BA: Pray for the First Amendment

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bystander
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BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by bystander » Mon May 31, 2010 2:40 pm

Pray for the First Amendment
Bad Astronomy - 31 May 2010
Via Hemant Mehta comes this story that could not have happened at a more appropriate time.

One of the most basic principles of the United States, written out in the very first Amendment of the Bill of Rights, is that the government will neither endorse nor deny any specific religion, or interfere with anyone’s ability to worship or not.

This is pretty straightforward. You have the right to your religion, and I have the right to mine. You even have the right to not have a religion. But no matter what, you have the right to not have your religion interfered with.

Eric Workman, a (now-graduated) high school student in Greenwood, Indiana, understood this. That’s why, when his school administration decided to let the seniors vote on whether they wanted to have an official school-sanctioned prayer at graduation, he tried to get it stopped. He wound up having to take the case to the ACLU, and a judge ordered that no school-sanctioned prayer could be held at the ceremony.

There’s a lot to discuss here, but the most important things to remember during any of it are these:
  1. Eric is correct, and
  2. Eric is Christian.

That’s right, he’s not some baby-eating atheist waiting to escort the souls of the graduating class to Satan’s doorstep. He’s a Christian, but even in that extremely conservative area he understands that the Constitution, and our Founding Fathers, got it right.

Another extremely important thing to remember is that no one was keeping these students from praying. They had the right to pray as much as they wanted to before, during, and after the ceremony. The class president stood up and thanked God in her speech, and she had every right to do so, just as Eric had the right to talk about how important secularism is in school (the complete text of his speech is on reddit).

The only thing being prevented here was state-sponsored support of religion. That’s it. With all this in mind, watch the coverage this got on the local news.

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, where we take time to remember those who have died, and specifically those who have fought and died for the country. In my opinion, they didn’t fight to protect our country, they fought to protect the idea of our country. The principles for which it stands, the ideas and ideals that give people the chance to reach their full potential. That’s what America is supposed to be about, and the framework that provides that chance is the Constitution. It does not limit what the people can do*, it limits how the government can in turn limit them. You are allowed to speak freely. You are allowed to vote.

And you are allowed your religion, or lack thereof. The government cannot stop that, but neither can it actively support it. That way, everyone has the same rights, and it keeps the government from turning into a theocracy. This should be something advocated by not just the non-religious, and, in fact, should be most loudly supported by the most religious. It’s their rights being protected too.

The administration of Greenwood High School lost track of that simple fact, but ironically, their own education system worked. One student did learn it, and schooled the administration.

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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by owlice » Mon May 31, 2010 4:47 pm

Eric Workman wrote:the Greenwood Community School Corporation thought (and still likely thinks) it was and is above the law, and that neither the Greenwood Community School Corporation nor any other government entity is above the law
Gee, that describes an attitude with which I'm all too familiar, and the reason for my familiarity with the attitude also involved the ACLU.

Kudos to Eric for fighting back.
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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by wonderboy » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:08 am

I am from Scotland, and in particular I am from Glasgow.

Google Celtic, Rangers, Religion and you will get my point as to why religion is so prominent here.

Basically, if you support celtic your catholic and if you support rangers your protestant. This idea of religion does not interest me, but the hate which it creates does.

People get killed, or wounded because of what colours they wear to a football stadium. Its not right.

Children get segregated (i.e. catholic and protestant schools) at a very early stage promoting the idea of difference between people who are fundamentally the same. One case in point is a school in cumbernauld north lanarakshire, in which the children from different schools of different religious backgrounds share a playground, its just unfortunate that they share it with a 6ft high metal fence which segregates them from each other aswell.

A bloody shame.


Paul.
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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by astrolabe » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:31 am

Hello wonderboy,
wonderboy wrote: why religion is so prominent here.
The fact that you chose the word "why" says much about what you think the truthful reason is, why these institutional mores exist and are allowed to continue in this day and age. It is the promoted-and-thus-never-learned history lesson. This country, too, has a ways to go for a complete and rational equality-based society. These are the results of keeping a country at war within itself in some fashion so as to distract populations from the pursuit of things like liberties, rights, representation in taxation and a say in government decisions that, while affecting the whole, are made by the few. I can't honestly say that I've ever voted to go to war, make trade policy, or balance the budget.

To be quite honest, I've been too occupied with crime statistics, swine flu, property taxes, medical insurance premium costs, 15 miles a gallon at $3.00 a whack, unemployment, costs of education and a myriad of other everyday concerns like $50.00 for a bag of groceries etc. This is topped off by a media policy that keeps me shut off from the the rest of the world with slanted views and mind-numbing redundant news reporting agencies loaded with the newest political wordplay.

It's all so sad really that small groups of people have so little faith and trust to do right and courageous things in the people they govern.
"Everything matters.....So may the facts be with you"-astrolabe

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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by rstevenson » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:51 pm

I dream of a day when people all over the world will awake, as if from a dream, and stare in slack-jawed amazement at those large buildings scattered here and there throughout their communities -- decorated with tall spires, full of rows of seats (or none), arrayed with iconic symbols (or not), obviously expensively built (but by whom?) -- and they will have no idea what they're for. And then they will go on about their daily business lacking only one thing: the desire to harm others for what they believe.

Rob

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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by neufer » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:26 pm

http://forums.canadiancontent.net/spirituality-philosophy/81327-atheist-jokes.html wrote:
The following is an actual question given on
a University of Washington chemistry mid-term.

[list]Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives of heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?[/list]One student wrote the following:
  • First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time.
    So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving.

    I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to hell.

    With birth and death rates as they are we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

    Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume of Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    • 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell,
      then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

      2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Banyan during my freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you" and we take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be true.

    Thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by rstevenson » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:34 pm

:lol:

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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by bystander » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:10 pm

Religion has nothing to do with science – and vice versa
Guardian Science Blog - 28 May 2010
Scientists like Richard Dawkins say the universe has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, but these things are not the business of science, says geneticist Francisco J. Ayala. They are the exclusive preserve of religion.

Are religion and science incompatible?

Some scientists assert that valid knowledge can only come from science. They hold that religious beliefs are the remains of pre-scientific explanations of the world and amount to nothing more than superstition.

On the other side, some people of faith believe that science conveys a materialistic view of the world that denies the existence of any reality outside the material world. Science, they think, is incompatible with their religious faith.

I contend that both – scientists denying religion and believers rejecting science – are wrong. Science and religious beliefs need not be in contradiction. If they are properly understood, they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters.

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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:38 pm

bystander wrote:Religion has nothing to do with science – and vice versa
Guardian Science Blog - 28 May 2010
Scientists like Richard Dawkins say the universe has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, but these things are not the business of science, says geneticist Francisco J. Ayala. They are the exclusive preserve of religion.
Rubbish. These are not scientific topics, but they are certainly not the "exclusive preserve of religion". In fact, the topics are the subjects of philosophy, of which religion is one little corner.
Chris

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wonderboy
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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by wonderboy » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:01 am

I think science and religion are sometimes inextricably linked. Science doesn't just stop at space you know, it encompasses a whole fleet of different areas.

Take for example the movie "the entity" it involved a demon/ghost who seriously abused a woman almost nightly for a while back in the 70's? I think?

Now this was meant to be based on a true story. Say you were looking into this womans case, such a scenario would throw as many religious questions at you as it would scientific. But for the most part, science conflicts with religion.

Paul.
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Re: BA: Pray for the First Amendment

Post by owlice » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:03 am

Religion concerns the meaning and purpose of the world and human life, the proper relation of people to their Creator and to each other, the moral values that inspire and govern their lives.
He assumes all religions offer up a creator to which people must relate. How narrow. Sheesh.
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