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Scoutfish

1st Amendment and BSA

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Ed writes:

But it appears Merlyn doesn't care about this type of constitutional violation

 

Wrong Ed; I don't think it's a constitutional violation. YOU do, I do not. So why aren't you doing anything about it? Don't you care about constitutional violations?

 

I am still working with the Illinois ACLU to get rid of those remaining government chartered units; I DO do something about constitutional violations. You just whine but you don't DO anything.

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It would make no difference to me Gern.

 

Why don't you think this is a constitutional violation, Merlyn? Taxpayer money directly used to fund a religious requirement for Muslims isn't a constitutional violation but chartering a BSA unit is? Sound like you are splitting legal hairs.

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I've told you a number of times already Ed, you just can't learn.

 

And you still haven't stated why you are ignoring what you think is a constitutional violation. Don't you care if the constitution is violated?

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Ed,

the wash basins are not restricted. The BSA is. That is the difference and its very significant. I'm sorry you can't see that.

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Gern,

 

I know the difference, but the wash basins were built with taxpayer money? Isn't that a direct endorsement of a religion?

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I don't think you do understand, Ed.

 

If the basins were for the exclusive use of the Muslims and paid for with public funds, yes, it would be an endorsement. But they aren't. Anyone can use them.

 

Likewise, the government owning a BSA unit but restricting service to only religious people is an endorsement of religion. Right?

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This whole irrelevant excursion into the foot baths is yet another reason why I think the primary argument against public charters of BSA units should be "equal protection" (14th amendment) rather than "establishment of religion" (1st and 14th amendments.) It would be so simple. A publicly provided program discriminating on the basis of religion is clearly a violation of equal protection. The foot baths thing could never even come up, because that is something that is available to everybody, and the Court wouldn't need to worry about whether it was particularly intended to benefit one religious group, and whether that violates the establishment clause. (Personally I doubt that it does, and even if it does, it does not excuse a public entity's violation of the establishment clause by chartering a BSA unit. I just think the equal protection argument is "cleaner" -- so to speak.)

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I understand Gern. The wash basins were not built for you & me. They were built for Muslims with taxpayer money. Just because you and I can use them doesn't it make it constitutional.

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Ed,

You got a problem with clean feet? I happen to like my feet clean. In fact, I might just use one those foot baths if I came across one. Come to think about it, I think everyone would do better if we all washed our feet more frequently. Sure help the foot odor problem in airplanes when people slip off their shoes eh? Or getting foot fungus at the gym.

 

I remember at Philmont, hiking into Fish Camp and taking off my boots and washing my socks and feet in the cool stream. Pure heaven. Maybe the Muslims are onto something us Westerners just are missing.

 

As for the constitutionality, see NJs post. He's spot on.

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I have no problem with clean feet, Gern, but I don't need the government to fund a foot bath with taxpayer money so I can wash my feet. That is strictly a religious requirement for Muslims.

 

Just heard that the National Day of Prayer is being considered unconstitutional?(This message has been edited by evmori)

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Yes Ed, I heard about the National Day of Prayer being deemed unconstitutional and what surprised me most was that a national day of prayer was ever allowed to be held in the first place and that it has taken to 2010 to have it declared unconstitutional.

 

Because of the first amendment, I dont understand how there ever could have been a Nationa Day of Prayer in the first place, just another thing I dont understand

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OGE, you're in good company, the judge in the case couldn't understand it either (nor do I.) Here is an article about it from the Associated Press: http://tinyurl.com/y2adu6h.

 

It's probably safe to say that this will be appealed, and it probably will reach the Supreme Court. It will probably be yet another close Supreme Court decision on a First Amendment religion case.

 

If people are going to start debating this (which really hasn't happened yet), maybe this should be a new topic. It's really a different issue from whether BSA units can be chartered by the government.

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NJCubScouter, I think your position is a good one.

 

No right in the constitution is absolute - everything has to be balanced against the other rights and responsibilities of the government and of individuals. Beavah has pointed out a number of other cases where government may (or does) give unequal treatment to people in various protected sub-classes.

 

The government is only allowed to discriminate in cases where there is a "compelling state interest".

 

I can imagine such a state interest in not allowing women in certain combat roles, or targeting some underserved populations for better health care. I think it's going to be very difficult to argue that setting up a program for theists is a compelling state interest (indeed, it borders on being ridiculous on the face of it to argue that the state should provide a youth program for non-atheists.)

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I think the National Day of Prayer was sort of like giving the keys to the city to a "hero" or clebrating a sports team. It really didn't do much but those who "got into it" got out of it what they needed. I actually really respect President Obama for having the courage to"cancel" this event, I'm sure he'll get lots of negative press & feedback.

 

Wednesday, Obama cancelled 2010 White House National Day of Prayer celebration. The National Day of Prayer has historically been the first Thursday in May, since Harry S. Truman put it into effect in 1952, but wasnt official until the days of Ronald Reagan. For the past eight years, the White House has had a ceremony to celebrate the day, but Obama cancelled it for 2010.

 

National day of prayer which was celebrated every first Thursday of May does not exist now. This years national prayer day that would have taken place next month that is on 6th May 2010 has been cancelled by the instructions from the president Barak Obama.

 

Kevin Coburn, from Salt Lake City said, People shouldnt care about the National Day of Prayer being cancelled. If people want to pray, they should, but they dont need a special day set aside for it.National prayer day, first appointed by President Truman and made permanent by President Reagan, who concluded by an ecumenical service at the White House with President George w. Bush, every first Thursday in May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning an Internet rumor that the National Day of Prayer had been cancelled by President Obama went viral. The rumor is only partially correct, Obama has canceled the White House service recognizing the National Day of Prayer. He has not, however, cancelled the National Day of Prayer itself.

 

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