Off Topic Messages

Califonia Judge Nixes Pledge of Allegiance for Kids

Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:01 pm

US school pledge under fire again
By James Coomarasamy,BBC News, Washington

Campaigner Michael Newdow lost a similar case last year
Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in US state schools is unconstitutional because of its religious element, a federal judge has ruled in California.

The judge said it violated a child's constitutional right to be free of any coercive requirement to affirm God.

Three unnamed parents represented by a well-known atheist brought the case.
Image

The ruling in San Francisco mirrors a decision taken by the same court in 2002, which was eventually overturned by the US Supreme Court.

Every day, millions of American schoolchildren pledge their allegiance to "one nation under God".

But, for the second time in three years, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled this unconstitutional.

Michael Newdow, who represents the three parents, gained nationwide notoriety in 2002 when he brought the original case on behalf of his then 10-year-old daughter.

The federal court's ruling on that occasion proved to be highly controversial and was overturned by the US Supreme Court last year - but on procedural, not substantive, grounds.

There is a good chance that this latest ruling, by Judge Lawrence Karlton, will also end up before America's highest court.

The court is increasingly being called to make judgements on the often contentious relationship between church and state.

Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:03 pm

So let me get this straight, this guy doesn't want GOD mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance, but he wants to be GOD and determine what everyone else should do? :shock:

Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:30 pm

Newdow can go piss up a rope.

Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:50 pm

Reasonable people can disagree on this issue.

But I personally think the Pledge is a mild and necessary way to make schoolkids understand that they are part of a greater whole.
This Newdow guy is obsessed. A vague mention of God
won't hurt anyone save a few self-styled atheists. Big deal.
It's not that oppressive. Are kids taught any morals of
self-conduct today in school? I doubt it, judging from what
we're seeing.

I used to be swayed by the civil libertarian argument
(many of the founders were deists, suspcious of organized
religion)
but these folks are obsessed with rooting out mention of God
in the U.S. government.

The Judge (a Carter appointee) is on record apparently
for sticking up for the religious rights of Muslims in the prison system.
Same old, same old.

Is this the most important thing Newdow has to be concerned about?
U.S. education is in bad shape but not because of a one-minute
burst of patriotism. Democrats are going to lose many more
elections if they continue to curry favor with extremists.

Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:47 pm

Welcome to the new America where the minority rules.

I suggest "ACLU vs. America" as a must read for anyone who's even mildly concerned about activist judges imposing their will instead of interpreting our laws...especially when it comes to those judges looking to foreign laws to interpret the U.S. constitution. It's an outrage.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:20 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I used to be swayed by the civil libertarian argument
(many of the founders were deists, suspcious of organized
religion)
but these folks are obsessed with rooting out mention of God
in the U.S. government.


You are wise in your generation Gregory! Some of the high-profile founders were deists, the majority were theists. And none of them had any qualms about opening sessions of congress with prayer. But the activist atheists will sidestep that inconvenient fact or talk around it (or over it).

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Is this the most important thing Newdow has to be concerned about?
U.S. education is in bad shape but not because of a one-minute
burst of patriotism. Democrats are going to lose many more
elections if they continue to curry favor with extremists.


The democratic party has an image problem. They are perceived as anti-God, anti-second amendment, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage. It's an image problem that they brought on themselves, and that they need to begin addressing if they hope to attract middle-of-the-roaders (like you and I) back to the party.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:22 am

Well, "Amen" to that. :lol:

Really. Did they become a majority party from the time of FDR
until recently by championing fringe causes? No.

The '60s and especially '70s is when the party swung too hard left.

No one likes to hear it, but whoever captures the middle wins.

Fringe social causes never do the trick.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:22 am

Greg -

What's a 'self-styled' atheist ?

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:44 am

I don't think it's a fringe cause because at least in theory it implies an endorsement of religion. Government should be religion neurtral. Most kids don't take it that way though. In the grand scheme of things, it is a relatively unimportant issue because of that. When I was a kid, most kids mumbled the Pledge at best and if you were so inclined you could do so self-editing when reciting the pledge. And when somebody complains about something as harmless as a Christmas wreath, they are being kind of tyrannical. Sometimes you have to pick your fights.

However, I would caution about claiming a moral high ground here. It's not really a high ground. The people complaining about the decision are no better than the people guy who brought the suit. When you get down to brass pegs they want government to endorse their view. There's nothing noble about that. And as extreme as it is you will find the odd zealot on the other side who uses things like the Pledge to indicate that the government does support religion when it to addressing the big issues.

So, be careful about throwing phrases around like anti-God. To be God neutral is not anti-God. A secular government that allows people to worship (or not) as they please is the model for success.

Further, the ACLU has everyone here's back; you just don't know it because sometimes we can't see down the road. Brown Vs. Board Ed ACLU. Miranda ACLU. They protect us.

And even in a case like this, no one's religious rights are being violated. No one is being stopped from worshipping in any way. That's a huge point.

Also, let's call a spade a spade. No one seems to have a problem with activists judges when their decisions side with them. It may or not have any relevance in this debate, I did not read the judge's decision, but that phrase has been thrown around way too loosely lately.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:48 pm

likethebike wrote:
Further, the ACLU has everyone here's back; you just don't know it because sometimes we can't see down the road. Brown Vs. Board Ed ACLU. Miranda ACLU. They protect us.


ltb... the cases you're referring to go back decades. Today's ACLU is not your father's ACLU. It's now an organization hell bent on eliminating the fundamentals on which this country was founded. Oh yeah, they've got your back...if you're a child-raping murderer. Lord knows those people need their freedom of speech protected. What's wrong with a little child porn??? It's harmless art and protected by the U.S. Consititution...right?

God help you, though, if you want to be a boyscout. If the ACLU has its way, you're sh*t out of luck.

This is a bit long, but well worth the read to gain insight into the mentality of TODAY'S ACLU.


From WorldNetDaily:

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a judge to dismiss what it calls an "unconstitutional" lawsuit against a national pedophile organization being sued in a wrongful death case after two of the group's members brutally raped and murdered a 10-year-old boy.

The $200 million civil lawsuit, which charges the North American Man-Boy Love Association with wrongful death, was originally filed in Massachusetts Federal District Court on May 16.

As reported in WorldNetDaily, Salvatore Sicari and Charles Jaynes picked up fifth-grader Jeffrey Curley and took the boy to the Boston Public Library where Jaynes accessed NAMBLA's website. Later, the men attempted to sexually assault Curley, but the boy fought back. Attempting to restrain him, Jaynes gagged the 10-year-old with a gasoline-soaked rag, eventually killing him. The men put Jeffrey's body in a tub with concrete and threw it in a river.

According to Curley family attorney Larry Frisoli, Jaynes kept a diary in which he wrote that he turned to NAMBLA's website in order to gain psychological comfort for what he was about to do. The killer had been stalking Curley prior to the boy's murder and possessed various materials from the clandestine group.

The ACLU argues that the newsletters and other NAMBLA materials in Jaynes' possession, which contain ''photographs of boys of various ages and nude drawings of boys,'' are protected speech under the Constitution. The material does not ''urge, promote, advocate or even condone torture, mutilation or murder,'' ACLU attorneys wrote. ''Examination of the materials that have been identified by the plaintiffs will show that they simply do not advocate violation of the law,'' the dismissal motion states. ''But even if that were the case, speech is not deprived of the protection of the First Amendment simply because it advocates an unlawful act."

Both killers are now serving life sentences. The family filed the lawsuit against NAMBLA and the Internet service provider that hosted its site, arguing their son might still be alive were it not for the group and its website.

But the ACLU believes NAMBLA is being unconstitutionally ''sued for their ideas.'' According to court documents from the ACLU, the case raises ''profoundly important questions under the First Amendment,'' because NAMBLA is not being sued for making any particular statements, but simply for creating an ''environment'' that encourages sexual abuse.

''What they don't like is what NAMBLA stands for,'' said John Reinstein, legal director said John Reinstein, legal director of the Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU. ''They don't like their ideas or the notion that someone else would have accepted them,'' he told the Boston Globe.

The Curleys won a $328 million wrongful death case against their son's killers earlier this year, but since both men are penniless, Frisoli called it largely a moral victory. WND reported in July that Frisoli was preparing a class-action lawsuit against NAMBLA. If NAMBLA loses the class-action suit, individuals and parents of children who were involved in sexual relationships with members will be able to collect damages.

According to Frisoli, NAMBLA has anywhere from 300 to 1,300 members, depending on which time period is selected for the lawsuit, translating to thousands of children that would constitute the class in the suit.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:17 pm

ColinB wrote:Greg -

What's a 'self-styled' atheist ?


Colin-
It's an atheist who does his/her own hair and has a unique fashion sense. :)

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:23 pm

Pete Dube wrote:
ColinB wrote:Greg -

What's a 'self-styled' atheist ?


Colin-
It's an atheist who does his/her own hair and has a unique fashion sense. :)


I'll get back to LTB and Eagle's responses at a later time, but I guess I meant it to mock how some folks suit themselves up as "Professional
Atheists," taking offense at any relatively mild mention of God, most
of which has existed in the USA at some level since 1776.

We mock those who are over-the-top in their religious faith (probably
fairly in some cases) but I've seen this brand of atheist that gets
so worked up over religion that, well, it's almost a religion too! :shock: :roll: :D
It's a 'suit' they wear, much like some
proud church-goers overdo their faith and rub your nose in it.

I used to buy some of the ACLU line, but really, there's a happy
medium. And some of the same folks are against even a pledge
without mentioning God because they're much not into patriotism, either.
:wink: Don't ask 'em what they really think of the founders, either.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:41 pm

likethebike wrote:
So, be careful about throwing phrases around like anti-God. To be God neutral is not anti-God.


LTB-
Let me clarify: when I used the 'anti-God' phrase in my previous post it was in the context of making the point that the democrats are perceived as anti-God. I wasn't saying that the democrats are in fact anti-God, only that they are perceived that way, and have to work to overcome that perception.

Concerning the Pledge of Allegience controversy: The Pledge is not one of our foundational documents. The original version first appeared in Youths Companion magazine in 1892. Authorship was in dispute between two of the magazine's staff writers until 1939 when the U.S. Flag Association declared Francis Bellamy the author. Congress mandated two wording changes: In 1923 "the flag of the United States of America" replaced "my flag," and in 1954 the words "under God" were added. Obviously, the Congress in 1954 did not see this addition as a breech of the second amendment.

The crux of the matter is this: does a Government mandated acknowledgement of God in the mandatory Pledge of Allegience constitute an establishment of religion?
Let the debate commence!

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:33 pm

For me Pete it doesn't. I have to come accept the fact that the Founding Fathers and this country general carry a load of contradictions and sometimes you just have to accept them at face value. We seem to have done fine (religious freedom wise) with the Pledge and our money saying "In God We Trust" while at the same time steadfastly keeping government out of the exercise or funding of religion. As I said before you can always self-edit the pledge or ignore the money. And on both it is only the vaguest acknowledgement of a higher power and I suppose if you are an aetheist and an agnostic you can even interpret it away.

The reason the ACLU takes on causes like NAMBLA is because they recognize that it is a slippery slope. Once you take one person's rights away all the others fall into place. Unpopular, even hateful or vile speech, needs protection to allow this to allow the Democratic process to work. I also think it is a great thing to say that everyone, even the most vile people, are equal under the law. That's a just system. I think the problem is that many interpret the ACLU saying organizations like this have a right to exist is an endorsement. That's not the case.
Last edited by likethebike on Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:44 pm

Let's see...what's next?

You can't say God in school but I bet they still let the kid's spend their money for lunch with dollar bills that say "In God We Trust"!!

When they decide to take "In God We Trust" off of our money we all better start thinking about Armageddon.

jeff R

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:51 pm

likethebike wrote:
I think the problem is that many interpret the ACLU saying organizations like this (NAMBLA) have a right to exist is an endorsement. That's not the case.


No? What is it then? I understand protecting free speech, even speech that is unpopular, but since when does kiddie porn or any speech endorsing it or sex acts with children fall under that protection? NAMBLA has a right to exist? Are you out of your mind? The organization was founded on the principle that it is permissible and desirable for adult men to prey on male children. Period. There's no grey area here...their intent is to f*ck children and the ACLU's position is to enable them to continue their sick idealogy.

Quote: ''What they don't like is what NAMBLA stands for,'' said John Reinstein, legal director of the Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU.

LTB... even if I disagree with you politically on some issues, you generally some across as thoughtful in your posts. Please don't tell me that you think NAMBLA's ideology should be protected in the same way as our right to voice a public opinion. Don't tell me about how protecting even a vile person's rights is a great thing. I might agree if we were talking about mere criminals, KKK leaders and the like.

The consititution protects free speech for people. Child-rapists/murderers like the one's that killed Jeffrey Curley aren't people, they're monsters. They deserve no rights protecting their behavior.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:10 am

I'm curious to know that if say the "big one" hits California and that guy whose pushing this loses his house and everything, will he then turn to any of the churches for food, cloths, and shelter. I wonder???
Last edited by Big Boss Man on Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:30 am

They have a right to think what they think no matter how vile it may be. However, they don't have a righ to act on those thoughts and acting on those thoughts includes the ownership of child pornography because its existence implies the coercion of a child. Lots of people have vile thoughts but don't act on them. Lou Reed said "Between thought and expression lies a lifetime" and I agree.

To say they have right to exist doesn't give them any legitimacy at the table. For instance, the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party have an absolute right to exist and they endorse an absolutely vile agenda. However, just because they have the right to speak doesn't mean we have to listen to them or grant them any cultural legitimacy. When they speak, we either ignore it or ridicule it and dismiss it. Once they speak, should we keep an eye on these people? Certainly. But you should have the right to control your own thoughts.
Last edited by likethebike on Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:31 am

God doesn´t exist, period.

Or can anyone give a supporting argument to the opposite?

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:35 am

Spanish_Eyes wrote:God doesn´t exist, period.


I guess you'll find out after you breathe your last breath then..eh??? :?:

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:38 am

Big Boss Man wrote:I guess you'll find out after you breathe your last breath then..eh??? :?:


Don´t think so. Any proof so far?

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:39 am

Greg -

You wrote:
...I guess I meant it to mock how some folks suit themselves up as "Professional Atheists,"


Well, I've never been paid a cent for my religious convictions [or lack of].

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:46 am

Spanish Flies wrote:
God doesn´t exist, period.

Or can anyone give a supporting argument to the opposite?



Can you give a supporting argument that he/it/she doesn't? Your statement is ludicrous. No on can "prove" one way or another. That's why it's called faith.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:53 am

EagleUSA wrote:Spanish Flies wrote:
God doesn´t exist, period.

Or can anyone give a supporting argument to the opposite?



Can you give a supporting argument that he/it/she doesn't? Your statement is ludicrous. No on can "prove" one way or another. That's why it's called faith.


No, no. That´s been one of the tricky arguments of radical believers; "I can´t prove God exists, but neither you can He doesn´t"

God is man´s invention. It´s like UFO´s, dragons or dwarves. When the anciente people were overwhelmed by fear and lack of knowledge, they tried to explain everything basing their arguments on a superior force that controlled the world. As the centuries went on, and the scientific knolewdge developed, religion lost its importance (I mean in public life).

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:56 am

Spanish Eyes -

You wrote:
It´s like UFO´s, dragons or dwarves.


There is some pretty convincing scientific evidence that dwarves exist.

Just look at The Time Bandits.