U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by HallGator, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    I expect nothing but seething vitriol over this but...

    http://www.americanbar.org/groups/p...ves_awards/students_in_action/sct_report.html

    Transpose this to the Cali court and the progressive radical judge that handed down this decision this opinion, color me surprised.
  2. HallGator
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    HallGator Administrator VIP Member

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    Let's add "In your opinion."
  3. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    And yours as well... Let me ask you since no one else is capable of giving the answer. Exactly what religion is the state sanctioning here, and do you now why the separation of church and state is part of our constitution? Christianity is not an answer. I honestly believe some people are playing dumb or simply just don't know.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  4. HallGator
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    HallGator Administrator VIP Member

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    Christianity. Unless you know of another religion that has the cross as one of it's most sacred icons.
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  5. VAg8r1
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    VAg8r1 Well-Known Member

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    You do know who appointed the judge?
    http://judgepedia.org/Larry_Burns
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  6. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    With ya Hall. Color me dumb I guess. All "traditional" denominations have essential core Christian beliefs they all agree on.

    I'll call them spine issues. Who Jesus was, why He died and that He was ressurected. There is disagreement on rib issues ie. Speaking in tongues, election etc.

    Note: Not going to debate spine issues.
  7. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Why do you believe the separation of church and state part of the constitution?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  8. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    Jdr, it' freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The Constitution profits the state from establishing a state religion. A cross on state owned property establishes nothing. People are still free to choose what to believe.

    The phrase separation of church and state is not in the constitution. It was in a Jefferson letter. But you knew that.
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  9. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    I guess I fail to see the harm in allowing a cross to stand in the same spot it's been for over 50 years.

    If one's personal religious beliefs are that threatened by an inanimate object, then it doesn't speak well for the foundation of one's beliefs in the first place.
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  10. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    I do know that, very well, thanks. But since its inclusion does derive not really from Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, but from the Bill for Religious Freedom (in Virginia) which he authored and became law in VA, to which it seems pretty well established that it was about both freedom of and from religion.

    Now, I'll grant that it has never been some ironclad wall of separation--as there are countless examples throughout history attesting as such, but neither has the amendment been so narrowly about preventing government from establishing a state religion.
  11. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    I disagree completely.
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  12. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't taking a position for or against, only raising the point that the history which brought us the first amendment brought us both the establishment and free exercise clauses with respect to religion, of which it is not as clear cut or nearly as narrow as some would like to have it.

    And yes, it was Jefferson that helped spearhead the inclusion of it and it was based in large part on the Bill of Religious Freedom which he authored. Madison also wrote about it as did other founders.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
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  13. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    You're doing an excellent job of describing the history of the First Amendment as it pertains to religious freedom in this county...but I think the larger point is that, in this instance, what harm is there in allowing a structure to stand when it was built decades ago and has not led to a widespread movement to build Christian crosses on every available hillside in California?

    Obviously, courts have allowed religious icons to stand on government property when they have some historical value (there's actually several cases that have held that) and I'm fairly certain you're aware of that. Why not hold the same thing here?

    It seems to me that by forcing the cross to be removed, the trend is to move towards that "ironclad wall of separation"--and, really, what good does that do except to satisfy the most extreme and most militant of atheists?

    A couple of benign religious displays around the country has not led to the government "establishing" an official religion in this country.
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  14. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I am not bothered by most displays--but this agnostic (or atheist) grew up Roman Catholic and was immersed in religious symbols (though I am bothered by ostentatious displays).

    OTOH, as a matter of law or constitutionality--I can see there being real problems, not least of which since it is not just about athesist vs Christians, but military vets of different religions. The cross doesn't symbolize Jews or Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu, etc...all of which have served. So in this way, I do try to put myself in their shoes. If I were Buddhist, would I really want a symbol recognizing my sacrifice to be a Christian cross? Might that be not just insulting, but creating a condition where 'the state' is favoring one religion over another? What would you think would happen if were a a Star of David or a Star & Crescent? I bet there would be many Christians who would be fighting to have it taken down.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  15. HallGator
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    HallGator Administrator VIP Member

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    I don't see the harm either but as I said somewhere else I'm sure that has a lot to do with my background and the way I was raised.
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  16. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    As a practicing Roman Catholic, I'm aware of religious symbols and how they can be a powerful expression of faith to believers--and, on the flip side, a powerful symbol of something one doesn't want to believe in as well.

    I certainly don't speak for all military veterans, but the vast majority of servicepeople I was around didn't really make a huge issue out of any displays of religion if one were agnostic or atheist. Ironically, many atheists/agnostics I served with were usually pretty open to religion and discussing it. At the FOB in Afghanistan we spent the most time at, we had a Christian cross set up as a plaque to commemorate those who were lost--and there were representatives of several faiths on there (Catholic, Christian, an Eastern religion guy--he incorporated Buddist beliefs and a few other Eastern religions into his personal practice if that makes sense, and two atheists/agnostics). No one objected to using the cross--and everyone (regardless of religion) paid their respects.

    It just seems to me this is an attempt by the ACLU and militant atheists hiding behind "military veterans from other faiths" to pursue their crusade against any religion whatsoever in government. Which is a far cry, IMO, then what the Founding Fathers intended.

    I took the liberty of posting the cross from our deployment to Afghanistan. The one on the right was from the previous units that were there (an Army unit started it, the Brits added to it when they were there).

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  17. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    That is why I have an optimistic view of humans, vets in particular (I am one as well). People being willing to slightly adjust their positions or willing to just agree to get along can go a long way. But maybe we should also learn from our past and in the future simply not use a cross--or a cross on its own--as a representation for people who don't share in that religious meaning of it. I mean, we live in a increasing religious pluralistic society in which non-Christian religions are increasing quickly so it seems to me to that moving forward the right thing to do is to be mindful of it.

    In any case, I tend to want to find comprise in such situations. It doesn't have to be this zero-sum game all the time.
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  18. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    Moving forward? Perhaps. Government buildings have definitely moved away from religious symbols and to even try and put something like this on public land these days would instantly be met with lawsuits from the ever-present ACLU.

    But this was something that's stood for decades--and if there are veterans from that time period who object, then by all means, let us take into consideration their opinion. But I'd be very surprised if that were the case.
  19. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    I think we are in agreement (though I am a fan of the ACLU even if I might disagree with them, at times). Well, yeah, I know government has already moved away, though I was speaking in a more general way about "we" as a people. Many reasons for people to be divided--but also many opportunities to learn how to better compromise as we share this limited space and time together.
  20. Lawdog88
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    Lawdog88 Well-Known Member

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    JDR, can you tell me what you mean by that sentence ? And of course, could you describe what an "ostentatious display[]" is ?

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