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  1. #281  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    Uh oh. The POA argument has now been stretched past it's limits.

    "under God" is now the state coercing you to pray.
    No one, not the court, not I, has sugggested that the problem is with the phrase. I have no problem reciting it but I am an adult; I do it as a free act.

    The problem is with its routine recitation in state schools. It is about the use of an organ of the state for ideological indoctrination of children. I think that the whole pledge is objectionable as indoctrination. However, it is one thing to have the state use its power to indoctrinate its citizens in loyalty to the state and quite another to use it for theocratic indoctrination.

    I went to parochial schools. I understand the power of indoctrination all too well but I did not understand it at the time. I was a child. The school understood it, my parents understood it. But my parents had a choice. The parents of most American children, including most Christians, do not have a choice. However they may feel about the pledge, the phrase, or its routine recitation, as a general proposition, do not want their children indoctrinated by the state.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    It is Monday. whmurray is convinced Christians are out to get him. It is Monday.
    Indeed. They were out to get me yesterday, they will be out to get me tomorrow, they have always been out to get me. They have hardly even bothered to pretend otherwise.
    Last edited by whmurray; 09/19/2005 at 12:05 PM.
  2. #282  
    "An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek.

    An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.

    An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

    An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.

    In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

    An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

    An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.

    The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

    An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need.

    As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

    Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least.

    The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

    Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

    So you can try to kill an American if you must.

    Hitler did.

    So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.

    But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American."

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    #283  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The discussion about POA with "under god" or not is really weird - the whole thing is really quite clear, isn't it?

    Your POA is about being one nation, indivisible, right? IF you decide to say you are one nation UNDER GOD, you state that god is a key factor for that nation. Let's not play naive about which god is meant in that case: the Christian god. Not Shiva, not Buddha, not Allah of the Koran, nor the god Jews address when they await the coming of the Messiah. Even if you claim just "some general sort of god" is meant, you rule out everybody who does not believe in a personal god.

    By insisting on "under God", you make clear that (the Christian) god is a key ingredient of your nation. Christians find that cool of course. The others who have other gods or no god feel excluded, for them it is an element that sets them apart from those "under god".

    So you have to decide: national unity regardless of religion, or a nation with a certain god/religion as a defining element.
    Thank you for deciphering the minds of the people of this nation
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    #284  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Pretend if you will. Deep down inside you know that this is not about the right to pray but about the use of the state to indoctrinate. You believe with the Thomists: "Give me the child until he is seven,......"
    That brings up a very interesting point. At what age does a child attend first grade? In most states the law allows the child to turn 7 during the first mandated year of public education (I.E. 1st grade). So, in most states that is when the child has the opputunity to pledge allegiance to the flag (age 6 or 7). If a parent decides to send their child to public pre-school at age 4, pre-kindergarten at age 5, and kindergarten at age 6, they have decided to allow the public school system to indoctrinate their child. There is a push for the federal gov't to provide head-start to every child at age 3 or younger, that is where you need to worry about indoctirnation of your child.

    Do you think it is OK for the children to draw pictures of ghost, skeletons or of a witch late in Oct.? I do not have any issue with this being done in school since I do not believe that drawing a picture of a witch is in any way establishing the religion of Wicca. Nor does the statement "under God" establish a religion.
  5. #285  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    #2 the so called seperation of church and state is what started this. It has been said and or indicated by a number of posters. Using your same argument of it not being there does not mean it is not afforded to us can be used both ways. The constitution does not say we can or can not mention the name of God in school, just because it does not say we can not does that mean we can. This argument just goes in circles. The right to privacy has been covered by numerous laws and acts, such as the right to privacy act. All I am saying is that the individuals who use the seperation of church and state to say the the statement "under God" is unconstitutional are misquoting the constitution.
    So what do you believe the extent of the separation of church and state is? Is it even something that exists, or should exist in your opinion?

    # 3. You are absolutely correct, individuals have freedom of religion. Some interpret it as freedom FROM religion and use that argument everytime they hear or see a refrenece to God.
    It isnt necessarily a freedom from religion. People can have religious beliefs with out subscribing to a predefined religion, just like people can participate in politics without subscribing to a predefined party. At this point, my religious beliefs are that there is no god, no heaven, no hell, etc. Do i have to give that belief structure a name and call it a religion before my "religious" beliefs are covered under "freedom of religion?" If so, thats fine, I'll create a religion and give it a name. But to deny my religious rights just because I dont have a name for my belief structure is silly.

    #4. DaT and others (not sure who now) have psoted that because the statement under God was there it implied that the gov't believes there is a God and it goes directly against their belief that there is no God. Since the gov't believes there is a God they are endorsing a diest religion thereby they have established a religion for the nation to follow and violated the constitution.
    Thats a pretty good summary

    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The discussion about POA with "under god" or not is really weird - the whole thing is really quite clear, isn't it?

    Your POA is about being one nation, indivisible, right? IF you decide to say you are one nation UNDER GOD, you state that god is a key factor for that nation. Let's not play naive about which god is meant in that case: the Christian god. Not Shiva, not Buddha, not Allah of the Koran, nor the god Jews address when they await the coming of the Messiah. Even if you claim just "some general sort of god" is meant, you rule out everybody who does not believe in a personal god.

    By insisting on "under God", you make clear that (the Christian) god is a key ingredient of your nation. Christians find that cool of course. The others who have other gods or no god feel excluded, for them it is an element that sets them apart from those "under god".

    So you have to decide: national unity regardless of religion, or a nation with a certain god/religion as a defining element.
    That pretty much sums is up, more clearly than I could have put it.

    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    No one is "ruled out." All are welcome.
    But that isnt the case, if this nation truly is "one nation, under god" then I am not welcome here. I'm certainly not "under god" in any literal or figurative manner and to suggest so is insulting.

    However, the nation clearly is founded on the understanding (assumption) that there is a Creator who has endowed men with inalienable rights.
    Yes, that was the belief then, probably the unanimous belief of all who were involved with the creation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the vast majority of the people governed by those documents. That isnt the case now. Government needs to keep up with the times. Im not suggesting we go back and edit our founding documents, but lets put the Pledge back the way it was originally written.

    The real question to me that has yet to be asked here is this: Why keep the phrase "under god"? It clearly cant be to preserve some sacred document, the original writing didnt mention god at all. So someone tell me, what is the reason for keeping the "under god" line?
    iPhone in the Washington DC area.
  6. #286  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The discussion about POA with "under god" or not is really weird - the whole thing is really quite clear, isn't it?

    Your POA is about being one nation, indivisible, right? IF you decide to say you are one nation UNDER GOD, you state that god is a key factor for that nation. Let's not play naive about which god is meant in that case: the Christian god. Not Shiva, not Buddha, not Allah of the Koran, nor the god Jews address when they await the coming of the Messiah. Even if you claim just "some general sort of god" is meant, you rule out everybody who does not believe in a personal god.

    By insisting on "under God", you make clear that (the Christian) god is a key ingredient of your nation. Christians find that cool of course. The others who have other gods or no god feel excluded, for them it is an element that sets them apart from those "under god".

    So you have to decide: national unity regardless of religion, or a nation with a certain god/religion as a defining element.
    whmurray introduced the fact that the Constitution is protecting the states from coercing (his words) citizens to pray, not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    That Constitution is all that stands between them and the coercive power of the state.
    Second, about what "under God" really means. This country was founded on Christian ideals, not Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim ideals. Everyone who lives here understands that. However, you seem to think that the phrase "under God" is exclusionary to these other religions. Interesting that it was an athiest, not a Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim who took most offense by it, isn't it? Your argument about it being exclusionary to other religions is without merit.
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    #287  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The discussion about POA with "under god" or not is really weird - the whole thing is really quite clear, isn't it?

    Your POA is about being one nation, indivisible, right? IF you decide to say you are one nation UNDER GOD, you state that god is a key factor for that nation. Let's not play naive about which god is meant in that case: the Christian god. Not Shiva, not Buddha, not Allah of the Koran, nor the god Jews address when they await the coming of the Messiah. Even if you claim just "some general sort of god" is meant, you rule out everybody who does not believe in a personal god.

    By insisting on "under God", you make clear that (the Christian) god is a key ingredient of your nation. Christians find that cool of course. The others who have other gods or no god feel excluded, for them it is an element that sets them apart from those "under god".

    So you have to decide: national unity regardless of religion, or a nation with a certain god/religion as a defining element.
    I was going to let this go, but.

    God or Creator is a key component of our nation. There is this thing called the Declaration of Independence and it states that "We hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." Our founding fathers were not all babtist, catholic, or amish they were a mix of individuals with individual religous backgrounds and beliefs.

    This standard has served us very well for over 200 years, it is not perfect but I think it is much better than where we came from. We do not have protestant/catholic wars, disagreements yes, but normally without bloodshed. We have not had presidents changing their religions so they could marry someone from a differrent country/religion to gain more land. We have not dictated that the country is now protestant and all catholics must convert or be exiled.

    Your desire to interpret our laws and constitution to fit your belief system is a very good example of why we are the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth instead of a group of colonies. Thank you for reminding us of why our founding fathers came to this land and stood up for their beliefs instead of blindly following her majesty.
  8. #288  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    No one, not the court, not I, has sugggested that the problem is with the phrase. I have no problem reciting it but I am an adult; I do it as a free act.

    The problem is with its routine recitation in state schools. It is about the use of an organ of the state for ideological indoctrination of children. I think that the whole pledge is objectionable as indoctrination. However, it is one thing to have the state use its power to indoctrinate its citizens in loyalty to the state and quite another to use it for theocratic indoctrination.

    I went to parochial schools. I understand the power of indoctrination all too well but I did not understand it at the time. I was a child. The school understood it, my parents understood it. But my parents had a choice. The parents of most American children, including most Christians, do not have a choice. However they may feel about the pledge, the phrase, or its routine recitation, as a general proposition, do not want their children indoctrinated by the state.
    This has EVERYTHING to do with the phrase "under God", and NOTHING to do with the routine recitation of the POA. The court didn't rule that the POA is unconstitutional, it ruled that the phrase "under God" was. There would be no case if the POA didn't include "under God". The court, via it's ruling, suggests that the problem is with the phrase. I don't understand how you think otherwise.


    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Indeed. They were out to get me yesterday, they will be out to get me tomorrow, they have always been out to get me. They have hardly even bothered to pretend otherwise.
    I didn't realize the Inquisition had started again. I must've missed the memo.
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  9. #289  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    WH, do you honestly believe that the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag is a prayer?...........
    No but I do believe that it is indoctrination by the state. I believe that it is theocratic, not to say religious. I am suspicious that it is Christian inspired and endorsed.

    I confess I fear the Christians (proper noun). I do not fear them because they adhere to the New Testament but because they seem to prefer the Old. [I do not fear the Jews. While they have allegiance to the Torah, they behave in a christian (adjective) (Poor in spirit, They mourn, Meek, They hunger for justice, Merciful, Peacemakers, Persecuted) manner.] I fear the Christians because they are a political majority. Like most majorities, they are impatient with the Rule of Law that protects the minorities. I did not fear them when they were "silent," but I do fear them as militant. The only thing that stands between me and that militant majority is the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.

    I would prefer that there had never been a Pledge of Allegiance. I wish that there had never been a war that made it seem necessary. I wish that the phrase "under God" had never been added to it. I wish that the schools had never made it routine and uniform. I wish that no one had made an issue of it. I wish that no suit had been filed and that no court ever agreed to hear it. I wish that the Christians were not so outraged over it. I wish they understood that their militancy and outrage is alarming, not to say unchristian.
  10. #290  
    Quote Originally Posted by AnteL0pe
    ....But that isnt the case, if this nation truly is "one nation, under god" then I am not welcome here. I'm certainly not "under god" in any literal or figurative manner and to suggest so is insulting.
    The beauty of this nation's construct is that those who do not agree with it's principles are not only welcome in it, but have a guaranteed right to express their dissent.
    Quote Originally Posted by AnteL0pe
    Yes, that was the belief then, probably the unanimous belief of all who were involved with the creation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the vast majority of the people governed by those documents. That isnt the case now. Government needs to keep up with the times. Im not suggesting we go back and edit our founding documents, but lets put the Pledge back the way it was originally written.
    If you don't edit the founding documents, you will continue to be insulted
    Quote Originally Posted by AnteL0pe
    The real question to me that has yet to be asked here is this: Why keep the phrase "under god"? It clearly cant be to preserve some sacred document, the original writing didnt mention god at all. So someone tell me, what is the reason for keeping the "under god" line?
    For me, one citizen, the POA holds the same value with or without clause, "under god." In that regard, there is no reason to keep the phrase.

    However, the premise of unconstitutionality upon which the current action is going forward is blatantly false. As clulup pointed out, to think otherwise is "naive" at best. And, so, in recognition of deference to precedence in future cases, I oppose this action as it is proceeding.
  11. #291  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    No but I do believe that it is indoctrination by the state. I believe that it is theocratic, not to say religious. I am suspicious that it is Christian inspired and endorsed.

    I confess I fear the Christians (proper noun). I do not fear them because they adhere to the New Testament but because they seem to prefer the Old. [I do not fear the Jews. While they have allegiance to the Torah, they behave in a christian (adjective) (Poor in spirit, They mourn, Meek, They hunger for justice, Merciful, Peacemakers, Persecuted) manner.] I fear the Christians because they are a political majority. Like most majorities, they are impatient with the Rule of Law that protects the minorities. I did not fear them when they were "silent," but I do fear them as militant. The only thing that stands between me and that militant majority is the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.

    I would prefer that there had never been a Pledge of Allegiance. I wish that there had never been a war that made it seem necessary. I wish that the phrase "under God" had never been added to it. I wish that the schools had never made it routine and uniform. I wish that no one had made an issue of it. I wish that no suit had been filed and that no court ever agreed to hear it. I wish that the Christians were not so outraged over it. I wish they understood that their militancy and outrage is alarming, not to say unchristian.
    You do understand that Christians have always been the political majority in this country, right? This hasn't changed in 200+ years. You do understand that the Bill of Rights that you use as a shield to protect you from this Christian political majority was framed by these same Bible-thumping Christians that you fear and detest so much, right?
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    #292  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    No but I do believe that it is indoctrination by the state. I believe that it is theocratic, not to say religious. I am suspicious that it is Christian inspired and endorsed.

    I confess I fear the Christians (proper noun). I do not fear them because they adhere to the New Testament but because they seem to prefer the Old. [I do not fear the Jews. While they have allegiance to the Torah, they behave in a christian (adjective) (Poor in spirit, They mourn, Meek, They hunger for justice, Merciful, Peacemakers, Persecuted) manner.] I fear the Christians because they are a political majority. Like most majorities, they are impatient with the Rule of Law that protects the minorities. I did not fear them when they were "silent," but I do fear them as militant. The only thing that stands between me and that militant majority is the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.

    I would prefer that there had never been a Pledge of Allegiance. I wish that there had never been a war that made it seem necessary. I wish that the phrase "under God" had never been added to it. I wish that the schools had never made it routine and uniform. I wish that no one had made an issue of it. I wish that no suit had been filed and that no court ever agreed to hear it. I wish that the Christians were not so outraged over it. I wish they understood that their militancy and outrage is alarming, not to say unchristian.
    Wow. Not sure how to respond except to say I think you have had a very bad experience with someone who claimed to be a christian but did not practice what they claimed to believe. For a true Christian the New Testament is grace not condemnation. The rule of the law protects all equally, it is not protectiion of the minority from the majority. As far as political involvement, the christian should be involved for if not who will protect their rights? The true christian wants all to be treated equal for we are told that all men are created equal neither Jew nor Greek, neither free nor slave.
  13. #293  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    No but I do believe that it is indoctrination by the state. I believe that it is theocratic, not to say religious. I am suspicious that it is Christian inspired and endorsed.

    I confess I fear the Christians (proper noun). I do not fear them because they adhere to the New Testament but because they seem to prefer the Old. [I do not fear the Jews. While they have allegiance to the Torah, they behave in a christian (adjective) (Poor in spirit, They mourn, Meek, They hunger for justice, Merciful, Peacemakers, Persecuted) manner.] I fear the Christians because they are a political majority. Like most majorities, they are impatient with the Rule of Law that protects the minorities. I did not fear them when they were "silent," but I do fear them as militant. The only thing that stands between me and that militant majority is the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.

    I would prefer that there had never been a Pledge of Allegiance. I wish that there had never been a war that made it seem necessary. I wish that the phrase "under God" had never been added to it. I wish that the schools had never made it routine and uniform. I wish that no one had made an issue of it. I wish that no suit had been filed and that no court ever agreed to hear it. I wish that the Christians were not so outraged over it. I wish they understood that their militancy and outrage is alarming, not to say unchristian.
    I wish you had posted this first today. It is a most powerful statement. It reminds me of Mark 12:34

    I hope I have not presented myself as one of the outraged. I must confess, though, that I am one of the ones who is "out to get you"

    As I stated moments ago, I find that the premise for re-revising the POA is faulty. Equally, I recognize that this nation does not exist to establish Christianity or any other religion. I don't find that failure to implement the former is a de facto implementation of the latter.
  14. #294  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Wow. Not sure how to respond except to say I think you have had a very bad experience with someone who claimed to be a christian but did not practice what they claimed to believe. For a true Christian the New Testament is grace not condemnation. The rule of the law protects all equally, it is not protectiion of the minority from the majority. As far as political involvement, the christian should be involved for if not who will protect their rights? The true christian wants all to be treated equal for we are told that all men are created equal neither Jew nor Greek, neither free nor slave.
    Wow. You really did not read that.
  15. #295  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I wish you had posted this first today. It is a most powerful statement. It reminds me of Mark 12:34

    I hope I have not presented myself as one of the outraged. I must confess, though, that I am one of the ones who is "out to get you"
    [Not the orifice I am concerned about.]

    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    As I stated moments ago, I find that the premise for re-revising the POA is faulty. Equally, I recognize that this nation does not exist to establish Christianity or any other religion. I don't find that failure to implement the former is a de facto implementation of the latter.
    No, nor do I. Had I been the court of first instance in any of these proceedings, I would have thrown the suit out as not justiciable.
  16. #296  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    ......The rule of the law protects all equally, it is not protectiion of the minority from the majority.....
    I suggest that that statement makes no sense. The majority protects itself. It is the minority that must rely upon the law. However, the majority does well to remember that consent to the rule of law may be necessary to the preservation of public order. One might take Iraq as a case in point.
  17. #297  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    If you don't edit the founding documents, you will continue to be insulted
    Nope, its not the past documents I have a problem with. Its what we do from here on out. And requesting that school children acknowledge the existance of a god in government sanctioned speech is unacceptable.

    For me, one citizen, the POA holds the same value with or without clause, "under god." In that regard, there is no reason to keep the phrase.

    However, the premise of unconstitutionality upon which the current action is going forward is blatantly false. As clulup pointed out, to think otherwise is "naive" at best. And, so, in recognition of deference to precedence in future cases, I oppose this action as it is proceeding.
    I do not agree with your view of the unconstitutionality of the issue. I can accept the original part of your statement, that makes sense. I hope others will be as honest when they answer.
    iPhone in the Washington DC area.
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    #298  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I suggest that that statement makes no sense. The majority protects itself. It is the minority that must rely upon the law. However, the majority does well to remember that consent to the rule of law may be necessary to the preservation of public order. One might take Iraq as a case in point.
    The law should provide equality to all. The institution must provide the same freedom and responsibility to the minority and the majority. We are created equal and should have equal rights and responsibilities, not greater freedom because we are the current majority, nor should freedom be restricted because of being a majority.
  19. #299  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    The beauty of this nation's construct is that those who do not agree with it's principles are not only welcome in it, but have a guaranteed right to express their dissent.If you don't edit the founding documents, you will continue to be insulted
    For me, one citizen, the POA holds the same value with or without clause, "under god." In that regard, there is no reason to keep the phrase.

    However, the premise of unconstitutionality upon which the current action is going forward is blatantly false. As clulup pointed out, to think otherwise is "naive" at best. And, so, in recognition of deference to precedence in future cases, I oppose this action as it is proceeding.
    I certainly agree with that. Terrible mischief was done when the Ninth Circuit first agreed to review the first case.

    However, this issue is now so confused that I do not see how it can be sorted out to anyone's satisfaction, much less everyone's. We have gone from "Congress shall make no law...," intended, not so much to prevent the establishment of a state religion, as to keep the new Federal government from a province of the sovereign states whose ratification was sought, to "separation of church and state."

    The establishment clause was only one of several such compromises made in the name of gaining the "consent of the governed." I think that its sponsors were an unholy alliance between those in states that did not want interference with their established churches and those who wanted to avoid the mischief between the King and the Church of England.

    Much of the origin of our current dilemma, not to say mess, was done by the 14th amendment. Among other things this amendment made the states subject to the provisions of the Bill of Rights. This put the Supreme Court in the difficult role of sorting out the implications, including the relationship between the several (no longer quite sovereign) states and religion. It has made a contentious Federal issue out of an area that the drafters promised the states they would stay out of. Every decision of the Court's intended to end the contention has simply made it worse.

    It seems to me that there are only two options, allow the court to muddle on, with the implicit understanding that they would "make new law" and might confuse the issue even further, or amend the Constitution.

    Given the recent insistence of the majority that we are a "christian nation" and that it is the role of the state and the government to enforce morality as they see it, I await with interest the expression of any amendment which the majority might write and to which the minority would consent. Having tried my hand at drafting governance documents, I certainly would not want to be on the committee. While it is clear that no expression not drafted by the majority can be put to a vote, it seems equally clear that their majority is not sufficient that they can pass anything they want.

    Absent such an amendment, the preservation of a civil society will require that the majority forego their anger and consent to the rulings of the court, whatever they are.

    We like to brag about the longevity of our Constitution and its ability to respond to new requirements. However, in the absence of more good will than we enjoy at present, it may well be, not to say have been, stressed to the breaking point.
  20. #300  
    Quote Originally Posted by AnteL0pe
    Nope, its not the past documents I have a problem with. Its what we do from here on out. And requesting that school children acknowledge the existance of a god in government sanctioned speech is unacceptable....
    I'd like to extend this point a bit.

    I don't know if schools still do this type of thing, but when I was coming through the system, students would often be assigned to memorize famous documents or speeches for presentation at a school function.

    A strict interpretation of the standard you have offered would render this practice unconsitutional. For Example, they could not recite the Gettysburg address. They could not recite the Declaration of Independence. For that matter, passages from Greek or Roman mythology would be off limits. Homer. Shakespeare. Much of the "great" literature.....

    Do you think such assignments ought to be unacceptable?

    Or, are there circumstances where references to deity would be acceptable.

    Where would you place the line?

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