OT: I KNEW you' Merkans knew how to fix stuff:

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"Lobby Dosser" wrote in message

If the local Muslim community will pay for any special facilities (although my understanding is such facilities are not strictly required), and recesses or breaks between classes are used for students to pray (in the same way Christian students can sit under a tree and read the Bible on their lunch break) then I suppose that's acceptable. But it should not be at public expense or disrupt the regular functioning of the school. My understanding is that the Islamic faith permits prayers to be shortened or skipped (and made up later) if necessary, so some flexibility on this point would seem to be called for at the two times per day in which Muslims would pray during school hours. But as a general rule I would not make exceptions for the adherents of any religion; anyone who takes their faith that seriously can pay for a private education for their children.
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No, you're wrong. Atheism is not accepting another's word that there is a supernatural entity out there. It's a crucial difference.
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"David Paste" wrote in message wrote:

True, but some folks behave as if it is, always being ready to mock religious belief in a way that suggests they have an emotional investment in belittling those with faith.
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Agreed. Why can't we just come together with our shared ridicule of the French. Or Germans. Or French AND Germans?
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"David Paste" wrote in message wrote:

Is it really still necessary to ridicule the French? Doesn't that qualify as piling-on?
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On 4/25/2011 4:16 PM, DGDevin wrote:

Is this ridiculing the French? or the British? or both?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWBUl7oT9sA

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Well, you have a good point. It isn't strictly necessary, but as an Englishman with a Parisian neighbour, it feels like my duty. I'm joking, of course.
Guten tag.
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"Tim Daneliuk" wrote in message

Apparently it's complicated for a lot of folks:
"WE'RE SORRY The page you requested can’t be found. Please use our search function to try again."

Unfortunately you're reasonably certain of a lot of things that are just plain silly, e.g. there should be no such thing as public schools.
I support your right to hold religious beliefs and worship as you please, it's when you want to do it on my dime and/or influence public policy based on those beliefs that it becomes a problem.
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On 4/25/2011 12:43 PM, DGDevin said this:

Unfortunately, they don't check with me first before reorganizing their content.

Why should I pay for public schools that are incapable of affirming my values and worldview? For that matter, why should you? At the very least, the Federal government should have no such role and public schools - if they exist at all - should be entirely run and paid for locally ... so as to reflect local values and ideas about education.
This, of course, scared the dickens out of the Usual Suspects who've been incrementally using the public schools as madrassas for peddling the execrable junk thinking of the intellectual left.

I agree with this ... hence my desire to limit what the public dime gets spent on generally. There are lots of absurd things being done with *my* dime that I do not wish to support. The only way to resolve our differing views it to simply not spend the money at all and let us each decide how to direct our own funds.
And if you think that people with views other than yours - particularly people whose views are animated by some faith tradition - should be silent on matters of public policy, you're really kidding yourself. Nothing has animated the Christian right more, for example, than EXACTLY that kind of haughty condescension. It's sort of entertaining to watch actually ...
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"Tim Daneliuk" wrote in message

Because we live in a civilized society, not a jungle where it's every man for himself.

Allowing schools to teach nonsense like Creationism/Intelligent Design because a majority of the locals believe nonsense would be counter-productive, so there are state and national standards. It's kind of like not allowing every home owner to write his own building code, at some point there has to be an objective standard everyone has to meet. You can exceed the standard if you please, but at the very least you have to meet it, and that means you can't compel public schools teach religiously-inspired nonsense. But you can always move someplace like Saudi Arabia, they're big on religion in the schools there.

The Conspiracy Theory mentality at work.

The way it works is this society has long since decided that universal education is a good thing. If you disagree you are free to move to some nation where that is not the policy. This libertarian nonsense where we should each pay only for things that we approve of or which directly benefit us has long since lost its comedy value.

You have a tendency to make up things that weren't said and act as if they were. I have good friends and family members who have strong religious beliefs, and I wouldn't dream of suggesting they have no right speak to public policy issues. What I object to is the bizarre notion that our laws should be influenced by what it says in the Bible (or any other religious book). If you want to believe Methuselah lived to the age of 969, fine, you believe that. But don't plan on adjusting the age at which I can collect Social Security to to 875 as a result of your belief.

Watching the Christian right is like accidentally tuning into the Jerry Springer Show. One can't help but feel some horror along with the amusement. Of course it's usually only a matter of time until the preacher is caught in a motel room with a couple of underage male hookers, that's always worth a laugh.
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On 4/25/2011 5:56 PM, DGDevin wrote:

I see. But pointing a gun at one citizen to make them support a worldview that is offensive to them AND indoctrinating their children in it against the wishes of these parents ... this is "civilized"?

> Allowing schools to teach nonsense like Creationism/Intelligent > Design because a majority of the locals believe nonsense would be > counter-productive, so there are state and national standards. It's > kind of like not allowing every home owner to write his own building > code, at some point there has to be an objective standard everyone > has to meet. You can exceed the standard if you please, but at the > very least you have to meet it, and that means you can't compel > public schools teach religiously-inspired nonsense. But you can > always move someplace like Saudi Arabia, they're big on religion in > the schools there. >
Your bigotry is showing. As it happens I've read a fair bit of the Creationists and ID stuff:
1) All Creationists are IDers, but all IDers are not literal 7-day Creationists.
2) Ditto the intersection of ID and religion. Most religions have an ID view of some kind, but not all IDers are specifically flogging a particular religious or faith tradition. The best among them are very careful to separate their personal faith from the content of their work.
3) There is a considerable body of interesting work being done both within science and in the philosophy of science by people of an ID bent. That's why it doesn't just go away on the scientific landscape even though every ranting atheist would love for it to.
4) You are demonstrating a breathtaking confidence in education "standards". One wonders if you've been around a high school lately and seen its output. I have ... it's largely not impressive. This is what happens when people that cannot be fired and are not held accountable for their work product are allowed to spend Other People's Money "teaching".
I commend this to your attention... you'll learn something and perhaps drop some of the ill conceived bigotry:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800334 /

It's based on personal observation - watching the high school in the area jamming some of the most execrable dreck down the students' throats it has been my misfortune to witness. For more ample evidence of this sort of thing at the collegiate level, see:
http://thefire.org /

> The way it works is this society has long since decided that > universal education is a good thing. If you disagree you are free to > move to some nation where that is not the policy. This libertarian > nonsense where we should each pay only for things that we approve of > or which directly benefit us has long since lost its comedy value.
That would almost be an argument except for one small problem. We do *not have* "universal education" today. We have universal ideological dunking and have-baked education...
> >> And if you think that people with views other than yours - >> particularly people whose views are animated by some faith >> tradition - should be silent on matters of public policy, you're >> really kidding yourself. > > You have a tendency to make up things that weren't said and act as > if they were. I have good friends and family members who have strong > religious beliefs, and I wouldn't dream of suggesting they have no
Ah ... the "I have friends argument" ... It was Socrates that first demonstrated this as a compelling like of argument ...
> right speak to public policy issues. What I object to is the bizarre > notion that our laws should be influenced by what it says in the > Bible (or any other religious book). If you want to believe
Then you should leave the country now. It was built, in part, on a theory of Natural Rights best explicated by Locke that relied heavily on Judeo-Christian anthropology to justify our precise form of government.
They kept praying all the way through the Constitutional Convention and the subsequent Congresses.
The legal systems itself is deeply imbued with such references. One need only to look at the various buildings in Washington D.C. - you know, government buildings - that show folks like Jesus and Mohammed along with the ancient philosophers before them.
Sorry, but you want a world that does not exist. This sterile, sanitized, no-religious-influences-by-anyone-in--government is an illusion. A chimera designed to prop up the failed premises of atheists desperate to rewrite US history retroactively.
Methinks thou protesteth too much.
> Methuselah lived to the age of 969, fine, you believe that. But > don't plan on adjusting the age at which I can collect Social > Security to to 875 as a result of your belief.
> >> Nothing has animated the Christian right more, for example, than >> EXACTLY that kind of haughty condescension. It's sort of >> entertaining to watch actually ... > > Watching the Christian right is like accidentally tuning into the > Jerry Springer Show. One can't help but feel some horror along with > the amusement. Of course it's usually only a matter of time until > the preacher is caught in a motel room with a couple of underage > male hookers, that's always worth a laugh.
More bigotry and profound ignorance. I know the Christian right pretty well. I know the atheists, the lefties, the cultural relativists, and the inconsistent humanists about as well. The Christian right is more civil, mannered, and patient with those with whom they disagree, than any of the aforementioned.
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[...]

_Of course_ there's a right to pray in school. Preventing students from praying in school is as much a violation of their 1st Amendment rights (to free exercise of their religion) as requiring them to.
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On 4/21/2011 8:29 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

Only if they pray to Zoroaster ...
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"Doug Miller" wrote in message

Do you have a right to walk in and make a speech in a courtroom during a trial or in a public school classroom during a lesson? No? Then what would lead you to believe that some kid who can't sign a contract or vote and so on has a right to say anything he pleases in a public school based on the 1st Amendment? Why does that kid have a right that you don't?
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On 4/21/2011 8:32 PM, DGDevin wrote:

People who want to spout off on what the law is should first educate themselves on what the law is. From Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 313 (U.S. 2000):
The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment prevent the government from making any law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. By no means do these commands impose a prohibition on all religious activity in our public schools. Indeed, the common purpose of the Religion Clauses is to secure religious liberty. Thus, nothing in the Constitution as interpreted by this Court prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the schoolday. But the religious liberty protected by the Constitution is abridged when the State affirmatively sponsors the particular religious practice of prayer.
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

I think DGDevin is conflating praying and making speeches. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits a student from whispering to himself "Oh dear God please let me pass this test", which _is_ a prayer. Nor does it preclude a student from saying grace before eating lunch. Nor does it prevent a group of students from sitting under a tree at recess and saying prayer and discussing the Bible.
However a student is not permitted to pray out loud in class any more than the student is allowed to shout "Barack Obama is great" or "the teacher is wonderful" or "public school is fun". This has nothing to do with freedom of religion or with freedom of speech and everything to do with not disrupting the classroom.
And going on to his court example, nothing prevents the accused from thinking or even saying softly to himself "Oh, dear God please let the jury acquit me and not send me to the electric chair". And nothing prevents the members of his family from similar actions. Standing up in court and making a speech about it would not be permitted for the same reason that standing up in court and making a speech singing the praises of the judge or of Barack Obama would not be permitted--such actions are not part of the business of the court and are disruptive of that business.
On the other hand, the action under consideration in Santa Fe vs Doe was the recitation of a prayer over the PA system prior to football games and the court held that that recitation was not permitted.
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"J. Clarke" wrote in message

Of course there is nothing to stop a student from muttering a prayer under his breath, nor should there be. What I was saying (albeit poorly) was that the school cannot facilitate or participate in the activity of prayer or other religious activities.

Exactly, a public school is not there for the purpose of religious worship any more than a court or a govt. office is there for people to make speeches unrelated to the activities of the court or office.

Which is as it should be. If players or spectators want to close their eyes and pray during the huddle then that's their business. But when school facilities are used to broadcast a prayer to anyone and everyone present it becomes the taxpayers' business, and using tax dollars to promote religion is on the wrong side of the line.
Jefferson and Madison both made clear that the separation of church and state was important; I see no reason to think they were wrong about that.
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On 4/25/2011 1:13 PM, DGDevin said this: <SNIP>

How about when it peddles a particular wordlview in direct contravention to the values held by the students and/or the parents that pay for the education when that worldview isn't religious but political? Is that OK?

So when a school in Chicago has the children marching and singing songs of praise to Barack Obama, are you equally outraged?

This is false as written. They made it clear that they did not want the State *establishing* a religion. They never said the public square of politics was to be sanitized of all religious references. Note that the earliest Congresses had a Chaplain and opened with a prayer. Hardly the actions of a committed church-state separator.
-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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"Tim Daneliuk" wrote in message
On 4/25/2011 1:13 PM, DGDevin said this: <SNIP>

If the parents in question are libertarian goofballs suffering from conspiracy theory addiction, sure, that's okay.

And it's time for Tim to move the goalposts.
Can you point to Supreme Court decisions forbidding schools from facilitating their students praising a President? No? So this is just you being pissed off that things happen which you don't like, requiring you to pretend they are just the same as things which the courts have ruled are unconstitutional? Okay.

Your claim that Jefferson and Madison thought the state could be just a little bit pregnant when it came to mixing government and religion is happily not one which has survived judicial review. It is ludicrous to imagine that Madison was opposed to tax revenues going to religious purposes but he would have been okay with publically funded schools carrying out religious functions. It is equally silly to imagine that Jefferson's view that Congress was barred from legislation respecting religion is meaningless to other levels of govt. via the incorporation of the Bill of Rights. The courts have made it clear that most of the BOR does indeed apply to other levels of government, so the separation of church and state is here to stay--sorry about that.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties."
Thomas Jefferson Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association
"Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it.
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?"
James Madison Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments
"Whilst I thus frankly express my view of the subject presented in your sermon, I must do you the justice to observe that you very ably maintained yours. I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions & doubts on unessential points. The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst by an entire abstinence of: the Govt from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, & protecting each sect agst trespasses on its legal rights by others. "
James Madison Letter to Jasper Adams
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On 4/25/2011 6:37 PM, DGDevin wrote:

Ad hominem and non responsive. I do not wish to have my children dipped in the particular goo that is so en courant at the moment. You And Yours want to use the gun of government force it down the childrens' throats but add the insult of forcing people that disagree entirely with it to pay for it as well. It's obscene.

No goalpoast was moved. The video in question shows the schools teaching the children not to question government - something all citizen patriots should learn to do early and often - but to worship the new President with Messianic fervor. All you needed was snake handling and the collection of an offering and it would have BEEN a church service.

their students praising a President? No? So this is just you being pissed off that things happen which you don't like, requiring you to pretend they are just the same as things which the courts have ruled are unconstitutional? Okay.

sermon, I must do you the justice to observe that you very ably maintained yours. I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions & doubts on unessential points. The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst by an entire abstinence of: the Govt from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, & protecting each sect agst trespasses on its legal rights by others. "

Uh, you skipped a step. These Framers that so desperately wanted to Church/State wall ... where were they when the Chaplain intoned a prayer as the beginning of Congressional business. You're like a lot of theologians and other True Believers (tm). You'll read the texts with rabbinic precision but out of context and with the intent not of discovering the truth, but affirming your views.
The Framers personally were all over the map in matters of belief.
The Framers almost universally opposed the creation of a State religion (Sam Adams may have been an exception).
The Framers were all in receipt of Judeo-Christian values and tradition and relied, in part, upon it in their argument for natural rights.
The Framers would not recognize the absurd dividing line You And Yours have manufactured to sanitize public institutions of all religious expression.

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