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DAVID ROSMAN: Religion is not a qualifier for public office

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 | 5:41 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Not long ago, a candidate vying for a seat on the Columbia School Board revealed that she wanted to bring Christian values to our education system, causing a new ripple in Columbia’s religious and nonreligious communities.

Amendment 2, August’s most controversial ballot issue, passed with an overwhelming 84 percent of the vote. Two issues are now in discussion: 1) Did the language on the ballot mislead voters?, and 2) Does the new amendment to the Missouri Constitution violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause?

On Monday, St. Louis’s KMOX reported that, "Congressman Todd Akin (opened his speech by thanking) God for hearing the prayers of his supporters and granting him victory in Missouri’s Republican U.S. Senate primary."

God did not vote yes on Amendment 2 or direct the voting mass to choose Rep. Akin as the GOP candidate for Senate. If God did have a hand in the election, would not Akin and Amendment 2 have won with 100 percent of the vote? Both had better campaigns, more money and used emotional ploys to garner votes. That both are current darlings of the Tea Party movement did not hurt either.

Religion used as an American political weapon began with the presidential election of 1800 between John Adams, a Unitarian, and Thomas Jefferson, sometimes called a deist and who self-described himself as an "Epicurean." Fears were that Adams was going to make Christianity America’s official religion and that Jefferson would outlaw all religion. Both were false claims.

Edward Larson’s title, “A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign,” could easily be changed to 2012. Only the names need to be changed.

John Kennedy said it best in 1960 when his Catholicism was questioned by the various Christian movements.

“I hope that no American will waste his franchise and throw away his vote by voting either for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant.”

The argument of a candidate’s morality is relevant. The argument that one cannot be moral without a fear in God and only men and women who believe in God should be elected to public office is false.

Akin and others stating their religious preference in a political campaign is not to be questioned. Article VI, Clause 3 of the Constitution states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” It does not negate the First Amendment’s guarantee of the freedoms of religion and speech, nor does it limit the criteria used by the voter.

Yet, a statement of one’s religion, especially membership in one of the more than 200 Christian sects in the United States, has become a must for any candidate.

The problem is the possible discrimination of those of the minority religions and atheists. In a June poll, Gallop provides some interesting insight to religion and politics. The acceptance of a Christian (which includes Catholics) or Jewish candidate is well over 90 percent and Mormons at 80 percent. Then a cliff.

Muslim candidates are accepted 58 percent of the time, a decrease from the 87 percent in 1999. This decrease may be based on two factors: a distrust of Muslims since the 9/11 attacks and an ever increasing attitude that Islam is not a real religion. A point of fact, Islam is a religion in the same vein as Judaism and Christianity and its members pray to the same God.

The acceptance of an atheist candidate by voters is 54 percent, an increase of 300 percent in my lifetime. Maybe a religious criterion is being questioned. Maybe the United States is in a better economic position.

Is one’s religion really relevant? Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and many religious organizations argue no. They say that within our pluralistic society, religion and government hold separate seats and are responsible for different entities — spiritual needs and secular laws.

For the next six weeks, we will not be able to escape the bombardment of political ads. Many — in my opinion, too many — of these will stress one’s religious preference. I am making only one request.

Ask yourself, “Would I still vote for this person if I did not know her or his religious preference?”

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.


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Comments

Michael Williams August 15, 2012 | 6:37 p.m.

"The argument of a candidate’s morality is relevant."
_______________________

Of course it is.

Of equal importance is their ethics. A person who, for example, believes it is A-OK to cut off the hand of a thief has an ethic which is, of course, a decision about right and wrong.

If that person follows that ethic and cuts off hands, that person is quite moral. If that same person believes cutting off hands is a proper ethic, but doesn't follow through, that person is immoral. A person who does not follow their ethic is immoral. A person who DOES follow their ethic is moral, even if you and I believe their ethic is repugnant.

You need an evaluation of both.

There's lots of "moral" people I would not want in public office, and most are liberals.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 15, 2012 | 10:55 p.m.

#"On Monday, St. Louis’s KMOX reported that, 'Congressman Todd Akin (opened his speech by thanking) God for hearing the prayers of his supporters and granting him victory in Missouri’s Republican U.S. Senate primary.'"

Which he had every right to do.

When will people who do not believe in God stop misinterpreting the Constitution, most certainly the First Amendment rights of every religion in America?

When you tred there, you are tredding all over the Constitution, in a nation founded for religious freedom.

When do you plan to take "in God we trust" off the dollar bill, and when do you plan to say that a believer cannot consider his/her body made in the image of God, a Holy Temple where you cannot stop prayer, anytime anywhere, because prayer is from the heart and God knows our thoughts even before we think/say them. The Amendment only clarifies that. Don't like it? Then maybe you should be in a country where there are no religious freedoms. There are plenty of them in the world, and I challenge you to find in the Consitution of this nation the clause that states exactly, "Separation of Church and State." You won't. Try the previous Russian Constitution, instead.

Read the First Amendment of the USA Constitution. It assures religious freedom, not denies it.

When you take away the right of one believer, you take away the rights of all believers - be they Buddists, Muslims, Christian or any other faith.

And you weaken our Constitution.

Akin, it is said, won a great deal of votes by staying postitive in his ads. Therefore, voters were able to learn about issues, and not about how mean one person can be in verbally attacking another person.

Maybe folks are just tired of all that bickering in our halls of Congress, and maybe folks would like to see someone who can carry on in a mature and civil manner, and finally get some things done that need to be done.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 16, 2012 | 5:01 a.m.

Well, Delcia, at least they do pay attention to the First Amendment, regardless of how improperly they may interpret it. They pay absolutely no attention to the Tenth Amendment. It's been repeatedly raped, sodomized, and beaten into a mere pulp. It's more than a bit surprising that it hasn't been repealed, since it obviously no longer has any relevancy.

As we know, it is possible to repeal an Amendment: the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, as we learned in school. There was (and maybe still is) a motorious drinking establishment called "The Eighteenth Amendment."

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 17, 2012 | 7:11 a.m.

Ellis,

Thank God for states rights. :)

Some of the Judicial Branch and some of the Federal Laws can be overturned by the people's vote in the state level.

Great forethought on our founding fathers' part.

(Report Comment)
David Rosman August 17, 2012 | 5:50 p.m.

Ms Crockett,

First, I did not say the rights of any religion should be taken away. I did not indicate any anti-religion sentiment in the column. What I am saying is that religion is not a criteria for a person of public trust.

A bit of a history lesson. "In God we trust" was not our national motto and "under God" was not in the pledge until the 1950's. Both were moves of propaganda against those "godless commies" of the old Soviet Union.

The U.S. is certainly not one nation "under God." There is a large population, including Buddhists, Jains, secular humanists and other non-theists who have no deity. Does our pledge, our money or our nation desire to discriminate against those who are non-believers in God, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto or the gods of Greece? The First Amendment says "no."

Should we be flaunting the God of Abraham on our currency? Is not doing so a public prayer to God, which, in Matthew 6:5-14, Jesus tells his followers not to do? It should be removed.

Do you want your God used as propaganda? I certainly did not when I was a devout Jew. I do not today as an atheist. It is sacrilegious in its most narrow sense.

If one whats to believe that she or he was created by God, that is perfectly fine by me. But flaunting God or Jesus and forcing belief on all is not an American ideal and needs to be avoided in all circumstances.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 17, 2012 | 9:45 p.m.

"flaunting God or Jesus and forcing belief on all"?
You perhaps, may be an atheist, but statements such as these, indicate that your decision has turned you to the left. Why, I wonder, not the right? Of course, it is the left that has most often in the last 50 years, developed the concern that Christians and Jews are "forcing" their religion upon we all in this nation. A free people, trying to retain their religious belief, having with it, built the greatest nation in the history of mankind can be accused of "flaunting God or Jesus and forcing belief on all", only by the lately (last 100, or so, years)noted socialists. These, after the failure of communism are taking another route, but religion and it's obstruction between people and their attention to an oppressive government, still remains problematic for that government. Imo, your efforts and opinions only favor those governments, not the livelihood of your readers.

My bit of history for tonight.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger August 17, 2012 | 10:35 p.m.

It is a "bit" indeed, Mr. Christian. I'd like to respond, but I have no accurate idea of what your post means. Might you clarify?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 18, 2012 | 6:31 a.m.

Frank, socialism and religion are not incompatible. Moreover, our country was founded on the idea that there would be no state religion. This means the state does not favor one religion, and taking religious symbols and mandatory prayer out of schools and public buildings go along with that idea. There's nothing intrinsically socialist or left-leaning about that.

If a candidate who happened to be a practicing Muslim were running for office, would that influence your vote? Why or why not?

DK

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 18, 2012 | 6:35 a.m.

Mr. Rosman:

I am Mrs. Crockett. Very much the wife, mother and grandmother.

I do not "flaunt" my belief in anything I am or will ever do. The way I think about belief is that anyone has the right to choose what his/her belief will be in this country.

People in my linage are patriots, given their lives for that freedom. I honor and cherish them, including my two sons who went to war for this country, and risk their very lives.

I have not been called to preach. Whether you choose to believe in God, or not - is entirely upon you. There is a church in every community of this town, and there are several persuasions from all over the world of which to choose am ong many diverse religions.

What I do find compelling is why anyone would deny believers the right to express their beliefs, when it is a guaranteed right in this country to do so.

Why take the Ten Commandments off the Court House Wall, when those rules in some form are in every code of conduct in any culture in the world? And, when you also have the person putting his hand on the Bible in the Court Room and swearing to tell "the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me to God"?

Athiesim is not a lack of a beleif system, but a belief system in itself. Why do athiests think they have the right to tell any other belief system those people cannot express their belief and must be silenced?

You don't want to believe in God? Fine. Just don't force your belief system on someone else under the farce of a premise that they are forcing theirs on you, by expressing theirs.

How great America is when it is big enough for us all. How small and narrow it becomes, when it is confined to one narrow view.

Done.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 18, 2012 | 6:57 a.m.

Delcia Crockett wrote:

"What I do find compelling is why anyone would deny believers the right to express their beliefs, when it is a guaranteed right in this country to do so."

No one denies you the right to express your beliefs. They deny the use of public property to display symbols of one religion.

If you display a Nativity scene on your lawn at Christmastime, that's expressing your belief. If you demand the city set up and pay for a Nativity scene on city property, that's very different.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 18, 2012 | 7:11 a.m.

Just another quick addendum - even if you donate the Nativity scene and set it up yourself, public property is still not an appropriate place for it. A church, private land, etc, is fine. Just not City Hall.

DK

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 18, 2012 | 7:52 a.m.

MarkF: If you display a Nativity scene on your lawn at Christmastime, that's expressing your belief. If you demand the city set up and pay for a Nativity scene on city property, that's very different.
_________________

I agree, but the problem goes much farther than any nativity scene.

The current anathema against religious people is quite strong, so-much-so that folks are led to believe they should just shut up when political or legal policies are argued. Ofttimes, a religious person will favor and argue a particular policy which may or may not have its foundation is that person's religion; but, whether it does or not, the claim is made that it does...quickly followed by a separation-of-church-and-state admonition.

I do not subscribe to the notion that because my advocacy for a particular policy is based upon my religion, I should just butt out of the argument. Quite the contrary, I intend to wade in with both feet. It is not my intention to force my religion on you; it IS my intention to force a concept that I believe is for the common good (it's important to understand my use of the word "force" here; I'm using it in the context of a "law" which is by its very definition a "forcing"...akin to "you cannot kill or steal or smoke in local public establishments or sell trans-fat".)

I have no intention of making you a Baptist, Catholic, Shintoist, Buddhist, or Muslim. I have no intention of forcing anyone to believe in a god, shiny rock, burning bush, or fairy godmother. But I do intend to work for a more civilized society, and if one of my religious beliefs happens to coincide with my perception of a more civilized society, then I intend to promote it. That action on my part is NOT a forcing of my religion on you; it IS the forcing (by law) of an idea that happens to be a component of my religion...even though it doesn't have to be. After all, religious and a-religious folks both can agree killing and stealing are bad even though one believes that "rule" comes from a higher referee while the other believes the "rule" stems from highly-evolved grey matter.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 18, 2012 | 9:22 a.m.

H. Ottinger - "I have no accurate idea of what your post means. Might you clarify?"

I can see me writing my little piece over again. I can also see you stating, "sorry, I didn't get it that time either." Just keep struggling with this text, you'll finally understand. As with Mr. Foote and my "word salad", you will understand what is in it, but you won't enjoy the taste.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 18, 2012 | 10:33 a.m.

Mark F. - I stayed up late, truthfully explaining the entities behind the historically "recent" animosity toward the Christian religion in this country. You then give me, "Frank, socialism and religion are not incompatible." "Christianity was introduced to the Americas as it was first colonized by Europeans beginning in the 16th and 17th centuries." It is still the prominent religion in the country. Folks with other beliefs have clamored to come and have been accepted by the largely Christian leaders since the inception of the U.S. Mingling in Americas "melting pot", two world wars involving fascists and a "cold" one involving communists were won. Not until the advent of liberalism around 1960 has Christianity become such a target for abuse. The use of "public property" for religious purposes was never problematic before that date and the legal actions of AU and ACLU. These are leftists and represent socialism in this country. They thus far are accepting Christianity in our country, but only if they don't have to hear or see it on "public property". Your argument is disingenuous, but it Is the argument presented by our liberals.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 18, 2012 | 4:16 p.m.

@"No one denies you the right to express your beliefs."

When you say that I cannot mention the name "Jesus" or talk to Him anywhere in America, then you have denied me due process to the First Amendment guarantee in the the US Constitution.

If you do not believe in God and do not pray to Him, then you tell me that I am forcing my religion on you by my wanting to say His Name or talk to Him, then, you have forced your belief on me.

If you do not want to pray, then don't. But just do not say that I cannot.

You choose your belief, and I will choose mine.

Then all things are truly equal. I haven't told you what to believe, and you haven't told me what to believe, and it is a matter of choice, no matter where we are at, at the moment.

By the way, I do not make a public display of my prayers, nor do I give in public view. I am very private, and I never announce what I give unto God, or others in His Name.

God knows, and that is enough for me.

I take communion in church, but you will never see me dropping any amount of money in any offering plate passed, even if one is paased.

More and more people are giving privately and online, so that the church budget is more than met, and all volunteer activities of feeding the homeless, etc. are more than fully covered.

I do not give out of the abundance of what I have, but I often take something off my list of personal purchases to give where there is a great need for it. I never announce what I give, or where, and I have - in fact - declined opportunities to be photographed or interviewed at events where I give voluntarily.

That said, you have a good point, as usual - Mark. I just know it is wrong for me, or for others I know who do not want their precious few freedoms taken away by a select few who think their viewpoint is the only one that should count.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 18, 2012 | 4:21 p.m.

@"I agree, but the problem goes much farther than any nativity scene."

Had the mess in front of the public library been named "Moses' Burning Bush," it would have been down in two weeks flat, according to what some folks ascribe to, in names what should or not be seen by a freedom-cited nation.

Just goes to show you, "A rose by any other name would smell the same."

;)

I don't want to convert you. I just want the same civil liberties as you have. Thank you.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 18, 2012 | 6:28 p.m.

Delcia:

OMG. Wow. You've written a lot of stuff in this place, but your ""Moses' Burning Bush" is, imo, the VERY BEST thing you've ever published here. I laughed.....hard. The moniker fits so well, the comment was pertinent to this discussion, there is humor, and there is truth.

In fact, I'm so amused and impressed by what you wrote, I have forever mentally renamed the art......"Moses' Burning Bush."

I intend to genuflect whenever I pass.

And what is even more precious, you say?

Every person, atheist or religious, who reads your comment will forever remember "Moses' Burning Bush" when they pass by. You may never see Rosman in the library again.

Wow.

It's like an Old Testament nativity scene...........on public property.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 18, 2012 | 9:37 p.m.

Delcia - I happily enjoin Mr. Wm's, in his congratulations for your "mess in front of the public library" reference to the uncalled for attack on our long held religious beliefs in this country. I told my Catholic wife, (who has never in her life tried to force her faith upon anyone, much less me.)of your assessment and heard a laughing retort of complete agreement.

Would Mark F., doubt that ACLU would jump on top of the Columbia Public Library, in a heartbeat? Would he say, "If you demand the city set up and pay for a Nativity scene on city property, that's very different."? We must stop this! And Delcia, thanks again.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 18, 2012 | 10:07 p.m.

Sorry Mike, enjoin was, of course, not the right word to describe my agreement with yours of Delcia's post. More appropriately, "enjoin" might be used in the legal action of ACLU against our library, for mentioning a Christian belief in a government sponsored area, if such an occurrence should happen to take place.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 18, 2012 | 11:03 p.m.

Micheal and Frank,

I learned a long time ago, that not only does God have a sense of humor, but that a believer's life is full of good, clean fun. It is also my most sincere belief that God created laughter in the purest form of the element of joy. I do not think He wants us to by unhappy, even for a minute.

The world did not create the "gusto" in life, in any sense of the word.

Dare I say that it is my most valued of prayers that the Columbia police officer, who came into my home to arrest me for writing and posting a note, and then told my husband to take my pen away, also sees when I continue to write and that I couldn't stop if I tried.

Glad you enjoyed and passed it on, Micheal and Frank!

Have a great day, folks!

This writer, alive and well in Columbia, Missouri!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 19, 2012 | 3:01 a.m.

Um, no one stops anyone from saying "Jesus", praying, going to church, displaying religious symbols on one's own property, etc. I'm not sure where you all get this "war on religion".

I'm not talking about the abortion debate, or any other legal applications of religious morality. I'm simply talking about the display of religious symbols on public property.

If a Muslim crescent were prominenetly displayed on Columbia's new city hall annex, there would be no end of protest, right? Why is the Ten Commandments any different? Public property belongs to all, and should remain neutral as far as something a personal (and divisive) as religion.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 19, 2012 | 6:41 a.m.

What is art rests largely in the eye of the beholder. Who said that? I just did. :)

For example, someone in the not too distant past suspended a crucifix in a vat of urine (his own) and called it "Piss Christ." Not everybody who saw it for real or saw photographs of it was happy. Is there a difference between art and provocation?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 19, 2012 | 12:44 p.m.

Back to Delcia's comment:

Three art projects are being evaluated for the Short Street garage.

One, called "Crossing Paths", looks like 3 hooded monks wandering in search of something. What if the artists name their project "Wandering 40 days in the Wilderness"? Would that name change your view of this art? With that kind of name, would you think the artists were trying to impose their religion on you....simply because of the English words they chose for the name?

It's still the same art and your beholding eye can see whatever it wants to see (nonsense descriptions from the artists of what you are SUPPOSED to see notwithstanding).

I believe Delcia is 100% right: If that library sculpture had been named "Moses' Burning Bush", it would NEVER have had a fighting chance. All because many of you would have believed "religion" was being foisted upon you by the artist. All because of a name; nothing else has changed.

I think that says more about a generalized hate of religion and the person expressing it than it does about keeping church and state separate. Let's call a spade a spade here. When Delcia pleas for the same rights as atheists or the a-religious, I think this concept is *exactly* what she is talking about! You limit her under the guise of "separation", but you are a liar about the reason.

PS: One of the Short Street projects looks like "Biscuits and Brie" (The Modern Last Supper?): I'm unsure of a proper moniker for the third one, but creative minds will undoubtedly contribute something.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 19, 2012 | 3:17 p.m.

Mark F. - Here is a note concerning the place of religion in our government.

Last page of the "other paper" mentions a law passed by the Continental Congress, in 1787. It's "second major bill made education a national priority." "Congress decreed that RELIGION, (my caps)morality and knowledge being NECESSARY to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged".

Not the founders whom, were writing about limitations on our government, in Bill of Rights and Constitution, not religion per se, but the legislators, themselves referred to religion as a necessity for good government! The AU and ACLU are hard at work to remove this "necessity" from us and our government.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. August 20, 2012 | 8:18 a.m.

So Frank, if we are to teach religion in education, what denomination should we teach? Just looking at Christianity, beliefs vary greatly between Baptists and Catholics.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 20, 2012 | 9:02 a.m.

R Cookley - Ask someone to read the English language to you in your tongue, Then comment.

Neither, that law nor my post, mentions "to teach religion in education".

(Report Comment)
mike mentor August 20, 2012 | 9:15 a.m.

Sorry, my fellow right siders. I am going to have to agree with those heathans on the other side this time. Thou shalt not kill is not a problem. There is nothing exclusionary about that being put up in public places with public funds. However, when you start with, "I am the Lord thy God Thou shalt have no other Gods", we have a problem. There is really no defense for this if you have a proper respect for the constitution. Freedom from religious tyranny is a basic right given by the constitution. You have a personal right to think less of others because of their religion, or lack of, but the state does not.

Frank, I wholeheartedly agree with you that we are in the midst of a moral breakdown in this Country. Personal responsibility seems to be at odds with the socialistic ideals of everyone deserves everything and everyone gets a ribbon. However, I do not feel that fear of God will restore this personal responsibility that we desperately need. Christianity is not the only way to restore an ethical society and having that view is not only directly at odds with the constitution, but is also very ego centric. About on the same timeline you give for God being squeezed out of society, we have seen the rise of socialistic ideals. Take what you can from your fellow citizens and don't feel guilty about it, becasue you deserve it. Even though the opposite is true and ethical. We need the government to treat people with the same disdain for lack of personal responsibility that we would treat our own children with. It can be done, but I am not holding my breath...

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub August 20, 2012 | 10:38 a.m.

The fact that there around 30,000 different forms of the Christian religion says volumes about the desire people have to find some religious meaning in their life that reflects their own personal belief. I would say that if one feels the need to defend their religion they themselves are questioning their religion. True also of Islam. It is not possible to place quotes from all religions on a public building so why should any religion get to pick. Everybody has some sort of belief system and that should be enough. I don't think anyone would choose to have a monument to a belief system that is not theirs displayed on a public building, with their money.

For those of you who so vehemently criticize the art in front of the library, presumably because it isn't easily understood, art is not just a realistic depiction of an understood object it often is the artist's interpretation of anything; an object, or an idea. However this particular piece is depicting something which most of you know and is often used as a symbol for reading. The next time you are on Garth and Broadway across the street from the library and facing the library look at it and think Don Quixote. He is there on his horse with his spear.

(Report Comment)
David Rosman August 27, 2012 | 11:57 p.m.

Mrs. Crockett,

My apologies, but without knowing you or your background, Ms. is appropriate. I will not make that error again.

You wrote:"Why take the Ten Commandments off the Court House Wall, when those rules in some form are in every code of conduct in any culture in the world?" That fact is, this is not true.

Before I respond as to why, to which Ten Commandments are you referring? The Jewish, the Roman Catholic, or the Protestant Ten Commandments? Those found in Exodus 20 or those found in Exodus 34? Or the commandments from Matt. 5-7, Jesus's Sermon on the Mount?

There is nothing in the Constitution that refers to any Biblical writings. The commandments that require a person to believe in the God of Abraham are no where to be found in our founding documents. Now where in the Japanese or German constitutions, or Swiss, or French.

The only nations that require adherence to biblical law are those which have become radical and intolerant of other religions and ethnicities. The most extreme is the Taliban along with Protestant England,pre-revolution France and Catholic Spain. Religious intolerance was one of the primary reasons for that Jefferson's letter of separation in 1776.

(Report Comment)
Ed Ricciotti August 28, 2012 | 8:34 a.m.

If you want the ten commandments to hang in courthouses, better make room for the Code of Hammurabi.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 28, 2012 | 8:35 a.m.

"There is nothing in the Constitution that refers to any Biblical writings."

The 10th Amendment of the Constitution refers to this statement.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 28, 2012 | 2:30 p.m.

Please do explain Frank, because my copy of the Tenth Amendment doesn't say a thing about the Bible, the Talmud, or the Koran.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 28, 2012 | 4:10 p.m.

And Mr. Rosman writes that it is not mentioned in the Constitution itself.

Does your 10th read, "The powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution.... I'm assuming if not mentioned in the Constitution or prohibited by it to the States, then the United States has no business trying to regulate where Bible or Ten Commandments may be shown, in any State.

If you want to tell me I'm wrong, you better hurry, I won't be able to read you tomorrow.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 28, 2012 | 4:33 p.m.

The states are beholden to follow the Bill of Rights just like the feds, thus they have to follow the First Amendment. Wikipedia has a good article on the history of the First Amendment, but nothing on the Ten Commandments. I'm hoping to read it later tonight.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 28, 2012 | 5:06 p.m.

Good point! But, the most controversy from ACLU, AU, etc, is taken to federal court, is it not?

(Report Comment)

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