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Ten Commandments outside of Ohio School

Freedom of Religion Public Schools Ohio

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 03:55 PM

It's the thread that had to happen.

http://abcnews.go.co...030610_267.html

Quote

Protesters, sheriff's deputies and school officials who clashed over a judge's order to remove four giant Ten Commandments tablets from school buildings prayed together after workers loaded the last monument on a truck and drove away.

All four granite tablets were removed by Monday evening.


Earlier, dozens of protesters locked arms and knelt in prayer to hinder workers who had been ordered to remove the monuments from four schools in the Adams County/Ohio Valley School District about 60 miles east of Cincinnati.

Deputies briefly took at least 30 protesters into custody, but later released them without filing charges.

Lawyers for the district told school officials that they would be in contempt of a court order if they did not instruct the sheriff's deputies to remove the protesters from school property.

"A judge's order is a judge's order," said Francis Manion, the school board's lawyer. "We think (the judge) got it wrong, but it's the school board's duty to remove the monuments."

The protesters temporarily blocked a crane from taking the 800-pound granite tablets from three of the schools, but sheriff's deputies removed the protesters from school property.

U.S. Magistrate Timothy Hogan ruled in Cincinnati last year that it is unconstitutional to display the Ten Commandments on public school grounds. He ordered them removed on Monday, after the school year was finished.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued in 1999 on behalf of a Peebles resident who objected to the display. The school district has appealed Hogan's ruling.

"We have to make the decision in America if there's going to be local control of what we're going to teach our children," said Dave Daubenmire, among those protesting at Peebles High. "Is it going to be the people here in the community, or some judge in a courtroom in Washington? The people of Adams County have spoken."

Separation of church and state, or political corectness gone mad?

Discuss.
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~~ Josh, winning the argument.

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#2 NeuralClone

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:01 PM

Oh dear. I'll have to come back to this one... :unsure:
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#3 G1223

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:13 PM

I agree that it was done for the right reasons.  I do not see a school as the proper place for the tablets.
I do think that certain times of the year such displays in parks and public buildings are ok if done in celebration of  holiday.
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#4 NeuralClone

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:17 PM

G1223, on Jun 11 2003, 01:17 AM, said:

I agree that it was done for the right reasons.  I do not see a school as the proper place for the tablets.
I do think that certain times of the year such displays in parks and public buildings are ok if done in celebration of  holiday.
I think I'm leaning pretty strongly toward agreeing with this.

...

Yeah, I agree. :D
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#5 Bad Wolf

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:26 PM

Separation of Church and State.

OTOH, I'm still waiting for a recall of EVERY piece of American currency.

I mean, currency *is* after all minted by the government.

And it *does* after all say "In God We Trust"

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#6 Rov Judicata

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:27 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Jun 10 2003, 10:30 PM, said:

Separation of Church and State.

OTOH, I'm still waiting for a recall of EVERY piece of American currency.

I mean, currency *is* after all minted by the government.

And it *does* after all say "In God We Trust"

Lil
And the Supreme Court has the ten commandments in it. And congress has a huge freaking bust of Moses looking over them.

Something has to give.

EDIT:

For reference, here's a link to the decision of Lemon v. Kurtzman: http://caselaw.lp.fi...l=403&invol=602
Here's the executive review:

Quote

Established the three part test for determining if an action of government violates First Amendment’s separation of church and state: 1) the government action must have a secular purpose; 2) its primary purpose must not be to inhibit or to advance religion; 3) there must be no excessive entanglement between government and religion.

1) I agree that it has a secular purpose. It's architechture for a building.
2) I don't think it advances religion. The child that has his religion changed by those tables is the child that will quickly become my obedient mind slave.
3) This is the tricky one. Excessive entanglement is a near meaningless phrase. However, I don't think this does that.

Therefore, I think the tablets should stay.

EDIT to fix my link

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 11 June 2003 - 04:42 PM.

St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#7 Dev F

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:27 PM

Quote

"We have to make the decision in America if there's going to be local control of what we're going to teach our children," said Dave Daubenmire, among those protesting at Peebles High.
And what if the "locals" wanted control over what kinds of protesters should be given the freedom to assemble? Or over what kind of speech should be protected by law?

It seems to me that one of the most difficult things for people in America to accept is that our system of government is not just about the majority getting to do whatever it wants. A good part of what makes this country great is that we accept that, for the good of all, some things must not be allowed even if the majority is in favor of them. That's something that, sadly, these poor citizens have failed to realize.

--
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#8 G1223

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:34 PM

I think that another aspect to that is that the majority is not always wrong. There has to be a resonable middle ground That is the strength of our system.
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#9 Gvambat

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:55 PM

I think if they're going to put up the ten commandments, they should put up the major tenets of every religion. And I mean every religion--every denomination, every religion or faith that has ever had a leader or following (and this requires a definition of religion vs. philosophy).

Of course, if this isn't impossible, it would be both incredibly difficult and expensive.

I don't see this as a problem, since I see no reason for the ten commandments to be in schools unless they're teaching either religion or the Bible (which has its own literary and historical merit)
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#10 Rov Judicata

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 05:02 PM

To those who think the removal of the tablets is justified:

Do you think the Lemon test is a good test for separation of church and state issue? IF not, what should it be replaced with?

If you do think it's a good test, which of the three tests does this part violate?
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#11 rhuhne

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 05:52 PM

I gotta tell ya Rov that THAT article makes for some really looonnnggg reading and hard for me to get through. :( ([SIZE=1]so I didn't read it all..)[SIZE=7]

Your brief quote made a difference tho. If those are the three standards that determine the separation I have to change my opinion of the removal of the Ten Commandments in courthouses and other government places.

This country has been around a few years and the primary religion has been based in Christianity. Therefore many of our buildings have religious (Christian) artwork in them. I don't feel it's necessarily important that they be removed but that over the course of time this country will embrace being truly secular in government. Religious paraphenalia will have no place in our government.

One of the most imortant aspects of this country is the freedom of religion. In order to fully support that freedom I feel it is important that our goverment is completely secular. Including the architecture.

Or include the wisdom of the many great religious leaders and philosophers. They all teach the same core things and are well worth embracing.

All peoples want the same thing, a joyeous, fulfilling life for our children. We are not different from each other. Where are we taking this tiny planet? How are we going to ensure the continuation of the species? How do we become the full embodyment of what it means to be human? What is our potential as a species?
These, to me, are the important questions of this era of humanity.

We can only do this as a global team. One country cannot survive if the others fail, differences in religion do not matter in this time.

#12 Uncle Sid

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 09:40 PM

Although I think that having the commandments up on a public school is not th right place for them, I was interested in the arguments about not doing stuff just because the majority wants it.  The fact is that i a good democracy, a minority needs to be protected from the worst assaults on it by the majority.  Otherwise, as we've seen elsewhere, they can make life ugly.  On the other hand, the strength of a democracy comes from the will of the people, as expressed in a majority.  If a minority group or groups end up dictating policy in a detailed manner, then the country ceases to be a democracy, and becomes a special interest state.  That is dangerous, because it's a ripe ground for someone who knows how to rile people up, and use that to get the majority to back something less than conciliatory.  

So... I think we need to be realistic.  It's one thing to try and be consistent, but I think that hunting down every expression of the majority religion or culture and then suppressing it, especially when we try and foster minority cultures, is a very bad idea.  Hunting down things in these little towns and rural counties is probably going to do more harm than good to the process of keeping the country open to listening to minority concerns.  I really think these things could have stayed and no real harm done.  It would be another thing entirely, however, if there was a chronic and ongoing case of some sort of discrimination that came to light in this area.  Then I could see some need to purge public buildings of something that obviously Christian.
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#13 Rhea

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 09:51 PM

Gvambat, on Jun 10 2003, 10:59 PM, said:

I think if they're going to put up the ten commandments, they should put up the major tenets of every religion. And I mean every religion--every denomination, every religion or faith that has ever had a leader or following (and this requires a definition of religion vs. philosophy).

Of course, if this isn't impossible, it would be both incredibly difficult and expensive.

I don't see this as a problem, since I see no reason for the ten commandments to be in schools unless they're teaching either religion or the Bible (which has its own literary and historical merit)
I agree.

If this were a private religious school, then good on them. In a public school, forget it.  

I'm also with Lil on the currency. I'm waiting too. :p :p
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#14 Rhea

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 09:52 PM

Uncle Sid, on Jun 11 2003, 03:44 AM, said:

So... I think we need to be realistic.  It's one thing to try and be consistent, but I think that hunting down every expression of the majority religion or culture and then suppressing it, especially when we try and foster minority cultures, is a very bad idea.  Hunting down things in these little towns and rural counties is probably going to do more harm than good to the process of keeping the country open to listening to minority concerns.  I really think these things could have stayed and no real harm done.  It would be another thing entirely, however, if there was a chronic and ongoing case of some sort of discrimination that came to light in this area.  Then I could see some need to purge public buildings of something that obviously Christian.
I don't think it's public buildings in the general sense, but public buildings in the "built with goverment funds" sense. If the government pays for it, it ought to stay secular. And all public schools are built and paid for by government money.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#15 Ogami

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 10:37 PM

Yep, if you let the Ten Commandments be displayed, then concentration camps and ovens are right around the corner.

That's ludicrous, of course, but that's the mentality you have to have to demand these tablets be removed. How silly.

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#16 Morrhigan

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 11:24 PM

What's the point of having the 10 Commandments put on display in a school?
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#17 Delvo

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 11:58 PM

G1223, on Jun 10 2003, 11:17 PM, said:

I agree that it was done for the right reasons.  I do not see a school as the proper place for the tablets.
Funny thing about the right/wrong reasons here... The reasons for a government entity to do something aren't supposed to be based on propriety or morality or logic or anybody's feelings. They're supposed to be based on the law. I agree that the Ten Commandments shouldn't be there because they do promote two religions and demote all others, which violates the separation of church and state. But the catch is that VoC&S is not law. It was a Federal ruling that triggered this, but the US Constitution only says "Congress shall make no law" toward establishing a state religion. That means by omission that Federal government actions that go toward establishing a state religion (such as allowing local governments to spend government money putting religious icons on display on government property) are perfectly legal as long as they don't involve the passing of a law by Congress!

It seems monumentally stupid to me, but it's the way it is. So they did this for the wrong reasons: not because of the law, but because some people decided on it independent of the law. I'm all for the COMPLETE separation of church and state, which would require that these Commandments go, but there's no law for it yet...

#18 Dev F

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 01:05 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Jun 11 2003, 12:06 AM, said:

To those who think the removal of the tablets is justified:

Do you think the Lemon test is a good test for separation of church and state issue? IF not, what should it be replaced with?

If you do think it's a good test, which of the three tests does this part violate?
All of them:

1. It serves no secular purpose to promote the tenets of a particular religion. I don't buy the argument that it serves an "architectural" purpose; by that argument a public school would be free to install a JESUS SAVES! mural, as long as the building's design provides an attracted alcove in which to place it.

2. What purpose does a copy of the Ten Commandments serve, except to advance Judeo-Christian religion? Why not simply install a list of secular moral guidelines, with no mention of "I am the Lord your God" etc.? The only reason to include the Biblical teachings is to trade on religious feeling -- to indicate, essentially, "Do these things because God wants you to." Well, it's not the state's place to tell children what God wants them to do -- or even that there is a God.

And I don't agree that only a weak-willed child will have his religious beliefs affected by such an installation. The whole point of a school is to affect the minds of our youth, and if they aren't supposed to have their feelings changed by what they see on its walls, what's the point of Say No to Drugs posters and the like?

3. I think officially sanctioning the Judeo-Christian God in a place where the state educates our young people qualifies as excessive entanglement.

Uncle Sid, on Jun 11 2003, 04:44 AM, said:

On the other hand, the strength of a democracy comes from the will of the people, as expressed in a majority.  If a minority group or groups end up dictating policy in a detailed manner, then the country ceases to be a democracy, and becomes a special interest state.
But the point is not to allow a minority to dictate to the majority; it's to uphold certain principles regardless of what anybody -- minority, majority, whatever -- happens to believe.

Delvo, on Jun 11 2003, 07:02 AM, said:

It seems monumentally stupid to me, but it's the way it is. So they did this for the wrong reasons: not because of the law, but because some people decided on it independent of the law.
Independent of the law? It was decided by people whose job is to decide what the law means. To deny that is to deny legal tradition and precedent stretching back 200 years, nearly to the founding of the nation.

#19 Delvo

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 02:01 AM

Dev F, on Jun 11 2003, 08:09 AM, said:

Independent of the law? It was decided by people whose job is to decide what the law means.
...and who have abdicated that duty, allowing a great many un-Constitutional things both good and bad. The idea of separation of church and state is just one of them. To me, the Constitution SHOULD have said that government money and property shall not be used that way, but it doesn't, and someone declaring that it does doesn't make it so. What it says is "Congress shall make no law...". That's not one of those ambiguous sentences that could have widely different interpretations; it just means what it says. And in this case, that rule isn't violated because there was no law being made when the monument was installed.

#20 G1223

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 02:30 AM

So why should it be your faith?
Why not the Chatholic faith as pratised my the Spainish during the Conquest of the Americas. We can put those other faiths which are heresy to the sword along with the pegan ones of the natives.  

You want the commandments for what purpose. What possible use would the first Commandment be to a student of the educational system.

Exodus 20:3
Thou shall place no other gods before me.

That is why the commandments have no place in the school.

There are a more than a few who are not worshiping this particular god.

Are we also to place the public prayers for the Islamic faith where all may see them as well as the Buddist prayers. The school has that large a grounds for all the fiaths of our planet? wow big school.
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And if you want to save these shores. For Pity sake Don't Trust them.
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If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

When the fall is all that remains. It matters a great deal.

All hail the clich's all emcompassing shadow.

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