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Author Topic: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8  (Read 8632 times)

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Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #75 on: November 30, 2008, 02:10:22 PM »


A Christian ideal certainly is woven into the American fabric, no doubts there. In fact it's woven in so much, that the paranoia talk I hear occasionally regarding the war on terror makes me laugh uncontrollably on how duped some people can be.

Even my own aunt living in Houston; she's been searching for something all her life, that much was made plain, when a good 25 years ago she headed out to the Portland area and got involved in one of those classic cults that limited their contact with the outside world until my grandparents got her out of it. Later on she went to Christianity, but she's got some crazy ideas that she still lets people pump into her head. We've had some pretty heated debates, as you can imagine. The most recent WTF moment I experienced was a conversation just weeks ago, where she's convinced we have to fight the war on terror to keep the United States from falling under sharia law.

It's just one of those moments where to have let the laughter subside, the fact that she's family notwithstanding, and compose your response. Listen, besides every hardcore yahoo that will come pouring out of the hills as soon as Islam tries to plant its flag here, and the millions of Christians, Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics in every corner of the country, that's some of the most full-blown paranoia I've ever heard, and I'm somewhat saddened that someone that shares my bloodline fell for such weakness.

In that regard I'm glad for the Christians and other denominations here, for no other reason that radical Islam taking root here will be bled dry by legions of cross bearing faithful.


All that aside, I maintain that I don't want to see religion evaporate here, but it has to learn its place. As long as it tries to push its ethics on the rest of us, it will represent a bigger threat to our liberties than any crackpot Muslim half a world away. The war on terror is a diversion from the true threat.


« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 02:11:58 PM by The Overlord »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #76 on: November 30, 2008, 02:15:50 PM »
 I don't think so. There might have been violations made by the Morman church, but it was still a legal vote by the people of California. As long as that wasn't breached, it should stand unless stricken down by the USSC.

Offline CassandraNova

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #77 on: December 09, 2008, 09:24:50 AM »
To a point I agree with that. Historically, the US was a very Christian nation, following the Bible, more or less....

Well...not really.  The Constitution is a nearly godless document. It mentions neither God, nor Christianity outside of a reference to the date using the Christian calandar. It does however have a provision against requiring specific religious ideas as a qualification for office (see Article VI, section 3).  The First Amendment to the Constitution establishes that there shall be no national church or religion (Establishment Clause).

The Treaty of Tripoli, a document ratified by the United States Congress and signed by President John Adams, contains the words:  "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen..."  John Adams himself, one of the Founding Fathers and second President, had this to say about Christianity in a letter from 1814:  "Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1500 years."

Thomas Jefferson, of course, was notoriously unreligious, and rewrote the bible to preserve what he called the "moral teachings" while removing what he considered to be supernatural garbage.  Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washignton...the list goes on and on of deists, freethinkers, and unreligious people forming a secular government unfettered to religious authority or tradition.

I will concede that the United States is a country in which Christians live.  It is not in any meaningful way, a Christian country.


Offline RubySlippers

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #78 on: December 09, 2008, 09:58:05 AM »
The First Amendment only demands that the government not set up one national Church at any level, there is nowhere a Seperation of Church and State in the US Constitution. There is however in the constitution of the former Soviet Union in clear and unambiguous language. So I agree its religion neutral to a great degree but neither for or against the execution of religion in the United States. Let me explain this as I see it from my Libertarian roots.

Say there is a sacred institution in Florida and Governor Christ wanted to make this Church of the Giant Spagetti Monster with Meatballs (CGSMM) the official church of Florida that is clearly banned at the Federal level. Say the CGSMM instead claims tax exemption due to religion I view that as just as illegal as they have land used for a purpose that is not de facto charitable as in say running a homeless shelter on it. Its in fact a money making enterprise. The First Amendment doesn't state that these institutions shouldn't pay taxes just that the government cannot establish nor interefere with religious practice. Its not the GSMM can still be worshipped just that the place must pay fair taxes for services. It the Courts that established a status that is not demanded by the Constitution a special protected class that stifles religious speech and practice.

I can defend that. Can a religious institution that is tax-exempt campaign for candidates they like, take open positions against candidates who have offensive views to them and in all other way unfettered act as a community member? No. Because the Federal Government and all lower level governments enforce the Seperation Clause that doesn't exist and for tex exemptions buy the religious centers. This I'm shocked by that these supposed holy centers be they church or synogogue don't refuse this and pay taxes, they could as far as I can tell, which would free their speech. Taxation equals liberty and not paying taxes denies liberty to religious groups if they could understand that then things would be far better for everyone.

As for the Founding Fathers and Mothers, Bejamin Franklin for one in one of his fameous wise sayings stated each home should have a newspaper and a Bible and both should be read often. And are you saying all the signers of the Declaration of Independence were not at all religious, a few were recognized ministers, one a Quaker of no small regard and from a cursory survey most seemed to be men of faith. The ones of higher education or worldly experience perhaps not but saying all did is not sensible. Perhaps some were deists but even they believed in a higher power of some sort. So saying religion did not play a role in the document is silly the fine men put into it their values many of which were at least touched by their religion. Pensylvania was well regarded for its religious tolerance and that is in the document in the First Amendment is it not a respect for free execution of ones faith is a powerful concept that differed from most other governments of the period.

But nowhere did it appear to be commonly accepted that people of faith should not be active I would argue since there were many Founding Fathers and each signed off on the government unless you can discount them all, we can conclude there is a strong opinion to be made that the Christian faith did strongly influence the document.

Offline CassandraNova

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #79 on: December 09, 2008, 10:30:29 AM »
The First Amendment only demands that the government not set up one national Church at any level, there is nowhere a Seperation of Church and State in the US Constitution....

I'm sorry, but you are wrong.  In the words of Hugo Black:

Quote
The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."

Emphasis mine.

Madison himself wrote of "total separation of the church from the state" (1819 letter to Robert Walsh), "perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters" (1822 letter to Livingston), "line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority... entire abstinence of the government" (1832 letter Rev. Adams), and "practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States" (1811 letter to Baptist Churches).

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #80 on: December 09, 2008, 11:22:50 AM »
I didn't argue that the later interpretations of that by the High Court supported me but that the Constitution in the wording doesn't state that.

And am I wrong read the opinion again? I can argue that by granting tax-exemptions and thereby strangling the free rights of all religiions to full opinion in public on any matter the government is violating its own position. They cannot aid one religion, aid all religions, levy taxes to support a religion and the rest. Very well then I argue as a Libertarian it cannot also refuse to levy taxes on religions either unless the purpose of a facility or charity is exempt on non-religious grounds apart and seperate. Its not levying a tax to support religion is it rather asking a church say to pay for the land its on and services of the state it has benefit of just like the barber shop across the street or the restaurant on the same street. And by stating a religion cannot preach against say Obama or McCain during an election openly they are in fact siding against religious beliefs and breaking their own seperation clause. And in fact stifling the free expression of faith also demanded by the First Amendment.

It seems to me churches also  want it all tax-exemption and the right to act as their faith dictates in public matters and I argue you can't have both and I argue Hugo Black in his learned opinion in fact demands that churches should be free to speak and act, just the government is bound to not get involved at all for or against it but the Churches cannot expect to get by in society with property and land and not pay fair taxes on it the opinion nowhere states that taxes cannot be levied. Just again not levied to favor religion. If applied fairly and broadly to all religious property that is not violated. If one wants a home church then one pays a smaller tax than a huge megachurch, but the later uses far more money and collects likely far more profits. So that is not unfair.

As I would see this matter the church holy place and offices are a business (with any profit making aspects like stores or a coffee shop) and should be taxable as a business. If they have a homeless center that can be exempted as a charity easily enough and if they have a free medical clinic that can be exempted like any other not-for-profit charity of a secular nature could. So why are we not enforcing learned Black's interpretation literally and to its logical conclusion in this nation?


Offline CassandraNova

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #81 on: December 09, 2008, 12:39:10 PM »
Whether or not by being free of taxes and likewise restricted from speaking on matters of government is one issue, and one that can be debated on the pros and cons of both sides.

It is, however, another issue to state as you did that nowhere in the Constitution the idea of separation of church and state.  I have pointed to examples from Jefferson and Madison, the text of the First Amendment, and the interpretations of Justice Black.  All of these sources point to the same thing:  the establishment clause of the First Amendment was intended to separate church and state.  That is the factual point you made, and it is the one I refuted.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #82 on: December 09, 2008, 06:07:54 PM »
[Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.]

Ok you and I can read plain English lets look at the First Amendment then. Nope - I see two clauses in simple language. One cannot Establish a religion that is clear it says nothing else so no Church of America or the like. And can't prohibit the free exercise of religion again its pretty clear that can't restrict the peaceful practices of faith. Thats it.

I don't know why people have to overanalyze and interprete what is plain and simple language. As for the learned Black and a few other Founding Fathers who unless you can prove to me normative they are wrong, I can say that my opinion is as valid as Jefferson's. As for Justice Black he clearly can't read plain English its simple to understand the First Amendment on this the government is constrained on matters of faith it says nothing about the reverse. There is nothing else to worry about, if a minister runs for office and is a devout Christian, and legislates from his faith as long as its not violating either simple principle its fine.

Its the same for the other Amendments there is so much interpretation when its not necessary for any of them just apply it as written with the clear simple intent of the language and its easy. But no special interest groups, radical courts and others have to keep reading things into the language and have done so to such a level it disrespects the document at this point.

Offline CassandraNova

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #83 on: December 09, 2008, 06:44:36 PM »
I see your point.  I dissent from it, however.

Edited to extract the bitchy.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 08:35:16 AM by CassandraNova »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2008, 10:49:54 PM »
Chill, please, or it gets locked.

Offline CassandraNova

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #85 on: December 10, 2008, 08:35:27 AM »
Yes, ma'am.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #86 on: December 10, 2008, 03:39:13 PM »
Thank you.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
« Reply #87 on: December 10, 2008, 04:49:12 PM »
Take the wording as is its one thing a chain on the government in both the establishment of a religion (endorsement of) and a protect of religious expression of citizens from the government (under clear common sense restrictions such as if it would be grossly illegal otherwise). Its to protect religions from the government not in the wording the other way around. Its in English if that is what they wanted they would have stated such in simple added text.

And I have another viewpoint is tax exemptions on religions as opposed to a charity non-profit encouraging the establishment of churches and religious organizations of a non-Charity nature? One may argue a Church is charitable by its nature but when I see very large churches ,Megachurches and others with very large property holdings, and making profits I find that a hard case to argue. A Church based in a homeless care center might argue that since they primarily take care of the poor and happen to hold services in the building, than if they are say a large baptist Church and School that does charitable activities on the side to the community (if at all). If this encourages churches to be created it would also break Justice Blacks opinion in that case clearly to me.