Author Topic: Why so scared of Christmas?  (Read 49131 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Michael Tee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12605
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2007, 09:32:55 AM »
<<Don't both of your options violate the second part of that statement, serving to prohibit free exercise of religion?>>

I don't think so.  Is there some religion which requires of its believers that they must celebrate their weddings on public lands owned by citizens and paid for by tax-payers of all religions and no religions?  Not in this world.

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2007, 09:54:36 AM »
Quote
So let's say there is a village green. And some folks want to get married on that green. And as part of that ceremony they have a minister officiate.

Is that

1. Offensive
2. Establishing
3. Unconstitutional use of public lands?


Depends.

If the people being married are paying for the minister, who cares?

If he is being paid with public funds to hold a religious service, in other words, with my tax money, then I'd go for all three.

We had a problem here a year or so ago where the crime rate, particularly violent crimes, was going up. A group of churches wanted to hold a day of prayer. Not a problem. They wanted to hold it in the municipal auditorium. Not a problem. Well, it wasn't a problem, until the mayor and the city council donated the use of the auditorium, and the mayor began publicizing it as a day of prayer. That put them in the position of using a public facility and public money for a religious function. They tried to get around it by saying it was open to everyone, of all faiths, but still wanted to call it a day of prayer. The city spent over $130,000 in public money - tax money - for it, including printing up flyers, advertising it in the paper and on the air, and providing the venue, security and cleanup afterwards. The ACLU sued, and let them settle out of court. I'd have gone for repayment of every dime the city spent.

By the way, it doesn't seem to have worked. Our murder rate this year is higher than last year. I saw a report on the news the other night that the murder rate in some major cities is down considerably, in some cases to the lowest point in almost forty years. Maybe the good folks in Jacksonville city government would have been better served to put that money to use visiting these other cities and finding out what they are doing, other than providing prayer meetings.
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2007, 01:57:50 PM »
Quote
Depends.

If the people being married are paying for the minister, who cares?

Let's say a civic organization rented a portion of the green and the gazebo that sat on that portion of land and placed christmas decorations there, would that still be OK?


_JS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3500
  • Salaires legers. Chars lourds.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2007, 02:20:57 PM »
The 1st amendment is pretty clear & concise as to its meaning regarding the so-called "seperation of church and state".  The Constitution prevents the Government from mandating anyone to follow a specific state sponsored religion, or to even establish one that everyone is to at least acknowledge as the Church of the U.S. 

It also provides FREEDOM of expression, where Government is supposed to be prevented from impeding or impairing one's ability to adhere to their religious doctrine/practices.  It's bad enough that the ACLU & like minds go apesnot when the word Christmas dares rear its ugly head in the classroom, but for State and Local Governments to even provide memos to their employees that they refraim from decorating their own damn cubicle with anything that remotely resembles anything religious, for fear of legal repercussions, is simply another example of Political Correctness completely abolishing the notion of freedom in this country

Now, I have my theories as to why, and the "slippery slope" arguement doesn't wash, since not more that 2-3decades ago, this country was far more "religious", in the public arena, such as school & government buildings, and we were no where close to some impending Fascist Theocracy or Communist state.  I think the reasons why are much more egregious & sinister than that, but don't expect anyone to fess up to it.

Meh, y'all ignore the other half of the word mas = Mass, so I don't really feel that sorry for you to be perfectly honest.

And you won't dare touch the sacred cow that is the real reason Christmas is losing its religious value. So why bother asking the question in the first place?
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Amianthus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7574
  • Bring on the flames...
    • View Profile
    • Mario's Home Page
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2007, 02:33:31 PM »
I don't think so.  Is there some religion which requires of its believers that they must celebrate their weddings on public lands owned by citizens and paid for by tax-payers of all religions and no religions?  Not in this world.

Does government have the power to prevent a demonstration of faith by citizens just because it's on public land? After all, aren't those same citizens taxpayers as well? Seems like you're prohibiting "free expression" of religion to me.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2007, 02:36:29 PM »
Quote
Let's say a civic organization rented a portion of the green and the gazebo that sat on that portion of land and placed christmas decorations there, would that still be OK?

Works for me, as long as it's not my tax dollars paying for it. If some group wants to put a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, I have no objection, as long as public funds aren't involved, and as long as any other group that wants to pay to put something up there is allowed to. Any other group.
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

sirs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27077
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2007, 02:52:51 PM »
The problem H & Tee have in this whole debate is the flawed notion that tax $$ = establishment.  It doesn't.  We have tax dollars going to all kinds of things I don't agree with, and we have prayers taking place before legislative sessions in congress.  NEITHER equate to establishing anything.  Nothing of the above mandates that anyone has to follow any specific or even general reliigion.  THAT is the foundation of the 1st amendment
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2007, 02:55:08 PM »
Quote
Works for me, as long as it's not my tax dollars paying for it. If some group wants to put a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, I have no objection, as long as public funds aren't involved, and as long as any other group that wants to pay to put something up there is allowed to. Any other group.

Sounds good.

Of course if i were the civic association point person i would negotiate a long tern rental agreement for the entire green during the time period needed.

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2007, 03:09:46 PM »
Quote
The problem H & Tee have in this whole debate is the flawed notion that tax $$ = establishment.  It doesn't.  We have tax dollars going to all kinds of things I don't agree with, and we have prayers taking place before legislative sessions in congress.  NEITHER equate to establishing anything.  Nothing of the above mandates that anyone has to follow any specific or even general reliigion.  THAT is the foundation of the 1st amendment

Not quite, genius.

The problem I have is that I am forced, by law, to pay taxes. I object to being forced, by law, to support religion, which is exactly what is happening when my tax money is spent for religious purposes.
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2007, 03:23:48 PM »
Quote
Sounds good.

So you would have no problem with Muslims putting up a display depicting Mohammed as the last true prophet of God? Or the Santorias putting up one depicting animal sacrifice? Or Satanists having a display on the town green? Or even Naturists having a nude display advocating their lifestyle?
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

BT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16138
    • View Profile
    • DebateGate
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2007, 03:32:10 PM »
Quote
So you would have no problem with Muslims putting up a display depicting Mohammed as the last true prophet of God? Or the Santorias putting up one depicting animal sacrifice? Or Satanists having a display on the town green? Or even Naturists having a nude display advocating their lifestyle?

If they rented the green, and taxpayer monies were not involved, why should I?

Plane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26993
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2007, 04:08:37 PM »
We had a problem here a year or so ago where the crime rate, particularly violent crimes, was going up. A group of churches wanted to hold a day of prayer. Not a problem. They wanted to hold it in the municipal auditorium. Not a problem. Well, it wasn't a problem, until the mayor and the city council donated the use of the auditorium, and the mayor began publicizing it as a day of prayer. That put them in the position of using a public facility and public money for a religious function. They tried to get around it by saying it was open to everyone, of all faiths, but still wanted to call it a day of prayer.

What was the message to the criminals involved?

"Non Specific god will get you ."

"The community is "semi" united in favor of peace"

"Christians ,Jews , Muslims , Hindi and Pagans are met in agreement that they don't like being mugged and their respective gods and goddesses are being invoked in egalitarian fashion, Agnostics and Athiests agree on the anti mugging part for the most part and they will invoke logic and reason on the following day."


If it does not fit on a bumpersticker , the message is muddy. 


Michael Tee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12605
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2007, 04:43:41 PM »
Ami - - <<Does government have the power to prevent a demonstration of faith by citizens just because it's on public land? After all, aren't those same citizens taxpayers as well? Seems like you're prohibiting "free expression" of religion to me.>>

If it has the power to prevent a Baptist preacher from leading the entire town council in a Baptist prayer at the commencement of every sitting, it has the power to prevent a group of Christians from setting up a creche on City Hall property.    Both are demonstrations of faith by citizens on public property and both violate the anti-establishment clause.

Of course the citizens are tax-payers as well, but they aren't the exclusive source of tax revenues and they don't have a right to treat the public's property as if they were.  (And even if they were the only tax-payers, the right of the citizen, tax-paying or not, is the primary right we have to concern ourselves with - - as long as there is one citizen represented by the government who is not on-board with the creche project, you will have a problem.)

There is no religion in the real world which believes in religious celebration on public property as an element of either religious practice or belief, so there is no prohibition of the free expression of any religion involved.  If there were such a religion, the anti-establishment clause would be in such obvious conflict with the free-expression clause that the entire provision would be totally ineffective.  It must have been clear to the framers of the Constitution that no such conflict could ever arise (because no such religion existed) - - otherwise they would have been writing a nullity, or worse, a "right" which would only have been enforceable only by any religion which claimed the right to publicly-sanctioned worship as an essential element of its theory and/or practice.

sirs - - <<The problem H & Tee have in this whole debate is the flawed notion that tax $$ = establishment.  It doesn't.  We have tax dollars going to all kinds of things I don't agree with, and we have prayers taking place before legislative sessions in congress.  NEITHER equate to establishing anything.  Nothing of the above mandates that anyone has to follow any specific or even general reliigion.  THAT is the foundation of the 1st amendment>>

It may well be that tax money is spent on many things you don't agree with, but which of those things is actually the establishment of a religion?  The issue isn't whether every citizen has to consent to where the tax revenues are being spent, but whether they can be spent to "establish" a religion.  BTW, the pre-session prayers ARE a violation of the anti-establishment clause, and a pretty blatant one at that, however it's so petty and low-cost that nobody bothers with it.  It shouldn't happen, though, and when I get through driving the U.S. forces out of Iraq, I will then see what I can do about abolishing those Congressional prayers.

It seems to me that over the years, the judicial interpretation of "establishment" - - as in the establishment of a religion - - has been broad enough to encompass such things as the creche on the City Hall stairs.  That's not to say there is only one way of interpreting the word.  Looks like the tide is running your way for the time being, but I don't think that's the way it's going to go over the long run.

Plane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26993
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2007, 05:00:43 PM »
Quote
It seems to me that over the years, the judicial interpretation of "establishment" - - as in the establishment of a religion - - has been broad enough to encompass such things as the creche on the City Hall stairs.  That's not to say there is only one way of interpreting the word.  Looks like the tide is running your way for the time being, but I don't think that's the way it's going to go over the long run.


Well stated!


Why should the interpretation of "establishment " be so broad?

Wasn't it narrow in the first place?

hnumpah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2483
  • You have another think coming. Use it.
    • View Profile
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Why so scared of Christmas?
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2007, 06:28:54 PM »
Quote
If they rented the green, and taxpayer monies were not involved, why should I?

That's my point. If they want to pay their own way, even on public property, I don't have a problem with it. But when the government starts using my tax money to pay for the venue, or to hire a preacher, or to even hire someone to give a prayer at a city council meeting, then I do have a problem with it. It's bad enough I pay extra taxes because churches aren't taxed - they gotta make up the difference somewhere - but you can bet your damned bippy I'll raise hell when city hall not only supplies city property for a 'prayer meeting', but even pays to have it advertised as such.
"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016