A blessed Easter to all our readers

posted at 12:01 am on March 31, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” — Mark 16 1-7

For this year’s Easter post, I’d like to go back to the homily at last year’s papal Mass.  In his 2012 Urbi et Orbi address, now-Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI proclaimed Surrexit Christus, spes mea (Christ, my hope, has risen), and then explained how each of us in the Christian faith relives the experience of Mary Magdalene on this day:

Every Christian relives the experience of Mary Magdalene. It involves an encounter which changes our lives: the encounter with a unique Man who lets us experience all God’s goodness and truth, who frees us from evil not in a superficial and fleeting way, but sets us free radically, heals us completely and restores our dignity. This is why Mary Magdalene calls Jesus “my hope”: he was the one who allowed her to be reborn, who gave her a new future, a life of goodness and freedom from evil. “Christ my hope” means that all my yearnings for goodness find in him a real possibility of fulfilment: with him I can hope for a life that is good, full and eternal, for God himself has drawn near to us, even sharing our humanity.

But Mary Magdalene, like the other disciples, was to see Jesus rejected by the leaders of the people, arrested, scourged, condemned to death and crucified. It must have been unbearable to see Goodness in person subjected to human malice, truth derided by falsehood, mercy abused by vengeance. With Jesus’ death, the hope of all those who had put their trust in him seemed doomed. But that faith never completely failed: especially in the heart of the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ Mother, its flame burned even in the dark of night. In this world, hope can not avoid confronting the harshness of evil. It is not thwarted by the wall of death alone, but even more by the barbs of envy and pride, falsehood and violence. Jesus passed through this mortal mesh in order to open a path to the kingdom of life. For a moment Jesus seemed vanquished: darkness had invaded the land, the silence of God was complete, hope a seemingly empty word.

And lo, on the dawn of the day after the Sabbath, the tomb is found empty. Jesus then shows himself to Mary Magdalene, to the other women, to his disciples. Faith is born anew, more alive and strong than ever, now invincible since it is based on a decisive experience: “Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life’s own champion, slain, now lives to reign”. The signs of the resurrection testify to the victory of life over death, love over hatred, mercy over vengeance: “The tomb the living did enclose, I saw Christ’s glory as he rose! The angels there attesting, shroud with grave-clothes resting”.

Dear brothers and sisters! If Jesus is risen, then – and only then – has something truly new happened, something that changes the state of humanity and the world. Then he, Jesus, is someone in whom we can put absolute trust; we can put our trust not only in his message but in Jesus himself, for the Risen One does not belong to the past, but is present today, alive. Christ is hope and comfort in a particular way for those Christian communities suffering most for their faith on account of discrimination and persecution. And he is present as a force of hope through his Church, which is close to all human situations of suffering and injustice.

May you have a blessed Easter rejoicing in the presence of Jesus Christ in your lives.  I’m including one of my favorite hymns, which our church will sing today and throughout this season until Pentecost.  Unfortunately, I do not have a recording of our parish’s choir singing Tom Conry’s “Roll Away the Stone,” but this version is not bad at all:

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You’re funny. In a delusional kind of way.

HumpBot Salvation on April 1, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I agree! Your delusion makes what I say sound funny.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I agree! Your delusion makes what I say sound funny.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

LOL. Thanks for confirming you’re an idiot!!

Where did you learn your reading comprehension skills because you apparently need more of it.

Hate to break it you sweetie…you don’t have the answers. And you’re not 1/1,000,000 as smart as you think you are. You’ve only managed to make yourself look like a fool. But congrats..on your victory. LOL.

HumpBot Salvation on April 1, 2013 at 10:54 AM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

You don’t have to be here.
Nothing anyone else has said here requires a response from you.
People smarter than you just read this forum, or go look at other sites & forums.
You have convinced nobody of your case – and it is a credit to others’ rigourous study that you haven’t.
Your “logic” makes sense only to you – even other agnostics & atheists are more consistent.
The “I’m surrounded by idiots” meme never works.

So yes, you protest too much.
Go make your arguments on your own blog that nobody will read, or at the “intellectual” echo chamber over at reddit.
If you decide to post at other HA forums, everyone here will remember your lack of intellectualism displayed here.
Have a nice day.

22044 on April 1, 2013 at 10:56 AM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Wow, you’ve embarrassed yourself further by resorting the the I’m rubber-you’re glue tactic.

22044 on April 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Wow, you’ve embarrassed yourself further by resorting the the I’m rubber-you’re glue tactic.

22044 on April 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

LMFAO! typical response

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Good. Now you’re a laughing ninny.

22044 on April 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Placing religious symbols in government buildings clearly gives people like the Muslims that our government was favoring Christianity over Islam, thus why they see this as a religious war.

That’it’d get under your craw…

SauerKraut537 on March 31, 2013 at 7:32 PM

a)That shows that you have no understanding of islam whatsoever. The reason that the islamonazis see this (whatever ‘this’ is) as a religious war is because THAT is the essential nature of islam. To wage war and to conquer in order to force everyone (which would include YOU, kraut) to become islamonazis and to bow down and worship allah. And it wouldn’t matter a whit if the entire USA was composed of nothing but anti-theists like you. They’d still wage a religious war.

b)
That’it’d get under your craw…”
— you really should try to learn the proper use of American idioms. Otherwise, you just look like more of a fool.

Solaratov on April 1, 2013 at 11:21 AM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM

I’m praying for you.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Had a wonderful Easter. Food, laughter, and good wine. I’ve come back to this thread to see if SauerKraut537 went and found some joy for himself yesterday.

Seems not.
*sigh*

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on April 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Hawk
Prayer is ineffectual. As they say, Two hands at work are worth more than all the hands on the planet clasped in prayer.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Where did you go to school because you apparently need more of it.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

This from the guy who:

A. Argues in the form of “I can’t prove X exists, but trust me, it does” while being vehemently anti-faith

B. Can’t comprehend the difference between the establishment clause and the Lemon Test

C. Is afraid of “creeping theocracy” in a country where more people than ever before are irreligious

And *our* logic is faulty? Lulz.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 1:31 PM

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Hey Glenn (you said hi earlier),

You disagree with this part of my assessment of how our country was founded but the idea of freedom of religion contains within it the idea of freedom FROM religion as well. Why else do you think people came over here in the first place? Weren’t pilgrims and others fleeing religious institutions that were hindering their ability to express their religious faiths? Wasn’t that the point of the majority of people who came over here? To profess their faith in a manner they wished to?

These people came from states that ruled hand in hand with the religious authorities in the old world. If you were a Catholic in Protestant lands, or vice versa, you sought to get out from under the infighting that was taking place between these two competing camps of religious thought.

Freedom of religion implies freedom FROM religion as well Glenn. I’m free to not believe as you do, and vice versa. I’m free to not be punished by you and your brethren if you disagree with my religious faith, or lack of faith as the case now is.

Think about it…

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 8:37 AM

.
Maybe I’m not giving you enough credit, here.

How are you defining “freedom from religion”?

From the early seventies through the eighties, militant atheists defined it as “being able to go in and/or through any public property or institution, without the sights and sounds of Christianity entering your eyes and ears.”

What do you mean by it?

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Hawk’
Prayer is ineffectual. As they say, Two hands at work are worth more than all the hands on the planet clasped in prayer.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM

.
Sounds like a challenge to me. It’s “game on.” : )

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 1:41 PM

What do you mean by it?

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM

The point of religious freedom is that one has the ability to worship a god in whatever manner they desire (under whatever faith they choose to follow), without worry of punishment for not choosing the “right” one or dominate one in an area, and without worry of punishment for not choosing one at all.

Earlier in response to someone else I said that we came here to have freedom of religion, and freedom from OTHER PEOPLE’S religions as well. What I mean by that is that if you were a Baptist in a Methodist dominated area of the country, you weren’t to be penalized for not being a Methodist in an area of the country run by people who were predominately Methodist.

Early on in our nations history, in Massachusetts and Connecticut for example, if you weren’t a member of a specific denomination your rights were limited.

I argued with BPlus earlier about this. If the intent of our founders was to make a more religious country, why was the state church of Massachusetts broken up in 1833, a mere 50ish years after our nations founding.

As would be expected in those times, they had a LOT of cleanup to do in each state, some states more than others, removing laws and rules that led to certain portions of the population being disenfranchised, like in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 2:02 PM

I argued with BPlus earlier about this. If the intent of our founders was to make a more religious country, why was the state church of Massachusetts broken up in 1833, a mere 50ish years after our nations founding.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 2:02 PM

And you’ve yet to tell me how exactly people were being disenfranchised in-between 1833 and Lemon v. Kurtzman because of a few Bible verses on a courthouse wall.

We had a lot of disenfranchisement between 1833 and Lemon, but almost none of it was because of religion.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 2:31 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 2:02 PM

.
That definition sounds like we’re in agreement, but I’m gonna get more “pointed” ……. do you reject this definition, as expressed in my 1:36 PM comment?

How are you defining “freedom from religion”?

From the early seventies through the eighties, militant atheists defined it as “being able to go in and/or through any public property or institution, without the sights and sounds of Christianity entering anyone’s eyes and ears.”

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM

.
What say ye ?

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Hawk
Prayer is ineffectual. As they say, Two hands at work are worth more than all the hands on the planet clasped in prayer.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM

God Bless you Kraut.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

God Bless you Kraut.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

The god that could be has already blessed me… I don’t need your gods blessing. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM

What say ye ?

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I say that sounds more like a characterization of specific people’s actions rather than a definition, but it’s an accurate accounting of how atheists have acted in the interest of the “spirit” of our constitution. Acting in the interest of the intent of our founding fathers.

I said this earlier in another post (or something similar), while many courthouses and other government buildings have had religious symbols and statues placed inside them for long periods of time back into our country’s history, they never should have been put in there in the first place. That’s why they started fighting to have these symbols and such removed, because our Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”

That implies that our government buildings shouldn’t favor one religion over another by placing religious symbols in the public square. I know people have been flouting this intent for years and years but just because they’ve been doing it for years and years doesn’t make it right.

Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their 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.”

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM

God Bless you Kraut.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

The god that could be has already blessed me… I don’t need your gods blessing. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM

And may the god that could be bless you as well hawk. I wuv you man, I don’t argue this topic out of hate or malice. It may get heated from time to time but my intent is not to show hate (yours and other people’s characterizations of my comments notwithstanding).

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I said this earlier in another post (or something similar), while many courthouses and other government buildings have had religious symbols and statues placed inside them for long periods of time back into our country’s history, they never should have been put in there in the first place. That’s why they started fighting to have these symbols and such removed, because our Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”

That implies that our government buildings shouldn’t favor one religion over another by placing religious symbols in the public square. I know people have been flouting this intent for years and years but just because they’ve been doing it for years and years doesn’t make it right.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Do you see how tortured your logic is?

You claim that the Founders were on your side because they disestablished all state churches by 1838. Yet it was the founders who inscribed Federal building and courthouses with Bible verses and Biblical art, it was the Founders who put references to the God of Christianity into many State Constitutions, it was the Founders who started each session of Congress with Christian prayer. The same Founders who agreed that no political office should be determined by religious test decided that politicians should be sworn in on a Christian Bible.

The people who started fighting this were anti-Theists like you whose delicate sensibilities are offended by scripture.

We didn’t have the Lemon Test until 1971, SK. However did this country not plummet into theocracy?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM

It’s not tortured at all. It’s very sound. That you apparently, and self interestedly, disgaree is your problem. Sorry you can’t round the circle I’ve outlined for you Bplus. All you have to do is connect the dots but you keep coming up with a square.

We HAD no government buildings and courthouses until the 1800′s when Washington was first being built, and just because these people placed these religious symbols in the building’s isn’t an excuse for the continued practice of such. Contrary to what our Constitution says, it very obviously gives people in other parts of the world the impression that the US government is favoring the dominant religion of it’s country’s citizens over the religions of immigrants who move here who happen to practice a different one.

Regarding people being sworn in… The book that people are sworn in with is chosen by the person being sworn in. Because that happens to be mostly Christians one might get the impression that that was a codified law or something… You’re wrong if you think that, its by the choice of the person being sworn in.

Regarding religious tests… The US Constitution says that no political office should be determined by religious test, and the Federal government lives by this rule. The state constitutions were written by people who might have been some of the founders but amazingly, many of the states had requirements to believe in a god before you could run for, or hold, office.

I think like 8 or 9 states still have these rules on the books even though the USSC struck down those articles. My home state of Texas still has the rule on the books.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 5:14 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 5:14 PM

God exists. You knew it once and you’ll know it again. One way or the other.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 7:55 PM

God exists. You knew it once and you’ll know it again. One way or the other.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 7:55 PM

I doubt it, meaning I doubt I’ll ever be a theist again. Best I’ll be is a deist. That’s the only logically consistent god there could be.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 8:34 PM

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 7:55 PM

I doubt it, meaning I doubt I’ll ever be a theist again. Best I’ll be is a deist. That’s the only logically consistent god there could be.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 8:34 PM

However you return would be a great bit of news.

Off for a while traveling with Mrs. Hawkdriver (NHRN) back to the East Coast. Take care.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 8:57 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I can’t argue with you if you absolutely, steadfastly refuse to be logically consistent.

The establishment clause existed to prevent in-fighting among Christian sects, not to quash any mention of religion in the public sphere. It had absolutely nothing to do with preventing the appearance of a governmental endorsement of Christianity; in fact, many of the founders (and many state Constitutions) explicitly *do* endorse Christianity in one form or another.

But in your eyes, the establishment clause wasn’t properly interpreted for 170 years until Lemon.

But why am I arguing with someone who touts a single sentence that isn’t even from a legal document over every other piece of evidence?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 9:09 PM

SK tosses out disconnected, tortured bits of rhetoric and expects us to do the hard work of forming it into a coherent shape.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM

How are you defining “freedom from religion”?

From the early seventies through the eighties, militant atheists defined it as “being able to go in and/or through any public property or institution, without the sights and sounds of Christianity entering anyone’s eyes and ears.”

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM

What say ye ?

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 2:48 PM

.
I say that sounds more like a characterization of specific people’s actions rather than a definition, but it’s an accurate accounting of how atheists have acted in the interest of the “spirit” of our constitution. Acting in the interest of the intent of our founding fathers.

I said this earlier in another post (or something similar), while many courthouses and other government buildings have had religious symbols and statues placed inside them for long periods of time back into our country’s history, they never should have been put in there in the first place. That’s why they started fighting to have these symbols and such removed, because our Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”

That implies that our government buildings shouldn’t favor one religion over another by placing religious symbols in the public square. I know people have been flouting this intent for years and years but just because they’ve been doing it for years and years doesn’t make it right.

Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their 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.”

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM

.
That answer sounds like a dodge. Those militant atheists today, still define “freedom from religion” as being able to move through out the general public without any perception of the practice of Christian being expressed. They demand that those conditions be enforced.

I’m saying that I reject the assertion/premise/belief that anyone should be able to go through the public places of America, without seeing or hearing some Christian expressing their Christianity by word, singing, or an artistic display.

The same people who wanted a “separation between Church and State” also prayed openly and shamelessly in the Pubic places before any meeting, hung the Ten Commandments in courthouses, conducted all ‘swearing in ceremonies’ on a Bible, and engaged in singing Christmas Carols in those same public places when that time of year came about.

For you to now state:

I said this earlier in another post (or something similar), while many courthouses and other government buildings have had religious symbols and statues placed inside them for long periods of time back into our country’s history, they never should have been put in there in the first place. That’s why they started fighting to have these symbols and such removed, because our Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”

That implies that our government buildings shouldn’t favor one religion over another by placing religious symbols in the public square. I know people have been flouting this intent for years and years but just because they’ve been doing it for years and years doesn’t make it right.

, attempting to imply that the Founders and other Americans since, practiced that which they preached against, and forbade in the Constitution, doesn’t “wash”.

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 10:08 PM

God exists. You knew it once and you’ll know it again. One way or the other.

hawkdriver on April 1, 2013 at 7:55 PM

.
I doubt it, meaning I doubt I’ll ever be a theist again. Best I’ll be is a deist. That’s the only logically consistent god there could be.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 8:34 PM

.
Right now you have that option, and God will jealously protect your right to that decision.

Right now we have the option to argue with you in this forum, and pray for you in private.

The time is coming when those “options” will no longer be available to us.

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 10:25 PM

…The establishment clause existed to prevent in-fighting among Christian sects, not to quash any mention of religion in the public sphere…

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 9:09 PM

The Establishment Clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the “separation” or “no aid” interpretation, while the second approach is called the “non-preferential” or “accommodation” interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government’s entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

Nowhere have I maintained that the Federal government was in the business of quashing all public displays of religion, they clearly aren’t. What I say is along the lines of #2 above… That the US govt wasn’t in the business of promoting one religion over another.

Displaying religious symbols and artwork in government buildings clearly gives the impression of favoring one religion over another. There is no way around it. Talk about being logically consistent.

Ask yourself, what if your hypothetical Dearborn Michigan courtroom was all decked out with Islamic symbols and artwork? How comfortable would you feel going into a courtroom like that when they know/assume you being Christian.

Look, I’m not talking about people not being able to display their menorahs, or nativity scenes and such, you can obviously do that at your church or at your house if you so desire, but isn’t that enough?

Why do you need US government buildings to display religious symbols and artwork favoring Christianity? Is displaying at your local museum, church, front yard, or in your neighborhood park not enough? You have to push it into the public sphere in government buildings too?

Simply put, if we allow religion to fuse with government, we get Europe back in the times of our revolution.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Displaying religious symbols and artwork in government buildings clearly gives the impression of favoring one religion over another. There is no way around it. Talk about being logically consistent.

No, it doesn’t. None of the founders believed that. No sane person believed that prior to Lemon. Again it was all in place to dissuade Christian sects from fighting for supremacy. It had nothing to do with erasing Christianity from public view, no matter how much you twist and pervert the intent of the founders.

Look, I’m not talking about people not being able to display their menorahs, or nativity scenes and such, you can obviously do that at your church or at your house if you so desire, but isn’t that enough?

Not up for you to decide. What you’re saying is that you’re perfectly willing to use big government, in concert with a gross misreading of the Constitution, as a heavy-handed cudgel against religious liberty, as long as its a religion that offends your delicate anti-Theist sensibilities.

Simply put, if we allow religion to fuse with government, we get Europe back in the times of our revolution.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Government putting up biblical images on a courthouse wall != fusion of religion and government, No one is talking about bringing back a state church.

You literally have three rhetorical sticking points:

A. A single epistolary comment from Jefferson

B. A belief that the true reading of the Establishment clause is the one demonstrated in 1971 in Lemon, and not, say, Justice Story’s :

“The real object of the [first] amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judiams, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government. It thus cut off the means of religious persecution, (the vice and pest of former ages,) and of the subversion of the rights of conscience in matters of religion, which had been trampled upon almost from the days of the Apostles to the present age. The history of the parent country had afforded the most solemn warnings and melancholy instructions on this head; and even New England, the land of the persecuted puritans, as well as other colonies, where the Church of England had maintained its superiority, would furnish out a chapter, as full of the darkest bigotry and intolerance, as any, which should be found to disgrace the pages of foreign annals. Apostacy, heresy, and nonconformity had been standard crimes for public appeals, to kindle the flames of persecution, and apologize for the most atrocious triumphs over innocence and virtue.”

C. Paranoia about “creeping theocracy,” in a country that is more secular than it has ever been before.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:01 PM

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 10:08 PM

It’s no dodge at all. Look, it wouldn’t surprise me if some atheists were trying to ban religious references all over the place, but I’d be against that if I had my say.

As I just said to BPlus, you already have the freedom to display religious symbols and artwork in churches, museums, your house and yard, in places of business, and on your person. Isn’t that enough?

Why do you feel compelled to shoehorn it into government buildings as well, because that’s why we have the religious symbols and displays we currently have in these buildings. Now that atheists and agnostics can be more open about their status in our society, they’re finding their voice and wishing to correct all these errors in judgment that our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers did.

“No one sees with greater pleasure than myself the progress of reason in its advances towards rational Christianity. When we shall have done away the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, raised to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus; when, in short, we shall have unlearned everything which has been taught since His day, and get back to the pure and simple doctrines He inculcated, we shall then be truly and worthily His disciples; and my opinion is that if nothing had ever been added to what flowed purely from His lips, the whole world would at this day have been Christian. I know that the case you cite, of Dr. Drake, has been a common one. The religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticisms, fancies and falsehoods, have caricatured them into forms so monstrous and inconceivable, as to shock reasonable thinkers, to revolt them against the whole, and drive them rashly to pronounce its Founder an imposter. Had there never been a commentator, there never would have been an infidel.
– Jefferson’s Letter to Timothy Pickering, 21 Feb 821

Jefferson was called an atheist by Christian ministers of his day, who tried to block his presidency.

“As to the calumny of Atheism, I am so broken to calumnies of every kind, from every department of government, Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary, and from every minion of theirs holding office or seeking it, that I entirely disregard it, and from Chace it will have less effect than from any other man in the United States. It has been so impossible to contradict all their lies, that I have determined to contradict none; for while I should be engaged with one, they would publish twenty new ones.”
– Jefferson’s Letter to James Monroe, May 26, 1800

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Jefferson is a single man. Why didn’t he push harder for language about separation of church and state in the Constitution or the BOR?
If the founders believed the way you have argued they did, why didn’t they put clear language in our founding documents about a wall between church and state?

SK, you’re woefully ignorant about this issue. The establishment clause goes back to how the eleemosynary sector worked for centuries in the colonies; the colonists had good reasons to be wary of a state church that could exert its will upon other Christian sects.

But there’s no evidence that the Establishment clause was meant to preclude the government from displaying Christian objects, especially since the BOR hadn’t even been applied to the states during the time of the Founders.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:11 PM

No sane person believed that prior to Lemon. Again it was all in place to dissuade Christian sects from fighting for supremacy. It had nothing to do with erasing Christianity from public view, no matter how much you twist and pervert the intent of the founders.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Would you quit putting words in my mouth. I never said it had anything to do with erasing Christianity from public view. You’re free to put your religious symbols in your church, or display them in museums, at your house, etc…

Look, it’s simple, putting religious symbols and artwork in government buildings is no different than an animal pissing on something to mark its territory. The ONLY way for our government to be impartial and not put up the appearance of “picking a side” is to not display religious symbols and artwork in government buildings. That is NOT the same as what you’re saying I’m saying.

What you’re saying is that you’re perfectly willing to use big government, in concert with a gross misreading of the Constitution, as a heavy-handed cudgel against religious liberty, as long as its a religion that offends your delicate anti-Theist sensibilities.

No, there you go again putting words in my mouth. Again, I’m NOT saying that the US government should have any domain over religious displays on private lands, ONLY ON GOVERNMENT LANDS/IN GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS so as to not appear partial towards one or the other.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:17 PM

I’ve yet to get a coherent answer from SK: How is allowing the 10C on a courthouse wall going to slide us into theocracy?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Jefferson is a single man. Why didn’t he push harder for language about separation of church and state in the Constitution or the BOR?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Do you know what the original Declaration of Independence said compared to the final draft that was “amended” and “amended” and “amended” by people more religious that Jefferson?

Have you ever studied the progression of the documents until the final drafts we know today? I’m sure all kinds of things got removed and added/amended to make the documents they are today.

I’m sure he tried.

He wasn’t alone

“It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov’t from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others.”
James Madison, “James Madison on Religious Liberty”, edited by Robert S. Alley, ISBN 0-8975-298-X. pp. 237-238

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”
James Madison -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:23 PM

I’ve yet to get a coherent answer from SK: How is allowing the 10C on a courthouse wall going to slide us into theocracy?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:18 PM

I’ve never said it would. I’ve only ever said that I’m not comfortable with religious symbols being given favor in government buildings.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:26 PM

No, there you go again putting words in my mouth. Again, I’m NOT saying that the US government should have any domain over religious displays on private lands, ONLY ON GOVERNMENT LANDS/IN GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS so as to not appear partial towards one or the other.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Again, where do you get this ridiculous argument? It stems solely from Lemon and its aftermath. Nobody in the world thought this was the case beforehand. The establishment clause does not say that religious material can’t be used for decoration, nor does it say that it is the government’s job to make an even playing field for all religions.

In Canada:

Engraved forever in the Parliamentary Buildings are Scripture verses which remind us of God’s dominion and our continued reliance on Him. In 1921, as a permanent testimony to the convictions of our forbears, architect John A. Pearson commissioned the following Scriptures over each of the exterior arched windows of the Peace Tower:

Over the East window – “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea” (Psalm 72:8).
Over the South window – “Give the King thy judgment, O God, and thy righteousness unto the King’s son” (Psalm 72:1).
Over the West window – “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).

I guess Canada doesn’t have freedom of religion, either.

Does the UK, SK? Does Israel? Does Spain?

To counter you epistolary evidence, a letter penned by John Jay, a man who knows a little bit about the Constitution and the movement behind it:

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Businesses are allowed to worship as they please, right? Well, not all of them:

A small Oklahoma town is enraged after Federal Reserve examiners told a hometown bank that it must remove crosses, Bible verses, and Christmas buttons from display because they could be offensive. The bank says the Fed told it the Christian paraphernalia violated federal bank regulations.

That’s a story from 2010.

How far does it go, SK? What about Biblical art? What about playing music that was originally composed by Christians for use in Mass, like Palestrina’s work? Can a bank put up a painting by Titian? Are they restricted solely to the oeuvre of Wagner?

Look at this list of biblical verses used for Inaugurations:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pibible.html

Is that trying to make Christianity dominant? Doesn’t that disenfranchise all the poor Jains and Hindus and Zoroastrians and Cao Daists and Ba’hai?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:31 PM

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”
James Madison -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Yes, and what had caused the ceaseless strife that soaked Europe in centuries of blood?

Different sects of Christianity fighting each other. Churches fighting churches. Protestants fighting Catholics.

That’s why the Founders didn’t want to establish one particular sect of Christianity as the “right” sect; they’d seen what kind of chaos that leads to.

But then you come along with a completely different line of argumentation, that the establishment clause suddenly means that the Government can’t have any abutment with religion, that it can’t start sessions with prayer, that it can’t have Biblical paintings and sculptures in Federal buildings…none of this was even considered at the time of the Founders. It is entirely an invention of militant, creeping secularism that started budding in the late 19th Century.

Your method of perverting the original intent of the Founders is how we get stuck with decisions like Wickard, like Roe, like the PPACA.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:37 PM

I’ve never said it would. I’ve only ever said that I’m not comfortable with religious symbols being given favor in government buildings.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Why? Why does having a picture of the Madonna of the Long-Neck advance Christianity any more than a picture of Daphne and Apollo advances Greek polytheism?

Are you so insecure in your beliefs that you can’t even take art and literature that disagrees with you?

BTW, do you think the Founders would have agreed that students shouldn’t be allowed to lead their fellow students in prayer before a football game?

Nah, that’s just you and the hyper-liberal wing of the SCOTUS.

Good to know you’ve got beacons of Constitutional protection like Souter and Breyer on your side, eh?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Again, where do you get this ridiculous argument? It stems solely from Lemon and its aftermath. Nobody in the world thought this was the case beforehand.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:31 PM

They didn’t “think” that beforehand because everybody was Christian and didn’t see anything “wrong” with it. Just because THEY couldn’t see what was wrong with it doesn’t mean it’s not wrong. I’ve provided you quotes by Jefferson and Madison clearly showing that they didn’t wish, nor want, to repeat European style governments here in America with varying degrees of collusion between the government and religious institutions like back in the old world.

You said, “nor does it say that it is the government’s job to make an even playing field for all religions.”

“It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst (against). by an entire abstinence of the Gov’t from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst (against) trespasses on its legal rights by others.
James Madison, “James Madison on Religious Liberty”, edited by Robert S. Alley, ISBN 0-8975-298-X. pp. 237-238

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”
James Madison -1803 letter objecting to the use of govt. land for churches

Your John Jay quote “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” is predictable… Just another example of bias. Would you expect him to say Muslims or Hindus? He was a Christian for Christ sake. Can you give me a more duh comment?

Businesses are allowed to worship as they please, right? Well, not all of them:

A small Oklahoma town is enraged after Federal Reserve examiners told a hometown bank that it must remove crosses, Bible verses, and Christmas buttons from display because they could be offensive. The bank says the Fed told it the Christian paraphernalia violated federal bank regulations.

That’s a story from 2010.

As I said to listenstoglenn… I’m against these kinds of lawsuits but if the bank was receiving loans from the US government then yeah, the US government can’t be party to anything that promotes religious favor.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 10:08 PM

.
It’s no dodge at all. Look, it wouldn’t surprise me if some atheists were trying to ban religious references all over the place, but I’d be against that if I had my say.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

.
Excellent. We agree on that.
.

As I just said to BPlus, you already have the freedom to display religious symbols and artwork in churches, museums, your house and yard, in places of business, and on your person. Isn’t that enough?

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

.
Nope.
.

Why do you feel compelled to shoehorn it into government buildings as well, because that’s why we have the religious symbols and displays we currently have in these buildings. Now that atheists and agnostics can be more open about their status in our society, they’re finding their voice and wishing to correct all these errors in judgment that our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers did.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

.
Uh oh ……. now you’ve gone and “done it” . . . . . . . . . . .
.
I reject, renounce, and defy the premise that what our forefathers did, in the way of practicing Christianity in the public places and public buildings, constituted error(s) in judgement !
.
The way they practiced it, expresses exactly how they meant for the First Amendment to be interpreted.

I say you’re side is the one changing the original meaning.

listens2glenn on April 1, 2013 at 11:53 PM

They didn’t “think” that beforehand because everybody was Christian and didn’t see anything “wrong” with it. Just because THEY couldn’t see what was wrong with it doesn’t mean it’s not wrong. I’ve provided you quotes by Jefferson and Madison clearly showing that they didn’t wish, nor want, to repeat European style governments here in America with varying degrees of collusion between the government and religious institutions like back in the old world.

You said, “nor does it say that it is the government’s job to make an even playing field for all religions.”

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Again, why is it wrong? You’ve yet to say anything logically opposed to it, just pablum about how it crowds out other religions, even though for CENTURIES we’ve had Jews and Catholics succeed in this country. Asians, who are mostly Buddhist, Hindu or secular, are achieving at an even higher rate than Jews, even with Federal buildings that have Biblical inscriptions and courthouses with statues of David or paintings of the Madonna.

Yes, Jefferson and Madison didn’t want a repeat of Europe. They didn’t want ceaseless infighting between Christian sects. They didn’t want one state church lording over all over sects of Christianity. And they prevented that quite deftly with the Establishment Clause.

What does ANY OF THAT have to do with the placement of religious art in Federal buildings? Again, nothing. There’s no basis for it it the Constitution, the BOR, the Federalist papers…where are we supposed to find this magical sanction against government use of religious art? Cato’s Letters, maybe?

As I said to listenstoglenn… I’m against these kinds of lawsuits but if the bank was receiving loans from the US government then yeah, the US government can’t be party to anything that promotes religious favor.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

So by that measure, a house that receives SNAP shouldn’t be able to display religious art?

The government is a behemoth teeming coil of tendrils and spiny, slimy, slithering appendages, octopus-like but plodding and efficient, and it gets its grubby little pods into every facet of our lives. Everyone who isn’t off the grid has some tenuous connection to the government, and government funding, or government services. In your world, nobody in that meandering, ever-expanding web should be allowed free expression of religion.

And you wonder why we call your logic tortured.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Obviously that should be *inefficient, lol, the idea of an efficient government is too absurd of a joke even for AFD.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 2, 2013 at 12:15 AM

why is it wrong?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Because there is only one right way to read it. The founders who wrote these documents obviously had an intent that goes against the way it’s actually been operated. I’m sure Jefferson, and others like him, argued against ostentatious religious displays going up in our government buildings, but they were likely a minority and lost the argument, thus why we have the religious quotes, statues, and symbols that we DO have today.

Look, we have quotes from them displaying a disdain for the marriage of religion and government. While innocuous and not really “wrong” as in someone should be punished for it, we SHOULD remove religious symbols and artwork from our government offices and lands. Plain and simple.

Think long term… Put the shoe on the other foot a second. I think you’ve said you’re an agnostic or something but I sense a wolf in sheeps clothing with the way you defend it… Anyway, if you were one, someday, Christians MAY be the minority here (not likely but certainly possible)… When they’re the minority and whatever other dominant religion started putting up religious symbols en masse… If we still had the Constitution, DoI, and the BoR as our guiding documents, you know you would be arguing against what the other religion was doing to shred the Constitution…

SauerKraut537 on April 2, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Shoulda’ had this up 20 minutes ago …… “technical difficulties.”

They didn’t “think” that beforehand because everybody was Christian and didn’t see anything “wrong” with it. Just because THEY couldn’t see what was wrong with it doesn’t mean it’s not wrong.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

.
( E X P L E T I V E ) ! ! !
.

I’ve provided you quotes by Jefferson and Madison clearly showing that they didn’t wish, nor want, to repeat European style governments here in America with varying degrees of collusion between the government and religious institutions like back in the old world.

SauerKraut537 on April 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

.
We’re telling you that the practice of Christianity (in varying forms) by our forefathers in public places and public buildings,
didn’t constitute a return to the “Old World” practices.

The government controlled Christianity in England, by establishing it’s own Denomination; “The Church Of England”, and demanding that all practice of Christianity had to be associated with the new “Crown imposed” Church.
This new “Church” exercised NO influence with the British Crown, or political policy.

There is no parallel between that, and what our forefathers did in allowing Christianity to be openly practiced within our government institutions.

They wanted Christianity to influence ALL aspects of American life, including government.

This was done without establishing a “Theocracy”.
Unless, of course, you are going to claim that “the practice of Christianity (in varying forms) by our forefathers in public places and public buildings” constituted some kind of Theocracy.

Is that what you’re claiming?

listens2glenn on April 2, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Because there is only one right way to read it.

Yeah, according to noted Constitutional scholar SauerKraut537. Unfortunately, almost all of the founders disagree, but hey, at least you’ve got Lawrence Tribe and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on your side!

Look, we have quotes from them displaying a disdain for the marriage of religion and government.

Yup. That’s why we don’t have a national church, it’s why religious charities are tax exempt, and so forth. We’ve got a pretty clear distance between the halls of government power and the halls of clerical power.

we SHOULD remove religious symbols and artwork from our government offices and lands. Plain and simple.

Nope. That’s simply your opinion, and it has no basis in our founding documents. If you want to argue for it, stop using the founders as an aegis. They aren’t on your side. Argue on your own merits, if you’re actually capable of it. Make a case for why it’s a bad thing to have religious art in government buildings without using paranoiac arguments about the slippery slope and creeping theocracy.

Think long term… Put the shoe on the other foot a second. I think you’ve said you’re an agnostic or something but I sense a wolf in sheeps clothing with the way you defend it

I’m the only one among us who is actually able to put the shoe on the other foot. I argue from a belief in the Constitution, with no self-interest in preserving the supremacy of Christianity. You argue from an anti-Theistic perspective that wants to do as much as possible to eradicate religion.

You’re biased, and it distorts your view of the founders and this nations’ history.

When they’re the minority and whatever other dominant religion started putting up religious symbols en masse

If another religion becomes the majority, it’s fully within their right to put their favored artwork in government buildings. Somehow, my Jewish brothers and sisters managed to succeed in this country even though public displays of the Madonna outnumbered public displays of the Magen David by about 10,000 to 1. As long as they don’t institute a state church, or start taxing me for being agnostic/Jewish, why would I have any problem with it?

This nation, founded as a Christian nation, has been the land of opportunity for Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Druze, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and yes, even Muslims. And it’s been that way even with the daunting specter of religious-themed inscriptions, artwork and sculpture in plain view at certain government installations, codified into certain government documents, and present at many government ceremonies.

Your breathless gainsaying and paranoia says little about your faith in your own beliefs, SK. I think you’re a weak man who needs to legislate away any opposition to your anti-Theistic crusade.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 2, 2013 at 12:33 AM

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