Monday, January 16, 2012

In Rhode Island, anti-Christian kristallnacht continues

Mandatory Civic Atheism took another step forward last week.

Rhode Island U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux ruled in favor of plaintiff Jessica Ahlquist in her demand that a 50 year-old prayer asking students to be good neighbors and citizens be removed from the auditorium wall in her high school. Lagueux' ruling is here. Read it, if you have the stomach for it.

The ruling is as clear an example of anti-Christian bigotry guised in legal sophistry as you could ask for. The absurdities are obvious. Lagueux claims that Ahlquist suffered tangible harm from the presence of the prayer-- an anodyne prayer with minimal reference to "Our Heavenly Father" that exhorts students to good civic behavior-- something for which Ms. Ahlquist certainly needs a bit of after-class help. If Ms. Ahlquist actually suffered emotional harm from the mere sight of a banal prayer mural, she needs psychiatric, not legal, help.

Lagueux bases much of his decision on the Lemon Test. The Lemon Test is a controversial doctrine fabricated in a Supreme Court ruling several decades ago. It has no basis in the text of the Constitution. The "test" has three prongs:

The government's action must have a secular legislative purpose;
The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.

The prayer mural is not an act of legislation, and it has a clear secular purpose (encouraging good citizenship) with a minor religious component. The only religious reference is that it is phrased as a prayer- "Our Heavenly Father... Amen". The salient content is entirely secular-- "to be kind and honest to our classmates and teachers... to bring credit to Cranston High School West."

The mural is much less religious than, say, Lincoln's Second Inaugural or Washington's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation or Bill Clinton's Second Inaugural Address, among countless other public prayers by government officials.

The mural obviously does not have the primary effect of advancing religion. Its self-evident purpose is exhortation to good citizenship, merely phrased in the form of a prayer.

Ironically, Ahlquist's and Lagueux' censorship does have an obvious primary purpose to inhibit the public expression of religion. Ahlquist is a Christianity-hating atheist, and the judge's ruling itself-- a government action that inhibits religion in civic life-- violates the Lemon Test.

And it is obvious that the ruling excessively entangles government-- the federal courts-- with religion, by micromanaging a high school's wall murals based on the anti-religious bigotry of a single student.

Our government and civic life is saturated with references to God (in presidential speeches, on national monuments, in our founding documents) that would consign such expression to the fire if federal censors judges had the balls to censor them with the same frenzy they censor the (in reality) Constitutionally protected expression of ordinary Americans.

Rhode Island's show trial is another example, as if you needed another example, of the incessant war that atheist thugs and judges with brown shirts under black robes are waging against Christian faith and its Constitutionally protected public expression. The only government-sponsored Christian artifacts the judiciary routinely protects are crucifixes soaked in urine and paintings of the Blessed Virgin smeared in feces and adorned with close-ups of female genitalia cut from pornographic magazines.

Now consider Lagueux' critique of the school prayer mural:
... it is still maintained and located in a place of honor to the right of the stage... the School Committee endorsed the position of those who believe that it is acceptable to use Christian prayer to instill values in public schoolchildren...In between, the Prayer espouses values of honesty, kindness, friendship and sportsmanship. While these goals are commendable, the reliance on God’s intervention as the way to achieve those goals is not consistent with a secular purpose.

It was the fact that the prayer was honored and commendable that Judge Lagueux used to ground his order to remove it. The crux of Lagueux' decision against the mural is not that it was a government-sponsored Christian artifact that was displayed publicly. No court has ever ruled that a government-sponsored Christian artifact smeared in urine or feces and adorned with pornographic images is an unconstitutional entanglement of government with religion. You'll notice that courts never demand removal of government-supported artifacts that insult Christianity.

The objection to the prayer mural-- made explicit by Lagueux in his opinion-- is that it was a Christian artifact that was displayed respectfully.


  1. So the ruling that a prayer mural in a public school is illegal equals the Kristallnacht in what way exactly?

    Were dozens of Christians murdered during the trial?

    Were tens of thousands of Christians rounded up and sent to concentration camps after the trial?

    Were the homes and businesses of tens of thousands of Christians destroyed after the ruling?

    Egnor, you are a anti-semitic morally bankrupt clown.

  2. Michael,

    'You'll notice that courts never demand removal of government-supported artifacts that insult Christianity'.

    OK, list the cases in which the courts have been asked to adjudicate, and have decided not to order the removal of works insulting of Christianity. I suspect that in America, they are extremely rare if not nonexistent.

    Anything regarded as insulting to religion including Christianity gets so much public criticism, often organized, if not violent, that I doubt it would get to court.

  3. Nazi persecutions began with small things ...

  4. even Nazis ordered the removal of the religious symbols as the crucifix from the walls...
    Emblematic is the history of Maria Restituta:

  5. @Domics:

    Great reference on Sr. Restituta. Thanks.

  6. @bach:

    [OK, list the cases in which the courts have been asked to adjudicate, and have decided not to order the removal of works insulting of Christianity]

    In order for courts to decide such cases, plantiffs must sue.

    Name for me one atheist or atheist organization that has filed a lawsuit demanding removal of a government-supported Christian symbol that insults Christianity.

    If you want to know how much atheist litigation is based on anti-Christian bigotry, and how much is based on respect for the Constitution, this question is a great place to start.

    1. Michael,

      See my answer below. You've conceded my point. You argued that courts have never ordered the removal of items that insult Christianity. You have conceded that they've never been asked to adjudicate.

  7. A lawyer once told me that courts of law are where injustices are made! This is yet another proof of what he said.

  8. Nazi legislation provided among other things the removal of street signs with Jewish associations. In some towns, all Jewish names were scratched off war memorials of the first world war...

    ex: "Purification also meant renaming streets that commemorated Jewish personages or neighborhoods. This process caused Nazi officials much anxiety. In Munich, the city administration found that despite having renamed many streets after 1933, eleven still bore Jewish names in 1937. These streets were immediately renamed...". (Koshar Rudy, "From monuments to traces: artifacts of German memory, 1870-1990", p. 125/126).

    Maybe someone at that time said: this is only a names'removal; no one is killed, nobody's home is ransacked...

  9. This decisions, it seems to me, is wholly inconsistent with the reality in which we live.
    Consider another Federal ruling earlier this week which struck down a popular Oklahoma State law forbidding a paralleled legal system, explicit Islamic Sharia law. It was ruled that by not allowing the practice of Sharia in Oklahoma they had violated the religious rights of the plaintiff (a Muslim).
    So, according to this Onkel Sam, the rights of a Muslim include his own financial (no interest) rules, marriage rules (polygamy, male slanted divorce, child marriage), and labour rules (indentured servitude).
    Sure, people will say 'there are already laws against that stuff in Oklahoma'. So what?
    If these decisions are made in a SHARIA court, Oklahoman justices will never hear about it. Any Muslim that does NOT use the Sharia system will be marginalized by the religious authority (who backed the law suite).
    Muslims are implicitly permitted to form a paralleled legal system.

    What we are left with is a cocktail of intolerance and appeasement.
    Prejudiced, cowardly and likely to cause a massive blowback within the populist movements...but I will get to that.

    This Judges ruling in Connecticut is as exactly as Dr Egnor describes. It is the federal legal micromanagement of a school in order to enforce a religious position: Atheism/Positivism.
    Is this ruling not a DIRECT violation of that constitutional law it was supposed to be ruling in favour of? A federal judge STIFLING the religious expression of the Christian majority to save a single atheist girl from the 'harm' of being upset by it? They could have easily ruled the girl should be allowed to arrange a secular banner to hang along side the so called 'prayer' banner, or simply dismissed the case as trivial (it is!)
    But that would not exert enough POWER, perhaps, for the judge's liking.
    Some may argue the Doctor's Rhetoric (Nazis etc) is overboard. I can see a Western Jew, for example, thinking the comparison is unfair. But it is the exact comparison made by an Israeli (secular Jew) colleague of mine : "This is how the Nazis did the creeping before the walking. Look out!' By that he meant, as he explained, was the removal of any symbolisms the exceeded their own SECULAR authority.
    Surely it has not gotten quite that far, and hopefully never will, but this is a BIG goose-step in the right (left) direction for the modern day 'brown shirts' of positivism

  10. CNTD

    So what does this say to me, an outsider looking in?
    It says these judges, these agitators, and their proponents seek to create a air of relative interpretation of US Constitutional concepts. They seek to redefine and reinterpret the words in that document for their own cause, rather than seek redress by AMENDING it with popular consent.
    This type of precedent -if allowed to continue - will, obviously, eventually render that constitution USELESS and obsolete. It does not take a legal expert to note this pattern with laws within the record of history.
    Is that moral impotence the goal, or simply a bi-product of their totalitarian visions of secular Utopia? Only the lawyers who used this girl to promote their religious doctrines (positivism) can answer that question.
    The end result? Perhaps a new explicitly secular constitution that omits a divine reference?
    This legal push (putsch?) is not an isolated event. To see this effort in context, we must consider the similar efforts to revise history, and to control public cultural and traditional displays. It is a NAKED concerted effort
    to deracinate America and make something 'new'.
    'Profound Change'?
    Now to the blowback.
    Thank God the majority of Americans find these judges and their ability to arbitrarily redirect the nation a serious problem. The majority also happen to be Christians (like the founding regime) and take offence to being singled out for legal persecutions by a TINY fringe.
    The Positivists have sought legal momentum in these workings.
    An analogy? They seek to exert force to move another group far more massive than their own UP hill toward an unseen imaginary position that they prefer - their Utopia.
    Their tool is intolerance, and it has moved the opposing group (maj of Americans) ever so slightly from it's base - but they do not have the force or tools to push it further up hill. Sooner or later it will begin to slide back down. Let's all pray they move THEMSELVES with the tools of tolerance before they are trampled in the stampede back to their stable and functional base.
    On a personal level, when I read things like the judgement laid down by this Judge I moved to pray:
    God Save our Queen and the Court of St James, God Bless and keep His Holiness the Pope of Rome and his Holy See, and may God save America and her democratic experiment with individual freedom from the devices of those men who seek to end it by oppressing the faith of those individuals who make (made) her great.

  11. @domics
    (would not let me reply?)

    "First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me."

    Pastor Martin Niemöller

  12. Holy shit folks! This is it! The beginning of the end! They're like nazis! We'll be rounded up and destroyed!! AHHH!

    So the religious bullies got shot down on another way of sneaking their agenda into a public school. Waaaaaa!

    For the umpteenth time: Atheism is NOT a religion!

    It was a public school. There's such a thing as compulsory education, dictated by the U.S. GOVERNMENT. So, any type of religious message doesnt belong there. PERIOD.
    If you want your kids to be exposed to constant religious massages and to pray all day, then send them to a catholic school. Isnt that why they're here? Or was it because the jesuits found another good way of making money, and to inculcate the young into the hive mind?

  13. Mulder,
    Nobody is suggesting were are being rounded up. Maybe you should read my response without bigot lens on.
    I, for one, am suggesting the Nazi comparison may be extreme, but it is accurate and VERY telling of the motives of the opportunistic positivists involved.
    Suppressing religious expression and history is NOT the American way. PERIOD.
    Further, I am suggesting this nonsense will result in an ANTI SECULAR backlash. Perhaps you are too short sighted or historically ignorant to see what kind of reaction such petty displays of weakness and uncivil behaviour will prompt in your most ardent opposition: The American People.
    'Hive mind'? No, rather 'We the People'.
    It is very odd how you seek to force conformity to your doctrine of technocracy/positivism and decry the will of the ruggedly individualist and majority Christian American populace as a 'hive'.
    Your ability to reconcile these TOTALLY contradictory views reminds me of Orwell's concept of 'Double think'.
    Double plus good response, Mulder. BB would be proud.

    1. Suppressing religious expression? a PUBLIC school.

      As i said, if you want your kids taught that there's a god, fine. Have at it. There are plenty of good christian schools out there. And churches. And your own home. Why does it upset theists so much if someone calls them on their sneakiness?

      Relying on insults again, Rex?...'short sighted'..historically ignorant.'

      I used Hive Mind to describe the Jesuits building schools, and drilling it into young minds to think like they do and to believe religious dogma. What better way to inculcate than to start with the young, impressionable brain?

      Little pieces of propaganda like these prayer posters backhandedly serve to put bits of superstition into the minds of children.

    2. "Suppressing religious expression? a PUBLIC school. "
      ANYWHERE. That is the law.
      Get it?

      "Relying on insults again, Rex?...'short sighted'..historically ignorant.' "
      No. I am perhaps making excuses for these people, as I do not want to simply label them bigots. It may be that is so, but do not mistake my being polite for insults.
      I am a soldier. If I want to insult you or them, you'll KNOW it.

      "I used Hive Mind to describe the Jesuits building schools, and drilling it into young minds to think like they do and to believe religious dogma."
      Scientific dogma, Jesuit dogma, political dogma.
      Dogma is a reality. It only offends when it is not your own.
      Christian dogma teaches that CHOICE (ie FREE will) is a God given potential. There is no debate over that.
      We Christians may CHOOSE to do evil or good, right or wrong. Those choices have consequences.
      That is not a 'hive' mind. That is free will with consequences. That is OBJECTIVE morality.
      Determinism? Neo-Darwinism? Humanism? A bit closer, perhaps but still not a 'hive', as illustrated by the dissent in their own ranks.
      Communism and collectivism? NOW we're talking. That requires a hive like form of thinking.

      "What better way to inculcate than to start with the young, impressionable brain?"
      So do you suggest not teaching creation/design OR autogenesis/ex nihilus to children AT ALL?
      To leave religion and the argument against it completely out of the conversation?
      Nice idea, but impractical.
      Our history must be taught, and with it the ideals of them men and women we study. Their goals and sense of purpose etc.
      Better, imo, that the traditional values be taught with a limited attention to dissent and who the dissenters are. A nod is all the 2% should get, and ONLY if that 2% is worth the nod.

      "Little pieces of propaganda like these prayer posters backhandedly serve to put bits of superstition into the minds of children."
      Superstition? By that do you mean belief in the supernatural? That has to be removed in a mental psychic equivalent of lobotomy in all but the most autistic of materialists. Luckily the procedure more often than not reversed. A good example would be A. Flew.
      If by superstition you mean belief in the boogeyman and black cats etc, I do not see any mention of that stuff on the banner.
      Even some Atheists are existentialists, no?
      This banner is just a banner.
      The same argument could be made of pictures of dinosaurs. We don't really know what they looked like, other than their frame. The definition of what a dinosaur is changes all the time (3 or 4 since I was a lad). To give children the impression that ALL is known could be seen in EXACTLY the same light as your prayer banner argument.
      Should we Christians argue that positivism is being pushed on our children by GOVERNMENT backed PUBLIC schools?
      The banner and Barney can both stay, as far as this Christian is concerned. But then there is no such debate here in Ontario. (real) Prayers in bronze and fossil bed field trips co-exist quite happily without the bed-wetting we see in New England.
      Maybe our 'atheists' don't see the opportunity, or maybe they are ACTUAL atheists that do not what to kill the goose that laid their golden egg.

  14. Mulder also notes:
    "For the umpteenth time: Atheism is NOT a religion!"

    No. Perhaps calling it a religion of itself is over stating Atheism's position and it's relative strengths.
    It is a central foundation of various ideologies that seek to replace religion with their own dogma - usually of a political nature. These Dogmatic creeds are often referred to as 'the religion' of that group, as it attempts to replace or modify the real and traditional cultures of that group/region.
    Atheism is a religious position based on faith in some future discovery of 'science' (the mythical force of 'progress', not to be confused with Bacon's method). Atheism is simply a counter argument against divinity, morality, and purpose and thus it is a faciliator or tool for those who wish to redefine those standards to suite their own ends and replace the regent priesthood WITH THEIR OWN. People may be forgiven for using the euphemism 'religion', even if it results in an insult to the truly religious.
    I either believe X exists or I don't. Either way, if the X factor is a major societal, moral, and legal foundation then the negative position is still one of great consequence. The repercussions of attempting to make that shift are REAL regardless of the (in this case non-falsifiable) truth.

    1. OK, what exactly are these "central foundations of various ideologies?" You say these 'dogmatic creeds' are often referred to as the religion of that group. Maybe referred to by people like YOU.

      Atheists don't believe in a personal god. Or any god(s).

      In order to have a religion, you need quite a bit more than either simple belief or disbelief. This fact is reflected in the real world, because we find theism which exists outside of religion and religion which exists without theism.

      "Atheism is simply a counter argument against divinity, morality, and purpose..." Whoa. Morality? Purpose? There are plenty of atheists who disagree on morality and purpose, but are we all AGAINST it? No.

    2. "You say these 'dogmatic creeds' are often referred to as the religion of that group. Maybe referred to by people like YOU."
      Sure. I have a creed. I have dogma. Your point?

      "Atheists don't believe in a personal god. Or any god(s)."
      Agreed. You have replaced God or gods with a various non testable theories of autobiogenesis (ABG ... anything but God).

      "This fact is reflected in the real world, because we find theism which exists outside of religion and religion which exists without theism. "
      And? What is your point? You seem to make mine very nicely.

      "Whoa. Morality? Purpose? There are plenty of atheists who disagree on morality and purpose, but are we all AGAINST it? No."

      Mincing words? Okay. OBJECTIVE morality, and implicit purpose. Not subjective ideals nor 'progress' or 'reproduction' redefined. Atheism is a TOOL used by those wishing to redefine and refine these terms to suite their 'cause' (the real and full 'religion'), just as you have in the last comment.

  15. In short: This is an illustration of Pascal's Wager on a NATIONAL scale.

    1. Pascal’s Wager isn’t a wager; it’s a thinly veiled threat. True belief doesn’t come from fear of violence. If someone made a credible threat of violence against me unless I believed in Santa I might very well say I believe in Santa, but I wouldn’t truly. Hell isn’t even a credible threat.


    2. Good point KW. What better way to get people to follow your way of thinking/acting/living/compulsory LOVE..than to entice them with rewards of 'heaven'- the best place imaginable, right by our god's side, for etertnity!! Yay! And if you DONT then, well heh, god has a special place for ya alright. The worst place imaginable.

      But got 'freewill' and its totally up to YOU! No pressure.

    3. @KW,
      Threat? It scares you, eh?
      Good. It should give you the willies. A good hand will do that.
      But is not a threat. It is a bet.
      It has nothing to do with violence or conformity. You may wish to read it at some point, KW (ie NOT on an Atheist/Theist dogma site)
      Pascals wager dares you to live your life with moral purpose and faith in the traditions and dreams of your ancestors. To TRY it and see if it works, as you have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.
      If that is a threat to your mind and not simply unnerving, so is common sense.

      In my own theology (High Church, Anglo Catholic), God will forgive your error. You feel compelled, by reason, to think the way you do. If I can understand that, so can my Lord.
      The hatred (of some the new Atheists - I don't accuse you personally)?
      The Animosity toward the faithful themselves?
      That is up to you. That is the CHOICE you must make. That is an exercise of FREE WILL.
      In my creed Hell is of our own making, and many of my creed think it is right here on Earth. It is futility, purposelessness, and utter isolation from the spiritual. A spiritual Hell is an extension of your living Hell.
      We condemn ourselves and others to a living Hell, and if then we become evil and revel in it, there is only 'the second death'.
      That is the ultimate punishment a man can bring on himself in my creed. To simply cease to exist from all time. To be struck from the book of life. To exist, even in hell, is to exist. Where there is hope, there is life (not simply biological, but actual)
      I see Hell AND hope in all the commenters on this blog. Even my own.
      I don't want you to burn with daemons in the pit or cease to exist, nor does God, we ALL (religious minds, philosophers, theologians, and the Divine) would like to see you truly FREE of the madness of positivism. The Atheism is just philosophical tool turned facilitator.
      Your Atheism is just a failure of the imagination. We all suffer these failures, even if not as profound.
      In my mind that is not a sin and can easily be remedied with insight and a more open outlook.
      Why on earth do you think I bother discussing and debating you folks if I think your all Hell-bound infidels spewing evil?
      I have been honest with you, Mulder.
      Now please do me the courtesy of being honest in return. I do not need lectures on Leviticus or Corinthians. I would like to heat YOUR own ideas on what I have said.
      Thanks for your interest...both of you.

    4. Rex, i appreciate your reply.

      Theres no hatred on my part, mostly frustration. And i honestly dont think that the majority of atheists HATE theists either. We just see and have seen, for millennia how the pious can bully and use their religion as a tool for conformity, for fear, and manipulation - all under the guise of love.

      Is positivism madness? Hardly. I would say madness is attributing everything to an invisible man that there can be no real proof of other than stories from an old book, then turning the burden of proof onto skeptics.

      I still find it kind of insulting to hear the religious tell us that we have 'no purpose.' Really? I find purpose in many things in my life - personal growth, to be a great father, to pave the way for my kids to have a fruitful and successful life. What is your purpose? To constantly honor and worship an invisible man? To strive to live after death? You may see my philosophy as short sighted or a 'failure of my imagination,' but this is how i am. I'm a good person, a great dad, i dont steal, kill or lie to give myself personal gain. Yet that still doesnt seem good ENOUGH for the religious.

      I dont mean to be snarky here, and we all get kind of heated with our arguments, I know.

    5. To TRY it and see if it works, as you have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

      Well, except for losing all the time you spend uselessly engaged in pointless rituals and obeying a meaningless creed that drives you to condemn people for their choices.

  16. **I either believe X exists or it doesn't.**

  17. What does it say about us when a tiny prayer mural causes us psychic damage? It's like we're all wards in a mental institution and the nurses have to keep us from seeing even the most mild of provocations to prevent us from throwing fits.

    1. KT,
      IMO, It says we are a soft, spoiled, anaesthetized culture filled with a scientific Hubris that makes us an easy target or mark for those who would replace us.
      This is not only evident in our theology and philosophy, but in our economics, politics, environmental policy, our attitude towards the animal kingdom, and even the raising of our own children.
      My tupenny's worth.

  18. @cREX: I always thought the Oklahoma law ridiculous. In every way that it is not simply irrelevant, it impinges on Catholic canon law as much as on Sharia.

  19. Oh no! A judge ruled on a case in accord with established case law! How will religion survive not being promoted by the government?

    Anyone who knew anything at all about the law knew that this would be the outcome of this case. Apparently the group of people who know anything about the law doesn't include Mr. Egnor. While you are busy second-guessing a sitting Federal judge who is well-versed in the law, I hope you don't mind if a truck driver shows up and second-guesses your medical judgments.

    1. Hi Hayseed,

      What matters is the actual text of the U.S. Constitution, and not judicial midrashim.

    2. What matters is the actual text of the U.S. Constitution, and not judicial midrashim.

      Explain what Due Process of law means using only the "actual text of the U.S. Constitution". Explain what the Establishment clause means using only the "actual text of the U.S. Constitution". Insisting on strict textual interpretation of the Constitution marks you as an idiot. A hayseed even.

  20. “The end result? Perhaps a new explicitly secular constitution that omits a divine reference?”

    That’s what we have now.


    1. @John Henry,
      Sure. Canon law is not common law. It should not be the law defended by the constitution. Only common law. The wording of the law was poor, I agree. Singling out Sharia was foolish, especially in this PC climate, but the intent was laudable IMO. To simply cut it down, without a chance of rewording seems to me a very dangerous precedent in a nation founded on the principles of common law for all.

      Religion will always thrive. It is human nature to seek the will and guidance of their creator/designer. No amount of technology or scientific dogma will change that in the long haul.
      Further, you state:
      "While you are busy second-guessing a sitting Federal judge who is well-versed in the law, I hope you don't mind if a truck driver shows up and second-guesses your medical judgements."
      This is a poor comparison. Dr Egnor is a highly educated man with tenure, and while some drivers are too, I think it is safe to assume most are actually totally uninterested in neurosurgical procedures or theory.
      Law, on the other hand, affects us all.
      Secondly, the doctor has the RIGHT and DUTY to question the decisions of an unelected judiciary as a citizen. That is also in your constitution, no? Jefferson and Lincoln sure did think so.

      That was my point entirely. This new England hysteria is a useless exercise in generated controversy that will result in an easily predictable majority backlash. It is using laws designed to protect a minority, in order to enforce a false equality. That will result in blowback. You must see that?
      Not just intolerant and shallow but VERY poor tactics. I am sure there are better targets for the 'progressive' set than a school banner, and better tools to use than a little girls angst and mourning.
      Isn't there?
      Maybe religiously based parallel legal systems in US states, for example?
      The result of this farce has been nothing but resentment and polarization. The banner has NOTHING to do with any of that... but a certain pretentious agenda does.

      On a personal note:
      I have a posh dinner to attend tomorrow, and I think I will wear my Crimson Dress (Red Coat) in honour of your constitutional comment, as it has tickled my pride immensely.
      God keep our land
      Glorious and Free.

  21. The mural starts with the words "School Prayer", and it's on the wall of a public school. It was removed through legal means in keeping with the case law and the Constitution of the United States. Equating it with a German pogrom against Jews is disgusting and demonstrates a callous disregard for human life and human dignity.

    Michael, you are an insult to the Christians you pretend to defend.

    1. Indeed. And this is not the first time Egnor equates the Kristallnacht to a legal ruling against government-supported Christian propaganda. He's very close to being a holocaust-denier.

    2. "The mural starts with the words "School Prayer", and it's on the wall of a public school."

      "It was removed through legal means in keeping with the case law and the Constitution of the United States."

      In keeping with the case law? Yes. Keeping with the Constitution of the United States? No. The Constitution prohibits Congress from establishing an official Church of the USA, nothing more. It doesn't say anything about prayers on school walls. This is called censorship. Now, the reason it violates "case law" is because the case law is not in harmony with what the Constitution actually says. That might have something to do with the fact that the doctrine of Separation of Church and State became legal concept when it was taken, out of context, by a rabid anti-Catholic KKK member named Justice Hugo Black.

      When case law conflicts with what the Constitution actually says, that's because the case law is wrong and needs correction. Plessy v. Ferguson, for example. Or Korematsu v. United States. That's bad case law.

      No, it's not Kristallnacht. It is, however, a bad decision. The mural on the wall wasn't hurting anyone but foaming at the mouth anti-theists had to force their will on the rest of us.


    3. @Trish “The Constitution prohibits Congress from establishing an official Church of the USA, nothing more.”

      Wrong, it also prevents the government from interfering with the free exercise of religion. Parents are free to teach their children religious beliefs without completion from the most powerful institution in a child’s life, the public schools.


    4. Why is Dr. Egnor an "insult" to the Christians he "pretends" to defend?

      Is it because he doesn't like a false doctrine, that's found nowhere in the Constitution, used as a weapon by angry anti-Christians, to sandblast our real and historic heritage from every corner of public life?

      And what do you mean that "pretends" to defend? Is he secretly working for the anti-theists thugs as some kind of undercover agent provacatuer? Are you saying that he's not really a Christian and a Catholic? What is they "pretending" business?


    5. The Constitution prohibits Congress from establishing an official Church of the USA, nothing more.

      Trish, I don't see that language anywhere in the Constitution. Could you please point to the exact language that says "Congress is prohibited from establishing an official church".

      I think you will find that language nowhere in the Constitution. You seem to be doing a bit of interpretation to reach your conclusion.

    6. Trish asked: "Why is Dr. Egnor an "insult" to the Christians he "pretends" to defend? "

      Because in his zeal to play the poor victim of overwhelming hordes of school-age atheists armed with lawyers, Michael stooped so low as to equate a kerfuffle over a religious mural with the German slaughter of Jews on Kristallnacht.

      Do you comprehend the difference, Trish?

      Was any Christian jailed in Rhode Island for their religion?

      Was the school burned down?

      Were Christian businesses destroyed?

      Did 16-year-old Jessica KILL people for being Christian?

      Were any laws broken?

      Was ANYBODY'S ability to practice their religion curtailed in any way?

      Is legally removing a prayer from a public school wall the same as killing people, Trish?

      Look at it this way: If I killed every member of your family - butchered them because they were Christian - should I receive no punishment because that's no different than removing a prayer from a public wall?

      Michael is a disgrace because of his callous exploitation of a horrific slaughter in his spittle-flecked rantings against a school girl exercising her legal right to attend school without the words of somebody's god over her head. His article is horrible and shameful, and your defense of it just demonstrates how far your fanaticism has taken you from reason.

      I suggest you go to the nearest synagogue and ask the people there if they consider the Rhode Island case to be comparable to the German pogrom. Have a good, serious discussion with them. Or, just go ask your priest/minister. Ask the Christians at your church - if they're anything like the Christians I know, they'll be no less horrified by Michael's insults than I am.

      Trish, after such discussions, hopefully you'll come away with a better perspective and with some of your morality restored.

  22. CrusadeREX, you're still flogging that Oklahoma case?

    We've already been through this and you've already admitted that law was wrong to target a specific religion (Islam). It failed to target the OTHER religions in this country that promote polygamy, child brides and other illegal activities. It failed to target Christian Reconstructionists who wish to overthrow our government and establish the Old Testament laws. You've already admitted that the Oklahoma law would only apply in cases where there wasn't already case law in the U.S. courts system.

    Yet after all those admissions, here you are in another thread still out here comparing that law to the removal of a "School Prayer".

    You and Michael just can't get unstuck once you've worked your way into a groove, can you? Maybe personality trait explains your mutual fondness for dogma. Have you ever thought of moving to Bountiful, Crus?

    1. That is a single concession, RicK.
      The singling out of Islam, a major religious group with POWERFUL influence ($$$), was erroneous. I agree. I also stand against 'reconstructionism' theologically and legally, but I do not see it as a real threat to common law. It's a lunatic fringe.
      The Shariat is a MAINSTREAM and TRADITIONAL Muslim solution. It is the Muslim legal Canon.
      The reality is that I have not fought against armies of re-constructionists (or in them) and did not return home to my own civilization to find them setting up shop LEGALLY in some of the most powerful nations and states. That is exactly what I am witnessing with the Dar Al Islam.
      They could have simply ruled the law needs to be more inclusive in it's scope and sent it back to the legislature to reword. Instead they struck it down, setting a precedent.
      I conceded to your single point, not my argument.

    2. Oh stop, Crus.

      The armies you fought against did not live under the U.S. legal system. WE DO. And the Oklahoma law would only weaken it.

      Why can't you understand this? Why are you so insistent on making an irrelevant point about the Muslims you hate so much that you leave reason behind?

      If the OK law was so important in the U.S., then why were the proponents only able to find example cases from England??

      Name one tenet of Sharia Law that you fear entering the U.S. legal system that hasn't already been addressed by U.S. case law. Go for it - name one.

      If you want an understanding of the OK case, read this:

      Note, they make an interesting point on the prohibition against any "international" law in the OK case. We actually WANT some international law in contracts cases. So that part of the law was silly as well.

      Come on, Crus - show us you're brave enough to admit a mistake. Be a man, put away your over-developed personal defense mechanisms, and admit the Oklahoma law was a half-assed, transparently symbolic piece of nonsense, and was rightly thrown out.

  23. Michael,

    You've conceded my point. There has never been a case of an American court refusing to demand the removal of an article insulting of Christianity that was even partially sponsored or supported by public funds, because a court wasn't asked to adjudicate.

    Shifting the goal posts, and asking for examples of when atheist or secular organizations have done the work of Christian organizations, and gone to court asking for the removal of hypothetical items insulting of Christianity is just silly. Christians can and should look after themselves.


    I'm not joking. Individual Christians are quite prepared to take action against items regarded as insulting to Christianity.

    The first recording of Handel's 'Messiah' I possessed had on its cover a reproduction of Salvador Dali's painting of the crucifixion of Jesus, which is currently a proud possession of the Scottish people. In a survey, it was named as the people's favorite art work owned by the public in Scotland.

    In the '60s, a man took a brick to it and damaged it, because he regarded it as being insulting to Christianity because of its unusual perspective on Jesus on the cross, not looking up as is usual. Have a look at it on the Internet, it's easy to find, google Salvador Dali crucifixion Jesus. It's a very striking painting.

    Administrators of art galleries are usually very careful to remove controversial works, because they don't usually have the money and staff to protect their works.

    1. Did his lawyers get permission from the Privy Council? Was his defacement and the removal of the work SANCTIONED by any secular or religious authority?
      Apples and oranges.
      Nobody is arguing there is no religious nutjobs.
      I am certainly not.

      Fond of Dali too! Surrealism is one of my favourite styles (yes I paint..if not very well).

  24. @troy:

    Don't ever accuse me of that again.

    1. Michael,

      Agreed. Calling you a 'Holocaust denier' was unwarranted. It isn't even hyperbole. Although, your calling someone using her constitutional rights and taking a school board to court to adjudicate on a matter of law as equivalent to Kristallnacht, an example of state instituted terror on a defenseless and persecuted minority, is hyperbole of extreme degree.

      You also haven't addressed my point about federal courts 'never' requiring articles insulting to Christianity to be removed.

    2. Oh, boo-hoo, Egnor.

      You're quite prepared to stoop low enough to enlist Kristalnacht for rhetorical effect so don't affect an attack of the vapors when it comes back to bite you.

    3. There are numerous well known cases, Bach.
      Google 'piss Christ' for an example.
      I know that may seem strange to an Australian, as it does to me. Such displays would have failed the 'Taste test' up this way, but the Met and other big NYC galleries are notorious for allowing controversial 'art' displays, and so it happens on occasion there is a display that causes offence. Some to Christians.
      Nobody has dragged the constitution through the mud for them. Protest? Sure. Boycott? Why not. But change/challenge the legal precedents for fundamental rights of expression? Nope.
      Only the 'Atheist' censors have done that.
      You'll note I have used inverted commas on the term atheist.

    4. CrusadeRex,

      I hate this form of commenting. I've just noticed your comment.

      I'm well aware of 'Piss Christ'. The court case against in was in Victoria, Australia. The injunction was denied.

      But of course that has nothing to do with my point that there has never been a court case in America denying removal of an article insulting Christianity, if display of the article was paid by public funds, partially or completely.

      Australia doesn't have separation of state and religion. My point was about America alone. Michael's thread was about America too. Although he included a link to the same Wikipedia article on 'Piss Christ' I'd previously read.

    5. I suggested you google it. I did not post a link.

    6. CrusadeRex,

      Your reading skills are abysmal. I specifically referred to Michael posting a link, not you.

      Actually, he mightn't have linked to that page in Wikipedia. He provided 3 links, 2 were to Wikipedia and one was to a 1998 newspaper article about the New York mayor threatening to remove funding from the art gallery if they didn't remove an offensive article. The article went on to state a court action was mooted to stop the mayor carrying out the threat.

      Michael is often hit and miss with his links. 1998 isn't recent, there's no indication of what happened afterwards, and it's also irrelevant as an example of a court refusing to have an insulting article removed.

  25. The shit really hit the fan this time! I am reminded of what Jesus said on the cross:

    Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing.

    I offer my clothes for division amongst you...

  26. Okay, everyone here is being a little hyperbolic.

    This is not the equivalent of Kristallnacht. It's just a very bad decision that compounds other earlier bad decisions, that all add up to a pattern: the exclusion of religion, as if it is something dirty. There is no Constitutional issue here. If the bigots here want it ripped down, they can go to a school board meeting and debate the merits of their intolerant "my way or the highway" policy. But they think they should win this battle even without persuading a single person because they think the Constitution forbids it. That's not just wrong, it's wishful thinking. That's what they WANT the Constitution to say, not what it DOES say.

    And then we have Troy calling Dr. Egnor something close to a Holocaust denier. That's pretty stupid, Troy. Now you're just being a jerk. That's why it's so difficult to have conversations with people like you.


  27. Joey:

    Good points all.

    The Kristallnacht metaphor is just that-- a metaphor. There is obviously no parallel in intensity or in violence. But there has been a concerted effort, over many decades, to destroy civic vestiges of Christianity.

    Like Kristallnacht, it is motivated by fervent hate.

  28. I was wondering if students across America will learn about MLK when they come back from the holiday. His Letter from A Birmingham jail is explicitly religious. Will they just censor those parts out? I'm being quite serious. How does a teacher discuss such matters with her students? How does she explain to them what MLK meant when he said that an unjust law is one that does not square with God's law?

    There are sections that are more secular, of course. I suspect that they will simply focus on those parts.

    Martin Luther King;

    “…just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.”

    Write those words on the wall of a high school and see what happens to you. One word: lawsuit.


    1. Joey,

      Actually Martin Luther King's letter would pass the Lemon test with flying colors, since the first leg is asking whether there's any secular purpose in it.

      Even the Bible could be used in public schools if there's a secular purpose. For example, as an example of literature. Or as a source giving the many quotations and references to it in the plays of Shakespeare for example.

  29. @bach:

    [Actually Martin Luther King's letter would pass the Lemon test with flying colors, since the first leg is asking whether there's any secular purpose in it.]

    There would be a lawsuit, obviously. "Passing the Lemon Test" is anyone's guess, because the Lemon Test is junk jurisprudence.

    Justice Scalia has noted that the persistence of the Lemon Test is due to the fact that it is selectively enforced. It is invoked when it serves the purposes of judges who wish to censor religion, and it is ignored otherwise.

    1. Michael,

      No, there wouldn't be a lawsuit. Atheists would be very happy with Martin Luther King's letter from a Birmingham jail being used in its entirety because he criticizes many church ministers for being hypocritical . A sentiment most atheists would share.

      I've been thinking about Troy calling you earlier almost a Holocaust denier. He was almost correct. I think you are almost as bad as a Holocaust denier. Comparing a minor federal court case concerning a poster with a prayer in a minor school with Kristallnacht is trivializing Kristallnacht. Someone who isn't familiar with the history of the Third Reich might come to the mistaken idea that Kristallnacht wasn't as horrible as it was.

      Your comparison of the federal court case with Kristallnacht also wasn't a metaphor. It was actually an analogy.

    2. "Atheists would be very happy with Martin Luther King's letter from a Birmingham jail being used in its entirety because he criticizes many church ministers for being hypocritical."

      Bachfriend, you offer a window into your thinking.

      MLK was indeed responding to the words and sentiments of local religious leaders from the Birmingham area who enjoined him to be more "patient" with his struggle, and not to break the law. He was responding to them, as one clergyman to another, and explaining why he was Biblicaly correct and they were not.

      But that's the point. The Bible was still the basis of his argument. He was saying that God's law trumps man's law. According to King, there are two types of laws--those which square with the will of God and those that don't. Those that don't should be disregarded as a matter of principle. Try teaching that to a class full of schoolchildren today.

      Considering the fact that we now teach the historical lie that the Pilgrims had the first Thanksgiving to give thanks to the INDIANS, and not God, I think it's safe to say that we cannot teach about "God's Law" in a public school without nutjob anti-theists losing their cool. Such a lesson presupposes that there is a God, that he has a law, and that people should observe that one above civil law. For more on "God's Law", see the abolitionist William Seward and his famous "higher law" speech condemning slavery.

      If MLK were alive today, would the left be calling him "the American Taliban" and claiming that he wants to "impose Christian Sharia"? Well, probably not. But they would in fact be hypocritical not to do so. If they want to be taken seriously, they should apply their principles consistently. Either Jerry Falwell and MLK are BOTH the American Taliban or neither of them are.

      But Bachfiend thinks that most atheists would be just fine with MLK's sentiments because, according to him "he criticizes many church ministers for being hypocritical."

      He's bashing the clergy of his day, and that's why it's okay to use the letter. That would make atheists smile. They'd get a warm fuzzy all over. And really, that's what our Constitution has to say on matters of religion, right? God talk in school is acceptable, so long as it fulfills two requirements. First, it must makes atheists happy. Second, it must bash traditional Christians.

      Bachfiend, you reveal your thought process. MLK invoking God is okay precisely because he is rebuffing people you HATE.


    3. Joey,

      What makes you think I hate Christianity? I dislike it because I don't think that it's true and its ministers have too much power, but 'hate' is too strong a word.

      I was merely answering Michael's assertion that any teacher using Martin Luther King's letter would be immediately sued. I was providing arguments why it wouldn't happen.

      Of course, the major problem with the letter is that it's very long. I doubt students nowadays would have the ability of concentration to finish what they've commenc

  30. Justice Scalia has noted that the persistence of the Lemon Test is due to the fact that it is selectively enforced.

    Scalia's position on this issue, is regarded as more than a little goofy. Especially when he goes on to complain that the Lemon Test is applied "mechanically". If it is applied mechanically, then it is being enforced as a routine manner, not selectively.

  31. @RickK:

    [Because in his zeal to play the poor victim of overwhelming hordes of school-age atheists armed with lawyers, Michael stooped so low as to equate a kerfuffle over a religious mural with the German slaughter of Jews on Kristallnacht.

    Do you comprehend the difference, Trish?]

    Our experience here in the US with atheists is skewed. Atheism in the US (so far) has been a domesticated idiocy. The totalitarianism that in other parts of the world inevitably results when atheists assume state power has taken the form of judicial censorship in the US. Atheists in the US are a fringe minority. In the US they have been able to sandblast religious expression from civic life, but so far, nothing more. They are only about 4% of the population here, so that's still quite a bit of nastiness for such a fringe minority.

    Around the world, the Christian world has not been as fortunate as we here in the US have been. There have been tens of millions of Christians murdered in the past century because of their faith, in the USSR, in Eastern Europe, in Spain, in Mexico, and in Indochina and East Asia.

    Atheists have killed 100 million people since 1917. They have instituted massive programs of repression against their most intractable enemy-- the Christian church.

    In the US, we merely have to put up with censorship. But many of us see the larger picture, and we remember what atheists have done.

    Atheism has been engaged in a century-long campaign to exterminate Christianity, two centuries if you trace it to 1789. They use what tactics they can get away with. In the US, it's judicial censorship of civic religious expression. Elsewhere, it's been bloody. But with atheists it's always the same.


    1. Nice rant. Not one word changes the fact that your comparison of the Rhode Island mural case to Kristallnacht is an insult to the memory of the Jews killed or displaced by Germans (almost entirely Christian) on those horrible days in 1938.

      And no Christian that I know would agree with you. They would consider you, as I do, to be a demonstration of the sort of fanatical thinking that leads to events like Kristallnacht.

      Shame on you. You've painted yourself as a poor excuse for a human being, and certainly a poor excuse for someone who claims to follow the teachings of Jesus.

      Trish and Crusader have gone silent, retreating from what they know is an indefensible position - namely equating Kristallnacht with the Rhode Island mural.

      Now it's your turn: man up and apologize, or face the fact that the person you see in the mirror suffers from a supreme morality disfunction.