School Board Unanimously Votes Not to Restore Ten Commandments Plaque Following Removal

TCMARION, Ohio — A school board in Ohio has voted unanimously not to restore a nearly 60-year-old plaque of the Ten Commandments that was removed from a local high school last year following a complaint.

The Marion City Schools Board agreed on Monday to indefinitely “loan” the plaque to the Marion County Historical Society for display instead of its customary location at Harding High School.

The Ten Commandments display had been donated to the school by the class of 1956, and has been subsequently hanging in the hallway for decades next to the Preamble to the United States Constitution. But last year, an anonymous parent complained that the plaque violated the “separation of church and state” and threatened to call the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about the matter.

Harding Principal Kirk Koennecke decided to take down the plaque, which was then relocated to the office of Superintendent Gary Barber. However, the removal generated controversy and a number of students began to petition the board to put the display back up.

“Taking down the Ten Commandments has caused more problems than leaving them up,” said Harding Herald Editor Cheyenne Abrams in December.

Barber reached an agreement with students and parents to discuss a compromise as to where the plaque would be displayed next. But some continued to fight to keep it at Harding High School, stating that it was “a slap in the face” to the class of 1956.

This week, a number of area residents spoke up in support of the plaque prior to the board’s vote.

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“It was a gift and it was a very nice gift, and I would like to see it stay,” 1956 graduate Bob McQuiston told those gathered, according to the Marion Star.

“I’m ashamed of Marion City Schools right now,” stated parent Sheri Cook.

“What’s so dangerous about the Ten Commandments?” resident Phillip Bates asked.

Student Anthony Miller presented the board with the signatures that had been collected for his petition to allow the plaque to stay.

But as the board had been advised by legal counsel not to restore the plaque, members unanimously voted to loan it to the historical society and not restore it to the hallways of Harding High School. Some members said that they were people of faith and that the decision presented an internal conflict for them. Board President Steve Williams told those gathered that he personally has the Ten Commandments hanging up at his house.

“The board approves and ratifies the removal of the plaque from the display at Harding High School, accepts the superintendent’s recommendations, and approves and directs that: The board president execute the loan agreement with the Marion County Historical Society, and the Ten Commandments plaque be delivered to the Marion County Historical Society, which shall display the plaque,” the agreed upon motion read.

Gary Robinson, class of 1966, had told the board last month that when he was a student nearly 50 years ago, it was considered honorable to follow the moral principles in Scripture.

“When I think back on my school days and how things used to be, I remember that being a Christian and believing in the Bible was considered a good thing,” he said. “If [the plaque] hadn’t been taken down by the complaint of one parent, it would probably have been up for another 59 years.”

“[T]he only mention of God or Christ in the schools are the students using them cursing,” lamented petition signee Judd Scott. “[G]ood moral and ethical counseling in the schools and the discipline by the school is missing altogether.”


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  • Gary

    Can’t have the Ten Commandments on display. They remind people that God is real and that morality exists. And those are things that many people today don’t want to think about.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Uh, no. I don’t believe God is real and no amount of Ten Commandments monuments will change my mind about that.

      I don’t care what anyone else believes individually, but the point here is government endorsement of religion. When the government has a religion, then we have a problem.

      • Gary

        You want the government to have YOUR religion.

        • Rebus Caneebus

          Actually, YOU are the one who wants public schools to push religion. Ambulance Chaser wants public schools to stay out.

          • Gary

            Public schools have to operate by some worldview. They cannot be neutral about truth and morality.

          • Rebus Caneebus

            Public schools have to follow the constitution, and putting the 10 commandments up has long been unconstitutional. If you want that, go to a private school.

  • Better AndBetter

    Put up quotes from the Koran right next to it. Folks will have a meltdown. These folks do not believe in freedom of religion.

    • uzza

      Actually that would be great. Post the Five Pillars of Islam right next to it, and the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism on the other side. They’re there to get educated, right?
      They could have done that but they decided they’d rather take down the 10C.

      • Ambulance Chaser

        I guess I could live with it either way, but none is probably better than all of them.

        • uzza

          For me all of them is better. I opt for education, it’s important to know about these things.

          • Paul Hiett

            You’ll run out of space way too fast.

  • thoughtsfromflorida

    Wise move by the school.

    • pastoredsmith

      Foolish move by the school. Running scared.

      • http://textsincontext.wordpress.com Michael Snow

        Sad
        commentary on the state of our society. SADDER is the fact that most
        Christians do not even know them and are too lazy to learn or to teach
        them to their children.
        https://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/teaching-children-the-ten-commandments/

      • thoughtsfromflorida

        Keeping them there would be a costly decision. Surely there are more important ways for the district to spend education dollars.

        • Bruce Morrow

          Yes like by educating the students in THE BIBLE for example!

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            That’s not the job of public schools.

    • Marvels of life

      Actually I think there is another article about the 10 commandments not being removed from a public state location on CNS somewhere, I was just reading about it.

      • thoughtsfromflorida

        I don’t recall that.

        • Marvels of life

          Error on my part. It was a Public Park in Ottawa. Sorry for the error.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            No worries. Thanks for the clarification.

          • Marvels of life

            Turns out that the article was about the 10 commandments remaining. I thought I had seen it on CNS. Here is the article

            http://christiannews.net/2015/03/16/judge-dismisses-atheist-challenge-against-oklahoma-ten-commandments-monument/#comment-1921378537

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            Oklahoma, not Ottawa. The case was dismissed because the judge ruled that those who brought the case did not have standing to do so. He did not rule on the merits of the case.

          • Marvels of life

            Yes two separate articles. One was Oklahoma, the other Ottawa.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            I didn’t see the article about Ottawa.

          • Marvels of life

            It was about the sign that had Psalms on it, its on CNS.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            Ahhhh…Ottawa county in Michigan. As far as I know, the sign is still gone.

          • Marvels of life

            It was removed, but after the community came together saying something to the effect that it was a part of the park, they re-instated the sign along with something underneath. I would have to review the article again, but I’m sure it was put back up.

          • thoughtsfromflorida
          • Marvels of life

            Thank you for your response. Much appreciated.

  • MisterPine

    What about just keeping religion in churches? It was doing just fine there.

    • Gary

      Religion cannot be kept in church. People live out what they believe.

      • MisterPine

        Sometimes to the point where they want to kill other people, isn’t that right Gary?

        • Gary

          Yes.

          • MisterPine

            Which is a good reason for us to warn each other about people like you, isn’t it Gary?

          • Better AndBetter

            Absolutely.

        • Tara

          and that would apply to all humans from any and all walks of life, living any and all lifestyles there is to possibly live.

    • Tara

      how can a relationship be kept in a building? One’s beliefs don’t just fall away when you walk out of one.

      • MisterPine

        It’s not a relationship, it’s a religion.

        • Tara

          um….no. I know what i’m in or not in and it’s not religion. That’s your opinion. I love how people who don’t believe assume they can speak for those who do. Assumptions don’t make things true. I love God as my Heavenly father. He loves me as His child; as He does all of His children – that’s a relationship. I get you can’t understand what you don’t know about, but don’t assume believing in Jesus, accepting His gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven, is merely religion. Man created religions in order to gain control and power over others. God is about relationship.

          • MisterPine

            My dictionary tells me Christianity is a religion. Is my dictionary wrong?

  • The Skeptical Chymist

    Religious freedom demands that government-funded schools not be used as centers for religious indoctrination. The plaque should never have been put up in the first place. Government-funded schools should be free from any attempts to impose religion on the schoolchildren. It is the parent’s job to provide religious education for their children, not the government’s.

    • Psk6565

      Then you will need to stop education all together. There is no neutrality. Our children are being indoctrinated one way or another.

      • Paul Hiett

        But they should not be indoctrinated into religion at a public school.

        • Psk6565

          Then evolution needs to be excluded, right?

          • Paul Hiett

            Evolution has evidence to support it. Creation does not.

          • Gary

            That is a lie. You are a liar. And also a fool.

          • uzza

            ” Evolution was designed … to try to provide an explanation for the existence of life.”

            Fail. That’s not what it was designed for. It doesn’t attempt that, nor does it attempt to explain IPv6, so it can hardly fail at either task. You claiming it does demonstrates that you fail to understand the topic though.

          • Krauss Allie

            Hiya Gary. You are correct sir! Evolution totally fails to provide an explanation for the existence of life. A fact is a fact is a fact, and this statement cannot be denied.

            Of course, being right doesn’t always make you look too good, particularly you are correct only because you don’t understand what you’re saying. Evolutionary theory does not, nor was it ever intended to provide any explanation for the existence of life. Evolution describes ONLY the observed diversity of life on the planet, not where that life came from. Life could have arisen from God speaking creatures into existence where they later evolved, or it could have come from an alien being planting it here, or it could have come from natural chemical processes, or ot could have existed in some form eternally between dimensions…. any explanation is entirely independent from evolution. Evolution takes place only AFTER life exists that has the ability to pass traits from generation to generation and has a mechanism that causes these traits to vary…. that’s it.

            It’s late and I’m tired so I’m not sure I’m explaining it well enough. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, but if you’re going to keep asserting factually inaccurate information, you should do your research in advance and hopefully save yourself the inevitable embarrassment.

            -Allie

          • Gary

            Life does not have a common ancestor, as evolution claims. Creatures always reproduce the same thing they are. Dogs reproduce only dogs. People reproduce only people. And that is true for every kind of creature. Evolution claims that is not true, but it is anyway.

          • Psk6565

            Evolution was observed? Where can I see the scientific experiment that proved that one species turned into another species?

          • uzza

            Read a biology textbook. Any of them.

          • Psk6565

            You didn’t prove anything.

          • uzza

            No, I answered your question: The proof of evolution is in any textbook. If you understood them you wouldn’t think it has anything to do with religion or ask silly questions about it.

          • Psk6565

            So, your answer is, go read a book that explains the ideas of scientists about past processes that cannot be observed today.

            My question had to do with science experiments observing macro evolution and you gave me a red herring that told me to read books on the formulated interpretations of the past.

          • uzza

            My answer is to read a book that outlines the subject you are confused about, so that you won’t embarrass everyone by asking nonsensical questions about it.

          • Psk6565

            You have no answer and since you can’t answer you want to deceive yourself into thinking you have an answer by giving me a red herring.

          • uzza

            No, you cannot read a red herring. A book, you can read, and do if you want an answer. To the question “where?” goes the answer “in this book”, just like you might give me if I asked “where can i see the word of god?”
            Then if I read it and came back with questions like “Where can I see a demonstration of God creating the world?” or something about “macro christianity” you would rightfully assume that at best I was being willfully ignorant.

          • Psk6565

            Interesting, so you are saying you can’t demonstrate evolution. You should of just said that there was no scientific experiment proving evolution. It is just based on interpretations of scientists of what they find from the past.

          • uzza

            I said no such thing. Read the book, the experiments are in there. It will take less effort to understand them than to keep ignoring them and demonstrating your ignorance.

          • Psk6565

            You simply can’t name an experiment. You don’t have an answer.

          • uzza

            I can name lots of experiments, and when I do you will continue to say they don’t answer the question, because you don’t understand the subject. But here’s one
            http://www.faculty.virginia.edu/evolutionlabs/DrosophilaEvoBioscenev28-2p3-6.pdf
            Let me save you the trouble of screaming “But they’re still FLIES” because you don’t understand what evolution is. Have fun.

          • Psk6565

            Micro Evolution.

          • Paul Hiett

            The difference, Psk, is that we can see the evidence of evolution in the fossil records.

            Creation, as I am sure you are well aware of, has no evidence. None. Everything regarding Creation is listed only in Genesis, and with no observable evidence to support it.

            Second, nearly every religion has a creation myth…some more absurd than others, obviously..but they all share something in common. None of them have any evidence to support the myth.

          • Gary

            The universe and life are observable evidence of creation.

          • Paul Hiett

            By the remains of Ymir though, not by your deity.

          • uzza

            The universe and life are observable evidence of creation evolution.
            FTFY

          • Psk6565

            Show me the observable macro evolution.

          • Rebus Caneebus

            Where can I see the scientific experiment that proved that one species turned into another species?

            http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

            http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

            Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

  • Richard

    As people remove God from their lives, God removes himself…and his protection…from them. It’s only a matter of time until that consequence hits home.

    • Gary

      The USA is on its death bed, so to speak. It is in Hospice.

  • Reason2012

    “What’s so dangerous about the Ten Commandments?” resident Phillip Bates asked.

    It reminds people of their guilt before God and of morals. It will not matter as the Ten Commandments (among others) will be our judge when we face God if we’re not in Christ.

    • uzza

      “What’s so dangerous about the Ten Commandments?”
      1: no other gods —violates the US Constitution’s Establishment Clause
      2: You shall not make a likeness of anything — Hollywood? Instagram? Phones?
      3: not take lord’s name in vain—-bans a good part of the English language,
      4: no work on Sunday —- I’ll let Walmart take this
      6: Don’t kill — US drone program? Capital punishment?
      7: no adultery — bans open marriages which are currently legal
      9: don’t lie — reverses SCOTUS decision on Fox News, for one
      10: don’t covet — there goes the entire advertising industry.

      • Doug Indeap

        Good points–and wit.

    • Paul Hiett

      Imagine the unease a student who is not a Christian would feel seeing that. Imagine a teacher. Can you?

      Can you picture what it might be like for you if that plaque was a list of rules from the Koran?

      Christianity does not rule this country by any stretch of the imagination. No publicly funded building…education, judicials, etc…should be allowed to be used to promote anyone’s religion.

      • Tara

        it’s a plaque. It’s not going to fly off the wall and hit someone on the head and they’ll wake up a Christian or a Muslim.

        • Paul Hiett

          How would you feel, as a Christian, if every day you had to see a sign that promoted Islam in your place of work?

          • Tara

            again, it’s a plaque. Just because it would be in my place of work doesn’t mean I’d have to look at it, read it, or acknowledge it in any way. It’s a ‘thing’.

    • Doug Indeap

      This question misses the point. The issue isn’t whether the commandments are dangerous–or wise or fun or fattening. Whether one likes or dislikes this or that commandment matters not one wit. Rather, the issue is whether the government’s display of this religious message is lawful. Under our Constitution, the government has no business weighing in to push this or that religious message REGARDLESS of whether people agree or disagree with the message.

      • Reason2012

        Hello. Did government pass laws forcing them to display it? No. So the constitution was not violated.

        Can they pass laws PROHIBITING the freedom of people to put it up on a case by cases basis? No.

        It’s by the will of the people on a case by case bases.

        If the people vote on it and don’t want it, fine. If the people vote on it and DO want it, that is also fine. To claim it’s against the law is a violation of the First Amendment of the United States of America.

        So I take it you’re against the government redefining religious institutions then passing laws to establish their own version of religious institutions? If so then you should be standing up against the government redefine the religious institutions of marriage that it never defined to begin with.

        The duplicity of the left continues: establishing a state religion by force of law and forbidding the free exercise of Christianity they hate by force of law under the pretense that to not censor the free exercise of Christianity except where they give you permission is akin to “promoting it”.

        But they are waking a sleeping giant in America as their tactics become more obvious.

        Thank you for posting.

        • Doug Indeap

          It is important to distinguish between “individual” and “government” speech about religion since the First Amendment protects the former and constrains the latter. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school administrators hanging displays on the school walls), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical. When the government acts, it acts—and whether it does so by majority vote matters not one wit for these purposes. The constraints of the First Amendment do not bend to votes election by election.

          • Reason2012

            You’re incorrect. What we need to distinguish between is the will of the people CHOOSING to want that Ten Commandments display and the will of those who would pass laws prohibiting it. No law was passed forcing them to put up the display, hence the government is not promoting it – end of story.

            To pretend “if the government doesn’t legally censor any and all attempts by various places to make note of it if they choose, that’s akin to government PROMOTING it”, which is blatantly false.

            The constraints of the First Amendment of the Constitution prevents them from making it illegal for any of them to do so.

            So again, since you ignored it: I take it you’re against the government redefining religious institutions then passing laws to establish their own version of religious institutions? If so then you should be standing up against the government redefine the religious institutions of marriage that it never defined to begin with. But of course you’re not against that version of actually passing laws to establish this new state religion, are you?

            The duplicity of the left continues.

          • Doug Indeap

            I continued the discussion of separation of church and state in response to your latest comment on the article. As for marriage, that’s a different issue that I’d be happy to discuss, but that will be another day, as I’m heading out the door for a day of wine tasting. Have a nice day.

          • Reason2012

            And I continued to rebuke your false claims. it’s fascinating you do not mind the government actually passing LAWS to redefine religion and enforce it by law, but then when individuals choose to even mention God you object. You’re being inconsistent.

  • Tara

    it doesn’t matter if bibles are removed, plaques removed…whatever of God people want removed. He’s always been here, always will be. Merely removing plaques such as this does not mean the ten commandments disappear. Some may wish, but they don’t. They still apply, whether society wants them to or not. I know, some think if you don’t see something you can just will it away like a child…but it doesn’t work that way in reality. For a world that likes to think it’s so forward thinking, loving, accepting and open minded……..the polar opposite is blatantly clear. Sad.

    • Paul Hiett

      “For a world that likes to think it’s so forward thinking, loving,
      accepting and open minded……..the polar opposite is blatantly clear.”

      Meanwhile, Christian history in this country has been rife with murder, slavery, segregation, and the constant attempts to tell others how to live, such as lobbying hard to prevent homosexuals from marrying.

      Tell me again how Christianity is so forward thinking, loving, accepting, and open minded?

      • Tara

        Mankind has done all manner of evil from the beginning of time, and will continue to do so. The Bible is full of stories about it. There’s a difference between what God does and what man says he does in God’s name. God IS love. Man, isn’t. So it’s not Christianity, in and of itself that has done evil; it’s the people. It’s always people; we ruin everything.

        • Paul Hiett

          The people who use the Bible to hide behind and justify their hate and horrible treatment of others. I point to Gary, posting in this thread, as a prime example of how dangerous such fundamentalism can be.

          • Gary

            I never treat anyone unfairly.

      • Nick_from_Detroit

        Because, Mr. Hiett, promoting homosexuality, promiscuity, pedophilia, and abortion are throw-backs to when pagans ruled the world, 2,000 years ago. It is the modernists who are backward thinking, having not learned the lessons of human history.

        • Paul Hiett

          Pedophilia? Where did you get that from?

          By the way, those “Pagans” you refer to, would also include the Romans, who thrived and built incredible cities with architecture that still stands today.

          Backwards thinking?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            It’s not Christians and conservatives who push for “age of consent” laws to be lowered. constantly. Are you aware of all of Bill Clinton’s visits to “Pedophile Island”? Do you know that liberal groups, such as ACLU & ILGA, have supported NAMBLA?
            Rome fell because of its decadence and sexual depravity. It thrived when it promoted “family values,” as Augustus did when he paid citizens to have more children.
            So, yes, backward thinking.

          • Paul Hiett

            Are you aware that many historians, most actually, list the adoption of Christianity in 313 AD as one of the reasons western Rome fell?

            Also, homosexual people are not pushing to have any age of consent laws lowered. That would be heterosexual pedophiles…of which there are many in certain religions.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Yes, Mr. Hiett, I am aware. I’m also aware that those historians are mostly anti-Christian bigots, e.g., Gibbon. The Roman Empire lasted another 2 centuries after Constantine, in the West. The Eastern Roman Empire (i.e., Byzantium) lasted until the 15th Century.

            All that was good about the Roman Empire (e.g. Roman Jus, works of philosophy, etc.) was saved and cultivated by the Church, through monasteries & universities. Again, Rome fell because of decadence, perversion, and depravity.

            Many homosexual groups want to lower age of consent laws, in many nations. This does not excuse the heterosexual pedophiles & pederasts, like former liberal radio talk-show host Bernie Ward & Bubba the Rapist Clinton’s good friend, Jeffrey Epstein. As it doesn’t excuse likely homosexual pedophile, Gore Vidal, does it, Mr. Hiett?

          • Marvels of life

            Again, an excellent argument, wow impressive.

        • uzza

          More than 2,000 years ago, when pagans ruled the world, they wrote this rule:
          “This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.”

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            The Romans didn’t really practice that philosophy in the First Century, A.D., did they?

          • uzza

            Nope. But then they didn’t rule the world, either. They ruled one little part of it, a much smaller part than the civilizations who wrote that rule, and they lasted for a much shorter time.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Really? Who taught you history? Because, they fail, miserably. When did the Hindus rule more than Romans? Who ruled one quarter of the worlds inhabitants, at their height?

          • uzza

            Some facts:
            the Roman Empire at its greatest extent covered about 2 million square miles and 70 million people.
            At the same time, the Han dynasty covered 2 million square miles and 57 million people. In India, the Gupta Empire ruled 1.4 million square miles and 60 million people, replacing the Mauryan’s rule over 2 million square miles and 60 million people.

            The Romans lasted about 500 years. The Chinese dynasties lasted over 2000 years, as did the Egyptians’, and the Rajputs whose holy book contains that quote lasted 1400 years.
            As ever, Christians are woefully oblivious to all the world outside their own little fiefdom.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Your examples do not impress, Uzza.
            No other empire rivaled the Romans at that time. She stretched from Persia in the East, to Britain in the North, to Egypt and Ethiopia in the South, to Spain in the West. According to the Romans, she was founded in 753 B.C. and lasted until c. 6th Century, A.D.
            God used Rome to enact His plan, the Incarnation of Christ.

          • Paul Hiett

            Neither did the Christians during the crusades, or when it was perfectly acceptable under God to own slaves.

        • Parque_Hundido

          Wait: pedophilia, idol worship, selling babies to the highest bidder.. Where have we seen these things recently? That’s the modern Catholic Church!

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No, Parque, that sounds like the U.N., or, the public school teachers and their corrupt unions.

          • Parque_Hundido

            No, it sounds like every parish in the Catholic Church. The real reason you oppose abortion is because you sell babies. And if you don’t sell them, you rape them.

  • pastoredsmith

    The USA is dying because of atheists and a dying church. This free country was built on the back of Christians, and, in spite of her imperfections, there is a moral compass. This is unlike the atheistic, immoral country we live in now that is headed for a huge collapse like the world has never seen.

    • Paul Hiett

      Christians built this country, eh?

      Better not tell that to all the Jews, Muslims, Hindu’s, Sikhs, atheists, Catholics and all other faiths that worked hard to make this country what it is today.

      The only “backs” Christians were concerned with were the backs of the slaves they whipped.

      • Nick_from_Detroit

        Psssst! Catholics are Christians, Mr. Hiett.

        • Paul Hiett

          Oh really? Pose that question to everyone else on here…

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            It really doesn’t depend on an opinion poll, does it?

          • Paul Hiett

            I think you’d be surprised at how many of your fellow Christians do not agree that Catholics are Christians.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No, Mr. Hiett, I’m well aware. The point being, that Catholics were among the Christians who helped build this great nation. Even though the Know Nothings and KKK hated Catholics. We still kept coming here, in droves.

        • Parque_Hundido

          Not among these people. And there are plenty in this country who see catholicism as little more than a pretext for child rape.

      • Carol Cantell Moorby

        Paul Hiett……..perhaps you need to google http://www.wallbuilders.com and watchmanonthewall to see the truth of Americas origins and true roots. Man did NOT make this country what it is today. That is religion…humanism to be correct! This country is what it is today because of God, Jesus Christs willing sacrifice on the cross for ALL mankind ( you too) and the Holy Bible. God has used his children to make the difference in the world. He gets the credit.Prideful people want to take the credit for themself. We are all creations of God but not everybody is a child of God. John 3:3-7 tells you how to become a child of God. The finished work of Jesus on the cross gave us salvation ( eternity in Heaven with Our Lord and savior ), healing from all sicknesses and diseases, prosperity ( Jesus took the curse of poverty so we wouldn’t have to have it), deliverance from ALL bondages including ALL addictions, and freedom from ALL GENERATIONAL curses. Who wouldn’t want that gift? No one else from any religion has died for the entire world.the Jews! Muslims! Hindus! Sikhs,atheists! Catholics and ALL other religions need Jesus as their Lord and Savior too! Jesus….the only blood sacrifice given by God his father. John 14:6. Actually someone better tell them all the truth. That’s what the great commission is all about. ” Go into all the WORLD and share the gospel and disciple them.” true Christianity is belief in a personal relationship ( born again) with Jesus! NOT a man made RELIGION. this is important information for every soul on earth. God has given everyone free choice . They can choose him or NOT! He will NOT force anyone. CHOOSE today whom you will serve. God or Satan? ….Heaven or hell? It’s all up to each individual person. Please choose carefully. Your eternity depends on it. May God draw you unto him in his goodness and mercy.AMEN

        • Paul Hiett

          Ah, so no one from another faith did anything to help this country along.

          Were you home schooled or something?

          • Parque_Hundido

            I’m guessing Oklahoma.

          • Paul Hiett

            Based on recent laws being passed there, it wouldn’t surprise me.

          • pastoredsmith

            You would be more intelligent had you been home schooled by Christian parents. Jealous, eh?

          • Parque_Hundido

            How on earth would you know? Your posts describe a desperately ignorant and deprived upbringing.

        • Parque_Hundido

          No. No. No.

          This country was foundedby people fleeing people like you. Do you not see the irony here?

          • pastoredsmith

            So, you really did fail American History. Christians largely built this country. It is atheists who want to destroy it. Muslims try to kill it. False religions are the same. Atheism, Islam, and the rest.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You must have been homeschooled. This country was founded by people who left a Europe controlled by monarchs who claimed to rule by divine right. Religion poisoned the the state and they vowed to keep it out. You are precisely what they wanted to prevent.

          • pastoredsmith

            Oh, I get it. You have nothing intelligent to say so you try your hand at insults.
            Actually, your attempt at an insult is a compliment. Home schooled kids score consistently higher in academia and are more able to cope in society than government indoctrinated schools that are under the operational guidance of delusional atheists and have become atheist zones. Thanks for the compliment.
            You really cannot debate American history, can you? America was founded by Pilgrims and Puritans who escaped from the tyranny of an ungodly king / monarch who forced all in his kingdom to participate in the government church. This is what “separation of church and state” is all about. This was #1 and several others early in the list of 25 grievances against the crown listed in the Declaration.
            It takes a history lesson to bring you clowns who rely on the talking points of fools in order to have a conversation.
            And, lastly, it was the lack of FREEDOM OF RELIGION that poisoned the state prior to the inception of this country. Now, it is the forced coercion and attempted silencing of Christianity in America that is causing her downfall.
            I am always amazed at you atheists. When you run out of talking points and have no rebuttal, you always stoop to insults or false accusations or a feeble attempt to separate me from Christianity and say it is “my” religion. May I suggest you invoke the atheist line “bronze era fairy tales?” Or are you saving that one until you are really desperate?
            My Bible tells me to study to show myself a workman that needs not be ashamed. I’ve done that. Too bad you failed school and listen to fools babble. May I suggest you give up your hatred of God and accept His reality? You will not look so stupid if you will accept the truth….and you know it.

          • Parque_Hundido

            I just gave you a history lesson, for which you owe me a debt of gratitude.

            Home schooled children have fewer friends and tend to do poorly after graduation. I shudder to think of the school that taught you the silliness you try to pass off as “history”.

            Keep your superstitions out of my government and out of my schools and we won’t have any conflicts. Got it?

          • pastoredsmith

            No, you provided an altered history lesson where atheists rewrote history to their own liking. May I suggest that if you want to learn about American History and the founding of this nation, you actually look at history books written during that era rather than those written in the late 20th and early 21st centuries? A true and accurate account of the events of the day is recorded as it was happening. Since none of us were there, rewriting history is nothing but an attempt to alter current history, a favorite trick of atheists who have no morals.

            You are completely wrong about homeschooling. I suppose you have proof? I happen to have proof that homeschoolers tend to do much better after graduation than their government indoctrinated, “pass them whether they make the grade or not” so-called schools. Government schools resemble war zones and indoctrination centers now than they ever did.

            “silliness?” Really? So, not only did you fail American History, you now refuse to believe the truth when it is presented to you? Well, I shouldn’t be surprised since you refuse to accept that you actually do believe in God but are mad at Him and spout hatred towards Him and His people as a way of soothing your conscience that likely eats you up. You really should learn to tell the truth from lies. the truth will set you free. Lies entangle you in bondage, the exact reason you are there right now.

            Superstitions, huh? You, with your “free thinking” mind that runs amok with no morals, no real truth at all in your life, no direction, no purpose and no reason to live or hope for the future when you die wish to call an understanding of the truth of God “superstitions? God said it better than I could. Read Psalms 14:1, please. If you believe as that verse says, you are what it says you are.

            Oh, is it now “my” religion and “your” government? I have news for you, atheist. You are wrong, yet again. It is “our” government, and it is “God’s Word.” But, you already know that and you have nothing intelligent to say, so you make threats. I think that is atheist talking point number 8. Or was it 7? You really should memorize Scripture instead of a fools talking points.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You should get down on your knees and kiss the ground I walk on. I offer you history lessons and you reject them. I’m throwing pearls before swine.

            I learned my talking points at a government funded university. Far from the “war zone” you describe, I got a great education that has opened many doors for me. Your description of government schools suggests you’ve never set foot in one.

            You’re free to have your superstitions. You’re not free to force them on others or to try to pass them off as fact. Sorry.

          • pastoredsmith

            You’d like that, wouldn’t you atheist? Your ilk demands that every Christian in America bow to you and your demands, and when we refuse, you sue. You think you are self righteous, but you don’t believe in righteousness. You think you are model citizens, but you have no basis for morals apart from your own “free thinking” that varies from atheist to atheist. You have nothing, yet you demand your way. All you offer, atheist, is the lies you have swallowed.

            It is obvious that you attended a government university. Your ignorance is only exceeded by your foolish lies. No, you went to the war zone where kids kill kids (and teachers) and you were indoctrinated to think like your professor, no matter how left or right field he / she might have been. You learned to swallow and regurgitate facts and figures but never learned to think and read for yourself. And, you call yourself a “free thinker?” You are nothing but a clone of a school system that has lost its way and would rather make a world citizen than a well rounded human being capable of thinking for himself. And, your suggestion / farce that I never went to a government school would be incorrect. But, I was blessed to have Christian teachers who taught us to compare evolution and Creation, to think for ourselves and be truly free. That is freedom. And, it is not what is being taught in atheist schools in America these days. Your ilk did that.

            Call names. You have nothing intelligent to say, nor do you have any credible facts. Only your own ramblings that are so far off base you can’t even see the game any more.

            I force nothing. It is atheists who force the silencing of Christians in the marketplace. As to your statement that I’m “not free to force them on others or to try to pass them off as fact” is baseless and a vein threat worth only of laughing at. I suggest that you look in the mirror, atheist, if you wish to see the one in this conversation who is trying to force their views on others.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Again, you claimed that the U.S. was founded by Puritan pilgrims. I don’t think anyone as ignorant as you gets to judge others’ schools.

            You can’t possibly be successful as a pastor, unless you work with real sheep.

          • pastoredsmith

            Nothing new, nothing intelligent. You simply refuse to let go of your false statements.
            And, you certainly know nothing about me. Insults make you look very stupid.
            Good day, sir.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You’re the one who claimed the US was founded by Puritan pilgrims.

            Your ignorance is astounding. You should not be allowed near kids.

          • pastoredsmith

            Still nothing new to say. I’ve already addressed that twice.
            Your insults are meaningless babbling from a fool (Psalms 14:1).
            Good evening atheist.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, and the country was not founded by pilgrims. The Puritans who came here were refugees from the war between England and Spain; they’d been displaced to flanders in an attempt to disrupt catholic rule.

            You don’t even know how the US was founded. You’re an ignoramus trying to lecture others. Just stop.

          • pastoredsmith

            OK, now you have proven my point about indoctrinated history books. Read the Mayflower Compact. At every turn, the idiocy that the US was not built on the backs of Christians won’t hold water. Reread your history…..and may I suggest you find an older history book written during the era when it happened. No “doctoring” of content in those like there are in today’s “politically corrected” editions that try to rewrite history.

            So, you give orders now, do you? You order me to stop telling the truth because it annoys you. I wish you atheists would stop telling lies, too, but at least I realize we live in the USA where you have the right to be stupid and spout lies. Just keep your orders for me to be silenced to yourself. Atheists are such bullies. No, I won’t stop telling the truth. Ever.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You claim that the country was founded by pilgrims. This is objectively false. If you’re impervious to reason, I guess we have no choice but to think of you as a willfully ignorant religious nutcase.

            There is no history book I know of that claims that the United States was founded by Puritan pilgrims. Not one.

          • pastoredsmith

            I said the Pilgrims had a part in founding the country. They founded the Plymouth colony and wrote the Mayflower Compact. Last time I checked, that was part of the origins of America. Oh, I suppose you in your great atheist ignorance forgot that. And, calling names suggests you have nothing intelligent to say, as your post proves.

            Stay on target, atheist. Tell the truth atheist, if you are capable of doing that. I said that the USA was largely built on the shoulders of Christianity. You try to cloud the water by your ignorance of US History.

            Who formed the Plymouth Colony bright boy? Are you saying the Pilgrims were not Americans nor that they had any part of the founding of America? Their grievance of religious persecution was at the top of the 25 grievances against the Crown listed in the Declaration. Have you actually read the document or do you simply spout atheist talking points?

            One more shot, atheist. If you have nothing intelligent to say that is accurate and not filled with atheist lies, this conversation comes to an end.

          • Parque_Hundido

            It was not the origin of the United states. By 1776, the colony had all but disappeared.

            I’m guessing that if you’re a pastor, your flck consists of real sheep. Your ignorance is matched only by your insistence in demonstrating it.

          • pastoredsmith

            Atheist talking point number 9 (or is it 8)? “Once making an insinuation or accusation against a Christian, drive it solidly in the ground, no matter how stupid it might make you look, especially if you have nothing further to say.”

            You know nothing of me. The only set of facts here that are true are that God is real, atheism is a false religion, and the Bible is correct for calling anyone who does not believe in Him a fool (Psalms 14:1).

            Since you have nothing new to nor intelligent to say, I bid you a good evening. Have a nice day.

          • uzza

            Wow.

            [This country/ America] was founded by [Puritans and Pilgrims / people] who [left/ escaped] [a europe controlled by monarchs who claimed to rule by divine right] / [the tyranny of an ungodly king who forced all in his kingdom to participate in the government church.] Religion poisoned the the state and they vowed to keep it out. This is what “separation of church and state” is all about.

            You argue with him by saying the exact same things he says. You’re not helping your case at all.

          • pastoredsmith

            No, Uzza. I argue that it was Freedom of Religion that drove people to found America and break from the crown. He argued that it was “freedom from religion” that did it. Nowhere in history is that the case.

          • uzza

            If you’re up for it, it might be interesting to hear how in your mind those two terms aren’t synonyms.

        • Parque_Hundido

          That site is satanic and will put a virus on your computer.

    • Tara

      people don’t want a moral compass at all. Idk how people can think that makes the world a better place; we’re living proof how that isn’t working.

      • Psk6565

        So, what you said is, Jesus Christ is the truth and humanism is a lie? See, I don’t have to be intellectually honest because I have no moral compass.

        • Carol Cantell Moorby

          Psk6565… Actually that’s exactly what God has said In the bible…that Jesus is truth and humanism a lie…lJohn 14:6.

          • Psk6565

            Yes, because of my misunderstanding Tara, I was trying to prove that morality matters, even in conversation.

    • TheSootyOne

      It terrifies me that it takes an ancient collection of writings full of lies, hate and contradiction to make you a ‘moral’ person.

      • Psk6565

        Based on your worldview, what is wrong with lies, hate and contradiction?

        • Gary

          If he is honest, which he likely is not, he would have to say there is nothing in his worldview that would enable him to say that anything is wrong. Or right.

        • uzza

          They cause suffering. What more do you need?

        • TheSootyOne

          Everything is wrong with lies, hate and contradiction. Ponder this for a moment: if I had the power of a god, and the ability to stop the rape or murder of a single child, I would. I’m more moral than the Christian god, that’s for sure. And before you start spouting ‘sin’, ‘it’s mankind’s fault’ etc etc, what moral god would want his creations to suffer?

          • Gary

            Your opinions. Worth nothing.

          • TheSootyOne

            Likewise, Gary.

          • Psk6565

            Because you would stop rape or murder immediately you are more moral then God?

            Are you suggesting that lies, hate and contradictions are wrong because you would not do them?

            Your answer is: I would not do it therefore it is immoral.

      • MM237

        They are not full of those things. Try researching and finding the truth before spouting lies.

        • TheSootyOne

          Actually, deep research into religion is what lead me to be an atheist. The bible has many many many contradictions that would take you but moments to discover, but as the saying goes ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’ (or think, when it comes to those brainwashed by a cult).

      • pastoredsmith

        The thing that should terrify you is that you have no hope. You think that when you die, that is the end. But, you are wrong. Hell is in the future of those who mock and ridicule the Word of God, misinterpret love for hatred and discount absolute morality that is only found in one place. God’s Word. Period. So, “sooty one,” your handle is aptly named. It will be hot in your future. I pray that you find the ability to let go of your hatred for God. It makes you look very stupid and immoral.

        • Paul Hiett

          You do understand that everything you just said is an opinion?

          • pastoredsmith

            No, it found in the Bible, and that is not opinion. It is absolute truth, but you wouldn’t know anything about that, atheist. You look more stupid and immoral the more you mock God. May I suggest you let go of your hatred for me and God? Your hatred makes you look like a bully.

          • Paul Hiett

            I don’t hate you…I don’t even know you. I also don’t hate your deity…how can I hate something that doesn’t exist?

            I understand that you believe your religious text is the only right one. I lived for 4 years in Turkey, by the way. Suffice it to say that the Muslims I met and lived with are just as certain in their texts as you are in yours.

            Neither of you can prove the other wrong, but you both insist you’re right. I don’t suppose you’d see the issue with that?

          • pastoredsmith

            So, atheist. What is a lie? You have no basis for morality, so you have no basis to try and demonstrate what is truth and what is a lie.
            God is not MY “diety.” He is GOD. And, you lie. You do hate Him, or you wouldn’t bother slandering Him here with your insults.
            “MY” religious text? No, they are God’s Word. As to Islam, if you read and study history (which you obviously flunked), you would realize that Muhammad copied from the Bible. The Koran is counterfeit. It is a fake religion naming a man-made “god.” And, their own book demonstrates that. It is Muslims who hate people, conquer lands and chop people’s heads off if they are not of the Islam religion. Even at its worst, Christian never did that. The Old Testament was a barbaric period, and God dealt with barbaric people in the only method they understood. But, He was teaching man, and by the time Christ was born, mankind had settled down. Christ is about love. He is about a life of victory. He never promised happiness, but He did promise JOY. Big difference. You really should try that sometime.
            But, you already know all of this. Let me guess. You are a disgruntled “former” Christian with a beef against the church? Most atheists are, you know. Somebody hurt you. Some tragedy happened that caused you to hate God. Yes, you hate God. And, lying about it or pretending not to hate “something that doesn’t exist” when you know good and well that He does exist won’t fix anything.
            You really should read the Bible and get to know the author. Only then can you begin to understand His love for you and that there is a better way than the hopelessness of atheism.

        • TheSootyOne

          You can’t hate what you don’t believe in, but logic is always lost on believers.

          • pastoredsmith

            Well, at least you do finally admit that you are wrong and God DOES exist! There is a LOT of hatred here in your posts.
            It is amazing. You atheists all say the same things. Do you all read the same books? You all must listen to the same idiots and write down their talking points.
            It is interesting when you have nothing credible to say (which is most of the time), you hurl the “don’t believe in…” God line. Or, my favorite one is “bronze age fairy tales” (speaking of the Bible.
            Your insults only show that you really don’t feel comfortable with the whole “atheist religion” thing. Why don’t you give up your hatred and find God’s love? You will sleep better.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            You atheists all say the same things. Do you all read the same books?

            Yes, they all copy and paste from hack New Atheist sites, like Dawkins and Harris. They couldn’t come up with an original thought if their immortal souls depended on it.
            And it does depend on it.

    • Doug Indeap

      The Constitutional separation of church and state is not an atheist concept.

      While the religious views of various founders are subjects of some uncertainty and controversy, it is safe to say that many founders were Christian of one sort or another. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that separates church and state by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day (by which governments generally were grounded in some appeal to god(s)), the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which affirmatively constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

      The people of the time saw separation of church and state as a boon, not a burden, to religion. This sentiment was recorded by a famous observer of the American experiment: “On my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. . . . I questioned the members of all the different sects. . . . I found that they differed upon matters of detail alone, and that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America, I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835).

    • Parque_Hundido

      Does it not strike you as childish to declare that the country is failing simply because your religion no longer holds most favorable status. Your religion is dying, perhaps you should think about that. The energy you expend on these temper tantrums could be put to more productive use.

      • Gary

        “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

        • Parque_Hundido

          Could you name the statute in which this quote appears? Thank you in advance for distinguishing statutes from opinions.

          • Gary

            Why would it have to be on a statue?

          • Paul Hiett

            Do you not know the difference between a “statute” and a “statue”???

            He clearly used the correct word in his quote.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Statute. Not statue.

            If it is statutory, it is law. Otherwise, it’s just an opinion someone posts on the Internet.

          • Gary

            Yes, it is just an opinion. But it is the opinion of one of the founding fathers.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Who had an opportunity to put it into law, yet deliberately chose not to do so.

            Why do you think he kept the religion out of the law?

          • Gary

            I believe the founders did not want one denomination of Christianity to be the “official” one. But that does not mean they wanted a society that abandoned morality.

          • Paul Hiett

            Morality does not need religion.

          • Gary

            Yes, it does. God alone has the authority to define good and evil. People have no such authority. For instance, if you said something was immoral, why would anyone be obligated to not do it?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Exactly. That’s why they insisted on a secular country. No religion in government. End of story.

          • Gary

            A secular country is one that discards morality. I don’t think that is the kind the founders intended.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You don’t seem to understand morality. If you need a book full of superstitions to be moral, you’re not a moral person.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            A secular country? NO religion in government?
            Hmmmm. That’s strange, since one of the first things that the 1st Congress did, before passing the Bill of Rights, was to establish paid chaplains in both houses of Congress:
            Thus, on April 7, 1789, the Senate appointed a committee “to take under consideration the manner of electing Chaplains.” S. Jour., 1st Cong., 1st Sess., 10 (1820 ed.). On April 9, 1789, a similar committee was appointed by the House of Representatives. On April 25, 1789, the Senate elected its first chaplain, id., at 16; the House followed suit on May 1, 1789, H. R. Jour., 1st Cong., 1st Sess., 26 (1826 ed.). A statute providing for the payment of these chaplains was enacted into law on September 22, 1789. 7 2 Annals of Cong. 2180; 4, 1 Stat. 71. 8
            On September 25, 1789, three days after Congress authorized the appointment of paid chaplains, final agreement was reached on the language of the Bill of Rights, S. Jour., supra, at 88; H. R. Jour., supra, at 121. 9 Clearly the men who wrote the First Amendment Religion Clauses did not view paid legislative chaplains and opening prayers as a violation of that Amendment, for the practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress. 10 It has also been followed consistently [463 U.S. 783, 789] in most of the states, 11 including Nebraska, where the institution of opening legislative sessions with prayer was adopted even before the State attained statehood. Neb. [463 U.S. 783, 790] Jour. of Council, General Assembly, 1st Sess., 16 (Jan. 22, 1855).

            – C.J. W. Burger, MARSH v. CHAMBERS, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), Majority Opinion

          • Parque_Hundido

            Please tell me their role in passing, modifying or enforcing the law.

            Please tell me how having Muslim clergy in the military makes our country a religious state.

            Oh, wait, you probably think it is! LOL

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No, Parque Hundido, you tell me how using tax-payer money to pay for chaplains in both houses of Congress squares with you erroneous assertion “No religion in government. End of story”?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Still waiting, Parque. Where’d you go?

          • Marvels of life

            Nick, you have my support my friend. Your very intelligent, and I think your approach to the atheist is quite appropriate without getting frustrated or angry. Again I say bravo!!!

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            You flatter me, sir. Lest I boast, I’m just trying to use the gifts that God gave me. Hopefully, in a charitable way. But, with some humor. I do lose my patience more often than I should!
            Thank you, so much, for your kind comments.
            May you, and your family, have a blessed Easter.

          • Marvels of life

            May I ask a few questions of you. You are well informed and I would like your opinion if you have the time. I think after reading your comments that you address the issues and not the person which is something that impresses me. Not to flatter you (smile) just to be realistic. Your a good man who represents Christians in the best possible light.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Sure, brother. Ask away!
            I don’t promise to have all the answers, I assure you.
            Thanks, again, for the kind words.

          • Marvels of life

            When you get a moment preview this site if you will. It is filled with pertinent information. I hope it will be helpful to you. Is your position young earth or old earth? Meaning the earth is roughly 6000 years old or 4.3 billion years old. It would be helpful in my studies. I trust your input.
            http://www.godandscience.org/

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I’ve actually gone back and forth on the subject, since I was a kid, MoL. It’s a rather involved story, the details of which I won’t bore you with, here (I don’t wish to high-jack the thread).

            Growing-up I superficially believed in God-directed evolution. Mostly, because my dad did. At 13-14, he came back to the Catholic Church (another long story, my late mother was the strong Catholic, “Mama Grizzly”, you might say!).

            I basically stopped going weekly Mass after high-school. I didn’t lose my faith, just stopped practicing it. While I was in the Army (’88-’92) I contemplated my belief in evolution, finding that I had NO evidence, I was only parroting my dad’s old views. God continued to show me my errors.

            Eventually, I became a Catholic fundamentalist on the Bible, and, especially the Six Days of Creation. I took it literally. Even though I knew very little about the Sacred Scriptures.

            About 17 years ago, I started studying. Both the Bible and my Faith. The more I learned, I found that I had swung the pendulum too far the other way. First, I found out the Hebrew word for “day” (yom) doesn’t just mean a 24-hour period. It can mean an era or age. Then I was shown the Scripture “a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day” (2Pt.3:8).

            I also watched shows by creationist scientists, like Dr. Carl Baugh, on TBN. I liked some of what they had to say (it made me think of things I hadn’t considered), but, I thought some of them were acting like the evolutionists: Start with your premise (the Bible is literal fact) and find the evidence to prove it. That’s not science.
            Then, I saw shows by I.D. guys, like Dr. Hugh Ross, a scientist who believes in an old universe. I eventually, came down in the middle, when I realized that it didn’t effect my salvation whether I believed that God created in 6 days or 6 billion, trillion years. I concluded that Genesis is not a science book. What matters is WHY God created, not how He did it, or how long it took.
            I saw a picture of one of Dr. Ross’ books on that website, by the way. I have a bunch of his shows on my DVR I need to watch. I said that I would, for Lent, and have yet to do it!
            I hope that wasn’t too long, and that it answered some of your question?

          • Marvels of life

            Not at all Thank you very much for your input. That is a good conclusion “Genesis is not a science book” I’m one of those guys that get too involved in that information but find it fascinating at the same time. I really do love science and found that science and God are not at odds, but can compliment each other if taken rationally. Of course I agree it does not effect my salvation as well, and Jesus is my foundation first and foremost. Youtube is a great source for videos etc from Dr. Ross, Stephen Meyers who has written ‘Signature in the Cell, and Darwin’s doubt. Another site you may be interested in is the Discovery Institute. I find it interesting as well. So many things in this world to digest, but I know this. Jesus is real. God is real. It’s difficult to explain that to non believers which I understand, but I know it primarily because of my life and the experiences of it. One thing for sure and I explain in my profile, recently I faced my mortality. I almost died and have a long road ahead to get healthy again, but I’m determined to do so God willing. Anyway, you have brightened my day and I Thank you for doing so. Keep in touch, or I’ll keep in touch with you (smile)

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No problem, my brother in Christ. And, you’re in my prayers. May the Lord use your suffering to bring others to God.
            I started, years ago, researching the claims of the 12-15 billion years old universe, first finding the claim that stellar parallax could be measured, with modern instruments, up to 36,000 light years. I recently read that it can only be measured to 300+ l.y. (that was on wiki, though!) So, not being a scientist, I’m not sure if I’m convinced of the old universe claims, either. Knowing that the Darwinists weren’t above faking their claims (Piltdown man), using the brightness of star light to conclude the age of the universe seems ripe for speculation.
            That’s why I don’t dwell on it that much, even though I like science too. When ever I watch something on Discovery channel that discusses these subjects, I count how many variations of “maybe, could be, might have happened” they use. Bottom line: Each discovery gives them a thousand new questions to answer. God keeps confounding them!

            Yes, I’m aware of the Discovery Institute. May I suggest to you a couple of other sites? Reasons.org, Dr. Ross’ site. MagisCenter.com, a Catholic priest’s (Robert Spitzer, S.J.) answers to faith & reason.
            Also, here are two links by atheists that debunk atheist claims that Christ never existed and the Church persecuted Galileo because of his “science,” in case you ever find yourself arguing with one of these guys!

            http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2011/05/nailed-ten-christian-myths-that-show.html

            http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-misunderstood-historical-event?share=1

          • Marvels of life

            Excellent, Thank you. I’m familiar with Reasons to believe but not the others. Thanks again, I’ll look at them for sure.

          • Marvels of life

            You made an excellent observation by the way. The maybe’s, could be’s, etc. I’ve talked about that before lol

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            p.s. Thanks for the link! It has a lot to cover and go over. But, from what I saw, I liked.

          • Marvels of life

            My pleasure!!!

          • Parque_Hundido

            I’m the one waiting for you to answer the question. So far, you haven’t been able to. You won’t answer it because you cannot.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            You must have missed my response, PH. Here it is again:

            No, Parque Hundido, you tell me how using tax-payer money to pay for chaplains in both houses of Congress squares with your erroneous assertion “No religion in government. End of story”?

          • Parque_Hundido

            You’ve misunderstood. Government is the business of running the country, setting rules, interpreting those rules and and enforcing those rules.

            Let me say it again, slow enough for even you to understand: tell me how those chaplains influence the creation, passage or enforcement of legislation?

            You won’t answer. You can’t answer.

            Don’t you have idols to worship or kids to rape?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Prohibiting Congress from establishing a federal religion did not, and does not, stop the people who make up the government from exercising their religion, including using taxpayer funds to pay for chaplains. They don’t lose their rights. Even if they want to base the bills that they propose on the Decalogue.
            Which is why SCOTUS ruled against you guys in 1983.
            God loves you, Parque Hundido, and, so do I. God Bless!

          • Parque_Hundido

            And what role do these service staff playin the governance of our country? Tell us, idol worshiping genius.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Where do you see “service staff” in what I wrote?
            Do you only see words that you want to see, Parque?

          • Parque_Hundido

            That’s because my mind is free of the idol worship and child abuse that clouds your judgment.

          • Marvels of life

            Excellent Nick, Bravo buddy

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Thanks, brother (sister?)! God Bless!

          • Marvels of life

            LOL I’m your brother in Christ (smile)

          • Doug Indeap

            As for the Senate and House hiring chaplains, James Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.” While stating his understanding that the Constitution prohibits the government from promoting religion by such acts as appointing chaplains for the houses of Congress and the army and navy or by issuing proclamations recommending thanksgiving, he also addressed the question of what to make of the government’s early actions doing just that. Ever practical, he answered not with a demand these actions inconsistent with the Constitution be undone, but rather with an explanation to circumscribe their ill effect: “Rather than let this step beyond the landmarks of power have the effect of a legitimate precedent, it will be better to apply to it the legal aphorism [the law does not concern itself with trifles]: or to class it [faults proceeding either from negligence or from the imperfection of our nature].” Basically, he recognized that it would be politically difficult and perhaps infeasible to reverse these actions in order to adhere to the constitutional principle, and thus he proposed giving these particular missteps a pass, while at the same time assuring they are not regarded as legitimate precedent of what the Constitution means, so they do not influence future actions.

            In its jurisprudence, the Court has, in effect, followed Madison’s advice, though not his suggested legal theories. The Court has confirmed the basic constitutional principle of separation of church and state, while also giving a pass to the appointment of chaplains for the house of Congress and army and navy and the issuance of religious proclamations, as well as various governmental statements or actions about religion on one or another theory, e.g., historical custom (as the Court did in Marsh v. Chambers). Notwithstanding sometimes lofty rhetoric by courts and commentators about an impenetrable wall of separation, as maintained by the courts, that wall is low and leaky enough to allow various connections between government and religion. Indeed, the exceptions and nuances recognized by the courts can confuse laymen and lawyers alike, occasionally prompting some to question the principle itself, since decisions in various cases may seem contradictory (e.g., depending on the circumstances, sometimes government display of the 10 commandments is okay and sometimes not).

          • pastoredsmith

            Read the First Amendment. It’s there in black and white. And, you are aware that the so-called “separation of church and state” is from a letter written to the First Continental Congress that was about keeping the government OUT of the church’s business, but has been maligned by atheists and agreed to by a rogue SCOTUS? Right? Oh, didn’t know that. You really should study American History, and not the atheist-altered volumes of late. Go back to books written during that era. They tell the truth.

          • Doug Indeap

            Oh, please, your ill-informed caricature of separation of church and state is too much to abide in silence. It is a bedrock principle of our Constitution, much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day (by which governments generally were grounded in some appeal to god(s)), the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which affirmatively constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

            To the extent that some would like confirmation–in those very words–of the founders’ intent to separate government and religion, Madison and Jefferson supplied it. Some try to pass off the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education as simply a misreading of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists–as if that were the only basis of the Court’s decision. Instructive as that letter is, it played but a small part in the Court’s decision. Rather, the Court discussed the historical context in which the Constitution and First Amendment were drafted, noting the expressed understanding of Madison perhaps even more than Jefferson, and only after concluding its analysis and stating its conclusion did the Court refer–once–to Jefferson’s letter, largely to borrow his metaphor as a clever label or summary of its conclusion. The notion, often heard, that the Court rested its decision solely or largely on that letter is a red herring.

            Your further assertion that the Supreme Court’s recognition of the constitutional separation of church and state in Everson is all the doing of atheists is laughable. It bears noting that all nine justices (none atheists) read the Constitution to call for separation of church and state, and indeed all of the parties and all of the amici curiae (including the National Council of Catholic Men and National Council of Catholic Women) did as well; no one disputed the principle, they differed only in how it should be applied in the circumstances of the case.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            See my reply, below, Mr. Indeap. It refutes the atheist contention that we were founded as a purely “secular” country. Since, after all, both the Senate & House of Representatives passed laws for taxpayer funded chaplains in their houses.

            As regards Everson v. Board of Education, you are aware that Hugo Black was a racist member of the Klan and blatant anti-Catholic bigot, aren’t you? That decision was fabricated by Black to stop reimbursing parents for using public transportation to Catholic schools. Black violently wrenched President Jefferson’s words out of context.

          • Doug Indeap

            Hmm, I’ve tried responding, but it hasn’t survived moderation. I have no idea why. I’ll try to address your chaplain point below with respect to Marsh v. Chambers.

            The notion that the Supreme Court’s recognition of the constitutional separation of church and state in Everson is all Justice Black’s doing as part of some KKK anti-Catholic conspiracy is laughable. As I observed earlier, all nine justices read the Constitution to call for separation of church and state, and indeed all of the parties and all of the amici curiae (including the National Council of Catholic Men and National Council of Catholic Women) did as well.

          • Marvels of life

            The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a consideration: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws that substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion. The bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on March 11, 1993 and passed by a unanimous U.S. House and a near unanimous U.S. Senate with three dissenting votes[1] and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

          • Doug Indeap

            Yes, the RFRA is a consideration in cases where the government substantially burden’s an individual’s freedom to exercise his or her religion. In this case, though, we’re talking about the government itself (in the form of a public school) displaying a religious message.

          • Marvels of life

            The application from what I have gathered and certainly from the Bush era was to assist religions related to public settings, Icons of faith, etc. Also recently a young lady won a lawsuit to keep “under God” in the preamble which came about from an atheist organization trying to keep it out of the preamble at schools.

          • Doug Indeap

            I’m not familiar with those cases, so can’t say much about them.

            In applying the First Amendment, it is important to distinguish
            between between “individual” and “government” speech about religion, since the Amendment protects the former and constrains the latter. Much the same applies to the RFRA. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school administrators displaying messages on the walls of schools), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

          • Marvels of life

            I understand what your saying. Most often it comes down to the public school itself. Take for example the Texas Public School District. They have passed overwhelmingly an act to include ‘Intelligent Design concepts’ into their new text books along side evolutionary concepts. Another Public School system in S. Carolina has explained to teachers that they must emphasis the “Theory” of evolution and explain it as theory and not fact. So I personally see trends that are opening the doors where states & federal governments are allowing more available information to the students.

          • Parque_Hundido

            No.

            It doesn’t appear in any statute. It doesn’t appear in any statute because it’s just some guy’s opinion.

            Keep your religion out of my government.

          • pastoredsmith

            Atheist talking point number 7. Or was it number 6? “When you are losing a conversation with a Christian, always use terms like ‘your religion’ or ‘your god’ so that you might cloudy the water and make it look like the Christian is a fool because he is somehow responsible for what the Bible says.”

            The First Amendment to the US Constitution says that the government cannot “prohibit the free exercise” of religion. That is the statute that guarantees freedom of religion. Perhaps you atheists would be more comfortable if you all moved to Iran where they behead atheists. In the USA, you have the privilege to be an Atheist just the same as I have to be a Christian. But, you wish to kill all Christian influence in the USA because you hate God and you hate me because I know the truth and you know you live a lie.

            Christianity is not “my religion.” Of course you know that. It’s just that you have nothing intelligent to say so you will now begin the hurling of insults.

            I suggest you read the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Christian teachings and Scriptural precepts are interwoven all throughout those documents. Congress authorized and paid for the printing and distribution of Bibles in the early days under Jefferson, one of the least committed Christians (actually he was a Deist) of the 250 or so founding fathers. Jefferson also fostered and sponsored a church that met in Federal buildings in its infancy. He was considered liberal in his day, but if he was alive today, Jefferson would be to the right of Jerry Falwell.

            Oh, and when did it become “your” government? So, you think it’s “my” religion and ‘your” government? To answer your demand, “FORGET IT. It isn’t ‘your’ government.”

          • Parque_Hundido

            I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. But this much is clear: you have no evidence for your claim that religion is allowed in government. Your posts also show a remarkable ignorance of our history. Overall, you don’t seem to have a clue what you’re talking about.

            I cannot be the first person to say this to you.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I showed the evidence, PH, from the 1st Congress, in A.D. 1789. Why can’t you and Doug deal with these facts?

          • Parque_Hundido

            I’m still waiting for you to tell me the role they play in government. I hear crickets.

            Don’t you have to go say the pledge to the pope? Defend a child rapist?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I’ll answer you when you answer me. I asked first.

          • Parque_Hundido

            No, you didn’t. Tell us, what role do these little people play in the governance of our country?

            Are you a child rapist or do you merely defend them? Just curious.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Yes, I did. And, I just answered your latest inanities.
            God still loves you, Parque, and so do I. God Bless!

          • Parque_Hundido

            So what role do these service staff play in our country’s governance?

            Go polish your idols and defend child molesters. Your cult is an embarrassment, a stain on humanity.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I still love you, Parque. And, I forgive you. I know you’ve been deceived. I pity you, and your fellow atheists. I’ll keep you in my prayers, Parque. God Bless!

          • Parque_Hundido

            Your God will enthusiastically thow you and all of the other idol worshipping child rapists into the lake of fire.

        • Clive Johnson

          Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
          -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

          But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
          -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

          What is it men cannot be made to believe!
          -Thomas Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, April 22, 1786. (on the British regarding America, but quoted here for its universal appeal.)

          Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
          -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

          They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.
          -Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800

          History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
          -Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

          In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
          -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

          Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”
          -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816

          One of our most important founding fathers was quite the infidel.

          • Gary

            There seems to be a disagreement between Jefferson and Adams.

          • Clive Johnson

            Indeed.

      • pastoredsmith

        The question of the hour is this: How many atheists does it take to defend the nothingness of atheism against one man of God with Jesus Christ on his side? What, there are three; or is it four atheists on this thread on a Christian news site spouting nonsense. And, just for the record, the atheist religion is as hopeless as its nothingness future holds. Christianity will never die. I’ve read the back of the book and we win. Might I suggest you abandon your man-made, self concocted fairy tales that vary from atheist to atheist and accept the truth that God created you and He is real? Believing in yourself and not believing in God makes you a fool (Psalms 14:1).

        • Paul Hiett

          If you honestly think that Revelation is how it ends, I’ve got bad news for you. 2015 years and counting.

          And for the record, “atheism” is nothing more than a lack of belief in deities. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not a religion.

          • pastoredsmith

            No, atheism is a bona fide religion, complete with “mega atheist churches” and a tax deductible status from the IRS, same as with a real church. Atheism is a religion that hates God and despises anyone who dares worship the One True God in the face of those who hate Him. You really should re-read Revelation. You only read it enough to look stupid.

          • Marvels of life

            I don’t believe the IRS has given tax exempt status, although I know groups of atheist’s have tried as a religion of non religion. If you can cite tax exemption for an atheist “church” I would appreciate it. Thanks.

          • Clive Johnson

            This is only because the law doesn’t provide for a ‘philosophy of life’ tax exemption. If it did, using the religion classification wouldn’t be necessary.

        • Parque_Hundido

          I’m sure that’s the question you’d like to answer.

          My question is this: when will we put an end to the special treatment given to those who profess religion as an excuse to oppress others?

          • Gary

            Christians are not oppressing anyone.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You oppress all those who do not think and behave as you do.

          • Gary

            How do I do that? What do you want to do that I keep you from doing?

          • Parque_Hundido

            I don’t want to be forced to see signs of your religion in public schools, just as an example. That’s why your panties are in a wad.

          • Gary

            Given that the gov. schools have told God they want nothing to do with Him, it bothers me not at all that they refuse to post the Ten Commandments. The problems they have now will only get worse, and it serves them right.

          • Parque_Hundido

            So why are your panties in a wad? You should be celebrating.

            By the way, do all Christians wish failure on others, or is it just you? I don’t wish you any ill, even if you insist on your religious superstitions. Why so mean spirited? Do you think that might help explain why your religion is dying?

          • Gary

            I don’t have to wish failure on you. You bring that on yourself. Christianity is not dying. There are still millions of Christians in this world.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You did wish failure on me. You did it because I do not want your religion in our public schools.

            Your religion is dying. Church attendance in the US has never been lower.

            Your temper tantrums are a big part of your religion’s death. This seems very hard for you to understand.

          • Gary

            You’re an ignorant little maggot. I’ll be happy to see you get what you deserve.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, well I wish you sunshine, rainbows and sparkle ponies.

            Again, being a focal point of negative energy isn’t going to bring you or your religion any new followers.

            That you can have a meltdown over a plaque speaks volumes about you.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            We’re supposed to pray and love our enemies, Gary. As Christ commanded us to do, in Mt.5:44:
            But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

          • Gary

            You pray for him.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I do, Gary. As a poor disciple of Christ, I try to obey. Even when others make it hard. God Bless!

          • Marvels of life

            Amen! I feel rather blessed to see your posts. It makes me hopeful that there are good people that really are concerned about others.

          • Regina Forbes

            To some people, even our mere existence is a threat. To them, it would be better if we were all wiped off the face of the earth.

          • pastoredsmith

            It is atheists doing the oppressing. Forcing everyone in America to bow and give up our religious expression guaranteed by the First Amendment. So, the truth comes out. Atheists want to rid the world of freedom of religion. Just remember, atheism is a religion, too. Complete with “mega-churches,” and a bona fide tax deduction same as a church.
            Oppression? FFRF is a bully organization forcing its will on the country. Christianity has never been an oppressing force. Yes, I know history, and there are some people who, using the name of Christ (abusing His name, more accurately) did disgusting things. They were not living by the teachings of Christ. But, true Christians dominated the vast majority of the approx. 250 founding fathers of America, although atheists love to cite only a few of the least religious ones such as Jefferson and Franklin. But, by today’s standards, these two men, although slackers in their faith in Christ, would be to the right of Jerry Falwell if alive today. You need to realize you buck against over 200 years of a Christ-dominated society. America will likely fall because of atheism and its rewriting of history books beginning between the World Wars, but true Christians will never go away.
            Atheist, your mentally inferior religion is nothing but a sham. An excuse. A method used to demonstrate God. If there were not God, there would be no atheists.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Your bizarre, rambling post only gives ammunition to those who call you people crazy.

            Our point is simple: keep your god in your church. We don’t want your gods or your religions in public schools.

            Why is this so hard for you?

          • pastoredsmith

            There is nothing bizarre or rambling about God. And, you bullies who try to silence Christians will not win in the end.
            And, I’ll never keep God inside the four walls of the church. The First Amendment guarantees the FREEDOM OF RELIGION, not the Freedom FROM it. And, you can never stop the spread of Christianity.
            Hard for me? Just listen to and abide by your bullying tactics? Never. Your hatred for God and His people really shines, atheist. Your hate makes you look like the class bully, and he always was the dumbest one in school. He usually dropped out because he was tougher than the rest of the kids. Yes, I know your type.
            I strongly recommend you give up your hatred and bullying ways and accept Christ. The truth will set you free, but the lies you wallow in smell like hog slop.

          • Doug Indeap

            This common chestnut about prepositions obscures more than it reveals. The Constitution does not use either the phrase “freedom of religion” or “freedom from religion.” In any event, the concept of freedom “of” religion encompasses each individual’s freedom “to” exercise his or her religion and freedom “from” government established religion. There, all prepositions are fairly represented.

          • pastoredsmith

            I guess you missed that part. Reread it. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

            So, what do you think “prohibiting the exercise thereof” means? It is NOT Freedom of worship (as in only inside the Church.) It is ANYWHERE a person wishes to express his religious freedom.

          • Doug Indeap

            Do you have a point? As noted in my comment, the First Amendment (reread it yourself) does not use either the phrase “freedom of religion” or “freedom from religion.” And nothing said in my comment remotely suggested that freedom to exercise one’s religion is confined to churches. To the contrary, the constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not, as is sometimes complained, purge religion from the public square–far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Again, throwing a temper tantrum because you can’t have your religion in public schools does you no favors.

            Your religion is dying. Might these temper tantrums be part of the reason?

          • pastoredsmith

            You are the one throwing a temper tantrum, atheist. I simply stand firm on my beliefs and have the right as an American to do so. You have no right to be a bully!
            Do you really think that because your ilk dreamed up some false anti-God strategy that you can destroy Christianity? You are going up against the Creator of the Universe. He gave you a free choice, but it comes with eternal consequences.
            You really should let go of your hatred for God and me. Your red face is showing. You will sleep better at night if you stop trying to stop Christianity. It is a futile and fools endeavor.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Calling u out for throwing a temper tantrum and demanding special rights, that you’d never allows there’s to have makes me a bully?

            Not on this planet.

            Again, you think there might be some connection between your temper tantrums and the decline of your religion?

          • pastoredsmith

            I can always tell when an atheist is running out of talking points and is losing a conversation. You guys always start hurling false accusations that you make up as you go along. You are the one throwing a temper tantrum here. You are saying that you are determined to shut me up, no matter what? I could play your game and say you were threatening me. But, I’m not going to stoop to your level, atheist.
            You have nothing. You believe nothing. You have no morals, no sense of morality at all. One of you believes it is OK to murder, the next one says it is wrong. You trample on everyone else’s freedom of religion as though you were some dictator of a rogue country, and then have the gall to suggest the problem is with me?
            Oh, there is no “decline of ‘your’ religion.” Christianity is not a religion, it is the truth. You can’t change that. You can’t legislate it out of existence. You can’t bully those of us who believe it into silence.
            Nice try, angry dude. Your hatred shines brightly. Let go of your hate. It corrupts your mind and makes you say dumb things.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You can’t find your a*s with both hands.

            Temper tantrum, demands for special rights, when will you people stop?

          • Clive Johnson

            Christians are “stopping” Christianity in large numbers by leaving it. Churches are closing at a fast pace. Many young people are leaving. I trust you’re aware of this.

          • Gary

            Christians, real ones, don’t leave Christianity. People might be leaving churches, but real Christians are not leaving the religion.

          • Clive Johnson

            The ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy. One problem with your ‘real Christianity’ concept is that there’s no way to tell who is a real Christian. But this conflicts with how Christians talk about being saved, and knowing God or Jesus in other contexts—contexts in which there’s no doubt that a given person is indeed a Christian.

            “Real Christians” aren’t leaving the religion? Do you mean the growing number of pastors who become atheists and leave the church? http://clergyproject.org If there’s anyone who might be said to be a “true Christian” its a Christian pastor.

          • Marvels of life

            I have to disagree on that one. There are true Christians. Those that follow Christ and his word as the truth. There are also a number of scientist’s that have turned from atheism to Christianity. I can site examples. I’m just making the statement to say people can change, and for the better. Antony Flew was an atheist that made Dawkins look like a Christian, but when he evaluated the tools of science and philosophy, he could come to no other conclusion than God was real and became a Christian. Many others as well.

          • Clive Johnson

            Flew was also suffering from mental decline in his later years, so there’s that element to consider.

            Also, he rejected the idea of a Christian god, which suggests he never converted to Christianity. You may want to consult the wikipedia article on him. If you ever read any Flew or Dawkins you’d know that neither really exceeded the other in terms of their atheism.

          • Marvels of life

            You may want to read his interview. I think it would sum up his belief well. I was using Dawkins as an example of the “Deity” of atheism lol. The interview would disagree with your statement concerning who exceeded who. You can google from his web page.

          • Marvels of life

            A subnote: You may also be aware of the percentage of people in failing health who convert to Christianity. I would have to look again at the figures but it is quite high. Why would that be you may wonder???

          • Clive Johnson

            They’re desperate to save their lives and will grasp for anything.

          • Marvels of life

            Not desperate to save their lives I don’t think, more, desperate to save their souls. At least that is the way I look at it.

          • Clive Johnson

            Ah yes–no doubt that is true in some cases. it’s unfortunate that it takes the prospect of death to get people to take their lives and life philosophies more seriously.

          • Marvels of life

            Oh my, I could not agree with you more. I believe you to be a good man, and I appreciate our discussion. You are obviously intelligent, and a kind person. I know things can get heated in these discussions sometimes but I also know that on both sides of the discussion there are some good people. I count you as one of them

          • Clive Johnson

            Why, thank you. And I return the sentiment. I wish you a gentle evening.

          • getstryker

            Mr. Johnson . . . In this case, I would certainly agree with your comment here. Well said.

          • Gary

            There is a way to tell who the fake Christians are. Those who reject the faith or don’t believe the Bible reveal what they are, and what they are not.

          • Doug Indeap

            Whether “atheism” should be regarded a “religion” depends not only on how one defines “atheism” and “religion,” but also the context and purpose of labeling it one way or the other. Religion can be defined various ways, some broad, e.g., a world view providing a systematic approach to living, and some more specific, e.g., such a world view associated with faith and belief in a deity or higher power. For purposes of discussing philosophy, whether one treats atheism as a religion likely depends on how one defines “atheism.” To the extent atheism is defined as the lack of any belief in god(s), it doesn’t seem to qualify as a religion in the sense of a philosophical world view any more than the absence of any belief in all sorts of other things, e.g., unicorns. That said, those lacking a belief in god(s) generally have other beliefs, e.g., materialism (the philosophical sort, not the consumer sort) or paganism, that together may be regarded a religion. Fair enough–though I’m not sure “atheism” is the right label for such a religion.

            For purposes of determining whether all persons, believers and nonbelievers alike, enjoy the First Amendment’s protection of free exercise of religion, courts have decided to treat atheism as the equivalent of a religion so that the Amendment equally affords atheists and theists the freedom to exercise their “religion.” It should hardly be supposed, though, that the courts’ interpretation of the scope of the First Amendment free exercise clause to cover atheists as much as theists means that they consider “atheism” a “religion” in any and all contexts and for any and all purposes.

            Nor should it be supposed that the government, by remaining separate from and neutral toward religion in keeping with the Constitution, somehow thereby favors atheism over theism.
            There is a difference between the government (1) remaining neutral in matters of religion and leaving individuals free to choose, exercise, and express their religious views without government intrusion and (2) taking sides in matters of religion and promoting one view (whether theism [in one, any, or all its various forms], atheism, or whatever) to the detriment of others. It is one thing for the government to endorse the idea that god(s) exist or, alternatively, endorse the idea that god(s) do not exist; it is quite another for the government to take no position on the matter and respect the right of each individual to freely decide for himself.

          • pastoredsmith

            The IRS determined atheism to be a religion. You really should read this. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/21/atheists-incensed-after-irs-grants-them-tax-exempt/

          • Doug Indeap

            Your point? As I noted, in some contexts and for some purposes, atheism may well be regarded, or at least treated, as a religion. In others, not so much.

          • pastoredsmith

            https://atheists.org/donate Atheists dot org is tax deductible. The IRS says “no diety required to be a church.”

          • Doug Indeap

            Yes, and so? Again, is there a point to your interest in this labeling?

          • pastoredsmith

            Are you daft? Yes, there is a point. Atheism is just another false religion. The only religion known to mankind that is wholly built on man-made fairy tales, but a bona fide religion nonetheless. And, the hypocrisy of atheists such as FFRF and others suing the government to stop tax deductions? the IRS tried to give the FFRF a tax deduction and they turned it down. Atheists oppress the public by suing townships, public schools and kindergartens that dare allow public expression of Christianity. But, I hear nothing about the Pledge of Allegiance recited in Arabic citing “one nation under Allah.” You people primarily hate and target Christians, yet you are just another false religion.

          • Doug Indeap

            Oh, I see the source of confusion. The article is about separation of church and state, and you’d rather talk about atheism. Again, separation of church and state is not an atheist concept, and atheists are hardly the only ones who have an interest in the government abiding by the Constitution.

            As for debating the existence of god(s), fascinating as that is, I’ll leave that for another time and place.

          • pastoredsmith

            No,it’s about atheists / bullies who try to rewrite the Constitution. Separation of Church and State is not in the Constitution. It was in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, one of the weakest in his faith of the founding fathers, and that letter was about keeping the state out of the church, NEVER about prohibiting the church from being active in the public arena. And, it’s about the abuses from SCOTUS that has resulted in the atheist bullies getting their way after holding your breath until your face turns blue. You should reread the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It is blatantly obvious that Christianity was a primary driving force behind these documents and the separation from Britain. Of course, you know this already. You simply change the facts because you have no morals nor basis for morality.

          • Doug Indeap

            As I noted above, the notion that the Supreme Court’s decisions on separation of church and state rest solely or even primarily on Jefferson’s letter is silly–a red herring.

            It bears noting that during his presidency, Madison (who was not an atheist) vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or compel observance of any religion, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. While some in Congress expressed surprise that the Constitution prohibited Congress from incorporating a church in the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia or granting land to a church in the Mississippi Territory, Congress upheld both vetoes. Separation of church and state is hardly a new invention of modern courts, and it has nothing whatever to do with atheism.

          • pastoredsmith

            Oh, you mean like the time Congress authorized and paid for (with tax dollars) the printing and distribution of Bibles? Or when Jefferson sponsored a church that met in government buildings while he was President? Or, maybe the language of the Declaration, the Constitution and most state Constitutions that include Christian language?
            No, this whole modern-day “separation of church and state” as interpreted today is new…..it started with atheists and will end in the annihilation of the US. America was a Christian Nation because her people demanded it. And, she is falling apart because she has abandoned God and listened to the lies of self-aggrandizing atheists / bullies.
            Separation of Church and State is not new, but the definition that excludes religion from public life is new and damning.

          • Doug Indeap

            You’ve been misinformed. Many versions of the Congress-Bible story have circulated over the years. Contrary to the one to which you allude, Congress did not authorize, pay for, print, or distribute the Bible. While it is true that Jefferson attended religious ceremonies in the Capitol building, caution should be exercised in assessing this historical evidence, since some are motivated to make more of things than may be warranted or even stretch the truth about them. The Speaker of the House did indeed announce in 1800 that the chaplains had proposed holding religious ceremonies in the House chamber on Sundays, the reason initially being that at the time there simply were no churches or other suitable buildings in all the Capitol. Such ceremonies were held and Jefferson attended some of them, and they continued for decades after churches had been built and thus the need to use the House chamber had passed. Contrary to many accounts, including yours, neither Jefferson nor the Senate had a hand in the Speaker’s decision. Not mentioned in some accounts as well is that the ceremonies often were as much social as religious in nature (at a time when Washington otherwise lacked much social life).

            Chris Rodda does a good job setting these and other common misconceptions straight in Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History (2006) (available free on line at http://www.liarsforjesus.com/).

            While some also draw meaning from the variously phrased references to god(s) in the Declaration of Independence (references that could mean any number of things, some beyond or different than the Christian idea of God) and try to connect that meaning to the Constitution, the effort is largely baseless. Important as the Declaration is in our history, it did not operate to bring about independence (that required winning a war), nor did it found a government, nor did it even create any law, and it certainly did not say or do anything that somehow dictated the meaning of a Constitution adopted twelve years later. The colonists issued the Declaration not to do any of that, but rather to politically explain and justify the move to independence that was already well underway. Nothing in the Constitution depends on anything said in the Declaration. Nor does anything said in the Declaration purport to limit or define the government later formed by the free people of the former colonies. Nor could it even if it purported to do so. Once independent, the people of the former colonies were free to choose whether to form a collective government at all and, if so, whatever form of government they deemed appropriate. They were not somehow limited by anything said in the Declaration. Sure, they could take its words as inspiration and guidance if, and to the extent, they chose–or they could not. They could have formed a theocracy if they wished–or, as they ultimately chose, a government founded on the power of the people (not a deity) and separated from religion.

            As for the several states having established religions at the founding of the United States government, note that the Constitution initially limited only the federal government in this regard. (The states were later similarly constrained under the 14th Amendment.) It is instructive to recall that the Constitution’s separation of church and state reflected, at the federal level, a “disestablishment” political movement then sweeping the country. That political movement succeeded in disestablishing all state religions by the 1830s. It is worth noting, as well, that this disestablishment movement was linked to another movement, the Great Awakening. The people of the time saw separation of church and state as a boon, not a burden, to religion.

            Finally, separation of church and state does not exclude religion from public life as you suppose. The First Amendment protects the freedom of individuals to exercise and express their religious views publicly as well as privately. It constrains only government not to weigh in either to promote or oppose religion.

          • MC

            If atheists are complaining and getting the 10 commandments pulled from this school, or any public school, then why does the atheist religion trump Judaism and Christianity? If the religion of atheisms belief in evolution is taught in public school then why not creationism? Again, why does the religion of atheism trump other religions in public schools?

          • Doug Indeap

            When the government constrains itself not to promote religion in keeping with the Constitution, it is not thereby promoting atheism–and atheism is not somehow “trumping” other religions. There is a difference between the government (1) remaining neutral in matters of religion and leaving individuals free to choose, exercise, and express their religious views without government intrusion and (2) taking sides in matters of religion and promoting one view (whether theism [in one, any, or all its various forms], atheism, or whatever) to the detriment of others. It is one thing for the government to endorse the idea that god(s) exist or, alternatively, endorse the idea that god(s) do not exist; it is quite another for the government to take no position on the matter and respect the right of each individual to freely decide for himself.

          • MC

            “When the government constrains itself not to promote religion in keeping with the Constitution”

            Having a 10 commandments plaque is not promoting any religion, it’s promoting literature, be it Shakespeare or Dante’s Inferno or any other piece of literature, which should be right at home in a school. Therefore the government is neutral and remains neutral since the government wasn’t and isn’t establishing a state religion.

          • Doug Indeap

            Indeed, schools may well teach about religion, much as philosophy or literature, if they are neutral in their treatment of faith, neither promoting nor denigrating religion. In doing so, the cannot engage in religious indoctrination. I suppose that, in a particular case, if the 10 commandments were displayed as part of some literature program, it might pass muster. That was not the case here.

          • MC

            Again, it’s not promoting any religion as congress has not established a state religion and students aren’t forced to read anything or worship the plaque. It’s just literature, like any other literature, and wasn’t treated any different. School halls are filled with literary quotes all across America. So again, no laws were broken. Unless you can show me what laws were broken with verifiable evidence?

          • Doug Indeap

            Uh, I know only what is reported in the article–just as you do. So what “evidence” do you have of the school hall being filled with literary quotations? In assessing whether a school crossed the line, each case, of course, depends on its own facts. Neither of us has all those facts. The school, however, does know the pertinent facts and, advised by its lawyer, it decided to remove the display presumably recognizing it did not comport with the law.

          • Steven Cooksey

            I find it depressing that you had to repeat that.

          • Marvels of life

            Many things you have stated I would be inclined to disagree on, (not all) For example an Atheist group tried to get tax exemption stating they were a religion of non religion. Not approved.
            Mutual respect is something that needs to be explained to the New Atheist. I have had comments made to me that were brutal, some threatening my life because of my belief in Christ.
            It is really not the practice of the government to stay neutral related to belief systems nor should it be. Recall if you will Bush’s decision on religion. Our society is based on judeo-christian values which is one reason the U.S. maintains the highest population of Christians.
            It’s unique that you suggest Atheism as a religion since most Atheist’s would scream out loud about that.
            There has been much talk that Atheism is on the rise, while Christianity is on the decline, however recent Pew results show an increase in Christianity, and only a modest rise in Atheism, not taking into account the number of people included that report no affiliation with a particular religion but believe in God.
            Although much discussion has gone on regarding persecution, the a report indicates that Christianity is the most persecuted religion (or those that have no religion) in the world today and it is growing at an incredible rate.

            I say all this just to say, I appreciate your comment, but there are things that you have not accounted for. Many things actually. Have a blessed day.

          • Bruce Morrow

            Who exactly was being “oppressed” if I may ask?

          • Parque_Hundido

            I believe the courts have ruled that these groups include:
            – non-Christians
            – LGBT people

            Glad to help.

        • Bruce Morrow

          Yes I hear you Pastor Ed! We do win in the end! Reading through the Book of Revelation the SAVED will dwell in the city of God that comes down from heaven! The lost Christ-rejecting sinners will spend their eternity with Satan and his “man of sin” and all those who have rejected God’s gracious offer of salvation in Jesus Christ (I am NOT laughing stating this) in the lake of fire! Very sad the truth is they COULD OF been saved if they REPENTED and turned to Jesus Christ!

          • Steven Cooksey

            The fact that you have to point out that you aren’t laughing makes your comment one of the funniest things i’ve read all day.

      • Bruce Morrow

        Actually persecution will refine believers in Jesus and will “sift” out the tares from the real believers. Something I’m sure you KNOW nothing about but history has proved this time and time again!

        • Parque_Hundido

          How does this relate to removing religious propaganda from public schools?

    • Clive Johnson

      Please explain how atheism might be destroying the USA. I thought just yesterday it was the gays, and before that feminists, and before that blacks. Are Muslims destroying the country too? How about pagans?

    • Truthhurts24

      Amen history tells us what happens to nations who turn against the God of the bible it eventually gets destroyed. America has forgotten where its blessings come from which is going to be the very reason this country will fall.

  • Psk6565

    Humanism. Everyone has their own beliefs, contradicting one another and with no foundation. I wonder if this country will continue to descend into chaos without God.

    • Gary

      Yes, it will.

      • Psk6565

        Yes, God acts the same way He did in the OT.

        • Tara

          always the same arguments. The OT, Leviticus, Deuteronomy……. I’ve read it cover to cover and have a relationship with God and get it. Hopefully, you do to, but from your comments, I doubt it. However only God knows your heart and mine. I don’t give credence to anyone who tries using God’s word in an argument who doesn’t understand what it is to live in a relationship with God. Especially when people state they don’t even believe in Him. That doesn’t work.

          • Psk6565

            Your response to me is to question my salvation and to assume I do not understand His word, even though you do not take the time to reveal the understanding.

            Please show me how your response is a reflection of knowing God. Do you have a biblical response to show how God has changed in how He deals with mankind?

    • Parque_Hundido

      Poor thing. Your religion is of human origin, or have you never wondered why Christianity splintered into thousands of sects, each claiming to be the sole owner of the truth?

      Grow up and move on. And stop trying to drag others down to your level.

  • Carol Cantell Moorby

    Little do these trouble makers know is that judgement day is coming and it will not go well with all who condemn God, Jesus and the bible because that is the origins and roots of America.www.wallbuilders.com and watchmanonthewall. ” A FOOL says there is no God.” then we can be offende too. let’s remove all hijabs and berkas from students because they offend Christians. Rqual time…..Fair play!

    • uzza

      Careful,
      ” whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

      • Psk6565

        Matthew 22:5a “…whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council;…”

        Saying somebody is foolish for what they do is different then angrily insulting someone.

        You shouldn’t be twisting God’s word like that. 2 Peter 3:16

        • uzza

          A direct quote of the King James Bible is twisting god’s word? Good to know.
          Watch that bearing false witness–it’s 5:22, not 22:5.

          • Psk6565

            Quoting half of a sentence as a means of saying that anytime fool is said, you are in danger of hell, yes it is twisting. The context is anger, murder and insults.

          • uzza

            Then you shouldn’t have quoted half a sentence, right?
            The context is some dusty old tome that contradicts itself right and left. Lighten up.

          • Psk6565

            No, because the context proves my point.

            “Lighten up.” I you threatening me with burning me alive?

          • uzza

            Naw, that’s the Abramists that do that. We heathens prefer to light up, and share a fattie.

    • Paul Hiett

      Sounds like you’re pushing for a theocracy, the very thing our founders worked hard to avoid.

  • TheSootyOne

    Who wants to see a list of demands by an egotistical despot (the first 4 – or 5 depending on version commandments are an homage to God’s massive ego)? The world is moving beyond the mumblings of tent-dwelling camel herds trying to explain where the rain comes from.

    • Mr. Avatar

      Enjoy while you can! . One day you will be trying to run from God and there will be no place to hide!

      • TheSootyOne

        Bwahahahaha! Everyone thinks their god is the true god and everyone else is wrong. It’s the height of arrogance to think that you’ve been chosen, while the 60%+ of humanity is going to be punished by your imaginary friend.

    • Gary

      Your arrogance and stupidity are astounding. A puny little piece of nothing like yourself insulting the God who enabled you to exist, and, who enables you to continue to breathe. smh

      • TheSootyOne

        Zeus? Nah, he and I are good buddies, and he’s been around a lot longer than your misogynist petty hateful little dictator god.

        • Gary

          LOL. OK. Have it your way. LOL.

  • Mr. Avatar

    Commie atheist!

  • Parque_Hundido

    The plaque belongs in a museum. The school board made the right decision and should be congratulated.

  • NNNNNNNNNNoooClintonplz

    Making room for the Koran.

  • Frank

    There are no Christians on that school board.

    • Parque_Hundido

      Thank god!

      • Frank

        At the end of time you will not be saying that. Christians will be judging nations.

        • Parque_Hundido

          You mean the nation’s rugby tournament? What on earth does that have to do with religious monuments in public schools?

  • Clive Johnson

    Having the Ten Commandments up in any school is a bad idea. It reinforces dubious notions about the nature of morality, and it might even produce worse moral behavioral outcomes.

    Moral behavior isn’t encouraged by obedience to authority. This doesn’t teach you anything. Moral behavior must come from within and must reflect both reasoning and conscious cultivation of moral behavior patterns. There’s ongoing research into what produces more moral behavior, and it doesn’t have anything to do with reciting the Ten Commandments.

    Also, morality greatly exceeds the Ten Commandments. It’s moral to think, reason, and strive for intelligence. Obviously, this isn’t contained within the Ten Commandments. It’s also moral to not use more than you need, to treat animals with kindness, to not brainwash children into sectarian religious beliefs, etc. None of this, and much else, is contained within the Ten Commandments.

    • Gary

      I am not impressed by your opinions.

      • Clive Johnson

        I’d be more impressed with yours if you actually offered well thought out reasons for it.

        • Gary

          You don’t have the authority to define morality. Not for yourself, or for anyone else.

          • Clive Johnson

            I do indeed define morality for myself and often argue for certain ethical positions for others to adopt.

          • Gary

            You have no authority to define morality for anyone.

          • Clive Johnson

            If by this you mean impose a moral system, then I believe you’re correct, but only partially so.

            For instance, what if someone wanted to make slavery legal again? I imagine their numbers are small, but they probably exist. It’s well within the moral duty of government to impose a moral restriction against the use of slavery, don’t you think?

          • Gary

            Men can make things illegal, but they cannot make things immoral. That belongs only to God.

          • Clive Johnson

            That’s your opinion, not mine.

          • Gary

            If someone does what YOU say is immoral, what is the penalty for what they have done, and who brings them to justice?

          • Clive Johnson

            I don’t understand the underlying point of your question. (I don’t think you do either.)

            The individual in a democracy never has the ability to easily gain acceptance for a moral position. How are penalties and enforcement carried out? How do you think? There’s no mystery here.

          • Gary

            You are confusing legality with morality. They are not the same, though there may be some overlap. For instance, murder is both illegal and immoral. But fornicating is immoral, but not illegal. Or, put another way, the punishment for violating the laws of men are enforced by men, but the punishment for violating the laws of God are enforced by God.

          • Clive Johnson

            I agree with your characterization of partially overlapping areas. I would add that all law reflects some human value or another. Whether we call any given value a moral position is a matter for philosophy and legal theory.

            I disagree that fornication is immoral. It’s to even be commended in certain cases.

          • Gary

            Moral rules come ONLY from God. They have nothing at all to do with philosophy and legal theory. It is the Law of God.

            You can disagree that fornication is immoral, but God says it is immoral, and that settles it. Your disagreement changes nothing.

          • Clive Johnson

            A central problem with the claim that morality originates with your god is that there’s wide disagreement on what morality this god stands for. If this god was serious about his/her/its moral teaching, he would have reduced the possibility for this error to a minimum. Instead, just within Christendom–forget about non-Christian moral views–there’s a wide array of moral views on the same issues.

          • uzza

            You have no authority to define morality for Clive.

          • Gary

            Right. Only God has that authority.

          • uzza

            OK, well I thought it was immoral to kill Christians, but god says to kill them wherever you find them, so I guess that settles it.

    • Nick_from_Detroit

      So, Mr. Johnson, it wouldn’t be moral to “brainwash” your children into Gaia worship, the beliefs of Karl Marx, or Charles Darwin, correct?

      • Clive Johnson

        I don’t agree with any brainwashing of any type, religious or not religious. What I support is maximizing the ability of children to think for themselves. Part of this, but only part, involves exposing them to a wide range of religious and non-religious viewpoints.

        • Nick_from_Detroit

          We agree, then, on brainwashing.
          But, having a plaque on the wall with the Ten Commandments on it is not brainwashing, is it? You will find them represented on the frieze of the Supreme Court building. And, that was built by the Polio Prince in 1935!
          Raising your children in your religious tradition is not brainwashing, either.

          • Clive Johnson

            It can contribute to coercive pressure – “brainwashing” if you will – if it is not balanced by other moral statements. Under no circumstances should the state give the appearance of endorsing religion. It should be neutral.

            “Raising your children in your religious tradition is not brainwashing, either.”

            So, we don’t agree. If you teach children one “correct” way to believe and pray, worship, etc., before they are able to think critically for themselves, you ARE engaging in some kind of brainwashing.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Under no circumstances should the state give the appearance of endorsing religion. It should be neutral.
            So, Mr. Johnson, the government schools shouldn’t teach Darwinianism, nor, Marxism, correct? Or, earth-worship, like celebrating Earth Day?

            If you teach children one “correct” way to believe and pray, worship, etc., before they are able to think critically for themselves, you ARE engaging in some kind of brainwashing.

            Atheists don’t also do this? Lenin & Stalin didn’t do this?

          • Clive Johnson

            “So, Mr. Johnson, the government schools shouldn’t teach Darwinianism, nor, Marxism, correct? Or, earth-worship, like celebrating Earth Day?”

            Evolution isn’t a religion. Why do you think it is? It may have religious implications, but then so do many things, but this doesn’t make them themselves religions. Marxism could be taught because it is a social/economic/political theory. And let’s be clear, ‘teaching’ doesn’t mean offering as a final truth in the case of something like a theoretical apparatus in the social sciences like Marxism. Earth Day has nothing to do with worship. It’s based on the simple recognition that if we foul our nest, the earth, we’ll make life difficult for ourselves. This isn’t hard to understand.

            “Atheists don’t also do this? Lenin & Stalin didn’t do this?”

            I don’t speak for all atheists in this regard. If they are doing it, they shouldn’t. And when did I ever mention that I supported Lenin and Stalin?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Evolution isn’t a religion. Why do you think it is?
            Because many of its proponents are as dogmatic about their beliefs as the worst caricature of a fundamentalist one may find. The hacks Dawkins, Harris, and Maher being prime examples of such “fundies,” as your kind likes to call Christians.
            Also, if you’re all for neutrality, and children learning for themselves, did you object to the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District decision, which prohibited the teaching of I.D. along side evolution?

            This isn’t hard to understand.
            I see. If it stuff that you believe, it’s NOT brainwashing. Got it.
            Why can’t the Ten Commandments be taught from the historical position? How can you teach Western Civilization without teaching about Judaism and Christianity?

            And when did I ever mention that I supported Lenin and Stalin?
            I wasn’t implying that you were, Mr. Johnson. I was just giving examples of atheistic brainwashing, which you guys seem to always forget about. That’s all.

          • Paul Hiett

            Learn your history, Nick. You’re making the classical mistake of blaming a lack of belief in deities to political moves for power. Atheism is not a religion. It is not a political party. It is not a way of life. It is simply nothing more than not believing in deities.

            Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot…they did what they did for political power, not because they were atheists.

            By your measure, we can blame the Holocaust on Christianity, but I don’t think you’d care to admit that.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Pot calling kettle, Mr. Hiett.
            The nazis weren’t Christians. Another atheist canard. Himmler was trying to invent a new religion, not at all based on Christianity. Hitler hate Christ, because He was Jewish, remember? He also killed many priests and nuns in the death camps, along with many Protestant Christians, e.g., Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
            Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Mihn, Mao, Trotsky, Robespierre, all committed their murderous crimes because they were atheists.
            Why else do you think they killed all of those priests and nuns?
            [Edit: I forgot about Castro and Che!]

          • Parque_Hundido

            Hitler was catholic and had Vatican support.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No, he wasn’t, Parque. More lies by atheists.
            To which parish did he belong? What was the name of the priest who married him and Eva, in the bunker?
            Also, Pope Pius XII saved more Jews during WWII than any other world leader. Study history sometime, okay?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Sorry. No matter how furiously you lie, we know the ugly truth about you.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. What party was that?

            And he was forced to resign in disgrace after a scandal involving what, exactly?

            You can try to sweep this under the carpet. We will just keep bringing it up.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I’m sorry that you’re an anti-Catholic bigot, Parque. I still love you, as Christ commanded.
            And, our Lord & Savior, Christ Jesus, loves you too. He will never stop loving you.
            May you, and your family, have very happy Easter.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. What party was that?

            And he was forced to resign in disgrace after a scandal involving what, exactly?

            You can try to sweep this under the carpet. We will just keep bringing it up.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            “Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you. Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

            “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

            I still love you, Parque. May God bless you, and your family, abundantly.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. What political party was that?

            He was forced to resign in disgrace because of a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            There was no Pope Ratzinger, Parque. You are very confused. I will pray for you.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. What party was that? Pope Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace because of a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            Pray that you one day recognize the grievous error of your ways.

            I’m not going to let you forget.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            How can I forget something that is a figment of your imagination, Parque?
            Your confusion knows no bounds, I’m afraid. Seek ye the truth, and the truth shall set ye free.

          • Parque_Hundido

            As a young man, Pope Ratzinger joined a political party. Which party did he join?

            As Pope, Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace because of a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            Do you think you can just wish away these things?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I can’t “wish away” things that never happened, Parque. No more than I could stop having compassion and pity for you, or stop loving you, as Christ commanded. I pray that you find the Truth, and discard all of the lies you’ve been told. God Bless!

          • Parque_Hundido

            So, Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which political party did he join?

            Pope Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace because of a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            Wishing away the past, or wishing that others would just forget about it isn’t a very productive path here. Owning up to the truth would be a step in the right direction.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Asking nonsensical questions about a pope who never existed, because of lies you have been spoon-fed, isn’t a very productive path, Parque. You should do your own research, from sources other than anti-Catholic ones. That would be a step in the right direction.
            God still loves you, and so do I, Parque. I’ll keep you, and your family, in my prayers.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You remind me of the time when the Pope condemned Copernicus and declared that the sun revolves around the earth. You know how that ended!

            Now, back to our question: As a young man, Pope Ratzinger joined a political party, one that would later go on to slaughter Jews, Roma, gay men and those they considered “defective.” What was the name of the political party that Pope Ratzinger joined as a young man?

            Later in life, Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace because of a scandal involving the Swiss guard. What was the cause of that scandal?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No pope ever condemned Copernicus. Your knowledge of history, both Catholic and scientific, is severely lacking, Parque.
            I suggest buying a book, or two, and studying.
            This is what happens when you let your prejudice and bigotry blind you to the Truth. You become close minded and very susceptible to lies and anti-Catholic propaganda.
            I pray that you see the Light, someday. God Bless!

          • Parque_Hundido

            Now you remind me of the time when the pope affirmed that the earth was flat, apparently in support of Spanish traders. The Spanish had recently purchased the papcy and wanted to get their money’s worth.

            Now, back to the matter at hand.

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which political party did he join?

            Later, Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace. What scandal preceded his resignation?

            You can hem and haw all you like. We’re not going to forget and we’re not going away.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Who is “we,” Parque? The voices in your head?
            No pope ever affirmed that the earth was flat. Please, I beg you, buy a history book and read it. Stop going to websites by hacks like Dawkins and Harris. Or, getting your history from wiki. Don’t be a wiki scholar, okay?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Sorry, you’re alone on this one. Even the Vatican has acknowledged the error. You aren’t required to lie anymore. The war is over. You lost.

            Now, back to the matter at hand:

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He resigned in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            We aren’t going away. We aren’t going to let you forget. Idol worship is bad for your brain, worse for your soul.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            From where are you getting this claptrap, Parque?
            “The Vatican” can’t acknowledge anything, because, the Vatican is a city-state, series of buildings, or a hill across the Tiber. You mean the Holy See. And, the Holy See never acknowledged any such error, sorry. Or, do you have a source for your mere assertion?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, poor thing. Your experience, knowledge or both is a bit limited. The Vatican articulates its positions through a trained diplomatic corps. Their embassies and consulates are called nunciaturas and they primarily serve to announce Vatican positions. The Holy See is an ecclesiastical realm of administration. You’re confused about this too! I’m not surprised.

            Now, back to the matter at hand: as a young man, pope Ratzinger joined a political party. What was the name of that party? Later, he resigned in disgrace. Why did he resign?

            All that idol worship seems to have impacted your ability to think. Try to focus.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I’m sorry that you have been so badly educated and informed, Parque.
            An Apostolic nuncio is a part of the Section for General Affairs, which is part of the Secretariat of State, which is part of the Roman Curia, which represents the Holy See. Again, “the Vatican” can have no positions, as the Vatican is either the city-state, a group of buildings, or a hill across the Tiber.
            This is something even a wiki scholar, like yourself, can easily research. I hope that you will educate yourself, Parque. Stop regurgitating the lies you’ve taught.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You’re learning! As I said, the nunciatura is the office through which the Vatican speaks. When it speaks, it speaks through its diplomatic corps. The Vatican refers to the city-state recognized as a state by many other countries, much as The United States refers to the nation-state with embassies throughout the world.

            Note that you become snippy and arrogant when you feel cornered and insecure. That’s common with you people and a clear indication that you’ve been cornered.

            Now, back to the issue at hand, the matter that is making you insecure and snippy: Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He resigned in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No, Parque, I’ve already learned this stuff, unlike yourself. Which is why I know that Vatican City, the city-state, does not acknowledge errors, nor, does it articulate positions; the Holy See does, through Her offices in the Roman Curia. I find accuracy to be important, even when others do not.
            The fact that you only have your mere assertions, Parque, and cannot provide source, shows that the Truth and honest dialogue are not important to you. You’re so close minded that you can’t even answer simple questions. This is so sad. My prayers are with you and your family. God Bless!

          • Parque_Hundido

            All that incense and child abuse must have gone to your head. You’re just mad ’cause you’ve been backed into a corner. You people tend to get angry a lot. Just like Cordelione, the SF archbishop, who used a water hose to get homeless people to move and then snapped at the press for “not understanding my intentions.”

            Now, back to the question: Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He resigned in disgrace after a series of scandal including one involving the Swiss Guard. What was the nature of the scandal involving the Swiss Guard?

            LOL. We’re not ever going to forget.

            Oh, and the US recognizes the Vatican. We do not recognize the “Holy See”, or “Batman” or anything else that belongs entirely in the world of make believe. We receive from the Vatican an ambassador, which they call a “nuncio”.

            You’re welcome.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I’m sorry that you’re so ignorant on this subject, Parque. Oh, I’m not angry, either. I don’t know from where you got this strange idea.
            The Holy See has permanent observer state status with the U.N., since 1964. The U.S. has had an embassy with the Holy See, since 1984. Here, check it out: http://vatican.usembassy.gov/

            You really need to do some research on this subject before you hit the “Reply” button, next time. You’re just embarrassing yourself, at this point. Please, stop repeating the lies you’ve been taught about the Catholic Church, okay? We love you, Parque. So does God.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Sorry you’re so snippy and angry. Remember, that’s because you’ve been cornered. All that idol worship and incense certainly takes its toll.

            Back to the issue at hand: Pope Ratzinger joined a political party when he was young. Which party did he join?

            Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace because of a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            You’re like a petulant child who won’t eat his lunch. LOL. No more idol worship for you!

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            So, you admit you were wrong about the Holy See? Well, that is progress, Parque.
            How many times do I have to tell you? I’m not angry. I don’t get angry with trolls, sorry.
            As I’ve repeatedly told you, I feel sorrow and pity for you. You are so deceived. Whether it was from your parents, teachers, or whoever; please, open up your mind and find the Truth for yourself. Not from anti-Catholic bigots. Okay?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Of course not. You must be drinking the holy blessed Virgin Mary wine. Again. Or maybe it’s too much incense. Or all that idol worship. It’s hard to tell.

            Back to the. Matter at hand: pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He was forced to resign in disgrace following a scandal. What caused that scandal?

            Why are you afraid to answer? Do you fear that our lady of the burnt toast might not appear to you because she’s angry you told the truth about your cult of idol worshipers? LOL.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            But, you were wrong, Parque. My link proved it. Or, is the State Department lying?
            You’ve been wrong about everything, so far. Who taught you about the Catholic Church? The grand wizard of the KKK? (They hate Catholics, too.)

          • Parque_Hundido

            No. You’re just dodging the question out of fear. Too much incense and idol worship.

            As a young man, Pope Ratzinger joined a political party. Which political party did he join?

            As Pope, Ratzinger resigned in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            It’s not like we’re going to forget these questions.

            Later on, after you’ve answered these questions, I’ll help you understand the subtleties of diplomatic representation, which does not include “consultative status at the UN.” LOL. My assumption is correct: too much time spent worshiping virgins and too little time spent in school.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Still no answers? You’re trembling in fear of those two little questions? Burn some toast and see if our lady appears. If she does, give her some marmalade!

            Seriously, which political party did pope Ratzinger join as a young man?

            As pope, he was forced to resign in disgrace. What scandal led to his resignation?

            We’re waiting little man. Don’t stay up too late with your prayer beads! LOL

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I’m so sorry, Parque, for I must have hurt and wounded you deeply with my last comment. Since, it compelled you to write three replies, or attacks, actually; and, stalk me on a different blog combox! I should not have compared you to a grand wizard of the KKK. That was unfair and uncharitable. I apologize.
            I don’t know how many times I can inform you that you are wrong about Catholics and the Catholic Church before it sinks in. Asking the same inane questions over and over again will not change that, I’m afraid. But, feel free to ask me substantive questions and I will do my best to correct your errors, okay?
            May you , and your family, have a blessed Easter, Parque.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Poor thing.

            Why do you tremble in fear of answering the questions?

            Seriously, which political party did pope Ratzinger join as a young man?

            As pope, he was forced to resign in disgrace. What scandal led to his resignation?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            With the LORD on my side I do not fear. What can man do to me? – Psalm 118:6

            Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant. Good and upright is the LORD,thus he shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice,and he teaches the humble his way. – Psalm 25:8-9

            Any questions of substance, Parque? Any? Bueller? Bueller?

            (Because your inane ones didn’t happen.)

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh sweetie, that’s not a deity by your side, that’s a wooden statue.

            Again, back to the questions that have obviously gotten under your skin:

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            Pope Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            I’m sorry that you feel that asking questions is attacking. I know that you come from a long line of people who felt that way, often sending people to their deaths for disagreeing. Fortunately, we’ve moved beyond that now and we can agree that, unlike the teachings of your church, we believe that the earth revolves around the sun and that the earth is a sphere.

            Looking forward to the day you face the truth and answer these questions.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Sorry, Parque, I have no wooden statue by my side. Catholics don’t worship statues. Another canard used by those with a prejudice against the Catholic Church. I pray that you learn the falsehood of all the errors you’ve been taught and how you’ve been deceived. I’ve shown that you were wrong about the Holy See, Apostolic nuncios, “the Vatican,” Hitler being Catholic, and Copernicus being condemned. Are these not enough to open up your mind, Parque?
            p.s. Galileo was wrong and could NOT prove that the earth revolved around the sun. Most of his fellow scientists at the time said he was wrong, because he couldn’t show stellar parallax. (I’ll give you some time to look that term up. Use more than one source, other than wiki, since you are a wiki scholar, after all.)

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, poor thing. My observations about your delusions must be getting to you. I don’t mean to offend. But I can’t help but point out that you’re not learning. Just like those in your “church” who insisted the earth was flat, or who condemned Copernicus, you insist on remaining in error. Perhaps less idol worship, less child abuse and more study?

            But back to the questions that seem to be causing you so much trouble.

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            Pope Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            You needn’t worry. Just because Hitler was a Catholic, just because our diplomats refer to “the Vatican”, just because consultative status at the UN doesn’t mean recognition as a nation-state doesn’t necessarily mean you’re hopeless. There is hope for you, but you must give up your idolatry and acknowledge when and how you are in grievous error.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Well, Parque, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So, thank you. Although, it’s kind of sad that all you have left is mimicry, rather than facts and cogent arguments. Like myself. Do you have cable or satellite t.v.? Try watching EWTN. Or, watch, listen, and read at their website. And learn something, for a change. God Bless!
            p.s. Even the ancient Jews knew that the earth was a globe, and, the Church never condemned the ideas of Copernicus or Galileo. Try cracking a book sometime, okay?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, so sad. You’re so beside yourself that you’ve resorted to delusion.

            Now, back to the matter at hand, the reason for your discomfort and furious denial:

            As a young man, pope Ratzinger joined a political party. Which party did he join?

            Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            Again, if you didn’t spend so much time worshiping idols and abusing children, you might find a moment to crack open a book.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            You really have nothing left but to copy me, do you, Parque? How pitiful. You lack of imagination is only surpassed by your ignorance of the Catholic Church and simple historical facts. I hope you find someone who can tutor you on these subjects, so you will stop repeating the lies that were taught to you by anti-Catholic bigots. Someone really failed you on your abysmal education. You should sue.
            Just let me know if I can answer any questions you might have. Any at all. As they say, there is no such thing as dumb question. I used to believe that, until…well…you know.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, you’ve run out of diversionary tactics. You’ve trie throwing a fit. You’ve had your tantrum. Now will you answer the question?

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He resigned in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            Surely you can set aside the idol worship and child molestation for as long as it takes to come to these ugly truths about yourself and your chosen religion.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Wow, Parque. FIVE replies to what I wrote? And, two of them to old comments of mine? I must have really upset you with my last response, huh? I’m so sorry that my words have caused you this much pain. My snarkiness comes out late at night. My apologies.
            To answer your question, no, I don’t defend child molesters, whether they be Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, Jewish rabbis, or public school teachers. The last being the worst offenders of child molestation in the U.S., and Catholic Priests be the least likely.

            In fact, of all the priest sex-abuse cases that were studied, over 80% of them were cases of homosexual pederasty, i.e., priests abusing teenage, post-pubescent males. Less than 5% of the cases could be properly labeled “pedophilia.”
            So, Parque, if you want to vent your rage at something, vent it at all the homosexuals who joined the priesthood and couldn’t keep their vows of chastity, okay?

          • Parque_Hundido

            I think we can safely refer to your denial as a hysterical reaction. You’re not clever enough to hide the psychological response to what you must know, deep down, is true. After all, you’re only human, right?

            Back to the matter at hand:

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He resigned as Pope in disgrace following a series of scandals. What was the cause of those scandals?

            Again, your defense of child molesters may be little more than a psychological defense. Perhaps you were abused. Perhaps you are also an abuser. It will help you to move on if you can confront these issues. Do yourself a favor and come to terms with the truth.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Of course I’m only human, Parque. And, I’m just a poor sinner, like any other man.
            If you think my sober, well-reasoned, informative, and modest responses to your fanatical, anti-Catholic tirades are “hysterical,” you also have need of a dictionary and thesaurus. Is English your second language?
            Please, educate yourself, if you’re interested in the Truth rather than the lies you’ve been told. Try this article, and look at the John Jay Study:
            http://blogs.denverpost.com/hark/2010/05/25/scandal-creates-contempt-for-catholic-clergy/39/

          • Parque_Hundido

            No. You confuse recognition of the truth with being “anti-“. It’s not true.

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            Ratzinger was forced to resign in disgrace following a series of scandals. What caused those scandals?

            We both know why this bothers you so much. At first, I didn’t expect the deep, dark personal history that this seems to have brought up for you. In retrospect, I should have known. Perhaps you’re a victim yourself. Perhaps you’ve left victims of your own. As we both know, someone of your age with a catholic education is very likely to be a victim.

            Facing the truth will only help. Recognizing your responses as frantic, hysterical and unglued could be the first step. You’ve got a terrible self-awareness problem if you think that your answers have been anything close to well reasoned.

            Two little questions.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No, Parque, I recognize the Truth, because I belong to the Church that Christ founded on the Cephas, i.e., Simon Peter, the Rock. And, I loved then-Cardinal Ratzinger when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And, I loved him as Pope Benedict XVI. And, I still love him as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He is a great theologian, and, he probably be called a Doctor of the Church. Like so many great intellects before him Ss. John Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Pope Gregory, and Basil the Great.
            Only anti-Catholics attack Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
            p.s. Then-Cardinal Ratizinger was instrumental in helping Pope John Paul the Great stop the priest sexual-abuse scandal.

          • Parque_Hundido

            No, no, no. These are myths that we read and re-read with joy but also with *critical distance*. The stage names of these religious figures aren’t unlike those of contemporary celebrities. “RuPaul” is a character. When we refer to the person, we say “Andre Charles.” You can love the character, but you have to realize that it’s fictional, not real.

            Back to our questions: Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He resigned in disgrace following a series of scandals. What started those scandals?

            You can love RuPaul, Bilbo Baggins or Forest Gump. That doesn’t change. But you have to be able to draw the line between fictional characters and the real-world people behind them. Those who recognize this line aren’t ‘anti-‘ anything. They’ve just made the step into the adult world that allows them to separate fiction from non-fiction. In the adult world, Ratzinger should be in prison. We both know that.

            Hope this helps.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Oh, how deceived you are, Parque. I truly have much compassion for how much you have been lied to, during your life. I pray you find the Truth and the Light that is Christ Jesus, someday.
            Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is a real person, and has been, no matter what office he has held, or, what his titles have been, throughout the years. He is truly one of the great intellects that the world has seen in the past 500 years. This is without a doubt. Even his critics acknowledge this fact.
            It’s a shame that your close-mindedness blinds you to these facts, Parque. Benedict should receive a medal for how he helped Pope John Paul the Great stop the priest sexual abuse scandal. Identifying the problem, i.e., letting homosexuals into the seminaries, was the first, critical step. May God bless you, during this Lenten season.

          • Parque_Hundido

            It seems you’ve gone deep into the myths. Just as RuPaul is really Andre Charles, these religious celebrities you’ve mentioned are portrayed by real people.

            I know you remember, but the two little questions are:

            Pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            Ratzinger resigned in disgrace following a series of scandals. What caused those scandals?

            I’m sure you know this, but telling others that someone is, “without doubt” one of the greatest intellects of all time is the surest way to draw your own assertion into question. That’s a good sign. Don’t let these religious celebrities draw you into their dysfunctional worlds.

            There is hope here. You’ve obviously been so upset by these two little questions that you’ve begun to crack. You have to say that your beliefs are “without doubt” precisely because you’re beginning to doubt them.

            I’m on the right track!

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            No, Parque, you continue to delude yourself, I’m afraid. It’s such a shame, really. You seem to be a nice enough guy, except for your anti-Catholic and bigoted comments, that is. Unfortunately, facts and data mean nothing to you. All you are able to do is repeat your anti-Catholic propaganda. All of which I have proven are lies.
            You’re impervious to the Truth, which is known as invincible ignorance. But, in your case, Parque, I believe it is vincible ignorance. I still have hope for you. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use this conversation to sow the seeds of truth which I have planted. All glory goes to God.

          • Parque_Hundido

            I think you’ve spent too much time with the prayer beads, worshipping idols and huffing incense.

            Are you a child molester or just a victim?

            Two little questions. So easy to answer. Yet you’re all upset and claiming persecution.

            You people have such a flair for self importance and drama. If only you could move past the need to molest children and defend Nazis.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Hey, why does my comment keep going to “pending”?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Probably because of your continued support of child molesters and Nazis.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Look again, Parque, I finally got my comment through. I forgot to mention @l Klnsey, another child m0lester and…@theist.

          • Parque_Hundido

            That’s funny, I don’t see it.

            Everyone knows that if you want to find a child molester, all you have to do is look for the nearest Catholic church.

            Joke: how do you find the child molester in the crowd: answer: he’s the one with blood on his priest outfit.

            LOL

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I’m sorry, [email protected], the only famous child m0lester of whom I’m aware was G0re VidaI, the pervert. Oh, he was also an @theist.
            I never have, and never will, defend any [email protected] They were enemies of my Church. Guess who won?

          • Parque_Hundido

            Yes, I’m aware of your rabid homophobia. You use this whenever confronted with news about the rampant child molestation that your church encouraged, covered up and continues to practice to this day. Pope Ratzinger may turn out to be the biggest child molester in the history of the world. He belongs in prison.

            What was the name of that political party Pope Ratzinger joined as a young man?

            What was the cause of the scandal that led to him resigning in disgrace?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Sorry, [email protected], you must be thinking of public school teachers. They molest children, get shuffled from school to school, then to the “rubber-room,” and receive paychecks from the taxpayers. Many of them are disciples of the pervert, KInsey.
            And, the well-known [email protected], Ernst Rohm, was homosexual. So were many [email protected]

          • Parque_Hundido

            No, I’m thinking of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which has gone into bankruptcy because they were settling tens of thousands of cases of child molestation. Or the Archdiocese of Chicago, Seattle, New York, or San Diego.

            Arguably, Catholic Inc. is the single biggest organized crime syndicate on earth. Their crime specialty happens to be child molestation.

            There’s a long history of this. You know that.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            I see where you are confused, now, [email protected] You’re thinking of the U.N., which sends their reps around the world raping and child molesting. Talk about an evil organization. Started by the Polio Prince, FDR, himself.
            p.s. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee was run by liberal, dissenting bishops for years. So was L.A. and Dallas and the other problem dioceses. So….Yeah.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, this sounds like desperate flailing. Your “church” is driven into financial ruin because of your predilection for molesting children and all you can think to do is blame others? Liberals? Gay people? It’s everyone’s fault but yours.

            You have a real problem. You won’t fix your real problem with fake gods. Or with scapegoats.

            What party did pope Ratzinger join as a young man? Why did he resign in disgrace?

            I’ve clearly upset you, made you uncomfortable. That’s good. I hope I wake you up from your sleep. Take responsibility for your actions and your choices. You don’t have to belong to an association of child molesting idol worshipers. That’s a choice you can undo.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            My Church, the Catholic Church, is not going anywhere, Parque. If Nero, Julian the Apostate, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler, or Stalin couldn’t get rid of Her, what makes you think a small number of abusive priests and other dissenters are going to succeed?
            People like you have been trying to destroy the Catholic Church since Christ founded Her almost 2,000 years ago. And have failed miserably. So, good luck with that.
            Happy Easter!

          • Parque_Hundido

            Actually, your “church” is going into bankruptcy reorganization because you people are unable to keep your pants on when near children. Ironically, its not people like me who are going to destroy your “church”, it’s people like you.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            The Catholic Church is nowhere near bankruptcy, Parque. More disinformation by the hack atheists, like Dawkins and Harris. And, yes, bishops have also been trying to destroy Christ’s Church since He founded Her. They have failed.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Oh, the denial! Your cult is going bankrupt. I’m privvy to the antics in Chicago, where you tried to hide assets in cemetery trust funds so that the victims of catholic child molestation couldn’t collect from the archdiocese.

            Wouldn’t it be better if you just learned to keep your zipper closed around kids?

          • Parque_Hundido

            I hadn’t really considered it but I should have: perhaps these questions are difficult for you because you are also a child molester with authoritarian fantasies. It’s no accident that Catholicism gave us both Hitler and Mussolini.

          • Parque_Hundido

            I can see why you feel vulnerable when it comes to history: you’ve obviously been brain washed. Perhaps they molested you too and that makes it psychologically uncomfortable to see that your abusers were wrong. Maybe you have Stockholm syndrome.

            Still, the questions remain.

            Pope Ratzingervjoined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            Ratzinger resigned in disgrace following a scandal. What was the cause of that scandal?

            It’s so common to see you people confuse these legitimate, intellectually honest questions with persecution. After all, yourvreligion has a long, dark history of torturing and killing those who questioned. Be assured, those days are over. You will not be burned at the stake for recognizing that evil that Catholicism has wrought on humanity. I promise!

          • Parque_Hundido

            Do you defend all child molesters, or only those who work for the Vatican?

            Again, pope Ratzinger joined a political party as a young man. Which party did he join?

            He resigned in disgrace following a scandal. What caused that scandal?

            No amount of idol worship is going to make these questions go away. Sorry.

          • Clive Johnson

            1. Evolution, Kitzmiller, etc.

            Some defenders of evolution may indeed be dogmatic, but others might be mistaken for being dogmatic merely because they defend it against its many misinterpretations. A scientific theory itself can’t be dogmatic, only its proponents.

            Regarding Kitzmiller—one can quibble about details, but it in my view was a properly decided case. Neutrality isn’t an absolute. If it were, then any popular idea would have to be represented to be “fair.” There’s no reason to, e.g., introduce a study of astrology, or various alternative medicine ideas, or Bible prophecy. One of the points of education is to advance public knowledge and scientific literacy, not to make every claimant at the bar of education feel good.

            Creationism, including the ID variety, has already been debunked many times. It can’t be helped if it serves a psychological need for some religious believers who therefore can’t let go of a failed idea. It’s not science because it never posits a testable theory of its own, nor can it in principle. There’s essentially no possibility of it offering a causal mechanism of its own, nor can we have any reliable knowledge that an intelligent designer even exists, and at a further logical remove, that this designer must have anything to do with the god of Christianity. A theory, contrary to ID proponents, is not just an attempt to discrediting another idea. One must actually offer a replacement theory.

            Imagine the chaos in the schools if ID creationism were allowed. Believers in extraterrestrial creation of life on earth would have to be given equal space with every creationist account. Scientology’s insane creation account would also have to be admitted. There’s a great deal of mutual contradiction among all the creationist accounts, and much contradiction with science.

            2. “I see. If it stuff that you believe, it’s NOT brainwashing. Got it. Why can’t the Ten Commandments be taught from the historical position? How can you teach Western Civilization without teaching about Judaism and Christianity?”

            It’s not what I believe, it’s what’s factual. Re. Earth Day – It’s elementary to understand that earth’s resources are finite, that pollution can be a problem, etc. This requires no religious belief. Your transforming the science of ecology into a religion into a religion is incohrerent. If your definition of religion includes Earth Day, then there’s almost nothing it wouldn’t encompass.

            I never claimed the Ten Commandments can’t be taught from an historical position. But then so should all the world’s significant religions. And if we’re going to teach about religion, we should be using the methods of science and comparative religion—the scholarly approaches. This will differ markedly from what a young person might get in a church. A purpose of education is to impart critical attitudes and skills towards any claim, not blind obedience or acceptance.

            3. “I wasn’t implying that you were, Mr. Johnson. I was just giving examples of atheistic brainwashing, which you guys seem to always forget about. That’s all.”

            Fair enough.

          • Paul Hiett

            Technically, it is.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Then all child-rearing is brainwashing, by that logic, Mr. Hiett.

          • Parque_Hundido

            In your case, it would be child abuse. Likely felony child abuse.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            You must be confused with well-known atheist child molesters, like Gore Vidal, Parque.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Not at all. I’m thinking of well known child molesters, the ones that have driven archdiocese after archdiocese into bankruptcy as they attempt to avoid payment of victims’ claims.

            Denial much?

  • http://textsincontext.wordpress.com Michael Snow

    Sad commentary on the state of our society. (And so many ignorant comments.) SADDER is the fact that most
    Christians do not even know them and are too lazy to learn or to teach
    them to their children.
    https://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/teaching-children-the-ten-commandments/

  • Parque_Hundido

    Like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant, religious extremists will go to any length to have their signs and symbols on public property.

    We must stop these extremists. Hats off to this school board for making the right decision.

    • Gary

      I am a religious extremist and I don’t care that they took down the Commandments. The government long ago rejected God anyway, and all that is left now is judgment.

      • Parque_Hundido

        Awesome. I’m glad you’ve seen the error of your ways.

        • Gary

          There is no error in my ways. The error is on the part of the government. And on you. But I don’t care.

          • Parque_Hundido

            So you’re unrepentant in your error?

          • Gary

            I have made no error. Can you not read?

          • Parque_Hundido

            I read the ravings of a lunatic.

    • Reason2012

      Yet we didn’t pass any laws forcing anyone to put it up. You demand a law exists to force them to take it down. Looks like you’re the only extremist here as evidenced by actions, rather than empty words.

      • Parque_Hundido

        Wrong. I’m applauding the school board for making the wise choice of removing christianist propaganda from a public school.

        In contrast, you and other religionists are predicting the end of the world because your cult no longer enjoys most favored status.

        Stop throwing childish temper tantrums and demanding special treatment.

        • Reason2012

          Hello. Applaud all you wish – just pointing out it’s against the First Amendment to pass laws making it against the law for any school, on a case by case basis, to choose to put it up.

          Where did I bring up the end of the world? Seems you’re the one harping on it.

          Pointing out the Constitution is throwing a tantrum? You might be projecting.

          • Parque_Hundido

            No, it’s not. You seem to fundamentally misunderstand the first amendment. Given your flailing and whining, I’m not surprised.

          • Reason2012

            You have yet to back up your claim, so again you might be projecting.

          • Parque_Hundido

            You fundamentally misunderstand the first amendment. That’s why you people constantly lose these cases when they go to court. What more proof do you need?

          • Reason2012

            Saying “you’re wrong b/c I said so” doesn’t prove a thing. Constitution says they can pass no laws establishing a religion – no laws have been passed so you’re wrong about that.

            Constitution says no laws can be passed PROHIBITING it’s free exercise – you demand they make it illegal to express it except where you give permission.

            Your only response? “you’re wrong (because I said so)”

            Take care, Parque.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Sorry, every time this comes up we win. Keep your crap out of our schools.

          • Reason2012

            As I said you cannot refute a thing. Hate is all you have to offer. Bigotry always loses in the end, and the Constitution eventually wins. Give it time. 🙂

          • Parque_Hundido

            You’ve given me nothing to refute.

            What you have given me: temper tantrums and childish whining. You don’t want to accept the truth so you throw a fit.

            It didn’t work in the second grade, it won’t work now.

          • Reason2012

            Let me re-quote what you can only ignore.

            “Yet we didn’t pass any laws forcing anyone to put it up. You demand a law exists to force them to take it down. Looks like you’re the only extremist here as evidenced by actions, rather than empty words.”

          • Parque_Hundido

            Can I point out that you made this up and it’s totally false? No one is “passing a law to force [them] to take it down”. The law, that you claim we’re forcing, is called the US Constitution.

          • Parque_Hundido

            I don’t think Supreme Court decisions are the same as “because I said so”.

            I’ve told the truth, you just don’t want to hear it.

          • Reason2012

            Then feel free to post it, because any “truth” you post has been refuted and now you can only say “you’re wrong (b/c I said so)”

          • Parque_Hundido

            I’m not seeing any “refutations”. I’m seeing foot stomping and temper tantrums.

          • Reason2012

            Let me re quote it for you since you can only offer ad hominem and ignored it.

            “Yet we didn’t pass any laws forcing anyone to put it up. You demand a law exists to force them to take it down. Looks like you’re the only extremist here as evidenced by actions, rather than empty words.”

          • Parque_Hundido

            I think we’ve been over this before. It’s just your ranting, foot stomping and temper tantrum-ing. You completely made this up. Just like a 3 year old having a fit.

  • Sandy Buchanan

    What’s wrong with it hanging in the school? It’s reminding the ones who “hate it” of their sin!

    • Gary

      You hit the nail on the head.

  • http://www.christ421stcentury.com/ PhilDave

    The Ten Commandments and the Cross are designed by God to offend sinners.

  • Greg_Deane

    I suppose it’s judgemental and so unacceptable to contemporary, liberal progressives to forbid things like murder, theft, envy, adultery, violence, blasphemy, pagan revels and respect for religious institutions. After all, who gave God the authority to put moral limits on human behaviour?

    • Doug Indeap

      The issue has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing with this or that commandment. (As the saying goes, sometimes it’s not really about you.) Rather, the issue is the unlawfulness of the government displaying religious messages at all.

      • Greg_Deane

        You have no idea. Look at references to God in your constitution and on your money.

        • Doug Indeap

          You’ll find the “idea” of how the Constitution separates church and state described in several of my earlier comments here.

          • Greg_Deane

            I have better things to do than research the dogmatic commentary of an arrogant ‘progressive’.

          • Doug Indeap

            Why bother starting a discussion if you don’t have what it takes to finish it?

          • Greg_Deane

            I don’t believe I did start a conversation with you. I certainly have no intention of pandering to your ego by trawling through your earlier assertions.

          • Doug Indeap

            One way to avoid a discussion, I suppose, is to walk away claiming you never started one. Bye.

          • Greg_Deane

            I doubt that sort of misrepresentation would put you in good standing as a barrister in a traditional court. But I realise it’s all the rage among Democrats and so-called ‘liberals’. Bye.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Temper tantrum! Seriously, try to be a bit more mature.

          • Greg_Deane

            Try to be less shallow and more incisive. Try not to project your own shortcomings on to those who know more than you.

  • Nedd Kareiva

    The threat of calling the American Communist Lawyers Union unnecessarily sends shivers down the backs of spineless public officials needing to stand up to them. It’s past time to do so. “Congress shall make NO law” does not mean public officials check their faith at the doors of government buildings. It applies to everyone, public or private. No one forces anyone to read or ogle at a 10 Commandments plaque or document. This is about sanitizing Christianity from the public arena, make no mistake about it. The less we stand firm and fight back, the more our Judeo-Christian principles face extinction.

    • Doug Indeap

      Curious that some direct their ire at those who seek to uphold the Constitution, rather than those flouting it. It is important to distinguish between “individual” and “government” speech about religion since the First Amendment protects the former and constrains the latter. The constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square–far from it. The First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school administrators hanging displays on school walls), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

  • Reason2012

    (1) There is no such thing as “separation of church and state” in the Constitution. That phrase came from the time a Pastor wrote a letter to Jefferson expressing his fears that Jefferson would in some way restrict religious freedoms. In response to these fears, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter back to indicate that he would in no way restrict the freedom of religious expression because he saw a wall of separation between church and state.

    So actually the phrase means the exact opposite of what a few claim it means: it re-iterates the First Amendment, that government shall make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of religious expression.

    (2) First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; And yet those who reject God demand the government establish its own denomination of Christianity with its own version of marriage. A violation of the First Amendment.

    (3) Congress/government also cannnot make a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    A school can decide to, for example, put up Ten Commandment displays and no one can force them not to.

    A school can decide NOT to put up Ten Commandment displays and no one can force them to.

    But in a Christian nation, the populace will be personally choosing to put up Ten Commandment displays often. Those that do not like this can start voting in a large number of people that believe differently and hope it changes.

    That’s liberty.

    That’s freedom.

    That’s the Constitution many died to create.

    That’s the United States of America.

    Start understanding the Constitution, the First Amendment and the lie about “separation to church and state” and take back our right to honor and worship God as people in positions of leadership personally choose and see fit to on a case by case basis.

    • Doug Indeap

      You’ve packed several fundamental misconceptions into that comment. Let’s unpack them.

      1. Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution, much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the first place, the Supreme Court has thoughtfully, authoritatively, and repeatedly decided as much; it is long since established law. In the second place, the Court is right. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day (by which governments generally were grounded in some appeal to god(s)), the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which affirmatively constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

      To the extent that some nonetheless would like confirmation–in those very words–of the founders’ intent to separate government and religion, Madison and Jefferson supplied it. Some try to pass off the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education as simply a misreading of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists–as if that were the only basis of the Court’s decision. Instructive as that letter is, it played but a small part in the Court’s decision. Rather, the Court discussed the historical context in which the Constitution and First Amendment were drafted, noting the expressed understanding of Madison perhaps even more than Jefferson, and only after concluding its analysis and stating its conclusion did the Court refer–once–to Jefferson’s letter, largely to borrow his famous metaphor as a clever label or summary of its conclusion. The notion, often heard, that the Court rested its decision solely or largely on that letter is a red herring.

      2. It should not be supposed that the government, by remaining separate from and neutral toward religion in keeping with the Constitution, somehow thereby favors atheism over theism. There is a difference between the government (1) remaining neutral in matters of religion and leaving individuals free to choose, exercise, and express their religious views without government intrusion and (2) taking sides in matters of religion and promoting one view (whether theism [in one, any, or all its various forms], atheism, or whatever) to the detriment of others. It is one thing for the government to endorse the idea that god(s) exist or, alternatively, endorse the idea that god(s) do not exist; it is quite another for the government to take no position on the matter and respect the right of each individual to freely decide for himself.

      3. It is important to distinguish between “individual” and “government” speech about religion since the First Amendment protects the former and constrains the latter. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school administrators hanging displays on the school walls), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

      You make a hash of this distinction when you say a “school” can decide to display the 10 commandments and no one can force “them” not to. The “school” is a government institution. It does not have a freedom to exercise “its” religion. As a government institution it is constrained by the Constitution not to promote or otherwise take steps to establish religion.

      You’re further suggestion that the “populace” can “personally” choose to display the religious message similarly mixes things up. Each individual in the populace may freely exercise his or her religion. When acting as a whole to prompt action through the government, the Constitution constrains the government not to promote religion. The populace cannot, by majority vote, simply brush aside that constitutional constraint.

      • Reason2012

        Let me correct your false claims.

        1. If by “separation of church and state” you mean what Jefferson meant: that the government will in no way prohibit the free exercise of religious expression”, then you’re right, the freedom of expression and the government staying out of it is a bedrock principle of our Constitution.

        No laws have been passed forcing all schools to put up a Ten Commandment display. Contrary to your anti-Christian beliefs, no law can be put in place forcing the censorship of it except where you give your permission for it to be expressed and shown.

        Jefferson supplied the fact that he would in no way restrict the freedom of religious expression because he saw a wall of separation between church and state. You, on the other hand, think the government should censor Christianity except where you give your permission. Unfortunately for you we do not live in a third world country and the government is forbidden from such bigoted tyranny.

        2. Government IS to remain neutral. It’s not “neutral” to censor Christianity everywhere except where you give it permission. There’s a difference between (1) freedom of religious expression and (2) demanding government outlaw it except where you give permission.

        By censoring all beliefs about God, atheism ends up being the promoted religion by default, which of course is yet another violation.

        3. It is important to realize “freedom of religious expression” is meant for anyone and everyone. The government is not the one acting when individuals decide on their own to display their beliefs on a case by case basis, by We The People. The government acting would be passing laws forcing everyone to follow it, which is what they’re doing here in claiming it’s against the law to freely express your religious beliefs except where they give permission.

        No, a school is run by groups of people on a case by case basis. No law can be passed forcing them to put up Ten Commandment displays (and none such laws have been passed). Likewise no law can be passed forcing them NOT to. The groups decide as they see fit, supported by taxpayers that are VASTLY Christian. Your claim that the government must censor Christianity everywhere except where you give permission is patently false and contrary to the Constitution of the United States of America.

        Individuals ARE expressing their religion even when they do so collectively. If atheists wish Christianity censored, they can do so on a case by case basis by voting against it. That’s how democracy works. That’s liberty. That’s the United States of America. This is not the USSA where Christianity gets censored everywhere except where you give permission.

        The government does not promote religion as no law is being passed promoting it. You seem to fail reading what the First Amendment specifically says promoting it is:

        (2) First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; And yet those who reject God demand the government establish its own denomination of Christianity with its own version of marriage. A violation of the First Amendment.

        No law has been made forcing Ten Commandment displays. That’s how government promoting it is literally defined: passing laws to establish it. No law has been passed here to promote it and hence the government is not promoting it – individuals are on a case by case basis. The Constitution itself rebukes your “you’re wrong b/c I said so” post.

        You also ignore the rest of it: No law can be passed PROHIBITING it, which you dogmatically demand. Sorry but the Constitution protects us from such ant-Christian bigotry and this vast-majority Christian nation founded by Christians is waking up to this fact. Your post helps others to see how a few are twisting and perverting the Constitution to promote their anti-Christian agenda – for that I thank you.

        • Doug Indeap

          1. Your continued failure to distinguish between individual and government speech about religion renders much of your discussion largely gobbledygook. For instance, you make much of the notion that no laws have been passed forcing schools to display the 10 commandments, seemingly treating public schools as individuals who should be protected from laws enacted by some government and failing to recognize that THE SCHOOLS THEMSELVES ARE THE GOVERNMENT. One need not inquire whether a law forces schools to do anything. The schools themselves act to display religious messages and thereby violate the Constitution’s constraints on government speech about religion; they need not pass a law to do so, rather they simply do it.

          Your continued fixation on Jefferson’s letter is misplaced. First, as I noted previously, the Supreme Court’s recognition of the Constitution’s separation of church and state is not predicated on Jefferson’s letter.

          Second, one cannot ascertain the Constitution’s meaning by endeavoring to interpret Jefferson’s letter.

          Third, your effort to discount Jefferson’s letter as pertaining solely to the free exercise of religion and not to the establishment of religion is but wishful thinking. The very reason the Danbury Baptists feared their free exercise of religion might be compromised was Connecticut’s established Congregationalism. Jefferson (1) “contemplated with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their [i.e., the federal] 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” and (2), while acknowledging that he lacked any authority to change state law, expressed his support for the then growing disestablishment movement, saying that “[a]dhering 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 . . . .” The entire letter, thus, concerned the ills of government establishment of religion, and Jefferson spoke of the First Amendment’s constraint on federal laws respecting an establishment of religion in the same breath he noted the Amendment thus built a wall of separation.

          Moreover, as Jefferson well understood in writing the letter, both of the First Amendment’s religion clauses aim to protect individuals’ religious freedom. The free-exercise clause does this directly by constraining the government from prohibiting individuals from freely exercising their religions. The establishment clause does this indirectly by constraining government from promoting or otherwise taking steps to establish any religion, thus assuring that individuals are free to exercise their religions without fearing the government will favor the religions of others and thus disfavor theirs. There is no reason to suppose, thus, that when Jefferson wrote of his metaphorical wall of separation between church and state, he had in mind only the free exercise clause and not the establishment clause. It bears noting in this regard that he pointedly refrained from issuing religious proclamations as President for the very reason that he thought the Constitution forbade it. He also closely aligned himself with Madison in such matters, and Madison’s views are, if anything, expressed in even plainer terms than Jefferson’s.

          2. You acknowledge that the government is to remain neutral with respect to religion, but suggest (without explanation) that somehow Christianity is being censored everywhere except where “you” (do you refer to me or the government?) gives “it” (Christianity?) permission. Again, you are not clearly distinguishing between individual and government speech about religion.

          Moreover, what is this censorship to which you allude? Individuals remain free to exercise and express their religious views publicly and privately. Indeed, individual students may do so in public schools as long as they do not thereby disrupt school activities and programs.

          “[C]ensoring all beliefs about God”? Please. Such hyperbole is but arm waving.

          3. You largely repeat the ideas you offered under 1. and 2, to which I’ll just ditto my comments above. I’ll just add that Wake Forest University has published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you. http://divinity.wfu.edu/uploads/2011/09/divinity-law-statement.pdf

          • Reason2012

            1. You continue to ignore the First Amendment makes no distinction with the number of people. You even admit no laws have been passed forcing any schools to post the Ten Commandment displays and hence the Constitution has not been violated. Thank you for proving my point.

            So why do you demand the Constitution be violated and laws be passed to PROHIBIT the free exercise of religious expression everywhere except where you give permission? We have a Constitution to protect us from such bigotry.

            You’re right, one cannot ascertain the Constitution’s meaning by endeavoring to interpret Jefferson’s letter, which is all people like you do in now claiming what he said

            (1) means the opposite of what he said (it doesn’t)

            (2) and the opposite of what he said is in the Constitution (it’s not)

            No, the Danbury Baptists feared Jefferson was going to violate the Consitution like you demand governement does. Fortunately the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees the freedom of religious expression and freedom means ANYWHERE, not what you try to claim it is: censor it everywhere except where you give them permission.

            Yes, Jefferson well understood that he had no authority to prohibit the free exercise of religious expression and re-iterated that fact by saying “…there’s a wall of separation between Church and State..”. And government promotion is explicitly defined as laws being passed to promote religion, where no law has been passed in this case. So again you unwittingly prove no law is violated here and there’s no legal basis to prevent them from choosing to put up a Ten Commandment display as they wish on a case by case basis.

            2. Again the Constitution does not distinguish between individuals and groups in the First Amendment. Goverment is not to PROHIBIT the free exercise of religious expression, unlike your unfounded and myopic demand that where groups are concerned, censorship and criminalization of expression of Christianity expression is to ensue.

            What is this censorship alluded to? Removing Ten Commandment displays, removing Bibles even from your desk when it’s not even being read, no prayer, no nativity displays, no mention of God in your personal speech.. shall I continue? Such dishonest hyperbole is the only arm waving here.

            Please cite

            (1) where in the Constitution it says “Separation of Church and State”

            (2) This is defined opposite of the only place mentioned (Jefferson’s letter) to mean the censorship of Christianity everywhere except where those who hate it give permission.

            Still waiting. You only offer opinions in a paper someone wrote and cannot show any suych thing in the Constitution. The Constitution wins.

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press

            We have such laws to protect us from such anti-Christian bigotry and people are waking up to how our laws are being perverted to censor it. Your posts help show it and again for that I thank you.

          • Doug Indeap

            As we’ve gone round and round, I think we’ve reached an end to the usefulness of our discussion. I’ll just add a thought about you making much of the First Amendment’s references to “Congress” and “law.” By your literal reading, are we to suppose the President could, by proclamation, establish a national religion or prohibit the free exercise of one or more religions? Nonsense. First, Congress itself cannot make any law whatsoever without the approval of the President, except in the instance of overriding a President’s veto, so to read the language as simplistically and literally as you suggest would actually do violence to the intent of the Amendment. As laws in the ordinary course are “made” by actions by both Congress and the Executive, the establishment clause is reasonably understood to constrain both branches of government. By the literal reading you suggest, it would, I suppose, only stop Congress from overriding a veto to make a law establishing a religion–a manifestly silly result. If the clause were interpreted to leave the Executive free, by proclamation or some such, to establish a religion, what really would be the point of the clause? No, such an interpretation would enable the Executive to eviscerate the purpose of the clause. Suffice it to say that no court in the history of our nation has ever held that the First Amendment means as little as you now suppose.

            In any event, watch what you wish for. Any such crabbed reading of the First Amendment would mess with the free exercise clause as well and enable the Executive to take steps restricting the free exercise of religion.

          • Reason2012

            And I take it you’re against the state redefining religious terms that have existed for many thousands of years, that they never defined, establishing this new state religion, and in turn criminalizing those with different religious beliefs if they do not violate their beliefs and support the state religion with their businesses? Because in this case laws ARE being passed forcing others to promote this new state religion (complete with same-gender unions) – and therein is the greatest hypocrisy to the movement of the left – playing both sides of the coin, depending on which one goes along with their agenda at the moment.

          • Doug Indeap

            The law of marriage is an entirely different subject, and it is simpler, I think, than you suppose. If you want a “marriage” that is recognized by the state and that is accorded legal privileges and consequences by the state, then it is the state that gets to define what it means by “marriage” for those purposes.

            If you want a “marriage” that is recognized by your god, church, or religion and that is accorded status and such by your god, church, or religion, then your god, church, or religion gets to define what it means by “marriage” for those purposes.

            The two definitions, of course, may differ. Neither the state nor the church needs to bend to the other’s definition. The two institutions are free if they like to use two different definitions for two different purposes–one religious and one legal. It is conceivable, thus, that a couple may be “married” in the eyes of the state, but not the church, or vice versa.

  • Regina Forbes

    “What’s so dangerous about the Ten Commandments?” resident Phillip Bates asked.
    That says it all….

    • Doug Indeap

      Actually this question misses the point or, worse, falsely suggests that this is about the substance of the commandments. The issue isn’t whether the
      commandments are dangerous–or wise or fun or fattening. Whether one
      likes or dislikes this or that commandment matters not one wit. Rather,
      the issue is whether the government’s display of this religious message
      is lawful. Under our Constitution, the government has no business
      weighing in to push this or that religious message REGARDLESS of whether
      people agree or disagree with the message.

  • Jenny Balliett

    SAD DAY IN MARION, OHIO !! NO GUTS NO GLORY !!

  • Leland Bartlett

    What bothers me the most is it sounds like only one parent objected, one parent. We cow to the will of the few. What happened to the majority rule? One parent, think about that, all it took was one parent. There was story of one customer complained about a hug and he got fired. Really America, when are we going to change the name from American to UnAmerican because one parent is offended?

  • blueday

    Ohioans need to take a stand against this……demand it is reinstalled! Period…….

  • David Bell

    Another view (from a believer)…To expect our views and beliefs to be considered we have to acknowledge that other people do not immediately share them. One of the commandments states that God (as Moses and his people understood Him to be), forbids the worship of any other god. Hang this up in a school and we are endorsing the rule as a school.. It doesn’t matter to me, but imagine if you went to a school who compelled you to recognize another god over your own.

    One problem is that as a religion, Christianity (and Judaism from which the list was derived) include more than 300 separate belief sets or denominations. Each of these groups have fundamental differences on how they see their god and how to honor him. Which god are we ordering our children to follow? Do you really want ME to tell YOUR child how to believe?

    The comments people have made here about our national morals crumbling and our country going to hell are silly and unfounded. In a million ways our great nation has become MORE moral by accepting that not only white Christian protestant males get to pick and choose our direction. The wallhanging was a nice gift… It belongs in a house of worship, NOT in a school where people of many theologies come to learn.

  • S.A. McClellan

    God’s Word will not return void…Speak it Often!
    ~It’s in the Bible, 1 John 3:8, NKJV. “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
    ~Satan has been a murderer and a liar from the beginning. It’s in the Bible, John 8:44, NKJV. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
    http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/topics/satan