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  #21  
Old 04-10-2013, 11:22 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Originally Posted by PepperElf View Post
"missing the point" - nope. I personally feel to many people use the "separation of church/state" ... as a means to silence people of faiths. that people are turning the 1A away from freedom of speech & religion into "freedom to not be offended"
Yes, you really are missing the point. As an official government representative, acting in the power of his position, he cannot open an official government meeting with an explicitly religious prayer. That's all there is to it. It doesn't matter if it's Christian, Muslim, Judaist, whatever. And speaking of which, could you imagine anybody getting away with this for more than the first five seconds if it was a non-Christian prayer?
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  #22  
Old 04-11-2013, 12:25 AM
PepperElf PepperElf is offline
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Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
Yes, you really are missing the point. As an official government representative, acting in the power of his position, he cannot open an official government meeting with an explicitly religious prayer. That's all there is to it. It doesn't matter if it's Christian, Muslim, Judaist, whatever. And speaking of which, could you imagine anybody getting away with this for more than the first five seconds if it was a non-Christian prayer?
why not? remember "freedom to not be offended" is only an imaginary right.
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  #23  
Old 04-11-2013, 01:43 AM
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North Carolina Lawmaker Calls Muslim Prayer "Terrorism"

Rep. Michele Presnell (R), one of the co-sponsors of this Bill was asked if she would support an Islamic prayer before a legislative meeting and her reply was:

"No, I do not condone terrorism" and followed it up with “We just need to start taking a stand on our religious freedom or it will be whisked away from us.”

Obviously, by the word "our" she means every American citizen, right? Not just Christians, right?

Right?

Yeah, right.
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  #24  
Old 04-11-2013, 01:53 AM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Originally Posted by PepperElf View Post
why not? remember "freedom to not be offended" is only an imaginary right.
It's not about not being offended, it's about the fact that when acting in the power of their office in this way, government officials are implicitly endorsing a religion and forcing it upon their peers, whether they agree or not. Their peers who would not be allowed to do the same thing were they of a different religious persuasion, because the christian officials so concerned about their so-called "religious freedom" would shout them down so quickly their heads would spin. Disallowing that is a perfectly valid application of the Separation of Church and State.
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  #25  
Old 04-11-2013, 05:14 AM
Duelist925 Duelist925 is offline
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Originally Posted by PepperElf View Post

"missing the point" - nope. I personally feel to many people use the "separation of church/state" ... as a means to silence people of faiths. that people are turning the 1A away from freedom of speech & religion into "freedom to not be offended"
Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion. No government agency can endorse a religion above others in any way shape or form--either everyone is included, or its simply not mentioned.

Its only being used to silence people of faith when they insist on trying to shove their faith down others throats.

How the crap would you react to a Muslim led prayer which required that the men and women prayed in different rooms? Or a wiccan prayer to the goddess being led at wherever you work?

Last edited by Duelist925; 04-11-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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  #26  
Old 04-11-2013, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PepperElf View Post
why not? remember "freedom to not be offended" is only an imaginary right.
And utterly and completely irrelevant to the discussion. This has nothing to do with being offended or not; that's just another strawman.

The plain basic fact is that 1A says "No religion in politics." It's just that simple. Trying to claim otherwise is, quite simply, bullshit. Outside of the actual laws themselves, references to God, Jesus, Mohammed, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and even just prayer have no business in our legislature, our public offices, or our public schools (including those that are private but receive public funds), and that's the way it should be.
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  #27  
Old 04-11-2013, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
why not? remember "freedom to not be offended" is only an imaginary right.
This has nothing to do with being offended or not. The government can not take a religious position. Religious people can serve in government, and can pray all they like. They can pray at home. They can go to the park and pray. They can join big meetings outside the building and pray. But they can not, acting AS AGENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, conduct prayer. Because when that happens they are giving their faith a place in government, over other people's faith.
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  #28  
Old 04-12-2013, 10:45 PM
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Basic gist is that the school board is opening with prayer, graduation includes several prayers, and they have a religious service that certain students are required to attend for a grade.
This really bothers me, and it's one of the things about North Carolina that really took me by surprise when I first moved down here.

Now I've lived in states with strong religious ties before: North Dakota, to be specific, although Maryland was pretty strong for it too in the rural areas. But invocations and benedictions were really low key on the religious side, and did not support Christianity in particular by invoking Jesus.

Down here, what a change! In particular, there is a benediction and an invocation that takes place as part of nursing pinning (but not part of commencement) that shocked me.

I didn't make a fuss until one LPN pinning I went to where the speaker the class invited to charge the graduates was the stereotypical Bible Thumpin, give me that Old Time Religion kinda guy. He went on for almost half an hour essentially giving a service.

After that, the faculty set some ground rules on speakers. However, several subsequent classes were much more religiously diverse (including not only multiple Christian denominations, but Jews, Muslims, a Hindu, and several atheists). Last May's class was so up in arms on the topic many wanted no pinning at all. They finally agreed to have one . . . on the condition I give the benediction and make it neutral. I agreed, and pulled it off successfully.

However, I do wish that part of the ceremony would be deleted altogether. With increasingly diverse classes on issues of faith (including the lack thereof) the issue is too divisive, and it is better simply not to include it.

And not only Rowan Counties and Stokes counties are dealing with this. King County is as well, over a veteran's cemetery. A local resident (and vet) objected to the cemetery flying a Christian flag. He wanted it removed. The county responded with a farcical lottery system to pick the flag of a religion each week. As a result, the Christian flag still flies most of the year. So now they're being sued, and I hope the county loses.

http://www.thestokesnews.com/view/fu...ance=commented

As for what Jaden and PepperElf have been saying, I think both have it partly right. The Founders did intend for government not to pick winners and losers when it came to religion, and to give people of all faiths the ability to worship freely. They had good reasons to do this: the English Civil War was a recent memory and affected the colonies directly (Roundheads overthrew the Maryland colonial government and outlawed Catholicism in what was established as a Catholic colony).

However, the Founders, as religiously diverse as they were (Catholics, Anglicans, Quakers, Puritans, even Jews) never imagined a world where no one would want to worship.

However, it really is best not to have religious displays being part of government sponsored activities (ie school prayer, invocations at graduations, the Ten Commandments on the courthouse wall, etc). America does better by allowing religion, or the lack thereof, to be a private affair. The more the ultra religious try to force their particular religious affiliation to dominate government sponsored arenas, the more they lose. They lose because they turn people off on religion. People are tired of public officials who say one thing and do another.
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Last edited by Panacea; 04-12-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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  #29  
Old 04-13-2013, 01:00 AM
indigo indigo is offline
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Not King county - that's Stokes County as well with the flag issue. I have heard many times that if you're not Christian (ie Southern Baptist) then you need to move out of Stokes County. So not surprising that we have two lawsuits in the works over the lack of religious tolerance around here.

I'll agree with the rest of what you said about this area Panacea - there is a very vocal sect of stereotypical, Bible-thumpin', fire and brimstone people here. They have threatened to run people out of town or ruin people's businesses over the flag issue, and will probably do the same with the BOE/graduation prayer issue. The day after the local paper ran an article vaguely linking the two issues, the man who started the flag "debate" was getting calls with death threats.

This is not just about the fact that religion should not be a part of the school system or governmental meetings. This is about a group of people who want to use their religion as a bludgeon to bully people into doing what they want. They're pissed because some of us "godless heathens" have finally had enough with their shit.
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  #30  
Old 04-13-2013, 10:01 AM
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Hyena Dandy Hyena Dandy is offline
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I'm clearly behind on my theology, but Christians have a flag now?

Shit, man, I didn't know that. Here I was, humbly worshipping my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice He made to cleanse me of my sins, the love He showed for all humanity, reading and contemplating the Bible, and now it turns out that I was supposed to ignore the bits about hypocrites who make a big show out of their religion and fly a big fucking flag out on the front porch?

Jesus, man, WHY DIDN'T THE BIBLE MENTION THIS?! I've apparently been doing this wrong the whole time!

And I thought that Southern Baptists were all about Sola Scriptura. I've apparently been Sola-ing the wrong Scripturas if there's some flag I'm supposed to display.
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