Appeals court rules Ten Commandments monument violates Constitution

Jun 9, 2009 Full story: TulsaWorld.com - Government 8

Over 300 people attended a pro-Ten Commandments monument rally outside the Haskell County courthouse in Stigler on Nov.

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Matt Hanshaw

United States

#1 Jun 9, 2009
I want to strongly incourage those involved to appeal this ruling. I think that the public as well as the Supreme Court and everyone in between has gotten the seperation of church and state mixed up. It has become something it was never intended to be. It was never designed to keep the church out of the government, but instead to keep the government out of the church. This nation needs all the help it can get in these times. So in my opinion if just one person finds help in this monument, then its worth its weight in gold. I also strongly think the judicial system needs to take a look at their rulings, because taking this out is restricting the Christians of their religious freedom.
Sandy Peterson

United States

#2 Jun 9, 2009
Matt - Iran and Iraq are good examples where religion is advocated by the government. The USA is a secular country. No belief system is advocated by the government - or at least it is not supposed to be that way. Just think if this monument was a tribute to the Koran. Christians would go bonkers.
Matt Hanshaw

United States

#3 Jun 10, 2009
I see what your saying. However, I think that we as a nation have got this issue along with some others flip flopped from how they were originally intended. Maybe if we were to go back to how things were originally intended we would be better off. For instance another issue other than religion is foreign affairs. Washington said not to get involved. Now I know there is a time when one needs to protect ones land, but we are involved with so many foreign nations right now that are not even threatining our nation.
Sharon Nichols

United States

#4 Jun 10, 2009
Matt, our Rights as guaranteed by the Constitution are not up to popular vote or majority rule. The 1st Amendment's "Establishment Clause" has been upheld since the very beginning of this nation. The founders, especially Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison, were all too aware of the bloody history of religious intolerance and oppression and intentionally sought to write the Constitution and Bill of Rights so that no minority, however much hated by the majority, should ever bear of the brunt of the tyranny of the majority. It is this very separation of Church and State (and of State and Church--it's the same thing) which makes the incredible diversity of religions and religious beliefs flourish in this nation. We have freedom of religion--which means you cannot impose your religious beliefs on other Americans, nor can I impose my beliefs on them or you. In effect, we have our religious freedom only to the extent that EVERYONE'S rights are held equally by the government, neither favoring nor disfavoring any particular religion or sect. When the majority think that their numbers give them the right to trample on the rights of the minority, then there is no guarantee of religious freedom for ANYONE. For whoever is in the majority today may find themselves in the minority tomorrow. Do you want your government favoring the Islamic faith, Mormonism, Scientology or Atheism, for example? When government supports one religion and gives it a privileged preference, it automatically has irretrievably entangled itself in religion which is expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

To keep YOUR rights, you must, therefore, protect MINE.
2EachHisOwn

Miami, OK

#5 Jun 13, 2009
I would never deny another person's right to a belief in a higher power and in fact I prefer never to argue the case.

I am disgusted by those atheists who constantly try to push their agendas on theists, and visa versa. Basic belief or the lack thereof is a very personal thing that shouldn't be infringed upon.
Matt Hanshaw

Oklahoma City, OK

#6 Jun 20, 2009
Sharon Nichols wrote:
Do you want your government favoring the Islamic faith, Mormonism, Scientology or Atheism, for example?
They already do. This is why Obama has quoted out of the Qur'an. The favoritism is also why we even have a religious freedom debate. Because each person doesnt want their religious freedoms infringed upon. For instance the atheists dont want to see "in God we trust" on our currency however the christians do.
Sharon Nichols

United States

#7 Jun 20, 2009
Matt, a very thoughtful response! If any group is "favored" then all others are less in the eyes of the government. If you are NOT the favored group, then wouldn't you likely expect to receive less justice when you go to court or deal with representatives of government? Obama, BTW, contrary to Fox "News", isn't Muslim. He was raised by his maternal grandmother and is a Christian. He only saw his father at age 2 and then not until he went to Kenya to see him as a adult. I know you didn't claim he was Muslim, but some like to think so. Re your comment <This is why Obama has quoted out of the Qur'an.> Obama has quoted from many sources: classical Greek, Sumeria's Hammurabi Code; the UN Charter; the Hebrew Bible (mistakenly referred to by Christians as the "Old" Testament); the New Testament; the U.S. Constitution; etc. And yes, our CULTURE favors Christianity presently, but that is changing. A new study conducted at the behest of evangelical Ken Ham reports that fully 2/3 of young people in the U.S. who go to Church/Sunday school are turning away from the Bible's and therefore, Christianity as unbelievable and unsupportable in an age of science. When they reach adulthood, many of them are likely to be atheists or agnostics (same thing to me, only one has the courage of one's convictions). Do you think Christianity will remain favored indefinitely? I think not.
I am one of those atheists who want all governmental references to any religion taken out of our currency and the pledge of allegiance. While the Pledge isn't even binding, it is symbolic. My problem with it is that the previous national motto "E Pluribus Unum" said who we are as a nation. Out of many, one. The current motto isn't inclusive so long as the "under God" insertion remains.

Since our nation was in no way founded on Christianity, these words are therefore misrepresenting our nation. I do say the Pledge, however I always leave out the words "under God" for the reasons I stated.
I enjoy your posts. Keep 'em coming!
Matt Hanshaw

Oklahoma City, OK

#8 Jun 23, 2009
Sharon, I know Christianity will not be favored forever because it is already not favored. I think that if it were favored then all these monuments and what not would be staying up, and we as a nation would still be considered a Christian nation, which we are not.

Now as far as Obama goes. I think if he were truly a Christian then why would he be quoting out of the other religous books, when the Holy Bible is viewed as the only true religious book by Christians. Honestly to me he seems more like a Pluralist who says he is a Christian to get more votes and to keep another religious group on his side. And who knows maybe he truly feels he is a Christian, however, I cannot see how someone who is for some of the things he is, that go against the teachings of Christianity, can say that they are a Christian. Now I am not stupid and I realize that everyone has their differences and screw ups, but I just think people should get their facts straight expecially if they are going to be at the center of the public's eye.

I very much believe your statistic about the young people turning away from the church. I have also heard a statistic that stats only 4 percent of young people, teens and young adults, are Christians. So I very much see what you are saying, and I know for a fact that it is true because I see it first hand as well as have been down that road.

Please know I am in no way trying to attack you for your beliefs. I do, however, think that the "one nation under God" and "in God we trust" debates are never going to stop, no matter what happens. Because people will be upset no matter what because either way it goes someones "religious freedom" will be infringed upon. This is why I have said that I think we as a nation have the freedom of religion mixed up. Because the colonist did not flee England because the church was in the government, but the government was restricting the church. That and I truly feel that our founding fathers were very smart men and thought up a lot of things most people would not. So I really dont believe they would have not saw this problem coming from this freedom, unless it is now what they did not intend for it to be.

I am really enjoying this. I will keep responding. Thanks for the replies and please also keep them coming.

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