Re: Defenders of "under god" are ... mislead or misleading (pick
kenbrody at spamcop.net
Tue Sep 27 13:19:03 EDT 2005
Miss Betsy wrote:
> "D.F. Manno" <dfm2a3l0t2 at spymac.com> wrote in message
> > > Although I don't see much harm in the 10
> > > commandments if they were already present
> > You don't see much harm because you are a christian. You either
> > can't or won't put yourself in the shoes of the non-christian who
> > is forced to support government expressions of christian belief.
> The 10 commandments are also Jewish and Muslim.
Perhaps the term "Judeo-Christian" would be better for you?
However, there are plenty of strictly Christian items that people
are trying to force others to act upon.
> And they are not so different from other 'guidelines' for good living.
But, they are purely religious in nature.
> They are part of our history.
So is slavery, prohibition of interracial marriage, children as
chattle, and white-male-only suffrage.
> > > I would not support anyone who wanted to post them now.
> > That's mighty big of you. You won't support any further
> > violations of the Constitution, but you're OK with already
> > existing ones.
> That's because there is a difference in /why/ they are there. As
> history, I think it is nitpicking (and dangerous to future battles)
> to insist on their removal.
They are there because some Christians (most likely, anyway) put them
there for their own religious beliefs.
Perhaps slave owners should have been able to keep "existing slaves"
when slavery was abolished? Perhaps existing "whites only" schools
should have been allowed to remain after desegregation? Perhaps only
women born after 1920 should be allowed to vote?
> > The christianization of U.S. government _is_ a present threat to
> > the Constitution. The pledge is a wedge issue, and the "under god"
> > backers admit it. If they win on this one--or if they are not
> > challenged on it, which is the same thing--they move on to the
> > next issue. And winning on one issue bolsters their case for the
> > next one, the argument being "if 'under god' is OK, then what's
> > wrong with the 10 commandments in courthouses?"
> And that's exactly my point. I don't think the majority
> particularly care about phrases like 'under God' or '10
> commandments' because they do tend to be inclusive to all (even
> with a stretch to those who have gods or other guidelines).
The are in no way "inclusive of all". They are inclusive of those
who believe in the Judeo-Christian-Muslim G-d, and exclusive of
> Most may grumble about the court ordering the removal of the 10
> commandments, but they can see the logic and practical
> applications. I read about a town who was very Christian, and
> planned to post the 10 commandments in a park, but changed their
> mind when one of the type you are afraid of wanted to post their
> own diatribe against the godless.
I read a news story about a mostly-Christian town which used to
used public funds and public school buses to shuttle school kids
to church _during_the_school_day_ for Bible study. (Execpt, of
course, the few non-Christian kids who were left behind during
Do you think this is a valid use of public funds and time? I note
that they did not make the buses available to take the non-Christian
children to their places of worship.
> > > There has to be a balance between majority rights and minority
> > > rights. The basic premise of democracy is that the majority
> > > should prevail.
> > No, there doesn't, and no, it isn't. The whole concept of
> > "rights" is that they are not subject to majority approval.
> > If every man, woman and child in this country but one believed
> > that the war in Iraq is a just cause, that wouldn't give them
> > the right to suppress the speech/writing/expression of the sole
> > dissenter.
> The difference is that no one is suppressing anything by allowing
> the 'under God' phrase in the pledge.
They are supressing those who do not believe in monotheism.
> And that's my point again. The non-theists are playing right into
> the theocrats' hands by attacking the pledge at this time.
So your stance is "let this 'little violation' of the Constitution
go unchallenged and wait for the 'big ones' to begin the fight"?
How well did appeasement work in Eorupe in the 1930's? (Carefully
trying not to invoke Godwin's law here.)
> > You're not making any sense. If removing the phrase is acceptable
> > in the future, why not now? If it's wrong, it's wrong _now_, and
> > it needs to be removed _now_.
> It was wrong when it was inserted. It should never have been done.
> And even if the climate was 'wrong' then for protest, my contention
> is that is not a good time now either - for different reasons.
So, it was wrong when they put it in, and it's still wrong today, but
"now's not the time to protest"?
When, then, is a "good time" for protest?
> > You support keeping "under god" in the pledge, and you support
> > coercing people to say the pledge.
> I don't think that, at any time, I have supported coercing those
> who feel, in conscience, that they don't want to say that phrase.
Do you really think "we're going to say the Pledge, and those non-
believers among us can skip the words 'under G-d'" isn't going to
lead to some form of coersion?
> > > I am totally in opposition to those who cannot tolerate any
> > > position but their own.
> > Telling non-believers and non-monotheists that they have to
> > accept the majority view is not tolerant.
> They don't have to accept the majority view. The establishment
> clause was intended to keep any one group from forcing everyone to
> follow a particular religion. Non-theism is a religion in the same
> way that no answer is an answer. To argue that the US now has many
> non-Christian religions and needs to adapt governmental displays to
> either include all (which most people don't want to do because
> there are some real bigots out there) or to include none is one
> argument that fits, IMHO, the spirit of the establishment clause.
Glad to hear that.
> To insist on one's rights as a non-theist to force the government
> to adopt non-theistic language and displays is against the spirit
> of the establishment clause.
Huh? You just said that to argue that government displays include
no religion "fits the spirit of the establishment clause". Now you
say exactly the opposite.
Which is it?
> People are driven by feelings, like
> it or not. I don't like the idea of a minority dictating the laws
> in my government.
But it's okay for "majority rules" even in cases where it goes against
the Constitution? The majority gets to make the laws by virtue of the
majority vote. But, it doesn't matter if even 100% of the voters were
in favor of a law making Christianity the official religion, as the law
would be unconstitutional.
> Although I can back up my 'feelings' with thoughts, most people
> don't think about these issues. And again, my point in this
> discussion is that non-theists will lose this battle (and
> contribute to the possible victory of theocrats in other areas)
> because they are using the wrong arguments by sticking to the
> letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law.
This is exactly the spirit of the law, IMHO.
| Kenneth J. Brody | www.hvcomputer.com | |
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