The Ten Commandments at the Courthouse

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by David Holmes, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    Rather than talk about the value the religion, it might be more interesting to talk about the current case before the Supreme Court.

    Should they put the beat-down on the judges who posted the ten-commandments in their courthouses?

    Should the prominent Decaloge display in Texas be torn down?

    You can guess what the New York Times Op-Ed piece (registration required) has to say.

    But consider this: The 1st amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." AFAIK, no one is making a law mandating that "I am the one true god". This is simply a display. Would banning a display be prohibiting free speech?
  2. o mykiss Active Member

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    capmblade, while the words of the 1st amendment may seem to be pretty straightforward, the jurisprudence on the establishment clause is a bit more nuanced than whether someone working for the government is holding a knife to a citizen's throat and telling them to adhere to one particular belief system. I couldn't predict the outcome of this case, but I would not be surprised if the S.Ct. finds that government displays of the 10 commandments do not violate the 1st amendment. After all, Christmas as a government holiday has been challenged under the establishment clause and survived. And by the way, holding that a particular practice by a government agency violates the establishment clause in no way means that someone's first amendment rights are being violated. The establishment clause proscribes government behavior, but the government itself has no free exercise rights - only we as citizens do.
  3. BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
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    Precisely, o mykiss, but here is my read.

    Naturally the government cannot practise a religion and I don't think anyone is accusing them of doing so. The issue is that the government is displaying the Christian/Jewish commandments using public property and monies to do so. This requires the expenditure of taxes and I for one don't want my money heading off in that direction. Religion is for Sunday or Saturday or Friday night but it doesn't have much place in public venues which are supported by all the people, Christian and non-Christian alike.

    Bob the Thing is rather petty and I don't care really. But the principle is very big and I care intensely. :ray1:
  4. jessejames Flyslinger

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    I believe that the church and state should be separated which may come as a surprise to some of you. I wont go into the reasons here.
    The problem that face the S/C is that the history of God in government is all around us. God on money. Prayer at the senate and house openings. God, religious symbols, even a statue (bas relief actually) carved in the mural in the Supreme court building itself. The court in the past has determined that these "symbols" don't constitute the formation/practice/promotion of religion in themselves.
    The Texas case is interesting because they are saying it (the 10 commandments) is just one part of an historical exhibit.
    Should be interesting.
    jesse clark
  5. dmoocher Member

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    Olympia, Wa.
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    Bob...
    I heard on the radio that the US House or Rep. chaplain who opens each session with a prayer is making a good 6 figure salary...that's a good chunk of our money

    Jesse...you are correct but that doesn't make it right.

    "E Plurabus Unum" was the national phrase up until the "McCarthy" era in the 1950's when "Under God" was added to the pledge of allegiance and "In God we Trust" was added to the money. It coincided precisely with the "Red Scare" a.k.a how the solviet athiests would destroy all non christians...Billy Graham rose to power at this time telling us we would be "Nuked" if we didn't embrace Jesus...Bob probably remembers this...

    1954 was the beginining of the big christian push in the U.S., not 1776. Jesus is nowhere in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independance, or the Bill of Rights.

    Frankly, I don't care if the ten commandments are posted (AS LONG AS BOB AND I ARE NOT PAYING FOR IT) as I wouldn't care if a Bhudda sat on the Whitehouse lawn. Most folks (Christians included) only follow 6 or 7 of them anyway.
  6. Craig M Almost Senior Member

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    It is my understanding that the judge that placed the ten commandments at the courthouse did so with his own money not the publics.
  7. BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Craig M;

    You are a little nit-picky here and missing the point. A publicly funded judge
    used a public building to display his religious beliefs in clear violation of the separation of church and state. Remember that while you have freedom of religion (I'm all for this), I have freedom from religion (something I am not so sure you approve of).

    dmoocher.

    Yes, I remember the McCarthy terrorism well. We lost many civil liberties as a result of that hate monger and I see it all coming back again.
    This pink state-blue state thing is not good. I don't know what to do but I am happy that I can still express some criticism of the Christian movement without a fatwah being placed on my life. I am not sure, though,how much longer such liberty will endure.

    We gotta wet a line one of these days my boy: your writing and intelligence are refreshing on this site and don't worry about making enemies you haven't met. I don't. I don't want to meet them. But I've got to teach you to use a more sophisticated bobber. You see, that one in your avatar is meant for, well, er, uh, um, for CATFISH!; now the polyindicator that I am going to give you will add so much more class to your fishing regalia that even those who don't like your ideas will probably cozy up to you.

    Bob, the Just trying to keep everyone cleaned up nicely. :thumb:
  8. dmoocher Member

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    A mess of fried catfish, tater tots and coleslaw...life doesn't get any better!
  9. jessejames Flyslinger

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    Bob: your comment to Craig that these monuments are a clear violation of the separation of church and state must not be a fact or the Supreme Court wouldn't be hearing two more cases in this session.
    The high court is meeting to determine the nations position on this issue.
    While we may our personal opinions about the issue the law has yet to be decided. It's the American way.
    I believe freedom of religion and freedom from religion can co exist in the same arena. When I witness something in the public square that offends me I refuse to be involved in it or avert my eyes and mind from it. I don't demand it removal.
    jesse clark
  10. Roper Idiot Savant

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    Glenraven Ranch
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    "Article. VII.
    The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
    done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names, ..."

    It seems the drafters of the Constitution had some belief in the Lord...hmmm, how can we screw with this...?

    So no one says you have to follow the commandments, they are not law, you won't get arrested, so what are you afraid of? If there is no God, there's no consequence, so what does it matter...?
  11. Roper Idiot Savant

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    Baked beans, maybe... :confused:
  12. Kalm Member

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    Cheney, The Dry Side
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    Assuming all the supreme court justices as christian, shouldn't they recuse themselves from this case? :rofl:
  13. Kalm Member

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    Cheney, The Dry Side
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    [/QUOTE]

    If I'm a non christian and the litigation has to do with the topic of religion, I might be skeptical about the fairness of such a court. If a kid murders his abusive father, he might have legitimate concerns when he reads 'honor thy mother and father...' etc.

    If a court, judge, or state's interpretation of the law is not influenced by christianity then yes, what does it matter? why should the commandments be there?
  14. jessejames Flyslinger

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    Kalm:
    In the Texas case they are contending it is just a part of other historical displays.
    You better be careful what you say here I found my smiter. :rofl: :rofl:
    jesse careful
  15. dmoocher Member

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    Olympia, Wa.
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    Roper...
    You are absolutely correct on both accounts...

    Also...From the Declaration of Independance
    Natures God...not the God of scripture...they were Deists.

    Deists found evidence of God by looking at the world around them, not from a book written my men. The old saying "know the artist by examining the art", not someone elses interpretation of the art.

    ...and lots of bacon, brown sugar and just a touch of chili powder
  16. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
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    "they were Deists"

    Which ones? (specifically)

    That quote you posted easily applies to Christian's as well.

    What is so wrong with recognizing our country's history as a predominantly Christian society that respects and fights for the freedom of it's people - inluding the freedom from\of religion?

    If I were to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Tibet, etc - I surely wouldn't be upset about seeing their historic and cultureal religious symbols in pulblic areas.

    Also, I would be surprised if their laws and government were not somehow influenced by their region's predominant religion. Laws are a reflection of the culture\society, and religion makes up a large part of that (or lack of religion (atheism) if you are in communist China for example).
  17. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,285
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    Well, I don't know much about Deists, but I agree with seeing God in nature. What else other than a supreme being could create such beauty. In case anyone hasn't figured it out, I'm not a card carrying Christian. But, like the founders, I believe in a "Lord", "God", or as I often say a higher power. I continue to read all the books of God. Each and every one has goodness in them to be gleaned and made part of my life. I guess I feel the same about the Ten Commandments. If my life is in order, I should have no fear of being brought before any "court". Earthly or heavenly...


    Now back to those baked beans, my mouth is watering... iagree
  18. jessejames Flyslinger

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    There were Deists that were very influential in the founding of our nation most notably Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. But to say they were all deists is a stretch.
    The term Natures God certainly describes the Biblical God He is often referred to as the God of Creation, The God of Heaven and Earth.
    Deists did understand God from the natural viewpoint but that would not mean that this God they "knew" was not the God of The Bible.
    I may be wrong but I believe that the majority of Deists of the time of the founding of our country beleived that the God or Lord they referred to was the God of Scripture, they just did not want to put themselves under the authority of the Scriptures.
    jesse clark
    Baked beans go better with ribs than Catfish.
  19. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    That's a good attitude, but unfortunately many others don't share it. Last year's superbowl ring a bell?

    If he had used his own money to place to place a Confederate flag in courthouse, would that be acceptable as well? It's a fairly parallel comparison given the recent court battles over its display in public buildings too. How about a ten foot tall Buddha statue?

    My opinion on this has nothing to do with religion, political affiliations or anything else like that, and honestly I probably wouldn't notice if the ten commandments were on the wall in court if I was there. Quite simply though, courts should be held to a high degree of neutrality and professionalism in all respects. They are there to interpret written law and nothing else. Personal opinions, values, religion, morals, etc. have no place in law or the courts, whether it's the ten commandments or a Budweiser poster.

    My main question though, is what was this judge trying to accomplish? All it's done is get people fired up, wasted time and money, and accomplished absolutely nothing but to further divide an already divided country.
  20. Bright Rivers Member

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    In 1980, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools is permissible. The Court ruled the display unconstitutional, concluding its explanation with this incredible rationale:

    “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments.”

    God forbid! I can only imagine what might become of this nation if school children actually read, thought about, and (gulp!) obeyed proscriptions against theft, lying, murder, adultery . . .

    I have my own ideas about what the likely outcome of these cases will be (the Kentucky display will be struck down, the Texas display will be upheld), but it’s difficult to predict with any degree of confidence. Establishment Clause jurisprudence is, at best, a convoluted snarl of law. Which is every judge’s favorite kind, because it allows him to ignore the law and do whatever seems right in his own eyes. I am quite certain that is not the form of government our founders (deists or otherwise) had in mind. No less than Thomas Jefferson warned against the tyranny of a judiciary that had the authority to make law. None of our founders ever contemplated granting the Court the type of authority it wields today. The Court grabbed the power for itself in Marbury vs. Madison, and has been expanding its governmental authority ever since. You think we live in a democratic republic? Think again. The United States is an oligarchy. Nine unelected elites govern us from on high. Trivial matters are delegated to the legislature. And the Constitution? Superfluous, since it only means whatever 5 justices say it means.

    It would be fun to watch the oral arguments in person, and place bets on which Justice will be first to point to the copy of the Ten Commandements posted on the wall of the Supreme Court itself. My money is on Scalia.