July 12, 2004

Please read slowly and carefully,...

from - smijer

I would like to thank the Church for this wonderful piece. I shall add Margaret Sayre to my list of outspoken atheists. Where should I add this fella?

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Posted by smijer at July 12, 2004 10:48 PM
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So... what's the difference? If it is all superstition, what is offensive about it? I don't get my panties in a bunch when someone throws salt over thier shoulder after spilling the cellar. I don't get twisted when Sumo wrestlers toss salt into the sumo ring. Why is this superstition so much more aggregious than the others?

univar.jpg Posted by Phelps on July 13, 2004 11:24 AM
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Wrong or right, she is asking for separation of superstition and state as per the Constitution. I actually don't know if this qualifies since we are talking about voluntary prayer on the part of the seniors in question.. but you know, unless your superstition specifically requires you to vocalize your prayers, it would have been polite of the group to say their's silently. Even if she is wrong, she's trying to do something important (protect separation), and she's going about it in a dignified way, not stooping to the antics her opposition have stooped to. Therefore I admire her.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on July 13, 2004 12:29 PM
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There is no seperation of church and state in the constitution. There is a prohibition against the establishment of a state religeon. To try to read state-mandated secularism on that is the same as trying to make a law that makes it illegal to quarter troops in your house. (3rd amendment.)

univar.jpg Posted by Phelps on July 13, 2004 06:14 PM
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I disagree strongly with you over whether there is separation of church and state in the constitution. I don't want to argue it.. it has been argued by sharper minds than yours or mine.

I'm pretty sure, now that I've thought about it, that this qualifies. The state run senior center created the "moment of silence" before supper - that's constitutional, since there is no overt religious meaning to it. However, since all participants are asked to observe it, if it becomes a moment of spoken prayer during times set up by the government then it breaches that "wall of separation" that Jefferson believed was necessary to keep the goverment from sneaking in establishment through the gray areas. If they old ladies want to pray out loud before they eat (during the time that atheist lady is humming a song about spaghetti because she isn't asked to take a moment of silence before the meal), that's their business. However, if the government sets aside time that all of the ladies (including the non-superstitious) are asked to observe, and it becomes a time of spoken prayer, then the government is in effect asking the atheist lady to observe a time of spoken prayer. When the government asks you to observe a religious ritual - that's the establishment of religion in my book.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on July 13, 2004 06:24 PM
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