Opinion

You can push for public displays of the Bible. Better yet, read it.

This Bible in a POW/MIA display at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa was the impetus for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s complaint with the Navy. Photo courtesy of MRFF

(RNS) — The usual adversaries are at it again in the ongoing war over the place of the Bible and Christian faith in the U.S. armed forces. On behalf of 26 military families, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is battling with the Navy over a POW/MIA display at the naval hospital on Okinawa, Japan.


READ: Controversy erupts over Bible in Okinawa hospital display


At issue: the placement of the Bible alongside the POW/MIA and American flags with a placard that says: “The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded one nation under God.” Since the Okinawa news hit the media, the MRFF says it has received complaints from 31 other U.S. military installations that have the Bible included in their “missing man” displays.

Do the Bible and faith statement in the POW/MIA displays violate the constitutional prohibition against the government promoting a religion? Or are they a harmless nod to the fortitude and comfort many soldiers derive from their country’s majority religion?

You can argue it either way — and believe me, those caught up in this drama are doing just that. But for those intent on maintaining the Bible’s prominence in American culture, the POW/MIA displays are more symbolism and sideshow than anything of substance. There’s a much bigger problem in civilian life and Americans’ homes that ought to concern them:

The fact that even though “the Good Book” is ubiquitous, with the median American home containing three copies, it is seldom read, poorly understood and, to put it charitably, inconsistently followed.

It’s fitting that the Bibles on the POW/MIA tables are closed, used as symbols or sacred objects rather than a book meant to be read for truth, wisdom and inspiration. Because closed is how the Bibles in Americans’ homes generally remain.

“Americans Are Fond of the Bible, Don’t Actually Read It.” So says a news release issued by the evangelical polling organization LifeWay Research a year ago. LifeWay finds that Americans generally have a positive view of the Bible and see it as a source of moral lessons still relevant today. But more than half admit they have spent little or no time reading it, and only 1 in 5 has read the whole book.

Our low level of Bible reading explains why Americans tend to be frightfully ignorant about the text at the center of the religion that more than two-thirds of the population claim to follow. As evangelical leader Albert Mohler notes with alarm, polling finds fewer than half of Americans can name the four gospels, and 60 percent are unable to name even five of the Ten Commandments.

Our rampant biblical illiteracy also helps explain why those most passionate about pushing the Bible in settings of dubious appropriateness (like a Navy hospital in Japan) often press their case in deeply unbiblical ways.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the group that filed the Okinawa complaint, showed me some of the correspondence he has received. Let’s just say that the writers of this vile and unprintable material demonstrate the opposite of the Jesus-style “love your enemy” teaching found between the covers of the Bible.

Like the religion of which it is part, the Bible plays a contested and complex role in American culture. Is it a symbol of national or “tribal” identity — something to be aggressively asserted in an ongoing struggle between cultures on our soil and abroad?

If yes, best to leave the Bible closed. It’s easier to thump it that way.

But if, like me, you’re convinced that the Bible actually has something valuable to say all these centuries after its composition, it’s better to have it in the open position at least occasionally — and to read what’s on its pages.

You’ll find it full of poetry, moral instruction, and stories and metaphors that help us make sense of our daily struggles. You’ll find the penetrating insights of Jesus, which remain powerfully applicable whatever our beliefs about his divine status.

“The Invisible Bestseller” — this is the apt title that religion journalist Kenneth Briggs used for his 2016 book on the fading prominence of the Bible in American life. The Bible, he finds, is in the curious position of being both “everywhere and nowhere,” frequently found in public settings and everyday households but disturbingly absent from Americans’ heads and hearts.

If you’re bothered by the fading role of the Bible, one response is to wax indignant, blame “political correctness” and push the Bible harder. This was the move made by Hiram Sasser, general counsel for the group First Liberty Institute, when he was on the Todd Starnes radio show discussing the controversy about the Bible in the POW/MIA display on Okinawa.

“(Can) you imagine if President Trump found out about this, that someone was complaining about a Bible being on a table?” Sasser said. “He’d probably put two on the table.”

He probably would. Neither would be open.

(Tom Krattenmaker writes on religion in public life and directs communications at Yale Divinity School. His latest book is “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower.” The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

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Tom Krattenmaker

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  • Oh look, anti-semitism. How quaint. And I thought you conservatives had moved on to newer, more fashionable prejudices. Isn’t the current Christian conservative talking point that you’re supposed to love the Jews? Oh right, that’s all pretense because you just want a front row seat in Israel for the Armageddon that Trump is trying to bring about. As usual, it’s all about opportunism.

  • For several years I’ve been on an emailing list whereby I receive a Bible quote every single day accompanied by a so-called interpretation of the quote. It certainly has reinforced my view that the bible BIBLE is a Book of Ignorant Babbling and Little Else.

  • Of course if the people setting up the display had really wanted to be respectful of religious belief, they would have placed other religious symbols or texts there. But that wasn’t really the point. It was one of many attempts by Fundies to put a tramp stamp on the military.

  • Not intentionally of course, but rather through his bumbling ignorance of basic diplomacy. The hastening of Armageddon, however, IS the goal of the Christian Evangelicals who form Trump’s base. So it’s a symbiotic relationship between Trump and his base – what psychotherapists refer to as co-dependency.

  • Re: “You’ll find [the Bible] full of poetry, moral instruction, and stories and metaphors that help us make sense of our daily struggles.”

    Yes, Christians who idolize their Bibles definitely need to read it, and see that they’re actually disobeying its content: 

    Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the Lord your God. (Lv 19:4) 

    Those who regard vain idols forsake their faithfulness. (Jon 2:8) 

    Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” … Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Cor 10:7, 14) 

    Little children, guard yourselves from idols. (1 Jn 5:21) 

    But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Rev 21:8) 

  • Re: “Oh right, that’s all pretense because you just want a front row seat in Israel for the Armageddon that Trump is trying to bring about.” 

    They’re usually careful about not letting on about this, but once in a while some “Christian Zionist” or other lets slip their anti-Semitism: 

    https://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/2013/11/17/now-you-can-see-the-anti-semitism-in-christian-zionism/

    And yes, it definitely is all about causing Armageddon so the Chrishuns’ precious Jesus will return to accomplish what he somehow hadn’t been able to, the first time he was supposedly here. Or something. 

  • As Karl Barth, who is often celebrated as the greatest Protestant theologian of the 20th century, said, biblical literalism locks the text up in a very convenient little box, freeing those who claim to take every verse in the bible literally from wrestling with a text they don’t even respect.

    Literalists — and, Lord knows, they’re a dime a dozen in the commenting threads at many religion news sites online — want a handful of manageable, easy texts that can be snatched out of the complex whole, and then hurled, when convenient, out of that lockbox of biblical literalism.

    Hurled at other sinners. Never at myself or the kind of sinners I happen to represent.

    It’s all so convenient. It’s all so easy. It’s all so cheap. It’s all so utterly disrepectful to the text these folks claim to take literally, every word of it.

    And it’s all so utterly unChristlike — but this will never stop these folks from claiming that they alone own Christ and speak for him, even as they disrepect him even to the extent of putting words into his mouth that he never said.

  • Sounds interesting, William. What “kind of sinners” do you “happen to represent”, and what sort of “antidote” (more accurately, “Antidote”), are you offering them in order to break their chains??

  • Sounds interesting, floydlee.

    I appreciate your having taken my point.

    Since I use my own name in posting here and you don’t, I’ll take a pass — thanks — at answering your whestion about what “kind of sinners” I “happen to represent.”

    Until, that is, you disclose your own identity as I have disclosed mine. Until that happens, at least one of us is playing games and we’re not on a level playing field.

    If religion is about anything meaningful at all, it’s about love and justice. Not playing games and lobbing rocks from behind barricades, while we wear masks.

  • So how exactly does a person, even if they’re a Christian Zionist or a Donald Trump, “cause” Armageddon as it is specifically described in the Bible?

    Some of us actually read the Bible around here, and it’s pretty clear that **this** final battle is way above everybody’s pay grade, involving both natural and supernatural aspects.
    It’s caled “the battle of that great day of God Almighty”, (Rev. 16:14), and they ain’t joking.

    So trying to blame President Trump or other Christian supporters of Israel as future inciters of Armageddon doesn’t really make sense.

    Just say “I support BDS, Iran, ISIS, and other anti-Israel terrorists,” and leave it at that.

  • Re: “So how exactly does a person, even if they’re a Christian Zionist or a Donald Trump, ’cause’ Armageddon as it is specifically described in the Bible?” 

    You do things that (you think) will instigate it. The salient portion of Revelation says Armageddon will immediately follow an invasion across a dammed-up Euphrates by “the kings of the east.” Any nation or coalition from the east of that river (i.e. Iraq) will do. At the moment most fundagelicals want to get Iran to cross Iraq and Jordan and invade Israel, where Armageddon will go down. It’s possible to institute policies that aggravate and provoke Iran. Arguably, this is the reason so many Rightists want the nuclear deal ended. 

    Re: “So trying to blame President Trump or other Christian supporters of Israel as future inciters of Armageddon doesn’t even make sense.” 

    Not to you it doesn’t. The rest of us, however, know differently. We’ve been listening to you folks for decades and know the games you play, as well as the beliefs they’re predicated on. 

  • Slight correction: I’ve been using my real name in comments, columns, blogs, and pre-Internet letters-to-the-edit or for a little over 30 years now.
    I still like my old Net monikers of “Mellotron” or “Doc”, but it’s easier to just use real name.

    So, what sort of rep do you happen to be?

  • Interesting, floydlee.

    You can google me and discover precisely who I am. I want to appear under my name, with my identity fully known, as I comment here and elsewhere online.

    But when I google floydlee . . . .

    I won’t be pulled into the toxic game-playing. Thanks for the invitation. People who want to make valid ethical points just don’t engage in that kind of game-playing.

    So what sort of rep do you happen to be?

  • Why bother as less than 30% is historically authentic, the rest being embellishments and myths the biggest myth being the resurrection vitiating all of Christianity as per Paul. In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

  • Hmm. If you google me (especially after inserting a space between the “floyd” and the “lee”), you get to see who I am too, and maybe some previous writings to give you a better picture.

    But it’s not a big deal. A raw outsider can easily figure out both of us, just by reading all the constant comments we’ve offered in previous or current RNS threads. Neither one of us pulls our punches.

  • That’s fine, floyd. Anyone posting in these threads has the right to remain anonymous or to have his/her identity veiled. I respect people’s bona fide reasons for not choosing to disclose their identity.

    But let’s sum up with some facts, shall we:

    1. I made a posting that did not address you or any other person in this thread.

    2. You then chose to respond to it and to address me, showing the same animosity and lack of respect you typically show when you respond to me in these threads.

    3. I do not have to subject myself to that disrespect, when you know who I am and I have no idea who you actually are, with what institutions you may be affiliated, whom you might be representing, who pays your salary.

    4. You do not have to disclose any of that information to anyone anywhere online — and I respect your right to privacy.

    5. But I do not have to allow myself to be used as your dartboard, when you know who I am and I don’t know who you are — while you’re posturing as a high-minded ethical thinker and ardent Christian.

  • Sure, no problem there. I like my privacy too, and we all gotta be seriously careful on the Net. Don’t take NO chances with Internet folks, that’s for sure.

    But it’s like my atheist religious-studies professor informed our entire New Testament class:

    “If you put your position on the public table for all to see, then your stated position is Fair Game for all who see it.”

  • If a Christian can “push” for public displays of the Bible, then so can a person of another religion “push” for a display of an important object/symbol of their own religion. And, in government run programs, all should be displayed – all of equal size and prominence.

    Yes, it promotes the Christian religion when the Bible is used as the only symbol shown to signify a place for religious faith in the U.S. There need to be symbols of other faiths simultaneously displayed.

    Is there something that is more universally recognized as a symbol of spiritual life – would a dove and olive branch work? How about a picture of the earth taken from space or of a spiral galaxy?

  • I certainly do think floydlee would do well to read your blog for awhile:

    http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/

    He’d discover an amazing tendency by the posters to share their personal impressions of this, that, or the other poster or personage, both on that blog and in the past at the National Catholic Reporter and other fora.

    I believe that’s the real reason for the anti-nom de plume position. Unmasking makes it easier to deal with persons, not issues, and allegations, not arguments.

  • Hogwash.

    You wrote “Never at myself or the kind of sinners I happen to represent.”

    He asked what kind of sinners you happen to represent.

    If you don’t answer that, the comment was pointless, and then you launch into “you’re posturing as a high-minded ethical thinker and ardent Christian.”

    And that’s the Bilgrimage shtick.

  • I don’t read the bible as much now as I did when I was younger, but I always keep it handy as a reference, I flatter myself that I know it well enough to make strong theological arguments and am always prepared to use it in such cases. I am regularly exposed to its passages on Sundays and Wednesdays, and I cross reference it periodically on the internet. I, in sum, keep it handy. However, the level of biblical illiteracy, even among professing believers is troubling, and does the cause of Christ no due service.

  • Edward,

    Interestingly enough, when Jesus was betrayed and arrested, someone from his own party drew his sword, struck a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear! ?

    Jesus told him to return the sword to its place, for all those who take the sword shall perish by the sword (Matthew 26:51,52).

    The early first-century Christians whom Jesus taught did not get involved in worldly conflicts (wars), nor in political action whatsoever. Many were killed in the arena or persecuted then for their faith.

    The major subject of their preaching and teaching was about God’s kingdom, or heavenly government (Matthew 4:17), as the ONLY hope for mankind, as Jesus did.

    That heavenly government will soon put an end to and replace all human governments (Daniel 2:44), as well as worldly conflicts (Micah 4:3,4), which are a consistent problem in our world today. ???☝️

    P.S. Jesus ended up touching the victim’s ear and healing it (Luke 22:51)! ?

  • Christian Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Dominionists, Zionists, and Donald, will likely be the major cause of the real End Times. When they comes there will be no Rapture. Those who are “born again” will not be saved. No Savior will appear.

    It is their faith that Armageddon is coming and therefore they are not responsible for preserving the earth that will cause the end of this civilization and the sixth extinction. They see this all as the will of God.

  • ” Jesus ended up touching the victim’s ear and healing it (Luke 22:51) ”

    Where was he when van Gogh needed him ?

  • You won’t be laughing when you come to face Jesus. Remember his warning: 

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven] but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’” (Mt 7:21-23) 

  • Re: “In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, ‘If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.'” 

    Yes, he said that, and in that one sentence he summarily dismissed most of Jesus’ teachings. All the stuff about “turn the other cheek,” “walk two miles instead of one,” “hand over your cloak as well as your shirt,” “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword,” “the meek shall inherit the earth,” “blessed are the poor,” etc. … all of that, and much more, just magically goes “Poof!” 

    I have to figure the Christians of his time and the generation or two following found that pretty convenient. All of that aforementioned stuff is pretty hard, if not impossible, actually to live out. By refocusing Christianity on the resurrection — belief in which doesn’t force Christians to have to do much of anything, in particular — and away from Jesus’ teachings, Paul saved them a lot of trouble and made their lives instantly much easier. 

    Is it any wonder the focus of what, later, became Christianity as we know it, shifted in the direction of Paul’s dogma and doctrine during the latter half of the first century? People have long wondered how Paul’s writings, rather than Jesus’ teachings, ended up being the fulcrum of Christian thought. But I don’t. The reason this shift took place is obvious. 

  • You’ll find it full of poetry, moral instruction, and stories and metaphors that help us make sense of our daily struggles. You’ll find the penetrating insights of Jesus, which remain powerfully applicable whatever our beliefs about his divine status.

    “It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.”
    — Mark Twain

  • I have noticed that there is a great deal of ignorance on the part of many Christians about the Bible, not only about what is in it, but also about its history, who wrote what and when and what was happening in the society at the time.

    I have also noticed that there is a great deal of ignorance on the part of many Atheists about the Bible and its history.

    For better and worse it has helped some people become better people AND helped some people become worse people. It has spawned wars and moved people to find peace.

    I think that IF anyone really wants to understand world history and the issues our world is currently facing here and in the Middle East they need to be familiar with the Bible and the history that goes along with it.

  • Jesus lived. He was crucified but the stories surrounding said crucifixion are myths.

    For some reality:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2018: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years) (

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple, preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

  • Yep, just marking territory as usual. Despite the fact that government territory belongs to ALL of us, not just Christians.

  • Yes, I love doing that! Shakespeare famously said, “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose” (The Merchant of Venice I.iii). And the best part is … there’s nothing you, or any other Christianist, can ever do to stop me from quoting scripture any time I want!  

    But … as a Christianist, you DO have to obey your Jesus’ teachings. It’s not optional for you — if you wish to be a Christian. You’re not doing so, by setting up Bible displays, which are simultaneously idolatry and public piety (both of which were explicitly prohibited by your deity). Regarding that latter provision: 

    “But take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” (Mt 6:1-6) 

    Oh no, PsiCop just quoted scripture at you again! If you don’t like me doing that, pray to your deity to force me to stop. If in fact he disapproves, he’s the Almighty and could of course compel me to stop. Until then … I plan to keep it up!   🙂  

  • Mikey Weinstein, president of the group that filed the Okinawa complaint

    “From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar……Here is your king, Pilate said to the Jews….. But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” John 19

  • Henry Ford correctly identified them. They are “international”. We fought 2 world wars to give them a Nation. Why don’t they all live there? Rhetorical.

  • “Yes, I love doing that! Shakespeare famously said, ‘The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose’ (The Merchant of Venice I.iii).”

    As you demonstrated.

  • Hmm, are you saying I’m “the Devil”? If so … Woo hoo, I’ve been promoted — from Satan’s agent to Satan himself!  

    Thanks Bob!   🙂  

  • I’m aware you don’t think I’m ignorant of your Bible … but you’re wrong. I know it better than 99.9% of all Christians. 

    I’m betting I know it better than you. Tell me, can you read the New Testament in the original Greek? I can. If you can’t, on what rational basis can you even begin to say I’m “ignorant” of it? 

  • By religious faith do you mean faith in a higher power, god, or force. In other words something supernatural? Is having such faith necessary to have a spiritual life? For those of us who need evidence and reason before we pretend to know truth who will determine our symbol?

    I don’t think the government should display religious symbols. To do so is to advocate a certain group of world views and would not be a secular action. The statement “The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded one nation under God.” goes against the First Amendment.

    “One nation under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance during the Eisenhower administration. Well after the founding and also should be unconstitutional.

  • Loud? Really? You’re reaching for stuff to accuse me of, dude. I mean … how desperate are you to attempt to insult me? 

    Here’s a clue: Give it up. You can’t insult me. I don’t care what you think — about anything at all. Nor should anyone else. 

  • You’ve been loud and opinionated on-line for a very long time.

    That’s not an insult, it’s a statement of fact.

  • Re: “You’ve been loud and opinionated …”  

    And you’re somehow NOT both of those things!? Hypocrite, thy name is Bob, aka strident Christianist!  

    You do know your own Jesus explicitly forbid you ever to be hypocritical, for any reason or at any time? If not, allow me to educate you:  

    “You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” (Mt 7:5)  

    “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” (Lk 6:42)  

    Your hypocrisy is blatant. I suggest you repent — unless you actually hate your own Jesus and have no problem disobeying him.  

    Re: “That’s not an insult, it’s a statement of fact.”  

    So you’re doubling down on your attempted insult by (ridiculously and childishly) denying you’re trying to insult me? Yay me! As the Beatles said, it just keeps “getting better all the time.”  

  • Blah, blah, … your hypocrisy is blatant … blah, blah, blah.

    The ability to translate texts is a learned skill.

    The ability to understand what they mean requires wisdom and understanding, and that comes with age and experience.

    Job 12:12 – Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

    But, don’t let that discourage you from continued loud braying.

  • Re: “Blah, blah, … your hypocrisy is blatant … blah, blah, blah.” 

    Yes, yours is. It’s stunningly obvious. You’d better be careful, because Jesus reportedly didn’t think much of people (like you!) who claim to follow him but don’t actually obey his teachings:  

    “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?” (Lk 6:46)  

    Re: “The ability to understand what they mean requires wisdom and understanding …” 

    … as well as obedience. Which you aren’t doing. All the “wisdom and understanding” in the world can’t help you, if — when the Son of Man finally returns to judge you — you can’t say you actually did the things he’d told you to do.  

    Re: “Job 12:12”  

    So what? Relevance … ? 

    Re: “But, don’t let that discourage you from continued loud braying.” 

    You keep “braying” back at me, while at the same time you repeatedly vilify me for “braying.” That, my dear Bob, is what they call “hypocrisy”:  

    hy·poc·ri·sy  
    1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.  
    2. An act or instance of such falseness. (Amer. Her. Dict.)  

    You condemn me for being “loud” and for “braying,” as though they’re bad things, but engage in both freely, yourself.  

    Sorry to break it to you (no wait … I’m not!), but your own Jesus requires that you stop this immediately. He doesn’t want you to be a hypocrite. He made that clear in many of his teachings, including some I’ve already quoted to you.  

    Tell me, why do you hate your Jesus so much that you refuse to abide by his clear and unambiguous instructions?  

    By all means, please, keep hypocritically calling me names that actually apply to yourself. This isn’t only hypocrisy, it’s also called “projection”:  

    “Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. A common form of projection occurs when an individual, threatened by his own angry feelings, accuses another of harbouring hostile thoughts.” (Enyc. Brittanica)  

    With your every response to me, especially in those which condemn me, you inadvertently condemn yourself, lay bare your own sanctimonious outrage, and continually reveal the intellectual bankruptcy of your Christianism. I really can’t thank you enough for providing such a compelling lesson in what’s wrong with American Christianity. So go ahead. Whine at me some more! Keep it up Bob! I’m really enjoying this — and you’re actually making my own argument, for me.  

  • 416 words to say “I’m right and really smart, you’re wrong and really dumb.”

    Lack of brevity is a hallmark of low intellect.

  • Since the Navy isn’t punishing anyone who won’t read that Bible then nobody’s First Ammendment right is being violated.

  • Re: “Lack of brevity is a hallmark of low intellect.”  

    So are short, nasty, whiney, projection-laced responses.  

    Again, thank you for exemplifying what’s wrong with American Christianism!   🙂  

  • Pithy, hyper-accurate, stiletto-like responses that is.

    Again, thank you for demonstrating I have your number.

  • You have nothing on me, little Bob. You don’t even know the Bible you profess to revere. And you get your panties in a wad when I quote it to you. 

  • Bob, I am struggling with how we also show respect for religious faith in our society and for religious communities. Remember, we were founded on the idea of freedom, including religious freedom, and many of those who came in the earliest years of European settlement, came to escape religious persecution in their own countries of origin. “Freedom” and “liberty” have, from our earliest founding, have been tied to the freedom to practice the religion one chooses.

    Ironic, isn’t it, that those who originally came here for “religious freedom” from government dictates about religion now want the government to endorse their religious beliefs and enshrine their beliefs, to the detriment of those of other faiths or no faith.

    But, religion is one of the “glues” on which a community is built and which helps a community define common moral values. One of the things that worries me about our current society is that we have an overemphasis on individual freedom and a much lesser sense of how important it is that we act together as neighbors with common needs, goals, that we realize and act like we are also a part of a community (neighbors, towns, schools, libraries, workplaces) in which we need to act for the good of the town, neighborhood, society. What substitutes for religion as that kind of “glue?”

    As for “those of us who need evidence and reason before we pretend to know truth” – I no longer believe that human-kind can ever know the truth of beauty, love, faith, mystery. At some level and to some extent we will always have to live and act without absolute knowledge. We have to act on – what – trust, faith, hope? Or, maybe, universal symbols of peace.

  • Be fair – he knows the bits someone told him to know – it’s a pity the someone wasn’t a nice person.

    Being attacked by Bob is akin to being savaged by a dead tadpole. The epitome of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

  • Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, and NRA shill presenting himself above in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

  • Just keep making up lies about people you’ve never met, it matches your irrational raving against Jews.

  • Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!!! You people are the largest hypocrites on the planet. I’m the bigot………but yet you’ve never met me; nor do you know anything about me.
    Btw…………….how did my original comment meet the criteria for “bigotry”??? I simply included a passage of Scripture and pointed out that the man making the criticism was a jew. How is that bigotry??? You hypocritical fool.

  • I’m the bigot………but yet you’ve never met me.

    You’re clearly a bigot from what you wrote.

    I simply included a passage of Scripture and pointed out that the man making the criticism was a jew. How is that bigotry???

    Textbook.

  • And you are not………..right? A sweet angel. Brian Westly — the Angel. Never discriminates right? You don’t have a discriminating bone in your feeble body. Unless of course the person is a Christian. The kind of Christian you despise. Then you are a bigot….and a proud one at that.

  • No, I wasn’t. I was pointing out your bigotry.

    Here’s more of your bigotry and Christian supremacy (keeping your comments private doesn’t really work):

    A little town in Washington was forced to remove a nativity scene because of pressure from a group in North Carolina. North Carolina!!! 2000 miles away a group can pressure a small town in Washington State. Citizens of this small town were interviewed and said NOBODY from their community complained.

    This is the Parasitic Nature of the spirit of anti-Christ.

    They hate us………….but can’t live without us. Would love to be a fly on the wall when ((( they ))) get what they want — a world without Christians and a world without White people. What a pit that place will be.

    Even the now-stereotypical ((( ))) dogwhistle.

    Here you are against “race-mixing”:
    Bizarre how Christians constantly declare — God never changes; God doesn’t change etc., etc.

    Below, Strongs119 lays out a Scriptural precedent that Israel should remain “separate”, and race mixing is condemned. Now all of a sudden God changed!

    Genesis 5:1 is compatible with Matthew 15:24.

    Christy Thomas declares herself to be an opinionated Jesus-Follower and a questioner of everything. Prove it………….

    And add some holocaust denial:

    Do some research on the racial identity of various characters of the Bible from other researchers and then come to your own conclusion. Kind of like the holofraud. If you only hear one side…………….

    Yet you’re too spineless to admit to it.

    This doesn’t even count your posts on the Daily Stormer.

  • Wrong — an ad hominem is when someone tries to say “your argument is wrong because you’re a bigot”.

    I’m just pointing out you’re a bigot and what you write shows that.

  • No, but it’s still extremely rude to pretend or claim that “the” Bible is the only religious text pertinent to the US, even from its founding. Not all denominations even have the selfsame canon.

  • Jesus Himself, His apostles, and most of His followers before His death were all Jews, as well. If you are going to measure everyone of Jewish ethnicity by what a minority of them did many, many generations ago, you could as easily reference that. Or you could reference the majority, who cared when it was pertinent to them but were otherwise ambivalent.

    Regardless, fallacy of composition.

  • Too funny. You can’t even recognize the parody of yourself.

    Everyone else reading this, note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, and NRA shill presenting himself above in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

  • Your own knowledge of US history must be exceedingly censored.

    P.S. If you meant the Americas, while a few different canons of Bible had a lot of influence, they weren’t the only influence, and they still aren’t.

  • I am apprised of all the citations you allude to; however, there is no outright condemnation of just military service in the scripture. Your personal convictions on the matter are not unscriptural, but they do not bind all believers.

  • There has only been one Bible with its one message in Americas founding. The Geneva Bible.

  • Any true Christian has to be a literist by definition.
    I come across many ‘Christians’ including ministers who sneer at me saying Creation and Flood are easily verifiable truths.

  • Mark Twain is in his grave until Resurrection on Judgment Day when he will discover that GOD doesn’t like liars and blasphemers.

  • As there is only one GOD and all who choose to ignore or blaspheme HIM will be eternally destroyed on Judgment Day it is logical that the leader of a nation should attempt to ensure GOD is acknowledged and all imaginary pagan gods are rubbished for what they are – Satan’s imagination.

  • Sure did, Bob.
    Just non-believers are so deluded!
    RichRush is one of those people Jesu sspoke about at Matthew 13:14.

  • There is no different Bibles.
    All Bibles contain Creation, Fall, Flood, Jesus’s birth, life, death and resurrection and the Revelation of his return.
    Lots of deluded fools fools themselves into thinking trivial difference devalue one Bibel against another but t’aint so.

  • Those Jews had to kill Jesus before he exposed that fact the high priests had been fooling the folks with the charade of sprinkiling the lamb’s blood on the Ark of the Covenant that was supposed to be in the holy of holies but wasn’t.

  • Poor old Mikey is a godless Jew walking to his eternal deeath for blasphemy and refusing to accept Jesus.

  • So the Mormon Bible is is fine, then? That fits the criteria you’ve described. So does the Bible for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Acknowledging that different Bibles exist ≠ saying the various canons lack efficacy unto salvation. There literally are multiple Bibles—multiple canons and translations. That is an objective, easily demonstrable fact, and you claiming otherwise is frankly a blatant lie.

    What there is only one of is God’s Word. All genuine Bibles contain God’s Word. What Bibles qualify as “genuine Bibles” is something that each person has to subjectively believe for themselves, since we’re not omnipotent, omniscient beings that exist outside of time.

  • As I said, censored. Quite Anglocentric and New England-centric, but not entirely accurate even for that, just briefly for specific colonies. The US is called “the Melting Pot” for a reason.

    You’re ignoring a lot of history and a lot of the country.

  • Misti………the word “Jew” and “Israelite” are not necessarily synonymous. Jesus was a Galilean from the Tribe of Judah.

    The Historian Flavius Josephus writes in “Antiquities of the Jews” Book 13: Chapter 9, Section 1: “Hyrcanus took also Dora, and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and of the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befel them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.”

    Just do a simple google search — Jesus was not a Jew — and you will find plenty of information to study.

  • Btw…………….does ‘this’ work? Calling people names like ‘bigot’ or ‘antisemite’? Does it actually work? Or does it simply just make you feel better. Like superior or something. “Glad I’m not a bigot like that guy”. ….. attitude.
    Or have you found that you can win people over to your side of an argument because you point out your challenger is a bigot, or a racist. Does it help influence your peers??? Have you found it to work? “Oh…don’t listen to that guy………he is a bigot.”

  • There’s more than one definition of “Jew”. Citing something that illustrates one definition doesn’t invalidate the others—and that quote actually calls those cities Jewish.

    (“They were hereafter no other than Jews” outright means “After that, they were Jews.”)

  • Grow up Misti.
    Mormon Bible contains all I said.
    Perhaps you mean their silly Book of Mormon?
    You need to grow up quite a lot.

  • Mormon Bible contains all I said.

    Yes, I said that, and I outright asked if you acknowledged it. So you do. Thank you for answering my question.

    The ridicule is quite unnecessary.

  • There’s actually very little in the way of requests for the government to endorse religious beliefs or enshrine those beliefs to the detriment of those of other faiths or no faith these days, particularly in comparison to 18th and 19th century America.

    Until the mid-20th century prayer in schools, Bible instruction, and so on were regular features of American public schools.

    The erroneous impression that somehow folks “now want the government to endorse their religious beliefs and enshrine their beliefs, to the detriment of those of other faiths or no faith” has a number of sources.

    First, in much of America the dominant view is that a small loud clique now wants the government to ban religious beliefs and enshrine an alien secular state to the detriment of those of faith. Get outside the Northeast and California, a few large cities, and visit with the rank and file in the West, Midwest, and South, and that’s the way things are perceived.

    Second, the erroneous impression is also a result of a long propaganda campaign beginning shortly after WWII by the sort of folks that belong to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State (now Americans United), and the like that falsifies the history and meaning of the non-establishment provision in the First Amendment.

    Finally, the erroneous impression is also the result of near constant litigation by those organizations, and in the last two decades by organizations who should know better like the ALCU (American Civil Liberties Union) challenging any mention at all of a religious belief in public life.

  • Knowledge of history is based on eyewitness primary source records. Your knowledge of “history” isn’t. It is based on revisionist leftwing nut jobs.

  • The two mottos are very different. E Pluribus Unum is out if MANY, one. In God we trust was a late coming tramp stamp reflecting a more paranoid and less freedom loving view of our nation. The only people who defend the motto on its merits and content are those opposed to religious freedom concepts like the free exercise of all faiths and the separation of church and state needed to ensure it.

  • Not at all, but you’re not going to believe that even if I provide counterexamples, so further discussion’s rather useless. My point that you’re cherrypicking still stands.

  • “In God we trust” first appeared in 1864 on the two-cent coin, largely as a result of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War, the bloodiest and most vicious war in our history. “A more paranoid and less freedom loving view of our nation” had zero to do with it.

    https://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/in-god-we-trust.aspx

    The people who defend the motto cite our unique history, noted by the Supreme Court in Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), that underlines that the First Amendment provides for a non-establishment of a state religion, not “separation of church and state”.

  • Mark 15:2, Pilate asks if Jesus is βασιλεύς (ruler) of the Ἰουδαῖος (Jews), and Jesus Himself outright admits Himself as such—and this verbiage even appears in the 1522 Geneva translation, a full two centuries before your reference claims Jesus was first described as a Jew. So that’s one baldfaced easy-to-find lie, early in, yet you’d have me believe they’re honest and accurate.

    Moreover, the resource itself traces the etymology and thereby outright admits that the modern English word “Jew” applies to Jesus. Did the word “Jew” exist then? No, but neither did the modern word “king” or “lord”—or even the name “Jesus”! (His name was actually Ἰησοῦς, which is pronounced closer to “Yah-soos”.)

    Seriously, so many violations of basic linguistics, etymology, spelling that it’s hard to tell if the author’s just that ignorant or if they’re lying on purpose to mislead others.

  • Hi Rose. Meet Roy. You two have a lot in common with each other. You two are as Christian as they come. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • The ultimate point here is that Jesus was not a “jew” as today’s “jews” are not even Israelites. They are Khazars — Ashkenazm.
    Jesus was a Galillean from the tribe of Judah. If you want to call Jesus and His apostles “Judahites”…………..I don’t object. To lump all of them into the category of ‘jew’ is misleading.
    Again….modern jews are not Israelites. Even “jews” during the days of Jesus were not Israelites. They were Edomite “converts” to Judaism. As was Herod.

  • GOD is shortly going to tell Jesus -‘Slaughter all who deny Me!’
    At the moment that means about 6 billion people are doomed.

  • Because everyone can trust a website called “overlordofchaos” to be an objective source of facts!

    🙂

  • I admit all the time that I “deny” the fraud of the holyhoax. Because it is a hoax. There were no gas chambers for human use. And no genocidal final solution. A third grader, upon studying the research done by men like Robert Faurison et., al., would admit most of the story is a hoax. Like “Shrunken Heads”. Proven to be a lie. “Lamp Shades”…….proven lie. “Soap made out of jew fat”……proven lie.
    6 million? My foot. Auschwitz themselves reduced the total number of dead by 3 million. But yet everyone still parrots the 6 mil myth.

  • Well, Rose, I do believe God put those spiral galaxies in the sky, or made it possible for them to form. But I don’t believe it was 6000 years ago.

    However, what we are learning about quantum mechanics and quantum entanglement puts the whole idea of time in a different perspective. Maybe time curved, sped up/slowed down, the one-cell early life from which all life derives really did unfold in 6,000 years, or in that instant before time began. Maybe the formation of stars and galaxies happened outside of time. Nah – I don’t think so.

    Anything is possible with God. So don’t underestimate Him or limit what you think He can do because reality does not fit the stories we short lived humans have told ourselves. God does not fit into the limits of human knowledge and thinking.

  • Except its not made by anyone people have to take seriously. Hence it is all over neo-nazi sites and a favorite of David Duke.
    http://chelm.freeyellow.com/khazar.html

    “The Khazar hypothesis is an argument that Ashkenazi Jews are not ethnically Jews, but descended from the Turkic Khazar Empire. The argument is largely advanced by KKKers, neo-Nazis, and others who seek to displace Jews from Israel.

    The purpose of the Khazar hypothesis is to create a separation between the modern Jews living in Israel and their ancestral claim to that land. This argument is advanced specifically for the purpose of stripping Ashkenazic Jews of personhood, self-determination, and nationhood.”

    “Though Ashkenazim are the largest ethnic group of Jews today, Sephardim and Mizrahim also consist of a significant part of the Jewish population, both in Israel and in the diaspora. Additionally, Israel has become the home of many smaller Jewish ethnic groups, such as Ethiopian Jews, Yemenite Jews, and Kaifeng Jews.

    The Khazar hypothesis does not address these populations in Israel at all. Sephardim and Mizrahim have historic claims to Israel. Additionally, based on the above evidence, Ashkenazim also have historic claims to Israel. Moreover, the genetic studies above refute the claim that all Ashkenazic populations descend from Khazars.

    The genetic studies above put the Khazar myth to rest. If you bump into the Khazar myth, make sure to refute it.”

  • Which is extremely silly considering holocaust denial went up in flames in 2000 when David Irving self imploded in the UK courts.

    There is not a single Holocaust denier who doesn’t draw upon Irving or who wasn’t referenced by him. When he was found to be a lying sack of turds so did anyone who pretended “holohoax” is something to take seriously.

    http://www.HDOT.org

  • I don’t think you are right in saying “There’s actually very little in the way of requests for the government to endorse religious beliefs or enshrine those beliefs to the detriment of those of other faiths or no faith these days.”

    When legal battles are fought over placing monuments to the ten commandments on court and government land, then, yes, there is an endorsement of religious belief being asked for.

    I see “near constant” litigation also occurs from the religious organizations and those who support them, especially the Catholic Church and more fundamentalist Christians in this country. But the same thing is happening in India and Islamic countries, where extremists who want no change in the power of a faith to shape a community will kill to get their way.

    I do think we are searching for a new kind of place for religion in society, for a different kind of balance between individual religious beliefs and community policies. And, yes, the power of the religious institution to influence the social rules is waning. It is coming to be better expressed in the power of the individuals of that faith, not through the institutions of that faith. (But heaven help us when we elect “conservative, Christian, Republicans” who them gang up to try to create a society that not does not just limit the freedom of those who are not like them, but punishes them and tries to drive them into isolation.

    It is abundantly clear that the Catholic bishops do not speak for all Catholics on issues like contraceptives in health insurance, legality of abortion, gay marriage, the place of women in society and the Church.
    I can’t tell you how many letters I have written to my elected representatives reminding them of that fact and providing information on surveys that clearly show the majority of Catholics in this country do not believe as the bishops seem to claim when they say “Catholics believe…”

    I agree that sometimes the ACLU seems to go to extremes to find something to fight religious people/institutions about. But, I also believe that we are in process of finding a new balance in the power of religious institutions or movements to impose religious beliefs on society, in civil life, and the protections they receive to do so when their protections limit the choices of those who do not agree with them.

  • I was quite aware when I posted that you “don’t think (I am) right.

    That’s why I simply went right into the reasons why the misimpression is common.

    If “When legal battles are fought over placing monuments to the ten commandments on court and government land, then, yes, there is an endorsement of religious belief being asked for.”, all we have to do demonize something is file a bunch of silly lawsuits attacking it.

    And that’s exactly what the two organizations I mentioned do. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, for example, is now on its second dozen suits attacking “In God We Trust” on American coins and currency, despite getting drubbed in court over and over.

    Again you “see ‘near constant’ litigation also occurs from the religious organizations and those who support them, especially the Catholic Church and more fundamentalist Christians in this country” because they are being forced to defend themselves from yahoos who have attempted to compel them to do things no one in American history ever dreamed of compelling.

    What kind of looney, for example, would suggest that making religious sisters pay for contraception doesn’t violate their religious rights? The Obama administration did.

    Yes, someone is “searching for a new kind of place for religion in society, for a different kind of balance between individual religious beliefs and community policies”.

    It is the folks like the ACLU about which a sitting justice wrote over a dozen years ago:

    “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda” and “failing to reach out and persuade the public”. They are circumventing the democratic process, which is leading to a compromised judiciary, increasingly no longer independent. This justice wrote that American liberals’ “overweening addiction” to using the courts for social debate is “bad for the nation and bad for the judiciary”.

    And, no, the power of the religion to influence the social rules is not waning.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/04/pews_dubious_results_on_faith_in_america.html

    What appears to be happening is that denominational loyalty, with some startling exceptions, is waning.

    It is abundantly clear that over a half century of organized dissent has led to a situation where many Catholic bishops and people who self-identify as “Catholic” do not see eye-to-eye on contraceptives, abortion, same-sex marriage, and the role of women in the Church.

    On the other hand, since it is a teaching church, in their disagreement they have impaired their relationship with their nominal church, and because they generally fail to attend church, raise their children in church, practice birth control and abortion, they are becoming a smaller and smaller proportion of their own denomination, while conservative young people increasingly fill the pews and the collection baskets.

  • He does the ((( ))) bit on other websites; he’s too ashamed to go full-bore supremacist here, I guess.

  • Because the obvious connection between Christian Nationalists who are regulars and common here and Neo-Nazis is something both try to avoid.

  • It was not all the lawsuits that made a majority of Catholics change their minds about contraceptives, gay marriage, and a whole lot of other issues. It was life, education, information, living in a broader world and not in an isolated village. It was woman getting a voice in society, having choices about how they would express themselves in their families and in the wider society, being able to control their fertility that allowed them to make those choices, and getting the power to vote.

    It isn’t the lawsuits. Perhaps it is democracy, globalization, communication. We live in many communities now – family, work, neighborhood, clubs, schools we are in or our children attend. The faith community is only one of the communities to which we belong and which bring meaning to our lives and which have enormous influence on health, safety, obtaining food, clothing, shelter.

    The Little Sisters of the Poor could have gotten out of paying for the contraceptives by signing a form telling the government they found it morally unacceptable. All they had to do was sign the form. Instead they, and the bishops who gave away a chance for better health care for everyone, fought against it. They took it to court again and again. The ones they hurt were not themselves but those who work for a living. They took their power as bosses to impose a religious restriction on those who work for them. Bishops and Little Sisters sued and sued and sued – and now millions will not have health care they need.

    So, who used the courts, who sued and sued and sued? Perhaps the ACLU and the bishops are about equal on that.

  • Reading a few parts won’t lead to the BIG PICTURE. You need to also understand the history, which is separate from what is found in the Bible. A good place to start is to read Karen Armstrong’s book about The Great Transformation, about the axial age that saw the rise of the four great traditions in four very different areas during the same general time period.

  • That’s a false distinction that ignores historic and current definitions of the term “Jew”, including how it’s used in Scripture. Jesus and the Jewish leaders who condemned Him were part of the same people group.

  • Biblical illiteracy is a pretty big problem in Christianity. Church education programs (such as Sunday school and various Bible study groups) even contribute to the problem. Focusing heavily on select teachings centered on accepted church doctrines, they usually lack the depth and breadth necessary to comprehend its patchwork character.

    As for POW/MIA displays, I can tell you from experience a Bible is superfluous. It adds nothing to the gravity or reverential mood of such displays. It merely serves to announce the religious inclinations of the local command.

  • Does that make you feel better about yourself? And……………does it work — the name calling. Do you feel that your use of ‘name calling’ persuades people to your side of the debate?

    Bigotry — intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

    I guess we better define “intolerance”.

    Intolerance — unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.
    In regards to the HoloFraud……………….yes I am “Intolerant”. I do not believe in the 6 million lie. I do not believe in the Gas Chamber for humans LIE…and I don’t believe in the Final Solution being Genocide. That is also a lie.
    Yes……………I acknowledge there were Work Camps and Transit Camps.
    In order to understand why the nsdap felt the jews were ‘hostile’ to their Nation, one would need to study and understand the Versailles treaty and also the Weimar Republic. It was the Jews who first declared war on Germany.
    If it makes you feel superior about yourself……………….yes, I’m a bigot when it comes to FRAUD, LIES and DECEPTION. I don’t tolerate people who are trying to defraud myself and my family.

  • Bigotry — intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

    Intolerance — unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.
    And you are not a Bigot according to these definitions??? Hypocrite.

  • BWAHAHAHA! Your first post was classical Jew-hating, and now you’re just stamping your little feet and saying “no, it’s YOU, not me!”

    You’re a gutless wonder who is too cowardly to admit to your own prejudices. The truth really hurts you that much?

  • Whenever Christians try to defend “in god we trust” as, somehow, not religious, it always reminds me of Peter denying Jesus three times before morning. They’d rather lie to push their god on other people instead of agreeing that “god” really is a religious term.

  • You’re the Christian supremacist, not me. Want me to quote some of your blathering again?

  • You wrote, “First Amendment provides for a non-establishment of a state religion, not ‘separation of church and state. ‘” That is a false statement.

    Cite even one court decision in the history of our nation which stated that the sole purpose of the Establishment Clause was to prevent government from setting up “a state religion.” We know that’s not true because James Madison, as president, vetoed bills for violating the Establishment Clause that nevertheless had nothing to do with government attempting to set up “a state religion.”

    And the courts completely disagree with your absurd claim: “Whether the key word is ‘endorsement’, ‘favoritism’, or ‘promotion’, the essential principle remains the same. The Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment], at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief.” Allegheny County v. ACLU.

  • Here:

    MTV is much like a reflection of the Jew. I remember back in the 80’s I was in middle school and our class President’s platform was to pipe MTV in during Lunch. He won and we got MTV through the loud speaker system during Lunch. MTV then was very ‘humble’. Men at Work was the most popular video. How innocent!

    LOOK AT IT NOW!!!??? This is how the Jew works. Note it. Remember it. Tell your children.

    And here:

    Some is better than nothing. Hard to be too critical of the likes of Coulter, Buchanon et., al., BUT………….if we don’t bring the Jewish Question back into public discourse as in the days of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, the likes of Coulter will be singing the same tune 50 years from now… if we are lucky.

    We need someone with the profile of a Coulter or a Buchanon to bring the JQ back into the public forum and do it in a mature, intellectual fashion. The JQ is historical and it didn’t just go away after ww2. Bring it back….bring up famous people of our past who spoke of this issue and get it back into people’s minds.

    Where is our Henry Ford for the 21st Century??? Does no one of their stature care about the future of Western Civilization???

    And:

    Ironic in that our recent ancestors died for the “greater good” (although that was a huge lie), but we have the likes of Buchanon — a new generation — who are all pussies! Especially for a guy who speaks of saving our race.

    Boggles my mind.

    But for some reason you shy away from being called a “racist”.

    PS: bonus:

    Peace is impossible trutherator as long as the Jews remain in power. Period.

    And hey, even more:

    There you go again. Telling a person he is a “Nazi” (NSDAP) is a COMPLEMENT.
    We could only wish we had Hitler’s NSDAP back again fighting for the survival of our Race.

  • Is Noel Ignatiev a classic “goyim hater”?

    “The key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the White race.”

    “The goal of abolishing the White race is on its face so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed White supremacists.”

    “We’ll keep bashing the dead White males, and the live ones, and the females too, until the social construct known as the White race is destroyed. Not deconstructed, but destroyed.”

    “Treason to the White race is Loyalty to Humanity.”

    Noel Ignatiev, Harvard Professor

  • No, you are racist.

    Now, will you proudly admit you’re a Nazi? You say it’s a compliment (unless you really meant “complement”).

  • I already examined the link and pointed out some falsehoods in the allegations found there.

    The author doesn’t actually prove their conclusion. If anything, they demonstrate the opposite, that their conclusion is false.

  • The First Amendment provides for the non-establishment of a state religion:

    “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.”

    The operative clause is:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    There is nothing about a “separation of church and state”.

    Before I go do some research for you, explain what – in your mind – “an establishment of religion” is. The Founders knew it was – they came from England, which had in fact an establishment of religion, the Church of England. That required the government to “take a position on questions of religious belief”, including authorizing the Book of Common Prayer, requiring reception of communion each year in said established church, paying the salaries of ministers and supporting cathedrals and parishes, and all the rest.

    Given that they were proficient in the English language, one might assume the Amendment states its purpose.

  • No one claimed that lawsuits made a lot of Catholics develop heterodox idea about contraceptives, gay marriage, and a whole lot of other issues.

    It was loud dissidents, poorly trained priests and religious, weak bishops, and the chaos following Vatican II which led to poor catechesis.

    The Little Sisters of the Poor refused to sign a form requesting the government to take it over.

    The government, which under Obama and spearheaded by a former Catholic head of HHS claimed they absolutely HAD to have a form signed, buckled when required by the Supreme Court ordered supplementary pleadings and admitted it had never needed a signed form or any other action on the part of the Sisters.

    The government then provided the insurance and at no point did anyone impose a religious restriction on those who work for them.

    You need to read more balanced source materials.

  • I don’t think I am the one who needs to “read more balanced materials.”

    The sisters and many Catholic organizations left those with the least, the lowest paid of those who work for them, with an inability to make their own choices about the health care that fits their needs, their doctors, recommendations, or which is even okay given their personal religious beliefs . An attitude straight out of the Middle Ages.

    But even more important, they were willing to take the chance that their obstreperous, obstinate, seeking after power to rule what others can do would imperil the steps that had been taken to provide more access to health care than we have ever enjoyed in this country. And guess what? It is going away, fading. Millions will again not have access to affordable care. Rather than actually work to assure that people could get treatment for life threatening illnesses, could afford expensive life extending medications, they through it all out over – contraceptives. Disgusting.

  • I know, not think, you need to read more balanced materials.

    Along with the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, East Texas Baptist University, Priests for Life, Southern Nazarene University, and Geneva College were resisting this unlawful attempt to force their participation.

    The Sisters left no one without health insurance. The government, once the Obama administration ceased its Kabuki dance of false representations, stepped in without any involvement of the sisters whatsoever and provided the objectionable coverage.

    However, that same administration gave some large for-profit companies like Exxon and Pepsi exemptions from the HHS contraceptive mandate. New York City and some other large cities wee exempt.

    Since the entire dispute arose because an administration with an animus towards religious exemptions fabricated a reason to force the sisters to violate their consciences, it ended when the government ‘fessed up, which it should have done from the start.

    Thus there was zero chance that the sisters would imperil more access to health care.

    http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/little-sisters-of-the-poor-home-for-the-aged-v-burwell/

    Of course, if you rely on National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal, America, and so on you’d only have the error-ridden narrative painting these organizations as downtrodding their poor employees you regurgitate.

    You need to read more balanced source materials.

  • So you have not a single court decision that says the sole purpose of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause was to “provide for the non-establishment of a state religion”? And you can’t explain why the author of the First Amendment, James Madison, when president vetoed bills on grounds that they violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment despite the fact that the government was not attempting to establish a state church or religion. And you can’t explain why the Supreme Court, going as far back as 1879 disagrees with you when it states: “The Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment], at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief.”

    And what are we to make of James Madison when he famously wrote: “The settled opinion here [in the United States] is, that religion is essentially distinct from civil Government, and exempt from its cognizance; that a connection between them is injurious to both.” (Letter to Edward Everett, Montpellier, March 18, 1823).

    You can’t explain any of this for a good reason – because you are wrong.

  • Unless and until you can explain what you believe “an establishment of religion” is, there does not seem to be much point to going any further.

    James Madison was writing in 1823, 32 years after the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Your citation is neither part of the Constitution nor a court decision.

    Madison had his opinions, Jefferson his, you yours. Everyone has an opinion.

    The statement “The Establishment Clause, at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief.”, which of course is from Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), is exactly my position. If the government adopts religious beliefs, it is by definition is establishing a religion with an official religious belief or beliefs.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.

    If you have some alternate version of the First Amendment with additional words along the lines of “a connection between them is injurious to both”, “a wall of separation between Church and State”, or anything along those lines please provide it.

  • Oh, so the authoritative statements of the Founders are but trifling “opinions”? When Madison and Jefferson wrote about the religious clauses in the First Amendment, they used language such as “wall of separation between church and state”, “total separation of the church from the State”, “separation between religion & Gov’t in the Constitution”, “perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters”, “the line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority”, to reference but a few of their quotes. So those declarations are inconsequential “opinions.”

    So when the Supreme Court in Reynolds v. United States (1879) said that Jefferson’s writings concerning a wall of separation between church and state “may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment”, that’s just an easily dismissed “opinion”?

    Got it. And because the Constitution doesn’t literally contain the phrase “separation of powers”, we can decisively conclude, using your “logic”, that no such principle exists in the Constitution. And I’m still waiting for you to explain why James Madison, when president vetoed bills on grounds that they violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment despite the fact that the government was not attempting to establish “a state religion.”

  • Scratch “authoritative”. For purposes of deciding what is and is not the meaning of the Constitution, the Constitution itself and court decisions in descending authority are authoritative.

    If Madison and Jefferson could not agree when the Constitution was written, why would their personal opinions decades later bind anything?

    The phrase “wall of separation between church and state” appeared as dicta in a Supreme Court decision – Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) – as an analogy. An analogy, however apt, in the dicta of an opinion does not amend the Constitution to mean something it does not say.

    Nor does “almost as an authoritative” (not authoritative, btw) amend the Constitution.

    Nor does a presidential veto, based on a particular president’s personal considerations, amend the Constitution.

    Yes, you’ve been drinking at the trough of Americans United For the Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, et al, but they lose many more suits than they win.

    The plain text of the Amendment, again, is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”.

    The Constitution, btw, separately establishes and deals with the Legislative (Article One), Executive (Article Two), and Judiciary (Article Three) branches of government. That is where you find the “separation of powers”.

    Note that they are in order of proximity to the electorate, which provides some idea of how they saw them in importance to the democratic processes.

  • “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa.” – Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

    All of these actions were features of the English government in dealing with the Church of England.

    Btw, the decision in Everson v. Board of Education APPROVED reimbursement to parents of both public AND private schooled children – 96% of whom were in Catholic schools – for taking the public transportation system to school.

  • I’ve read your material for some time.

    “In favor of religious neutrality” does not fairly describe it.

  • Who’s Satan? Please provide compelling, objective, verifiable evidence there is a “Satan.” Please also provide exactly how it is you’ve determined that I “adore” him/her/it/them. Thank you.  

  • Quote something I’ve written that isn’t in favor of governmental religious neutrality, then.

  • use your real name if you think you have a valid adult opinion?
    When and if you ever become adult you may understand why you adore your friend Satan.

  • I say everyone has freedom of faith but all non-Christians need to know that the one and only GOD – YHWH – has set a date when He will send His son Jesus Christ with legions of angels to slaughter all who worship Satan’s imaginary gods or who don’t worship anything.
    GOD sets up and blesses whatever monarh or president in any country to see how they treat their own people and Satan’s allies and when He decides He is being ignored He topples the leaders or the people or their enemies.
    This is clearly shown by studying world history and events in the 6,000 years since He created the world and Adam and Eve and told them to enjoy living a lovely life among the dinosaurs and other creatures.

  • When militant babbling Christians start practicing what the bible teaches, I will sit up and pay attention.

  • When numbnutz anti-Christianists can put together some sort of coherent moral system, I might pay more attention to them.

  • You have never and could never read or understand the Bible – but your friend Satan is delighted with your denial of facts.

  • Re: “use your real name if you think you have a valid adult opinion?”  

    … says someone who uses only her first name, which does nothing to identify her …  

    Hypocrite much?  

    Re: “When and if you ever become adult you may understand why you adore your friend Satan.”  

    I’m well aware you do not want to answer my original question to you, and are using my handle as an excuse not to have to do so. However, that is merely an excuse. I will ask again:  

    “Who’s Satan? Please provide compelling, objective, verifiable evidence there is a ‘Satan.’ Please also provide exactly how it is you’ve determined that I ‘adore’ him/her/it/them.”  

    Go ahead. Tell me all about it. I can handle it.  

  • The fact you demand proof of Satan is proof you can handle nothing but Sheldonisms.
    Keep watching your StarTrek videos.

  • Neither of those comments advocate disadvantaging religion by getting the government involved. Yes, I think Christianity is stupid — this is NOT the same as being against governmental religious neutrality, such as having government missing man memorials that only memorialize Christians.

  • Re: “The fact you demand proof of Satan is proof you can handle nothing but Sheldonisms.” 

    I have no idea what you’re talking about. “Sheldonisms” is gibberish. 

    Re: “Keep watching your StarTrek videos.” 

    Uh … OK. I guess. But I still would like you to answer my original question: 

    “Who’s Satan? Please provide compelling, objective, verifiable evidence there is a ‘Satan.’ Please also provide exactly how it is you’ve determined that I ‘adore’ him/her/it/them.” 

    Do you not have the courage to answer this? Or are you just too daft to attempt it? 

  • “Yes, I think Christianity is stupid …” – so much for “Being in favor of religious neutrality isn’t being anti-Christian”.

  • It isn’t. I’m against Christianity and any other religion, yes, but I’m also in favor of official religious neutrality. You can’t seem to understand that these positions don’t conflict.

  • Yes, I’m in favor of peace but I am also about to launch a nuclear strike.

    The concept “mutually exclusive” apparently does not show up on your radar screen.

  • Because they aren’t mutually exclusive. Instead of trying to use a bad metaphor, point out what’s contradictory about my actual positions.

  • Rose, if it were the case that CanisPulchrae was unable to understand the bible despite CP’s obviously sincere intent, that would be your god’s fault. So, your “god” would have to be a flawed being, and simply isn’t a god.

    Your inability to reason is not delightful, but it is a hoot.

  • No, Rose. You are wrong as usual. The fact that Misti sincerely interprets the bible or bibles differently from you means your god has flawed marketing, and isn’t perfect, or more accurately, simply doesn’t exist as clamed.

  • Demonstrably wrong from you as usual, Bobosé, based on the multiple reactions from others to my post.

    You are wrong yet again.

  • Sure….whatever you say. The “point” again, is that modern jews are not descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel.

  • But it’s OK because after that part of the story, Harry Potter eloped with Gandalf, and they flicked their combined wand and staff and made the world holey again.

  • Roy, you’ve been shown very clearly to be a racist. Time for you to back down and back off.

  • That’s an entirely different point than either of us have been speaking of all along, Roy.

    You drew a parallel between the Jewish leaders of Jesus’s day and the author of the article.

    I pointed out that Jesus and the leaders who condemned Him were from the same people group.

    Even if the link’s author demonstrated his conclusion—which he doesn’t actually do—that would be support of my point and destruction of yours.

  • Does that work amongst your peers? Does that settle debate…does it work?
    What is your definition of “Racism”? I recently moved to the Pacific Northwest from Atlanta for the sole purpose of keeping myself and my family safe. Am I a racist because of this?
    I’ve only ever been attracted to Caucasian women. My wife is Caucasian. Am I a racist?
    I like being around people who look like me. We get along the best. But I also have many good friends from previous experiences — high school, college, sport, employment etc, etc. I don’t have anything against non-white people. I get along with all people. Am I a racist?
    I have a problem with Jews who are criminals and who seek to take away from freedom and liberty. Bernie Madoff, as an example, stole my father’s pension. I hate Bernie Madoff for the crook that he is. Does that make me racist, or an anti.semite?

  • n.azi is a derogatory term. The Germans nor the nsdap used this language.
    Are you asking me if the principles of the nsdap would work today? I would say, ‘no’. But I’m not ashamed to say that the Germans of the 1930’s/1940’s were good and honest peoples. It is very sad what the world community has done to them — Read Gruesome Harvest.
    Read — “HellStorm” by Thomas Goodrich.
    See — the Morgethau Plan. See — “Germany Must Perish” by Theodore Kaufman.
    Still throwing old ladies in jail for simply having a different ‘opinion’ from the Thought Police. Poor Ursula Haverbeck. Such a disgrace to treat humans in this way.

  • Or, you don’t.

    Bigotry — intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
    Do you have a problem with this definition?
    Would you like to provide an alternate definition?

  • n.azi is a derogatory term.

    You yourself wrote that it was a compliment.

    And why are you afraid to spell it correctly?

  • And I know, not think, that you need to read more modern materials. May I suggest Ilia Dalio, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Elisabeth Johnson, Tina Beattie, Margaret Farley, Leonard Boff. What you need to do is think beyond the box which you have tried to construct around our Lord and our God. He is bigger than any box anyone can imagine. We need to learn to recognize God’s presence in a galaxy of a billion stars in a million galaxies. We need to get past the patriarchy of the Church and of our vision of God – If we are all created in God’s image, then we need to imagine the feminine side of God as much as the male side of God and reflect that in how we talk about, honor, praise Her.

    Food for thought.

  • Do you have a problem with this definition?

    Yes. I don’t tar all members of a group; you do.

  • You Christians are such snowflakes, you think that the government is there to stop your feelings from getting hurt.

  • Well, if you knew me, you would know I don’t either. Sometimes, for communication purposes, one must have to generalize.
    Henry Ford was specific. He called out Jewish Criminals and called them “International”. Martin Luther generalized. So what.
    You admitted you had issue with ‘some’ Jews. And that is the same with me. In regards to the term the “Jewish Question”………..that is not something I made up. It is a Historical Generalization. Of course not all jews are responsible for what their Elite kinsman do. I just wish more of them would speak out. Men like Benjamin Freedman of the past and Gilad Atzman of the present. Chess Player Bobbie Fischer. Henry Makow.
    Easy to call me an anti.semite. Hard to call Bobbie Fischer one. Or Benjamin Freedman.

  • Sometimes, for communication purposes, one must have to generalize.

    No, that’s for bigotry purposes.

  • Rose, your typically Christian insults are noted, and rejected.

    Shame on you. Apology and retraction please.

  • Rose, your typically Christian insults are noted, and otherwise rejected.

    Shame on you. Apology and retraction please.

  • Rose, your typically Christian insults are noted, and rejected.

    Shame on you. Apology and retraction please.

  • Rose, your typically Christian insults are noted, and rejected.

    Shame on you. Present your apology and retraction please.

  • Roy, your bigotry has been made obvious in your posts. Time for you to back down and back off.

  • Which is it…..am a racist, or a bigot or both?

    Racism — prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

    I have nothing against the non-white races. To each their own. Don’t bother me, I won’t bother you. Don’t leech off me, I won’t leech off you.

    Bigotry — intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

    Yes…………..I have different opinions than most. Am I “intolerant”? Depends what you mean by “intolerant”.
    For example — I’m all for homosexuals having the right to have a marriage certificate. No problem. However……….if there is a gay pride parade going down 3rd street……….I will walk my 10 year old down 5th street.
    Is that Bigotry?

  • What IS a n.azi? What are the common characteristics of a n.azi? And does your ‘criteria’ meet the definition of those men and women who supported the nsdap in the 30’s and 40’s???

  • Roy, stop weaseling. Your track record here obviously demonstrates that you are both a racist and a bigot.

  • Your comments were on the Sisters and their run-in with the Obama administration.

    Did Ilia Dalio (sic), Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Elisabeth (sic) Johnson, Tina Beattie, Margaret Farley, Leonard Boff have anything to add to that discussion?

    [Orlando, FL] 2013 – At the annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) held in Orlando, FL, August 13-16, the more than 820 participants discussed some of the critical issues facing the global community and how US Catholic sisters may respond to them.

    In a keynote address, theologian Sister Ilia Delio, OSF spoke to the destruction of the planet and the need for recognition of the place of humanity in the evolutionary process. Noting that the decisions made today will shape the future direction of evolution, she said, “The choices we make in love and for love co-create our future. When we see ourselves as part of a larger whole, we act on behalf of the whole of which we are a part. Christian evolution is thinking and seeing in a new way.”

    [According to Delio, God needs the cosmos.

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/08/at-the-lcwr-woodstock-in-orlando-the-sisters-learn-that-we-are-stardust/ ]

    “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the whole biotic community,” she continued. “It is wrong when it tends to do otherwise. We need a new way of being in the world that broadens diversity, deepens interiority, and strengthens the bonds of relationality.”

    Great stuff. Not Catholic, to a large extent hardly even comprehensible, but great stuff.

    http://www.usccb.org/news/2011/11-205e.cfm

    “Bishops Reaffirm Their Critique of Book Quest for the Living God by Sister Elizabeth Johnson”

    “ …. The Committee comes to the conclusion that ‘the language used in the book does not adequately express the faith of the Church.’”

    “The Committee commends Sister Johnson ‘for her stated intention to help the Church progress in her understanding of divine realities,’ but says that the book fails to fulfill this task, ‘because it does not sufficiently ground itself in the Catholic theological tradition as its starting point.’”

    “The Committee points out that the book is ‘a particular pastoral concern’ for the bishops ‘because it is written for a ‘broad audience’ rather than a more narrow scholarly audience.’”

    “‘Furthermore,’ it adds, ‘whether or not the book was originally designed specifically to be a textbook, the book is in fact being used as a textbook for the study of the doctrine of God.’”

    “‘Having examined both the book and the Observations in detail, the Committee on Doctrine believes that it is its duty to state publicly that on several critical points the book is seriously inadequate as a presentation of the Catholic understanding of God.’”

    Great stuff. American, Commonweal, and the National Catholic Reporter loved her stuff and couldn’t agree less with the bishops.

    And so on and so on and so on.

    Food for thought.

  • So you can’t point out anything that I wrote that actually is mutually exclusive.

    By the way, was it impossible for Roger Williams to be fervently opposed to Quakerism while allowing Quakers to live peacefully in Rhode Island? Do you understand the difference between being opposed to something vs. imposing government restrictions on it (or the opposite, granting special favors)?

  • No you didn’t — being against Christianity (and all other religions) isn’t incompatible with being in favor of religious neutrality.

  • As Jesus says to the Israelites and Jews in the Old Testament, “[fill in quote of one’s choice].”

  • I don’t have any friends named Satan. And I studied the bible extensively as a seminarian. It’s a book like any other book. Your worship of the bible amounts to idolatry.

  • Canis – dog, feminine

    Pulchrae – beautiful, feminine

    CanisPulchrae – Beautiful bitch

    A talking dog!

  • “Feminine” is incorrect for canis.

    Canis is a genus of the Canidae containing multiple extant species, such as wolves, coyotes, jackals, dingoes, and dogs. Species of this genus are distinguished by their moderate to large size, their massive, well-developed skulls and dentition, long legs, and comparatively short ears and tails. -Wikipedia

  • The government’s inscription of the phrase “In God we trust” on coins and currency, as well as its addition of the words “under God” to the pledge of allegiance in 1954 and adoption of the phrase “In God we trust” as a national motto in 1956, were mistakes, which should be corrected. Under our Constitution, the government has no business proclaiming that “we trust” “In God.” Some of us do, and some of us don’t. Each of us enjoys the freedom to make that choice. The government does not as a matter of fact and should not as a matter of law purport to speak for us in this regard.

    The courts have sometimes (as in Marsh v. Chambers) found ways to excuse such things, for instance with the explanation that they are more about acknowledging tradition than promoting religion per se. Draining the government’s nominally religious statements or actions of religious meaning (or at least purporting to do so) and discounting them as non-religious ritual–sometimes dubbed “ceremonial deism”–is one way the courts have sometimes found them not to conflict with the First Amendment.

    Ordinary folks, though, commonly see things quite differently; when most read “[i]n God we trust,” they think the Government is actually declaring that “we” as a people actually “trust” the “God” they actually believe in. If they truly understood it as merely a ritualistic phrase devoid of religious meaning, they would hardly get as exercised as they do about proposals to drop it. As you can imagine, those more interested in championing their religion than the constitutional principle of separation of church and state sometimes seek to exploit and expand such “exceptions” even if it requires they fake interest only in tradition.

  • Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our
    Constitution. The fundamental error in
    your argument is the supposition that it is just a First Amendment textual issue.
    Just as the founders did not simply say
    in the Constitution that there should be separation of powers and checks and
    balances, but rather actually separated the powers of government among three
    branches and established checks and balances, they also did not merely say
    there should be separation of church and state, and rather 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.

  • LOL a seminarian.
    With lots of pedophile and homosexual activity?
    Seminaries are hotbeds of Satanism.

  • Carioca,
    Your friend Satan may seem attractive at this stage of Earth’s time but Jesus is due to return shortly to end Satan’s rule and destroy all his followers.

  • Separation of church and state is nowhere in our Constitution.

    Our Constitution is more nuanced; it prohibits the government from establishing religion or from opposing religion. It cannot endorse a religious belief. It cannot condemn a religious belief. It cannot favor religion A over other religions. It cannot prohibit religion A. In short, it cannot make “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

    That is a different concept than “separation of church and state”.

    Just as the Founders did not accomplish a separation of powers by saying “there shall be a separation of powers”, but by creating three branches with different powers, so the Founders – masters of using the English language with brevity and clarity – did not prohibit opening legislative or court sessions with prayer, did not proscribe tax exemptions for churches, did not prohibit days of prayer, or anything of the kind. They simply stated that the government could not make “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

    That did not create a government based on any religious belief but at the same time did not “create a wall of separation”, whatever Thomas Jefferson thought.

    The result is a neutral, not secular, government which permits and at times appears to endorse a vague “civic religion”. The Founders believed religion to be a civic good.

    That underpins decisions such a Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984) that Pawtucket, Rhode Island’s annual Christmas display in the city’s shopping district, consisting of a Santa Claus house, a Christmas tree, a banner reading “Season’s Greetings,” and a crèche was not an effort to advocate a particular religious message and had “legitimate secular purposes.”

    Justice O’Connor in particular argued that it was entanglement or endorsement that was prohibited by the Establishment Clause.

    Government can violate that prohibition in only two ways: excessive entanglement with religious institutions; endorsement or disapproval of religion.

    That tracks well with the very very plain text of the First Amendment, while “separation of church and state” does not.

    Another excellent example is the repeated failure of organizations’ legal challenges over the years by organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation against having “In God We Trust” as a national motto and on U.S. currency.

    In Aronow v. United States in 1970, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – the most liberal of the Circuits – ruled: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.”

    In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984), the Supreme Court concluded that acts of “ceremonial deism” are “protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content”.

    In Zorach v. Clauson (1952), the Supreme Court wrote that the nation’s “institutions presuppose a Supreme Being” and that government recognition of God does not constitute the establishment of a state church as the Constitution’s authors intended to prohibit.

    In 2015, a case against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District brought by a student of the district and the American Humanist Association which argued that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance created a climate of discrimination because it promoted religion, making non-believers “second-class citizens” was dismissed.

    In his decision the judge wrote “As a matter of historical tradition, the words ‘under God’ can no more be expunged from the national consciousness than the words ‘In God We Trust’ from every coin in the land, than the words ‘so help me God’ from every presidential oath since 1789, or than the prayer that has opened every congressional session of legislative business since 1787.”

    No, “separation of church and state” is not a bedrock principle of our Constitution.

  • You believe in “Satan” and many other fairy tales, yet you’re going to preach to me about logic and reason?

  • Ok………….and then what. Do I not get a star next to my name? Or, am I not allowed to have recess at the same time as you. Please tell me, what is my punishment? Should my first amendment be denied? Should I be put in jail like Ursusla Haverbeck?

  • Bigot– intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

    Intolerance — unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.

    Yes………………I have different opinions from other people. And YES, I am unwilling to accept the many LIES that the Progressive Left pushes down our throats daily.

  • I suggest you read “Germany’s War” by John Wear.
    “Hitler’s Revolution” by Richard Tedor
    “The Myth of German Villainy” by Benton Bradberry
    “Hellstorm” by Thomas Goodrich

    “For My Legionaries” Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
    Then you will be wise and truthful. Until then….you just repeat lies.

  • MY definition of Nazi doesn’t enter into it; YOU wrote that “Nazi” was a compliment, but you keep running away from it here, and you won’t even type the word correctly to avoid searches.

  • “Hitler’s Revolution” by Richard Tedor
    Recommending a book written by a former higher-up of the American Nazi Party, yet you won’t call yourself one.

    Just admit you’re a Nazi.

  • Ad Hominem.
    And………..what exactly is a n.azi. If you could give me some characteristics of one, I could then tell you if I am one or not.
    Btw…I don’t think, but I can’t be sure, the author RT is different from the 70’s Tedor. I only say that because I heard him being interviewed and when asked about the JQ he was “neutral”. A leader of the American n.azi party would not be ‘neutral’ on the JQ. Not that it matters regardless. Facts are Facts are Facts.
    See Commander Lincoln Rockwell. True Patriot for the Posterity.

  • I said it “should” be one; if……………….IF truth were allowed to be told.
    The Germans of the 30’s and 40’s were upstanding peoples. The philosophy of the nsdap was positive, good, healthy and wholesome. It sought to free the Germans from the savages of Bolshevik Communism.
    “Some call it Marxism; I call it Judaism.” Rabbi Steven Wise.
    Read “For My Legionaries” for some context as to the political and social climate at the turn of the century.
    Read — E. Michael Jones’ book, “The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit”.

  • Very well stated, as usual. Two days ago, I posted a comment intended to address some of the same issues but the site tagged it thusly: “Detected as spam. Thanks, we’ll work on getting this corrected.”

  • Of course he was; do you know about the Bengal famine? How he wanted to use poison gas against “uncivilized tribes”?
    Why won’t you proudly call yourself a nazi?

  • Ad Hominem.

    Nope, I’m not trying to argue that his book has errors because he’s a nazi; just pointing out that you push a book by a nazi.
    Why are you ashamed to call yourself a nazi, then?

  • I said it “should” be one; if……………….IF truth were allowed to be told.

    You can vomit out all the “truth” you think is true. You just don’t like it that sane people think you’re a racist nazi who has nothing worth reading.

  • Simpy block posters like this when you see them pop up. The comment feed will read more quickly and cleanly without all the debris.

  • “Sane”. 🙂

    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius

  • If I knew what a n.azi looked and acted like; then I could admit to being one or not.
    Why don’t you read Tedor’s book and find out what the qualifications were for members of the nsdap.

  • If I knew what a n.azi looked and acted like; then I could admit to being one or not.

    But you wrote that it’s a compliment, so you must have some idea.
    Why won’t you even write “nazi”, nazi?

  • Again…if I knew what one was, I could then affirm or deny.
    ex: I am not a Republican. I have Conservative values, but I wouldn’t consider myself a Republican. I also have Liberal values. But I wouldn’t consider myself a Democrat.
    I do know that the peoples of Germany in the 30’s and 40’s were good honest hard working peoples. They didn’t deserve “Gruesome Harvest”.
    You……..being a humanitarian, should be sympathetic. No one should be treated in this way.

  • “Should” be a compliment. IF…………the truth were allowed to be told.
    Your reading comprehension, quite frankly, bites.

  • Again…if I knew what one was, I could then affirm or deny.

    But you wrote that it was a compliment, so you already know.
    Also, my personal definition might not agree with someone else’s, so there’s no real reason why you’d need my definition.

    So why won’t you call yourself a nazi?

  • “Slander” is a not a nice quality……btw. Or maybe it is, considering you love the LIE.

  • my personal definition might not agree with someone else’s
    Exactly! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I rest my case. It was fun……but not real fun. See you Westley.

  • Way to not understand evolution, Rose.

    Again, your typically Christian insults were noted, and otherwise rejected.

    Shame on you. Apology and retraction please.

  • That actually doesn’t work, Shawnie. The majority of users don’t block, and will see the comments you blocked, that you lack the guts to read and respond to.

    Shame on you, as usual.

  • No, Roy, and stop weaseling. Your record reveals your bigotry and racism. Many others here agree with my assessment.

    Shame on you.

  • Being called a bigot by a holocaust affirmer and progressive liberal is also too hilarious!

  • So you have no reason not to say you’re a nazi, except you’re just ashamed.

  • You are “slow” Brian. Try playing those brain stimulating games. You don’t comprehend well.

  • Just keep hating White Christians and Whites who don’t agree with you, making your bigotry obvious.

  • Oh, oh. It sounds like you’ve run afoul of Disqus’s spam algorithm. I’ve learned from (much) experience that Disqus does diddly to “work on getting this corrected.” Really, Disqus does nothing. Why it routinely posts messages suggesting otherwise (such as you received) is a good question.

    Rather than undertake to fix the problem its algorithm caused, Disqus advises commenters like you and me to contact the website moderator and ask him/her to review and “approve” the comment Disqus marked as spam. Many site moderators don’t bother with such requests or don’t know how to fix the problem.

    It gets worse. If you don’t try to get the problem corrected, Disqus’s spam filter will “learn” that it was right to dub your comment spam–and will more vigorously go after your future comments. You’re a marked man.

  • I just hate specific hateful idiots like yourself. You, on the other hand, blame entire groups of people.

  • Sure…whatever. Sorry I didn’t say “some” jews.
    The Jewish Question is historical. I suppose we should re-name it — the ‘some’ Jewish Question.
    The, ‘not all jews’ Jewish Question.
    Henry Ford’s “The not all International, International Jew.”

  • Sorry I didn’t say “some” jews.

    Because you prefer to blame every Jew. Every time.

  • Bigotry — intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
    Yes…..I hold different opinions from most. Intolerant? Well…………I don’t bother cultivating friendships with those who I disagree with. Which I think is pretty normal. But I live by the principle — live and let live. Unlike you. You would enact a Bolshevik style takeover of all things Christian (white) when given the chance.
    If you lived in S. Africa at the moment, you’d be passing out machetes. “Kill the Boer” Westley would say.

  • You’re a bigot because you try to foist blame on entire groups of people.

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