?  Here are some questions that we are left with then:

"what should be the relationship between religion and public life?" Does the public expression of religious conviction necessarily infringe upon the religious liberty of another? Does the restriction of religious practice to the private sphere undermine free exercise? What degree of neutrality should our government observe?"


Good quote.  This is one of the problems  I have with the ACLU.  They are attempting to cleanse the public sector of all religious expression.  


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 12:26:08 PM
I'm quoting the decision from a 1981 court hearing:

Widmar v. Vincent

454 U.S. 263 (1981)

Facts of the Case:
The University of Missouri at Kansas City ruled that its facilities could not be used by student groups “for purposes of religious worship or religious teaching.” The school believed that the action was required under the Establishment Clause. A student religious group that had previously been permitted to use the facilities sued the school after being informed of the change in policy. They asserted that their First Amendment rights to religious free exercise and free speech were being violated.


Decision:
The Court ruled that the Establishment Clause did not require state universities to limit access to their facilities by religious organizations.

Majority Opinion: (Justice Powell)
Because the University has generally permitted its facilities to be used by student organizations, it must demonstrate that its restrictions are constitutionally permitted. An equal access policy would not necessarily violate the Establishment Clause. The three-pronged Lemon Test would not be violated by such a policy. It would have a secular legislative purpose and not foster excessive government entanglement. The third part, that the policy’s primary effect would advance religion, is what the University claimed. “...this Court has explained that a religious organization's enjoyment of merely "incidental" benefits does not violate the prohibition against the "primary advancement" of religion.” Any such benefits at UMKC would be incidental. The state does not necessarily approve of all groups who use the open forum, and the forum is open to non-religious as well as religious groups.

Significance:
This decision ensured greater access to public facilities by religious organizations. The state was not assumed to be in support of all messages that were communicated in their facilities.
 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 12:44:36 PM
I'm quoting the decision from a 1981 court hearing:

Widmar v. Vincent

454 U.S. 263 (1981)

Facts of the Case:
The University of Missouri at Kansas City ruled that its facilities could not be used by student groups “for purposes of religious worship or religious teaching.” The school believed that the action was required under the Establishment Clause. A student religious group that had previously been permitted to use the facilities sued the school after being informed of the change in policy. They asserted that their First Amendment rights to religious free exercise and free speech were being violated.


Decision:
The Court ruled that the Establishment Clause did not require state universities to limit access to their facilities by religious organizations.

Majority Opinion: (Justice Powell)
Because the University has generally permitted its facilities to be used by student organizations, it must demonstrate that its restrictions are constitutionally permitted. An equal access policy would not necessarily violate the Establishment Clause. The three-pronged Lemon Test would not be violated by such a policy. It would have a secular legislative purpose and not foster excessive government entanglement. The third part, that the policy’s primary effect would advance religion, is what the University claimed. “...this Court has explained that a religious organization's enjoyment of merely "incidental" benefits does not violate the prohibition against the "primary advancement" of religion.” Any such benefits at UMKC would be incidental. The state does not necessarily approve of all groups who use the open forum, and the forum is open to non-religious as well as religious groups.

Significance:
This decision ensured greater access to public facilities by religious organizations. The state was not assumed to be in support of all messages that were communicated in their facilities.
 

Since the ACLU is not a plaintiff in this case, do you have access to the brief it filed.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 12:46:23 PM
Good quote.  This is one of the problems  I have with the ACLU.  They are attempting to cleanse the public sector of all religious expression.  
Only where government funded places are concerned.  Private property owners are pretty much free to do as they please.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 12:54:28 PM
Since the ACLU is not a plaintiff in this case, do you have access to the brief it filed.
No, they aren't the plaintiff in this particular case, but it does speak to the argument that you and Ozmo have been trying to give with regard to keeping organized religion out of government.  These liberties that you claim the ACLU fights for (and I agree, there was a day that the ACLU stood for rights of all people, but that's no longer true...grant me that much) are available to Christians as well.  And what we are seeing day after day now is a fight to trample the same liberties that belong to Christians.  I specify Christianity because I don't see the ACLU arguing cases against any other religion.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 01:17:51 PM
No, they aren't the plaintiff in this particular case, but it does speak to the argument that you and Ozmo have been trying to give with regard to keeping organized religion out of government.  These liberties that you claim the ACLU fights for (and I agree, there was a day that the ACLU stood for rights of all people, but that's no longer true...grant me that much) are available to Christians as well.  And what we are seeing day after day now is a fight to trample the same liberties that belong to Christians.  I specify Christianity because I don't see the ACLU arguing cases against any other religion.
What do the cases generally have in common.  Christian groups try to assert their religion on gov. property or proselytize w/ gov. resources.  That can't happen.

"Was it an attack on Christianity or Judaism when the ACLU fought for Jerry Falwell and against the City of Lynchburg when the latter tried to restrict how much land Falwell could buy for his church? Was it an attack on Christianity or Judaism when the ACLU fought for the right of an anti-abortion group to show anti-abortion films in local schools after hours? Was it an attack on Christianity or Judaism when the ACLU fought for the rights of students to include biblical verses in their high school year books?" http://atheism.about.com/b/a/117245.htm?terms=aclu+stand



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 01:19:54 PM
"The ACLU has consistently defended the rights of Christians to worship as their religion and conscience dictates, often against the attempts by other Christians to infringe upon those rights by having certain forms of Christianity privileged by the government. The ACLU has also consistently fought against the privileging of any one religion or any one sect over others. Why? Because when one religion or sect is privileged, all suffer. That's what the separation of church and state is all about..." Ibid


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 01:25:52 PM
What do the cases generally have in common.  Christian groups try to assert their religion on gov. property or proselytize w/ gov. resources.  That can't happen.
What does the lawsuit of the city of Las Cruces New Mexico have to do with Christian groups???  It's the name of a city, dude!  Same thing with the Mt. Soledad Cross.  There's no correlation.  I appreciate the fact that you're trying to stand up for the ACLU.  And again, they used to be a worthy opponent, but we're no longer hearing about these cases.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: kh300 on April 12, 2007, 01:28:19 PM
i remember when they were going after the yankees,, because during the 7th inning they have a prayer for the soldiers each game.. george steinbrenor basically said fuck off its a private business


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 01:29:59 PM
Here's my point exactly:

Freedom Fighters
Department of Justice ramps up efforts to enforce the First Amendment.
Brad. A. Greenberg | posted 4/11/2007 08:32AM


In the five years before President Bush took office, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reviewed one education discrimination complaint involving religion and investigated none. In the six years since, 82 cases were reviewed and 40 investigated.

Now the Bush administration wants to enhance those efforts with greater governmental resources. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced at a Southern Baptist leaders' meeting in February that the DOJ was launching the First Freedom Project, an initiative to further combat religious discrimination and protect religious freedom.

"One of the great strengths of America is the fact we are a nation of tolerance. We respect different viewpoints; we respect different beliefs," Wan J. Kim, assistant attorney general for civil rights, told CT. "That separates us from a lot of other nations. When we do this work to protect against religious discrimination, we strengthen America. And we do so in a way that is nondenominational."

The initiative will include the Religious Freedom Task Force, chaired by Kim, which will employ various divisions of the DOJ to review discrimination complaints. The new www.firstfreedom.gov (http://www.firstfreedom.gov) website touts previous successes, educates Americans about their rights, and provides a channel for filing complaints online. The department also will hold a series of regional training seminars. Events have been scheduled for Tampa on April 25 and Seattle on May 10.

Even before the First Freedom Project, the DOJ's stepped-up efforts have generated greater religious freedom, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Government lawyers convinced a federal court last year that a New Jersey school had unconstitutionally censored a Christian song from a talent show. The DOJ compelled the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2005 to accommodate religious beliefs, even if it meant bus drivers wouldn't work certain days.

The First Freedom Project comes at a time when concern about religious persecution has heightened. Between 1992 and 2005, religious-discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission jumped 69 percent.

Given the Bush administration's ties to religious conservatives, some experts greeted the initiative with skepticism.

"They need to reach out to many different constituencies that have different approaches to church-state issues to give people confidence this will be a straightforward educational project and not a political battering ram," said Melissa Rogers, visiting professor of religion and public policy at Wake Forest University Divinity School. "[The unveiling] sends the opposite signals."

But Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, said the Bush administration has a track record of defending religious minorities.

"It is unfortunate we are so polarized today that we can't even acknowledge opportunities where we can agree," Haynes said. "Just because it is coming out of the Bush administration, some people decide it has to be condemned completely and labeled a fake and a fraud and that the work being done to protect religious minorities doesn't matter. Well, it does matter to Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus and Jews. Whether you are on the Right or the Left, this is exactly the kind of Justice Department you should want. This is exactly what we want them to be doing to protect religious freedom."

Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 01:30:56 PM
i remember when they were going after the yankees,, because during the 7th inning they have a prayer for the soldiers each game.. george steinbrenor basically said fuck off its a private business
hats off to george!   :D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 01:32:48 PM
What does the lawsuit of the city of Las Cruces New Mexico have to do with Christian groups???  It's the name of a city, dude!  Same thing with the Mt. Soledad Cross.  There's no correlation.  I appreciate the fact that you're trying to stand up for the ACLU.  And again, they used to be a worthy opponent, but we're no longer hearing about these cases.
Relax.  

I'm just mentioning why many of the cases with ACLU involvement come to be.  It's not like the ACLU has spies in churches across the country waiting to pounce on the laity.

The ACLU has not gone too far.  Opponents of the ACLU have been conditioned to expect less from their constitutional rights and liberties.

If you look at some of the cases where the ACLU defends christians, I'm certain you would change your opinion.  See my post above.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on April 12, 2007, 01:35:40 PM
Here's my point exactly:

Freedom Fighters
Department of Justice ramps up efforts to enforce the First Amendment.
Brad. A. Greenberg | posted 4/11/2007 08:32AM


In the five years before President Bush took office, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reviewed one education discrimination complaint involving religion and investigated none. In the six years since, 82 cases were reviewed and 40 investigated.

Now the Bush administration wants to enhance those efforts with greater governmental resources. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced at a Southern Baptist leaders' meeting in February that the DOJ was launching the First Freedom Project, an initiative to further combat religious discrimination and protect religious freedom.

"One of the great strengths of America is the fact we are a nation of tolerance. We respect different viewpoints; we respect different beliefs," Wan J. Kim, assistant attorney general for civil rights, told CT. "That separates us from a lot of other nations. When we do this work to protect against religious discrimination, we strengthen America. And we do so in a way that is nondenominational."

The initiative will include the Religious Freedom Task Force, chaired by Kim, which will employ various divisions of the DOJ to review discrimination complaints. The new www.firstfreedom.gov (http://www.firstfreedom.gov) website touts previous successes, educates Americans about their rights, and provides a channel for filing complaints online. The department also will hold a series of regional training seminars. Events have been scheduled for Tampa on April 25 and Seattle on May 10.

Even before the First Freedom Project, the DOJ's stepped-up efforts have generated greater religious freedom, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Government lawyers convinced a federal court last year that a New Jersey school had unconstitutionally censored a Christian song from a talent show. The DOJ compelled the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2005 to accommodate religious beliefs, even if it meant bus drivers wouldn't work certain days.

The First Freedom Project comes at a time when concern about religious persecution has heightened. Between 1992 and 2005, religious-discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission jumped 69 percent.

Given the Bush administration's ties to religious conservatives, some experts greeted the initiative with skepticism.

"They need to reach out to many different constituencies that have different approaches to church-state issues to give people confidence this will be a straightforward educational project and not a political battering ram," said Melissa Rogers, visiting professor of religion and public policy at Wake Forest University Divinity School. "[The unveiling] sends the opposite signals."

But Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, said the Bush administration has a track record of defending religious minorities.

"It is unfortunate we are so polarized today that we can't even acknowledge opportunities where we can agree," Haynes said. "Just because it is coming out of the Bush administration, some people decide it has to be condemned completely and labeled a fake and a fraud and that the work being done to protect religious minorities doesn't matter. Well, it does matter to Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus and Jews. Whether you are on the Right or the Left, this is exactly the kind of Justice Department you should want. This is exactly what we want them to be doing to protect religious freedom."

Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today.
More power to them.  I just hope that the effort does not devolve into some ACLJ special interest group asserting the primacy of christianity.

Have a great day Colossus.  I gotta head home to the wife.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 01:37:16 PM
Relax.  

I'm just mentioning why many of the cases with ACLU involvement come to be.  It's not like the ACLU has spies in churches across the country waiting to pounce on the laity.

The ACLU has not gone too far.  Opponents of the ACLU have been conditioned to expect less from their constitutional rights and liberties.

If you look at some of the cases where the ACLU defends christians, I'm certain you would change your opinion.  See my post above.
I read it.  Truth be told.  If I simply follow the briefings that the ALCJ (www.alcj.org - maybe you should check it out) even just a mere 3 years, I will see the ACLU's fingerprints all over these cases, and they all deal with religious liberty as it pertains to Christians or Judeo-Christian values.  Check it out for yourself, bro.  


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2007, 01:38:12 PM
More power to them.  I just hope that the effort does not devolve into some ACLJ special interest group asserting the primacy of christianity.

Have a great day Colossus.  I gotta head home to the wife.
See ya, bro.  It was great debating this topic with you.  Thanks for keeping it civil.   :D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: OzmO on April 12, 2007, 01:38:26 PM
No, they aren't the plaintiff in this particular case, but it does speak to the argument that you and Ozmo have been trying to give with regard to keeping organized religion out of government.  These liberties that you claim the ACLU fights for (and I agree, there was a day that the ACLU stood for rights of all people, but that's no longer true...grant me that much) are available to Christians as well.  And what we are seeing day after day now is a fight to trample the same liberties that belong to Christians.  I specify Christianity because I don't see the ACLU arguing cases against any other religion.

Well you don't see any other religion, Christianity,  being represented or associated with city, state or federal government offices, institutions etc...

That's it's the only thing you see.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: 24KT on April 12, 2007, 06:55:41 PM
I had an eventful day yesterday.  Attended and participated in a number of meetings with different organizations/entities.  Most of these meetings involved prayer:

1.  Honolulu City Council Session:  It began with a devotional and prayer by a local pastor.  The City Council members are overwhelmingly liberal Democrat (about 8 out of 9).  I was very surprised.   

2.  State Government Entity:  Attended a meeting that did not include prayer.  I would have fallen off of my chair.   :) 

3.  Nonproft Religious Entity:  The meeting began and ended with prayer.  I was asked to give the closing prayer (I hate doing that.)  These prayers were expected. 

4.  Professional Society:  Attended an annual dinner of professionals.  Not a religious group at all.  The meeting began with a prayer.  The room was overwhelming liberal.

What struck me was what an integral part prayer is in our public life.  I bet the ACLU disapproves.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.   :))   


Shhhh... careful now, ...you're contradicting I-ones stance that you can't be a Liberal Democrat and still be a Christian too.  ;)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 13, 2007, 05:27:11 AM
Well you don't see any other religion, Christianity,  being represented or associated with city, state or federal government offices, institutions etc...

That's it's the only thing you see.
Maybe then it IS, IN FACT, because we are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values then.   :-\  Why would we have ever bothered to put those items in place... the Ten Commandments in the Courtrooms, and use language like "O Ye, O Ye, the Supreme Court of the United States is now in session and may God save this honorable Court"? to open sessions in the Supreme Court??

You're right, Ozmo, it does matter how you look at it. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 13, 2007, 05:28:59 AM

Shhhh... careful now, ...you're contradicting I-ones stance that you can't be a Liberal Democrat and still be a Christian too.  ;)
Surely God loves the liberal democrat too....  So long as that liberal democrat acknowledges Jesus as Savior and Lord over his life.   :D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 13, 2007, 06:33:43 AM
Round two: For second year, N.J. school officials attempt to block student promotion of Day of Truth
Officials backed down last year after receiving letter from ADF attorneys; this year, lawsuit being filed
Thursday, April 12, 2007, 9:50 AM (MST) |
ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020


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New Jersey high school officials back down, will permit “make-up” Day of Truth observance
ALLENDALE, N.J. — For the second year in a row, Northern Highlands Regional High School officials are blocking students’ efforts to promote the Day of Truth.  In 2006, administrators backed down on their prohibition of the event after Alliance Defense Fund attorneys sent a letter to the school on behalf of student Jason Aufiero.  This year, ADF attorneys are filing suit.

“Once again, school officials are attempting to strip students of their First Amendment rights,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.  “Nearly 40 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that free speech rights do not come to a screeching halt at the schoolhouse gate.  This principle applies with full force to students attending Northern Highlands Regional High School.”

Aufiero and other members of the school’s Christian Club have been repeatedly thwarted in their attempts to promote the Day of Truth, which occurs on April 19 this year.  Club members are asking to hold their activities the following day in order to coincide with the day of their scheduled club meeting.

With more than 5,000 students already registered this year, the Day of Truth is an opportunity for Christian students to respectfully present a different viewpoint than students participating in the Day of Silence, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.

Officials told Aufiero that he and the Christian Club could not engage in any expressive activities regarding the Day of Truth.  Club members requested to distribute literature regarding the Day of Truth to students during non-instructional time, to have an announcement on the Day of Truth read over the school’s loudspeaker, and to wear Day of Truth T-shirts.

School officials continue to support the activities of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club, which expresses support for the homosexual agenda via the Day of Silence event, which occurs on April 18 this year.  In 2006, school officials had agreed to end their ban on Day of Truth activities after they were contacted via letter by ADF attorneys (www.telladf.org/news/story.aspx?cid=3774).

A copy of the complaint filed by ADF attorneys in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Aufiero v. Northern Highlands Regional High School Board of Education is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/AufieroComplaint.pdf.

“It is unconstitutional for school officials to bar the Day of Truth while at the same time welcoming the Day of Silence with open arms,” Tedesco said.  “They cannot be permitted to continue engaging in viewpoint discrimination against Christian students.”

ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 13, 2007, 08:12:52 AM
I had an eventful day yesterday.  Attended and participated in a number of meetings with different organizations/entities.  Most of these meetings involved prayer:

1.  Honolulu City Council Session:  It began with a devotional and prayer by a local pastor.  The City Council members are overwhelmingly liberal Democrat (about 8 out of 9).  I was very surprised.   

2.  State Government Entity:  Attended a meeting that did not include prayer.  I would have fallen off of my chair.   :) 

3.  Nonproft Religious Entity:  The meeting began and ended with prayer.  I was asked to give the closing prayer (I hate doing that.)  These prayers were expected. 

4.  Professional Society:  Attended an annual dinner of professionals.  Not a religious group at all.  The meeting began with a prayer.  The room was overwhelming liberal.

What struck me was what an integral part prayer is in our public life.  I bet the ACLU disapproves.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.   :))   

big deal - sample size of four is essentially meaningless.  Added to that - 2 of the four were not government entities but private organizations (I'm assuming).   I assume also that in the city council meeting that no one was forced to attend or pray.   Prayer before secular meetings or groups are largely a ceremonial formality.   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: OzmO on April 13, 2007, 08:56:55 AM
Maybe then it IS, IN FACT, because we are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values then.   :-\  Why would we have ever bothered to put those items in place... the Ten Commandments in the Courtrooms, and use language like "O Ye, O Ye, the Supreme Court of the United States is now in session and may God save this honorable Court"? to open sessions in the Supreme Court??

You're right, Ozmo, it does matter how you look at it. 

Our nation was founded by Christians right?  It only makes sense that they would meld the 2 in many instances.  I don't disagree with you really.  I have not seen any thing in my life in these instances, crosses on city parks, "so help me God" in oaths etc... that i disagree with.  I'm for "christmas vacation" 

I just don't think it's a "organize attack on Christianity"  Maybe you aren't saying that exactly. 

I think we must start to do something about it when someone tells you you can't build a church in a city.  Until then, to me it's a waste of time and money to go after dumb stuff like the pledge of alligence.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 13, 2007, 10:00:33 AM
big deal - sample size of four is essentially meaningless.  Added to that - 2 of the four were not government entities but private organizations (I'm assuming).   I assume also that in the city council meeting that no one was forced to attend or pray.   Prayer before secular meetings or groups are largely a ceremonial formality.   

Hardly meaningless.  Of course no one was forced to pray, but if you had matters that were being voted on and needed to testify then you had to attend.  But that's not the point.  The fact that these liberal Democrats brought in a pastor to give a devotional and prayer speaks volumes of how important prayer and religion are in our society.  This is a Council that oversees more than 800,000 people.  I suspect that this happens with other entities in many other parts of the country.     


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 13, 2007, 05:01:27 PM
Hardly meaningless.  Of course no one was forced to pray, but if you had matters that were being voted on and needed to testify then you had to attend.  But that's not the point.  The fact that these liberal Democrats brought in a pastor to give a devotional and prayer speaks volumes of how important prayer and religion are in our society.  This is a Council that oversees more than 800,000 people.  I suspect that this happens with other entities in many other parts of the country.     

I'm sure it's very meaningful and speaks volumes to YOU but 4 non-random samples are no basis to draw any meaningful conclusion about anything.    Besides that, humans have a tendency to notice those things which confirm their preconceived beliefs (aka prejudice) and to not notice/ignore those which don't. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 13, 2007, 05:12:44 PM
I'm sure it's very meaningful and speaks volumes to YOU but 4 non-random samples are no basis to draw any meaningful conclusion about anything.    Besides that, humans have a tendency to notice those things which confirm their preconceived beliefs (aka prejudice) and to not notice/ignore those which don't. 

Your opinion.  I disagree.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 13, 2007, 05:28:02 PM
Your opinion.  I disagree.

for some reason I'm not surprised but my "opinion" (regarding methodology)  happens to be true.  Look up the term sampling error (or not - who cares really).    Like I said, I'm sure it's "speaks volumes" and is meaningful to you and if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy then good for you. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 13, 2007, 06:11:18 PM
for some reason I'm not surprised but my "opinion" (regarding methodology)  happens to be true.  Look up the term sampling error (or not - who cares really).    Like I said, I'm sure it's "speaks volumes" and is meaningful to you and if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy then good for you. 

Why would I look up "sampling error"?  I am expressing an opinion based on my personal observation/experience.  This isn't a scientific discussion.  I didn't do empirical research.  It's an opinion.  And I didn't say anything about being "warm and fuzzy."  Just something I found very interesting. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 13, 2007, 06:19:07 PM
Why would I look up "sampling error"?  I am expressing an opinion based on my personal observation/experience.  This isn't a scientific discussion.  I didn't do empirical research.  It's an opinion.  And I didn't say anything about being "warm and fuzzy."  Just something I found very interesting. 

Didn't I say that it was meaningful "TO YOU"?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: militarymuscle69 on April 13, 2007, 07:46:03 PM
Our nation was founded by Christians right?  It only makes sense that they would meld the 2 in many instances.  I don't disagree with you really.  I have not seen any thing in my life in these instances, crosses on city parks, "so help me God" in oaths etc... that i disagree with.  I'm for "christmas vacation" 

I just don't think it's a "organize attack on Christianity"  Maybe you aren't saying that exactly. 

I think we must start to do something about it when someone tells you you can't build a church in a city.  Until then, to me it's a waste of time and money to go after dumb stuff like the pledge of alligence.

you don't think that kids learning and reciting the pledge of allegience is important? If we let the idae of allegience to the american flag go by the way side, America will go right with it.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 04, 2007, 12:58:28 AM
Attended a fundraising event for cancer research this evening.  It started with prayer.  Attendees included state government officials (including our Lt. Gov.) and people from various segments of the community. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 25, 2007, 09:18:07 AM
The University of Hawaii football gathers for a team prayer, often with members of the opposing team, right after the games. 

There is also this from the best player in college football (Colt Brennan):  • Colt Brennan said the team has a lot of spiritual faith. He said with such diverse backgrounds, one religion is not pushed over another. It's just that that most share a faith in a higher being, and that helps unify the team.   http://blogs.honoluluadvertiser.com/index.php?blog=9


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 16, 2007, 10:12:02 AM
Terrific story about June Jones, his near fatal accident, and how his faith impacts his life.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071216/NEWS01/712160360/1001


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 24, 2007, 07:30:27 AM
More extensive article on the impact of prayer and faith on the UH football team.  The link has pictures showing players huddled in prayer. 

 
Posted on: Monday, December 24, 2007
Hawaii football team attributes wins to God

Video: How the Warriors "BELIEVE"

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer


   
"You can see it before and after every practice and every game," Watson said. "We pray and give glory to the one who makes it all possible for us."


Photos by RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

   
Warriors Keala Watson, top, and Shane Austin gather with teammates for a group prayer after practice.
 
   
Senior wide receiver C.J. Hawthorne leads team prayers before and after games and practices. "Humility is an amazing thing," he says.

 
Each week, Solomon Elimimian would look out across the sweep of green-clad fans that slowly but surely packed Aloha Stadium this season, feel their thunderous applause as the pulse in his veins, feel the weight of their hope, their expectations and, yes, their belief.

And as his eyes scanned the great mass of bodies crowding the sticky, garbage-strewn bleachers, he'd see that word over and over again.

"Believe."

It was there on giant poster boards, on T-shirts, on the naked chests of pale, skinny classmates.

"We believe."

"I believe."

"Believe."

And while he appreciated the good will and sincerity of those messages, Elimimian, a gifted linebacker and devoted Christian, kept coming back to the same question.

"Believe what?" Elimimian said. "Believe in who?"

They are True Believers, these 2007 Warriors.

From head coach June Jones to Heisman finalist Colt Brennan to the unrecognized contributors who man the scout team, they are bonded not just by the goals they have set, the hours of toil and preparation they have invested to achieve them, and the perfect season that has been its vindication, but by a shared belief in the power of religious faith.

"We just happen to have a lot of Christian guys on this team, but we also have a lot of guys of all kinds of faiths," Jones said. "The principles of love and sacrifice are what really bond them together."

Many athletes lay claim to being men of God, but few teams have demonstrated such a collective insistence on using their successes on the field to achieve what they believe to be their true calling as athletes.

"You can see it before and after every practice and every game," said junior defensive lineman Keala Watson. "We pray and give glory to the one who makes it all possible for us. This team acts as a beacon of faith. We're an example of what can happen when you put your faith in God."

In the Watson household, religious faith was the breath and bread of everyday life. Growing up in Nanakuli, Watson followed along as his family attended church, observed regular family devotion days, and bowed their heads in daily prayer.

"I was immersed in it as a young child, and it's stayed with me," Watson said. "As an adult, I want to pass that along to my nieces and nephews, and hopefully to my own kids someday."

Watson said his faith saved him during his freshman year when Von Willebrand disorder, a rare condition similar to hemophilia, threatened to end his football career.

Watson redshirted that year, unsure if he would ever return as doctor after doctor delivered negative prognoses. As he confronted the loss of his dream, Watson said he lost sight of what he believed in.

"I thought my career was down the drain," he said. "I felt there was no hope for me and I kind of lost focus on what God had planned for me. It was all about what I wanted. But once I let him take control of my life again, he put everything back together."

With the help of a new doctor, who found a way to treat the condition with daily medication, Watson made his way back to the team and has become a rising force within the defensive unit.

Watson serves as an assistant pastor at Kahikolu Baptist Church in Wai'anae. In the Warrior locker room, it's Watson to whom teammates often turn for religious support and guidance.

It was Watson who last week rallied a dozen teammates to Hawaii Medical Center East to pray for redshirt freshman Vaughn Meatoga's mother, who was stricken with cancer. Lynette Meatoga died two days later.

"Our belief carries on to each of our lives," Watson said. "When (Meatoga's) mother passed, there were a lot of guys around to help lift him up. It was devastating for him, but he's doing better.

"There's a lot of love on this team."

DIVINE INTERVENTIONS

Like Watson, junior defensive back Desmond Thomas grew up in a Christian household.

"That was one of the reasons my mom wanted me to come here," Thomas said. "We have coaches who are Christians and believe in God. She loved that about this school. Love, belief, faith — those words characterize the whole team."

But despite his upbringing, Thomas said his religious faith had yet to blossom when he arrived on the Manoa campus. He was, in his own words, "just out there in the world doing my own thing."

And it wasn't working.

A standout safety and wide receiver at Vallejo High School in California, Thomas redshirted the 2004 season and saw action in just one game the following season. Frustrated at his lack of progress and opportunity, Thomas was considering transferring schools as he sat outside the Stan Sheriff Center one afternoon.

"And God sent somebody to talk to me — a homeless man," Thomas recalled. "He told me that great things are headed in my direction if I turn away from my evil ways and turn to God.

"It broke me," he said. "I was upset because I had always thought of myself as a player, and I wasn't playing. Then God snatched me up and I humbled myself."

Thomas put aside thoughts of transferring and eventually found his opportunity away from the offense. As a sophomore, he played all 14 games in the defensive backfield and on special teams.

This season, Thomas replaced Kaeo Monteilh as starting safety after Monteilh was lost for the season with a fractured left scapula.

Like Thomas, senior defensive back Jacob Patek would not connect the Christian values with which he was raised to a meaningful relationship with the higher power he acknowledged until he arrived in Hawai'i.

Patek grew up in Victoria, Texas, and played for Blinn Community College (Texas) for three seasons before transferring to Hawai'i.

"When I got here, I was a Christian but I was doing my own thing," Patek said. "It was tough being so far away from home and trying to battle through things."

Though embraced by his teammates and respected by his coaches for the defensive skills he possessed and the ferocity with which he applied them, Patek felt unmoored. For all of the power and determination he exhibited on the field, the displaced Texan found himself lonely and homesick in his private moments.

In retrospect, Patek said, it was the first step in kindling the religious faith that had laid dry within him.

"The Lord brought me out to this island, took me away from everything I had back at home, and broke me," Patek said. "There were times I'd break down crying and allow the Lord to work on me."

Patek said the reaffirmation of his faith allowed him to "grow into maturity," and to rein in the anger that so often festered and flared inside him.

And like so many of his teammates, Patek now interprets the good in his life as fruits of his belief. He credits prayer for curing the mysterious sores that lingered on his arm for weeks. He attributes his quick recovery from a high ankle sprain (suffered initially in a game against Boise State and re-aggravated a week later versus Washington) to "his divine power."

"No matter what happens, whether we win or lose, we give God his glory because he's blessed us with the opportunity to play the game of football, where other people might not have that opportunity."

A HIGHER POWER

Humility is a powerful and at times liberating concept for athletes, but not one that is always easily grasped.

Senior wide receiver C.J. Hawthorne may not have had a clear vision of how his collegiate career would unfold when he left the comfort and security of Mississippi for exotic Hawai'i, but he was confident that it wouldn't involve riding the pine.

At St. Martin High School in Owen Springs, he was a standout in basketball and track, and earned all-state honors in football. After a stint at Southwest Gulf Coast Community College, Hawthorn transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and helped lead the team to a league championship in 2005.

But in Hawai'i, with talented veterans ahead of him on the offense, Hawthorne would have to make the switch to cornerback. After five so-so starts, Hawthorne was relegated to the bench.

"Back home, I was the star," Hawthorne said. "I was the man. Then I came here and for the first time in my life I had to take the bench. It was real hard. The biggest test was learning not to get jealous or bitter about things."

His adjustment off the field came no easier.

"In Mississippi, I was so comfortable and I was in the same rut of doing whatever, seeing the same guys and wanting to go out," he said. "It took getting out here and getting along by myself to realize I'm better than that. I was playing Division I football and I was poor, lonely, depressed in my room. I knew there had to be something bigger than this."

And so, like so many of his teammates, Hawthorne reached back to his Bible Belt roots in search of an answer.

Hawthorne, who now leads prayers before and after games and practices, said that with the deepening of his religious faith came a sense of humility and proportion.

"Humility is an amazing thing," he said. "Look at almost every championship team. Even if they fail to acknowledge God, you definitely see a humility and an ability to do something for one another, even when it's something you don't want to do.

"As a team, our faith has allowed us to humble ourselves and become even closer as a unit," he said.

TEAM OF DESTINY?

That word again.

Wherever Elimimian goes these days, it's there. Painted onto driveways. Shaved on heads. Spelled out in Christmas lights.

"I look around and I see 'Believe, believe,' " Elimimian said. "But what do they mean? If they believe in us, that's a start, but that's not what it's really about. When we win, it's not about us, it's about getting people saved. Our going 12-0 isn't about us, it's about the glory of God and getting people to acknowledge that God is our savior."

Salvation. Glory. Savior. Words that might chill a more secular room flow freely from Elimimian's lips because in this athletic facility, in the penultimate moment of this most stirring of seasons, it is safe to speak the language of faith.

To be sure, not every Warrior is as deeply religious as Elimimian or Hawthorne or Thomas. Yet, whatever their faith or belief or opinion, there is permeating the team a feeling that what they've achieved this season resonates beyond the obvious.

Elimimian, a measured and deliberate thinker, believes the perfect record, the Western Athletic Conference championship and the Sugar Bowl berth are means, not ends, to his God's true intention.

How else, Elimimian asks, can one account for the myriad ways in which this particular group of coaches and players found themselves together right here, right now?

"You look at all the guys that people in Hawai'i look up to — Colt, Davone (Bess), C.J., Adam Leonard — and each one has a story about how they got here," Elimimian said. "Colt had a long path from high school just to get here. Davone, too. My brother (all-WAC cornerback Abraham Elimimian) could have gone somewhere else but all the big schools dropped him when he hurt his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). He was an instrument for me being here because if he hadn't come, I probably would not have either.

"You look at our Polynesian guys — guys like Timo Paepule, Michael Lafaele, Hercules Satele, Karl Noa, who give hope to kids in Hawai'i because they're so strong in their faith — they all have their stories, too. We all had long paths to get here. God put everything together, all these different pieces from different walks of life.

"God put us in the Sugar Bowl as the only 12-0 team to touch the nation and let people know the plan and the mercy that God has for us."

Hawthorne agrees.

"A lot of people think you can only preach from the pulpit, but there are a lot of platforms," he said. "We are each here for God to show that it's possible to love one another. It's not about being all religious, it's about loving each other."
 
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071224/NEWS01/712240346


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 20, 2008, 10:04:39 AM
Attended a dinner last night in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Attended by a member of Congress, several state senators, a member of the Governor's cabinet, and various people from the community of all races.  The dinner started with prayer, given by a Hawaiian pastor in both English and Hawaiian. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 21, 2008, 12:25:47 PM
I missed this because I was travelling. 

MAYOR’S ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S PRAYER SERVICE   
 
Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, his wife, Gail, and members of the mayor’s staff and cabinet will gather Thursday evening, January 10th,  at Kawaihao Church for the Mayor’s Annual New Year’s Prayer Service.

“This will be our fourth annual prayer service,” Hannemann said, “and it’s become quite a tradition. It is a chance for people to give thanks, to pray for our city and for each other as we head into a new year.  Those who’ve attended in the past have expressed their warm appreciation for this event.”

The non-denominational service gets underway at 6:30 pm.  Several pastors and religious leaders from the local community will lead the congregation in prayer. Members of the public are cordially invited to attend. 

http://www.co.honolulu.hi.us/csd/publiccom/honnews08/newyearsprayerservice.htm


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Colossus_500 on January 21, 2008, 02:15:33 PM
It's nice to know that prayer isn't suppressed everywhere.  Thanks for posting, bro!   ;)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 21, 2008, 05:15:30 PM
It's nice to know that prayer isn't suppressed everywhere.  Thanks for posting, bro!   ;)

No problem mang.  It's everywhere.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 11, 2008, 04:15:27 PM
Recently received an e-mail inviting me to a prayer session for Hawaii's businesses.  Impressive list of participants.  It includes some of the largest businesses in Hawaii. 

HisBiz Ministries - A Christian Business Marketplace Ministry in Honolulu, Hawaii | www.HisBizWeb.org

Business Gate Prayer Session
Friday, May 16, 2008 @ 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Downtown Honolulu YWCA
1040 Richards St., 3rd floor

You're invited! Please join us as we pray specifically for God's covering and blessing upon each company and transformation of our workplaces in our State. Gathering in the name of Jesus, business people from companies and organizations across Hawaii unite in fellowship and prayer:

24 Hour Fitness
Adecco
Agor Architecture
Alexander & Baldwin
Anthology Marketing Group
Ascribe Data Systems
C12 Group
Cades Schutte
China Light
Consolidated Painting LLC
Core Systems Hawaii
Department of Business and Economic Development
Empowered Internet Solutions
FCA-Hawaii
First Hawaiian Bank
Group 70 International
Hawaii Dental Service
Hawaii Pacific Health
Hawaiian Electric Industries
Hawaiian Telecom
Honolulu City Council
IFC Corp
Kaneohe Ranch
Klevansky Piper Van Etten, LLP
KMH LLP
Laird Christianson Advertising
Lutheran Campus Ministry
McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii
National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii
Office of the Attorney General
Office of the Lt. Governor
Pacific Lighting Service
Pacific Rim Bank
Pflueger Group
PHRI
Piilani Group
Queens Hospital
Roberts Hawaii
Sprint Hawaii
StarrTech Interactive
Tihati Productions
U.H. Poetic License
and more...
 

Secretaries, executives, and business professionals come together to fellowship and pray, shoulder-to-shoulder, in humility before our God to bring transformation to our companies, our workplace environment, our families, and our State. It is an extremely powerful time in the Lord's presence as we humble ourselves and continue to pray for our Hawaii and businesses that we work in.

This is not a Bible study or speaker series. Prayer is our focus. Come as you are and join us in worship and prayer to transform our workplaces for the Kingdom of Heaven.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Decker on May 12, 2008, 08:17:58 AM
It's nice to know that prayer isn't suppressed everywhere.  Thanks for posting, bro!   ;)
Private businesses can remove prayer from the workplace.

Government can remove proselytizing prayer from government funded locations and entities.

I mean, I don't want Vishnu shoved down my throat by Uncle Sam!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: 240 is Back on May 12, 2008, 08:39:42 AM
for some reason I'm not surprised but my "opinion" (regarding methodology)  happens to be true.  Look up the term sampling error

It's been well-established on here that Beach Bum doesn't understand nor believe in statistics.

If he's talking about something, it's because it's "his opinion" and numbers be damned.

You have a conservative moderator who is anti-2nd amendment, anti-1st amendment, who doesn't understand the most common tools used here (stats and math) and who derails good threads all the time. 

Look at the pile of shit on your plate.  2/3 delicious, and 1/3 shit.  It just ruins the whole meal.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 12, 2008, 10:41:35 AM
It's been well-established on here that Beach Bum doesn't understand nor believe in statistics.

If he's talking about something, it's because it's "his opinion" and numbers be damned.

You have a conservative moderator who is anti-2nd amendment, anti-1st amendment, who doesn't understand the most common tools used here (stats and math) and who derails good threads all the time. 

Look at the pile of shit on your plate.  2/3 delicious, and 1/3 shit.  It just ruins the whole meal.


 :)

(http://www.babyworld.co.uk/information/products/books/images/NCT_crying_baby.jpg)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 09:09:57 PM
Both the Democrat and Republican conventions ended with prayer. 

Also, local boy gives credit where credit is due:

Updated at 6:12 p.m., Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bryan Clay tells convention his priorities are God, family, track
By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

(http://cmsimg.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=M1&Date=20080904&Category=BREAKING01&ArtNo=80904057&Ref=AR&MaxW=298&MaxH=358&Q=90&NoBorder)
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Hawai'i's Bryan Clay, a gold medalist in the decathlon at the Beijing Olympics, spoke to the Republican National Convention tonight about the importance of family values and working together.

The Castle High School graduate told delegates that while he is proud of his athletic achievement, his proudest accomplishment is being the father of Jacob and Katherine.

"For me, family values and family mean everything," Clay said of he and his wife, Sarah. "My priorities are God first, family second, track third.

"I can tell you that without faith in God and my support of my family and friends, and my strong work ethic, I would not be standing here before you today wearing this gold medal around my neck."

Clay said politicians and athletes have a lot in common because both are competitors who cannot win on their own.

He told the story of his fiercest rival, Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, who helped pace him through the 1,500-meter run and then celebrated Clay's victory with him afterward.

"Now the big difference between the decathlon and politics is that when my race ends, I go back home, relax, and start training for the next Olympics," he said. "But when the election ends, that's when the real work begins.

"Now whether your platform is a classroom, a conference room, a track, or the White House, we must all stay true to our principles. Whether you're a decathlete or a politician, we must stand together and believe in each other and this great nation."

Clay's appearance at the convention came out of a conversation with Gov. Linda Lingle at the state Capitol last Friday before the governor proclaimed "Bryan Clay Day," according to Lenny Klompus, the governor's senior adviser for communications.

The governor's office contacted convention organizers to help arrange Clay's appearance.

"He expressed his strong support for Sen. (John) McCain and the governor told him he would be an outstanding speaker," Klompus said.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080904/BREAKING01/80904057



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Deedee on September 04, 2008, 09:20:24 PM
Every person on earth has a more direct line to god than you do... you totally know it.  :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 09:25:52 PM
Every person on earth has a more direct line to god than you do... you totally know it.  :)

What?  lol.  Have no idea what you're talking about. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Deedee on September 04, 2008, 09:31:27 PM
What?  lol.  Have no idea what you're talking about. 

Well you do need a vacation from this place.  :)  Even die hard libs wouldn't be here as much as you are.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 09:34:39 PM
Well you do need a vacation from this place.  :)  Even die hard libs wouldn't be here as much as you are.

lol.  You're babbling Deedee.  Are you sleepy or something?  What does whatever point you're trying to make have to do with prayer and religion in public life?   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Deedee on September 04, 2008, 09:48:20 PM
lol.  You're babbling Deedee.  Are you sleepy or something?  What does whatever point you're trying to make have to do with prayer and religion in public life?   

I am?  It has to do with this... even I as a child knew that anyone who prays for personal reasons is lost. You're a fool BB if you think God favors you because you are you. And you're right.  I'm tired.  :)  You are the worst person on getbig. You are only here to change people. How is that anti homo thing working for you?






Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 09:52:54 PM
I am?  It has to do with this... even I as a child knew that anyone who prays for personal reasons is lost. You're a fool BB if you think God favors you because you are you. And you're right.  I'm tired.  :)  You are the worst person on getbig. You are only here to change people. How is that anti homo thing working for you?


Yawn.   ::)  I'm not going to start denying invented facts, because that would make me as ignorant as you.  Buenos noches.  :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Deedee on September 04, 2008, 09:56:10 PM
Yawn.   ::)  I'm not going to start denying invented facts, because that would make me as ignorant as you.  Buenos noches.  :)

Good... go think about it.  ;)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 09:56:56 PM
Good... go think about it.  ;)

No.   :-*


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Deedee on September 04, 2008, 10:04:39 PM
No.   :-*

i love you.   :)

And hope to not change you.  : Just make you be more loving of those around you of your own choice.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 10:08:00 PM
i love you.   :)

And hope to not change you.  : Just make you be more loving of those around you of your own choice.


And you know so much about me.  Tell me more.  (Not.) 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Deedee on September 04, 2008, 10:25:31 PM
And you know so much about me.  Tell me more.  (Not.) 

Well I do like you BB, for all your faults.  :) I like you very much actually, but how come you don't spend more time with your daughters?  You come here like it's a religion. Just a question.





 



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 11:09:20 PM
Well I do like you BB, for all your faults.  :) I like you very much actually, but how come you don't spend more time with your daughters?  You come here like it's a religion. Just a question.


Reminds me of the time you queried why people talk about abortion on a political discussion board.  Now you're asking me why I post on a political discussion board?  Because I like to talk politics? 

How much time do I spend with my daughters?  lol . . . You crack me up.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: youandme on September 04, 2008, 11:15:38 PM
Both the Democrat and Republican conventions ended with prayer. 

That is a relief. I remember when I was a member of the FCA, and it was just amazing how some individuals were against us saying a prayer before and after games.

I don't think I see many teams in High School or College pray these days, not talking about the touchdown prays either


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2008, 11:27:15 PM
That is a relief. I remember when I was a member of the FCA, and it was just amazing how some individuals were against us saying a prayer before and after games.

I don't think I see many teams in High School or College pray these days, not talking about the touchdown prays either

Check out page 2 of this thread.  There is a link and a story talking about prayer, June Jones, and the UH football team. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 13, 2008, 09:57:33 AM
Prayer is still a part of the UH football team:

After fulfilling academic obligations, Graunke was reinstated to the team a week before the Aug. 30 opener against Florida.

"It feels great," said Graunke, a fifth-year senior who spent the past three seasons as Colt Brennan's understudy. "I want to do my part for the team. If I'm the best guy for the team, which (the coaches have) decided, then that's the case. The Lord's blessed me with those talents and gifts. I'm playing for the team."

At the end of every practice, several Warriors gather in a circle and kneel in prayer. After Thursday's practice, linebacker Solomon Elimimian invited Graunke to join the circle — an action that also proved to be symbolic.

"I respect him for coming back and working hard and not giving up," said center John Estes, one of the four team captains. "I know a lot of people in that situation would have given up. He already had my respect even before he went through all of that. I was here when he was the quarterback and Colt kind of took his (starting) spot. I had respect for him when he was second string. He won some games for us last year. I know he's ready to play."

. . .

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080913/SPORTS0201/809130340/1032


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 10, 2009, 12:22:12 PM
Florida QB makes 'John 3:16' hottest Google search
Tebow inscribed Bible reference on eye black for championship game
Posted: January 09, 2009
11:35 am Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

(http://www.worldnetdaily.com/images/headshots/tebowjohn316.jpg)
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow blazes New Testament verse of John 3:16 on his face last night after he led the Gators to the BCS National Championship


"John 3:16" has appeared in various forms at nationally televised sporting events over the years, but after University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow inscribed it on his eye black for last night's BCS National Championship game, the biblical reference became the most popular search item on Google.com.

Google Trends this morning had "John 3:16" ahead of searches for actress Mary Lynn Rajskub and the Windows 7 beta download. Searches for the Bible verse reached a peak during last night's game.

In previous games, Tebow, an outspoken evangelical Christian who was born to missionary parents in the Philippines, sported on his eye black Philippians 4:13, notes Christianity Today. The verse says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

The well-known verse John 3:16 is commonly presented as a summation of the Gospel: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy last year as a sophomore, led the Gators to a 24-14 victory last night over the University of Oklahoma.

Tebow and his four siblings were homeschooled by their parents, but a Florida law allowed him to play football for a public school team. He was named Florida's high school Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons and developed a reputation for toughness, finishing a game with a broken leg.

Google users, at one point, searched for "John 3:16" more than any other term

In an interview last year with the Florida Baptist Witness, Tebow said football is not even the third most important thing in his life.

"I am fortunate to have family members, coaches and teammates around who can help me stay focused on the right things for us to be successful," he said. "For me, every day includes four things: God, family, academics and football, in that order."

Tebow's "John 3:16" display last night drew attention in the blogosphere.

William Lobdell, author of "Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America - and Found Unexpected Peace," had a mixed reaction.

But he concluded: "I have to wonder if his coaches or NCAA officials would allow him to have 'There Is' 'No God' written on his eye black below his right and left eyes.

"I imagine that these personal slogans will soon be banned," he wrote.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=85729


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 12, 2009, 05:22:04 PM
Class act.  He was great for the game.  Will be missed. 

Dungy will focus on family and faith
By Chris Mortensen
ESPN.com
Archive

Jason Bridge/US Presswire

Tony Dungy is ready to spend more time with his family at their home in Tampa, Fla.It was late Saturday night and the words flowed from Tony Dungy's lips like water from a spring. He was quoting his favorite book; not his best-selling "Quiet Strength," but, naturally, the Bible.

"I'm at a point, kind of like the Apostle Paul," explained Dungy, "he said, 'If I live, it's good. If I die and go home with the Lord, it's better.'"

Dungy sounded like a man who was prepared to go home -- in this case, Dungy will go home to his wife, Lauren, and family in Tampa, as well as home in an earthly sense to do what he calls the Lord's work with various ministry outreach programs that include work with troubled youths and convicted prisoners. For Dungy, right now, it is better to walk away from the game.

. . . .

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=mortensen_chris&id=3827287


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 20, 2009, 02:06:40 PM
Obama's Day Starts With Church, Coffee with Bush

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 9:13 AM

WASHINGTON — As massive crowds swarmed the National Mall on Tuesday to witness Barack Obama's inauguration as president, the man at the center of the maelstrom began the day quietly and reverently, at a church service across the street from the White House.

Obama and his family attended a private service at St. John's Episcopal Church, a tradition for those about to become president. The family of Vice President-elect Joe Biden also attended.

The Obamas waved to bystanders, then entered the church to applause from about 200 people. The choir and congregation began singing the hymn, "O God Our Help in Ages Past."
 
. . . .

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/obama_church_bush/2009/01/20/173227.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 21, 2009, 11:15:42 AM
Obama Begins Day With National Prayer Service

By Michelle Boorstein, Debbi Wilgoren and Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 21, 2009; 11:32 AM

On his first full day in office, President Obama spent part of the morning at the Washington National Cathedral, placing his own stamp on the traditional National Prayer Service with a larger-than-usual group of interfaith religious leaders participating and newly written prayers meant to emphasize liberty and diversity.

The invitation-only service, which has followed presidential inaugurals in the United States on and off since George Washington's swearing-in, started just after 10 a.m. and continued for nearly an hour and a half.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, who wore a bold black-and-silver patterned dress, walked into the stately church with Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden. They took seats in the front row alongside Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Obama's nominee for secretary of state, and her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

So many members of Congress were scheduled to attend the service that a markup session scheduled for attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. was postponed.

The list of 20 clergy participating in the service included Rev. Samuel Lloyd, dean of the cathedral, which is the seat of the Episcopal Church in Washington; Rev. Otis Moss Jr., a prominent Baptist pastor whose son is pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama's former church; Washington Catholic Archbishop Donald Wuerl; Rev. Jim Wallis of the progressive group Sojourners; and several well-known Jewish, Muslim and Greek Orthodox leaders.

The District-based Children of the Gospel Choir entertained the assembled dignitaries and guests by singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."

The sermon was delivered by Rev. Sharon Watkins, president of the Protestant denomination Disciples of Christ in North America and the first woman to have such a prominent role in the post-inaugural prayer service.

Watkins quoted a wide range of religious leaders and traditions, from Gandhi to Islam to Cherokee Indians, urging the new president to remain focused on ethical and religious values such as common good, justice and compassion.

"In times such as these, we the people need you, the leaders of the nation, to be guided by the counsel that Isaiah gave so long ago," she said. "This is the Biblical way. It is also the American way."

She told Obama, "With your swearing-in, Mr. President, the flame of America's promise burns just a little brighter for every child in this land." There is much work to do, and some of it will "tend to draw you away from your ethical center," she said.

"But we need you to hold the ground of your deepest values, of our deepest values," Watkins said. "We need you to stay focused on our shared hopes, so that we can continue to hope, too. We will follow your lead."

Moss, offering a prayer in his rich baritone, asked God to "teach us each day that we live in a nation of neighbors on an island commissioned to glorify your name, in a community that is global. We have been taught through your servant that we are all connected, impacted by what we do and what we refuse to do."

. . . .

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/01/21/ST2009012101096.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 09, 2009, 05:12:44 PM
Hawaii Prayer Breakfast offers blessings for leaders
Advertiser Staff

Michelle Vandenburg, mother of Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay, was the featured speaker at this morning's 30th Hawaii Prayer Breakfast.

Several hundred people — including Gov. Linda Lingle, members of her administration, county mayors, state legislators and leaders from business, military and faith-based communities attended the event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Vandenburg, who raised Clay in Kaneohe after she and Clay's father divorced, told the audience about how her faith helped her persevere.

Clay, a Castle High graduate who won gold at the Beijing Games, appeared in a videotaped message.

The Hawaii Prayer Breakfast is held annually to pray for leaders, regardless of political or religious affiliation.

Kahu Curt Kekuna of Kawaiahao Church provided the blessing.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090409/BREAKING/90409065


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 09, 2009, 08:37:55 PM
Hawaii Prayer Breakfast offers blessings for leaders
Advertiser Staff

Michelle Vandenburg, mother of Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay, was the featured speaker at this morning's 30th Hawaii Prayer Breakfast.

Several hundred people — including Gov. Linda Lingle, members of her administration, county mayors, state legislators and leaders from business, military and faith-based communities attended the event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Vandenburg, who raised Clay in Kaneohe after she and Clay's father divorced, told the audience about how her faith helped her persevere.

Clay, a Castle High graduate who won gold at the Beijing Games, appeared in a videotaped message.

The Hawaii Prayer Breakfast is held annually to pray for leaders, regardless of political or religious affiliation.

Kahu Curt Kekuna of Kawaiahao Church provided the blessing.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090409/BREAKING/90409065

no shit?

a bunch of people got together and prayed?

weird


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 09, 2009, 08:39:57 PM
Yep.  "Gov. Linda Lingle, members of her administration, county mayors, state legislators and leaders from business, military and faith-based communities attended the event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village."  Pretty accomplished bunch of people.  And to think nearly all (without exaggeration) of our "state legislators" are Democrats. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 09, 2009, 08:55:19 PM
Yep.  "Gov. Linda Lingle, members of her administration, county mayors, state legislators and leaders from business, military and faith-based communities attended the event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village."  Pretty accomplished bunch of people.  And to think nearly all (without exaggeration) of our "state legislators" are Democrats. 

ok

then what?

people get together and "pray" all the time

so what?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on April 09, 2009, 09:07:37 PM
ok

then what?

people get together and "pray" all the time

so what?
I'm not getting the point either but he seems to be trying to make one.  Just say it BB, what's the point?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 09, 2009, 09:19:09 PM
I'm not getting the point either but he seems to be trying to make one.  Just say it BB, what's the point?

The title of the thread is "Prayer and Religion in Public Life."  I just posted a story about an annual prayer breakfast that is attended by most, if not all, of our state's political leaders and a substantial number of private sector leaders.  That's the only point.  Just like every other story I've posted in the thread.  Just examples of how deeply ingrained prayer and faith is in our society.  Nothing more than that.     


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 09, 2009, 09:20:25 PM
The title of the thread is "Prayer and Religion in Public Life."  I just posted a story about an annual prayer breakfast that is attended by most, if not all, of our state's political leaders and a substantial number of private sector leaders.  That's the only point.  Just like every other story I've posted in the thread.  Just examples of how deeply ingrained prayer and faith is in our society.  Nothing more than that.     

so you're basically saying people "pray" ...?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 09, 2009, 09:23:19 PM
I'm "basically saying" what I just said. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on April 09, 2009, 09:25:37 PM
well alrighty then :D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 09, 2009, 09:27:11 PM
The title of the thread is "Prayer and Religion in Public Life."  I just posted a story about an annual prayer breakfast that is attended by most, if not all, of our state's political leaders and a substantial number of private sector leaders.  That's the only point.  Just like every other story I've posted in the thread.  Just examples of how deeply ingrained prayer and faith is in our society.  Nothing more than that.     

yeah

people tend to do this "pray" thing

right?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 09, 2009, 09:29:48 PM
Yes they do.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 09, 2009, 09:31:49 PM
Yes they do.   :)

exactly

one question...

how can you tell when someone is faking it and just pretending to pray?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on April 09, 2009, 09:33:40 PM
lol


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: big L dawg on April 09, 2009, 09:34:53 PM
exactly

one question...

how can you tell when someone is faking it and just pretending to pray?


bingo.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Deicide on April 10, 2009, 05:07:55 AM
Shit, my life has changed now... :o


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 10, 2009, 06:57:30 AM
Shit, my life has changed now... :o

Don't worry.  I'm sure Bum will keep updating his pet thread whenever he reads a story about some group of people somewhere doing the public prayer thing.  Let's just be glad Bum is not muslim or he'd be updating this thread 5 times a day


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 10, 2009, 11:10:58 AM
I might go to this one.  Hope all of you enjoy your state sanctioned Good Friday holiday (assuming you have one).   :)

Public invited to Easter services at Schofield Barracks
Advertiser Staff

The public is invited to Easter sunrise services at Schofield Barracks.

The services will start at 6 a.m. at Stoneman Stadium.

Col. Jack Van Dyken, U.S. Army Pacific Command chaplain, will deliver the service. There will also be music. Refreshments will follow.

Stoneman Stadium is located at the corner of McCornack Road and Leilehua Avenue on Schofield Barracks. Guests should use the McNair Gate and follow posted directions.

Drivers will need to show their license, registration, proof of insurance and valid photo ID for each occupant in the vehicle.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090410/BREAKING/90410011


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 10, 2009, 04:30:36 PM
I might go to this one.  Hope all of you enjoy your state sanctioned Good Friday holiday (assuming you have one).   :)

Bum - how do you figure this is a "state sanctioned" holiday?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 10, 2009, 10:30:09 PM
Bum - how do you figure this is a "state sanctioned" holiday?

     §8-1  Holidays designated.  The following days of each year are set apart and established as state holidays:

     The first day in January, New Year's Day;

     The third Monday in January, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day;

     The third Monday in February, Presidents' Day;

     The twenty-sixth day in March, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day;

     The Friday preceding Easter Sunday, Good Friday;

     The last Monday in May, Memorial Day;

     The eleventh day in June, King Kamehameha I Day;

     The fourth day in July, Independence Day;

     The third Friday in August, Statehood Day;

     The first Monday in September, Labor Day;

     The eleventh day in November, Veterans' Day;

     The fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day;

     The twenty-fifth day in December, Christmas Day;

     All election days, except primary and special election days, in the county wherein the election is held;

     Any day designated by proclamation by the President of the United States or by the governor as a holiday.

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol01_Ch0001-0042F/HRS0008/HRS_0008-0001.htm


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 11, 2009, 06:45:50 AM
gotcha - you're talking about Hawaii and not the US Govt (which does not recognize it as a holiday)

What do you do to celebrate Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 20, 2009, 02:54:29 PM
Attended a session of the state senate today and they started with a devotional and prayer.  The prayer was in the name of [gasping] "Jesus Christ our Lord."  Not sure if they invite members of other faiths.  Interesting question. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 20, 2009, 03:44:52 PM
Attended a session of the state senate today and they started with a devotional and prayer.  The prayer was in the name of [gasping] "Jesus Christ our Lord."  Not sure if they invite members of other faiths.  Interesting question. 

What happened after the prayer?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 20, 2009, 05:29:48 PM
What happened after the prayer?

They voted on bills. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 20, 2009, 08:27:24 PM
They voted on bills. 

do they do the prayer every time they open a session?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 21, 2009, 10:20:22 AM
do they do the prayer every time they open a session?

I'm pretty sure they do, as does our House of Representatives and City Council.  Also, there are only 2 Republicans (out of 25 Senators) in the State Senate. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: LurkerNoMore on April 21, 2009, 11:56:27 AM
What happened after the prayer?

They sat around waiting for what they asked for to be delivered.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 21, 2009, 10:55:49 PM
I'm pretty sure they do, as does our House of Representatives and City Council.  Also, there are only 2 Republicans (out of 25 Senators) in the State Senate. 

So it's basically a perfunctory or even perhaps a ceremonial procedure

What is the significance of the number of Repubs/Dems/Independents to you?

Will you be updating this thread every time the state senate does this?



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 22, 2009, 10:49:07 AM
So it's basically a perfunctory or even perhaps a ceremonial procedure

What is the significance of the number of Repubs/Dems/Independents to you?

Will you be updating this thread every time the state senate does this?



No, it's a devotional and prayer.

The significance of the party makeup to me is how prayer and faith in public life crosses party lines. 

I'll be updating this thread every time I read, hear, or experience something that I think is relevant to the thread.   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on April 22, 2009, 10:08:53 PM
No, it's a devotional and prayer.

The significance of the party makeup to me is how prayer and faith in public life crosses party lines. 

I'll be updating this thread every time I read, hear, or experience something that I think is relevant to the thread.   


Bum - this sounds like nothing more than a typical and (as I previously said) perfunctory and ceremonial task.

Why do you think "party lines" are so significant?  Are you amazed that people other than Republicans might pray? 

Don't you think there are some non-christians (jews, muslims, atheist, etc...) sitting in that room waiting for the mumbo jumbo to be over with so they can get down to business?   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 06, 2009, 10:58:47 AM
The Appeaser in Chief at work again. 

Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance
By Kristi Keck
     
(CNN) -- For the past eight years, the White House recognized the National Day of Prayer with a service in the East Room, but this year, President Obama decided against holding a public ceremony.

"Prayer is something that the president does everyday," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday, noting that Obama will sign a proclamation to recognize the day, as many administrations in the past have done.

Asked if Obama thought his predecessor's ceremonies were politicized, Gibbs said, "No, I'm not going to get into that again.

"I think the president understands, in his own life and in his family's life, the role that prayer plays."

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance for people of all faiths.

Under the Bush administration, the White House hosted an interfaith service each year, inviting protestant, Catholic and Jewish leaders for an event at the East Room.

President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush also marked the day with a White House observance.

President Harry Truman first established the day as a national event in 1952. Reagan signed a resolution in 1988 to observe the National Day of Prayer each year on the first Thursday in May, and each president since has recognized this day with a proclamation.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force, a privately funded organization that focuses on mobilizing the Christian community, says it's disappointed in this year's toned down observance, but other groups say the president needs to go a step farther -- and ignore the day altogether.

"It's not his job to tell people to pray," said David Silverman, national spokesperson for the organization American Atheists.

"We are very happy he did away with the George W. Bush-era celebrations and party, but we wish he wouldn't do it at all. ... When church and state are separate, separate is separate," he said.

Although there are no public events scheduled at the White House, representatives from the legislative and judicial branches are expected to attend an event the National Day of Prayer Task Force is holding on Capitol Hill.

But, despite numerous attempts to get a representative from the executive office to attend, "it doesn't appear they are going to fulfill our request," said Becky Armstrong, marketing and media manager of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

"The White House is a small part of what the national day of prayer is all about. Tomorrow there will be dozens of events held in our nation's capitol and governors from all 50 states have already issued proclamations recognizing the National Day of Prayer," Armstrong said.

"It would be belittling to those millions of people to reduce this day to merely one event not being held at the White House."

Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson said in a statement that she was disappointed in the "lack of participation" by the Obama administration, adding that "at this time in our country's history, we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer."

Dobson will be a presenter at that event, along with her husband and former president of Focus on the Family James Dobson, author Beth Moore, NFL player Shaun Alexander and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/06/obama.prayer/index.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 25, 2010, 10:21:38 AM
Obama has prayer with Billy Graham.  Good decision.   :)

Obama meets with Rev. Billy Graham
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 25, 2010


Asheville, North Carolina (CNN) -- President Obama on Sunday met with the Rev. Billy Graham before leaving North Carolina to attend the memorial service for 29 West Virginia coal miners killed in a recent explosion.
White House spokesman Bill Burton said the visit was a follow-up to Obama's telephone call to Graham on the evangelist's 91st birthday last November. At that time, Burton said, the two agreed to meet as soon as possible.

Before Sunday's meeting, Burton described Graham as an important spiritual leader and said Obama was sure to pray with him during the visit.

Obama and his family vacationed in Asheville over the weekend, and the first couple played tennis Sunday morning before their departure, Burton said.

The meeting with Graham came three days after the Army rescinded an invitation for Graham's son, Franklin Graham, to speak at the Pentagon on the upcoming National Day of Prayer. The Army decision was due to controversial comments about Islam by the younger Graham.

"True Islam cannot be practiced in this country," Franklin Graham told CNN's Campbell Brown last December. "You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries."

Graham later tried to temper his remarks by saying that he had Muslim friends.

Graham said he regretted the Army's decision but stood by his comments.

"I don't like the way they treat women, the way they treat minorities. I just find it horrific. But I love the people of Islam," he said, adding some of his work has been in Muslim nations.

The Army, which oversees the National Day of Prayer ceremonies at the Pentagon, feared that if Graham spoke at the Pentagon on May 6, Islamic militants would publicize his comments, potentially fueling tensions in Muslim nations like Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are deployed.

Graham's invitation was not the only controversy swirling about the National Day of Prayer this year.

Last week, a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional the 1952 law that established the day, saying it violated the ban on government-backed religion.

On Thursday, the Justice Department informed a federal appeals court that the Obama administration will appeal that decision.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/25/obama.graham/index.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 06, 2010, 10:24:26 AM
 :)

National Day of Prayer is on, despite court ruling
By Linda Feldmann, Staff writer / May 6, 2010

Washington
Thursday, May 6, is the National Day of Prayer, as proclaimed by President Obama. But this year, the annual ritual that began in 1952 is taking place amid controversy.

Last month, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the US law directing the president to proclaim such a day violates the First Amendment, which prohibits government establishment of religion. US District Judge Barbara Crabb also said it was OK to proceed with the National Day of Prayer, pending appeals.

On April 22, the Obama administration appealed Judge Crabb’s ruling to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

But, like last year, Mr. Obama himself will not hold any official prayer day observance at the White House. His predecessor, George W. Bush, had held an annual interfaith observance in the East Room of the White House.

Last year, when Obama decided to limit the White House’s involvement to a proclamation, an urban legend was born: Obama had “canceled” the National Day of Prayer. Not so, the White House said. The myth-busting website Snopes.com has a page devoted to the topic. It’s not that the White House is opposed to prayer, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said last year. “Prayer is something that the president does every day,” he added, noting that it is private.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force, a privately funded group with strong ties to the Evangelical Christian movement, is fighting back against the judge’s ruling and circulating a petition.

“The National Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for all Americans to pray voluntarily according to their own faith – it does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” task force chairwoman Shirley Dobson said in a statement.

Groups around the country will hold observances on Thursday marking the National Day of Prayer, as in years past. Though the tradition was formalized in 1952, with a congressional resolution calling on the president to proclaim such a day, there were national days of prayer long before then.

Opponents of the day of prayer argue that the proclamation makes them feel as if the government is telling them to engage in a religious activity. Atheists, in particular, object to a government prayer proclamation that assumes a universal belief in God.

Obama’s proclamation designating May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer acknowledges the religious diversity of the United States – within the universe of monotheism.

“I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us,” the proclamation states.

Religion was a complicated issue in the Obama presidential campaign, and has remained so in his presidency. During the campaign, his long-time pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, seemed to threaten Obama’s chances at winning the Democratic nomination after videotapes emerged showing the pastor using incendiary language. Obama then delivered a memorable speech on faith that appeared to put the issue to rest.

Obama grew up with no faith tradition but embraced Christianity as an adult. Now, as president, he regularly delivers sermon-like speeches, in addition to delivering euglogies, as he did for civil rights leader Dorothy Height last week. On Feb. 4, Obama spoke about the power of prayer to foster civility and bridge divisions, in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast. But Obama and his family have not been regular church-goers since moving to Washington.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0506/National-Day-of-Prayer-is-on-despite-court-ruling


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 21, 2011, 09:39:40 AM
More efforts to appease a handful of cry babies. 

Senate drops rule requiring invocation
By B.J. Reyes
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 21, 2011

A day after opening the 2011 session with an invocation from entertainer Danny Kaleikini, the state Senate adopted rules to do away with the tradition of beginning its daily sessions with a word of prayer or other such appeals.

By unanimous voice vote yesterday, senators adopted rules that omitted a previous section stipulating each day's session start with an invocation. The session began without one.

House leaders, meanwhile, were still drafting their chamber rules with the issue under careful scrutiny. Members opened yesterday's session with Rep. Pono Chong performing the invocation. Chong (D, Maunawili-Kaneohe) asked only that members observe a moment of silence for personal reflection.

A three-member Senate committee last year looked into the invocation practice after the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii wrote to both the Senate and state House in August with complaints about "decidedly Christian prayers."

That followed the arrest last April of a protester who disrupted a Senate invocation. Mitch Kahle, president of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State, was acquitted of disorderly conduct in November and is now suing the Senate and state sheriffs, alleging he was assaulted and improperly detained.

Senate rules previously included language stating: "Each day's sitting of the Senate shall open with an invocation."

Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, majority leader, said the new rules are flexible and allow the chamber to include invocations at its discretion, such as for opening day.

"The Senate will continue to explore the issue and can develop a policy for the proper implementation of invocations that is constitutionally sound," said Galuteria (D, Downtown-Waikiki).

Only Sen. Sam Slom, the chamber's lone Republican, voiced opposition to the exclusion of invocations.

"I think it's important that we stress the need that as smart as we may be, as intelligent as we may be, that we can still call on someone higher to help us and guide us," said Slom (R, Diamond Head-Hawaii Kai). "I think for us to take this out of our rules and also to, by omission, tell the community that we no longer think that this is important — I think that this is a mistake."

The Senate invocation committee recommended a new policy that would have allowed the invocations to continue, with restrictions, including that they be nonsectarian and make no reference to particular deities or central religious figures.

Senators ultimately decided to do away with the invocations rather than implement difficult-to-enforce restrictions.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1983 ruled legislative invocations are constitutional, because such prayers are deeply embedded in the history and tradition of the nation.

Rep. Blake Oshiro, House majority leader, said leadership was not looking at abolishing the practice, but instead was seeking guidance from the Attorney General's Office. Once the rules are drafted, they would be put to the full chamber for a vote.

"We do want to make sure that we are within the permissible legal, constitutional boundaries that have been set by courts," said Oshiro (D, Aiea-Halawa).

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110121_Senate_drops_rule_requiring_invocation.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on January 21, 2011, 09:50:32 AM
More efforts to appease a handful of cry babies. 

Senate drops rule requiring invocation
By B.J. Reyes
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 21, 2011

A day after opening the 2011 session with an invocation from entertainer Danny Kaleikini, the state Senate adopted rules to do away with the tradition of beginning its daily sessions with a word of prayer or other such appeals.

By unanimous voice vote yesterday, senators adopted rules that omitted a previous section stipulating each day's session start with an invocation. The session began without one.
House leaders, meanwhile, were still drafting their chamber rules with the issue under careful scrutiny. Members opened yesterday's session with Rep. Pono Chong performing the invocation. Chong (D, Maunawili-Kaneohe) asked only that members observe a moment of silence for personal reflection.

A three-member Senate committee last year looked into the invocation practice after the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii wrote to both the Senate and state House in August with complaints about "decidedly Christian prayers."

That followed the arrest last April of a protester who disrupted a Senate invocation. Mitch Kahle, president of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State, was acquitted of disorderly conduct in November and is now suing the Senate and state sheriffs, alleging he was assaulted and improperly detained.

Senate rules previously included language stating: "Each day's sitting of the Senate shall open with an invocation."

Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, majority leader, said the new rules are flexible and allow the chamber to include invocations at its discretion, such as for opening day.

"The Senate will continue to explore the issue and can develop a policy for the proper implementation of invocations that is constitutionally sound," said Galuteria (D, Downtown-Waikiki).

Only Sen. Sam Slom, the chamber's lone Republican, voiced opposition to the exclusion of invocations.

"I think it's important that we stress the need that as smart as we may be, as intelligent as we may be, that we can still call on someone higher to help us and guide us," said Slom (R, Diamond Head-Hawaii Kai). "I think for us to take this out of our rules and also to, by omission, tell the community that we no longer think that this is important — I think that this is a mistake."

The Senate invocation committee recommended a new policy that would have allowed the invocations to continue, with restrictions, including that they be nonsectarian and make no reference to particular deities or central religious figures.

Senators ultimately decided to do away with the invocations rather than implement difficult-to-enforce restrictions.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1983 ruled legislative invocations are constitutional, because such prayers are deeply embedded in the history and tradition of the nation.

Rep. Blake Oshiro, House majority leader, said leadership was not looking at abolishing the practice, but instead was seeking guidance from the Attorney General's Office. Once the rules are drafted, they would be put to the full chamber for a vote.

"We do want to make sure that we are within the permissible legal, constitutional boundaries that have been set by courts," said Oshiro (D, Aiea-Halawa).

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110121_Senate_drops_rule_requiring_invocation.html

by unanimous vote

we haven't seen that too often recently


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 07:35:32 AM
Not sure if Senator Slom (the only Republican in the senate) participated, but at least eight of them were Democrats.  Too bad the senate is trying to appease one paranoid anti-religious extremist (Mitch Kahle). 

Nine state senators pray before session starts
By Mark Niesse
Associated Press

POSTED: 09:39 p.m. HST, Jan 26, 2011

A group of nine Hawaii senators held hands, bowed their heads and sought God's blessing today, signaling that they'll still pray despite a vote last week to abandon official invocations.

Fears of court challenges compelled the state Senate to end prayers, making it the first legislative body in the nation to do so.

The informal prayer today took place in the Senate chamber before the daily lawmaking session, convened in such a way so as not to contradict the decision to remove invocations from Senate business.

"The message is that not all senators have eliminated prayer," said Sen. Will Espero (D, Ewa-Ewa Beach-Lower Waipahu), who organized the group. "We're well within the confines of the law."

The 25-member Senate changed its rules in a unanimous voice vote last Thursday to end prayers after the American Civil Liberties Union sent lawmakers a letter complaining that the invocations often referenced Jesus Christ, contravening the separation of church and state.

Senate leaders said they wanted to avoid the potential for breaking the law, but lawmakers who participated in the quiet prayer today said their faith has a place in their work.

"It's nice to start off the day with a prayer because we need all the help we can get," said Sen. Mike Gabbard (D, Kalaeloa-Makakilo).

The ACLU of Hawaii declined to comment today. The ACLU previously has said the Senate's action to remove prayers helps create an environment where everyone feels welcome regardless of spiritual beliefs.

Senate President Shan Tsutsui, who did not participate in the prayer session, said he condoned their independent movement to keep prayer alive.

"It's a matter of free speech," said Tsutsui (D, Wailuku-Kahului). "We do encourage members, at their own will and desire, to go ahead and engage in prayer."

He said prayers could be held in the Senate in the future because the chamber's rules are silent on the issue following last week's vote.

The brief prayer asked God to bless senators' choices and sought guidance to do right for the people they represent, said participant Sen. Pohai Ryan (D, Lanikai-Waimanalo).

"Government and faith should be separate. But just because I voted against it doesn't mean I'm not a spiritual person," Ryan said.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/114704719.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on January 29, 2011, 10:06:54 AM
Since this was passed with a unanimous vote obviously the majority of the Senate thought this was the right thing to do.

Other than you saying so, I see no evidence this protestor was paranoid or an extremist.   In fact he was exercising his first ammendment right and he was acquited  on all charges

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLvn5p2Ztdo


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 10:49:26 AM
KNIGHT: Appeasing the gods, Hawaii style
State government throws Jesus off a cliff
By Robert Knight -The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In the state where pagan natives once threw people off cliffs to placate the gods, the Hawaiian state Senate has voted to end the practice of opening its sessions with prayer.

It’s probably just silly Internet prattle that some of the more intemperate civil liberties advocates want to follow this up by throwing pastors into Kilauea, the volcano home of the fire goddess Pele.

The Jan. 21 vote came after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened to sue because of a single complaint by Mitch Kahle, founder of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church.

The sticking point is that some speakers invoke Jesus, which sends the ACLU into a bout of “separation of church and state anxiety syndrome.” It seems that they are functionally “anti-Christ.”

The phrase “separation of church and state,” of course, appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution and was derived from a Jan. 1, 1802, letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury, Conn., Baptist Association assuring them that no particular Christian denomination would be declared a state religion. The liberal U.S. Supreme Court picked up on this nearly a century-and-a-half later and concocted an extraconstitutional doctrine that the ACLU has wielded like a pineapple scythe against public religious symbols or prayers.

During the period he sent the letter, Jefferson attended weekly Christian services held in the House of Representatives. No historical text as far as I know includes references during those services to Pele or to Buddha or even to Islam. Frequent mention, however, was made of Jesus Christ, since the overwhelming majority of the Founders and the legislators at the time were professing Christians.

According to the Associated Press, the Hawaii Senate is the first state Senate to ban prayer. In 2008, the 7thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2005 ruling by U.S. District Judge David Hamilton that had barred the Indiana House from mentioning Jesus in opening prayers.

President Obama then appointed Judge Hamilton to the same court that had overturned Judge Hamilton‘s ruling, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him 59-39 on Nov. 19, 2009. The sole Republican “yes” vote? Indiana’s own Sen. Richard G. Lugar.

The ACLU‘s determination to silence prayer in the Hawaii Senate chamber contrasts with their own indifference in 2009, when the Hawaii Senate approved a resolution declaring Sept. 24, 2009, to be “Islam Day” on a 22-3 vote. The Senate‘s mighty Republican bloc of two rejected it, along with a single Democrat who worried about church-state separation.

When legislators celebrate Islam, that’s “multiculturalism.” When they allow individuals to pray according to their own faiths, that’s unconstitutional establishment of religion. It makes perfect sense if you think about it long enough to make your head hurt.

On Jan. 21, the GOP Hawaii Senate bloc of one - Sam Slom - argued for making prayers voluntary, rather than getting rid of them entirely. “As intelligent as we may be, we can still call on someone higher to help us and guide us,” he argued in vain, ignoring the evidence that his assessment of the legislators’ collective IQ might be, well, overly generous.

Perhaps the Hawaii Senate could get around the whole thing by opening legislative sessions with invocations to Pele. They could call it a celebration of the Aloha State’s cultural heritage, and blunt ACLU objections by insisting they are referring to a currently famous person instead of the volcanic deity.

They could even present Pele with a commemorative soccer ball. That might appease him.

Robert Knight is senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/25/appeasing-the-gods-hawaii-style/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 11:00:36 AM
bb, it's clear what your focus is on here... move this to religious...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 11:03:44 AM
Absolutely not.  This is clearly a political topic.  It's been on this board for three years. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on January 29, 2011, 11:19:11 AM
Bum - Do you feel that people who are opposed to the mixture of religion and politics are out to get religious people like yourself?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 11:21:47 AM
Absolutely not.  This is clearly a political topic.  It's been on this board for three years.  
Really?  You started this thread with your main point being about what an "integral part prayer is in our public life" and it looks like you've focused on that matter in one way or another.  Sounds like a topic for religious to me.  Hey that's what Ron told me, if it leans more religious, send it that way...  This absolutely leans more religious.

move it on over buddy :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 11:25:22 AM
If you don't want to do it, I can do it for you if you want :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 11:27:42 AM
Really?  You started this thread with your main point being about what an "integral part prayer is in our public life" and it looks like you've focused on that matter in one way or another.  Sounds like a topic for religious to me.  Hey that's what Ron told me, if it leans more religious, send it that way...  This absolutely leans more religious.

move it on over buddy :)


Nope.  It's about the First Amendment.  If you don't like it, don't read it.  It's been here for years.  It stays.  Quit trying to start an unnecessary dispute.   

I'm sure you don't want your threads and posts moved.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on January 29, 2011, 11:28:49 AM
I'm still tyring to figure out the political relevance of Bum's thread about Lawrence Taylor being charged with statutory rape and solicitation of a prostitute


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on January 29, 2011, 11:30:57 AM
Nope.  It's about the First Amendment.  If you don't like it, don't read it.  It's been here for years.  It stays.  Quit trying to start an unnecessary dispute.   

I'm sure you don't want your threads and posts moved.   :)

nice job Bum - threaten him with possibility of moving his threads ..... on what grounds?

btw - the protestor in the Hawaiin Senate was exercising his first amendment rights which was why he was acquited.

Is that what you're referrring to ?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 11:39:32 AM
Nope.  It's about the First Amendment.  If you don't like it, don't read it.  It's been here for years.  It stays.  Quit trying to start an unnecessary dispute.   

I'm sure you don't want your threads and posts moved.   :)
actually for all I care you can start deleting or moving all of my posts/threads.  Seriously, I give you permission to start deleting my threads or posts as fast as you can manage.  I won't even say anything about it... No bitch will from me.  You can copy this post and show it to Ron if I complain. Move them or delete them at will as you wish. 

This thread's focus is on religion and you made that clear from the starting post.  Don't spew first amendment, everything on getbig is about the first Amerndemnt lol....  This thread needs to be moved and if you don't, I will. :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 11:42:33 AM
nice job Bum - threaten him with possibility of moving his threads ..... on what grounds?

btw - the protestor in the Hawaiin Senate was exercising his first amendment rights which was why he was acquited.

Is that what you're referrring to ?
seriously, he can delete my threads or move them as he wishes...  This thread doesn't belong here and if he wants to meltdown and move my threads, I'll just get a laugh out of it...

Go for it BB....


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 11:43:36 AM
Countdown to moved.... 3...2...

lol


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 11:44:58 AM
actually for all I care you can start deleting or moving all of my posts/threads.  Seriously, I give you permission to start deleting my threads or posts as fast as you can manage.  I won't even say anything about it... No bitch will from me.  You can copy this post and show it to Ron if I complain. Move them or delete them at will as you wish. 

This thread's focus is on religion and you made that clear from the starting post.  Don't spew first amendment, everything on getbig is about the first Amerndemnt lol....  This thread needs to be moved and if you don't, I will. :)

I'm not moving the thread.  It has been here since 2007.  A number of people have posted in the thread.  It plainly deals with the First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion and their involvement in public life.  If you have a problem with the fact it deals with religion, then like I said, don't read it.  Pretty simple.  Same choice everyone on the board has with threads they don't like.      

And yes, if you want play the move-the-threads game, I'll play today.  It's really unnecessary, but I'll play.  I have a little free time.   :)  


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 11:45:11 AM
Countdown to moved.... 3...2...

lol

LOL


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on January 29, 2011, 11:47:41 AM
Countdown to moved.... 3...2...

lol

while you're at it move the LT thread to the sports board


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 11:59:40 AM
I'm not moving the thread.  It has been here since 2007.  A number of people have posted in the thread.  It plainly deals with the First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion and their involvement in public life.  If you have a problem with the fact it deals with religion, then like I said, don't read it.  Pretty simple.  Same choice everyone on the board has with threads they don't like.      

And yes, if you want play the move-the-threads game, I'll play today.  It's really unnecessary, but I'll play.  I have a little free time.   :)  
Ok... let's play move the threads...  I should have moved it the first time I saw it anyway.  I honestly don't think this thread belongs here and if you feel like striking back by moving my threads, go for it, I won't cry over it.



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 12:01:36 PM
Oh no!   :'(  lol . . . .


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 12:03:38 PM
Oh no!   :'(  lol . . . .
does that mean you're not going to strike back by deleting or moving my threads lol...  Come on... go for it dude...  You can do it!!!! :D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2011, 12:06:55 PM
does that mean you're not going to strike back by deleting or moving my threads lol...  Come on... go for it dude...  You can do it!!!! :D

Oh it's war!  LOL . . . .


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2011, 12:11:42 PM
Oh it's war!  LOL . . . .
You will either 1.  pm stella and ask her to move it back or option 2. pm Ron and ask him to move it back...

I honestly thought this thread needed moved here.  Your focus was on the religious aspect.  I was right in moving this thread.  The rest is up to you and you can do whatever you want about it.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on January 30, 2011, 04:31:09 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1eFdUSnaQM


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 02, 2011, 07:13:23 PM
Rep. Giffords' husband to address National Prayer Breakfast
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband will speak at the Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on the congresswoman's behalf, her office announced Wednesday.

Capt. Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut, will deliver closing prayer at the event, the Arizona congresswoman's office said in a statement.

President Barack Obama will also speak at the breakfast, an annual event in Washington for 58 years.

Giffords was making "lightning speed" progress for a brain injury and had the drain for brain fluid removed from her head, her doctors said last week.

Authorities say that Giffords was the primary target of a shooting that left six people dead and 13 more injured in Tucson, Arizona on January 8.

Giffords and Kelly were married in 2007.

The National Prayer Breakfast was founded in 1953 and has been attended by every sitting president.

The White House will be streaming Obama's remarks live on its website.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/02/rep-giffords-husband-to-close-national-prayer-breakfast/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 03, 2011, 05:53:44 PM
Obama discusses faith at National Prayer Breakfast
By Associated Press

POSTED: 06:16 a.m. HST, Feb 03, 2011

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama said today that his faith has deepened during his two years in the White House, and he urged lawmakers to rely on their own faith to build a spirit of civility in Washington following the shooting of a congresswoman.

Speaking at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Obama said that at a time of bitter partisanship, lawmakers must find a way to be open to the ideas of others, while staying true to their core principles.

"I pray that God will show me and all of us the limits of our understanding and open our ears and our hearts to our brothers and sisters with different points of view, that such reminders of our shared hopes and our shared dreams and our shared limitations as children of God will reveal a way forward that we can travel together," he said.

Obama's remarks Thursday built on his calls for civility in the days after last month's shooting rampage in Arizona, which left six dead. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head, and is recovering at a rehab center in Houston.

Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, attended Thursday's breakfast.

"We are with them for the long haul, and God is with them for the long haul," Obama said of Giffords and Kelly.

The president said he also prayed that "a better day will dawn" over Egypt, where violence has erupted between supporters and opponents of President Hosni Mubarak.

"We pray that violence in Egypt will end, and the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized," Obama said.

The president also directly addressed questions about his religion Thursday, saying his Christianity has been a "sustaining force" during times when he and his family's faith has been questioned.

"We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us, but whether we're being true to our conscience and true to our God," Obama said.

Some conservatives and political opponents have questioned Obama's Christian faith. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll in August found that 18 percent of people wrongly believe Obama is Muslim — up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009. Just 34 percent said they thought Obama is Christian.

First lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and several lawmakers also attended the annual breakfast, which every president since Dwight Eisenhower has participated in.

Obama said he had prayed for God's intervention on any number or occasions, not always on the weightiest issues of the day.

At one point, the president said he has prayed, "Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance, where there will be boys. Lord, let her skirt get longer as she travels to that place." Twelve-year-old Malia is the older of his two daughters. Sasha is 9.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/115186784.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on February 05, 2011, 09:12:03 PM
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/373357/february-03-2011/crisis-in-egypt---anderson-cooper---bill-o-reilly


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: big L dawg on February 05, 2011, 09:38:40 PM
religion is so barbaric...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on February 05, 2011, 10:01:02 PM
religion is so barbaric...

It's definitely funny


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 19, 2011, 10:31:31 AM
Obama At Easter Prayer Breakfast: 'Resurrection ... Puts Everything Else In Perspective'

(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/268223/thumbs/r-OBAMA-EASTER-PRAYER-BREAKFAST-large570.jpg)
WASHINGTON -- Pausing to observe Holy Week amidst war and the policy struggles, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the agony of Jesus Christ through death and resurrection puts mere political struggle "in perspective."

For the second year running, Obama hosted an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House, and the East Room was filled with administration officials and clergy from across the country.

Obama said "critical national debates" are raging, and "my plate has been full as well. The in-box keeps accumulating. But then comes Holy Week ...

"As busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there is something about the resurrection ... of Our Savior Jesus Christ that puts everything else in perspective."

Obama spoke just before heading to a town meeting in Virginia on his deficit plan -- the start of a cost-to-coast tour promoting his fiscal blueprint as more balanced than the one advocated by congressional Republicans.

Obama has used previous prayer breakfasts to underscore the depth of his Christian faith in the face of polls indicating some Americans question his religious beliefs. Last August, a Pew Research Center poll found 18 percent wrongly believe that Obama is a Muslim.

On Tuesday, Obama recounted the story of Christ's march to Calvary, the crucifixion and resurrection, the "unfathomable grace" of taking on the sins of the world.

"This amazing grace calls me to reflect, and it calls me to pray," he said.

Obama said his daughters help keep things in perspective for him, and so does having a "strong spouse.... But nothing beats Scripture and the reminder of the Eternal."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/19/obama-at-easter-prayer-br_n_850944.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 19, 2011, 10:38:22 AM
DID HE GO TO CHURCH THIS PAST SUNDAY FO PALM SUNDAY?   


YES OR NO?   




Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: MCWAY on April 20, 2011, 04:26:11 AM
Obama At Easter Prayer Breakfast: 'Resurrection ... Puts Everything Else In Perspective'

(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/268223/thumbs/r-OBAMA-EASTER-PRAYER-BREAKFAST-large570.jpg)
WASHINGTON -- Pausing to observe Holy Week amidst war and the policy struggles, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the agony of Jesus Christ through death and resurrection puts mere political struggle "in perspective."

For the second year running, Obama hosted an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House, and the East Room was filled with administration officials and clergy from across the country.

Obama said "critical national debates" are raging, and "my plate has been full as well. The in-box keeps accumulating. But then comes Holy Week ...

"As busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there is something about the resurrection ... of Our Savior Jesus Christ that puts everything else in perspective."

Obama spoke just before heading to a town meeting in Virginia on his deficit plan -- the start of a cost-to-coast tour promoting his fiscal blueprint as more balanced than the one advocated by congressional Republicans.

Obama has used previous prayer breakfasts to underscore the depth of his Christian faith in the face of polls indicating some Americans question his religious beliefs. Last August, a Pew Research Center poll found 18 percent wrongly believe that Obama is a Muslim.

On Tuesday, Obama recounted the story of Christ's march to Calvary, the crucifixion and resurrection, the "unfathomable grace" of taking on the sins of the world.

"This amazing grace calls me to reflect, and it calls me to pray," he said.

Obama said his daughters help keep things in perspective for him, and so does having a "strong spouse.... But nothing beats Scripture and the reminder of the Eternal."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/19/obama-at-easter-prayer-br_n_850944.html

I said this six months ago, Beach. When his campaign starts rolling, Obama will get the Holy Ghost. I just figured it'd be within half a year or so before election day. It appears he's ahead of schedule.



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 20, 2011, 09:19:22 AM
I said this six months ago, Beach. When his campaign starts rolling, Obama will get the Holy Ghost. I just figured it'd be within half a year or so before election day. It appears he's ahead of schedule.



Yep.  Pandering.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 20, 2011, 09:21:50 AM
Yep.  Pandering.

Only idiots really buy into his lies anymore.   Seriously, who the hell can believe a damn word from this jerkoff?  A so called "DEVOUT" Christian who spends Pslam Sunday on the golf course.  got it.   ::)  ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 20, 2011, 09:25:36 AM
Only idiots really buy into his lies anymore.   Seriously, who the hell can believe a damn word from this jerkoff?  A so called "DEVOUT" Christian who spends Pslam Sunday on the golf course.  got it.   ::)  ::)

I've questioned the sincerity of his convictions from day 1. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: MCWAY on April 20, 2011, 09:30:35 AM
Only idiots really buy into his lies anymore.   Seriously, who the hell can believe a damn word from this jerkoff?  A so called "DEVOUT" Christian who spends Pslam Sunday on the golf course.  got it.   ::)  ::)

At least, he's not speaking in tongues....YET (that may change, depending on his poll numbers)!!!!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 20, 2011, 09:32:28 AM
At least, he's not speaking in tongues....YET (that may change, depending on his poll numbers)!!!!

LOL


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: 240 is Back on April 20, 2011, 09:52:16 AM
I'm betting giffords' is the october surprise next year.

they'll keep her under wraps.  her appearance in some swing state political rally for obama with 60,000 people in attendance (let's say, the thursday before a tuesday election) will give him a little bump.

Would anyone here put it past him?  Not as cool as a bin laden tape endorsing his opponent, but will def draw an emotional response.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 20, 2011, 09:54:57 AM
You have been playing that obl crap for years.  Give it up already. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Roger Bacon on April 21, 2011, 04:58:36 AM
Shouldn't this thread be on the religious board? ???


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: loco on April 21, 2011, 05:13:21 AM
Shouldn't this thread be on the religious board? ???

Why?  It's about government and politicians mixing church and state.  It's political.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: MCWAY on April 21, 2011, 06:02:38 AM
Why?  It's about government and politicians mixing church and state.  It's political.

EXACTLY!!! And, you can bet your house that Obama will hit the black churches HARD within the next year or so. Yet, we will hear nary a PEEP from all the "separation of church and state" honks on the left.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 22, 2011, 03:40:01 PM
That group needs to get a life.

As Day of Prayer Nears, Group Picks Fight in Arizona to Eliminate It
Published April 22, 2011
FoxNews.com
 
Gov. Jan Brewer is the latest official to try to stamp out a lawsuit filed by an atheist group suing to stop the annual Day of Prayer celebrated nationally and among the states.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has made elimination of the Day of Prayer a central cause of its existence, filed the suit last month to prevent Brewer from declaring May 5 this year's "Day of Prayer" in Arizona.

Filing the suit on behalf of four Arizonans identified of nonbelievers in religion, the foundation has also questioned the constitutionality of Brewer's proclamation in 2009 and 2010 as well as her Day of Prayer proclamation for the state budget on Jan. 17, 2010.

On Thursday, the governor told a court in Phoenix that she is in compliance with federal and state constitutional provisions. She also addressed the lawsuit during a prayer breakfast in which she said proclaiming a day of prayer is an American tradition dating back to George Washington's presidency.

"The lawsuit to stop our prayer proclamations is nothing more than an attempt to drive religious expression from the public square," she said. "I intend to fight that lawsuit -- vigorously -- every step of the way."

The group tried a similar tack against President Obama to prevent a national celebration of the day, but a three-judge panel on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed the case last week, ruling that the Freedom From Religion Foundation lacked standing. Brewer said she's confident of a similar outcome in the Arizona case.

The group is seeking a rehearing of the case against Obama from the entire 7th Circuit Court.

"Our challenge is so strong, our claim is so correct," Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. "The First Amendment says, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.' No law should mean no law!"

Gaylor called the court's ruling "cowardly," saying the group would have won if the appeals court panel had ruled on the merits of the case as a federal district court judge did last year in a ruling that favored the foundation.

Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force applauded the appeals court's decision.

"Since the days of our Founding Fathers, the government has protected and encouraged public prayer and other expressions of dependence on the Almighty," she said in a statement. "Prayer is an indispensable part of our heritage, and as citizens, we must remain faithful in our commitment to intercede for our nation during this pivotal and challenging time."

Last fall, the group lost a legal challenge in Colorado that alleged the state violated its constitution by recognizing the National Day of Prayer. But a district court judge in Denver dismissed the case, saying the state proclamation is a lawful expression of an individual's right to practice religion.
Presidents have been annually marking the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer since 1988. The tradition dates back to 1952, when President Harry Truman signed a congressional resolution into law. Before 1988, presidents could choose when to hold the annual day of prayer.
"Congress and the president of the United States have no business telling me or any other citizen to pray ... much less setting aside an entire day for prayer every year and even telling me what to pray about," Gaylor said.

But Gaylor's group is climbing an uphill battle that merely starts with the National Day of Prayer. Governors have been consistently proclaiming prayer days on more than just one day each year.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry this week proclaimed a three day period, from Friday to Sunday, as Days of Prayer for rain in the state, which is in the midst of a terrible drought and battling a massive wildfire covering nearly 2 million acres. Some areas not seeing wet weather for nearly three months, matching rainfall deficit records dating back to the 1930s, the governor said.

"I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life," he said in the proclamation.

Last month, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley called for a day of prayer for students in his state, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Gov. Bob Riley, who proclaimed the first statewide day of prayer for students in 2006. Bentley asked residents to pray for students who face challenges from peer pressure to abuse drugs and alcohol to school violence to low self-esteem.

Riley was also among four Gulf Coast state governors last year who held a day of prayer more than two months after the BP oil spill. The other states were Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/22/brewer-holy-fight-atheist-group-day-prayer/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 23, 2011, 09:25:43 AM
Texas Governor Asks Residents to Pray for Rain Amid Extreme Drought
Published April 23, 2011
FoxNews.com

Gov. Rick Perry, a devout Christian, is calling on all Texans to pray for rain as most of the state battles an extreme and exceptional drought.
Perry has proclaimed a three-day period, from Friday to Sunday, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the state.

"I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life," he wrote in the proclamation.

The drought has led to massive wildfires that have scored more than 1.8 million acres since last year, claimed the lives of two firefighters and destroyed nearly 400 homes. Perry declared a state of emergency in December.

This isn't the first time Perry has asked Texans for prayer in the midst of a disaster. Last year, he joined three other Gulf Coast state governors – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley -- who held a day of prayer more than two months after the BP oil spill.

While there hasn't been any public criticism of Perry's religious response so far, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is being targeted for her Day of Prayer proclamations.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has made elimination of the Day of Prayer a central cause of its existence, filed a lawsuit last month to prevent Brewer from declaring May 5 this year's "Day of Prayer" in Arizona.

Filing the suit on behalf of four Arizonans identified as nonbelievers in religion, the foundation has also questioned the constitutionality of Brewer's proclamation in 2009 and 2010 as well as her Day of Prayer proclamation for the state budget on Jan. 17, 2010.

On Thursday, the governor told a court in Phoenix that she is in compliance with federal and state constitutional provisions. She also addressed the lawsuit during a prayer breakfast in which she said proclaiming a day of prayer is an American tradition dating back to George Washington's presidency.

"The lawsuit to stop our prayer proclamations is nothing more than an attempt to drive religious expression from the public square," she said. "I intend to fight that lawsuit -- vigorously -- every step of the way."

The group tried a similar tack against President Obama to prevent a National Day of Prayer, but a three-judge panel on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed the case last week, ruling that the Freedom From Religion Foundation lacked standing. Brewer said she's confident of a similar outcome in the Arizona case.

Presidents have been annually marking days of prayer since 1952, when President Harry Truman signed a congressional resolution into law. Congress amended the law in 1988 to make the first Thursday in May the National Day of Prayer.

The Wisconsin group is seeking a rehearing of the case against Obama from the entire 7th Circuit Court.

"Our challenge is so strong, our claim is so correct," Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. "The First Amendment says, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.' No law should mean no law!"

Last fall, the group lost a legal challenge in Colorado that alleged the state violated its constitution by recognizing the National Day of Prayer. But a district court judge in Denver dismissed the case, saying the state proclamation is a lawful expression of an individual's right to practice religion.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/23/texas-governor-asks-residents-pray-rain-amid-extreme-drought/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 24, 2011, 01:49:51 PM
(http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/04/24/t1larg.obamas-easter-church.t1larg.jpg)
Obamas attend local church on Easter Sunday
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 24, 2011

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama and his family attended the Easter Sunday service at Shiloh Baptist Church, which was founded by freed slaves in 1863.

The first family entered the church to a standing ovation, then joined in singing with the choir, backed by a live band that included a guitar, keyboard and drums.

Rev. Wallace Charles Smith welcomed the Obamas, noting the congregants pray for them every Sunday.

At collection time, Obama and his daughters gave money in envelopes provided at their seats. The first family left after two hours, as the service approached its conclusion.

The president and his family have attended services occasionally since moving to the White House in January 2009. Last Easter, the Obamas worshipped at a Methodist church.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/04/24/obamas.easter/index.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 24, 2011, 01:58:39 PM
What a phoney. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 24, 2011, 02:06:41 PM
He's looking for the camera.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 24, 2011, 02:08:40 PM
Its really sad how blacks allow themselves to be played for such fools for this joke. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 25, 2011, 04:35:45 AM
WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation
FoxNation.com ^ | April 25 | Staff




President Obama failed to release a statement or a proclamation recognizing the national observance of Easter Sunday, Christianity's most sacred holiday. By comparison, the White House has released statements recognizing the observance of major Muslim holidays and released statements in 2010 on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.


(Excerpt) Read more at nation.foxnews.com ...



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 25, 2011, 08:47:45 AM
Obama Chose To Worship On Easter At a Radical Church
David Horowitz's NewsReal Blog ^ | April 25, 2011 | Joseph Klein






President Obama and the first family attended Easter services at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.  As the mainstream press made sure to point out, this church was founded in 1863 by freed slaves.

MSNBC proclaimed:

Obama attends Easter service at historic church: The first family enters Shiloh Baptist Church to a round of applause
It would be such a heart-warming picture of religious devotion except that the mainstream press neglected to mention a couple of things about the church which Obama chose for his Easter worship. The Shiloh Baptist Church hosted an anti-Israel hate fest in 2009 at the same time as an associate minister of the church, Adam Russell Taylor, was  serving as an Obama administration White House Fellow in the Office of Cabinet Affairs, Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.


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



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 25, 2011, 02:39:07 PM
WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation
FoxNation.com ^ | April 25 | Staff




President Obama failed to release a statement or a proclamation recognizing the national observance of Easter Sunday, Christianity's most sacred holiday. By comparison, the White House has released statements recognizing the observance of major Muslim holidays and released statements in 2010 on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.


(Excerpt) Read more at nation.foxnews.com ...



Shocking.  Not.   ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on June 08, 2011, 01:56:09 PM
Perry Declares Day Of Fasting And Prayer For Nation
Gov. Rick Perry is asking governors from across the country to come to Texas in August for a day of prayer and fasting for the nation.
(http://media.graytvinc.com/images/Rick-Perry-State-Of-State-2.jpg)

AUSTIN (June 6, 2011)—Gov. Rick Perry has proclaimed Aug. 6 as a day of prayer and fasting for the nation and has invited all of the governor’s in the U.S. to Texas to join him in a prayer meeting that the American Family Association is hosting at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Perry also urged other governors to issue similar proclamations, urging prayer that day for “unity and righteousness for our states, nation and mankind.”

“Given the trials that beset our nation and world, from the global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and continued debasement of our culture, I believe it is time to convene the leaders from each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel,” Gov Perry said.

“I urge all Americans of faith to pray on that day for the healing of our country, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of enduring values as our guiding force.”

At least one governor doesn’t plan to attend.

A spokesman for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is too busy to make it on Aug. 6, a spokeswoman said.

Geralyn Lasher told The Detroit News that Snyder expects to be at work focusing on economic development and has plenty to keep him busy at home, despite the early completion of the Michigan state budget for the coming fiscal year.

Lasher says Snyder supports religious events such as the National Day of Prayer.

http://www.kwtx.com/centraltexasvotes/localheadlines/Perry_Declares_Day_Of_Fasting_And_Prayer_For_Nation_123262458.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 15, 2011, 08:52:42 PM
Waaaaa!

Perry faces lawsuit over Christian rally
Reported by: Chase Thomason

“This is Governor Rick Perry and I'm inviting you to join your fellow Americans in a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our nation.”

Governor Perry is promoting what's being called “The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis”.

Sylas Politte, student pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Lubbock, said the prayer is needed.

“If you look through where Texas has been just since January, with the wildfires and drought, some would say of biblical proportions,” Politte said.

Unfortunately for the governor, others aren't seeing it that way. The “Freedom From Religion Foundation”, an atheist group, wants a court to declare Perry’s connection to the event unconstitutional.

“I don't see it as a violation for the fact that he's not forcing anyone to do it. According to the constitution, we as the people have freedom of religion and to assemble,” Politte said.

“It's not in violation of church and state, but actually what they're claiming is that it's a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment,” said Lubbock attorney, Curtis Parrish.

Parrish said this group from Wisconsin is claiming that the governor has in effect established a religious act and they consider that to be a violation of the constitution.

“They received a favorable ruling on this in a Wisconsin Court recently. This has given them the motivation to go around to other states and other government entities to try to get these prayer days done away with,” Parrish said.

“It lines up with a trend throughout history. I think it's really encouraging that the governor has called for a day of fasting and prayer,” Politte said.

Despite the lawsuit, Perry said he's going forward with the daylong event. “I think about those who talk about Christian faith as being intolerant,” said Perry. “Isn't it just the height of intolerance to say you can't gather together in public and pray to our God?”

Parrish said there may be merit to some of the suit's claims, but he doubts a judge will rule against the governor.

"There are prayers offered in a government setting all over the nation including the U.S. Congress. The Supreme Court has traditionally upheld those as being okay and not a violation of the establishment clause because it's traditional,” Parrish said.

The rally will take place August 6th at the Houston Reliant Stadium.

http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/news/local/story/governor-perry-texas-lubbock-pray-fast-crisis/l6ff7Hr5GkWsHoir5bP8xQ.cspx


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 23, 2011, 12:36:17 AM
Well imagine that.  Obama having conversations with God over the debt issue.  :)

Obama Prays for Solution to Debt Crisis
By Paul Bedard
Posted: July 21, 2011

President Obama on Wednesday prayed with several Christian leaders to find an answer to the debt ceiling crisis that doesn't undercut federal programs to the poor.

Opening a White House meeting with a diverse group of Christian religious leaders, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner said she reached across a table to hold the president's hand "to pray for God's wisdom."

And at one point in the following discussion, the president referenced Matthew 25 from the Bible in praying that the cuts envisioned by his negotiating team don't fall on "the least of these."

[See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]

Said Skinner, the former Congressional Black Caucus executive director who heads the Skinner Leadership Institute, "it was amazing that the president himself used that term in his reference to those in need because as a Christian, he too knows that is the word of God."

Those in the meeting were not allowed to directly quote much of what the president said.

The group was there to seek the president's help for their "Circle of Protection" effort, an international plea by spiritual leaders to keep programs for the poor both in the United States and overseas safe from the budget cuts.

Many of the leaders pressed Obama to especially save programs to feed the poor in famine-ravaged continents, like Africa, noting that the are among the discretionary spending plans facing the knife.

After their prayer, Skinner said that Obama "was moved, and I think he was moved because he was prayed for he was moved because somebody was thinking of him as a person."

[See who's been visiting the White House.]

Another religious leader at the meeting said that Obama, quoting Lincoln, noted, "If you don't pray before you get here, you pray when you get here and that the presidency drives you to your knees. And in the middle of all the crises our country faces that was a moment of, I think, not only reflection but refreshment for everybody in the room."

The leaders spoke on a conference call with reporters today. Included in the Wednesday meeting were White House advisers Valerie Jarrett, Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, and Director of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois. [See the month's best political cartoons.]

Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, was left with the impression that Obama would fight cuts to programs for the poor. "He indicated again yesterday that the sacrifice in budget or deficit deal should not be born by the least of these. He used that phrase, 'The lease of these,' and of course we know that's from Matthew 25 where Jesus says, 'As you've done to the least of these, you've done to me.' So that was the reason we were all there, that's the text that brings us there and it's always heartening to hear a political leader refer to that text, that he knows that text."

[See a collection of political cartoons on President Obama.]

Wallis also said that the nation's Christian leaders are ready to take Obama's message to their followers to explain what's going on in the budget talks.

"It would be a powerful thing if our pulpits could be linked to the Bully Pulpit here and together we could say, however else we do this, however we put our fiscal house in order, we can't do it with more sacrifice from those who are already sacrificing and hurting so much. So we'd like to link our pulpits with the Bully Pulpit here and help the American people understand what's at stake and who's really going to be impact by all of this. So I felt encouraged."

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/07/21/obama-prays-for-solution-to-debt-crisis


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 24, 2011, 09:29:24 PM
Funny.   :)

Public Policy Poll: God Commands 52% Approval
Sunday, 24 Jul 2011
By Mike Tighe

Let’s put political approval/disapproval ratings aside for a bit and consider this: God commands some impressive approval scores in a Public Policy Polling (PPP) tally, moreso among women than men.

Of course, you’ll also have to set aside the rather jaundiced phrasing of the Democratic-leaning poll’s introduction to its God questions, “If God exists . . . ” not to mention the poll’s reference to God as an “it,” no doubt in a quest for gender neutrality.

With the ground rules established — and let’s just stipulate that the Creator exists, even if PPP won’t — the July 15-17 survey of 928 voters found God receiving a solid 59-9 percent approval rating overall. Not too shabby, considering the fact that the same poll found participants putting Democrats and Republicans in Congress in a statistical tie for approval, at 33 percent each. Democrats’ disapproval is 54 percent and Republicans, 55.

God’s score for creating the universe blows away his (let’s call it a him, just for the sake of argument, or perhaps, to stay out of those debates over whether God is a he or a she) present score, with a very respectable 71 percent approval to a mere 5 percent disapproval. Women are more lenient, giving God a 72 percent approval, compared with just 70 percent from men. And 24 percent just aren’t sure.

Poll participants also endorse his performance with the animal kingdom, where he gets a 56-11 percent opposable thumbs up, as well as his dexterity with natural disasters, at 50-13 percent approval.

Women are more laudatory in both categories, at 55-38 percent approval overall, compared with 48-41 percent among men, and 54-35 percent approval on his handling of natural disasters from women, compared with 45-39 percent among men.

Of course, the figures don’t necessarily add up to 100 percent because, after all, only God is perfect.

Here’s how PPP posed the questions and tallied the responses:

Q7 If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of
its performance?
Approve ........................ ........................ .......... 52%
Disapprove.............. ........................ ................ 9%
Not sure ........................ ........................ .......... 40%
Q8 If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of
its handling of natural disasters?
Approve ........................ ........................ .......... 50%
Disapprove.............. ........................ ................ 13%
Not sure ........................ ........................ .......... 37%
Q9 If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of
its handling of animals?
Approve ........................ ........................ .......... 56%
Disapprove.............. ........................ ................ 11%
Not sure ........................ ........................ .......... 33%
Q10 If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of
its handling of creating the universe?
Approve ........................ ........................ .......... 71%
Disapprove.............. ........................ ................ 5%
Not sure ........................ ........................ .......... 24%

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/God-approval-poll-creator/2011/07/24/id/404610


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 26, 2011, 09:53:23 AM
Awesome.   :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J74y88YuSJ8


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 26, 2011, 07:09:05 PM
The Obama Administration saying something untrue?  No way . . . .

Texas Lawmaker Calls for Congressional Probe Into Ban of Christian Prayers at Military Funerals

By Todd Starnes
Published July 26, 2011
FoxNews.com

A Texas lawmaker is calling for a congressional investigation of the Houston National Cemetery after he went undercover and determined that cemetery officials are still preventing Christian prayers at the funerals of military veterans.

“The Obama administration continues to try to prevent the word ‘God’ from being used at the funerals of our heroes,” said. Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas).

“It’s unacceptable and I’m going to put a stop to it as fast as humanly possible,” Culberson told Fox News Radio. He attended a burial service at the cemetery undercover on July 8, when he says he witnessed volunteer members of the honor guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars being prohibited from using any references to God.

“The Obama administration had told the nation and me they were not interfering with the prayer said over the graves of veterans,” he said. “And I went undercover to personally verify that claim.” VA officials have strongly denied they’ve banned any religious speech – and have offered support for Arleen Ocasio, the cemetery’s director.

“The idea that invoking the name of God or Jesus is banned at VA national cemeteries is blatantly false,” said VA Press Secretary Josh Taylor in a written statement to Fox News Radio. “The truth is, VA’s policy protects veterans’ families’ rights to pray however they choose at our national cemeteries.”

Taylor declined to comment on the pending lawsuit or other ongoing legal proceedings, but did say, “No one should make judgments before all the facts are known.” Culberson said the commander of the honor guard was told by cemetery officials to approach a grieving widow to reconfirm that she wanted the word God mentioned at her husband’s graveside service.

“He quite correctly said as a Texan and a man of honor and integrity, ‘I’m not bothering that poor woman at this most terrible time of her life. We’re going to do the ritual,’” Culberson said. “Right in front of me, the VA directly and deliberately attempted to prevent the VFW from doing their magnificent, spiritual ritual over the grave of this fallen hero."

The cemetery is already the focus of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the VFW, an American Legion post and Houston’s National Memorial Ladies. They claim the VA banned members of the organizations from using the words “God” or “Jesus” at burial services.

They also allege they were banned from reciting prayers or using religious language during services unless families approved the text in advance. Culberson, who oversees the sub-committee responsible for funding the cemetery, said that he wants the cemetery director fired – and he’s willing to do whatever possible to make sure that happens.

“The cemetery director has to leave,” he said. “I will zero out her salary. If she attempts to work for the VA anywhere in the state of Texas her salary will be zero.”

“It makes my skin crawl that liberals are attempting to drive prayer out of a funeral ceremony for our heroes,” Culberson said. “We’re going to fix this so that no Obama liberal bureaucrat will interfere with the funeral of a hero.”

But Taylor said the rules set in place at the cemetery are meant to protect the grieving families.

“Put simply, VA policy puts the wishes of the veteran’s family above all else on the day it matters most – the day they pay their final respects to their loved ones,” Taylor said. "Out of respect for the families, VA’s policy exists to prevent anyone from disrespecting or interfering with a veteran’s private committal service.”

Controversy first surfaced nationally at the cemetery during a Memorial Day event when a Houston pastor was ordered by the VA to remove the name of Jesus from his prayer.

Culberson said he hopes to hold hearings on the cemetery in the fall.

“They will bury 10 to 20 American heroes today and the Obama administration is preventing prayers from being said over their gravesites – today, ” Culberson said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/26/texas-lawmaker-calls-for-congressional-probe-into-ban-christian-prayers-at/?test=latestnews


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 30, 2011, 11:06:23 AM
Waaaaa!

Perry faces lawsuit over Christian rally
Reported by: Chase Thomason

“This is Governor Rick Perry and I'm inviting you to join your fellow Americans in a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our nation.”

Governor Perry is promoting what's being called “The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis”.

Sylas Politte, student pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Lubbock, said the prayer is needed.

“If you look through where Texas has been just since January, with the wildfires and drought, some would say of biblical proportions,” Politte said.

Unfortunately for the governor, others aren't seeing it that way. The “Freedom From Religion Foundation”, an atheist group, wants a court to declare Perry’s connection to the event unconstitutional.

“I don't see it as a violation for the fact that he's not forcing anyone to do it. According to the constitution, we as the people have freedom of religion and to assemble,” Politte said.

“It's not in violation of church and state, but actually what they're claiming is that it's a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment,” said Lubbock attorney, Curtis Parrish.

Parrish said this group from Wisconsin is claiming that the governor has in effect established a religious act and they consider that to be a violation of the constitution.

“They received a favorable ruling on this in a Wisconsin Court recently. This has given them the motivation to go around to other states and other government entities to try to get these prayer days done away with,” Parrish said.

“It lines up with a trend throughout history. I think it's really encouraging that the governor has called for a day of fasting and prayer,” Politte said.

Despite the lawsuit, Perry said he's going forward with the daylong event. “I think about those who talk about Christian faith as being intolerant,” said Perry. “Isn't it just the height of intolerance to say you can't gather together in public and pray to our God?”

Parrish said there may be merit to some of the suit's claims, but he doubts a judge will rule against the governor.

"There are prayers offered in a government setting all over the nation including the U.S. Congress. The Supreme Court has traditionally upheld those as being okay and not a violation of the establishment clause because it's traditional,” Parrish said.

The rally will take place August 6th at the Houston Reliant Stadium.

http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/news/local/story/governor-perry-texas-lubbock-pray-fast-crisis/l6ff7Hr5GkWsHoir5bP8xQ.cspx

Day of Prayer Lawsuit Against Gov. Perry Dismissed
Friday, 29 Jul 2011

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry can take part in a day of prayer next weekend and his participation does not violate the Constitution.
 
A suit was filed last month by activist Kay Staley and a group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who argued Perry participating in the event constituted a breach of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Establishment Clause prohibits government from taking action that favors religion.
 
The Liberty Institute — a Judeo-Christian-oriented First Amendment rights nonprofit — intervened, and filed a motion on behalf of co-defendant American Family Association, which is planning and promoting the day of prayer and fasting — labeled “The Response” — scheduled for Aug. 6 at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
 
“This is a complete and total victory for freedom and the First Amendment,” said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO for the Liberty Institute. “The judge rightly dismissed this case and the national prayer event will go on as planned. This was an attack on the First Amendment rights of every American, and it failed miserably.”
 
Staley, a Houston realtor who strongly fights on church and state issues, has filed other lawsuits seeking to silence religious expression in the public sphere. A most recent filing on her behalf against the Houston City Council and a sitting councilwoman sought to end the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of council meetings.
 
The Liberty Institute also intervened in that instance, defending Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice last August.

http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/lawsuit-Perry-religion-state/2011/07/29/id/405326


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 17, 2011, 10:32:52 AM
Lieberman Defends Perry, Bachmann's Show of Faith
Tuesday, 16 Aug 2011
 
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman rushed to the defense of Rep. Michele Bachman, R-Minn., and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, who have been criticized for openly speaking of their faith on the campaign trail.

The independent senator from Connecticut, who typically caucuses with Democrats, said they have a constitution right to do so and noted “our country was founded on religious faith.”

Lieberman, appearing on talk show host Steve Malzberg's New York’s WOR radio, was asked about attacks on Bachmann, Perry and Mitt Romney for speaking about their religious beliefs.

"Well to me there's no good reason for it,” he said. “I mean maybe some people are offended by it because they think it should be private. If a person's faith matters to them, first it’s their right in our country to say whatever they want. They don’t lose that right under the Constitution just because they become a candidate for public office. But the second thing is this is the history of our country, our country was founded on religious faith.”

When asked if he had a problem with religious statements the GOP presidential candidates have made, Lieberman said, "I was about to say, Oh God no, that’s actually what I mean. That’s their faith, and I think that strengthens them, and I give them a lot of credit for speaking about it.”

Lieberman said that comments about faith help the public understand who the candidates are and gives insight into their actions. He added that ultimately such attack backfire because the majority of Americans believe in God.

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/lieberman-bachmann-perry-faith/2011/08/16/id/407596


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 25, 2011, 09:03:59 AM
New York Mayor Bloomberg Bans Religion at 9/11 Ceremony
Wednesday, 24 Aug 2011
By Martin Gould

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is under attack for refusing to allow members of the clergy to play a role in the city’s commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Bloomberg insists the ceremonies should focus on the families of those killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. He is also barring political speech. But pastors and politicians are lining up to lambast his decision, reports The Wall Street Journal.

"This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me," said Rudy Washington, a deputy mayor under Bloomberg’s predecessor Rudy Giuliani, who organized a nationally televised interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the days after the 2001 attacks.

"I feel like America has lost its way," added Washington. “I am very upset about it. This is crazy.”

New York City Council member Fernando Cabrera, a pastor in the Bronx, said faith was one of the “pillars that carried us through” the days after the attacks and called religious leaders “the spiritual and emotional backbone.”

“When you have a situation where people are trying to find meaning, where something is bigger than them, when you have a crisis of this level, they often look to the clergy," added Cabrera, who said excluding religious leaders from the ceremony was "wiping out the recognition of the importance that spirituality plays on that day."

The most prominent religious leader in the city, Roman Catholic archbishop Timothy Dolan, said he would celebrate Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the morning of September 11 and then go to St. Peter’s Church which is a short walk from Ground Zero.

Bloomberg says he wants the tone of the ceremony to be similar to that of previous years where the lack of religious input went largely unnoticed. But because this year marks a decade since the worst attack on American soil and with the presence of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush this year’s event will receive far more notice.

It will also be the first time the ceremony, in which dignitaries will recite poetry and the names of the dead will be read out, has been held at the site of the Twin Towers.

Bloomberg, a Jew, has seemed to take contradictory positions on religion when it comes to matters surrounding 9/11. He has defended the display of religious symbols, including the so-called “World Trade Center Cross,” two steel beams which form a 20 foot tall cross which was discovered in the rubble of the Twin Towers, at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

He has also supported the right of Muslims to build Park51, a 13-story community center two blocks from the site, saying he “shouldn't be in the business of picking" one religion over another.

“I think it's fair to say if somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming," Bloomberg said. "The fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too."

The mayor’s spokeswoman Evelyn Erskine defended the decision not to invite religious leaders to speak. "There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years, but the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11," she said.

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/bloomberg-911-bans-religion/2011/08/24/id/408556


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 30, 2011, 08:59:53 AM
Ky. High School Stops Football Pre-Game Prayer
CBNNews.com
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A pre-game prayer was noticeably missing at Friday night's opening football game at Bell County High School in Pineville, Ky.

Following a complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation this month, the southeastern Kentucky school district has stopped the practice of beginning its games with a public prayer.

The group says its complaint was on behalf of a local family who it refused to identify.

School Superintendent George Thompson said the practice of having a local pastor offer prayer over loudspeakers was halted because previous court rulings indicated the county would lose a court battle, according to Hazard television station WYMT.

"Folks were pretty upset about it," he said. "Facebook has gone wild."

Sandra Stepp was one of many who were disappointed with the decision. Stepp's husband, Rev. Ray Stepp of Molus Pentecostal Church in neighboring Harlan County, had led the prayer for almost 20 years.

"It's sad that one person or two can stop this when there are so many of us wanting this," she told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/August/Ky-High-School-Stops-Football-Pre-Game-Prayer-/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 30, 2011, 09:01:28 AM
Obama to Speak at Prayer Service on 9/11
Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011
 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will speak at an interfaith prayer service at Washington National Cathedral the evening of Sept. 11 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks.

The White House had previously announced Obama would also visit all three sites where planes struck that day — New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa.

Press Secretary Jay Carney announced plans for the prayer service speech Tuesday to reporters traveling on Air Force One with Obama to Minnesota.

Carney also said the White House would aim to commemorate "the remarkable resilience of the American people" and he emphasized the need to "remain absolutely vigilant in protecting" the United States and taking the fight to al-Qaida."

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/US-Obama-9-11/2011/08/30/id/409156


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: garebear on August 30, 2011, 09:04:41 AM
I'm pretty secular..and as a catholic..I get pretty "itchy" I guess when the evengelicals start pushing their agenda. I don't have aproblem with the prayers as u descibed them. Not sure it has any place in schools, however if a town or city, especially in the south is all pretty christian and folks vote for it, then I guess its not a big deal. That said...if the damm rags wanna where full on man dresses and burka's..its gotta be even on both sides. Head scarves sure..but they go to far.
Your hate defines you.

It is why you are a weak man.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 11, 2011, 11:33:23 AM
Obama proclaims National Days of Prayer and Remembrance
By: CNN's Ashley Killough

Washington (CNN) – Commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11, President Barack Obama proclaimed this weekend, Friday though Sunday, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance.

“Today, our nation still faces great challenges, but this last decade has proven once more that, as a people, we emerge from our trials stronger than before,” Obama said in a statement Friday.

The president called on Americans to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks through activities such as prayer, memorial services, the ringing of bells, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils.

Obama also urged citizens to remember those among “the 9/11 generation” of service members who have “come of age bearing the burden of war,” with some paying the ultimate sacrifice.

“During these days of prayer and remembrance, a grateful nation gives thanks to all those who have given of themselves to make us safer,” Obama said.

Obama will attend memorial services at all three attack sites – New York, Washington and Pennsylvania – this weekend.

The proclamation comes in the wake of faith-based groups expressing opposition toward New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who stirred controversy when deciding to exclude religious leaders from the World Trade Center memorial service on Sunday.

Prominent politicians have also come out against the decision. On Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said religion played a key role in the days following the attacks by offering people some “strength to move on.”

“Just get them up. Say a little prayer,” Giuliani said at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday. “The microphone will not melt if you say a prayer.”

In his statement Friday, Obama did not address the clergy issue, but focused on the memory of those who lost their lives 10 years ago.

“We continue to stand with their families and loved ones, while striving to ensure the legacy of those we lost is a safer, stronger, and more resilient nation,” Obama said.

– CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/10/obama-proclaims-national-days-of-prayer-and-remembrance/#more-175103


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 23, 2011, 10:04:13 AM
He needs it. 

Perry tells social conservatives to pray for Obama
By: CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby

Orlando, Florida (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday asked an audience of social conservatives in Florida to pray for President Barack Obama.

"As I campaign for president, I not only ask you for your vote and your support, I ask you for your prayers," Perry said. "I ask you to pray for our country. I ask you to pray for our president to give him wisdom, to open his eyes."

Perry was addressing a rally organized by the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition ahead of Thursday night's GOP presidential debate in Orlando.

As he was deciding whether to run for president, Perry said prayer played a powerful role. The governor said he couldn't have entered the race "without being driven to my knees on many occasions."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/22/perry-tells-social-conservatives-to-pray-for-obama/#more-177346


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on October 28, 2011, 09:55:07 PM
Get a life already. 

Atheist Group Tries to Stop Prayers at High School Football Games That Include ‘Jesus’
By Todd Starnes
Published October 26, 2011
FoxNews.com

An Alabama school district has been accused of allowing prayers that invoke the name of Jesus during high school football games, according to a complaint filed by a national atheist organization.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said the Lauderdale County school district has violated the First Amendment by allowing the prayers at Brooks High School.

School superintendent Bill Valentine confirmed to Fox News that he had received the complaint.

“We’ve referred that complaint to our attorney and we are in the process of reviewing it,” he said.

The complaint was lodged by a single resident who objected to the student-led prayer before high school football games played on school property.

The Times Daily newspaper identified the complainant as Jeremy Green. In an email to the newspaper, Green said he was taking a stand for the so-called “separation of church and state in an effort to protect the constitutional rights of the non-religious.”

“It is not the job of the public school system to endorse religion,” he wrote.

Valentine said that to his knowledge, no one has ever lodged a complaint with the school system about the prayers.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a similar complaint against a school in Arab, Ala. That school decided to end pregame prayers and instead offer a moment of silence.

Valentine said they haven’t made any decision about prayers for Friday night’s football game.

He said the complaint has generated lots of telephone calls – mostly in support of keeping the prayers. He added that most callers have been understanding and “seem to appreciate the quandary we find ourselves in.”

Lauderdale County has about 8,600 students enrolled in public schools and Valentine said the community has a very active religious community.

Among those is David McKelvey, pastor of the nearby First Baptist Church, Killen. He discussed the controversy during his Sunday sermon.
“It’s very sad,” McKelvey told Fox News. “I would think that any other prayer from another religion would not receive this kind of negativity.”
McKelvey said he’s attended football games when students deliver prayer and to his knowledge they have always been benign – mostly prayers for the players, the coaches, the referees and the fans.

“They are in the Christian context with the student ending the prayer in Jesus’ name,” he said.

The pastor called the complaint “unfortunate” but not surprising. Christianity, he said, is under attack.

“It’s going on all over the place,” he said. “You just hate for it to be coming to your doorstep.”

Read more at Fox News & Commentary: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/daily-dispatch/alabama-town-under-atheist-attack.html

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/26/atheist-group-sues-over-prayers-at-high-school-football-games-that-include/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on October 29, 2011, 07:56:32 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akah8HbqXw0


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 04, 2011, 10:06:21 AM
Paranoid anti-religious extremists just can't help themselves.   ::)

Air Force Academy Backs Away from Christmas Charity
Nov 4, 2011

The Air Force Academy apologized Thursday night after it was accused of religious intolerance for promoting Operation Christmas Child – a program designed to send holiday gifts to impoverished children around the world.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said military commanders crossed the line when they promoted the gift program, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, an organization run by Franklin Graham.

Operation Christmas Child said they expect to send more than 8 million shoe box gifts to underprivileged children in 100 countries. Around 60,000 churches and 60,000 community groups in the United States are participating.

MikeyWeinstein, of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said an evangelical Christian message is also included in the boxes.

“This is a proselytizing entity of Franklin Graham,” said the group’s president, Mikey Weinstein. He filed a complaint on behalf of 132 Academy personnel including two sets of Muslim-American parents.

The attack on Operation Christmas Child has generated outrage across the country.

“It’s another anti-faith effort that we are seeing by this administration,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), who just pushed a congressional effort to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the national motto.

“This is beyond political correctness,” Forbes told Fox News. “This is an anti-faith mode that we see over and over again coming from this administration and the people serving in it.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News that this is evidence that the Obama administration “has engaged in a culture war beyond measure.”

“We see here the collateral damage – the fallout of religious freedom and the attack on Christian organizations that are simply reaching out to help those in need,” Perkins said. “This is a long pattern under this administration under a president who apologized for everything that is American.”

“It’s so outrageous,” said Jordan Sekulow an attorney with the American Center for Law and Justice. He said the controversy is an example of the cultural shift happening in the United States.

“This is a perfect example of how heartless these groups are when it comes to defending their anti-religion position,” Sekulow said. “It’s not about the First Amendment. It’s about a real hatred of religious people and people of faith that they would go so far as to stop an assistance program like Operation Christmas Child.”

Weinstein refuted that allegation.

“We are not trying to take shoe boxes of toys and candy away from kids,” Weinstein told Fox News. “But this is clearly an egregious Constitutional mistake.”

The Academy sent an e-mail to the entire cadet wing inviting them to participate in the Operation Christmas Child project.
 “As the holidays approach, we have the opportunity to provide the joy of Christmas to impoverished Children around the world,” read the e-mail sent to some 4,400 cadets and provided to Fox News. “PLEASE, PLEASE CONSIDER SPENDING SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE TIME AND MONEY TO LOVE ON A KID AROUND THE WORLD!!.”

Weinstein said he was alerted to the program on Wednesday after he was notified by an upset cadet.

“The cadet sent an e-mail saying, ‘This just shows how our military is supporting one religion – which is Christianity,’” Weinstein said.
He later received a telephone call from Brig. Gen. Richard Clark, the Academy’s commandant of cadets, to apologize.

“He said it was a mistake and he would fix it,” Weinstein said. “Lady Liberty is smiling tonight. This is a victory for the Constitution.”

“We agree that it was inappropriate,” Academy spokesman Lt. Col. John Bryan told the Colorado Gazette. He told the newspaper that the initial e-mail was sent by cadets without the knowledge of senior leaders.

Late yesterday, cadets received the following e-mail retracting the promotion of Operation Christmas Child:

 “My apologies for the below message as it was not sent to the proper audience. The Cadet Chaplain Corps will be resending through the proper channels and to the proper audience.

Weinstein said he doesn’t have a problem with secular toy drives – but Graham’s, he said, crossed the line.

“Franklin Graham is a fundamentalist – a total enemy of the Constitution – an absolutely incredible Islamophobe,” Weinstein said.

He argued that Operation Christmas Child should have been promoted through the Academy’s chaplains – not the entire Academy. And that’s exactly where the project rests – in the hands of the chaplains.

“The kids will still get their toys,” he said acknowledging that it will only be promoted to a smaller subset of people.

Operation Christmas Child said they were unaware of the controversy at the Air Force Academy.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/air-force-academy-backs-away-from-christmas-charity.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: MCWAY on November 04, 2011, 10:10:25 AM
Giving kids toys on Christmas........AAAAAAA AAHHHHHHH!!!!!!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 04, 2011, 10:17:08 AM
Giving kids toys on Christmas........AAAAAAA AAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

The horror . . . .


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on November 12, 2011, 11:39:27 AM
Radical Fundie Christians gather to protest the religious freedom of their fellow citizens

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/detroit-faith-leaders-condemn-11-11-11-christian-prayer-event-vilifying-muslims/

Some Detroit Faith Leaders Condemn 11-11-11 Christian Prayer Event

Friday, November 11th, 2011 is an unusual day.  So unusual, in fact, that it occurs only once every 100 years. While some people are planning to mark the triple convergence of 11′s with a splash, hoping it will bring them good fortune, others are planning to rid Detroit of demons – Muslim “demons,” that is.

As The Blaze previously reported, Evangelical group known as “The Call,” headed by Lou Engle, is planning a prayer rally at Ford Field in Detroit on November 11th, with the goal of uplifting the city of Detroit, “a microcosm of our national crisis,” as Engle describes it.

Engle believes Detroit is “God’s staging ground for healing and prayer,” capable of producing “a prayer that can change the nation.”  He points out that Detroit is rife with “economic collapse, racial tension, the rising tide of the Islamic movement, and the shedding of our children’s innocent blood on the streets and yet unborn.”

Some leaders of Detroit’s Christian and Muslim communities, however, have expressed concern about the real aim of the planned rally. They believe The Call’s leaders frequently “demonize Islam and promote ‘Dominionist’ theology, which advocates a takeover of government, media and business by conservative Christians.”

And the Council for Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on mosques across the Detroit area to beef up security in preparation for the event.

To counter the planned rally, local leaders gathered Thursday afternoon in Detroit’s Grand Circus Park to promote an alternative event “for people of faith to pray for Detroit in an inclusive, non-political way,” and to denounce Lou Engle’s rally at Ford Field as “un-Christian, “un-American,” and “idolatrous.”

Critics of Engle point to his intentions of converting “Muslims to Christianity before they turn Michigan into an Islamic state,” as cause for concern.  Indeed Engle has alienated many potential sympathizers with statements such as this:

“At 11-11-11 the Lord just clearly showed to us, you got to pray all night long because it’s when the Muslims sleep and all over the world right now Muslims in the night are having dreams of Jesus, we believe that God wants to invade with His love Dearborn with dreams of Jesus.  We’re gathering together to say God, pour out your grace and revelations of Jesus all over Dearborn and the Muslim communities of North and South America.”

An additional element of controversy surfaced when several of Detroit’s most prominent African-American pastors agreed to support and join Engle’s rally.  Other pastors came to their defense, however, indicating that they were tricked into believing this was a “nice, goody-goody event and we’re going to sing kumbaya.”

On Friday, 11/11/11, the day of “reckoning,” all shall be revealed, or so Engle says:



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 12, 2011, 11:50:11 AM
Awesome.

Penn State and Nebraska Teams Pray Together For Child Sex Abuse Victims
By Noel Sheppard | November 12, 2011

There was a touching scene before Saturday's Penn State-Nebraska football game when all the players and coaches from both teams joined in the middle of the field to say a prayer for the victims in the emerging child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the nation (video follows with commentary): [click on the link to see the video]

May G-d bless all the victims and families taken advantage of by members of the Penn State University faculty and donors, and let there be swift justice for those that were involved in these heinous acts as well as for anyone that assisted in covering them up all these years.

(http://newsbusters.org/sites/default/files/thumbnail_photos/2011/November/Nebraska.jpg)

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/11/12/penn-state-and-nebraska-teams-pray-together-child-sex-abuse-victims


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on November 12, 2011, 11:57:33 AM
Awesome.

Penn State and Nebraska Teams Pray Together For Child Sex Abuse Victims
By Noel Sheppard | November 12, 2011

There was a touching scene before Saturday's Penn State-Nebraska football game when all the players and coaches from both teams joined in the middle of the field to say a prayer for the victims in the emerging child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the nation (video follows with commentary): [click on the link to see the video]

May G-d bless all the victims and families taken advantage of by members of the Penn State University faculty and donors, and let there be swift justice for those that were involved in these heinous acts as well as for anyone that assisted in covering them up all these years.

(http://newsbusters.org/sites/default/files/thumbnail_photos/2011/November/Nebraska.jpg)

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/11/12/penn-state-and-nebraska-teams-pray-together-child-sex-abuse-victims

yeah - all that prayer is going to do a lot of good for those poor kids who were raped by that freak while everyone looked the other way.

how can someone witness a child or anyone being raped and not do something about it immediately?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 18, 2011, 09:51:13 AM
Proposal to bring back "In God We Trust" on Georgia License Plates
by Bree Tracey | November 16, 2011

On a typical Georgia license plate you'll see a pastoral image of green fields and peaches, but one thing you won't find is the motto "In God We Trust."

Sen. Bill Heath (R-GA) is trying to change this by filing a proposal Tuesday to make the phrase "In God We Trust" the default motto on all Georgia license plates, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Last spring, the state held a public contest to pick a new license plate design. The Revenue Department's website showed entries with the "In God We Trust" motto on it and did not make it clear the motto was not a permanent part of each design, so people were forced to re-vote.

Motorists can already purchase a sticker with the motto for $1 that can be placed over the county name decal that comes standard on each license plate, but Sen. Heath wants to reverse this order. He proposed for the motto to appear on all Georgia license plates after July 1st, leaving motorists with the option to cover the motto with a decal sticker if they wanted.

Tuesday was the first day state lawmakers could submit proposed laws and resolution in advance of next year's legislation session that begins January 9.

http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/11/16/proposal-bring-back-god-we-trust-georgia-license-plates?test=latestnews


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: kcballer on November 18, 2011, 09:53:54 AM
Awesome.

Penn State and Nebraska Teams Pray Together For Child Sex Abuse Victims
By Noel Sheppard | November 12, 2011

There was a touching scene before Saturday's Penn State-Nebraska football game when all the players and coaches from both teams joined in the middle of the field to say a prayer for the victims in the emerging child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the nation (video follows with commentary): [click on the link to see the video]

May G-d bless all the victims and families taken advantage of by members of the Penn State University faculty and donors, and let there be swift justice for those that were involved in these heinous acts as well as for anyone that assisted in covering them up all these years.

(http://newsbusters.org/sites/default/files/thumbnail_photos/2011/November/Nebraska.jpg)

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/11/12/penn-state-and-nebraska-teams-pray-together-child-sex-abuse-victims

Prayer didn't stop the catholic church being pedophiles.  How will it do anything here?  Hmmm?  it won't.  Pray is a selfish act designed to make one feel better about their own self interest.  Oh well i'm not going to actually help but i'll pray so yeah that makes it okay.  Loser.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 18, 2011, 09:59:50 AM
Prayer didn't stop the catholic church being pedophiles.  How will it do anything here?  Hmmm?  it won't.  Pray is a selfish act designed to make one feel better about their own self interest.  Oh well i'm not going to actually help but i'll pray so yeah that makes it okay.  Loser.

The entire Nebraska and Penn State football teams disagree with you.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: kcballer on November 18, 2011, 10:02:00 AM
The entire Nebraska and Penn State football teams disagree with you.   :)

Oh no!  A bunch of footballers disagree with me.   ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 18, 2011, 10:02:44 AM
Oh no!  A bunch of footballers disagree with me.   ::)

Yes, they do.  As does the vast majority of the country. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on November 18, 2011, 10:14:55 AM
Yes, they do.  As does the vast majority of the country.  

the vast majority of the country thinks praying for child rape victims is somehow helping the victims?

where did you get that idea?

Instead they should pray that Sandusky makes a fuil confession and then puts a bullet in his head

that would actually be helpful to society and it might even make the victims feel a bit better too


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: kcballer on November 18, 2011, 10:18:09 AM
Yes, they do.  As does the vast majority of the country. 

haha and that's why we have child molestation because instead of doing something about it, people like you would rather 'pray' about it.  great solution.  How's that working out for ya?  ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 18, 2011, 10:21:32 AM
haha and that's why we have child molestation because instead of doing something about it, people like you would rather 'pray' about it.  great solution.  How's that working out for ya?  ::)

Actually, I think pedophiles should be one and done.  The recidivism rate is astronomical. 

In any event, the Penn State/Nebraska prayer was pretty awesome. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on November 18, 2011, 10:26:21 AM
Actually, I think pedophiles should be one and done.  The recidivism rate is astronomical. 

In any event, the Penn State/Nebraska prayer was pretty awesome. 

what was so awesome about it ?

just a bunch of people praying

it happens every day all over the world.



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 18, 2011, 09:17:04 PM
What a pathetic life these people lead.  Running around the country crying about religious symbols.   ::)

Military Investigates Memorial Cross at Camp Pendleton
Nov 18, 2011

Military officials at Camp Pendleton are investigating a cross that was erected by a group of former Marines to honor their fallen colleagues, after an atheist group objected to the monument.

“Camp Pendleton legal authorities are researching and reviewing the issue in order to make a judicious decision,” Lt. Ryan Finnegan said in a statement to Fox News & Commentary. “As Marines, we are proud to honor our fallen brothers, and are also proud of our extended Marine Corps family. However, it is important to follow procedure and use appropriate processes for doing this in a correct manner to protect the sentiment from question as well as be good stewards of our taxpayer dollars.”

(http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/marines.jpg)
Photo Courtesy of LA Times

The Los Angeles Times documented the former Marines as they carried the 13-foot cross up a steep hill – a Veterans Day journey that took two hours. They were accompanied by the widows and children of the fallen Marines. You can read the LA Times blog by clicking here.

The cross was erected and dedicated to the memory of Maj. Douglas Zembiec, Maj. Ray Mendoza, Lance Cpl. Aaron Austin and Lance Cpl. Robert Zurheide. It replaced another cross that was destroyed by a brush fire in 2003.

The former Marines chose to carry the cross, rather than use a vehicle. They told the newspaper that carrying the cross was an act of profound symbolism: the fallen are never forgotten, the mission never falters.

But for Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the cross is a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

“The question is why government officials would allow this to happen,” Torpy told Fox News & Commentary.

Torpy said he contacted Camp Pendleton to raise objections on behalf of a number of his members who read the LA Times story.

“I can definitely understand losing someone in combat,” Torpy said. “I was in Iraq. But it’s unfortunate that now I have to be a bad guy and ask why is this on federal land instead of on private land.”
Torpy said he could have given the Marines a pass.

“Maybe, but not really,” he said. “This is a large, 13-foot cross – generally these things are posted up in places that lord over the surrounding area.”

He said the allowing the cross to remain on Camp Pendleton property is “exploiting my service in order to gain special privileges for Christianity and that’s not fair to me.”
Lt. Finnegan confirmed to Fox News that the cross is on Camp Pendleton land.

He said the former Marines who erected the cross were “private individuals acting solely in their personal capacities. As such they were not acting in any official position or capacity that may be construed as an endorsement of a specific religious denomination by the Department of Defense or the U.S. Marine Corps.”

Depending on the outcome of the review, the cross could be removed.

Torpy said that’s the appropriate thing to do.

“I’m sure there’s maybe some way that this could be worked out, but wandering up a hill at Camp Pendleton with an exclusively sectarian religious monument, a big one, and say ‘I’m just going to do this on my own – that’s not how the federal government works,” he said.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a former Marine, said he was disgusted by the atheist’s complaints.

“It’s really outrageous and it shows the hostile environment that’s been created by this (Obama) administration towards religious freedom,” Perkins told Fox News. “At some point, we have to say, enough is enough.”

Perkins said radical atheists are attacking the U.S. Military.

“I’ve actually climbed those hills at Camp Pendleton and getting a cross to the top of them is no small challenge,” Perkins said. “But unfortunately, the greater challenge is to ensure that radical secularists do not crucify the freedoms won by these heroic efforts of the men and women who serve – on the cross of political correctness.”

Lt. Finnegan said it was unclear how long the investigation might take.

http://radio.foxnews.com//toddstarnes/top-stories/military-investigates-memorial-cross-at-camp-pendleton.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on November 18, 2011, 10:39:13 PM
What a pathetic life these people lead.  Running around the country crying about religious symbols.   ::)
Military Investigates Memorial Cross at Camp Pendleton
Nov 18, 2011

Military officials at Camp Pendleton are investigating a cross that was erected by a group of former Marines to honor their fallen colleagues, after an atheist group objected to the monument.

“Camp Pendleton legal authorities are researching and reviewing the issue in order to make a judicious decision,” Lt. Ryan Finnegan said in a statement to Fox News & Commentary. “As Marines, we are proud to honor our fallen brothers, and are also proud of our extended Marine Corps family. However, it is important to follow procedure and use appropriate processes for doing this in a correct manner to protect the sentiment from question as well as be good stewards of our taxpayer dollars.”

(http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/marines.jpg)
Photo Courtesy of LA Times

The Los Angeles Times documented the former Marines as they carried the 13-foot cross up a steep hill – a Veterans Day journey that took two hours. They were accompanied by the widows and children of the fallen Marines. You can read the LA Times blog by clicking here.

The cross was erected and dedicated to the memory of Maj. Douglas Zembiec, Maj. Ray Mendoza, Lance Cpl. Aaron Austin and Lance Cpl. Robert Zurheide. It replaced another cross that was destroyed by a brush fire in 2003.

The former Marines chose to carry the cross, rather than use a vehicle. They told the newspaper that carrying the cross was an act of profound symbolism: the fallen are never forgotten, the mission never falters.

But for Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the cross is a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

“The question is why government officials would allow this to happen,” Torpy told Fox News & Commentary.

Torpy said he contacted Camp Pendleton to raise objections on behalf of a number of his members who read the LA Times story.

“I can definitely understand losing someone in combat,” Torpy said. “I was in Iraq. But it’s unfortunate that now I have to be a bad guy and ask why is this on federal land instead of on private land.”
Torpy said he could have given the Marines a pass.

“Maybe, but not really,” he said. “This is a large, 13-foot cross – generally these things are posted up in places that lord over the surrounding area.”

He said the allowing the cross to remain on Camp Pendleton property is “exploiting my service in order to gain special privileges for Christianity and that’s not fair to me.”
Lt. Finnegan confirmed to Fox News that the cross is on Camp Pendleton land.

He said the former Marines who erected the cross were “private individuals acting solely in their personal capacities. As such they were not acting in any official position or capacity that may be construed as an endorsement of a specific religious denomination by the Department of Defense or the U.S. Marine Corps.”

Depending on the outcome of the review, the cross could be removed.

Torpy said that’s the appropriate thing to do.

“I’m sure there’s maybe some way that this could be worked out, but wandering up a hill at Camp Pendleton with an exclusively sectarian religious monument, a big one, and say ‘I’m just going to do this on my own – that’s not how the federal government works,” he said.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a former Marine, said he was disgusted by the atheist’s complaints.

“It’s really outrageous and it shows the hostile environment that’s been created by this (Obama) administration towards religious freedom,” Perkins told Fox News. “At some point, we have to say, enough is enough.”

Perkins said radical atheists are attacking the U.S. Military.

“I’ve actually climbed those hills at Camp Pendleton and getting a cross to the top of them is no small challenge,” Perkins said. “But unfortunately, the greater challenge is to ensure that radical secularists do not crucify the freedoms won by these heroic efforts of the men and women who serve – on the cross of political correctness.”

Lt. Finnegan said it was unclear how long the investigation might take.

http://radio.foxnews.com//toddstarnes/top-stories/military-investigates-memorial-cross-at-camp-pendleton.html

you're referring to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers ?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 02, 2011, 11:05:51 AM
Preach B. Hussein.   :)

Obama delivers very Christian message at Christmas tree lighting
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - President Barack Obama delivered an unusually stark Christian message at the White House Christmas tree lighting Thursday night, saying Christ's message "lies at the heart of my Christian faith and that of millions of Americans."

"More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among the cattle and the sheep," Obama said at the tree lighting ceremony, a longstanding White House tradition.

"But this was not just any child," Obama continued. "Christ’s birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar. He was a manifestation of God’s love for us."

Obama has been more public and specific about his religious beliefs since polls last year showed that only a minority of Americans know he is Christian. Last Easter, Obama got unusually specific about his beliefs on Christ's resurrection at a White House prayer breakfast.

Some conservative Christian leaders have questioned Obama's Christian faith, even though Obama got his start in politics through church-based political organizing and has written about accepting Jesus in his 20s.

Last month, South Carolina Christian conservative leader Bob Jones III told a reporter “I’ve no reason to think (Obama is) Christian."

“Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be,” Jones said. “I say, ‘Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?’ ”

In his remarks at Thursday's tree lighting, Obama said that Jesus "grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful: that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves."

"So long as the gifts and the parties are happening, it’s important for us to keep in mind the central message of this season," he said, "and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but also in our deeds."

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/01/obama-delivers-very-christian-message-at-christmas-tree-lighting/comment-page-2/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 02, 2011, 07:48:00 PM
Who comes up with this stupid stuff?   ::)

U.S. Military to Rescind Policy Banning Bibles at Hospital
Dec 2, 2011
By Todd Starnes

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said they are rescinding a policy that prohibits family members of wounded military troops from bringing Bibles or any religious reading materials to their loved ones.

The decision to rescind the ban on Bibles came exactly one day after a Republican lawmaker denounced the policy on the House floor and called on President Obama to publicly renounce the military policy.
“The President of the United States should address this and should excoriate the people who brought about this policy and the individual who brought it about should be dismissed from the United States Military,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told Fox News & Commentary.

King spoke from the House floor Thursday blasting a policy memorandum from the commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center written by Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan. The September 14th memo covers guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care.”

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states.

“That means you can’t bring in a Bible and read from it when you visit your son or your daughter, perhaps – or your wife or husband,” King said. “It means a priest that might be coming in to visit someone on their death bed couldn’t bring in the Eucharist, couldn’t offer Last Rites. This is the most outrageous affront.”

A spokesperson for the medical center told Fox News late Friday that the policy will be rewritten and its intent will be made “crystal clear.”

“The instructions about the Bibles and reading material have been rescinded,” said Sandy Dean, a public affairs officer for Walter Reed. “It will be written to articulate our initial intention which was to respect religious and cultural practices of our patients.”

Dean said the instruction was “in no way meant to prohibit family members from providing religious items to their loved ones at all.”
If that’s the case, why is the policy being rescinded?

“We don’t want there to be any misinterpretation of what we’re trying to say,” she told Fox News. “We appreciate Congressman King bringing this to our attention. We don’t want our instructions to be ambiguous.”

We appreciate him bringing it to our attention.

Rep. King said the military has some explaining to do.

“I don’t think there’s any excuse for it and there’s no talking it away,” King told Fox News. “The very existence of this, whether it’s enforced or not, tells you what kind of a mindset is there.”

“The idea that these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that have fought to defend our Constitution, and that includes our First Amendment rights to religious liberty –would be denied that religious liberty when they are lying in a hospital bed recovering from wounds incurred while defending that liberty is the most bitter and offensive type of an irony that I can think of,” he said.

The policy has brought strong condemnation from religious and conservative advocacy groups.

“It flies in the face of not only the Bill of Rights, but 200 years of federal law,” said Ken Klukwoski, of the Family Research Council. “This current administration is showing unprecedented hostility towards those practicing the Christian faith.”

“But beyond that,” he told Fox News, “We’ve also seen a militantly secular attitude of trying to sterilize the Defense Department of all references to faith.”

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, echoed Rep. King’s demand that whoever is responsible for the memo be fired.

“It cannot be allowed to stand,” Land told Fox News. “It must be rescinded and the people responsible for perpetrating it should be fired.”
Land said the policy “shows the ugly face of the pseudo-tolerance of secularism.”

“They claim to be tolerant but this is as intolerant as you can be – to not allow wounded soldiers to have religious artifacts,” Land said.
King said Americans must “take a very strong stand.”

“Christians are generally nice people and for that reason they can victimize the Christians in this country,” he said. “There was a reason that Christ gave us the demonstration of righteous anger when he threw the money changers out of the temple. It gives us some license to throw these kinds of people out of the military.”

King said he’s been alarmed at a trend he’s seen to scrub Christianity from the military – most recently the decision to remove a cross from an Army chapel in northern Afghanistan because it violated Army regulations.

He placed the blame on the Obama Administration.

“This is Orwellian,” he said. “Who would have believed even two or five years ago that the Executive branch of government led by our Commander in Chief Barack Obama would produce some kind of document that would prohibit family members coming into our military hospitals

Klukwoski said he’s noticed a similar trend in what he called “anti-faith measures.”

“We are seeing a shocking level of hostility towards religious faith but beyond that – we’ve also seen a militantly secular attitude of trying to sterilize the defense department of all references to faith and references,” he said.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/u-s-military-to-rescind-policy-banning-bibles-at-hospital.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on December 02, 2011, 10:49:05 PM
^^^

strawman and his cronies


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 11, 2011, 11:12:11 AM
Why can't these people just enjoy the most wonderful time of the year?  How miserable are their lives?   ::)

Atheist Group Seeks Banner to Join Christmas Display
Published December 10, 2011
Associated Press

ATHENS, Texas –  A national atheist foundation plans to seek permission to hoist its own banner to join secular and religious Christmas displays on an East Texas courthouse square.

The display surrounding the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens includes a traditional Nativity scene, as well as multiple Santa Clauses, elves, wreathes, garland, trumpeters, dwarfs, snowmen, reindeer and Christmas trees, the Athens Daily Review reported.

"We've got an array of decorations and feel that we are in compliance with federal law," County Judge Richard Sanders told the newspaper. "We're not pushing any religious down anybody's throat. These are holiday decorations we enjoy."

However, county officials received a letter Monday from the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which argued the seasonal display on courthouse grounds amounts to an unconstitutional endorsement of the Christian faith.

Foundation attorney Stephanie Schmitt says that since the county allows the nonprofit group Keep Athens Beautiful to erect the displays on the town square, they amount to a "public forum." Schmitt told the newspaper the group would ask to put up its own display.

Schmitt said the foundation had received 20 to 25 complaints this holiday season of religious displays it regards as illegal.

In Elmwood City, Pa., the foundation has proposed hoisting a banner that reads: "At this season of the Winter Solstice, LET REASON PREVAIL. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Meanwhile, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said his office received a report Thursday that someone had defaced some of the figures in the display, but the markings were later removed.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/10/atheist-group-seeks-banner-to-join-christmas-display/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on December 11, 2011, 12:55:13 PM
^^^

strawman and his cronies

speak for yourself and I'll speak for myself

this is one instance where I'm in complete agreement with Bum and I thought this story might have been a joke

Why in the world would we care if soldiers have bible, koran, etc... I assume they have them in the field and I can't believe they wouldn't be allowed to have them in a hospital.  Don't these places have chaplains?  It just makes no sense at all. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: garebear on December 11, 2011, 05:00:41 PM
Yes, they do.  As does the vast majority of the country. 
At one point the vast majority of the country were absolute white supremacists. Were they correct in their racism since they formed a majority?

Learn to think independently, child.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on December 11, 2011, 05:17:26 PM
At one point the vast majority of the country were absolute white supremacists. Were they correct in their racism since they formed a majority?

Learn to think independently, child.
LOL learn how to disprove a point, does the white supremacists being wrong make another group wrong?


moron...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on December 11, 2011, 05:18:24 PM
speak for yourself and I'll speak for myself

this is one instance where I'm in complete agreement with Bum and I thought this story might have been a joke

Why in the world would we care if soldiers have bible, koran, etc... I assume they have them in the field and I can't believe they wouldn't be allowed to have them in a hospital.  Don't these places have chaplains?  It just makes no sense at all. 
your liberalism does have limits, I am impressed sir


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: garebear on December 11, 2011, 05:27:34 PM
LOL learn how to disprove a point, does the white supremacists being wrong make another group wrong?


moron...
Try to make some sense, even just once in a while. You know, to surprise us.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on December 11, 2011, 05:47:38 PM
Try to make some sense, even just once in a while. You know, to surprise us.
says the man who is gay yet subscribes to evolution...

tons of sense in that ;)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on December 11, 2011, 06:02:14 PM
says the man who is gay yet subscribes to evolution...

tons of sense in that ;)
I missed the joke, let me in on it lol...  by the way, grats on the win today.  nice!!!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on December 11, 2011, 06:12:47 PM
I missed the joke, let me in on it lol...  by the way, grats on the win today.  nice!!!
To you too sir...Im still not buying into the hype but the man plays with alot of passion and it is fun to watch.

I think more than anything he brings the level of play of those around him up which is they sign of a good leader.

what do you think the meaning of life is to a person who is non religious and believes in evolution?

Well its pretty simple when you think about it, The idea behind evolution itself is to propagate your species, to ensure the continued existence through procreation. As there is no religious aspect to their thinking there isnt anything outside of that natural law that isnt a man made ideal.

Homosexuality is an evolutionary dead end as it doesnt serve the purpose of continuing the existence of our species.

There is clearly a contradiction in belief and action here which is lacking in common sense.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on December 11, 2011, 07:04:45 PM
your liberalism does have limits, I am impressed sir

once again, good job calling me sir

my "liberalism" exists solely in your head



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 11, 2011, 07:28:33 PM
once again, good job calling me sir

my "liberalism" exists solely in your head



Your liberalism fits perfect in the ex USSR. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on December 11, 2011, 08:02:35 PM
Your liberalism fits perfect in the ex USSR. 

yeah, that makes a lot of sense


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Hugo Chavez on December 11, 2011, 10:46:01 PM
To you too sir...Im still not buying into the hype but the man plays with alot of passion and it is fun to watch.

I think more than anything he brings the level of play of those around him up which is they sign of a good leader.

what do you think the meaning of life is to a person who is non religious and believes in evolution?

Well its pretty simple when you think about it, The idea behind evolution itself is to propagate your species, to ensure the continued existence through procreation. As there is no religious aspect to their thinking there isnt anything outside of that natural law that isnt a man made ideal.

Homosexuality is an evolutionary dead end as it doesnt serve the purpose of continuing the existence of our species.

There is clearly a contradiction in belief and action here which is lacking in common sense.
What if it's just nature's way of natural selection?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: LurkerNoMore on December 12, 2011, 04:54:06 AM
The entire Nebraska and Penn State football teams disagree with you.   :)

Have been alerted to the benefits that have occurred from these footballers pray session?

Wasn't Palin's answer to the oil spill crisis to pray for Divine Intervention to come and remove the oil from the ocean?  How'd that turn out?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on December 12, 2011, 10:32:49 AM
What if it's just nature's way of natural selection?
It undoubtedly is sir, but the drive to procreate is the essence of life especially for a non religious subscriber of evolution.

Homosexuality is partly a genetic abnormality and partially choice. Just like having a propensity for violence is partially genetic and choice to let that predisposition have its way.

A person who believes in evolution and is non religious that chooses to allow their homosexual predisposition from procreating isn't fullfilling the main purpose of their life


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 12, 2011, 01:30:42 PM
At one point the vast majority of the country were absolute white supremacists. Were they correct in their racism since they formed a majority?

Learn to think independently, child.

(http://x0f.xanga.com/b2d8256234330269640904/b145550923.jpg)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 12, 2011, 01:32:02 PM
Have been alerted to the benefits that have occurred from these footballers pray session?

Wasn't Palin's answer to the oil spill crisis to pray for Divine Intervention to come and remove the oil from the ocean?  How'd that turn out?

Don't understand your first question. 

I doubt the accuracy of your second question. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skip8282 on December 12, 2011, 03:21:02 PM
haha and that's why we have child molestation because instead of doing something about it, people like you would rather 'pray' about it.  great solution.  How's that working out for ya?  ::)


Yeah, we have child molestation because people saying prayers.  ::)

I think it's natural to want to think that people posting about politics are a little more learned and informed than a lot of others.  But, with your level of education and logic, it shoots that idea right down...doh!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 15, 2011, 09:56:39 AM
Why can't these people just enjoy the most wonderful time of the year?  How miserable are their lives?   ::)

Atheist Group Seeks Banner to Join Christmas Display
Published December 10, 2011
Associated Press

ATHENS, Texas –  A national atheist foundation plans to seek permission to hoist its own banner to join secular and religious Christmas displays on an East Texas courthouse square.

The display surrounding the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens includes a traditional Nativity scene, as well as multiple Santa Clauses, elves, wreathes, garland, trumpeters, dwarfs, snowmen, reindeer and Christmas trees, the Athens Daily Review reported.

"We've got an array of decorations and feel that we are in compliance with federal law," County Judge Richard Sanders told the newspaper. "We're not pushing any religious down anybody's throat. These are holiday decorations we enjoy."

However, county officials received a letter Monday from the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which argued the seasonal display on courthouse grounds amounts to an unconstitutional endorsement of the Christian faith.

Foundation attorney Stephanie Schmitt says that since the county allows the nonprofit group Keep Athens Beautiful to erect the displays on the town square, they amount to a "public forum." Schmitt told the newspaper the group would ask to put up its own display.

Schmitt said the foundation had received 20 to 25 complaints this holiday season of religious displays it regards as illegal.

In Elmwood City, Pa., the foundation has proposed hoisting a banner that reads: "At this season of the Winter Solstice, LET REASON PREVAIL. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Meanwhile, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said his office received a report Thursday that someone had defaced some of the figures in the display, but the markings were later removed.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/10/atheist-group-seeks-banner-to-join-christmas-display/

Pathetic.

Atheist Messages Displace California Park Nativity Scenes
Published December 13, 2011
Associated Press

AP/Ringo H.W. Chiu
(http://a57.foxnews.com/static/managed/img/U.S./396/223/atheistsigns.jpg)
A woman walks past a sign displaying an Atheist message along Ocean Avenue at Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Calif. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. –  Atheist messages have displaced most of the Christmas nativity scenes that local churches had placed in a California park for nearly six decades, and the churches say it was a coordinated attack.

Local churches have traditionally claimed 14 of the 21 display spaces to illustrate the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

But atheists got all but three of the spaces this year because of a new lottery system.

"Our belief is that these new applicants have been working together to displace and push out the nativity scenes from the park, rather than erecting a full display of their own," said Hunter Jameson, a spokesman for a coalition of the city's churches.

The Santa Monica Daily Press reported that churches had little or no competition for the spaces during the past 57 years. This year, 13 people bid for spaces, prompting City Hall to use a random lottery system to allot the spots.

Two individuals got 18 spaces. One person can request a maximum of nine.

Damon Vix is behind the effort.

Last year, he put up a sign quoting Thomas Jefferson: "Religions are all alike -- founded on fables and mythologies." There were also selections on U.S. Supreme Court decisions about the importance of separating church and state.

Vix now helps other atheists populate the park spaces, including American Atheists Inc. and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Secularists feel a need to be more vocal and express their civil rights, he said.

"For 60 years, it's almost exclusively been the point of view of Christians putting up nativity scenes for a whole city block," Vix said.

Jameson pushed the city to give "local preference" in awarding the spaces, since Dix doesn't live in Santa Monica.

City Attorney Marsha Moutrie wrote, however, that the Christmas displays cross the boundary into First Amendment free speech rights, which know no geographical boundaries.

"Everyone has equal rights to use the streets and parks for expressive activities, irrespective of residency," Moutrie wrote.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/13/atheist-messages-displace-california-park-nativity-scenes/?test=latestnews


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 15, 2011, 09:58:57 AM
Busy season for paranoid anti-religious extremists. 

The plaintiffs ask for the homeland security law to be stripped of its references to God. They also ask for monetary damages, claiming to have suffered sleeping disorders and "mental pain and anguish."

"Plaintiffs also suffer anxiety from the belief that the existence of these unconstitutional laws suggest that their very safety as residents of Kentucky may be in the hands of fanatics, traitors or fools," according to the suit.


Bwahahahahahaha! 

Atheists sue to take God out of state's terrorism law
By John Cheves — jcheves@herald-leader.com
Posted: 12:00am on Dec 2, 2008; Modified: 9:46am on Dec 2, 2008

An atheists-rights group is suing the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security because state law requires the agency to stress "dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth."

American Atheists of Parsippany, N.J., and 10 non-religious Kentuckians are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, set to be filed Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court.

Edwin Kagin, a Boone County lawyer and the national legal director of American Atheists, said he was appalled to read in the Herald-Leader last week that state law establishes praising God — and installing a plaque in God's honor — as the first duty of the Homeland Security Office.

The state and federal constitutions both prohibit government from getting involved in religion, Kagin said Monday.

"This is one of the most outrageous things I've seen in 35 years of practicing law. It's breathtakingly unconstitutional," Kagin said.

Gov. Steve Beshear's office had not seen the suit and therefore had no comment, spokesman Jay Blanton said.

The requirement to credit God for Kentucky's protection was tucked into 2006 homeland security legislation by state Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, a Southern Baptist minister.

"This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky," Riner said last week.

Riner said he expects Homeland Security to include language recognizing God's benevolent protection in its official reports and other materials — sometimes the agency does, and sometimes it doesn't — and to maintain a plaque with that message at the state's Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort.

In the suit, American Atheists argues that Homeland Security should focus on public-safety threats rather than promote religion. The suit notes that the federal and state homeland security agencies were created as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists, and it refers to those attacks as "a faith-based initiative."

The plaintiffs ask for the homeland security law to be stripped of its references to God. They also ask for monetary damages, claiming to have suffered sleeping disorders and "mental pain and anguish."

"Plaintiffs also suffer anxiety from the belief that the existence of these unconstitutional laws suggest that their very safety as residents of Kentucky may be in the hands of fanatics, traitors or fools," according to the suit.


http://www.kentucky.com/2008/12/02/612255/atheists-sue-to-take-god-out-of.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 15, 2011, 10:04:11 AM
School Vows to Fight For Nativity
Dec 15, 2011
By Todd Starnes/TWITTER

The superintendent of a public school district in Arkansas said it’s time for Christians to take a stand and that’s why he’s decided to reinstate a Nativity scene – in spite of possible legal action.

“Enough is enough,” said Jerry Noble, superintendent of the Green County Tech school district. “It’s His birthday. We celebrate Jesus’ birthday. One person should not be offended by that. We don’t leave it up all year. We’re not promoting religion. It’s not an effort to convert anybody.”

Noble told Fox News & Commentary the controversy surrounds a Nativity scene on a bulletin board at Green County Tech Primary School. The bulletin board also included the words, “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”

Noble said they had received some complaints about the decorations and after consulting with an attorney, he decided to remove the Nativity.

“My personal belief is that we should fight this sort of thing, but I didn’t want to put the school district at risk,” he said. “I could not take it upon myself to get the school in a legal entanglement over separation of church and state because we would have to use tax dollars to fight it and that’s not my job to do that.”

(http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/NATIVITY.jpg)
Nativity Bulletin Board - photo by KUAR

But his decision sparked a massive outcry in the community – and one organization offered to cover any legal costs the school system might incur over a lawsuit. That offer helped change the superintendent’s mind.

“To be honest with you, we offended a lot more people by taking it down than leaving it up,” Noble said. “So we put it back up.”

Noble, who is a Christian, said he doesn’t understand why anyone would be offended by the Nativity.

“Personally, I’m a Christian and if I’m going to offend somebody, I’d rather offend the non-believer – if it’s legal to do so,” he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas said told radio station KUAR that the school district must obey the Constitution.

“To say that if you have to offend somebody you’d rather offend those in the minority, well that’s just what the Constitution and the First Amendment are all about – not offending the minority, standing up for everybody’s right to practice their religion whether there is one person in your town or a thousand,” ACLU Director Rita Sklar told KUAR. “That the superintendent and perhaps others don’t have respect for that, I think is very sad.”

The Nativity scene was erected by Kay Williams, a counselor at the primary school. She’s been doing it for more than 20 years without any hint of controversy.

“We do live in the Bible Belt,” Williams told the Paragould Daily Press. “One thing that really disturbed most of [the supporters] was we hear about things like this all the time in other parts of the country. But, this is kind of a first for the Bible Belt, here in Arkansas.”

That, Williams told the newspaper, is why they decided to take a stand.

“I think the people realized [this issue] is here and we better take a stand,” she told the newspaper.

Noble said the community support and the offer for free legal services led to his decision to allow the Nativity back into the primary school.

“The Christians in America have been silent for too long,” Noble said. “That’s why I struggled with it in the beginning.”

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/school-vows-to-fight-for-nativity.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on December 15, 2011, 04:00:00 PM
I cant believe these ppl dont have anything better to do with their free time.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 15, 2011, 05:28:09 PM
I cant believe these ppl dont have anything better to do with their free time.

Tell me about.  Especially during the holiday season.  Here is another one:

Atty: ‘Silent Night’ is Unconstitutional
Dec 15, 2011
By Todd Starnes/TWITTER
(http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Silent-Night-300x229.jpg)

A group of five, six and seven-year old children will be able to sing ‘Silent Night’ in their Christmas program after Alabama school officials decided to ignore a complaint filed by a group that called the song “unconstitutional.”

The news came as a relief to students and teachers at G.W. Trenholm Primary School in Tuscumbia, AL after they found themselves thrust into the war on Christmas.

“We’ve always sung ‘Silent Night’ and we’ve never had a problem,” Principal Janice Jackson told Fox News & Commentary. “We were just surprised, very surprised.”

Jackson said she received a letter from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State asking them to drop the song from their annual Christmas pageant.

“As a Christian minister, I love the hymn ‘Silent Night, Holy Night,’ but it’s not appropriate in this circumstance,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United in a statement to Fox News & Commentary. “This play takes place at a public elementary school and involves very young children.”

Lynn noted that the song “celebrates the birth of Christ as the savior, and not all families believe that.”

“Those who do are free to teach it at home or at church,” Lynn said. “Public schools are not the proper places for religious indoctrination.”

The play, called ‘The Reindeer Rebellion’ is a secular production involving Santa’s reindeer going on strike, Lynn said. He accused a teacher of choosing to “graft this Christian hymn onto the play.”

“We were so surprised because we are such a small school and we’re a small community. We can’t believe we were singled out for this,” Jackson said. “I thought it was a joke but the more I checked into it, I immediately called my superintendent.”

David Cortman, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, told Fox News & Commentary they plan on offering legal services to the school district free of charge in the event someone tries to file a lawsuit.

“Groups on the left such as Americans United have been trying to bully schools across the country all during this Christmas season, Cortman said. “When they tell schools it is unconstitutional to include a song such as ‘Silent Night’ in their Christmas program, they are simply wrong not only as a matter of law but also as a matter of fairness.”

He praised the school system for standing up to Americans United instead of caving in to their demands.

“I think it’s about time that not only Americans but schools specifically stand up to these Grinches who go on this Christmas attack every year yet deny there is any war on Christmas,” Cortman said.

Jackson said the children in grades K-2 didn’t understand the controversy.

“They just love to sing and they were even going to perform sign language with the song,” she said.

The community outcry, though, has been tremendous.

“I think it’s sad,” parent Amy Johnson told television station WHNT in Huntsville. “I don’t think this is the place to make your point politically or religiously. Christmas is about Jesus and that’s what the song is about.”

After consulting with their attorney, the school system decided to allow the students to perform the traditional Christmas carol.

“These children are just five six and seven years old,” Jackson said. “I guess we’re living in that kind of a world.”

She said she is relieved that the boys and girls will be able to sing and sign their song next week at the Christmas program. Had the song been cancelled, Jackson said she worried about how they would have told the children.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/school-refuses-to-censor-%E2%80%9Csilent-night%E2%80%9D.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 02, 2012, 11:47:49 AM
Conversations with God?  Imagine that.   :)

Gingrich: I Pray Before Major Decisions
Sunday, 01 Jan 2012

ATLANTIC, Iowa—Newt Gingrich spoke about his Catholic faith at several campaign stops, a nod to the Christian evangelical support he is likely to need to succeed in caucuses scheduled here Tuesday.

“I pray before virtually every speech and virtually every major decision,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich has been a Catholic for a few years, having converted after marrying his wife, Callista, whom he credits for his faith.

“Callista is a cradle Catholic and grew up in the Catholic church, I’m a convert. But all I can tell you is I find taking communion an enormously rewarding and deepening experience,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich changed religious denominations several times and his personal life, including his three marriages, has been played out in public. He has said several times he has sought forgiveness in his faith.

“I’ve been very clear publicly I’m not a perfect human being and I’ve made mistakes in my life and I’ve had to apologize to God and to seek reconciliation,” Gingrich said.

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/gingrich-prays-catholic-faith/2012/01/01/id/422728


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 04, 2012, 12:16:43 PM
Politicizing the National Prayer Breakfast?  Shocking.   ::)

Obama reflects on faith in prayer breakfast speech
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama spoke of his personal faith Thursday as he delivered remarks for the third year in a row at the National Prayer Breakfast.

In addition, Obama used the platform in front of religious dignitaries and politicians to express his vision of how faith and government intersect and can work together.

After his remarks, the president received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Washington Hilton, the White House pool reporter said. Journalists are barred from attending the breakfast with the exception of the White House pool, which follows the president. CNN requested and was denied access to the event.

The breakfast has hosted every president since Eisenhower.

Obama, who, as one administration official said, identifies as a "committed Christian who spends a lot of time working on his Christian walk," noted in the speech that he prays daily.

"I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little time in scripture and devotion," he said.

Since he has been in Washington, Obama has not formally joined a church. For nearly 20 years he was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The president and his staff have noted the logistical difficulties of a sitting president attending services, but he has visited several churches in Washington and worshiped privately with his family at Camp David.

The president also spoke of praying with Billy Graham, and said, "I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment."

In his speech Obama made specific mention of his calls, visits and prayers with Joel Hunter, a megachurch pastor from Florida, and with Bishop T.D. Jakes, a megachurch pastor from Texas.

"From time to time, friends of mine, some of who are here today, friends like Joel Hunter or T.D. Jakes, will come by the Oval Office or they'll call on the phone or they'll send me an e-mail, and we'll pray together, and they'll pray for me and my family, and for our country," he said.

Hunter, who was at the breakfast, said Obama hit the right notes with the crowd.

"The president made a positive and practical application of Jesus' command to love our neighbors," Hunter said. "He connected that moral mandate to the economic and political issues we face, and he let us know that, for him, that common good compassion is an extension of his personal Christian faith."

Jakes was not at the breakfast but, when reached by phone, said he had read a transcript of the speech.

"Anytime we can have an open dialogue about faith on the highest level it is a very good thing," he said.

Jakes said he had "the privilege to pray" with the past three U.S. presidents, and noted of his time praying with Obama, "It's no different from any other president. My plan was to provide prayerful support regardless of his policies, some of which I agree with and some of which I don't."

An administration official speaking on background said Obama viewed the speech as chance to explain his personal faith practices and to show "his desire to step in the gap for those who are vulnerable."

The president also highlighted faith efforts that are particularly of importance to young evangelicals, a voting block he courted heavily in 2008. The Passion Conference, a massive gathering of young Christians that this year took aim at human trafficking, got a nod from the podium, as did other groups with targeted antipoverty efforts.

CNN Money – Obama: Jesus would back my tax-the-rich policy

Others in the room recounted the ease with which the president presented his case for the integration of his faith and policy.

"Each time that I have listened to the president reflect on his Christian faith, I'm struck by the quiet poignancy of his words as he speaks from the heart," said Stephen Schneck, a professor from Catholic University who has advised the administration in the past.

"This morning we all felt this. Most moving for me was the way he spoke of his concern for the poor and marginalized and the personal responsibility he felt to serve these 'least among us,' a responsibility that the president grounded in his daily prayer life," Schneck told CNN. But he added, "Of course, that doesn't change that he made a serious mistake with the HHS mandate."

Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?

The administration was still doing damage control over a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy that forces religious schools and institutions that offer employee health insurance to cover FDA-approved contraceptives. The move has angered many Catholics in particular, who oppose the use of contraceptives on religious grounds, and view the policy as an intrusion on their religious liberty.

Hunter, who has been a strong vocal supporter of the president, noted that while there was no rancor in the room about the HHS decision, "there is real disappointment with that decision."

Obama did not directly address the issue in his speech but did allude to it when describing his guiding principles on coming to tough policy decisions.

"We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can't dictate our response to every challenge we face," he said. He added later, "Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical. It is God who is infallible, not us. Michelle reminds me of this often."

White House stands firm on contraception policy

Not long after the president's speech, the White House sent a fact sheet to reporters from Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. It laid out a point-by-point articulation of the HHS policy, making specific mention that churches will be exempt from the policy and noting Catholic opposition by highlighting the work they have done together.

"The administration has provided substantial resources to Catholic organizations over the past three years, in addition to numerous non-financial partnerships to promote healthy communities and serve the common good," the statement from Munoz reads. "This work includes partnerships with Catholic social service agencies on local responsible fatherhood programs and international anti-hunger/food assistance programs. We look forward to continuing this important work."

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, also spoke at the prayer breakfast about the complexity of the balance between religion and governing.

"I think we all had two different experiences of what can happen when we bring faith into the world of government and business," he said. "Sometimes it creates conflict, and when we look at our planet's history, even wars. But in other times - more often, really - true faith can be a reconciling force of amazing power, a power that can make an entire society better."

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/02/obama-reflects-on-faith-in-prayer-breakfast-speech/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 04, 2012, 03:49:58 PM
Gingrich: 'While I want your vote, I need your prayers'
by Joy Lin | February 04, 2012

LAS VEGAS -- Newt Gingrich appeared to wipe a tear away Friday night after singing along to a moving rendition of "God Bless America" during a prayer meeting.

"While I want your vote, I need your prayers," the candidate told a congregation of approximately 500 people. "I hope that both Callista and I can be in your prayers because we will need them every day that we serve this country."

Other than attending Mass in the morning and holding a media avail tonight, Gingrich - who until now had maintained a busy public schedule every voting day - has nothing else on his calendar Saturday. The candidate says he has the "hope" of finishing second in the Nevada caucuses but is mindful that Ron Paul's organization may trump his chances.

"We're going all out to see if we can't be a good solid second here," an optimistic Gingrich told Greta Van Susteren Friday. "And then we're on to Colorado and Minnesota. Voting has already started in Arizona and in Ohio. We're going to be competing there."

The candidate called upon children in the congregation to join him on stage Friday night, the first time he had done so since South Carolina. It was a move that evoked memories of his earlier success, fitting given the Gingrich team's efforts to rejigger its operation after losing momentum in Florida.

On Fox News, Gingrich hinted at a potential path toward winning the nomination, saying he hoped to be "even with or slightly ahead" of Romney in total delegates by April 3.

"We're working our way toward Super Tuesday," Gingrich said to Van Susteren. "And we think we'll do very, very well on Super Tuesday, and then in Alabama and Mississippi the following week. And then we think we will clean up in Texas on the 3rd of April.'

A bullish Newt Gingrich ratcheted up his populist attacks on Mitt Romney Friday, abandoning his "Massachusetts Moderate" rhetoric for more forceful language that coupled the former governor with the current president. Romney, Gingrich said at a morning venue which featured a mechanical bull, is "Obama lite ... Obama is big food stamp, he's little food stamp." Criticizing Romney for his support of indexing federal minimum wage to inflation, Gingrich said such a policy would raise barriers for unemployment.

"Truth is I don't think he understands the free market," he said. "I think he understands a lot about finance. But finance isn't the free market and Wall Street isn't Main Street, and giant businesses aren't small businesses, and what matters in America is the ability of the local business person, man or woman, to create enough jobs, to hire enough people, to start people down the road."

At church Friday night, Gingrich took to the stage to once again attack Governor Romney for saying he isn't concerned about the "very poor" so long as there are "safety nets."

"My good friend, the governor from Massachusetts, said it was okay not to worry about the poor because after all they have a safety net," Gingrich said. "It's not a safety net, it's a spider web. It traps them in poverty. It keeps them at the bottom. It deprives them of independence. One of the reasons I'm running is because I want to replace the spider web with a trampoline that launches them into the middle class and gives them a future."

http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2012/02/04/gingrich-while-i-want-your-vote-i-need-your-prayers/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 04, 2012, 09:40:37 PM
Who the heck is complaining about this?  Good grief.
 
School Removes “God” From Lee Greenwood Song
Apr 5, 2012
By Todd Starnes

Parents at a Massachusetts elementary school are furious after educators first removed the word ‘God’ from the popular Lee Greenwood song, “God Bless the U.S.A.” and then pulled the song all together from an upcoming concert.

Fox 25 in Boston is reporting that children at Stall Brook Elementary School in Bellingham were told to sing, “We love the U.S.A.” instead of “God Bless the U.S.A.”

After parents started complaining, school officials removed the song from the school assembly concert. The school’s principal released a statement to Fox 25 stating they hope to ”maintain the focus on the original objective of sharing students’ knowledge of the U.S. States, and because of logistics, will not include any songs.”

Greenwood released a statement to Fox News condemning the school’s actions.

“The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word God, which is also in the title ‘God Bless The USA,” Greenwood said. “Maybe the school should have asked the parents their thoughts before changing the lyrics to the song. They could have even asked the writer of the song, which I of course, would have said you can’t change the lyrics at all or any part of the song.”

Greenwood said the phrase “God Bless the USA” has a “very important meaning for those in the military and their families, as well as new citizens coming into our country.” He said it’s also played at every naturalization ceremony behind the national anthem.

“If the song is good enough to be played and performed in its original setting under those circumstances, it surely should be good enough for our children,” Greenwood said.

An online poll taken by the television station indicated more than 80 percent of viewers were outraged by removing God from the song.

“I don’t have a problem with the song if somebody else does I guess it’s there business,” resident Patrick Grudier said. “I mean It’s on our currency (God).”
But not everyone agreed – including parent Matthew Cote.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with changing the song,” he told the television. “It’s a public school. If you want to have the word God in the song, go to a private school.”

Reaction on Facebook has been overwhelmingly in favor of the traditional patriotic song.

“Here we go again, more war on Christianity,” wrote one Facebook user. “You can remove God all you want, but the good news — there is still a loving God and He lives.”

Another Facebook user called it sad and disgusting. “I’d like to say unbelievable — but it is so totally believable.”

LEE GREENWOOD’S STATEMENT TO TODD STARNES
“Maybe the school should have asked the parents their thoughts before changing the lyrics to the song.   They could have even asked the writer of the song, which I of course would have said you can’t change the lyrics at all or any part of the song.  The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word God, which is also in the title God Bless The USA.  We can’t take God out of the song, we can’t take God out of The Pledge of Allegiance, we can’t take God off of the American currency.  Let us also remember, the phrase God Bless the USA has a very important meaning for those in the military and their families, as well as new citizens coming to our Country.  The song is played at every naturalization ceremony behind The National Anthem.   If the song is good enough to played and performed in its original setting under those circumstances, it surely should be good enough for our children.” – Lee Greenwood

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/school-removes-god-from-lee-greenwood-song.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 03, 2012, 11:30:40 AM
Shocking.  Not.  "But while President George W. Bush hosted interfaith events at the White House to observe the day, Obama has not publicly observed the day and has no such events scheduled Thursday."


National Day of Prayer, A Largely Christian Event, Grows In Popularity As It Stirs Debate
Posted: 05/ 3/2012 11:12 am

Selena Lockwood of Byram, Miss., holds her hand up in a prayerful salute during the National Day of Prayer at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., last year. Hundreds of Texans are expected to come to downtown Dallas Thursday for an eight-hour string of faith-based celebrations that will include Sikh drummers, Islamic prayers, Hindu singers, a Jewish cantor and Methodist and Baptist congregations.

It may sound like a standard interfaith event, another of the many that have become popular in increasingly diverse American cities, but the revelry at the the city's Thanks-Giving Square in observance of the National Day of Prayer is unique in how far it's departed from its Protestant roots.

The National Day of Prayer, which has been observed on the first Thursday in May for 24 years, is still a largely Christian event, in which millions of Americans from thousands of churches across the country will participate, bowing their heads to God in prayer on the day that traces its history to the nation's earliest years. There will be Bible read-a-thons in front of city halls, police officers will pay tribute to the nation's first-responders at churches, and the devout will descend upon courthouse steps across American cities to grace the buildings with prayer.

But the event, designated via presidential proclamation, has increasingly faced accusations of encouraging an uncomfortable mingling of church and state and being too narrowly focused in practice on Christianity.

On one side, secular humanists and atheists have responded by promoting their own event, Thursday's National Day of Reason. Now in its ninth year, the nonreligious celebration has expanded to more than a dozen cities, where it's observed with blood drives, training on pro-secular policy lobbying and voter registration drives, as well as social events.

On the other hand, believers such as those in Dallas have tried to change the day's legacy by broadening its appeal. The Thanks-Giving Foundation, which typically observes the National Day of Prayer with an interfaith breakfast or luncheon, has made this year's event into a day-long festival, where more than half the events are purposefully devoted to non-Christians.

"We believe in the idea that gratitude is something that all faith traditions and all cultures value," said Chris Slaughter, a Christian Scientist who is president of the Thanks-Giving Foundation, which will be celebrating its 30th National Day of Prayer. "It can be used as a beginning point of conversation to learn about each other to gain respect and understanding."


That's a stark contrast to the theme of the Colorado Springs-based National Day of Prayer Task Force, one of the largest prayer event organizations. The group, which is chaired by Shirley Dobson, wife of evangelical group Focus on the Family's founder James Dobson, aims to "preserve America's Christian heritage," according a statement on its website.

A representative from the National Day of Prayer Task Force did not reply to a request for comment, but the website includes listings for thousands of events across the nation on Thursday. Representatives for the organization have said in interviews that interest in hosting Christian prayer events has increased by 35 percent this year.

John Inazu, a law professor who specializes in the First Amendment at Washington University in St. Louis, said the increasing popularity of Christian and interfaith National Day of Prayer events and the National Day of Reason reflects a growing conflict over the role of religion in public life.

Inazu pointed out that it's been 50 years since organized prayer in public schools was declared unconstitutional in Engel v. Vitale, a landmark Supreme Court case, but that laws that allow for voluntary prayer or moments of silence in schools and initiatives to have prayers in government buildings and in public spaces have gotten more popular.



"Some religious believers will likely use the Day of Prayer to call attention to what they view as a regrettable and consequential court decision," Inazu said. "But there's an important distinction between official school or government prayer or a public school or public space that allows prayer. The key is that it's voluntary and the guidance is made as non-sectarian and as general as possible."

The National Day of Prayer has met few legal challenges since it was made official in 1952 by President Harry Truman, who left it to subsequent presidents to decide its date each year. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation that set its observation to the first Thursday in May.

Two years ago, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the government-sponsored National Day of Prayer violated the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from establishing religion. After an appeal from President Barack Obama's administration, a higher court reversed the decision last year and ruled that the government proclamation did not require anyone's participation.

As is customary, Obama issued a proclamation this week on the Day of Prayer in which he asked "all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy" and called for "individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great Nation."

But while President George W. Bush hosted interfaith events at the White House to observe the day, Obama has not publicly observed the day and has no such events scheduled Thursday.

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman, said in an email that Obama "has been honored to celebrate prayer and faith through events like his recent Easter Prayer Breakfast, an annual event for Christian leaders begun in the Obama Administration, and speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast ... As a devoted Christian, the President prays daily and deeply appreciates the important role that prayer plays in the lives of millions of Americans."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/03/national-day-of-prayer_n_1473966.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: garebear on May 30, 2012, 02:32:58 AM
I cant believe these ppl dont have anything better to do with their free time.
They're actually doing something.

You're wining on a message board.








And only to say that the other people doing something have nothing to do with their time.



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on May 30, 2012, 02:50:03 PM
They're actually doing something.

You're wining on a message board.

And only to say that the other people doing something have nothing to do with their time.
YAYYYYY!!!! I got trolled!!!!

im posting on a message board b/c I dont find this topic so compelling that I need to go to such idiotic heights as your friends.

I have plenty of things to take my time work, school, gym, booze etc...I would rather spend my time doing more constructive things.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on June 24, 2012, 04:37:40 PM
Everyone has the right to practice any religion they choose, or not religion or at all, but we shouldn't be trying to appease a handful of paranoid anti-religious extremists. 

Lawmakers claim Air Force culture becoming 'hostile towards religion'
Published June 23, 2012
FoxNews.com

Dozens of House lawmakers accused the U.S. Air Force this week of being "hostile towards religion," citing a string of recent incidents they claim show the military is taking separation of church and state too far.

"Censorship is not required for compliance with the Constitution," they wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

The letter from 66 Republican members of Congress referenced a series of cases where they claim the Air Force "succumbed" to demands from outside groups.

Among the incidents:

A decision to remove a Latin reference to "God" from a logo/motto for the Rapid Capabilities Office

A decision to stop requiring staff to check for Bibles in Air Force Inn rooms

The removal of a document from a distance-learning course for Squadron Officer School that suggested chapel attendance is a sign of strong leadership

The suspension of an ethics course because the material included Bible passages

"Mr. Secretary, the combination of events mentioned above raises concerns that the Air Force is developing a culture that is hostile towards religion," the lawmakers wrote. They urged Panetta to investigate all the incidents and issue "clear Department of Defense policy guidance."

The letter was drafted by Reps. Diane Black, R-Tenn.; Randy Forbes, R-Va.; and Todd Akin, R-Mo.

'Censorship is not required for compliance with the Constitution'

- GOP lawmakers in letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

The incidents were not all as clear-cut as the lawmakers made them sound.

In the case of the Squadron Officer School course, the training document in question contained the following paragraph: "If you attend chapel regularly, both officers and Airmen are likely to follow this example. If you are morally lax in your personal life, a general moral indifference within the command can be expected."

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained to the Air Force in March that the line "creates the inescapable impression that regular church attendance is a requirement for commissioned Air Force officers in order to demonstrate positive morals to subordinates." The group said the document violates the constitutional prohibition on religious tests for U.S. office holders.

The Air Force subsequently scrapped the document.

In the case of the Rapid Capabilities Office, the reference to God was removed following a complaint from an atheist group. The original logo, according to Fox News Radio, said in Latin: "Doing God's Work with Other People's Money."
It was changed to say, "Doing Miracles with Other People's Money."

In the case of the Air Force Inn rooms, the Air Force moved to nix a question from its checklist asking whether a Bible was provided, according to the Air Force Times, though it did not order Bibles to be removed.

The Republican lawmakers, though, said the change in attitude can all be traced back to a September 2011 memo from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz that said chaplains, "not commanders," are expected to notify airmen of the Chaplain Corps programs.

The lawmakers said this suggested "that the mere mention of these programs is impermissible." All the subsequent incidents, they said, "go beyond the requirements of the Constitution."

"The changes lend credence to the notion that the Air Force will remove any reference to God or faith that an outside organization brings to its attention," they wrote.

The Air Force said in a statement responding to the letter that airmen are "free to exercise their constitutional right to practice their religion -- in a manner that is respectful of other individuals' rights to follow their own belief systems."

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/23/lawmakers-claim-air-force-culture-becoming-hostile-towards-religion/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Mr. Magoo on June 24, 2012, 05:12:03 PM
Everyone has the right to practice any religion they choose, or not religion or at all, but we shouldn't be trying to appease a handful of paranoid anti-religious extremists. 


Did you mean a "right to practice" or did you really mean a "right to believe"? I think many would agree to the second, but the first can be troublesome when some religions call on believers to act out against those who don't believe. Is it a right for a muslim to attack a christian for example, if their religion calls for that action?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on June 24, 2012, 05:14:44 PM
Did you mean a "right to practice" or did you really mean a "right to believe"? I think many would agree to the second, but the first can be troublesome when some religions call on believers to act out against those who don't believe. Is it a right for a muslim to attack a christian for example, if their religion calls for that action?

I meant "practice," "believe," "not believe," etc.  Not really much of a difference in this context. 

No, it's not right for a Muslim to attack a Christian, and that is not allowed in our country.  Not sure what that has to do with the catering to paranoid anti-religious extremists in the article I posted? 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Mr. Magoo on June 24, 2012, 05:19:26 PM
I meant "practice," "believe," "not believe," etc.  Not really much of a difference in this context. 

No, it's not right for a Muslim to attack a Christian, and that is not allowed in our country.  Not sure what that has to do with the catering to paranoid anti-religious extremists in the article I posted? 

Theres a difference between freedom to act and freedom to believe regarding obligations of religion versus obligation of society, several supreme court decisions have addressed it.

And I didnt asked if it was "right" for a muslim to attack a christian. I asked if it was A right. You said everyone has a right to practice any religion. I was seeing how consistent you was with that, or if you really meant that everyone has a right to believe any religion.

And I was speaking more generally regarding your comments about the article, not the article itself. My question was going beyond the article, directly at your comment.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on June 24, 2012, 05:23:40 PM
Theres a difference between freedom to act and freedom to believe regarding obligations of religion versus obligation of society, several supreme court decisions have addressed it.

And I didnt asked if it was "right" for a muslim to attack a christian. I asked if it was A right. You said everyone has a right to practice any religion. I was seeing how consistent you was with that, or if you really meant that everyone has a right to believe any religion.

And I was speaking more generally regarding your comments about the article, not the article itself. My question was going beyond the article, directly at your comment.

Of course there is a difference between a belief and an action.  Just not in the context of the article and my comments. 

Everyone has the right to practice any religion, or no religion, but no right is absolute, including the right to life.  They can all be taken away. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 07, 2012, 08:10:01 AM
Paranoid anti-religious extremists hard at work.

Mayor defends war memorial after group calls for removal of cross
Published August 04, 2012
FoxNews.com

(http://a57.foxnews.com/global.fncstatic.com/static/managed/img/U.S./660/371/wooncross.jpg)
A national atheist organization is seeking to remove this cross from a 91-year-old war memorial in Woonsocket, R.I., claiming it violates separation of church and state.

A mayor has come to the defense of a war memorial that features religious symbols and prayers after a national group called for the cross to be removed.

“The Firefighter’s Prayer” is a 91-year-old memorial in a Rhode Island city that honors hometown soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending their country during World War I and II, MyFoxBoston.com reports.
It has stood in the parking lot of the Woonsocket fire station for decades with no complaints, until earlier this year when the Freedom from Religion Foundation called for it to be stripped of the cross, claiming it violates the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause.

The group also wants the Woonsocket Fire Department to remove “The Firefighter’s Prayer” and a picture of an angel from its website.

“We ask that you immediately remove the cross from the Fire Station parking lot and remove the prayer and angel from the Woonsocket Fire Department website,” the foundation’s senior staff attorney, Rebecca Market, wrote in a letter to Woonsocket officials earlier this year.

But at an event Friday, Mayor Leo Fontaine reaffirmed earlier statements that the group’s request will not be met without a fight. “We will defend this monument no matter what,” he told MyFoxBoston.com. Fontaine said the monument is a symbol of the community, and the city is prepared to fight to keep the monument where it stands.

While the city is currently facing the possibility of bankruptcy, residents have rallied to raise $18,500 for a defense fund should the Freedom from Religion Foundation decide to file a lawsuit.
Fontaine has said that the city will not remove the cross, “under any circumstances.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/04/mayor-defends-war-memorial-after-group-calls-for-removal-cross/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on August 07, 2012, 08:46:38 AM
BAPTIST CHURCH REFUSES TO ALLOW A BLACK COUPLE TO MARRY AND IS THEN SHAMED INTO AN APOLOGY WHEN THEIR BIGOTRY IS MADE PUBLIC


By Jeffrey Elizabeth Copeland, CNN

(CNN)–After barring a black couple from marrying in its Mississippi facility in late July, the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs released a statement Sunday apologizing for its actions.

“We, the church, realize that the Hendersons and Wilsons should never have been asked to relocate their wedding. This wrong decision resulted in hurt and sadness for everyone. Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions,” the church said.

Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson planned for months to marry at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs but were asked at the last minute to move.

Their pastor, Stan Weatherford, made the request on behalf of some congregants who didn't want to see the couple married there, according to CNN affiliate WLBT. He performed the ceremony at a nearby church.

Sunday’s statement follows a string of apologies from First Baptist and its congregation for turning away the young couple.

“As a church, we express our apology to Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson for the hurt that was brought to them in the hours preceding their wedding and beyond. We are seeking forgiveness and reconciliation with our Lord Jesus Christ, Te’Andrea and Charles, family and friends of the Hendersons and Wilsons, our church family, and our community for the actions and attitudes that have recently occurred,” the statement continued.

Despite the church’s recent statements, the Wilsons aren’t convinced of the congregations' sincerity, they said, calling the recent release “an insult” and “misleading to the public.”

“The pastor has not spoken to us since a couple days after the incident. We have not heard from the pastor or any church official since the incident,” Charles Wilson said Sunday.

Dr. Richard Land, head of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm for the Southern Baptist Convention, called the church’s apology responsible and necessary.

“It certainly sounds to me as if God has been working on the hearts of the church members of Crystal Springs,” Land said. “And, they have seen and felt the error of their ways and they are expressing that in this letter. They’re apologizing and seeking to correct the damage that’s been done to the reputation of Christ and his church.”

Jonathan Thompson, the African-American community relations director for the city of Crystal Springs, was one of many community members to organize a unity rally after the incident, aiming to help reunite church members.

"I think this is an opportunity to really get intentional about reconciling," he said, adding that he prayed God would forgive all of them for their sins and that they would be able to find reconciliation.

However, Charles Wilson said, “at the rally, the pastor avoided us. He walked the other way when he saw us walking toward him. It would have been nice to talk to us before issuing a statement."

A spokesman who agreed to be identified only as a "church member" said that the church had attempted to reach out to the couple and that calls were not returned.

The Wilsons had attended the church but were not official members. They would have been the first African-American couple to marry in First Baptist Church’s 150-year history, church officials said.

"This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that," Weatherford told CNN affiliate WLBT in July.

Many church members were unaware of the decision to refuse to marry the couple and reacted with surprise to the news.

The incident "didn't represent all the people of the church," said Thompson, who visited the church after the incident.

Sunday's statement reaffirmed the church's desire for the inclusion of all people. "We the membership of First Baptist Church Crystal Springs hold the position that we should be open to all people. Our desire is to restore the church to be a spiritual lighthouse in doing the Lord’s will in Crystal Springs and in Mississippi."

"I blame the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs. I blame those members who knew and call themselves Christians and didn't stand up," Charles Wilson told WLBT.

“It’s up to them to decide whether to forgive or not. I hope they will,” Land said. “We recognized that our church, just like any other church, is made up of sinful- redeemed but flawed- saints who intentionally, at times, choose not to follow the Lord’s will. Alas, this is a truth of human nature.”

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/06/church-that-refused-to-marry-black-couple-releases-apology/  


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tonymctones on August 07, 2012, 03:43:04 PM
BAPTIST CHURCH REFUSES TO ALLOW A BLACK COUPLE TO MARRY AND IS THEN SHAMED INTO AN APOLOGY WHEN THEIR BIGOTRY IS MADE PUBLIC


By Jeffrey Elizabeth Copeland, CNN

(CNN)–After barring a black couple from marrying in its Mississippi facility in late July, the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs released a statement Sunday apologizing for its actions.

“We, the church, realize that the Hendersons and Wilsons should never have been asked to relocate their wedding. This wrong decision resulted in hurt and sadness for everyone. Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions,” the church said.

Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson planned for months to marry at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs but were asked at the last minute to move.

Their pastor, Stan Weatherford, made the request on behalf of some congregants who didn't want to see the couple married there, according to CNN affiliate WLBT. He performed the ceremony at a nearby church.

Sunday’s statement follows a string of apologies from First Baptist and its congregation for turning away the young couple.

“As a church, we express our apology to Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson for the hurt that was brought to them in the hours preceding their wedding and beyond. We are seeking forgiveness and reconciliation with our Lord Jesus Christ, Te’Andrea and Charles, family and friends of the Hendersons and Wilsons, our church family, and our community for the actions and attitudes that have recently occurred,” the statement continued.

Despite the church’s recent statements, the Wilsons aren’t convinced of the congregations' sincerity, they said, calling the recent release “an insult” and “misleading to the public.”

“The pastor has not spoken to us since a couple days after the incident. We have not heard from the pastor or any church official since the incident,” Charles Wilson said Sunday.

Dr. Richard Land, head of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm for the Southern Baptist Convention, called the church’s apology responsible and necessary.

“It certainly sounds to me as if God has been working on the hearts of the church members of Crystal Springs,” Land said. “And, they have seen and felt the error of their ways and they are expressing that in this letter. They’re apologizing and seeking to correct the damage that’s been done to the reputation of Christ and his church.”

Jonathan Thompson, the African-American community relations director for the city of Crystal Springs, was one of many community members to organize a unity rally after the incident, aiming to help reunite church members.

"I think this is an opportunity to really get intentional about reconciling," he said, adding that he prayed God would forgive all of them for their sins and that they would be able to find reconciliation.

However, Charles Wilson said, “at the rally, the pastor avoided us. He walked the other way when he saw us walking toward him. It would have been nice to talk to us before issuing a statement."

A spokesman who agreed to be identified only as a "church member" said that the church had attempted to reach out to the couple and that calls were not returned.

The Wilsons had attended the church but were not official members. They would have been the first African-American couple to marry in First Baptist Church’s 150-year history, church officials said.

"This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that," Weatherford told CNN affiliate WLBT in July.

Many church members were unaware of the decision to refuse to marry the couple and reacted with surprise to the news.

The incident "didn't represent all the people of the church," said Thompson, who visited the church after the incident.

Sunday's statement reaffirmed the church's desire for the inclusion of all people. "We the membership of First Baptist Church Crystal Springs hold the position that we should be open to all people. Our desire is to restore the church to be a spiritual lighthouse in doing the Lord’s will in Crystal Springs and in Mississippi."

"I blame the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs. I blame those members who knew and call themselves Christians and didn't stand up," Charles Wilson told WLBT.

“It’s up to them to decide whether to forgive or not. I hope they will,” Land said. “We recognized that our church, just like any other church, is made up of sinful- redeemed but flawed- saints who intentionally, at times, choose not to follow the Lord’s will. Alas, this is a truth of human nature.”

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/06/church-that-refused-to-marry-black-couple-releases-apology/ 
this should be fought just like the idiotic paranoid anti religious stuff should be fought, wouldnt you agree straw?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on August 08, 2012, 07:09:13 AM
this should be fought just like the idiotic paranoid anti religious stuff should be fought, wouldnt you agree straw?

no way to answer such a generalized question

this example was a church refusing to allow a black couple to marry solely based on their race.    That's just plain old fashioned racism and of course everyone should object to that (unless of course they are a racist)

this thread includes many examples of things that are not paranoid/anti-religious that fundies would like to characterize that way and I would not agree that they are equivalent with the experience of this couple in any way, shape or form


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 14, 2012, 11:56:23 AM
 ::)

School district dismisses atheist group's threat to sue over 'God' songs
By Maegan Vazquez
Published August 14, 2012
FoxNews.com

A national atheist group is demanding that a New York public school district remove songs from the curriculum of a music class because they feature the words "god" and "lord" in the lyrics, but the educators aren't backing down.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has sent letters to the Shenendehowa Central Schools, in Clifton Park, N.Y., threatening legal action if the songs aren't removed from Okte Elementary School's curriculum. The possibly-religious songs include "Thank You for the World So Sweet," which says "Thank you God for everything," "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep," which says "I pray the Lord my soul to keep," "Michael Row your Boat Ashore" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."


"They're going after little children over an innocent song."
- Bill Donohue, president of Catholic League

"This is not minor. It's predatory to conduct this toward a young, captive audience who would be truant if they didn't attend public school," Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, told FoxNews.com.

The organization sent a letter to Superintendent Oliver Robinson about the songs in June on behalf of a parent who complained. While the two groups communicated over the summer break, a third letter from the FRFF staff attorney arrived on Aug. 6, which warned of legal action.

School officials are standing firm, claiming the songs the kids are being taught are simply educational:

"None of the songs was taught, or used, as prayer. Thus, the case you cite dealing with school prayer is an inapposite...[the songs] were used appropriately to teach musical concepts," Kathryn McCary, the school district's attorney, said in letter mailed to the foundation. 

Gaylor dismissed the argument, saying the songs don't have to be part of a prayer to violate the separation of church and state clause of the First Amendment.

"It doesn't matter that the devotional wasn't toward a specific religion. We've already been through this with another case that features prayer songs," she said.

Some religious organizations disagree.

"This would never stand a chance with the Supreme Court. They [FFRF] wants to censor the expressions of Christianity -- and they only go after the Christians, not the Jews or the Muslims. Now they're going after little children over an innocent song," Bill Donohue, president of Catholic League, told FoxNews.com. "I applaud the school district -- they've made a very cogent argument. If this goes to court, we need to teach them (FFRF) a lesson."

It looks like the complaint just might go through the rounds of the justice system.

"We have made it clear that we have a parent that is willing to take formal legal action in court," Gaylor said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/14/atheists-demand-schools-to-remove-songs-mentioning-god/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 20, 2012, 11:33:31 AM
Crybabies.

University of Tennessee Refuses to Ban Pre-Game Prayers
Posted in Top Stories
Sep 19, 2012
By Todd Starnes

It’s football time in Tennessee where longtime gridiron traditions are cherished – from Rocky Top to the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. At the start of every game inside the colossal Neyland Stadium, thousands of the football faithful rise to their feet, remove their hats and pause for the pre-game prayer.

But in recent days the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s pre-game prayer has come under attack. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a cease and desist letter to the public university calling for them to abandon the long-time tradition.

“This is a public university, not a Christian club,” wrote Annie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF in a letter to the chancellor. “When you’re not religious or are of another faith and you get prayed at during events, it’s really very grating.”

“It’s a sock in the gut for you to go for a sporting event and then be told to conform to someone else’s religion,” she said in a story published by the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Chancellor Jimmy Cheek responded by saying the pre-game prayers are protected by the U.S. Constitution and will not be silenced on his campus.

“The university will continue to allow prayers before university events,” he wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News.

Cheek cited a court ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that specifically held that “nonsectarian prayer at public university events does not violate the First Amendment.”

And furthermore, Cheek said prayers will also be welcomed at other university events – outside the confines of the football stadium.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that the FFRF sent their cease and desist letter on behalf of UT alumni and students who “felt disenfranchised by the prayers.”

“You roll your eyes and say why is this going on at a government-subsidized event?” retired ecologist and FFRF member Bob Craig told the newspaper. “I also see it at all the high school games where they have prayers before games and after games. It’s really out of place. It’s hurting all those people that don’t have that belief and ostracizing them.”

The university’s decision brought praise from Kevin Brooks, a Republican state representative.

“I was at the game on Saturday and actually commented on how thankful I was that we began the game in prayer and how much I enjoyed the halftime musical performance of Amazing Grace,” he told Fox News.

Brooks said it was alarming that an outside organization from Wisconsin would involve itself in the affairs of another state. There is no separation of church and state in the Constitution, he noted.

“I am so thankful that Tennesseans are going to stand up and say this is the Volunteer State and voluntarily we’re going to keep praying,” Brooks said.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/university-of-tennessee-refuses-to-ban-pre-game-prayers.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on September 20, 2012, 01:51:02 PM
fundie moron thinks the Federal Government should "investigate" cartoons

http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2012/09/18/13941805-fox-news-host-wants-south-park-investigated-for-blasphemy?lite

Fox News host wants 'South Park' investigated for blasphemy
By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper , TODAY

In the wake of news reports about the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," a Fox News host has decided that a bigger and more professionally made production, "South Park," should come under fire.


Todd Starnes, host of "FOX News & Commentary" and author of "Dispatches from Bitter America," spoke on a panel about "Religious Hostility in America" at the Values Voter Summit in Washington this past weekend, and Cartman and friends were on his mind.

"We have seen the administration come out and say, 'We condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith.' And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film," Starnes said. "Well, that's well and good, but my question is: When has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like 'South Park,' which has denigrated all faiths? Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?"

"South Park" has famously taken on religions of all kinds. Scientology is parodied in an episode where Stan is thought to be the reincarnation of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and Scientologist Tom Cruise wouldn't come out of Stan's closet. Mormonism is mocked in an episode where Stan is impressed by a Mormon family's behavior, if not convinced of their beliefs. Cartman constantly makes fun of Kyle, the lone Jew among the four main characters. Catholicism, especially the child-molestation scandals involving priests, has also been targeted by the show.


 "South Park" also portrayed Muhammad. In its fifth season, the show featured the "Super Best Friends," a superhero group led by Jesus and consisting of Muhammad, Buddha, Moses, Joseph Smith, Krishna, Laozi and an Aquaman parody called Sea Man. The episode first aired on July 4, 2001, before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of that year, and there was little fuss when Muhammad was portrayed. But when the show tried to show a Muhammad character in 2010, Comedy Central altered the episode.

In June, a Muslim man pled guilty to threatening the "South Park" creators over the 2010 episode and was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Mr. Magoo on September 20, 2012, 03:42:36 PM
Crybabies.

Isn't this whole thread you crying over people who cry too much?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on September 20, 2012, 04:03:19 PM
Isn't this whole thread you crying over people who cry too much?

yep and he loves to bump it whenever he gets the urge to feel victimized and needs a good cry



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 20, 2012, 05:49:00 PM
Isn't this whole thread you crying over people who cry too much?

Nope.  It's about prayer and religion in public life.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: garebear on September 29, 2012, 06:51:32 AM
Nope.  It's about prayer and religion in public life.   :)
.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Shockwave on September 29, 2012, 06:54:01 AM
fundie moron thinks the Federal Government should "investigate" cartoons

http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2012/09/18/13941805-fox-news-host-wants-south-park-investigated-for-blasphemy?lite

Fox News host wants 'South Park' investigated for blasphemy
By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper , TODAY

In the wake of news reports about the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," a Fox News host has decided that a bigger and more professionally made production, "South Park," should come under fire.


Todd Starnes, host of "FOX News & Commentary" and author of "Dispatches from Bitter America," spoke on a panel about "Religious Hostility in America" at the Values Voter Summit in Washington this past weekend, and Cartman and friends were on his mind.

"We have seen the administration come out and say, 'We condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith.' And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film," Starnes said. "Well, that's well and good, but my question is: When has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like 'South Park,' which has denigrated all faiths? Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?"

"South Park" has famously taken on religions of all kinds. Scientology is parodied in an episode where Stan is thought to be the reincarnation of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and Scientologist Tom Cruise wouldn't come out of Stan's closet. Mormonism is mocked in an episode where Stan is impressed by a Mormon family's behavior, if not convinced of their beliefs. Cartman constantly makes fun of Kyle, the lone Jew among the four main characters. Catholicism, especially the child-molestation scandals involving priests, has also been targeted by the show.


 "South Park" also portrayed Muhammad. In its fifth season, the show featured the "Super Best Friends," a superhero group led by Jesus and consisting of Muhammad, Buddha, Moses, Joseph Smith, Krishna, Laozi and an Aquaman parody called Sea Man. The episode first aired on July 4, 2001, before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of that year, and there was little fuss when Muhammad was portrayed. But when the show tried to show a Muhammad character in 2010, Comedy Central altered the episode.

In June, a Muslim man pled guilty to threatening the "South Park" creators over the 2010 episode and was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison

Douches, all of them. Investigation for blasphemy, what bitches.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: garebear on September 29, 2012, 07:12:43 AM
fundie moron thinks the Federal Government should "investigate" cartoons

http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2012/09/18/13941805-fox-news-host-wants-south-park-investigated-for-blasphemy?lite

Fox News host wants 'South Park' investigated for blasphemy
By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper , TODAY

In the wake of news reports about the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," a Fox News host has decided that a bigger and more professionally made production, "South Park," should come under fire.


Todd Starnes, host of "FOX News & Commentary" and author of "Dispatches from Bitter America," spoke on a panel about "Religious Hostility in America" at the Values Voter Summit in Washington this past weekend, and Cartman and friends were on his mind.

"We have seen the administration come out and say, 'We condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith.' And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film," Starnes said. "Well, that's well and good, but my question is: When has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like 'South Park,' which has denigrated all faiths? Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?"

"South Park" has famously taken on religions of all kinds. Scientology is parodied in an episode where Stan is thought to be the reincarnation of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and Scientologist Tom Cruise wouldn't come out of Stan's closet. Mormonism is mocked in an episode where Stan is impressed by a Mormon family's behavior, if not convinced of their beliefs. Cartman constantly makes fun of Kyle, the lone Jew among the four main characters. Catholicism, especially the child-molestation scandals involving priests, has also been targeted by the show.


 "South Park" also portrayed Muhammad. In its fifth season, the show featured the "Super Best Friends," a superhero group led by Jesus and consisting of Muhammad, Buddha, Moses, Joseph Smith, Krishna, Laozi and an Aquaman parody called Sea Man. The episode first aired on July 4, 2001, before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of that year, and there was little fuss when Muhammad was portrayed. But when the show tried to show a Muhammad character in 2010, Comedy Central altered the episode.

In June, a Muslim man pled guilty to threatening the "South Park" creators over the 2010 episode and was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison

This is literally too ridiculous for me to be upset about.

I'm speechless.



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Shockwave on September 29, 2012, 07:13:30 AM
This is literally too ridiculous for me to be upset about.

I'm speechless.


Seriously.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 26, 2012, 05:00:25 PM
Charlie Brown?  Really?? 

Secularists: ‘Merry Christmas Charlie Brown’ Violates Constitution
Nov 26, 2012
By Todd Starnes

An Arkansas secular group is defending its opposition to public school students being allowed attend a performance of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” while rejecting claims they had declared a ‘war on Christmas.’

“Those who stand up for the rights of children to be free from coercion aren’t making war either on religion or Christmas,” said LeeWood Thomas, spokesperson for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. “This is a case of a church forming an alliance with local government to violate religious freedom.”

Students at Terry Elementary School in Little Rock had been invited to attend an upcoming performance of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” at Agape Church. The theatrical production is adapted from the popular animated television classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The Little Rock School District said students were not required to attend the performance and as far as the district is concerned – there is no controversy.

“The teachers wanted to provide an opportunity for cultural enrichment for students through a holiday production and are supported by the principal,” spokesperson Pamela Smith told Fox News. “Because it will be held at a church, as some public events often are, a letter was sent home with students so parents who took exception and wished to have their children remain at school could do so.”

The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers said they were speaking out on behalf of a parent whose child attends the school. They said the parent felt forced to “choose between maintaining their family religious beliefs versus their child being singled out and possibly ostracized or bullied.”

“Merely allowing a child to opt out of a school-sponsored religious activity during the winter holidays is no solution,” Anne Orsi, vice president of the group said in a statement. “Such a situation exposes the children of minority faiths and outlooks to majority pressure and victimization. Thus the religious rights of children are being violated along with their right to privacy.”

The society said public schools should not take students to churches to see plays with religious content.

“This isn’t about Charlie Brown or Christmas,” Orsi said in her statement. “It’s about the separation of church and state. We must be sensitive to that and never allow public schools to promote one brand of religion over any other.”

But attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom said the secular group is way off base.

“An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that it’s okay to celebrate Christmas in schools and in the public square,” attorney Matt Sharp said.

The ADF sent a letter to the Little Rock School District offering their legal services should anyone sue over the performance.

“Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow students to watch a classic Christmas production simply because a Bible verse is mentioned in it,” Sharp wrote in his letter. “Are atheist groups going to start demanding that students be blocked from attending other classic productions just because they contain religious references?”

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/secularists-merry-christmas-charlie-brown-violates-constitution.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: littledumbells on November 26, 2012, 05:19:56 PM
I was kidding about the ACLU.

I agree the government shouldn't be proselytizing. 

It's not just that this is a free country, it's that faith is really interwoven throughout our society, both in the public and private sectors.  It was fascinating to see this at play yesterday. 

  Its either that or folks just go with the flow


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 30, 2012, 01:04:09 PM
How insecure do you have to be to complain about a little kid saying the word "God"? 

'God' removed from student's poem
Landdis Hollifield
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A decision to remove the word “God” from a school program is causing a world of controversy for McDowell County Schools.

But a First Amendment expert said school officials made the right decision.

During Monday’s Board of Education meeting, two members of the public stepped forward to talk to board members about a First Amendment issue at West Marion Elementary.

McDowell County Schools employee Chris Greene and McDowell County resident Esther Dollarhyde each took a turn talking about West Marion Elementary’s Veterans Day program during the public comment portion of the meeting.

“On Nov. 8, 2012 West Marion held their annual Veterans Day program in the midst of a lot of drama,” Greene said. “We had one parent concerned with the use of the word God in this program. This parent did not want the word God mentioned anywhere in the program. When the demand from this person was heard, the rights of another stopped. It did so by hushing the voice of a six-year-old girl.”

Greene said the student had written a special poem for the program about her grandfathers, both of whom had served in the armed forces during the Vietnam War.

In it, she wrote, “he prayed to God for peace, he prayed to God for strength,” which Greene stated she was told she could not read during the school assembly.

“She was told that she was not allowed to say the word God during this program” stated Greene. “Being a six year old, and not knowing her rights, she did what she was told.”

Greene said the girl wasn’t trying to force people to pray, but was just telling them what her grandfather had done.

“Let me add here that those prayers worked, because he went on to serve two tours in Vietnam,” Greene said. “My question is this, when do the rights of one outweigh the rights of another? I believe that this little girl’s rights were violated and that those who worked so hard to prepare this program should receive an apology.”

Esther Dollarhyde agreed.

“We need to keep in mind what was our country founded on,” stated Dollarhyde. “It was founded on God and Jesus Christ, and our veterans went out and fought for us so we would have a free country, but if we aren’t allowed to honor them the way that the children want to then America is getting lost.”

When contacted after the presentations, School Board member Lynn Greene, who is also Chris Greene’s father, said school officials had overstepped their authority.

“My understanding on the law is a teacher cannot promote any certain religion, but when it comes to students voicing their opinion or expressing themselves in a poem we pretty much have to give some leeway,” Greene said. “To me this whole thing is a violation of that child’s rights. Nobody forced her to write the poem, that was her part of the program. She was asked to write a poem about veterans and she did. My personal opinion is that her rights were violated.”

School Board member Terry Frank said he could not comment until he knew more about the situation.

When asked why the decision was made to remove the word God, Superintendent Gerri Martin said it came about after a serious discussion with West Marion’s Principal Desarae Kirkpatrick and Vice Principal Nakia Carson.

“The discussion (about the poem) occurred between myself, the principal and the assistant principal at West Marion,” stated Martin. “We wanted to make sure we were upholding the school district’s responsibility of separation of church and state from the Establishment Clause.”

When asked why other schools were allowed to hold programs containing poems and student writings with the word God in them, Martin said that was because West Marion was the only one who had asked for consultation about their program.

Kirkpatrick, like Martin, said the decision was based on a public school’s necessity to not infringe upon other students’ freedom of religion.

“After consulting with the Superintendent, Dr. Martin, we jointly decided that we must err on the side of caution to prevent from crossing the line on the Establishment Clause of the Constitution,” stated Kirkpatrick. “As a principal of a public school, I must put aside my personal religious beliefs and follow the law, which upholds that we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but that we, as public schools, cannot endorse one single religion over another.”

The McDowell News contacted the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C., which serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the government.

After studying the situation, President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Paulson stated the school did in fact have the right to remove the word God from the child’s poem.

“Courts have consistently held up the rights for students to express themselves unless their speech is disruptive to the school,” stated Paulson. “When the little girl wrote the poem and included a reference to God she had every right to do that. The First Amendment protects all Americans. She had every right to mention God, (but) that dynamic changed when they asked her to read it at an assembly.”

Paulson stated that because students were a captive audience, which means they didn’t have another place to go if they didn’t want to attend the assembly, that administrators had the right to remove the word God.

“Courts have found that religious references at school-sponsored events generally run afoul of the First Amendment,” said Paulson, adding that if kids had randomly been asked what they thought of veterans, the little girl could have shared her poem, because it wasn’t planned. “When a public school knows there’s going to be a reference to religion then there is a problem and they have to address it. The reason for these restrictions is to prevent the government from endorsing a specific faith or religion. So public schools have to steer clear of religious references.”

http://www.hickoryrecord.com/mcdowell_news/news/article_c671bb96-335e-11e2-9c33-001a4bcf6878.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: whork on November 30, 2012, 04:44:28 PM
How insecure do you have to be to complain about a little kid saying the word "God"? 

'God' removed from student's poem
Landdis Hollifield
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A decision to remove the word “God” from a school program is causing a world of controversy for McDowell County Schools.

But a First Amendment expert said school officials made the right decision.

During Monday’s Board of Education meeting, two members of the public stepped forward to talk to board members about a First Amendment issue at West Marion Elementary.

McDowell County Schools employee Chris Greene and McDowell County resident Esther Dollarhyde each took a turn talking about West Marion Elementary’s Veterans Day program during the public comment portion of the meeting.

“On Nov. 8, 2012 West Marion held their annual Veterans Day program in the midst of a lot of drama,” Greene said. “We had one parent concerned with the use of the word God in this program. This parent did not want the word God mentioned anywhere in the program. When the demand from this person was heard, the rights of another stopped. It did so by hushing the voice of a six-year-old girl.”

Greene said the student had written a special poem for the program about her grandfathers, both of whom had served in the armed forces during the Vietnam War.

In it, she wrote, “he prayed to God for peace, he prayed to God for strength,” which Greene stated she was told she could not read during the school assembly.

“She was told that she was not allowed to say the word God during this program” stated Greene. “Being a six year old, and not knowing her rights, she did what she was told.”

Greene said the girl wasn’t trying to force people to pray, but was just telling them what her grandfather had done.

“Let me add here that those prayers worked, because he went on to serve two tours in Vietnam,” Greene said. “My question is this, when do the rights of one outweigh the rights of another? I believe that this little girl’s rights were violated and that those who worked so hard to prepare this program should receive an apology.”

Esther Dollarhyde agreed.

“We need to keep in mind what was our country founded on,” stated Dollarhyde. “It was founded on God and Jesus Christ, and our veterans went out and fought for us so we would have a free country, but if we aren’t allowed to honor them the way that the children want to then America is getting lost.”

When contacted after the presentations, School Board member Lynn Greene, who is also Chris Greene’s father, said school officials had overstepped their authority.

“My understanding on the law is a teacher cannot promote any certain religion, but when it comes to students voicing their opinion or expressing themselves in a poem we pretty much have to give some leeway,” Greene said. “To me this whole thing is a violation of that child’s rights. Nobody forced her to write the poem, that was her part of the program. She was asked to write a poem about veterans and she did. My personal opinion is that her rights were violated.”

School Board member Terry Frank said he could not comment until he knew more about the situation.

When asked why the decision was made to remove the word God, Superintendent Gerri Martin said it came about after a serious discussion with West Marion’s Principal Desarae Kirkpatrick and Vice Principal Nakia Carson.

“The discussion (about the poem) occurred between myself, the principal and the assistant principal at West Marion,” stated Martin. “We wanted to make sure we were upholding the school district’s responsibility of separation of church and state from the Establishment Clause.”

When asked why other schools were allowed to hold programs containing poems and student writings with the word God in them, Martin said that was because West Marion was the only one who had asked for consultation about their program.

Kirkpatrick, like Martin, said the decision was based on a public school’s necessity to not infringe upon other students’ freedom of religion.

“After consulting with the Superintendent, Dr. Martin, we jointly decided that we must err on the side of caution to prevent from crossing the line on the Establishment Clause of the Constitution,” stated Kirkpatrick. “As a principal of a public school, I must put aside my personal religious beliefs and follow the law, which upholds that we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but that we, as public schools, cannot endorse one single religion over another.”

The McDowell News contacted the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C., which serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the government.

After studying the situation, President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Paulson stated the school did in fact have the right to remove the word God from the child’s poem.

“Courts have consistently held up the rights for students to express themselves unless their speech is disruptive to the school,” stated Paulson. “When the little girl wrote the poem and included a reference to God she had every right to do that. The First Amendment protects all Americans. She had every right to mention God, (but) that dynamic changed when they asked her to read it at an assembly.”

Paulson stated that because students were a captive audience, which means they didn’t have another place to go if they didn’t want to attend the assembly, that administrators had the right to remove the word God.

“Courts have found that religious references at school-sponsored events generally run afoul of the First Amendment,” said Paulson, adding that if kids had randomly been asked what they thought of veterans, the little girl could have shared her poem, because it wasn’t planned. “When a public school knows there’s going to be a reference to religion then there is a problem and they have to address it. The reason for these restrictions is to prevent the government from endorsing a specific faith or religion. So public schools have to steer clear of religious references.”

http://www.hickoryrecord.com/mcdowell_news/news/article_c671bb96-335e-11e2-9c33-001a4bcf6878.html

WTF

 >:(


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tbombz on November 30, 2012, 05:02:23 PM
references to "God" made in government agencies should be allowed, but there should absolutely never be any mention of any particular religious dogma (such as quoting the bible, checking for bibles in hotel rooms, encouraging church attendance, saying the name "jesus", etc.)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tbombz on December 01, 2012, 02:58:02 PM
BAPTIST CHURCH REFUSES TO ALLOW A BLACK COUPLE TO MARRY AND IS THEN SHAMED INTO AN APOLOGY WHEN THEIR BIGOTRY IS MADE PUBLIC

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/06/church-that-refused-to-marry-black-couple-releases-apology/  
  private organization, they can do whatever they want. be racist, be homophobic, be whatever. thats what freedom is all about.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Mr. Magoo on December 01, 2012, 03:06:21 PM
  private organization, they can do whatever they want. be racist, be homophobic, be whatever. thats what freedom is all about.

I disagree.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: tbombz on December 01, 2012, 07:15:10 PM
I disagree.
well then i think your an authoritarian who doesnt believe in the freedom to do what you choose so long as your not infringing on others freedoms in the process!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 03, 2012, 12:38:33 PM
references to "God" made in government agencies should be allowed, but there should absolutely never be any mention of any particular religious dogma (such as quoting the bible, checking for bibles in hotel rooms, encouraging church attendance, saying the name "jesus", etc.)

There is nothing wrong with mentioning or say the name of any religious figure in public.  Contrary to what some atheists want and/or believe, the First Amendment isn't about cleansing religion from the public square. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 03, 2012, 12:39:24 PM
I disagree.

You think private organizations should not be able to discriminate? 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Mr. Magoo on December 03, 2012, 04:04:43 PM
There is nothing wrong with mentioning or say the name of any religious figure in public.  Contrary to what some atheists want and/or believe, the First Amendment isn't about cleansing religion from the public square. 

this obviously hinges on the court's interpretation of "respecting".


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Straw Man on December 03, 2012, 04:08:47 PM
There is nothing wrong with mentioning or say the name of any religious figure in public.  Contrary to what some atheists want and/or believe, the First Amendment isn't about cleansing religion from the public square.  

plenty of christians get their panties in a twist if any religious figure other than a christian religious figure is mentioned in public

here is one example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akah8HbqXw0


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Mr. Magoo on December 03, 2012, 04:09:45 PM
well then i think your an authoritarian who doesnt believe in the freedom to do what you choose so long as your not infringing on others freedoms in the process!

This is a very amateur interpretation. "Free to do whatever as long as you don't infringe upon the freedom of others." This sounds like something a modern libertarian politician would spew out. But the concept of property, for example, infringes on the freedom of others, i.e. "You are no longer free to trespass." But no libertarian is against owning property, so the whole mantra of "free to do whatever as long as it doesn't infringe on others freedoms" should be reformulated.  



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Mr. Magoo on December 03, 2012, 04:12:34 PM
You think private organizations should not be able to discriminate? 

What do you mean "discriminate"?

But that wasn't what Tbombz said originally anyway. He said private organizations can do "whatever they want" because "that is what freedom is all about".

Private organizations can't do whatever they want, and being able to is not what freedom is all about.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 03, 2012, 04:27:29 PM
this obviously hinges on the court's interpretation of "respecting".

"Respecting" in the First Amendment doesn't mean you have to cleanse religion from the public square.  It doesn't mean you can't have religious symbols on public property.  Or chaplains on the government payroll in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.  Or military chaplains paid for by tax dollars.  Or most of the other things some paranoid atheists run around the country crying about. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 03, 2012, 04:29:32 PM
What do you mean "discriminate"?

But that wasn't what Tbombz said originally anyway. He said private organizations can do "whatever they want" because "that is what freedom is all about".

Private organizations can't do whatever they want, and being able to is not what freedom is all about.

I thought he was referring to discrimination, but maybe I'm assuming too much. 

No, private organizations (or anyone else for that matter) can't do whatever they want.  I was only talking about discrimination (race, gender, national origin, religion, etc.).


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: whork on December 04, 2012, 03:45:45 AM
This is a very amateur interpretation. "Free to do whatever as long as you don't infringe upon the freedom of others." This sounds like something a modern libertarian politician would spew out. But the concept of property, for example, infringes on the freedom of others, i.e. "You are no longer free to trespass." But no libertarian is against owning property, so the whole mantra of "free to do whatever as long as it doesn't infringe on others freedoms" should be reformulated.  



Good post.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 10, 2012, 11:41:09 AM
Secular group rips Kansas Gov. Brownback for promotion of faith rally
Published December 10, 2012
FoxNews.com

A secular group tore into Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback over the weekend for promoting a national faith rally, saying the Republican governor needs to "repent" for allegedly violating the separation of church and state.

Whether any constitutional boundaries were actually breached is unclear, but Americans United for Separation of Church and State was unsparing in its criticism of the governor.

"The people of Kansas do not need politicians telling us when, how or whether to pray," Vickie Sandell Stangl, president of the Great Plains Chapter of Americans United, said in a statement.

"If anybody needs to repent, it's Gov. Brownback. He needs to repent for violating the constitutional separation of church and state."

The Kansas governor spoke on Saturday at a ReignDown USA event in Topeka, Kan., where he used his 10-minute appearance to discuss how he turned to religion after being diagnosed with cancer in 1995.

According to an account in The Topeka Capital-Journal, Brownback said: "I finally reached up and said, 'God, this life's yours.' It started a great adventure."

But what really rankled Americans United for Separation of Church and State was Brownback's earlier promotion of the prayer rally, in the form of a state proclamation.

"The governor is really overstepping his constitutional bounds. He was elected to serve as governor of our state, not our state pastor-in-chief," Stangl said.

Reached for comment, Executive Director Barry Lynn explained that the group was more concerned with a proclamation put out by the governor's office than his actual remarks at the event.

In the proclamation, Brownback declared Saturday -- the day of the event -- to be a "Day of Restoration."

"We collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us," the proclamation said.

Brownback, though, also used the proclamation to quote former American presidents -- including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson -- who discussed their faith and God.

"WHEREAS, our Nation's greatest leaders have called on a merciful God for favor during troubled times," the proclamation said, quoting the Jefferson line: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever."

Lynn said the proclamation went too far by "proclaiming that this is good for everyone in the state of Kansas." He said the statement was tantamount to making the ReignDown USA rally a "special state event."

The group also accused ReignDown USA organizers of wanting "government leaders to adopt their religious vision and impose it on us all."

Those organizers, though, rejected that claim.

"We were all just gathering, uniting together, and praying for change," said Shawn-Marie Cole, chief visionary officer with the organizer.

Walt Kallestad, president of the group's advisory board, said the event is not about imposing belief sets.

"ReignDown is really a call for humility, prayer, repentance," he said.

It's hardly the first time Brownback has worn his faith on his sleeves.

In August 2011, he joined Texas Gov. Rick Perry for a national prayer rally. It came as Perry was considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Brownback's office and organizers for ReignDown USA have not yet returned requests from FoxNews.com for comment.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/10/secular-group-rips-kansas-gov-brownback-for-promotion-faith-rally/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 18, 2012, 10:55:09 AM
President Obama at Prayer Vigil for Connecticut Shooting Victims: "Newtown, You Are Not Alone"
Ezra Mechaber
December 16, 2012

Today, President Obama traveled to Newtown, CT to meet with the families of those who were lost in Friday's tragic shooting, and to thank first responders for their work.

This evening the President spoke at an interfaith vigil for families of the victims, and all families from Sandy Hook Elementary School. He offered the love and prayers of a nation grieving alongside Newtown:

Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation.  I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts.  I can only hope it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief; that our world too has been torn apart; that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you, we’ve pulled our children tight.  And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide; whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it.

Newtown -- you are not alone.

As these difficult days have unfolded, you’ve also inspired us with stories of strength and resolve and sacrifice.  We know that when danger arrived in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school’s staff did not flinch, they did not hesitate.  Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, Vicki Soto, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy -- they responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances -- with courage and with love, giving their lives to protect the children in their care.

We know that there were other teachers who barricaded themselves inside classrooms, and kept steady through it all, and reassured their students by saying “wait for the good guys, they’re coming”; “show me your smile.”

And we know that good guys came.  The first responders who raced to the scene, helping to guide those in harm’s way to safety, and comfort those in need, holding at bay their own shock and trauma because they had a job to do, and others needed them more.

And then there were the scenes of the schoolchildren, helping one another, holding each other, dutifully following instructions in the way that young children sometimes do; one child even trying to encourage a grown-up by saying, “I know karate.  So it’s okay.  I’ll lead the way out.”

As a community, you’ve inspired us, Newtown.  In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you’ve looked out for each other, and you’ve cared for one another, and you’ve loved one another.  This is how Newtown will be remembered.  And with time, and God’s grace, that love will see you through.
 

(http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/imagecache/embedded_img_full/image/image_file/20121217-sandy-hook-vigil.jpeg)
President Barack Obama attends the Sandy Hook interfaith vigil at Newtown High School in Newtown, Conn., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
.President Obama also spoke about the need to engage Americans in efforts to prevent tragedies like the one in Newtown, reiterating that America's first job is caring for our children:

And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations?  Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children -- all of them -- safe from harm?  Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return?  Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no.  We’re not doing enough.  And we will have to change.

Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting.  The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors.  The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims.  And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America -- victims whose -- much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can’t tolerate this anymore.  These tragedies must end.  And to end them, we must change.  We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true.  No single law -- no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.  Surely, we can do better than this.  If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that -- then surely we have an obligation to try.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/12/16/president-obama-prayer-vigil-connecticut-shooting-victims-newtown-you-are-not-alone


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 22, 2013, 11:22:01 AM
Obama, Biden attend inaugural prayer service at Washington National Cathedral
By Michelle Boorstein, Jan 22, 2013
The Washington Post

(http://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_606w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2013/01/22/Production/WashingtonPost/Images/516689988.jpg)

Some 2,200 guests filled the Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday morning for the inaugural prayer service, a tradition as old as the country itself.

The service is meant to provide a spiritual boost to the newly sworn-in president. Prominent national clergy — from the Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh traditions — will offer prayers to Obama, who is accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and Jill Biden.

By using the word “gay” in his inaugural speech, Obama makes history and elevates a struggle.

A leader from the Metropolitan Community Church, a Christian denomination that focuses on outreach to gays and lesbians, is among the speakers at the service this year for the first time, a moment of inclusion that echoes Obama’s historic outreach to gay Americans in Monday’s inaugural address.

“The reason we come together to pray is because we want the best for our country,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of the Washington Catholic archdiocese, as he entered the cathedral early Tuesday. “We pray for our president, we pray for our vice president. We pray for our leaders as we move forward.”

After the drama and pomp of the inaugural service and the let-loose vibe of Monday night’s inaugural balls, the prayer service — even in the cavernous Gothic cathedral in Northwest Washington — has a more intimate feel, with clergy standing at a one-person, elevated altar, speaking and looking directly at the president as they pray on his behalf.

The most prominent spot on the program belongs to sermon-giver the Rev. Adam Hamilton, leader of a 16,000-member Methodist church in Kansas and whose most popular writings focus on how to take a middle road in relationships, politics and when confronting spiritual doubt.

Hamilton is expected in his sermon to call for that middle road and a God-led path out of partisan bitterness. He will note the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation this year and the heavy emphasis the Bible places on freedom.

Due to high security, guests at the service had to arrive an hour or two early. By mid-morning, the ornate nave looked like the merger of a Washington political gathering and a conference of notables from the clergy community. Heads of think tanks, in sober suits, mingled with clergy from every imaginable faith community wearing a variety of colorful robes and head coverings, from the white wrap of the Bahai to the Jewish yarmulke.

Among the political heavyweights were Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Transportation Secretary Raymond H. LaHood, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) and outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Even though the cathedral is an Episcopal church, its vantage point on a Washington hilltop and its dramatic design have made it a symbolic house of worship for many all-community events.

It was here that President Carter sat in 1979, his face in his hands, at an event to pray for the safe return of U.S. hostages being held in Iran. And it was here that President Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan made a surprise stop to light candles in 1982, during a three-day vigil at which the names of thousands of troops killed during the Vietnam War were read.

The cathedral, the seat of the Episcopal Church in the United States, is frequently chosen to host memorial services and events honoring prominent American leaders from across the political spectrum. But its leaders have made news in recent weeks by taking progressive social stands.

The Rev. Gary Hall, the cathedral’s new dean, announced in December that the cathedral would begin hosting same-gender weddings, and he also has taken up the cause of gun control in the wake of last month’s Newtown, Conn., shootings.

There have been inaugural prayer services since the time of George Washington, but they have been held consistently at the cathedral since 1933, with the exception of the services after the inaugurations of Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997.

Clinton chose the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in downtown Washington, as the site for his prayer services. The Obama family worshipped at Metropolitan on Sunday.

Among those participating in the service at the cathedral are: Wuerl; the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America and leader of the Sterling mega-mosque All Dulles Area Muslim Society; Rabbi Julie Schonfeld of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of rabbis from Judaism’s Conservative movement; and the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obama-biden-to-attend-inaugural-prayer-service-at-cathedral-on-tuesday/2013/01/22/9223bad8-64a0-11e2-b84d-21c7b65985ee_story.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 07, 2013, 06:58:32 PM
President Obama speaks about faith and 'humility' at National Prayer Breakfast

'You'd like to think that the shelf life wasn't so short," Obama said of the annual event's bipartisan spirit. 'But I go back to the Oval Office and I start watching the cable news networks and it's like we didn’t pray.'
 
By Kristen A. Lee / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, February 7, 2013

President Obama celebrated the bipartisan spirit of the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, while joking about its fleeting nature, during a speech to the gathering in Washington.

Obama largely stayed away from partisan issues while speaking to the mixed crowd, but made a plea for “humility,” saying it’s most important for those with the most power.

“I have to say this is now our fifth prayer breakfast and it is always just a wonderful event. But I do worry sometimes that as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten — on the same day of the prayer breakfast,” Obama said, to laughter from the group. “I mean, you'd like to think that the shelf life wasn't so short. But I go back to the Oval Office and I start watching the cable news networks and it's like we didn’t pray.”

“And so my hope is that humility, that that carries over every day, every moment,” he added.

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed for the bipartisan gathering. This was the 61st prayer breakfast since 1953.

Vice President Biden also attended the gathering, as did a diverse group of VIPs, including Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole and singer Andrea Bocelli.

“It says something about us — as a nation and as a people — that every year, for 61 years now, this great prayerful tradition has endured,” Obama said. “It says something about us that every year, in times of triumph and in tragedy, in calm and in crisis, we come together, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as brothers and sisters, and as children of God.”

A reportedly sleepy Secretary of State John Kerry chatted with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the breakfast. He was sure to broaden his remarks to also include the importance of faith to Americans of different religions, and note that nonbelieving Americans have faith in the nation.

Obama also spoke in unusually personal terms about the importance of Scripture in his own life.

“As President, sometimes I have to search for the words to console the inconsolable,” he said. “Sometimes I search Scripture to determine how best to balance life as a President and as a husband and as a father. I often search for Scripture to figure out how I can be a better man as well as a better President.”

'I often search for Scripture to figure out how I can be a better man as well as a better President,' Obama told the gathering. He noted that he took the oath of office last month on Bibles owned by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., saying he imagined they both found solace in Scripture at difficult times.

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat, introduced the President.

“You carry burdens none of us in this room can imagine,” he said.

Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, may be feeling the burden of his new job.

A White House pool report noted that he yawned and rubbed his eyes through most of the breakfast.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-urges-humility-national-prayer-breakfast-article-1.1257904


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 08, 2013, 01:06:24 PM

Reverend Al Sharpton expels God in MSNBC promo sermon

By Dan Gainor
Published February 08, 2013
FoxNews.com

Jan. 21, 2013: Rev. Al Sharpton arrives on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Monday, , for the President Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. ((AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool))

 Jesus said to Peter: “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Then came MSNBC. Now it’s God the network is trying to push out of the way. And it’s a reverend, of all people, who is doing it.

Rev. Al Sharpton appeared in a “Lean Forward” ad for his network MSNBC on February 5, where he recited a bit of the Pledge of Allegiance. The 58-year-old Sharpton, who reportedly gave his first sermon at age 9, left God out of his piece of the pledge. But he did remember to include lesbians and gays. So, he’s got that goin’ for him.

“We must have a renewed fight for many of the things we fought for. Because voting rights, and women's rights, and the rights of people against discrimination, whether they're African-American, Latino, lesbian and [sic] gay, must be protected, until we have a nation that is really living up to the creed of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Not all of one kind. But all,” Rev. Sharpton argued in the commercial.


For all of his faults, Sharpton has a very long history of involvement with and defense of Christian faith.

That’s not how the pledge goes and has done so since 1954, a few months before Rev. Sharpton, the host of MSNBC's “Politics Nation,” was born. The actual pledge was changed that year to include “under God.” That version of the pledge goes like this:

“I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Rev. Sharpton removing God is shocking. For all of his faults, he has a very long history of involvement with and defense of Christian faith. According to Rev. Sharpton’s AEI Speakers Bureau profile page, he preached “his first sermon at Washington Temple Church of God & Christ in Brooklyn” at age 9 and later became a Pentecostal minister under Washington Temple Church’s Bishop F. D. Washington. “Sharpton preaches throughout the United States and abroad on most Sundays and averages 80 formal sermons a year,” the profile continued.

But then it noted that “Sharpton says his religious convictions are the basis for his life.” Apparently, commercials aren’t included.

While the reverend has been a major part of civil rights history in the United States, he has been caught up in his share of huge controversies. 

On January 19, NPR ran a list of “Six True-False Statements” that illustrated his complicated career. Those included his role in the bogus Tawana Brawley rape case, where he lost a $65,000 defamation judgment, and links to the Crown Heights riots in New York City.

One funny note from the piece was that Rev. Sharpton denied being James Brown’s tour manager. (Yes, the Godfather of Soul.) “I never was his road manager,” he is quoted as saying. His speakers bureau profile says otherwise. “This same year, Sharpton acted as James Brown's tour manager,” it still reads. Oopsie.

It’s almost impossible to synopsize the remaining lunacy that has summed up Rev. Sharpton’s career from calls for knife control (unsurprising since he was once stabbed in the chest) to tax and debt issues to being caught in an FBI drug sting and openly advising President Obama as one of a few “influential progressives.”

He remains a colorful character so ridiculous that he is hard to lampoon. That said, “Saturday Night Live” mustered a good parody of his show last May in this entertaining clip that strangely also included Mick Jagger.

Whether he’s a TV host or a laughingstock, Shapton has long acknowledged it’s the job of a reverend to help others find God, not edit him out. Of course, that was before his personal collection plate relied on the big MSNBC paycheck.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/02/08/reverend-al-sharpton-expels-god-in-msnbc-promo-sermon/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 20, 2013, 06:18:02 PM
Anderson County Commission endorses 'In God We Trust' on courthouse
By Bob Fowler
Knoxville News Sentinel
Posted February 19, 2013

CLINTON — The nation’s motto, “In God We Trust,” will be going up on the outside of the Anderson County Courthouse following a 12-4 vote of County Commission after more than two hours of impassioned debate Tuesday.

With a standing-room-only audience spilling out into the courthouse hallway, commissioners approved the request, providing no unforeseen roadblocks emerge after study.

The issue was sent to the panel’s operations committee and the county law director to research potential legal liabilities, the possible design of the inscription and its placement.

“It’s our national motto,” said Lee Frank, husband of Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, who brought the request made by a local businessman to the commission’s attention.

“It’s on our money. It’s been ruled totally constitutional,” he said. “We don’t need to deal with that ACLU crap here.”

Still, the request sparked fervent comments and a revival-like atmosphere in the crowded meeting room, with remarks endorsing the move greeted by frequent applause and punctuated by numerous “amens.”

The mayor’s bid to include the request in her routine report to commission resulted in a crucial initial vote to put the matter on the agenda. Commissioner Myron Iwanski said standard procedure called for the issue to be referred to committee before going before the full commission. Doing so would give commissioners “a chance to think it through and do it in a very orderly way,” he said.

But a motion to consider the request received the requisite two-thirds majority, or 11 votes, to place it directly before commission.

The overwhelming majority of audience members who spoke strongly endorsed the move, launched by Lynn Byrge and supported by pastors of a reported 62 Anderson County churches.

But those who voiced opposition asked whether it would be a violation of the principle of separation of church and state, and if it would be seen as a governmental endorsement of Christianity.

“I see it as an intrusion and it should not be done,” said Ruth Young. She said those who oppose the move haven’t had an opportunity to speak.

Oak Ridge Councilwoman Anne Garcia Garland said there could be an issue of legal liability. “The government needs to be apart from any mention of God,” she said.

“I don’t see why it should really be that controversial,” said the Rev. Mike Thompson, pastor of Second Baptist Church of Clinton. “We do believe this is a part of our nation’s history and heritage.”

“We believe it speaks to who we are,” said the Rev. Steve McDonald, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Oak Ridge. He called it a “visible standard that says we have to look to somebody for guidance.”

“Why do we need that on our courthouse when there are other places to put it?” Commissioner Harry “Whitey” Hitchcock asked.

Another commissioner, Robert McKamey, said his motion to put the motto up “is a vote of confidence that we’re going to do it, and we’re going to do it right.”

Supporters have pledged to pay for all costs to place the motto on the courthouse.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/feb/19/anderson-county-commission-endorses-in-god-we-on/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on March 13, 2013, 11:37:34 AM
 :)

Psalm 23, Newly Revised According to Modern Principles
Proverbial wisdom for the Age of Obama
By MARK HELPRIN

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of debt, I fear no bankruptcy, for Obama is my shepherd. He prepareth a table of food stamps before me, and maketh me lie down beside waters He hath cleansed and seas He hath made recede, even though the bad Republicans wisheth the earth to be burnt unto a cinder, and will not buy the electric car that is good, for it hath zero emissions, and receiveth its power from a power plant, which hath not zero emissions, but the ways of the President are mysterious.

He hath told the stubborn Israelites, evil builders of apartments, that they know not their own interests and He does, and know not what they do, when they fear the nuclear weapon of the Persians. The ways of the President are mysterious. He alloweth the Persians to get the nuclear weapon (unless He hath something up His sleeve), for He knoweth that when they behold Him they will stay their hand, and not burn the Israelites unto a cinder, as they pronounce.

Yea, though Bernanke maketh funny money that will not compute, Obama prepareth a statistical table in front of the bad Republicans that showeth it will, if only they have faith. Fear not the Hellenes and the path they have trod. Though for sure we shall follow them, the President will be our sword, and our shield. His Hillary Rodham and his staff, they comfort us.

Fear not the Chinois, whose power waxes as ours wanes, for someday thy children's children shall journey over the sea that Obama hath made recede, west of the land of Geffen and Famous Amos, to build railroads for Beijing. Then the Third World will have inherited the earth, and the strong will have been laid low, which is good, and which is also the Democratic platform.

Verily, we should be like the meek of the earth, and follow the commands of the President, the Amalekites, the EPA, and the IRS, which taketh our money, which is good, for we know not what to do with it. And Obama does, for you did not buildeth that. Once, we were slaves in the land of Reagan (and if you attributeth the "Reagan" deficits to increased military spending and lowered tax rates, tryeth accounting for the changes in military expenditure and tax revenues in the Reagan years, for, lo, when combined they yieldeth a surplus). Then, we were sinners, in spending our own money for what we thought was our own good. But now we are free, for the President spendeth it for us, and He maketh miracles, for, lo, He roasteth invisible chickens, and, lo, He spendeth money that existeth not, that Bernanke printeth. And, lo, it buys us stuff, for now.

Yea, though I accumulate debt higher than the mountains of Gilboa, and the deadbeats skip like rams, I shall not want, for Bernanke maketh funny money, and the President smiles upon the land, but not upon the bad Republicans. For they wisheth to live within their means, which surely must be evil. And what would you expect from people who are suspicious of Social Security? And wisheth to burn the earth unto a cinder.

But arithmetic notwithstanding, I will dwell in the house of Obama all the days of my life. (Why not four terms, and what about Michelle? For the Constitution liveth.) And, the earth having been purified, surely it will be good when—and where do I apply for—government assistance will be the only thing left.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323940004578255810468323252.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 03, 2013, 02:09:39 PM
Ohio school takes down Jesus portrait under legal threat
Published April 03, 2013
FoxNews.com

(http://global.fncstatic.com/static/managed/img/U.S./jesusportrait.jpg)
Feb. 12, 2013: A painting of Jesus Christ, upper left, hanging above an entrance to Jackson Middle School in Jackson, Ohio, next to a 'Hall of Honor' showing famous Jackson residents and school alumni. (AP)
A portrait of Jesus that had adorned a southern Ohio public school district building since 1947 has been taken down after officials decided they could not risk losing a lawsuit to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The superintendent of Jackson City Schools told The Associated Press that the decision was made after the district's insurance company declined to cover litigation expenses. Phil Howard said a student club that the school says owns the portrait took it down Wednesday morning at his direction.

"At the end of the day, we just couldn't roll the dice with taxpayer money," Howard said. "When you get into these kinds of legal battles, you're not talking about money you can raise with bake sales and car washes. It's not fair to take those resources from our kids' education."

The ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation had sued on behalf of a student and two parents, calling the portrait an unconstitutional promotion of religion in a public school. An ACLU spokesman says the lawsuit remains in effect, but will be dropped if the portrait stays down.

The "Head of Christ," a popular depiction of Jesus, had been in an entranceway's "Hall of Honor" in a middle school building that was formerly a high school. It was near portraits of dozens of prominent alumni and people with local roots such as the late four-term Ohio Gov. James Rhodes. The portrait was moved recently by a Christian-based service club to the current high school building.

A complaint that triggered the February lawsuit put the 2,500-student district in the midst of the ongoing national debate over what religious-themed displays are permissible.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/03/ohio-superintendent-removes-jesus-portrait-due-to-lawsuit-concerns/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 20, 2013, 11:34:58 AM
Supreme Court will rule on prayer at government meetings
Richard Wolf, USA TODAY11:57 a.m. EDT May 20, 2013

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether prayers can be offered at government meetings -- a practice that's been common in Congress and throughout the states for more than two centuries.

The religious expression case, which comes to the court from the town of Greece, N.Y., focuses on the first 10 words of the First Amendment, ratified in 1791: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

That Establishment Clause was violated, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year, when the Greece Town Board repeatedly used Christian clergy to conduct prayers at the start of its public meetings. The decision created a rift with other appeals courts that have upheld prayer at public meetings, prompting the justices to step in.

Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian non-profit group, appealed the case to the Supreme Court. It is supported in separate briefs by 49 mostly Republican members of Congress and 18 state attorneys general.

In a press release entitled "Prayer will be heard on high," the group noted the high court affirmed the practice of prayer before public meetings in the 1983 case Marsh v. Chambers, in which it cited an "unambiguous and unbroken history" of such prayers.

But recent legal attacks by individuals and groups claiming to be offended by such prayers have created significant confusion in the lower courts.

"A few people should not be able to extinguish the traditions of our nation merely because they heard something they didn't like," said Brett Harvey, a senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. "Because the authors of the Constitution invoked God's blessing on public proceedings, this tradition shouldn't suddenly be deemed unconstitutional."

Thomas Hungar of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, the attorney who filed the challenge, said, "The practice of legislative prayer is firmly embedded in the history and traditions of this nation. We hope the court will reaffirm the settled understanding that such prayers, offered without improper motive and in accordance with the conscience of the prayer-giver, are constitutional."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, is representing the two women who challenged the town's practice, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens. The group said that two-thirds of the prayers delivered between 1999 and June 2010 contained references to Jesus Christ, Your Son, the Holy Spirit or Jesus.

"A town council meeting isn't a church service, and it shouldn't seem like one," said Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Government can't serve everyone in the community when it endorses one faith over others. That sends the clear message that some are second-class citizens based on what they believe about religion."

Kenneth Klukowski, a lawyer for the Family Research Council who filed a brief on behalf of the 49 U.S. House members, said the Supreme Court was correct to take the case to clear up differences among lower courts on the issue of religious expression. It represents the first such case to reach the high court in a generation, he said.

"If the Second Circuit's decision is what the Establishment Clause requires, then Congress has been violating the Establishment Clause since it was ratified in 1791," Klukowski said. His brief notes that in the 112th Congress, 97% of the prayers used to open House sessions were Christian, as opposed to Jewish or Muslim, yet the practice is widely accepted.

The court will hear the case in its next term, which begins in October. Its decision, expected by June 2014, could have broad implications for public schools and events, as well as for individuals who seek to convey religious messages.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/05/20/supreme-court-prayer-new-york-government-meeting/2151385/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on June 06, 2013, 11:09:01 AM
Nice.   :)

High School Valedictorian Recites Lord's Prayer At Graduation In Defiance Of Prayer Ban (VIDEO)
Posted: 06/05/2013 6:15 pm EDT  |  Updated: 06/05/2013 7:45 pm EDT

While delivering his graduation speech over the weekend, a high school valedictorian sent shock waves through the crowd when he ditched his original speech and recited the Lord's Prayer instead.

According to NBC affiliate KCRA.com, Roy Costner IV, who attended Liberty High School in Liberty, S.C., stunned those gathered at his school's graduation ceremony on Saturday when he ripped up his pre-approved speech at the podium before addressing the crowd.

“Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today. I’m so thankful that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age," Costner said moments before launching into the Lord's Prayer.

Christian News reports that Costner had apparently decided to recite the prayer in protest of his school district's decision to omit prayer at graduation ceremonies.

As Costner prayed, many of those gathered broke out into applause. Soon the auditorium was filled with cheers of encouragement.

"You couldn't even hear him doing the prayer anymore because everybody was clapping and cheering," Brian Hoover, who attended the graduation, told KCRA.com.

Costner told Fox Carolina this week that it had been "an emotional moment," looking out and seeing the crowd's reaction.

A spokesperson for the Pickens County School District said that Costner would not be reprimanded for his prayer. "The bottom line is, we're not going to punish students for expressing their religious faith," John Eby said, according to Christian News.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/high-school-valedictorian-prayer_n_3391963.html?utm_hp_ref=religion


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 05, 2013, 12:09:30 PM
An atheist chaplain.  How utterly ridiculous. 

Chaplains for Atheists: Messy Implications for Atheism
By Wallace Henley, Special to CP
August 1, 2013

The House of Representatives voted July 23 against proposals for atheist chaplains in the U.S. military. The vote was an overwhelming defeat for the idea. Only two Republicans and 171 Democrats voted for atheist chaplains.

Contrary to what you may be reading, Christians should be disappointed and atheists should be glad.

Why? Because allowing atheist chaplains recognizes atheism as a religion and would make atheists subject to the same legal restrictions they have gleefully placed on every other religion.

In the contemporary environment it is easier to speak against God than for God in the public square. An officially sanctioned military chaplaincy for atheists could actually weaken the atheists' grip on public religious expression.

After all, it was a Supreme Court justice who, in 1961, recognized non-belief in a deity as religion. "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others," opined Justice Hugo Black, in a footnote in the Torcaso v Watkins case.

Atheists seem to want atheism to be a religion.

"Humanism fills the same role for atheists that Christianity does for Christians and Judaism does for Jews," said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, in support of the atheist chaplaincy proposal.

If atheists want it, it's about time, therefore, that atheism should be recognized for what it is – a belief system regarding deity and ultimate reality. It has its own creeds, high priests, and scriptures. Bygone prophets like Bertrand Russell are revered along with the contemporary evangelists of atheism, like Richard Dawkins. The late Christopher Hitchens is among its saints.

Appointing atheist chaplains would give official sanction of sorts to the religious nature of atheism. In fact, atheism focuses passionately on spirituality. It works feverishly to deny the spiritual nature of the human being, and only wants the chaplains for ethical and psychological guidance.

In that light, maybe advocates for an atheist military chaplaincy might rethink their position.

Think about the inferences.

Now, every time a non-theist squeaks opposition to prayer at a school ballgame, or before a city council meeting, or most any other public event, powerful movements mobilize. The mere lifting of a potentially litigating eyebrow shuts down what many consider freedom of speech and expression.

Atheism's well-financed institutions often base their arguments on the allegation that taxpayer money is being used to advocate a particular religion. But if atheism is seen for what it is, a religion, then theists might be able to claim their tax money is now used to advocate the atheist position of no prayer.

So if atheism is recognized as a religion, might it be possible that theists could have new standing? They might even be able to argue that authorities are unconstitutionally favoring the religion of atheism by restricting prayer to a deity?

The Founders, we are reminded, opposed a state religion. But today secular humanism is most definitely the American state religion in the eyes of some courts. Atheists use their religion to regularly win orders for the removal of crosses and other religious symbols, the abolition of prayer in certain public institutions, and the prohibition of teaching that might imply advocacy of any religion in public schools except atheism.

This atheist chaplain thing could get messy for the atheists. If they are recognized as religionists they may be under the same Big Brother search lamp, legal threats and harassment theistic religions face every day throughout the nation.

Perhaps its advocates should rethink their position. After all, they might lose the power to remove all those terribly offensive Christmas nativity scenes.

Maybe the stables, mangers, shepherds and animals could be replaced with Professor Hawking's "fluctuating void." Which would mean the crèches would be replaced with nothing – a perfect symbol for their religion.


Wallace Henley, senior associate pastor at Houston's Second Baptist Church. He is an adjunct professor in worldview studies at Belhaven University. Henley is a former newspaper editor and reporter, and served in the White House and as a staff in the U.S. House of Representatives. His book, Globequake, was published by Thomas Nelson.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/chaplains-for-atheists-messy-implications-for-atheism-101341/#uyHb7hgh4pbPcv7D.99


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on October 16, 2013, 10:23:03 PM
"Paranoid anti-religious extremists".. Oh, wait...

House Stenographer Yanked From Chamber Ranting About God, Freemasons

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/10/house-stenographer-yanked-from-chamber-ranting-about-god-freemasons/



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on October 28, 2013, 12:19:11 PM
Speaking of paranoid anti-religious extremists . . . .  Those folks need to get a life already. 

Atheist group seeks end to Alabama grief counseling by clergy
Published October 26, 2013
FoxNews.com

An atheist group is asking the city of Montgomery to provide evidence that sending clergy to support victims at violent crime scenes will reduce crime in the city.

The organization American Atheists has questioned how providing grief counseling after a crime will reduce the number of crimes in the city.

The group claims Montgomery's Operation Good Shepherd program is unconstitutional. 

“Considering that the program sends pastors to crime scenes after the fact to console victims, American Atheists questions the city’s claim that grief counseling for victims is for the purpose of reducing violent crime or acting as a deterrent,” the organization told AL.com.

“American atheists will be requesting that city officials provide the studies or other factual evidence they are using to support this claim for which taxpayer dollars are being used,” the group said.

City officials told al.com the new program dispatches trained clergy to comfort victims at crime scenes in an effort to combat violent crime. City officials said the purpose of the program is not for "religious promotion or recruitment."

Montgomery Police Department Chaplain E. Baxter Morris said the program offers an “evangelistic advance,” and said it gives him an opportunity to “share a word from Christ” to victims, AL.com reported.

According to the report, American Atheists claim the city is using the program “as a vehicle to proselytize.”

Montgomery City Attorney Kimberly Fehl said in a letter to American Atheists that religious leaders had volunteered to provide the counseling.

Fehl’s said in the letter that there has been a “misrepresentation of the objective and implementation of the program,” AL.com reported. Fehl said the program is part of many used by the Montgomery Police Department in its effort to combat violent crime.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/26/atheist-group-seeks-end-to-alabama-grief-counseling-by-clergy/?intcmp=latestnews


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on October 29, 2013, 05:29:48 AM
Speaking of paranoid anti-religious extremists . . . .  Those folks need to get a life already.  

Atheist group seeks end to Alabama grief counseling by clergy
Published October 26, 2013
FoxNews.com

An atheist group is asking the city of Montgomery to provide evidence that sending clergy to support victims at violent crime scenes will reduce crime in the city.

The organization American Atheists has questioned how providing grief counseling after a crime will reduce the number of crimes in the city.

The group claims Montgomery's Operation Good Shepherd program is unconstitutional.  

“Considering that the program sends pastors to crime scenes after the fact to console victims, American Atheists questions the city’s claim that grief counseling for victims is for the purpose of reducing violent crime or acting as a deterrent,” the organization told AL.com.

“American atheists will be requesting that city officials provide the studies or other factual evidence they are using to support this claim for which taxpayer dollars are being used,” the group said.

City officials told al.com the new program dispatches trained clergy to comfort victims at crime scenes in an effort to combat violent crime. City officials said the purpose of the program is not for "religious promotion or recruitment."

Montgomery Police Department Chaplain E. Baxter Morris said the program offers an “evangelistic advance,” and said it gives him an opportunity to “share a word from Christ” to victims, AL.com reported.

According to the report, American Atheists claim the city is using the program “as a vehicle to proselytize.”

Montgomery City Attorney Kimberly Fehl said in a letter to American Atheists that religious leaders had volunteered to provide the counseling.

Fehl’s said in the letter that there has been a “misrepresentation of the objective and implementation of the program,” AL.com reported. Fehl said the program is part of many used by the Montgomery Police Department in its effort to combat violent crime.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/26/atheist-group-seeks-end-to-alabama-grief-counseling-by-clergy/?intcmp=latestnews

I have to assume that the American Atheists that raised the issue brought forth factual evidence concerning why the grief counseling by clergy doesn't help in these circumstances first before requesting evidence that is does, correct?    I also have to assume that the American Atheists also brought forth a throughly planned alternative for the volunteer clergy that causes no additional burden for the taxpayer whatsoever while improving the level of counseling?   Or if the alternative proposed did cause increased burden for taxpayers that definite justification for the alternative was presented?

I can't imagine that the group just capriciously raised the objection, immediately demanded some form of validating study and yet offered no initial support to back their objections while not providing a more efficient, improved alternative for the existing volunteer counseling.  

Is the American Atheist group that raised the objection highly experienced in grief counseling and crime prevention methods?  I have to assume that there was more behind the objection other than their own personal objections to theists in general.

Did the American Atheist group provide data that showed that victims that received counseling were unhappy with the guidance they received?   Did the American Atheists provide data that indicates that the grief counseling was only a thinly veiled attempt to convert victims to the clergy-counseler's particular brand of faith?  Did the American Atheists group provide any studies that indicated that post-incident the victims that received counseling from pastors had their quality of life diminished?  Again, I have to assume that the objections were grounded in some of these kinds of ideas and data before the objections were raised.  

If these preliminary conditions were met (and accompanied the initial objections) then demands for independent studies by the local government in support of the theists' volunteer efforts would seem reasonable.  If not the objections seem like good ole fashioned grandstanding, but really nothing more than prattle.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 04, 2013, 12:20:17 PM
I have to assume that the American Atheists that raised the issue brought forth factual evidence concerning why the grief counseling by clergy doesn't help in these circumstances first before requesting evidence that is does, correct?    I also have to assume that the American Atheists also brought forth a throughly planned alternative for the volunteer clergy that causes no additional burden for the taxpayer whatsoever while improving the level of counseling?   Or if the alternative proposed did cause increased burden for taxpayers that definite justification for the alternative was presented?

I can't imagine that the group just capriciously raised the objection, immediately demanded some form of validating study and yet offered no initial support to back their objections while not providing a more efficient, improved alternative for the existing volunteer counseling.  

Is the American Atheist group that raised the objection highly experienced in grief counseling and crime prevention methods?  I have to assume that there was more behind the objection other than their own personal objections to theists in general.

Did the American Atheist group provide data that showed that victims that received counseling were unhappy with the guidance they received?   Did the American Atheists provide data that indicates that the grief counseling was only a thinly veiled attempt to convert victims to the clergy-counseler's particular brand of faith?  Did the American Atheists group provide any studies that indicated that post-incident the victims that received counseling from pastors had their quality of life diminished?  Again, I have to assume that the objections were grounded in some of these kinds of ideas and data before the objections were raised.  

If these preliminary conditions were met (and accompanied the initial objections) then demands for independent studies by the local government in support of the theists' volunteer efforts would seem reasonable.  If not the objections seem like good ole fashioned grandstanding, but really nothing more than prattle.

Oh I doubt they offered any evidence.  I think they are a funny group.  Organized and lobbying based on a belief in nothing. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 04, 2013, 12:21:03 PM
Texas woman recognized for 80 consecutive years with church
Published November 04, 2013
Associated Press

CHIRENO, TEXAS –  An East Texas woman has been recognized for her 80-year unbroken membership in her church.

Lilly Stone joined the Chireno United Methodist Church in 1933, when she was 8 years old. The Daily Sentinel in Nacogdoches reports that Stone was recently awarded a plaque signed by the church's bishop and district superintendent honoring her longtime membership.

Stone says, "It was a shock. I really didn't know how long I had been a member. I didn't think about it."

Stone joined the church while living with her grandmother, whose house abutted the church's parsonage.

Stone celebrated her 88th birthday on Thursday.

Chireno is a town of about 400 people located about 200 miles southeast of Dallas.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/04/texas-woman-recognized-for-80-consecutive-years-with-church/?intcmp=latestnews


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 04, 2013, 03:32:46 PM
Great story.

Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower
Of all people surprised that I became an evangelical Christian, I'm the most surprised.
Kirsten Powers
posted 10/22/2013

Just seven years ago, if someone had told me that I'd be writing for Christianity Today magazine about how I came to believe in God, I would have laughed out loud. If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt.

I grew up in the Episcopal Church in Alaska, but my belief was superficial and flimsy. It was borrowed from my archaeologist father, who was so brilliant he taught himself to speak and read Russian. When I encountered doubt, I would fall back on the fact that he believed.

Leaning on my father's faith got me through high school. But by college it wasn't enough, especially because as I grew older he began to confide in me his own doubts. What little faith I had couldn't withstand this revelation. From my early 20s on, I would waver between atheism and agnosticism, never coming close to considering that God could be real.

After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998. The White House surrounded me with intellectual people who, if they had any deep faith in God, never expressed it. Later, when I moved to New York, where I worked in Democratic politics, my world became aggressively secular. Everyone I knew was politically left-leaning, and my group of friends was overwhelmingly atheist.

I sometimes hear Christians talk about how terrible life must be for atheists. But our lives were not terrible. Life actually seemed pretty wonderful, filled with opportunity and good conversation and privilege. I know now that it was not as wonderful as it could have been. But you don't know what you don't know. How could I have missed something I didn't think existed?

Very Open-Minded

To the extent that I encountered Christians, it was in the news cycle. And inevitably they were saying something about gay people or feminists. I didn't feel I was missing much. So when I began dating a man who was into Jesus, I was not looking for God. In fact, the week before I met him, a friend had asked me if I had any deal breakers in dating. My response: "Just nobody who is religious."

A few months into our relationship, my boyfriend called to say he had something important to talk to me about. I remember exactly where I was sitting in my West Village apartment when he said, "Do you believe Jesus is your Savior?" My stomach sank. I started to panic. Oh no, was my first thought. He's crazy.

When I answered no, he asked, "Do you think you could ever believe it?" He explained that he was at a point in life when he wanted to get married and felt that I could be that person, but he couldn't marry a non-Christian. I said I didn't want to mislead him—that I would never believe in Jesus.

Then he said the magic words for a liberal: "Do you think you could keep an open mind about it?" Well, of course. "I'm very open-minded!" Even though I wasn't at all. I derided Christians as anti-intellectual bigots who were too weak to face the reality that there is no rhyme or reason to the world. I had found this man's church attendance an oddity to overlook, not a point in his favor.

As he talked, I grew conflicted. On the one hand, I was creeped out. On the other hand, I had enormous respect for him. He is smart, educated, and intellectually curious. I remember thinking, What if this is true, and I'm not even willing to consider it?

A few weeks later I went to church with him. I was so clueless about Christianity that I didn't know that some Presbyterians were evangelicals. So when we arrived at the Upper East Side service of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, I was shocked and repelled by what I saw. I was used to the high-church liturgy of my youth. We were meeting in an auditorium with a band playing what I later learned was "praise music." I thought, How am I going to tell him I can never come back?

But then the pastor preached. I was fascinated. I had never heard a pastor talk about the things he did. Tim Keller's sermon was intellectually rigorous, weaving in art and history and philosophy. I decided to come back to hear him again. Soon, hearing Keller speak on Sunday became the highlight of my week. I thought of it as just an interesting lecture—not really church. I just tolerated the rest of it in order to hear him. Any person who is familiar with Keller's preaching knows that he usually brings Jesus in at the end of the sermon to tie his points together. For the first few months, I left feeling frustrated: Why did he have to ruin a perfectly good talk with this Jesus nonsense?

Each week, Keller made the case for Christianity. He also made the case against atheism and agnosticism. He expertly exposed the intellectual weaknesses of a purely secular worldview. I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn't the real thing, neither was atheism.

I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me. After about eight months of going to hear Keller, I concluded that the weight of evidence was on the side of Christianity. But I didn't feel any connection to God, and frankly, I was fine with that. I continued to think that people who talked of hearing from God or experiencing God were either delusional or lying. In my most generous moments, I allowed that they were just imagining things that made them feel good.

Then one night in 2006, on a trip to Taiwan, I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, "Here I am." It felt so real. I didn't know what to make of it. I called my boyfriend, but before I had time to tell him about it, he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. Honestly, while I was upset, I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me.

Completely True

I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn't shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.
I didn't know what to do, so I spoke with writer Eric Metaxas, whom I had met through my boyfriend and who had talked with me quite a bit about God. "You need to be in a Bible study," he said. "And Kathy Keller's Bible study is the one you need to be in." I didn't like the sound of that, but I was desperate. My whole world was imploding. How was I going to tell my family or friends about what had happened? Nobody would understand. I didn't understand. (It says a lot about the family in which I grew up that one of my most pressing concerns was that Christians would try to turn me into a Republican.)

I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don't remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I'll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, "It's true. It's completely true." The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.

The horror of the prospect of being a devout Christian crept back in almost immediately. I spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from God. It was pointless. Everywhere I turned, there he was. Slowly there was less fear and more joy. The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not.

Kirsten Powers is a contributor to USA Today and a columnist for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. She is a Democratic commentator at Fox News.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?paging=off


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on November 06, 2013, 06:49:47 PM
Supreme Court wrestling with prayer at NY town's meetings
Published November 06, 2013
Associated Press

The Supreme Court is wrestling with the appropriate role for religion in government in a case involving prayers at the start of a New York town's council meetings.

The justices engaged in a lively give-and-take Wednesday that highlighted the sensitive nature of offering religious invocations in public proceedings that don't appeal to everyone and of governments' efforts to police the practice.

The court is weighing a federal appeals court ruling that said the Rochester suburb of Greece, N.Y., violated the Constitution because nearly every prayer in an 11-year span was overtly Christian.

The tenor of the argument indicated the justices would not agree with the appellate ruling. But it was not clear what decision they might come to instead.

Justice Elena Kagan summed up the difficult task before the court when she noted that some people believe that "every time the court gets involved, things get worse instead of better."

Greece is being backed by the Obama administration and many social and religious conservative groups in arguing that the court settled this issue 30 years ago when it held that an opening prayer is part of the nation's fabric and not a violation of the First Amendment. Some of those groups want the court to go further and get rid of legal rules that tend to rein in religious expression in the public sphere.

On the other side are the two town residents who sued over the prayers and the liberal interest groups that support them. Greece residents Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens say they and others who attend the meetings are a captive audience and should not be subjected to sectarian prayers.

At its broadest, the outcome could extend well beyond prayer and also affect holiday displays, aid to religious schools, Ten Commandments markers and memorial crosses. More narrowly, the case could serve as a test of the viability of the decision in Marsh v. Chambers, the 1983 case that said prayer in the Nebraska Legislature did not violate the First Amendment's clause barring laws "respecting an establishment of religion," known as the Establishment Clause.

The potentially decisive vote in the case belongs to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who did not seem satisfied with arguments made by lawyers for Greece and the administration on one side and for the Greece residents on the other.

On the one hand, Kennedy said he did not like the thought that government officials or judges would examine the content of the prayers to make sure they are not sectarian. "That involves the state very heavily in the censorship of prayers," Kennedy said.

On the other hand, he objected to the reliance by the town and the administration on the decision in Marsh.

All the while, Justice Stephen Breyer was trying out potential outcomes that recognized both the tradition of prayer and the rights of religious minorities and non-believers. "If all that was left in the case were questions of making a good-faith effort to include others, would you object to doing it?" Breyer asked Thomas Hungar, the Washington, D.C., lawyer who is representing the town.

Hungar said he did not know, but asserted that the town already has engaged in the outreach Breyer described.

In Greece, every meeting was opened with a Christian-oriented invocation from 1999 through 2007, and again from January 2009 through June 2010. In 2008, after Galloway and Stephens complained, four of 12 meetings were opened by non-Christians, including a Jewish layman, a Wiccan priestess and the chairman of the local Baha'i congregation.

The two residents filed suit and a trial court ruled in the town's favor, finding that the town did not intentionally exclude non-Christians. It also said that the content of the prayer was not an issue because there was no desire to proselytize or demean other faiths.

But a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that even with the high court's 1983 ruling, the practice of having one Christian prayer after another amounted to the town's endorsement of Christianity.

A decision is expected by late June.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/06/supreme-court-wrestling-with-prayer-at-ny-town-meetings/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on March 17, 2014, 07:13:19 PM
Time to kick those paranoid religious extremists out of public schools.

Buddhist Student, Religious Liberty Prevail In Louisiana


 The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Louisiana have filed a federal lawsuit against a public school in Sabine Parish that harassed a non-Christian student and has a long history of proselytizing students and promoting religion. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two parents, Scott and Sharon Lane, and their three children, including their son, C.C., who is a Buddhist of Thai heritage.

According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, C.C enrolled in Negreet High School, which serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, earlier this year as a sixth-grader and quickly became the target of harassment by school staff. His science teacher, Rita Roark, repeatedly taught students that the Earth was created by God 6,000 years ago, that evolution is "impossible," and that the Bible is "100 percent true."

Roark also regularly features religious questions on her tests such as "ISN'T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" When C.C. did not write in Roark's expected answer, "LORD," she belittled him in front of the rest of the class. While studying other religions, Roark has told students that Buddhism is "stupid."

When Plaintiffs objected, Sabine Parish Superintendent, Sara Ebarb, told them that "this is the Bible belt." She suggested that C.C. should "change" his faith or transfer to another district school 25 miles away where, in her words, "there are more Asians." Ultimately, C.L.'s parents did transfer him to another school to protect him, but school officials at that school also unconstitutionally promote religion.

Beyond Roark's classroom, the school also regularly incorporates official Christian prayer into class and school events. School officials display religious iconography through hallways and classrooms, including a large portrait of Jesus Christ, and an electronic marquee in front of the school scrolls Bible verses as students enter the building.

The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order prohibiting the school district from continuing to promote religion or disparage Plaintiffs' faith and to require the district to reimburse the Lanes for the cost of transporting C.C. to another school.

Status: Victory! On March 14, 2014 a federal district court entered an order requiring the school district to refrain from unconstitutionally promoting or denigrating religion. The court’s order also mandates in-service training for school staff regarding their obligations under the First Amendment.

https://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/lane-v-sabine-parish-school-board


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 05, 2014, 07:04:25 PM
Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings
Richard Wolf, USA TODAY 6:57 p.m. EDT May 5, 2014

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday narrowly upheld the centuries-old tradition of offering prayers to open government meetings, even if the prayers are overwhelmingly Christian and citizens are encouraged to participate.

The 5-4 ruling, supported by the court's conservative justices and opposed by its liberals, was based in large part on the history of legislative prayer dating back to the Framers of the Constitution.

Defending a practice used by the town of Greece, N.Y., the majority ruled that opening local government meetings with sectarian prayers doesn't violate the Establishment Clause as long as no religion is advanced or disparaged, and residents aren't coerced.

The alternatives, the conservative justices said, would be worse: having government officials and courts "act as supervisors and censors of religious speech," or declaring all such prayers unconstitutional.

"As a practice that has long endured, legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of 'God save the United States and this honorable court' at the opening of this court's sessions," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote the principal dissent for the court's liberal bloc, arguing that the intimate setting of local government meetings, the participation of average citizens and the dominance of Christian prayer-givers put the policy out of bounds.

"When the citizens of this country approach their government, they do so only as Americans, not as members of one faith or another," Kagan said. "And that means that even in a partly legislative body, they should not confront government-sponsored worship that divides them along religious lines."

The long-awaited ruling came seven years after two women -- a Jew and an atheist -- took the town to court, and six months after oral arguments in November.

SEVEN YEARS IN COURT

The legal tussle began in 2007, following eight years of nothing but Christian prayers in the town of nearly 100,000 people outside Rochester. Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens took the board to federal court and won by contending that its prayers – often spiced with references to Jesus, Christ and the Holy Spirit – aligned the town with one religion.

Once the legal battle was joined, town officials canvassed widely for volunteer prayer-givers and added a Jewish layman, a Wiccan priestess and a member of the Baha'i faith to the mix.

The two women contended that the prayers in Greece were unconstitutional because they pressured those in attendance to participate. They noted that unlike federal and state government sessions, town board meetings are frequented by residents who must appear for everything from business permits to zoning changes.

While the court had upheld the practice of legislative prayer in the past, most recently in a 1983 case involving the Nebraska Legislature, the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway therefore presented the justices with a new twist: mostly Christian clergy delivering frequently sectarian prayers before an audience that often included average citizens with business to conduct.

In the end, five justices said those facts didn't make what the Greece Town Board did unconstitutional, while four others said they did.

"The First Amendment is not a majority rule, and government may not seek to define permissible categories of religious speech," Kennedy said. "Once it invites prayer into the public sphere, government must permit a prayer-giver to address his or her own God or gods as conscience dictates."

Not so, Kagan argued for the losing side. She said the town's prayers differed from those delivered to federal and state legislators about to undertake the people's business. In Greece, she said, sectarian prayers were delivered to "ordinary citizens" who might feel ostracized or vulnerable if they didn't participate.

"No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece's town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian – constantly and exclusively so," Kagan said. "The prayers betray no understanding that the American community is today, as it long has been, a rich mosaic of religious faiths."

Instead of the existing policy, Kagan said the town board should follow the example of Congress' chaplains by giving clergy guidance about avoiding sectarian or divisive prayers.

But several justices were doubtful during oral arguments last year any prayer could satisfy everyone, leaving the court little option but to reiterate its support of legislative prayer or remove it entirely from government meetings – something they clearly did not want to do.

Justice Samuel Alito drove home that point in a separate concurrence Monday in which he called the liberals' dissent "quite niggling."

"Not only is there no historical support for the proposition that only generic prayer is allowed," Alito said, "but as our country has become more diverse, composing a prayer that is acceptable to all members of the community who hold religious beliefs has become harder and harder."

THREE DECADES OF CONTROVERSY

The court's 30-year-old precedent, Marsh v. Chambers, upheld the Nebraska Legislature's funding of a chaplain who delivered daily prayers. Chief Justice Warren Burger ruled then that such prayers were "part of the fabric of our society." The decision prohibited only those prayers that take sides by advancing or disparaging a particular religion.

Since Marsh, backers of more church-state separation had made modest gains. In 1984, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's "endorsement test" established that every government practice must be examined to determine whether it endorses one religion. In 1989, the court ruled that a Christmas crèche display on a courthouse staircase went too far by endorsing Christianity and brought forth O'Connor's "reasonable observer" test.

The current court agreed to consider the case following a federal appeals court's ruling against the town. Judge Guido Calabresi of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals had said its actions "virtually ensured a Christian viewpoint" and featured a "steady drumbeat of often specifically sectarian Christian prayers."

The case hinged on these words from the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That has come to be known as the Establishment Clause.

The Obama administration came down forcefully on the town's side – most notably because both houses of Congress have opened with prayers since 1789. But the prayers delivered there these days are far less sectarian than those heard in churches, temples and synagogues.

Most state legislatures open their sessions with a prayer, nearly half of them with guidelines. Many county legislatures open meetings with a prayer, according to an informal survey by the National Association of Counties. National data on prayer practices at the city, town and village levels do not exist.

The Supreme Court cracked down on prayer in schools in the 1960s, ruling against Bible readings, the Lord's Prayer or an official state prayer.

In Lemon v. Kurtzman, a 1971 case involving religion in legislation, the high court devised what became known as the "Lemon test." Government action, it said, should have a secular purpose, cannot advance or inhibit religion and must avoid too much government entanglement with religion.

Then came Marsh, in which the court gave a green light to legislative prayer that does not advance or disparage any faith.

Kennedy said Monday's decision follows in that spirit.

"The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce non-believers," he said.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/05/supreme-court-government-prayer-new-york/4481969/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on May 08, 2014, 02:02:09 PM
Atheist group renews suit regarding school prayer in Rankin County schools

 The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on May 07, 2014 at 7:27 PM, updated May 07, 2014 at 7:31 PM


 JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- A student supported by an atheist group says the Rankin County school district is still violating a ban on school prayer.

The senior at Northwest Rankin High School, represented by the American Humanist Association, filed a contempt motion Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jackson. The student says an April 17 districtwide honors program violated the district's November settlement of a lawsuit over Christian-themed assemblies at the school.

A district spokeswoman and a lawyer didn't respond to requests for comment.

In an affidavit, the student said the Rev. Rob Gill, pastor of St. Mark's United Methodist Church, gave an invocation at the honors program, meant to recognize all students in the district who scored above 22 on the ACT test.

The student said she felt pressured to participate in a prayer that she perceived as a reference to Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The student said Rankin County Superintendent Lynn Weathersby and other officials took part.

"As a result of the defendants' actions surrounding the prayer at the awards ceremony, I felt incredibly embarrassed, humiliated and frustrated," states the 17-year-old student, identified only as M.B. in the complaint.

The student said she was also forced to attend the original assembly at Northwest Rankin that sparked the lawsuit.

The association says the district agreed to bar official prayer during the school day, citing a policy Rankin County adopted in July 2013 that states in part that "school activities conducted during instructional hours should neither advance, endorse or inhibit any religion; should be primarily for secular purposes and should not obligate or coerce any person into participation in a religious activity."

Monica Miller, a lawyer for the association, said the assembly took place during school hours and is covered by the consent decree. Miller said the association contends that any official prayer at a student activity is an unconstitutional promotion of religion, citing U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

That same high court ruled last week that organized prayer before government meetings was permissible.

A 2013 state law tried to create a way for Mississippi public school students to pray at football games, graduations and other school functions. But because the prayer in question wasn't delivered by a student, the law doesn't appear to apply.

The association asks U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves to issue civil contempt fines of $1,000 apiece against the district and Northwest Rankin Principal Charles Frazier, giving the money to the student, and to threaten the district with a $20,000 fine for any future violation. The student also asked that Reeves make the district pay attorney fees. The association was awarded $15,000 in fees in the initial settlement.


http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2014/05/atheist_group_renews_suit_rega.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on May 12, 2014, 06:43:39 PM
Another paranoid religious extremist.
He actually sounds a lot like some of the more pious posters here.


2nd-class status for nonChristians? A baby step toward theocracy

If supervisor Al Bedrosian has his way, only Christian prayers would be said to launch Roanoke County Board of Supervisors meetings.


By Dan Casey | The Roanoke Times

In the wake of Monday's 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing sectarian prayers as invocations during government meetings, Roanoke County Supervisor Al Bedrosian already is making some plans to change the county Board of Supervisors' nonsectarian prayer policy, though it's doubtful the board will go along.

If Bedrosian gets his way, only Christians could give the officials opening prayers. Jews, Hindus and followers of other faiths would be shut out, relegating them to second-class status.

Here are the juicy bits from a story by my colleagues Zach Crizer and Chase Purdy in today's paper:

"The freedom of religion doesn’t mean that every religion has to be heard,” said Bedrosian, who added that he is concerned about groups such as Wiccans and Satanists. “If we allow everything … where do you draw the line?”

. . . Bedrosian said he envisions a setup by which the supervisors would approve, individually, people from their districts to offer the opening prayer. That system would hold supervisors accountable to their districts, he added.

When asked if he would allow representatives from non-Christian faiths and non-faiths, including Jews, Muslims, atheists and others, the Hollins District supervisor said he likely would not.

. . .If a non-Christian wished to pray during a meeting under his idea for the prayer policy, Bedrosian said, he or she would be able to do so during the allotted time for citizen comment.

“I think America, pretty much from founding fathers on, I think we have to say more or less that we’re a Christian nation with Christian ideology,” Bedrosian said. “If we’re a Christian nation, then I would say that we need to move toward our Christian heritage.”

http://www.roanoke.com/news/columns_and_blogs/blogs/dan_casey/a-baby-step-toward-theocracy/article_bbe6a9fc-d51a-11e3-b520-0017a43b2370.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 19, 2014, 06:17:09 AM
Oh I doubt they offered any evidence.  I think they are a funny group.  Organized and lobbying based on a belief in nothing. 

That would be the naive view of it. I think the broader view is an enchroachment on their lives by religious people and their beliefs. So they organized to stave off the infringement. Right wrong or indifferent, that's likely the catalyst for their organization


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on May 19, 2014, 10:37:11 AM
That would be the naive view of it. I think the broader view is an enchroachment on their lives by religious people and their beliefs. So they organized to stave off the infringement. Right wrong or indifferent, that's likely the catalyst for their organization

So free grief counseling by priests and pastors offered to victims of violent crimes encroaches upon your life?  

Let's say your neighbor is raped and stabbed yet survives the attack and a reverend shows up at your neighbor's house or hospital to offer them guidance and counsel at no charge with no obligation whatsoever.  

How does that impact you?  

Short answer: It doesn't.

Oh, I'm sure there's some elaborate, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", nonsense labyrinth of disjointed, anti-theist, political agendas that goes from your neighbor's crime (that doesn't involve you in anyway) back full circle and illogically adjacent to an utter violation of your civil liberties LOL.

I'm guessing the Salvation Army holiday bell ringers at Walmart are also destroying your personal freedoms LOL?  Those bastards!!!  


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 30, 2014, 08:11:42 AM
So free grief counseling by priests and pastors offered to victims of violent crimes encroaches upon your life?  

Let's say your neighbor is raped and stabbed yet survives the attack and a reverend shows up at your neighbor's house or hospital to offer them guidance and counsel at no charge with no obligation whatsoever.  

How does that impact you?  

Short answer: It doesn't.

Oh, I'm sure there's some elaborate, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", nonsense labyrinth of disjointed, anti-theist, political agendas that goes from your neighbor's crime (that doesn't involve you in anyway) back full circle and illogically adjacent to an utter violation of your civil liberties LOL.

I'm guessing the Salvation Army holiday bell ringers at Walmart are also destroying your personal freedoms LOL?  Those bastards!!!  

1. Nope but it violates seperation of Church and State. We have trained grief counselors that visit crime victims and they don't spread the word of any religion, they are trained, educated and certified counselors.

2. That is very nice of the reverend to do that, however when a government entity sends the reverend, that's where I have a problem. Again, there are real counselors available for such instances

3. Slippery slope, government shouldn't be in the business of providing spritual or religious counseling

4. I can answer for myself thank you


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on May 30, 2014, 08:38:55 AM
1. Nope but it violates seperation of Church and State. We have trained grief counselors that visit crime victims and they don't spread the word of any religion, they are trained, educated and certified counselors.

2. That is very nice of the reverend to do that, however when a government entity sends the reverend, that's where I have a problem. Again, there are real counselors available for such instances

3. Slippery slope, government shouldn't be in the business of providing spritual or religious counseling

4. I can answer for myself thank you
Sorry, but a definite violation of church and state is specious and reaching.  

There is nothing unconstitutional about one person freely communicating their faith with another person.  There is something unconstitutional about a government telling a civilian that they can't do that....that's a violation of civil liberties.   Now, forcing someone to participate in a regular religious ceremony that is also unconstitutional.

Many force fit the slippery slope notion based upon their own agenda....it goes both ways.  Regardless, the victims in question are not civil authorities....they are individuals.  The term "state" does not automatically apply to the victim and the term "church" does not automatically apply to a pastor offering counseling.

Now, the presupposition tends to be that the reverend/pastor/priest is always sharing their faith in those moments.  Many "men of the cloth" have legitimate study and expertise in counseling that has nothing to do with the church, faith or theology.

So, in the future, if you happen to be the victim in an unforseen situation (I pray that isn't the case) and a priest comes to your home or hospital to offer counseling simply decline with a "no thank you".  Your rights and the priest's rights are both fully upheld.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 30, 2014, 10:33:07 AM
Sorry, but a definite violation of church and state is specious and reaching.  

There is nothing unconstitutional about one person freely communicating their faith with another person.  There is something unconstitutional about a government telling a civilian that they can't do that....that's a violation of civil liberties.   Now, forcing someone to participate in a regular religious ceremony that is also unconstitutional.

Many force fit the slippery slope notion based upon their own agenda....it goes both ways.  Regardless, the victims in question are not civil authorities....they are individuals.  The term "state" does not automatically apply to the victim and the term "church" does not automatically apply to a pastor offering counseling.

Now, the presupposition tends to be that the reverend/pastor/priest is always sharing their faith in those moments.  Many "men of the cloth" have legitimate study and expertise in counseling that has nothing to do with the church, faith or theology.

So, in the future, if you happen to be the victim in an unforseen situation (I pray that isn't the case) and a priest comes to your home or hospital to offer counseling simply decline with a "no thank you".  Your rights and the priest's rights are both fully upheld.

again, a priest happening to drop by verses a priest sent by the city of ________ is two different things...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on May 30, 2014, 11:09:39 AM
again, a priest happening to drop by verses a priest sent by the city of ________ is two different things...

I agree with you, but to my point these pastors/ministers/reverends/priests do have extensive experience and expertise in counseling.  Not all of course, but many.  The counseling service on behalf of the city can be completely unrelated to the church and not considered "church outreach".    Churches tie into other service organizations all the time and don't spread the gospel....they just perform the service.   

Again, the terms "church" and "state" are loosely assigned to different parties incorrectly.  A city government sending local church leadership who are skilled in counseling to assist victims of violent crimes at no charge to the victim or city is not a violation of anyone's civil liberties.   A secular, civil authority sending a local church to perform religious ceremonies of some sort would most likely violate the idea of separation of church and state.  Two separate entities can collaborate without violating people's civil liberties though. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 30, 2014, 01:02:19 PM
I agree with you, but to my point these pastors/ministers/reverends/priests do have extensive experience and expertise in counseling.  Not all of course, but many.  The counseling service on behalf of the city can be completely unrelated to the church and not considered "church outreach".    Churches tie into other service organizations all the time and don't spread the gospel....they just perform the service.   

Again, the terms "church" and "state" are loosely assigned to different parties incorrectly.  A city government sending local church leadership who are skilled in counseling to assist victims of violent crimes at no charge to the victim or city is not a violation of anyone's civil liberties.   A secular, civil authority sending a local church to perform religious ceremonies of some sort would most likely violate the idea of separation of church and state.  Two separate entities can collaborate without violating people's civil liberties though. 

Montgomery Police Department Chaplain E. Baxter Morris said the program offers an “evangelistic advance,” and said it gives him an opportunity to “share a word from Christ” to victims, AL.com reported.
.
.
. I have a problem with that


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on June 05, 2014, 08:28:16 AM
Nice.  And the paranoid anti-religous extremists meltdown.   :)

Missouri principal wows crowd, angers atheists with guarded 'God' references
By Joshua Rhett Miller
Published June 05, 2014
FoxNews.com

A Missouri high school principal who garnered thunderous applause and a starring role in a viral video for a commencement speech in which he repeatedly invoked God in ways to dodge First Amendment objections has atheists seeing red.

Lebanon High School Principal Kevin Lowery can be seen on a 3-minute YouTube clip reminding graduates that the nation’s motto of “In God We Trust” can be found on U.S. currency and in Francis Scott Key’s original version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Lowery also wryly noted during the May 23 commencement that even though “God is reflected in the very fabric” of the nation, it would be inappropriate to mention The Almighty at a secular ceremony.

“So while it would not be politically correct for us to have an official prayer this evening, I would like for us to have a moment of silence in honor of tonight’s graduates,” Lowery told students. “Thank you. And just in case you’re interested, during my moment of silence, I gave thanks to God for these great students, their parents, their teachers and for this community.”

“So while it would not be politically correct for us to have an official prayer this evening, I would like for us to have a moment of silence in honor of tonight’s graduates."
- Lebanon High School Principal Kevin Lowery
Thunderous applause followed Lowery’s statement and the video was closing in on 100,000 views.

"If you were "offended" by this..I'd have to ask you HOW you could be offended by someone praying for nothing but wonderful things for this student!" wrote one commenter. "He wasn't asking anyone to join a church, a religion or to leave one...he simply asked that they would be protected and blessed."

But dozens of others commenting on the video blasted Lowery, as did Dave Muscato, a spokesman for American Atheists.

“I find this extremely objectionable,” Muscato said. “I think it’s clear that Kevin Lowery violated the spirit of the First Amendment separations of religion and government. This was an underhanded and dishonorable way for him to forcibly inject his personal religious views onto his students and the others present and into his role as a government official.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation also voiced concerns on Lowery’s speech, characterizing it as a “serious constitutional violation” in a letter to Lebanon School District Superintendent Duane Widhalm. District officials, meanwhile, told FoxNews.com they had no comment on Lowery’s speech.

“It is well settled that public schools may not advance, prefer or promote religion,” the letter reads. “The Supreme Court has routinely struck down prayers at school-sponsored events, including public school graduations.”

Lowery did not return requests for comment. But the high school principal, who has more than 1,700 followers on Twitter, thanked his students for the “special” ceremony on the social media platform, where some students referenced Lowery’s speech.

“My favorite part of LHS graduation is when @KevinGLowery ‘doesn't pray’ for the graduates,” Aaron Stewart posted. “We are blessed to have such a faithful leader!”

Another student, Sadie Ashton Staver, said she would miss the “best principal” in America.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/06/04/missouri-principal-wows-crowd-angers-atheists-with-guarded-god-references/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctwrBqcBcgM


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on June 05, 2014, 10:31:23 AM
Montgomery Police Department Chaplain E. Baxter Morris said the program offers an “evangelistic advance,” and said it gives him an opportunity to “share a word from Christ” to victims, AL.com reported.
.
.
. I have a problem with that

Again that assumes that the "opportunity" is forced on the victim.  Every hospital chaplain I've ever seen (and I've seen several in action) always give the patient the option to pray or discuss matters of faith.  If the patient declines the chaplain moves on.....that simple.  

In the end you don't have anything to worry about because scripture clearly outlines that the world at large will adopt your position fully and people of faith will eventually have virtually no influence......the "sharing of the Christian faith" will be heavily ridiculed and mocked (way more than it is today) and believers will eventually lose their lives like never before in history.   Many believers will fall away from the faith when this begins in attempts to save their lives.  I believe we're on the precipice of this now.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on June 05, 2014, 06:49:48 PM
Montgomery Police Department Chaplain E. Baxter Morris said the program offers an “evangelistic advance,” and said it gives him an opportunity to “share a word from Christ” to victims, AL.com reported.
.
.
. I have a problem with that

Then if ever presented with such an offer, politely refuse it. Simple, huh?  I was asked in the hospital if I would care to have a chaplain visit me.  Asked, not forced.  Asked. I accepted and received visits from two of them.  We talked about a variety of subjects, not just faith.  Good people, good conversation.

Surely you don't have a problem with your just saying no, to them?  If they asked you if you wanted a meat dish for your meal, and you were a vegan, would you have a problem just saying "No thanks!  I'll have the veggie plate instead."  I hope not.

Don't look to be offended where no offence was intended. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on June 06, 2014, 08:26:23 AM
My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944

http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 14, 2014, 11:36:15 AM
School: We have a right to ban God
By Todd Starnes
Published July 11, 2014
FoxNews.com

A California school district says it will not apologize to a teenager who defied its orders and mentioned God in his graduation speech.

Attorneys representing the Brawley Union High School District have written a 10-page letter defending the school’s right not only to censor graduation speeches, but also to ban any speech that references God or Jesus.

“It is well established in the Ninth Circuit and California that a public school salutatorian has no constitutional right to lead a prayer or include sectarian or proselytizing content in his/her graduation speech,” reads a letter from the San Diego law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud and Romo.

Brooks Hamby was a victim of anti-Christian bigotry, and I hope Liberty Institute teaches the Brawley Union High School District a lesson it won’t forget.
Last month, 18-year-old Brooks Hamby made national headlines when he committed an act of civil disobedience by thanking Jesus in his salutatorian address. School administrators had redacted references to Jesus and the Christian faith in three previous versions of Hamby’s speech.

One administrator went so far as to redact every religious reference with a black marker – as if it were some sort of top-secret government document.

Liberty Institute, the law firm representing Hamby, has demanded that the school apologize for censoring the boy’s speech and that it guarantee future graduation speakers will not face censorship.

The school district, in the certified letter its attorneys sent to Liberty Institute, says that’s not going to happen. There will be no apology.

“The district was legally obligated to ensure prayers and other sectarian, proseltyzing content were omitted from Mr. Hamby’s speech,” the school’s attorneys wrote. “Censorship of the speech was necessary to avoid an Establishment Clause violation.”

In other words, the high-dollar attorneys are telling us the school district violated one constitutional amendment to avoid violating another.

The school district’s attorneys also said the California Constitution prohibits public school districts from endorsing religious speech at their graduation ceremonies.

“Mr. Hamby was not permitted to use his salutatory speech to lead his classmates in a sectarian prayer,” the attorneys wrote.

Instead, he was supposed to stand in front of his graduating class as a “representative example of the success of the school’s own educational mission,” the attorneys wrote, referencing a previous court case.

Are they trying to tell us the reason the district took offense was because Brooks Hamby thanks God for his success instead of the school district?

I spoke by telephone Thursday night with Hamby and his attorney, Jeremy Dys. Both were shocked by the tone, tenor and length of the school district’s retort.

“The school does not want to put this issue behind them,” Dys told me. “All options are on the table. Based on the amount of money it cost those attorneys to write that letter, I’d say the school district has a $10-20,000 down payment for a lawsuit.”

And Dys said if the school district is hankering for a legal fight – “we may be willing to oblige them.”

Hamby remains saddened and perplexed by how the school district treated him.

“I was really surprised the school would deny my speech not once, twice, but three times,” he told me. “I just wanted to say a few nice words and allow people to see the good news – which is the Gospel.”

After the district rejected those versions, Hamby wrote a fourth – just hours before the graduation ceremony. In that speech, he refused to water down his faith in Christ. He never received a reply from the district – so he decided to deliver that version.

“May the God of the Bible bless each and every one of you every day in the rest of your lives,” he told his fellow graduates.

That’s what led to the legal firestorm. That’s what led the school district to hire a high-powered law firm to bully this Christian teenager.

If you believe the school district’s version, Hamby turned his speech into a Billy Graham Crusade where he invited his fellow graduates to walk the aisle and convert to Christianity.

But that’s not what happened at all. This young man simply talked about the values that shaped and flavored his life – the values that carried him through the difficult days of high school.

According to the school district, Brooks Hamby broke the law.

“Mr. Hamby’s salutatorian speech was a sectarian invocation, which is not legally permitted in California or the Ninth Circuit,” the district’s attorneys wrote.

I’m surprised the principal didn’t take out a warrant and throw the kid in jail.

Hamby is not the first graduation speaker to have his Christian voice silenced – and I predict he won’t be the last. In my new book, “God Less America,” I write about other teenage Christians whose speeches were deemed inappropriate by government representatives.

Brooks Hamby was a victim of anti-Christian bigotry, and I hope Liberty Institute teaches the Brawley Union High School District a lesson it won’t forget.

Hamby is Stanford bound this fall. But I suspect the lessons he’s learned will flavor the rest of his life.

“I’m not an attorney, so I can’t speak on behalf of the law, but I think it should never be acceptable to silence students who mention the word God or Jesus,” he told me. “I know in my heart that kind of thing is not OK.”

Indeed, it is not.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/07/11/school-have-right-to-ban-god/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 04, 2014, 01:23:05 PM
Restaurant's 'Prayer Discount' Sparks Mix Of Praise, Anger
by SCOTT NEUMAN
August 01, 2014

When Jordan Smith got her tab after breakfast at Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, N.C., she was pleasantly surprised to find a 15 percent discount — for "praying in public."

Smith, on a business trip, tells HLN that she and her colleagues "prayed over our meal and the waitress came over at the end of the meal and said, 'Just so you know, we gave you a 15 percent discount for praying.' "

Smith then snapped a photo of her receipt, complete with a line item for "15% Praying in Public ($6.07)" and posted it to her Facebook page. Not surprisingly, it's gone viral.

Some people wondered if it was just another social media hoax, but Shama Blalock, a co-owner of the diner, confirmed to NPR that "It's for real; it does exist."

Blalock says it's something that she was moved to implement about 3 1/2 years ago. "We're very thankful for the attention we've received, but that's not what we were aiming at," she says.

Blalock says the discount is given to customers at the discretion of the wait staff.

On seeing the picture circulated by Smith, many responded like Arlene Wilson Focht, who wrote on the diner's Facebook page:

Arlene Wilson Focht‎Mary's Gourmet Diner
Owner at The Rosey Posey · August 1 at 5:45am ·
Thanks, Mary's Gourmet Diner, for giving 15% off to people who pray for their food. The Lord deserves our thanksIf I'm ever in WS, NC I'll be sure to stop in.

But others were more critical. Dave Moore was among those who questioned whether the restaurant would give the same discount to people who offered public prayers that weren't of the Christian variety:

Dave Moore‎Mary's Gourmet Diner
34 followers · July 31 at 3:28pm · Tucson, AZ ·
Prayer discounts? Do you give prayer discounts to people who aren't of your religion? like Sikh's or Hindus or Muslims or Jews?

Several others noted their interpretation that praying in public is frowned upon in the New Testament passage Matthew 6:5:

Mark Malone‎Mary's Gourmet Diner
Works at None of your business · August 1 at 12:46am ·
Matthew 6:5
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

And some people wondered aloud if the restaurant's practice amounts to discrimination. The Department of Justice says that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on religion in a public accommodation, such as a restaurant. Whether the diner is in violation isn't immediately clear.

We put in a call to the DOJ for clarification and will update this post if we hear back.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 09, 2014, 11:20:58 PM
Judge rules Ten Commandments monument must go
Published August 08, 2014
Associated Press

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that a New Mexico city must remove a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lawn in front of Bloomfield City Hall.

Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker said in his ruling in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that the monument amounts to government speech and has the "principal effect of endorsing religion."

Because of the context and history surrounding the granite monument, Parker said Bloomfield clearly violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. He gave a Sept. 10 deadline for its removal.

The suit was filed in 2012 on behalf of two Bloomfield residents who practice the Wiccan religion.

Peter Simonson, ACLU of New Mexico executive director, called the decision a victory for protection against government-supported religion.

"We firmly support the right of individuals, religious groups, and community associations to publicly display religious monuments, but the government should not be in the business of picking which sets of religious beliefs belong at City Hall," Simonson said Friday.

According to previous court testimony, plaintiff Jane Felix said the display "says that anybody who doesn't agree with this monument on city grounds is an outsider."

"It has no place on City Hall property," Felix said in March.

City attorneys say private individuals erected and paid for the monument under a 2007 city resolution. That resolution allows people to erect historical monuments of their choosing.

Bloomfield Mayor Scott Eckstein said he was surprised the judge would rule against "a historical document."

"The intent from the beginning was that the lawn was going to be used for historical purposes, and that's what the council voted on," Eckstein told the Daily Times (http://bit.ly/XMgAqu).

The city has 30 days to file an appeal. City attorney Ryan Lane said he will review the opinion and tell the city council if there is basis for one.

The 6-foot-tall monument was erected in July 2011 by a former city councilor and weighs 3,000 pounds.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/08/judge-rules-ten-commandments-monument-must-go


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 20, 2014, 07:33:30 PM
Brevard County commissioners refuse to recognize atheist invocations

 By Dan Billow
6:01 PM EDT Aug 19, 2014

Atheists demanded the right to give an invocation at the beginning of a Brevard County Commission meeting on Tuesday.

A debate over invocations quickly turned up the temperature at the Brevard County Commission.

"For you to say that Christianity isn't under attack, I'd like you to look over at Iraq right now and let me know if Christianity's not under attack," said Brevard County Commissioner Andy Anderson. 

David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community wears an A for "atheist" on his lapel.

"The supreme court specifically named non-believers as someone who should be included. And in this case, we've asked to be included," Williamson said.

What is an atheist invocation? Same thing a minister would pray for.

A sample atheist invocation reads, "We need only look to each other for guidance, and work together to overcome any challenges we may face."

Commissioners said unanimously they don't want to change a policy that allows individual commissioners to select the invocation-givers from a pool of applicants, who are mostly Christian ministers and Jewish rabbis.

That allows them to pass on atheist applicants.

"It's a slap in the face to be told, specifically, you cannot participate," Williamson said.

Williamson indicated his group may seek a court order.

http://www.wesh.com/news/brevard-county-commissioners-refuse-to-recognize-atheist-invocations/27617706


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 04, 2014, 12:16:48 PM
Prayer for injured teen sparks atheist outrage
By Todd Starnes
Published August 28, 2014
FoxNews.com

The injured player was on the ground being tended to by trainers and coaches.

So the Seminole High School football team did what many football teams do. The teenage boys took a knee, bowed their heads and prayed for their injured teammate.

But that simple act of compassion and humanity in Sanford, Florida sparked outrage from the Freedom From Religion Foundation – a group of perpetually offended atheists from Wisconsin.
An FFRF attorney fired off a letter to the superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools – accusing them of having an adult lead the prayer for the injured child.

It truly takes a special kind of evil to threaten Americans because they prayed over an injured child.
A school district spokesman told me the injured child, who is the son of the team’s head coach, has since rejoined the team.

“It is our information and understanding that Seminole High School (is) allowing an adult, a local pastor, to act as a ‘volunteer chaplain’ for the football team,” FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel wrote.

The attorney said the school cannot “allow a non-school adult access to the children in its charge, and certainly cannot grant that access to a pastor seeking to organize prayer for the students.”

The FFRF told the school district to “refrain from having a ‘volunteer team chaplain’ at Seminole High School.

The school district said the prayer was instigated by students and denied that a chaplain prayed with the team. School spokesman Mike Blasewitz told MyNews13.com that the school doesn’t even have a team chaplain, contrary to the FFRF’s allegations.

“There is nothing to cease and desist because our behavior was within the guidelines in the first place,” he told television station WFTV. “No adults in the photo, no adults participating, no adults leading it.”

Seidel told me in a written statement that he’s satisfied with the school’s response – and they now consider the matter closed.

“FFRF is very pleased with central Florida's new-found commitment to upholding the First Amendment and protecting the rights of conscience of all students, not just Christians,” he said.
Parents, meanwhile, are a bit perturbed with the atheist bullying.

“There are a lot more important issues going on in the world than worrying about kids praying at a game,” parent Andre Collins told ClickOrlando.com. “We live in a country where we’re free to do what we want to do.”

Barbara Frase has a grandson on the football team. She could not believe the atheists would call out the kids for praying.

“Come on, let’s get real,” she told ClickOrlando.com.

Seminole County is not the first school district targeted by these rabid atheists – and they won’t be the last. Earlier this week, I exposed the Christian cleansing underway in Orange County, Florida public schools.

But it truly takes a special kind of evil to threaten Americans because they prayed over an injured child.

Heaven help us all.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/08/28/prayer-for-injured-teen-sparks-atheist-outrage/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on September 05, 2014, 02:46:35 AM
"perpetually offended atheists"....that made me chuckle.

Apparently this Wisconsin group enjoys its perpetual state of offense so much that it fabricates reasons to remain in it.

This isn't atheism, this is anti-theism.



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on September 05, 2014, 06:52:02 AM
"perpetually offended atheists"....that made me chuckle.

Apparently this Wisconsin group enjoys its perpetual state of offense so much that it fabricates reasons to remain in it.

This isn't atheism, this is anti-theism.



It's because these downtrodden atheists are just like others (read- libtards) of their kind.  They look for the "offensive" everywhere but in a mirror.

To hell with them and their pussified mentality.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on September 06, 2014, 01:06:28 PM
Group: Airman denied reenlistment for refusing to say 'so help me God'

Sep. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM
By Stephen Losey


An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said Thursday.

And in a Sept. 2 letter to the inspectors general for the Air Force and Creech, Monica Miller, an attorney with the AHA’s Apignani Humanist Legal Center, said the airman should be allowed to reenlist without having to swear to a deity, and instead given a secular oath. Miller said the AHA is prepared to sue if the airman is not allowed to reenlist.

According to the AHA, the unnamed airman was told Aug. 25 that the Air Force would not accept his contract because he had crossed out the phrase “so help me God.” The airman was told his only options were to sign the religious oath section of the contract without adjustment and recite an oath concluding with “so help me God,” or leave the Air Force, the AHA said.

That is unconstitutional and unacceptable, the AHA said.

“The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being,” Miller said. “Numerous cases affirm that atheists have the right to omit theistic language from enlistment or reenlistment contracts.”

Creech officials referred inquiries to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Officials at Nellis referred questions to Air Force public affairs officers at the Pentagon, who had not confirmed the incident by Thursday night.

The AHA’s letter also called attention to a quiet update last year of Air Force rules governing reenlistments, which now require all airmen to swear an oath to God.

Air Force Instruction 36-2606 spells out the active-duty oath of enlistment, which all airmen must take when they enlist or reenlist and ends with “so help me God.” The old version of that AFI included an exception: “Note: Airmen may omit the words ‘so help me God,’ if desired for personal reasons.”

That language was dropped in an Oct. 30, 2013, update to the AFI. The relevant section of that AFI now only lists the active-duty oath of enlistment, without giving airmen any option to choose not to swear an oath to a deity.

“Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement under Title 10 USC 502,” Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said Thursday. AFI 36-2606 “is consistent with the language mandated in 10 USC 502. Paragraph 5.6 [and] was changed in October 2013 to reflect the aforementioned statutory requirement and airmen are no longer authorized to omit the words ‘So help me God.’ ”

The Air Force said it cannot change its AFI to make “so help me God” optional unless Congress changes the statute mandating it.

Miller pointed out that Article VI of the Constitution prohibits requiring religious tests to hold an office or public trust.

“Forcing [the airman] to swear to a supreme being as a condition of his reenlistment is tantamount to a ‘religious test’ and is therefore violative of this constitutional provision as well,” Miller said.

Miller also said that swearing an oath the airman does not believe in would be dishonest.

“This airman shows integrity, commitment to the nation, and respect for religion in standing firm for a secular oath that reflects his true values and intentions,” said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and a board member of the AHA.


http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140904/NEWS05/309040066/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on September 08, 2014, 07:26:17 AM
Group: Airman denied reenlistment for refusing to say 'so help me God'

Sep. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM
By Stephen Losey


An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said Thursday.

And in a Sept. 2 letter to the inspectors general for the Air Force and Creech, Monica Miller, an attorney with the AHA’s Apignani Humanist Legal Center, said the airman should be allowed to reenlist without having to swear to a deity, and instead given a secular oath. Miller said the AHA is prepared to sue if the airman is not allowed to reenlist.

According to the AHA, the unnamed airman was told Aug. 25 that the Air Force would not accept his contract because he had crossed out the phrase “so help me God.” The airman was told his only options were to sign the religious oath section of the contract without adjustment and recite an oath concluding with “so help me God,” or leave the Air Force, the AHA said.

That is unconstitutional and unacceptable, the AHA said.

“The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being,” Miller said. “Numerous cases affirm that atheists have the right to omit theistic language from enlistment or reenlistment contracts.”

Creech officials referred inquiries to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Officials at Nellis referred questions to Air Force public affairs officers at the Pentagon, who had not confirmed the incident by Thursday night.

The AHA’s letter also called attention to a quiet update last year of Air Force rules governing reenlistments, which now require all airmen to swear an oath to God.

Air Force Instruction 36-2606 spells out the active-duty oath of enlistment, which all airmen must take when they enlist or reenlist and ends with “so help me God.” The old version of that AFI included an exception: “Note: Airmen may omit the words ‘so help me God,’ if desired for personal reasons.”

That language was dropped in an Oct. 30, 2013, update to the AFI. The relevant section of that AFI now only lists the active-duty oath of enlistment, without giving airmen any option to choose not to swear an oath to a deity.

“Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement under Title 10 USC 502,” Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said Thursday. AFI 36-2606 “is consistent with the language mandated in 10 USC 502. Paragraph 5.6 [and] was changed in October 2013 to reflect the aforementioned statutory requirement and airmen are no longer authorized to omit the words ‘So help me God.’ ”

The Air Force said it cannot change its AFI to make “so help me God” optional unless Congress changes the statute mandating it.

Miller pointed out that Article VI of the Constitution prohibits requiring religious tests to hold an office or public trust.

“Forcing [the airman] to swear to a supreme being as a condition of his reenlistment is tantamount to a ‘religious test’ and is therefore violative of this constitutional provision as well,” Miller said.

Miller also said that swearing an oath the airman does not believe in would be dishonest.

“This airman shows integrity, commitment to the nation, and respect for religion in standing firm for a secular oath that reflects his true values and intentions,” said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and a board member of the AHA.


http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140904/NEWS05/309040066/

People have the God-given ability to deny God as much as they want.   Folks in US have no right to force another to accept or reject God.   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on September 09, 2014, 12:13:55 PM
People have the God-given ability to deny God as much as they want.  

How profound. ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on September 09, 2014, 01:24:22 PM
How profound. ::)

Always glad to help, but sounds like you stumbled on that new thing called "sarcasm".


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on September 17, 2014, 07:16:27 PM
Finally some common sense instead of enforcing the outrageous demands of paranoid religious extremists.

AF to change instructions for oaths
/ Published September 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses.

In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from the Department of Defense General Counsel addressing the legal parameters of the oath. The resulting opinion concluded that an individual may strike or omit the words “So help me God” from an enlistment or appointment oath if preferred.

“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen's rights are protected.”

The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words 'So help me God' from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.

The language in previous instructions was based on an Air Force legal interpretation of 10 U.S.C. 502, 5 U.S.C. 3331 and Title 32, which contain the oaths of office.

The Air Force requested the review following a ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, in which an enlisted Airman struck out the words, “So help me God” on the Department of Defense Form 4 and did not include them in his verbal oath. The Airman's unit was unable to process his paperwork due to the guidance in Air Force Instruction 36-2606, Reenlistment in the United States Air Force, which prohibited any omissions. Now that the Department of Defense General Counsel has provided an opinion, the Airman’s enlistment paperwork will be processed to completion.


http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/497535/af-to-change-instructions-for-oaths.aspx


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on September 18, 2014, 06:49:50 AM
Finally some common sense instead of enforcing the outrageous demands of paranoid religious extremists.


Theists are so dumb!  Can I get a "what what"?!!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 23, 2014, 08:57:56 AM

More Americans see religion’s influence waning, want bigger role in politics: Pew poll
By Mary Wisniewski
SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

Nearly three-quarters of the public think religion is losing influence in American life and a growing number want religion to play more of a role in politics, according to a poll released on Monday.

The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues has gone up 6 percentage points since the 2010 midterm elections, to 49 percent from 43 percent, the Pew Research Center survey found.

Also, a growing minority of Americans, up to 32 percent from 22 percent in 2002, think churches should endorse candidates for political office, the poll found.

Overall, it showed 72 percent of Americans say religion is losing influence in the country, up 5 points from 2010.

“Some of this might be in reaction, perhaps, to the perception that religion is losing influence,” said Jessica Hamar Martinez, a research associate for Pew.

The poll also found that a declining share of Americans see the Obama administration as friendly toward religion, to 30 percent from 37 percent in 2009.

The belief that the administration is unfriendly to religion rose by 19 percentage points since 2009 among both white evangelical Christians and white Catholics, the poll found. Leaders from both these groups have been vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, which they say restricts religious liberty.

The poll also found that nearly half, or 47 percent, of U.S. adults, think that businesses, such as caterers and florists, should be allowed to reject same-sex couples as customers if the businesses have religious objections to serving them.

The survey questioned 2,002 U.S. adults between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2014/09/23/more-americans-see-religions-influence-waning-want-bigger-role-in-politics-pew-poll/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on November 18, 2014, 09:12:02 PM
Orange County School Board moves to change policy to keep Satanist coloring book out of schools

By Lauren Roth, Orlando Sentinel
November 13, 2014

Worried about facing national ridicule if a Satanic group is allowed to give out coloring books to children, the Orange County School Board moved Thursday toward preventing any outside group from distributing religious materials on campus.

The current policy has allowed groups to distribute Bibles and even atheist materials at district high schools in recent years.

The board discussed the issue during a workshop Thursday. The earliest it could vote to change the policy would be late January or early February, officials said.

"This really has, frankly, gotten out of hand," said chairman Bill Sublette. "I think we've seen a group or groups take advantage of the open forum we've had."

But a spokesman for The Satanic Temple, the group the group that wants to give out coloring books featuring cartoon children performing Satanic rituals and drawing pentagrams in school, said it is the School Board that is acting in bad faith.

"It strongly implies they never intended to have a plurality of voices," said Doug Mesner, co-founder and spokesman for The Satanic Temple, who also goes by the pseudonym Lucien Greaves.

An evangelical group called World Changers of Florida has given out Bibles in Orange schools three times.

"We're looking forward to doing it again," said World Changers Vice President Greg Harper. The group has purchased materials and is gathering volunteers to give out the New International Version in 18 district high schools on Jan. 16, he said.

However, district counsel Woody Rodriguez said the Satanists are the only group to have submitted a request.

Harper said he considers the possible policy change an attack on Christians.

"They seem to be moving against the interests of a large part of the community," he said, likening it to the district's August decision to ban football chaplains at schools. "The Bible will open somebody's heart, somebody's mind, and cause them to pursue answers."

Board member Christine Moore also seemed to struggle with the effect of a policy change on Christian groups. "Everyone's upset about the Satanists and the atheists coming,'' she said.

But another group involved in the debate sees an upside.

"It's a bit of a relief," said David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community. His group distributed atheist materials in 2013 as a protest against Bible distributions.

Rodriguez said the district was bound by the terms of a federal consent decree that required Collier County schools to allow the same group to give out Bibles.

"Given that there's a potential change in the policy, we won't be allowing distribution," he said. "We're going to wait."

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-satanic-pamphlets-board-reacts-20141113-story.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on November 19, 2014, 05:56:27 AM
after Skeletor posts I always picture the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g20_8-TPyTQ


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on November 19, 2014, 06:32:29 PM
How profound. ::)

Don't be such a dicklet, mkay?



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 03, 2014, 10:33:05 AM
after Skeletor posts I always picture the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g20_8-TPyTQ

 ;D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 03, 2014, 10:34:30 AM
Why do atheists have a PR director?? 

American Atheists PR Director Says He's Becoming a Woman, Transition Will Be Slow
BY STOYAN ZAIMOV , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
November 18, 2014

(http://images.christianpost.com/full/78480/dave-muscato-r-participating-in-a-religious-debate-in-a-video-posted-on-april-20-2012.jpg)
Dave Muscato (R) participating in a religious debate in a video posted on April 20, 2012.

Dave Muscato, the public relations director for American Atheists, has announced that he'll be transitioning into a transgender woman in the near future, and has chosen the name Danielle as a new identity.

"I consider my gender identity to be personal and, despite my passion for PR, don't intend to do much in the way of interviews about my personal gender identity if I can help it. I fully support intersectionality and working together with LGBTQ activists on mutual goals, but I'm first and foremost an atheist activist, and that hasn't changed," Muscato wrote in a blog post on Monday for The Friendly Atheist.

"There are many other people who are significantly more educated about trans activism than I am and who are already doing great work in that area. I support them and obviously have an interest in their success, but it's not my area of expertise. Exposing the harms that religion causes and making the world a better place for atheists will always be my passion."

Muscato noted that she's (formerly he) grateful for the full support of American Atheists President David Silverman and Managing Director Amanda Knief, as well as other co-workers.

Muscato added that gender identity and gender expression don't always go hand-in-hand.

"While I have identified internally as a woman for a long time, for now, I will be presenting more-or-less as a man; that is, I will continue to wear mostly traditional men's clothing, speak in my natural lower voice, and so on," the American Atheists public relations director wrote.

"Transitioning is a slow, painful, and expensive process and can take many months to several years. As I begin to take bigger steps to change my appearance, I will also begin dressing differently and changing other aspects of my gender expression.

American Atheists, one of the largest secular organizations in the U.S., launched the world's first ever TV channel dedicated exclusively to atheism earlier this year.

"Atheist TV," as the channel is called, is shown through Internet-streaming service Roku 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has partnered with other notable atheist groups, such as the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

"There's a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials," Muscato told New York Daily News in May. "But there's no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void. ... We'll have shows about philosophy, science, history — a critical examination of the facts."

http://www.christianpost.com/news/american-atheists-public-relations-director-announces-transition-into-transgender-woman-129855/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 06, 2015, 11:04:44 AM
Pew: Christians Make Up 92 Percent of New Congress
Tuesday, 06 Jan 2015
By Jason Devaney

More than 90 percent of the new Congress is Christian, a 2 percent increase from the previous Congress.

The Pew Research Center reports that 92 percent of the 114th Congress is made up of Christians, a figure dominated by Protestants at 57 percent. Thirty-one percent of those Christians are Catholic.

Pew claims those numbers are higher than the American average; 49 percent of American adults are Protestant, according to the data, while 22 percent are Catholic.

Twenty percent of Americans say they are not affiliated with any religion, while that number falls to just 0.2 percent in Congress. The only lawmaker on Capitol Hill without a religious affiliation is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, according to Pew.

Fifteen percent of Congress is Baptist, while another 8 percent is either Methodist or Anglican/Episcopal. Presbyterians make up 7 percent of the 535 lawmakers in the House and Senate.

Five percent of Congress is Jewish, higher than the nationwide figure of 2 percent. Seven members are ordained ministers.

Of the 301 Republicans in Congress, only one of them — freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York — is not Christian. Zeldin is Jewish. Sixty-seven percent of the GOP Congressmen are Protestant, while 27 percent are Catholic. Five percent are Mormon.

Forty-four percent of the 234 Democratic Congressmen are Protestant, 35 percent are Catholic, and 12 percent are Jewish. There are two Mormons, two Buddhists, two Muslims, and one Hindu.

Meanwhile, Pew reported in September that 72 percent of Americans think religion is losing influence. But the figures did show that 78 percent of Americans still claim to be Christian.

Nearly half of Americans, on the other hand, would like to see more religion in the world of politics, according to the Pew data.

http://www.Newsmax.com/Newsfront/congress-christians-protestants-religion/2015/01/06/id/616640/#ixzz3O4NdUk00


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on January 06, 2015, 11:32:32 AM
Why do atheists have a PR director??  

American Atheists PR Director Says He's Becoming a Woman, Transition Will Be Slow
BY STOYAN ZAIMOV , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
November 18, 2014

(http://images.christianpost.com/full/78480/dave-muscato-r-participating-in-a-religious-debate-in-a-video-posted-on-april-20-2012.jpg)
Dave Muscato (R) participating in a religious debate in a video posted on April 20, 2012.

Dave Muscato, the public relations director for American Atheists, has announced that he'll be transitioning into a transgender woman in the near future, and has chosen the name Danielle as a new identity.

"I consider my gender identity to be personal and, despite my passion for PR, don't intend to do much in the way of interviews about my personal gender identity if I can help it. I fully support intersectionality and working together with LGBTQ activists on mutual goals, but I'm first and foremost an atheist activist, and that hasn't changed," Muscato wrote in a blog post on Monday for The Friendly Atheist.

"There are many other people who are significantly more educated about trans activism than I am and who are already doing great work in that area. I support them and obviously have an interest in their success, but it's not my area of expertise. Exposing the harms that religion causes and making the world a better place for atheists will always be my passion."

Muscato noted that she's (formerly he) grateful for the full support of American Atheists President David Silverman and Managing Director Amanda Knief, as well as other co-workers.

Muscato added that gender identity and gender expression don't always go hand-in-hand.

"While I have identified internally as a woman for a long time, for now, I will be presenting more-or-less as a man; that is, I will continue to wear mostly traditional men's clothing, speak in my natural lower voice, and so on," the American Atheists public relations director wrote.

"Transitioning is a slow, painful, and expensive process and can take many months to several years. As I begin to take bigger steps to change my appearance, I will also begin dressing differently and changing other aspects of my gender expression.

American Atheists, one of the largest secular organizations in the U.S., launched the world's first ever TV channel dedicated exclusively to atheism earlier this year.

"Atheist TV," as the channel is called, is shown through Internet-streaming service Roku 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has partnered with other notable atheist groups, such as the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

"There's a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials," Muscato told New York Daily News in May. "But there's no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void. ... We'll have shows about philosophy, science, history — a critical examination of the facts."

http://www.christianpost.com/news/american-atheists-public-relations-director-announces-transition-into-transgender-woman-129855/

all the best to Danielle

"Convince me your religion is true" LOL!! 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on March 25, 2015, 02:54:08 PM
Survey: Nearly 92% of Congress is Christian
By Dan Merica, CNN
Mon January 5, 2015

Washington (CNN)The men and women of the 114th Congress, despite being bitterly divided and partisan, almost universally share one thing in common: Their faith.

Nearly 92% of Congress -- or 491 of the 535 members -- identifies as Christian, according to a study by Pew Research's Religion & Public Life Project. That number is slightly up from 90% in the 113th Congress and continues a trend where the percentage of Christians and Jews in Congress outpaces their national average.

Though Christians dominate both parties, Democrats are more religiously diverse than Republicans. Of the 301 Republicans in the 114th Congress, Jewish freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York is the only non-Christian.

A large majority of Democrats in Congress (80%) are Christian, with 44% Protestant, 35% Catholic and 1% Mormon. But unlike Republicans, Democrats in Congress are 12% Jewish and have two Buddhist, two Muslims, one Hindu and one unaffiliated member.

"You could say that the religious diversity in Congress is concentrated on the Democratic side," said Alan Cooperman, director of religious research at Pew. "The vast majority of the Jews, all of the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus in Congress and the one unaffiliated member are all on the Democratic side."

Congress, the most representative and responsive branch of the federal government, has seen some aspects of their religious affiliation mirror nationwide trends.

For example, as the country has grown more religiously diverse over the last 50 years, so has Congress. Only 3% of the 87th Congress (1961-1962), according to Pew, was non-Christian. Today, that number has roughly tripled to 6%.

What's more, there has been a noticeable decline in Protestants that mirrors nationwide trends. In 1961, 75% of Congress and roughly 2/two-thirds of the country identified as Protestant. Fifty-seven percent of the 114th Congress is Protestant, while 49% of the country identifies as such today.

One area where nationwide trends have not been reflected in Congress is with the religiously unaffiliated, the most underrepresented in the country.

Though 20% of the country does not identify with a faith, only one member of Congress -- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona -- publicly identifies as such.

Cooperman said the under representation of unaffiliated Americans might be a political decision by members of Congress.

"One of the things we have seen in our surveys is that the American public says one thing they like to see in candidates for office is strong religious beliefs," said Cooperman, who noted that when Pew asked voters what qualities impact their vote, the most negative attribute was someone who doesn't believe in God.

"On the whole, American adults tend to say that they do want strong religious beliefs in candidates and they tend to say that they would be less likely to vote for someone who says they do not believe in God," he added. "Candidates are reflecting the views of the public when they do tend to affiliate with a religious group."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/05/politics/religious-survey-congress/index.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on March 31, 2015, 08:42:03 AM
Survey: Nearly 92% of Congress is Christian
By Dan Merica, CNN
Mon January 5, 2015

Washington (CNN)The men and women of the 114th Congress, despite being bitterly divided and partisan, almost universally share one thing in common: Their faith.

Nearly 92% of Congress -- or 491 of the 535 members -- identifies as Christian, according to a study by Pew Research's Religion & Public Life Project. That number is slightly up from 90% in the 113th Congress and continues a trend where the percentage of Christians and Jews in Congress outpaces their national average.

Though Christians dominate both parties, Democrats are more religiously diverse than Republicans. Of the 301 Republicans in the 114th Congress, Jewish freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York is the only non-Christian.

A large majority of Democrats in Congress (80%) are Christian, with 44% Protestant, 35% Catholic and 1% Mormon. But unlike Republicans, Democrats in Congress are 12% Jewish and have two Buddhist, two Muslims, one Hindu and one unaffiliated member.

"You could say that the religious diversity in Congress is concentrated on the Democratic side," said Alan Cooperman, director of religious research at Pew. "The vast majority of the Jews, all of the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus in Congress and the one unaffiliated member are all on the Democratic side."

Congress, the most representative and responsive branch of the federal government, has seen some aspects of their religious affiliation mirror nationwide trends.

For example, as the country has grown more religiously diverse over the last 50 years, so has Congress. Only 3% of the 87th Congress (1961-1962), according to Pew, was non-Christian. Today, that number has roughly tripled to 6%.

What's more, there has been a noticeable decline in Protestants that mirrors nationwide trends. In 1961, 75% of Congress and roughly 2/two-thirds of the country identified as Protestant. Fifty-seven percent of the 114th Congress is Protestant, while 49% of the country identifies as such today.

One area where nationwide trends have not been reflected in Congress is with the religiously unaffiliated, the most underrepresented in the country.

Though 20% of the country does not identify with a faith, only one member of Congress -- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona -- publicly identifies as such.

Cooperman said the under representation of unaffiliated Americans might be a political decision by members of Congress.

"One of the things we have seen in our surveys is that the American public says one thing they like to see in candidates for office is strong religious beliefs," said Cooperman, who noted that when Pew asked voters what qualities impact their vote, the most negative attribute was someone who doesn't believe in God.

"On the whole, American adults tend to say that they do want strong religious beliefs in candidates and they tend to say that they would be less likely to vote for someone who says they do not believe in God," he added. "Candidates are reflecting the views of the public when they do tend to affiliate with a religious group."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/05/politics/religious-survey-congress/index.html

Doesn't surprise me at all...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 09, 2015, 04:44:39 PM
Doesn't surprise me at all...

Me either.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 29, 2016, 01:59:20 PM
Worried Enough to Pray
February 29, 2016   

Last week’s blog struck a nerve. I wrote a piece entitled “Decency for President.” The premise was a simple one. Shouldn’t a presidential candidate who claims to be Christian talk like one? When a candidate waves a Bible in one speech and calls a reporter “bimbo” in the next, isn’t something awry? Specifically, when Donald Trump insists that he is a Christian (“a good Christian” to use his descriptor) and then blasts, belittles, and denigrates everyone from Barbara Bush to John McCain to Megyn Kelly, shouldn’t we speak up?

If the candidate is not a Christian, then I have no right to speak. But if the candidate does what Trump has done, wave a Bible and attempt to quote from it, then we, his fellow Christians need to call him to at least a modicum of Christian behavior, right?

Again, I struck a nerve. More than three million of you read the article in the first 36 hours! Thousands of you weighed in with your comments. They were fascinating to read. (Not all of them pleasant to read, mind you. The dozens of you who told me to stick to the pulpit and stop meddling in politics– I get it. By the way, I’d like to invite you to attend our services. My upcoming message is “Kindness”.) Detractors notwithstanding, your comments were heartfelt and passionate.

I detected a few themes.

You have a deep sense of love for our country. Patriotism oozed through your words. You cherish the uniqueness and wonder of the USA. You have varying opinions regarding leadership style, role of government, and political strategy. But when it comes to loving the country, you are unanimously off the charts.

You have an allergy to “convenient” Christians. You resist people who don the Christian title at convenient opportunities (i.e., presidential campaigns). You would prefer the candidate make no mention of faith rather than leave the appearance of a borrowed faith that will be returned to the lender after the election.

You are concerned, profoundly concerned, about the future of our country. The debt. Immorality. National security. The role of the Supreme Court. Immigration. Religious liberty. The list is as long as the worries are deep.

So where does this leave us? When a person treasures the country, but has trepidation about its future, what is the best course of action?

Elijah can weigh in on this question.

He lived during one of the darkest days in the history of Israel. The Northern Kingdom had 19 kings, each one of whom was evil. Hope had boarded the last train and optimism the final flight. The leaders were corrupt and the hearts of the people were cold. But comets are most visible against the black sky. And in the midst of the darkness, a fiery comet by the name of Elijah appeared.

The name Elijah means, “My God is Jehovah.” And he lived up to his name. He appeared in the throne room of evil King Ahab with a weather report. “‘As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word’” (1 Kings 17:1).

Elijah’s attack was calibrated. Baal was the fertility god of the pagans, the god to whom they looked for rain and fertile fields. Elijah called for a showdown: the true God of Israel against the false god of the pagans. How could Elijah be so confident of the impending drought? Because he had prayed.

Eight centuries later the prayers of Elijah were used as a model.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:16-18).

James was impressed that a prayer of such power came from a person so common. Elijah was “a human being” but his prayers were heard because he prayed earnestly. This was no casual prayer, comfortable prayer, but a radical prayer. “Do whatever it takes, Lord,” Elijah begged, “even if that means no water.”

What happened next is one of the greatest stories in the Bible. Elijah told the 450 prophets of Baal: You get a bull, I’ll get a bull. You build an altar, I’ll build an altar. You ask your god to send fire; I’ll ask my God to send fire. The God who answers by fire is the true God.

The prophets of Baal agreed and went first.

“At noon Elijah began to taunt them. ‘Shout louder!’ he said. ‘Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.’

“So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:27-29).

(Elijah would have flunked a course in diplomacy.) Though the prophets cut themselves and raved all afternoon, nothing happened. Finally Elijah asked for his turn.

“Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come here to me.’ They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, ‘Your name shall be Israel’” (1 Kings 18:30-31).

Elijah poured four jugs of water (remember, this was a time of drought) over the altar three times. Then Elijah prayed.

“LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.   Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (1 Kings 18:36-37).

Note how quickly and dramatically God answered.

“Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!’” (1 Kings 18:38-39).

“Pow!” the altar was ablaze. God delighted in and answered Elijah’s prayer. God delights in and answers our prayers as well.

Let’s start a fire, shall we?

If your responses to my blog are any indication, you are anxious. You love this country, yet you are troubled about the future. You wonder what the future holds and what we can do. Elijah’s story provides the answer. We can pray. We can offer earnest, passionate prayers.

It’s time to turn our concerns into a unified prayer. Let’s join our hearts and invite God to do again what he did then; demonstrate His power. Super Tuesday, March 1, is the perfect day for us to step into the presence of God.

Dear Lord,

You outrank any leader. You hold sway over every office. Greater is the occupant of Heaven’s throne than the occupant of the White House.

You have been good to this country. You have blessed us in spite of our sin and guarded us in spite of our rebellion.

We unite our hearts in one prayer. Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done. Please, speak through the electoral process to reveal your leader.

This we pray in the name of Jesus,

Amen

© Max Lucado
 February 29, 2016

https://maxlucado.com/worried-enough-to-pray-2/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on February 29, 2016, 04:20:50 PM
Quote
When a candidate waves a Bible in one speech and calls a reporter “bimbo” in the next, isn’t something awry?

Not necessarily.  The writer sounds dishonest, too.  I'd bet we could find all sorts of hypocritical things in this article, versus the author, if we looked.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 29, 2016, 04:50:04 PM
Not necessarily.  The writer sounds dishonest, too.  I'd bet we could find all sorts of hypocritical things in this article, versus the author, if we looked.

Max Lucado dishonest?  I think not.  lol  Classic ad hominem.  This is about Trump, not Lucado. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on February 29, 2016, 04:59:31 PM
Max Lucado dishonest?  I think not.  lol  Classic ad hominem.  This is about Trump, not Lucado. 

Do you think Lucado has ever called someone a name?  Because if he has, then he's made this about himself, actually.

All someone needs to do is look to find Trump say he's never asked for forgiveness.  That's it.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 29, 2016, 06:39:49 PM
Do you think Lucado has ever called someone a name?  Because if he has, then he's made this about himself, actually.

All someone needs to do is look to find Trump say he's never asked for forgiveness.  That's it.

I have no idea.  What I do know is he has never run for office, then called himself a Christian, held up a Bible, tried to quote it, then simultaneously have all sorts of filth come out of his mouth.  So, apples and oranges.

This commentary is about Trump, not Lucado. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on February 29, 2016, 07:20:47 PM
I have no idea.  What I do know is he has never run for office, then called himself a Christian, held up a Bible, tried to quote it, then simultaneously have all sorts of filth come out of his mouth.  So, apples and oranges.

This commentary is about Trump, not Lucado. 

And those comments are being weighed, which is the main purpose of a discussion board.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on March 01, 2016, 11:00:00 AM
And those comments are being weighed, which is the main purpose of a discussion board.

They are being contorted.  You can obviously talk about whatever you want.  I'm pointing out how your comments have nothing to do with Lucado's commentary.  His commentary is about Trump. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 28, 2016, 04:40:58 PM
The best story of the day that the mainstream media will ignore
By  Todd Starnes  
Published September 28, 2016
FoxNews.com
(http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/opinion/2016/09/28/best-story-day-that-mainstream-media-will-ignore/_jcr_content/par/featured-media/media-0.img.jpg/876/493/1475076775711.jpg?ve=1&tl=1)
 
When you dropped your kids off at school today -- you probably saw a bunch of students gathered around the flag pole.

Those kids were part of See You at the Pole - a national prayer gathering.

Some two million young people woke up before sunrise to pray with their classmates. Many of you posted photos on my Facebook page of students praying in your hometowns - from Staten Island, New York to Stinking Creek, Kentucky.

There were first graders and freshmen holding hands on this cool Autumn day to pray for our nation -- to cry out - as the Psalmist said so many centuries ago.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/09/28/best-story-day-that-mainstream-media-will-ignore.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Man of Steel on September 29, 2016, 03:40:52 AM
Thank you for this.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 29, 2016, 01:03:15 PM
Thank you for this.

No problem.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 04, 2017, 12:33:53 PM
Trump marks National Day of Prayer, signs executive order on religious freedom
Published May 04, 2017
Fox News

President Trump marked the National Day of Prayer by signing an executive order aimed at boosting religious freedom by easing IRS restrictions against political activities by tax-exempt religious organizations, including churches.

Declaring "no one should be censoring sermons," Trump announced the order, which fulfilled a campaign pledge, during a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday attended by religious leaders, activists and Vice President Pence.

“We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced again and we will never stand for religious discrimination,” Trump said before signing the order, which states it is now administration policy is “to protect and vigorously promote religious liberty.”

EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROMOTING FREE SPEECH AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

The ban on political speech from the pulpit is rooted in an amendment introduced in 1954 by then-Democratic Sen. Lyndon Johnson that gave the IRS authority to punish tax-exempt charitable organizations, including churches, for making political endorsements or getting involved in political campaigns.

The order directs the IRS to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the so-called Johnson Amendment.

In addition, it instructs the Treasury Department not to target the tax-exempt status of churches and other institutions if they express support for political candidates.

The order also directs the Department of Justice to ensure religious protections are afforded to individuals and groups, such as Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who take a vow of poverty in serving the elderly.

In his introductory remarks, Pence said the National Day of Prayer is a time to reaffirm “the vital role people of faith play in American society” and praised the president for marking the day in such a public manner.

Trump campaigned against the ban and pledged in his address to the Republican National Convention that he would “work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans.”

Trump called up several of the Little Sisters of the Poor members and congratulated them on their landmark victory in the Supreme Court over the issue of the contraceptive mandate included in ObamaCare.

According to Trump, more than 50 religious groups filed lawsuits against the Obama administration for violating their religious liberty.

Before the final order was released, several religious liberty groups expressed support for the administration’s actions.

“The first freedom in the Bill of Rights is religious freedom. America was born on the foundation of religious freedom and it is one of our most cherished liberties. There could be no better day to sign an executive order on religious freedom than the National Day of Prayer,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel.

Mark Rienzi, counsel for The Becket Fund, said on Twitter he was encouraged by the “promise of the protection” coming from the White House and looked forward to seeing the final language.

The Becket Fund is the public interest law firm which has represented the Little Sisters of the Poor in their fight to be exempted from ObamaCare’s contraceptive mandate.

The executive order drew critics from the left and the right.

"If the … EO on religious liberty ends up being what media outlets are currently reporting, then it'll be woefully inadequate," tweeted Ryan Anderson, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The American Civil Liberties Union argued the executive actions constitute “a broadside to our country’s long-standing commitment to the separation of church and state” that will divide the nation and permit discrimination.

"President Trump’s efforts to promote religious freedom are thinly-veiled efforts to unleash his conservative religious base into the political arena while also using religion to discriminate. It’s a dual dose of pandering to a base and denying reproductive care. We will see Trump in court, again,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero in a statement.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/04/trump-marks-national-day-prayer-signs-executive-order-on-religious-freedom.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on May 25, 2017, 03:11:23 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv9tElas488


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 12, 2017, 10:50:21 AM
Trump's Oval Office Prayer Vigil Sparks Angry Backlash
By David A. Patten   |   Wednesday, 12 Jul 2017

Tuesday's release of photos of a chance encounter between evangelicals and President Donald Trump in the White House, which shows leading evangelicals laying hands on and praying for the president of the United States in the Oval Office, has touched off an angry backlash on Twitter and in the mainstream media.

CNN immediately tied the meeting to reports the administration has become unhinged following the latest allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, which authorities believe conducted a cyberwar and hacking campaign in a bid to disrupt the November election.

Those in attendance at the Oval Office meeting on Monday, however, reported the president was confident, collected, and in total control of his administration's agenda.

Author and evangelical leader Johnnie Moore posted an image of the group prayer to Twitter on Tuesday evening:

 Johnnie Moore ن @JohnnieM
Such an honor to pray within the Oval Office for @POTUS & @VP .
11 Jul 2017
(https://twitter.com/JohnnieM/status/884942560439009281/photo/1)

In the image, Trump is seen with his head bowed and surrounded by faith leaders, some of whom are resting their hands on him, all in an attitude of devout prayer. Moore says the president's visit with faith leaders was not pre-arranged, and included Vice President Mike Pence and top presidential adviser Jared Kushner.

The image immediately sparked an angry backlash, including allegations that Moore is somehow racist for having a better relationship with Trump than with his predecessor.

Others suggest the image symbolizes a dangerous erosion in the separation of church and state.

One particularly emotional post cursed Moore and "the disappearing line between church and state. It's 2017 people; magic is a party trick for kids."

Moore calls the irate remarks "the most vile, vicious things I've ever seen or received in my entire life," adding: "What's so ironic is that the left sees all of us as the ones who are dangerous, who are dividing America. And yet I can tell you when conservatives lose, we lose with dignity, we lose with class. We get back and win the next time around. You know, we learn from our mistakes.

"That's not the case with the left. The left is in this sort of frenetic, emotional moment, they've lost all rationality, they care nothing about objectivity or truth, and they're just lashing out."

Moore tells Newsmax that he and his fellow faith-leaders were in the White House for an all-day meeting on policy that did not happen to involve the president.

"The president got wind that we were there and insisted that we come say hi," he explains.

The tenor of the Oval Office visit, he says, ran counter to the mainstream media narrative splashed on the pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times portraying a White House knocked off balance by allegations over Russian collusion.

"The president was totally in control of the situation." Moore tells Newsmax. "We left with unbelievable confidence we're in exceptional hands, our religious liberties are also in safe hands, and [we] didn't see a crisis in the White House.

"You read CNN," he added, "there was a crisis in every direction. We didn't see it. We saw strong, confident leadership. We left even more convinced that things are great again than we did when we came in."

Moore, a former vice president at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, is the author of "Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard."

He says the visceral reaction to a simple image of the pastors praying for the president has exposed the stark cultural divisions in America.

"I think it shows how the left has totally lost its mind that they think it's an extraordinary thing for faith leaders to be praying with the president of the United States in the Oval Office," he tells Newsmax.

More said evangelicals "have a wide open door like never before into this administration," and suggested progressives will have to make peace with the fact that the president of the United States openly prays with leading evangelicals.

"This wasn't the first time, it won't be the last time," he says. "And the principle promise that evangelicals have made to the president, the vice president, and the administration is that millions of us will be praying for him every day."

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/donald-trump-johnnie-moore-oval-office-prayer/2017/07/12/id/801248/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on July 27, 2017, 01:01:29 PM
Kentucky told to pay attorney fees in same-sex marriage case

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Kentucky taxpayers to pay more than $220,000 in legal fees because a county clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning on Friday ordered the state to pay $222,695 in fees to the attorneys of two same-sex couples and others who sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to give them marriage licenses. He also awarded $2,008.08 in other costs. Bunning said the county and Davis herself did not have to pay.

https://apnews.com/1409cfff0f8146e8a494b73c62f9a5b4


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 31, 2017, 04:16:19 PM
Bible Studies Underway at White House
By Mark Swanson   |   Monday, 31 Jul 2017

About a dozen members of President Donald Trump's cabinet gather each week for Bible study at the White House, CBN News reports.

Tom Price, Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry, Mike Pompeo, Jeff Sessions and Sonny Perdue are among the cabinet members who take part, CBN reports.

"These are godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture," Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries told CBN. "It's the best Bible study that I've ever taught in my life. They are so teachable; they're so noble; they're so learned."

Trump gets a copy of Drollinger's teachings for the week, and Vice President Mike Pence has vowed to attend as time permits, CBN reported.

"I just praise God for them," Drollinger told CBN. "And I praise God for Mike Pence, who I think with Donald Trump chose great people to lead our nation."

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/trump-white-house-bible-study/2017/07/31/id/804841/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 01, 2017, 02:23:16 PM

Trump declares national day of prayer, following Abbott's lead in Texas

Written by
Todd J. Gillman, Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared a national day of prayer on Sunday as the Gulf Coast reels from Hurricane Harvey, following the lead of Texas, where on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott declared Sunday a day of prayer.

"We invite all Americans to join us as we continue to pray for those who have lost family members and friends, and for those who are suffering from this great crisis," the president said in the Oval Office, where he met and prayed with pastors from around the country.

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, was among the clergy who prayed with Trump in the Oval Office on Friday.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIqIAOAUEAAyYaB.jpg)
Dr. Robert Jeffress ✔ @robertjeffress
Honored to lead prayer as @POTUS declares Sunday a Day of Prayer for #Harvey victims. Grateful for @POTUS who believes in power of prayer.
8:31 AM - Sep 1, 2017
 40 40 Replies   104 104 Retweets   281 281 likes

"From the beginning of our nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need to ask for God's blessing and God's guidance. When we look across Texas and Louisiana, we see the American spirit of service embodied by countless men and women," Trump said in the Oval Office, flanked by religious leaders.

"Families have given food and shelter to those in need. Houses of worship have organized efforts to clean up communities and repair damaged homes. People have never seen anything quite like this. Individuals of every background are striving for the same goal: to aid and comfort people facing devastating losses."

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2017/09/01/trump-declares-national-day-prayer-following-abbotts-lead-texas


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on September 27, 2017, 09:23:08 PM
If Trump declaring a national day of prayer doesn't turn your stomach, you're likely not going to heaven


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on October 03, 2017, 11:46:27 AM
If Trump declaring a national day of prayer doesn't turn your stomach, you're likely not going to heaven

Guess I ain't going.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on October 03, 2017, 05:05:20 PM
Guess I ain't going.   :)

odds are against it...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on October 03, 2017, 05:07:34 PM
odds are against it...

Well duh.  I am a bad boy.  Trouble is my middle name. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 21, 2017, 04:27:28 PM
'Thank you God for our courageous president': Trump gets Ben Carson to lead extraordinary prayer before cabinet meeting (even though he once mocked his religion)
HUD Secretary Ben Carson led a prayer during President Trump's meeting with his cabinet
Carson thanked God for 'the president and for cabinet members who are courageous'
Expressed thanks for 'unity' in Congress
Mentioned economic expansion and destructive debt
He spoke as $1.5 trillion tax cut made its way through the House
During the campaign Trump said he 'just don't know' about Carson's Seventh Day Adventism
He also called him 'lower energy' and brought up 'pathological temper' comment
By Geoff Earle, Deputy U.s. Political Editor For Dailymail.com

PUBLISHED: 20 December 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5199533/Ben-Carson-leads-extraordinary-prayer-cabinet-meeting.html#ixzz51we0abFW


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on December 21, 2017, 09:27:12 PM
'Thank you God for our courageous president': Trump gets Ben Carson to lead extraordinary prayer before cabinet meeting (even though he once mocked his religion)
HUD Secretary Ben Carson led a prayer during President Trump's meeting with his cabinet
Carson thanked God for 'the president and for cabinet members who are courageous'
Expressed thanks for 'unity' in Congress
Mentioned economic expansion and destructive debt
He spoke as $1.5 trillion tax cut made its way through the House
During the campaign Trump said he 'just don't know' about Carson's Seventh Day Adventism
He also called him 'lower energy' and brought up 'pathological temper' comment
By Geoff Earle, Deputy U.s. Political Editor For Dailymail.com

PUBLISHED: 20 December 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5199533/Ben-Carson-leads-extraordinary-prayer-cabinet-meeting.html#ixzz51we0abFW

Yeah, God had a hand in any of this... the gullibility level is astonishing


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 22, 2017, 10:06:03 AM
Yeah, God had a hand in any of this... the gullibility level is astonishing

God saved us from Hillary Clinton.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on December 22, 2017, 11:43:52 AM
God saved us from Hillary Clinton.   :)

I knew you loved Trump, didn't realize you consider him God


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on December 22, 2017, 11:56:31 AM
I knew you loved Trump, didn't realize you consider him God

How could you know something that isn't true?  I was a Never Trumper.  Not anymore. 

But Hillary Clinton?  We would have gone to hell in a hand basket if that corrupt liar was POTUS.  Not sure the country and the world could stand a third Obama term. 

God Bless America.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on January 24, 2018, 05:00:39 PM
Texas judge interrupts jury, says God told him defendant is not guilty

A state district judge in Comal County said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.

Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption, but defended his actions by telling them “when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels.

The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.

http://www.statesman.com/news/crime--law/texas-judge-interrupts-jury-says-god-told-him-defendant-not-guilty/ZRdGbT7xPu7lc6kMMPeWKL/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 26, 2018, 03:29:17 PM
Texas judge interrupts jury, says God told him defendant is not guilty

A state district judge in Comal County said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.

Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption, but defended his actions by telling them “when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels.

The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.

http://www.statesman.com/news/crime--law/texas-judge-interrupts-jury-says-god-told-him-defendant-not-guilty/ZRdGbT7xPu7lc6kMMPeWKL/

Completely inappropriate if true.  He shouldn't be a judge if he's doing stuff like this. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on January 29, 2018, 02:48:41 PM
Atheist orgs ‘intimidate’ Trump’s Cabinet over Bible study — see Ben Carson’s defiant response
Jan 27, 2018

Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, this week defiantly responded to two atheist organizations who he said are trying to “intimidate” him and other senior-level government officials for participating in a Bible study.

What’s going on?

Two atheist organizations — The Freedom From Religion Foundation and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — are suing Carson and his department for failing to waive fees associated with Freedom of Information Act requests.

Special: James Altucher: Do not buy Bitcoin until you see this
FFRF and CREW filed FOIA requests to determine if a weekly Bible study conducted by members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet have used government resources for their weekly gathering. The organizations also wanted to know if any staffers had been “coerced into organizing or even participating in the religious event,” according to CBN News.

Among those who attend the study are: Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Associated with FOIA requests are standard fees for processing if the information requested is neither in the public’s interest nor related to an agency’s operations. HUD charged FFRF and CREW a fee for their FOIA requests and refused to waive it.

That led the groups to sue Carson and HUD this week. They are alleging HUD is denying them fee waivers “where disclosure of the requested documents is likely to cast the agency or HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a negative light,” according to Newsmax.

How did Carson respond?

He said in a Facebook post:

First of all, taxpayer funds are not used to support the ministry, and secondly, no staff are involved in the Bible study. More importantly, I refuse to be intimidated by anti-religious groups into relinquishing my spirituality or religious beliefs. One of the principles of our nation‘s founding is freedom of religion.

I will not stop being a Christian while in service to this country, in fact, it is my faith that helps me serve the nation even better.

The relentless attacks on the spirituality of our nation must be resisted. We are not like everyone else, which is precisely the reason that we rose so rapidly from obscurity to become the most powerful and free nation in history.
Carson went on to explain that three foundational American principles are under attack, citing patriotism, morality and spirituality.

“We the people must decide who we are and what we stand for,” Carson said, adding that if America doesn’t, the nation could become unrecognizable.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/01/27/atheist-orgs-intimidate-trumps-cabinet-over-bible-study-see-ben-carsons-defiant-response


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on February 02, 2018, 10:45:50 PM
prayer and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on February 02, 2018, 10:47:33 PM
It's because these downtrodden atheists are just like others (read- libtards) of their kind.  They look for the "offensive" everywhere but in a mirror.

To hell with them and their pussified mentality.

wonder why MOS didn't respond to this... hmmmm


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on February 03, 2018, 06:15:48 AM
wonder why MOS didn't respond to this... hmmmm

Why would you wonder about his lack of a response?  My question was directed at my fellow atheists who are more assholists.  These are the idiots that can't look at the letter "T" without whining like a vampire that it's a Cross and should therefor be banned from the Alphabet.

As for your statement that "prayer and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee"?  Who really gives a fuck?  I mean, really now.  How lame is that "statement". How about something with more vim and vigor? 

"Prayer and $75,000 will get you a 2018 Corvette".   

Reads just as dumb, does it not?  Of course it does.  I don't mind that you're an atheist, but me?  I am an Atheist.   I am the worst nightmare for atheists that are just as, if not more, self-centered buttwipes as Jim and Tammy Baker ever were.  I'll tell you this, be glad, be very gland that I am not in charge of any heaven or hell. Why?  Because fucktards that belittle the faith of good people such as MoS or Butterbean would never pass go, never collect $200 and not get out of Hell for a very long time.

Muslimes would spend eternity there with the aforementioned idiots, the Bakers.  If faith is genuine, people live it in public and in private.  If not, they simply lie it. And that goes for atheists.  So many of "us" are shit-for-brains self-centered, jerks.  None of us knows for certain what awaits us as the final breath leaves our body. 

For many atheists, that last breath is more a fart. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 05, 2018, 02:39:38 PM
prayer and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee

Why do you post on this board?  Is it have a serious discussion or just to mock religion and religious people? 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 09, 2018, 11:39:22 AM
Sportswriter: NBC Should Censor Tony Dungy for Citing QB's Christian Faith As Success Factor
By Tom Blumer | February 8, 2018

There is a little doubt that a segment of the sports press and the public would prefer that athletes with conservative and Christian beliefs keep their views to themselves (but secular and leftist views are fine). This became evident after the Super Bowl, when one sportswriter and the Twitter mob strongly criticized NBC's Tony Dungy, a Super Bowl-winning coach himself, for citing Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Nick Foles' self-professed Christian faith as contributing to his success.

These people wanted — no, really expected — Dungy to not relay what Foles, the team's backup quarterback until became its starter after Carson Wentz's season-ending injury on December 10, told him about his mindset ahead of the big game.

But that's part of Dungy's job, so he did:

TonyDungySuperBowlFoles3 on020618

Oh my. Foles cited the Lord, and Dungy told everyone. Pass the smelling salts.

After harsh initial criticism, Dungy responded early Tuesday:

TonyDungySuperBowlFoles1 on020618

Note that Dungy (and Foles) are both mature enough not to claim that the Eagles' victory was God's will, or that Foles won because he might be a stronger Christian that New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, as one unhinged Twitter critic charged. Dungy simply believed Foles' "Christian faith would allow him to play with confidence."

Dungy was on the Foles bandwagon weeks ago. While many sportswriters thought that Wentz's injury had sealed the Eagles' doom, Dungy predicted: "Nick Foles will play well. The NFC Championship Game will be in Philly.”

Dungy posted a further response later Tuesday morning:

TonyDungySuperBowlFoles2 on020618

Those statements were too much for Kyle Koster, a Senior Writer at The Big Lead, to handle.

Late Tuesday morning, Koster wrote that Dungy "should be checked," i.e., muzzled (h/t Daily Caller):

... it would be naive to think Dungy trumpeting the benefits of faith is something being done from a distance while only wearing an analyst’s hat.

.... His long history of evangelizing must be weighed.
In other words, if you evangelize on your own time, anything you say as a sports analyst will receive greater scrutiny, because, well, we've got to make sure that "evangelizing" doesn't occur on the air.

... Dungy, a very public and proud Christian, pushed a narrative favorable to Christianity that may or may not be true ...

Dungy expressing his beliefs on his personal time and platform is one thing. ... But when his beliefs seep into his analyst role — either unintentionally or otherwise — they should be checked, both by NBC and the public.
No, Mr. Koster. All Dungy did is tell the public what Foles told him and compliment his play. Koster clearly believes that a sports journalist shouldn't be allowed to do that if icky Christianity is involved, and that NBC and "the public" should stop someone who tries. This is the same mindset possessed by broadcasters who routinely censor athletes thanking God for their success after games.

Koster's hostility also came through in a separate Wednesday tweet: "Nick Foles was a Christian when he wasn't very good at football, too."

How pathetic.

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tom-blumer/2018/02/08/sportswriter-wants-nbc-censor-tony-dungy-reporting-eagles-qb-cited


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 09, 2018, 11:40:48 AM
Trump at National Prayer Breakfast: America is a nation of believers
David Jackson, USA TODAY
Published Feb. 8, 2018

WASHINGTON – President Trump stuck to the script during the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, honoring the power of faith and politics for leaders facing national and internal challenges.

"America is a nation of believers and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer," Trump told delegates at the annual breakfast that has welcomed American presidents since 1953.

The event reminds people that "faith is central to Americas life and liberty," Trump said. "Our rights are not given to us by man ... Our rights come from our Creator."

Trump, who made evangelicals and religious conservatives major parts of his political coalition, discussed the role of faith as political leaders grapple with problems that range from the opioid epidemic to the rogue regime of North Korea.

Trump took some heat during his first prayer breakfast last year when he mocked Arnold Schwarzenegger over his struggles as host of The Apprentice, the president's old television game show. ("The ratings went right down the tubes," Trump riffed then, adding that "I want to just pray for Arnold ... for those ratings.")

Trump also referred to The Apprentice in an early morning tweet preceding this year's prayer breakfast appearance.

"Great religious and political leaders, and many friends, including T.V. producer Mark Burnett of our wonderful 14 season Apprentice triumph, will be there," Trump tweeted.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Will be heading over shortly to make remarks at The National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Great religious and political leaders, and many friends, including T.V. producer Mark Burnett of our wonderful 14 season Apprentice triumph, will be there. Looking forward to seeing all!
1:08 AM - Feb 8, 2018
99.3K
38.2K people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy
As usual, an international crowd assembled for the breakfast, including up to 60 Russians. A special counsel and congressional committees are investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election via hacked emails and fake news.

Trump also worked in some foreign policy during the breakfast, meeting on the sidelines with the president of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales.

While Trump has criticized illegal immigration from Guatemala and other Central American countries, Guatemala did back the United States on a recent foreign policy dispute: Like the U.S., Guatemala announced it was moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/08/trump-national-prayer-breakfast-america-nation-believers/318680002/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on February 09, 2018, 12:19:36 PM
Libtardians hate Christians but love muslimes.  They despise people who, if challenged, may well die for their faith and embrace a bunch of cuntlettes that would kill for theirs.

Go figure.  I am now an Atheist but can easily recognize good people.  Those that follow the Nazarene are definitely among those I call good.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on February 10, 2018, 09:16:41 PM
Libtardians hate Christians but love muslimes.  They despise people who, if challenged, may well die for their faith and embrace a bunch of cuntlettes that would kill for theirs.

Go figure.  I am now an Atheist but can easily recognize good people.  Those that follow the Nazarene are definitely among those I call good.
well, that's your option


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on February 13, 2018, 06:02:15 PM
Libtardians hate Christians but love muslimes.  They despise people who, if challenged, may well die for their faith and embrace a bunch of cuntlettes that would kill for theirs.

Go figure.  I am now an Atheist but can easily recognize good people.  Those that follow the Nazarene are definitely among those I call good.

The anti-Christians who embrace Islam are pretty weird. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on February 13, 2018, 08:40:14 PM
The anti-Christians who embrace Islam are pretty weird. 

agree


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on April 11, 2018, 02:23:58 PM
WATCH: Alabama Football Players Pray For Donald Trump And His Staff At The White House
(http://cdn01.dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Donald_Trump_Prayer-e1523470214534.jpg)
FORD SPRINGER
Entertainment Reporter
04/11/2018

Nick Saban and the Alabama football team proved how special it is having the opportunity to visit the White House on Tuesday in more ways than one.

Donald Trump welcomed the Crimson Tide to the White House yesterday to recognize the team for their national championship victory. Of course, it was a special moment for the team, but what happened after the ceremony was truly amazing.

After Trump finished praising Alabama for their incredible comeback victory over Georgia in the national championship, punter J.K. Scott pulled the president aside and asked if he could pray for Trump and his staff. A handful of Scott’s teammates then circled around Trump and bowed their heads in prayer together.

The ceremonial visits to the White House have become a topic of controversy since Trump took over in the Oval Office. Almost every team that has won a championship over the past year and a half has had at least one player refuse to come, citing Trump as the reason.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban made sure that didn’t happen with his team. In fact, every player on the championship team but one attended the White House on Tuesday. Unfortunately Terrell Lewis, who grew up just 25 miles from the White House, could not attend due to a death in the family.

No matter how athletes feel about who lives in the White House, they should all hope and pray that he succeeds. Clearly the Crimson Tide understands that better than most.

http://dailycaller.com/2018/04/11/alabama-football-players-pray-donald-trump-white-house/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 03, 2018, 10:20:21 PM
On the National Day of Prayer: Let us pray that our nation is on God's side
Scott Gunn By Scott Gunn   | Fox News

Today is the National Day of Prayer. As a Christian, and a priest at that, every day is a day of prayer for me. But I am still grateful our nation sets aside a day for prayer.

Prayer changes people. Every time I pray, I know that it changes me and my life. Sometimes, I am even blessed to see change in others as I pray for them. For people of faith, prayer is an indispensable part of our relationship with God. All relationships require conversation, and prayer is our chance to talk with God. In prayer we share our hopes with God, and we listen for God’s hope for us.

The Second Continental Congress established days of prayer and fasting going back to the earliest years of our nation. Various other national days, including Thanksgiving, were set aside in the 1800s. It was 1952 when the National Day of Prayer as we know it was enacted.

Over these many years, our attitude toward national prayer has changed. Originally, there was a great deal of humility in the prayer. Sometimes people fasted, going without food as a gesture of humility before God. The point was to conform our nation to God’s will.

If you read political speeches from the 1800s, you’ll notice that when presidents invoked God, they expressed hope that our nation was on God’s side. They prayed with humility. This is a far cry from the common assumption today that our nation is always in the right, and that we must thereby speak with assurance that God is on our side. Too often, we tell God what to do, instead of asking God what we must do.

The National Day of Prayer, at its best, offers all of us in this wonderful nation the gift of praying that we might be blessed by God’s wisdom and courage.

The National Day of Prayer, at its best, offers all of us in this wonderful nation the gift of praying that we might be blessed by God’s wisdom and courage. We pray that we would always know and do those things God wills. This is not a day for using prayer to achieve whatever political aims we might want. It is rather a day for inviting God to guide our politics.

My prayer as a Christian, is always to have the wisdom, strength, and courage to be on God’s side. I’ll pray for justice, peace, and mercy for all. I’ll pray for freedom for all people to thrive as the people God made them to be. I’ll pray for our nation to use those things God has given us for the common good.

I am a priest in the Episcopal Church, and The Book of Common Prayer is one of the treasures of my church. Today, I invite you to join me in saying these words, from our prayer book, for our country.

"Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.

"Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/03/on-national-day-prayer-let-us-pray-that-our-nation-is-on-gods-side.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on May 24, 2018, 04:08:38 PM
Paranoid religious extremists in schools... Just firing these zealots is not enough, they should face actual punishment.

Oregon High School Principal and Resource Officer Fired For Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination, Including Telling Gay Students They Were Going to Hell

North Bend High School principal Bill Lucero and school resource officer Jason Griggs are being removed from their jobs in the district's settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. The firings come after complaints from former and current students, including Liv Funk and Hailey Smith, about suffering anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination from classmates and administration.

North Bend High School has been under scrutiny since April, when the ODE launched an investigation into the district's possible anti-discrimination law violations, including making students read Bible passages as punishment.

http://www.wweek.com/news/2018/05/21/an-oregon-high-school-counselor-allegedly-told-gay-students-they-were-going-to-hell-while-classmates-attacked-them-and-yelled-slurs/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 24, 2018, 06:48:14 PM
Paranoid religious extremists in schools... Just firing these zealots is not enough, they should face actual punishment.

Oregon High School Principal and Resource Officer Fired For Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination, Including Telling Gay Students They Were Going to Hell

North Bend High School principal Bill Lucero and school resource officer Jason Griggs are being removed from their jobs in the district's settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. The firings come after complaints from former and current students, including Liv Funk and Hailey Smith, about suffering anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination from classmates and administration.

North Bend High School has been under scrutiny since April, when the ODE launched an investigation into the district's possible anti-discrimination law violations, including making students read Bible passages as punishment.

http://www.wweek.com/news/2018/05/21/an-oregon-high-school-counselor-allegedly-told-gay-students-they-were-going-to-hell-while-classmates-attacked-them-and-yelled-slurs/


Good


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on May 24, 2018, 08:02:38 PM
Public schools would kowtow to muslime scum but choose to remove Christians.  Fuck their noise.

Fuck the cucks.  I hope there is a Hell for these cucked up libtardians.  They deserve to be the 72 "virgins" for their muzzie masters.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 24, 2018, 08:03:55 PM
Public schools would kowtow to muslime scum but choose to remove Christians.  Fuck their noise.

Fuck the cucks.  I hope there is a Hell for these cucked up libtardians.  They deserve to be the 72 "virgins" for their muzzie masters.

Did you read the article? I doubt it. You wouldn't' have posted that. You aren't that stupid


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on May 24, 2018, 08:10:02 PM
Did you read the article?

Nope. I simply read the stuff posted that accompanied said link.  I know libtards and they populate the pubic school system like fetid blisters populate Kai Greene's anus.   Libs just love to bob for balls on muzzies and despise anyone that even professes belief in the Nazarene.

Fuck islime.  Anyone that isn't against that infestation deserves to serve as cumdumpster cuck for eternity in Hell.  If there were a Hell.  There isn't.   Fuck this entire bowel movment that spawned the sensitive new age fuckit.  I'm not here to argue the point but to make one.  Fuck islime and those that bow to it. 

You don't like the Nazarene?  BFD.  I dont give a fuck for the cuck of islime, hoMohammed.  Fuck that noise.



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 24, 2018, 08:12:33 PM
Nope. I simply read the stuff posted that accompanied said link.  I know libtards and they populate the pubic school system like fetid blisters populate Kai Greene's anus.   Libs just love to bob for balls on muzzies and despise anyone that even professes belief in the Nazarene.

Fuck islime.  Anyone that isn't against that infestation deserves to serve as cumdumpster cuck for eternity in Hell.  If there were a Hell.  There isn't.   Fuck this entire bowel movment that spawned the sensitive new age fuckit.  I'm not here to argue the point but to make one.  Fuck islime and those that bow to it. 

You don't like the Nazarene?  BFD.  I dont give a fuck for the cuck of islime, hoMohammed.  Fuck that noise.



so you didn't read it and commented. Ok


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on May 24, 2018, 08:15:53 PM
Did you read the article? I doubt it. If you did. Screw you. But I doubt you did or your wouldn't' have posted that. You aren't that stupid

You sure you were LEO?  You don't read like you were and believe me, I know what I am saying.  And like I said,  I ain't here to argue any point, just make 'em.  I'm correct on this subject and not because it's me that's making the point but because what I say is true.


Liberals hate the Nazarene. Their rai·son d'ê·tre seems to be to suck off muslimes. Cuckolds.  They just love abuse at the hands of stinky people.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on May 24, 2018, 08:17:13 PM
so you didn't read it and commented. Ok

I see no problem with that.  If you do, you had best NEVER make another posting here on anything you're not remotely educated on.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 24, 2018, 08:22:12 PM
I see no problem with that.  If you do, you had best NEVER make another posting here on anything you're not remotely educated on.

I read the article. You commented on something and didn't remotely address the issue. Sorry dude but your anti atheist (but I'm an atheist I just hate other atheist and love Jesus) is starting to show.   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on May 24, 2018, 08:29:52 PM
I read the article. You commented on something and didn't remotely address the issue. Sorry dude but your anti atheist (but I'm an atheist I just hate other atheist and love Jesus) is starting to show.   

"Starting to show"...FTN.  I make no bones about my loathing for fucktards and that being regardless of what side of the Rubic's Cube they come from.  I respect the Nazarene for who he was.

You?  Not nearly so much, but then neither you nor I will be remembered in under a hundred years.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 24, 2018, 09:39:49 PM
Paranoid religious extremists in schools... Just firing these zealots is not enough, they should face actual punishment.

Oregon High School Principal and Resource Officer Fired For Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination, Including Telling Gay Students They Were Going to Hell

North Bend High School principal Bill Lucero and school resource officer Jason Griggs are being removed from their jobs in the district's settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. The firings come after complaints from former and current students, including Liv Funk and Hailey Smith, about suffering anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination from classmates and administration.

North Bend High School has been under scrutiny since April, when the ODE launched an investigation into the district's possible anti-discrimination law violations, including making students read Bible passages as punishment.

http://www.wweek.com/news/2018/05/21/an-oregon-high-school-counselor-allegedly-told-gay-students-they-were-going-to-hell-while-classmates-attacked-them-and-yelled-slurs/


Definitely should have been fired, and firing is punishment.  What other kind of punishment are you talking about? 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 24, 2018, 09:42:57 PM
Definitely should have been fired, and firing is punishment.  What other kind of punishment are you talking about? 

Firing works for me


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on May 29, 2018, 10:09:46 AM
These christians are unhinged.

"Commercial airlines are filled with “a bunch of demons” that get in the way of their busy schedules"

Living in extravagant luxury but when it comes to paying taxes like ordinary citizens and businesses, that would somehow restrict their "exercise of religion". What a novel excuse.

Louisiana televangelist seeks donations for $54M private jet: report

A Louisiana-based televangelist is asking his followers to donate money for a $54 million jet that can “go anywhere in the world in one stop,” The Times-Picayune reported. 

Jesse Duplantis, 68, a Christian minister based in Destrehan, about 25 miles east of New Orleans, says his ministry has paid cash for three private jets.

“You know I’ve owned three different jets in my life and used them and used them and just burning them up for the Lord,” Duplantis says in a video posted to his ministries’ website.

Duplantis is now reportedly seeking the funds for a Dassault Falcon 7X, worth $54 million.

The problem with the previous jets, he says, is that they require multiple stops to refuel. But flying the Falcon 7X, Duplantis says, will allow him to save money and not pay “those exorbitant prices with jet fuel all over the world.” 

“I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” Duplantis says in the video, “He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.”

Duplantis’ video comes after another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland in Texas, purchased the Gulfstream V jet for $36 million.

Both televangelists defended their use of private jets during a joint appearance on Copeland’s program, saying that commercial airlines are filled with “a bunch of demons” that get in the way of their busy schedules.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/29/louisiana-televangelist-seeks-donations-for-54m-private-jet-report.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on May 29, 2018, 10:12:24 AM
Another reason ALL churches should pay taxes. Many of them are just money making businesses.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on May 29, 2018, 07:30:11 PM
These christians are unhinged.

"Commercial airlines are filled with “a bunch of demons” that get in the way of their busy schedules"

Living in extravagant luxury but when it comes to paying taxes like ordinary citizens and businesses, that would somehow restrict their "exercise of religion". What a novel excuse.

Louisiana televangelist seeks donations for $54M private jet: report

A Louisiana-based televangelist is asking his followers to donate money for a $54 million jet that can “go anywhere in the world in one stop,” The Times-Picayune reported. 

Jesse Duplantis, 68, a Christian minister based in Destrehan, about 25 miles east of New Orleans, says his ministry has paid cash for three private jets.

“You know I’ve owned three different jets in my life and used them and used them and just burning them up for the Lord,” Duplantis says in a video posted to his ministries’ website.

Duplantis is now reportedly seeking the funds for a Dassault Falcon 7X, worth $54 million.

The problem with the previous jets, he says, is that they require multiple stops to refuel. But flying the Falcon 7X, Duplantis says, will allow him to save money and not pay “those exorbitant prices with jet fuel all over the world.” 

“I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” Duplantis says in the video, “He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.”

Duplantis’ video comes after another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland in Texas, purchased the Gulfstream V jet for $36 million.

Both televangelists defended their use of private jets during a joint appearance on Copeland’s program, saying that commercial airlines are filled with “a bunch of demons” that get in the way of their busy schedules.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/29/louisiana-televangelist-seeks-donations-for-54m-private-jet-report.html

If by "these Christians" you mean these nuts asking for money to buy private jets, I agree.  If you mean Christians in general, I disagree.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on June 26, 2018, 01:38:47 PM
Paranoid religious extremists in schools... Just firing these zealots is not enough, they should face actual punishment.

Oregon High School Principal and Resource Officer Fired For Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination, Including Telling Gay Students They Were Going to Hell

North Bend High School principal Bill Lucero and school resource officer Jason Griggs are being removed from their jobs in the district's settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. The firings come after complaints from former and current students, including Liv Funk and Hailey Smith, about suffering anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination from classmates and administration.

North Bend High School has been under scrutiny since April, when the ODE launched an investigation into the district's possible anti-discrimination law violations, including making students read Bible passages as punishment.

http://www.wweek.com/news/2018/05/21/an-oregon-high-school-counselor-allegedly-told-gay-students-they-were-going-to-hell-while-classmates-attacked-them-and-yelled-slurs/


This is what happens when paranoid religious extremists are not punished. He will now be put in charge of even younger children. Seems somewhat similar to how criminal cops just go work for a different police department or pedophile priests move to a different city.

After discrimination allegations, North Bend moves high school principal to middle school

NORTH BEND, Ore. - The high school principal removed from his post after accusations of discrimination at the school against LGBTQ students has been re-assigned as vice principal of the district's middle school.

The North Bend School District removed Bill Lucero as principal of North Bend High School amidst scrutiny from the State of Oregon and pressure from the ACLU of Oregon.

Lucero will be the vice principal at North Bend Middle School next year.

That school's principal will take over as principal of the high school, and the current vice principal of the middle school will be principal at the middle school, the district announced Monday.

http://kpic.com/news/local/after-deal-with-aclu-north-bend-moves-high-school-principal-to-middle-school


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on July 03, 2018, 01:21:45 PM
This happened in Australia but it showcases how widespread the problem of religious sexual abuse is and how lightly several of these religious abusers are treated. Another case of he's too important to be punished like ordinary people "oh he's too old and frail to go to prison" (we heard similar excuses about Arpaio and other criminals as well). If he's "too old" and "in poor health" then what can be said about his victims?  Certainly they were too young and exploited but that doesn't seem to count when the abuses comes from religious figures and institutions.

Archbishop Philip Wilson sentenced for concealing child sex abuse

A Catholic archbishop in Australia has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in detention for concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime. He was found guilty by a court last month of covering up abuse by a paedophile priest in New South Wales.

On Tuesday, the court ordered Wilson to be assessed for "home detention" - meaning he will probably avoid jail. Magistrate Robert Stone said the senior clergyman had shown "no remorse or contrition". He will be eligible for parole after six months.

In May, a court found he had failed to report his colleague James Patrick Fletcher's abuse of altar boys to police. Wilson, then a junior priest in the Maitland region, had dismissed young victims in a bid to protect the Church's reputation, Magistrate Stone ruled.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-44692396



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 04, 2018, 11:08:45 AM
This happened in Australia but it showcases how widespread the problem of religious sexual abuse is and how lightly several of these religious abusers are treated. Another case of he's too important to be punished like ordinary people "oh he's too old and frail to go to prison" (we heard similar excuses about Arpaio and other criminals as well). If he's "too old" and "in poor health" then what can be said about his victims?  Certainly they were too young and exploited but that doesn't seem to count when the abuses comes from religious figures and institutions.

Archbishop Philip Wilson sentenced for concealing child sex abuse

A Catholic archbishop in Australia has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in detention for concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime. He was found guilty by a court last month of covering up abuse by a paedophile priest in New South Wales.

On Tuesday, the court ordered Wilson to be assessed for "home detention" - meaning he will probably avoid jail. Magistrate Robert Stone said the senior clergyman had shown "no remorse or contrition". He will be eligible for parole after six months.

In May, a court found he had failed to report his colleague James Patrick Fletcher's abuse of altar boys to police. Wilson, then a junior priest in the Maitland region, had dismissed young victims in a bid to protect the Church's reputation, Magistrate Stone ruled.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-44692396



What he did was outrageous and inexcusable.  Regarding his sentence, here is the context:  "The archbishop's lawyers had sought to have the case thrown out on four occasions, citing the 67-year-old's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease."


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on July 04, 2018, 02:55:10 PM
What he did was outrageous and inexcusable.  Regarding his sentence, here is the context:  "The archbishop's lawyers had sought to have the case thrown out on four occasions, citing the 67-year-old's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease."

He didn't seem to have Alzheimer's disease when these abuses happened so he knew what he was doing. He was conveniently diagnosed just before the trial.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 04, 2018, 05:17:59 PM
He didn't seem to have Alzheimer's disease when these abuses happened so he knew what he was doing. He was conveniently diagnosed just before the trial.

I have no idea if he is faking it.  If he isn't, I understand why the judge wouldn't put him in prison. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Primemuscle on July 04, 2018, 06:04:52 PM
I have no idea if he is faking it.  If he isn't, I understand why the judge wouldn't put him in prison. 

I don't understand why a sexual predator shouldn't be institutionalized under any circumstances. To diagnose Alzheimer disease, doctors do a thorough medical history, mental status and mood testing and a physical and neurological exam. Tests (such as blood tests and brain imaging) are done to rule out other causes of dementia-like symptoms.

Alzheimer disease does not excuse child sexual abuse, IMO. It sickens me when religious leaders and organizations cover up child sexual abuse.

The Catholic religion seems to do this more often than do other churches or maybe it is that sexual abuse is more rampant among Catholic priests. Western or Latin-Rite Church priests and sisters take a vow of celibacy. Imposed celibacy is unnatural and for some unsustainable.

In recent times, the Church has allowed for married priests if they were married prior to becoming Catholic priests. Should their spouses die, they are not permitted to remarry.

Both my children were raised Catholic and attended Catholic school. My son was an altar boy and sang in the choir. As parents, my wife and I made clear to them that certain behavior was not acceptable no matter who the perpetrator was. Father C. was gay. Never did he try any funny business with my son. I know this because my son would have immediately reported it to my wife and me.

If there is a lesson in my post, it is that parents must give their children all the tools and support they need to survive whatever assaults they might encounter.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 04, 2018, 07:49:48 PM
I don't understand why a sexual predator shouldn't be institutionalized under any circumstances. To diagnose Alzheimer disease, doctors do a thorough medical history, mental status and mood testing and a physical and neurological exam. Tests (such as blood tests and brain imaging) are done to rule out other causes of dementia-like symptoms.

Alzheimer disease does not excuse child sexual abuse, IMO. It sickens me when religious leaders and organizations cover up child sexual abuse.

The Catholic religion seems to do this more often than do other churches or maybe it is that sexual abuse is more rampant among Catholic priests. Western or Latin-Rite Church priests and sisters take a vow of celibacy. Imposed celibacy is unnatural and for some unsustainable.

In recent times, the Church has allowed for married priests if they were married prior to becoming Catholic priests. Should their spouses die, they are not permitted to remarry.

Both my children were raised Catholic and attended Catholic school. My son was an altar boy and sang in the choir. As parents, my wife and I made clear to them that certain behavior was not acceptable no matter who the perpetrator was. Father C. was gay. Never did he try any funny business with my son. I know this because my son would have immediately reported it to my wife and me.

If there is a lesson in my post, it is that parents must give their children all the tools and support they need to survive whatever assaults they might encounter.

Of course his medical condition does not excuse his conduct.  It's only relevant to what we do with him when he has lost his senses and cannot take of himself.  We don't keep people like that in prison.  If he's a danger to anyone he should be in a medical facility for criminals, not a regular prison. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Primemuscle on July 04, 2018, 09:59:54 PM
Of course his medical condition does not excuse his conduct.  It's only relevant to what we do with him when he has lost his senses and cannot take of himself.  We don't keep people like that in prison.  If he's a danger to anyone he should be in a medical facility for criminals, not a regular prison. 

This is why I chose the term institutionalized instead of imprisoned. Someone actually in the later stages of Alzheimer's wouldn't last a day in prison. Putting someone like this in prison would be inhumane. It would save a bunch of taxpayer money though.

I should probably be more sensitive to the subject of Alzheimer's since the older I get, the more likely something like this could happen to me. If it does, I'm determined to fake it for as long as possible. It helps that I'm already pretty eccentric.  ;D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 06, 2018, 08:58:52 PM
Because you develop an illness issue common in the elderly shouldn't give you a pass


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 09, 2018, 01:30:31 PM
Because you develop an illness issue common in the elderly shouldn't give you a pass

People with dementia shouldn't be in prison. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 09, 2018, 03:13:10 PM
People with dementia shouldn't be in prison. 

Depends on the crime. I truly don't care if a rapist or child abuser develops dementia in prison. But I would be open to putting them down rather than keeping them locked up.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 09, 2018, 03:29:21 PM
Depends on the crime. I truly don't care if a rapist or child abuser develops dementia in prison. But I would be open to putting them down rather than keeping them locked up.

Good thing things like life, liberty, and due process parts of the Constitution disagree with you.  We do compassionate releases all the time for prisoners who are sick or dying. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 09, 2018, 08:58:04 PM
Good thing things like life, liberty, and due process parts of the Constitution disagree with you.  We do compassionate releases all the time for prisoners who are sick or dying.  

I'm just stating my opinion. IF bleeding hearts want to release pedophiles and rapists... thats up to the bleeding heart liberals like you 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 09, 2018, 10:51:18 PM
I'm just stating my opinion. IF bleeding hearts want to release pedophiles and rapists... thats up to the bleeding heart liberals like you 

Only in a movie or novel would someone be convicted of a crime, not sentenced to death, then killed when they become sick or have dementia.  Or in Hitler's Germany.  Or your little twisted liberal mind. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 10, 2018, 12:08:14 AM
Only in a movie or novel would someone be convicted of a crime, not sentenced to death, then killed when they become sick or have dementia.  Or in Hitler's Germany.  Or your little twisted liberal mind.  

Defending pedophiles now? Any minute Soulcrusher and Coach and all those conservatives are going to be jumping on you about being a soft libtard


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 10, 2018, 09:27:13 AM
Defending pedophiles now? Any minute Soulcrusher and Coach and all those conservatives are going to be jumping on you about being a soft libtard

Defending the Constitution from radical leftists like you, Adolf. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on July 10, 2018, 10:33:05 AM
Organized religions are all wacky.

Especially the ones who go out and try to recruit people.

That's when it gets out of control.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 10, 2018, 11:25:46 AM
Organized religions are all wacky.

Especially the ones who go out and try to recruit people.

That's when it gets out of control.

No they aren't. 

Many organized religions aren't much different than atheists when it comes to proselytizing. 

Do you think religious groups should be barred from talking to people about their faith? 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on July 10, 2018, 11:34:40 AM
No they aren't. 

Many organized religions aren't much different than atheists when it comes to proselytizing. 

Do you think religious groups should be barred from talking to people about their faith? 

I think it's annoying when they come to my door and want to talk to me.  So yes, stay away from my house.

Some communities have laws against door-to-door soliciting. 

Don't call me, I'll call you.

I've never had an atheist come to my door recruiting me into atheism.  Never had a Jew come to my door recruiting me into Judaism.





Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 10, 2018, 11:36:07 AM
Organized religions are all wacky.

Especially the ones who go out and try to recruit people.

That's when it gets out of control.

When you really get to the nuts and bolts of it.. it is whacky. That an adult can willingly believe, or at least say they believe that 6000 years ago a supernatural being created everything, then created man and woman, the woman from the mans rib. Then create a garden, put a tree in it that contains Knowledge of good and evil and forbid them to eat from it which he already knew they would..He then doesn't like how man turned out so he floods the earth killing all but one family and all the animals of the world, which he saved on a boat. Then we get to the stories of God stopping the sun in the sky so one tribe can slaughter another.. a sea parting at the request of moses then closing back up on the approaching enemy. Lets see.. then there is the multiple plagues god brought to Egypt to convince the Pharaoh to let his people go... the writers lost track of how many times the cattle where completely wiped out...Then God kills all the 1st born if they didn't have the blood of a lamb on the door...
Then we get to  around 2000 years ago, when according to the manuscripts, a baby was born of a virgin.. could walk on water, turn water to wine, heal the sick and ascended to heaven. He answers your prayers kinda sorta, depending on vague things like if its his will or not.. loves you but will send you to an eternal hell if you don't love him. And this is one of the more widely accepted religious beliefs... When you get to Mormons, Scientologists, it just gets weirder. There is no limit to what people will believe if they want to bad enough


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 10, 2018, 11:54:54 AM
I think it's annoying when they come to my door and want to talk to me.  So yes, stay away from my house.

Some communities have laws against door-to-door soliciting. 

Don't call me, I'll call you.

I've never had an atheist come to my door recruiting me into atheism.  Never had a Jew come to my door recruiting me into Judaism.


They come to my door all the time.  I say no thank you.  You want a law preventing religious people from knocking on people's doors?  Sounds unconstitutional. 

Does the door-to-door soliciting include religious folks?  What communities are you talking about?  I'd like to read one or two of whatever they passed. 

Atheists are constantly trying to convert people and push their non-beliefs on others.  They even have atheist churches.  It's bizarre.  All centered on the non-belief in something. 

Pretty extensive operation:

Plus the following is clearly proselytizing:

    * Fought fervently to defend the Separation of Religion from GovernmentAppeared in all formes of media to defend our positions and criticisms of religion and mythology
    * Held Atheist conventions and gatherings throughout the United States, including "Atheist Pride" Marches in state capitals.
    * Demonstrated and picketed throughout the country on behalf of Atheist rights and state church separation. The organization has marched to defend the rights of intellectuals such as writer Salman Rushdie, protested the use of government funds to support public religious displays, and conducted the first picket of a Roman Catholic pope in history.
    * Published over 120 books about Atheism, criticism of religion, and state/church separation.Published newsletters, magazines and member-alerts.
    * Built a broad outreach in cyberspace with mailing lists, an ftp and web site, FaxNet and other projects to keep members and the general public informed.
    * Fostered a growing network of Representatives throughout the nation who monitor important First Amendment issues, and work on behalf of the organization in their areas.
    * Grown a network of volunteers who perform a variety of important tasks in their community, from placing American Atheist books in libraries to writing letters and publicizing the Atheist perspective.
    * Preserved Atheist literature and history in the nation's largest archive of its kind. The library's holdings span over three hundred years of Atheist thought.Provided speakers for colleges, universities, clubs and the news media.
    * Granted college scholarships to young atheist activists

http://www.atheists.org/about


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on July 10, 2018, 12:10:20 PM
People can do whatever they want as long as they do not infringe on other people rights.

If Atheists want to get together it's fine.

If Jehovahs Witnesses want to get together it's fine.

Don't come to my door and bother me.  F*ck off.

As far as separation of religion and government I am all for it.

Some Christians are all for the incorporation of their religion into government.  Do you think they are for the incorporation of a different religion into their government?  Highly doubtful.

Say a Christian prayer before the start of the Senate.  That's ok.

How about a Hindu prayer?  Or a Muslim prayer?  A Satanic prayer?  A pagan prayer?

"Mighty Odin look favorably on this Senate meeting!"





Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 10, 2018, 12:14:24 PM
Comparing organized atheists with organized religion is like comparing what  the indian tribes did at the Battle of Little Big Horn against Custer and the spreading of chicken pox via infected blankets. Because of religious zealots desire to infect every aspect of life with their beliefs, those who don't share that personal belief in a god or gods had to organize in order to keep them out of their lives. If you can't see that, you just aren't trying.   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 10, 2018, 12:34:10 PM
People can do whatever they want as long as they do not infringe on other people rights.

If Atheists want to get together it's fine.

If Jehovahs Witnesses want to get together it's fine.

Don't come to my door and bother me.  F*ck off.

As far as separation of religion and government I am all for it.

Some Christians are all for the incorporation of their religion into government.  Do you think they are for the incorporation of a different religion into their government?  Highly doubtful.

Say a Christian prayer before the start of the Senate.  That's ok.

How about a Hindu prayer?  Or a Muslim prayer?  A Satanic prayer?  A pagan prayer?

"Mighty Odin look favorably on this Senate meeting!"


I'd rather they not come to my door either, but I don't need a law to prevent it from happening.  I also don't care about people approaching me on the street.  I simply say no thank you.  It doesn't inconvenience my life at all. 

I'm definitely a believer in church-state separation.  I am not, however, a believer in the removal of all religious references or influences from the public square.  That isn't required by the Constitution.  Our historical roots are faith based.  That's part of who we are as a country.  No need to try and rewrite history. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on July 10, 2018, 04:49:17 PM
I'd rather they not come to my door either, but I don't need a law to prevent it from happening.  I also don't care about people approaching me on the street.  I simply say no thank you.  It doesn't inconvenience my life at all. 

I'm definitely a believer in church-state separation.  I am not, however, a believer in the removal of all religious references or influences from the public square.  That isn't required by the Constitution.  Our historical roots are faith based.  That's part of who we are as a country.  No need to try and rewrite history. 

"Religious references".

Whose religion?  Yours?  A pagans?  Satanists?  Muslim?

"One nation, under Vishnu (Baal), indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Would you be ok with that?

In front of your town hall the Christmas Creche, the Menorah, statue of Baal, Vishnu?

Would you be ok with that?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 10, 2018, 05:26:43 PM
"Religious references".

Whose religion?  Yours?  A pagans?  Satanists?  Muslim?

"One nation, under Vishnu (Baal), indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Would you be ok with that?

In front of your town hall the Christmas Creche, the Menorah, statue of Baal, Vishnu?

Would you be ok with that?

The religious references that are a part of our history.  Let's not pretend that the founders of our country (both legislators and lay people) were not Christians.  And you don't need to quote any of deist stuff.  I've studied it. 

If you look at our founding documents, nothing refers to Baal, so that really isn't a reasonable hypothetical.  You're smart enough to know what I'm talking about.   

We already have displays on government property that include various religious displays.  Doesn't bother me one bit.  I don't suffer emotional distress when I see non-Christian things.  But the atheists who run around the country filing lawsuits do suffer emotional distress when they see any hint of Christian symbols on public problem, which is just weird given the fact they don't believe God exists. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 10, 2018, 06:11:10 PM
The religious references that are a part of our history.  Let's not pretend that the founders of our country (both legislators and lay people) were not Christians.  And you don't need to quote any of deist stuff.  I've studied it. 

If you look at our founding documents, nothing refers to Baal, so that really isn't a reasonable hypothetical.  You're smart enough to know what I'm talking about.   

We already have displays on government property that include various religious displays.  Doesn't bother me one bit.  I don't suffer emotional distress when I see non-Christian things.  But the atheists who run around the country filing lawsuits do suffer emotional distress when they see any hint of Christian symbols on public problem, which is just weird given the fact they don't believe God exists. 

I think it is a false picture to say they are suffering emotional distress. But if that is the playbook you want to go by cool... I'll try again, though I think you really already understand it, you just can't admit it but it's certainly not weird when a group who doesn't believe in Dragons, are concerned when another group that does believe in dragons, and actively tries to weave their belief of dragons into government and laws. Of course the group that doesn't believe in dragons will get involved to insure there is separation of dragons  and state. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 10, 2018, 10:19:28 PM
I think it is a false picture to say they are suffering emotional distress. But if that is the playbook you want to go by cool... I'll try again, though I think you really already understand it, you just can't admit it but it's certainly not weird when a group who doesn't believe in Dragons, are concerned when another group that does believe in dragons, and actively tries to weave their belief of dragons into government and laws. Of course the group that doesn't believe in dragons will get involved to insure there is separation of dragons  and state. 

O Rly?  Because I'm a nice guy, I'll give you a chance to use Google, because Google knows everything, and see whether or not atheists file lawsuits claiming emotional distress over things they don't believe exist. 

Or you can stand behind your false statement and let me educate you.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 10, 2018, 11:08:28 PM
O Rly?  Because I'm a nice guy, I'll give you a chance to use Google, because Google knows everything, and see whether or not atheists file lawsuits claiming emotional distress over things they don't believe exist. 

Or you can stand behind your false statement and let me educate you.   :)

You still don't get it...  ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 11, 2018, 10:08:56 AM
I think it is a false picture to say they are suffering emotional distress. But if that is the playbook you want to go by cool...

Ok.  Fine.  You're too lazy or bullheaded to do just a little homework.  School is in session.   :D

Here is one.  Lawsuit filed over the display of the Ten Commandments:

Plaintiff Sue Mercier is a resident of La Crosse, Wisconsin and a member of plaintiff Freedom from Religion Foundation. When visiting her lawyer's office, which is near the monument site, plaintiff Mercier must sometimes alter her route to avoid seeing the monument. She shops at the People's Food Coop and the farmers' market less often than she would if the monument were not in Cameron Park. When she has viewed the monument, it has "disturbed" her emotionally.

Plaintiff Elizabeth Ash is a resident of La Crosse. She does not attend meetings or events held in Cameron Park because she does not want to view the monument. She does not use banks near the monument. When driving downtown, she avoids streets that would take her past the monument. She has stopped going to Cameron Park to sit in it and read books. When she does see the monument, she feels marginalized and has experienced physical pain.

Plaintiff Angela Belcaster is a resident of La Crosse. She patronizes several businesses surrounding Cameron Park, including the People's Food Coop and U.S. Bank. She has changed her route when visiting these establishments so that she does not park in front of the monument. She no longer has lunch in the park because of the monument. However, Belcaster still passes Cameron Park when driving through the downtown. When she approaches the park, she begins thinking about the monument, which distracts her and causes her emotional distress. The monument's presence and defendant's support of it makes Belcaster feel like an outsider.

. . . .

https://ffrf.org/uploads/legal/LCDecision.html

I'll give you another opportunity to retract before I continue.   ;D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on July 11, 2018, 11:39:28 AM
Some of these athiests are whackjobs just like other kinds of whackjobs.

No doubt.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 11, 2018, 01:17:37 PM
Some of these athiests are whackjobs just like other kinds of whackjobs.

No doubt.

Some are but when you understand and soulcrusher can chime in, in order for a law suit to be filed there has to be some damage to the plaintiff, whether it is financial, physical or emotional. It's part of the system so it would be normal, actually required for a person who wishes to put the religious folks in check, to use the emotional argument. Doesn't actually mean they were emotionally distressed. Again, blaming the athiests for reacting to Christians historical abuse of their religion in government is ridiculous. And again, it goes right over his head


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 11, 2018, 01:33:01 PM
Some of these athiests are whackjobs just like other kinds of whackjobs.

No doubt.

Agree. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 11, 2018, 01:52:13 PM
I think it is a false picture to say they are suffering emotional distress. But if that is the playbook you want to go by cool...

We learned in spring 2005 that a high school in Brevard County, Florida, was planning to hold its graduation ceremony in a local church. The church has a large cross on its dais that the church refused to allow to be covered. Because our complainants were uncomfortable with going public with their objections, we sought to encourage the School Board to change the venue without the need for litigation, but our efforts were unsuccessful. In the course of our negotiations, we learned that the practice was not limited to a single high school; several high schools and at least one middle school were planning to hold their graduations at the church. On May 17, 2005, shortly before the first of these graduation ceremonies was to be held, we filed a complaint and a motion for a temporary restraining order in federal district court. The court held a hearing on the motion the following day. After hearing argument, the court ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim, but that a restraining order would not be proper at that late date because it would mean the graduation ceremonies would need to be canceled. The School Board then proceeded with the graduation ceremonies as planned. We later amended our complaint to seek emotional-distress damages for the harm that our plaintiffs suffered as a result of the Board’s decision to proceed with the graduation. The court set a trial date of December 21, 2005, so we quickly proceeding with discovery. On October 25, 2005, however, while discovery was underway, the School Board voted to settle the case with a court-enforceable order prohibiting graduation ceremonies at sites in which religious iconography is visible. The case concluded with the court’s acceptance of the settlement agreement. All the graduation ceremonies for 2006 are slated to take place at secular venues.

https://www.au.org/our-work/legal/lawsuits/musgrove-v-brevard-county-school-board


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 11, 2018, 02:22:25 PM
thanks for proving my point

." The court set a trial date of December 21, 2005, so we quickly proceeding with discovery. On October 25, 2005, however, while discovery was underway, the School Board voted to settle the case with a court-enforceable order prohibiting graduation ceremonies at sites in which religious iconography is visible. The case concluded with the court’s acceptance of the settlement agreement. All the graduation ceremonies for 2006 are slated to take place at secular venues."

It's a shame that religious people KNOW what they are doing is a violation and still insist on ignoring it, making the atheists who are just wanting separation of church and state out to be the bad guys. That you don't understand how the legal system works and think atheists who oppose the violations are actually  emotionally distressed rather than vying for legal standing is your problem


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 11, 2018, 02:58:31 PM
I think it is a false picture to say they are suffering emotional distress. But if that is the playbook you want to go by cool...


You are one pigheaded dude.  You want more? 

It is unconstitutional, a federal court has ruled, for a public cemetery to have a planter in the shape of a cross, since, as the court explained, the mere sight of it could cause “emotional distress” to a passerby and thus constitute “injury-in-fact.”
http://mobile.wnd.com/2002/11/16030/#cA3hoVuwOlBxu2uP.99


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 11, 2018, 03:16:47 PM
You are one pigheaded dude.  You want more? 

It is unconstitutional, a federal court has ruled, for a public cemetery to have a planter in the shape of a cross, since, as the court explained, the mere sight of it could cause “emotional distress” to a passerby and thus constitute “injury-in-fact.”
http://mobile.wnd.com/2002/11/16030/#cA3hoVuwOlBxu2uP.99

whooooooosh!


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 11, 2018, 03:25:50 PM
whooooooosh!

Wait.  First you say atheists do not claim emotional distress by seeing something they don't believe in, then you claim they are justified in doing so?  LOL!

Class is dismissed.  Take your seat in the corner.  Tall pointy hat to follow. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Kh7nLplWo


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 11, 2018, 05:12:36 PM
Nope, you want to label them as snowflakes for being emotionally distressed. I stand by my position which is the correct one by the way, they are not clinically emotionally distressed, they are legally emotionally distressed. it is a requirement to have some kind of injury or loss in order to have standing. I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 11, 2018, 06:56:05 PM
Nope, you want to label them as snowflakes for being emotionally distressed. I stand by my position which is the correct one by the way, they are not clinically emotionally distressed, they are legally emotionally distressed. it is a requirement to have some kind of injury or loss in order to have standing. I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you

My position was that they are claiming emotional distress.  I said nothing about whether they actually suffer from emotional distress.  Your position was that they do not even claim to suffer from emotional distress.  Until I proved that they do make those claims, at which time you felt vindicated because they actually might suffer emotional distress. lol 

But whatever.  My work here is done.  And as I have told you in the past, come correct.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 11, 2018, 07:14:22 PM
Ok.  Fine.  You're too lazy or bullheaded to do just a little homework.  School is in session.   :D

Here is one.  Lawsuit filed over the display of the Ten Commandments:

Plaintiff Sue Mercier is a resident of La Crosse, Wisconsin and a member of plaintiff Freedom from Religion Foundation. When visiting her lawyer's office, which is near the monument site, plaintiff Mercier must sometimes alter her route to avoid seeing the monument. She shops at the People's Food Coop and the farmers' market less often than she would if the monument were not in Cameron Park. When she has viewed the monument, it has "disturbed" her emotionally.

Plaintiff Elizabeth Ash is a resident of La Crosse. She does not attend meetings or events held in Cameron Park because she does not want to view the monument. She does not use banks near the monument. When driving downtown, she avoids streets that would take her past the monument. She has stopped going to Cameron Park to sit in it and read books. When she does see the monument, she feels marginalized and has experienced physical pain.

Plaintiff Angela Belcaster is a resident of La Crosse. She patronizes several businesses surrounding Cameron Park, including the People's Food Coop and U.S. Bank. She has changed her route when visiting these establishments so that she does not park in front of the monument. She no longer has lunch in the park because of the monument. However, Belcaster still passes Cameron Park when driving through the downtown. When she approaches the park, she begins thinking about the monument, which distracts her and causes her emotional distress. The monument's presence and defendant's support of it makes Belcaster feel like an outsider.

. . . .

https://ffrf.org/uploads/legal/LCDecision.html

I'll give you another opportunity to retract before I continue.   ;D
;D

Your words were not directed at me but I shall try to offer content worthy of your words.

I'm now an Atheist and Christian symbols don't bother me in the least.   Assholists on the other hand (you know, the LEFT  hand that muslimes wipe their buttholes with) will claim anything to rid the world of anything of the Nazarene.  And money.  Let's not forget that while these Assholists don't worship a God, they do worship the almighty moolah.

If Rory believes in the Nazarene, good for  him.  Better the Christ than some bass ackwards muslime pedophile of a Profit.   

 ;D

Fuck That Noise. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 11, 2018, 07:53:31 PM
;D

Your words were not directed at me but I shall try to offer content worthy of your words.

I'm now an Atheist and Christian symbols don't bother me in the least.   Assholists on the other hand (you know, the LEFT  hand that muslimes wipe their buttholes with) will claim anything to rid the world of anything of the Nazarene.  And money.  Let's not forget that while these Assholists don't worship a God, they do worship the almighty moolah.

If Rory believes in the Nazarene, good for  him.  Better the Christ than some bass ackwards muslime pedophile of a Profit.   

 ;D

Fuck That Noise. 

You weren't responding to me but I'll try and offer content worthy of your post.... There are a lot of causes in this world. Animal abuse, Disabled veterans, cancer, homelessness, etc. People pick causes generally that matter to them or they are drawn to. I am a proponent for dogs. I like dogs. I also do a few other things but mainly I like to help shelters out. Other people are concerned that religious zealots, left unchecked, will impose their religious views on others, the main concern is by muddying the waters between church and state. There are people out there than believe it is a worthy cause to make sure the line is kept clear. I don't have time for that, but I appreciate that others have taken it upon themselves to do so. As an atheist, you should recognize the value of that. Otherwise, left unchecked, I guarantee you it wouldn't be long before you wont be able to buy alcohol on Sundays or shop for a car... oh wait.. that's already a law in some states due to religious beliefs...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on July 12, 2018, 02:49:57 AM
Other people are concerned that religious zealots, left unchecked, will impose their religious views on others, the main concern is by muddying the waters between church and state.

This.  While it may not bother people to have their own religion integrated with government, it would bother them greatly to have a different religion do so.

Better to avoid all that and separate church and state.

There are far-out whackjobs on both sides of this issue like any other.  Atheists who try to impose their ideas on everyone else are just as bad as religious extremists.

Do your own thing, harm no one else, and mind your own business.

Avoid all "isms".


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 12, 2018, 02:08:12 PM
;D

Your words were not directed at me but I shall try to offer content worthy of your words.

I'm now an Atheist and Christian symbols don't bother me in the least.   Assholists on the other hand (you know, the LEFT  hand that muslimes wipe their buttholes with) will claim anything to rid the world of anything of the Nazarene.  And money.  Let's not forget that while these Assholists don't worship a God, they do worship the almighty moolah.

If Rory believes in the Nazarene, good for  him.  Better the Christ than some bass ackwards muslime pedophile of a Profit.   

 ;D

Fuck That Noise. 

I'm glad you don't suffer emotional distress when you see things that you don't believe exist.  The people who do are hypersensitive weirdos.  I am a firm believer in church-state separation.  I'm not a believer in trying to avoid hurting someone's feelings because they see religious symbols or hear a prayer. 

You're right about people who use religion to take advantage of others.  Happens way too often.  But that's a problem with some people, not the faith itself.  Just like I say about our Constitution and system of government:  they are brilliant; it's the people who screw them up.  Same with faith:  Christianity, the Bible, and what they stand for are terrific; it's the people who screw it up. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 12, 2018, 02:09:53 PM
This.  While it may not bother people to have their own religion integrated with government, it would bother them greatly to have a different religion do so.

Better to avoid all that and separate church and state.

There are far-out whackjobs on both sides of this issue like any other.  Atheists who try to impose their ideas on everyone else are just as bad as religious extremists.

Do your own thing, harm no one else, and mind your own business.

Avoid all "isms".

We do have church state separation.  There is no religion mandated by the government.  We don't have a government church.  No one is forced to belong to belong to a church. 

What we don't and should not have is some kind of cleansing of all references to religion from the public square. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 12, 2018, 05:08:22 PM
This.  While it may not bother people to have their own religion integrated with government, it would bother them greatly to have a different religion do so.

Better to avoid all that and separate church and state.

There are far-out whackjobs on both sides of this issue like any other.  Atheists who try to impose their ideas on everyone else are just as bad as religious extremists.

Do your own thing, harm no one else, and mind your own business.

Avoid all "isms".


Can't argue with any of that.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 12, 2018, 05:35:30 PM
I'm glad you don't suffer emotional distress when you see things that you don't believe exist.  The people who do are hypersensitive weirdos.  I am a firm believer in church-state separation.  I'm not a believer in trying to avoid hurting someone's feelings because they see religious symbols or hear a prayer. 

You're right about people who use religion to take advantage of others.  Happens way too often.  But that's a problem with some people, not the faith itself.  Just like I say about our Constitution and system of government:  they are brilliant; it's the people who screw them up.  Same with faith:  Christianity, the Bible, and what they stand for are terrific; it's the people who screw it up. 

Most assholists are part-time vampires.  Ever notice in films how a vampire can wake up in a coffin in the middle of graveyard full of crosses and still be able to walk about as if nothing is going on?  They just want to get out of there!  Same with a mirror.  They're not supposed to have a reflection so they avoid looking in them.  But with assholists (who are in general, libtards)  it's simply a matter of their reflection being their own Picture of Dorian Gray and they go out of their way to be offended, i.e., make it a point to go see a cross or a Nativity during Christmas.

We have a separation of church and state because it is the right thing to do.  No state sponsored religion is the way to go.  Just look at muslimes to know what happens when the "government" are the enforcers of belief.  The teachings of the Nazarene are to be admired not admonished.  To be followed, not cast aside.  You need not believe in Jesus of Nazareth to know he was a good and wise man. 

I know more than a few assholists that will jump at the chance to belittle followers of the Christ.  On more than on occasion I've asked them why they don't do the same thing with muslimes.  It's because while a Christian may well die for their faith, a muslime will kill for theirs. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 12, 2018, 05:41:22 PM
Most assholists are part-time vampires.  Ever notice in films how a vampire can wake up in a coffin in the middle of graveyard full of crosses and still be able to walk about as if nothing is going on?  They just want to get out of there!  Same with a mirror.  They're not supposed to have a reflection so they avoid looking in them.  But with assholists (who are in general, libtards)  it's simply a matter of their reflection being their own Picture of Dorian Gray and they go out of their way to be offended, i.e., make it a point to go see a cross or a Nativity during Christmas.

We have a separation of church and state because it is the right thing to do.  No state sponsored religion is the way to go.  Just look at muslimes to know what happens when the "government" are the enforcers of belief.  The teachings of the Nazarene are to be admired not admonished.  To be followed, not cast aside.  You need not believe in Jesus of Nazareth to know he was a good and wise man. 

I know more than a few assholists that will jump at the chance to belittle followers of the Christ.  On more than on occasion I've asked them why they don't do the same thing with muslimes.  It's because while a Christian may well die for their faith, a muslime will kill for theirs. 

Not to be a stickler, but the cross only works if it's held by a person with faith in the cross.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 12, 2018, 05:53:31 PM
Not to be a stickler, but the cross only works if it's held by a person with faith in the cross.

I look at it for what it is, i.e., a film.  There was one film where the hero jumped onto a blade of a windmill and it rotated until he dropped off when it became a giant cross.  The vampire died.   Go figure. No one holding that cross.  Or was it the faithful act of rotating it?  If that were the case, then crossing your fingers would work, but not crossing you eyes.   I recall a 70s era Hammer Film where you could kill a vampire by putting it in running water.  One of the vampires got pushed into a shower and they turned on the water and poof!
'
I don't recall if he burst into flame, but I doubt it as the water would have dowsed the fire and then he would have exploded in flames again  and so on ad infinitum.  Or is that ad nauseam?  For theaction/comedy, "Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter", they had vampires wearing sunglasses and putting on primitive sunblock so they could be day-walkers.   They were also big proponents of slavery as a source of blood without consequence.

If only Honest Abe had accepted his vampire buddy's offer to become one of the undead, he would have survived the assassination on his life and probably gotten a good meal off of J.W. Booth.   I tend to think  of the film as the "real story" of ol' Abe.   ;D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 12, 2018, 05:58:08 PM
I look at it for what it is, i.e., a film.  There was one film where the hero jumped onto a blade of a windmill and it rotated until he dropped off when it became a giant cross.  The vampire died.   Go figure. No one holding that cross.  Or was it the faithful act of rotating it?  If that were the case, then crossing your fingers would work, but not crossing you eyes.   I recall a 70s era Hammer Film where you could kill a vampire by putting it in running water.  One of the vampires got pushed into a shower and they turned on the water and poof!
'
I don't recall if he burst into flame, but I doubt it as the water would have dowsed the fire and then he would have exploded in flames again  and so on ad infinitum.  Or is that ad nauseam?  For theaction/comedy, "Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter", they had vampires wearing sunglasses and putting on primitive sunblock so they could be day-walkers.   They were also big proponents of slavery as a source of blood without consequence.

If only Honest Abe had accepted his vampire buddy's offer to become one of the undead, he would have survived the assassination on his life and probably gotten a good meal off of J.W. Booth.   I tend to think  of the film as the "real story" of ol' Abe.   ;D

I'm just going on a couple films where the victim brandishes the cross, and the vampire at first shows fear, then laughs because the person holding it doesn't have faith.... But then I wonder, if the Vampire was originally Jewish, would a cross have any impact at all? Ive created more questions than answers...  I will sleep with garlic around  my door and windows until I get this figured out


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 12, 2018, 06:23:26 PM
I'm just going on a couple films where the victim brandishes the cross, and the vampire at first shows fear, then laughs because the person holding it doesn't have faith.... But then I wonder, if the Vampire was originally Jewish, would a cross have any impact at all? Ive created more questions than answers...  I will sleep with garlic around  my door and windows until I get this figured out

You are correct in that a genuine faith is what matters most.  For validation one can read Acts 19:13-17.

The lore that surrounds vampires and the like is turgid with religious or rather Christian symbolism.  For example, silver is offensive/fatal to both vampires and werewolves.  This is due to it being used to pay Judas Iscariot for betraying the Nazarene. 

Personally I carry a bounced cheque to ward off Jewish Vampires. Garlic was used to keep mosquitos away and became effective against all manner of blood suckers including both vampires and your run of the mill liberal.  Or so I am told.  I just carry the aforementioned insufficent funds cheque.     ;)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: AbrahamG on July 12, 2018, 06:33:14 PM
You are correct in that a genuine faith is what matters most.  For validation one can read Acts 19:13-17.

The lore that surrounds vampires and the like is turgid with religious or rather Christian symbolism.  For example, silver is offensive/fatal to both vampires and werewolves.  This is due to it being used to pay Judas Iscariot for betraying the Nazarene. 

Personally I carry a bounced cheque to ward off Jewish Vampires. Garlic was used to keep mosquitos away and became effective against all manner of blood suckers including both vampires and your run of the mill liberal.  Or so I am told.  I just carry the aforementioned insufficent funds cheque.     ;)


For an asshole, this is really fucking funny.;


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 12, 2018, 06:41:22 PM
For an asshole, this is really fucking funny.;

Well thank you.  Not to "insult" you, but we are more alike than different.  And no, I am not calling you an asshole.  Or for that matter, a whole ass. I have a sense of humor but especially so when it comes to myself. 

Later.  ;D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 12, 2018, 07:34:41 PM
Most assholists are part-time vampires.  Ever notice in films how a vampire can wake up in a coffin in the middle of graveyard full of crosses and still be able to walk about as if nothing is going on?  They just want to get out of there!  Same with a mirror.  They're not supposed to have a reflection so they avoid looking in them.  But with assholists (who are in general, libtards)  it's simply a matter of their reflection being their own Picture of Dorian Gray and they go out of their way to be offended, i.e., make it a point to go see a cross or a Nativity during Christmas.

We have a separation of church and state because it is the right thing to do.  No state sponsored religion is the way to go.  Just look at muslimes to know what happens when the "government" are the enforcers of belief.  The teachings of the Nazarene are to be admired not admonished.  To be followed, not cast aside.  You need not believe in Jesus of Nazareth to know he was a good and wise man. 

I know more than a few assholists that will jump at the chance to belittle followers of the Christ.  On more than on occasion I've asked them why they don't do the same thing with muslimes.  It's because while a Christian may well die for their faith, a muslime will kill for theirs. 

Good points.  I do find the liberal fascination with Islam pretty fascinating.  I'm not even sure they realize (or perhaps they don't care) how absurd it is to be anti-Christian, but embrace a religion that subjugates women and kills gay people. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 12, 2018, 08:49:01 PM
Good points.  I do find the liberal fascination with Islam pretty fascinating.  I'm not even sure they realize (or perhaps they don't care) how absurd it is to be anti-Christian, but embrace a religion that subjugates women and kills gay people. 

Its kind of like the lefts fascination with leprechauns and lumberjack contests


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 12, 2018, 09:42:06 PM
Its kind of like the lefts fascination with leprechauns and lumberjack contests

 ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: AbrahamG on July 12, 2018, 11:07:30 PM
Well thank you.  Not to "insult" you, but we are more alike than different.  And no, I am not calling you an asshole.  Or for that matter, a whole ass. I have a sense of humor but especially so when it comes to myself. 

Later.  ;D

You're a solid getbigger.  Respect.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on July 22, 2018, 04:11:05 PM
Deranged christian perverts at it again.

Caldwell couple arrested in child abuse case part of faith-healing church

A Caldwell mother arrested last week told deputies her religious beliefs prompted her to pray for her husband rather than tell police about his alleged sexual abuse of their daughters.

Sarah Kester and her husband, Lester Kester Jr., are affiliated with the Followers of Christ Church. The church, which has a prominent following in Canyon County and in Oregon, faces criticism for refusing medical care for children and adults in favor of faith healing.

Instead of contacting law enforcement, Sarah Kester told deputies she tried to protect her children by praying for “the demon” to leave Lester and keeping her husband busy with other tasks, according to a press release from the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office.

https://www.idahopress.com/news/crime_courts/crime/caldwell-couple-arrested-in-child-abuse-case-part-of-faith/article_12a2243e-3cfb-52fb-8e6b-b983cbca0788.amp.html



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 22, 2018, 08:31:22 PM
I had an eventful day yesterday.  Attended and participated in a number of meetings with different organizations/entities.  Most of these meetings involved prayer:

1.  Honolulu City Council Session:  It began with a devotional and prayer by a local pastor.  The City Council members are overwhelmingly liberal Democrat (about 8 out of 9).  I was very surprised.   

2.  State Government Entity:  Attended a meeting that did not include prayer.  I would have fallen off of my chair.   :) 

3.  Nonproft Religious Entity:  The meeting began and ended with prayer.  I was asked to give the closing prayer (I hate doing that.)  These prayers were expected. 

4.  Professional Society:  Attended an annual dinner of professionals.  Not a religious group at all.  The meeting began with a prayer.  The room was overwhelming liberal.

What struck me was what an integral part prayer is in our public life.  I bet the ACLU disapproves.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.   :))   

They should. Keeping peoples personal beliefs in ghosts, devils, and gods out of official government business is a good thing. Private entities are welcome to do whatever they wish


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 23, 2018, 09:52:37 AM
They should. Keeping peoples personal beliefs in ghosts, devils, and gods out of official government business is a good thing. Private entities are welcome to do whatever they wish

No, we don't have to avoid hurting people's feelings.  And we should embrace our heritage, which includes a belief in God and prayer.  I am happy the Constitution and our courts protect us from your kind of paranoid extremist viewpoint.  


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 23, 2018, 04:40:04 PM
No, we don't have to avoid hurting people's feelings.  And we should embrace our heritage, which includes a belief in God and prayer.  I am happy the Constitution and our courts protect us from your kind of paranoid extremist viewpoint.  

This country was founded by believers.  If some don't like that, I say fook 'em.  They need to get used to disappointment. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with mentioning the Judeo-Christian God or Jesus of Nazareth.  There is little, if any, difference in the belief of true followers of the Nazarene and the lack of belief in Atheists.  No one is physically or emotionally "harmed" by the symbols of either a Star of David or a Cross, especially the latter of those two as it is the symbolic embodiment of the hope of peace on Earth.


In my life I have asked several muslimes if they would turn in their imam for telling them to blow themselves up in public to take out infidels.  Not a one of them has said anything other than "...my imam would never ask me to do anything wrong". 


Every Christian I have asked the same question about their priest, pastor or minister has said they would turn them over to law enforcement immediately. 

There should never be an official faith of our nation but there is absolutely nothing wrong in basing our laws upon the Judeo-Christian Bible.  islilme's queeron is for batshit crazy pig fuckers and it and it's pedophile followers should never be allowed in our nation or in any civilized country.

I don't fear followers of the Nazarene.  Any that claim to are fooling no one.  They just hate the Messiah because while his word is without question good, it condemns us for our behavior.  Or rather, we condemn ourselves by our acting against his word.  I can deal with that condemnation but then I am adult enough to be able to separate worship from recognizing the goodness of his teaching and try to act accordingly.

Fuck assholists.  Lets see 'em speak out face to face agains muslimes.  They won't.  And again the reason is simple.  Christians may well die for their faith but muslimes are ordered to kill for theirs.  Big difference there and assholists are for the greater part weaklings and prefer to pick on the meek.  It's kinda like when a man goes nuts and shoots up a school or a drug store but these same buttwipes never go shoot up an HA clubhouse.

Because the 81 will shoot back.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 23, 2018, 06:35:50 PM
This country was founded by believers.  If some don't like that, I say fook 'em.  They need to get used to disappointment. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with mentioning the Judeo-Christian God or Jesus of Nazareth.  There is little, if any, difference in the belief of true followers of the Nazarene and the lack of belief in Atheists.  No one is physically or emotionally "harmed" by the symbols of either a Star of David or a Cross, especially the latter of those two as it is the symbolic embodiment of the hope of peace on Earth.


In my life I have asked several muslimes if they would turn in their imam for telling them to blow themselves up in public to take out infidels.  Not a one of them has said anything other than "...my imam would never ask me to do anything wrong". 


Every Christian I have asked the same question about their priest, pastor or minister has said they would turn them over to law enforcement immediately. 

There should never be an official faith of our nation but there is absolutely nothing wrong in basing our laws upon the Judeo-Christian Bible.  islilme's queeron is for batshit crazy pig fuckers and it and it's pedophile followers should never be allowed in our nation or in any civilized country.

I don't fear followers of the Nazarene.  Any that claim to are fooling no one.  They just hate the Messiah because while his word is without question good, it condemns us for our behavior.  Or rather, we condemn ourselves by our acting against his word.  I can deal with that condemnation but then I am adult enough to be able to separate worship from recognizing the goodness of his teaching and try to act accordingly.

Fuck assholists.  Lets see 'em speak out face to face agains muslimes.  They won't.  And again the reason is simple.  Christians may well die for their faith but muslimes are ordered to kill for theirs.  Big difference there and assholists are for the greater part weaklings and prefer to pick on the meek.  It's kinda like when a man goes nuts and shoots up a school or a drug store but these same buttwipes never go shoot up an HA clubhouse.

Because the 81 will shoot back.

I agree overall.  I would make a distinction between Islam and Radical Islam. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 23, 2018, 07:10:27 PM
I agree overall.  I would make a distinction between Islam and Radical Islam. 

To me, there is no difference.  The queeron is a tome of doom, filled with lies and hatred for any and all that refuse to submit to its bullshit.  It threatens its own adherents with death for leaving the lies behind.  It is not patriarchal, it's misogynistic. And still the libtards love islime.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 23, 2018, 07:54:23 PM
This country was founded by believers.  If some don't like that, I say fook 'em.  They need to get used to disappointment. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with mentioning the Judeo-Christian God or Jesus of Nazareth.  There is little, if any, difference in the belief of true followers of the Nazarene and the lack of belief in Atheists.  No one is physically or emotionally "harmed" by the symbols of either a Star of David or a Cross, especially the latter of those two as it is the symbolic embodiment of the hope of peace on Earth.


In my life I have asked several muslimes if they would turn in their imam for telling them to blow themselves up in public to take out infidels.  Not a one of them has said anything other than "...my imam would never ask me to do anything wrong". 


Every Christian I have asked the same question about their priest, pastor or minister has said they would turn them over to law enforcement immediately. 

There should never be an official faith of our nation but there is absolutely nothing wrong in basing our laws upon the Judeo-Christian Bible.  islilme's queeron is for batshit crazy pig fuckers and it and it's pedophile followers should never be allowed in our nation or in any civilized country.

I don't fear followers of the Nazarene.  Any that claim to are fooling no one.  They just hate the Messiah because while his word is without question good, it condemns us for our behavior.  Or rather, we condemn ourselves by our acting against his word.  I can deal with that condemnation but then I am adult enough to be able to separate worship from recognizing the goodness of his teaching and try to act accordingly.

Fuck assholists.  Lets see 'em speak out face to face agains muslimes.  They won't.  And again the reason is simple.  Christians may well die for their faith but muslimes are ordered to kill for theirs.  Big difference there and assholists are for the greater part weaklings and prefer to pick on the meek.  It's kinda like when a man goes nuts and shoots up a school or a drug store but these same buttwipes never go shoot up an HA clubhouse.

Because the 81 will shoot back.

This country had slaves at one time as well. We've evolved, science has evolved, we no longer have to believe angry gods are behind volcanoes. The founding fathers didn't want religion mixed with government and I'm in agreement


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: AbrahamG on July 23, 2018, 08:05:49 PM
This country had slaves at one time as well. We've evolved, science has evolved, we no longer have to believe angry gods are behind volcanoes. The founding fathers didn't want religion mixed with government and I'm in agreement

Oh yeah?  How come our currency says "In God We Trust".  Huh?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 23, 2018, 08:06:39 PM
Oh yeah?  How come our currency says "In God We Trust".  Huh?

Damn... I fold


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 23, 2018, 08:10:00 PM
This country had slaves at one time as well. We've evolved, science has evolved, we no longer have to believe angry gods are behind volcanoes. The founding fathers didn't want religion mixed with government and I'm in agreement

Never said we had to believe.  I just don't get all butthurt by Christians that have a real faith in the Nazarene.  muslimes on the other hand, are scum.   Like I stated, no National Religion.  FTN.

islime is the national "religion" of fucktard moooslimes.  And again, much of our legal doctrine is based upon Judeo-Christian principles.  It's not a matter of it is what it is, but rather what we choose to make of it.  Libtards tend to make a mess of it no matter what "it" is.  

As pointed out, "In God We Trust".  Not each other.  Not mankind.  Not Buddha.  Not that shitwad allah.  Not the blueish divine four armed Vishnu form of Krishna.  Not...Ah...you get it.  Many of the founders of this nation were believers in the Nazarene and with good reason for at the very least he was the Prince of Peace and a most excellent teacher.

I no longer believe in God.  But I won't lie and say the Christ was without merit.

And some of the founding fathers were Masons.  Now that's some weird shit.  FTN.  And the country still has slaves.  It's called welfare.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 23, 2018, 09:53:40 PM
To me, there is no difference.  The queeron is a tome of doom, filled with lies and hatred for any and all that refuse to submit to its bullshit.  It threatens its own adherents with death for leaving the lies behind.  It is not patriarchal, it's misogynistic. And still the libtards love islime.

I don't think that's fair.  I know lots of peaceful Muslims.  It's the extremists who are the problem.  And the problem with extremists is there are millions of them. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 23, 2018, 09:54:40 PM
Never said we had to believe.  I just don't get all butthurt by Christians that have a real faith in the Nazarene.  muslimes on the other hand, are scum.   Like I stated, no National Religion.  FTN.


Exactly. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 24, 2018, 09:09:27 AM
I don't think that's fair.  I know lots of peaceful Muslims.  It's the extremists who are the problem.  And the problem with extremists is there are millions of them. 

Ask 'em that question about what if their imam...Chances are there would be a very long pause prior to any answer.  Islam means "submit". The Christ allows free will to choose to follow or not without a penalty in the here and now. Islime would have you submit or die.   I have zero doubts that  the mooslimes you know are liars.  Their religion compels them to obey upon pain of death.  You can never leave islime or the rest of the practitioners are compelled to put you to death, including your own family, i.e., "honor killings".  FTN.  The women may only marry a mooslime.  The men can marry any "women of the Book".  Typical lying kuntlette manlets.  Of course by their actions we also know the men can rape any women or children they want to because it's the right of their "culture", i.e., the queeron.

HoMohammed isn't near the Man that Jesus of Nazareth was.  If the Nazarene was as hoMohammed was, I would never have followed him as I once did.

Fuck islime. It is a religion of death. The Nazarene's faith is one of life.  And, if he was actually "He", it is one of Eternal Life.  I know a great many fake christians.  They're the ones to whom the Christ will say, "Depart from me.  I never knew you."  Many of them are without a doubt "pastors, priest and ministers". 

They only rip off their flock or sleep with them and more.  Flase leaders.  Name it and claim it types. Not as bad as islime but still disgusting.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 24, 2018, 09:45:56 AM
Ask 'em that question about what if their imam...Chances are there would be a very long pause prior to any answer.  Islam means "submit". The Christ allows free will to choose to follow or not without a penalty in the here and now. Islime would have you submit or die.   I have zero doubts that  the mooslimes you know are liars.  Their religion compels them to obey upon pain of death.  You can never leave islime or the rest of the practitioners are compelled to put you to death, including your own family, i.e., "honor killings".  FTN.  The women may only marry a mooslime.  The men can marry any "women of the Book".  Typical lying kuntlette manlets.  Of course by their actions we also know the men can rape any women or children they want to because it's the right of their "culture", i.e., the queeron.

HoMohammed isn't near the Man that Jesus of Nazareth was.  If the Nazarene was as hoMohammed was, I would never have followed him as I once did.

Fuck islime. It is a religion of death. The Nazarene's faith is one of life.  And, if he was actually "He", it is one of Eternal Life.  I know a great many fake christians.  They're the ones to whom the Christ will say, "Depart from me.  I never knew you."  Many of them are without a doubt "pastors, priest and ministers". 

They only rip off their flock or sleep with them and more.  Flase leaders.  Name it and claim it types. Not as bad as islime but still disgusting.


I have no doubt you are brainwashed to believe all muslims are zealots. And those that arent, those that are working alongside christians and other religions are just pretending to be okay.. biding their time until they can kill them. It's a ridiculous position, and one that obviously stems from lack of actual interaction with Muslims. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 24, 2018, 10:53:26 AM
I have no doubt you are brainwashed to believe all muslims are zealots. And those that arent, those that are working alongside christians and other religions are just pretending to be okay.. biding their time until they can kill them. It's a ridiculous position, and one that obviously stems from lack of actual interaction with Muslims. 

Well now. It is soooo nice to hear from the Mayor of Amity.

Your position is that of all liberals.  On all fours.  As I have told you before, you and I differ and will never see eye to eye.  Mostly because you've got your head shoved so far up your ass you can't see anything but shit.  Those rose colored glass must've made it an even tighter fit, eh?  Your experiences are not mine, Mr. Mayor.

As for your search for a suitable retirement home?  Try Europe. You may not be WELCOME but certain residents will definitely treat you as though that were written on your backside.


Typist. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 24, 2018, 11:57:49 AM
Ask 'em that question about what if their imam...Chances are there would be a very long pause prior to any answer.  Islam means "submit". The Christ allows free will to choose to follow or not without a penalty in the here and now. Islime would have you submit or die.   I have zero doubts that  the mooslimes you know are liars.  Their religion compels them to obey upon pain of death.  You can never leave islime or the rest of the practitioners are compelled to put you to death, including your own family, i.e., "honor killings".  FTN.  The women may only marry a mooslime.  The men can marry any "women of the Book".  Typical lying kuntlette manlets.  Of course by their actions we also know the men can rape any women or children they want to because it's the right of their "culture", i.e., the queeron.

HoMohammed isn't near the Man that Jesus of Nazareth was.  If the Nazarene was as hoMohammed was, I would never have followed him as I once did.

Fuck islime. It is a religion of death. The Nazarene's faith is one of life.  And, if he was actually "He", it is one of Eternal Life.  I know a great many fake christians.  They're the ones to whom the Christ will say, "Depart from me.  I never knew you."  Many of them are without a doubt "pastors, priest and ministers". 

They only rip off their flock or sleep with them and more.  Flase leaders.  Name it and claim it types. Not as bad as islime but still disgusting.


We'll have to agree to disagree about the distinction between Islam and Radical Islam.  I know the Koran has some pretty wild things in it, but I don't think the Muslims that I know are violent at all. 

But Radical Islam is a clear and present danger, one that I've been talking about for years.   http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=368681.0


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Primemuscle on July 24, 2018, 12:26:28 PM
They should. Keeping peoples personal beliefs in ghosts, devils, and gods out of official government business is a good thing. Private entities are welcome to do whatever they wish

Like you, I'm involved in various organizations that have meetings and annual conventions. A few of these include prayer in the agenda, which is fine as long as no one is obligated to participate. I don't believe prayer should ever feel like an obligation. Praying or not praying, is a personal decision and not one I want government or anyone else to make for me or my family.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 24, 2018, 12:45:43 PM
Like you, I'm involved in various organizations that have meetings and annual conventions. A few of these include prayer in the agenda, which is fine as long as no one is obligated to participate. I don't believe prayer should ever feel like an obligation. Praying or not praying, is a personal decision and not one I want government or anyone else to make for me or my family.

Do you suffer emotional distress when you hear someone pray or see religious symbols on public property? 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 24, 2018, 03:45:22 PM
We'll have to agree to disagree about the distinction between Islam and Radical Islam.  I know the Koran has some pretty wild things in it, but I don't think the Muslims that I know are violent at all. 

But Radical Islam is a clear and present danger, one that I've been talking about for years.   http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=368681.0

Like two times in a week I see eye to eye with you. Makes me doubt myself and seriously consider all Muslims are evil


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 25, 2018, 02:16:28 PM
Like two times in a week I see eye to eye with you. Makes me doubt myself and seriously consider all Muslims are evil

I don't care how many times you or anyone else agrees with me.  I don't have a problem being a minority of one.  Nobody dictates what I say, think, or believe.  But I confess there are a handful of folks who help me ensure I'm on the right side of an issue.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Primemuscle on July 25, 2018, 03:24:26 PM
Do you suffer emotional distress when you hear someone pray or see religious symbols on public property? 

You can't be serious. I have no issue with others praying or with religious symbols as long as we the people retain our rights and the First Amendment of U.S. Constitution isn't violated.

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

By the way, there's nothing in it that states, except Muslims, Jews or Buddhists' etc.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Primemuscle on July 25, 2018, 03:25:33 PM
I don't care how many times you or anyone else agrees with me.  I don't have a problem being a minority of one.  Nobody dictates what I say, think, or believe.  But I confess there are a handful of folks who help me ensure I'm on the right side of an issue.   :)

Birds of a feather....


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 25, 2018, 04:47:10 PM
You can't be serious. I have no issue with others praying or with religious symbols as long as we the people retain our rights and the First Amendment of U.S. Constitution isn't violated.

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

By the way, there's nothing in it that states, except Muslims, Jews or Buddhists' etc.

Good.  And yes I'm serious.  Go back a couple pages and read what I posted about atheists filing lawsuits claiming to have suffered emotional distress after seeing religious symbols on public property.  Here is one:

Ok.  Fine.  You're too lazy or bullheaded to do just a little homework.  School is in session.   :D

Here is one.  Lawsuit filed over the display of the Ten Commandments:

Plaintiff Sue Mercier is a resident of La Crosse, Wisconsin and a member of plaintiff Freedom from Religion Foundation. When visiting her lawyer's office, which is near the monument site, plaintiff Mercier must sometimes alter her route to avoid seeing the monument. She shops at the People's Food Coop and the farmers' market less often than she would if the monument were not in Cameron Park. When she has viewed the monument, it has "disturbed" her emotionally.

Plaintiff Elizabeth Ash is a resident of La Crosse. She does not attend meetings or events held in Cameron Park because she does not want to view the monument. She does not use banks near the monument. When driving downtown, she avoids streets that would take her past the monument. She has stopped going to Cameron Park to sit in it and read books. When she does see the monument, she feels marginalized and has experienced physical pain.

Plaintiff Angela Belcaster is a resident of La Crosse. She patronizes several businesses surrounding Cameron Park, including the People's Food Coop and U.S. Bank. She has changed her route when visiting these establishments so that she does not park in front of the monument. She no longer has lunch in the park because of the monument. However, Belcaster still passes Cameron Park when driving through the downtown. When she approaches the park, she begins thinking about the monument, which distracts her and causes her emotional distress. The monument's presence and defendant's support of it makes Belcaster feel like an outsider.

. . . .

https://ffrf.org/uploads/legal/LCDecision.html

I'll give you another opportunity to retract before I continue.   ;D


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on July 25, 2018, 06:43:48 PM
There are Atheists and there are atheists.  The former are nothing like the latter.  And the latter are better referred to (as I do them) as assholists.

They rarely (if ever, as I have never heard of them doing this) speak against any religion or faith except Christianity.  Nothing against Buddhists.  Nothing against Satanists.  Nothing against Latter Day Saints.  And while there are more out there, here is the most important religion assholists avoid - islime.  Or as those who are too pussifed to say that term, Islam.  Fuck islime/Islam and it's proponents.

It is against not only the Nazarene and Moses, but even more so against civilization.  And yet scumbag cucktards embrace islime as though it were a haven for all that is good.  You would think that cucktards would ostrasize islime as it loaths women and publicly despises and puts to death, homosexuals.  In private muslimes are the biggest proponents of man/man and even more so, man/boy sex.   The latter can be seen in Chai Boys and how the muslimes so enjoy this disgusting practice. 

Muslimes also bob and weave in pubic prayer daily.  Screaming aloud their devotion to their pedogod and his pedo-profit.   Cucktards scream (and rightly so) about Catholic priests being pedophiles and utter not a syllable against muslime pedos except when caught buggering local non-muslime kids, they are just said to be practicing their "culture".

Muslimes enjoy the practice of murdering family members (usually women) for offenses against the queeron.  They call them "honor killings".  Muslimes can beat their wives/women and not allow them to go out without proper male escort.  And worse.  And still cucktards just love muslimes.

Of course the best example of why not to allow a National religion is shown by Iran and it's muslime bullshit government run by imams.  FTN.

So to those that profess Atheism, I say pick on muslimes before you ever throw an insult at a genuine follower of the Nazarene.  If that is, you're an Atheist. 

If not, you're a fucking pussy assholist.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on July 26, 2018, 12:28:02 PM
If true, these allegations are horrifying.

Ex-city firefghter's lawsuit allowed to proceed

A federal judge has allowed a former Bowling Green firefighter’s lawsuit against the city to go forward.

Jeffrey Queen worked for the Bowling Green Fire Department from 2011 to 2016, during which time he claims his colleagues disparaged his religious beliefs and made racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.

https://www.bgdailynews.com/news/ex-city-firefghter-s-lawsuit-allowed-to-proceed/article_5d44d04d-dabe-584c-b3b0-52c39f71b962.html


Some examples from the complaint:

Quote
During training, Queen was repeatedly asked by other firefighters and his superior officers to identify his church membership.

In early 2012, a firefighter interrogated Queen regarding his religious practices and demanded to know if he had been “saved.” Captain Colson, Sergeant Brad Akins, Sergeant Dale Willis and Captain Steven Daniels were present during and participated in this questioning.

Captain Colson advised Queen that he needed to join a church.

Captain Paul Campbell advised Queen that he needed to get right with Jesus on several occasions in late 2012 and early 2013.

In 2013, Captain Todd Barnard stated publicly that atheists “deserve to burn.” During this same conversation, Chief Frye stated “I’ll be damned if I work with them” and another member of the Fire Department said he was “sure as hell glad none of those fuckers work here.”

In a conversation including Chief Napier, Captain Mike Alexander, and two firefighters, they referred to Muslims as towelheads and said “we need to ship them all back to where they came from” and “let the bombs torch them, they are going to hell anyway.” They continued, stating, “at least they [Muslims] believe in God though, not like those fucking atheists you hear about;…there’s more hope for a towelhead than them,” and “now those are some sons-a-bitches that deserve to burn” and “you know atheist is the anti-Christ.”

While employed at the Airport Station in 2014, Queen was forced to endure bible study sessions during station dinners. These study sessions included assignments to read specified verses and then discuss those verses during dinner.

Queen’s fear that his co-workers would not support him in an emergency situation that required cooperative effort to ensure the team’s safety was increased as a result of this open hostility toward non-Christians.

Queen’s fear was not misplaced. When Queen publicly acknowledged that he was an atheist in early 2016, Captain Smith and a firefighter stated they would “burn his house down.”

On at least one occasion, members of Queen’s crew declined to offer medical care to a man experiencing severe chest pain after determining that he was gay.


The full text of the complaint is available here and contains more allegations:

https://craighenrylaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/complaint.pdf


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 26, 2018, 01:41:29 PM
If true, these allegations are horrifying.

Ex-city firefghter's lawsuit allowed to proceed

A federal judge has allowed a former Bowling Green firefighter’s lawsuit against the city to go forward.

Jeffrey Queen worked for the Bowling Green Fire Department from 2011 to 2016, during which time he claims his colleagues disparaged his religious beliefs and made racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.

https://www.bgdailynews.com/news/ex-city-firefghter-s-lawsuit-allowed-to-proceed/article_5d44d04d-dabe-584c-b3b0-52c39f71b962.html


Some examples from the complaint:


The full text of the complaint is available here and contains more allegations:

https://craighenrylaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/complaint.pdf


I wouldn't call them "horrifying," but if true everyone involved should be fired. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on July 26, 2018, 01:52:08 PM
I wouldn't call them "horrifying," but if true everyone involved should be fired.  

Not surprised. But I think denying medical care to someone because of whatever bias they have is horrifying, particularly if you consider this might have happened in other cases too and might have cost lives. If these allegations are true, just firing these people is not enough.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 26, 2018, 09:00:49 PM
Not surprised. But I think denying medical care to someone because of whatever bias they have is horrifying, particularly if you consider this might have happened in other cases too and might have cost lives. If these allegations are true, just firing these people is not enough.

Denying medical care to someone they believe is gay is horrifying.  Was not talking about that part. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on July 31, 2018, 12:22:29 PM
Trump and Jeff Sessions prioritize religious liberty with new Justice Department task force
by Jenna Ellis
July 30, 2018

The Trump administration has continued to prioritize religious freedom and emphasize its importance globally. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence made remarks to the contingent of foreign ministers at the State Department’s ministerial on religious freedom, saying that America must continue to be the world’s leader on this issue by ensuring domestic religious liberty first. “No one follows a hypocrite,” he said.

Continuing this promise to protect our central freedom enshrined in the First Amendment, the Department of Justice on Monday held a Religious Liberty Summit, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new religious liberty task force.

“Freedom of religion has been a core American principle from the very beginning of our country — indeed, it is our ‘first freedom.’ President Trump promised that he would make preserving and protecting our religious liberty the first priority of his administration. The Department of Justice is committed to assisting with that effort,” Sessions said. He remarked that in order to “institutionalize this process” and identify new opportunities to engage this important issue of religious freedom, the DOJ has established a religious liberty task force.

According to the memo obtained by Washington Examiner, the task force will “continue the department’s ongoing work to protect and promote religious liberty.” It will also consider new initiatives, including engaging in outreach to the public, religious liberty communities, and religious liberty organizations, and developing new strategies involving litigation, policy, and legislation, all with the goal of ensuring protection of this key, fundamental right.

Sessions will serve as chair of the task force. The summit at the DOJ on Monday includes a panel of legal and policy experts and a discussion titled “The Promise and Challenge of Religious Liberty.” Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who was involved in an important religious freedom case just decided by the Supreme Court last month, is scheduled for the panel.

In contrast to the previous administration, which did not value religious liberty either at home or abroad, the Trump administration’s action should encourage all people of faith and belief systems. This particular emphasis and open commitment shows that religious freedom is a priority to the president. Everyone should appreciate that Trump and key Cabinet leaders are taking action to protect religious freedom.

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the religious freedom ministerial last week, “The United States advances religious freedom in our foreign policy because it is not exclusively an American right. It is a God-given universal right bestowed on all of mankind.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/trump-and-jeff-sessions-prioritize-religious-liberty-with-new-justice-department-task-force


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on July 31, 2018, 07:50:13 PM
I'm a fan of Freedom of Religion. I think everyone should be free to participate in any religion they choose. I am a bigger fan of Freedom From Religion where people should be free to not be involved in religious rituals or have their laws influenced by religion.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on August 01, 2018, 02:48:41 AM
The influx of Muslims will make the separation of religion and state even more important.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 01, 2018, 08:17:30 AM
The influx of Muslims will make the separation of religion and state even more important.

Probably... Christians generally want religion mixed in with Government but only if it is their religion


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: IroNat on August 01, 2018, 09:00:42 AM
Probably... Christians generally want religion mixed in with Government but only if it is their religion

Very true.

This is not a good idea but they don't seem to get it. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 01, 2018, 10:32:24 AM
I'm a fan of Freedom of Religion. I think everyone should be free to participate in any religion they choose. I am a bigger fan of Freedom From Religion where people should be free to not be involved in religious rituals or have their laws influenced by religion.

And again, thank goodness the Constitution and the rest of society disagrees with your extremist viewpoint. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 01, 2018, 06:51:10 PM
And again, thank goodness the Constitution and the rest of society disagrees with your extremist viewpoint. 

So, in your opinion, the constitution is ok with mixing Christianity's rules and regulations with our Government? And as far as numbers... the majority isn't always right, otherwise we'd still slavery


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 01, 2018, 08:24:20 PM
So, in your opinion, the constitution is ok with mixing Christianity's rules and regulations with our Government? And as far as numbers... the majority isn't always right, otherwise we'd still slavery

In my opinion, which is supported by the Constitution, the government is prohibited from establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.  The Constitution says absolutely nothing about "mixing Christianity's rules and regulations with our Government" (whatever the heck that means).  To the extent communities and legislatures are influenced by their faith when pursing legislation, good for them.  To the extent paranoid hypersensitive people are offended when someone talks about faith, I honestly don't care.   

No one made the infantile argument that the majority is always right.  And slavery?   ::)  Hard to have a serious discussion when you throw out crap like that. 

In any event, we don't discount the majority's view and their faith-based traditions that go back to the origins of our country just so we don't cause emotional distress to someone who gets offended when they see or hear about something they don't believe exists.  If you folks want a society that removes all references to God or faith from any public property, then get enough of you together and go pass a Constitutionally acceptable law.  That's how our democracy works.  That's how it should work.   

So while I believe in the Constitution and the separation of church and state, that separation doesn't include the extremist viewpoint you keep expressing. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 01, 2018, 09:32:10 PM
In my opinion, which is supported by the Constitution, the government is prohibited from establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.  The Constitution says absolutely nothing about "mixing Christianity's rules and regulations with our Government" (whatever the heck that means).  To the extent communities and legislatures are influenced by their faith when pursing legislation, good for them.  To the extent paranoid hypersensitive people are offended when someone talks about faith, I honestly don't care.   

No one made the infantile argument that the majority is always right.  And slavery?   ::)  Hard to have a serious discussion when you throw out crap like that. 

In any event, we don't discount the majority's view and their faith-based traditions that go back to the origins of our country just so we don't cause emotional distress to someone who gets offended when they see or hear about something they don't believe exists.  If you folks want a society that removes all references to God or faith from any public property, then get enough of you together and go pass a Constitutionally acceptable law.  That's how our democracy works.  That's how it should work.   

So while I believe in the Constitution and the separation of church and state, that separation doesn't include the extremist viewpoint you keep expressing. 

Meltdown


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 01, 2018, 09:41:45 PM
Meltdown

So you ask for my opinion.  I give it to you.  And you respond with your juvenile analytical ability.  Not surprised. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 02, 2018, 11:25:18 AM
So you ask for my opinion.  I give it to you.  And you respond with your juvenile analytical ability.  Not surprised. 

It was appropriate given the response you gave. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 02, 2018, 12:09:39 PM
It was appropriate given the response you gave. 

Troll.   ::)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 02, 2018, 01:17:50 PM
Troll.   ::)

Drama queen


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 02, 2018, 01:37:35 PM
Drama queen

You can be a real immature punk sometimes.  But it's ok.  This website attracts all kinds of people and all are welcome.   :)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 02, 2018, 08:00:39 PM
You can be a real immature punk sometimes.  But it's ok.  This website attracts all kinds of people and all are welcome.   :)

I try and deal with people at their level. I could give an efforted answer and you would simply spew garbage about the Constitution supports mixing religion and Government which a 1st year college student should know is not true. You'd also throw out an irrelevant opinion that the majority agree with your wrong opinion. So I ask you, whats the point?


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on August 03, 2018, 05:56:22 AM
In my opinion, which is supported by the Constitution, the government is prohibited from establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.  The Constitution says absolutely nothing about "mixing Christianity's rules and regulations with our Government" (whatever the heck that means).  To the extent communities and legislatures are influenced by their faith when pursing legislation, good for them.  To the extent paranoid hypersensitive people are offended when someone talks about faith, I honestly don't care.   

No one made the infantile argument that the majority is always right.  And slavery?   ::)  Hard to have a serious discussion when you throw out crap like that. 

In any event, we don't discount the majority's view and their faith-based traditions that go back to the origins of our country just so we don't cause emotional distress to someone who gets offended when they see or hear about something they don't believe exists.  If you folks want a society that removes all references to God or faith from any public property, then get enough of you together and go pass a Constitutionally acceptable law.  That's how our democracy works.  That's how it should work.   

So while I believe in the Constitution and the separation of church and state, that separation doesn't include the extremist viewpoint you keep expressing. 

Good post.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on August 03, 2018, 06:01:08 AM
Oh yeah?  How come our currency says "In God We Trust".  Huh?

To be fair, this didn't appear until much later. (1950s? or so I think)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on August 03, 2018, 06:03:10 AM
The cemetery and cross story must be one of the most outrageous yet.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on August 03, 2018, 06:12:46 AM
So, if anyone (besides me) wondered: Paper money was 1950s and coins were, first, around the build up to the Civil War - before disappearing for a while.  Eisenhower days caused it to be law, that it'd appear on all US currency.

(https://images.theconversation.com/files/204655/original/file-20180202-19933-1wcwhxp.jpg)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 03, 2018, 08:35:27 AM
To be fair, this didn't appear until much later. (1950s? or so I think)

He was being sarcastic. Communism was the boogieman back in the 1950's and adding Under God to the pledge and In God we Trust to the money was our governments way of fending off the boogie man.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Las Vegas on August 03, 2018, 10:15:13 AM
He was being sarcastic.

I got it now.  Just call me Mr. Slow  :D :D

Quote
Communism was the boogieman back in the 1950's and adding Under God to the pledge and In God we Trust to the money was our governments way of fending off the boogie man.

Hadn't made that connection, before.  But what you say makes sense, 007.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 03, 2018, 10:16:42 AM
I try and deal with people at their level. I could give an efforted answer and you would simply spew garbage about the Constitution supports mixing religion and Government which a 1st year college student should know is not true. You'd also throw out an irrelevant opinion that the majority agree with your wrong opinion. So I ask you, whats the point?

I got you wired now.  You're a partisan troll.  You try and pretend like you're objective and want to have serious discussions, but you really don't.  Your last exchange with me proves that.  I been around here a long time.  I know your kind.  Very transparent.  

My approach in the 12 years I've posting is to have serious discussions with sincere people and give trolls the attention they deserve.  


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 03, 2018, 10:19:24 AM
Good post.

Thank you.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 03, 2018, 03:30:44 PM
I got you wired now.  You're a partisan troll.  You try and pretend like you're objective and want to have serious discussions, but you really don't.  Your last exchange with me proves that.  I been around here a long time.  I know your kind.  Very transparent.  

My approach in the 12 years I've posting is to have serious discussions with sincere people and give trolls the attention they deserve.  

You should go back and read some of your responses to me over the last 6 months and see if it fits your image in your head of how you are...  ;)


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 03, 2018, 04:49:20 PM
Oh look, another christian priest molesting children...

Pennsylvania priest pleads guilty to sexually molesting 4th-grade boy

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/07/greensburg_priest_charged_with.html



But wait, there's more... More than 300 in fact...

'Bigger than Boston': What the Pa. clergy sex abuse report could mean

The grand jury report investigating sexual abuse across six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania names more than 300 "predator priests," according to a court order issued Friday.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/07/more_than_300_predator_priests.html


And it seems the church tried to prevent the release of the report.

A huge clergy abuse probe is about to go public. Could Pa.'s attorney general be on the verge of slaying Goliath?

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/maria-panaritis/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-clergy-abuse-catholic-church-attorney-general-josh-shapiro-maria-panaritis-20180801.html


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 03, 2018, 07:45:44 PM
Oh look, another christian priest molesting children...

Pennsylvania priest pleads guilty to sexually molesting 4th-grade boy

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/07/greensburg_priest_charged_with.html



But wait, there's more... More than 300 in fact...

'Bigger than Boston': What the Pa. clergy sex abuse report could mean

The grand jury report investigating sexual abuse across six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania names more than 300 "predator priests," according to a court order issued Friday.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/07/more_than_300_predator_priests.html


And it seems the church tried to prevent the release of the report.

A huge clergy abuse probe is about to go public. Could Pa.'s attorney general be on the verge of slaying Goliath?

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/maria-panaritis/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-clergy-abuse-catholic-church-attorney-general-josh-shapiro-maria-panaritis-20180801.html

You were wise to use lower case when calling these pedos "christian".  No follower of the Nazarene would ever be a pedophile.  Followers of the Profit HoMohammed on the other hand (the LEFT shit wiping hand) happily embrace the buggering of youths.   

Fuck islime.  And lest you are unaware, I am an Atheist.  Not an assholist as so many here are.  They (assholists) mock the goodness of the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth but quiver at islime's feet.  Fucking pussies.

There is a vast difference between the Prince of Peace and the pedo of persia.  The former was a great man and the latter a fucking pedo idiot scumbag.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 03, 2018, 07:59:11 PM
You were wise to use lower case when calling these pedos "christian".  No follower of the Nazarene would ever be a pedophile.  Followers of the Profit HoMohammed on the other hand (the LEFT shit wiping hand) happily embrace the buggering of youths.   

Fuck islime.  And lest you are unaware, I am an Atheist.  Not an assholist as so many here are.  They (assholists) mock the goodness of the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth but quiver at islime's feet.  Fucking pussies.

There is a vast difference between the Prince of Peace and the pedo of persia.  The former was a great man and the latter a fucking pedo idiot scumbag.
News flash. Been years of followers of your Nazarene molesting children   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 03, 2018, 08:37:54 PM
You were wise to use lower case when calling these pedos "christian".  No follower of the Nazarene would ever be a pedophile. 

No true Scotsman.. (pardon the pun)

And lest you are unaware, I am an Atheist.  Not an assholist as so many here are.  They (assholists) mock the goodness of the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth but quiver at islime's feet.  Fucking pussies.

There is a vast difference between the Prince of Peace and the pedo of persia.  The former was a great man and the latter a fucking pedo idiot scumb

From your writings I thought you are a believer/follower/fan of Jesus of Nazareth.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 03, 2018, 08:39:10 PM
No true Scotsman.. (pardon the pun)

From your writings I thought you are a believer/follower/fan of Jesus of Nazareth.

He is a closet follower


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 04, 2018, 07:40:35 AM
He is a closet follower

I respect that which deserves respect and belittle that which is void of truth and morality.   Pussies can't deal with someone that knows hoMohammed was a cuntlette and do their best to kowtow to islime all while spitting upon the teachings of the Nazarene.  I am just as hard on false ministers as I am on shitheaps such as hoMohammed. 


As I've said in the past, you and I will rarely agree upon anything.  There is a genuine separation of Church and State and I have no problem with that.  Never did and never will.  We need only look at islime to know that to make a "religion" into a "national religion" is not only wrong, but dangerous.  In the case of islime it is wrong because both the belief and its followers are disgusting.  When man and religion are linked in immorality nothing good will ever come of it.

In the case of the Faith of Jesus of Nazareth it is solely the domain of men that perverts the Word and not the Word itself.  John was want to say that men may strive for immortality but all too often settle for immorality.  When he believed in the Nazarene he said that the letter "T" was like the cross of Jesus.  To simply add the cross ("T") the word "immorality" was to rewrite one's life for the better.

This is probably over your head but only because you have dug so far beneath the moral limbo bar.  If not, learn from it. You seem to delight in your ignorance and so for the greater part, I leave you to it.

 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 04, 2018, 07:44:01 AM
No true Scotsman.. (pardon the pun)

From your writings I thought you are a believer/follower/fan of Jesus of Nazareth.

I may have lost my faith but not my moral compass.  To follow the Christ you cannot be a pedophile.  Those that claim otherwise are full of shit and are more profit that prophet, if you will. 



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 04, 2018, 08:34:34 AM
News flash. Been years of followers of your Nazarene molesting children   

You really are ignorant, aren't you?  Typist.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 04, 2018, 09:56:04 AM
You really are ignorant, aren't you?  Typist.

just aware, the No True Scotsman reference by Skeletor was accurate


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 04, 2018, 10:16:27 AM
just aware, the No True Scotsman reference by Skeletor was accurate


He has an opinion and is entitled to it.  I don't mind at all.

Regarding the vapid response that some post here in a simplistic attempt at belittlement of others, words without content are just that. Words.  They might as well be pictograms on rocky cliffs in Arizona or New Mexico, i.e., open to interpretation of their true meaning.  Pffffft!  As with many such renderings of primitive art, they are either compelling or confusing with the latter being pushed aside in favor of whomsoever is doing the "interpretation" of said "art".  Getbig exempli gratia?

"Meltdown" is a favorite of the mentally and morally bankrupt here and elsewhere.  More likely just the reality of recognizing personal ignorance rather than the possession of an extra 21st chromosome.  I say this because the truly Genovan among us here are rare.

I cannot blame you for being upset and upstaged by someone such as myself, i.e. of barely average intellligence.  I don't have to agree with someone on every point of view to know they are at heart, good.  I have previously agreed with you and others here on some subjects and have no doubts that I will continue to do so because I choose to out of honesty.

I do find it difficult to believe that you are a retired LEO, but then I suspect you have your doubts that I even exist.

Later.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 04, 2018, 10:51:40 AM

He has an opinion and is entitled to it.  I don't mind at all.

Regarding the vapid response that some post here in a simplistic attempt at belittlement of others, words without content are just that. Words.  They might as well be pictograms on rocky cliffs in Arizona or New Mexico, i.e., open to interpretation of their true meaning.  Pffffft!  As with many such renderings of primitive art, they are either compelling or confusing with the latter being pushed aside in favor of whomsoever is doing the "interpretation" of said "art".  Getbig exempli gratia?

"Meltdown" is a favorite of the mentally and morally bankrupt here and elsewhere.  More likely just the reality of recognizing personal ignorance rather than the possession of an extra 21st chromosome.  I say this because the truly Genovan among us here are rare.

I cannot blame you for being upset and upstaged by someone such as myself, i.e. of barely average intellligence.  I don't have to agree with someone on every point of view to know they are at heart, good.  I have previously agreed with you and others here on some subjects and have no doubts that I will continue to do so because I choose to out of honesty.

I do find it difficult to believe that you are a retired LEO, but then I suspect you have your doubts that I even exist.

Later.


You sound a lot like an intelligent Trump when you claim you upstaged me about something. That is certainly possible, but I don't believe it happened on this page. You hate all muslims and love Jesus. Cool.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 06, 2018, 04:36:00 PM
You should go back and read some of your responses to me over the last 6 months and see if it fits your image in your head of how you are...  ;)

I don't need to read what I've already posted.  I'm talking about what you post. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 06, 2018, 06:07:43 PM
I don't need to read what I've already posted.  I'm talking about what you post. 

Some people simply hate the Nazarene because of not only what he taught, but what he represents.  If his word is true, we are judged by it.  If not, as I now think, his words should not matter on a personal level.  By personal I mean there should be no fear of judgment.  However any adult with even a semblance of intelligence should recognize the wisdom in what Jesus said.

Again, there should  be no fear of either judgment or condemnation.  But no...Some people are such fucking pussies that they cannot handle themselves and so they seek solace in their pathetic attempts to belittle the Nazarene and his followers.  I have no problem belittling scum like the fucktard known as Joel Osteen.  He is not of the Christ and deserves to be outed as such.  A name it and claim it cucktard.

These cucks will never accept that Jesus existed and was a man worthy of respect and all because his teachings sometimes convict them of their lives.  Fuck those assholes all the way to Hades.  If they're without confidence in their atheism, they don't deserve pity nor instruction in how to behave as an adult. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 06, 2018, 06:34:07 PM
The Scott, you mentioned you are an atheist but I noticed you write about Jesus (and islam/islime) often and you seem to extol the Christian lifestyle and values. If I may ask, how do you view Jesus? The god of the bible? The son of the god of the bible? A Jewish rabbi? A common man of his time? A man with divine powers? 

In regards to a child abuser not being a Christian, I am sure some muslims could say the same and even discover verses from their "holy book" in an attempt to justify it. In fact we often hear how "islam is the religion of peace", how islam is "tolerant" and allows others to believe what they want while devout mohammedans kill innocent people while shouting "god is the greatest".

Meanwhile, here is an interesting case that also has some relevance to the Police topic. In a state heavily influenced by religion like Utah, a private University owned by the Mormon church has its own police department. That means law enforcement officers with full police powers, not private security guards. The University's lawyers effectively claimed that since its police force was created and funded by a private University (!), it doesn't have to comply to all the the laws (in this case, open records such as the Government Records Access and Management Act) that apply to other police departments.
Thankfully, the judge was quick to shut them down:

"the court concludes that when BYUPD is acting as a law enforcement agency and/or its officers are acting as law enforcement officers, it is a governmental entity subject to GRAMA"



‘Good day for Utah’ — BYU police should be subject to open-records laws, judge rules, in dispute about sexual assault investigations

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/07/13/byu-police-should-be/

For context, here is an excerpt from another article:

Quote
The case stems from a public records request submitted by a Tribune reporter in 2016 amid allegations that BYU had disciplined students who report sex crimes if they were violating the school’s Honor Code at the time of the assault. The code bans alcohol, coffee and premarital sex, and it regulates students’ appearance and interactions with the opposite sex.

BYU police released some records, but refused to release records of communication between the department and the Mormon school’s Honor Code and Title IX offices.

The university police have said they do not conduct investigations for the Honor Code Office. However, The Tribune has obtained internal BYU documents that show a BYU police lieutenant used his access to Provo police records, via a countywide law enforcement database, for an Honor Code investigation into the conduct of a student who had reported a sexual assault to Provo police.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 07, 2018, 03:23:51 PM
The Scott, you mentioned you are an atheist but I noticed you write about Jesus (and islam/islime) often and you seem to extol the Christian lifestyle and values. If I may ask, how do you view Jesus? The god of the bible? The son of the god of the bible? A Jewish rabbi? A common man of his time? A man with divine powers? 

In regards to a child abuser not being a Christian, I am sure some muslims could say the same and even discover verses from their "holy book" in an attempt to justify it. In fact we often hear how "islam is the religion of peace", how islam is "tolerant" and allows others to believe what they want while devout mohammedans kill innocent people while shouting "god is the greatest"….


My faith was with me for nearly six decades and then I decided I needed proof.  It is my decision.  I admit I was influenced by a friend's loss of his faith but still, it was my decision.   I view the Nazarene as a great man.  A holy man, if you will.  A man of conscience.  A superb teacher and more.     There are signs that he was more, for example,  the Apostle Peter died for his faith in the Christ.  No lying sack of shit smellivangelist of today (e.g., Joel Osteen) would die for faith in the Christ.  And yet Peter was crucified for his faith in Jesus of Nazareth.   It is said that Peter asked to be crucified upside down as he thought himself unworthy to die as did his Lord.

It is fact he was crucified for his faith.  It is legend that he was crucified upside down.  Regardless of the latter, Peter's faith was so great he was willing to die for it.  Who would do such a thing for a lie? 

"Greater than this, shall you do in my name".   I have not seen anything done in the name of the Nazarene that equals the miracles associated with him.  If it is wrong to desire proof, then Thomas (aka, "doubting Thomas") was wrong.  And yet he asked and received proof. I have asked and not gotten anything.  To paraphrase - "What father among you, who when asked by his children for bread, gives them a stone?"


To that I would add, "ignores his children".  We have a mind capable of questioning a great many things, not the least of which is how did we all get here.  God used to do all manner of miracluous things in the old testament.  Even in the new testament, there were healings and the like but after the end of the lives of the Apostles, there's been pretty much nothing miraculous going on.  I have heard people who say that miracles are hidden from us by the "media" or by the elusive people known only as "them".  I say BS.  You could not hide the restoration of sight to a blind person.  You could not hide the restoration of life to a dead person.  Where is the proof?  Indeed.  Where?


I am disgusted by atheists undeserving of the name who belittle only those that believe in the Nazarene.  I have yet to hear one make fun of islime or Buddists or Wiccans or anything else not associated (rightly or otherwise) with Christianity.  So I say fuck those atheists.  And they don't like that at all.  Because the Nazarene's message convicts them of their sins, if you will. They can't handle being told they are sinners and so they get their manties in a wad.  Again, fuck them.

Any other questions, please ask and if I can, I will try my best to give a worthy reply.  And the profit hoMohammed was a fucking pedophile, ergo his followers have no problem with it.  The Nazarene was more than that asshole hoMohammed. 

"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."




Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 07, 2018, 05:53:16 PM
My faith was with me for nearly six decades and then I decided I needed proof.  It is my decision.  I admit I was influenced by a friend's loss of his faith but still, it was my decision.   I view the Nazarene as a great man.  A holy man, if you will.  A man of conscience.  A superb teacher and more.     There are signs that he was more, for example,  the Apostle Peter died for his faith in the Christ. No lying sack of shit smellivangelist of today (e.g., Joel Osteen) would die for faith in the Christ.  And yet Peter was crucified for his faith in Jesus of Nazareth.   It is said that Peter asked to be crucified upside down as he thought himself unworthy to die as did his Lord.

It is fact he was crucified for his faith.  It is legend that he was crucified upside down.  Regardless of the latter, Peter's faith was so great he was willing to die for it.  Who would do such a thing for a lie?  

"Greater than this, shall you do in my name".   I have not seen anything done in the name of the Nazarene that equals the miracles associated with him.  If it is wrong to desire proof, then Thomas (aka, "doubting Thomas") was wrong.  And yet he asked and received proof. I have asked and not gotten anything.  To paraphrase - "What father among you, who when asked by his children for bread, gives them a stone?"


To that I would add, "ignores his children".  We have a mind capable of questioning a great many things, not the least of which is how did we all get here.  God used to do all manner of miracluous things in the old testament.  Even in the new testament, there were healings and the like but after the end of the lives of the Apostles, there's been pretty much nothing miraculous going on.  I have heard people who say that miracles are hidden from us by the "media" or by the elusive people known only as "them".  I say BS.  You could not hide the restoration of sight to a blind person.  You could not hide the restoration of life to a dead person.  Where is the proof?  Indeed.  Where?


I am disgusted by atheists undeserving of the name who belittle only those that believe in the Nazarene.  I have yet to hear one make fun of islime or Buddists or Wiccans or anything else not associated (rightly or otherwise) with Christianity.  So I say fuck those atheists.  And they don't like that at all.  Because the Nazarene's message convicts them of their sins, if you will. They can't handle being told they are sinners and so they get their manties in a wad.  Again, fuck them.

Any other questions, please ask and if I can, I will try my best to give a worthy reply.  And the profit hoMohammed was a fucking pedophile, ergo his followers have no problem with it.  The Nazarene was more than that asshole hoMohammed.  

"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."




Jonestown Massacre. Not all but many voluntarily died for that POS. Nothing special there except gullible sheep. Not saying that is the case with Paul, but your example has too many problems. People killed for Charles Manson. His specialty was manipulation.

Personally, the biblical Jesus appears to be a stand up guy. If his followers actually followed his teachings I doubt I would have a problem with them. Most don't.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 07, 2018, 06:01:36 PM
My faith was with me for nearly six decades and then I decided I needed proof.  It is my decision.  I admit I was influenced by a friend's loss of his faith but still, it was my decision.   I view the Nazarene as a great man.  A holy man, if you will.  A man of conscience.  A superb teacher and more.     There are signs that he was more, for example,  the Apostle Peter died for his faith in the Christ.  No lying sack of shit smellivangelist of today (e.g., Joel Osteen) would die for faith in the Christ.  And yet Peter was crucified for his faith in Jesus of Nazareth.   It is said that Peter asked to be crucified upside down as he thought himself unworthy to die as did his Lord.

It is fact he was crucified for his faith.  It is legend that he was crucified upside down.  Regardless of the latter, Peter's faith was so great he was willing to die for it.  Who would do such a thing for a lie? 

"Greater than this, shall you do in my name".   I have not seen anything done in the name of the Nazarene that equals the miracles associated with him.  If it is wrong to desire proof, then Thomas (aka, "doubting Thomas") was wrong.  And yet he asked and received proof. I have asked and not gotten anything.  To paraphrase - "What father among you, who when asked by his children for bread, gives them a stone?"


To that I would add, "ignores his children".  We have a mind capable of questioning a great many things, not the least of which is how did we all get here.  God used to do all manner of miracluous things in the old testament.  Even in the new testament, there were healings and the like but after the end of the lives of the Apostles, there's been pretty much nothing miraculous going on.  I have heard people who say that miracles are hidden from us by the "media" or by the elusive people known only as "them".  I say BS.  You could not hide the restoration of sight to a blind person.  You could not hide the restoration of life to a dead person.  Where is the proof?  Indeed.  Where?


I am disgusted by atheists undeserving of the name who belittle only those that believe in the Nazarene.  I have yet to hear one make fun of islime or Buddists or Wiccans or anything else not associated (rightly or otherwise) with Christianity.  So I say fuck those atheists.  And they don't like that at all.  Because the Nazarene's message convicts them of their sins, if you will. They can't handle being told they are sinners and so they get their manties in a wad.  Again, fuck them.

Any other questions, please ask and if I can, I will try my best to give a worthy reply.  And the profit hoMohammed was a fucking pedophile, ergo his followers have no problem with it.  The Nazarene was more than that asshole hoMohammed. 

"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."




You wonder why? It's because here in America it isn't the Wiccans, buddhist or Muslims trying to push their religious agenda into laws and government. It really is as simple as that. When and if they do, then you will hear atheists raising hell about it.   


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on August 07, 2018, 06:41:54 PM
Jonestown Massacre. Not all but many voluntarily died for that POS. Nothing special there except gullible sheep. Not saying that is the case with Paul, but your example has too many problems. People killed for Charles Manson. His specialty was manipulation.

Personally, the biblical Jesus appears to be a stand up guy. If his followers actually followed his teachings I doubt I would have a problem with them. Most don't.

My example has zero "problems".  Nero was an historical figure as was Peter.  Nero put Peter to death.  The only problem is yours but you can do as you wish and say what you will.

For you to compare the Nazarene to Jones or Manson...  That speaks volumes.  Make no mistake, you did just that.  If he (the Nazarene) was indeed "He", then I can assure you that you will be among those that hear, "Depart from me.  I never knew you".  And me? 

I am no better...Except I don't lie. You have a problem with the teachings of the Christ because they offend your ego.  You just use his false followers as an excuse.  Or is this just a facade of yours?  Shake it off before it covers you completely.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 07, 2018, 07:03:23 PM
My example has zero "problems".  Nero was an historical figure as was Peter.  Nero put Peter to death.  The only problem is yours but you can do as you wish and say what you will.

For you to compare the Nazarene to Jones or Manson...  That speaks volumes.  Make no mistake, you did just that.  If he (the Nazarene) was indeed "He", then I can assure you that you will be among those that hear, "Depart from me.  I never knew you".  And me? 

I am no better...Except I don't lie. You have a problem with the teachings of the Christ because they offend your ego.  You just use his false followers as an excuse.  Or is this just a facade of yours?  Shake it off before it covers you completely.


Nah, they don't offend my ego. I have no problem with the teachings of "The Nazarene" AKA Jesus. I make observations based on facts. The fact is, people dying for their belief is nothing new nor special


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 14, 2018, 11:59:57 AM
Oh look, another christian priest molesting children...

Pennsylvania priest pleads guilty to sexually molesting 4th-grade boy

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/07/greensburg_priest_charged_with.html



But wait, there's more... More than 300 in fact...

'Bigger than Boston': What the Pa. clergy sex abuse report could mean

The grand jury report investigating sexual abuse across six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania names more than 300 "predator priests," according to a court order issued Friday.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/07/more_than_300_predator_priests.html


And it seems the church tried to prevent the release of the report.

A huge clergy abuse probe is about to go public. Could Pa.'s attorney general be on the verge of slaying Goliath?

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/maria-panaritis/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-clergy-abuse-catholic-church-attorney-general-josh-shapiro-maria-panaritis-20180801.html

Nothing to see here folks...

Grand jury report IDs over 300 "predator priests," more than 1,000 child victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 1,000 children -- and possibly many more -- were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, according to a landmark grand jury report released Tuesday.

The grand jury said it believes the "real number" of abused children might be "in the thousands" since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report said more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period of decades.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the two-year probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

"The cover-up was sophisticated. And all the while, shockingly, church leadership kept records of the abuse and the cover-up. These documents, from the dioceses' own 'Secret Archives,' formed the backbone of this investigation," he said at a news conference in Harrisburg.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/predator-priests-identified-grand-jury-report-pennsylvania-priest-abuse/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 14, 2018, 09:20:32 PM
Nothing to see here folks...

Grand jury report IDs over 300 "predator priests," more than 1,000 child victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 1,000 children -- and possibly many more -- were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, according to a landmark grand jury report released Tuesday.

The grand jury said it believes the "real number" of abused children might be "in the thousands" since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report said more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period of decades.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the two-year probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

"The cover-up was sophisticated. And all the while, shockingly, church leadership kept records of the abuse and the cover-up. These documents, from the dioceses' own 'Secret Archives,' formed the backbone of this investigation," he said at a news conference in Harrisburg.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/predator-priests-identified-grand-jury-report-pennsylvania-priest-abuse/

No real Scotsman...


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 15, 2018, 01:39:30 PM
Is this an example of muslim tolerance?

Jury delivers death sentence for Jordanian immigrant convicted of two Houston-area ‘honor killings’

A Jordanian immigrant was sentenced Tuesday to death for a pair of 2012 "honor killings" that were part of an extensive plot to kill five people, including his daughter, in retribution for her leaving home, converting to Christianity and marrying a Christian.

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Jury-gives-decides-on-death-sentence-for-Jordian-13155493.php


This didn't happen in some third world muslim shithole, but in the US:

Boy found at New Mexico compound died in religious ritual, prosecutors say

AMALIA, N.M. — New details emerged Monday about the fate of one of the children found at a New Mexico desert compound raided by police 10 days ago. It came at a court hearing for five adults arrested on charges of abusing 11 other children at the compound.

At the bond hearing for Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four others, prosecutors presented a disturbing update about his son, 3-year-old Abdul Ghani, whose body was found buried on an apocalyptic-looking compound authorities raided last week. Other children found there told investigators the boy died during a religious ritual.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/boy-found-at-new-mexico-compound-died-in-religious-ritual-prosecutors-say/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 15, 2018, 05:15:41 PM
“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing;  they hid it all. For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted. Until that changes, we think it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal."

“We all wish more charges could be filed, but due to the church’s manipulation of our weak laws in Pennsylvania, too many predators were out of reach,” Shapiro said.

Sick. But apparently it was not sick enough for some "god-fearing" christians or devout priests who ignored the accusations or covered them up and maybe even disciplined children who would dare accuse the "pious servants of the lord" of such acts.

A small excerpt from the report on the perversions of the men of the christian god:

Quote
In Erie, a 7-year-old boy was sexually abused by a priest who then told him he should go to confession and confess his “sins” to that same priest.

Another boy was repeatedly raped from ages 13 to 15 by a priest who bore down so hard on the boy’s back that it caused severe spine injuries. He became addicted to painkillers and later died of an overdose.

One victim in Pittsburgh was forced to pose naked as Christ on the cross while priests photographed him with a Polaroid camera. Priests gave the boy and others gold cross necklaces to mark them as being “groomed” for abuse.

The report makes clear that few criminal cases may result from the massive investigation.

“As a consequence of the coverup, almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted,” the report said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/08/14/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-on-sex-abuse-in-catholic-church-will-list-hundreds-of-accused-predator-priests



Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 17, 2018, 04:11:30 PM
So now we have some paranoid religious extremists who try to "debunk" the Grand Jury report and undermine the abuse allegations and defend the church... Donohue sounds like the people who abused minors or those who knew about the abuse and tried to dismiss it or cover it up. Maybe next he'll start complaining about "christian persecution" and the "war on christmas".

"PA Grand Jury report based on accusations"

https://www.catholicleague.org/pa-grand-jury-report-based-on-accusations/

The attempt to "debunk" the report:

https://www.catholicleague.org/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-debunked/

Quote
Myth: The priests “raped” their victims.

Fact: This is an obscene lie. Most of the alleged victims were not raped: they were groped or otherwise abused, but not penetrated, which is what the word “rape” means.

Quote
Myth: The abusive priests were pedophiles.

Anyone who actually reads the report knows it is a lie. Most were postpubescent. This doesn’t make the molestation okay — the guilty should be imprisoned — but it is wrong to give the impression that we are talking about 5-year-olds when more typically they were 15-year-olds.

Meanwhile, here are just very few disturbing examples from the Grand Jury report.

Reverend Anthony J. Cipolla
Cipolla was first accused of sexually abusing children, specifically, two brothers who were ages 9 (first victim) and 12 (second victim) in 1978 while Cipolla was assigned to St.Francis  Xavier. The abuses occurred in Cipolla' s bedroom in the rectory and also in a hotel room in Dearborn, Michigan. On July 25, 1978, the victims' mother called the Pittsburgh Police Department and criminal charges were filed. Ultimately, the criminal charges were not pursued to a conclusion because, according to the mother, she was harassed and threatened by church officials to drop the charges and to "let the church handle it."


Reverend Thomas J. Bender
In 1984, a known victim reported  that Bender abused him in 1981, while the victim was in seventh grade. The victim reported that he was abused in Bender's bed, where oral and anal sex occurred. When confronted at the Chancery, Bender admitted to abusing the victim.  He was sent  to  psychotherapy but again continued to serve as priest. In 1986, the victim was hospitalized for a drug overdose and subsequently admitted to the Northwest Institute of Psychiatry. The Diocese paid the first week's fee of $4,000. The victim and his family decided to report Bender to legal authorities and also  filed a civil suit.

In 1987, Bender  was put on a leave of absence. He was eventually arrested, convicted and, in 1988, sentenced to probation. Bender remained on his leave of absence until 2002, when he applied for retirement benefits. The Church granted Bender his retirement and provided him a monthly living allowance and paid for health insurance, life insurance, retreat and workshop fees, and car insurance. In 2004, the Diocese received additional reports of sexual abuse by Bender. In 2006, while collecting retirement benefits from the church, Bender was arrested in Long Island, New York, while traveling to meet what he believed was a fourteen year old boy for sex. The "boy" was an undercover detective whom Bender had  attempted to lure to a hotel room in Levittown, New York.


Monsignor Thomas J. Benestad
The victim was nine years old when the abuse began. Correspondence demonstrated that the Diocese reported the allegation to the Northampton County District Attorney's Office, which conducted an investigation and found the victim's allegations to be credible. The victim was taken out of class by a nun and delivered to Benestad in his office. The victim had worn shorts to CCD, which was against the rules. The victim was told that shorts were not proper attire and that not wearing proper attire was sinful. The victim was told to get on his knees and start praying. Benestad unzipped his pants and told the victim to perform oral sex on him. The victim did as he was told. Benestad also performed oral sex on the victim. The victim recalls that, after the abuse, Benestad would produce a clear bottle of holy water and squirt it into the victim's mouth to purify him. The District Attorney's Office found the applicable statute of limitations had expired and no charges were brought against Benestad. Additional complaints have been made against Benestad, who has denied all accusations. The Diocese elected to rely on Benestad's word rather than the word of the victims and the determinations of law enforcement. No attempt was made to remove Benestad  from  ministry. Benestad was granted retirement, resides in Boca Raton, Florida, and assists with a local parish.


Father Gregory Flohr
Flohr's final act of sexual abuse against the victim occurred in November 1969, when Flohr allegedly took the victim into the confessional of the Immaculate Conception church and began kissing him and tied him up with rope into a "praying position."  The victim began to scream, so Flohr tried to silence him by forcing his penis into his mouth. "When the [victim] refused the priest allegedly became angry and sodomized the [victim] with a crucifix approximately 7"x 5"x 1" in size." Flohr then stated that the victim was a "bad boy" and let him go. Following this incident, the victim deliberately set the church carpet on fire.  

There are more particularly disturbing cases, but the paranoid religious extremists will probably dismiss them as well.


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on August 17, 2018, 06:35:36 PM
So now we have some paranoid religious extremists who try to "debunk" the Grand Jury report and undermine the abuse allegations and defend the church... Donohue sounds like the people who abused minors or those who knew about the abuse and tried to dismiss it or cover it up. Maybe next he'll start complaining about "christian persecution" and the "war on christmas".

"PA Grand Jury report based on accusations"

https://www.catholicleague.org/pa-grand-jury-report-based-on-accusations/

The attempt to "debunk" the report:

https://www.catholicleague.org/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-debunked/

Meanwhile, here are just very few disturbing examples from the Grand Jury report.

Reverend Anthony J. Cipolla
Cipolla was first accused of sexually abusing children, specifically, two brothers who were ages 9 (first victim) and 12 (second victim) in 1978 while Cipolla was assigned to St.Francis  Xavier. The abuses occurred in Cipolla' s bedroom in the rectory and also in a hotel room in Dearborn, Michigan. On July 25, 1978, the victims' mother called the Pittsburgh Police Department and criminal charges were filed. Ultimately, the criminal charges were not pursued to a conclusion because, according to the mother, she was harassed and threatened by church officials to drop the charges and to "let the church handle it."


Reverend Thomas J. Bender
In 1984, a known victim reported  that Bender abused him in 1981, while the victim was in seventh grade. The victim reported that he was abused in Bender's bed, where oral and anal sex occurred. When confronted at the Chancery, Bender admitted to abusing the victim.  He was sent  to  psychotherapy but again continued to serve as priest. In 1986, the victim was hospitalized for a drug overdose and subsequently admitted to the Northwest Institute of Psychiatry. The Diocese paid the first week's fee of $4,000. The victim and his family decided to report Bender to legal authorities and also  filed a civil suit.

In 1987, Bender  was put on a leave of absence. He was eventually arrested, convicted and, in 1988, sentenced to probation. Bender remained on his leave of absence until 2002, when he applied for retirement benefits. The Church granted Bender his retirement and provided him a monthly living allowance and paid for health insurance, life insurance, retreat and workshop fees, and car insurance. In 2004, the Diocese received additional reports of sexual abuse by Bender. In 2006, while collecting retirement benefits from the church, Bender was arrested in Long Island, New York, while traveling to meet what he believed was a fourteen year old boy for sex. The "boy" was an undercover detective whom Bender had  attempted to lure to a hotel room in Levittown, New York.


Monsignor Thomas J. Benestad
The victim was nine years old when the abuse began. Correspondence demonstrated that the Diocese reported the allegation to the Northampton County District Attorney's Office, which conducted an investigation and found the victim's allegations to be credible. The victim was taken out of class by a nun and delivered to Benestad in his office. The victim had worn shorts to CCD, which was against the rules. The victim was told that shorts were not proper attire and that not wearing proper attire was sinful. The victim was told to get on his knees and start praying. Benestad unzipped his pants and told the victim to perform oral sex on him. The victim did as he was told. Benestad also performed oral sex on the victim. The victim recalls that, after the abuse, Benestad would produce a clear bottle of holy water and squirt it into the victim's mouth to purify him. The District Attorney's Office found the applicable statute of limitations had expired and no charges were brought against Benestad. Additional complaints have been made against Benestad, who has denied all accusations. The Diocese elected to rely on Benestad's word rather than the word of the victims and the determinations of law enforcement. No attempt was made to remove Benestad  from  ministry. Benestad was granted retirement, resides in Boca Raton, Florida, and assists with a local parish.


Father Gregory Flohr
Flohr's final act of sexual abuse against the victim occurred in November 1969, when Flohr allegedly took the victim into the confessional of the Immaculate Conception church and began kissing him and tied him up with rope into a "praying position."  The victim began to scream, so Flohr tried to silence him by forcing his penis into his mouth. "When the [victim] refused the priest allegedly became angry and sodomized the [victim] with a crucifix approximately 7"x 5"x 1" in size." Flohr then stated that the victim was a "bad boy" and let him go. Following this incident, the victim deliberately set the church carpet on fire.  

There are more particularly disturbing cases, but the paranoid religious extremists will probably dismiss them as well.

They should spend the rest of their lives in prison. 


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Skeletor on August 22, 2018, 01:06:12 PM
RI Catholic leaders oppose latest demand for bill on sex-abuse lawsuits

https://www.wpri.com/politics/ri-catholic-leaders-oppose-latest-demand-for-bill-on-sex-abuse-lawsuits/1383707694


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Agnostic007 on August 22, 2018, 07:40:07 PM
RI Catholic leaders oppose latest demand for bill on sex-abuse lawsuits

https://www.wpri.com/politics/ri-catholic-leaders-oppose-latest-demand-for-bill-on-sex-abuse-lawsuits/1383707694

Thoughts and prayers sent


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: Dos Equis on September 19, 2018, 04:09:44 PM
Chris Pratt Is Unashamed of Being ‘Pro-Christian, Pro-Jesus’ in Hollywood
19 Sep 2018
https://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2018/09/19/chris-pratt-unashamed-of-being-pro-christian-pro-jesus-in-hollywood/


Title: Re: Prayer and Religion in Public Life
Post by: The Scott on September 19, 2018, 05:18:14 PM
Chris Pratt Is Unashamed of Being ‘Pro-Christian, Pro-Jesus’ in Hollywood
19 Sep 2018
https://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2018/09/19/chris-pratt-unashamed-of-being-pro-christian-pro-jesus-in-hollywood/

Impressive.  Thank you for the link, sir!