Monday, June 16, 2014

"I don't think you understand 'censorship'..."

23cal has some questions about my observations on atheist censorship of religious expression:

I don't think you understand "censorship", although you use it a lot because it has a negative connotation.
I understand it.
The way you use it, not allowing slander or libel is "censorship".
Technically true, but not relevant to atheist censorship of religion.
Of course, anyone who actually has the ability to think realizes that to label "stopping something that is illegal" as "censorship" is a pretty warped definition.
It's true that the word "censorship" evokes injustice, not mere enforcement of law.
However, I take into account the type of reader you try to appeal to and understand how you have a good chance of getting away with it.
What exactly is the "type or reader I try to appeal to"? I suspect you mean readers "who are poor, uneducated and easy to command". Why don't you just come out and say it. After my readers and I get done looking up all of the big words you use, we'll respond.
"Stopping something that is illegal", such as slander or libel, is the very point here.
Slander and libel are matters of statutory law, and enforcement is appropriate.

"Separation of church and state" isn't statutory law. It isn't law of any sort-- it's never been ratified by a legislature anywhere. It's an interpretation of the First Amendment adapted from a phrase from a personal letter of Thomas Jefferson, championed by a menagerie of atheists and other bigots and inserted into Supreme Court jurisprudence by an alumnus of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan who used the phrase for two highly successful anti-Catholic campaigns for the Senate in the 1920's and who was catapulted to fame in Alabama for his successful defense of a man who killed a Catholic priest in public in cold blood. It remains a hotly controversial interpretation, currently rejected explicitly or implicitly by at least four of the nine justices on the Supreme Court.
Again, I understand you have your own interpretation of the Establishment Clause,
I share my interpretation of the Establishment Clause with Justices Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alito. Justice Kennedy agrees with my interpretation, on alternate Tuesdays.

My interpretation of the Establishment Clause is the same as that of the Founders who wrote the First Amendment, the voters who ratified, and the overwhelming majority of Americans throughout our nation's history.
but as far as legality goes we don't get to ignore decades of established jurisprudence and legal precedent...
"Decades of establishment jurisprudence and legal precedent" began in 1947 with Everson v. Board of Education-- the first Supreme Court ruling that inserted 'separation of church and state" into Constitutional jurisprudence.

Everson trashed 160 years of tradition and precedent and statutory law. Why is it that you only defend tradition and precedent when it suits your ideological agenda, even when the ruling you etch in stone itself overthrew a much longer and larger body of tradition and precedent?

and individually decide what laws mean. Allowing that to happen as you wish to do would result in chaos and anarchy.
What a stupid thing to say. The tradition and precedent in our country for 160 years was to allow such decisions to be made locally, by school boards and state legislatures. Did we have chaos and anarchy before 1947? What's wrong with local municipalities deciding on civic religious expression, as we did through most of our history? Many nations in the West allow civic religious expression. There's no chaos and anarchy.
What you advocate for the establishment clause, if applied to traffic laws, would allow each individual to determine for himself what is "safe", instead of the long established legal guidelines.
Of course I endorse enforcement of statutory law. "Separation of church and state" isn't statutory law. It's never been enacted by any legislature. It's an interpretation held by many secularists, and it's highly controversial, even on the highest courts.
Well, the courts--the ones with the legal authority to make the call---have made it in favor of separation and neutrality, and that the government--especially in the form of public schools--cannot promote one religion to the exclusion of others.
Court decisions have varied. Many decisions have been decided by the vote of a single justice. As I pointed out, four of the nine Supreme Court justices, including the Chief Justice, share my general views on the Establishment Clause. There is no consensus. Justice Scalia has excoriated current Establishment Clause jurisprudence, and Justice Thomas calls Establishment Clause jurisprudence "in shambles".

It is an openly contentious issue. Why do you atheists always fabricate a "consensus" when none exists. Why are you so afraid to admit that there's a real debate? You do it with all contentious issues-- evolution, global warming, the First Amendment. You insist on a fake consensus and demand that people who disagree with you just shut up and follow instructions. It's a kind of de facto censorship. Totalitarianism is an atheist tic.
That is exactly the case with the Cranston prayer banner. Under your usage of "censorship", not allowing someone to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater is censorship.
Yelling "fire" endangers people's lives, and is properly illegal, by statute.

Public prayer endangers no one, and is not outlawed by any statute. It is censored by litigation in courts, using highly controversial and dubious Constitutional theories.
Your claim that enforcing established law is "censorship" is goofy.
"Separation of church and state" isn't law. It's an interpretation, about which there is much debate. It is used in courts by bigots like you to impose censorship of religion.
If someone were taking out ads in the newspaper saying that Egnor is a pedophile thief who cheats on his wife and abuses his children, and the court made him stop running those ads because libel is illegal (assuming the claims aren't true, of course).......under your use of "censorship", you would have to consider this "censorship" in the same way taking down the prayer banner is "censorship".
One is enforcement of statutory law prohibiting slander, and one is an effort by atheists to shut people up. See the difference?
Would you want a judge to "censor" that ad? If not, exactly how does that differ from your statement, "When Eberhard sees a prayer he doesn't like, he wants a judge to censor it"? Isn't that exactly like, "When Egnor sees an ad he doesn't like, he wants a judge to censor it"?
Enforcing statutory law is not censorship. Using controversial and dubious interpretations of the Constitution in the absence of statutory law ratified by a legislature to shut people up is censorship.
You are certainly welcome to use "enforcing the existing law" as a new definition for "censorship", but it seems kind of weird.
"Separation of church and state" is not law. It is an interpretation of the Establishment clause that is rejected by most Americans and a large portion of the legal profession, including four out of nine of the current Supreme Court justices and including the Chief Justice. It emerged in jurisprudence as a residue of anti-Catholic bigotry, and has no basis whatsoever in the Constitution.

The use of such a tenuous interpretation with no standing whatsoever in statutory law or in the text of the Constitution in order to silence religious expression is censorship.

1 comment:

  1. Egnor, first, I'm in total agreement. Second, the progressives' agenda isn't simply to silence Christians in public by means of reinterpreting the Constitution to mean something it clearly doesn't, no - they are going one step further. Activist judges' have ruled that opposition to SS'M is born out of "hatred" and "bigotry" and federal agencies have labeled veterans, 2A supporters, Christians and pro-life groups as all being potential extremists.