Friday, August 05, 2005

"Or Prohibiting The Free Expression Thereof..."

Presented for your consideration...

What if I told you that a brand new (hypothetical) religion has popped up all of a sudden. It is gaining popularity even as we speak. A lot of people really enjoy their worship activities connected with this new religion, and think that everyone in America would benefit from involvement in this new faith. They really want to share their new beliefs with everyone they meet.

They worship football.

Or more specifically, they believe that they worship the one true God by playing, or watching football games. They believe that every single football game played in America is a celebration of what God Himself has done for them, and this country, regardless of whether the players or other fans subscribe to their religion.

But football is the only sport that they agree with. Basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, golf, these are all sacriligious. Evil. Because these other sports draw attention away from the only true form of worship, football. All other sports deeply offend their religious sensibilities. Any sport other than football is unacceptable to these people, and should be banned from the face of the earth, according to them.

Now, these followers of this new religion all pay taxes, are upper middle class to working rich. They have disposable income, and donate heavily to the Church of Football. The Church has a war chest, and they don't believe that any sport besides the Holy Game of Football should be played anywhere in the world, and by authority of the First Ammendment of the U.S. Constitution, they are preparing lawsuits to stop every sport except for football from being played on public land, or in public places, such as high schools.

There is trouble brewing on the other side of things as well, although not the way you think.

The radical Left in this country are also preparing their own lawsuits. You see, they have no problem with any sport other than football, but now, since football has become a form of worship, then to allow a football game to be played on public land, or on government owned property constitutes an establishment of religion, and this will never do. After all, the Constitution CLEARLY states that no religious act of ANY kind can be tollerated on goverment owned, taxpayer supported property.

If any of these hypothetical lawsuits ever made it to the current Supreme Court, what do you think would happen? Do you think that a situation like this, in today's legal climate, would eliminate all sporting events from high schools in America by Federal Judicial decree?

I do.

Now consider this.
Athiesm and Agnosticism are religion. To prohibit prayer or an acknowledgement of the existence of God by anyone, anywhere is to force an official disregard for the existence of God. This is establishing a religion. The official state sponsored religion of today's America is Atheism. And while you are in public, YOU WILL worship this belief system at least outwardly, or face the consequences.

The opponents of school prayer love to quote the First Ammendment saying "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."But they stop there. If you read on, it also says "Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

But then, it isn't really Congress making these anti-prayer laws, is it?


Mark said...

Whew, I was'nt sure where you were going with that one for a while there.

I actually thought you were talking about the Muslims, who insist that the infidels convert or die. We, along with everyone in the world who isn't Muslim, are considered infidels.

That said, you have made some very good points. ergo: "Athiesm and Agnosticism are religion". Have you noticced the people who cheerfully claim to be unbelievers don't seem to make the distiction between religion and Christianity?

So, when they say, "separation of church and state", they are invariably talking about Christianity. Not Judaism, Bhuddism, Confusuiousism, Hinduismm or Islam, etc. Only Christianity.

And, because they fail to make that distinction, All religions in this country are allowed free expression except Christianity. Children are sent home, suspended even expelled for nothing more than wearing "I love Jesus" T- shirts in school. They also get low and failing grades if they write an essay on Jesis or the Bible, etc, sometimes they are not allowed to even submit such an essay, but if they want to write about Meyer Baba, they are welcome.
The ACLU continually sues to have the Ten Commandments removed from public places, and they aren't even Christian. Christianity didn't come along till thousands of years after the Ten Commandments. Perhaps if someone were to tell them that, they would leave the Commandments alone and concentrate their efforts on trying to take away the right of Christians to worship in their own homes, for fear they might be heard worshipping by someone walking by on the street outside.
Don't think they won't try that, eventually.

I can go on and on and on, but I won't. I have already given Toad (a name that insults our warty, reptilian friends) enough fodder for his Godless rants.

tugboatcapn said...

Mark, I have long known that the only ethnic group that you can oppress with impunity in America anymore are White European Male Heterosexual Christians.
And don't you love the way that they try to stir up hatred in us toward Muslims by saying things like "If a Muslim wants to pray to Allah before a football Game, would you be okay with that?"
Like just because I am a Christian, that I hate Muslims and anything to do with the religion of Islam.
Just because I am a white Christian does not mean that I am a biggot.
The fact that I am crude and unrefined does not make me a petroleum product.

Mark said...

"The fact that I am crude and unrefined does not make me a petroleum product."

Ha ha ha ha...I like that one. Here's another good one-

"Being raised in a Christian home doesn't make one a Christian any more than being raised in a garage makes one a car."

Erudite Redneck said...

Tug, I will only quietly point out that the issue is not what everyday people can do while on public property, but what representatives and employees of government can do, or cause to be done, on public property, and using public resources.

Some local officials go overboard in stopping kids in schools, or grownups in other public places, from promoting their faith, and praying and such. And then there are lawsuits, usually, to reign them in.

The See You at the Pole events are an example of kids doing the faith thing, on public property, the right way. Some radicals do complain about the events. But so what? Some people would bitch if they were hung with a gold rope.

The controversies always make the news, by the way. All over this country, mostly Christian communities continue to ignore the court and offer prayer, over PA systems, at school events, and nobody complains. The crazy left calls that "civil disobedience" -- when it suits them, and outlawry when it doesn't.

I could take you to a half-dozen county courthouses in rural West Texas right now where people regularly gather for community prayer meetings and Gospel singings, in the district courtrooms, because there is a piano stuck off in a corner somewhere. They have done do since the days when the only place in town, besides a particular church, where Christians of all denominations could gather was that courtroom. Nobody complains. It does not get in the news, because it's not news. It's the way it's been forever.

Don't misdunderstand me. I do "like" the fact that being a Christian has become a "liabiity" for those who want to hold everyone in this country to a secular, supposedly "mainstream" standard -- a standard of unbelief.

But, 1., nobody will ever keep me from faithing and believing and praying, as I see fit, wherever I am; 2., I don't know what to say about everyday Christians who WOULD let a court decision keep them from doing so; 3., again, the issue has to do with government officials and employees promoting religion, not everyday people; and 4., I swear it really is not as bad in this country as some would have you believe.

Francis Lynn said...

Is that American or European football? And is the NFL Commissioner akin to the Pope? lol. Your premise is wrong. Athiesm and Agnosticism are not religions. They are the absence of it. So they are not the True Sport. They are not even in the same category. That said, what the ACLU type ilk are attempting to do is to create a non-religion specific government in the extreme.

The ACLU should play watchdog when it comes to the goverment promoting or endorsing one specific religion or any religion - the Establisment clause in the Constitution. They fastidiously make sure that doesn't happen through their lawsuits.

However, while being sticklers for this part of the 1st amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", they play fast & loose with the rest of the clause ("...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.")

They claim high ideals & faithfulness to the 1st part of the clause while completely disavowing any validity to the 2nd part. You can't have it both ways. You can't demand the 1st part be adhered to, then capriciously ignore the 2nd part.

They have gone beyond insuring that the government not establish a state religion to promoting their own agenda against "the free exercise thereof."

They are hypocrites.

As a child in a public school, each morning started with reading a verse from the Bible. Wrong? Absolutely. It implies State sponsorship or establisment of a religion. But it has now gone beyond that restriction to the point where Johnny's essay on Jesus is anathema & will not be allowed.

School boards have so freaked out over this issue that they have lost all common sense. Even their lawyers claim they cannot allow green napkins & plates at a "Winter Break Party" because that is a violation of church & state. See:

The Supreme Court ruling says no such thing & plenty of activities that school boards & their lawyers think unlawful are perfectly legal. But they are so freaked about ACLU lawsuits that they ban what is not legally ban-able.

The game is intimidation by the ACLU & school boards are gutless enough to fall into the trap.

Erudite Redneck said...

Holy Moses! I meant I do NOT "like" the fact that ...




Eeesh. Reminds me of the "Sinner's Bible." The one printed "Thou shalt commit adultery."

What a typo.


tugboatcapn said...

Francis, it's American football, european football is SOCCER. :)

Ask any Athiest what religion he is, and he will tell you that he is an Athiest.

It's Religion.

And to prohibit a school principal from leading a non-denominal prayer before a football game is prohibiting his free expression of his faith. The people in the stands are free to pray along, to the Deity of their choice, or read a book, or whatever.
Now if they had an invitation, and required everyone at the game to make a profession of faith, and took up a collection and gave the proceeds to the local Methodist church, then I could agree that they are establishing an official religion.
A pre-game prayer hurts no one. It's amazing to me that the people who say that prayer and belief in God is nonsense are the ones who rail against it. If it's nothing, then ignore it. If it offends you, get over it. I don't believe that the Constitution gives me the right to stop anyone from praying. Anywhere. The way I read it, it SPECIFICALLY tells me that I DON'T have that right.
The Constitution does not guarantee anyone the right to never be offended.

Erudite Redneck said...

Actually, Tug, you have landed right on the line of the actual legal debate: When a government official exercixes his or her religion, is that, by definition, the "establishment" of religion? I don't think so either, but that's what the law is right now. Just right now.

tugboatcapn said...

No, not really.
That's what the Supreme Court SAYS the law is, but then the Constitution never gave them the power to make law about anything, not even religion.
As I said before, The Constitution Specifically says that the government does not have the right to prohibit anyone's free expression of religion, but the Supreme Court says that they can.
But that was never supposed to be up to the Supreme Court.
My problem with this issue is more about the Supreme Court overstepping their bounds even than the prayer thing.

Erudite Redneck said...

But what the Supreme Court says the law is IS what the law is, and has been since 1803!

To wit:

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803) is a landmark case in United States law wherein the U.S. Supreme Court established judicial review as a legitimate power of the Court on constitutional grounds. The Court ruled that it had the power to declare a statute void that it considered repugnant to the Constitution. Chief Justice John Marshall, in Marbury, legally established the judiciary—and in particular, the Supreme Court—as an equal partner among the three branches of the American federal government.

Read more here:

If you think THAT needs to be changed, OK. But it will require going back on 202 years of precedent. Might as well toss out everything else the Supreme Court has decided SINCE then, then, since that's where it all began.

Mark said...

Here's something to think about. There are really only 2 religions in the world.

One says God is God.

The other says Man is God.
That's it.

Every denomination sprang from one of those two premises.

tugboatcapn said...

Unless you want to consider the belief that there is no God as a third option, but, yeah.
According to the Bible, the first belief is worship, the second is sin, and the third is foolishness...

Francis Lynn said...

Justice Stewart had said that he couldn't define pornography, but knew it when he saw it. In the same manner, it can be difficult defining when a government is trying to establish a religion, under the Supreme Court ruling of nit & pick. But you know it when you see it.

Common sense dictates that a principal, though a representative of government, is not establishing or endorsing a government religion during a pre-game prayer. The ACLU seems to think otherwise.

The problem is that the Supreme Court drifted too far from the original intent of the Founders. Fearful of the likes of an officially recognized British Church of England, the Establishment clause was put in so that the U.S. did not suffer a similar fate.

The Supreme Court went beyond this narrow definition & found that even though Congress made no law establishing a state religion, any appearance of endorsement of a religion was a de facto establisment of that religion.

Thus, not only a principal reading Scripture at Assembly was de facto endorsement of that religion, so to can a pre-game prayer.

The Supreme Court ruling opened the door to nit-picking by the likes of the ACLU. The slightest expression of religion on goverment property was now fair game for them, no matter how innocuous the expression.

It is interesting to note that the ACLU has lost in court on church & state challenges. One such: their attempt to ban a child from distributing in school candy canes that say "Jesus Loves You" on them.

Where the ACLU wins is through their threats to sue. The town or school is so fearful & intimidated that they comply with the ACLU rather than go to court. And the ACLU relies on that intimidation.

Los Angles County had a tiny cross on its logo, along with other items. The ACLU threatened to sue if the cross was not removed. The cross was an acknowledgement to the county's missionary heritage & nothing more. But, rather than go to court, the county caved into the ACLU & removed the cross at an expense of thousands of dollars - police patches, stationary, etc, etc.

Things would not get so ludicrous if towns, educators & citizens stood up to the ACLU. But they don't.

By the way, Spanish for soccer is "futbol". lol

Erudite Redneck said...

Francis, this scares me somethin' fierce, but I agree with your analysis 100 percent.

tugboatcapn said...

Francis, that is the very comment that I was looking for when I wrote this post.


Toad734 said...

First of all, Football wouldn't qualify as a Religion. The US, especially the IRS, has guidelines for what will be accepted as a religion and football wouldn't be it. Not to mention that, at least pro football, is played on private property.

And again, the Constitution says that the government cannot interfere with the "exercising" of religion, but I have to point out that the constitution also protects my right to drink alcohol but that is limited to certain places, as is gun use, free speech etc. I have the constitutional right to pursuit of happiness but I don't think that would apply to me removing the tongues of all Christians would it? No because that would be an infringement of their civil rights and pursuit of happiness.

And if freedom of religion is absolute as you claim it is, ask a Rastafarian if he is allowed to smoke weed, as a Mormon if he is allowed to have more than one wife and then ask why you can't stop every public event to spout Christianity at people who don't want it.

You guys can pray and hang up 20 commandments as long as you do it at your church and at your home. No one is saying you can't do these things, they are just saying there is a time and place for it, just as guns, alcohol, and freedom of speech.

I would like to see the situations where someone was sent home for wearing an "I love Jesus" shirt. If anything the Civil Liberties Union should be on that kid’s side, not against him. But that is the kid, if it was an employee of the school, then they should not be allowed to wear such a shirt.

tugboatcapn said...

Oh, hi, Toad.
Did you have a nice weekend?

Under the conditions which I described, Football would absolutley qualify as a religion, and the Holy Church of Football could apply for, and would get tax exempt status. (Ask any Scientologist.)
Pro Football would not be affected by any of this since, as you state, it is played on private land,except in some cases where Municipal bond money payed (in part)for their stadiums.
The point of my post is that the whole "Seperation of Church and state" thing has gotten WAY out of hand. It has gone far beyond what the Founding Fathers intended.
Sure you have the Constitutional right to drink alcohol in a church.(Catholics do it all the time...), and even discharge a firearm (Restricted by local ordinances)on church property. (I am not sure about the Mormon-Polygamy thing, i think that is a State's Rights issue.)
What you do NOT have the Constitutional right to do,(As I read the Constitution,)is PROHIBIT ANYONE'S FREE EXERCISE OF THEIR RELIGION.
The Constitution does not stipulate "on Government Property," or "on Taxpayer supported land," or "Public places," or anything like that.
It just says Congress cannot make a law prohibiting anyone from freely exercising their religion. PERIOD.
But, as I said in the post, it isn't Congress making the laws now, is it?
If the Supreme Court said that you could no longer proclaim that there is no God on public property, then I think that you would have a whole different perspective on this issue...

Toad734 said...

But your freedom of Religion ends when it starts stepping on the toes of other peoples freedoms; such as me drinking and driving, which is technically allowed by the constitution, but why my rights end in a car is for 2 reasons:
1 I don't need to drive a car
2 I may violate someone elses civil right to life and happiness when I plow into them and kill them.

Would you say that you should be able to take a grenade, or a rocket launcher into a bank, into a school, or an airport?

You know since you have the constitutional right to bare arms that should be protected right? You grenade owners, alcohol drinkers, or christians should be able to practice your vices anywhere you please regardless of what other people feel about it right?

Just be thankful you live in a country where you can go to any church you want to, worship freely (and I do mean free) any god you want to, pray all day at church or in your front yard, all you like. That is what the founding fathers had in mind. Not shoving it down everyones throat everywhere you go.

Hmm what did Jesus have to say about this matter?

Matthew 6:5-8:
5.And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6.But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7.And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8.Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Being Christians, don't you want to do what Jesus tells you to do? Or, do you want to disobey Jesus and burn in hell?

tugboatcapn said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You have quoted that scripture before, Toad.
I can take scripture out of context and make the bible to say for all Christians to hang themselves if I want to.
That doesn't mean that is what it says.
Don't lecture me on what
Jesus wants me to do until you are ready yourself to listen to what He wants YOU to do.
Besides, we weren't talking about what the BIBLE says, we were talking about what the CONSTITUTION says.
"Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion, Nor prohibiting the free expression thereof."
Now explain to me how that gives anyone the right to prohibit prayer...

tugboatcapn said...

Besides that, Hand grenades, and Guns, and rocket launchers and Drinking and driving hurts other people.
Praying in public HURTS NO ONE.
The only way it could even affect anyone is that it may possibly cause them to think about their own personal relationship with God, (The Deity of their choice...) and cause them to become better people.
What's your problem with that?

Toad734 said...

It annoys them, it may inconvenience them, it may cause them stress, and it may turn into a religious riot. Not allowing freedom of the press doesn't hurt anyone either, it doesn't mean its ok. And you’re right, what matters is what the constitution says, which I interpret to mean, especially when you read the rest of the constitution, that you can be any religion you want, but you cannot put it before other people’s liberties.

And if you don't care what Jesus says that's fine, it's your soul not mine.

tugboatcapn said...

I care what Jesus says, Toad.

I just don't care what YOU say.