Posting of Ten Comandments in Public Buildings

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Golgotha, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. Golgotha

    Golgotha
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    As an ex-fundamentalist, I'm not really in favor of this (but I really don't care anymore because this whole issue is so ridiculous), but the truth is it DOES violate our Government's church-state separation laws, preventing any one popular religious belief system from holdingi tself above all religious belief systems. If The Salt Lake City commissioners voted to have some sort of Mormon doctrine posted in public buildings, you folks would be all over that. The commandment that "thou shalt have no other Gods but me [the Hebrew God]" is offensive to all the other religions that believe in a different God (and they all DO believe in a different myth...er...God). This doesn't even take into consideration the realists that may not wish to believe in a god or gods :eek: , yet are now strongly "encouraged" to believe, as endorsed by a posting in a public building.


    From the Tennessean, February 26, 2002:

    Wilson County commissioners back
    posting commandments

    By WARREN DUZAK
    Staff Writer

    LEBANON — A national controversy over the barrier between
    church and state failed to elicit any debate last night in the Wilson
    County Commission.

    The county's 25 commissioners, in a voice vote, unanimously
    approved a resolution supporting the importance of and the posting
    of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

    But the resolution's sponsor, Commissioner Wendell Marlowe, said
    he is not prepared to ask the commission to have the Bible's
    famous Old Testament set of directives posted in the county
    courthouse.

    ''That might be next (but) I don't have enough information,''
    Marlowe said.

    County Attorney Mike Jennings said he would advise the
    commission to expect a challenge from the American Civil Liberties
    Union if it goes ahead with any plans to post the commandments.

    The ACLU of Tennessee is preparing for its case in Hamilton
    County, where the Ten Commandments have been posted in three
    public buildings. The case is expected to be considered at the end
    of April, said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of
    Tennessee.

    ''The Supreme Court could have done us all a favor and made a
    decision, but it didn't,'' Jennings said last night, referring to the high
    court's refusal yesterday to review a lower-court ban on public
    postings of the Ten Commandments.

    Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal
    from Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon, who wanted to erect a 7-foot
    stone monument to the commandments on the grounds of the
    Indiana state Capitol.

    The court's action was a defeat for states that have sought the high
    court's endorsement for the notion that the Ten Commandments are
    as much emblems of legal tradition as they are biblical teachings.

    The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the government
    from establishing or promoting religion in general, or favoring one
    religion over another. It also bars the government from interfering
    with the free exercise of religion. In Lebanon last night, Wilson
    County commissioners were noncommittal when asked if they
    would vote to post the commandments.

    ''We didn't vote on that,'' Commissioner W.J. ''Mac'' McCluskey
    said. ''I wouldn't want to get in any court battle.''

    But Commissioner Annette Stafford said it was time for ''kids to get
    old-fashioned raising.''

    ''It would be an excellent idea,'' she said.

    Cris Corley of Lebanon, who attended last night's meeting, said
    county residents would fight the ACLU ''tooth and nail.''

    ''If Hedy wants to bring the golden calf and the ACLU to Lebanon,
    so be it.''

    Well....if you want to ASSUME that ANYone not believing in the supernatural God of the Holy Bible is automatically a Pagan or something, then I suppose you'll believe anything you want to. But I don't think that old Hedy wants to bring ANY myth-belief relic to Lebanon.

    [ February 26, 2002, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: Golgotha ]
     
  2. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
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    Wow! That was quite an introduction of yourself Golgotha - or was it? Normally people coming in to the BB introduce themselves on the Welcome Forum, and then they wenture deeper inside the board. You jumped right into the water..... Ouch! ;)

    BTW, I noticed in your profile that you may have been a part of the Jesus Seminar? If it is so, could you tell us something about that work (on the welcome forum)?
     
  3. Golgotha

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    Hi Barnabas, yes....I know, I need to back up and introduce myself first I suppose. I guess I'm the type that likes to come running into the community pool, jump in, swim around awhile, then lay down on the chaise lounge to chit-chat. I'll do that when I have little more time to compose a proper introduction. I was referred to this site by some fellows at the SecWeb. Since I'm also a Baptist (by membership), I thought "why not?".

    But I wanted to get a sometimes controversial topic out there to kick around. When I was a devout christian, it angered me every time there was some objection to putting "God's truth" in public buildings. Now that I see life through a less biased and slanted worldview, I understand why there was so much opposition.

    Btw, I don't have a home page, but I enjoy following the works and research of the Jesus Seminar Fellows and belong as a member. I don't have a PhD in a religious subject, so membership is the most I can do.

    Will introduce myself when I get a chance. ;)
     
  4. DocCas

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    Are you certain you are "less biased and slanted" now than you were before, or are you just as biased and slanted, but in a different direction? [​IMG]
     
  5. Golgotha

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    Are you certain you are "less biased and slanted" now than you were before, or are you just as biased and slanted, but in a different direction? [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]Fair question, Thomas. Okay, part of my "testimony" if you will. About a year or so ago, and at the urging of Chuck Colson in "How Now Shall We Live?" (which I facilitated in a church study), I decided to begin improving and shoring-up my apologetic sklls. My first goal was to completely understand both sides of the evolution/creation debate (or as much as one can). A second goal was to research the Resurrection debate (both sides), because as Paul said, if the resurrection is not true, then all our teaching is in vain and we may as well drink and be merry for there is no life after this (to paraphrase).

    All of this lead me to many book reviews, which then lead me to the Secular Web essays and discussions, which lead me to engage the posters on that board in various debates regarding the existance of god and the validity of christianity--for about 6 months--which lead to myself (and others) being totally annihilated in debate after debate over what we held to be true, which finally caused the REAL scales to fall away from my eyes and force me to acknowledge that I had, like millions and millions of others before me, elevated myth to the level of righteous reality, with truthfully no more support than supernaturalism, the bible is true because it says its true, contradictions that cannot be adequately explained, and evidence that is sorely lacking.
    I realized that I had only believed christianity to be true because I so desparately WANTED it to be true, but came to the realization that belief in a god or gods is just a silly supersticious notion that we have inherited from antiquity.

    It is necessary to apply critical thinking skills to everything we are told. There is a difference between "how to think: and "what to think". I believe that christians, as evidenced from all the little families in my church, are taught only WHAT to think and believe, not HOW to think in order to decide what to believe. The same "truths" and evidence that you hold up to support christianity, are just as valid to support Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, or anythingism. The evidence is mostly anecdotal and there is very little real or VERIFIABLE evidence or support for religious beliefs. It's all your "intuition" and "gut feel".

    So, because I apply critical thinking skills, reason, analytical skills, and other related concepts to THAT which I am told to believe, rather than just accepting at face value something that is written down in a book, I can safely say that my worldview is NO LONGER biased and slanted in favor of a doctrinal view or set of ideologies, and I no longer believe something simply because we are taught that this is what we are to believe....no questions asked.

    This essay is a good example of where my thinking USED to be, and why it isn't there any more.

    Sadly, an honest creationist

    Which reminds me....during my research, I came to the inevitable conclusion that most creationists were not only deceitful in their manipulation of the facts, but that many were outright liars. This certainly caused me to stumble and draw away from christianity......

    [ February 26, 2002, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: Golgotha ]
     
  6. DocCas

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    My experience was exactly opposite. I was raised an infidel, educated as an infidel in the sciences, and was challanged to critically evaluate my science and see if it was telling me the truth. After several years of study I overcame my bias against supernaturalism and realized there was much too much evidence to the contrary to wallow any longer in my self centered naturalism. From that point on my life was changed. I can see clearly now, that which was, before, obscured by my naturalism and humanism.

    I will pray for you that God will bestow his wonderful enabling grace on you that you too may believe, and know Him in a personal way.
     
  7. Barnabas H.

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    I am truly sorry to hear that you feel that way. In fact I do not know why you would use Golgotha for your user name, if you have drawn away from Christianity. I think it is sad that after all that learning you have failed to see the Creator. I too pray with Dr. Cassidy that the spiritual scales to your eyes may be removed and see God as He is. [​IMG]
     
  8. Golgotha

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    I appreciate this, really, but along with the multitudes of other pastors and theologians that have given up supersticious beliefs, I see this as nothing more than sending thought waves into outer space. ;)

    Btw, my intentions here are simply to be honest and above-board.

    [ February 27, 2002, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: Golgotha ]
     
  9. Golgotha

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    I like the sound of it! :D (the alternative was "Judas H. Priest", which I thought might raise more eyebrows than June 1st at Disney World.... ;) )
     
  10. Weflicker

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    On the topic in the initial post...

    I don't think faith should be a part of government. Religious interests of the public should be represented in that government, but actual government reinforcing of religious ideals... *winces* It puts the government into the position of guiding religions, and that leaves far too many openings for the abuse (corrupt or well-meaning) we've seen through history in religious governments. Someone who comes to a "faith" through coersion... well, you can't make someone believe something, and the whole point of Christianity is that it's a choice.

    I don't support the idea of administration-led or -sponsored prayer in schools. I think that should be something taught at home, and that pressuring others into participating is not at all a good way of reaching them.

    So I would say that the Ten Commandments shouldn't be displayed on public buildings - while at the same time saying there should be no interference with a private owner doing so.

    That said, as a student I can officially confirm that as long as there are tests, there will be prayer in school. (-;

    On the off-topic topic... (-:

    Most people have never actually seen an electron microscope, or the results of any experiments using them firsthand. For all we know, scientists could have opened MSPaint ( well, probably not - Image Composer at the least, I'd say for usability (-; ) and drawn whatever they wanted, created random sets of images for their own purposes.

    The argument has been made that we trust scientists because if we had the resources and materials needed to, we could go perform the same experiments and get the same results... but I would say that if I had the situation it called for, God would (and definitely could) do whatever He wanted to.

    I'm not saying that I doubt scientists' findings - but rather that I don't doubt them, and most people don't, despite the fact that the only evidence I have is second- or third-hand information and testimonies.

    The biggest difficulty is that when dealing with God you're not dealing with a measurable quantity. You're dealing with something not bound by or subject to the laws we live by, physically speaking. You can't measure or detect God because He isn't a three- or four- or 10-dimensional being. He's a non-dimensional being who encompasses all dimensions.

    I think Christianity can make sense logically. That's not to say you can become a Christian through pure logic - there is a fine line between "yes, this could be how it is, though we can't measure and identify it exactly" and "yes, this IS how it is, though we can't measure and identify it exactly." As there is between "yes, this might be the actual finding of the experiment which might have been performed, though all I have to go by are the writings and images from the people who supposedly performed it" and "yes, this is what the experiment showed, even though all I have to go by are the writings and images from the people who performed it." The difference is simple - belief. Faith. Either way, you're accepting something through what other people have said and seen, except with God you can go by what you've felt, if you trust your feelings enough.

    Cute. Very cute. :D

    God bless and guide you and yours,
    Webster

    [ February 27, 2002, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: Webster ]
     
  11. Golgotha

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  12. Barnabas H.

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    So then, we can safely assume that you are a Moslem?
     
  13. Golgotha

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    So then, we can safely assume that you are a Moslem?</font>[/QUOTE]No, I am a skeptical Baptist going through a crisis of faith. But if you ask Clint, I'm an Apostate.

    Thanks for your consideration Barnabas.
     
  14. Larry

    Larry
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    Golgotha,

    I would consider it a personal favor if you would tell me, with as much detail as possible, how you came to be a Christian? Looking back, would you say that you were manipulated into saying the sinner’s prayer, walking the isle or what ever, or was it something else?

    Before you “fell away”, did you know the Lord?
     
  15. Golgotha

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    Larry,

    Thank you for asking. I'm a little busy today but will try and answer you as succinctly as possible in the next few days. I have begun talking with some of the deacons at my church whom I consider friends. If nothing else, it is turning into a very interesting series of dialogues. I also thank you for not demonizing me for this, as most are want to do.

    Very briefly, and more detail will follow, I can honestly say that I came to "know the Lord". I was baptized in an evangelical SBC church, I dove deeply into the bible and BTR study, I went to church Sunday AM and PM, as well as every Wednesday fellowship dinner, I prayed constantly, I participated actively in mens' study groups, I attended three Promise Keepers events AS WELL AS 'Stand in the Gap' in DC during October '97. And as you may know, when you spend a weekend praying and holding your arms up in worship, adulation and absolute love for the Lord, along with tens or hundreds of thousands of other christians, and you "hunger" to seek His face and you thirst for the Word as I did....you pretty much realize that you don't just "believe" in Jesus, you KNOW Him.

    I also lead a seekers BTR class for about two years, I taught my children all about Jesus and prayed with them every night, and I remember telling friends and relatives that I loved Jesus (and sometimes got some funny looks, but that didn't matter). I also spent as much time as possible listening to tapes and radio shows by pastors/christians such as John MacArthur Jr., R.C. Sproul, Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, Adrian Rogers, Hank Hannegraaf, Dr. Dobson and FotF, and several other mainstream theolgians.

    I then decided to build up my apologetic skills, as Colson advises in "How Now...". This lead me to investigate the counter-claims by atheists and other non-theists (many of whom were former pastors that left the faith), and as I read and debated with these people on issues ranging from origins to the resurrection, I slowly began to realize that there was simply not a lot of "good" evidence out there, beyond supernaturalism and faith, for the claims of our faith. Furthermore, their arguments had volumes of support and actually made more sense. My choice was either to ignore these glaring inconsistencies, or be honest with myself and admit that their arguments and evidence for THEIR claims were valid and needed to be examined. It also disappointed me to discover how many theologians and creationists were distorting and manipulating the facts to fit their arguments, and in some cases just outright lying to support their assertions.

    Anyway, that's my two-minute testimony. I'll be happy to discuss this more later. I thank you again for your concern and curiosity.

    [ February 28, 2002, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: Golgotha ]
     
  16. Squire Robertsson

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    As this thread has gone far afield from its original post, I am closing it forthwith and without prejudice.

    I endeavor to keep this forum focused on breaking news and commentary thereon.

    In His service,
    Keith
     

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