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Thread: America is a Christian Nation

  1. Over 700 posts, it is pretty ease to find numerous threads and different meanings flowing through it. In my opinion, the words "Christian nation" are usually used in conjunction with an attempt to give Christian practices and beliefs a special place in the law. It is used in fights for nativity scenes on public lawns, prayers in schools, and to dilute First Amendment challenges by outsiders. To paraphrase Animal Farms, it is used to say that "some religions are more equal in the eyes of the law."

    I've been married to a Catholic woman for thirty years and neither of us converted. I respectfully attend her family's religious events (including Church ceremonies) and have nothing against Chirstianity. What I see, however, is that in communities there is a continuing push to inject Christian beliefs into various facets of Government. Each victory is used as a stepping stone for another, (e.g. "We open Congress and the Supreme Court with a prayer, what is a matter with one here?").

    There is a technique used in a number of areas of the law where the challenges try to kill a principle through a thousand cuts. Abortion is a classic example. This forces folks on the other side to push for lines in the sand which can make you look a little bit unreasonable, unless you look at the collective effect. For example, i am not against Santa Claus or public Christmas decorations, but I see the proponents of this path using it push the proverbial ball down the field.

    Many other countries have constitutional guarantees which protect "freedom of worship" These provisions state you have the right to pray to the god you choose to and have limited constitutional protections implicit in that for the physical accoutrements of those ceremonies.

    Many of those countries have state religions as well. For example, you can easily find Churches and Hindu Temples in the United Arab Emirates, but Islam is the state religion. Our constitution goes beyond that and stops the creation of a state religion, stops the government sponsorship of religion, and protects the right to practice your religion.

    I occasionally stop spinning my radio dial at WMUZ which is Detroit's Christian radio station and I hear speakers Bob Dutko arguing in favor of more government sponsorship of religion. He constantly invokes the Christian nation mantra to justify his position. He'll point to the fact that some states (like Mass. had an official state religion at the time it signed ratified the Bill of Rights, etc). People making the argument are essentially targeting the US Supreme Court's ruling in Lemon v Kutzman test articulated by the Supreme Court against Government sponsorship of religion.

    If this is not what people are pushing for then please foregive me. If I were to say that this continent was historically a "Native American nation," I suspect people would be weary that I was trying to give one group a leg up in legal standing in the US, rather than simply citing an historical truth.

    Tomorrow is probably going to be the release of the Hobby Lobby decision and if the Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, the results will be profound. (It will also generate another 700 messages). When does the Constitution allow a religious belief to trump a religiously nuetral law? When I went to law school, the answer was "never." If the law purported to be nuetral but you could show it was purposefully targetting religion, you could challenge it. If the law was nuetral but interferred with religious practices along the way, too bad. For example, the Court upheld the right of the Air Force to ban Jews from wearing religious headcoverings in the military. If the Court rules that corporations can have a religious beliefs and that those beliefs can trump health care laws, it will create a ton of unintended consequences. E.g. McDonalds will reflag itself as a Christian Science relgiion and have moral opposition to medical treatments beyond setting broken bones.

    My point in this thread being I understand why many Christians (read broadly to include Catholics and other non-Protestant faiths) feel that the Government is unjustly discriminating against their beliefs. I am concerned that the notion of a "Christian nation" is used by them in arguments to argue that it is unfair for the Government to do (not do) "X" because this is a "Christian nation."

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  3. #752
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    What your last post demonstrates Stu, rather than a reasonable rationale for your objection to the use of the phrase, "America is a Christian nation," is a demonstration that you're a flaming, immoral leftist. The Hobby Lobby case is challenging a religiously "neutral" law? It is "religiously neutral" to force Christians to provide coverage to their employees, not for birth control, but for poisons that abort a fetus post-conception? It is "religiously neutral" to the wider Christian populace for ObamaCare to force us to pay for "standard" abortions through taxation? There's no legitimate 1st Amendment challenge to any of that, only another in a "thousand cuts" of our faithful belief that abortion is a moral aberration that God will surely judge America on?

    Such "analysis" of 1st Amendment issues betrays your liberalism, it doesn't support your contention that the Christian nation meme is inherently discriminatory to Jews or any other faith. Thanks for making that clear. It helps to know where people are really coming from when it seems like they're just looking for an excuse to rag on a group they either don't like, or just can't identify with. Buh bye.

    Blues
    No one has ever heard me say that I "hate" cops, because I don't. This is why I will never trust one again though: You just never know...

  4. Quote Originally Posted by BluesStringer View Post
    What your last post demonstrates Stu, rather than a reasonable rationale for your objection to the use of the phrase, "America is a Christian nation," is a demonstration that you're a flaming, immoral leftist. The Hobby Lobby case is challenging a religiously "neutral" law? It is "religiously neutral" to force Christians to provide coverage to their employees, not for birth control, but for poisons that abort a fetus post-conception? It is "religiously neutral" to the wider Christian populace for ObamaCare to force us to pay for "standard" abortions through taxation? There's no legitimate 1st Amendment challenge to any of that, only another in a "thousand cuts" of our faithful belief that abortion is a moral aberration that God will surely judge America on?

    Such "analysis" of 1st Amendment issues betrays your liberalism, it doesn't support your contention that the Christian nation meme is inherently discriminatory to Jews or any other faith. Thanks for making that clear. It helps to know where people are really coming from when it seems like they're just looking for an excuse to rag on a group they either don't like, or just can't identify with. Buh bye.

    Blues
    Atty Stu, welcome again to the home of (extreme) rightwing conformist groupthink. In this subforum and several others, laymen know about law than lawyers, bumper sticker slogans masquerade as analysis, made-up "facts" become true by repetition, and anybody who disagrees with the ultra-rights on anything is a "leftist," "socialist," or "communist." You can try to explain "religiously neutral" in hornbook language to some of these zealots until you're blue in the face but you'll be wasting your time.

  5. #754
    AttyStu: As far as I know, you and nosreme are the only two members of the legal profession who have identified yourselves as such. The majority of the rest on here have little, if any, legal knowledge and it is difficult for you to understand, obviously, how we laymen feel. We are not crackpots, Bible thumping hicks or illiterate farmers and backwoodsmen. For the most part, we are Christians and will not hesitate to tell anyone that we are. We do believe in the Bible and the laws of God. We all know that others do not believe and we are content to let them believe as they see fit. We do object when the government or anyone else attempts to deny us from obeying God as our Bible tells us. You mentioned us trying to inject our beliefs into the government. Many of the laws we observe today came from the Bible and were adopted into our legal system. One law in specific was against murder. We, as Christians, object to abortion because that process takes a life of a living organism. That is absolutely murder and, you of the legal profession have so bastardized our laws in such a way that a fetus is sometimes not looked upon as alive until being delivered. Yet, there have been incidences of surgeries being performed on a fetus, in the womb, to save it's life. Isn't that a contradiction? Then doctors have been permitted to snip their spinal cords when they were viable, living babies. That is murder, plain and simple and we strenuously object to it. Is the murder a "religiously neutral law?" Further, should a Christian be forced to participate in the violation of the law against murder?
    The owners of Hobby Lobby object to being forced to actively pay for procedures that is against their religion. Why is it against the law for the owners to follow their religious dictates and participate in a law that was written to so obviously violate our religious dictates and consciences? Why is it correct for an order of nuns to have to actively participate in a law contrary to their religion. nosreme seems to enjoy belittling us with our bumper stickers, "made up facts" and insinuation that we all look at those who disagree with us as "leftist," "socialists" and "communists." I will admit that there are those who will make those assertions but we do not all feel that way and do not want to be insulting nor do we want to be insulted. We have our religious beliefs for which we are taunted every day but I seriously believe that in the very near future, even the most ardent unbeliever will be given a very serious attitude check and a frightful awakening for those who do not believe in God. For those who do not believe, I think we have seen the start of the battle of good v. evil. "Native American Nation?" Nothing wrong with that.....they had it made until we showed up!




    Attachment 12018

  6. I certainly recognize and assumed that I would hold the minority viewpoint, but I am not "flaming" or "immoral." I have a strong moral code, donate hundreds of hours to the plight of the less fortunate, etc. I am also not flaming. I have made a vow which I mostly adhere to never debate uncivilly and to treat the viewpoints of others with respect. That is the one thing I wish our nation would do. I think all three major cable news networks have hurt our ability to talk to one another by prioritizing "zingers" over facts and logic.

    I made my case with facts and examples. Replying in a similar tone rather than running an attack on me would be a more effective way to debate. I am a pro-gun, pro-Free Trade Democrat, who often finds himself with a hawkish attitude on military issues.I have recently decided that I am pro-Keystone pipeline. I regularly find myself agree with Senator McCain on military issues. I also voted for Republican Governor Richard Snyder over his Democratic challenger in the last election, and will do so again in the fall. I read, I think, and ultimately I don't always follow my dominant party's view. Stated another way, I don't march in lockstep with the Democratic or the Republican party. That is why I am a lawyer and not a soldier.

    Peace.

    Stu

  7. #756
    So basically, you are an Independent with Tea Party tendencies, right?

  8. #757
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    Well, the Harris ruling just came down against the government's position, and with it the announcement that Alito wrote both it and the Hobby Lobby opinions. That almost certainly means that the government lost Hobby Lobby, completely destroying the notion that ObamaCare was a "religiously neutral" set of laws, and upholding the notion that Christian business owners are under no obligation to violate their religious beliefs in the way they run their companies.

    The aborto-centric left lost.

    ETA: Oh, and civility between enemies is highly overrated.
    No one has ever heard me say that I "hate" cops, because I don't. This is why I will never trust one again though: You just never know...

  9. #758
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    As the old statement goes, lawyers practice law because they don't always get it right. So they have to practice. Some here, while not lawyers, do have legal training. Just because you are a member of the bar, does not mean you suddenly can never be wrong. There'd be a whole lot less lawyers if that was the case. The best lawyers are those who both lose and win against each other. If you only win, then you have the possibility that the opposing lawyer wasn't a good lawyer or could have been put up by a law firm because they knew it was a losing case. A lawyer who always loses can be one who takes on the really hard cases that have no chance of winning in a Circuit like in many cases in the 9th District.
    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
    NRA Certified RSO
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly.

  10. #759
    Quote Originally Posted by Atty Stu View Post
    I certainly recognize and assumed that I would hold the minority viewpoint, but I am not "flaming" or "immoral." I have a strong moral code, donate hundreds of hours to the plight of the less fortunate, etc. I am also not flaming. I have made a vow which I mostly adhere to never debate uncivilly and to treat the viewpoints of others with respect. That is the one thing I wish our nation would do. I think all three major cable news networks have hurt our ability to talk to one another by prioritizing "zingers" over facts and logic.

    I made my case with facts and examples. Replying in a similar tone rather than running an attack on me would be a more effective way to debate. I am a pro-gun, pro-Free Trade Democrat, who often finds himself with a hawkish attitude on military issues.I have recently decided that I am pro-Keystone pipeline. I regularly find myself agree with Senator McCain on military issues. I also voted for Republican Governor Richard Snyder over his Democratic challenger in the last election, and will do so again in the fall. I read, I think, and ultimately I don't always follow my dominant party's view. Stated another way, I don't march in lockstep with the Democratic or the Republican party. That is why I am a lawyer and not a soldier.

    Peace.

    Stu
    Stu: I didn't feel that I was debating uncivilly or treating your viewpoints with disrespect, only my particular view. As much as I may disagree with someone, I try not to be obnoxious but, perhaps my response may seem so to the person to which I respond. As I said, I am a Christian and strongly support my belief. When I see something in law or our society that conflicts with my religion, I will become rather vocal about it and express my feelings. I have found on here that others mistake standing up for our beliefs as an affront when it is only our opinions versus theirs. I try not to be insulting but neither will I accept an insult without a response. I understand that there are those who do not believe in God and accept their opinion as their right. If they will refrain from making derogatory remarks any time we mention religion on here, I am more than agreeable to not make any remarks towards them. Regardless of any party affiliation, I personally think God's laws trump those of society. If you have noticed, our society has fallen since it has been demanded that reference to God be eliminated from all of our activities. Homosexuality, rape, murder and all other sins have become the norm of the day, all in defiance of God's laws. I can't, individually, stop the descent but I don't have to agree with it. I hope you understand that I was not attacking you personally, only disagreeing with you.

  11. #760
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    Quote Originally Posted by S&W645 View Post
    As the old statement goes, lawyers practice law because they don't always get it right. So they have to practice. Some here, while not lawyers, do have legal training. Just because you are a member of the bar, does not mean you suddenly can never be wrong. There'd be a whole lot less lawyers if that was the case. The best lawyers are those who both lose and win against each other. If you only win, then you have the possibility that the opposing lawyer wasn't a good lawyer or could have been put up by a law firm because they knew it was a losing case. A lawyer who always loses can be one who takes on the really hard cases that have no chance of winning in a Circuit like in many cases in the 9th District.
    I don't disagree with anything you're saying here, but I'm betting that if forced to state an opinion on the subject, you would agree with me that nosreme's "contributions" to the overwhelming majority of threads where legal issues are the topic have almost nothing to do with legal analysis, and everything to do with his leftist ideology, and on this particular subject, his atheism and apparent hatred of anything approaching faith from other posters.

    Even the oligarchs of the Supreme Court saw today the 1st Amendment incompatibility with the left's genocidal, aborto-centric views as-expressed by Stu in Post #751. The left is still calling it a blow against contraceptive liberties in this country. Even now, with that lie exposed as such, they continue to promulgate it. The Court clearly recognized the lie and acknowledged it up front in the Syllabus by saying:

    Nonexempt employers are generally required to provide coverage for the 20 contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including the 4 that may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus...
    ....

    ....In these cases, the owners of three closely held for-profit corporations have sincere Christian beliefs that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point.

    The four drugs being contested were abortion drugs, not "contraceptives."

    Leftists can't be honest about these types of issues, period. To do so would be to admit to the legitimacy of 1st Amendment protections even for people with whom they don't agree or identify. Their lies were aborted today, and thank God they were.

    Blues
    No one has ever heard me say that I "hate" cops, because I don't. This is why I will never trust one again though: You just never know...

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