View Poll Results: Is the ruling listed correct

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  • I am conservative and I think it is correct

    6 13.64%
  • I am conservative and I think it is wrong

    7 15.91%
  • I am a conservative and I do not know or am abivelant

    1 2.27%
  • I am a liberal and I think it is correct

    16 36.36%
  • I am a liberal and I think it is wrong

    9 20.45%
  • I am a liberal and I do not know or am abilvelant

    5 11.36%
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Thread: Is This Ruling Correct?

  1. #51
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Here's a little more information that I dug up in regards to ONE of these situations. This situation concerns the Elmbrook School District. Apparently, they held their graduation ceremonies in a supposedly non-denominational Christian "mega-church" for years, due to lack of comfort and air conditioning in their school's gym. The plaintiff's case cites that religious symbols were NOT covered up (the district asked, but the church refused) AND that there was some evangelism of students outside before graduation ceremonies commenced. Pamphlets proselytizing were also there. Seems to me that this goes a bit beyond just having the ceremony in a building. The church was absolutely wrong for their refusal to NOT do these things, but it was the district's responsibility. Seems to me that in this case, this was a good call.

    Here is the article discussing this:

    UPDATE: Elmbrook Schools Chief Disappointed in Church-Graduation Ruling - Brookfield, WI Patch
    I generally agree with you. Though the only real problem that I saw though was the evangelism of students outside. Beyond that the pamphlets and cross and such....so what?
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  2. #52
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    I generally agree with you. Though the only real problem that I saw though was the evangelism of students outside. Beyond that the pamphlets and cross and such....so what?
    Somehow I missed that post about them preaching to people outside the venue. I agree that crosses the line, but even with that, did the school know people from the chruch would be doing that or were they told otherwise, and the church did it anyways?

    That people are scared of symbols or pamphlets that they don't have to pick up and read, is simply amazing.
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  3. #53
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    You are making a lot of assumptions. It doesn't say if those 'pamphlets' were normally there or not. Based on my experience, that sort of thing is normally out and visible in most churches.
    Whether or not the pamplets are normally there, when you combine that with actively manned booths with individuals actively engaging those that attending the graduation ceremony, it moves beyond the school simply using the venue and turns it into the school actively taking action that assists with the churches advertising/recruitment methods.

    The later post revealed the pamplets that were there were normally there. Upon reading that, I actually went to rewrite what I wrote but apparently put the new text in between the old, without actually deleting the old -.-

    The pamplets, if they were normally what's in the pews, are not a huge issue for me. It was the actions outside that were problematic and that also enhance the other things issues as, rather than simply being able to take it as items being left as they always were, it begins instead a pattern of specifically attempting to advertise to a particular demographic.

  4. #54
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    When it comes to criminal cases yes. When it comes to whether something is Constitutional however they are not suppose to.
    This is simply not how our judicial system works, and never has. Context is always important, and if there is any element of coercion (either against the attendees or the taxpayers) then the government is infringing on First Amendment rights. And a graduation ceremony most definitely applies to both, as it's a common event that most people want to attend.

    How about base it off of what they meant when they made the law and not on someone's opinion 200+ years later? After all wouldn't it make sense to apply a law in the way that it was meant to be applied and not how someone 200+ years later thinks it should be applied?
    No, actually that would not make any sense at all. Because the First Amendment didn't even apply to the states at the time it was ratified (that didn't come until nearly 100 years later). And because public education was rare or nonexistent at the time. And because the people who ratified the First Amendment were not a monolithic entity, and therefore didn't mean to apply it in ANY particular way. Trying to decipher what they would have thought about a church being used for a public school's graduation ceremony is a futile exercise and not particularly relevant to the world in 2012.

    And that is the arguement I am presenting. There's plenty of evidence that those that wrote the 1st amendment had no intention of shielding people from religion. Just in shielding religion itself. No matter the religion.
    The government doesn't need to "shield people from religion" in the sense of restricting the actions of private entities. But it DOES have a responsibility to shield people from religion in its own affairs. The state is spending taxpayer money and the school is holding a public event that most participants will want to attend. Therefore they do have a responsibility to not spend it on anything religious, for the same reason that the state can't outright build a mosque with taxpayer money and open a DMV inside.

    Otherwise no school would have ever been held in a church setting. No courtroom would have had the 10 Commandments from the get go. I could prolly come up with more, those are just off the top of my head.
    I'm not sure what you think this proves, other than that some courts once had a different interpretation of the First Amendment than they do now (or just didn't enforce it as well). It says nothing about which interpretation is "correct" (whatever that means).

    But that is not where it says that a government entity could not promote religion. It just says that the rights in the BoR must apply to State governments as well as the Federal government.
    So in your view, would it be constitutional for teachers in public schools to start preaching Scientology and actively try to convert their students, as long as they didn't force them? What if the school made conversion to Scientology a requirement in order to participate in after-school events, which are entirely optional?

    Why not hold it in a church? What is inherrently wrong with such a venue? So what if it makes some people uncomfortable. Last I knew there was no right to be free from uncomfortable situations. So long as they are not forced to attend an actual religious ceremony then I see no problem with it.
    The problem is that when you put people in a religious atmosphere like that, it's essentially an advertisement for that religion.

    And all of it is provided free of charge from and by the government.
    I don't really have a problem with it since it's on individual people's graves. If Arlington Cemetery had religious iconography that weren't for specific people or groups of people (and I don't know if they do), I'd be more likely to have a problem with that. Although they probably get more leeway than public schools, since it's an historical site and monument.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-31-12 at 12:18 PM.
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  5. #55
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    In my community, we cast our votes in a church. I certainly do not feel I am the victim of religious indoctrination while I am voting. If that is permissible, why not a high school graduation?
    The court ruling actually touched on this. It stated that there is nothing inherently wrong with a government institution using a churches facilities as that...facilities.

    However, it was the prescense of actively manned booths conducting prostiliticizing of religious programs and messages to the attendees of the graduation that was the issue as it took it from simply using the venue to providing the appearance of the state actively endorsing a religion by allowing the promotion and advertising by the church at a graduation.

    Had they simply been uing the venue, and the church simply allowed them to use the venue just as a convention center or other meeting place would simply allow someone to use a venue, that'd be one thing and I'd have no issue with it. However, when the church is using the schools use of their venue as a means of gaining an audience to actively advertise to, that becomes an issue.

  6. #56
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Whether or not the pamplets are normally there, when you combine that with actively manned booths with individuals actively engaging those that attending the retirement ceremony, it moves beyond the school simply using the venue and turns it into the school actively taking action that assists with the churches advertising/recruitment methods.
    Manned booths? Retirement ceremony? Are you in the right thread?
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    Manned booths? Retirement ceremony? Are you in the right thread?
    In the right thread regarding manned booths -.-

    Mental slip with regards to retirement ceremony as I was working on a retirement letter and plans for a small gathering earlier before the post and my mind likely skipped a beat.

    Being a stream of consiousness typer, I really need to reread **** before I post

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    Finally, the court ruled: "conducting a public school graduation ceremony in a church—one that among other things featured staffed information booths laden with religious literature and banners with appeals for children to join “school ministries”—runs afoul of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause as applied to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause

    http://www.au.org/files/2012-07-23%2...0en%20banc.pdf

  8. #58
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    In the right thread regarding manned booths -.-
    Ah, this whole thread would have been a lot shorter and different if this sort of information was presented at the start of the whole thing.

    Though I find the idea that this 'runs afoul of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause' to show supreme ignorance of what the establishment clause is and what it's intent is. Had the school requested such booths and activities, then it would certainly run afoul of the EC.

    It all kinda comes back to did the school know this was going to happen outside of the venue or not? If so, they are clearly in the wrong.
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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    Ah, this whole thread would have been a lot shorter and different if this sort of information was presented at the start of the whole thing.

    Though I find the idea that this 'runs afoul of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause' to show supreme ignorance of what the establishment clause is and what it's intent is. Had the school requested such booths and activities, then it would certainly run afoul of the EC.

    It all kinda comes back to did the school know this was going to happen outside of the venue or not? If so, they are clearly in the wrong.
    The argument of it violating the establishment clause was that basically since the School choose to do the ceremony at the church...and the church was actively advertising at the ceremony....then it gives the impression, even if unintentional, that the school is advocating/promoting that religious advertisement.

    I don't particularly find whether or not the school knew about it as the determining factor of it being constutitonal or not. I'd say it's a good determination to find out if the school is RESPONSIBLE for the unconstitutional activity or whether it was simply an unfortunate coincidence of unintended events. Even if it's the latter though, it doesn't change the notion that such actions constitute an unconstitutional act and that it should cease to ocucr in the future.

    Perhaps a bit over the top, but will perhaps illustrate my point. Say a local government hires a private security group to do some of the security aspects of the policing duties. That private security group then starts incarcerating people without trial. This was not the intent of the state, and they didn't think such action was going to take place, but it wouldn't change that action being unconstitutional since the security group was acting on behalf of the state and was acting in an unconstitutional manner while doing so.

    Whether or not the school knew that the church would be advertising is perhaps important to know in terms of how much blame to put on the school officials, but not as to whether or not it was constitutional.

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    Re: Is This Ruling Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Federal court rules Wisconsin schools' graduations in church were unconstitutional | Fox News



    So the question is, is the ruling that holding a graduation ceremony for a public school in a church unconstitutional correct?

    Edit: for our centrist/independent posters, please choose the side closest to your views.
    Of course the ruling is correct if it was inside an actual church or you had to go by, pass or sit among religious banners, crosses, shrines etc etc present then yes absolutely.

    Its a non-brianer IMO

    What if my religion simply didnt allow me to be present in that stuff? or I found it offensive because of my own religion.

    Its pretty clear it was the wrong move for the school to hold it there and the right ruling..
    Last edited by AGENT J; 07-31-12 at 01:14 PM.
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