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Court rules Pledge of Allegiance 'unconstitutional'

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BSA is also intolerant of persons who merely openly state that they disagree with policy, an implicit rejection of the first amendment entirely.

 

This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. If you come into my house and that you like Bill Clinton I may, can, and will throw you out. BSA is not a government entity and does not have to be tolerant of dissent.

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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.

 

I guess you don't understand real religious freedom; I'm certainly free to NOT follow any religion, right? It would be unconstitutional to pass a law requiring that all citizens belong to some religion, right? It would be unconstitutional to pass a law requiring all citizens to believe in one (or more) gods, right?

 

Oh, my religion is no religion--makes little sense Merlyn, surely you see that.

 

Atheism is protected under the first amendment; Americans have just as much right to be atheists as you have to follow whatever religion you subscribe to. I'd say "surely you see that", but apparently, you don't. You honestly don't.

 

Now, as to you "specific examples" of how atheists are infringing on religious rights:

 

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?????

 

I seem to have missed where you cited cases where atheists are trying to prevent religious believers from professing their beliefs; the only cases I know about are where atheists are trying to prevent the government (which is NOT a person with rights) is trying to infringe on the religious rights of its citizens by promoting religion in some form. Religious believers (and atheists) have the same rights to promote their own beliefs using their own resources; neither has the "right" to use the force of government to promote their particular point of view or impose it on the population.

 

You have just as much right to promote your religion as I do of promoting atheism.

 

So your first "example" is bogus. Equal rights, right?

 

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.

 

Well, science doesn't deal in "absolute truths", that's something religions usually are trying to sell. And history and literature even less so. Do you object to teaching the earth is round? There are sincere religious believers who insist it's flat because their interpretation of the bible says so. And again, exactly what views are you abscribing to atheism? About the only way a school could promote atheism is to explicitly teach that gods don't exist, and I've never heard of this happening in the US (while the promotion of theism does occur with some frequency). If you point to, say, evolution, I can point to quite a number of theists who have no problem with evolution. Remember, evolution doesn't say anything about gods. It can't be teaching atheism because it doesn't teach anything about gods.

 

Some people used to believe that angels pushed the planets around; do we stop teaching astrophysics and Newton's laws to not infringe on these beliefs? Some native american religions teach that their people were always part of the land; do we stop teaching about the migration of humans to the americas some 12,000 years ago? If you want science to kowtow to ALL religious beliefs (and there's no reason that just YOUR religious beliefs deserve such "protection"), believe me, there's almost nothing left to teach.

 

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.

 

Again, you aren't being specific, you're just ranting. Specific examples.

 

Now, I'll give you a REAL example:

 

Herb Silverman tried to become a Notary Public in North Carolina in 1993. There were over 33,000 applications around that time to become Notary Publics, and all were granted - except his. He's an atheist, and he refused the required god oath. North Carolina fought for 7 years, burning up over $100,000 in legal fees to prevent one atheist from becoming a Notary Public. North Carolina kept losing and kept appealing, and they finally lost for good. And why? Because, for some reason, they wanted to keep the clearly unconstitutional religious requirement for all North Carolina public offices.

 

Now, I'd say a law against atheists holding public office and seven years of litigation count as government hostility to atheists. Herb didn't get to be a Notary Public until 1999 or 2000.

 

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

 

Tell Herb Silverman this.

 

 

 

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"I guess you don't understand real religious freedom; I'm certainly free to NOT follow any religion, right? It would be unconstitutional to pass a law requiring that all citizens belong to some religion, right? It would be unconstitutional to pass a law requiring all citizens to believe in one (or more) gods, right?"

 

Yes, you certainly are free to NONBELIEVE in anything you choose. What you can't do is try to impose that idea on the majority of people who disagree with you.

 

 

"I seem to have missed where you cited cases where atheists are trying to prevent religious believers from professing their beliefs; the only cases I know about are where atheists are trying to prevent the government (which is NOT a person with rights) is trying to infringe on the religious rights of its citizens by promoting religion in some form. Religious believers (and atheists) have the same rights to promote their own beliefs using their own resources; neither has the "right" to use the force of government to promote their particular point of view or impose it on the population."

 

 

Merlyn it is a government by the people for the people so your argument is senseless.

 

"Well, science doesn't deal in "absolute truths", that's something religions usually are trying to sell. And history and literature even less so. Do you object to teaching the earth is round? There are sincere religious believers who insist it's flat because their interpretation of the bible says so. And again, exactly what views are you abscribing to atheism? About the only way a school could promote atheism is to explicitly teach that gods don't exist, and I've never heard of this happening in the US (while the promotion of theism does occur with some frequency). If you point to, say, evolution, I can point to quite a number of theists who have no problem with evolution. Remember, evolution doesn't say anything about gods. It can't be teaching atheism because it doesn't teach anything about gods. "

 

Merlyn, as it stands now the public school system is reduced to teaching in totally secular terms, completely unfair to the nation's majority that have religious beliefs. We'll use your example of evolution, by ignoring creation, you are giving credence to the theory of evolution. Evolution is a direct contradition to many religious beliefs. Schools have no problem teaching ideas from naturalists and humanists so yes, they definitely should add ideas from other perspectives. A better solution yet would be for atheist organizations to stop fighting school vouchers so parents could send their children to the schools of their choice. What is your objection to each individual family choosing where to send their child? Certainly it isn't using tax dollars to promote religion if individuals have a choice. The information from nonbelieving groups would have you believe is that religious schools will indoctrinate and not teach. Teaching on a secular, humanistic, naturalistic, atheist level is a form of indoctrination, Merlyn. It just suits your agenda so you ignore it.

 

As far as your example of the notary, I don't necessarily agree with the choice that state made but then we were supposed to have a great deal of state's rights so people in different locales could make different decisions that suited the majority in their location.

 

 

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Yes, you certainly are free to NONBELIEVE in anything you choose. What you can't do is try to impose that idea on the majority of people who disagree with you.

 

You keep saying this, but you never come up with any examples. Atheists can try to convince others, but so can theists - you can't complain about equality.

 

Merlyn it is a government by the people for the people so your argument is senseless.

 

No, it's your argument that's senseless; you want the government to promote the religion of whatever the majority wants. That's unconstitutional.

 

Merlyn, as it stands now the public school system is reduced to teaching in totally secular terms, completely unfair to the nation's majority that have religious beliefs.

 

Boy, reduced to teaching in nonreligious terms, instead of teaching someone's particular religious tenets. How terrible.

 

Again, you seem to want the government to teach the local majority religion in public schools. Again, that's unconstitutional.

 

We'll use your example of evolution, by ignoring creation, you are giving credence to the theory of evolution.

 

You realize that there are thousands of religious creation stories, don't you? Why should your particular religious views be taught as science? Again, if science has to "not teach" anything that goes against someone's religious views, science can't teach anything. There are still serious flat-earthers, so teaching the earth is round is out. Congratulations, you've made science worthless.

 

Oh, and it doesn't surprise me at all that you apparently think states should have the right to prohibit all atheists from holding public office; it shows how antidemocratic your ideas really are.

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As Brian (aka Merlyn) slips into insanity, he begins to rant. Screaming "it's unconstitutional," he is led to the electroshock chamber for treatment. Doctors hope that a few blasts of high voltage will cure him of his delusion that he is a constitutional scholar.

 

Next, they'll work on his fixation with 60's vinatage cartoons.

 

Face it, Brian, the constitution means what it says despite what corrupt Justices have proclaimed. The writers were intelligent men and if they didn't want the 10 commandments in the courthouse, they would have said so.

 

 

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As Brian (aka Merlyn) slips into insanity, he begins to rant. Screaming "it's unconstitutional," he is led to the electroshock chamber for treatment. Doctors hope that a few blasts of high voltage will cure him of his delusion that he is a constitutional scholar.

 

Well, let's see what I've said is unconstitutional: government promoting the majority's religion, and government teaching the majority's religion in schools.

 

These have been struck down as unconstitutional for decades.

 

Face it, Brian, the constitution means what it says despite what corrupt Justices have proclaimed.

 

Ah, now it "means what it says" and, even though the supreme court doesn't agree, they must be "corrupt justices".

 

The writers were intelligent men and if they didn't want the 10 commandments in the courthouse, they would have said so.

 

They were intelligent men, and they did: "congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Not "an establishment of a religion", as if it only prohibits an official state religion. Have you read what Madison or Jefferson said about church & state? Do you realize that Madison (the man who wrote the first amendment) specifically addressed the subject of one of Dr. Newdow's recent lawsuits (federally paid congressional chaplains) and came to the same conclusion as Dr Newdow (that it's unconstitutional)?

 

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Zorn:

"BSA is not a government entity and does not have to be tolerant of dissent."

I stand corrected. I thought the Constitution applied to things outside government. I thought that an organization chartered by Congress would be an exemplary advocate for constitutional rights. I was wrong. The same Supreme Court that you complain about agrees with you on this. However..

For adults to exclude each other or practice hateful behavior toward each other is our reality and I consider that sad enough. For those adults to be willing to hurt innocent boys, even a little, just because they want so badly to get at each other is reprehensible. It is in violation of a number of points of the Scout Oath and Law and certainly a violation of Scout spirit as well.

From the Handbook, 1st Class requirement:

"Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, teacher) your constitutional rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen."

Rights and obligations, that is, unless you are dealing with BSA. The term 'hypocrisy' comes to mind.

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Why not start another youth organization that more closely fits your ideals? I think that would be more constructive than demeaning this one.

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ScoutParent,

Simple, the problem would still be there. It is preferable to revisit what I believe are very good stated ideals...and then walk the walk.

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ScoutParent asks packsaddle:

 

Why not start another youth organization that more closely fits your ideals? I think that would be more constructive than demeaning this one.

 

Do my eyes deceive me? Can it be that this thread has finally wound its way back to an issue that actually has something to do with the Boy Scouts of America? That being the case, and after having resisted (so far) the temptation to get involved in a debate on the complexities of the First Amendment, I will jump into this one.

 

Most of the people in this forum who oppose the BSA's gay-exclusion policy (including me) like the BSA's "ideals" just fine, and what we are asking is that the BSA live up to those ideals when it comes to this subject. Those ideals include respect, diversity and being "absolutely nonsectarian" on matters of religion. The latter phrase does not mean adopting a "rule" that is based solely on the beliefs of one group of religions, but contrary to the beliefs of another group. That is being "sectarian," not "nonsectarian." And it doesn't make it any better that the policy is favored by a majority within the BSA, or within its governing establishment, or both. In fact, that just emphasizes the sectarianism of the "rule."

 

And I guess while I'm here, just a note on the constitutional issue. Without writing an essay of my own, I can say that Merlyn has it essentially correct. This doesn't mean I agree with everything he says or the way he says it, and just for the record, I am not an atheist. I don't know whether Merlyn is a "constitutional scholar," I am not sure what the criteria are for that title. (In law school I got "A"s in all 3 semesters of constitutional law, does that count?) But Merlyn does understand, and accurately reports, what the Supreme Court has stated in the area of the Establishment Clause. And whether you like it or not, that's the law.

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"Do my eyes deceive me? Can it be that this thread has finally wound its way back to an issue that actually has something to do with the Boy Scouts of America?"

 

The entire thread has something to do with BSA and how you incorporate the Scouting Ideals into your daily life. "Duty to God", "Morally Straight", "A Scout is Brave", "A Scout is Clean" and "A Scout is Reverent".

 

If you don't subscribe to these ideals then you should consider starting a group that will reflect your ideals. If the problems are still there then you can work on improving it in your group without denigrating this one.

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As I wrote earlier:

 

"Merlyn, as it stands now the public school system is reduced to teaching in totally secular terms, completely unfair to the nation's majority that have religious beliefs. We'll use your example of evolution, by ignoring creation, you are giving credence to the theory of evolution. Evolution is a direct contradition to many religious beliefs. Schools have no problem teaching ideas from naturalists and humanists so yes, they definitely should add ideas from other perspectives. A better solution yet would be for atheist organizations to stop fighting school vouchers so parents could send their children to the schools of their choice. What is your objection to each individual family choosing where to send their child? Certainly it isn't using tax dollars to promote religion if individuals have a choice. The information from nonbelieving groups would have you believe is that religious schools will indoctrinate and not teach. Teaching on a secular, humanistic, naturalistic, atheist level is a form of indoctrination, Merlyn. It just suits your agenda so you ignore it."

 

ANWER THAT QUESTION, MERLYN.

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They were intelligent men, and they did: "congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".

 

Let's try this one more time Boris since you seem to have trouble with English.

 

"Establish" means to start or found. So Congress can make no law regarding the starting or founding of a religion. "In God We Trust" on money has nothing to do with starting or founding.

 

 

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"Merlyn, as it stands now the public school system is reduced to teaching in totally secular terms, completely unfair to the nation's majority that have religious beliefs. We'll use your example of evolution, by ignoring creation, you are giving credence to the theory of evolution. Evolution is a direct contradition to many religious beliefs. Schools have no problem teaching ideas from naturalists and humanists so yes, they definitely should add ideas from other perspectives. A better solution yet would be for atheist organizations to stop fighting school vouchers so parents could send their children to the schools of their choice. What is your objection to each individual family choosing where to send their child? Certainly it isn't using tax dollars to promote religion if individuals have a choice. The information from nonbelieving groups would have you believe is that religious schools will indoctrinate and not teach. Teaching on a secular, humanistic, naturalistic, atheist level is a form of indoctrination, Merlyn. It just suits your agenda so you ignore it."

 

ANWER THAT QUESTION, MERLYN.

 

I did. Science isn't some free-for-all where anyone can come up with any ridiculous idea and have it accepted by whoever thinks it's "neat" - that's what religion does.

 

There are a number of scientific teachings that go against various religious views, as I've already said. If you restrict science to only teach what's compatible with all possible religions, you've reduced it to nothing. You can't even teach the earth is round - there are "bible-believing" christians who insist it's against their religion. When the court has addressed this issue, they found that teaching creationism is not teaching science, but just teaching religion masquerading as science. They also found that the government's interest in teaching *real* science to students is a compelling state interest that is not being done to purposely ridicule or subvert students' religious views, which makes it quite legal for public schools to teach subjects that may, incidentally, contradict various religious teachings. Evolution isn't being taught to break down people's religious faith, it's being taught because it's where centuries of scientific investigation has lead. Astronomy doesn't exist to ridicule geocentrists (earth-as-center-of-universe), but the only place you'll find geocentrists being taken seriously nowadays are . . . at creationist symposiums! Yeah, that's REAL science.

 

And again, I've never heard of a school teaching that gods don't exist, so they can't be teaching atheism. If the astronomy teacher teaches about Newton's law and the orbits of planets, is that teaching atheism? It's the same situation when the biology teacher teaches about evolution. Neither teacher mentions gods, neither teacher is teaching atheism; they are teaching science.

 

And another poster:

"Establish" means to start or found. So Congress can make no law regarding the starting or founding of a religion. "In God We Trust" on money has nothing to do with starting or founding.

 

"The `establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion."

 

-- Justice Black, Everson v. Board of Education 1947

 

 

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Justice Black, Everson v. Board of Education 1947

 

That is only one man's opinion. The Supreme Court is comprise of men who are selected, not for their intelligence, but for their record of ruling in a manner that pleases the appointer of the moment. The whole system is flawed and like most government organizations, corrupt.

 

 

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