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Liberals attack free exercise of Religion

Discussion in 'Elections & Political Parties' started by BytheRules, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. BytheRules

    BytheRules New Member

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    McClatchy-Tribune Business News - Editorial - Religion in School

    January 17, 2007

    Editorial - McClatchy-Tribune Business News

    Everyone celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday Monday, recognizing the religious leader who led a faith-based campaign against government racial discrimination. Yet few noticed that Tuesday was Religious Freedom Day, created to celebrate the constitutional right, which 300 million of us still enjoy, just as King did.

    In his proclamation to note Tuesday's observance, President George W. Bush called on all Americans to, "commemorate this day with appropriate events and activities in their schools, place of worship, neighborhoods and homes."

    In their schools? Yes. As the Supreme Court noted in 1969, public school students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

    Despite what you might have heard about "separation of church and state," the expression of religious beliefs remains a constitutionally protected right, even in public schools. Many school officials -- and more than a few judges and members of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union -- need an education on this point.

    In Ohio, there's a case at Crestview schools, where a parent was unhappy that school officials put notices of religious groups' activities in student mailboxes -- just the same as the district handled notices of things like Little League baseball. The ACLU involved itself. The parent and the civil liberties organization received a favorable ruling in U.S. District Court in Toledo before the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in with common sense and reversed the ruling.

    So over in Van Wert County you had school officials who understood what they were able to allow -- in fact, had to allow -- and some busybodies trying to block religion from public display. Unfortunately, the problems begin much earlier elsewhere.

    Just last month, for example, school officials told an Illinois high-school senior that the statement she wanted in the yearbook was too religious and couldn't be submitted. About the same time, another high-school senior in Washington state wanted to write a religious children's book for a project, but was denied because the school's policy requires projects be sectarian, not religious.

    In both cases, officials reversed their position after attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice based in Washington, D.C., sent letters to the schools explaining the U.S. Constitution guarantees students religious freedom and freedom of speech. These are unalienable, God-given rights, not privileges men permit or benefits the state bestows. ACLJ's mission is to "educate, promulgate, conciliate, and where necessary, litigate, to ensure that those rights are protected." The organization keeps very busy.

    If anyone is unclear on the issue, the U.S. Department of Education sums these rights up this way:

    -- Students can pray, read their Bible or other religious books and talk about their faith at school during school hours.

    -- Students can organize prayer groups and religious clubs and announce their meetings. (We again refer you to the Crestview schools case.)

    -- Students can express their faith in their class work and homework.

    -- Teachers can organize prayer groups and Bible studies.

    -- Students may be able to go off campus to have a Bible study during school hours.

    -- Students can express their faith at a school event, including graduation ceremonies.

    Now probably would be a good time for public school teachers, principals and other officials to mention these rights to their students. If nothing else, they're worth knowing for parents who want their children to express their religious beliefs, even at school.

    ACLJ • American Center for Law & Justice
     
  2. curefiend

    curefiend New Member

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    I would like you to cite some instances where a student was denied any of those rights. I have noticed a certain ability amongst a group of people to smudge and distort reality without much shame. Its kind of frightening.
     
  3. ChairmanMeow

    ChairmanMeow New Member

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    Is you’re problem here with this issue or just liberals?
     
  4. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    I've never heard of religious freedom day. It seems to me it is better to learn about the history of religious freedom - not promote religious activities of different religious groups in schools.

    The funny thing is...these very same Christians who hate the ACLU for some how restricting their free exercise of religion completely ignore the many cases ACLU fought and won on their behalf.
     
  5. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Here are some off the top of my head. If you want more, I can certainly provide them.


    Raymond Raines, 4th grader, at Waring Elementary School in St. Louis bowed his head and silently blessed his food in the cafeteria. His teacher pulled him away from the table and took him to the office where the principal told him that it was against the rules to pray in school (even silently). He continued to bless his food and was removed from the cafeteria two more times and disiplined. The school adminstration then segregated him from his classmates and subjected him to ridicule specifically for his belief in God and eventually he was given a week long detention for silently blessing his food.


    At Lucas Middle School, a teacher took two bibles away from a pair of sisters, and informed the sisters in the middle of a crowded hallway that "this is garbage" and tossed the bibles in the trash. The teacher then called the girl's mother and threatened to call child protective services.


    In May, 1995 US District judge Samuel B. Kent decreed that any student who said the word Jesus would be arrested and issued the following statement:

    "And make no mistake, this court is going to have a United States marshall in attendance at the graduation . If any student offends this court, that student will be summarily arrested and will face up to 6 months incarceration in the Galvaston County Jail for contempt of court. Anyone who thinks that I am kidding, is going to wish that he or she and died as a child when this court gets through with them."


    Then there was Kayla Broadus, a kindergartener in Sarasota Springs, NY who was holding hands with a couple of her friends at snack time and issued the "profanity" "God is great, God is good, thank you God for my food" and was scolded by her teacher. The teacher then reported the "infraction" to the school lawyer Gregg T. Johnson who immediately determined that little Kayla had violated the imaginary separation of church and state. The school board issued a press release stating that Kayla was prohibited from praying aloud in school.

    By the way, you are absolutely right. Liberals certainly do smudge and distort reality without shame. Moral relativism. You know how it is.
     
  6. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Speaking of smudging and distorting reality....:rolleyes:

    http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com/
     
  7. invest07

    invest07 Member

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    palerider

    It is true that liberals distort the truth. This is a necessary condition of liberalism. Remember that liberals don't beleive in moral absolutes. Everything is relative.

    Liberals believe that morality is defined by humans and not by God or any higher authority. Since every human has a different idea of what is "fair" or what is "right and wrong" there can be no broad concensus among liberals as to what is right and wrong.

    Liberals tend to ignore 6,000 years of recorded human history in favor of what is trendy at the moment. (Something to do with 15 minutes of fame). This is the reason liberals love Political Correctness and multi-culturalism.

    Liberals tend to look at politics as the solution to all human problems. (If only the perfect system of government could be enacted it would be nirvana).

    Liberals like to pick and choose passages from the Bible to accept and reject.
    They often cite "Swords to plowshares" and "Do unto others". Then they spit on Christians calling them bigots and homopohobes.

    Liberalism begins as an emotional reaction to inputs. Some people react emotionally to inputs and some people react throughtfully. Those that react emotionally tend to become liberals. Those that think things through tend to become conservatives.

    A conservative belief system is the end result of rational thought and life experience. Liberalism is the product of knee jerk emotionalism.

    Advertisers understand the power of emotions. Ford doesn't even try to sell a Mustang as trasnportation. It is a fun, hip, fast, cool car. You sell the sizzle and not the steak.

    Emotions are far easier to manipulate than rational thought and Democrat politicians fully understand their market. It is not necessary to actually solve any problems, only necessary to demonstrate that you care. Symbols are more important to liberals than substance although they will deny this.

    Since taking control of Congress, what have they done? Raised the minimum wage is all. The effective minimum wage in my area is $7.00/hour and has always been around $2.00/hour more than the government mandated minimum wage. So what has actually been accomplished by raising the mandated minium wage? Diddly squat. Nada. Zero. Zilch. The market miniumum wage is and alwasy has been greater than the mandated minimum wage and no one is going to get a raise as a result of increasing the mandated minimum wage. So all the hoopla over increasing the minimum wage is symbolic and has no substance.

    I can't put my brain on hold so I guess I will never make a good liberal.
     
  8. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    The ACLU didn't step up for any of the people I referenced above and I have an extensive list of people who have been persecuted in this country for their religious beliefs, none of which the ACLU stepped up to help. The ACLU may protect a "token" Christian occasionally, but they have been responsible for more erosion of our freedom of religion than they will ever rebuild.
     
  9. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    I hardly consider that lengthy list to represent a "token" Christian occassionally.

    Are they required to take every single case? Does the NRA take every single fire arms court case?

    I'll reiterate: ...Speaking of smudging and distorting reality....
     
  10. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Maybe you ought to step away from political talking points and consider a more objective look at liberals and conservatives.

    Consider the following: http://houseofpolitics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1363

    or

    http://houseofpolitics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1071

    a lengthy read but worth it to go through even if the beginning pisses you off.
     
  11. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Consider the number of filings by the ACLU since it began. That "lengthy" list hardly represents even a "token" number of cases defending the right to religious freedom.
     
  12. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    That is only a partial list, agreed. Can you document it anywhere that this is a "token"? Keep in mind - religion is not the only right that the ACLU defends.
     
  13. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    The person who had the web site clearly had a mission to demonstrate that the aclu wasn't anti Christian. If there were more cases, you can bet that they would have been listed.
     
  14. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    All politicians distort the truth. There are probably more cases of distortion coming from our government than honesty coming from our government in this country's history.

    This does not make it okay for any one group to continue with the distortion; just don't point the finger solely at the liberals.

    Your damn right we don't believe in moral absolutes. If everyone could agree on whose "higher authority" was ultimately correct, then sure, we'd go in for a few moral absolutes. Who is to say that God, and not Allah, or Yahweh, or any number of Hindu or Greek gods is in charge of the afterlife? Whose to say that God created Man, and not Prometheus? Are you to make that judgment call for all of us? Notice the word judgment - I thought Christians believed that particular right laid only with the big guy upstairs.

    We do not ignore history. If you take a good look at it, history has been full of bloodshed, inequality, hatred, and general misery. We'd like to break that cycle.

    As opposed to conservatives, who prefer to ignore or rail against those problems that don't concern them.

    Take a good, long look down the list of threads and ask yourself how many are devoted to picking and choosing passages from the Qu'ran to accept and reject as opposed to how many are about doing so with the Bible. Then ask yourself what the political ideology of the people starting those threads is.

    Personally, I have nothing against Christians. I will not defend any of my colleagues who unilaterally attack Christianity because that isn't fair.

    So, liberals = human beings and conservatives = machines?

    I think Robin Williams said it best when he said the term "compassionate conservative" brought to mind a Volvo with a gun rack.

    \

    Blind conservatism is the result of selfishness, coldness, and a general lack of caring for one's fellow man. Liberalism that doesn't go totally overboard is about doing what's possible to help one's fellow man.

    We can generalize all day if you'd like, or you can open your eyes, use some of that "life experience" of yours, and realize that we liberals aren't evil - even by your "absolute" definition.
    So is that why Bill Clinton managed to balance the budget when GW barely knows which way to hold a dollar bill to read it?

    Do you make minimum wage? Do you live anywhere near a large group of people who make minimum wage? There are quite a few people out there who can eat more than once every two days now because their wages were increased. All this talk about "market minimum wage" is all well and good for white teenagers working part time jobs in supermarkets and fast food restaurants but out in the real world, where people have to try and live off of such crappy wages, a raise in the minimum has and will continue to make a difference.

    Or you'll just never realize that your brain is permanently on hold, which will make you a good conservative.
     
  15. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    I thought YOU said source doesn't matter? Those are just a portion of cases - more are listed on ACLU's site, and on the individual sites of their affiliates. In addition - the ACLU is not soley concerned with the right of religious freedom but with other civil rights as well.


    Here's an article from Christianity Today:



    The ACLU Is Not Evil

    And neither are many people with whom we disagree.
    Stephen L. Carter | posted 5/01/2006 12:00AM

    I would like to say a word in defense of the American Civil Liberties Union. Christians—including me, both in the pages of CT and elsewhere—often criticize the ACLU for advocating separation of church and state in ways that seem less grounded in the Constitution and in history than in an ideological desire for a religion-free public arena. On the other hand, I shudder when fellow Christians blithely dismiss the organization as fundamentally biased against them. Some call it the Anti-Christian Liberals Union or the Anti-Christian Litigation Unit. There are other, less friendly acronyms as well. I think the ACLU is wrong to oppose religious expression in the public square, but being wrong is not the same as being evil.
    • Related articles and links

    More to the point, the ACLU is often right about the First Amendment's free exercise clause, taking on fights that others refuse. It might surprise some critics that the ACLU defends the free speech and free exercise rights of, well, Christians.

    For example, in 2001, the group interceded with a school district in Michigan that had deleted a high school senior's yearbook entry because she included a Bible verse. In 2002, the ACLU filed a brief on behalf of a pastor associated with Operation Rescue who was prevented from participating in a parade because his pro-life poster showed a photograph of an aborted baby. And last September, the organization joined a lawsuit on behalf of a New Jersey second-grader who was not allowed to sing "Awesome God" in a school talent show. (All of these examples are easily accessible on several Web pages now devoted to defending the ACLU 's record on Christianity.)

    Yet I must confess that, although I am pleased to balance the record, defending the ACLU is not my primary purpose here. I am more concerned about a habit of mind that seems to be growing among my fellow Christians, both political liberals and conservatives. That is, we seem to mimic the secular world's conflation of disagreement with wickedness, as if not sharing my worldview places my critic outside the realm of rational discourse.

    I spend most of my driving time nowadays listening to Christian radio. Most of what I hear is edifying and uplifting. But now and then a genuine clunker comes along, often in the form of a politically active Christian who derides anyone who disagrees with his version of biblical wisdom. One of the nastiest words, at least for many radio preachers, seems to be liberal.

    Now, I have often been described as a liberal myself—although rarely by liberals. Once, after I gave a talk at a small Christian college in the Bible Belt, a concerned student carrying one of my books approached me. He had enjoyed the lecture, he assured me, but something in my book troubled him. He flipped to a page on which I had complimented something President Bill Clinton had said. The student then turned to me, the look of worry still on his face, and told me I must have written this because I was, really, a liberal. This student believed it was impossible for the good guys—the way he said liberal told me that liberals were not among them—to say anything positive about President Clinton.

    The host of a popular syndicated Christian radio program once told me that he had received death threats—not just a few, but a lot—during the Clinton administration. His sin? Reminding listeners of their obligation to pray for those God had placed in positions of authority, whether or not they happened to agree with their policies.

    Yes, we live in a polarized time. The screechy hatefulness emanating from many on the secular Left during the Bush administration has sullied our public discourse. Many Christians feel under assault by the uncompromising secularism of the culture. This includes the queries, on the heels of every bit of bad news, about how one can believe in a God who would allow certain things (this hurricane, this genocide, this war, this tsunami).

    As an antidote to these uninformed arguments, I recommend David Bentley Hart's startlingly exquisite 2005 book, The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? As an antidote to the screechy hatefulness, I recommend Christian love. While our fallen nature makes all of us, whether on the Left or the Right, prone to hating our enemies, we Christians know that Christ calls us to a higher standard.

    Want a practical example? The next time a fellow Christian disparages the ACLU , try answering with something like this: "Sure, they're on the wrong side sometimes, but I thank God for the times when they're right."
     
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