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The Law is the Law


angelb

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Thought some may be interested in this point of view:

THE LAW IS THE LAW

This is one of the best e-mails I have received

in a long time!

I hope this makes its way around the USA several

times over!!!!!

So Be It!

THE LAW IS THE LAW

So if the US government determines that it is

against the law for the words "under God" to be on our money,

then, so be it.

And if that same government decides that the "Ten Commandments" are not

to be used in or on a government installation, then,

so be it.

And since they already have prohibited any prayer in the schools,

on which they deem their authority,

then so be it.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to be a

law abiding US citizen.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to think

that smarter people

than I are in positions to make good decisions.

I would like to think that those people have the

American Publics' best interests at heart.

BUT, YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE I'D LIKE?

Since we can't pray to God,

can't Trust in God

and

cannot Post His Commandments in Government buildings,

I don't believe the Government

and

it's employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas

celebrations

which honor the God that our government is eliminating

from many facets

of

American life.

I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas,

Good Friday,

Thanksgiving

&

Easter.

After all, it's just another day.

I'd like the US Supreme Court to be in session on

Christmas,

Good Friday,

Thanksgiving

&

Easter

as well as Sundays.

After all, it's just

another day.

I'd like the Senate and the House of Representatives

to not have to worry about getting home for the "Christmas Break."

After all ~

it's just

another day.

I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved, if all

government offices & services would work on Christmas,

Good Friday

&

Easter.

It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would

be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be

"politically correct".

In fact....

I think that our government should work on Sundays

(initially set aside for worshipping God...)

because,

after all,

our government says that it should be just another day....

What do you all think????

If this idea gets to enough people,

maybe our elected officials will stop giving in to the minority

opinions and begin,

once again,

to represent the majority of ALL of the American people.

SO BE IT...........

Please Dear Lord,

Give us the help needed to keep you in our country!

Amen and Amen

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Well majorities are not always right, after all, years and years ago, a majority of the people didn't want women or blacks to even vote.

An easy solution---have us Jewish government workers deliever the mail on Christmas and Easter. Afterall, it gets pretty boring sitting home with everything closed those days and the movies can be pretty crowded. And then give the Jews off for Yom Kippur, Rosh Hoshanah, etc, without requiring them to take a paid vacation day. It would work for everyone and we'd get the services we need all year round :)

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You know that does work. I once worked at Mount Sinai Hospital ( it has since closed) It was a "Jewish" hospital. We had a special kitchen, Hanukkah candles etc. Christians worked those holidays, the Jewish worked Christian holidays, it worked well. Donna G PS We all agreed on the 10 commandments.

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I've backed away from replying to this post several times, but I can't take it any more.

I worked for the government for a couple of years, and the only religious holiday we were given off was Christmas day.

Thanksgiving is a secular holiday. I don't remember the pilgrims and Indians in the gospel accounts anywhere.

If you want government services on Sundays, that is fine, but be prepared for a 14.57% increase in taxes. It costs us all money to deliver the mail, and six days a week sounds like plenty to me. In fact, if we could save some money by only delivering mail on MWF, I would be okay with that, too. How many damn credit card applications do I need? And the bills could surely wait a day.

The first amendment says that the government will not establish religion in this country. This, I would argue, is the number one reason the United States remains a religious nation today compared to the rest of the first world. That is a longer argument than I want to get into right now.

I don't have a problem with the motto on the money, but I do have a problem with the pledge. Why should we force millions of Americans to cross their fingers when pledging their allegience to the flag? It is an emperical favt that there are millions of Americans who don't believe. In a statement advocating unity, why do we toss these people out?

The Ten Commandments establish religion, pure and simple. They start with "I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me." It is the personal nature of the Jewish and Christian and Moslem God that is the foundation of those religions. The commandments aren't talking about any belief structure that could be construed to be the absence thereof. It insults the ten commandments to try and interpret them in that way.

The debate would change if we wanted to post the six commandments of Jesus. But that is another longer argument. It is one of my favorites, though, so maybe after class I will come back to it.

But the question I want to pose to all those who want God all over our secular lives is why promote division? Why deliberately exclude people who don't believe the same way?

Curtis

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As usual Gregg Easterbrook says it better than I ever could. This is from beliefnet, a great website on all things spiritual:

More than a year after Roy Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, placed a stone monument displaying the Ten Commandments in a Montgomery courthouse, a federal district court judge has deemed "Roy's rock" unconstitutional. Justice Moore has previously sworn never to remove the monument, but for now says he'll appeal the ruling.

Below is Gregg Easterbrook's suggestion for how to settle the controversy about posting the Ten Commandments in public buildings. It first appeared on Beliefnet in February 2000.

Civil libertarians say the Ten Commandments must not be displayed in public places because this constitutes state endorsement of religion. Proponents counter that reminding citizens of divine law will help rebuild the nation’s character.

What’s intriguing is that, in theological terms, Christianity should have Six Commandments, not Ten. Jesus deliberately snipped out four of the commandments, endorsing only six. The six he favored are moral standards that could readily be posted in any public structure, without violating the line between church and state. It is the Six Commandments, not the Ten, that ought to be central to this debate.

First the political background. A 1980 Supreme Court decision barred most displays of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, on the grounds that this violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which mandates, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

Since 1980, proponents have been looking for a way around the ruling, as part of a movement that calls itself Hang Ten. A recent Indiana statute sought to satisfy legal concerns by saying that the Ten Commandments should be displayed along with other historical documents such as the Magna Carta. If displayed in conjunction with secular documents, the Hang Ten movement maintains, then the Ten Commandments would be received as primarily historical, not explicitly Judeo-Christian.

In recent years, federal judges have warmed somewhat toward faith in the public square. William Rehnquist, chief justice of the Supreme Court, maintains that the Constitution prohibits government only from endorsing religion or restricting free expression by minority faiths: "The Establishment Clause does not require that the public sector be insulated from all things which may have a religious significance."

But even if courts were sympathetic to the Indiana law, test cases and years of litigation would be required. Then, even if a Hang Ten statute were upheld, a backlash would surely result, on the part of those who would rightly fear that what was being hung was really a promotional device for evangelical Christianity. [Editor's note: The Indiana statute allowing the decalogue to be posted in schools and other public buildings was struck down by federal courts and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.]

That’s the political rundown. What about the theology?

One irony is that if the Ten Commandments commend to the public a religion, the faith being touted is Judaism, not Christianity. The Ten Commandments are found in the Hebrew Bible--what Christians call the Old Testament--which forms the core of Jewish holy writ.

Christianity honors the Old Testament, but views it as amended by the New--and in the New Testament, Jesus consciously rejects the Ten Commandments, replacing them with the Six Commandments.

The story of the Six Commandments comes when a young man asks Jesus what a person must do to obtain entry to heaven. Jesus replies, "If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." (Christ often simply said "life" to mean "eternal life," implying that the spirit world is the reality and the physical world is the veil.) Instructed to "keep the commandments," the young man then inquires, "Which ones?"

Which ones? Aren’t there a famously invariant Ten Commandments? Debating which laws mean more than others was a favorite exercise of the rabbinical tradition in which Jesus was educated. Still, Talmudic commentators did not take it upon themselves to pick and choose among the Commandments that God gave to humanity etched in stone. Jesus, on the other hand, in Christian thinking holds a divine license to amend the scripture. And here’s what he says:

"And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother. Also, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’" (Matthew 19:17-19, New Revised Standard Version. A parallel telling of the Six Commandments exchange is found at Mark 10:17-23.)

Six count ‘em Six Commandments, not Ten. Can you name the missing four?

These are the Commandments that Christ leaves off his inventory: "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make yourself an idol. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God. Remember the Sabbath Day, and keep it holy." (Compression of Exodus 20:3-8, NRSV. The Ten Commandments are given several times in the Old Testament in slightly different wordings, and the Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant traditions make different choices regarding which wordings to emphasize.)

Because what is significant about the Six Commandments verses is what Christ does not say, the grandeur and import of the passage is routinely missed.

Jesus, the child of God, carefully and consciously discards four of the Ten Commandments, basic precepts of a thousand years of relations between Maker and made. It turns out that the four Commandments Jesus deletes are the ones concurring formal religious practice. The Six Commandments that Jesus endorses are the ones concerning morality, love, and good character.

Jesus, bear in mind, is considered by Christian theology to be voicing the thoughts of the divine. When proclaiming the Ten Commandments, God placed at the top of the list formal religious obligation, exactly what the Establishment Clause of the Constitution forbids government from taking any stand on.

A thousand years later--Moses is believe to have lived about nine centuries before Christ--the Maker, speaking through Jesus, drops the ancient commandments regarding formal religious affiliation, and chooses to emphasize moral behavior and good character, exactly what schools and courts can emphasize without legal constraints.

The Christian denominations have a long history of averting their eyes from the Six Commandments passage, for a self-interested reason--these verses seem to say that denominations are not particularly important, and what denomination wants to call attention to that? Through the course of the Gospels, Jesus makes a number of statements suggesting that God’s interest in religious formality has declined, replaced by a divine emphasis on morality and love.

Christianity, as an institution, pays close heed to Jesus’s admonitions regarding morality and love, but tries to change the subject away from his anti-religious sayings.

For the purposes of the current Hang Ten political debate, what matters is that the Six Commandments could readily be posted in any school or public structure, because they do not advocate any particular faith, or even advocate religion at all.

Rather, the Six Commandments advocate ethical precepts we all ought to follow and teach, rules that define a life of good character. The teachings of the Six Commandments are timeless, too: even "You shall not commit adultery" does not mean no fun, it means no breaking the vows of marital fidelity. (The original Greek word translated as "adultery,", moicheuo, refers to monogamy, not sex generally.)

The precepts of the Six Commandments are ones embraced by every leading religion: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and every minor one that comes to mind.

Let's reprise the Six Commandments again, and imagine the good that could be accomplished by posting them in schools and public buildings, attributed to the radiant rabbi Jesus:

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness.

Honor your father and mother.

Also, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

In these words are everything we need to ground a revival of public character, without the slightest worry of Constitutional challenge.

So--Hang Six!

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The original posts says:

It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be "politically correct".

I say:

Since the constitution was written over 200 years ago, political correctness has nothing to do with the separation of church and state. This ideal is the bedrock of our constitution and thus all Supreme Court decisions on this topic since then.

Ironically, many of our forefathers were, in fact, religious zealots who had about as much tolerance as I imagine the person who wrote this e-mail forward.

If this is to be a pluristic nation in theory and fact, then we may in fact have too much correlation between church and state and not too little.

Examples given upon request. ....

Over the course of the last 200 years plus, until recently, our constitution has come closer and closer to turning theory into practice. In some ways, it seems to have been at a snail's pace, since the words of the constitution seem fairly clear.....

Like a wise woman I know always says, "There has been prayer in school as long as there has been math tests."

Curtis is right on the money-- as far as what this email forward would cost in dollars--the middle and working poor already bear a heavy enough tax burden thank-you. Plus the whole concept of this "proposal' makes no sense.--unless it proposes that govt workers work seven days a week, 365 days a year. Heck, why not 24 hours a day, too!

Let's start with the president who took more vacation days each year in office than any other! ( Okay, call me bitter, lol.)

I know too many people who don't take part in the religious practices that this email forward clearly relegates to the forefront. Let them and their children be. It's hard enough to be a minority in this country, be it religious, political, racial, gender or men who don't like sports.....

elaine

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I hate when anyone wants to do things with the "majority".... it rings of that "moral" majority of the 1970's.... and it was not always so moral! It might be interesting, though to stop recognizing religious holidays as government holidays, obvious sarcasm aside. Vacation time could always be chosen as it is for Jews, muslims, or other religious participants on their days of religious observation.

In addition to considering Christmas, Sundays and Christian Holidays as the only ones relevant, the debate as posted is overly simplistic and ignores many of the true constitutional principles involved.

I happen to have a great deal of faith and have no problem with the 10 commandments or the pledge, however, I do recognize that I am not the only person who matters.

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Just a few little factoids ...

Although some people probably did come here to avoid religious prosecution, most of those who did so came to the colonies, before there was a United States of America.

Several of our founding fathers were Deists -- not Christians. It's quite different. Deism is, in fact, based on a disbelief in scripture, prophets, superstition and church authority.

As U. S. citizens, we have freedom *of* religion; not freedom *from* religion.

Di

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True, people who came here before there was a nation came for many reasons (as do and did people who came after there was a nation)-- some because of religious persecution and probably the majority for economic reasons.

The Purtians, who did mainly come here because they had been persecuted in England, were who I referred to in an earlier post.

"Although victims of religious persecution in Europe, the Puritans supported the Old World theory that sanctioned it, that of the necessity of a uniformity of religion in the state. The Puritan procedure was to expel dissenters from their colonies, a fate that in 1636 befell Roger Williams and in 1638 Anne Hutchinson, America's first major female religious leader. Those who defied the Puritans by persistently returning to their jurisdictions risked capital punishment, a penalty imposed on four Quakers between 1659 and 1661."

As for the first ammendment, the only clear thing about it that we know is that a "national" religion was what was being prevented. Madison and most other Americans joined him in considering that the major goal was to forestall any possibility that the federal government could act as several Colonies had done by choosing one religion and making it an official "national" religion that enjoyed exclusive financial and legal support.

The establishment clause of the First Amendment meant at least this: that no one religion would be officially preferred above its competitors. What ever else it may -- or may not -- have meant is obscured by a lack of documentary evidence and is still a matter of dispute.

Even the 18th century diests, Franklin, Jefferson and Adams, while they did not necessarily believe in the exixtence of Christ, thought that founding the nation on religious principles made sense in order to keep moral order.

It is a misnomer to suggest that there is or has ever been a total separation of religion and state--not so. But a separation between Church and state, yes. There is a huge difference.

Like Lisa, I have no problem with religion, but I do have a problem with an organized religion --called a church or even a group of churches, trying to relegate legislative or judicial doctrine. It seems destined to be exclusive and infringe on the freedoms of many others.

No one can stop anyone from praying--in school or anywhere else. Organized prayer, on the other hand, especially when led by a specific group or Church.....and especially in schools--read children--is more than just a little scary to me.

On the other hand, I think thoughtful and non-religious discussions of ethics and morality DO belong in the shcools--maybe we threw the baby out with the bathwater.

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Holy cow, what a tangent!

Overtime? Why? IF every day were "the same" and people work 40 hours week (or more - or less, it IS government being questioned), days off could be staggered. Instead of weekends (involving Saturday AND Sunday, both being sabbaths in different religions) being the two days off, Joe would have Monday and Tuesday off, Mary would have Wednesday and Thursday off, etc. Where does overtime come in? IF religious holidays are something the minority has to spend vacation time on, it would only be fair that EVERYONE had to burn "vacation" and maybe more would be alloted. After all, why should agnostics be "punished" by not having time off just because they don't belong to any organized religion?

Thanksgiving is a national holiday, but I doubt American Native Americans find it a really celebratory occassion. Hmmmm... I doubt the Constitution has an amendment for days off for government offices and officials, nor a listing of holidays celebrated by the Nation. After all, when those government workers are off for Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day, MOST workers in the U.S. who receive minimum wage or the like are working! It's "just another day" to them, as most do not receive holiday pay NOR overtime, ya know?

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"Thanksgiving is a national holiday, but I doubt American Native Americans find it a really celebratory occassion. Hmmmm... I doubt the Constitution has an amendment for days off for government offices and officials, nor a listing of holidays celebrated by the Nation. After all, when those government workers are off for Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day, MOST workers in the U.S. who receive minimum wage or the like are working! It's "just another day" to them, as most do not receive holiday pay NOR overtime, ya know?"

Yep!! How many federal holidays are there now -- 15 or so? More? We get 6 a year. And we're open 6 days a week, so have to stagger schedules too. I'm the only one with Sat/Sun off.

A friend of mine is a Constitutional scholar, and we were having this conversation once, and he pointed out to me that having a Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday could be considered discrimination if we use the Constitution and framers' intent as the basis for discussion. In the U.S., we are free to believe whatever we want, and even free to be racist. Not having a holiday to honor a well known racist to offset MLK Day might be considered discrimination by some. They might even be in the minority. (All depends on whose ox is being gored, I guess.) And no, I don't feel that way and neither does he, it was just a hypothetical discussion on the issue of separation of church & state.

I agree though, Becky. Staggering schedules might be a good thing for John Q. Public, except we couldn't hold our tax returns longer when the 15th falls on a weekend!!! :P

Di

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"Thanksgiving is a national holiday, but I doubt American Native Americans find it a really celebratory occassion. Hmmmm... I doubt the Constitution has an amendment for days off for government offices and officials, nor a listing of holidays celebrated by the Nation. After all, when those government workers are off for Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day, MOST workers in the U.S. who receive minimum wage or the like are working! It's "just another day" to them, as most do not receive holiday pay NOR overtime, ya know?"

Yep!! How many federal holidays are there now -- 15 or so? More? We get 6 a year. And we're open 6 days a week, so have to stagger schedules too. I'm the only one with Sat/Sun off.

A friend of mine is a Constitutional scholar, and we were having this conversation once, and he pointed out to me that having a Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday could be considered discrimination if we use the Constitution and framers' intent as the basis for discussion. In the U.S., we are free to believe whatever we want, and even free to be racist. Not having a holiday to honor a well known racist to offset MLK Day might be considered discrimination by some. They might even be in the minority. (All depends on whose ox is being gored, I guess.) And no, I don't feel that way and neither does he, it was just a hypothetical discussion on the issue of separation of church & state.

I agree though, Becky. Staggering schedules might be a good thing for John Q. Public, except we couldn't hold our tax returns longer when the 15th falls on a weekend!!! :P

Di

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