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The Supreme Court Case That Could Bring Down the Wall of Separation Between Church and State

  
By:  Don Overton  •  Trump & Republicans  •  4 months ago  •  50 comments

The Supreme Court Case That Could Bring Down the Wall of Separation Between Church and State

There can be no freedom of religion without a government that is free from religion.

In the wake of the dumpster fire that was Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, there was speculation in legalcircles that the U.S. Supreme Court would lay low: It would avoid taking on controversial cases or overturning long-standing precedent.

But the Court’s action earlier this month suggests that patience, restraint, and avoiding hot-button issues are not going to be its new watchwords.

https://rewire.news/article/2018/11/12/the-supreme-court-case-that-could-bring-down-the-wall-of-separation-between-church-and-state/

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Suz
1  Suz    4 months ago

Hello, Don! 

I went through the entire article but could not find the day the cross was erected.  I know it's to honor the men of WWI but do we know its age?

Thank you.  It's nice to see you again.  :-)   

 
 
 
Split Personality
1.1  Split Personality  replied to  Suz @1    4 months ago

Good to see you too, Suz,

The monument was started in 1919 and finished in 1925.

Peace Cross was completed in 1925, and it honors 49 men from the surrounding county who died in World War I. A plaque on the cross' base lists the names of those soldiers, and both faces of the cross have a circle with the symbol of the American Legion, the veterans organization that helped raise money to build it.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-peace-cross-supreme-court-20181103-story.html

 
 
 
lennylynx
2  lennylynx    4 months ago

Atheism should be a prerequisite for holding public office.  We pay these people to make practical decisions in the real world, and they should be fully immersed in reality.  Delusional, superstitious people should not be making decisions for the public at large.

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.1  Split Personality  replied to  lennylynx @2    4 months ago

maybe all 49 guys it honored were Christian and members of the American Legion who raised the $$ for it...?

 
 
 
epistte
2.1.1  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2.1    4 months ago

This isn't a cemetery so this religious monument needs to be moved to private property where it is constitutionally protected.  US military members do not fight under the Christian cross as an banner so this is not the proper monument for their secular sacrifice. It should be replaced it with a marble monument with their names engraved on a brass plaque that that is more fitting for their government service.

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.1.3  Split Personality  replied to  epistte @2.1.1    4 months ago

It was deemed proper in 1919

It was originally private property, taken by eminent domain; apparently the County, the same one fighting to keep it where it is,

felt that it wasn't being maintained properly and could someday corrode enough to topple onto traffic or pedestrians, so they "took over" the property in 1961

specifically to maintain the structure.

Supporters of the monument say the Supreme Court has previously made clear that monuments, particularly longstanding ones that incorporate religious symbolism to send a secular message, don't violate the Constitution. They say the Bladensburg monument's history and context show that it falls into that category, that its message is a secular one of commemoration.

The monument's shape was chosen not for religious reasons but to mirror cross-shaped grave markers used for (all) soldiers buried in American cemeteries overseas, backers note.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-peace-cross-supreme-court-20181103-story.html

Shall we start removing the crosses from all of the graves at Normandy or any of the 141 national cemeteries?

384

Where does one draw the line on what is currently PC?

 
 
 
epistte
2.1.4  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2.1.3    4 months ago
It was deemed proper in 1919 It was originally private property, taken by eminent domain; apparently the County, the same one fighting to keep it where it is,

Then move it to private property or make a legal ruling that this quasi-religious monument on public property is because of prior eminent domain and as such it cannot to be used as a future precedent for church-state interaction if it is permitted to stay where it is. 

Unlike Arlington, nobody is buried under the cross in Maryland.  The cemetery cross is considered to be their permanent home and as such is religious freedom, even if it is at a public cemetery. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.1.5  Split Personality  replied to  epistte @2.1.4    4 months ago

It can probably be converted to an obelisk easily.

Unless that symbolizes some Egyptian deity...

Right now it's just a waste of tax payer $$ by court challenges to the County's and State's rights,

which will probably result in more wasted tax $$ by modifying the Memorial or removing it.

Sad...

When do we start removing all the religious references from all of the Civil War monuments throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio?

From the original plague for the PA 104th in Doylestown PA

“Their good swords rust, and their steeds are dust, but their souls are with the saints, we trust.”

384

 
 
 
epistte
2.1.6  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2.1.5    4 months ago

It can stay as it is, just as long as their is a federal court ruling stating that it cannot be used as a precedent to open the door to further state endorsement of religion.  I'm not offended by seeing it. I just don't want the religious right to be able to use it as a legal wedge to open that door.  I am an avowed supporter of an absolutely strict separation of church and state. Religion is to be kept to private property where it belongs instead of being used by the religious right or politicians as a weapon to attack those who do not believe as they do.  

 
 
 
luther28
2.1.7  luther28  replied to  epistte @2.1.6    4 months ago
Religion is to be kept to private property where it belongs instead of being used by the religious right or politicians as a weapon to attack those who do not believe as they do.

My sentiments as well.

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.1.8  Split Personality  replied to  luther28 @2.1.7    4 months ago

So if the County deeds the property back to the American Legion, all  is well?

 
 
 
epistte
2.1.9  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2.1.8    4 months ago
So if the County deeds the property back to the American Legion, all  is well?

The Legion pays a nominal $100 for the site and everything is fine.  I'd also like the previous history of the site to be public knowledge so churches and others cannot pull this stunt as a way to put religious icons on public property. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.1.10  Split Personality  replied to  epistte @2.1.9    4 months ago

from what I read, the cost of maintenance and  liability insurance prompted the State/County to act back in 1961.

Certainly those costs will not have gone down and every pic gives the impression that the monument is already leaning and in need of repair.

Sad.

 
 
 
epistte
2.1.11  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2.1.10    4 months ago
from what I read, the cost of maintenance and  liability insurance prompted the State/County to act back in 1961.

Certainly those costs will not have gone down and every pic gives the impression that the monument is already leaning and in need of repair.

Sad.

If it is leaning then it is a safety issue, which makes moving it a good idea. Move it to private property and replace the stone cross with a secular monument and a bronze plaque with the same names.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
2.2  Mark in Wyoming  replied to  lennylynx @2    4 months ago
Atheism should be a prerequisite for holding public office.  We pay these people to make practical decisions in the real world, and they should be fully immersed in reality.  Delusional, superstitious people should not be making decisions for the public at large.

well that's a religious test in and of itself , and to get to that end all you have to do is change the part of the Constitution that states that there is to be NO religious test to hold public office, or you can go another route and simply not vote for those that have religious beliefs, hows that been working so far BTW?

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.1  Gordy327  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @2.2    4 months ago
well that's a religious test in and of itself , and to get to that end all you have to do is change the part of the Constitution that states that there is to be NO religious test to hold public office

The Constitution may not have a religious test clause (a very good idea), but there is a "religious test" of sorts in public opinion: a politician often makes their religious beliefs known to pander to a religious base. I doubt we'll see many open atheists win elections anytime soon, especially ones higher up on the political ladder.

or you can go another route and simply not vote for those that have religious beliefs,

That's almost as bad as voting for someone for the sole reason because a candidate shares a particular religion/belief with the voter. It's like voters refuse to look past religion and evaluate a candidate's qualifications, plans or strategies, background, ect.. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
2.2.2  Mark in Wyoming  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.1    4 months ago

don't know where you get that there is  no no religious test clause in the Constitution, but,I could have misread or misunderstood your meaning.

The No Religious Test Clause of the United States Constitution is a clause within Article VI, Clause 3. By its plain terms, no federal officeholder or employee can be required to adhere to or accept any particular religion or doctrine as a prerequisite to holding a federal office or a federal government job.

and it also applies to state and local offices as well , office holders are free to hold or not hold whatever bekliefs they choose and their jobs are not at jeopardy.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.3  Gordy327  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @2.2.2    4 months ago
The No Religious Test Clause of the United States Constitution is a clause within Article VI, Clause 3.

Yes, that is what I was referring to. Perhaps I wasn't clear about that in my previous post.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.2.4  Trout Giggles  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @2.2.2    4 months ago
and it also applies to state and local offices as well , office holders are free to hold or not hold whatever bekliefs they choose and their jobs are not at jeopardy.

Not in Arkansas. There is something in the Arkansas Constitution that states no public office holder may be an atheist. I have to go look it up

Arkansas, Article 19, Section 1:

Atheists disqualified from holding office or testifying as witness. No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.
 
 
 
epistte
2.2.5  epistte  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.4    4 months ago

The US Constitution's Supremacy Clause means that federal law overrules state law so that is unenforceable.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.2.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  epistte @2.2.5    4 months ago

This is Arkansas. They do whatever the hell they want

 
 
 
epistte
2.2.7  epistte  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.6    4 months ago
This is Arkansas. They do whatever the hell they want

An appeal would put an end to their religious shenanigans. 

 
 
 
MUVA
2.3  MUVA  replied to  lennylynx @2    4 months ago

Bigotry is bigotry no matter if it's the color of someones skin or their beliefs prejudging people is wrong.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.4  Gordy327  replied to  lennylynx @2    4 months ago
Atheism should be a prerequisite for holding public office. 

I would like to agree, but I do respect the Constitution in such matters.

We pay these people to make practical decisions in the real world, and they should be fully immersed in reality.

Talk about not getting one's money worth.

Delusional, superstitious people should not be making decisions for the public at large.

It's not when someone has superstitious delusions that's the problem. it's when they make decisions based on superstitious delusions that is the problem.

 
 
 
luther28
2.5  luther28  replied to  lennylynx @2    4 months ago
Atheism should be a prerequisite for holding public office

I would settle for common sense, but my notion is as much a dream as yours.

Religion or the lack of it, is something of a personal nature. Why it is continually dragged into the public spotlight has always baffled me. I could care less what one opts to believe, why should any care what I or anyone else opts not to believe.

Personally I am quite happy that others have the right to religious freedom, why would those same folks deny us the freedom from it?

 
 
 
Cerenkov
3  Cerenkov    4 months ago

Should be interesting. I'm glad they didn't hesitate because of the artificial Kavanaugh outrage.

 
 
 
WallyW
4  WallyW    4 months ago

Perhaps they could just leave the thing alone and quit making an issue out of a non issue.

 
 
 
luther28
4.1  luther28  replied to  WallyW @4    4 months ago

I tend to agree, I am a confirmed heathen and happily ignore others religious demonstrations as long as they leave me alone. We have more important fish to fry, in my opinion at least.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
5  The Magic Eight Ball    4 months ago
there was speculation in legal circles that the U.S. Supreme Court would lay low: It would avoid taking on controversial cases or overturning long-standing precedent.

the people in those legal circles who made that speculation? were fools at best.

There can be no freedom of religion without a government that is free from religion.

 freedom of religion does not equal freedom from religious people holding public office

and nothing will make those people ignore their beliefs while in office.

 

when in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —

god will not be removed from our govt or this country any faster than you can remove the word god or the notion of god from that founding document.

don't like god? too bad.... go fish :)

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.1  Gordy327  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5    4 months ago

God does not make or have any place in our secular laws and government, and never did! BTW, the Declaration of Independence does not establish our system of laws and government. The Constitution does, which does not mention god. People in government can have their religious beliefs. But they cannot make those beliefs a part of law or public policy.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
5.1.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1    4 months ago
and never did!

the text in the declaration of independence proves your wrong enough.

god has been in the hearts of man since the founding of this country my friend...

nothing you can say will change that or put an end to that.

there is no freedom from religion in this country...  only freedom of religion and the "free expression thereof will always be, in all walks of life, including politics.

https://chaplain.house.gov/

there is a reason freedom of speech and freedom of religion were placed in the 1st amendment together. (inseparable)

 

cheers :)

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5.1.1    4 months ago

Wrong! The text of the DoI does not mention "god," nor does it establish our system of laws or government. It doesn't matter if god is in "men's hearts." As long as god isn't in our laws and government, per the constitutional separation of church and state, then there's no problem. And yes, we do have freedom OF and FROM religion. You can't have one without the other. There's a reason we have a separation of church and state!

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
5.1.3  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1.2    4 months ago
does not mention "god,

try reading it sometime? god is in the first and second paragraph of that document.

http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/document/

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —

 

 

as long as god exists in the heart of man you will see the deeds of god by the hands of man.

the same is true with the devil. but that's covered in the details...

 

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5.1.3    4 months ago
try reading it sometime?

I have. Apparently you haven't! It says "nature's god." That is more ambiguous than the Abrahamistic version of god. "Nature's god" can apply to anyone's idea of god:

1.Laws of Nature and of Nature's God (can be any deity attributed with the creation of the world)
2.endowed by their Creator (definatively not just the Christian God since it is talking about an individual person's Creator)
3.Supreme Judge of the world (many deities are describe thusly)
4.protection of Divine Providence (every deity)

Neither does your post refute my previous reply.

 
 
 
MrFrost
5.2  MrFrost  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5    4 months ago

Tell ya what... You prove without any doubt that God does exist and is 100% real, then we can discuss enacting laws based on that being. Or, we can enact laws based on the religious teachings of my flying red unicorn, Cletus, of which I have just as much proof of as you have of your "god". 

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
5.2.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  MrFrost @5.2    4 months ago

tell ya what.... prove beyond any doubt that god is not referenced in our declaration of independence?

then we can discuss if it even matters if god actually exists or not.

think belief in god (fairy tale or otherwise) is not enough to change anything?

try to remove the freedom of religion and watch what happens next.

cheers :)

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.2.2  Gordy327  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5.2.1    4 months ago
tell ya what.... prove beyond any doubt that god is not referenced in our declaration of independence?

Prove that it applies to just your god! 

then we can discuss if it even matters if god actually exists or not.

It doesn't! Especially not to our secular nation and system of government and laws. God is utterly immaterial to that.

try to remove the freedom of religion and watch what happens next.

No one is arguing or trying to remove freedom of or from religion.

 
 
 
MrFrost
5.2.3  MrFrost  replied to  Gordy327 @5.2.2    4 months ago
Prove that it applies to just your god! 

It applies to CLETUS...the one true God... ;)

 
 
 
MrFrost
5.2.4  MrFrost  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5.2.1    4 months ago

Freedom OF religion is also freedom FROM religion. Care to try again? 

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.2.5  Gordy327  replied to  MrFrost @5.2.3    4 months ago
It applies to CLETUS...the one true God..

No, you mean the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Freedom OF religion is also freedom FROM religion. 

Indeed. You can't have one without the other. Even James Madison noted freedom FROM religion [emphasis mine]:

The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State (James Madison, Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819).

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
5.2.6  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  MrFrost @5.2.4    4 months ago
Freedom OF religion is also freedom FROM religion.

 

not when a politician votes on a proposed law based on their personal religious beliefs.

nothing you can do about that my friend.

cheers :)

 

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.2.7  Gordy327  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5.2.6    4 months ago
not when a politician votes on a proposed law based on their personal religious beliefs.

As long as the law itself is not based on religion, or otherwise runs afoul of the Constitution, then there's no problem.

 
 
 
epistte
5.2.8  epistte  replied to  MrFrost @5.2.3    4 months ago
It applies to CLETUS...the one true God...

All must bow to FSM or risk being simmered in spicy marinara for eternity. 

 
 
 
epistte
5.2.9  epistte  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5.2.6    4 months ago
not when a politician votes on a proposed law based on their personal religious beliefs.

nothing you can do about that my friend.

cheers

Does that legislation that they are voting on further a religious doctrine or does it further a purely secular idea?  The former is unconstitutional.

What part of the strict separation of church and state, that was explained by Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists confuse you?

 
 
 
MrFrost
5.2.10  MrFrost  replied to  epistte @5.2.8    4 months ago
All must bow to FSM or risk being simmered in spicy marinara for eternity. 

Flying red unicorn covered in spicy marinara sauce... There is a story worth a page or two in someone's book. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
5.2.11  MrFrost  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @5.2.6    4 months ago
ot when a politician votes on a proposed law based on their personal religious beliefs.

I have no problems with that at all... But if the law is religious in nature? It's a no-go. Sorry! 

Oh yea...

CHEERS! :)

 
 
 
epistte
5.2.12  epistte  replied to  MrFrost @5.2.10    4 months ago
Flying red unicorn covered in spicy marinara sauce... There is a story worth a page or two in someone's book. 

Is that made with chicken, beef, pork or veal?

 
 
 
Ender
6  Ender    4 months ago

I honestly have to question the need for the lawsuit. Possibly opening a can of worms that doesn't need to be opened. possibly getting a ruling they are against. They are taking a gamble that may backfire.

I am not a religious person and a staunch believer of separation of church and state. That said, it has been there for a hundred years. I say let it be. More important things to worry about.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
7  Sean Treacy    4 months ago

Leaving something alone  that has existed for almost 100 years won't "bring down the wall of separation between church and state."  The opposite is true. Destroying a 100 year old monument (straight out of the 17th century Puritan playbook, no less) would radically alter the relationship between the two. 

 
 
 
epistte
7.1  epistte  replied to  Sean Treacy @7    4 months ago
Leaving something alone  that has existed for almost 100 years won't "bring down the wall of separation between church and state."  The opposite is true. Destroying a 100 year old monument (straight out of the 17th century Puritan playbook, no less) would radically alter the relationship between the two. 

Nobody is advocating destroying the monument.