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Persecution of Atheists in Kentucky

unconstitutional persecution of atheists stupidity

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#31    markdohle

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:00 PM

This is a joke, there is no way this can be a law, or if it is, a useless one LOL.

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#32    Mr Walker

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:19 PM

View Posteight bits, on 01 December 2012 - 01:23 PM, said:

Or, demosntrates a reasonable adherence to the rule of law which might be misunderstood by an outsider who, perhaps, fields a sketchy knowledge of our law.

Many things are possible, Mr Walker.

We seem to have a disagreement about the facts in the Kentucky. The sign in question does not say "In God we trust." I doubt a court would order that a sign bearing the motto of the United States be removed from a government building.



Not in United States law. If something is unconstitutional, then it is unconstitutional back to its inception, or the adoption of the constitutional provision it violates, whichever is later.


The provision in question is the Fourteenth Amendment, which was adopted long after the French Revolution. The First Amendment was drafted only with respect to the federal government. When the rights in question were extended to state activities, after the Civil War, a whole new range of possible disputes was created.

Kentucky could indeed have jailed atheists for their impiety before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment (except for provisions in its own constitution, maybe). It certainly could have posted the sign that actually concerns us here (we know that because the complaint has already been through the Kentucky courts).

The law allows all the religious expression you could want, Mr Walker, including access to the public square. You just can't send me the bill, or use a building that taxes built for the permanent display of a doctrinal tract.
I appreciat it might be law That fdoes not make it sensible or good law. And i guess american law can be differnt to uk derived law but generally laws have to be tested by case and precedent to make an individual case Ie the constituionalityof anything would have tot be tested in a case to establish its validity or not.

But in general terms can the govt, state or federal, fund chapels or chaplains,  of any faith, in state or federally funded; schools, hospitals or other institutions? Can anyone in such an institution say a  public prayer in any faith, for the health or well being of a member. Eg could a school principal say a prayer for a student who was gravely ill, or for protection of all students over the holidays/ Could a politicain make a public prayer for another member of their parliament. If not then,rather than protect the rights of all citizens, the law is discriminating against a majority of them.

What happens when churches and state jointly fund schools,   aged care/retirement homes, employment  or welfare offices, or hospitals or even universities? Does the public funding preclude religious imagery, plaques,  religious practices, or prayers in those institutions? Does it prevent a basically religious institution from exercising any form of religiousity in its constitution,  mission statement, or practical care because of some state funding?

In Australia the reverse occurs. The expression of all religious/spiritual beliefs and practices, including non belief, is protected by law and so is the free expression of  any religion, including in any govt institution. We have had people from many different faiths, including a number of non christians; speak, give seminars, say prayers, etc. at our govt. school, in assemblies, meetings, forums and drama/music productions, for example. A parent may withdraw a student from any such activity.
As a consequence, we have almost none of the secular/religious deep divisions which seem to be deeply embedded in American culture and law.
The issue of taxation is a furphy. I pay about $20000 dollars a year tax. Most of it is probably either wasted or goes to causes i disapprove of, but that is the taxation system we have, organised by a govt we elected. If people can argue to withdraw taxes when the govt funds things they disapprove of, the whole edifice would collapse.

Edited by Mr Walker, 01 December 2012 - 11:31 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#33    eight bits

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:13 PM

Quote

And i guess american law can be differnt to uk derived law but generally laws have to be tested by case and precedent to make an individual case Ie the constituionalityof anything would have tot be tested in a case to establish its validity or not.

The very idea of "Constitution" is different in the UK and the US. Putting aside the blood and treasure Americans spent long ago to reject the UK's "Constitution," a written constitution (what the US has)  is an ontological object, not a concept. Litigation plays a role in both systems, and perhaps it is fair to say that in the UK, that role is closer to determination of what the Costitution "is" and will be thereafter. In the American system, litigation is more like the means by which readers learn more about what is, and always has been since the adoption of a provision, the meaning of the provision.

There is a different psychology at work here, and a different anthropology as well. Fortunately, the case before us is fairly simple: Kentucky cannot lawfully offer doctrinal instruction in its lawmakers' religion at taxpayer expense. Although all cases add something to our knowledge, this case can only add a little bit to what is already known about this kind of activity, since parallel controversies have already been litigated.

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But in general terms can the govt, state or federal, fund chapels or chaplains,  of any faith, in state or federally funded; schools, hospitals or other institutions?

Yes, to a certain extent. On this subject of religion, the Constitution gives the governments a dual mandate of incompatible character: not to establish religion, but not to interfere with its free expression, either.

A prisoner or a member of the military necessarily gives up some liberties, but not all. If these people are to retain their free expression rights, then the government (it would seem) must become involved in providing them the means to exercise those rights. Schools and hospitals present problems of their own, and what the government can or must do in those situations depends on the particulars of the situation.

I would need more information to discuss your hypotheticals, and to be frank, real life provides enough juicy fleshed-out controversies in this area that I'd rather spend my energy on the ones that actually come up. For example, the disposition of this topic's case turns on the particulars of the wording of the sign. What some people would call a "small" change in the text would have turned the situation 180 degrees, from impermissible religious imposition to fully permissible speech.

Of course, you know much more than I ever will about the Australian situation, and I thank you for telling me more about it. To the extent a comparison with the United States reveals "divisions" in this area in the the US, I think that those might more fairly be described as the tensions which are inevitable in a numerous and diverse people, everyone of whom is free to be emphatically expressive in an area where human beings have always had strong opinions, heavy emotional investment, and limited patience with competing points of view.

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#34    Sean93

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:45 PM

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"Be peaceful, be courteous, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

#35    scowl

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:59 PM

View Posteight bits, on 30 November 2012 - 12:12 PM, said:

There actually is no penalty for not acknowledging the role of God.

Not now. History has shown that penalties are often the next step when seemingly harmless and innocuous laws are passed but are not followed. That's why legislation like this needs to be stopped before it becomes harmful.

[edit]
Also if I read this right, the person responsible for posting it can lose their job if he or she refuses. The legislation makes it this person's duty to follow this law.

Edited by scowl, 06 December 2012 - 06:07 PM.


#36    Sean93

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:15 AM

Laws like this is why I love and hate humans equally; we're nuts as a species but it brings me so much entertainment so I can't be totally pissed of with these rednecks.

"Be peaceful, be courteous, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

#37    eight bits

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:25 PM

scowl

Quote

Not now. History has shown that penalties are often the next step when seemingly harmless and innocuous laws are passed but are not followed. That's why legislation like this needs to be stopped before it becomes harmful.

Unsure where you're going with that. A legislative finding has no penalty for violating it because  no thought, word or deed whatsoever "violates" a finding. There is no first step for a next step to follow. State penalties for physically possible irreligion are prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment, a situation likely to persist. Of course, come the Constitutional Convention, all bets are off.

If by proposing that dubious findings be "stopped," you meant that the Kentucky electorate might profitably be offered reasoned advice about choosing more discerning representatives, then I'm all for it.

Quote

Also if I read this right, the person responsible for posting it can lose their job if he or she refuses. The legislation makes it this person's duty to follow this law.

The legislature doesn't usually have hiring and firing authority over executive branch personnel. The matter is speculative, since the incumbent didn't refuse. Odds are there won't be a sign when the next director takes over, IMO.

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#38    scowl

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

View Posteight bits, on 07 December 2012 - 06:25 PM, said:

The legislature doesn't usually have hiring and firing authority over executive branch personnel. The matter is speculative, since the incumbent didn't refuse. Odds are there won't be a sign when the next director takes over, IMO.

Not following their duties as specified by the law is grounds for dismissal. By law, it is their duty to hang this sign.


#39    eight bits

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:19 PM

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Not following their duties as specified by the law is grounds for dismissal. By law, it is their duty to hang this sign.

You seem very attached to this hypothetical. I don't see how a suit could arise except that the imaginary director believed there was a legal defect in his or her statutory responsibility. If so, then the imaginary director would presumably assert that the matter is expected to be before the courts, and thereby defer his or her compliance until the possible defect is fully resolved.

As it happened, the real guy saved a step and hung the sign, as he was paid to do. That's not so bad, either. Now, the federal court can concentrate on whether the sign stays or goes. Simple is good.

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#40    scowl

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:27 PM

View Posteight bits, on 07 December 2012 - 10:19 PM, said:

You seem very attached to this hypothetical.

What hypothetical? If a government employee must do something to comply with the law, they do it or they get fired.


#41    eight bits

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:40 PM

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What hypothetical? If a government employee must do something to comply with the law, they do it or they get fired.

As I said, realistically, the case arises only if the director thinks that the statute is defective. If so, then deferring compliance pending litigation may well stay any personnel action. Thus, it is possible (even likely) for a government employee not to do something which they "must do ... to comply with the law" but not to be fired.

I may have mentioned that the actual director hung the sign. The director who didn't hang the sign is not the actual director. In a word, the director who didn't hang the sign is hypothetical.

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#42    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:55 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 29 November 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

In the 21st century that is truly mind-boggling and shocking.

It's not that mind boggling and shocking to me. I unfortunately live in Kentucky atm... <_< (Hope to change that soon...)

The absence of being a Christian in this state as not only frowned upon but dangerous. I don't have to worry about that personally since I follow the teachings of Christ by choice, but the same kind of extremist views and actions are politically as well, and I did have a reason to worry about that. I was actually afraid to put up any political signs endorsing Obama for fear my property would be vandalized... It's THAT serious down here...

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#43    Sean93

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:50 AM

More on such persecution http://www.reuters.c...E8B900520121210

"Be peaceful, be courteous, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”




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