Supreme Court Ruling on Restraining Order & Ten Commandments

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AuthorTopic: Supreme Court Ruling on Restraining Order & Ten Commandments
Master
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Yes, I see the whole point in this. Since the United States guarantees freedom of religion, religious materials don't need to be displayed in federal building because of the showing of religious partiality. It really makes since if you're not a Christian.

But then again, those who are Christians have beliefs that include the willingness to spead and display their religion around the world, and the Ten Commandments is one way to do it. It's not that because the Commandments are displayed in a courtroom, everyone there has to follow them. But really, many of the Commandments are what the Court makes its decisions based on, but I'm not really going to go into that.

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Originally written by A punchline in the gut:

quote:
Originally written by ben III:

Well, some people are so eager to take all religion out of government, and it's just not good. They declare to be promoting freedom of religion, yet they press to prevent Christians from displaying a part of their religion. Freedom of religion does not mean removal of religion. Especially since Christianity in the dominant religion in the United States.
Did you know that federal employees are banned from displaying partisan tendencies in the workplace to the point where wearing pins supporting one party's candidate is grounds for disciplinary action and possibly termination? I feel much the same way about religion. What you believe is your own business, but where the state is represented, religion must not be present and must not appear to be present.


Okay, seeing as not everyone in the United States is Christian, I'll have to agree with you there because by agruing this from a viewpoint of a Christian, that is partiality in itself.

So. I was just giving my honest opinions there, which is what the topic asked for anyway. Use them or leave them.

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As soon as we take God out of the country, that'll be our downfall. It's happened every time. And it's actually a good sign that the endtimes are near.
How many times has it happened? This is not a rhetorical question. I want to see examples. Keep in mind that many founding fathers were deists, not Christians. That didn't seem to damn the birth of the United States.


I'd love to refer to the Bible here, but that is a "religious text," so if you want me to go into that, speak up.

As for the founding fathers part, many people have tried to imply that they were much more secular and non-religious than they really were. As a counter-argument here, I'm going to say that many of the founding fathers were Christians, but because of the religious freedom in the United States and opposition by other religious and anti-religious groups, this fact was made much less important than the values of the country itself.

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[b]Not only that, but the Ten Commandments are part of our cultural history. The United States has always embraced Christianity as a religion while still allowing other religions to exist freely. Until now.


Argumentum ad antiquitatem is a logical fallacy, my friend. Tradition does not make right. Slavery has also been part of our cultural history, as have oppression of immigrants and the betrayal and murder of Native Americans. I don't think we have a sterling record in the cultural department.[/b]

I suppose this goes back to whether or not the founding fathers were Christians and could be argued either way based on how that question is interpreted, so I won't go into a long unnecessary rant here.

[Edit: The "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is a Cold War addition to show how different we were from the godless commies, and swearing with "so help me God" is not in the Constitution. In fact, historically several people, notably Quakers, have been permitted to refrain from swearing an oath at all. An "affirmation" that one will uphold one's duties in office is all that is mandated. So if anything, religion and God are metastasizing in American society.]

Godless commies? So you're saying that we were making a statement that we were "better than them" by using a statement that we were more religious? I say, a few people must have seen the light. :P

—Alorael, who can think of many documents far more important to the culture of American law than the Ten Commandments. The Bill of Rights, for one. Maybe then people would notice that pesky First Amendment.

And accordingly so. The Bill of Rights has been cited many more times in certain cases than the Ten Commandments.

But really, why can't we put these things to a vote? If the majority of the American people don't care if the Ten Commandments is displayed in our federal buildings, well, then, majority rules. Part of democracy.


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Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
Shaper
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quote:
But then again, those who are Christians have beliefs that include the willingness to spead and display their religion around the world, and the Ten Commandments is one way to do it. It's not that because the Commandments are displayed in a courtroom, everyone there has to follow them. But really, many of the Commandments are what the Court makes its decisions based on, but I'm not really going to go into that.
Ben, you seem to be missing the point that some people may find the displaying of any religion's text in a government building offensive; I would find it offensive.

It is irrelevant that our basic laws are similar to the Ten Commandments; that is not justification for displaying them. If your religion tells you to spread it's teachings though out the world, do so, but keep it out of government buildings and public schools.

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Nena
Posts: 2032 | Registered: Wednesday, January 26 2005 08:00
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I believe in the Ten Commandments, but I don't believe in forcing anyone else to. Court decisions based on the Ten Commandments, or the Five Pillars, or the Eightfold Path, or whatever, are illegitimate in a body of law which is constitutionally bound to be secular.

The authority of the state is not drawn from God, and it's the province of God to enforce the Ten Commandments. Posting them on a public courthouse and acting as if it's the province of the state to police and enforce them is as absurd as expecting God to try a murder case, or releasing dangerous serial killers into society under the understanding that God will deal with them.

The more thought you give to the idea of posting the Ten Commandments on a courthouse, or using them as a principle of civil government, the more blasphemous the notion sounds. As a religious man, I mean.

And as a secular man - yes, I happen to be both - I find the idea of ruling by the Ten Commandments or any Biblical mentality as offensive and foreign as I would find the idea of Shari'a. Just because any number of the Founding Fathers were 'Christian' means nothing (by the way, they were almost exclusively Deist, a school of thought that would today be considered 'soft agnosticism' and in any event rebuked the divine authority of the Bible or its teachings), no more than that they were slave-holders or that they were male-chauvinists meant anything. They've been dead for centuries and all of their beliefs that matter to us is that part of their legal code we still use; and that part of their legal code we still use proscribes state religion.

America must retain its secular roots and must move into the twenty-first century with freedom of conscience securely preserved. That's not only my opinion, but that's the opinion of our civil law and government. You want to change it? Propose an Amendment and see how far it goes.

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Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
Master
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But it is still an opinion...

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Shaper
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I can see the historical aspect. If a religious object has been in a court or school for 100's of years then it might as well stay. New monuments and such would not be appropriate though.

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Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
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You're right, Ben. I won't accept using the Bible as an example of nations falling because they lost faith in God, but in this case it isn't simply because I don't find the Bible authoritative. You can't justify the need for the Bible by citing the Bible; that's circular. I know it's similar, but it's a slight difference in why I reject it. In case you were wondering...

The fallacy of tradition has nothing to do with the founding fathers. I don't deny that the Ten Commandments are part of our cultural history; they are. I deny that that gives them a special claim to relevance now. If you want to dig back farther, you could make a case for trial by combat being part of our cultural history. Neither one is valid on the merit of history.

I know that you believe that being more religious (at least as a Christian of the proper denomination) makes you a better person, but I still find statements to that effect repugnant. Call it a knee-jerk reaction to the many repulsive people who have proclaimed that it's all for Jesus (or Allah, or Adonai, or whatever).

quote:
[b]But really, why can't we put these things to a vote? If the majority of the American people don't care if the Ten Commandments is displayed in our federal buildings, well, then, majority rules. Part of democracy.
[/b]

Because that First Ammendment was written expressly to protect minorities! Why not just repeal the Bill of Rights altogether? If you're not with the majority, you don't deserve rights.

—Alorael, who finds the Ten Commandments especially offensive in a judiciary building because half of the commandments have absolutely no application in a secular st ate. Note how many are related only to God and His orders, not human interaction.
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It'd be pretty awesome to have a sculpture depicting a scene of trial by combat in a judiciary building, though. Maybe right outside the courtroom, just to intimidate defendants.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Master
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Well, just being religious has nothing to do with making you a good person. Following the Commandments themselves is worth a lot more. Just to tell ya'.

Note, however, that the last 6 commandments are actually a pretty good outline of how people should live their lives anyway, Christian or not, which I also think is pretty cool.

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quote:
But really, why can't we put these things to a vote? If the majority of the American people don't care if the Ten Commandments is displayed in our federal buildings, well, then, majority rules. Part of democracy.
The ancient Athenian democracy worked this way. The result was that unpopular people tended to be exiled or killed.
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Guardian
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If I understand you right, Ben, you feel that your version of the faith is the one true path to follow, the 'One Truth', so to speak. Of course, if you are in possession of the 'One Truth', distinguishing between state and religion no longer makes sense. Why not just follow the path?

Problem is that that gives the church the legislative power with the state degenerating into the churches' executive branch. Is that what you would like to happen?

[ Tuesday, June 28, 2005 16:16: Message edited by: ef ]

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Polaris
Posts: 1828 | Registered: Saturday, January 11 2003 08:00
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Trial by combat is booooring. There's enough dynasticism in American politics that you ought to be working to bring back blood feud instead. The level of interest congress would generate is to my mind pretty proportional to the number of shivvings that occur within its corridors to avenge family honour. You know it makes sense.

Ben, there's a reason that the last six commandments would be considered good guidelines to live your life by by most people. It's because any society that encourages the breakdown of family bonds, theft, murder and general unfriendliness (though you might not think so in the obvious sense, adultery falls under this heading from a certain point of view) within the community is going to have serious difficulties raising the next generation before they've all slit each others' throats. It shouldn't take divine intervention for humans to work out that an orgy of pointless killing is a bad idea.

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Master
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quote:
Originally written by ef:

If I understand you right, Ben, you feel that your version of the faith is the one true path to follow, the 'One Truth', so to speak. Of course, if you are in possession of the 'One Truth', distinguishing between state and religion no longer makes sense. Why not just follow the path?

Problem is that that gives the church the legislative power with the state degenerating into the churches' executive branch. Is that what you would like to happen?

Ideally, that's what it should be. But as long as people continue to disagree about religion, it will not be. And it will be a while before everyone agrees on religion - well, it might not ever happen - so for now people will continue to press against religion in government. So I suppose that's how it has to be.

Note that the last 6 Commandments are guidelines for living a good and righteous life, and people do just use common sense to follow them - for the most part anyway. But the first 4 are the kicker; they are the most important. But they're also the most "religious", so take it however you want.

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quote:
Originally written by ben III:

Ideally, that's what it should be. But as long as people continue to disagree about religion, it will not be. And it will be a while before everyone agrees on religion - well, it might not ever happen - so for now people will continue to press against religion in government. So I suppose that's how it has to be.
One world order, no unique thought, eh?

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Nena
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Master
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Kinda far-fetched, isn't it?

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quote:
Originally written by ben III:

Kinda far-fetched, isn't it?
Had the same thought, actually. What's the difference the ideal society you appear to describe has toward Dolphin's idea?

[ Wednesday, June 29, 2005 09:06: Message edited by: Vote Arancaytar ]

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Nuke and Pave
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All ideal societies look good on paper, but get more and more scary the closer you get to implementing them in reality. That's the basic problem with communism and other utopias.

This would be a perfect time for another EVOL Zeviz speech, but you've heard plenty of them by now.

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If there were a price for best campaigner, you'd get it. Absolutely yes. :)

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Polaris
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Give fundamentalist Christianity credit/blame where it's due, though. Most proponents of it don't want (and certainly don't believe it's possible) to have a world where everybody worships their particular brand of deity. They're just waiting for evidence to emerge as to whether the Apocalypse of John is a prophetic book or merely one of the most cogent arguments against abuse of hallucinogens ever, so that they can go off to heaven whilst the world spends seven years going to hell. If nothing else, it's no less credible than Khrushchev's prediction that the USSR would have achieved communism by 1980.

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quote:
Originally written by Unpleasantness for its Own Sake:

... If nothing else, it's no less credible than Khrushchev's prediction that the USSR would have achieved communism by 1980.
And we would have, if you evil imperialists didn't keep sending in your spies to sabotage our progress. :P

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Agent
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I remember reading an online news report about the last few decisions the US Supreme Court made, and I thought they did so correctly. Unfortunately for the other rulings, the Ten Commandment one seemed to be the most popular and important.

The Kentucky copy was inside a court building if I remember that right, so the Supreme Court deemed that unacceptable. But the monument outside the Texas court house was just another monument. There are plenty of religiously orientated structures in public view and people do not want them torn down. The monument would be a little less controversial if only it were a little further away from the court house, though. This association between justice and religion is a little too aggravating for certain people, I suppose.

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Tangentially, I'll put money on Roe v. Wade being challenged within months of Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement.

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No matter who Bush picks, there will still be five justices on the court who would vote to uphold Roe.
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