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#53389 - 09/10/04 02:39 PM Re: National Guard Memos
Riffman Offline
local

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
I was referring to the piece that aired on CBS' 60 Minutes two nights ago. They had memos from Bush's superiors in the National Guard that indicated Bush received special treatment and skipped duties. CBS is standing by their story and said the memos are authentic as judged by their expert while three of the US' top experts believe the memo's are fake. CBS will not release the name of its expert. I wonder what the impact will be. I imagine that given the divided electorate, the story won't be a big deal.

Re the Rehnquist memo, that obviously has to be a fake. I am under the impression Supreme Court Justices are supposed to be devoid of any 'politiking'.

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#53390 - 09/10/04 04:47 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Actually, Jefferson also used the word "God" in the preamble to the Dec of Ind. Not that it matters.

Text of the 1st Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

It seems like forbidding prayer in schools or otherwise restricting religous practices through an act of Congress, could be construed as "prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Just how you look at it I guess.





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#53391 - 09/10/04 05:17 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
Riffman Offline
local

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
I've read a lot of this thread and have found it interesting. I have a few questions:

pmbuko: you spoke of a need to truly understand why Islamic fanaticism is directed at westerners and at the US, in particular. And that if we understand properly, we can then start to make peace with the Islamists. What are those reasons for the rise of militant/terror Islam? My opinion on the situation is rather simple: small groups of fanatics seek to manipulate power and politics around the world by using terrorism. It simply doesn't matter if their reasons are right and just. Their world is a world of anarchy and there must be negative consequences to terror acts around the world. There must never be positive consequences to terror. What those people did in Spain with their vote can only further the anarchist method of power attainment which is: terror.

The Chechens might have a legitimate gripe due to many years of Stalinist oppression and their ethinic authenticity/homogeneity but they should never be rewarded with their own state because their methods. I have never been more disappointed the US government than when I saw our position and comments after Beslan (our call for a diplomatic solution). Bush doesn't understand terror and Kerry understands it even less. Spain and France understand even less (France's pleas to save their journalists because they didn't support the war proves how clueless they are).

spiff: I thought the cycle of violence emerged once again when Arafat started the second Intifada after he refused the settlement proposed by Clinton/Barak? Am I wrong? If so, how?



Edited by Riffman (09/10/04 05:19 PM)

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#53392 - 09/10/04 05:17 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Really, PMB, I am disappointed. I didn't expect you to split hairs - you either deny any place in public life to the Eternal One or not.

You all may recall the recent case in Iran where the judge (a mullah) sentenced a 16 year old girl to death - she had been raped, and dissed the court with her "sharp tongue." You all will be very relieved to learn that the European-Iranian Human Rights Dialog Commission prevailed upon the Iranians to amend its sentence of death. The Iranian court had sentenced the girl to be executed by stoning. After the Europeans intervened, her sentenced was reduced to hanging. She was hanged from a crane in the center of town.

Now, PMB, let's hear you decry the central status of religion, Islam, in the Islamic Republic of Iran - or perhaps you would equate that unity of religion and civil law with the inclusion of the words "Under God" on our currency and in our children's morning pledge of allegiance.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#53393 - 09/10/04 06:48 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16280
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

Really, PMB, I am disappointed. I didn't expect you to split hairs - you either deny any place in public life to the Eternal One or not.


Splitting hairs?? Ringmir said what I should have said here:

"The reference to "their Creator" in the declaration is an example of extremely well chosen wording. A creator can be someone's parental unit, it can be a god, or a pantheon of gods."

Don't tell me I'm splitting hairs. This is not an all or nothing subject.

As far as the central status of Islam in Middle Eastern countries is concerned, of course I don't equate the inclusion of God in the U.S. with complete non-separation of religion and state in Iran. Religion/faith is completely meaningless unless it is voluntary. The alternative of enforced religion produces robots who understand the words on which the laws are based, but not the message of the text itself.

My desire to strike the existence of "Under God" and "In God We Trust" from pledge and currenty has more to do with them being added with such ridiculous justifications.

And while we're speaking about the pledge, boiled down to its essence it is a pledge of allegiance to the flag and to the USA, nothing else. The Under God part is just a tacked-on prepositional phrase, so I don't feel imposed upon that it's there. That wasn't my objection in the first place.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#53394 - 09/10/04 07:26 PM church and state
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
2x6, is this Iran? No, clearly it isn't. I don't see how mentioning that story makes any point against the separation of church and state. The point here is very simple: The government of this country has a commitment to not intermix religion and politics. The presence of those phrases on our currency and in our pledge clearly violate that. I notice nobody went near my hypothetical "In Science we Trust." I don't need to ask why nobody went near it, it's clearly a stupid suggestion. What makes the phrase "In God we Trust" any different? To me it sounds as stupid as "In Science we Trust" and I, personally, trust in Science. Do people not comment on it because perhaps they trust in God? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that if they do, but it is niether my place nor the government's place to be concerned about it. I personally have no problem with our children saying the pledge of alleigance in school, as long as no part of that pledge relates to God. What if I were extremely religious, let's say an American Muslim. Would I like it if my children had to say that pledge every day? What if they were forced to recite the Creed, or the Lord's Prayer? I'd be pretty f'n pi$$ed about it I think. And with good reason, they should not be forced to pledge to any higher power that they do not believe in.

This is not even a remotely cloudy issue, there is no fuzzy line, nobody glasses should be fogged up. Separation of Church and State. End of story.

Edit: I should add perhaps... It is perfectly fine, in deed I would expect, that the government acknowledge the presence of religion in this country. I have no problem with that. What is not fine is for the government to publicly endorse any religion, in any way. And that is what both of these phrases do.


Edited by ringmir (09/10/04 07:33 PM)
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#53395 - 09/10/04 07:48 PM Re: Just because I'm a pacifist
TurboDog1 Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
Sorry for responding to something this far back, but I have just now come back to see responses to my post.

BigJohn & Jorge - What I find amusing is how people with their own agendas maintain close minds and do not consider all points of view before dismissing them as Partisan.

Fellow members had put something out there as fact, so I posted a link to someone's analysis that made a very solid case for why those assertions were ill-informed. Rather than say "hmmm...I've used this argument before, but it may not be entirely correct. Perhaps I should do some research for myself to make sure that the points that I am making are valid." (yes, I know that you guys didn't make the assertions), what you guys do is take the easy route and simply write off what you have read as partisan bunk.

This is no longer directed at you two guys.....I've said it before that I used to be your garden-variety bleeding heart making arguments based upon sound-byte statements/positions of others. That changed in time as I began to realize that I couldn't maintain those arguments when faced with someone who had facts to support their positions. After this rude awakening, I began to hold back on arguments until I had actual facts to back up my positions. In the process of doing this, I began to realize that my original positions didn't in fact have sound factual backing to support them. I had bit hook line and sinker on someone's line of BS and then in turn propogated that message. In then end, the biggest lesson I learned is not that the Left or Right are full of crap (though they are )....it's that one should always question any and all assertions made by others. As in science, no conclusion should be accepted as truth until it has going through the necessary scrutiny/peer-review. This is an understanding that a large segment of our society is lacking. Our politicians are fully aware of this fact and use it regularly to disperse misinformation and distortions.

Is Michael Moore allowed to do the same?....of course. But, when people make a concerted effort to clarify his disceptive and unfounded assertions, you should be spend less time attacking them for doing so and focus more on the fact that you perhaps bought into those disceptions and then consider how you can avoid being deceived in the future.

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#53396 - 09/10/04 08:01 PM Re: church and state
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
"This is not even a remotely cloudy issue, there is no fuzzy line, nobody glasses should be fogged up. Separation of Church and State. End of story."

Well, as you can see above the Constitution does not use the phrase "separation of church and state". That phrase is contained in a lower court ruling, I believe (didn't somebody link us to that info a while back?). How one interprets the Constitution is always debatable.

I'm not sure when I became less threatened by all the religion around us. I used to get all worked up about bumper stickers, the pledge of allegiance, etc... Doesn't really bother me anymore. I do roll my eyes frequently, though.

IMO, those who proclaim their faith the loudest have the least faith in their convictions. Prosteltyzing (sp?), and participating in organized religion, reaffirms one's own faith, but is likely not actually motivated by the need to recruit more believers. It seems to be that the weaker your faith the more affirmation you need.

Regardless, I believe that many, many, many people have come to the conclusion that there is no god. They either recoil from that realization and all that it entails, seeking solace in their former faith (hence the need to practice religion); or they tackle the angst of a godless existence (no easy task); or they try to forget the whole subject.
Some random questions:

Maybe you guys that are offended by religous references are in that last category? Are you really going to tell your small children something different from what all the other kids are hearing? What are the psychological effects on children raised in atheist housholds in predominately religous communities? What are the psychological effects on children raised with atheism, period? Can a 5 year old deal with the notion that there is no greater meaning to his existence? a 12 year old? 18 yr old?

Hope I don't sound like I'm preaching.

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#53397 - 09/10/04 08:30 PM Re: church and state
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
BigWill, let me clear up a few things about my position on this.

I don't go through life angst ridden about the fact that the pledge contains "under God." In fact I say it when I recite the pledge, and kinda chuckle to myself that it's stupid. I also don't scribble over "In God we Trust" on every piece of currency that passes through my hands. In fact I am generally blind to it even being there. So, don't get the impression that it bothers me significantly, because it doesn't. What does bother me is when that issue reaches the supreme court and they refuse to hear the case. The way I see it, they should just resolve it and go on. It shouldn't be an issue. The official report regarding it should say something like "HA! how did that get there...yeah take that off."

My kids will be free to follow any religion they want. I will not tell them there is no greater power. I will tell them what I believe, and objectively inform them about any religion they want to know about to the best of my ability. If they truly believe in some religion, then I will support that belief. My father was a Greek Orthodox priest, I was an altar boy for years, I went to church camp. My mother was a Quaker (they are divorced), and I went to Quaker meeting with her. I had religion classes in a private school where they objectively discussed many world religions, and the associated beliefs. I went out with the daughter of a protestant minister for two years. I went out with an American Indian girl for three years. My current girlfriend is a Bangladeshi from a Muslim family. I've studied the ancient Greeks in detail.

After a while, I pretty much decided that none of it was for me. I liked math, chemistry, and the theory of evolution. I am perfectly content with my position on religion. I don't need or try to convince people I am correct, I don't even believe I am "correct" except "correct for myself." I know that it is not my place to question someone's religious beliefs, however radical they may be. Each individual has the right to believe whatever they choose. Acting upon those beliefs is a different story of course, but holding them is an inalienable human right.

A person's religion or associated beliefs are a personal aspect of who they are. It is a mistake for the government to assume they can state "In God *we* Trust" where "we" is clearly refering to Americans as a whole. I don't understand how anyone can disagree with this. Is there anyone who can provide a solid argument for why this slogan *should* be on our currency? Please fill me in if so!
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#53398 - 09/10/04 08:53 PM Re: church and state
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
And BigWill, this is Amendment I on the Bill of rights:

"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."

Emphasis here should be drawn to "no law respecting an establishment of religion." The statement "In God we Trust" is blantantly with respect to a particular establishment of religion. And if you choose to read it differently, "In God we Trust" establishes a particular religion to be the one that Americans believe.

This link is a letter from Thomas Jefferson in which he states his interpretation of that first amendment to be there should be "a wall of separation between church and state." Note that when he says "religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god" he uses the lowercase, and this does reflect his exact spelling and punctuation.
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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