Thou shalt not display the Ten Commandments

From the AP:

In a narrowly drawn ruling, the Supreme Court struck down Ten Commandments displays in courthouses today, holding that two exhibits in Kentucky crossed the line between separation of church and state because they promoted a religious message.

O’Connor voted with the majority and Kennedy with the minority; the rest of the court split as one would expect. David Souter, writing for the majority:

“The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.”

“When the government acts with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion, it violates that central Establishment clause value of official religious neutrality.”

Understand that cases at the heart of this decision were deliberate attempts by the religious right to provoke a reaction, by explicitly displaying Christian themes.

Two Kentucky counties originally hung the copies of the Ten Commandments in their courthouses. After the ACLU filed suit, the counties modified their displays to add other documents demonstrating “America’s Christian heritage,” including the national motto of “In God We Trust” and a version of the Congressional Record declaring 1983 the “Year of the Bible.”

When a federal court ruled those displays had the effect of endorsing religion, the counties erected a third Ten Commandments display with surrounding documents such as the Bill of Rights and Star-Spangled Banner to highlight their role in “our system of law and government.”

The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal subsequently struck down the third display as a “sham” for the religious intent behind it.

As a non-Christian, I find this constant and continued attempt to impose Christianity on public life insulting and offensive. Attempts to reinterpret history, to claim that our founding fathers intended to create a Christian nation, are nothing but fiction. The US was always intended to be a haven for religious freedom, and government was always intended to be kept secular. The Supreme Court should be congratulated for viewing with suspicion any attempt by government to promote religion, however symbolic.

UPDATE:
While the court ruled that overtly religious Ten Commandment displays in Kentucky were impermissible, they have upheld a monument in a 22-acre park at the Texas State Capitol, where it was just one of 17 sculptures. Curiously, it was Justice Stephen Breyer who played the role of the swing vote.

If anything, the message sent to the court today is that such disputes should be decided by the courts on a case by case basis. Even Chief Justice Rehnquist acknowledged that there should be limits on religious displays on government property.

“While the Commandments are religious, they have an undeniable historical meaning,” Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote. “Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the Establishment Clause.”

But he added pointedly, “There are, of course, limits to the government’s display of religious messages or symbols.”

So while the court was split on these particular cases, there seems to be broad consensus that the Establishment Clause does impose limits on the display of religious messages and symbols on public property.

UPDATE, UPDATE:
Interesting debate going on in the comment threads. I strongly recommend David’s comprehensive comment at #42, explaining that the founding fathers were for the most part, Deists, not Christians per se. This was never a Christian nation, and was never intended to be.

Comments

  1. 2

    All Tools here, especially Goldy! spews:

    I do noy feel that the founding fathers drew a line and said this country is intended to be exclusively Christian (even though the most prominent signers were indeed believers in Christ) but they intended it to be a nation co-governed by man and diety. I do not however see seperation of church and state as a means to shield Agnostics and Athiests. There should be balance in government, but secular liberals use it to thwart recourse toward their political actions.

    I can understand and respect your belief, can the same be said of you toward mine? I really don’t think so.

    “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore his protection and favors.” – George Washington

    Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus” – Thomas Jefferson

    “The general principles upon which the fathers acheived independence were the general principles of Christianity… I will now avow that I believed and now believe that those principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existance and attributes of God” – John Adams

    “ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” – Benjamin Franklin (Constitutional Convention of 1787)

    “For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.” Alexander Hamilton [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]

    “This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.”
    —The Last Will and Testament of Patrick Henry

    ******AND AS A FINALLY!!!!******

    “ We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.” – James Madison

  2. 3

    All Tools here, And yet ever so many screws loose. spews:

    If you need more quotes destroying the house of cards that you call history, let me know I can get you plenty more and give you exerpts from Washington’s prayer journal too.

  3. 4

    Chuck spews:

    Nowhere is your right not to be offended guaranteed Goldy. There is no separation of church and state in our constitution or Bill Of Rights.

  4. 6

    spews:

    I do not however see seperation of church and state as a means to shield Agnostics and Athiests.

    Shield from what? Is that some kind of a threat? EVERYONE has the freedom to practice their religion in this country, even atheists and agnostics. Part of that means (among other things) knowing that there is no Christian bias in our justice system. And an important part of that is not allowing for Christian symbols in our halls of justice.

    Having the ten commandments displayed in a courtroom serves no purpose other than to attempt to convince people that our system of justice is based upon Christianity. It is not, it is based upon our Constitution. The Constitution does not mention God at all, and there’s a very good reason for that. Because our founding fathers, even though some were very religious themselves, knew the dangers of codifying religion into our nation’s legal structure.

    You can throw out all the quotes you want from our founding fathers and their own views on faith, but you’re just blowing hot air. The reality is that when they got together and laid the foundation for this country, they left their respective religions behind and gave us a document that was completely free from any religious influence and that allows each American to define their own spirituality. If you can’t figure out that this is an endorsement of separation of church and state, you’re a fool.

  5. 7

    windie spews:

    what thehim said.

    Unless the 10 commandments are our laws, they have no good reason to be in our courts

  6. 8

    Donnageddon spews:

    Don’t have time at the moment to debunk All Fools selective quoting to expound his myth of the US as an Xtian nation, and in any event we have completely denounced this lie several times before.

    But Goldy,”As a non-Christian, I find this constant and continued attempt to impose Christianity on public life insulting and offensive. ”

    Aren’t the ten commandments kind of a Jewish thing as well?

  7. 9

    prr spews:

    Donnageddon…

    No shit, It’s also a muslim thing.

    The reinventing history bullshit has got to go.

    What’s next on the liberal wack job agenda?

  8. 10

    Donnageddon spews:

    Well, prr, debunking the US as a Christian nation myth is on this liberal’s agenda.

  9. 11

    prr spews:

    I’ve always dismissed Michael Savage as a Wacko, but I think he may be right on his stance that ” Liberalism is a mental disorder.”

  10. 12

    spews:

    Prr, the ten commandments have become a symbol of Christianity in this country. Every religion essentially has the same set of basic rules (don’t kill people, don’t steal). But people aren’t putting up these monuments as a way to make sure that Muslims feel included. In fact, telling them that that’s what they’re doing might make them stop.

  11. 13

    spews:

    I’ve always dismissed Michael Savage as a Wacko, but I think he may be right on his stance that ” Liberalism is a mental disorder.”

    Coming from you, that couldn’t possibly carry any less weight.

  12. 14

    Goldy spews:

    Tools @2,

    I do not however see seperation of church and state as a means to shield Agnostics and Athiests.

    Yeah, well… gays and atheists are to the far right of the Republican party what Jews were to the Nazis. It’s comments like yours that prove the wisdom of the founding fathers in drafting an entirely secular Constitution.

    Indeed, if the Ten Commandments are the basis for our legal system, then it must be illegal to pray to gods other than the Judeo-Christian one, to take the Lord’s name in vain (God dammit), to fail to keep the Sabbath, to honor your mother and father, to commit adultery, or to covet your neighbor’s wife, servants, ox or ass? In fact, of the ten commandments only three are embodied in current law — thou shalt not kill, steal or bear false witness — and the third is only illegal in a court of law.

    So really, only three commandments should be displayed in court, huh?

    Donnageddon @8,

    It is the imposition, not the specific religion, that offends me.

  13. 15

    windie spews:

    I think Goldy’s oversight says more to the Far Christian Right’s hijacking of religious symbolism than to anything else.

    In other words, yes the Ten Commandments are Christain and Jewish AND muslim, but displaying them in courthouses seems to be a ‘fundamentalist’ thing.

  14. 17

    windie spews:

    damn, he said what I was saying to a much greater depth right above me. Oh well,

    Once again, WHAT HE SAID!

  15. 18

    prr spews:

    Can you guess the author of the following quote?

    The reason any conservative’s failing is always major news is that it allows liberals to engage in their very favorite taunt: Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy is the only sin that really inflames them. Inasmuch as liberals have no morals, they can sit back and criticize other people for failing to meet the standards that liberals simply renounce. It’s an intriguing strategy. By openly admitting to being philanderers, draft dodgers, liars, weasels and cowards, liberals avoid ever being hypocrites.”

  16. 19

    GeoCrackr spews:

    re: prr @9

    Ladies and gentlemen, the children have come back into the room. Now we all know that they’re undisciplined and ignorant, and have been brought up w/o manners, but being lured in by their turrets-like outbursts only re-inforces their attention-seeking behavior. Let’s lead by example, shall we?

    Back to the issue at hand: the founding fathers may have been religious to one degree or another (and god bless ‘em for it), but they also had grandfathers who had witnessed the beheading of Charles I by the contemporary version of Pat Robertson, and Papist James II fleeing to the protecting arms of Louis XIV because his Protestant army defected to William of Orange upon his landing. Consequently, these well-educated men determined that the church should not be involved in government just as government should not be involved in the church. That we don’t always live up to that ideal illustrates the undue influence the fanatics among us are able to muster.

  17. 20

    dj spews:

    Tool @ 2

    Those quotes are worthless for this issue. Most have nothing whatsoever to do with a role of Christianity in our government. And the one or two quotes that do are largely the type of religious fluff that politicians throw out along the lines of “God, Mom, country, and apple pie.”

    Chuck @ 4

    “There is no separation of church and state in our constitution or Bill Of Rights.”

    The term “separation of Church and State” was coined as a way to capture, in a few words, the intent of amendment 1 (and the special case given in Article VI, Section 3). The phrase is traced to Jefferson’s letter that is acknowledged as the seed of the first amendment. Jefferson says “… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”

    This “separation of church and state” is also evident in the original wording for the first amendment proposed by Madison, “The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.”

    The intent of the “religion” part of the First Amendment is to protect rights of individuals to believe and worship as they wish. By preventing the government from establishing a state religion or engaging in promotion of any particular religion (or “matters of conscience”), we protect individuals from coercion by the government.

  18. 21

    windie spews:

    prr: Can you say “Red Herring”? I sure can!

    how like a rightie to get off the subject at hand when losing and go on the attack (“Liberals are philanderers, draft dodgers, liars, weasels and cowards!!”)

    pretty contemptable don’tya think?

  19. 23

    windie spews:

    @22,

    Going on the attack on a different subject because you dont’ have a leg to stand on is just sad. If your attacks were even remotely relevant, there wouldn’t be a problem here

    (Waiting now for insane reasoning to link the 10 commandments to ‘liberals admit doing horrible things so they won’t be called hypocrites’)

  20. 24

    prr spews:

    I don’t need to link you freaks to anything.

    Why would the 10 commandments have any relevance to you?

  21. 25

    Gordon spews:

    The SCOTUS ruled that the two Kentucky counties acted “with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion” (in this case Christianity). It is the purpose of the action that makes the action unconstitutional.

    All Tools uses quotes by the founders of America with their references to God or Christianity as some kind of permission for our government to support a specific religion (Christianity). These quotes are not self evident as to the intent of the speaker and the purpose for which the speaker was making these comments. As illustration, consider the George Washington quote, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore his protection and favors.” If you place these words into the mouth of George Bush, or Bill Clinton, or Ariel Sharon, or Goldy, or Jerry Falwell, or James Dobson, or Rabbi Lapin, or even Hitler, does the meaning and intent of the words change with the speaker? I think the intent does change with the speaker, at least it does for me.

    The intent of the counties in Kentucky was judged to be more than a presentation of historical reference material and enough of a commitment to Christianity to make it a state religion. It is a tough call to judge intent but the counties were really pushing the issue which makes me suspicious of the intent. There are three versions of the ten commandments in the Bible. The counties did not have to chose the most Christian version and label it from the highly Christian, King James Version of the Bible.

    Only the elected officials of the two counties truly know, in their hearts, whether their intent was to present historical information or to push forward Christianity. If they were pushing Christianity, they have lied to the court and they broke one of the commandment. If they lied intentionally, they may have committed the unpardonable sin.

  22. 26

    windie spews:

    @24, sure they’re important to me. Now if only they were the basis of our laws, we could have them in our courthouses…

  23. 27

    Nelson spews:

    I’ve always been amused by the Christian right, who insist on putting the 10 Commandments everywhere — except in their churches! I may be wrong, but I don’t recall seeing a set of the 10 Commandment tablets in any Protestant or Catholic churches. They are ALWAYS on prominent display in every Jewish house of worship, but Jews have always been on the forefront of opposing their display on public grounds.

    Further, since the 10 Commandments, and the Torah (Old Testament) were given by God to Moses and the Israelites, if the Christian right was so adamant about them in their liturgy, why on earth would they use the New Testament as their predominant Bible?

    Just a couple of theological hypocrisies about the Christian Evangelical right wing ideologues. It just proves that “logical” is not a correct suffix for them in the word “theological!”

  24. 28

    windie spews:

    Nelson, I always figured it was ’cause the old testament laws were easier to follow than the new testament precepts~

  25. 29

    Nelson spews:

    @ 29: Actually, the Old Testament laws are much more difficult to follow. There actually are more than 600 commandments, mostly listed in the Book of Deuteronomy.

    But further on the total and complete hypocracy of the Religious Right wingnuts, the first THREE commandments of the 10 Commandments relate to God telling Moses and the Israelites that He is the one and only God and that there should not be any other Gods to be worshipped. Wouldn’t logic say that His first 3 Commandments totally reject the concept of Jesus Christ?

    Further, the 4th Commandment discusses keeping the Sabbath, which is the SEVENTH Day, or Saturday. Yet Christianity says it is really the first day of the week, or Sunday. Again, not logical based on the 10 Commandments. Commandments 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 are all the moral Commandments, and there isn’t any obvious conflict there.

    Thus, the Christian Right Wing should only demand tablets which contain the 6 moral Commandments, since they knowingly violate the first FOUR Commandments, just by the definition of their own religious beliefs.

  26. 30

    windie spews:

    clarification on 28:

    I meant, its easier on the intellectually lazy to follow set laws, no matter how archaic, than it is to follow a somewhat vague set of moral guidelines with fewer set strictures, especially when the guidlines interfere with obtaining obscene amounts of wealth.

    And nelson, most of your rant on the 10 commandments has been covered pretty well in depth by christian theologans in the past, don’t get onto something yuou don’t really understand, even if we *do* agree on general principal :)

  27. 32

    W. spews:

    The Tool says:
    If you need more quotes destroying the house of cards that you call history, let me know I can get you plenty more and give you exerpts from Washington’s prayer journal too

    George Washington’s Mythical Prayer Journal

    I noted in my last post on the Steve Williams lawsuit that I had contacted a Washington scholar to confirm that the “George Washington Prayer Journal” was indeed known to be fraudulent. That scholar is Frank Grizzard of the University Virginia, a senior associate editor of the George Washington Papers collection housed there. Here is his response:

    The so-called prayer journal is not in GW’s writing, although I’m not sure it’s actually a forgery. The manuscript dealer (Burk I think) who first sold it when it came to light in the 19th century printed a facsimile edition in which he admits that the Smithsonian rejected it as a non-GW document, but it did have Washington family provenance, so he said. Thus it apparently was a descendant’s. Johnson’s version is taken from Burk. The prayers are based on the English prayer book.

    http://www.stcynic.com/blog/ar.....shingt.php

  28. 33

    prr spews:

    Test @ 5

    Here’s a trick, take the test and say everyting anti-American you can think of.

    ie, if the test mentions Hitler, Communism, a Roman Catholic protesting something religious, etc…. make sure to pick the inflamatory answer.

    You too will be garunteed a passing grade.

    Using this philosophy I got 19 questions right.

    Gee, I guess the conservatives are right. All you have to do is hate and you CAN be a liberal TOO.

  29. 34

    Nelson spews:

    @ 30

    I’m fully aware of the Christian theologians “illogical logic” in trying to explain away the parts of the Ten Commandments that they knowingly violate.

    That’s isn’t my point. My point is the total hypocracy of the POLITICAL arm of the Religious Right wingnut fanatics in trying to foist the 10 Commandments on public buildings when they won’t even put it in their own churches and, by definition, violate the first 4 of the Commandments automatically.

    Why wouldn’t they simply call it the “Six Moral Commandments” that the public should follow? Keep all religion totally out of it and put forward the rules of ethics and morality that no one should — or would — object to. But no, they insist on the religious aspect strictly because they want to provoke divisiveness and controversy. That’s all they really care about.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with religion or morality, and everything to do with politics.

  30. 35

    Donnageddon spews:

    prr @ 33

    I find it asonishing that you find any “hate” in that quiz? What exactly are you referring too?

  31. 37

    windie spews:

    @34

    I totally agree with your last point nelson, but lets not muddy it with irrelevant rhetoric.

    The last thing we want is to give the righties ammunition where they can all say ‘they just hate christianity!’

  32. 39

    prr spews:

    BTW,

    MichaleJjackson wanted to say thank you for all you have done for him….

    His victims have failed to comment.

    Mon Jun 27, 2:49 PM ET

    Michael Jackson has been heard from, but still not seen.

    Almost two weeks to the day since he was acquitted of child molestation and other charges, the pop star issued his first post-trial comment Sunday.

    Titled “A Message for My Fans,” the brief missive on the official Jackson Website MJJSource.com thanks the faithful who, in a presumed methaphorical sense, “held me, dried my tears and carried me through.”

    “Your love, support and loyalty made it all possible,” the statement says. “You were there when I really needed you. I will never forget you.”

    “I will treasure your devotion and support forever. You are my inspiration. Love, Michael Jackson.”

    The note gives no hint as to Jackson’s plans or whereabouts. The singer, who was in and out of the hospital as the trial entered its final days, has not been seen in public since exiting the Santa Maria, California, courthouse a vindicated, but wan man on June 13. A family-sponsored victory party for fans the following weekend made due with Jackson’s mother Katherine and brother Tito.

  33. 40

    windie spews:

    I love people like prr…

    100% you can control them by telling them what not to do.

    For some reason, they’re absolutely sure to do it :)

  34. 41

    prr spews:

    Windie…

    Shouldn’t you be out burning down buildings and blowing up car lots, as a form of protest that a pigeon was run over?

  35. 42

    David spews:

    Screwy tools @ 2: Thinks our country was founded by Christians, intending “a nation co-governed by man and diety” (sic), i.e. Jesus Christ.

    WRONG. And we’ve had this discussion before, so I’m just going to go back and plagiarize from our posts on May 28. I apologize for the length of this post, but I did want to be comprehensive.

    America was not founded as a Christian nation. It is not a “Christian nation” now, and never has been, except in the sense that most Americans are also Christians. America is a nation of religious freedom and religious pluralism, not religious government.

    Furthermore, our Founding Fathers were not Christian; they were not at all like today’s Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christians. They were Deists. Spiritual, certainly (most evident in the Declaration of Independence), but not Christian.

    Here’s what Jefferson said about Christianity:

    I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.

    also this:

    The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

    And Thomas Paine:

    I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible). . . . The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty.

    also this:

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of . . . Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.

    and this:

    It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.

    And James Madison:

    Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.

    also this:

    Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

    And Ethan Allen:

    I am denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian.

    John Adams, in 1797, signed the Treaty of Tripoli, which was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate. Article XI states:

    the Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.

    And then there was George Washington: a religious man, but not so Christian. Yes, he attended Protestant Episcopal Church services with his wife, but unlike her he never took communion. The Reverend there made a remark in one sermon essentially reprimanding Washington for not celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and after that Washington stopped coming to church at all on sacramental Sundays. Asked later about his religious views, the Reverend—the reverend at the church Washington attended with his wife—replied “Sir, Washington was a Deist.” (not a Christian.) Washinton did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance at his deathbed, and uttered no words of a religious nature there. Even though he probably made some crowd-pleasing public pronouncements, he was not about making this country a Christian nation.

    George Washington was totally private about his religion. All the “evidence” that Washington was Christian is inferences made by other people who wanted to believe he was Christian. (Not very convincing.) Here is a good, comprehensive analysis of whether Washington was a Christian. He was a private man, and made few references in his correspondence and other writings to Christianity (note: thousands of letters, not one containing the name Jesus Christ). He didn’t explicitly profess to be either a Christian or an unbeliever. However, according to the people who knew him and his religious beliefs best, it appears he wasn’t a Christian. He was certainly not a fundamentalist Christian in any way—if anything other than a Deist, he was a sometime Episcopalian, and not even that according to the rector of his church. (Why don’t you believe the reverend? DO YOU HATE EPISCOPALIANS? OR ALL CLERGY? :) )

    N.B.: the Treaty of Tripoli (the one that said the U.S. is NOT a Christian nation) was negotiated and written under Washington’s administration. (It was signed by President Adams shortly after he took office). That doesn’t mesh with the idea that Washington was a Christian President interested in starting a Christian nation. Because he wasn’t.

    Deism posits that God made the world and left, so it’s up to us to act morally and make the world a better place. Wow, that’s pretty close to secular humanism even (gasp!).

    The founding fathers were not Christians. The historical reality of this great country, the country I love, is that it was not founded on a Christian moral framework; it was founded on a Deistic moral framework (akin to secular humanism combined with belief in a God not involved in our affairs). Screwy tools has it precisely backward. You should be glad this country, with its non-Christian underpinnings, has allowed your religion to thrive so well. By the same token, this nation has not been moving from “Christian roots” toward secular humanism; if anything, the opposite is occurring as Christian zealots are trying to capture the religiously-neutral government that our Deist founding fathers set up.

    The roots of this Nation are not Christian. Our Nation was not founded on Christian beliefs.

    America is a nation of religious freedom and religious pluralism, not religious government. And it should stay that way.

  36. 43

    Donnageddon spews:

    prr @ 39

    This gets my vote for the most obvious attempt to change the topic by a right wing nut losing an argument.

  37. 45

    windie spews:

    its cute, he’s trying to be all ‘contrary’ now.

    You need to go back to internet school, prr, you’re way out of your league.

    By the way, lest we forget… Still nothing of substance by prr actually about the 10 commandments case.

  38. 46

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    windie @ 40:

    prr is just having a bad hair day, and he needs someone to blame. He has decided that all misery in life is based on an evil cabal of elitist liberals. This is the wellspring of his rants on quizzes, the MJ ruling, a specious quote (a conservative accusing liberals of being unbelivers and without morals. Who would have thunk it?), etc.

    I understand the feeling. When I’m having a bad day, I blame space aliens. Alas, space aliens do not vote, they have little influence in the media outside the Washington Times, they don’t stand for office, and the proof that they actually exist is pretty thin. Thus, very few space aliens respond to my rants that they are to blame with what’s wrong with my life.

  39. 47

    prr spews:

    Virtually anyone can become a liberal. Here are the prerequisites:

    1. You must believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

    2. You must believe the same teacher who cannot teach 4th graders to read is somehow qualified to teach them about sex.

    3. You must believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear weapons in the hands of Chinese Communists.

    4. You must believe there was no art before Federal funding.

    5. You must believe global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth’s climate, and more affected by SUVs.

    6. You must believe gender roles are artificial, but homosexuality is natural.

    7. You must be against capital punishment, but in favor of abortion on demand.

    8. You must believe business creates oppression and the government ceates prosperity.

    9. You must believe self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

    10. You must believe the military, not politicians, start wars where military personnel, not politicians, die.

    11. You must believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts ofthe Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

    12. You must believe taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

    13. You must believe standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren’t.

    14. You must believe Hillary Clinton is a lady.

    15. You must believe the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere
    it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge.

    16. You must believe homosexual parades are Constitutionally protected, but religious displays are illegal.

  40. 49

    Another TJ spews:

    When I’m having a bad day, I blame space aliens.

    For the love of Pete, we’ve been over this before: INVISIBLE GNOMES! Get it right, gnomedammit!

    Oh, and if this blog had a “recommend” feature, I’d wear it out on Comment by David— 6/27/05 @ 1:51 pm.

  41. 50

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    windie @ 47:

    You’re just saying that because the space aliens told you to. Admit it!

    On a more serious note…

    Yes, yes. The Founding Fathers were largely faithful men. Arguing that because they were largely faithful to go on and say they would have wanted the government of the United States to be framed according to very conservative Protestant ideals and frozen in such a state permanently is a tremendous reach.

    Ah well. Church and State cases come up before the Supreme Court. The supreme Court rules very consistiently that a separation between Church and State exists. Every few years, another case comes up, and the Religious Right loses again.

    prr, tools, et. al. None of you are Chicago Cubs fans are you?

  42. 51

    John spews:

    Nice smackdown of “Winger Tool” and prr guys. Keep up holding up the light to the darkness of ignorance!

  43. 52

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    Another TJ @ 48:

    Again with the gnomes! Jeez, I pray to the Great Turtle upon whose back we all sit that you never get a job in our school system, sir. Between you and Madonna espousing Gnomistism to everyone within earshot, it’s no wonder our Republic is falling apart.

    I try to get my daughters to join me in prayers to the Great Turtle and they give me this weird look. They said they saw something about a Solar System, condensation of hydrogen into stars, and something about a “Big Bang” over on PBS the other day. “Like banging turtle shells together? Heresy!” I shouted.

    Another TJ, the culture war keeps going because freaks like you who believe in invisible gnomes keep flaunting your “alternative lifestyles” and beliefs in the faces of decent, pious turtle-worshippers like myself all the time. If there’s a backlash against Gnomistism in the next few years, you have only yourselves to blame.

  44. 53

    Another TJ spews:

    Again with the gnomes! Jeez, I pray to the Great Turtle upon whose back we all sit that you never get a job in our school system, sir.

    I’ll have you know that my students are well versed in the proper Gnomenclature.

    Another TJ, the culture war keeps going because freaks like you who believe in invisible gnomes keep flaunting your “alternative lifestyles” and beliefs in the faces of decent, pious turtle-worshippers like myself all the time. If there’s a backlash against Gnomistism in the next few years, you have only yourselves to blame.

    If the Gnomes will it, it shall be so.

  45. 55

    Donnageddon spews:

    JSA and Another TJ, you both are heathens and will surely pay for your lack of piety!

    Just as the ancient Greeks had science correct they also had God(s) correct. And I will be damned if I will allow Turtle and Gnome worshippers sully our great nation! We need to go back to the good old days and resurrect Temples and Statues to the Real Gods: Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Dionysus and the rest of the gang!

    Gimme that Old Time Religion, Gimme that old time religion….

  46. 56

    Another TJ spews:

    JSA and Another TJ, you both are heathens and will surely pay for your lack of piety!

    Well, duuuuuhhhh.

    :-)

  47. 57

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    Don, Windie, and Another TJ, I’d get the feeling that you are making fun of me and my personal relationship with The Turtle.

    Just because you guys read widely and reject the dominance of the Great Terrapin doesn’t mean that you have truth or salvation managed. We all pass into the great beyond, and then the wheat is separated from the chaff. Are you right with the Great Turtle, or not?

    Donnagedon, I’m singling you out particularly for your adherence to heathen beliefs. If you bother reading the Book of Testudinata, you would know that we are no longer required to follow the strictures of those older Pagan dieties.

  48. 58

    Another TJ spews:

    Just because you guys read widely and reject the dominance of the Great Terrapin doesn’t mean that you have truth or salvation managed. We all pass into the great beyond, and then the wheat is separated from the chaff. Are you right with the Great Turtle, or not?

    The Gnomes have given me permission to turn turtle just before I die. The Gnomes are great and benevolent beings.

  49. 59

    Donnageddon spews:

    JSA, you tempt my patience for FOOLS!

    The Book of Testudinata! PAH! Apocryphal at best, Likely Mere Herasy, and DAMNED LIES at worst!

    You turtle worshippers have no place in modern America! Zeus will stike you dead by a powerful bolt from the sky!

  50. 60

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    Donnageddon @ 59:

    You praise one of our holy books as heresy and damn lies? Coming from a Zeus-worshipper like yourself, I should take that as high praise!

    (you guys realize that there was a flame war going on here until just a while ago? I suspect it’s not going to survive this bout of silliness).

  51. 61

    dj spews:

    JSA, Donnageddon, and Another TJ,

    You are all being very silly, fighting over your beliefs. It is all supernatural flim flam. But, on a serious note, I believe we should consider teaching Terripin Foundations . . . oops. . . I mean Intelligent Support as an alternative scientific theory in the K-12 curriculum.

  52. 62

    Donnageddon spews:

    I imagine the Trolls are taking notes on our blasphemous behaviour to throw in our face like a mighty imaginary hand grenade.

    You are Agnostics and Athiests!!

    Yeah, so what? I just like living in a reality based world.

    *This is not to say that all, or even most liberals are agnsotic/atheist. Just the enightened ones.

  53. 63

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    dj @ 61:

    I’m with you.

    But I’ll warn you, even if you don’t mention Terrapin Foundations and talk merely about the more judgement-free Intelligent Support, Another TJ and his fellow Gnomstics just go completely insane. You’d think the entire idea that our Earth might, possibly not be free-floating and could, potentially sit on the back of some non-specific reptillian figure, or even a metaphor for a reptillian figure is just anethema to them. Gnomstics always say they’re for tolerance and ecumenalism, until you get into their shibboleths.

  54. 64

    Another TJ spews:

    Hey, I’ve read the Terrapin Foundations. I find it a very interesting work. I especially like The Books of Marshland, with their message of loving the egg-layer, but not the egg – you know, love, tolerance and all that crap. I just don’t want you exposing innocent and impressionable children to reptilian creation myths on the public dime. How am I out of line here?

    I think jsa on beacon hill would not be so dismissive of my state of enlightenment if she had been visited by a representative of the Gnomes, as I have. Fortunately, she can read about my epiphany in my forthcoming book, Gnome-man is an Island.

  55. 65

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    If any of our winger friends are still reading this thread, we want you to know, we’re not laughing at you we’re…

    uh. Nope. We’re laughing at you. That’s pretty much it.

  56. 66

    fire_one spews:

    so, I guess, bottom line, the good news is: We can still display the 10 commandments in government buildings….. big deal… does not compare to their recent decision GUTTING property rights in this country…

  57. 67

    prr spews:

    So, I’ve been smacked down apparently.

    By a bunch of flag burning, god hating, enemy loving pieces of shit, cowards.

    Ya, I can live that.

    Could be worse, I could agree with you and then I’d be stuck living with that mess.

  58. 69

    madseizon@yahoo.com spews:

    Re-create history if it will ease your conscience, hide it all in the in your closet, say there is no sun in the sky if it makes you happy. It will become clear when you are dead and do indeed meet your maker as well as our founding fathers, they will shake their head at your arrogance and complete stupidity.

    But eat drink and be merry for tommorow you’ll die, arrogant, narcicistic, and with your head fully touching your colon in attempt to hide from the truth.

  59. 71

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    prr, you keep shop up on Capitol Hill, and you still refer to us as, um, what did you say…

    By a bunch of flag burning, god hating, enemy loving pieces of shit, cowards.

    Ah, yes. Very eloquent, well put.

    Either you are trolling, sir, or you are a pathetic grumpy old man. Every now and then, you make sense, so I’ll bet on the former. Try harder on the trolls.

    Oh yeah. Try writing your own material. We’ve all read versions of the “Things you have to believe to be a liberal” chain letter.

  60. 73

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    I am somewhat right of center and I liked the humor. Keeping in the Religious vein for humor, I also liked the Purple TellyTubbie, only because Jerry Falwell didn’t as I remember. No I am not a fan of JF. Personally, I liked Jimmy Swaggart. Donnageddon (IT), if you have to scratch the itch, visit a professional. She’ll treat you right. Or how about Jim Baker: “Give me your money. Really, give me your money, I am building a retirement home”. Remember the Tammy Fay tee shirts? Makeup by TFB. Have any of you taken this quiz? Search for the Political Quiz Show. And no I’m not telling my score!

    JSA: I was waiting for you to spring: w w w . anotherperspective . org on me! He rants about us all the time, and some of it is funny. add the following without the spaces: / advoc453. h t m l.

    When you guys and gals decide to go serious again, I have some replies to air.

  61. 76

    windie spews:

    poor prr, he’s just mad we didn’t fall for his trolling, then slapped him around some…

    You should sue for assault after the beating we gave you!

  62. 77

    Jimmynap spews:

    Sure wish you folks would mellow out. It is hard to go through discussions with all the flaming and freaking out. Please grow up a bit… please! As for David @ 42, I think this link sums up what you are saying in a more meaningful fashion.

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org.....r_ncn.html

    To say this is not a christian nation is only in part true. I think we could all agree (at least most of us) that religion as defined by spirituality and not establishment is deeply rooted in our past. However, we must all agree that the Establishment Clause was not meant to protect religion from government, but the other way around.
    cheers

  63. 78

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    We are partly a Christian nation, partly a Jewish nation, partly a Mormon nation, partly a Muslim nation, partly a Buddhist nation, partly a Confucious nation, partly a Shinto nation … we are a nation of religious freedom. That’s what brought many of our ancestors here in the first place.

    As for flaming and freaking out, talk to Ann Coulter about that, then report back to us with the results.

  64. 79

    dj spews:

    Jimmynap @ 77

    “we must all agree that the Establishment Clause was not meant to protect religion from government, but the other way around.”

    I don’t agree with either statement.

    The Establishment clause protects the rights of individuals. Specifically, their right to practice whatever religion they want, and protect them from coercion by a state religion.

  65. 80

    Jimmynap spews:

    dj @ 79

    I agree with that and perhaps I should have noted the rights of individuals. That is true without a doubt. But after all, a government of the people for the people is just the protection you speak of. Details details…. :)

    Who is Ann Coulter? Never heard of her. Should she have some bearing on my political view???

    cheers

  66. 84

    spews:

    78
    Your right… though the nation started by Christians fleeing religious persecution from Europe. You were taught that in the public school you went to right? Wait maybe not… that would violate separation of church and state.

  67. 85

    Elvis is the King County spews:

    TEN COMMANDMENTS

    The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse! You cannot post “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery” and “Thou Shall Not Lie” in a building full of lawyers,judges and politicians! It creates a hostile work environment!