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Discussion in '2007 Archive' started by Magnetic Poles, Nov 26, 2007.
SCOTUS declines to review case involving Bible monument in Harris County, Texas.
I agree MP, although I'm a little surprised it was successful since the monument had been in place for about 50 years. I suspect some of the folks here who are upset by this are so mad they're speechless --- except for the ones who have exploded!
I'll bite, since I live here.
The Bible was in a case outside the courthouse for almost 50 years. It was part of a monument honoring William Mosher, who was a prominent supporter of the Star of Hope mission here in Houston. The mission has helped over a million homeless people in its 100 year history and it is a Christian organization. The monument was paid for by private donations.
The only sticking point was whether it was legal to have it on public land or not.
Frankly, if the mission was founded by Muslims or Jews, and they wanted to honor a generous benefactor with a copy of the Koran or Torah near a public building and on public land, and the monument was paid for by private donations, I would have no issue with it. I personally do not believe it violated the "Establishment Clause" since there was nothing being endorsed except for the permission from the county to erect a small monument on public land to an individual, not a religion.
We were talking about this at work today. I could not find a single person who agreed with this ruling. Even some of the most liberal people I work with could not understand the ruling.
There are plans to try and erect the monument elsewhere on public land. I think the county should go for it. And I'll tell you that there will be a whole lot of support for it by Republicans, Independents, and Democrats in Harris County.
Why not just put it on land owned by Star of Hope? Why does it just HAVE to be on public land? I agree with this outcome.
What are we going to do about all the references to the Bible and God chiseled in marble in our hallowed halls in D.C.?
How is this a victory for separation of church and state when the government, in violation of the first amendment, makes a law regarding the free exercise of religion? The state has injected itself into the issue of church and state, not separated themselves from it, it seems to me.
How is enforcing a separation interjecting themselves into it? That's like saying don't serve me broccoli is not separating myself from it. And again, why not put the monument at the Star of Hope?
I don't see how a monument to an individual that contains reference to that individual's faith can constitute government establishment of a particular religion.
What if instead of a KJV Bible, the monument had simply contained a cross? Would that still constitute government endorsement of a religion? What if the monument was erected on public grounds, say at a military cemetary? What if it were a white cross over a grave?
I think the county really messed up when they voluntarily removed the monument and then tried to get out of paying the legal fees of the lady who sued. If they removed the monument because of her suit then they should pay for her legal fees.
MP does have a good point. If the people of the county want the monument it should not be a problem to put it on private land. If the county really wanted to fight for this they could have sold a 10 foot square piece of property on the courhouse grounds to the Star of Hope for a dollar and then moved the monument there. But they did not do that, what they did was cave in to the lawsuit, moved the monument, and then tried to get out of paying any money. Sounds typical of the spinless leaders we have today.
If we let lawyers and accountants rule the world we will soon run out of people to sue and stuff to count.
Because they are not enforcing separation, they are limiting free exercise. A better analogy is if you said you don't like brocoli, so I can't eat any in front of you. Nobody should be forced to eat broccoli (or pray, or read the Bible, or read the Koran, or so on) but if I want to eat broccoli, and I paid for the broccoli I should be allowed to, even if I am sitting on a public picnic table on public land that was built with public funds.
That being said, you are right, just move the stupid thing to the Star of Hope.
Correct-a-mundo! Dead Center!
If this were to be consistent (what a laugh!), one should not be allowed to have any monument dedicated to any individual on any public land.
Should it be 'legal' to have a monument honoring pioneer Daniel Boone in KY? Holding a rifle, with map with a plat of a town, wearing a coonskin cap, in buckskins, etc.. Would that be OK??
How about his younger brother Squire Boone, Jr., likewise a frontiersman, who was also a lay preacher, at the same time, and likely the first Baptist preacher ever to preach a sermon "West of the Alleghenies"? But he would be holding both a rifle AND a 'King James Bible', with a map with a plat of a town, in buckskins, etc. Is that OK?
If not, why not? FTR, three 'towns' 'established' by Squire Boone, Jr. during his lifetime are extant to this day; And we do not even know the exact location of Boonesborough Fort, built by Ol' Dan'l, who hit the open country after the end of the Revolution, Leaving the Boonesboro fort to fade into historical oblivion, winding up in Missouri as a total 'loner', who didn't want to be within 50 miles of another permanent settler, because 'they was too close!' I dunno' what he'd have said, if his little brother, Squire, Jr., had decided he wanted to go west with him.
FTR, my five times great grandfather was Squire Boone, Jr.; Hence my five times great grand uncle was, Daniel Boone.
Point is, You cannot split up aspects of the character of an individual.
I'll try again. Should it be permissible to have a statue of two of the under appreciated Presidents of the US, John Quincy Adams and James A. Garfield, on public land holding a Bible? That is part of the make-up of the two individuals, you know.
John Quincy Adams served as President of the American Bible Society for about a decade, and the extremely erudite, even if generally unknown and underappreciated James A. Garfield. who would probably rank near the top two or three Presidents in intelligence, was an active lay minister with the Disciples of Christ denomination, until his death.
President Garfield could simultaneously write and translate (from English) something into Greek and Latin and simultaneously write it in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other, for an interesting bit of trivia.
Probably one should not really be surprised at this, I guess. Even today, far less erudite politicos than President Garfield, have long since mastered the ability to "speak out of both sides of their mouth", at once.
Or an even better analogy is that if I want to put the broccoli from my plate onto the serving platter that everyone gets food from, and eat it from there. :laugh:
But am I allowed to grow my broccoli on public land? And if I do can I fence it in and restrict your free range cattle from eating it before I get to?
What if I season my broccoli with sauce imported from a poverty stricken nation but I still grow it from seeds produced in America? If I use minorities to pick my broccoli for me do I get a tax break? What if they are not in the country legally?
What were we talking about again? Oh yea free exercise vs the establishment of religion. I think I ate to much broccoli and it all turned to gas. (If I label that an alternative energy source will the government pay me for it?)
Enforcing something is making a law, and that is what is forbidden. They are forbidding the free exercise of speech to (apparently) a man who did some good things.
I don't know ... Why not? But is that the role of government? I don't think so.
If someone erected a statue of a witch or satanist holding the satanic bible on public property, something tells me Christians would be going crazy saying it's a violation of the constitution. They would file a lawsuit, and they would probably win just the same as in this case.
So lets solve this: Put religious stuff on private property. It really has no benefit being on public land anyway (except to make people who disagree with it angry that it's on their public property).
I find news like this to be a perfect example of the paradox of rights in a free society. Because I'm in favor of a republic rather than a democracy, I think it's good that the minority wins over the majority when it comes to issues of personal/constitutional rights, even though such a victory is actually a defeat when it comes to my religion. In other words, I agree with the ruling even though I disagree with it.
You're rather mixed up in the head, I gather.
Anyway, what do we have on public property? A community health organization I know has those 2 serpents winding around a pole; I forget what the name of that piece of crap is, but its origin is in the supernatural power of serpents. And many courthouses have statues of the goddess Libra with her scales. Our days of the week and months of the year are named for pagan gods; that is, government bodies use those name. If that's constitutional, then let's begin a movement to scrap them and name the days Jesusday, Petersday, Paulsday, Jamesday,.... which should be neither more nor less constitutional.
How many expect to see 'magnetic poles' someday picketing the throne of Christ demanding separation of church and state? That's easier to speculate than whether he will be there to picket or not [note I didn't question his salvation].
ed. "Caduceus" is the word I was looking for: Some medical organizations use the two snakes around a staff, but for purists this is wrong; they say the two snakes version is a separate symbol representing Caduceus and Hermes the messengers of the gods and is seen to denote communication. [http://nzphoto.tripod.com/History/snake.html]
Irrelevant. I don't think it lies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government or Constitution.
But do you intend to push for it no matter what jurisdiction it lies 'under?'
The courthouse ground was chosen due to its prominence in the community. They thought a prominent citizen deserved a monument near a prominent building.