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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Pledge No Mo', Part 4 -- Comments from the Field

There seem to be two major strains running through Newdoe decision. Chefjef has tried to point the legal ramifications of the Newdow decision, claiming that it is correct as matter of law and does not carry the dire consequences that are claimed for it. Other commentors, like Kanh here and Teresa below, have dwelt upon the larger social implications of decisions like Newdoe and on at least the perception that they may represent judicial and Establishment hostility to religion in general, and especailly to Christianity.

For my part, I've tried to have as much fun as possible at the Ninth Circuit's expense, because, well....they're easy to pick on, as another manifestation of Lotuslandish / Gerbilstani moonbat popular culture. I realize that this is not entirely fair and that, as Chefjef reiterates in his lucid and encouraging comments below, the Newdoe decision is probably a positive thing. Still, I see some justice in the concerns that Teresa and Kanh, et al, have on this subject.

It isn't unreasonable to suspect that some elements of the Establishment may wish to supplant Christianity (and other religions, for that matter) with a de facto state church that hides behind "secularism" and "separation of church and state," but in fact represents a materialist religion. Freud's "scientific worldview" is just exactly as much faith-based as is the worldview of the most carismatic, foot-washing, back-roads, piney-woods, Primitive Baptist church in the hills of West Vriginia. The two just make different assumptions about the nature of the universe, the explanation of what adhrerents see around them, and the modes of worship. Both, however, can ultimately be reduced to unprovable assumptions that require acts of faith to believe. One thing that distinguishes the "religious" from materialists, however, is that the former acknowledge their assumptions about the nature of the universe require unbridgable gaps in logic; the latter do not. Materialists disparage faith, even though their philosophy is just as dependent upon -- just as religious -- as that of the "religious."

So below, we see both Christian perspectives on this issue represented. First, Teresa's comments:

Ok, you know what? I do not write as well as most of these bloggers, but I do see something that seems to be ignored.........Why do people not see what this country, let alone this world is doing to itself? The more people try to erase God from our lives, the worse off we become!......WE NEED HIM! More than ever!

The more humans try to lean on their own understanding, the more they fall! HELLLLOOOO! My GOD, forgive us, for we know not what we do! Thank you Lord for understanding! And I really pity those who don't. All I know is I feel Him coming...every day...and I am scared for those who do not see Him....


Now Chefjef weighs in again, referring to Kanh's earlier post:

You almost got it. Yes you can recite the pledge in a government facility. You can even pray in a government facility. What can't happen is the government can't require you to say the pledge and have an agent of the government lead in you that pledge. Big difference between the two.

And how does not reciting the pledge interfere with our beliefs as Christians? How is it the the practice of our faith requires semi-strangers who are government employees to lead our children in a pledge to a flag, with a passing reference to our Lord, in the morning before school? While there is certainly an interest on both sides in having their way, as a practicial matter it is more intrusive for the government to tell someone that they must recite something they don't believe in that to tell some that when they are free to speak as they wish but that when they are involved in a government sponsored actitivty that a government agent will not require them to recite any affirmation of any belief. The former certainly is an interference in free speech, the latter is not; it does not restrict speech at all. Lanie and Taylor can walk through the halls of PIS reciting the Pledge and the Lords prayer at their leisure. They can even carry their bibles in their back-packs and read them at lunch or during free time.

Similarly, an atheist can do, well, whatever it is they do at school too. But neither [our children] nor some atheist child can be forced by a teacher to make affirmation pledges about anything, nor be made to sit in silence and watch as others do. How would you feel if a pagan teacher made his or her class recite a pledge of faith to mother earth and Zeus everyday, but of course allowed anyone who didn't want to to respectfully stand in silence while those who wanted to participate did so? It may seem like a ridiculous scenario - and to some degree it is - but if the Elk Grove rules were allowed to stand, they COULD allow a teacher to do just that, if they chose, and thus it is a very possible scenario.

Back in the 80's some states passed new laws aimed at homosexuals. They made anal and oral sex between men illegal. Some folks of course opposd it, and some didn't. Each had their reasons. But some folks, who were not in favor of the homosexual lifestyle, were against those laws becuase they believed the power to write such a law was too braod a power for the government and that it may be abused. They were ignored.

As activist groups challenged these laws, every state and federal court in the south held that anti-sodomy laws and other such restrictive laws were perfectly constitutional, but that they had to apply to everyone - i.e., you couldn't say males only, or females only, lest the government could say blacks only or hispanics only; to comply with the Equal Protection Clause any such laws had to apply everyone equally. So, in their zeal to suppress homosexuality, some states revised their laws and ended up with statutes that madeit crime for even a married couple to have oral sex in the privacy of their own home. Of course, many thought that such a law should not be within the state's power, but they figured no one would enforce it against heterosexuals.

Of course, eventually it did happen. In at least one case in Georgia a (as it turned out) jealous police officer managed to 'catch' an ex-girlfriend and her new husband involved in felation. The cas ws eventually dropped, but they were arrested and booked.

It was only a few years ago that Georgia fixed the statute.

Newdoe certainly has a religious agenda and has no compunction about using his non-compliant daughter to achieve his ulterior ends. But his ends were not served by the court. The end that was served by the court was to restrict government power to the confines of the First Amendment. Now, a reasonable person can disagree as to what there decision should have been, and their are some excellent articles out there they do so so, but what the decision was not is some far out assault on the rights of Christians. If [our children] were still in public school in California, nothing about the court's ruling inhibit's their ability to either practice, express, affirm or grow in their religious faith or their patriotism.


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