Why SCOTUS Got One Man, One Woman Wrong

SCOTUS  The Supreme Court’s decision on the question of what constitutes a marriage, lead directly to the controversy surrounding the county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky.   The court handed down its decision on the question of whether state laws, and even state constitutional amendments, that banned homosexual marriages, were constitutional. The court found that they were not, based on the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The 14th Amendment states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The SCOTUS heard the case based on the idea that a law which allows some people the privilege to marry, while denying the same privilege to others, was unconstitutional. I happen to agree with that view-point.  One would have to question the intellect, and or the hypocrisy of those who refuse to acknowledge this view-point.

But in my opinion, those who brought the case based on that argument, missed a larger and deeper, underlying element of this case. To see that element, we need only look to the ongoing controversy in Kentucky surrounding the Rowan County clerk, Kim Davis. If we look to this circus sideshow, we see what is truly at the root of the question about marriage.

Kim Davis  Mrs. Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals couples based on two things. One being, the Kentucky state constitutional amendment, Sec. 233A which says, “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.” 

Secondly, Mrs. Davis refused to issue the licenses based on her own, I emphasize, her own religious beliefs. I believe the two are more closely tied than anyone has really cared to talk about. I also believe, had those parties bringing the SCOTUS case against the idea of “one man, one woman”,  brought the case based on religious freedom, the case would have been as sound, and would have also settled many other issues over religious freedom, and those who would steal the very idea of religious freedom from us, using religion to do so.

Now I know that may sound confusing, but let me explain. There are people in this country that never tire of telling us just how religious and righteous they are. They call themselves Christians for the most part, which as a Christian causes me no end of shame.  I will address this further later in the post.

First let me explain why I feel that one man, one woman is an attack on religious freedom. You see the idea of one man, one woman is Biblically based. Why, the Kentucky amendment even outlaws common law marriage.  “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized“.  Of course the idea of one man, one woman is Biblical, hence it is also a religious tenant. So you see, Kentucky and other states that pass such laws are attempting to enforce a religious ideology upon all citizens.

That is why I believe that the SCOTUS case should have been brought based on, not the 14th Amendment, which  makes it merely a civil rights case, but should have been brought based on the 1st Amendment, which would have had far more impact upon the battle against those who would lead this nation to a theocracy.

The 1st Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”.  I feel that once a state passes a law that hold its citizens to a religious test in order to receive a license, then that state has veered into the realm of establishing a religion. And just as important, if that state also denies a person said license because they do not meet the religious requirement of said law, then the state is also prohibiting that person or persons from the free exercise there of. Because what so many of the religious right fail to recognize about our 1st Amendment right to freely  exercise, is that it also means citizens are free not to worship if they choose, and they are free to be sinners if they choose. It is not government’s role to decide who gets into heaven.

What Kim Davis and Kentucky did was to set a religious test for people applying for a state issued license. And anyone who thinks that the Framers of the Constitution intended for a county clerk to hold such powers should look to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which says, ” The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
So, as we can see, the Framers did not feel those in charge of running government, at any level, should be held to any type of religious test, that would include Mrs. Davis. So the question for all of those supporting Kim Davis is, if Kim Davis is not to be held to any religious test, why would the Framers intend that ordinary citizens should  be held to a religious test to receive a license? The answer is, they wouldn’t.

It is so clear in everything the Framers did in building our Constitution, that they intended that there would be no mixture of church and state, they had lived under that tyranny, and would not have placed that burden upon their Posterity.

Now there are those religious fundamentalist out there, who wrap their religion and politics tightly together, who will show you example after example of personal letters written by the Framers about their religious feelings, and about how they felt a government  administered by men of faith was preferable. They lose sight however that the final document, the U.S. Constitution has not a single mention of God within it, in fact the Framers even recognized that someday a person who held no religious belief might be elected president, in Article II, sec. 1 they put forth the oath of office as such, “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So you see, the Framers allowed for the fact that some people may not hold the same religious beliefs as they did, if they held any at all, so they allowed for a president to “affirm” rather than to “swear”. The hypocrites will tell you that the Framers were religious people, and I imagine they were for the most part, but what they were not, is people who would impose their beliefs upon other citizens, not after having fled Europe to escape such tyranny.

You see, when an elected official, or any government employee, is acting in their official capacity, they are free to believe what they want, but they are not free to impose their views on citizens. Government is not an arm of the church, and the church is not an arm of the government. There are some who will tell you that separation of the two goes only one way, and that the Framers wanted the church to hold sway over government, not so. Read James Madison on this topic, and you will see that the Father of the Constitution was clear that any mixture of church and state was to be avoided.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions64.html

The real danger to our religious freedom is not from atheist, or Jews, or Muslims, right now today, our greatest challenge to our religious freedom is coming from the far right Christian fundamentalist. These are the people who if they had their way, our children would be forced to say a government prayer, lead by a government employee in every school. They would force citizens to adhere to their religious views to obtain any and all government privileges. They would mandate that every citizens follow their views of Christianity.
They are homophobic, they have underlying racist tendencies, if you do not believe as they do, then they attack not only your “Christianism”, but call into question every aspect of your life. They feel they are judges of who is a “good Christian”, all the while being imperfect beings themselves. I truly believe that some of these radicalized Christians are only one charismatic leader away from cutting off heads like the Taliban and ISIS.
They call themselves “Patriots”, “posses”, “militias”, they tie their religious fervor to gun rights as well. They claim that there is a war on Christians simply because a privately owned store such as Walmart says, “Happy Holidays”, instead of Merry Christmas. If they had their way, all stores would be forced to call it Christmas. Is that Liberty? Not in my understanding of the word.

These people are locked in a time warp, one where, if they lived, they could enforce their backward ways.  And for all of their talk of Christian values, they are some of the meanest people you will every come into contact with. They have no use for the very brothers Jesus told us to love. They treat women like second class citizens, they would if they could take this nation back to the 17th Century, when slavery was legal, and women couldn’t vote.

Kim Davis may have refused to issue marriage licenses based on “HER” religious views, but in my opinion, they are not the views that Jesus would have taught. I have heard some compare her to Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King. Nothing could be farther from the truth, they fought for the rights of others, they sought to expand Liberty. Kim Davis, and those who support what she did, intend only to restrict the rights of others.

I am a Christian, I am a conservative, but I have no patience for people who would impose their narrow-minded bigotry upon others, and to use Christianity and a government position to do so, is not only unconstitutional, it is anti-Christian.

 

32 Comments on "Why SCOTUS Got One Man, One Woman Wrong"

  1. Fish Bites says:

    Given a choice between Frank’s opinion and God’s Word, there is only one of those which will lead anyone to Hell.

  2. One minor point, Frank: marriage is not a “privilege” in any sense of the word. In 1967, the US Supreme Court defined marriage as a “basic civil right” that states can infringe on only if they can “show a compelling reason.” Notice they defined marriage as a “basic civil right” so they weren’t ruling on the religious component of marriage back in 1967 nor were they with the same sex ruling this time around. States, like KY, failed to show a compelling reason to deny same sex marriage (the court listened at length with regards to the effects of same sex couples raising children) and so the court ruled as it did after finding no compelling reason to uphold state laws that excluded same sex couples from marrying, which denied them their “basic civil right” to marry.

    Now, before you get your panties in a wad (that’s my attempt at humor), you wrote a very good article. I wish more people would take the time to learn about our government and understand that states can’t write laws that nullifies anything in the Constitution.

  3. Frank Knotts says:

    Fish Bites, but unlike Mrs. Davis and many on the religious fringe, I am not attempting to impose my religious views on others. The only person who might end up in Hell because of them, is myself.
    FDR, you are correct, go back and read my post, I stated that the SCOTUS decision based on the 14th Amendment was a civil rights issue. I just wish those who brought the case had been thinking outside the box. We might have been able to settle the question of separation of church and state, because in my view that is the only way to protect our religious liberty, just as Madison believed.

  4. Linda Creasy says:

    Frank, although I disagree with some aspects of it, this is a very well written article. I would, however, like to take issue with a couple of points toward the end of it.

    I consider myself to be pretty far right, yet still willing to listen to, consider, and debate opinions that differ from my own. I am also a Christian, but do not hold that as a “banner” or some type of classification that places me “above” anyone else. So don’t lump all of us together – you are better than that. With that said, let me counter a couple of your statements.

    “These are the people who if they had their way, our children would be forced to say a government prayer, lead by a government employee in every school. They would force citizens to adhere to their religious views to obtain any and all government privileges. They would mandate that every citizens follow their views of Christianity.”

    No, I don’t want to force anyone to say a prayer (much less a government prayer), or force anyone to adhere to my religious views. I DO want people to be ALLOWED to say a prayer, and I DO want to be able to practice and share my religion without the government prohibiting it because it is “unconstitutional.”. I don’t want to mandate that others follow my views, but I DO want to be able to hold and express those views without being called a right wing nut job, a homophobe, a racist, etc.

    “They claim that there is a war on Christians simply because a privately owned store such as Walmart says, “Happy Holidays”, instead of Merry Christmas. If they had their way, all stores would be forced to call it Christmas”.

    No, I’m not asking for stores to be FORCED to call it Christmas. But I am asking for stores to ALLOW their employees and guests to do so without being told it is illegal, unconstitutional, or too offensive to others of different or absent faith. I’m fine with them saying Happy Holidays, as long as they don’t try to tell me (and their employees) that one CAN’T say Merry Christmas. So yes, I do believe that this is a symptom of the current war on Christians that DOES exist.. But I’m not looking for a solution to that in the manner you’ve suggested.

    “They feel they are judges of who is a “good Christian”, all the while being imperfect beings themselves.”

    No, any true Christian will tell you that they are not to judge another person, as only God has that authority. Of course, as flawed humans, everyone judges others all the time – our lives and actions are really just a series of judgments. But that is wrong in God’s eyes, and a true Christian will acknowledge that, admit to committing that sin regularly, and strive to avoid doing so. Further, a true Christian will be the first to self-identify as an imperfect sinner. All people are sinners and imperfect, and being a Christian offers no exemption from that character trait. IMHO, there are no “good Christians” or “bad Christians.” You are either Christian (the definition of which would be another article altogether) or not…but you are still a flawed sinner that needs God’s forgiveness on a daily basis.

  5. Pat Fish says:

    Okay I’ll jump in here to dispute one big issue I have with this article.

    First, I’ll say it again, it was very well-written, I checked all the punctuation and everything. I am consistently impressed by the quality of Frank’s writing and I get into all kinds of trouble for saying that.

    AND….for the most part, for what it’s worth, I tend to agree with Frank on some level about this Kentucky woman. I want to slap her frankly and tell her to go sit down.

    BUT lookit, the concept of marriage being between a man and woman is NOT based on religious concepts, let’s get practical here. The only reason the government deems marriage to be an act between a man and a woman…indeed the ONLY reason the government even gets involved in such as marriage…is to protect property and children.

    Indeed. Cause when those people break up there are houses and TV’s and cars and if the government wasn’t somehow involved in the liquidation of said marriages they will be beating each other up and throwing bodies in the river.

    And children are often the result of marriage, at least those between a man and a woman, and somebody needs to pay child support. Thus my argument is that the only reason government ever got involved in the act of marriage via licensing is to HELP IN ITS DISSOLUTION!

    As an aside, all those same sex marriage people will have to divorce via the government just like the heteros do.

    Even though the bible describes a marriage as between a man and woman, that’s not necessarily why most local gubmints define it that way. It’s more about dealing with failed marriages than anything.

    Keep re-defining marriage over and over that I may marry my dog as I love my dog. Or multiple marriages, which are next for our Muslim buddies…..let that become okay and soon enforcing split ups and supporting children issues of marriage will be darn near impossible. How is the gubmint going to handle a break up between a man and his five wives? How will they handle a divorce between me and my dog, that I love very much and should be able to marry.

    What with that elusive LOVE word being the basis of marriage pretty much anymore….why can’t we marry anyone and anything?

    And I am really not being as absurd as it seems.

    Point is that marriage was once more a common sense thing than a biblical thing as Frank argues. For it is the government via the courts and law enforcement, that is responsible for taking a man and a woman legally apart.

    When me and my dog break up, the courts will have to accommodate us and I should have to pay alimony via a life time of dog food.

  6. Linda, minor points of clarification:

    1. No court has ruled prayer in schools is unconstitutional. What the Supreme Court has consistently ruled is that any prayers in school had to be initiated by students – not school employees. Prayers or moments of silence initiated by and/or participated by school employees are unconstitutional if that participation appears to give an endorsement of a particular religion.

    2. Saying “Merry Christmas” in stores is not illegal. Stores make their own policies and enforce them the way they see fit. Getting fired for saying “Merry Christmas” within a couple of days of Dec 25th could be viewed as a wrongful termination and infringement on your religious rights – even as pagan and blasphemous celebrating Christmas may be. Getting fired for saying “Merry Christmas” before we’ve even celebrated Thanksgiving could be seen as proselytizing and a legitimate reason for dismissal.

    3. While I’ll agree that Christians are neither “good” nor “bad” Christians, there are Christians and false prophets. Kim Davis is a false prophet and shouldn’t be confused with a Christian, good or bad.

  7. Ridiculous, Pat. Since when can your dog consent to marital relations? Bang, compelling reason to deny marriages between pets, livestock, and inanimate objects.

    Governments got involved for more reasons than divorces. They got involved to handle property and inheritance rights as two families came together. You see, marriage isn’t just between two people. It’s between two families, too. In fact, property and inheritance rights is primarily the reason societies, and eventually governments as societies grew more complex, got involved in marriages since the beginning of time to begin with.

  8. Linda Creasy says:

    FDR, I agree with your points of clarification, but the reality is that we ARE being told that prayer in schools is unconstitutional and saying “Merry Christmas” is illegal. You are absolutely correct that neither statement is true…but we still get those invalid responses when we want to have voluntary prayer in schools or say “Merry Christmas” to a fellow shopper. My point is that Christianity IS being targeted, and these are very real examples of it. While I do not suggest or support the goals/solutions that Frank claims are held by all Christian fundamentalists, I DO stand by my statement that there is a war on Christianity, and these are just some examples of what we face on a daily basis.

  9. I understand where you’re coming from, Linda, although I see it less of a “war” and more like false prophets fomenting discord. I have yet to have an employer chastise me for saying “Merry Christmas” to a customer and suffice it to say I’ve been in the service industry for a few decades.

  10. Pat Fish says:

    FDR-As Linda refers to you….

    Okay, the dog can’t consent to marital relations but seems to me your narrative emphasizes my point.
    ” property and inheritance rights is primarily the reason societies, and eventually governments as societies grew more complex, got involved in marriages since the beginning of time to begin with.”

    I’d argue that’s what I said. Those five wives can sure consent to marital relations and once they allow that….and why wouldn’t they as the religion of Islam allows it, imagine the issues with social security, health insurance….yada, yada.

    If it weren’t for all this stuff there would be no need for the gubmint to be issuing marriage licenses to begin with. As it was, there was a need for someone to go claiming someone’s social security, pension, partner on health care….and there needed to be legal documents to prove it.

    Now, the practical me would argue, hey, I’m a widow. Linda Creasy is a widow. She has spousal benefits on her job not being used an I have no health insurance. For a couple of bucks we buy a license, get “married” and boom, I have health insurance.

    IF you don’t think that will happen I got a bridge to sell, cheap, sways a bit in the wind.

  11. Linda Creasy says:

    LOL Gee, Pat, this is so sudden! I’m flummoxed! :-)

  12. And, Pat, if you don’t believe a man and a woman haven’t gotten married for the financial benefits,
    you’re more naive than you admit. If you want to marry Linda, go for it. Or you could go gold digging for a decrepit sot with one foot in the grave and a big bank account he can’t take with him. Whatever turns you on, I reckon. Historically, heterosexuals have done a bang up job at desecrating the sanctity of marriage. They didn’t need gays to help them with that task.

  13. Frank Knotts says:

    FDR has covered some of the points, but let me back up a bit. Linda, first thing you have to explain to me is how anyone stops you from praying? Be it in school or at work? What you are talking about is what I warned against, a government lead prayer. You want a public prayer, you want a time set aside to pray. You want the teacher at 8:05 to say alright children, time to pray. Once that happens you have a government prayer. And are you alright with a Muslim teacher leading the prayer in his fashion to a classroom of Christian students? No? Then the state would have to designate the prayer, now you have established a state religion.
    Your statement that you can be stopped from praying actually puts you in that fundamentalist group. Personally I can pray anywhere anytime I feel the want to. Because I have no desire to be seen to pray, that is vanity.
    As for Walmart and other privately owned businesses, FDR is correct, they get to set the policies of their business. If it is a policy that has been communicated then I don’t even think there is cause for wrongful termination. If my employer tells me I can be terminated for cursing infront of customers, and I do, then that is on me. And as a consumer, you have a right to not buy their goods or service. That is not an option with government, if a government employee like Mrs. Davis imposes her beliefs on you, you can’t just go down the street to Lincenses R Us.
    Linda, do you remember when Council Woman Joan Deaver wanted to take Easter off of the official calendar? The uproar over that? Some felt she was infringing on religious freedom, but in fact she was protecting them. The blindness of Christians is that the fail to recognize that they are not the only faith represented by this government.
    The problem that many Christians have, is that they want to be seen as the best Christian, this means they have to be seen donating to charities and to be the loudest Amen in the church, they are the people during the pledge of allegiance that when it come to “under God” they raise their voice to be heard uttering the words.
    If you read the James Madison link I placed in the post, then you know he felt that no mixture of church and state was acceptable.
    Think of religious freedom as a glass of the purist, cleanest water ever. And think of government as a table spoon of dirt. It matters little if you pour the dirt into the water, or the water into the dirt. The result is the same, you religious freedoms, like the water will forever be sullied.
    As for why government is involved in marriage? It really doesn’t matter for this conversation, as long as it is, then it has to be applied equally among the citizens. That means, age requirements along with any other requirements must be met by all, be they homosexual or heterosexual.
    Don’t see anyone marrying their dog. Children can’t consent. Polygamy? That would be one for the insurance companies to work out. Inheritance? Easy, write a will.

  14. Wow, one of the few times Frank and I are squarely on the same side of an issue. It would be interesting, though, if a store fired someone for saying “Merry Christmas” on Christmas Eve, how the wrongful termination lawsuit would turn out, huh Frank?

  15. Fish Bites says:

    I find it amazing that some people can’t quite understand the idea of “equal treatment” under the law, and go running off to talk about marrying animals or polygamy.

    It’s pretty simple. NOBODY is allowed to enter into polygamous marriages. It’s not a matter of “one group can and one group can’t”. NOBODY can. That’s equal treatment.

    A lot of other laws relating to inheritance, taxation, social security, etc. would need a complete re-work in order to accommodate plural marriages.

    The simple fact is that there are a lot of conveniences which are built into a lot of laws which are designed to treat a couple as an administrative unit. These various legal and administrative conveniences were being offered to one set of people and denied to another set of people, on the basis of who they are. “Gay marriage” is not some “new right” – it’s simply allowing people who are gay the same right to marry that straight people have, and on the same terms. No more and no less.

    There is no similar argument for marrying dogs or for plural marriages. That’s not a situation where any one group of people are currently allowed to marry their dogs or have multiple spouses, and some other group of people is denied the same right.

    And, yes Pat, a lot of elderly people marry or don’t marry solely on the basis of how it would impact things like social security income, survivor’s benefits, pensions and insurance coverage. That has been going on for a long, long time, and particularly where the couple is concerned about inheritance by the respective children of their previous marriages. The fact that same sex couples can make the same kinds of estate planning decisions as other couples is, again, a mere consequence of treating people equally. It doesn’t introduce any “new” considerations to those kinds of decisions that elderly people make in relation to whether to re-marry.

  16. Rick says:

    It is so clear in everything the Framers did in building our Constitution, that they intended that there would be no mixture of church and state, they had lived under that tyranny, and would not have placed that burden upon their Posterity.

    But, the Court might be interfering with Davis’ “free exercise thereof” protection.

    There is an easy solution. States opposed to “gay marriage” may simply stop civil marriages, as there is no constitutional requirement to provide for them. Then, all marriages in the state would be church sanctioned. The state cannot compel the church to marry homosexuals.

  17. mouse says:

    There are 20 million or so people in the nation who are largely educated through the enforcement of dogma on talk radio et al. These people have disdain for education, disdain for science and disdain for critical analysis. They all vote for the same political party.

  18. Frank Knotts says:

    Don’t get too excited FDR, we’ll disagree again soon enough. That is the best part about Liberty. As for the wrongful termination suit. Again if it is documented policy, and the infraction is handle as any other policy offense is, write ups and the like, then I think the employer would be on solid ground, especially in an at will state like Delaware.
    Rick, when acting in her capacity as a government official, like government she has no religion. She is free to do as she please in her personal life, but she was imposing her beliefs on others and using her elected office to do so. I do things in my personal life that I may be barred from doing while at work, this is not an infringement upon my rights, it is the agreement I have with my employer. If Mrs. Davis feels her religious beliefs are in conflict with her constitutional duties, then she should resign with honor instead of becoming a pawn of the fundamentalist.
    Fish Bites, you are correct about polygamy, if we only consider this based on the 14th Amendment as to equal treatment under the law. But if we weigh this based on the 1st Amendment, then it is about religious freedoms, and there are religions that have a long history of polygamy. Again, consent and age of consent would be applied equally, so again Pat, your puppy will just have to love you like a friend.

  19. Linda Creasy says:

    Frank, I didn’t say anyone was stopping me from praying (no one can do that), but that the opportunity for prayer that used to be allowed in the schools has been taken away. Naturally, anyone can pray at any time, and that does not require a scheduled “time to pray”. However, if we do not even have a moment of silence or something similar, we are removing the one bit of “quiet time” (for lack of a better phrase) that children might do so voluntarily. Those who do not wish to pray, need not do anything, nor should a teacher necessarily lead them in prayer. All I’m asking for is that return to a brief time of opportunity.

    On a related note, what is your opinion on groups of students that want to form a bible study group or club as a school activity. It’s voluntary, not a “course” offered by the school, but attended and lead by students/teachers in a time slot made available for other school clubs. Further, what about the coach that wants to lead his team in a prayer for those that wish to participate?

  20. mouse says:

    Ya know, most of these people obsessed with sexual issues who are duped by the 1% to vote to vote against their own kids are old and will die off. Guess what party will lose out on that end by pandering to sexually obsessed resentful driven folks

  21. mouse says:

    Most highly educated people see the angry right wing theist rube crowd as little different than Islamic radicals

  22. mouse says:

    I’ve started my own religion called Bourbon Street Buddhism. At 12:00 every day, I get to do 2 shots of Wild Turkey 101 and all the women at work have to have sex with me. If you discriminate against me, I’ll call Cruz and Hucklebee and have a rally lol

  23. Linda, why are you insistent on providing “a moment of silence” at school every day? Does your child’s or grandchild’s Church require the ritual to be a good Christian? If so, the school is required to make reasonable accomodations so he/she can have his/her “moment of silence” as required by your Church; otherwise you are trying to push exactly what Frank has precisely argued against.

  24. Rick says:

    Most highly educated people see the angry right wing theist rube crowd as little different than Islamic radicals.

    Yeah, the “highly educated” morons like Kerry, Clinton and Omaba, who got taken to the cleaners by “uneducated” Iranians.

  25. delacrat says:

    “Further, what about the coach that wants to lead his team in a prayer for those that wish to participate?” – Linda

    Linda,

    There’s a time and a place; ………..Sunday….. in church.

  26. Frank Knotts says:

    Linda, I apologize for paraphrasing what you said, you said, ” I DO want people to be ALLOWED to say a prayer”, so if people have to be allowed to pray, then it must be possible to stop them from praying. You expanded your point to asking for a moment of silence. We had this when I was in school, guess what, I was not a person of faith at that time, and I spent the time looking at the girl across the room, though at times that did come close to a religious moment for me.
    The point is, if children in school are children of faith, they most likely learned it at home, where in my view is the proper place for them to learn it hopefully. If they are then they already know they can pray without uttering a word or even bowing their heads. A prayer is but a thought that God knows before we do.
    I am sorry, but I have no need for synchronized praying. I feel no need to demonstrate that which no one in this world is capable of judging. Least of all in a government setting. I always find it ironic that many of the same people who constantly complain about the inability of our schools to teach even math, are often the same people who would put the same schools in charge of our children faith, if even for sixty-seconds. And any class can have moment when a child if they feel the need, can say a silent prayer, it just wouldn’t be announced as, “OK let’s pray”.
    As for the clubs, I would have to say no, because, it would be on school grounds, with the facilities paid for by citizens who may not agree with the teachings. These clubs have faculty advisors, teachers, who may or may not be paid for the time, but who are still government employees while at the school. I would have no problem with such clubs being held at a teachers home on their own time however. The problem is, for equality, if you allow Bible study, you must allow Koran study, and Satanism, and any other religion, and an atheist club. So no.
    As for the coach, that is a tough one, but I go back to, what is the need really for that exhibition of faith? Have not all the players and the coaches had the chance to pray before and after the game? it just isn’t my way, so I would say keep your prayers private as Jesus instructed us to do.

  27. Fish Bites says:

    It’s surprising how ignorant people are about issues that are well-settled propositions.

    Student-organized religious clubs are fine, so long as the school allows other student-organized clubs on the same terms.

    That was made perfectly clear in Supreme Court decisions and by the Equal Access Act.

    The professional crap-stirrers on television and other media typically either misinform people as to what the law is, and then overlook important factual distinctions when a controversy of that sort arises – usually by the school (a) actively sponsoring a group, (b) selectively allowing groups on other than a content-neutral basis or (c) having an idiot administrator who does not understand the law.

    On that last category, what happens is that a wrong decision by one school board or administrator in Podunk somewhere is exaggerated as being typical or ‘the law’ by those who delight in stirring the pot. There are a lot of schools in this country, and not every one is blessed by infallible geniuses at the helm. But the reaction sought in those types of situations is like reading a news report of a robbery somewhere and then hand wringing about “how robbery is now legal”.

  28. Frank Knotts says:

    Fish Bites, I was asked my view of the practice, and that is what I gave. I also pointed out that allowing other such groups to use the school as well was one reason I oppose the practice.

  29. Fish Bites says:

    “I also pointed out that allowing other such groups to use the school as well was one reason I oppose the practice.”

    Yeah, that’s what usually happens when Christian groups find out they aren’t the only ones entitled to have religious student groups. First, a Christian group starts a student Bible study at the school. But then, when another religious group tries to do the same thing, they are horrified. But the rule is pretty simple – you either allow student religious groups or you don’t. You can’t pick and choose which religions get to do it.

    Sort of like when Louisiana introduced a private school voucher program which could be used at “religious schools”. This was strongly supported by the Christian school boosters. It turned out that parents who sent their kids to Muslim schools were very enthusiastic adopters of the program. At that point, there was a mass freakout in the Louisiana legislature over “tax dollars supporting Muslim schools”, and they were sincerely surprised that if they allowed Christian schools to use the program, then they had to let everyone use the program.

    From one report:

    “Louisiana Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, is retracting her support for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program, after realizing the money could be applied to Muslim schools, Livingston Parish News reports. Hodges initially supported the governor’s program because she mistakenly equated “religious” with “Christian,” according to the report.”

    Duh.

  30. Frank Knotts says:

    Fish Bites, I am not horrified by the other groups, I just am a firm believer that there should and must be a clear separation of church and state. I do not feel that government is the proper place to learn about faith of any kind.

  31. mouse says:

    Faith is belief in magic. It has no basis in empirical fact, it can’t be demonstrated as valid or invalid. It’s not a subject for education unless your goal is to indoctrinate children with dogma for the purpose of tribal control.

  32. Dave says:

    “But, the Court might be interfering with Davis’ “free exercise thereof” protection.”

    She can exercise her religion all she wants, but the taxpayers should not have to pay for it. If she was a Muslim and wanted to whip out her prayer rug 5 times a day, I bet you’d be far less supportive. Your problem Rick is language. When someone says “religion” you translate it as “Christianity.” What you fail to recognize is that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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