published Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Pray on, Hamilton County Commission

The sheer silliness of the latest assault on free religious expression -- this time at Hamilton County Commission meetings -- can best be appreciated just by contemplating the principles spelled out in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

To wit: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That is one of the simplest yet most profound guarantees of liberty ever promulgated by man.

But consider only the part that most directly concerns faith: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ... ."

Put that yardstick next to the recent demand by an obscure organization, the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, that the Hamilton County Commission stop praying before meetings.

To take the Wisconsin group (and some activist courts that hold similar views) seriously, one must first engage in the intellectual gymnastics required to embrace the notion that voluntarily spoken prayers -- which those who attend commission meetings may heed or ignore -- amount to the enactment of a law "respecting an establishment of religion."

The First Amendment's prohibition on making a law to that effect was intended rather simply to prevent the creation of a state church.

Search diligently for evidence that Hamilton County's commissioners have devised a plan -- involving the utterance of prayers before their meetings -- to impose a state church. You will not find it.

Heck, have you met the commissioners? Read up on Fred Skillern, Jim Fields, Mitch McClure, Warren Mackey, Greg Beck, Joe Graham, Larry Henry, Tim Boyd and Chester Bankston. Give them a phone call if you like. Whatever your view of their policy decisions, you would scarcely be able to come up with a group of gentlemen less intent on forcing their religious views on the unwilling. They'd likely give you a puzzled look if you suggested such a thing, as they scrambled to figure out what on earth you were talking about.

Nevertheless, the fastidious folks at the Freedom From Religion Foundation are outraged that prayers are offered at commission meetings. They demand action.

Thus, Commission Chairman Henry dutifully advised that he had forwarded the organization's note of righteous -- er, secular -- indignation to County Attorney Rheubin Taylor for review.

Henry pointed out that prayers also are offered in places such as, ahem, Congress. And whatever ultimately may come of the Freedom From Religion Foundation's complaint, he proffered this prediction: "We're not going to discontinue prayer."

Nor does the commission need to do so.

Voluntary, non-coercive expressions of religious faith, heritage and values in the public square do not amount to a government establishment of religion. They are, rather, an example of the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion.

Now if people who are exercising their constitutional liberties could only be freed from bothering with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

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Easy123 said...

Since I've been talking about this literally all day. I'll be first to chime in.

The author does not understand the Constitution and how it is interpreted. Mandated government prayer is a giant step towards state religions.

Just because Congress does it doesn't make it constitutional. President James Madison was even against the Congress Chaplain. Read for yourself:

"Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom?"

"In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation."

"The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers, or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor."

The Supreme Court actually ruled to allow the Congress Chaplain remain in place on the grounds of "precedent and tradition". So basically the Congress Chaplain and prayer in Congress was grandfathered in. It doesn't make it constitutional.

Expression of religious faith by government officials in government buildings paid for by public tax dollars is unconstitutional. It is not protected free exercise of religion. And, despite what the author says, it does amount to government establishment of religion.

May 26, 2012 at 12:22 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Let's see if prayer provides the money for the lawsuit the county commission will surely lose.

May 26, 2012 at 7:19 a.m.
librul said...

Yep - then it'll be "Pay-on, Hamilton County Commission!"

May 26, 2012 at 8:31 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Some of the prayers I've had to listen to at governmental gatherings in Tennessee make me wonder how any adult person can believe and promote such drivel. Stopping such performances would save everyone a lot of embarrassment.

May 26, 2012 at 9:43 a.m.
LibDem said...

I certainly understand that the Commissioners believe that prayer doesn't count unless it is public and ostentatious.

May 26, 2012 at 10:15 a.m.

No mention of the state constitution?

Is that because you would have to accept that the proscriptions in it are far more extensive?

The county lawyer is going to tell the commission that either they'll need to allow anybody to hold the prayers, or face an expensive lawsuit.

May 26, 2012 at 11:06 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Great post, Easy. I was not aware of this bit of history regarding Madison and his views on this. I think that it sheds a lot of light on how to interpret the constitutionality of this issue.

Living here in the Bible belt, where the vast majority are christians and have lived in a complacent stupor for so many years, scarcely ever needing to take other faiths into consideration, it is perhaps difficult for them to see how their actions, such as praying before football games or at public meetings or on the job, can be construed as disrespectful. But anyone who is an elected official, serving as a representative of the government, must always be cognizant that everything they do as a public servant should be in the best interests of all the people, not just their own like-minded clique. It would behoove them to start accepting the fact that we are no longer just a vanilla society of WASPS but a blend of many different faiths and cultures. Even though their daily group prayers seem harmless enough to them and are no doubt well intentioned, that is not the time or the place for them to indulge in them. If they truly wish to show respect for all people of all faiths, what would be so wrong with holding a few moments of silent meditation, allowing everyone to pray or not pray in the way they see fit? I assume that all in that group are like minded in their beliefs but they must remember that everything they do when on the job and on government grounds, even behind closed doors, is a reflection of their attitude towards their constituency.

And then there is the smugness and the hubris of people like this editor, who makes snide comments like, "Pray on, County Commission!" Yeah...onward, you christian soldiers and all that. Don't stop, not even for a moment, to listen, learn, and love. Just pray on... and to hell with those who disagree or don't pray with you.

May 26, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

And another thing: as has already been pointed out, just because Congress does it, that doesn't make it right, or constitutional. Neither are we supposed to use religion, or the lack thereof, as a litmus test for running for office - it is in clear and unambiguous language in the Constitution. But good luck getting elected president today if you admit to being an atheist/agnostic. You christians get all in a dither by us non-believers raising our voices a little. But we are not trying to force our beliefs on you or trying to influence you to believe other than you do. Just back the f#ck off and keep your fairy tale beliefs out of the government sector and in your churches and houses where they belong. Then we could all sing kum-bah-ya or whatever and live happily ever after. Well, we infidels would still be going to that hell, of course, that your God has specially reserved for us. But other than that, how happy we would be in the meantime, right?

May 26, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Rickaroo,

Very honest and humorous post! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

May 26, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.
conservative said...

To the writer: Great job and irrefutable!

This writer demonstrates a great truth! TRUTH CAN NOT BE REFUTED!!!

May 26, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.
conservative said...

The writer regarding the First Amendment : That is one of the simplest yet most profound guarantees of liberty ever promulgated by man.

It is not simple to an atheist. The proof is in reading the comments of the atheists on the Lieberal side of the paper entitled " Public Prayer and the Law"

May 26, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You have no argument. I doubt any of the Supreme Court Justices are atheist and they interpret the 1st Amendment to include state governments.

May 26, 2012 at 4 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

conservative would not know truth if it reared up and bit him in the butt

May 26, 2012 at 4:06 p.m.
conservative said...

The writer regarding the First Amendment : That is one of the simplest yet most profound guarantees of liberty ever promulgated by man.

It is not simple to an atheist. The proof is in reading the comments of the atheists on the Lieberal side of the paper entitled " Public Prayer and the Law"

May 26, 2012 at 4:07 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You have no argument. I doubt any of the Supreme Court Justices are atheist and they interpret the 1st Amendment to include state governments.

May 26, 2012 at 4:12 p.m.
conservative said...

The writer...."To take the Wisconsin group (and some activist courts that hold similar views) seriously, one must first engage in the intellectual gymnastics required to embrace the notion that voluntarily spoken prayers -- which those who attend commission meetings may heed or ignore -- amount to the enactment of a law "respecting an establishment of religion."

"Intellectual gymnastics", what a euphemism for lying! The contention that prayer is establishing a religion is actually put forth many times in comments on the Left side of this paper under the caption "Public Prayer and the Law", today.

No way you say, check it out.

May 26, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

The author does not understand the Constitution and how it is interpreted. Mandated government prayer is a giant step towards state religions.

Just because Congress does it doesn't make it constitutional. President James Madison was even against the Congress Chaplain. Read for yourself:

"Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom?"

"In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation."

"The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers, or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor."

The Supreme Court actually ruled to allow the Congress Chaplain remain in place on the grounds of "precedent and tradition". So basically the Congress Chaplain and prayer in Congress was grandfathered in. It doesn't make it constitutional. Expression of religious faith by government officials in government buildings paid for by public tax dollars is unconstitutional. It is not protected free exercise of religion. And, despite what the author says, it does amount to government establishment of religion.

May 26, 2012 at 4:32 p.m.

Why so much concern over the first amendment? The state constitution is far more applicable.

May 26, 2012 at 5:07 p.m.
jazzman said...

conservative said... 'TRUTH CAN NOT BE REFUTED!!!'

whose 'truth' ???

May 27, 2012 at 2:27 a.m.
conservative said...

Although any intelligent person could easily reason that the Freedom From Religion Foundation is nothing but a gang of ATHEISTS hell bent ( they all will reach that goal) on eradicating GOD from society, I wished the writer had noted that.

It is important that this group be identified as ATHEISTS for they are not just simply misguided but want to take away freedoms from the majority of Americans as set forth in the First Amendment.

They have a war against GOD, a war they ultimately will lose :

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. (Psalm 2:1-5 KJV)

May 27, 2012 at 8:56 a.m.
librul said...

Conservative ... time for your meds.

May 27, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You are a liar. Your whole post is false. I feel sorry for you.

May 27, 2012 at 10:42 a.m.
Hilltopp said...

Good move! Can't make your point logically and rationally? Cite your religion. Because that couldn't possibly be wrong.

May 27, 2012 at 11:47 a.m.
conservative said...

The Freedom From Religion Foundation are ATHEISTS. That is a fact not just an accusation.

They have an unannounced ( I might be wrong about that, I haven't read all their garbage) war on GOD. However they do hide this fact somewhat in their name. Why not the Freedom From GOD Foundation? They obviously don't want their hatred for GOD readily seen.

Someone ought to make that point. It might as well be me.

May 27, 2012 at 2:10 p.m.

And you try to get us to hate them because they're atheists.

Huh.

Maybe you made a point you didn't even realize.

May 27, 2012 at 3:34 p.m.
Easy123 said...

I think "religion" is the proper word. I'm sure they would do similar things for Muslims if they tried the unconstitutional crap that Christians do.

If they have a war on God, then why aren't they protesting churches? Oh yeah, it's not a war on god; it's a war on Constitutionality! Conservative, you are a habitual liar and spew misinformation at every tap on the keyboard. You are deluded to the highest degree.

May 27, 2012 at 3:49 p.m.
conservative said...

ATHEISTS in general as well as these heathens like to call themselves freethinkers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is in their denial and rejection of GOD, creator of heaven and earth, they are SLAVES in thought, word and deed to sin.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. (John 8:34 ESV).

May 27, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.
BelieverToo said...

I am so sad for the Atheists who will soon die and have no hope of ever seeing family or friends again. I believe in the Bible and accept Christ as my Savior. I firmly believe I will see other Christians in Heaven. The Athiests' "Circle of Life" is you live a while and then you die. If you don't believe in an after-life and there is, you have lost everything. If you believe in an after-life with Christ and there isn't, you have lost nothing. I don't believe in praying in public for show, but I beleive that the commission or any other group should be allowed to ask for guidance in the decisions they are about to make. Who does the Athiest ask for guidance? I am not wise enough to always do the right thing. That's why I ask for spiritual guidance.

May 27, 2012 at 4:18 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You are projecting everything onto atheists. All those examples can be placed on YOU.

There is no proof for any God. You have to accept it on faith. And faith is believing something with no evidence, also known as GULLIBILITY. The only reason you claim that "God' created heaven and earth is because that's what it says in your holy book. Science would disagree with you. Atheists don't have a war on your god. They simply don't believe in ANY god.

YOU are a slave to your religion. You believe a book from 2,000 years ago for no good reason. There is no proof that ANYTHING in it is true. But we do know there are many contradictions, historicity problems, immoral teachings, outright lies, and extravagant claims based on nothing in your holy book.

You are the OPPOSITE of a free thinker. You believe that a book has all the answers. One very, very old book. If that is free thinking, then I don't want to be a free thinker.

"Jesus" (his actual existence is questionable as well) said a lot of thing. Like in Luke 12:51-53 he said:

"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

This isn't holy or good. It is a very evil statement and this is one of many evil and immoral teachings and statements in your holy book.

I'm all for freedom of religion, but I'm also in favor of freedom FROM religion. Keep practicing your religion but don't preach at me or try to tell me what you think you know about me. Keep your religion to yourself. Keep it out of government. That's all I and the FFRA want. It's simple.

Have a great day.

May 27, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.
Easy123 said...

BelieverToo,

Just because you believe something or it makes you feel good doesn't make it true.

What the commission is doing is unconstitutional.

When you ask for guidance, what happens? God tells you the right answer?

I, as an atheist, make decisions based on logic and reason. I don't need "spiritual" help to decide things. I have a brain that was designed to problem solve and make decisions based on induction/deduction.

May 27, 2012 at 4:26 p.m.
conservative said...

Well said BelieverToo, please don't be a stranger in the battle for truth.

May 27, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

BelieverToo, do what you like for yourself, but when you're in a position of elected authority, I'm going to require you not use it under color of authority or use it to determine your decisions.

But Pascal's Wager? The outcome of that is somebody who believes just on that idea is to me, less legitimate in integrity than otherwise. Why? Coercion is not the way to go.

Trying to use that is a discredit to your faith.

May 27, 2012 at 4:40 p.m.
conservative said...

The writer...."one must first engage in the intellectual gymnastics required to embrace the notion that voluntarily spoken prayers -- which those who attend commission meetings may heed or ignore -- amount to the enactment of a law "respecting an establishment of religion."

I noticed how the writer gets his readers to focus on the exact words contained in the First Amendment in revealing the foolishness of ATHEIST claims that prayer at a public meeting is establishing a religion.

I to have noticed that focusing on words and their meanings is key to refuting and confounding ATHEISTS.

May 27, 2012 at 5:34 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative, (I think this is the third time I've posted this)

The author does not understand the Constitution and how it is interpreted. Mandated government prayer is a giant step towards state religions.

Just because Congress does it doesn't make it constitutional. President James Madison was even against the Congress Chaplain. Read for yourself:

"Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom?"

"In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation."

"The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers, or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor."

The Supreme Court actually ruled to allow the Congress Chaplain remain in place on the grounds of "precedent and tradition". So basically the Congress Chaplain and prayer in Congress was grandfathered in. It doesn't make it constitutional. Expression of religious faith by government officials in government buildings paid for by public tax dollars is unconstitutional. It is not protected free exercise of religion. And, despite what the author says, it does amount to government establishment of religion.

May 27, 2012 at 5:35 p.m.
BelieverToo said...

I should have said athiests, agnostics, and other non believers. You missed the point. I was a Christian before I heard of Pascal's wager. I first heard this from a UTC professor while I was studying for my BS and MS degrees. I don't know anyone on Earth that is all knowing, even if they use lnduction/deduction. You obviously read more into the Constitution than the Supreme Court does. Saying a prayer is not the establishment of a Religion. Why should you stop my commissioner from saying a prayer? Especially a group from Wisconsin? I would not vote for a person who didn't ask for spiritual guidance.
I know that arguing with non-believers is fruitless. I try to be as Christ-like as I can and to be a light in a world of darkness. As to the reference to Luke, you obviously haven't read the whole New Testament. Do you know any families like those described. It is not Jesus will that it be that way. Every one has been given "free will." There will be no peace on Earth until the end. I pray that you will open your heart and see the light. Eternity is a long time.

May 27, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Believer2,

Why does anyone need to be all-knowing?

Obviously I agree with the Supreme Court. Read my last post. And it can be seen as the establishment of religion. Read my last post.

I've read the whole New Testament countless times. I took a college course on it What families do you speak of? He didn't mention specific families. He just named off all the members.

Until the end of what? Please don't pray for me. Read a science book for me. I was dead billions of years before I was born and it didn't bother me so I don't think the time after my death will be any different than the time before my birth.

May 27, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.

BelieverToo, and yet you're using it now, against others.

It doesn't matter what you were before. It's what you're doing now that matters. And it's quite shameful from my perspective. You do not try to coerce people into belief.

For somebody who claims not to be all-knowing, your attempt to use it makes you seem more arrogant.

And this group from Wisconsin is acting upon the request of a county inhabitant, who is concerned about the conduct of the commissioners, which more than just "establishing a religion" is in violation of the far more expansive protections in the Tennessee State Constitution.

Have you read that? Do you know what it says?

§ 3. Freedom of worship

That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; that no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any minister against his consent; that no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.

§ 4. Political or religious test

That no political or religious test, other than an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of this State, shall never be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State.

Now if you look at section 3, you might see this prayer being conducted IS giving favoritism to one particular mode of worship and supporting them. Maybe you don't think it is a problem, but then I think your position skirts closely to violation the principle in the 4th section. It certainly would if you tried to make it a matter of policy.

Which I fear you would do, because that's the way you've shown you'll behave. With coercion.

May 27, 2012 at 6 p.m.
BelieverToo said...

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Easy123, You obviously don't understand the 2nd clause: or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Saying a prayer is not establishing a religion. My right to participate is just as important as your right to not participate. This is my last post on the subject.

May 27, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Believer2,

I've posted about this so many times.

It's unconstitutional according to the Supreme Court.

Saying a prayer is an establishment of religion. James Madison thought so. So does the Supreme Court.

You don't have to right to government susidized prayer. I've made that clear. You can pray anywhere you want. Just not while my tax dollars are at work in a government setting. No one is taking your rights away, genius.

May 27, 2012 at 6:33 p.m.

Saying a prayer while acting in the capacity of your office is. Or letting somebody else say it, who you invited.

That's the difference.

I'm not surprised you won't recognize that.

I'd accept a moment of silence, at which time anybody who wished could silently say their prayers or whatever, but when you have an actual ceremony, you're crossing the line.

Especially when there are good odds that anybody ELSE wanting to say a prayer would not be allowed to do so.

May 27, 2012 at 6:34 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Good post bulbs.

May 27, 2012 at 6:35 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Christians are so arrogant and self righteous they are incapable of seeing life through the eyes of anyone but themselves. If the commissioners were all Muslims and praying to Allah before every meeting,I guarantee you they would be seeing this issue entirely differently.

As for Pascal's wager, while he was obviously brilliant in matters of mathematics and philosophy, his "wager" is extremely simplistic and two dimensional. First he is assuming that the God in question is only the christian god who punishes or rewards. He is not even taking into account the possibility of a God who is there but not a personal God interceding in the everyday affairs of us humans. If there is a God who is there but not a jealous god demanding that we obey him, then whether we believe or don't beleve in (him) is entirely irrelevant. We are free to live our lives believing or not believing and either way we go to the afterlife that awaits us all, believers and non-believers alike, or we go to the nothingness of death.

The only way that Pascal's Wager makes any sense is if you broadly assume that the only sort of God who is there in the first place is the christian God of reward and punishment - a God who is basically so jealous and petty that he "demands" that you love him and belive in his "son" or else you will pay the supreme sacrifice of eternal damnation. To any rational thinking person and indeed anyone who has ever been a parent and knows that placing such an insane stipulation (of forced belief) on his children would be unconscionable, that is not love but complete lunacy and tyranny. Any rational, empathic person would and does reject that God outright and anyone who willingly believes in that sort of God is actually worshiping a psychotic maniac, a being akin to the muslim's Allah, who commands his more militant, wacked-out followers to kill anyone who believes differently than he commands. The christian god does not command his worshipers to kill the non-believers in this life but God himself takes care of that grisly little detail in the after-life. Either way, christians and militant muslims alike both bow down to a jealous, vengeful God who demands obedience...or else.

If all that a thinking person can conclude as to how to live one's life with purpose is to live it believing there is a God (who punishes non-believers), just in case there is eternal damnation at the hands of that God, then the life so lived will be nothing but a hollow one, clinging to blind faith for no other purpose than to have a get-out-of-jail card.

Many christians like to point to Pascal's Wager as one more reason to defend their childish blind faith, but I prefer to point to Jefferson instead: "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

May 27, 2012 at 7:51 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

We, The People of The United States of America Who Know For A

Certainty That The Majority of Our Founding Fathers Were Christians

Indeed, Do Set Forth to Protect Our Population By Exposing Them to

The Way, The Truth, and, The Life. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God

The Father, God The Son, and, God The Holy Ghost Stated:

Saint John 14:6

"I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: No Man Cometh Unto The Father, But by Me."

In John 3:18

"He That Bbelieveth on Him Is Not Condemned: But he That Believeth Not Is Condemned Already, Because he Hath Not Believed in The Name of The Only Begotten Son of God."

Yet, I Say, I Do Understand Why Certain Individuals Make Innocent, Though, Painful to Read Comments Regarding Doing Away With Prayer to The Lord God Of Hosts. The Ancient of Days, Our Lord God Who Proclaims He Is Love, Has Declared:

1 Corinthians 2:14

"But The Natural Man Receiveth Not The Things of The Spirit of God: For They Are Foolishness Unto Him: Neither Can He Know Them, Because They Are Spiritually Discerned."

Ken Orr

May 27, 2012 at 8:48 p.m.
Easy123 said...

The Christian Founding Fathers authored a secular Constitution. They were smart enough to do that.

That's not protection. It's indoctrination. Teach people HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

I've always wondered this: If Jesus was born in Bethlehem, why is he "Jesus of Nazareth"?

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours" -Richard Dawkins

"I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world." -Bertrand Russell

"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." — Friedrich Nietzsche

"Religion is based ... mainly upon fear ... fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand . . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race." -Bertrand Russell

May 27, 2012 at 9:29 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Ken Orr, most of the founding fathers were actually deists. Their concept of God was so unlike today's Christians that you would probably see them more as pagans than Christians, and thus you would be condemning them, not praising them. Even Washington, who attended church regularly and invoked the name of God often, was labeled a deist by his own pastor, and he always refused to take communion, even though his wife took it without fail. Thomas Jefferson was called an atheist by almost every clergyman of his time. Although he was not in actuality an atheist and he did believe in a God, he did not believe on one who interceded in our personal lives. Furthermore he did not believe in the notion of original sin, a tri-une God, or the divinity of Christ. In fact he rewrote the New Testament, removing all reference to JC's divinity, preserving only those parts that conveyed an uplifting message of love and truth.

I have a theory: the more a person quotes from the Bible to make any sort of point whatsoever, the more out of touch with reality that person is. In other words, Mr. Orr, I think you're friggin' nuts. But I'm sure your happy in your own deluded way. Go with Jeebus.

May 27, 2012 at 10:54 p.m.

Actually we know many of the founding fathers were responsible for disclaiming excess religious influence in the government, from their explicit words and actions.

They didn't want a theocracy, and would probably resent you co-opting them to advance your own agenda.

I suggest not trying to make them your pawns.

May 27, 2012 at 11:27 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

"One Nation, Under God, Indivisible..."

Saint John 14:6

Jesus Said: "I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: No Man Cometh Unto The Father, But by Me."

Ken Orr

May 28, 2012 at 7:56 p.m.

And yet Jefferson did not make this a theocracy. And the original Pledge of Allegiance, which wasn't composed until 1892, didn't contain that phrase until 1954.

Why? I think you're taking facts out of context. Maybe Jefferson sent his children to that school because it was the best available one. I know many Jewish people who send their children to Catholic Schools, or Catholics who send theirs to Jewish. Your scanty details tend to point to the truth being somewhat different than your version.

But you should really only post under one account.

May 28, 2012 at 8:44 p.m.
jazzman said...

re: conservative said... 'TRUTH CAN NOT BE REFUTED!!!'

so,...whose 'truth' are you referencing ??? frauds of the 'religious-right' like 'conservative', don't answer direct questions,. which is why you can't take them seriously.

A 'real christian' should be able to have an engaging conversation about their faith without using the bible or dogma as a 'crutch'.

'Conservative' needs to visit .. www.landoverbaptist.org ....and get the real story.

May 29, 2012 at 3:09 a.m.
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