The Right's Drive To End The "Separation of Church and State"

"Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" - Christine O'Donnell

The absurd controversy over Markos' use of the title American Taliban in his latest book has papered over the real issue for liberals and progressives - the unending drive of the Right to constitutionalize government promotion and imposition of religion. The above quote from Christine O'Donnell has drawn a great deal of attention in the Left blogs, but I think the focus on O'Donnell's ignorance with regard to the Establishment clause misses the larger point - O'Donnell was merely parroting the standard line of the Republican Party and the Right on the separation of church and state. Consider National Review's Ramesh Ponnoru's defense of O'Donnell:

[O'Donnell] denies is that the First Amendment requires “the separation of church and state.” Here’s something I wrote about this question several years ago that, I think, is on point: [. . .] People mean different things when they talk about “theocrats,” “the separation of church and state,” and “secularism.” The word “secular” can describe both irreligion and neutrality about religion.

Ponnoru is not writing in a vacuum. The drive to change the meaning of "separation of church and state" is a program of longstanding for the Right. Consider the 2002 case Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, where Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote:

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, prevents a State from enacting laws that have the "purpose" or "effect" of advancing or inhibiting religion. Agostini v. Felton, 521 U. S. 203, 222-223 (1997) ("[W]e continue to ask whether the government acted with the purpose of advancing or inhibiting religion [and] whether the aid has the `effect' of advancing or inhibiting religion" (citations omitted)). There is no dispute that the program challenged here was enacted for the valid secular purpose of providing educational assistance to poor children in a demonstrably failing public school system. Thus, the question presented is whether the Ohio program nonetheless has the forbidden "effect" of advancing or inhibiting religion.

To answer that question, our decisions have drawn a consistent distinction between government programs that provide aid directly to religious schools, Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U. S. 793, 810-814 (2000) (plurality opinion); id., at 841-844 (O'Connor, J., concurring in judgment); Agostini, supra, at 225-227; Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U. S. 819, 842 (1995) (collecting cases), and programs of true private choice, in which government aid reaches religious schools only as a result of the genuine and independent choices of private individuals, Mueller v. Allen, 463 U. S. 388 (1983); Witters v. Washington Dept. of Servs. for Blind, 474 U. S. 481 (1986); Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School Dist., 509 U. S. 1 (1993). While our jurisprudence with respect to the constitutionality of direct aid programs has "changed significantly" over the past two decades, Agostini, supra, at 236, our jurisprudence with respect to true private choice programs has remained consistent and unbroken. Three times we have confronted Establishment Clause challenges to neutral government programs that provide aid directly to a broad class of individuals, who, in turn, direct the aid to religious schools or institutions of their own choosing. Three times we have rejected such challenges.

(Emphasis supplied.) I think Rehnquist's description is an excellent example of the two pronged strategy that the Right has engaged to break down the "separation of church and state." First, claim that "private choice" use of government funds that promote religion is well established as constitutional (it wasn't.) Second, claim that the jurisprudence regarding direct aid to religion by the government has "changed significantly," implying that the law is unsettled in this area. It never was until the Right gained the upper hand on the Court.

In Zelman, the Court, in a 5-4 vote, proceeded to rule the school voucher system that permitted payments to religious schools constitutional as a "private choice:"

Mueller, Witters, and Zobrest thus make clear that where a government aid program is neutral with respect to religion, and provides assistance directly to a broad class of citizens who, in turn, direct government aid to religious schools wholly as a result of their own genuine and independent private choice, the program is not readily subject to challenge under the Establishment Clause. A program that shares these features permits government aid to reach religious institutions only by way of the deliberate choices of numerous individual recipients. The incidental advancement of a religious mission, or the perceived endorsement of a religious message, is reasonably attributable to the individual recipient, not to the government, whose role ends with the disbursement of benefits. [. . .] We believe that the program challenged here is a program of true private choice, consistent with Mueller, Witters, and Zobrest, and thus constitutional.

Justice Souter, in dissent, described the success of the Right in doing away with "the separation of church and state":

The applicability of the Establishment Clause1 to public funding of benefits to religious schools was settled in Everson v. Board of Ed. of Ewing, 330 U. S. 1 (1947), which inaugurated the modern era of establishment doctrine. The Court stated the principle in words from which there was no dissent:

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.

The Court has never in so many words repudiated this statement, let alone, in so many words, overruled Everson.

Today, however, the majority holds that the Establishment Clause is not offended by Ohio's Pilot Project Scholarship Program, under which students may be eligible to receive as much as $2,250 in the form of tuition vouchers transferable to religious schools. [. . .] How can a Court consistently leave Everson on the books and approve the Ohio vouchers? The answer is that it cannot. It is only by ignoring Everson that the majority can claim to rest on traditional law in its invocation of neutral aid provisions and private choice to sanction the Ohio law. It is, moreover, only by ignoring the meaning of neutrality and private choice themselves that the majority can even pretend to rest today's decision on those criteria.

And this is only the first part of the Right's campaign to abolish the separation of church and state. Thus, while too many Democrats spend their time worrying about whether it is appropriate to compare the religious extremists of Afghanistan with the religious extremists of the United States, Christine O'Donnell's vision, the vision of American Theocrats of the Right, continues to get closer to reality. Soon Christine O'Donnell may be right to question whether the First Amendment provides for separation of church and state.

Worrying if progressives are using intemperate language about the Extremist Right is a luxury we can not afford. The Extremist Right has no such qualms and continues its succeeding campaign to impose religion through government means. As Justice Souter wrote:

It is virtually superfluous to point out that every objective underlying the prohibition of religious establishment is betrayed by this scheme [. . .] the first being respect for freedom of conscience. Jefferson described it as the idea that no one "shall be compelled to ... support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever," A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, in 5 The Founders' Constitution 84 (P. Kurland & R. Lerner eds. 1987), even a "teacher of his own religious persuasion," ibid., and Madison thought it violated by any " `authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence ... of his property for the support of any ... establishment.' " Memorial and Remonstrance ¶ ;3, reprinted in Everson, 330 U. S., at 65-66. "Any tax to establish religion is antithetical to the command that the minds of men always be wholly free," Mitchell, 530 U. S., at 871 (Souter, J., dissenting) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

Christine O'Donnell is of the Extreme Right. She parrots their words and thoughts. And while their program has not yet reached fruition - the phrase "separation of church and state" still has resonance - it can not be denied that the Extreme Right's campaign is gaining in success, and will continue to do so if not confronted. The philosophical discussions on the Left regarding the use of the phrase "American Taliban" are sideshows. The real threat is being ignored.

Speaking for me only

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    o/t, BTD: New poll on Feingold race (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Cream City on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:25:10 PM EST
    is out, a (very reputable) local poll, that puts Feingold only two points behind -- so, with a five-point margin, definitely a dead heat.  I got the Feingold email with detail, so it may be on the campaign website; or here is a hot-off-the-presses media link. Not much there yet, but you can bet there will be more soon there and/or at the jsonline Wisconsin Voter blog.

    Feel free to delete this o/t post now. . . .

    I always had a hard time (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:26:36 PM EST
    believing a place like wisconsin would turn out a guy like Feingold

    Oh, it would -- it turned out (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cream City on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:31:24 PM EST
    Gaylord Nelson not that long ago, the seat that Feingold got . . . but only owing to a fluke 18 years ago, and only after the wonderful Senator Nelson's was turned out for a very Republican successor, who only lost it owing to also being too cocky to cover up his corruption.  

    Other than Milwaukee and Madison, there are only a few reliably liberal pockets of voters on the map.


    still think (none / 0) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:39:36 PM EST
    he will pull it out.  the thing I love, and the thing the MSM always leaves out, about the "broadening" of the electoral battle field - more competitive races - is that races are tightening.  all over.  as you would expect.  they do not mention that even the republican leaning ones are tightening.

    funny that


    Well, (none / 0) (#11)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:15:43 PM EST
    I'm glad I got to see it before it's deleted.
    This is the only good news I've seen lately...

    The truly ironic aspect of the Right's (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by observed on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:27:21 PM EST
    drive here is that if they succeed, it makes the possibility of the US being part of the "Caliphate", with Sharia the law of the land, more likely.

    This "movement" is sine qua non (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:52:10 PM EST
    for the anti-gay forces. When the conservative right tries to legislate morality, what they really mean is (their brand of) Christian morality.

    This is why Jews continue to not vote for Republicans.

    there are actually (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:54:52 PM EST
    a lot of evangelicals, even republican ones, who think that their closeness to the republican party is hurting their membership drives and have not shown much in the way of reward.  

    here's (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:16:24 PM EST
    the thing: don't use the word "Christian" because it could alienate people who are on your side like Lutherans and Episcopalians to name a few. Use the word fundamentalism. It's concise and to the point. Fundamentalism is what the Taliban and the Religious Right have in common.

    That's what I meant by "their brand of" (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:17:16 PM EST
    Molly Ivins (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Zorba on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:27:28 AM EST
    used to call them "Talibaptists."

    god (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 09:27:23 AM EST
    I miss her

    Me, too (n/t) (none / 0) (#71)
    by Zorba on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:29:00 PM EST
    I know that's what you (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:19:53 PM EST
    meant but when you use the word "fundamentalism" you are going to find out more often than not you will attract more people to your cause. Osama is a fundamentalist Muslim just like the crazies in religious right are fundamentalist Christians.

    When people (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:13:27 PM EST
    get vapors about using the word Taliban I have to ask them how is the religious right in this country any different on issues than the Taliban? They agree on many thing. I guess you could call the Religious Right in this country, the kinder softer Taliban since they haven't gone so far as recommend stoning for adultery though I wouldn't be surprised if they advocated jail time for it.

    THIS is the fight of the next few decades. It is a fight against radical fundamentalism in our own country. This is why I've been angry at Obama because he has actually enabled these crazies with his pee-puss crap.

    The only reason why (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 08:56:07 AM EST
    our fundamentalists haven't attacked and killed more people who aren't "like them" is due to the fact that we are able to inflict consequences on them, and that is it IMO.  That is the only reason why they haven't beaten more people to death or hanged them (in recent years, because we are only one generation away from such hangings where I currently live).

    the point would be... (none / 0) (#122)
    by pyrrho on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 08:35:14 PM EST
    ... that defending kos' use of the concept is a phenomenal waste of time.

    O'Donnellbama (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:13:36 PM EST
    I feel a sense of violation when Obama and Bush and others talk about their religious, Christian, beliefs.

    I feel a sense of violation when forced to utter, "under God", when reciting the pledge of allegiance.

    I don't like to see, "in God we trust" on our money.

    I don't like to read about the "National Prayer Breakfast" at which every president since Eisenhower has spoken. Ugh.

    I don't like that there is a Chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives.

    I don't like that there is a Senate Chaplain.

    This is a slippery slope - and we have let it slip way too far already.

    Christine O'Donnell may not know anything about the Constitution, but people who might know more about it don't care enough about it to fight for it.

    The Pentagon "study" on DADT, (none / 0) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:57:09 AM EST
    and the concerns with repeal of DADT, invoke the need to check with the military chaplains. How is that for separation of church and state?

    The military is not a democracy :) (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:16:41 AM EST
    True the military is not a democracy (none / 0) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:32:05 AM EST
    It should not be theocracy based either but there are some indications that attempts to go in that direction are alive and well in some parts of the military.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:59:38 AM EST
    God isn't supposed to enter into anything other than that which is personal and that is why there are chaplains to speak with.  The military has been having a hard time with religion lately too.

    Well, maybe Christine O'Donnell (none / 0) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:25:47 PM EST
    is serving as a legal consultant to the Pentagon and has advised them that all is just fine with regard to God being in the repeal mix.  Ms. O'Donnell is not an attorney, but she can add that credential  to her resume pretty quickly, as she has been known to do on other occasions.  

    Joe Miller providing (none / 0) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:43:08 PM EST
    "on the job training" for the military personnel? Greenwald

    They will be better qualified for employment by Blackwater Xe Services LLC when their enlistment is over. :-(


    Their enlistment being over may be soon (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:22:38 PM EST
    too.  They did not have premission from their chain of command to be employed by the Drop Zone as far as anyone can tell.

    This makes Rich Iott, the guy (none / 0) (#83)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:36:36 PM EST
    goose-stepping for Congress in Ohio,  look good.  Iott just dresses up and plays Nazi on weekends; Joe Miller seems to be practicing what he preaches--he is the real deal.   O'Donnell does not know anything about the first amendment and Miller  never heard of posse comitatus. And, the soldiers, well either they got permission from the commanding officer or they didn't. Not so good, either way.

    Pretty sad actually (none / 0) (#112)
    by Rojas on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 08:42:13 PM EST
    Because I normally have respect for your point of view. Posse comitatus is dead and gone. The so-called "extremists" didn't kill it. That was mainstream Hill and Bill that drove the nail.

    Very sad (none / 0) (#113)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 09:04:38 PM EST
    The Posse Comitatus Act is still the law of the land.  If you're referring to Waco, law enforcement officials complied with the PCA, as noted by the Special Counsel in the Danforth Report.

    Not that facts will stop the conspiracy theorists ...


    Posse Comitatus has been whittled away (none / 0) (#124)
    by Jack E Lope on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 12:19:21 AM EST
    ...over the years.

    The act is a statutory creation, not a constitutional prohibition. Accordingly, the act can and has been repeatedly circumvented by subsequent legislation. Since 1980, Congress and the president have significantly eroded the prohibitions of the act in order to meet a variety of law enforcement challenges.

    This article lists, in part:
    • ...to involve the Navy and Air Force in the "war on drugs"
    • ...the use of military forces in other traditionally civilian areas--immigration control and tariff enforcement
    • ...the Civil Disturbance Statutes: 10 U.S.C., sections 331-334 (used during the riots that followed the Rodney King verdict)

    The Act survives, but with many holes punched in it.

    I agree entirely ... (none / 0) (#126)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 08:01:09 AM EST
    ... that there are a lot of exceptions to the use of military force as it relates to the PCA.  I just disagree with the winger talking point that the PCA was somehow violated at Waco through the loan of military equipment (or otherwise).

    Sorry Rojas but (none / 0) (#120)
    by KeysDan on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 08:42:02 AM EST
    I do not understand.   But thanks for the kind words on past comments.

    Your post is sophisticated and serious, BTD (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Peter G on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:45:52 PM EST
    but it should perhaps be noted explicitly that the right-wing talking point "Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" is mainly based, not on real constitutional analysis, valid or invalid, but on a simple verbal trick.  Because it is true that the words "separation of church and state" do not appear in the First Amendment (or anywhere else in the Constitution), the wingers think they can, without getting caught lying, sell the notion -- which is not true -- that the principle of separation is not embedded in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and in Article VI, cl. 3 (no religious test permitted for public office).  

    Excellent read Thank you. (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 10:09:53 PM EST
    Last night a formerly Mormon friend who attended public schools in Glendale,CA,told us her school had religion classes a couple times a week. But Mormons were not allowed in the Christiainity classes. No such public school classes where I grew up in Midwest.  

    ??? Classes??? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:20:14 PM EST
    I've heard of individual groups of students meeting in the cafeteria at school before classes started to do bible studies in public schools, but never classes sponsored by the schools.

    The separation of church and state is just such an obvious need. Anyone know how many religions are practiced in this country? Freedom of religion just disappears when one religion acts like they are the RULING one.


    Let us not be complacent. (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by lentinel on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 06:01:16 AM EST
    Sure, she is a fool.

    But so was Reagan.
    A laughable idiot.

    And he was elected the President of the United States - twice.

    They name airports and schools for him.

    So - watch out.
    If the Dems keep on doing what they're doing - you may be taking a plane to O'Donnell airport someday.

    ODonnell is no (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 09:26:57 AM EST
    Reagan.  she is an embarrassment even to the shameless republicans.  they are giving her no money and no support.

    she is an ignorant gold digger.  she wins this election even if she loses and she knows it.
    she will not disappear from public life but she will never be elected to anything above the city council.


    O'Donnell will join the (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:03:57 PM EST
    "very serious" people group promoted by the media and will laugh her way to the bank as others make jokes about her.

    Yup (none / 0) (#117)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 02:57:21 AM EST
    She will be a hero, a martyr at right-wing gatherings and may even appear on the various "serious" Sunday AM shows.  She'll attract a cult following that will make her financially secure.

    The crap that's passed off today as candidates for public office is stunning.  I blame the right for this state of affairs.  For decades they've pushed the idea that politicians are slime, promoted term limits, started recalls and generally made it an unsavory profession for many able sincere people.  Their non-stop anti-tax jihad is insuring ineffective government because  politicians are to frightened to do what's necessary.  They're running the nation into the toilet and Christine O'Donnell is the visible evidence of what the right's created.  Be prepared for more Christine O'Donnells.


    No support, no money... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 09:41:08 AM EST
    from the GOP...that's her one redeeming quality.

    She's nuts, but at least she didn't pull an overnight GOP-ification like piker Rand Paul...I'll take a nut over a flip-flopping phony, at least you know where they stand and what you're dealing with.


    GOP-ification (none / 0) (#57)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:50:22 AM EST
    she is to stupid to even pull that off.  to stupid to be a republican IMO is not exactly a redeeming quality.

    I think this is one my favorite (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 08:23:12 AM EST
    writings you have done this year.  I struggle living where I do because I live in the heart of this movement.  I live in a hostile environment because I'm not a Christian, and I'm never going to be any sort of such thing that is highly thought of around here where religion is concerned.  I shouldn't have to care though about it to the degree that I do in the Taliban state of Alabama, this is the United States and not some theocracy.  People here shamelessly attempt to strip me of my human diginity all the time because I am not religious like they are.  Under our current laws it shouldn't be this challenging to be NonChristian and live here, this country was founded by people escaping religious persecution.  Imagine where I would be trying to live here without our existing laws? Imagine where some places in Alabama would socially be with further license to be even less tolerant.

    You know what? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:13:20 AM EST
    It's also hostile to other Christians. I've gotten the same treatment that you have and I am a Christian. The talibaptists think that since there are more of them that they are right completely ignoring the fact that there are probably more Catholics than them. Everyone else is considered a "fake christian" by them.

    "There are none so blind (none / 0) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:45:37 AM EST
    as those who will not see."


    If the right wing wants this to be a Christian nation ruled by the laws of Christianity, which one of the 200 sects will force the other 199 to abide by their rules?



    The one that uses prayer mats (none / 0) (#43)
    by observed on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:52:46 AM EST
    and faces mecca 5 times/day?!

    I was referencing CHRISTIAN Sects (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:08:14 AM EST
    And my question was somewhat serious. Many on the right want to force their so called Christian beliefs on the citizens of the U.S. through the  construction of laws and structuring education etc. The problem arises that once they accomplish the initial objective, each sect will want their dogma to become the dominant law of the land. IOW do we outlaw dancing? How about Bingo (Catholics really like bingo to rise funds)? Do the different sects become the Christian version of Sunni and Shiite but with even more splits?  

    Supreme court will tell you to (none / 0) (#48)
    by waldenpond on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:15:20 AM EST
    let the states decide.  What's wrong with that?

    Nothing I suppose (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:22:24 AM EST
    But some states will become a North American Afghanistan and breed radical terrorists.  I have almost NO DOUBT about that.  I live a half an hour from Opp AL and its radical underground group that murders doctors.

    Heaven (none / 0) (#53)
    by waldenpond on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:39:48 AM EST
    Sounds like a little Christian utopia for them.  

    Christian rules for women (none / 0) (#69)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:23:40 PM EST
    I am somewhat familiar with. Wondering, though, are there any for men?

    To think back on the antics of so many Evangelical leaders, I can't think of anything off-limits to the men.


    Christian rules for men (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:35:09 PM EST
    Don't get caught and if you do repent immediately. Redemption and forgiveness for men is a given. Then back to business as usual condemning others for their actions. :-(

    And all strip clubs inthe super Christiany (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:16:12 PM EST
    Christian states must have privacy fences surrounding the parking lot.  I never saw such a thing until I moved here.  In Colorado, if you are at the strip club, everyone sees :)

    Each state decides? (none / 0) (#116)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 02:30:13 AM EST
    State's rights, eh.  

    Let's run the clock back 46 years and see what  that gets us.


    I was somewhat serious too. (none / 0) (#56)
    by observed on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:49:06 AM EST
    There are some pretty weird Xtian sects---and that's without even talking about "Jews for Jesus".
    Speaking of which, is there a "Muslims for Jesus" group?

    Funny, I got just the opposite feeling (none / 0) (#59)
    by coast on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:56:07 AM EST
    when I converted to Catholicism from Methodism.  The priest called our marriage a "mixed" marriage because I had yet to convert.  If we were married in the Methodist church it would have never come up.  Also, sitting thru a mass isn't so inviting for non-catholics either.  I understand the reasoning for only allowing Catholics to take the Eucharist, but speaking for someone who once had to sit idly by for a number of years, its rather demeaning.

    Bizarre. Having been to a fair few (none / 0) (#63)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:03:28 PM EST
    Catholic masses in my early years, I would estimate around 10-20% of the attendees don't take communion, for whatever reason, on any given Sunday. Not exactly the equivalent of being forced to wear a scarlet M...

    Yes (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:12:21 PM EST
    The old school Catholics wouldn't go to communion if they hadn't been to confession.  

    I am born and raised Catholic and I've never heard or seen anything that would indicate non-baptized Catholics were not welcome.  The only thing they asked was that they did not take communion, but no one was checking IDS at the door or anything.


    Bizarre? (none / 0) (#90)
    by coast on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 03:25:31 PM EST
    Not sure what you mean.  If you have a choice of either participating in communion or not, then your choice not to is simply "your choice".  You don't feel any different when people are passing you by in the pew.  When your told you are not allowed to participate in communion, you get a totally different feeling when they are passing you by.

    Basic message is, your not a member of the club.


    I suppose that we can agree (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:03:44 PM EST
    then that no religion is respectful to everyone, it is a closed club and that is how it exists as an entity.  So the only to not have a separation between church and state is to have a theocracy.

    Actually (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 06:46:38 PM EST
    I completely understand. The talibaptists don't even celebrate Eucharist so that's not an issue. They do, however, demand immersion in water to belong. The Catholic Church can be just as bad as Baptists in inclusion I have found. I was just using the number of Catholics and as more or less an argument point against the talibaptists and their mindset that their numbers make them "right".

    It strikes me as odd that the Court (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:39:38 PM EST
    can make the distinction that private choices made with the assistance of public money do not represent government endorsement of religion, but it can't make a similar distinction about public money being used to aid in the similarly private choice to have an abortion.

    But maybe I'm missing something?

    You (none / 0) (#81)
    by lentinel on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:29:37 PM EST
    ain't missing a thing.

    The real threat is being ignored (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:12:11 PM EST
    as usual.

    that was a scary read.

    the new norm seems to be if you say something often enough and loud enough it will become true.  at least to the "pull my string and get a talking point" crowd.

    on the other hand I love that Ramesh Ponnor has is revealed to be as ignorant as the lowest common denominator in this years election cycle.

    Truth (none / 0) (#41)
    by waldenpond on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:39:06 AM EST
    One nut on Fox propaganda stated... it may not be factual, nonetheless, it's true.  That's conservatism for you.

    It's no longer that conservatives reject science and reason... they must now reject full sentences as a person can apply minimal amounts of critical thinking.  


    CNN absolutely skewered her (none / 0) (#20)
    by Cream City on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:45:30 AM EST
    today and tonight, over and over.  Every anchor can't get enough of the clips of the self-proclaimed "Constitutional scholar" O'Donnell being incapable of remembering those pesky amendments -- including the First Amendment.  I think her bobble on that one, so beloved of journalists, finally is getting some to call her as they see her:  a fool.  Finally.

    It's a cheap shot, and one (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:40:02 AM EST
    of a kind that Dems. have suffered from far more.  As per BTD above, she CLEARLY knows perfectly well about the 1st Amendent.  She's challenging the idea that the words "separation of church and state" appear in it. Bad move on her part to do it the way she did, but that's what she was doing.  It's long-standing ho-hum crap from the religious right.

    Funny how the Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:24:09 AM EST
    can take uncounted cheap shots at Democratic candidates, but when you tell the truth about a Republican candidate by showing clips from her debate, or parody her laughable campaign commercial, that's a 'cheap shot'.

    Yeah, right.

    Liberals---losing with their white gloves unsullied since 1980.


    No white gloves here (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:21:37 AM EST
    but I personally object to stupidity, laziness and cheap shots, as in media bouncing off a 10-second sound bite with no context. (Remember Shirley Sherrod?)

    More importantly, to make a big joke out of the (false) assumption she doesn't know what's in the 1st amendment is to totally bypass the important point, which is the right-wing attempt to rewrite constitutional history and break down the legitimacy of the idea that religion and government should stay separate.


    I would bet money she has (none / 0) (#46)
    by observed on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:04:27 AM EST
    not read the Constitution. She parrots talking points and she seemed genuinely surprised someone would claim there is no separation of church in state in the constitution, because she had very clearly been told otherwise.

    Re: Ms O'Donnell (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:17:59 PM EST

    to make a big joke out of the (false) assumption she doesn't know what's in the 1st amendment

    Anyone who doesn't know what a reference to the establishment clause in the 1st Amendment means DOESN'T KNOW what's in that Amendment, and should be the subject of ridicule if they was running for anything above the level of dog catcher for their community.

    Speaking for me only.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#114)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:56:40 PM EST
    But that's not the case with O'Donnell.  She was doing a whole sort of schtick-- "It does?" "Where is that?"

    What you miss about O'Donnell is that despite the babyish appearance, she is a skilled TV performer.  She's been at it for a very, very long time.  She does not NOT betray her ignorance of a subject in such a pathetically obvious way in a high-stakes televised debate.  She made a collossal error in choosing to play it that way, but to think she wasn't playing it is very naive.


    So, she made an unforced error (none / 0) (#119)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 05:34:57 AM EST
    and I'm naive because I don't think it was deliberate?

    Anyone who has seen her from Nahers' show and on MTV talking about sex will agree that she can handle herself well in front of the camera.

    But I'm not sure that I follow your logic, that is, she really knew the contents of the 1st Amendment and how it applies to the concept of separation of church and state, but that this self-proclaimed defender of the Constitution decided to play naive on this issue because why?

    I'm sorry, but you need to look up Occams' Razor and get back to us.


    It's fairly standard moron's (none / 0) (#123)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 11:59:08 PM EST
    informal debate style, for heaven's sake.  Pretend you don't know what the person is talking about to get them to commit themselves, and then you puncture them with your details.

    I can't believe you've never seen this before.

    O'Donnell has her talking points down pat, and if you think she doesn't know precisely what the wording is of the 1st amendment and what her (standad issue, btw) interpretation of it is that doesn't include "separation of church and state," I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for you.


    Is that why she's saying that (none / 0) (#125)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:51:34 AM EST
    she was right on that point?

    As for moronic, I'll leave the peanut gallery here to determine who doesn't know what.

    From cbsnews(dot)com

    When pressed during the Thursday interview to clarify her position on the separation of church and state, O'Donnell cited the language of the Constitution.

    "Well I think it says exactly what it says: that the government will not create - will not dictate - that every American has to believe a certain way, but it won't do anything to prevent the free exercise thereof," she said.

    Click Me

    And if you still believe in your theory of what O'Donnell believes, I have a nice bridge over the Kings River I'd like you to have a look at.


    No, it is a shot she deserved (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Cream City on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:02:59 AM EST
    per my comment below.  Any pol in such a debacle would deserve criticism.  See my comment below; have you seen the debate?

    Big chunks of it, yes (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:24:54 AM EST
    And those who have only just discovered her smug, obnoxious, dismissive style are coming pretty late to the party.  It was on full display in the earlier CNN debate, which was largely ignored because it didn't have as much of a "hee-hee" moment as the pretense that she doesn't know what's in the 1st amendment.

    From livedash(dot)com (none / 0) (#38)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:22:48 AM EST
    last night's Hardball:

    Starting with Ms. O'Donnells' question:

    00:00:08    Where in the constitution is the separation of church and state?

    00:00:12    >> The first amend.

    00:00:13    The first amendment.

    00:00:16    The fact that the federal government shall not establish any religion and the supreme court over many, many decades.

    00:00:23    >> The first amendment does?

    00:00:24    Let me just clarify?

    00:00:25    You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the first amendment?

    00:00:30    >> Government shall make no establishment of religion.

    00:00:32    >> That's in the first amendment?

    00:00:34    >> I was surprised she wasn't familiar with the establishment clause.

    00:00:46    >> The establishment clause, i agree with you, the separation of church and state is in a letter by jefferson.

    00:00:49    It is not in the constitution of the united states.

    00:00:50    >> Play the tape 40 times, but the fact she is responding to chris coons, saying, the establishment clause?

    00:00:59    That's in the constitution.

    Good -- that's quite an excerpt (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Cream City on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:54:52 AM EST
    and even then cannot capture her snide, whiny attitude, can it?  For those in the teevee audience who may not want to think through the nuances of the amendment, the clause, etc. -- well, there's no need to think through what is so obvious in her demeanor . . . and her demurral that a self-proclaimed "Constitutional scholar" or Senator did not need to actually know what is in the Constitution.  'Cause, you know, that's what those high-school interns are for, huh?

    CNN (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by star on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 08:30:37 AM EST
    And the rest of the media are so focused on a loony who is 20 points behind her challenger..who does not have a prayer (pun intended) of getting elected, they are ignoring the real tight races and not asking the real questions of people who will be in congress soon.
    I really feel the O'Donnell lady's sole purpose is to be the distraction /punch bag if you will. I see Msnbc also obsessed with her. she will be forgotten after Nov 2nd.  

    Good point -- the focus on some loonies (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Cream City on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:36:58 AM EST
    who love the media spotlight is, as usual, letting the media "let off" the stealth loonies who are so avoiding it.  An example that worries my spouse and I is in our state, where the looniness of would-be "Senator Sunspots" Johnson is not getting sufficient attention in his race against Senator Feingold.

    Sunspots just got excoriated by his own hometown newspaper, in Oshkosh, for refusing to meet with its editorial board -- Feingold, of course, is doing so -- as just one of many ways in which Sunspots is winning on the strength of a carefully orchestrated campaign to shelter him from exposure, meaning showing who he really is.

    And who he really is has been suggested by just some snippets from his past and all-too-occasional missteps now when actually answering questions from the media.  Now, if the national media would come to town to corner him, I think that he would have to meet with them.  But national media are too busy chasing the too-obvious loonies in the East and West, while -- as usual -- neglecting their journalistic job to focus on flyover-country loonies, too.


    no she wont (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 09:23:24 AM EST
    she is a mini Palin.  she doesnt care if she loses she knows after the election she will never again not have the money to pay the rent.

    you really have to see the video of that debate to appreciate how smug and ignorant she really is.  she has no idea that the audience is laughing AT her and not with her.  she did everything but wink.


    Yes, those who have not seen the video (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Cream City on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:01:19 AM EST
    . . . really ought not comment and try to defend until they do.  I take the kneejerk reaction to reactionary candidates, and to women candidates, with a large grain of salt as well -- but partisanship and misogyny have nothing, nothing to do with criticism of O'Donnell on this performance.  It has to be seen to capture just how appalling is her attitude, in addition to her ignorance.

    Maybe, maybe not (none / 0) (#25)
    by Zorba on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:32:45 AM EST
    If O'Donnell ever tries to run for President, I'm betting Palin would try to get the nomination for herself- she wouldn't bow out for Christine.  In fact, it could wind up a three-way fight between Palin, O'Donnell, and Sharron Angle.  Maybe four-way, if you throw in Michele Bachmann.  Of course, having Angle, Palin, or Bachmann as President would be equally as catastrophic as having O'Donnell.

    Ooops (none / 0) (#26)
    by Zorba on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:43:49 AM EST
    Trying to respond to lentinel's comment, #22, but it didn't come out that way.

    Obamas BFF Rick Warren (none / 0) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:35:42 AM EST
    Towards the close of his nearly one hour speech, Pastor Warren asked his followers to be as committed to Jesus as the young Nazi men and women who spelled out in mass formation with their bodies the words "Hitler, we are yours," in 1939 at the Munich Stadium, were committed to the Führer of the Third Reich, a major instigator of a World War that claimed 55 million lives. Rick Warren has exhorted Christians towards Nazi-like dedication in at least several public speeches and also during a one hour video

    During his Anaheim stadium speech Warren, sometimes called 'pastor Rick' talked about a number of visions and communications he had received from God. By calling on his church members to follow Jesus with the fanatical dedication with which the Nazis, or Hitler Youth, gave to Adolf Hitler, Rick Warren appeared to be in effect asking his Saddleback members to be fanatically dedicated to Warren's own leadership, given his role in divining God's intent for the Saddleback church flock. During his speech, Rick Warren also explained that God had personally instructed him to seek, for the good of the world, more influence, power and fame.

    Warren moved on, from his celebration of Nazi dedication to purpose, and held up Lenin, and Chinese Red Guard efforts during the Cultural Revolution, as behavioral examples for his Saddleback flock, whom Warren called on to carry out a "revolution".

    Concluding his motivational speech, the Saddleback Church founder instructed his ranks in the stadium to hold up signs, from their official programs, with the preprinted message "whatever it takes".

    any questions?

    Are you surprised (none / 0) (#54)
    by waldenpond on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:43:19 AM EST
    I am repelled by Christians?

    Sometimes I try to think of Christians as harmless as Trekkies (you know, they've picked up a sci-fi book and decided to live their lives by it) then they start talking......


    I confess to being a bit surprised (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:48:21 AM EST
    about such blatant instruction for them to act like Nazis and the Red Guard and freakin Lenin.  

    you cant really get much more blatant than that.
    we know what happened to the opponents of these groups dont we.


    I think (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:08:37 PM EST
    You shouldn't generalize about a couple billion people based on a fraction of a percentage of extremists who happen to get airtime.

    Some peoples needs them a boogeyman... (none / 0) (#78)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:18:19 PM EST
    you got it backwards (none / 0) (#88)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 02:26:46 PM EST
    I am their boogieman.  and I relish it.

    The trouble is (none / 0) (#80)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:28:48 PM EST
    this country's been cranking a steady stream of prominent extremists, that make Rick Warren look like Bertrand Russell, practically since the early years of it's founding. Probably because, with a couple of notable exceptions, the anti-democratic bias of the power elite has always required the assistance of shepherds to keep the sheep cowed and in line.

    As the IWW used to say, there may not be not much for you here, but there'll be Pie in the Sky when you die..


    Isn't it all inherently extremism? (none / 0) (#87)
    by waldenpond on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 02:22:40 PM EST
    If you look at the definition of extremism....It's one thing to read a series of books, it's another to adopt, at best, contradictory story lines and goes even farther to insist others follow along and be insulted when they don't.  At best it's a couple billion silly people.

    Now (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 03:31:45 PM EST
    You're bordering on being offensive.  Of course, I notice you don't include Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, or Pagans, etc. so are they just as silly?

    I guess we could have the same conversation on those who have to rely on, or are obsessed with, smoking funny plants or snorting powder to make it through the day - I find that much sillier.

    Faith and religion may not be your cup of tea, but again, making sweeping generalizations and pronouncements does not bolster your argument or credibility.


    uh, what argument? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by waldenpond on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 04:14:02 PM EST
    Too funny.  What part of "ALL" do you not get?   There is nothing to argue about.

    Your neighbor goes to Borders and picks up the Star Trek books (and DVDs) and choose to live their lives by it.  Your saying someone needs to come up with 'credibility' to point out that it is silly to give their child a bowl hair cut and call them Spock?

    I went to church for years.  I lied for years because of the social pressure but have never been a believer.  I tried to justify it...by pretending it could provide a sense of community but after the pastor dumped his wife, ran off with the secretary and the church building fund, got sick of the gossiping and b@tching and complaining over the landscaping (!) and bailed.  My kids decided they don't believe so I no longer have to pretend.

    I have told a few people now and while a couple are shocked, a couple have whispered they also are non-followers that of course I will never out.

    If I wanted to make following books illegal, that would be offensive.  Knowing it's silly is not.


    people were spiritual before (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 04:39:42 PM EST
    before the christians, muslims and jews introduced us all to their jealous, vindictive, land granting desert warlord in the sky, and they would've continued to search and wonder and been inspired to ask the big questions regardless..

    I don't see one iotas worth of evidence that the so-called revealed religions have contributed any positive influence to humankind that hasn't been counterbalanced drastically by a reinforcemnt of militant tribalism, conformity and knowledge-squelching superstition.  


    If there is an organized religion (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 04:56:26 PM EST
    that doesn't instill fear of punishment for not adhering to the restrictive boundaries on what the GOOD people do, I'd be interested in hearing about it. (I separate philosophies (Buddhism) from religious doctrine.)

    Give me your money, and I'll tell you what you must do to preserve your place in all eternity wearing white garments and wings and a golden halo. Oh, and if you don't do as I've told you to do, the alternative is eternity in fire. Is it an all-forgiving god, or not? I hate being lied to.

    People are civil and nice because life is more calm and rewarding when they are.


    we call um as we see um (none / 0) (#92)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 03:42:36 PM EST
    and ftr I WOULD include Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.  Buddhists and Pagans not so much.  they mind their own business most of the time.

    my smoking of funny plants in no way involves the strategic planning to curtail anyone elses rights or lifestyle.  I condemn no one except those who condemn others.  I have no deluded ideas of going to a heaven that only I am pure enough for.


    Well, at least he's not as bad (none / 0) (#58)
    by observed on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:52:09 AM EST
    as Rev. Wright!! Whew

    I'm not even one atom a Warren fan (none / 0) (#60)
    by Farmboy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:56:15 AM EST
    but when I see an uncited quote that uses a severe weasel-word phrase like "appeared to be in effect asking," I automatically assume that the author was not even pretending to be objective.

    But that wasn't the point of your post, was it? Extra points for the massive Godwin.


    Red herring, man (none / 0) (#62)
    by observed on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:02:12 PM EST
    That phrase is completely irrelevant. What matters is the favorable Nazi comparison that Warren was using.

    Well, to be fair, (none / 0) (#75)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 12:50:25 PM EST
    in actuality, he refers to Hitler (video, 1:34) as "the personification of evil."

    What he comments favorably on is dedication to a cause, and he follows up by calling out Lenin and his words "give me 100 men, 100 totally committed men, and I'll change the world." and also Chairman Mao.

    You'd think Lenin, at least, would get some props around a place like TL.

    Anyway, I'm not really sure on what planet any such reference to Hitler/Nazis would be considered a smart move...


    That kind of fanaticism just doesn't (none / 0) (#82)
    by observed on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 01:30:21 PM EST
    go with dedication to a noble cause.
    What Warren likes---unquestioning devotion---is exactly what a Hitler needs.

    And, apparently, what a Lenin needs. (none / 0) (#84)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 02:04:21 PM EST
    No idea which of the two Warren is, if indeed he be one of them...

    you'll flush out (none / 0) (#86)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 02:21:18 PM EST
    some Leninists here yet, su.

    there are plenty of examples (none / 0) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 02:07:30 PM EST
    that might be more appropriate in this context.  Ghandi and Mandela come to mind.

    a guy like Warren understands the power of words and their associations.


    True enough. (none / 0) (#89)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 02:29:37 PM EST
    this post is excellent (none / 0) (#95)
    by jes on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 04:42:59 PM EST
    but needs more eyes. Yes, DK links to it but it would be nice if you would return as, perhaps, a one diary a week FPer.

    Curious how many here: (none / 0) (#97)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 06:02:48 PM EST
    • Were baptized/confirmed and accept/acknowledge it as something important in their past.

    • Wanted to be married in a church (replace as necessary) by a religious "ordained" individual.

    • Had their children baptized/confirmed.

    • Attend church (replace as necessary).

    • Donate/tithe to a religious organization/charity.

    • Have arranged a religious based funeral/ceremony for a departed parent/significant other, etc.

    • Have plans or desires for their own death funeral/ceremony to be religiously oriented.

    • Have and/or do pray.

    That being said, I am not promoting or endorsing any governmental and religious cross pollination from either side.  The two should be separate.  The point being the somewhat non-political attacks on those that have faith but have/do participate in the above listed actions.  

    It's funny how (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 06:34:12 PM EST
    some folks object to people who want women's bodies controlled in the name of religion and which to have their religious beliefs enshrined into law.

    Tis a great mystery.


    any religion - it should not be enshrined into law.

    And the belief that human life starts sometime before actual birth is solely a religious belief.


    Care to actually address the question(s) posed? (none / 0) (#101)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 06:52:28 PM EST
    I did. (none / 0) (#104)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:07:49 PM EST
    Sorry, no you didn't and please see the comments (none / 0) (#106)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:18:48 PM EST

    You made some observations (none / 0) (#107)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:32:26 PM EST
    and I told you that people who all or most of your list covers have against those who would enshrine their religious beliefs about abortion into public law.

    My list did not address abortion. (none / 0) (#108)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:38:56 PM EST
    Guess we can put you under the category of:  Late term abortions are A-OK.

    For the second time, please address the list and not deflect into the abortion issue.

    Thanks for playing.


    Many people, religious and otherwise (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:44:16 PM EST
    would have nothing against the behaviors you describe in your list, and are against religion sticking its' nose into things like gay marriage(the 1st Amendment prohibiting any government from forcing a church to marry Adam and Steve), telling children that Intelligent Design is a rational theory to explain how life appeared and flourished on this planet in the public schools, etc.

    I would also urge you to move (none / 0) (#111)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:47:54 PM EST
    to another country where religion in public life is taken seriously, like Iran or Saudi Arabia, if you find too much disrespect for religion in this country for your liking.

    As someone who was (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:04:26 PM EST
    baptized, confirmed and married in the Episcopal Church, whose children have been baptized, confirmed and one married in the Episcopal Church (one is still single), whose father was buried from the Episcopal Church, here's the deal:

    My faith is mine; no one has the right to decide whether I am a good Christian or not, no one has the right to push their religious views, symbols and beliefs on me in the public square.

    People are welcome to their own beliefs, and if their beliefs include proselytizing, they are welcome to carry that out too - but not in the public arena, and not to the extent that what they believe ends up controlling my behavior and boundaries.

    I don't push my faith - however that is defined - on anyone else, and I expect the same consideration and courtesy from others.

    Did that answer your questions?


    Yes it does answer the question as I am (none / 0) (#105)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:17:52 PM EST
    in a very parallel track.  (please review my last paragraph).  

    I don't push my beliefs onto others nor into my electoral/governmental views.

    Where I do draw the line is the vicious attacks on those that do have beliefs by those that claim not to even though they could not answer No to the above sample of questions.

    There is an universally accepted term for those actions.


    In re-reading my comments, would like to (none / 0) (#109)
    by BTAL on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:42:12 PM EST
    make sure I am clear.

    •  Am not taking a personal shot at your comments.

    •  My point is directed at those who post anti-religious positions yet practice those acts in their lives.  It is the there are no atheists in the foxhole position.

    Because I was baptised a Catholic (none / 0) (#118)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 05:22:40 AM EST
    when I was a baby, I can't say anything negative about the Catholic Church without being labeled anti-religious by you, is that the point?

    this would be the same (none / 0) (#102)
    by cpinva on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 06:54:11 PM EST
    court that recently declared corporations to be human, having the same rights and privilages thereof.

    interestingly, the whole "christianization of america" thing really only got started hardcore, during the cold war. this is when "under god" was, by congressional fiat, added to the pledge of allegiance, and prayer in public schools really took off. all to show those "godless commies" a thing or three. what eisenhower might have had in mind, to show them, escapes me.

    kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" addresses this issue, as part of his whole "the united states has totally lost its mind over communism" point of the movie. as a child of the early cold war era, i well remember the conflating of religious freedom (specifically, christianity, of the mostly protestant bent) with democracy. democracy can certainly exist without religion, but religion has a tough time doing it without democracy, at least bloodlessly.

    American Fascists (none / 0) (#115)
    by FreakyBeaky on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 01:34:11 AM EST
    American Fascists: The Christian Right and their War On America, by Chris Hedges.  I highly recommend it if you find church/state separation, among other things, a concern.  

    not as absurd (none / 0) (#121)
    by pyrrho on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 08:33:27 PM EST
    as paying Markos to write a book on politics in the first place.

    how about this as absurd... his site is advertising like crazy for republicans.  While "republican" comments are Hide-Rated in the comment threads, because the rules of the side says conservatives have enough sites parroting their ideas... the ads are defended as fine, cause kos makes money off them.  And daily kos users won't respond anyway.  Well a lot more people end up at dkos searching for political information than just it's regular users, and advertising is effective.

    I'm in a democratic state that yes, can and has voted for republicans.

    If a user pays their subscription, can they make republican comments?

    yeah, we can afford to trash markos' book more than we can afford to make money helping them advertise to the uninformed.