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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:15 PM
Original message
Should religious display be banned in public?
Edited on Sat May-21-05 01:16 PM by Mairead
(I'm posting this here because this is a political question, not a religious one)

I think most of us would agree that we're having a national problem with rampant religiosity, and that if we don't figure out how to solve it in a permanent way we're going to end up with a pseudo-theocracy as our form of government.

There are scriptural exhortations to make one's prayer and religious affilation a private matter. So: how about making public religious display a misdemeanor?

It would be similar to drinking alcoholic bevvies in public, or driving without having your licence with you, or having a bonk in the bushes. If you go around wearing a visible cross/magen david/pentagram/whatever, or handing out tracts, or walking up to strangers and asking whether they're 'saved', then you get a ticket, a fine, and perhaps a scolding for a first offence. And if that doesn't work and you keep on doing it anyway, then after awhile maybe the court decides that you've won the prize of having your head read to see if you're wrapped tightly enough to be wandering around loose.

Let me emphasise this again: I'm talking about public display, not private practice. I'm not talking about making religious membership or practice itself an offence!!

The First Amendment guarantees that government isn't allowed to meddle with our religious practice. But the right to practice in public is not unbounded: one couldn't, for example, get away with holding an impromptu service using a bullhorn in the middle of a busy intersection or in an expensive neighborhood. So that would be the legal basis behind it: your religious choices cannot be messed with, but your public practice can be.


(This is a question I posed in another forum, too; I'm interested to see whether/in what way the responses are different here)
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. You know how it is with opinion
Here's mine, I do not care who displays which religious symbol in public, just don't try to make me worship it. Have at it but what's good for one religion must apply to all.

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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
177. I thought the issue was religious displays on government property,
not in public as such. I don't think it would be possible to stop religious displays on private property, or desirable.

As to the public property issue, would it be an acceptable alternative to display relifious symbols so long as the symbols of ALL religions were displayed?

You know, have a menorah and a sweatlodge and a Buddha next to the nativity scene? And a patch of bare lawn and trees for the Shinto contingent?

(also, perhaps they'd stop serving lunch during Ramadan...)
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. there is a little problem with your idea
Edited on Sat May-21-05 01:26 PM by ProdigalJunkMail
it's called the Constitution...something crazy about 'Congress shall make no law...' surrounding freedom of religious expression...the text says nothing about meddling...it says 'shall make no law.'

Do away with that little tenet of one of our founding documents and I think you might get it to work...

theProdigal
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
82. I wish our lawmakers would read that line
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Lenin_Seattle Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #82
196. Did they pass a law
establishing a religion?
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billymc2 Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
160. re: "there is a little problem with your idea"
no small hurdle, to be sure
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. You don't think that's a restriction on speech?
So I could have my Nazi uniform on display on Hitler's Birthday but not a Christmas creche on my lawn?

Having trouble with your assessment of the problem and the solution.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Yes, it is a restriction on speech.
But there are many such restrictions, the example I gave of the bullhorn being one of them.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. Amazing...
walking off...shaking my head.

Simply amazing.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
135. Yes, but his restriction is entirely based on content
Edited on Sun May-22-05 07:24 PM by Inland
I can have my picture of Hitler but not my Christmas creche. I can read Mein Kampf in a public square, without a bullhorn, but not Augustine's Confessions.

Not sure why he picked religous expression as the first exception to the right of free speech.
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Somawas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. The first amendment also says
that Congress shall make "No law abridging ..the free exercise of ." I read "no law abridging" to mean "no law abridging."
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
79. There ARE limitations on free speech.
I spend a year studying them.

If a statute is neutrally applied, government may regulate the time, place and manner of speech (e.g. the bullhorn, permits, etc.). Government may also regulate the content if there is a compelling interest, the law is narrowly tailored, and alternate means of communication are available.

All that is EVER regulated is government sponsorship of religion, never private conversation or displays on private property (simply because of their content).

That's what this is typically about - government sponsorship of religion.

I refer DUers to "Lemon v. Kurtzman," the famous Supreme Court case.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's kind of a grey area
Would you strip the head scarves from Muslim women? Ban that gold cross from around the neck of a Christian? How about a group of people bowing their heads together in public, albeit quietly?

Religious nuisances are different from all of the above, and involve street corner preaching, something covered by free speech (alas) and for some people, creches in public parks and squares at Xmas. Fundies grumble about the menorahs in another part of the park, and Muslims grumble about all of it.

Personally, I have little problem with the temporary displays of creches and menorahs in the public parks, as long as my taxes don't pay for them. I do have a problem with permanent installations of Judaic law like Moore's huge ten commandments in a courthouse. Since the first three of those commandments tell a great many US citizens their relgions are forbidden, that is completely inappropriate. Having some loudmouth stand up in an official capacity and lead a prayer over any sort of amplified sound system at any public gathering is also a religious nuisance, and that's NOT protected by free speech.

The trouble with writing laws to cover all this stuff is that it gets down to so much haggling over what constitutes a nuisance and what does not. The original framers of the constitution realized that when they put in the anti establishment clause. The government may NOT fund any sort of religion, nor promote it at official functions.

If the Bill of Rights had been popular, it would never have been necessary. It's there to make sure the majority never tyrannizes the minority. That goes for the religious majority most of all.

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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Good point on the 'grey area'
Would you strip the head scarves from Muslim women? Ban that gold cross from around the neck of a Christian? How about a group of people bowing their heads together in public, albeit quietly?

Probably not on the scarves. Scarves are worn by women to keep their hair neat, too, tho less today than when I was growing up. Of course, Muslim scarves are rather distinctive, so maybe it has to be decided by a court.

Definite yes on the cross: it's for sure a religious symbol more than jewellery. Hardly anyone except a Christian would wear one; a Jew or Muslim definitely wouldn't.

Definite no on the head-bowing. There's no way of knowing what's going on there, so we presume it's secular.






<digression> :)
If the Bill of Rights had been popular, it would never have been necessary. It's there to make sure the majority never tyrannizes the minority.

um, not so. If you read the source documents you see that the BOR is there because it was so popular...except among the wealthy oligarchs who were drawing up the Constitution. Most of the colonial constitutions had a BOR already, and George Mason walked out of the Convention because Madison et al. were intent on not putting one into the federal one (which was a business contract more than anything else). It was really only because of their fears that too many of the states would refuse to ratify that Madison and the federalists finally knuckled under.
</digression>
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. "We are in trouble". I agree with your sig line. With ideas like this..
coming from a member of a liberal forum...we ARE in trouble...

BIG trouble.

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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #18
147. EXACTLY!
How did the party of tolerance become so contemptuous of it? A legal system of the paradigm suggested would have to by logic exclude people from ALL visible expressions of speech. No more concert T-shirts, no more red hat ladies, no more Mexican or African colors or flags on your cars or clothes, no more political buttons, no more NBA and NFL fan gear.........

Yes, let's all be forced to wear state approved basic grey pajamas in public just because some people can't seem to handle someone wearing a cross around their neck.

Screw the constitution right? It's just so damn inconvenient.

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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
5. No, but it should be when done with the endorsement of government
People should be able to wear whatever symbols they want (although overly pornographic or shocking ones are a bit much when kids can see them) when acting as private citizens. When they're in the uniform of a governmental service or acting in their capacity as a governmental official, they should be banned.

Hell, I'm not a maniac about it; if a woman working as a city manager wears a little crucifix, I'm not going to scream bloody murder. If a first-grade teacher in a public school wears a "you're a moron if you don't love Jesus" t-shirt, I'm going to stir up a ruckus.

Life is by degrees, but understanding core principals is important and will guide one through the grey areas.

People wanting to wear that same shirt down the public sidewalks should be able too, although if they walk into a Muslim coffee house the day after a hate crime's been committed against Muslims, they might deserve some legal action for inciting a riot.
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
6. "in public" isn't the same as "on public property," so redefine your terms
.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. In public. In non-private space. Out on the sidewalk, in public
buildings, etc. If someone goes into a department store and puts on a burqa or hangs a half-kilo crucifix around their neck, it's up to the store. If they're still wearing it out on the sidewalk, they get a ticket.
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. so you want to ban freedom of religious expression, how nice of you
The determinant is whether or not the application of state sponsored religious expression is acceptable.

Thus, religiously based expressions that are funded by the state or displayed on government property are not legal, while those not funded by the government or are displayed by private citizens IN PUBLIC are legal.

There is a quantum difference between wearing a burka, a mezuzah, or cross around one's neck on a public thoroughfare and displaying the Ten Commandments in the Rotunda of the Capitol.

The only mitigating circumstances might be in protecting public safety and is akin to the remark made by Justice Holmes about yelling "fire" in a theater. Thus, government can abrogate free expression only if there is a clear and present danger to the public for such displays.

Even Justice Thomas, in writing the opinion on cross-burning makes it clear that such expression has only a single purpose; to strike fear and intimidation in the hearts of black americans.

Wearing a burka, mezuzah, or cross around one's neck on a public thoroughfare does not rise to that level of striking fear or intimidation in those who glance at the item as they walk by the wearer of such articles.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. What a lovely, lovely world you describe.
I hope you will allow us liberals to leave such a police state, so we can find another country that actually believes in freedom.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. No
I think that people should wear what they want.

I think the gov't property should not introduce any new religious artifacts or displays.

People can use private property for that.
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Bok_Tukalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
12. Wow.
There is no possible way I would be on board for such a thing and would consider it the greatest threat to freedom America has seen since the Sedition Acts.

Unbelievable that it could even be considered. And I'm agnostic.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
13. I am pleased to introduce.....THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What part of that is ambiguous when you read it?
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Yes, I know all about the First Amendment!
But try to practice your religion in a way that offends, as in my bullhorn example. We are not guaranteed any of those rights without limit of context or occasion, no matter what the wording says. The right to free speech is the most sacred of them all, but it's a federal felony to, e.g., talk about harming the psychopath-in-chief, even as a joke.

(We place too much faith in the Bill Of Rights right now anyhow. There's no actual penalty for passing laws that infringe the hell out of them. The most that will happen is that the SCOTUS will wag a finger and say no-no. In consequence, I don't think there's even one of them that hasn't been nibbled at or frankly gutted.)
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CAG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Sickening idea....
You don't think a christian or a muslim or a jew would be "offended" by someone giving them, as you say, a ticket, just because they wore something that was deemed by someone to be religious???

Truly amazed that a so-called liberal would be not only throwing this out as a question, but continuing to explain it away as if its rational after several people have clearly shown you what an idiotic, sickening idea it is. This idea would be really popular in 1960's Soviet Union, however.

This type of anti-religion rhetoric is exactly the crap that the christian right and the talk-radio wingnuts take to their followers, and the mainstream by the way, and use it to demonstrate how "them libruls" want to burn the bible.

I'm sorry if your offended by someone wearing a cross around their neck. My advice to you is lighten up.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #23
151. She most certainly has the right and arguably even the
responsibility to post this most provocative of arguments-witness the number of replys!
I didn't notice her taking sides, merely opening the issue for discussion and taking the logical step of debating it, especially since it was highly probable that many would scan it quickly and then attack. Brave.
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #17
148. What "other forum" did you post this in?


Or did you?

You may know about the first amendment, but you obviously don't get it.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
15. Absolutely NOT, if by public you don't mean governmental....
Amazed to see such an affront to civil liberties on a liberal forum, quite frankly.
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Not to mention
That exactly one religion -- christianity, suggests private worship. Jeudaism certainly does not (although it doesn't require public worship outside Isreal either).

That being said, what about kippa's (the little hats Jewish men wear), you prepared to ban them? You don't want someone wearing a gold cross.

Take a look at the ACLU statement on religion for public schools, I think its a good start and what we should be pushing.
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
19. how about "Free Religion Zones" surrounded by barbed wire and riot gear?
sounds absolutely ghastly, but apparently such zones are ok when no Bibles are involved.
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
22. i am absolutely amazed that this discussion
is even occurring. You don't like something, so you say lets ban it. I bet you scream at the top of your lungs when the likes of Falwell and Robertson try to restrict people from gay marriage and the like...but THIS...oh THIS type of restriction is just fine with you...

That thinking makes you no better than them...

theProdigal
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. It can't be taken seriously. n/t
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
24. I'd vote against this
I have no problem with people displaying their religion or faith however they see fit. That is freedom of speech. I have a problem when people attempt to shove it down other people's throats, however, and I have a problem with those who would attempt to use the state to impose their religious views upon everyone else.

What the French did with banning headscarves and the Star of David as well as crosses is downright authoritarian, and I do not believe making the same mistake will do anything to address the problem.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. What do you do about the bind?
Edited on Sat May-21-05 03:16 PM by Mairead
You know, the democracy bind. The one where you have to decide do you follow the democratic principle of tolerance til the intolerant get their chance to take over, ship you off to the ovens, and put an end to democracy

...or do you violate democratic principles and ruthlessly suppress the intolerant in the name of preserving a society in which (almost) everyone is tolerated?
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. What, exactly...
....is the slightest bit tolerant in what you suggest?

For that matter, what is even the slightest bit liberal or progressive in what you suggest?

But hey, I'm all for the free exchange of ideas. So why don't you suggest this as possible new legislation to your senators and congresspersons? See how far it would get.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. "Ruthlessly suppress the intolerant".
So, can I assume that you will be suppressing yourself...ruthlessly?

You see....YOU have become one of THEM. Congratulations.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #28
36. It is not a black or white issue as you set up the argument to be
Sorry, but I don't deal in absolutes.

Irrationality should be left to itself so long as reason is left to challenge it.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #36
45. It is, though.
So what happens when Irrationality ships Reason to the ovens?

Because that's the thing about intolerant people--they don't value reason or respect for other people. They DO ship people to the ovens.

Do you go to the ovens happy that you never lifted a hand in anger?
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. I wouldn't be talking about...
.....OTHER people's intolerance if I were you.
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. well put... n/t
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #45
61. You come awfully close to the "you are with us or you're with the enemy"
I would argue that reason has not been left free to challenge irrationality, not in the US anyway. The battle has not yet been fought. You jump to conclusions without looking at the evidence, and you deal far too harshly in absolutes. You are coming uncomfortably close to the black and white paradigm that is common with many individuals who have authoritarian tendencies.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #61
77. I don't think so...I'm just seeing what you apparently aren't
You say that 'reason has not been left free to challenge irrationality, not in the US anyway', and in doing so you make my point for me. Irrationality isn't going to 'leave reason free' to challenge it, because it has no use for fair play or reasoned discourse. And it especially has no use for losing!

Anyone willing to send other human beings to the ovens is not interested in anything but winning and probably can't even spell 'fair play'.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #77
94. Read the next sentence after the one you quoted
I believe reasoned people in this country are getting warmed up in facing the intolerant and more fascistic elements in this country. What you advocate is nothing short of jumping to the outcome as if the intolerant will win regardless of what happens. That's unwarranted, and you're drawing lines where none need to be drawn yet.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #94
115. I did. You assume that there is no time pressure
I'll ask you the same question I asked NoirEtBlu -- what if the wolves refuse to wait? To them it's not a friendly game to be played by rules for points.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #115
116. Please clarify the question.
What exactly is it you are saying. Are you saying that tomorrow the purge could begin where people are rounded up and summarily executed for party affiliation?
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #116
120. "Are you saying that tomorrow the purge could begin?"
No, more that the first building-blocks of pseudo-theocratic authoritarianism have already been laid, and we have already suffered key losses from which we may never be able to recover. We know for sure we have already lost diversity in information. We have already lost a number of BOR guarantees, such as the right to assembly and meaningful political protest. And many of us strongly suspect that we have already lost mostly-honest elections, which are the only way to change things short of blood in the streets. We are currently watching the church/state wall being eroded, and an unabashed criminal imperialism that has no real parallel in our national history.

Imminence of the purges isn't the problem. Once they have us in the cage, they can easily wait til next week or even next year to start the purges, because by then we won't be going anywhere.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #120
121. "pseudo-theocratic authoritarianism"
Funny, that's exactly what you are proposing in the OP. Perhaps, you have been playing with those first "building-blocks" that have "already been laid", a bit too much?
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #120
125. The answer then is most definitely no
Am I angry about the church-state barrier being ruined? Do I find it appalling that the Senate and House would pass things such as the Patriot Act and Real ID? Do I find it saddening that election machines are totally outside the accountability of the people for the fact that they are now privately owned? Am I sickened at the stranglehold the corporate news media has over information? Do I find the war in Iraq a war built on injustice and fear?

Yes, I find all of this upsetting and enraging at times, and I agree with you here, but if you talk of war, of raising the fist against my neighbors, then the answer is most definitely no. You don't know what you ask for when you talk of war against your own government and its supporters. Is this what you are talking about?

What you are implying is bloodshed on American soil when we are not yet sure it had to come to that. You talk of doing something that will be seen by family and friends here on American soil. It will be seen by our children. It will not be seen on television 10,000 miles away on some distant field. It will be in our backyards and neighborhoods, and many innocent will die along with the rest of us. You have not seen war in your home like my family has, the pain and upheaval it brings.

That is what you ask for when you pose such a dangerous question. You ask us to choose now when the hour has not yet arrived.

As I said in another thread, all peaceful remedies have not yet been exhausted, I believe. We should organize, rally, and protest to petition government to address our grievances, and if they do not listen the first time, then try again and again if need be, but not war. We haven't even been able to do things that were done in the 1960s. We haven't even organized on a scale where we'd be able to shut down hundreds of universities and basically make dozens of cities grind to a halt with the sound of protesters in one go. If we cannot even take the first step of forming a mass opposition movement in America's streets, how can you expect to take it a step above that? (And yes, I am fully aware of the protests now, but they are simply not on the scale as they were in the past)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=104&topic_id=3701575&mesg_id=3701723

Only after all peaceful remedies have been exhausted will I even begin contemplating war because I do that knowing we did everything we possibly could to prevent war on American soil. I go knowing that they fired the first shot, not me. I've already remarked on what a war of this kind would resemble:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=104&topic_id=3700287&mesg_id=3700738

I hope after reading what I've written and those links will you understand my position. Take this as an authoritative answer from me to your question.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #125
127. "You ask us to choose now when the hour has not yet arrived"
'First they came for the Communists....
then they came for the "incurables"...
the socialists...
the trade-unionists...
the Jews...
And when at last they came for me....'
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #127
129. "We have not yet begun to fight."
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #125
140. Great post: I admire it and absolutely agree (n/t)
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #45
178. bizzaro squared
So according to Mairead, everyone who wears a cross or a yarmulke or a burqua in "public" is by definition "intolerant" and wants to ship everyone else off to the ovens? WOW!! That ranks among the most ridiculous things I've read here, which is saying quite a bit.

onenote
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
26. FOR THOSE WHO ARE DEEPLY OFFENDED
and think there is something wrong with anyone who'd even raise the question (somehow Phil Ochs's Love Me, I'm A Liberal comes to mind :evilgrin: )

...please go to my other thread (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x3701560) and answer the questions there.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #26
90. Jesus, protect me from your followers...


...found on a website saying that Star Wars is a tool of the devil, but that dancing Jesus is the key. Are these the "sacred garments" the Mormons are always on about?
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
27. Anti-liberal
Edited on Sat May-21-05 03:15 PM by davekriss
That is about (the original post) as anti-liberal, anti-Enlightenment Values statement I've yet seen here at DU.

Absolutely no way should public display of "religiosity" be banned and made a misdemeanor! However, I acknowledge a principle of individual restraint. Allow me to digress.

The opposite of restraint is Liberty. However, Liberty is a funny animal. We are all always and absolutely "free" -- but "freedom" is illusory. I am free, for example, to stand in the middle of the highway during the height of rush hour. But the freedom of others to drive home will quickly negate my freedom. On the other hand, I am free to drop a giant barricade up the road to secure my freedom to stand in the middle of the road. This "freedom", it turns out, appears to be a Schopenhaurean Will to Power and is the final adjudication of many competing freedoms. Thus one person's "liberty" can be another person's "tyranny". So something else needs to factor into the equation before "liberty" is a good in itself. What can that be?

It is in our mutual self-interest to come together and agree to exercise our freedoms cooperatively. Using the example above, we can agree to take turns. Perhaps tax ourselves to construct and install a traffic light that alternately stops traffic to allow pedestrians to cross the road and then stops pedestrians so traffic can freely flow. Such is the basis for the Liberal State. But as soon as the rights of one party supercede the rights of another, we introduce strife. For example, if drivers are allowed to speed through a red light without consequences if they feel they need to hurry, pedestrians will plan sit-ins and obstruct traffic! Even throw rocks through windshields of passing cars! Revolution!!! Instead, to secure the highest liberty for all, a sense of justice and fairness must prevail. Otherwise the system will break down and instead open all up to possible dangers of tyranny. Equality, as in reciprocal fairness and justice for all, serves as the foundation of Liberty -- it is indeed the highest principle.

So if you would mute the Charismatic Fundamentalist, making an approach on the street with the question, "Do you know Jesus Christ?" a misdemeanor, then I claim -- to exercise equality in this decision -- you would also have to rule out any and all unsolicited invitations to participate in mainstream Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, the pursuit of Allah, all Wiccans; appeals to Rationality based on faith in the Scientific Method; and the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, which of course sacrifices much at the Altar of Capitalist Economic Efficiency (now, on the latter, let's negotiate!).

As for me, I'd rather err on the side of too much freedom. I'd rather tolerate the intrusive interruption by Jehovah's Witnesses than have the State rule my political speech too beholden to the religion of Karl Marx and sanction me.

It's all about the choices we make for ourselves; it seems to me restricting religious speech diminishes the freedom and self-determination we cherish here.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
29. I'm not entirely sure on this.
Part says yes, part says no. So, I will kick this while considering.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #29
130. After reading the thread, and especially davekriss' excellent analysis...
I am dead set against this.

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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
30. what about repeat offenses?
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. Burn 'em at the stake.
That'll teach 'em!
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Good question. I don't know.
Maybe it'd be like drinking in public, or a parking offence: same fine each time.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #35
46. drinking in public in most places has an excalating penalty
I think you'd have to have some sort of escalating penalty and some sort of therapy for repeat abusers.

Many of these pathetic creatures are mentally ill.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. Does it? I didn't know.
As far as the religious-display misdemeanor goes, I'd probably be okay with any annoying-but-not-draconian penalty.
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
33. What an extraordinarily stupid idea.
Telling people they can't wear a cross or Star of David in public?

What will you propose next, veils for women?

I'm about the least religious person you'll find, but I think this idea not only runs counter to everything America is supposed to stand for (to the point of being fascist), but is offensive as well.

Redstone
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. Why is it stupid?
What makes it more stupid than a law against stripping off in public, or drinking a beer in public, or having a bonk in public? It's not the act that's the problem, it's the setting. We've declared that those acts are perfectly fine in private, but not in public. Why would it be 'stupid' to say that this is a secular, pluralistic society and religious display isn't appropriate?
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. None of those activities...
....are specifically protected by the Constitution. THAT'S what makes it different.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Okay, so should you (if you were ordained) be able to conduct
an impromptu religious service in the middle of a busy intersection or in the middle of a residential neighborhood using a bullhorn?

You would for sure be stopped from doing it (and maybe taken to hospital for evaluation), but should the cops be allowed to stop you? Can there be any legal bounds at all on your right to religious expression?
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. In those instances...
....it would be the use of the bullhorn (disturbance of the peace) or the disruption of traffic that would be illegal. But if my next door neighbor wants to hold a Mass on his front lawn in broad daylight, it should be no more against the law than it is when his kids play hopscotch in the driveway. A Christian wearing a cross, a nun wearing a habit, a Hindu woman wearing a bindi on her forehead, a Jew wearing a yarmulke or a Muslim wearing a burka in a public place in no way in and of itself obstructs anyone else from going about his or her own business in an unfettered manner.

You have no constitutional right not to be offended by the legal, non-discriminatory, non-violent, constitutionally protected activities of others. This is just one of those things that you're going to need to file in the folder with things you need to get the heck over.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #47
58. You're missing (or perhaps ignoring?) the point
which is that either the right is absolute and cannot be abridged for any reason under any circumstances...

...or it isn't absolute, and can be. You've just acknowledged that 'disturbing the peace' is a legal reason to restrict it. So, your claim that public religious expression is completely protected Constitutionally just sprang a leak and sank.

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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #58
63. Yes, I'm being intentionally dense.
Edited on Sat May-21-05 05:00 PM by WillowTree
That explains it! You're dreaming up every convoluted reason you can think of to try to justify restricting people's constitutional rights, but I'm the one who's missing the point.

Constitutional rights can only be limited when the exercise thereof is taken to an extreme wherein someone else's rights are infringed upon. Wearing a Star of David or burka in public, or bowing one's head to say grace before a meal at a picnic in a public park, for that matter, in no way impairs anyone else's rights. Object and tie it all up in knots all you like, that's just the way it is.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #58
68. A person expressing their religion
Edited on Sat May-21-05 04:40 PM by Pithlet
isn't disturbing the peace by merely expressing that message. That's where your argument falls flat. You keep using your bullhorn analogy. It is the bullhorn itself, and not the speech being projected, that is breaking the law.

I am an atheist. But, I would never support such laws and would lend my full support to anyone fighting them. I don't want to live in a society that tells me what views and beliefs I can or cannot express, publicly or privately, any more than I want to live in a theocracy.

Your reasoning could be used to quash almost any point of view. I could easily see the right wing arguing that liberal views are dangerous, and outlawing any public expression of liberal ideals. Their argument and the reasoning behind it is the exact same one you are using.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #68
76. You bring up an excellent point, Pithlet. A Christian Theology...
would most likely quash the practice (or severely limit) of non-Christian religions. The OP takes it one step further and severely limits ALL religous practice. So, six of one, half-dozen of another?

I never thought I would use the oxymoron, Atheistic Theocracy, but I think its just been invented. I would fight that just as passionately as any Theocracy (and I'm an Atheist!).

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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #58
180. and your point misses everything
You've set up a nifty dichotomy: if a right isn't absolute, there's no reason why it can't be limited or even abolished. So, because you can't use a bullhorn to disturb the peace even when you are reciting a religious message, the right of free exercise must not be absolute so let's limit the crap out of it. Well, here's a clue for ya...if you take that bullhorn at 3 am and disturb the peace with political message, well...turns out the right of free speech isn't absolute either, so I guess we can ban bumper stickers and buttons next. If people want to hide in their rooms and wear buttons supporting a political candidate, fine, but they dare not step outside....

scary scary scary

onenote
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Because it's stupid and un-American.
Somebody wants to wear a cross, or Star of David, or Sikh turban, or Muslim headscarf, they should be able to do so, and it's NOT your or my or the government's fucking business to tell them they can't.

To ban such things is totaliarian. And just plain wrong. In America, anyway.

What else do you want to ban? Should French people not be allowed to wear berets? Scotsmen not kilts? Mexicans not guyabera shirts and peasant blouses? Canadians not rubber overshoes? (Sorry, Canadians. I was runniing out of examples.)

How about that evil lipstick? Eye makeup? Oh no, those two men are shaking hands! Better arrest them, they might be exchanging that secret Masonic signal or something else religious!

Redstone
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. It's sad to see a self-professed liberal...
display such a lack of knowledge of the Constitution.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #33
93. "veils for women"
what an illogical next step.

I find religious symbology offensive. Hundreds of millions of people have been murdered by religiously insane extremeists in our history. Much knowledge and progress has been destroyed or thwarted by the religiously insane and their superstitious, frightened subjects. I see a cross and it makes me angry. If they have the right to wear their mythological bling, do I have the right to get in their face and berate them for their stupidity?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #93
97. Of course you have that right....
and, if you were aggressive enough to cause fear of bodily injury, they have the right to deck you. And, I have the right to not feel sorry for you if that happened (sorry, for being harsh in my critque).

You do NOT have the right to NOT be offended by their religious displays/practice, and you do NOT have the right to outlaw the wearing of religious displays, etc. (as long as its not funded/endorsed by the govt).
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #97
98. what about public prosyletizing?
truthfully, I do not advocate the elimination of wearing religious jewelery or slogans on a t-shirt or the like. I believe in as much free speech as possible.

But what about instrusive speech, religious or political?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. Short of blaring it through a speaker, I have the right to stand on
Edited on Sat May-21-05 09:28 PM by tx_dem41
any street corner and proselytize or speak all I want. The Constitution wasn't written to protect you from being offended.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #99
105. wrong. there are many public restrictions on speech.
Edited on Sun May-22-05 12:48 AM by leftofthedial
I wish people could be more considerate of one another and tolerant of differing beliefs. But we are not. Therefore, we need guidelines to keep obnoxious, intrusive jerks from polluting public spaces with prosyletizing, loud music, noise, etc.

As it stands, there are public places (and should be more, in my opinion), where such behavior is not allowed. I also think there should be public spaces where such behavior IS allowed. Poet's Corner in London comes to mind.

Public spaces should be secular, religiously neutral, spaces.

The places where speechifying is allowed should not restrict (other than restrictions on hate speech, sedition, pornography, etc.) the content of such speechifying.

That way, people who want to hear you (or someone else) shout whatever they want can go there and hear it. But the rest of us don't have to.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #105
106. Where did I say anything about loud music or noise???
Edited on Sun May-22-05 01:03 AM by tx_dem41
C'mon, be honest, and quit making stuff up. Short of verbally threatening a public official (or anyone else for that matter), I have the right to stand on any street corner and speak. This isn't the UK, this is the US (remember many died to revolt AGAINST the UK). What you want is a return to 30s Russia of Stalin.

I assume you have lived in this country (US) all of your life. And, its sad that you don't know anything about its origins and its freedoms passed down by the Bill of Rights. Such ignorance of these facts has led us to where we are today, where people, including you, are so willing to trash our most cherished freedom, the freedom to speak and to express, for a little "comfort" and a little "safety". Such thoughts are born from a weakness in one's own beliefs and a desparation to gain some control of one's life in a completely discompassionate, selfish way.

Such talk is enabling what we see around us today.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #106
107. If you literally mean "street corner", perhaps
maybe so. I know cops in busy parts of downtown where I live will ask sidewalk preachers to move along.

There are many public spaces in which making speeches is prohibited. You can't stand in the Post Office and speechify. You can't stand in a public museum and speechify.

I think religion is far too intrusive on secular life in our country and would not oppose greater restrictions on it. Fundies are the epitome of the give-them-an-inch-and-they'll-take-a-mile crowd.

I didn't say this was the UK. I said Poet's Corner in London is the kind of public space where prosyletizing and all other forms of legal speechifying could take place.

Your assumptions and personal criticisms of me are ignorant and insulting.

This is not a civics quiz. It is a thread asking if we think public religiosity is appropriate or not.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #107
109. I am sorry that religion has hurt you so deeply in your life
I am an atheist, of my own volition and free will. I am very comfortable being an atheist and that includes spirited discussion with people who share a myriad of beliefs. Such interaction has not only broadened my mind but it has sharpened my debating skills, thus making my beliefs even stronger. As a result, I don't flinch nor do I fear viewpoints and practices different than my own.
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #107
150. You don't have the right to be spared momentary intrusion
I find screaming children intrusive, should we throw them all of them in the pokey? How 'bout punks with pink hair? How about message board atheiocrats?

This whole discourse is stupid.

Your examples are weak for reasons that have already been tested in the courts many times over. LOOK THEM UP YOURSELF.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #105
111. So, is it safe to assume, then...
....that you approve of the "free speech zones" where protesters are herded during appearances by President Bush? That way, the protesters can hear each other, but Bush can avoid those areas so he doesn't have to hear their taunts which, it's safe to assume, would be offensive to him.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:09 AM
Response to Reply #111
114. Are the BushCo 'free speech zones' in which protesters are penned
the same kind the Dems used to pen protesters during their convention, or were the Dem ones a better, Constitutionally-permissible kind?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #114
118. Interesting.....verrrrrrrry interesting.
Things are coming together. Definitely.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #111
123. no. I didn't advocate segregated zones
Edited on Sun May-22-05 10:57 AM by leftofthedial
the bushturd, irrespective of anything I say or do, has and will continue to have every right to avoid places where he is likely to hear critical opinions.

He does not have the right to declare that he has free speech in location X and everyone who has a dissenting opinion can express it only in location Y.

What I'm talking about is making most public spaces secular. Period.
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #105
139. "The places where speechifying is allowed"
Um, like Free Speech Zones a mile away from the pResdidential rally, complete (in some cases) with barbed wire, guarded by paramilitary officers, safely away from TV cameras? How convenient for any would be "tyrant" to compartmentalize and drown out your message; your "free speech rights" would thereby be rendered moot and impotent.

Were you not deeply offended by the Zones during the political charade of last year's elections? I would grant religious speech the same rights I demand for political speech. Neither should be penned in, restricted, muted, unable to grab attention and thereby rendered inconsequential.

Does this mean I can blast "Do you know Jesus?" over a bullhorn in a public library? Absolutely not, but as someone already mentioned the violation is not that I took up the bullhorn for religious cause, just that I took up a bullhorn. I should be ticketed regardless whether I said "pizza, anyone?" or "repent, sinners!". The content is not the issue, the intrusive act is.

But being accosted on a streetcorner by, say, a gaggle of Jehovah's Witnesses would not rise to the level of a sanctionable offense in my liberal, tolerant society. As long as I can say "no", step around, and go about my business.

Now, the problems of Christian Reconstructionism and Dominionism are enterly different matters. This bunch would markedly restrict all speech through use of repressive State force. The actions of this bunch would not be the "misdemeanor offenses" of the OP but things much more black and insiduous than streetcorner soliciting of "soldiers for Christ".
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #139
143. Um, no
see post #123

the bushturd's speechifying and the protester's speechifying and the bibel thumper's prosyletizing ALL take place at the designated places.

There's not a special bushturd place and a separate protester place and a separate my mythology is louder than your mythology place.

The intent is to make most public places secular. Period.

We make public places nonsmoking. Public drinking is restricted. Public commerce is restricted.
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #143
146. The Pit: Hungry Lions and Christan Martyrs
You'd dump religious and political speech together in one of those Free Speech Zones behind barbed wire, with armed paramilitary guarding the perimeter, and with TV cameras presumably far away.

Kind of like dumping hungry cats and dogs in a pit and watching them go at it! :evilgrin:

I still don't get it. If we hold as our objective building a tolerant, liberal society, one based on justice, liberty, and equality, then why would we want to repress religious speech?

I guess you're aiming for a Stepford-like serene neighborly peace, a Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood, monolithic in thought and appearance, everyone with a smile, a "good morning to ya" and a wave as they walk down the white sidewalks in their white shirts to their white jobs while robins chirp in the trees and squirrels scamper around junior's tricycle that stands out like William Carlos Williams' Red Wheelbarrow. Pristine peace and quiet. Mmmmmm. Nice. (But not very real.)

I can understand wanting to fight the attempts of the Christian Right to repress secular speech, but the answer is not to give out parking tickets when someone walks up to you in a public place and says "Do you know Jesus?", that accomplishes nothing except provide a rallying point to further motivate the christian soldiers that you (perhaps) find so bothersome.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #146
149. would you like preaching or non-preaching?
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #149
153. Both
:popcorn:
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #153
154. but you can't get both
if there is preaching, then there is no non-preaching
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #154
156. Can you expound on this? (n/t)
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #156
157. I'm advocating that we have public places that are designated
as places where anyone who wants can loudly proclaim whatever message (within legal limits) they want

and other places where they can't.

That way we have "preaching" AND we have "non-preaching." You get to choose what you listen to when you go shopping or choose a route to wal to work or decide to go hang out in the park.

With no restrictions, EVERY public place in the country could become the 700 club, or a freeper meeting or for that matter a DU GD discussion thread at any moment, while I'm just trying to eat my fucking sandwich, or I'm trying to have a conversation with a friend, or I'm trying to read the paper.

I'm not talking about restricting private conversations or anyone's ability to scream whatever they want (within legal limits). I'm just trying to ensure that they don't infringe on the privacy of others while they do it.

With the increasing radicalization of religion and the epidemic of fundamentalism, I think we are in danger of having a particular brand of religiosity forced on us no matter where we go.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #157
181. what else can't you talk about in the "non-preaching" zones?
And who decides?

onenote
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #157
195. Apparently you don't like living in a free country any more than the freep
ers do. No wonder the precious liberties so many died for are being eroded away faster than ever. I guess it's just no fun anymore.

Freedom of speech is such a bother.
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CAG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #93
100. Millions of people have been murdered by non-religious people too
I find people sporting mullets offensive. BAN THEM!!!
I find people touching too many tomatoes in the grocery store before selecting one offensive. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!

:-)
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
37. Yes.
Ban 'em.

There's no need for that crap. Keep it in your churches, where it belongs.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. I've finally figured it out....it's Pol Pot Day on DU.
Edited on Sat May-21-05 03:33 PM by tx_dem41
Am I right? Its the only rational explanation. We celebrate Pol Pot Day by dropping our liberal beliefs and assuming the role of our "favorite" fascist!

Sounds kind of "cute", I guess, as long as its not serious. Thank goodness I can tell, that you're not serious at all. Not one bit.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #39
71. It is one person posting
I'm as disgusted by such a suggestion as you are, but let's not get carried away.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. I calibrate to the OP.
Mea culpa. :)
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. :) n/t
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funflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #37
56. Keep it in church? But churches themselves are public.
This anti-liberal idea throws our freedoms of conscience and speech completely out the window. There's a reason the framers of the Constitution put those two freedoms FIRST in the Bill of Rights.
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Kitka Donating Member (488 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #37
126. And I vote that you have to keep all
food inside restaurants or the home, where it belongs. None of that crap in public. That makes about as much sense as this fucking scary idea you agree with.
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
44. What you propose is a police state.
Uncle Joe would be proud.

I can't believe I'm reading this on a supposed progressive board.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. Really? Why should public display of religiosity be specially protected?
This is a secular, pluralist society isn't it? Why should sectarian religious ostentation get a special deal? Should it be okay for a Santeria priest to sacrifice a live chicken in a crowded public park?
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #48
54. By that line of reasoning...
....it could just as easily be said that "This is a heterosexual society isn't it? Why should "alternate lifestyles" get a special deal?"..........right? Those dirty gay folk should be fined if they kiss, hold hands, march in a parade or even acknowledge one another in public, right?

Oh, and let us not forget that "freedom of sexuality" is not a right that is specifically ennumerated in the Constitution. Maybe we should just ban them altogether, huh?
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #54
75. Your reasoning is off
This is NOT 'a heterosexual society' -- it's a pluralistic society, so heterosexuality should not be given the deference it gets.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #75
183. pluralistic yes, secular no
Society (not the government) is pluralistic; by definition that means some folks are religious and some folks are secular. You can't define society as "secular" unless you put blinders on and ignore the fact that very large numbers (a majority I might guess) are not "secular humanists" but are adherents to some religious faith or another. So learn to live in a pluralistic society and stop spewing about penalizing folks who wear crosses or stars of david or whatever in public.

Sheesh...

onenote
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funflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #48
57. Yes, it should be legal for a Santeria to sacrifice a chicken in a public
park so long as any health and cleanliness concerns are met. Most of the kiddies in the park probably had chicken nuggets for lunch anyway....
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
51. I'd like to persecute them as much as they SAY they are persecuted
That's all I ask...
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funflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #51
59. Wow. That's pretty evil. Why would a liberal want to persecute anyone?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. The answer's obvious, isn't it?
Your making an assumption in the wording of your question. Remember that assumptions can be wrong.
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funflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. I can't define "liberal" to include people who want to persecute those
with whom they disagree, if that's what you're getting at.

B-)
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. I don't think any sincere, true liberal could.
That's what I'm getting at.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #59
66. Because I'm a warped, frustrated, twisted shell of a man...
Edited on Sat May-21-05 04:48 PM by gmoney
(rant deleted)
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funflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #66
70. Maybe a few weeks on a nice warm island somewhere would do the trick...
Somewhere with no access to news or the internet....

B-)
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
52. Kucinich is a Catholic
You're aware of that, right? He would be the last person to support something like this.

Comments like these are why I say, please please please, GO make your own party. GO RUN HURRY.

You do know you're suggesting the inquisition, witch trials, holocaust, etc.; don't you?

:banghead:
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
53. So, when do we begin demolishing all the cathedrals, churches, mosques,
synagogues? These are privately owned institutions that cannot help but be in public display.

While I may be sick of all the religiosity all around me these days, this idea of banning religious display on private property (or one's body) in public view, in my opinion, is fundamentally un-American.

Are you serious or is this some kind of a test?
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #53
88. I'm trying to come up with a way to preserve our secular humanist nation
against the onslaught of people who have no doubt that whatever they choose to do is guided and blessed by God, and who therefore cannot be swayed by appeals to reason or secular ideals. People who would think nothing of starting up the ovens again, armored in their glorious, impenetrable, unexamined self-righteousness.

I really don't want to be dragged to the ovens wishing that we'd practiced the First Rule: start with coperation, but then give as you get.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #88
91. I'm all for secular humanism
But I think it is a leap of faith, so to speak, to assume that people who are "guided and blessed by God" will roast us in ovens.

"People who would think nothing of starting up the ovens again, armored in their glorious, impenetrable, unexamined self-righteousness." - The evil ones you describe here may not even be Christians, Muslims, etc. They may be secular non-humanists motivated by profit and power.

"I really don't want to be dragged to the ovens wishing that we'd practiced the First Rule: start with coperation, but then give as you get." - Well, we don't want to see that happen! What do you propose then, besides repressing freedom of expression in America? I'm all for jailing the lizards who committed crimes against humanity.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #91
124. "But I think it is a leap of faith, so to speak"
Edited on Sun May-22-05 12:21 PM by Mairead
I'm using ovens partly as metaphor. It could be something else; anything that's a one-way trip would do. 'Arbeit macht frei' would be good.

The evil ones you describe here may not even be Christians, Muslims, etc. They may be secular non-humanists motivated by profit and power.

Oh I agree. That's why I specified pseudo-theocracy -- the ones at the top are generally manipulators, not Believers. But Believers are needed to be guards, push paper, and run the ovens.

What do you propose then, besides repressing freedom of expression in America?

It would be good if you'd use a narrower brush. I'm not in favor of kicking puppies or spitting on the flag, either.

And I have no other proposal. I think there's good theoretical reason to believe that would be enough. The whole point is to hook the unfalsifiable beliefs and drag them off the public stage and back into private life where they belong. The last thing we need is narrow sectarians in charge of the nation.

(edited to fix the @#$%! html)
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #124
133. "It would be good if you'd use a narrower brush"
You own this brush, and this thread, not me.

"I'm not in favor of kicking puppies or spitting on the flag, either." - Red herring... or are you kidding with me? :D

Other than those comments, and the idea of banning freedom of expression in America, which is what the OP calls for, we agree. I am all for secular humanism and "separation of church and state," as well as freedom of religion. The U.S. Constitution does not say "freedom FROM religion," though.

We need freedom from the alien lizards who have invaded our planet and country, hijacked our government, religion, corporate media, and created divisions amongst the American populace. Some of our greatest allies are those of religious faith - let's not alienate them, please.

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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #88
136. So there's the point, finally. You don't like the ideas.
When we get down to the nitty gritty, it's the fact other people have different ideas and you want to forbid them--because as we all know, ideas that are wrong are dangerous, speech is subversion, and we should vote on it.

Let me clue you in. If you want to put the first amendment protections to a vote, it ain't religion that is going to be banished from the public square. It's that reason and secular ideals, whatever they are after you get rid of the ideal of liberty in speech.

I'll stick with individual rights, thank you very much. I'll live longer.
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #88
144. Ovens?
I thought the people doing the carting off of the Jews into "ovens" were fascists, an extreme rightwing abberation of capitalism? However, I acknowledge the role of the Conservative Christian in the rise of the Third Reich, and there is a parallel in that the equally conservative churches have played their part in propelling our very own Reich into positions of power today.

I share your concern but, still, I disagree with your solution.

The ends do not always justify the means. We cannot choose to repress speech, the right to assembly, the right to religious expression of our own choosing, and expect as outcome a fair, liberal, and tolerant society. No, we must find progressive means that example our values, otherwise our utopia will ever recede on the horizon just beyond our grasp.

Hatred ever kills, love never dies such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality for it increases hatred.
---Ghandi


Your post here adds insight into what's behind your OP: You'd like to oppress the practice and expression of religion in order to protect "our society of secular humanism". It appears, then, that you would not strive for a "fair, liberal, and tolerant society", but instead for a monolithic and pure society built on your facored philosophical principles. Such a point of view is neither "liberal" nor "democratic", in my opinion; it is authoritarian (if only on the margins).

But I share your (implied) greater fear of Christian Reconstructionism and Dominionism -- a powerful and almost stealth movement that, if they were successful, would create a thenomic state that would restore with vigor the Law as written in Dueteronomy and Leviticus. Some CR really mean to take the Law with full seriousness -- homosexuals would be stoned to death, as well as children that dishonor their parents (perhaps by bad grades in school?), even anyone deemed "insufficiently Christian" as they define it. As crazy as this sounds, they've made some inroads into serious power.

Right now the Republican coalition consists of crunchy paleo-conservatives, libertarians, "free market" businessmen, the Christian Right, and (on a declining basis) the Racial Right. The Christian Right was easily mobilized through the ready-made organizations of the churches and has proven to be a lynch-pin for Republican success these last 25 years.

One of the mistakes of the Left, I think, is its failure to appeal to transcendent beliefs (religions, philosophies). Remember the Liberation Theology of the Catholic Church? Surely there are armies of people sharing progressive values in all kinds of churches. The Left needs to appeal to these people and create "soldiers for Christ" that march in a manner congruent with Jesus' gospel of love and peace.

I don't think that making it a misdemeanor to display or engage in religious speech in a public place accomplishes anything except serve up ripe objects for propaganda in the Culture Wars we've been fighting now since 1992. Misdirected energy, I think; the enemy is much bigger (and much more dangerous) than that.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #144
161. Knowing what we know now, if you could go back in time to 1932
and wipe out the Nazi party, from Hitler down -- all the non-drones -- would you do it, or not? How would you justify your (in)action?
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #88
152. You and your "ovens"
were you bitten by a rabid drama queen in the last 2 to 14 days?

Who would save us from people like you who would burn the village to save it?


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Go_Nukyuler_On_GOP Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
60. Err, correct me if I'm wrong...
But I think you may not be totally correct.
__________________________________________________________________

The First Amendment guarantees that government isn't allowed to meddle with our religious practice.
______________________________________

Yes, "congress may make no law respecting the establishment of a religion"...
====================================================

But the right to practice in public is not unbounded:
-----------------------------------------------

...but "...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
________________________________________________

one couldn't, for example, get away with holding an impromptu service using a bullhorn in the middle of a busy intersection or in an expensive neighborhood.
_______________________________________________________

Wearing a cross is hardly comparable to doing the above.

The main reason our forefathers came here (especially the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, the Catholics in Maryland, etc.) was to practice religious freedom. Please tell me that you're not serious about this.

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funflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. Religious expression, like freedom of speech, is subject to reasonable
restrictions in terms of time, manner & place. However, such restrictions must be tailored narrowly (no church services involving bullhorns at 3 a.m. in a residential area, just as parties involving bullhorns are not permitted at 3 a.m. in a residential area).

The original poster is suggesting a complete ban on the public exercise of religion.

Remember, the original poster's nutty idea would infringe our freedom of speech as well as our freedom of religion. Perhaps, if such a ban were enacted, the next thing to be banned would be public expression of certain political ideals, which certainly annoy some people every bit as much as the public expression of religiosity.
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Go_Nukyuler_On_GOP Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. Agree 100%
BTW, if anyone ever did what you describe in the hypothetical situation, I'd be likely to whack them upside the head, and I consider myself fairly Christian.O8)
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funflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #69
72. Cute. I've never seen the angel smilie. Might be useful at times....
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #60
78. "Wearing a cross is hardly comparable to doing the above"
Have you ever heard the joke(?) (the original was sexist, so I'm going to denature it here) about how person A asks person B 'will you sleep with me for a million dollars?' B thinks about it and, hesitantly, says 'okay'. Then A asks 'how about for a dollar?' B, very indignant, says 'NO! What do you think I am!?!' A then says 'we've already determined what you are, now we're discussing the price.'

This situation is similar. We've already determined that the right to public religious expression is not absolute, so the only thing left is to determine the 'price' at which it can be limited. People have different opinions about that. Speaking for myself, I would consider having to live under a pseudo-theocracy far too high a price to pay, so I'm trying to think of ways to prevent that at the smallest possible cost.
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Go_Nukyuler_On_GOP Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #78
80. By converting to a totalitarian society?
Seems to me like that's a far worse evil.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #80
84. Aren't you overstating the case?
You clearly don't think we have 'a totalitarian society' today, yet if you walk down the list of BOR Amendments, it should be clear that none of them are available to us in the form we imagine.

The worst two encroachments might be the fact that it's a felony to even joke about offing the psychopath-in-chief, and that SCOTUS has said that a person can be executed even though there is evidence of factual innocence. A close runner up is probably the one where a factually innocent and even uninvolved person can be deprived of their property by the state.

If you can bear those, making public religious display a misdemeanor should be a glass of water to a drowning person.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #84
134. If you're talking about things like..
Edited on Sun May-22-05 06:19 PM by mvd
preventing religious solicitations at homes and blocking traffic, I wouldn't mind bans. Innocent displays of religion won't harm anyone else or prevent people from believing how they want to believe. We don't need to expedite the taking away of rights.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #134
163. "Innocent displays of religion won't harm anyone"
The display isn't really the issue here, and I'm surprised (maybe I shouldn't be?) that so few seem to 'get' that. The display is merely the outward sign of a willingness to impose sectarian, faith-based, unfalsifiable beliefs on the public sphere.

There's not really a lot of difference between my being willing to accost you and demand to know whether you're 'saved' and my being willing to accost you and hit you for not covering your head in public. The unifying belief is that my religion overrides your civil rights. Anyone acting out that belief should get a social message that it's not okay, because if we're to maintain a secular, pluralistic society then that sort of arrogance is not okay.

The least-intrusive way I can think of to send the message that sectarian religion should be private, not public, is to impose a minor fine on its public expression.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #163
165. There is NO civil right, in a legal sense, for you not to have someone..
Edited on Mon May-23-05 08:32 AM by tx_dem41
...come up to you and talk to you about religion. You do have a right not to get hit, so your analogy does not hold water.

There is case law for restricting speech when the method or intent of that speech (or protest) is a safety issue, such as blocking traffic or the proverbial "yelling fire in a crowded theater". The 200 years of caselaw has firmly established that the scenario you describe is perfectly legal.

Soooo, guess what? You are going to have to amend the Constitution to weaken the First Amendment. As you've seen by the response of liberals on this board, this is never going to happen.

So...what's your next choice?

Finally, isn't this a solution in search of a problem? I have lived my entire life in the "buckle of the Bible belt". I have been surrounded by followers of all sorts of religions. I myself am openly and loudly Atheistic. I also never get "accosted" over religion. What is your definition of "accosted"?
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #165
169. Why don't you spend some time thinking
about the difference in the internet before the first spammer and now. Which state was better -- then or now? Why don't we have the right not to be spammed? Why is the spammer's desire to annoy us more important than our desire not to be annoyed? Think about that.



I'll tell you a little anecdote:

About 30 years ago, at the annual meeting of the Humanistic Psych Division of the APA, the hotel staff were late getting things set up, so there was a long queue at the one coffee urn that was working at that point. People were standing there still half-asleep, coffee cups in hand, patiently waiting and hoping the coffee wouldn't run out. One of the other conference attendees came into the room, went to the head of the queue, smiled sweetly at the bemused man who was about to fill his cup and said 'Excuse me, I just want to get a cup of coffee.'

Do you understand?



Your posts have convinced me not to try to engage you in dialog, so please accept that this is all you are going to get from me, okay?
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #169
197. Nice chicken run - ...n/t
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #163
185. No, they are not always attempting to get people to..
Edited on Mon May-23-05 01:37 PM by mvd
believe the way they do. Some people wear crosses because it makes them feel better about their own practicing. I do not support any fines unless there's a real violation of privacy. Unlike smoking, many people aren't forcing others to do anything. With smoking, there is the secondhand smoke. I'm not even a religious person and I don't favor being too restrictive.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #185
187. Think in terms of them enabling others, not of them doing it themselves
The person who wears the cross is, ipso facto, enabling the one who accosts strangers. The people who actively defend the accosting open the door to the next infringement.

As recounted in 'They Thought They Were Free', there's never any big incursion that could serve as a rallying point, it's always tiny nibbles, so that anyone who takes a stand can be accused of over-reacting and even being loony or a traitor (the various overblown libels in this thread making a case in point :evilgrin:)

Nibble by nibble, even a whale can be eaten.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #187
188. Sorry, but I don't agree with you
Edited on Mon May-23-05 02:31 PM by mvd
I don't see the harm. By your logic, we shouldn't have computers on display because people can use them for hacking.

We might as well agree to disagree.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #188
189. Yes, I know.
And that's part of the harm.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #189
190. Well, I'm not willing to take away the right
because of what others might do.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #190
191. Frank Lloyd Wright summed up natural law about this kind of thing
when he said that we can make corrections with an eraser on the drawing board, or we can wait and make them with a sledgehammer on the building site. The longer we let things go, the worse the cost to fix them.

Pastor Niemller said time and again that if only he had led the Lutheran pastorate in standing up to the Nazis from the moment they started chucking the Commies into the KZs, if only every pastor had done his christian duty and forcefully denounced the Nazis from the pulpit at every service, refusing to be silenced...those few churchmen would have saved 30 million lives.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #191
192. Sorry, I just don't see the problem
Edited on Mon May-23-05 03:57 PM by mvd
And that is where I will end things. I have stated my case.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #78
158. Pardon my language, please.
The religious coots(used to be "crazies," but that term has fallen into disrepute) have used the need for security in religion to orchestrate a coup and takeover of the churches and the country. They must be "yanked" off center stage, somehow. Do you have any less Draconian solutions? Probably even a sort of half-ass, barely good enough to do a little would be sufficient.

The point is: the current subversion must be stopped and then what are we to do with them?
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
81. No
I'm an agnostic/athiest and I would be strongly opposed to that. People have the right to practice their religion in public, and that includes praying in public, etc. What they don't have the right is to have the government endorse their religion by putting up a religious display in a courtyard or having a prayer at a governmental meeting. But people should absolutely have the right to pray in public, wear religious items, talk about their religion, even do evangelical work, in public. The imporant thing is that it is individual people doing it and that the goverment isn't endoring a religious display.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
83. If a theocracy happens
Edited on Sat May-21-05 06:16 PM by Pithlet
It won't be because of the people who wear crosses on their neck, or pray in public. It will be because of people in power stripping away our rights to think and believe how we want, in public and private. The very thing you're proposing. What you're suggesting is no better than what the nuts who want a theocracy are proposing

On edit: I don't think the OP will see this.
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #83
155. ^^THE ^ ABOVE ^ POST ^ SHOULD ^ BE ^ READ ^ BY ^ ALL^^
Very well said and so true.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #83
168. Bravo, Pithlet.
Exactly! Thanks for so succinctly and eloquently stating the obvious!
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #83
184. "I don't think the OP will see this"
Sometimes I don't reply because I don't want to waste my time. Doctrinaire responses are usually a sign that the writer believes there is nothing to think about, so who am I to tell them different?
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Mr.Green93 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
85. I bet you look good
in tight black leather.
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
86. the problem with what you suggest
is that it would only fuel the 'creeping theocracy' problem, and it would make martyrs out of the very people who think they want a theocracy. i say: fight fire with fire...take a fundie to a UU church :D seriouly...religion, or its expression can't be penalized, however, perhaps we can make a difference in the type of religion that is being practiced. perhaps it's time to usher in a new age of liberal sprituality. there are churches out there doing that work now...changing hearts and minds.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. "a new age of liberal sprituality"
Do you think we have the time? It looks to me as though we're already halfway out of the sleigh. What if the wolves refuse to wait?
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. we have to be prepared for a long war
and be prepared to lose some battles along the way. the funny thing about authoritarians is: they like the idea of authoritarianism more than the practice of it...with some exceptions, of course. for example, i would argue that bush, inc has done more to convert republicans to the right side of this battle than have democrats. the same with the religious right...the more drunk they get on power, the more brazen (and nuts) they get...the more they turn off those who might have supported them. as for the true believers, perhaps they will so us all a favor and create their own little nation, as they keep threatening to do...good riddance :hi:
me thinks it is the only way, given the pervasiveness of religiosity in this country...one need look no further than here for evidence of that.

i'm wondering about how to best deal with the perpetrators when the tide turns. legislation can be nullified or amended, buy can the judges appointed by an illegal regime be unappointed, for example? since bush's first reign was accomplished via a coup, his second reign is just as illegitimate.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #89
119. "when the tide turns" --- but what if it's prevented from turning?
i'm wondering about how to best deal with the perpetrators when the tide turns. legislation can be nullified or amended, buy can the judges appointed by an illegal regime be unappointed, for example? since bush's first reign was accomplished via a coup, his second reign is just as illegitimate.

Apart from not being anywhere near so sure that it'll be allowed to turn, I've had the same questions go through my mind. I'd say that, if a majority of the People demand it, then yes judges can be 'un-appointed'. If a majority demand it, we can do anything we want to. The trick would be (a) getting together the majority to begin with and (b) preventing it from being characterised as a minority.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
92. No--just STATE SPONSORED display
Private individuals should be free to display (almost) anything they want.
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
95. Get real.
A Stalin purge?

Stalin's role in the fortunes of the Russian Orthodox Church is complex. Continuous persecution in the 1930s resulted in near-extinction: by 1939 active parishes numbered in the low hundreds (down from 54,000 in 1917), many churches had been levelled, and tens of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns were dead or imprisonedhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin

That's essentially what you are proposing. A State ban on religious expression. Where would that lead to?
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
96. People like you are basically responsible for seeding the religious right.
Edited on Sat May-21-05 09:20 PM by LoZoccolo
It didn't really exist until the fifties, when paranoia about communism was rampant. When you threaten people's religion, they start organizing.

Your whole plan is bizarre. It's like you didn't even think it through enough to realize that there are countries which maintain pretty secular governments that have public religious displays all over.

And ultimately, if people try to use the government to impose their religious beliefs on people, usually they ultimately do it because of private belief. I wonder if supressing that's ever worked?

Oh, and happy Pol Pot Day to you too. :eyes:
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
101. No, certainly not...
Edited on Sat May-21-05 10:28 PM by Darranar
All expression should be permitted in public, as long as it is not blatantly and seriously threatening.

If one wants to hold a religious service in a park, or on the National Mall, or in front of the White House, or anywhere on public property - one should be allowed to. The same way one should be allowed to protest in those places.

Certainly, religious symbols should be allowed to be worn everywhere in public.

Edit: Are you considering clothing that is a religious obligation - yarmulkes for Jewish males, for instance - in this?
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Seeking Serenity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
102. The original poster, IMO,
Edited on Sat May-21-05 11:49 PM by muddleofpudd
is suggesting something like a "pre-emptive strike," repress Christians (and let's not fool ourselves, the OP may have mentioned the wearing of mogen david, head scarves, turbans, etc., but the OP wasn't really intending to refer to Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, etc.) before they repress us.

Except, me and my family will have to be the first ones the OP will have to come after. I wear a cross necklace, DH has a ring with two crosses engraved on it, and DS often wears a cross on a chain that he received as a confirmation gift.

OK, Mairead, take me off to your concentration camp, or gulag, or re-education center, what have you.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #102
113. Don't you feel bad about telling lies? Is that a Christian response?
I made no mention of 'concentration camp, or gulag, or re-education center'. I specifically likened it to other trivial offences for which a small fine is assessed.

Consider that, in blowing this out of proportion, you're helping the 'religious right' do their work. They, too, characterise every attempt to keep the US pluralistic and secular as a grievous assault on their beliefs and rights.

Are you among those who wants a pseudo-theocracy in the US? If not, shouldn't you stop being their fellow-traveller?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #113
117. You will need to have gulags/concentration camps...
to enforce it.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #102
138. Don't worry. Once the pesky first amendment is removed, and
individual liberties are gone, and the ideas that are permissible and those that are dangerous are put to a majority vote, its the chrisitians who will win the vote and it will be Mainread who is locked up for his speech. At first. As in all such conditions, you'll be picked up someday for something else.
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
103. what a silly/disturbing/stupid idea
i wonder if you would have DU shut down for offering cross/star of david/etc. avatars ...
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Generic Guy Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
104. NO
Because it would be the same line of thinking the fundies use to try to force certain groups into the closet.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
108. What an extremist idea
I am an atheist but even I find that going too far.

There is nothing wrong with wearing religious jewelry, clothing or other garb--so long as the message does not distinctly promote harm to other people.

And yes I detest proselytisers but even I have to admit the jagoffs are merely working within their first ammendement rights to free speech. And I am within my first ammendment rights to tell them to go fornicate with themselves...

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
110. Hah?
Edited on Sun May-22-05 01:36 AM by impeachdubya
Shit, I'm probably one of the people who gets slammed the most (justly or unjustly) around here for being allegedly "anti-religion". Mostly because I sometimes assert that belief in invisible beings should be held to the same logical standards whether the invisible beings' names are Harvey or Jehovah. (I promise, no more!)

But I can't get around your proposal. Religious displays paid for with taxpayer money, or similarly endorsed by civic government, on public land? No.

But personal religious displays--- in public places? That's freedom of speech, and it's a beautiful thing, baby.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
112. NO. I believe in Freedom of Speech

Im not about to piss that away just because some things offend me.

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hansberrym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
122. Sounds like you are "courting disaster"

As Allan Dershowitz said:

"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming that it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a safety hazard don't see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like."



What will be next right to be abridged, infringed, or abolished ?

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Logansquare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
128. I grant you that proselytizing is annoying
But suppressing it is against the basic tenents of our nation. That being said, I don't think it's a violation of the Constitution if you turn on your sprinklers whenever the Jehovah's Witnesses are on your lawn.

There are difficult areas of the law, such as Fred Phelps' harrassment of gays for "religious" reasons. I would welcome legislation making race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination illegal in all public expressions of religious freedom. You can go to church and hate the hell out of homosexuality, but don't be standing on a street corner outside of Matthew Shepard's funeral screaming your beliefs--that is harrassment, and should be illegal.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
131. No, of course not
I propose that we display all religious symbols of the US when their tiem of year comes around, not just xtain ones and Jewish ones begrudgingly.

I think public spaces should be teeming with the symbols of US spirigual life.

And I don't want the gov't paying for any of it. Private groups can do that. That way, the gov,'t can be seen to favor or unduly push one set of beliefs over another.

Mairead, you can't supress, anything in a society like ours. It will only go underground and fester. We need to have this stuff out in the open, the better to deal with it.





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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
132. No, I don't think it's feasable
Edited on Sun May-22-05 06:19 PM by mvd
First of all, you should be able to wear any religious symbols you want. That deals with personal liberty. If someone trespasses or causes a civil disturbance, those should be dealt with accordingly. People can definitely go to extremes in pushing their religion.
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
137. Jesus Christ, No.
Actually, look what happened to Jesus for preaching "inappropriately"

Anyway, there are noise and nuisance statutes that would cover any sort of disturbance regardless of their religious context.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
141. Absolutely not...
I wear a cross, but I don't proselythize. I would never ban yarmulkas or Islamic, Hindu, Pagan symbols. It's not even a consideration in my opinion.

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ofrfxsk Donating Member (817 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
142. I feel like walking down your PUBLIC street wearing
a big ole Crucifix and Yalmulke on top of a Hijab just to piss you off.

Freedom of speech and religion, baby. We still have that.



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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #142
173. "Officer! I swear it's not a hijab! It's a scarf, my head was cold!"
"Ma'am, you're goin' downtown with us."
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
145. This is the least well thought out post I've seen here in quite some time
Sometimes there are dumb questions.
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Llewlladdwr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
159. Wow....just....wow....
I'm not much of a Christian (haven't been inside a church for over 20 years) but I'm putting a Jesus fish on the car tomorrow just to piss you fascist bastages off.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 05:30 AM
Response to Original message
162. of course not.
Others have noted why in sufficient depth.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 06:23 AM
Response to Original message
164. Of course not.
What an idiotic idea. What about the First Amendment?

This is a test, isn't it?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
166. If I can quote Shakespeare on a corner then zealots can quote the bible
It is only when speach endangers another in a direct and recognizable way that it can be curtailed. If it is just a person expressing their beliefs they are free to do so. And incidently I am free to offer my counter suggestions to them as well if they choose to engage me in discussion.

If you silence belief you silence discussion. You create a mute world. Where nothing is ever discussed again.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
167. No --it would give religion too much power.
If the wearing of religious symbols was banned, it would make them extremely potent -- would have the opposite of the intended effect, I think. It would become like the wearing of gang colors. (I can imagine a situation where certain symbols (like fish, for ex) would become stand-in symbols for the banned ones. Argh: what a mess!)

And anyway: public religious practice doesn't cause any problems. I'm against taking away freedoms that don't impinge upon anyone else's freedom.

And what about the wearing of Sikh turbans, for example? It's not that easy to separate public display from private practice.

You'd be opening a MAJOR can of worms for little benefit.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
170. No, but we could ban "intrusive and confrontational displays"
If you banned all public religious displays by individuals, a lot of people would have nothing to wear, there'd be thousands of illegal tattoos and we'd lose that special something that comes from following a guy driving a brand-new Lexus with a "Don't let the car fool you, my treasure is in Heaven" bumper sticker on it. (They did tell this guy you're supposed to put that on beat-up old Fords, right?)

OTOH, when you walk into the supermarket and some huge guy jumps out at you and yells "Are you sure that if you died right now that you would enter the Kingdom of Heaven?" you think that maybe he's not just posing a hypothetical. "Believe in Jesus or I'll strangle you" is NOT the way to bring people to Christ!

I can see allowing "peaceful displays of faith" and banning "intrusive and confrontational displays of faith" like Westboro Baptist rallies and pro-life sidewalk counseling.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #170
182. If you can't deal with the Jesus Freaks....
You need to get tougher. Try ignoring them. Or use sarcasm. Or just say NO!

"Banning" those idiots is just what they want. They'd love to be martyrs.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #170
193. How would one determine the legal defintion of "intrusive" and ....
..."confrontational"?
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #193
198. It would be like pornography, you'd know it when you saw it
We'd have to apply a reasonable-man standard to it: would a reasonable man say what you're doing is intrusive or confrontational?

Walking down the street wearing Jesus shirt: not intrusive.
Walking down the street screaming at the passersby so badly their kids start crying: intrusive.

Putting Jesus fish on your own bumper: not intrusive.
Putting Jesus fish on the bumper of a car with a Darwin fish on it, after scratching the word "Jezebel!" into the paint: intrusive. (I have a cashier who lives next door to a Pentecostal Holiness church. We're in the process of helping her find a new place to live. She's very pretty and she dresses in a manner not pleasing to the American Taliban. There's nothing wrong with the way she dresses--she could wear any of her clothes to work and conform to our dress code--but if we fuck up and don't schedule her for Sunday morning when the church is in session, someone from that church will go into her yard, stick Jesus bumper stickers all over her car, and scratch "Jezebel!" into the paint. So she works every Sunday morning.) This is also Vandalism, which is already illegal, but in this county it's kinda hard to motivate the cops to come look at something a fundamentalist did.

Jack Chick's brand of evangelism: not intrusive.
Fred Phelps' brand of evangelism: most definitely intrusive!

Like I said, you'll know it when you see it.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #170
194. "intrusive and confrontational displays"
Why limit it to the religion?

Why don't we just finish wiping our asses with the Constitution and ban anything that anyone find offensive?

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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
171. A horrendously stupid idea
Edited on Mon May-23-05 10:36 AM by geek tragedy
UnAmerican, illiberal, and immoral.

Those who fret about "ovens" would do well not to propose fascist ideas like this.
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #171
174. But advocating such a plan would help us win...
the crucial Maoist swing voters.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #174
176. I think some Stalinists and National Socialists would also come over to
our side. This kind of proposal truly has universal appeal--to totalitarian thugs.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
172. I don't give a damn about public religious displays
It's the ones my tax dollars support that piss me off.
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
175. in france, the majority of french/muslim women supported the ban
wearing burquas to schools. that proposal got a lot of attention over here, but i think that fact was left out of most of the discussion.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #175
186. They liked the 'Get Out Of Burqa Free' card the ban gave them
They didn't have to stand up to the religious loonies all on their todd. I know I'd have a helluva time standing up to some nutter who might take it into his head to slit my throat on the spot for my 'unchaste' behavior!

I imagine there are quite a few people in the US who would feel similarly about privatising display -- they'd faux-sadly claim to be 'just obeying the law'. :evilgrin:
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 11:14 AM
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179. Not taking the bait, thank you. (nt)
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Kerrytravelers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 09:29 PM
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199. I am one of those pesky liberal Christians.
I don't want everyone to feel forced ito Christianity. I am comfortable with all religions and am interested in all forms of faith.

I also want to wear my cross and not be punished. However, while wearing my cross, I never insist that others conform to my religious beliefs.

There is a huge difference between average people who chose to practice a religious faith and those who use it as a weapon against others. Don't let your anger cloud your view. I can truly understand your anger.
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