The American Military Junta

America is now officially being ruled by a military Junta. That’s right. Much like the military government in Chile that was led by General Augusto Pinochet, our military now has expansive powers, which infringe upon our Constitutional rights. Back on December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (the NDAA) into law for the fiscal year 2012.

The NDAA is a bill that is passed into law every year, which allows the government to continue funding national security and military operations for the following fiscal year. But the 2012 bill wasn’t your average NDAA bill. The 2012 version of the NDAA gave the federal government vast new powers to add to its arsenal in the name of fighting terrorism.

Opponents of the act and even some of its sponsors believe that it gives the federal military the power to carry out the policing of American citizens, something that’s been off the books in America since the Posse Comitatus Act was signed into law back in 1878.

Many believe that the NDAA gives dictatorial powers to the federal government and military, because it allows our military to arrest any American citizen without a warrant, on American soil, and to hold an American citizen against their will for an indefinite amount of time without being criminally charged.

In January of 2012, journalist Chris Hedges, along with attorneys Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer, sued the federal government over Section 1021(b)(2) of the 2012 NDAA. According to the lawsuit’s website, StopNDAA.org, that provision, “includes undefined terms such as 'associated forces' and 'substantial support' – terms that government attorneys refused to clarify ... The right of the US government to detain anyone, anywhere without charge until 'the end of hostilities' is now codified into law.”

Later in 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest declared that part of the NDAA was indeed unconstitutional. In her decision, Forrest wrote that Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA echoed the 1944 Supreme Court ruling in Korematsu v. United States, which let our military detain over 100,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II, and throw them in internment camps without due process.

The federal government appealed Forrest’s ruling, asking the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of Forrest’s ruling. The 2nd Circuit agreed with the government’s request for a stay, and ultimately tossed out Forrest’s decision altogether. After that decision, Hedges, Afran, Mayer and the lawsuit’s other plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.

Last Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not be hearing the case. After learning of the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case, attorney Carl Mayer said that, “In declining to hear the case Hedges v. Obama and declining to review the NDAA, the Supreme Court has turned its back on precedent dating back to the Civil War era that holds that the military cannot police the streets of America. This is a major blow to civil liberties. It gives the green light to the military to detain people without trial or counsel in military installations, including secret installations abroad. There is little left of judicial review of presidential action during wartime.”

And, in a piece over at Common Dreams, Chris Hedges writes that, “In refusing to hear our lawsuit the courts have overturned nearly 150 years of case law that repeatedly holds that the military has no jurisdiction over civilians.”

Our military, thanks to the wording of the NDAA, now has the power to label us terrorists, capture us, lock us up in jail, and hold us there without any regard for our Constitutional rights to due process or to a fair trial. Section 1021(b)(2) of the 2012 NDAA trashes our Constitution, and the very freedoms that our Founding Fathers fought and died for.

Despite what the Supreme Court may think, our Constitution still says we have the rights to due process, to a free trial, and to not be thrown in jail by the military. In this case, a highly reactionary Supreme Court has thrown away nearly 200 years of historical precedent, and turned its back on the American people.

I want my Constitution back.

Comments

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 8 years 15 weeks ago
#1

SINCE 2000 60,000 FACTORIES HAVE MOVED "OVER THERE"
multiply that by 10 by 100 by 1000 people who have lost good wages and benefits.
IF they found another job, more than likely it was for wages much lower than what they were receiving and no benefits at all.
PLUS, that is how many people were moved outta the middle class.

REPUBLICANS ask
"""PRESIDENT OBAMA where are the jobs"""
my answer is
"""over there, over there, spread the word spread the word over there, that our jobs are coming, our jobs are coming """
and they get tax incentives to move "over there."

WHO benefits?
THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY OF NARCISSISTIC CORPORATE CEOs.
WHO have loyalty only to seeking the highest profits at the lowest costs and no loyalty to that country and its people - or this country and its people.

THE government, nor any agency in the government, does not require corporations to move "over there." Corporations voluntarily move "over there" to increase profits by exploiting the environment and workers.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 15 weeks ago
#2

"I Want My Constitution Back," indeed!

Alex Jones, not looking so crazy anymore is he?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 15 weeks ago
#3

I want my top tax rate above 90% with lots of loopholes for investing in America

DonaldFG 8 years 15 weeks ago
#4

Indeed, Alex Jones was out front for a lot of this. What will it take for the average American to react? I wish I could pour everyone into a funnel to the Thom Hartmann program.

One solution is to build support and get votes for the National Citizens Initiative.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 8 years 15 weeks ago
#5

Relevant to Obama's nullification of the Bill of Rights is a Reader Supported News report about ongoing storm-trooper militia operations in the Bundy Ranch area. The report is here: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/23495-the-bundy-ranc...

Some of the discussion on the associated comment thread addressed the perplexing question of why the federal government seemingly surrendered to the militia. I believe what I posted as a probability is in fact the correct answer:

The probable significance of the government's alleged retreat is at least as terrifying as Barack the Betrayer's NDAA and its SCOTUS-approved repeal of the Bill of Rights.

The alleged retreat may be an act of accommodation and alliance rather than an act of surrender. If so, it is directly analogous to Obama's appointment of the Christofascist Rick Warren to give the 2009 inaugural invocation. Just as Warren's appointment gave the Biblical Law theocrats the clandestine kiss of Obamanoid acceptance and encouragement, so too might the regime's departure from the Bundy Ranch communicate acceptance and encouragement to the burgeoning USian neo-Nazi movement and its storm-trooper “militia.”

Like the Warren appointment, the withdrawal could be a telling indication of how the Obama Regime sees our future – a scenario in which opposition from the Left becomes so overpowering, the government can defend itself only by open alliance with the extreme Right – exactly as occurred in Germany at the end of the Weimar Republic.

This is the likelihood that links the gestures to Warren and the storm troopers with NDAA, the slaying of the Bill of Rights and the total-surveillance apparatus of the emergent USian secret-police state. As others have noted, were the Bundy Ranch defenders from Occupy, by now they would all be dead or disappeared.

All of which suggests the crude and repugnant portrayal of Obama as a second Hitler may have been eerily prophetic.

Gator Girl 8 years 15 weeks ago
#6

And now some people are surrendering their citizenship to move where they can take advantage of their ill-gotten gains without having to pay taxes. All who do so should have their corporate status cancelled and thereby, lose their rights under the corporate voting/donations privileges.

And their products should be taxed at the highest level possible with very high tariffs. Either bring back our jobs or lost all of your corporate benefits - and have the ability to return to the US to be BLOCKED FOREVER!

Gator Girl 8 years 15 weeks ago
#7

chuckleB

As it was under Eisenhower - very good thing - and should be done immediately.

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 8 years 15 weeks ago
#8

We should have listened to Eisenhower's warning about the ruling upper class power elite and the military industrial complex ruling us all! By then it was already too late. They created the Vietnam war to try out new war technology. Killed off more then 5 times the names on the memorial walls. My friend Danny is not on that wall memorial. His legs were blown off and he later died from morphine overdose. Only the names of those killed over there are on the wall. I remember the night of his wedding as he and his new wife were in tears instead of joyful bliss. He got his draft notice. He had to go kill in the jungle whether he wanted to or not. The wall should be five times the size. Danny's name should be on that wall. The words on our constitution are just words. Danny died for nothing.

We lost the war for a future when Reagan-Bush and the oil corps took down the solar panels on the white house. We should have listend to Carter's warnings about the need to invest in green energy. We cannot get back 40 lost years. The Thermus Maximus event and mass extinction is the price we pay for our cowardice and apathy. All for simple conveniences, self interests and greed. There is no defense dept, health care system, science community or economic system that will reverse the boiling methane collecting in our atmosphere.

Unless we figure a way to freeze the poles and lock in methane and make inert the present volume mushrooming in the sky, then we are all doomed. All living creatures out of balance with nature are doomed to extinction. We are no exception.

What will be the glorious words we leave engraved on our epitaph? Will they be as noble as our constitution? Shoot it out into space and plant it on the moon with a flag? We have become insane apes out of balance with nature destroying a planet.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 15 weeks ago
#9

With all that methane, I hope no one lights a match!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 15 weeks ago
#10
Quote Chris Hedges:... if we do not rapidly build militant mass movements to overthrow corporate tyranny, including breaking the back of the two-party duopoly that is the mask of corporate power, we will lose our liberty.
----------
Now, a U.S. citizen charged by the government with “substantially supporting” al-Qaida, the Taliban or those in the nebulous category of “associated forces”—some of the language of Section 1021(b)(2)—is lawfully subject to extraordinary rendition on U.S. soil. And those seized and placed in military jails can be kept there until “the end of hostilities.”

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_post-constitutional_era_20140504

But what exactly does "substantially supporting" mean anyway? It's ambiguous.
And if they can do that to any of us that they claim fits that accusation why is our government "substantially supporting" Al Qaeda in Syria? How can our own government get away with supporting Al Qaeda in Syria and even the Nazi's in Ukraine? How can our own government support Saudi Arabia when they commit human rights abuses? The King is imprisoning two of his grown daughters just because their mother divorced the King and escaped to London. They had a piece on this on Russia Today TV..and interviewed the mother.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#11

I think we should re-name the Supreme Court the "Extreme Court". Those black-robed bullies have got to go.

If Obama's a constitutional scholar, then I have to ask, what is reality? Because no constitutional scholar worth his salt would sign a piece of crap like that 2012 version of the NDAA. And this leaves no doubt as to who are the real "terrorists". My one comfort is that these fascist goddam pigs could never build enough prisons to detain us all. - Aliceinwonderland

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 8 years 15 weeks ago
#12

The SCrOTUmS approved government sponsored Christian prayer too. That's a building block for fascism, it codefies intolerance.

Naturally, this NDAA decision gets no media coverage.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#13
The SCrOTUmS approved government sponsored Christian prayer too

Was it just Christian prayer, or any religious prayer? Couldn't a city full of a different religion also use this ruling to their favor?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 15 weeks ago
#14

Funding for national security and laws like the NDAA require whipping up national insecurity! The boogeyman terrorists win again, and without lifting a finger. The real terrorism is climate change and climate terrorists like ALEC and the Kochs are at it again with demanding a tax on solar energy.

The Carbon Barons are taking down the planet and our government is too busy getting manipulated by the military industrial spy complex to do anything about it.....

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 15 weeks ago
#15
Quote Aliceinwonderland:My one comfort is that these fascist goddam pigs could never build enough prisons to detain us all.

Hold your horses there, dear Alice - with all the weaponry our military possesses, mass executions would make prisons unneccesary.

Does anyone else see the similarties to the rise of Nazism in 1930's Germany???

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#16

"Ste", I refuse to be intimidated by those fascist goddam pigs with all their weaponry and military thuggery. They can just kiss my royal ass.

Not having been alive in the 1930s, let alone in Germany, I can only speculate. But there has to be similarities: mass propaganda, jingoism, martial law, kidnap & torture - (excuse me: "extraordinary rendition"... tsk-tsk) - racism & sexism on steroids, class warfare, fear mongering, bullying on the world stage... Need I go on? I can, but I won't. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#17

"SCrOTUmS"…. I love it! Brilliant, Mark! Take a bow.

Just for laughs, try to imagine government-sponsored Muslim prayers. What's good enough for the goose…. Get my drift? - AIW

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#18
Just for laughs, try to imagine government-sponsored Muslim prayers

I don't think anyone would really care. If Ann Arbor, Michigan, which has a large Muslim population, wants to start off a council meeting by asking Allah for guidance, good for them.

The Supreme Court said that the prayer can't put down another group (so no saying "people who don't believe are wrong".) And the prayer can't be preachy (so no saying Jesus/Muhammed/Budda/whoever loves you/is the only way/ etc...)

So what you CAN say is something like, "(The diety of choice for the majority of people in the room), please guide us."

That seems like a good compromise.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 15 weeks ago
#19

As a true believer with a minor in Constitutional law I can say for certainty that I don't like the idea of any kind of sanctioned public prayer. All prayer--of any kind--should be private. It is deeply personal, like sex. It is between the individual and God and should always be kept that way. Not only did Christ himself in the Gospel discourage it, it is completely unconstitutional by law. Furthermore, it places first--even in the arena of like minded believers--the sole perspective of the orator. History has clearly shown that whenever this power is given to one person, it is always misused and usually with disastrous results.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 15 weeks ago
#21

Chi Matt -- Yes, the religious majority gets to oppress the minority religion everywhere.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 15 weeks ago
#22

Even if they just said "let's have a moment of silence" I think the implication of "prayer" and "religion" is still quite apparent. Many of us are atheists so the whole theatrics is a form of proselytization. Religionists usually use that ruse because of all of the flack religion has gotten, and court rulings, about separation of church and state. The religionists are always finding schemes to proselytize people. After all, it is deeply engrained in their belief systems that they have to proselytize people.

As Julia Sweeney said, in one of her comedy monologues, she was asked to be a speaker at a public fund-raising function to raise money for people with cancer. Julia's brother had died of cancer and she also came down with cancer 5 years later. She was a well known actress and comedienne that had a number of skits on Saturday Night Live and has performed many monologue performances and a movie was even made about her. As this function had something to do with NPR (National Public Radio) she was asked to..."please don't mention atheism...after all it was a 'government' sponsored event."

When she got there, most of the people in the room were all wearing crosses. And when the Nun got up on the stage she said: "And now will everyone please bow their heads for a 'non-denominational' prayer?" She went on to praise the Lord Jesus...etc...it was nothing but a denominational Christian prayer. Jews wouldn't have like it...atheists wouldn't have liked it...and there are other religions who would have been excluded.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 15 weeks ago
#23
Quote Palindromedary:Even if they just said "let's have a moment of silence" I think the implication of "prayer" and "religion" is still quite apparent. Many of us are atheists so the whole theatrics is a form of proselytization. Religionists usually use that ruse because of all of the flack religion has gotten, and court rulings, about separation of church and state. The religionists are always finding schemes to proselytize people. After all, it is deeply engrained in their belief systems that they have to proselytize people.

Palindromedary ~ I agree! I also watched both of those videos and agree with them as well. I doesn't change my personal beliefs though. No hard feelings! Thanks for proselytizing anyway.

Ms Sweeney really raises a good point about the Catholic Church. One of the many reasons I want nothing to do with them. Dan Barker also raises a number of provocative issues. Nothing that I haven't heard or considered before, but a very interesting perspective nonetheless.

I don't intend to bash any belief system when I say that I do not want public sanctioned prayer of any kind encouraged, allowed or permitted by law in any public forum. That includes "The Pledge of Allegiance" too. "The Pledge" is nothing more than indoctrination in a idolatry based supernatural belief system designed to foster patriotism of the homeland. It is inflicted on children which is nothing short of child abuse. There is no place in any public forum for supernatural belief indoctrination of any kind. Therefore public prayer of any kind should always be illegal.

Palindromedary ~ I hope we at least agree on that.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 15 weeks ago
#24
Quote DAnneMarc: I also watched both of those videos and agree with them as well. I doesn't change my personal beliefs though. No hard feelings! Thanks for proselytizing anyway.
No kidding? And, you're welcome! I didn't think anyone was going to watch them. No hard feelings that you were not immediately converted to atheism, though. I'm sure it would take a lot more than just a couple of videos for that. ;-} Even Dan Barker, in his earlier evangelical years, wouldn't have been convinced...and probably wouldn't have even watched videos like that.

And I certainly agree with you on all the rest.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#25
After all, it is deeply engrained in their belief systems that they have to proselytize people.

Literally. Jesus’ final instructions to the Apostles in Matthew 28:19 was to “go and make disciples of all nations” by sharing with the world the great things that Jesus has done.

Of course, with about 70% of Americans claiming to be Christian, I can see how that many people telling you "the good news" could get old after awhile. It's kind of like living in a city that is majority Democratic (like Chicago), and not believing their message. You get tired of hearing it after awhile, but they just keep ringing my doorbell.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#26
Yes, the religious majority gets to oppress the minority religion everywhere.

If you think just sitting there while other people say something that doesn't apply to you is "oppression", then you are a very, very delicate person. I don't feel "oppressed" when I sit in meetings and listen to things that don't apply to me. Bored, maybe. But not "oppressed". Just last year I was in traffic court, waiting for them to call my name so I could see the judge. They kept calling other names - which didn't apply to me - and I was forced to sit there and listen to it. I felt so oppressed that I got out my phone and started playing Angry Birds: Star Wars Edition.

My entire family was forced to listen to someone else's music on the way home today. We were at a stop light and, since it was a nice day, we had our windows down. The other music featured a lot of swearing, and I had my young children in the car. I should have called my lawyer and sued, but instead, I acted like an adult and not a child, and rolled my windows up.

Lets suppose that this really was "oppressive" for the plaintiff in the case. Here are some other things they may find oppressive:

- The easy one: "In God We Trust" on money.

- Serving pork or beef at any taxpayer-funded place, including school. Could offend some people.

- For that matter, serving spagetti. Church of the flying spagetti monster and all.

- Cities named after religious things, like San Diego and Los Angeles. Every time anyone in LA gets something in the mail, it's like having the taxpayer-funded post office deliver something with the word "Angel" right there on it. Very oppressive.

- National cemetaries with crosses, crescents, or stars of David headstones. That's public land! And what about the people who are paid to maintain it? That's using taxpayer funds to mow the grass around a religious symbol. I'm feeling very "oppressed" by that.

- Emergency services that respond to religious buildings. What if a firefighter is an Atheist, and a mosque is on fire? He is being FORCED to enter a building and possibly see a religious symbol he disagrees with. We're practically trampling on his First Amendment rights...

- Closing city streets for relgious parades. St. Patrick's Day is a big one here in Chicago. All of those poor, poor non-Catholics that can't drive down that street at that particular time.

- Decorating public places for Valentine's day. Also a Catholic holiday. My public school forced me to cut out paper hearts and put people's names on them, and I wasn't even Catholic at the time. I demand an apology from the state of North Carolina.

Or maybe, we can act like adults and not get offended at little things that other people do, even if we don't agree with it.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#27

Matt, once again you're missing the point. The separation of church & state is there for a REASON. The affairs of church & state don't mix. History proves it. That combination has brought nothing but trouble through the ages, not the least of which is how it tramples on the rights of the non-religious. Seems to me we've got enough troubles to deal with already; why invite more?

I just don't get it. Since when was "In God We Trust" an appropriate message to have printed on paper money?! I always thought "one nation under God" was sanctimonious horse crap. So what are all the other nations; chopped liver? On our fridge here is displayed a magnet with the message: "God bless America shouldn't mean god damn everyone else". AMEN to that!

I don't know about the rest of you, but quite frankly I'm troubled by how the Supreme Court keeps chipping away at the separation of church & state, one paper cut at a time. A city council chambers (or courthouse) is not a goddam church. A school is not a church either. What the fuck. Are Americans so hooked on religion that they can't set it aside long enough to deal with other matters in life, having nothing remotely to do with religion?! Reminds me of a baby who can't let go his pacifier; pull it out of his mouth and he starts screaming bloody murder. Maybe I oughta go into business making & selling adult-size pacifiers with Jesus's face printed on them… or Pat Robertson's! (Yuk-Yuk)

Is there another developed country anywhere else in the world where people are so addicted to religion?! Seriously… - Aliceinwonderland

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#28
Matt, once again you're missing the point. The separation of church & state is there for a REASON. The affairs of church & state don't mix. History proves it. That combination has brought nothing but trouble through the ages, not the least of which is how it tramples on the rights of the non-religious. Seems to me we've got enough troubles to deal with already; why invite more?

My point was, where does it stop? All of the things I listed sound silly, but they also muddy the lines between church and state.

I could go further, and ask what defines a "religion" or "church". Is it a system of beliefs? In that case, science becomes a "religion" - it's a system of beliefs. So no more teaching that in schools. The Gospels are stories about one man's journey long ago. So is "Origin of the Species" (Darwin's book, in case some people don't know). Why should one be allowed, and the other not? They are both just writings about a set of beliefs.

I've also heard compelling arguments that equate environmentalism as a religion. So no more "Earth Day" celebrations in school.

Do you see how this silliness needs to end somewhere?

I wonder, seriously, if the plaintiff in this case every asked the city council to stop praying. Did they ever voice their concerns, or did they go straight for their lawyers? I wonder if they were genuinely offended, or just wanted to make some waves.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#29

Matt, equating science with religion as merely a "system of belief" is a lame argument. Science is based on empirical evidence and the pursuit of evidence via tried-and-true methods adhering to strict standards and relentless scrutiny, having not the vaguest resemblance to antiquated, simple-minded beliefs based on nothing. Are you serious in suggesting that science has no more legitimate a place in schools than religion?! Holy moly…

Why don't we simply declare that stupidity is a religion? Because these arguments are flat-out fucking ridiculous. Let's just go back to teaching Bible shit in church, and science in schools, and move on to other topics more relevant to the 21st Century. THAT is where the silliness should end. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#30

Palin, where are you? I'm beginning to miss your religion-bashing rants. - AIW

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#31
Science is based on empirical evidence and the pursuit of evidence via tried-and-true methods adhering to strict standards and relentless scrutiny, having not the vaguest resemblance to antiquated, simple-minded beliefs based on nothing.

You're making a value judgement that one is more important than the other. You make that judgement for your kids, and let me make the judgement for mine. Your scientific beliefs may seem antiquated and simple-minded one day. That doesn't make them wrong.

Are you serious in suggesting that science has no more legitimate a place in schools than religion?!

No. I hope people can see my sarcastic hyperbole. Just trying to prove a point that it's impossible to have a complete separation of "church" and state. Someone will ALWAYS be offended or have someone else's beliefs put on them. Saying an invocation at a town council meeting for anyone who wishes to participate (and anyone else can ignore it) seems reasonable.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#32

Matt, if you can't tell between a belief and a fact, I feel sorry for you. Have a lovely evening. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 15 weeks ago
#33
Quote ChicagoMatt:Literally. Jesus’ final instructions to the Apostles in Matthew 28:19 was to “go and make disciples of all nations” by sharing with the world the great things that Jesus has done.

ChicagoMatt ~ I would counter with this...

First, the Gospel must be publised in all nations, not inflicted on all nations.

The Holy Bible: King James Version

Quote The Gospel According To Mark, chapter 13 verse 5-10:Mark 13:5 ¶And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Furthermore, the action of the followers of Jesus was restricted with this teaching.

Quote The Gospel According To Luke, chapter 20 verse 15-47:Luke 20:45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,

46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;

47 Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

Finally, the act of prayer was defined by this teaching.

Quote The Gospel According To Matthew, chapter 6 verse 1-8:Matthew 6:1 ¶Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

5 ¶And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#34
First, the Gospel must be publised in all nations, not inflicted on all nations.

I could counter, again, with "judge not..." But I could do that for anything, so it's a circular argument.

Backing up a bit to the actual Supreme Court ruling, how is saying something that doesn't apply to someone in the room, that they are perfectly free to ignore, equal "inflicting" it on that person? "Inflicting" it so much that it requires a trip to the Supreme Court. I refer back to my list of other things that could be seen by some as "inflicting" religion on people.

At work, I have the ability to see the transition as immature children turn into mature adults. And when I hear adults say things like, "I'm offended that the people around me were praying, and I don't believe in that stuff," it sounds very immature to me. It's the equivalent of "Jon is looking at me funny!" Or "Jamie won't let me into her club!"

It crosses the line between legit Constitutional issues, and childish nit-picking.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#35

Matt- Once again you are trivializing this issue of church & state. This is about way more than a simple matter of listening or not listening to something "in a room". The danger is of the Christian church imbedding itself into our institutions and having more influence on civic matters affecting all of us, not just Christians, and controlling more of the workings of society. This would give the Christian church way too much power, resulting in its ability to impose more of its rules and standards of conduct on the rest of us whether we are Christian or not. It poses yet another threat to democracy and our ability to reclaim it. So you see, there's much more at stake than what one hears in "a room" somewhere, that one would rather not be subjected to. There's a reason our forefathers were so adamant about keeping church & state separate. We trivialize it or ignore it at our peril.

The first settlers who arrived here, hundreds of years ago, were driven out of their country of origin by this kind of tyranny and it is the LAST thing we need here and now. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 15 weeks ago
#36

AIW -- The first settlers in MA were forced out of their country of origin because they themselves were restricted from being as tyrannical as they wanted to be. The settlers in Virginia were placed there by the a monopoly, British East India Company. Both sets of settlers were so bad that a couple 100 years later Jefferson knew that his new country had to codify restrictions against theocracy and plutocracy.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#37

OK Chuck, that might well be true. I've no reason to doubt it. As many on this forum are aware, the version of American history we were taught is pretty homogenized. But I still stand by everything I said in that first paragraph. - AIW

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 8 years 15 weeks ago
#38

Government endorsed prayer makes all who believe otherwise second class citizens in however small a way. Although it may not be that small.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#39
Government endorsed prayer makes all who believe otherwise second class citizens in however small a way. Although it may not be that small.

There is a difference between "endorsed" and "allowed" or "tolerated". The Supreme Court case was very clear that you can't be preachy or put anyone else down. All that is required is tolerance, like adults should be able to do.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#40
There's a reason our forefathers were so adamant about keeping church & state separate.

The majority opinion in the case (I believe written by Kennedy) pointed out that the Founding Fathers hired someone to do an invocation over their meeting just two days after drafting the first amendment. They clearly didn't think it crossed the line.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#41

They clearly didn't think, period. Or clearly didn't give a rat's ass.

There goes our Constitution and Bill of Rights, right down the toilet. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 15 weeks ago
#42
Quote ChicagoMatt:There is a difference between "endorsed" and "allowed" or "tolerated". The Supreme Court case was very clear that you can't be preachy or put anyone else down. All that is required is tolerance, like adults should be able to do.

ChicagoMatt ~ Request denied!! I have no problem whatsoever with you and your crazy cult crawling into any hole you want and saying amongst each other anything you want. That is a protected freedom under the Constitution. However the minute any of you want to inflict your beliefs on a public forum you have crossed the line. Back off!! There is no place in a public forum for any perspective that is outside of the jurisdiction of the public; and, any preference given to any establishment of religion clearly qualifies as such.

There shall be no encroachment upon public affairs by any establishment of religion as far as I am concerned. That would be the most dangerous encroachment to our system of politics I could imagine. There is every reason to not "tolerate" it, no matter how benign it might appear to be.

All religion belongs on the personal level. Religious organizations have proven their inability to "tolerate" religious freedom. As Madison and Jefferson foresaw, they are acting in ways that will eventually cause their own demise. In the mean time, they will inflict untold suffering on countless of innocents--the same way run away religion has always done in history. I personally envision a future where all religious cults and institutions are banned and individuals are free to believe as they see fit in the privacy of their own homes (closets) The closet is where religion belongs--not the pulpit.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago
#43

Thanks, Marc. All excellent points. Great for posterity, whether Matt gets it or not. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 15 weeks ago
#44
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Thanks, Marc. All excellent points. Great for posterity, whether Matt gets it or not. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland ~ Why thank you so much. Coming from you, that is high praise indeed.

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 8 years 15 weeks ago
#45
Quote ChicagoMatt:

There is a difference between "endorsed" and "allowed" or "tolerated". The Supreme Court case was very clear that you can't be preachy or put anyone else down. All that is required is tolerance, like adults should be able to do.

No, Matt, there is no difference, not in this case. If, at a government function, the presiding government official opens the meeting with a prayer it is, in effect, endorsing it. No prayer can be so inclusive as to speak for all religious convictions, even that of the non believer.

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 8 years 15 weeks ago
#46
Quote ChicagoMatt:

The majority opinion in the case (I believe written by Kennedy) pointed out that the Founding Fathers hired someone to do an invocation over their meeting just two days after drafting the first amendment. They clearly didn't think it crossed the line.

I don't think the First Amendment was authored by all our forefathers and someno doubt, didn't quite get what the amendment was for or what it was about. Jefferson, for example, who I think had to be the main author, was definitely against theistic prayer in the context of government function. Some others were probably not. The custom of invocation over a meeting significantly predated the Amendment and it may've taken more than a couple of days for all to realize it and to change habit.

Anyway, previous Supreme Courts have decided in favor strict separation. Don't forget the current court has a fascist majority and the decision was 5-4.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 15 weeks ago
#47
However the minute any of you want to inflict your beliefs on a public forum you have crossed the line. Back off!!

Couldn't one argue that it is the non-religious who are "inflicting" their beliefs on others by making people change the way things have been done since the founding of the country? Isn't lack of faith (Atheism, secularism, Agnosticism, etc...) also, in itself, a religion viewpoint?

There is every reason to not "tolerate" it, no matter how benign it might appear to be.

Then what about all of those other "benign" religious/state crossovers I listed? Like I keep saying, where does it all end? Should we prevent people from putting religious bumper stickers on their cars, if they intend to drive those cars on taxpayer-funded roads? Those roads are public places, and the people behind those cars might get offended by looking at something they don't believe in.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#48
Quote ChicagoMatt:Isn't lack of faith (Atheism, secularism, Agnosticism, etc...) also, in itself, a religion viewpoint?

ChicagoMatt ~ They most certainly are. As such if anyone of them got up at a public event and started to broadcast their beliefs they should be cordially escorted out as well. However, the simple fact of the matter is that the discussion or mention of any personal beliefs are not required for the function of public events. They are only required by organizations of personal belief systems for proselytizing those beliefs. Therefore any such mentioning should be strictly banned at all times--in the same way vulgar language is banned from public events. Of course, private events are another story. Public proselytising of any kind should be limited to the street corner; and, I personally find even that annoying; however, I'm willing to compromise that far.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 14 weeks ago
#49
Public proselytising of any kind should be limited to the street corner; and, I personally find even that annoying; however, I'm willing to compromise that far.

I've had people in Chicago yell at me from the street corner and tell me I was "living a lie" when I went into Holy Name Cathedral (the big one here). I don't know what they hoped to accomplish by that, other than making themselves feel better. But whatever.

If, for 230-plus years, town halls have been opening their meetings with invocations, and now, suddenly, it's a problem, doesn't that make it seem like the non-believers are forcing their views on people? Isn't it impossible to escape SOMEONE'S belief system.

Or, if a church decided that it MUST open every meeting with an invocation as part of it's religious dogma, does that mean that person should be excluded from holding office?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#50

Matt, this isn't "suddenly" a problem. It has always been, at the very least, a potential problem to be kept at bay. In today's environment, it is a real problem. And no, it's not "impossible" to escape "someone's" belief system when belief systems are left out of the protocol altogether... as well they should be in places like schools and courthouses. - Alice IW

P.S. the final paragraph of your post isn't making sense. A church isn't a person. You're asking "if a church decided that it MUST open every meeting with an invocation as part of it's..." - ["its" not "it's", English instructor!] - "...religious dogma, does that mean that person..." [WHAT person?!] "...should be excluded from holding office?"

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