16
   

Equal rights for Atheists?

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 04:55 pm
@Thomas,
Based on the free speech clause of the constitution?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 05:16 pm
@ebrown p,
Which bit of my post did you think was not in agreement with what you said?

What didn't you "buy"?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 05:32 pm
@ebrown p,
Were there really "3 wise men?"
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:05 pm
@cicerone imposter,
According to the Biblical story... there were no wise men in the manger scene.

Read the account from the Gospels. It is very clear that the Wise Men (however many there were since the Bible doesn't say) came months later. In Matthew 2, it says that they found him in a house.

So there should be no wise men in the manger scene. This has always been a pet peeve of mine.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:11 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

According to the Biblical story... there were no wise men in the manger scene.

Read the account from the Gospels. It is very clear that the Wise Men (however many there were since the Bible doesn't say) came months later. In Matthew 2, it says that they found him in a house.

So there should be no wise men in the manger scene. This has always been a pet peeve of mine.




And there weren't no goddam virgin, neither.

Wink
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:12 pm
I actually heard they were Wise Guys. Mafia types.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:15 pm
That reminds me of an old Joke...

Why couldn't the Christmas story take place with A2kers?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:18 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
We can read the story in Matthew 2:1-12:

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.' When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 'In Bethlehem in Judea,' they replied, 'for this is what the prophet has written: "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel." '

" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.' After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route."

0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:51 pm
Quote:
Arkansas State Constitution, Article 19 Section 1 ("Miscellaneous Provisions")
No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.

Mississippi State Constitution. Article 14 ("General Provisions"), Section 265
No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.

North Carolina's State Constitution, Article 6 Section 8
"Disqualifications of office. The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God."

Pennsylvania's State Constitution, Article 1 Section 4
"No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth."

South Carolina's State Constitution, Article 4 Section 2
"No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who denies the existence of the Supreme Being; ..."
Note: If you continue reading you will find that (in Section 8) the Lieutenant Governor must also meet the same qualifications as the Governor.

Tennessee's State Constitution, Article 9 Section 2
"No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state."

Texas' State Constitution, Article 1 Section 4
"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being."



These are state's law - I think in Utah they can take your house and goods, then tar and feather you for being godless. And make you drink low-alcohol beer.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 06:54 pm
@Mr Stillwater,
The LDS church spent millions to win passage of a ban on gay and lesbian marriage in California, Prop 8, last month.

That church should, by federal law, lose its nonprofit status.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 07:23 pm
@Foxfyre,
Quote:
Certainly that Atheist statement is not appropriate to commemorate Christmas.

The statement doesn't actually say anything about Christmas.

Here's what it says: "At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural worls. Religion is but myth ans superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Quote:
Likewise if the Atheists wanted to commemorate their own celebration, they can post whatever they wish so long as it is tasteful and appropriate.

Who defines what is tasteful and appropriate for an Atheist?

That plaque seems very appropriate and tasteful for what the Atheists believe and what they say they are celebrating (The Winter Solstice).

It just happens to be sitting next to a nativity scene (in a public building).


0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 07:26 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
The state can, however, discriminate between signs on a basis other than religion. And if the sign at issue here said something like "Why believe in God?", I think the government can still ban it, on the grounds that Christmas is a celebration, and that sign constitutes party-pooping, atheist or not.

With this distinction, Christians can put up signs celebrating Christmas, and atheists can put up signs celebrating Newton Day. But Christian signs can't say, "why did the Jews kill Jesus?", Jewish signs can't say, "why did Christians kill six million Jews in the Holocaust?", and Atheist signs can't quote Richard Dawkins stating that "the god of the Bible is the most unpleasant character in all fiction."

Sound fair?

It sounds reasonably fair, but maybe too complex to be practical.

Why not just tell everyone to keep the issue of religion (whether for or against, and of whatever type) out of public buildings? Isn't that also fair, and ultimately much more practical?

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 07:34 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

That reminds me of an old Joke...

Why couldn't the Christmas story take place with A2kers?



No wise men.
































And very few virgins.
Always Eleven to him
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 08:25 pm
Interesting thread. To answer the original question, sure. Athiests should get equal time. The Constitution contains both the Establishment Clause (Gov't can't establish an official US religion) and the Free Exercise clause (Gov't can't interfere with the free exercise of religion). Those clauses have been interpreted to mean that Gov't can't prefer one religion (or the absence of religion) over another, and Gov't can't prevent one from exercising his or her religion (or absence of it).

Viewed in that context, the athiests should be able to post their message just as any other religious group gets to post its message.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 08:27 pm
@Always Eleven to him,
Sounds like the nuts and bolts to me! BTW, Welcome to a2k, Always Eleven.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 11:27 pm
@rosborne979,
It may be fair, but it would also be a loss of a cultural tradition that people have been celebrating for centuries, in America and all over the Western world. I'd prefer to keep the tradition and open it up to other religions, so that Jews can celebrate Hanuka, Secular Humanist can celebrate Newton day, and Hindus can celebrate whichever of their deities Hindus. The Christmas tree in our City Hall offends me much less than some of the hideous "art" they're exhibiting in other months of the year.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 11:32 pm
@cicerone imposter,
What do you mean, based on the free speech clause?

***

No, they weren't actually three wise men. Newly published scripture reveals that at first they missed Jesus's stall, worshiping the baby next crib instead. If they hadn't their mistake, America would be a Judeo-Brianist nation right now.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 11:36 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Of course, if they hadn't come along, we'd still have frank solstice festivals, so...

You nailed it! The government should just have a solstice festival around December 21.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 07:22 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
It may be fair, but it would also be a loss of a cultural tradition that people have been celebrating for centuries, in America and all over the Western world. I'd prefer to keep the tradition and open it up to other religions, so that Jews can celebrate Hanuka, Secular Humanist can celebrate Newton day, and Hindus can celebrate whichever of their deities Hindus. The Christmas tree in our City Hall offends me much less than some of the hideous "art" they're exhibiting in other months of the year.

But why must those traditions be expressed on PUBLIC property.

People put things in public places because they want them to be seen, or because they want the public place to be associated with what it seen.

If people wanted to innocently share their enjoyment of their traditions with those most likely to appreciate them, then they would do it in churches were there would be no angst from people with differing views. The very fact that people choose to place displays in PUBLIC places shows that their primary motive is to promote their views to an audience who doesn't share it. This is not an act of charity or good will, it's [religious] advertising (on government property).

Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 07:51 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
But why must those traditions be expressed on PUBLIC property

They don't have to. These displays are there because you, the people, have decided, through your elected officials, that you want them to be. By my reading of American newspapers, nativity scenes and similar Christmas displays usually get removed because somebody sued for infringement of the non-establishment clause. They don't get removed because a majority of voters rejects them in a referendum or something.
 

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