Friday, June 24, 2011

Commenter LukeL: " Are you suggesting the Government should use a loophole to fire a Judge who's judgement you disagreed with?"

United States Constitution, Article 3 section 1:

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

The Constitutional authority of Congress to "ordain and establish" federal courts is not a "loophole". It is a duty explicitly conferred on Congress by the Constitution. The Congressionally appointed judges in Congressionally ordained federal judicial districts "shall hold their Offices during Good Behavior".

This is Judge Fred Biery's "behavior":

A federal judge has ordered a Texas school district to prohibit public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including “prayer” and “amen.”

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Christa and Danny Schultz. Their son is among those scheduled to participate in Saturday’s graduation ceremony. The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would “suffer irreparable harm” if anyone prayed at the ceremony.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the school district is in the process of appealing the ruling, and his office has agreed to file a brief in their support [my emphasis]

The (atheist) plantiff would suffer "irreparable harm" if he listened to a prayer?

Judge Biery should be removed simply on the basis of insanity. Do you really believe that the atheist kid would suffer "irreparable harm" by listening to a girl say a prayer in public?

Judge Biery issued a list of words that the valedictorian (a private citizen) was prohibited to speak during her speech.

This is 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.

To LukeL: find the authority granted to a Federal Judge (an agent of the government) to issue a pre-emptive list of forbidden words to a private citizen? Find the authority of a Federal Judge to issue a pre-emptive list of forbidden words to anyone, including actual government workers (e.g. teachers, principals). What about "freedom of speech"? What about 'free exercise of religion"? Do you really think that a teenage girl thanking God in her graduation speech is an "Establishment of Religion"? Countless thousands of kids have mentioned God in graduation speeches throughout our nation's history: have we had countless thousands of 'Establishments of Religion'?

Why is it that you hold students and school personnel accountable for your bizarre interpretation of the Constitution, but you hold Judge Biery, a Federal official who is sworn to uphold the Constitution and who violated the Constitution with his order, harmless and exempt from redress?

This is your assertion: a kid can be arrested, fined and imprisoned (the penalties for violating a federal court order) for 'establishing' a national religion by saying a prayer at a graduation speech, but a federal judge who violates her right to free exercise of religion and her right to freedom of speech is immune from redress?


You don't seem to understand what the separation of church and state is, and why you should be a defender of it. It is a Public School event. There fore it is an instrument of the Government. Therefore it must be kept secular to protect both the state from religion, and religion from the state.

'Separation of church and state' is not in the Constitution and is not Constitutional Law. The judge is an instrument of the govenment; the kid is a private citizen. The judge violated her rights.


I suggest thinking about what you would say if a student stood up at that Graduation ceremony and called on everyone to pray in the name of Allah. Or Vishnu. Or whatever other specific deity you can name.

I would be happy to hear a student offer a Muslim (or Jewish or Buddhist or Zooastrian...) prayer. I would be happy to hear a student talk about her atheism. I like hearing other people's opinions, and I wouldn't be "irreparably harmed" at all. I'm happy to hear other peoples' beliefs, at graduations, in discussions, everywhere. I like freedom of speech, and unlike atheists, I like it for everyone, not just myself.

The best way to prevent an Establishment of Religion is to allow all people to express their views.

I believe in freedom of speech and free expression of religion, which are the best protections against religious establishment.

Judge Biery violated the student's First Amendment right to freedom of speech and free expression of religion by ordering her not to speak certain religious words. He should be held accountable for this act, just as a police officer who violates your rights is held accountable.

Judge Biery should be removed from the bench, now.

Please sign the petition to remove him.


  1. Typically, for matters subject to "Egnorance," you don't know what you are talking about.

    First of all, Federal judges can only be removed for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" (Article II, Section 4). If simply being wrong was a high crime or misdemeanor, you'd already be a life prisoner.

    Second, the judge did not order "The young lady who was to give the valedictory address" not to pray. In fact, the appeals court noted that the judge's order "did not expressly address the involvement of the valedictorian in the graduation ceremony." The students (even remotely) in question were, according to the school's own program, slated to deliver an "invocation" and "benediction." If you don't understand the argument that government-sponsored "invocations" and "benedictions" violate the Constitution, that is just a piece with the rest of your "Egnorance."

    Third, the judge did not issue the order against the students (and, therefore, no penalty could be imposed against them). He ordered that:

    The District, through its officials, shall instruct the students previously selected to deliver the "invocation" and "benediction" to modify their remarks to be statements of their own beliefs as opposed to leading the audience in prayer. These students, and all other persons scheduled to speak during the graduation ceremony, shall be instructed not to present a prayer, to wit, they shall be instructed that they may not ask audience members to "stand," "join in prayer," or "bow their heads," they may not end their remarks with "amen" or "in [a deity's name] we pray," and they shall not otherwise deliver a message that would commonly be understood to be a prayer, nor use the word "prayer" unless it is used in the student's expression of the student's personal belief, as opposed to encouraging others who may not believe in the concept of prayer to join in and believe the same concept. The students may in stating their own personal beliefs speak through conduct such as kneeling to face Mecca, the wearing of a yarmulke or hijab or making the sign of the cross.

    Fourth, if a police officer announced that he or she was going to go to your house, illegally search it and beat you up in the process, would a court have to wait until that happened before issuing an order to against it? "Irreparable harm" is a term of legal art that you are as "Egnorant" of as biological science. It simply means that the complainant can not be made "whole" if the court waits until after the fact to address the wrong.

    Fifth, the appeals court reversed the judge's order in no small part because the school district obeyed his order and "abandoned including the words "invocation" and "benediction" on the program."

    In short, you are bloviating (once again) on a subject you have no knowledge of.

    There can be rational arguments about whether the judge in this case was right in the first instance. As usual, you have not come close to making any.

  2. A neurosurgeon holding forth on constitutional law? V. interesting.
    Mike the next time your car breaks down consult the nearest shaman you can find on Long Island.

  3. It seems LukeL is missing half the picture (big shocker from the Atheist set!).
    The separation of Church and state (render unto Caesar)cuts both ways. In the USA it is both to prevent the establishment of a state religion BECAUSE of the potential of that state religion to oppress other religions. This judge has crossed that line. He is enforcing politics (the state) on the religious! If this is not obvious to your readers, they should cut back on the sedatives.
    These laws were not put in place to pander to materialist nut-jobs, but to prevent such people -under the guise of religion - from imposing their political views in a metaphysical setting (ie Church, Temple, or Mosque).
    I am not sure what the personal motives of this judge are, but he is TOOL in every sense of the word.
    As for your comment on Evil: The absence of good leads to evil. The disbelief in good (morality) IS evil.
    Kudos once again!

  4. John, since when has the ability to use 'cut and paste' been the measure of a man's reason?
    The ruling is a farce. Your defence of it speaks your desperation in this argument. Wrap it up any way you like it - but this complaint, ruling, and entire position reek of INTOLERANCE.

  5. Anonymous, if you ever break down in NYC, maybe you better make sure that mechanic does not have a cross, star of David, or Muslim decal in his tow-truck, or you could very well be 'irreparably damaged' by your exposure to his theism!

  6. John, since when has the ability to use 'cut and paste' been the measure of a man's reason?

    Since when has the ignorance of what a person is talking about not been the measure of a man's reason?

    The ruling specifically allowed for religious expression by students but that is supposed to be "INTOLERANCE"? Or is forbidding the majority use everyone's tax money to impose a particular belief on everyone somehow being "intolerant" of the majority?

    War is peace; freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

  7. John,
    War is peace; freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

    And Egnorance is Bliss!

  8. LOL Anon! Nice plug.
    An Orwell quote! WOW!And straight from the Ministry of Love, too.
    Tell me John: What Church does Winston attend in '1984'? I recall something about a rhyme...
    Reason is not a measure of a man's knowledge or ignorance either, John. It is a tool, a methodology of thought.
    Reason would tell you that if you find someone ignorant and irritating you avoid them. No?
    Now on to your comments on tolerance:
    Use everyone's tax money? For a NM high school graduation?
    I imagine her parents tax money was used to fund the ceremony, but who exactly was billing the taxpayer for her speech? I know of no HS that PAY speakers at graduation events, let alone with federal tax dollars.
    As for the Atheist student (ideologue parents actually) was there an effort to force them to pray at this graduation. Perhaps to convert to some theistic religion? No. Their disbelief was not at issue, until they made it the issue.
    How is that for reasonable?
    Now doublethink hard on it, comrade. I know you belly-feel this subject!