Violation of Church...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Violation of Church/State separation

Page 4 / 4
 
stephyjh
(@stephyjh)
Advanced Member

OK, antiqueone, I don't agree with rotorhead on this one, but I do need to point out here that the problems you mention are worse here in the VI than they were where I grew up, and there's actually a lot more of a Christian culture here than there. So I really feel that your "Christian society=moral society" argument is faulty.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 12:35 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I don't believe you can say that a "Christian society" is more moral than any other type of society, religious or not. I believe that being moral is separate from being religious. Although, of course, many people are both.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 1:48 am
rks
 rks
(@rks)
Advanced Member

There have been some fascinating insights on "the moral compass" component so often attributed to religion. It seems most religious people will happily turn a deaf ear to religion's horrific and bloody legacy; but a few brave souls from various churches are speaking up that morality exists within humans (and elsewhere within the animal world) irrespective of the presence or degree of religiosity.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 2:28 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

There are no federal holidays for Easter. I guess the DR can do what they want but the US constitution declares it illegal to give preferential treatment to one religion over others. How can Good Friday not be a Christian religious holiday?

Good Friday legal holidays have been struck down in every state where they have been challenged. The state has been forced to pay the legal fees of the party who brought the challenge.

Ladies and Gentleman, please don't believe everything Rotohead posts.

The Supreme Court upheld a Circuit Court ruling in Indiana which said: "A statute whose primary effect is to advance a secular purpose, rather than a religious one, is still constitutional even if it conveys an incidental benefit to those of a specific religion..." They also upheld a similar finding in a Maryland case and in the case in Hawaii. And this seems to be the guidepost others have followed.

The "secular purpose" in question is to give people time off from work at a time that would be meaningful to a majority of the population. Court rullings from the past 20 years have done a pretty good job of distinguishing between activities that "support" vs "accommodate."

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 2:42 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

One of the things I love about being an Atheist is that I think that I will win either way (and while this is semi-serious it is also a bit tongue in cheek).

Lets say for a moment that I'm wrong and my Catholic/Christian/Muslim friends and relatives are right. Hell for me would be having to live with the narcistic god that I read about in the Bible. One that needs constant, unthinking, faithful worship. I really don't want to meet and spend eterninty with that god. That would be my hell...finding out that "god" really was just this being who wanted to be worshiped all the time and didn't want his creation to flourish on their own 2 feet. So I'd likely end up with my friends and relatives anyway, although maybe I'd be banished to hard labor polishing god's toes or something :).

Now on the other hand if I'm correct and there is no god (or at least none that us humans have any knowledge of) then I have gloriously spent my life without the ignorance of "faith" and instead basking in the glory of intellectual reason. I will have lived my life for myself, doing good because I understand morality from an intellectual standpoint, not because someone bribed me into doing good so I could go to "heaven."

My biggest fear is that there is a god but he measures humans by their ability to NOT rely on, have faith in, or worship a supernatural entity. A god who values a man who stands on his own feet and doesn't need a crutch whenever a concept is beyond his or her current capability to understand it. I fear this because so many of my friends and family would not be judged favorably by this standard, having practiced organized religion for their entire life.

Anyway, this is why Atheism suits me quite well! I know that others have religion that suits them well...and I'm glad that we all live in a country where we have the right to think differently on the matter.

Sean

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 12:44 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

Personally, wanting to grow up to be a pirate, I'm thinking of becoming a Pastafarian (FSM). 😎

http://www.venganza.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

In all seriousness the guy had a point. If your going to teach one religion (intelligent design) alongside other sciences in a public government funded, school, then you are opening the floodgates. This is not far off Roto's point about the government closing offices for religious holidays. Close for one, and by not closing for other religious holidays (i.e. the Pastafarians talk like a pirate day), then you are favoring one religion over the other.

But WTH - I enjoyed my long weekend and put it to good use.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 2:44 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

who the heck cares as long as i get a paid day off!!!

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 6, 2010 6:06 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

There are no federal holidays for Easter. I guess the DR can do what they want but the US constitution declares it illegal to give preferential treatment to one religion over others. How can Good Friday not be a Christian religious holiday?

Good Friday legal holidays have been struck down in every state where they have been challenged. The state has been forced to pay the legal fees of the party who brought the challenge.

Ladies and Gentleman, please don't believe everything Rotohead posts.

The Supreme Court upheld a Circuit Court ruling in Indiana which said: "A statute whose primary effect is to advance a secular purpose, rather than a religious one, is still constitutional even if it conveys an incidental benefit to those of a specific religion..." They also upheld a similar finding in a Maryland case and in the case in Hawaii. And this seems to be the guidepost others have followed.

The "secular purpose" in question is to give people time off from work at a time that would be meaningful to a majority of the population. Court rullings from the past 20 years have done a pretty good job of distinguishing between activities that "support" vs "accommodate."

In fact what happened in several states was that the state was forced to rewrite it's state law which enacted Good Friday as a holiday which commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus and instead enact it as a secular holiday which happened to coincide with the christian holiday of Good Friday. A "Special-Snowflake" judge could then wink and grin and say that this was in fact a secular holiday which did not violate the first amendment. The same game played with the "In God We Trust" on our money. You realize that that does not really refer to the Christian god right?

Some exerts from the defining court case:
"In a decision written by Chief Judge Posner and joined by Judge Cummings, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court and ruled in favor of Metzl's argument that Good Friday could not be declared a public, state-sponsored holiday without violating the separation of church and state.

According to Posner's decision, the prohibition against the government from establishing a religion also includes using public funds to promote one religion at taxpayer expense over other religions - in other words, to favor the religion of some citizens over the religions of other citizens. That, however, is exactly what occurred here, especially when it is remembered that Good Friday, unlike some other holidays, still retains the full force of its religious implications.

Chief Judge Posner did offer a potential way out for the Illinois state government when he observed that laws which promote religion as part of wider secular purposes are not unconstitutional. That was not a factor in this case because it only dealt with a narrow promotion of Good Friday alone; however, it would be theoretically possible for a new law to be crafted which served some other ostensible purpose while including Good Friday as a school holiday.

One possible purpose offered by Posner was the idea that if so many Christians absented themselves on Good Friday anyway, there would be little point in keeping the schools open. Posner argued that non-Christians would understand that closing the schools would then be not an attempt to promote Christianity but, rather, because it is more wasteful to have classes when hardly anyone is around. That, however, was a question of fact for which there was absolutely no evidence - Illinois would have to make a case for that being true before it could be accepted as a secular purpose for closing schools on Good Friday; moreover, it would not necessarily justify spending taxpayer dollars on paying teachers and employees as if the schools were not closed.

Another possible secular purpose offered by Posner was the idea of creating a Spring Holiday around a long weekend for the purpose of encouraging shopping and recreation. That was an argument made in Hawaii and accepted as the basis for the ruling in Cammack v. Waihee that, at least in that state, Good Friday had become secularize and had acquired a secular purpose, thus allowing the government to make it an official holiday. Good Friday could be picked over any other Friday or any Monday in spring if it could be shown that many students would be absent from school anyway, thus making Good Friday a choice of convenience. Once again, however, the state government was unable to offer any arguments to support such a position."

So you see these states aren't really celebrating Good Friday, this is really Spring Holiday! Wink! Wink! This is not an end run around the constitution. Wink! Wink! The states which did not change the wording of their laws and insisted that Good Friday was a Holiday commemorating the Crucifixion of Jesus were struck down as unconstitutional.

As far as I can tell the Supreme Court has not upheld this end-run, so far they have refused to hear the challenge.

The Christians did the same thing with the National Motto. The Supreme Court did hear this case and decided to keep god in our motto.

The Supreme Court has upheld the motto because it has "lost through rote repetition any significant religious content"; so-called acts of "ceremonial deism" that have lost their "history, character, and context" are no longer considered an endorsement of religion.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : April 6, 2010 11:06 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

There are no federal holidays for Easter. I guess the DR can do what they want but the US constitution declares it illegal to give preferential treatment to one religion over others. How can Good Friday not be a Christian religious holiday?

Good Friday legal holidays have been struck down in every state where they have been challenged. The state has been forced to pay the legal fees of the party who brought the challenge.

Ladies and Gentleman, please don't believe everything Rotohead posts.

The Supreme Court upheld a Circuit Court ruling in Indiana which said: "A statute whose primary effect is to advance a secular purpose, rather than a religious one, is still constitutional even if it conveys an incidental benefit to those of a specific religion..." They also upheld a similar finding in a Maryland case and in the case in Hawaii. And this seems to be the guidepost others have followed.

The "secular purpose" in question is to give people time off from work at a time that would be meaningful to a majority of the population. Court rullings from the past 20 years have done a pretty good job of distinguishing between activities that "support" vs "accommodate."

In fact what happened in several states was that the state was forced to rewrite it's state law which enacted Good Friday as a holiday which commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus and instead enact it as a secular holiday which happened to coincide with the christian holiday of Good Friday. A "Special-Snowflake" judge could then wink and grin and say that this was in fact a secular holiday which did not violate the first amendment. The same game played with the "In God We Trust" on our money. You realize that that does not really refer to the Christian god right?

Some exerts from the defining court case:
"In a decision written by Chief Judge Posner and joined by Judge Cummings, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court and ruled in favor of Metzl's argument that Good Friday could not be declared a public, state-sponsored holiday without violating the separation of church and state.

According to Posner's decision, the prohibition against the government from establishing a religion also includes using public funds to promote one religion at taxpayer expense over other religions - in other words, to favor the religion of some citizens over the religions of other citizens. That, however, is exactly what occurred here, especially when it is remembered that Good Friday, unlike some other holidays, still retains the full force of its religious implications.

Chief Judge Posner did offer a potential way out for the Illinois state government when he observed that laws which promote religion as part of wider secular purposes are not unconstitutional. That was not a factor in this case because it only dealt with a narrow promotion of Good Friday alone; however, it would be theoretically possible for a new law to be crafted which served some other ostensible purpose while including Good Friday as a school holiday.

One possible purpose offered by Posner was the idea that if so many Christians absented themselves on Good Friday anyway, there would be little point in keeping the schools open. Posner argued that non-Christians would understand that closing the schools would then be not an attempt to promote Christianity but, rather, because it is more wasteful to have classes when hardly anyone is around. That, however, was a question of fact for which there was absolutely no evidence - Illinois would have to make a case for that being true before it could be accepted as a secular purpose for closing schools on Good Friday; moreover, it would not necessarily justify spending taxpayer dollars on paying teachers and employees as if the schools were not closed.

Another possible secular purpose offered by Posner was the idea of creating a Spring Holiday around a long weekend for the purpose of encouraging shopping and recreation. That was an argument made in Hawaii and accepted as the basis for the ruling in Cammack v. Waihee that, at least in that state, Good Friday had become secularize and had acquired a secular purpose, thus allowing the government to make it an official holiday. Good Friday could be picked over any other Friday or any Monday in spring if it could be shown that many students would be absent from school anyway, thus making Good Friday a choice of convenience. Once again, however, the state government was unable to offer any arguments to support such a position."

So you see these states aren't really celebrating Good Friday, this is really Spring Holiday! Wink! Wink! This is not an end run around the constitution. Wink! Wink! The states which did not change the wording of their laws and insisted that Good Friday was a Holiday commemorating the Crucifixion of Jesus were struck down as unconstitutional.

As far as I can tell the Supreme Court has not upheld this end-run, so far they have refused to hear the challenge.

The Christians did the same thing with the National Motto. The Supreme Court did hear this case and decided to keep god in our motto.

The Supreme Court has upheld the motto because it has "lost through rote repetition any significant religious content"; so-called acts of "ceremonial deism" that have lost their "history, character, and context" are no longer considered an endorsement of religion.

Roto: Your clarification is one thing, but your original post declared that the "Good Friday Holidays have been struck down in every state where they have been challenged" -and that was simply not true.

Updating old laws to fit modern sensibilities and sensitivies is no big deal.

However, the direction you're headed, --suggesting that every accomodation is an "end run around the constitution" is counter to the Constitution itself --which grants freedom OF religion, not FROM religion. Tolerance and accommodation is an American virtue.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 7, 2010 12:13 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Roto: Your clarification is one thing, but your original post declared that the "Good Friday Holidays have been struck down in every state where they have been challenged" -and that was simply not true.

Updating old laws to fit modern sensibilities and sensitivies is no big deal.

However, the direction you're headed, --suggesting that every accomodation is an "end run around the constitution" is counter to the Constitution itself --which grants freedom OF religion, not FROM religion. Tolerance and accommodation is an American virtue.

I disagree. In every state where the enabling law mentioned Good Friday as a Holiday which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the law has been struck down. In some of those states they even appealed and the appeal was rejected.

The states which kept the Holiday were forced to rewrite the law and invent a secular purpose for the holiday as mentioned above. That way their "Special" judge could look the other way, wink, wink, and claim that the holiday was "Spring Holiday" or in the case of Hawaii they called it "Aloha Day", a shopping holiday. Similarly, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that "to Indiana, Good Friday is nothing but a Friday falling in the middle of the long vacationless spring—a day which employees should take off to rejuvenate themselves."

Is this still Good Friday? Or is this an end-run.

There are still a few places where the law has not yet been challenged, like the USVI. Our local law would fail the test if challenged.

Christians always seem to feel entitled and expect to be accommodated. No one is suggesting that you shouldn't be able to worship in your churches but all of the religious entanglements with government have only happened in modern times. It is not our heritage to have one group's version of religion forced on everyone by giving them special privileges. "In God We Trust"? What about Buddhists, Hindus and Atheists? I know that you probably think that they should all just leave. When do we get accommodated? Or is accommodation just for the majority?

Freedom of Religion also includes the right not to believe in superstition at all. No Gods or Demons, just reality.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : April 7, 2010 9:49 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I find it disingenuous of you to assume that a state is "wink winking" around the law when it modernizes its code by removing religious references to what is essentiall a VACATION ORDINANCE. And you cite that "in every state" ...when in fact, only 12 states have laws regarding the Friday before Easter, and only a few of those have been challenged (and rightfully so, I would agree).

But I understand that you are using this minor issue to grind your axe against religion in general.

Because we are human, "reality" is a matter of opinion, it is subjective. And to that end, tolerance of other opinions, rather than denigration of one, --is the wisest reality.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 7, 2010 10:44 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

I find it disingenuous of you to assume that a state is "wink winking" around the law when it modernizes its code by removing religious references to what is essentiall a VACATION ORDINANCE. And you cite that "in every state" ...when in fact, only 12 states have laws regarding the Friday before Easter, and only a few of those have been challenged (and rightfully so, I would agree).

The states did not modernize because they were just keeping up with the times. They changed the law to eliminate religion because they were forced to by lawsuits.

Also, I did not say "in every state...", I said "in every state where they have been challenged". If you are going to quote me please do not change the meaning. I realize that every state does not have a Good Friday law and in every state which does have the law it has not been challenged.

Because we are human, "reality" is a matter of opinion, it is subjective.

Wow! I guess we really disagree on this!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : April 7, 2010 11:02 pm
StCroix
(@StCroix)
Advanced Member

This conversation reminds me of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
"The minute you examine a thing, you screw it up." ...or something like that.

Recently read a science journal that said many scientist now believe even the "immutable laws of the universe" aren't.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 8, 2010 1:36 am
Page 4 / 4
Close Menu