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12.09.2004

And now a word from Big Unit...

Separate This


By Big Unit

What's going on in Mustang, Oklahoma?

I would like to say that I do not believe that separation of church and state exists to the extent that most people believe it does. For example, if the fire department decorates for Christmas and includes a nativity scene I do not feel they are forcing me to be Christian. If they put up decorations relating to other religions I wouldn't be offended or feel pressure to join that religion. However, if they put up a sign that stated Believe in Christ or your we will let your house burn down that establishes a law respecting an establishment of religion. (What the First Amendment actually states).

Relating to the Christmas, pardon me, Holiday play at Mustang Lakehoma Elementary School; I agree that after talking about other traditions and religions they shouldn't say that Christianity is the only true religion (that is the understanding I have of the original play). Instead of changing the play to give all traditions and religions equal billing Superintendent Karl Springer totally removed the Christian portion of the program rather than risk offending someone or having a complaint filed. How does that make sense? Instead of a common sense solution that wouldn't have offended any reasonable person, Springer opted for a plan that, especially in Mustang, Oklahoma, might offend a majority of the citizens. How about using some common sense and giving equal billing to all traditions and religions (of course how could they include all of them and would they have to include the beliefs of al Qaeda?) or to drop the play all together.

"The phrase "wall of separation" entered the lexicon of American constitutional law in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Reynolds v. United States (1879). Opining that the missive "may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First A]mendment thus secured," the Court reprinted a flawed transcription of the Danbury letter. Most scholars agree that the wall metaphor played no role in the Court's decision. Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, who authored the opinion, was drawn to another clause in Jefferson's text, but he could not edit the letter artfully to leave out the figurative phrase. The Chief Justice relied on Jefferson's statement that the powers of civil government could reach men's actions only, not their opinions. The Reynolds Court was focused on the legislative powers of Congress to criminalize the Mormon practice of polygamy and was apparently drawn to this passage because of the mistranscription of "legitimate powers" as "legislative powers". But for this erroneous transcription, the Court might have had little or no interest in the Danbury letter, and the wall metaphor might not have entered the American legal lexicon." Taken from "How Thomas Jefferson's "Wall of Separation" Redefined Church-State Law and Policy" by Daniel L. Dreisbach.

Check out national bestseller "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer to learn more about the start of Mormonism and it's radical sects.

There is a lot of information out there on this subject but hey this is a blog not a research paper. I just want some common sense in this world.

Just as a side note; the schools sure don't have a problem promoting the land run or Columbus day which are offensive to Native Americans.


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