published Friday, May 25th, 2012

Public prayer and the law

The offering of a Christian prayer before every Hamilton County Commission meeting is so customary that most people assume the invocation is a part of the agenda. If it is, it should not be. Prayer has no place at any public meeting of any government agency here or elsewhere. If the commissioners believe otherwise, a letter from The Freedom From Religion Foundation -- received Monday -- is a timely reminder that courts have ruled that such prayers violate the U.S. Constitution.

Commission Chairman Larry Henry gets the point, sort of. "This may be something we need to get some advice from our county attorney on," he said. How true. What County Attorney Rheubin Taylor should find after a review of applicable laws is that prayers endorsing a specific religion at a public government meeting have been outlawed. The prayers before commission meetings certainly fit that criterion.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation pointed out in its letter to commissioners that "every 2012 prayer so far has been given "in Jesus' name." That, to be sure, meets the criteria for endorsement of a specific religion. More inclusive ecumenical prayers to avoid offense to Jews, Muslims and some other faiths would be given in the name of "our creator," or simply "God." More legally acceptable would be a moment of silence to allow a private prayer.

Still, that doesn't mean the commission will give up its prayer. Public sentiment clearly favors the tradition and commissioners likely would prefer to avoid anything that would suggest that they as individuals or as a group oppose prayer. Instead, the commissioners might try to modify current practices to better meet the law. Henry indicated as much when he said, "We're [the commission] not going to discontinue prayer, though."

That's asking for trouble. Trying to tiptoe around established law is almost always an exercise in frustration. Federal case law, the foundation letter makes clear, supports the argument that Christian prayer at public government meetings violates constitutional protections against establishment of religion. There are a narrow exceptions, legal scholars agree, but it is unlikely they would apply here.

The county has been down a similar road before. It proved a costly experience. In 2002, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the county for posting the Ten Commandments in the courthouse and two other buildings. A federal judge ruled that the display violated the constitutional requirement of church and state separation. He ordered the plaques removed. He also ordered the county to pay attorney and court costs -- about $70,000.

The commission should avoid a costly repeat performance. It should abandon prayer before its meetings. The law is clear. It strongly supports traditions of religious freedom and the right to private prayer. It does not sanction officially supported and conducted prayers in public government meetings like the commission holds here. Putting an end to the current practice might not be politically popular, but it is the right and the just thing to do.

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jimcarwest said...

Upon what basis should prayer be outlawed from public gatherings? The Supreme Court has pronounced on the subject, and this is often quoted as the authority. Only one problem with this: the Supreme Court does not make law according to the Constitution. It is the Legislature that makes law. Please cite the Congressional law that forbids prayer in public gatherings. The few do not have the right to suppress the majority unless the majority have violated some law of the land. Otherwise, the few can just tolerate the will of the majority. That's what the minority wants all the time.

May 25, 2012 at 6:16 a.m.
joneses said...

What I cannot understand is if the atheist do not believe in God then why are they so intimidated in something they believe does not exist? I do not think these atheist care whether prayer is in public places or not. I think it is just another example of controlling the masses.

May 25, 2012 at 7:08 a.m.
conservative said...

This writer states "prayer has no place at any public meeting of any government agency here or elsewhere."

What an arrogant statement. Who made him King? What words in a prayer so offended him and why didn't he put forth those words to win converts to his cause?

I assume these prayers are directed to GOD, a loving GOD who has shown great patience with him.

He, myself and others are sure to hear words in public meeting that we disagree with and offend us. This is inevitable in a public meeting.

This is gross intolerance.

May 25, 2012 at 7:29 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Prayer at government meetings is unnecessary (go to church, for pity's sake) but okay as long as it is not sectarian. The point of this complaint is not the prayer, but that it is specifically Christian prayer.

The frustrating thing is many Christians in this area see absolutely NOTHING wrong with this-they can't help it, because anything that converts others to their sectarian beliefs can and should be allowed.

May 25, 2012 at 7:43 a.m.
conservative said...

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a euphemism for Godless atheism.

Did you notice that the writer makes no mention that this group are a bunch of atheists?

May 25, 2012 at 7:54 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Why should it matter?

May 25, 2012 at 8:04 a.m.
Hilltopp said...

Question. If the prayer at each meeting were an American Indian prayer would the Christians object?

Not trying to be sarcastic here. The point is, non-objecting Christians think it is fine because they agree with it. What if it were something you didn't agree with?

Frankly, I find praying before each meeting to be out of place and unprofessional. It shows disregard for those who do not share that belief.

May 25, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.
joneses said...

if you are not at the pubic meeting where they say a prayer why does it bother you? If you are at the meeting would it not be easier to step outside during the prayer than to try and change the whole country?

May 25, 2012 at 8:38 a.m.
Easy123 said...

jimcarwest,

The "law" you speak of is the 1st Amendment of the Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

This amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion, or from favoring or disfavoring one view of religion over another. Now what argument do you have? These prayers are not constitutional. The prayers don't hurt anyone per se, but they fly in the face of everything the Founding Fathers worked for.

Joneses,

Atheists aren't intimidated by your religion or fake god. We are simply tired of having to tolerate the religious. I do not speak for all atheists but I will stop my fight with Christians as soon as they keep their religion to themselves. This country should not be a theocracy, but it obviously is. Keep your religion to yourself and I won't have any problems. But I don't want to live by your rules or tolerate your intolerance towards others that are unlike yourself. And by saying this is an attempt to "control the masses" you are projecting. Christians are trying to control the masses. They want their beliefs in public policy. They want everyone to believe as they do. I don't care what you believe, just keep it out of public policy and schools, etc. I implore you to keep practicing your religion if it makes you happy, but KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

May 25, 2012 at 8:50 a.m.
kkemerait said...

Let's flip the question a bit shall we, where is it written that in order to pray it must be done in a public manner? Why can't each person pray (or not) quietly and and without making a public show of it.

Certainly if God exists, prayers uttered quietly and privately are just as easily heard and answered.

Which leaves us with the question of WHY a group would insist on praying out loud, to be seen by others...help my poor memory but didn't Jesus himself have something to say on that matter?

The point is not that an atheist might be "offended", but rather that it makes it appear that there is a necessary connection between a government function and a particular religion. What would a meeting look like if each group had to stop and wait for the next religious group to gather and utter some public prayer before the session could begin?

Want to pray? Do you think it will help? As an atheist I fully support your right to say whatever prayer you like...but for the sake of process, appearance and to avoid offending others (something no Christian should want to do anyway!), say your prayers silently, to your God or Gods, take a quiet moment of meditation, or grab a new slice of gum, whatever makes you happy, but please, as Jesus said, "...enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly".

May 25, 2012 at 8:51 a.m.
conservative said...

Hilltopp.....

Spokesmen from other faiths often lead in prayer already in meetings such as city councils all around the country. Those who object just leave the room or remain silent.

This silence or leaving the room applies to all speech in a public meeting.

Why is it only when a Christian offers the prayer is there opposition? Why the hypocrisy of intolerance?

May 25, 2012 at 8:52 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

Would you "step outside" during a Muslim prayer? Or a prayer to Zeus, Wotan, Mithra, Satan? I doubt it. It should not be tolerated. Government officials shouldn't have Christian prayer while they are in government buildings. It is unconstitutional. And your preachment of simple "tolerance" is sickening. I'm sure you don't tolerate other religions, why should anyone tolerate yours? It is important to note that I would feel this way towards any religion. Not just Christianity.

May 25, 2012 at 8:56 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

Prove your first statement.

There is only opposition to Christian prayer because it is, usually, only the Christians trying to do these things. I haven't heard of many Muslims or Jews having a prayer before a government meeting. It isn't intolerance. You and the government officials still have all your rights to practice religion!

May 25, 2012 at 9:02 a.m.
librul said...

Joneses said:

"If you are not at the pubic meeting where they say a prayer why does it bother you? If you are at the meeting would it not be easier to step outside during the prayer than to try and change the whole country?"

A succinct question illustrating why the creeping exclusivity and arrogance of religionists in government must be opposed at every turn and summing up why the founders wrote a secular Constitution for our secular government which gives every citizen the gift of autonomy of thought, untainted by coercion by their government. I guess it's time to send FFRF another contribution with a note of thanks.

May 25, 2012 at 9:02 a.m.
conservative said...

jimcarwest's comment is correct.

Not only are there no Congressional laws prohibiting public prayer, Congress is specifically prohibited from passing any law prohibiting public prayer! This prohibition on Congress is contained in the First Amendment to the Constitution : Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

May 25, 2012 at 9:15 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You don't understand the Constitution.

May 25, 2012 at 9:17 a.m.
librul said...

Jimcarwest's statement is dead wrong. What "the majority wants" does not apply to Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights. If only one person's civil rights are violated in Hamilton County, the Constitution is on the side of that person. When the Hamilton County Commission establishes, as it has, that their functions are done only in the name of the xtian god, they are violating the rights of conscience of EVERY citizen and taxpayer in the county that does not recognize that belief and they are thus subject to penalties prescribed by the law and the courts for such transgressions of those persons' rights of conscience.

We should all listen carefully to what our County Attorney, Reverend Reubin Taylor, says on the issue.

May 25, 2012 at 9:46 a.m.
conservative said...

Easy123....

No, it is you who don't understand the Constitution regarding the First Amendment. Unlike you I will explain to you why, not to just beat you up but in the hope that you will stop disseminating some Liberal lies about the First Amendment.

Concerning the First Amendment you wrote to jimcarwest....."This amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion, or from favoring or disfavoring one view of religion over another.

The First Amendment contains no prohibition from "state governments" to establish an official religion! I repeat, The First Amendment contains no prohibition from "state governments" to establish an official religion!

The First Amendment to the Constitution : Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

The prohibition is specific to Congress and only to Congress. Note that. Don't let Lieberals indoctrinate you into the belief that a state can not have an official religion!

May 25, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You seriously don't understand. Your post is very ignorant.

Everson v. Board of Education (1947): Applied the Establishment Clause to the states. The Supreme Court interprets the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses to restrict the establishment of religion by states.

Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994): Justice David Souter, in speaking for the majority, said "government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion."

Once again, you are wrong. The highest court in our land believes that this amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion, or from favoring or disfavoring one view of religion over another. The SUPREME COURT interprets the 1st Amendment this way; not just me.

You are the indoctrinated one. The state cannot have an official religion. You know nothing about the Constitution. Do some research because your previous post is ENTIRELY false and ignorant to facts.

May 25, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
conservative said...

Easy....

You moved the goal post. Once again the First Amendment : Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

Our founding fathers specified the prohibition against Congress and ONLY Congress. Read the First Amendment till you understand it. Please.

It is true that a majority of the Supreme Court can rule whatever they wish concerning the Constitution in defiance of clear wording such as we have here, but this majority would be in contempt of the Constitution.

Not only can a state have an official state religion but it actually happened! Our neighbor South Carolina had an official state religion! Betcha no Lieberal told you that. South Carolina had the Anglican/Church of England as their official state religion for over 205 years ( 1663-1868).

Now look it up before you dig your hole any deeper.

Don't let Lieberals indoctrinate you with lies. Don't let them exploit you.

May 25, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.
librul said...

Like some other states, South Carolina was dragged kicking and screaming back under the auspices of the U.S. Constitution after the Civil War.

The 1868 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a post-Civil War reconstruction amendment, requires individual states to provide equal protection under the law to ALL people within their jurisdictions. This requirement supersedes ANY applicable statutory laws and sections in state constitutions. It thus nullifies the effect of clauses in state constitutions that discriminate against American citizens on the bases of race, gender or belief, etc..

This was confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961.

Unfortunately, the clauses retain great symbolic value. Decades or centuries later, they lend legitimacy to Conservative's expression of hatred and mistrust towards religious minorities and those who reject religion entirely.

And we thought conservative Republicans only wanted to "take the country back" to the good 'ole 1950s - apparently that's not even half of it.

May 25, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You are either dense or stupid or both. I have read the WHOLE Constitution. And I understand it. You are the one that doesn't seem to understand it. You can interpret it however you want but that's not how the Supreme Court interprets it.

The Supreme Court interprets the Constitution and rules accordingly. The Supreme Court interprets the 1st Amendment to mean exactly what I said. Nothing more, nothing less. You do not understand how this works. It doesn't matter what you think it says, the Supreme Court is the highest court in our land and all of the courts below it have to answer to it.

And to your point about South Carolina. I know there were state religions. But that was 200 years ago and there are none now. There cannot and will not be official state religions now because it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! What about this do you not get?

May 25, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
joneses said...

easy123

I do not expect you to be intimidated by God. Actually I expect nothing of you as you and the rest of your little libtard atheist friends are small and irrelevant to me. You do not know me or how my beliefs are as a Christian. What you are doing is making comments on your stereotyping of all Christians.

You asked. "Would you "step outside" during a Muslim prayer? Or a prayer to Zeus, Wotan, Mithra, Satan?"

No I would not as I would probably find their prayers interesting. Did you know that all religions have one thing in common? I would guess you would not know what that is. I would not try to change them to believe in nothing like you and the rest of the atheist do. If I did not like it I would exit. You libtards are always preaching tolerance but you have the least amount of tolerance I have ever witnessed. A form of tolerance is knowing when to leave. The truth is you are intimidated by something you believe does not exist. I personally do not give a rats ass what you believe in because you are not important to me. if you want to believe in nothing then do so but stop being a hypocrite by showing how you are intimidated by what you have admitted does not exist. No one can force anything on you that you do not want forced on you unless you are weak minded and apparently you are. You can degrade and ridicule Christianity and call us Christians all the names you want but you and the other atheist libtards will never have the power to change my beliefs. People have been attacking Christianity forever and it is still alive and well and there is nothing you and your little irrelevant, libtard atheist friends can do about it. Get a life dude because the life I see you living sucks real bad. I think I will go to the court house and pray today just to piss you off.

May 25, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

Shouldn't all Christians believe in the same thing? Or do you have different beliefs than other Christians?

Some religions have things in common. But there are a myriad of differences in all the religions.

I am very tolerant. But not when Christians try to create a theocracy in the country I live in. It's unconstitutional.

You obviously don't know what the word "intimidated" means.

I never called anyone names. However, that's all you have been doing.

Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. are still around as well. Does that make them true too?

I would wager every cent I have to say that my life is exponentially better than yours. And I mean that in the most condescending way.

May 25, 2012 at 12:25 p.m.
kkemerait said...

Well, maybe we should begin be looking at the Tennessee State Constitution...which says, in part:

ARTICLE IX Disqualifications.

Section 1. Whereas ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.

Section 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

May 25, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.
librul said...

KKEMERAIT: Press "REWIND" back to 11:48 then Press "PLAY"

May 25, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy...

Wow! I made it so easy.

I don't mind repeating myself until you get it. Once again the First Amendment : Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

Our founding fathers specified the prohibition against Congress and ONLY Congress. Read the First Amendment till you understand it. Please.

Calling me ignorant when I put forth knowledge and facts you can not refute only makes you look silly.

There were states with an official state religion when the Constitution was ratified and many years after.

Again there is no prohibition against states having an official religion in the Constitution.

May 25, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.
conservative said...

easy, cont...

Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England Original Charter Date: Mar. 24, 1663 Full text of the Charter of Carolina (PDF) 23.6K Ended Support: 1868 "Article XXXVIII. That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated. The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed, and is hereby constituted and declared to be, the established religion of this State. That all denominations of Christian Protestants in this State, demeaning themselves peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges. To accomplish this desirable purpose without injury to the religious property of those societies of Christians which are by law already incorporated for the purpose of religious worship, and to put it fully into the power of every other society of Christian Protestants, either already formed or hereafter to be formed, to obtain the like incorporation, it is hereby constituted, appointed, and declared that the respective societies of the Church of England that are already formed in this State for the purpose of religious worship shall still continue Incorporate and hold the religious property now in their possession. And that whenever fifteen or more male persons, not under twenty-one years of age, professing the Christian Protestant religion, and agreeing to unite themselves in a society for the purposes of religious worship, they shall, (on complying with the terms hereinafter mentioned,) be, and be constituted, a church, and be esteemed and regarded in law as of the established religion of the state, and on a petition to the legislature shall be entitled to be incorporated and to enjoy equal privileges. That every society of Christians so formed shall give themselves a name or denomination by which they shall be called and known in law, and all that associate with them for the purposes of worship shall be esteemed as belonging to the society so called. But that previous to the establishment and incorporation of the respective societies of every denomination as aforesaid, and in order to entitle them thereto, each society so petitioning shall have agreed to and subscribed in a book the following five articles, without which no agreement or union of men upon pretense of religion shall entitle them to be incorporated and esteemed as a church of the established religion of this State: Ist. That there is one eternal God, and a future state of rewards and punishments. 2d. That God is publicly to be worshipped. 3d. That the Christian religion is the true religion. 4th. That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are the rule of faith and practice. 5th That it is lawful and the duty of every man being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to the truth."

May 25, 2012 at 2:12 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Once again, yes there a prohibition against state religions according to the Supreme Court and they interpret and enforce our Constitution. I am baffled that you can't grasp that.

I am refuting your claims with actual Supreme Court cases and facts according to those that interpret our Constitution. Everything you present shows your ignorance. It is irrelevant that states had official religions 200 years ago. They don't now precisely because it is unconstitutional according to the people that are paid a great deal of money to interpret the Constitution and enforce the laws/ideas that it presents.

I can't fathom how you don't understand that. The fact that you are trying to argue about FACTS is proof of your obtuseness. You literally have no argument. I am presenting facts according to our Supreme Court. How can you consciously attempt to refute what I am saying?

May 25, 2012 at 2:20 p.m.
joneses said...

easy123

Your life cannot be better than mine as I have and will always will put more value on my life and than I would ever put on yours miserable little existence. You see I am not jealous of you or your mindless thoughts. You atheist have nothing to offer but pissing and moaning all the time about Christians. You have nothing good to say about what we believe is a beautiful thing. You are one miserable person as far as I am concerned. You have not the ability to engage in deep spiritual thought because you have no spirituality. When the tornados destroyed the homes in Harrison this spring there were many churches out volunteering and helping clean up peoples houses, delivering food and offering other forms of support. I did not see one group of atheist helping anyone. And this goes in line with you atheist having nothing to offer anyone but your own misery. Keep proving my point.

May 25, 2012 at 2:27 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

May I first say, this is your best and most revealing post yet.

I feel that life is the most precious thing. And I'm more inclined to believe that way because I do not believe in an afterlife. Emily Dickinson says it best, "That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet". Since I only get one life, I am obligated to make the most out of it. I am also obligated to the human race. I take god out of the equation and attempt to live my life being conscious of others and trying help and treat other with respect. I also feel an obligation toward nature/the Earth but that is beside the point.

I don't expect you to be jealous of me or anyone. Jealousy is a terrible emotion.

What you believe is not as beautiful as science, reason and logic. It is myth.

Spirituality is fine. I don't have a problem with conversation about immaterial things like consciousness and being. But there are no definitive answers for most "spiritual" questions.

Just because churches do nice things doesn't make their religion true. I also volunteered and bought and delivered food and water. I am an atheist. I'm sure many other atheists in this area did the same thing.

You actually edited your post. The first drafted included the phrases "P.O.S.", "Pecker sucker", and "insignificant bastard". Why are you so angry? But your use of slander and cursing in a relaxed setting such as this is another reason to believe that you are ignorant. Or at least have a limited vocabulary.

I am not angry at Christians as you are at atheists. My beliefs are my own and I have investigated many religions, especially Christianity (the religion into which I was raised), and have come to the conclusions that I have about the supernatural. I believe in science, logic, and reason. My life is very happy. I think Christians have every right to practice their religion. But I also have the right to not practice religion. And, as I have said before, I'll stop fighting Christians when they stop trying to make the US a theocracy and force their beliefs and religion into public policy and education. I will not have it.

May 25, 2012 at 2:50 p.m.
conservative said...

easy.....

You might like this, I sure did. Note the website. These are your people.

Some excerpts :

"Republican Lawmaker Walks out on First Muslim Prayer Ever in Texas Senate"

"But Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick has taken ignorance to a new level.

Patrick, the same fellow who recently proposed buying babies off of new mothers for $500 to discourage abortions, walked out on the first Muslim prayer ever held in the Texas Senate."

"Imam Yusuf Kavakci, who was actually invited by a Jewish State Senator, said he can't understand why anyone would have a problem with his prayer or with the text he chose, on the mercy of God."

Prayer in the Texas Senate! By a Muslim! Story on a Demoncrat website!, and you say the Constitution was violated.

Just wait until I share knowledge with you where prayer is held in higher offices in America.

A reminder, don't let Lieberals indoctrinate you with their lies.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x3200870

May 25, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.
librul said...

Conservative, you idiot, you have no argument here either. Unless the Texas state Senate mandates that EVERY session will be opened with a Muslim prayer, nobody should bat an eye. Now - maybe they'll let an atheist open a session with an excerpt from one of R.C. Ingersoll's speeches. I like this one, appropriately from "God and the Constitution" ...

"We have already compared the benefits of theology and science. When the theologian governed the world, it was covered with huts and hovels for the many, palaces and cathedrals for the few. To nearly all the children of men, reading and writing were unknown arts. The poor were clad in rags and skins -- they devoured crusts, and gnawed bones. The day of Science dawned, and the luxuries of a century ago are the necessities of to-day. Men in the middle ranks of life have more of the conveniences and elegancies than the princes and kings of the theological times. But above and over all this, is the development of mind. There is more of value in the brain of an average man of to-day -- of a master-mechanic, of a chemist, of a naturalist, of an inventor, than there was in the brain of the world four hundred years ago. These blessings did not fall from the skies. These benefits did not drop from the outstretched hands of priests. They were not found in cathedrals or behind altars -- neither were they searched for with holy candles. They were not discovered by the closed eyes of prayer, nor did they come in answer to superstitious supplication. They are the children of freedom, the gifts of reason, observation and experience -- and for them all, man is indebted to man."

May 25, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.
Easy123 said...

It is and was violated by both parties. Christians here and this Muslim in Texas.

May 25, 2012 at 3:15 p.m.
joneses said...

And Emily Dickinson knows because why? I am angry at atheist like you that continue to invoke your self will on others. You want to remove prayer from public buildings for what reason? It is not hurting anything but perhaps your own fragile ego. Please do not say you are an enforcer of the US constitution. I actually believe you have a miserable existence. Oh I am angry that you atheist are so insecure and you continue to attack Christianity and control for your own selfish intentions where it is spoken. Again if you do not believe in it then why on earth are you so intimidated by it? Do you want to have cartoons removed off of television? It is not real either so does that bother you? As far as I am concerned you are the ignorant one to believe that the greatest thing in the whole universe is man that you believe came from a single cell. Do not call me ignorant when you are the insecure one that has not the intellect to realize that if you do not believe in it then it does not matter. You cannot grasp that concept can you? You believe in science? The scientist do not know everything. Their ae things in this universe that is beyond our mental capacity. You actually pick and chose the science you need to confirm what you want to believe. That is ignorant. I am sorry but you show you are not that intelligent by believing that man has proven that God does not exist. If man does not know everything then how has he proven to you God does not exist?

May 25, 2012 at 3:27 p.m.
joneses said...

Easy123

One more thing. Me posting those vulgarities as wrong. i apologize to you.

May 25, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
jesse said...

religion, in the end will drag mankind into the abyss of total oblivion! it's all about who has it right and slaughter everyone who disagrees! been this way from the git go and isn't ever gonna change! it's like all the major cults are just out there waiting till they get a leg up and then swoop down and rule the world!! GOD HELP US ALL!!LOL!

May 25, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Joneses,

This is the only life we know for sure that we get.

I think prayer in government buildings or government subsidized religion/prayer is unconstitutional. And I believe the Supreme Court and Constitution would agree. It doesn't hurt me at all. I never claimed it did. I'm not trying to force my beliefs on anyone. I am in full support of the idea of freedom of religion. You should be able to worship whoever you want. But I also believe that I have the right FROM religion. I will not stand for religion being taught in science class and other unconstitutional acts being done with my tax dollars. Keep your religion but keep it to yourself. Until then, I will continue to fight against an American theocracy.

I'm not insecure or "attacking" Christianity. There are many contradictions and immoral teachings in the Bible. That's been stated many times on this site. Look them up.

Once again, I don't think you understand what "intimidated" means. I am not frightened or threatened by a god I don't believe in or a religion that I think is myth.

Cartoons are real. They are television shows. The characters aren't "real" in the sense that they are three dimensional, living beings. But cartoons are simply shows on television. Television shows are real things.

The interesting thing about science is that it is always striving to learn more. That's what science is. Religion is the exact opposite, it claims to have all the answers. Why is there no mention of cells, mitochondria, germ theory, or anything else that a "god" should know in the Bible? I don't agree that there are things beyond our mental capacity in the cosmos. I think that one day, probably several thousand years from now, we will know a great deal about our world and the cosmos.

I don't pick and choose what "science" I believe. Science has given us medicine, technology, etc. Science is the greatest human invention. Evolution is true whether you believe it or not. The fossil record, genetics, vestigial organs/traits, common traits in emryos, phylogeny, etc. are all proofs of evolution. talkorigins.org has a lot of good information on these subjects and more. Evolution is the only testable/observable explanation for our world. All the evidence supports evolution. There is no evidence of an intelligent creator much less the god of the Bible. To repeat, there is NO EVIDENCE of an intelligent creator.

I don't claim that man has proven God doesn't exist. I just believe that the absence of evidence for god or an intelligent designer is overwhelming. If your god is so evident then why is there no evidence? Show me evidence for a god and I will rethink my beliefs.

You don't have to apologize. I wasn't mad. I've been called a lot worse than that. I wasn't trying to throw the language thing up to you; I curse a lot as well. I just hate using curses in formal conversation. I didn't take any offense to it.

May 25, 2012 at 4 p.m.

Kkemerait, thank you for quoting the state constituition, it is an even more relevant document here, and the prohibitions are quite expansive.

§ 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.

So...the commission either allows anybody to conduct a prayer or other similar event, or it does nothing. No preference can be given, and pontificating over the federal Constitution allowing a state to set its own religion is pointless, this state does not.

Do what you like as an individual acting under your own accord, but once you become an actor of the state, obey your oath.

Giving preference is not allowed. Stop doing it County Commissioners.

May 25, 2012 at 4 p.m.
conservative said...

easy....

Violated the Constitution? Broke the law? Here is what you wrote at 8:50 am:

jimcarwest,

"The "law" you speak of is the 1st Amendment of the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

This amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion, or from favoring or disfavoring one view of religion over another"

You state that this plainly worded law prohibits "state governments from establishing an official religion". It does prohibit Congress. Where are the words "state governments"? Again don't let Lieberals tell you that the words "state governments" are in the First Amendment. Look for yourself.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here, that you were fooled by Lieberals and that you didn't try to fool jimcarwest with a lie.

May 25, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

Everson v. Board of Education (1947): Applied the Establishment Clause to the states. The Supreme Court interprets the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses to restrict the establishment of religion by states.

Once again, this is how the CONSTITUTION is INTERPRETED by the SUPREME COURT. They get paid to INTERPRET and ENFORCE the CONSTITUTION. The words "state governments" is not directly stated in the Constitution. However, the SUPREME COURT INTERPRETS the 1st Amendment to include STATE GOVERNMENTS. Everson v. Board of Education in 1947 was the first time this was specifically made mention to. If a state tried to have an official state religion, the Supreme Court would rule against it and force the state to abandon their official state religion. Just as they did in South Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Hawaii.

May 25, 2012 at 4:14 p.m.

conservative, you're only making yourself look bad, the answer is available to you in this very thread.

Willful attempts to be so ignorant don't work in your favor.

Easy123, and in this state, we don't even need the incorporation doctrine, our own state constitution is even more protective.

May 25, 2012 at 4:16 p.m.
Easy123 said...

kkemeriat,

"Section 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state."

These clauses were deemed unenforceable in Torcaso v. Watkins (1961). The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that clauses like this constituted a religious test incompatible with the religious test prohibition in Article 6 Section 3 of the United States Constitution.

May 25, 2012 at 4:18 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy you wrote...It was violated by both parties. Christians her and this Muslim in Texas.

Neither party here is Congress. I will remind you once again that you wrote : CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

No law was broken. No law was broken.

The Muslim was permitted by and joined with the members of the Texas Senate, many of whom were Demoncrats. No law was broken. Congress has made no law forbidding prayer before a state senate. I am grateful for that aren't you?

May 25, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

I refuse to address your blatant stupidity. You either cannot read or are intrinsically and mentally defective.

May 25, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.

Probably doesn't even know that Texas has provisions similar to Tennessee's in its state constitution.

Sec. 6. FREEDOM OF WORSHIP. All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.

Sec. 7. APPROPRIATIONS FOR SECTARIAN PURPOSES. No money shall be appropriated, or drawn from the Treasury for the benefit of any sect, or religious society, theological or religious seminary; nor shall property belonging to the State be appropriated for any such purposes.

Well, as long as they didn't pay the iman. Pity about the Republican Senator who walked out. His intolerance is saddening. I suspect he'd be outraged had somebody done that at his prayer.

May 25, 2012 at 4:35 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy....

It nearly always comes down to attacking the person when you can't refute the arguement, doesn't it?

May 25, 2012 at 4:39 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

I've literally refuted your argument in every one of my posts. Read them.

May 25, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.

Your argument isn't genuine conservative, Easy123 is frustrated by your obstreperous dishonesty.

Your claims don't measure up. At best you're relying on pedantry, and even that isn't based on a truthful objection. If you're going to rely on technicalities, you've got to recognize the lune you're threading.

May 25, 2012 at 4:59 p.m.

This country was founded on Christian beliefs. There are laws that give us the freedom to speak those beliefs. (not only Christian beliefs but others also)Why is it that our government has the right to rule against what our country was founded on?

This country has gotten to where it is today because of our freedom. Everyone wants to express that freedom in their own way. What is so wrong with that?! If we don't have freedom of speech (no matter what you might believe in)we might as well live in a society governed by a dictatorship.

If Christians can't speak what they believe freely why should any other group (religious or not)be able to speak what they believe freely? Why does our government have the right to decide who should be able to speak freely and who should not?

Why can't we all treat each other as we would like to be treated? With respect.

May 25, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy.....

For your information, I don't want you to be ignorant about prayer in government, nor about the Constitutionality of it. You have to admit that I have used your own words concerning the Constitution to show you that public prayer is not uncconstitutional.

Here is an except concerning a HINDU leading the United States Senate in prayer!

There were no arrests for breaking a Constitutional law concerning prayer.

"Today, for the first time in this nation’s history, a Hindu led the opening prayer in the Senate. When I first heard about this I was not particularly troubled. I understand that this country is not a Christian nation, politically speaking. While the political philosophy of the founders was informed by Judaeo-Christian principles, and the vast majority of the citizens of this country are Christian, our government is not. There is no governmental basis on which I can say Christian and Jewish-led prayers in the Senate are acceptable, but Hindu-led prayers are not."

Don't let LIeberals exploit your lack of knowledge on this issue.

http://theosophical.wordpress.com/2007/07/12/why-have-a-hindu-led-prayer-in-the-senate/

May 25, 2012 at 5:08 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

Public prayer in government buildings is unconstitutional. I have proved that over and over. Any religious prayer in a government setting is unconstitutional. Especially if it is mandated. Once again, you are an idiot.

Forthelove,

Our country was founded on secular logic. Not Christian beliefs.

May 25, 2012 at 5:17 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy... Concerning House and Senate Chaplains who lead CONGRESS in prayer (Congress is our federal government).

Here is an excerpt:

CRS Report For Congress House and Senate Chaplains

"The chaplains perform ceremonial, symbolic, and pastoral duties. They open the daily sessions in the chambers of each house with a prayer; serve as spiritual counselors to Members, their families, and staff; conduct Bible studies, discussion sessions, and prayer meetings for Members and staff; and often officiate at the weddings and funerals of Members. They also coordinate the “guest chaplains” who are frequently invited by Members to deliver the daily invocation."

Don't let Lieberals exploit your lack of knowledge concerning prayer when CONGRESS is in session. Don't let them make a fool out of you. You can refute them. It is quite EASY

BTW, prayer in a public building unconstitutional, Congress certainly doesn't think so. Why don't you file a lawsuit since you are so sure you know more than they?

http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RS20427.pdf

May 25, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Just because they do it doesn't make it Constitutional. I am baffled that I am still having to explain this to you. Your ignorance and mental incompetence is astounding.

May 25, 2012 at 6:35 p.m.

Easy123,

secular - Has a root meaning of "temporal"—opposed to the eternity of the church—and means "not connected to a religion."

I guess we disagree. I can guarantee that our country was not founded on the above definition of secular. Example, the last time I looked at any/all U.S. money it states "In GOD We Trust". It's been that way from the beginning.

Please explain to me why I and others like me cannot publicly display our love for Christ. What is the difference between us saying "WE Believe" and you saying "You Don't Believe"??

May 25, 2012 at 6:51 p.m.

No, that motto has not been on US Currency since the beginning.

You can see some images here:

http://www.coincommunity.com/coin_histories/

You can see the words Liberty, United States of America, E Plurbius Unum, but no, nothing about "In God we Trust" in the 1790s. You won't find that till many decades later.

Speak what you believe, but don't make up facts that aren't true.

And don't make me pay for you to speak your religion.

May 25, 2012 at 7:10 p.m.
librul said...

Love said: "the last time I looked at any/all U.S. money it states "In GOD We Trust". It's been that way from the beginning."

Horsefeathers!. Yet another religionist myth - the offensive religionist reference on our money was not mandated until the 1950s when the christo-fascists of that day changed our pledge and national motto to huff and puff in opposition to "godless communism."

And your idiotic comment about the country's founding shows you are just as ignorant of history as is Conservative.

May 25, 2012 at 7:13 p.m.
Easy123 said...

fortheloveofchrist,

You are wrong. In the terms of a treaty with Tripoli, drafted in 1796 under George Washington and signed by John Adams in 1797 it states:

" As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the on the Christian religion..."

It goes on to talk about how accepting America is of all customs and religions because Tripoli is in Lebanon, a mostly Islamic country; however, there were and still are many Christians and other religious sects there to this day.

As for your statement about "In God We Trust". The phrase has appeared sporadically on U.S. coins since 1864 and it has only been on paper currency since 1957. Unless 1957 is the beginning, you are wrong again.

You can publicly display your love for Christ. No one is arguing that you can't. Just keep it out of public policy and don't mandate it in government. Pray all you want. But government mandated public prayer in public buildings by government officials is unconstitutional.

May 25, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.

librul, and if that's not offensive, I don't know what is.

Only taking up a belief in God in response to another perceived threat?

That's not what I'd call devout.

May 25, 2012 at 7:19 p.m.

happywithnewbulbs..

You are more than welcome to try to get "our" government to print a different currency for "you" to use. Again, why should we not be able to speak of God just because you don't believe?

Since this country was founded with the belief of God, maybe you might want move to a country that has their dictator's picture on their currency instead of the word God. I'll guarantee that you won't be pushing that government to change what they were founded on.

May 25, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.

You have made an error. Who said I was an atheist? Not me. YOU DID. You made an assumption about me, and I will ask you to retract your false claims and admit your error in making such a rush to judgment. I believe in many things, but I don't bring them up here very much because this is not the place for it.

You just assumed I don't, when all I said was I do not want to pay for you to speak for your religion. Nor would I ask you to pay for my religion. Or any other. I don't want it on the money either, I consider it an act of sacrilege and arrogance. Even were it not a clear violation of constitutional principles, I would have it taken off because it is offensive to my religious sensibilities. Not that you care, you've already decided I'm an atheist.

Maybe you should be less judgmental, and respect that thought I may not share YOUR beliefs, I have my own. I just don't care to beat you over the head with them. Your choice to try to beat me over the head with their non-existence is based on a falsehood and is shameful conduct for that reason alone.

I would say you should also apologize for your stating an untruth, which I could have accepted as simple ignorance or unintended error, but this latest statement is an act of malice on your part. Especially since you seem not to have noticed how you were actually wrong. Can you even own up to your error? If you are going to make up things about me, then you're clearly not interested in honest discussion. If you truly did not intend to make up anything about me, please recant and show your regret for making such a statement. Throw in an admission of your mistaken claims about what was on the nation's currency too.

Your pointless posturing about country's with dicator's pictures on it is needless. You might find many of them invoke God and Jesus too. It's not hard at all to appeal to higher powers to conceal vices.

Easy123, The Tripoli of the Barbary States (and that treaty) is in Libya, not Lebanon.

May 25, 2012 at 7:37 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Forthelove,

The US government WAS NOT founded on the belief in God or Christianity. I proved that in my last post.

bulbs,

Thank you. I looked it up after I posted that because it didn't sound correct to me but it was after the 15 minute edit time. Sorry for the error! And thanks for the correction.

May 25, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy....

Have you noticed where you refuted yourself yet? It was in your 8:50 a.m. comment. Hint, I have already indirectly addressed it at least once.

I will give you some time to see it and prepare.

May 25, 2012 at 7:46 p.m.

conservative, playing games of wordplay is not honest, you've just now lost the argument, by making that admission. Try to be genuine instead of manipulative.

Easy123: Well, it's not like you were there signing it. Besides, it's no more important than the President of Uzbekistan.

May 25, 2012 at 7:49 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

I've noticed where I have refuted you several times.

May 25, 2012 at 7:50 p.m.
Easy123 said...

bulbs,

i appreciate it. It's fun to have some political and religious banter on here. I just like to be factual. I enjoy reading your posts as well. They are intelligent and informative. They also show a proclivity for logical explanation and reason. Keep it up!

May 25, 2012 at 7:54 p.m.

I try, thank you, and I do appreciate your posts, but I'm so upset now I think I'd better log.

May 25, 2012 at 8:02 p.m.
librul said...

Love - You people are INCREDIBLE.

You said "Why should we not be able to speak of God just because you don't believe?"

As Easy has said going on 100 times in this thread - you can speak of your chosen deity quite freely, just not in a way or in a venue that creates the impression that the government is endorsing your speech or favoring your belief over others ... as in putting it on our money, in our national motto and praying to it exclusively in government meetings..

May 25, 2012 at 8:04 p.m.
Easy123 said...

librul,

I often say that atheists and irreligious are fighting against an American Theocracy but I do feel like we already have that in America. Many Christians use the phrase that they "want their country back" or that the country is "turning away from God". I think this is false. This country is almost 80% Christian and, if we aren't careful and vigilant, we might live to see that day that government mandated religion and prayer is a real thing and we, atheist and irreligious, will have no say anymore. They've already highjacked the education system. The government is next.

May 25, 2012 at 8:09 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy, as promised.....

You wrote to jimcarwest : "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Followed by : "This amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion...."

Notice again, that it is only Congress that is prohibited from establishing a religion. The words you added were "and state governments," Do you see that? Why did you try to add those words to the First Amendment? Was it deliberate or Lieberal indoctrination?

Here is another OFFICIAL STATE RELIGION at the time before, during and after the ratification of the Constitution .which you claimed at 8:50 a.m. was not lawful under the First Amendment.

Massachusetts (204yrs from 1629-1833)

Official Religion: Congregational Church Original Charter Date: Mar. 4, 1629 Full text of The Charter of Massachusetts Bay (PDF) 29.1K Ended Support: 1833 http://undergod.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000069

May 25, 2012 at 8:53 p.m.
librul said...

Agreed, Easy. I think Sam Harris has it right, too. "Moderate" christians, who are too timid to oppose the overbearing, revisionist loudmouths among them, are actually enabling the rabid theocrats and will suffer greatly from the inevitable confict that we see coming. If they do not put down the march of the christo-fascists who do not respect the law and have no more civility than the most committed radical jihadist, it's going to get messy.

May 25, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

I didn't add that part. The Supreme Court did. You are trying to argue semantics but that's not what this is. It does not specifically use the words "state government", however, the Supreme Court interprets the 1st Amendment to include state governments. I have said that over and over again. Everson v. Board of Education was the specific court case where states were included in the interpretation of the 1st Amendment by the Supreme Court.

You don't have an argument. The 1st Amendment doesn't specifically refer to "states' but the Supreme court interprets it to include state governments and that is all the matters. It doesn't matter what you think it says or the exact wording. The Constitution is a living document that is meant to be interpreted by the courts (more specifically the Supreme Court). I'm not going to type this all out again. I've type all this at least 10 times today. Your argument is officially refuted.

And stop bringing up official state religions from 200 years ago. It does not prove your point. It actually strengthens mine because, as you have stated, those "official state religions" no longer exist because they were and still are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

May 25, 2012 at 9:07 p.m.
Easy123 said...

librul,

Hitchens said it this way, "The barbarians (religious extremist) are not at the gate, no, they are well inside. And who held open the door? The other (moderate) religious did." I sincerely hope that the rise in atheism, irreligion and even open minded beliefs of the religious among youth around the world will quell these anti-science, anti-reason, anti-logic, anti-womens rights, anti-intellectual movements by the religious in America. My sincere hope is that my generation (under 30) and the younger generations will not support these unconstitutional acts and rebel against the theocracy America has become.

May 25, 2012 at 9:15 p.m.

If the people in a government office are all ok with having a prayer prior to a meeting why can't it be done? How is that pushing a religious belief on someone that does not believe?

I honestly believe that I am a much happier person knowing that God is on my side. That the Holy Spirit is here to guide me and protect me. That there is a place to go in the end where we can see lost loved ones and be free of all evil that is here on earth. I do believe I would be a very lonely person without all of this.

May 26, 2012 at 1:30 a.m.
Easy123 said...

fortheloveofChrist,

It can and is being done. It's just unconstitutional.

I can understand where you are coming from with your beliefs. I know many people, including members of my own family, that believe exactly the way you do. But, I would argue, just because something makes you happy, safe, or loved doesn't make it true. I am all for doing what makes you happy. I think human happiness is the ultimate goal in life. However, believing these things does not make them any more true than any other beliefs.

I would also challenge you to investigate your stance on the idea of "protection" by God. Many people die terrible deaths and some die very young. Why didn't God protect them? Why were you, in a sense, more worthy or important to live a full life? These are questions that I pondered nearly everyday when I was a Christian. However, atheism, in my experience, has been more rewarding and happy than any day in my life as a Christian. I wake up every morning with the belief that the brief time I get here on this earth is infinitely precious. It is the only life that I am completely sure of. I get to spend time and see my loved ones now and my obligation to them has grown because of that. I feel like the idea of an afterlife dampens the life experience. Why does life have to last forever in order for it to have meaning or be special? This is a concept that doesn't resonate with me. Imagine, if you can, that you only got one life. Imagine how important that one life would be knowing that it was your only chance.

I do empathize with your position and beliefs despite my contrary beliefs. Some of the best people I know are Christians but that doesn't make their religion true. I would challenge you to investigate your religion as well as other religions and ask the really hard questions to yourself. That's what I did and many others have done. See what conclusion you come to. It'll be rewarding either way. I know all this might sound preachy but I think Socrates said it best, "An unexamined life is not worth living."

May 26, 2012 at 1:47 a.m.
conservative said...

Easy....

Finally, some progress and thank you for some honesty. You wrote : "I didn't add that part. The Supreme Court did". Well you both did. And that is the problem. You and some corrupt judges have added meaning and interpretation to the Constitution that is not in the Constitution as in UNconstitutional.

You wrote : "You are trying to argue semantics". On this you are right! Semantics pertains to the meaning of words. That's what semantics means. Corrupt people have changed the meaning of words or added words to the Constitution in order to change ( a core word in the definition of liberal) the meaning of the Constitution.

The Constitution is a contract and just like any other contract contains words with specific meanings (semantics), obligations, and limitations etc.

Don't let Liberals use you in perverting the meaning of our Constitution

May 26, 2012 at 8:14 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Semantics pertains to the meaning of words. That's what semantics means. Corrupt people have changed the meaning of words...

Like the quotemine you used on this thread and refused to acknowledge your dishonesty?

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/20...

May 26, 2012 at 8:24 a.m.
Easy123 said...

The Supreme Court was put in place for precisely that reason, to interpret the Constitution. Pres. James Madison interpreted the Constitution and the 1st Amendment exactly the way I have been presenting for 2 days now. And many other presidents have as well. Not to mention, many if the Supreme Court Justices.

You are wrong. The Constitution is not a contract. It is a living document to be interpreted by the current government and Supreme Court. You don't understand what you are talking about. Your view on this is patently wrong and entirely fantasy. Your spin on this whole thing is not reality.

May 26, 2012 at 9:42 a.m.

Well, I see fortheloveofchrist will not admit to error or apologize for offense. Tsk-tsk.

But I will respond by saying this: They can make private prayer all they want, public prayer in their elected capacities another matter, and for that they can show no favortism.

Since they were holding it at meetings, they have to at least open it to all, and not select one or another.

Are they even doing that?

Easy123, it's certainly no it a suicide pact, and the Supreme Court's ruling will not be changed by the chicanery conservative is attempted. Arguing rightness is not based on technicalities of expression, that its the way of sinful demons to manipulate away from the genuine. Contracts based on such measures are actually more unjust, which is why the legal tradition we follow in this country can deal with such things.

It's duplicitous, presenting a false virtue that will really be used for abuse.

May 26, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
conservative said...

Easy.....

You wrote....."The Supreme Court was put in place for precisely that reason, to interpret the Constitution" Yes that is an obvious truth, congratulations. However words have meaning and honest judges will stick to the meaning of words and also will not add words.

You added the words "and state governments" to the first amendment when the First Amendment clearly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Just because you and some Lieberal judges have expanded the prohibition to the states as well, doesn't make it so. This changes the First Amendment? Are you pretending to be obtuse?

Words have meaning. Liars try to change the meaning of words to suit their agenda. An excellent example of that would be Lieberal judges and activists redefining marriage from a man and a woman to include homosexuals.

The founders knew there were no prohibitions against official state religions because they put restrictions only on Congress. Read the First Amendment and you will see what I say is true. It is so simple and plain.

Lieberals came up with the "living and breathing document" nonsense to justify their corrupt interpretations and to reorder society. You can't possibly be that stupid. You just don't like some laws or want to change some laws without going through the process.

Her is another state that had an official state religion in accordance with the Constitution : 1. Virginia

Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England Original Charter Date: Apr. 10,1606 Full text of The First Charter of Virginia (PDF) 15.5K Ended Support: 1830

http://undergod.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000069

May 26, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

Once again, you are wrong. I've presented that over and over again. This is not a liberal thing. This is interpretation of the Constitution by the people that get paid to do that very thing. You have no argument. AT ALL. You are wrong. What you say is false. This is how the 1st Amendment is interpreted no matter what you say. You are presenting arguments that have already been refuted or are inherently stupid. Nothing you can say or present can change how the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution. You are living in an alternate reality.

May 26, 2012 at 2:39 p.m.
conservative said...

Easy, you made these statements to me....

"you don't understand the constitution, You seriously don't understand. Your post is very ignorant, Once again, you are wrong, You are either dense or stupid or both., I refuse to address your blatant stupidity,Your ignorance and mental incompetence is astounding"

You also wrote..."I AM VERY TOLERANT"

May 26, 2012 at 4:56 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

My assertions about "your blatant stupidity, your ignorance and mental incompetence is astounding." Is in no way intolerant, if that is what you are suggesting.

I have refuted and proved your argument wrong over and over again in the past two days. Yet, you still try to argue. This is blatant disregard for facts and can be labeled as ignorance, stupidity or mental incompetence. I'm just calling it like I see it. I have a lot of evidence that would lead me to believe that you are all these things. I am very tolerant. I'm not nice, per se. But when your argument has been put down over and over again, you should go ahead and admit defeat or stop arguing.

May 26, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.

Being tolerant for differences of belief is distinct from being impatient with willful and obstreperous disingenuity.

It wasn't liberal judges. It was Congress that applied it. You know that, but instead of recognizing it, or even trying to make an argument for another way based on the rightfulness of it, you rely on a juvenile assertion that doesn't add up.

Easy123, just stop wasting time with conservative, the Truth that conservative believes in isn't an honest one, and you've let him demonstrate his duplicity enough.

May 26, 2012 at 5:06 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Thanks bulbs. This was my last address to Conservative. I appreciate the support though!

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

Easy, you made these statements to me....

"you don't understand the constitution, You seriously don't understand. Your post is very ignorant, Once again, you are wrong, You are either dense or stupid or both., I refuse to address your blatant stupidity,Your ignorance and mental incompetence is astounding"

You must have been tops in your debating class.

May 26, 2012 at 5:23 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

What you are saying is incoherent!!! LALALALALALALAL!!!! You were wrong. Your ignorance and stupidity was made apparent BY YOU.

May 26, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.

Much like the bully who never admits to their conduct being offensive, conservative will try to play the victim.

May 26, 2012 at 5:31 p.m.
conservative said...

That didn't take long

May 26, 2012 at 5:32 p.m.
Easy123 said...

I don't like to keep people waiting.

May 26, 2012 at 5:34 p.m.
conservative said...

So you had no intention of keeping your word.

I knew you wouldn't and I knew you couldn't.

May 26, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
Easy123 said...

I have no clue what you are talking about.

May 26, 2012 at 5:43 p.m.
conservative said...

You at 5:07-This was my last address to Conservative

Then you address me at 5:29

Then you address me at 5:34

Then at 5 :41 I addressed you with: So you had no intention of keeping your word.

I knew you wouldn't and I knew you couldn't.

Then at 5: 43 you respond with "I have no clue what you are talking about"

Maybe you aren't lying. Maybe you really don't have a clue.

May 26, 2012 at 6:40 p.m.
Easy123 said...

You didn't specifically make reference to what you were talking about. I didn't want to address the topic of the 1st amendment anymore. I'll address you. It's the respectful thing to do.

I don't think "my word" is an applicable parallel. I made a statement. I didn't promise or shake your hand on it. It's the internet bro.

May 26, 2012 at 6:44 p.m.
conservative said...

So once again words mean whatever you say they mean.

May 26, 2012 at 7:08 p.m.

Oh goodness, complaining about somebody not not talking to you.

Can you be any more ridiculous in your posturing?

You're not making Easy123 look bad, you're showing what a reprehensible example of a human being you are.

You aren't aggregived at anything, you're just pretending to it so you can make another look bad. And yet you profess being upset when others do it.

If you weren't so transparently incompetent, it might actually appear as something other than a petty act of bullying through self-victimization.

May 26, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Yeah, what bulbs said!

May 26, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
jazzman said...

conservative said... 'that it is only Congress that is prohibited from establishing a religion. The words you added were "and state governments," Do you see that? Why did you try to add those words to the First Amendment? Was it deliberate or Lieberal indoctrination?

your postings on just about everything are so superficial it make one wonder whether you're 'just having fun' playing the fool, or you really are as ignorant as your postings demonstrate......

re: your comment about..' it is only Congress that is prohibited from establishing a religion'

'Initially the First Amendment provided protections only against the federal government—that is, whereas the federal government could not establish a church or pass laws restricting one's religious practice, state governments could. But through the legal doctrine of "incorporation," the First Amendment's provisions were extended to state and local governments as well.

  • the doctrine of incorporation

This legal doctrine states that the guarantees of liberty found in the Bill of Rights apply not only to the federal government but to state and local governments as well through the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ratified in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment declares that the states may not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The court has held that the protections extended under the Bill of Rights are central to our understanding of liberty and therefore "fundamental" to the states' guarantee of liberty as well.

Old state laws against 'inter-racial' marriage are another example of state law running counter to the guarantees of liberty found in the Bill of Rights

btw: re: 'or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'

  • 'in most states it is illegal to handle poisonous snakes during worship services'

-'the Mormon practice of polygamy was not protected under the First Amendment, even though it was sanctioned by the church at that time.'

May 29, 2012 at 4:22 a.m.
jazzman said...

joneses said... 'I did not see one group of atheist helping anyone.'

'atheists' don't have to belong to a 'group' or believe in a religion to help, and 'atheists' don't need the 'credit' for helping that religious folks seem to need.

May 29, 2012 at 4:25 a.m.
Exusiai said...

joneses...

Okay as a Christian, I'm offended by you. You have done nothing here but make those of us who may believe as you do look bad. You most definatly have not proven your point. Let us examine a few of your comments...

*"Actually I expect nothing of you as you and the rest of your little libtard atheist friends are small and irrelevant to me." *

"I personally do not give a rats (explicitive deleted) what you believe in because you are not important to me."

"I think I will go to the court house and pray today just to piss you off"

As a Christian, are you really supposed to find people irrelevant? Really? Do you even for a moment think that by telling someone with an opposing view that they are irrelevant to you that you have any hope of winning them over? What kind of example are you setting for others in the community who may look up to you? What sort of example for those looking at you as an example Christian are you setting? Why would anyone who is not one of us look at you and say "Man I want to be like that."?

And of course cursing and name calling is ever the mature adult way to prove your point. I know when someone is trying to convince me my point of view is wrong, that if they call me a name or curse me out I change my mind right away.

Now, to the subject at hand. Is prayer in a government meeting legal? Well let us see.

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.

The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

So then in theory, it is illegal for the Supreme Court to pass a law that says I can not pray in a public place. that would be impending my free exercise of religion and my freedom of speech. It would also be interfering with my right to peaceably assemble if they passed a law saying that a group (say at a football game) wanted to prempt the game with a prayer.

I as a Christian, have the Constitutional right to pray whenever and wherever I want. Congress, the Supreme Court, the State government have no legal grounds to establish laws preventing me from doing so. It is Unconstitutional to tell an American citizen it is a LAW that you can not pray.

See everyone wants to ignore the other side of the coin on this one. everyone wants to say the First Amendment means you can't pray in public, and yet it also says you can. It specifical says that laws can not be passed that hinder, or prevent my right to publicly affirm my faith.

May 30, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.
Easy123 said...

No one said that the First Amendment means you can't pray in public. It says that government officials can't sanction or mandate prayer in government buildings on public tax dollars.

Obviously you haven't read the arguments on here or you would know that. No one is trying to eliminate public prayer.

May 31, 2012 at 12:52 a.m.

Easy123 said...

"[The First Amendment] says that government officials can't sanction or mandate prayer in government buildings on public tax dollars."

I’m having trouble finding that clause in the First Amendment. Could you enlighten me further?

June 7, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.

fortheloveofChrist is another fictitious poster created by Clay or one of his cronies. Straw man arguments are the only ones you guys are capable of refuting.

June 16, 2012 at 7:59 a.m.
kmclure said...

Freedom from Religion is really about censorship. Silence before a school game or county meeting or other public function really only honors the belief of someone who doesn’t believe in a god. In effect they are establishing their world view of no faith as the only one allowed in the public square. They are for censoring all other world views. If an imam or a rabbi insisted that all opening events start with their religious (world) views – we’d protest. Wouldn’t true inclusion involve allowing an occasional humanist or atheist to speak (or not) before an opening, in their turn, just like other religious (world view) groups do?

November 26, 2012 at 7:55 p.m.
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