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When a governor of a state has to sign legislation to protect the rights guaranteed us in our Constitution, it is clear that there is a problem. Amirite?

Here is what the First Amendment says:
Amendment I
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.

Congress can not set one religion above another or prohibit anyone from practicing the religion (or non religion) of their choice.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs ‘Merry Christmas bill’ into lawTexas Gov. Rick Perry is fighting on the front lines in the so-called “war on Christmas.”http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/texas-gov-rick-perry-signs-merry-christmas-bill-article-1.1373095
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“Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion," Perry said at the ceremony.

I'm sure I'm taking that the wrong way, but I very much would like to be free from religion.

@ScottyD “Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion," Perry said at the ceremony. I'm sure I'm taking that...

Nobody is forcing religion on you, so you are free from it. People who DO want religion are only asking that it be allowed to remain in any and all settings. I respect your right to have no religion and to practice such anywhere at any time. I want the same respect and right without infringement by our government.

@freespeechfreelancer Nobody is forcing religion on you, so you are free from it. People who DO want religion are only asking that it be...

I do not want to have look at a bloody tortured body dangling on a cross, or a homeless poverty stricken child forced to sleep in a cattle's feed bin. Call me crazy.

Anonymous 0Reply
@I do not want to have look at a bloody tortured body dangling on a cross, or a homeless poverty stricken child...

So you are saying BECAUSE certain information exists and is available, that you are REQUIRED to access it? That would be like saying because bomb making information is out there and I could find it if I looked, that I am required to find it, learn all I can about it, and ultimately participate in making an actual bomb! Tell me you are joking please!

@freespeechfreelancer So you are saying BECAUSE certain information exists and is available, that you are REQUIRED to access it? That...

If my school puts up a display in the front yard of these horrific "religious" images, how am I to avoid gazing upon them? Walk with my eyes closed?

Anonymous 0Reply
@If my school puts up a display in the front yard of these horrific "religious" images, how am I to avoid gazing...

To my knowledge, public government schools are not allowed to display such. And do you use the same logic and approach when watching horror movies, vampire flicks, and ???? The youth of this country seem to have no trouble RUNNING to those things, but put a guy on a cross and a baby in a manger and that is suddenly the most offensive thing on the planet. Get real.

@freespeechfreelancer To my knowledge, public government schools are not allowed to display such. And do you use the same logic and...

The government does not compel me to watch movies, it does compel me to attend school. How real is that?

Anonymous 0Reply
@The government does not compel me to watch movies, it does compel me to attend school. How real is that?

So your government school has open displays of a crucifixion and the manger? I would love to see that. Why hasn't the ACLU or some other group stepped in and stopped it?

@freespeechfreelancer So your government school has open displays of a crucifixion and the manger? I would love to see that. Why hasn't...

I am sorry, perhaps I misunderstood this post. I took it to mean that

"Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs ‘Merry Christmas bill’ into law stating that schools will now be able to display religious symbols"

and that you as OP thought this was a great and fair idea. Right now I am protected from having to look at these unpleasant and frightening images. However, thanks to Gov. Perry I may no longer have that right.

Instead my school will be able to display whatever demonic images it wants as long as they are along side some related "secular" image - like a Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny.

So thanks to the "Christmas Law" my school will now be able to display the Easter Bunny holding up a crucifix drenched in blood with a mangled body that has been stabbed with spears and had a thorny crown pounded into its scull with a stone hammer.

Or, if it chooses, it can display a pagan ritual with a cat being butchered by a satanic cultist as long as is also includes a symbol from another competing religious or secular group.

What if someone wants to put up a display of Ishtar performing an anal sexual rite with Baal? That OK as long as you include an image of a Thanksgiving Turkey.

No thanks. This country is going to hell because of a few people who want to shove their religious beliefs down everyone's throats.

I don't want to look at Baals throbbing cock up Ishtar's ass and I don't want to look at Jesus's tortured and mutilated body either.

Anonymous 0Reply
@I am sorry, perhaps I misunderstood this post. I took it to mean that "Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs ‘Merry...

I think you have misunderstood MY intent as well as Perry's. Nowhere did I say in my OP that I agreed with anything. I simply pointed out that it is a sad day when a governor has to pass NEW legislation to protect or insure rights ALREADY guaranteed in/by our Constitution. If you follow current events in the U.S. then you KNOW that there is an all out assault in the government schools against anyone participating in any religious activity, prayer, displaying a Bible verse, displaying the 10 Commandments, saying a prayer at a graduation, saying One Nation Under God, etc. etc. Students in some schools have been expelled for saying "God bless you" - and the very concept or holiday of Christmas has been attacked and shunned. And the point is, we should be able to SAY or discuss any idea, concept, or teaching known to the human race - anywhere at any time.
You seem to have an actual fear or phobia of certain imagery - and that is your right. But it is equally the right of those who believe in certain systems of belief to relish the imagery that goes with such. If it offends you, just as with radio, television, stores, work place, internet - you are free to choose NOT to visit, go by, or put yourself in the pathway of such. As many groups beating the drum for their special interests often tell all others - change the channel or go elsewhere.
You actually do have the right to include or exclude whatever you wish from your personal sphere. Others do as well. You may find that looking at pornography is perfectly pleasurable and beneficial, while another individual may find it grotesque and as offensive as your depiction of a "bloody cross." You may love rap or hip/hop music filled with all of its street and thug imagery of bitches, hoes, fucking, bling, etc. While others find that distasteful and something they don't want to listen to. But in a society of all kinds of people, YOU WILL be exposed to things that do NOT fit your personal interests or tastes. You simply acknowledge such, and go on about your business. That is what all of us must do. If you fight to have the rights of all others conform to YOUR personal views, then you have just excluded everyone else who believes differently.
And please remember: this country was founded by individuals SEEKING religious freedom and the right to practice, worship, and believe as they saw fit. They were against the oppression of a one state/country religious view that told them how they had to believe and worship. If you would be completely honest with yourself and others, you would KNOW that nobody can force or shove religion down anyone's throat. Religion is just another topic of ideas and beliefs. You may choose to participate or decline.

@freespeechfreelancer I think you have misunderstood MY intent as well as Perry's. Nowhere did I say in my OP that I agreed with...

I can only respond: as long as the government can compel me to attend school, then by allowing religious display in school, it is also compelling me to "see" those images. It does not have the right to do that. It can force me to attend but constitutionally it cannot force me to look at those images.

Anonymous 0Reply
@I can only respond: as long as the government can compel me to attend school, then by allowing religious display in...

And you never answered my question: does your government compelling school presently have an open crucifix with a mangled bloody body hanging on it? I personally have never seen one - and I am 55 yrs. old and attended government schools. Does your government school hand out Bibles and compel you to read them? Does your government school have a manger scene waiting to greet you every morning as you arrive? And I know your government school can not teach Creationism or force you to say "one nation under God" in our pledge.
Quite frankly, I think your argument is extremely weak and lacking in substance. Essentially, you want to claim you have all freedom to do and choose as you please EXCEPT when you go to a government school! If your school truly has these things and imposes them on you (which I don't believe it does), then based on current laws and leanings of the land, you would have a lawsuit. You have made no reference to bringing attention to your school officials or superiors about doing such.
And I definitely don't agree with your definition of "force." Images that are accessible or available does not imply forcing individual participation. If that were the case, every time I go out in public and SEE or HEAR anything I find offensive or questionable to my own views, then I would be "forced" in to such. Every time I watch TV or listen to the radio and an advertising spot comes on that I have no advance warning of what they are about to subject my eyes and mind to, they are "forcing" me to see and listen. Magazines are full of images that I may or may not agree with. And I would almost bet you have a pretty good selection of Playstation or XBox games that are far more graphic with blood and guts than any crucifix could ever portray.
My OP was putting out a story that affects one state. You have never said if this is the state you live in. If not, then none of this affects you directly. Perry's whole point is to allow students who do want religion and the symbols that go with it to not be excluded from such - even at the government schools. He, like many others, believes that the "separation of church and state" has been completely misconstrued, and has led to the rights of some being violated and even targeted.

@freespeechfreelancer And you never answered my question: does your government compelling school presently have an open crucifix with a...

I thought of one more: I know the government schools "compel" students to watch and listen to their presentations regarding sex education and alternative lifestyles. There are those students who want nothing to do with seeing or hearing about those things in school. What would your position be on those things since they do not deal with religion? Some schools are now even getting students involved in "roleplaying" what it would be like to have gay or lesbian encounters. I read a recent story where one school is even having girls kiss girls. Since the topic is sex instead of religion, you may have no issues or problems with that - but many do.

@freespeechfreelancer Nobody is forcing religion on you, so you are free from it. People who DO want religion are only asking that it be...

I have no problem at all with people freely participating in religion; I just feel his quote is incorrect. Freedom from religion does exist within religious freedom.

If this school is funded, even in part, by federal taxes then by allowing a Christmas display it is violating the constitution as you have recorded it above. I will be very surprised if the supreme court lets this stand. I do not want my taxes to pay for displays of this nature nor do I want my children to attend a school that erects any pro-religion displays. Where the hell are we Iran?

@VicZinc If this school is funded, even in part, by federal taxes then by allowing a Christmas display it is violating the...

Would you have any problem with your children attending that same school if it is bashing religion on a regular basis or singling out any religious group as being bad or wrong?

@freespeechfreelancer Would you have any problem with your children attending that same school if it is bashing religion on a regular...

Depends on what you mean by bashing? If it was telling other children not to preach on school grounds, no problem; if it was telling my children that Islam (or Judism, or any other religion) was "evil" "bad" or "wrong" than I would have a problem with that. If it was telling them certain religious "theories" had been disprove, then I would want it to offer compelling evidence of that, or to admit only that some theories are unproven.

@VicZinc Depends on what you mean by bashing? If it was telling other children not to preach on school grounds, no problem;...

That is much fairer and more balanced than your original comment. But the same tax dollars that fund many issues that most of us disagree with at some point and time were never intended to exclude religion from being practiced or recognized anywhere. If a school can pass out condoms, teach alternative lifestyles, and promote any views that its employees or government espouses, then religion is not to be thrown out of the equation. People ARE religious (for the most part), and it was never intended to be separated from state. It was only meant to never legislate ONE religion over or above all others. If you make the case for all exclusion of religion from any tax funded program, then I should be able to do the same for any program or idea that I wish not to support or am against.

@freespeechfreelancer That is much fairer and more balanced than your original comment. But the same tax dollars that fund many issues...

I disagree. The bill of rights does not say make no law respecting an establishment of sexual practices or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, it says "religion". Sex is on the table, religion is off the table. (No pun intended). Until further laws are passed that's the constitution.

@VicZinc I disagree. The bill of rights does not say make no law respecting an establishment of sexual practices or...

ALLOWING religion is not the same as RESPECTING religion. The respecting part does not imply prohibiting or separation from. That is where the twist has come in to play and done damage. It really is a matter of interpretation.

@freespeechfreelancer ALLOWING religion is not the same as RESPECTING religion. The respecting part does not imply prohibiting or...

Sorry, but my interpretation is: a display that shows a baby in a manger is a display the "respects" the Christian story of the birth of Christ. It not only "allows" it, it "respects" it, and it attempts to teach children to "respect it" as well.

@VicZinc Sorry, but my interpretation is: a display that shows a baby in a manger is a display the "respects" the Christian...

And right beside that, I would respect your display of the Atheist symbol with any material or representation of such that you would wish to promote. The way it is supposed to work is much like going in to a buffet restaurant. All the varieties and types of foods are under one roof. NOBODY tells any of us what to choose or how much. You are free to select any desirable item. You are also free to not select anything. You can walk out having never taken a bite at all. Allowing religion to exist and be promoted is no different than allowing any other set of ideas or beliefs to exist. All human beings - not JUST CHILDREN - should be exposed to and have access to ALL information that is available to humanity. True choice and education means exposing us to everything that is possibly known and then giving us the freedom to decide for ourselves what we wish to endorse and/or practice.
That my brother, is a far cry from what is being practiced or observed in today's society.

@freespeechfreelancer And right beside that, I would respect your display of the Atheist symbol with any material or representation of...

I'll buy that. What are the odds that Rick Perry will make sure that every school has a display of every religion and secular interpretation of the winter holiday, I am guessing at least 50 that I could name right now. And in your words "who's going to pay for that?"

Not to mention the Jehovah Witnesses, who I am lead to believe, prefer not to be exposed to any Graven images including creches, trees, stars etc.

@VicZinc I'll buy that. What are the odds that Rick Perry will make sure that every school has a display of every religion...

Fair enough. But if we are going to spend tax dollars anyway, let us strive to equally represent ALL. That is (or so I thought) the goal of education. If people were allowed to just BE, DO, and SAY what they wanted, would that not clear up a bunch of this? It is when OFFICIALS and LEADERS and JUDGES get involved that the parsing and limitations begin.

@freespeechfreelancer Fair enough. But if we are going to spend tax dollars anyway, let us strive to equally represent ALL. That is (or...

Do, be and say, agreed, and to equally love those who chose not to do, or not to be, or not to say, for they are just a worthy and wonderful.

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