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Thread: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

  1. #421
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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Somehow I doubt I will lose any sleep tonight worrying about the dread threat Christian fundamentalists supposedly pose to our First Amendment freedoms. To hear you tell it, the U.S. is only a few steps away from becoming a Christian theocracy--sort of a Tehran West. Some people might think that by relying on more and more outlandish exaggerations to sustain your argument, you're showing how weak it is. Others might think it shows the sort of irrational hostility toward Christianity that's so often on display in forums like this one.

    The Bill of Rights originally applied only to the United States, and not to the states. In a long series of decisions starting about 1900, the Supreme Court held that first one and then another provision of the BOR was "incorporated" in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and through it, applied to the states. The Court did not apply the Free Exercise Clause to the states until Cantwell v. Connecticut in 1940, and it did not apply the Establishment Clause to them until Everson v. Board of Education in 1947.

    During the century-and-a-half that separates the Bill of Rights from the World War Two era, then, any state could have restricted the free exercise of religion as far as it pleased, or authorized any amount of religious involvement in government. It could even have established its own official church. If most states had done that, it would hardly have mattered that the Establishment Clause barred Congress from declaring an official national religion; we would have had a de facto theocracy anyway.

    This was unquestionably a more openly religious nation during most of the time between 1791 and 1947 than it is now. The dangers you claim religious extremists pose to our freedoms should have been even greater during that century-and-one-half. And yet no state ever even came close to declaring official religion. Must have been a miracle.
    The dangers from Christian Nationalists are real. That many are not aware of them or even know what they are or what they believe and propose for this country is amazing in this time of information overload. When they say that the Founders intended this to be a Christian Nation and it should be, most simply accept that Christians are generally a kindly people who care for the poor and sick, etc. They have no idea what Christian Reconstruction stands for and would be amazed that any Christian would accept such views these days. IOW, Christian Reconstructionists would change this country to their version of Christianity, not your everyday church on mainstreet version.

    Christian Reconstructionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    prominent advocates of Christian Reconstructionism have written that according to their understanding, God's law approves of the death penalty not only for murder, but also for propagators of all forms of idolatry,[8][9] active homosexuals,[10] adulterers, practitioners of witchcraft, and blasphemers,[11] and perhaps even recalcitrant youths[12] (see the List of capital crimes in the Bible). American Vision's Joel McDurmon responded to these criticisms by denying that Reconstructionists have promoted coercive means.[13]

    Conversely, Christian Reconstructionism's founder, Rousas John Rushdoony, wrote in The Institutes of Biblical Law (the founding document of reconstructionsim) that Old Testament law should be applied to modern society and advocates the reinstatement of the Mosaic law's penal sanctions. Under such a system, the list of civil crimes which carried a death sentence would include homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness in a capital case.[14]


    While advocates of such extreme views are few in number, they have had a great influence. For instance, Glenn Beck hosts a Reconstructionist on his show every week, David Barton, although the self-proclaimed historian Barton has largely been discredited, his views remain popular.


    According to sociologist and professor of religion William Martin, author of With God on Our Side:

    It is difficult to assess the influence of Reconstructionist thought with any accuracy. Because it is so genuinely radical, most leaders of the Religious Right are careful to distance themselves from it. At the same time, it clearly holds some appeal for many of them. One undoubtedly spoke for others when he confessed, 'Though we hide their books under the bed, we read them just the same.' In addition, several key leaders have acknowledged an intellectual debt to the theonomists. Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy have endorsed Reconstructionist books. Rushdoony has appeared on Kennedy's television program and the 700 Club several times. Pat Robertson makes frequent use of 'dominion' language; his book, The Secret Kingdom, has often been cited for its theonomy elements; and pluralists were made uncomfortable when, during his presidential campaign, he said he 'would only bring Christians and Jews into the government,' as well as when he later wrote, 'There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.' And Jay Grimstead, who leads the Coalition on Revival, which brings Reconstructionists together with more mainstream evangelicals, has said, 'I don't call myself [a Reconstructionist],' but 'A lot of us are coming to realize that the Bible is God's standard of morality … in all points of history … and for all societies, Christian and non-Christian alike… It so happens that Rushdoony, Bahnsen, and North understood that sooner.' He added, 'There are a lot of us floating around in Christian leadership—James Kennedy is one of them—who don't go all the way with the theonomy thing, but who want to rebuild America based on the Bible.'[26]



    For many years, and for some yet today, Christians just assumed they, meaning "Christians" in general as opposed to one denomination or another, had the right to government support in the form of access. They assumed Christian prayers at public meetings and public schools, in the military, and in Congress were welcomed. They failed to realize that the BoR was written to protect minorities and individuals. Few of them ever realized that anyone would object and when objections did occur, the objectors were ignored, ridiculed, and/or persecuted. That reaction continues today as you can see from this news incident and others involving military coercion of religious participation, and continued incidents involving schools. I understand these sorts of violations are traditional and as such carried on with little thought to the effect they may have upon those with other views. But I would think, as a Christian who cares about others, once it was pointed out that those violations are hurtful to one who doesn't share that view, a Christian would begin to think about it and come to the conclusion that Christians as a group should not continue such actions, but what I hear from such Christians is something like, "Well, you're just wrong to feel that way, so I'm going to do it anyway regardless of what the courts say."
    "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
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  2. #422
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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Christianity hasn't broken down into violence yet, and it likely won't if we allow these kids to put stickers on their helmets. I think that's a bit absurd.

    It is still a free country and the individual has the right to speech and expression. In this case, there was nothing wrong with what the kids do. I think it is important to maintain a secular school system, and to ensure that government doesn't promote any one religion over another. But people will express themselves and we have to be able to allow that on some front too. In public schools there are large restrictions on that, some of which go well too far against the rights of the individual. But even then, there was nothing wrong with these stickers, and it wasn't the school promoting a religion.

    No harm, no foul.
    "No harm, no foul", "just let it ride", the attitude that small violations don't count allows bigger violations to follow. Allowing the stickers on government property makes it appear that government is endorsing that religion. Students and others have plenty of venues for self-expression without using government property.
    "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by OKgrannie View Post
    "No harm, no foul", "just let it ride", the attitude that small violations don't count allows bigger violations to follow. Allowing the stickers on government property makes it appear that government is endorsing that religion. Students and others have plenty of venues for self-expression without using government property.
    Uggg...I just think this is the overreaction that drives the problem and is one of there reasons we can't have anything nice any more.

    Logic, reason, and evidence must reign supreme. And in this case, none of those point to government endorsing a religion. It was kids who put a simple sticker on their helmet and there's nothing particularly offensive about it and the school wasn't endorsing it or requiring it.

    Secularism means something doesn't speak to religion, good or bad. It's not anti-theism. That's an important distinction to maintain.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

  4. #424
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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by OKgrannie View Post
    Are you saying that putting religious symbols on public property is NOT respecting an establishment of religion? In case you haven't heard, it is not only Congress, but the states also are forbidden to make laws or rules respecting an establishment of religion. Disallowing religious displays on public property, a commonsense ruling BTW, is not interfering with anyone's free exercise. Anyone is free to display any symbols they choose on their own property, and they have no right to co-opt government property or anyone else's property to promote a religion. No one has ever had a "free exercise right" to someone else's property.
    So whats the "rule" or "law" that congress made to allow the cross on those helmets? Short of that you just sunk your own argument.
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Uggg...I just think this is the overreaction that drives the problem and is one of there reasons we can't have anything nice any more.

    Logic, reason, and evidence must reign supreme. And in this case, none of those point to government endorsing a religion. It was kids who put a simple sticker on their helmet and there's nothing particularly offensive about it and the school wasn't endorsing it or requiring it.

    Secularism means something doesn't speak to religion, good or bad. It's not anti-theism. That's an important distinction to maintain.
    Look, I agree this is a minor violation. Perhaps insignificant. I'm just saying that an accumulation of minor violations adds up. It leads to more, such as the way you hear some justify an action by saying we've got God on our money and God in our Pledge of Allegiance so it would be OK for government to pay for a church or distributing Bibles to schoolkids. The world as we know it will not end with this one thing, it will be an accumulation.
    "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
    ~Anonymous

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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    So whats the "rule" or "law" that congress made to allow the cross on those helmets? Short of that you just sunk your own argument.
    Surely you are aware that an amendment made the BoR applicable to all states. Surely you are aware that the public school's administration had to rule on the allowing of those stickers once it was brought to their attention.
    "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by OKgrannie View Post
    Look, I agree this is a minor violation. Perhaps insignificant. I'm just saying that an accumulation of minor violations adds up. It leads to more, such as the way you hear some justify an action by saying we've got God on our money and God in our Pledge of Allegiance so it would be OK for government to pay for a church or distributing Bibles to schoolkids. The world as we know it will not end with this one thing, it will be an accumulation.
    We kind of do pay for churches in general, particularly since they get tax-exempt status. References to gods are everywhere, and there's not much we can do about it. We're going to come across it. The government has removed quite a bit from their property proper and there has been quite significant movement away from public schools preaching religion and endorsing religion. I think it went in a good direction. But if we are to remain free, then we need to exercise reason and logic. In doing so, one realizes that this case is nothing of the sorts. An individual kid putting a sticker on their helmet is not a big deal, school didn't endorse it nor did they demand it or enforce it. It was in memory of their friend. That's it. End all be all for this case.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by OKgrannie View Post
    Surely you are aware that an amendment made the BoR applicable to all states. Surely you are aware that the public school's administration had to rule on the allowing of those stickers once it was brought to their attention.
    Not what i asked you. You cited verse from the constitution and all i did is ask where congress had anything to do with the team honoring two fallen mates with a cross. You then move the goalposts because you know your argument has no merit.
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by OKgrannie View Post
    Look, I agree this is a minor violation. Perhaps insignificant. I'm just saying that an accumulation of minor violations adds up. It leads to more, such as the way you hear some justify an action by saying we've got God on our money and God in our Pledge of Allegiance so it would be OK for government to pay for a church or distributing Bibles to schoolkids. The world as we know it will not end with this one thing, it will be an accumulation.
    You are agreeing with yourself. The poster you are responding to did not think what the students did was a violation at all, major or minor.

    As you say, some person might argue that because there are references to God on our money, it would be all right for government to do the things you mention. But the mere fact someone can make a claim does not make his claim true. Of course the government actions you mentioned would be unconstitutional.

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    Re: Football team forced to remove crosses from helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by OKgrannie View Post
    Surely you are aware that an amendment made the BoR applicable to all states.
    Even the justices of the Supreme Court have often commented on how difficult the issues of constitutional law raised by religious expression in public places are. And yet you claim to understand them well enough to make some very positive claims. It's odd, then, that you would flatly misstate incorporation doctrine as you just did.

    If any "amendment made the BoR applicable to all states," no one but you has heard about it. If you can cite me to that amendment, I'd like to read it.

    It is the Supreme Court of the U.S., through a long series of decisions, that has applied most--but not all--of the Bill of Rights to the states. The Second Amendment was the most recent part it applied to them, a few years ago in McDonald v. Chicago. One part of the Bill of Rights the Court has never applied to the states is the clause in the Fifth Amendment that prohibits trying a person for a "capital or otherwise infamous" crime without indictment by a grand jury. That applies in federal courts, and most eastern states also use grand jury indictment in murder cases. But nothing requires any state to use a grand jury in that situation, and many western states do not.

    Surely you are aware that the public school's administration had to rule on the allowing of those stickers once it was brought to their attention.
    It did? I wasn't aware of that. What law, exactly, requires a public school to jump, every time some lawyer writes it a letter claiming its failure to prohibit a student from doing something violates the Constitution of the U.S.?

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