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Court rules Pledge of Allegiance 'unconstitutional'

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Some persons believe that if applied to matters of faith, this approach is indicative of atheism. However, atheism is another belief system in which the practitioner KNOWS that there is no deity.

 

No, an atheist is just someone who isn't a theist. The a- prefix means "not", just like asymmetrical means "not symmetrical". If you're going to insist that "atheist" only describes people who are certain no gods exist, I'll insist that you apply the same standards to "theist", and not count anyone who has the least little doubt in THEIR god(s) existence as Christian or Muslim or whatever. Then 90% of people are classified as agnostic, and labels are worthless.

 

As for scientists, check out nature from July 23, 1998. Here's the main results:

 

BELIEF IN PERSONAL GOD..1914...1933...1998

Personal belief................27.7........15.........7.0

Personal disbelief..........52.7........68.......72.2

Doubt or agnosticism.......20.9........17........20.8

 

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I work for a bank & we get Columbus Day, Presidents Day and Martin Luther day off.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Atheism, as a belief system, has no place in schools.

There never will be a 100% politically correct public

school. Humans tend to use examples they've picked up

in their experiences as humans to further explain something.

 

Completely excluding other religious teachings is in itself

part of a religion. Because of this idea, the only alternative

is to offer up all religions on a single plate. But if you do this

how are ALL supposed to be represented equally, when there are such

things as religious minorities?

 

The current interpretation of the first amendment is the problem here.

When originally established, this amendment sought to protect a

fledgling government from being controlled by a religous body, or

controlling itself a religious body.

 

When asked "Do you consider yourself Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Other, or None of the above?" you have the ability to state your belief system. The same idea is

present in the Pledge of Allegiance. People who believe in one or more god shouldn't be offended, those who believe in God shouldn't be offended, and those

who raise men up to the ranks of deity shouldn't be either.

 

I consider myself to be a "tolerant" person on many issues, but tolerance doesn't mean accepting a belief as your own. I don't find a problem with atheists following their own belief system, but what I have a problem with is people imposing their own beliefs on me, which is exactly what's happening.

 

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I'll agree with Venturer2002 in that the First Amendment has lost its original intent, though I'm going to differ slightly in my response.

 

In the first amendment, as in many others, people latch onto a phrase and don't look for intent. I'm going to go back to my earlier quotes from George Washington: Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

 

He also wrote, Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.

 

How odd that the chairman of the Constitutional Convention should say things clearly in violation with our modern view of the first amendment.

 

Even John Hancock, during his terms as governor of Massachusetts, funded local churches (as Massachusetts would continue to do with state and federal monies into the 1840's), something that would cause outrage today.

 

Edmund Burke-"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

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Venturer2002, you're right; you can't exclude religion from a person's life just because he/she is in school. That's exactly what atheists would like to have happen; remove all traces of God. Not exactly demonstrating tolerance to other people's views, is it?

 

Slontwoovy; another great way of saying the same thing. It's our responsibility to speak up when other's would try to take away a constitutional right, freedom of religon.

 

Now I know we'll hear more about the lemon law used to test it but even the justices refuse to embrace such nonsense anymore. The intent was clear in the myriad of documents still available that we were to be able to worship at the church of our choice but be able to worship!

 

Merlyn, glad to hear you're not sure. That's a step in the right direction.

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Venturer2002, you're right; you can't exclude religion from a person's life just because he/she is in school. That's exactly what atheists would like to have happen; remove all traces of God. Not exactly demonstrating tolerance to other people's views, is it?

 

Slontwoovy; another great way of saying the same thing. It's our responsibility to speak up when other's would try to take away a constitutional right, freedom of religon.

 

Now I know we'll hear more about the lemon law used to test it but even the justices refuse to embrace such nonsense anymore. The intent was clear in the myriad of documents still available that we were to be able to worship at the church of our choice but be able to worship!

 

Merlyn, glad to hear you're not sure. That's a step in the right direction.

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Venturer2002, you're right; you can't exclude religion from a person's life just because he/she is in school. That's exactly what atheists would like to have happen; remove all traces of God. Not exactly demonstrating tolerance to other people's views, is it?

 

You'd have a point if what you were saying was true; however, seeing that you're just defaming atheists as a class, you're the one displaying intolerance.

 

...

Now I know we'll hear more about the lemon law used to test it but even the justices refuse to embrace such nonsense anymore. The intent was clear in the myriad of documents still available that we were to be able to worship at the church of our choice but be able to worship!

 

And exactly who is trying to take this away? Be specific; removing 'under god' from the pledge or official congressional chaplains does nothing to remove your religious rights.

 

And as for those who say the original intent of the first amendment hasn't been followed, you might want to see what Madison wrote on the subject.

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Why should we be tolerant of atheists? Are we tolerant of the person who claims that 5+5 equals 1 or the person that believs the moon is made of green cheese?

 

Maybe we do tolerate them because they are mentally defective and perhaps we should tolerate atheists for the same reason. However, society usually constrains the insane from shouting idiotic statements from the rooftops so you should be muzzled.

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Why should we be tolerant of atheists?

 

For the same reason you should be tolerant of Jews, or Hindus, or people with other religious opinions that differ from yours.

 

Of course, I think you're a good example of how the BSA encourages bigotry against atheists, just as Restricted clubs encouraged bigotry against Jews years ago. Good work.

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Merlyn, Yes I have seen the Nature survey but I am speaking from more of a personal view in that every atheist with whom I have discussed these things seemed to be quite firm in their knowledge. Really, in order to absolutely reject something, whether existence of God or something less, requires strong conviction. I would think this true for any absolute position held by thoughtful persons. However, I would tend to agree with the inflated percentage of agnostics if it includes persons who are simply not sure, clearly not the same thing though. Remember, the disciple Thomas also was not sure and he was eventually shown.

I see nothing inherently wrong with asking the question or critically examining the answer (unless the Colonel is in big hurry). However, as I remember, the Gnostics were persons who placed little value in the material world and who believed that truth could be attained through faith alone (gnosis). The Agnostics held the view that the existence of God was in doubt or else probably unknowable (not really rejection of the idea, though). I see why agnostic and atheist are often confusedthey are confusing. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to rely on labels to tell us all that we need to know about other persons?

ZORN, I get Columbus Day off, but if you like you can think of it as Canadian Thanksgiving Day. I also get Armistice Day as well as MLK Day. Is there really a Casmir Pulaski Day? If you ever meet Merlyn, I would like to observe.

For your information, BSA is also intolerant of persons who merely openly state that they disagree with policy, an implicit rejection of the first amendment entirely. Again, I have never fully understood why we do this if our policy is so well-founded.

SCOUTPARENT: I truly did not realize I was quoting Eco (the words were mine, really). However, just think about thisyou have never seen us together, weve never spoken to you at the same time-----Naaaaah!

 

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If I've said it once on this forum, I've said it a thousand times. Tolerance means respect for the person, not necessarily the belief. Tolerance does not mean letting anyone do whatever they want.

 

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Merlyn writes:

 

"And exactly who is trying to take this away? Be specific; removing 'under god' from the pledge or official congressional chaplains does nothing to remove your religious rights."

 

Why, your fellow non believers of course! From www.atheists.org:

 

"We are aware that in legal issues concerning "religious liberty", there are those affected to have no religious beliefs whatsoever. American Atheist labors on behalf of the civil rights of these non-believers who defend the right to freedom from religion."

 

I've read a number of websites concerning atheist issues recently to see what many of you (notice I said many so as to not hear hair splitting argument), do or don't believe. I found interesting how some atheist websites encourage teen age children of Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims to denounce their family's religious values in favor of the atheist view point.

 

It's just silly to keep insisting that your intent is not to inhibit our basic right to worship as we choose. A basic component of virtually any religious belief system is to be able to exemplify those beliefs in thought word and deed. Certainly it shouldn't be offensive to someone who believes in no diety to be exposed to the fact that the majority of people living in the same country don't share that same idea. It is however, offensive to people with religious beliefs to be denied the opportunity to live them in their daily lives.

 

 

 

 

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Merlyn writes:

 

"And exactly who is trying to take this away? Be specific; removing 'under god' from the pledge or official congressional chaplains does nothing to remove your religious rights."

 

Why, your fellow non believers of course! From www.atheists.org:

 

"We are aware that in legal issues concerning "religious liberty", there are those affected to have no religious beliefs whatsoever. American Atheist labors on behalf of the civil rights of these non-believers who defend the right to freedom from religion."

 

And?

 

How, exactly, does an atheist group defending the rights of atheists reduce your religious freedom? Again, BE SPECIFIC.

 

I've read a number of websites concerning atheist issues recently to see what many of you (notice I said many so as to not hear hair splitting argument), do or don't believe. I found interesting how some atheist websites encourage teen age children of Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims to denounce their family's religious values in favor of the atheist view point.

 

Which, of course, is their right; they have the right, JUST AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE, to promote their point of view, right? Do you think it would be difficult for me to find, say, a Christian website that encourages children to denounce their family's religious values in favor of the Christian viewpoint?

 

It's just silly to keep insisting that your intent is not to inhibit our basic right to worship as we choose.

 

That isn't my intent; stop slandering me. Again, quote SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of what you're referring to.

 

Am I advocating that religion be outlawed? No; in fact that would be unconstitutional.

Am I advocating that the government promote atheism? No; that too would be unconstitutional.

 

A basic component of virtually any religious belief system is to be able to exemplify those beliefs in thought word and deed.

 

Well, you just broke my ironymeter. First you complain about atheists trying to promote atheism (on their own initiative; they're not trying to get the government to promote atheism), and then you cry crocodile tears about how religious freedom entails being able to exemplify those beliefs. Apparently, that's a right you think atheists shouldn't have.

 

 

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"American Atheist labors on behalf of the civil rights of these non-believers who defend the right to freedom from religion."

 

Merlyn's Response

 

"And?"

 

I guess you don't understand that no where in the consitution is it expressed that you or any member of any religious group has a right to freedom from religon--just freedom of religion--the denial of all religious beliefs can not qualify as a religion. Oh, my religion is no religion--makes little sense Merlyn, surely you see that.

 

Merlyn further writes: "How, exactly, does an atheist group defending the rights of atheists reduce your religious freedom? Again, BE SPECIFIC."

 

1) It reduces our(our being believers in a diety/dieties) religious freedoms because part of BELIEVING as opposed to NONBELIEVING requires profession of such beliefs, Merlyn. Now, in this supposedly religiously tolerant world, it would seem that you would have become educated enough to know this. Or haven't you explored religions before stating that you believe in MAN above all else?????

2) It allows public schools that we pay tax money to support to propagate ATHEIST, HUMANIST, NATURALIST views in areas of science, history, literature, etc. as absolute truths, an idea I strongly oppose.

3) It turns democracy into a headstand with the smallest groups controlling the majorities, no different than other world governments that dictate secular ideas in place of religion to the masses.

 

It's just silly to keep insisting that your intent is not to inhibit our basic right to worship as we choose.

 

In response to this Merlyn counters with:

 

"That isn't my intent; stop slandering me. Again, quote SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of what you're referring to."

 

Merlyn, surely you understand in the English Language, you can be used to refer to a specific person as in one (Merlyn for example) or it can be used to refer to a group as in a collective usage (Atheists for example). If you have a problem with delusions of persecution or paranoia disorder, then I truly apologize. I meant it in the collective sense.

 

I've read a number of websites concerning atheist issues recently to see what many of you (notice I said many so as to not hear hair splitting argument), do or don't believe. I found interesting how some atheist websites encourage teen age children of Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims to denounce their family's religious values in favor of the atheist view point.

 

Merlyn's answer:

"Which, of course, is their right; they have the right, JUST AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE, to promote their point of view, right? Do you think it would be difficult for me to find, say, a Christian website that encourages children to denounce their family's religious values in favor of the Christian viewpoint?"

 

 

Well Merlyn, you just answered that question a little differently than any of us would have; you see most of us believe that we have the right to influence our OWN children's beliefs but not the belief's of other people's children. That is to say, this organization that you and others sharing your LACK OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF SYSTEM, keep calling bigotted and intolerant just want a place for our kids to get together with people of similiar belief systems. We aren't out trying to sway your children's beliefs and encouraging your children to embrace different ideas from their parent's. And you say your ironymeter went off--mine has been at your views throughtout this entire thread.

 

Please continue to NONBELIEVE as you choose but try to see that your efforts to curtail our BELIEVING is against our religious freedoms.

 

 

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