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May 5th, 2014
04:23 PM ET

After Supreme Court ruling, do religious minorities have a prayer?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - If you don't like it, leave the room.

That's Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's advice for atheists and others who object to sectarian prayers before government meetings.

In a 5-4 decision written by Kennedy, the Supreme Court allowed Greece, New York, to continue hosting prayers before its monthly town board meetings - even though an atheist and a Jewish citizen complained that the benedictions are almost always explicitly Christian.

Many members of the country's majority faith - that is, Christians - hailed the ruling.

Many members of minority faiths, as well as atheists, responded with palpable anger, saying the Supreme Court has set them apart as second-class citizens.

Groups from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism to the Hindu American Foundation decried Monday's decision.

"The court’s decision to bless ‘majority-rules’ prayer is out of step with the changing face of America, which is more secular and less dogmatic,” said Rob Boston, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which litigated the case.

At least one justice, Elena Kagan, seemed to agree. And while Kennedy's decision reads like a lesson in American history, Kagan's dissent offers a picture of the country's increasingly pluralistic present.

American politicians have prayed before public gatherings since the Founding Fathers crowded into a stuffy Philadelphia room to crank out the Constitution, Kennedy writes.

The inaugural and "emphatically Christian" prayer at the First Continental Congress was delivered by an Anglican minister, who overcame objections from the assembled Quakers, Anabaptists and Presbyterians.

The prayer united the mostly Christian Founding Fathers, and the rest is history, Kennedy writes.

So, the justice suggests, as long prayers at public meetings don't fall into a pattern of proselytizing, denigrating nonbelievers or threatening damnation, what's the problem?

According to a recent poll, the vast majority of Americans share Kennedy's view.

Less than 23% of Americans told pollsters at Fairleigh Dickinson University that they dislike prayers at public government meetings.

“This has always been a praying nation, despite its very secular Constitution,” said Peter J. Woolley, professor of comparative politics at Fairleigh Dickinson in Hackensack, New Jersey.

“People generally see generic prayer as harmless, if not uplifting, not as something that is oppressive.”

But what about people who like their local government meetings to be religion-free?

"Should nonbelievers choose to exit the room during a prayer they find distasteful, their absence will not stand out as disrespectful or even noteworthy," Kennedy writes.

Kagan, writing for the dissenting minority, sharply disagreed.

She suggested that the five justices who formed the majority - all of whom are Catholic - don't understand what it's like to belong to a minority faith in America.

The Supreme Court's Catholic majority seems to think that, because many prayers before government meetings take on a ceremonial aspect, the actual content of the prayers doesn't matter, Kagan continues.

In essence, she said, the majority is making light of religious differences while conferring a special role on Christianity.

"Contrary to the majority's apparent view, such sectarian prayers are not 'part of our expressive idiom' or 'part of our heritage and tradition,' assuming that 'our' refers to all Americans. They express beliefs that are fundamental to some, foreign to others - and because of that they carry the ever-present potential to divide and exclude."

To illustrate her point, Kagan, who is Jewish, raises a hypothetical scenario.

Let's say there's a Muslim resident of Greece, New York, who appears before the town board to share her policy views or request a permit.

Just before the Muslim woman makes her argument, a minister "deputized by the town" asks the room to pray in the name of "God's only son Jesus Christ."

With less than a dozen people the room, every action is noticed.

So, the Muslim woman has two choices, Kagan argues: 1) Go along with the majority and pray, despite her religious objections, or 2) Risk causing some kind of disturbance or public disagreement with the very people she is trying to persuade.

"And thus she stands at a remove, based solely on religion, from her fellow citizens and her elected representatives," Kagan writes.

Kagan did not suggest that the Supreme Court's majority (Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito) voted to uphold sectarian prayer because they are members of the country's largest church, Roman Catholicism.

But Ronald Lindsay of the Center for Inquiry, a Humanist group, called it "striking and sad" that "five of the six Christian justices on the Supreme Court formed the majority." (Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is Catholic, voted with Kagan.)

"With a Supreme Court that appears hostile to the rights of religious minorities, those of us who believe in a secular government must redouble our legal and advocacy efforts,” Lindsay said.

Of course, there's a great gap between being Catholic and using the gavel to promote Christianity.

But a new study conducted by scholars at the University of Southern California offers intriguing insights into how the justices have voted on First Amendment issues.

The upshot: The conservative justices tend to side with conservative causes; the liberals with liberal ones.

"Supreme Court Justices are opportunistic supporters of the First Amendment," write the scholars.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Courts • Discrimination • Interfaith issues • Prejudice • Religious liberty

soundoff (2,070 Responses)
  1. purplestikypunch

    Christianity is hypocrisy!

    Matthew 6:5-9. "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

    May 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      You only need to use exclamation marks when what you are saying is new news...

      May 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
    • bostontola

      My favorite:

      "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-28)

      I see it among Christians, but ironically it is most rare among the fundamental Christians I encounter.

      May 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • usaidtwhat

      You did not use that appropriately. Go research it before you use it. I did. The way you are using is not the context. He is rebuking religious hypocrites who pray for recognition. We would have to judge the "praying" person's motive to use it that way, and that would be a further problem since the same passage says, "judge not". Further, Jesus is found praying publically all the time in their Bible. So, I would seriously doubt he was speaking against public prayer even though you and some others on this page so desperately wish that to be the case. USE something that holds water.

      May 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
      • Madtown

        Correct christian context = "whatever agrees with my opinion and interpretation."

        May 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          MADTOWN;
          Just research it. It is NOT what you want it to say.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Tiresome atheist response when they disagree with your answer = " Always gotta revert back to context and interpretation to prove your point !"

          As if this is a bad thing. LMAO

          May 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Opinion

          May 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Madtown

          Hey Devin, just to be clear, I'm not atheist. I think it's funny when different people trot out the "check the context" line, yet still say different things. Hilarious.

          May 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        Exactly right. When you already have an idea you want a verse to say and then take the verse out of context in order to get it to say that, that's reading the text isogetically. You have to read the entire passage and also compare that verse with other related verses to read it exegetically.

        May 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • sam stone

          Yes, gopher, i am certain that this is what you do all the time

          "death is unnatural"

          what a b.o.o.b.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          It absolutely is unnatural.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          So much for your "god" not being the author of confusion.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God is not the author of confusion....it is man who confuses himself....nice try in typical atheist style of "blaming the other person" for your troubles

          May 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @kermit

          Did your god inspire the bible? Is your god perfect? Why would he allow fallible people to make his book confusing when it is supposed to be the guidebook of how to live? Why would it need so many damn excuses?
          Easy answer, it's all BS.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WHY cant you acceot that the problem is YOU? rather than God..it is ONLY confusing when people dont treat it rightly (by pretending the Bible was originally written in Modern day English by modern day Americans, using modern day culture!) Its confusing to You cause You are not Jewish..You did not ligvein those days..and YOu seemingly have not looked into that as many people dont do as well....Its not confusing to me..now that I understand it was written by JEWS in GREEK and Hebrew languages of ancient times, using their culture as a background..so again...stop the nonesense of blaming god and accewpt responsibility

          May 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • sam stone

          "It absolutely is unnatural."

          Well, that straightens it out

          Could you provide a bit more detail?

          Like, where do fossils come from if death is unnatural?

          Are your grandparents still alive?

          If not, did they do something unnatural?

          I guess that you will live forever, since you know that death is unnatural, so you can avoid it

          May 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @kermit

          So the objective morality of your god is determined by the culture of the people he chose? Do you even realize how little sense you actually make?

          May 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOOOO..the UNDERSTANDING of what they say are based on the culture..the CONTEXT..in UNDERSTANDING what they are trying to get accorss..sounds to me you are very culturally ignorant (and IM not referring to the Bible only..but all cultures....youknow...not everyone has same culture as you)

          May 6, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • sam stone

          hey, shinebox, isn't the whole salvation schtick about avoiding responsibility by relying on a savior?

          May 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @kermit

          So the bible is a look into the culture of an ancient people. So why the hell should we care what it says? Personally, I couldn't care less what a culture that promoted slavery, purges, and sexual prisoners of way says, but maybe that's just me and my culturally insensitive view.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Because the Bible was not written for one culture..but for ALL mankind to benefit....

          May 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @kermit

          So then why would your god have allowed it to be written and colored by an obviously wrong and patriarchal culture? That makes it kind of confusing for those who don't already read it thinking that it HAS to be right because it's the bible.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          wrong culture? what do you mean by "wrong" culture??????????

          May 7, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • observer

          kermit4jc

          Yep. Apparently slavery and discriminations against women, gays, and the handicapped is for ALL mankind.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          there was no discrimination supported against women....and handicapped..sure you may bring up instances of those who couldn't serve in the priesthood..that was back then...and it did NOT demean their value as humans..OR exclude them from WOrSHIP.......you are trying to stretch things to make it look bad...all along you are looking bad for your pitiful ignorance

          May 7, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • sam stone

          Come on, Topher, explain why death is unnatural

          Can you back up your statement with logic, or will you revert to Gopher and run and hide?

          (that was a rhetorical question. of course, you wil not provide a logical response (after all, why start now?))

          May 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I should clarify .... death is unnatural in that it wasn't how we were designed. We die because we sin.

          May 6, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          what possible justification would you have for that claim? Oh that's right, YOUR interpretation of YOUR specific version of a book of magicks.

          May 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • sam stone

          Sure, that makes a lot more sense

          Animals die. Do they sin?

          Plants die. Do they sin?

          May 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          sam stone

          "Sure, that makes a lot more sense ... Animals die. Do they sin? ... Plants die. Do they sin?"

          No, neither of those do. But when sin entered the world, the Bible tells us, that all of creation growns under it. So yes, they all die, too.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          once again topher, where exactly in the bible does it say that everything on earth was immortal before "original sin". I guess nothing was supposed to reproduce in the beginning either, because immortal beings having children with impunity would definitely be bad for the planet.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
        • Madtown

          kermit4jc
          Because the Bible was not written for one culture..but for ALL mankind to benefit....
          ---–
          Very interesting. What's your best guess then, as to why God hasn't made the bible available to all of mankind, if it was written for all of mankind? That doesn't make sense, which is probably why you embrace it so fully.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IT IS available to all.....mankind......who says it isn't? its been written in just about every language known to date!

          May 7, 2014 at 2:16 am |
        • benhoody

          There re thousands of isolated people in this world who have never heard of Jesus, the Christian God or even the bible, where do they stand in all of this?

          May 7, 2014 at 2:45 am |
        • kermit4jc

          all people are sinners, deserving of hell...they are judged accordingly....the first people did not have Bibles (Abraham, Moses) yet God revealed Himself to them....for those people in isolated areas today..God stil works in them...if they are willing..God knows their hearts.....that even if he did reveal himself...they would still reject Him..the heavens and earth are testimony of God

          May 7, 2014 at 2:48 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "once again topher, where exactly in the bible does it say that everything on earth was immortal before "original sin". "

          When God looked at His creation at the end of the six days, He called it "good." If there was death, disease and suffering, He wouldn't have called it "good."

          May 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          So God CREATED death, disease and suffering on the 7th day, How CARING of him.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          So the bible needs to say, in the exact words that slavery was good before you will concede that it endorses slavery.
          But one word is enough for you to jump to everything being immortal before the fall. Gee that's some real "consistent" standards you have there.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "So God CREATED death, disease and suffering on the 7th day, How CARING of him."

          Nope.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          So which day did God CREATE death, disease and suffering? Mankind certainly wasn't technologically advanced then to create diseases, etc. All they had was what God CREATED.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • sam stone

          Amazing what people believe

          You believe that man brought death into the world through "sin", topher?

          May 6, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          God did not create those things. They are a result of sin.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          So your god didn't create germs? So things began to exist without your god creating it. Thank you for disproving the cosmological argument for your gods very existence for us.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Logical fallacy. Not all germs are harmful.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          And once again you completely avoid the actual point of the post in order to not have to defend your own statement.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          So God didn't invent all life. Man also created bacteria. Pretty sharp for such ignorant people at the time.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • sam stone

          Really, Gopher?

          You claim death came into this world because of the abstract concept of "sin" and then have the gall to question other people's logic?

          You remain a snivelling sycophant, and a clown

          May 7, 2014 at 5:55 am |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "Religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

    – James Madison (letter to Edward Livingstone, 1822)

    May 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – Livingston

      May 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • Doris

        Indeed not(GOPer).

        "The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State."

        Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state.
        He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (See Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

        May 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • usaidtwhat

      Yes, we are trouble by your grade-school rants. I'm glad you could admit it. That is the first step to change.

      May 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • usaidtwhat

      Further, if you do not believe these "mix", as you meant to perpetrate by that misused quote, then you and I are of all Americans most miserable. "For WE hold these truths to be self evident, that ALL mean are CREATED equal and are endowed by their CREATOR with certain...rights". See, that "mix"?!? YOU and I have NO rights if that fact is wrong! I'm glad that your misguided rants were not the guiding principle of the founders.

      May 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Maybe you should do a little more research and a little less shouting and you might learn something. Also, please explain which "creator" it was that gave us these rights? Oh, wait a sec, you forgot to include the next few lines that totally ruin your lame a s s ertion: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instltuted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

        What was that again? Where do we derive our rights according to our founders?

        May 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Reading comprehension "Neverbeen". The one fact postulates the other. Remove the first, YOU HAVE MISSED THE SUPPORTING REASON OF THE NEXT. How's that? Did that help it get through?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Not at all captain shouty-pants. The second part is where it actually defines where those rights are derived and is not at all predicated on the first. You are a moron and the world is poorer for your contribution to it.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @usaidtwhat
        While some payed lip service to the lofty ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Const.itution, the pervasive mentality was obviously contrary to the "self evident truth that all men are created equal".
        White, hetero, Christian land owners may have been equals in at least an abstract, moralistic context but a slave based economy can hardly be considered egalitarian.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          WHAT...we're talking the fact of the words NOT the error of men.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • observer

          usaidtwhat,

          The Consti-tution is the LAW of the land. Even in the preamble that gives the reasons for its creation, it NEVER once uses the words:

          God
          Christ
          Christian
          Jesus
          Bible

          May 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        What?

        The Creator being referred to is a deist creator. In addition, there is no mention of a creator of any kind in the Consti.tution, including the Bill of Rights. In fact, the first amendment separates church and state. The very first one.

        I'm also curious why you chose to strike "unalienable" from your quote.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
      • Doris

        Where did notaGOPer say anything about a creator or not, oh presumptuous one.

        Keep in mind the creator god that the Deists believed in (ala Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, etc.) was quite different than the God fundamentalists believe in today. Deists of that time generally did not believe in the divinity of Christ nor did they believe in the supernatural aspects of the Bible. They believed in the "watchmaker" creator who set things in motion – who was not a personal god and didn't play an active role in people's lives.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Doris

          (my last reply was to usaidwhat)

          May 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          That is how they viewed him. It did not negate who He claimed to be. FURTHER, it does not negate the mix.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
      • bostontola

        Who says the creator is your God?

        Who says the creator is a God?

        Who says the creator is a sentient being?

        May 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Madtown

          When I was in high school, some of my friends and I loved to talk about religion, and like topics. One of our more entertaining guesses, was that our universe, and us, were the result of some kid's science experiment, and that everything existed inside a big fish bowl sitting on his desk.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          Men in Black ; )

          May 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Or this great Gary Larson "Far Side" cartoon:

          May 6, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • observer

        usaidtwhat,

        Yep. Notice that he did NOT say "God". The "Creator" could be Zeus or your parents.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          The point OBSERVER, is that it was NOT evolution or atheism that frames the facts and lays the foundations of our freedoms. IT'S GOD!

          May 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • observer

          usaidtwhat,

          WRONG. FORTUNATELY, we don't use the Bible as the basis for our laws.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • Doris

          That's just your opinion usaid.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • igaftr

          usaid
          Since you cannot show this "god" of yours to exist, yours is only baseless opinion. We can see the roots of our perceived freedoms that naturally EVOLVED with the rest of our humanity. Our humanity is what tells us what freedom means to humans.
          We can look around the animal kingdom and see where much of our humanity evolved from...still no sign of any "gods". Since we have evidence where our idea of rights comes from, and we cannot see any such "god", to think this deity of yours is responsible for anything, is delusional.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
      • igaftr

        usaid.
        Just because the one who wrote the DoI believed and wrote that in there does not lend any credibility to the belief. He believed and wrote that in.Just because someone wrote something down (scripture means it was written down) does not make it reality.
        Belief in a "creator" is still as baseless as it always has been.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          When you speed through that next speed zone (supposing you challenge the ticket), use this same logic you just wrote with the judge and see how far you get.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • igaftr

          If the cop is stupid enough to write anything about any creator, I would. Otherwise, he would need just as much proof as the law requires.
          There continues to be a complete and total lack of any evidence of any kind of any "creator".

          May 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Based on my reading of it the Declaration of Independence does not set forth a standard for speeding infractions.

          It does worry a lot about promulgating French laws from Canada and being taken captive on the high seas, but I can't find out where it sets out how a judge should try a speeding infraction.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • observer

        usaidwhat,

        "For WE hold these truths to be self evident, that ALL mean are CREATED equal"

        Not all MEAN people are created equal.

        Are you saying that applies to atheists, agnostics, and gays too?

        May 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          CREATED...how did it feel to say what you do NOT believe.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • observer

          usaidtwhat,

          I was CREATED by my parents.

          Didn't your parents create you?

          May 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "...misused quote..."

        Have you even read Madison's letter to Livingston to make that assertion?

        It's here, should you like to: http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions66.html

        Madison begins with:

        "I observe with particular pleasure the view you have taken of the immunity of Religion from civil jurisdiction, in every case where it does not trespass on private rights or the public peace. This has always been a favorite principle with me; and it was not with my approbation, that the deviation from it took place in Congs., when they appointed Chaplains, to be paid from the Natl. Treasury."

        Madison concludes with the following:

        "We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt."

        Who better than an architect of the Const.tution to explain what the first amendment really means in practice?

        Justice Kennedy should read a little bit more of Madison's thoughts on this subject.

        May 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        The Declaration of Independence has *nothing* to do with the law of the United States which came into being with the Const.tution in 1789.

        The purpose of the DOI was rabble rousing. It was intended to foment revolution – not create a government.

        May 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          It was their foundation. Only idiocy would deny it. Someone with an agenda. LISTEN, WE DO NOT Have to be afraid of it. CHRISTIAN Beliefs is what formed and found your country. IT speaks to the point of lunacy to deny it.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • observer

          usaidtwhat,

          It is true that it was predominantly Christians who came to this land uninvited and then cheated the local people out of their land.

          FACT: Over 13,000 native Cherokees were FORCED out of their land and FORCED to walk 1,200 miles away. We can thank mostly Christians for that Golden Rule kindness.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "IT speaks to the point of lunacy to deny it."
          --------------------

          The terrific idea of a government formed 'of the people' and specifically NOT 'by the grace of God almighty' *is* the essential idea of the Const.tution of the United States. It is founded on enlightenment principles, and not Christianity.

          17th century thinkers like John Locke saw the horrors that organized religion brought on the world with the Thirty Years War. They came up with ideals of government not according to the "divine right" of Kings. This came to fruit in the Const.itution.

          To deny that that Consti.tution begins with "We the People" and not "By the grace of God almighty" (like *every* other 18th century docvment did), is the lunacy.

          We grant the right to govern ourselves, not God.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Totally WRONG *yousaidt'w'hat". I see you never took a law class, or even High School Civics. Typical.
        There are two kinds of rights. One are "inalienable" and one kind are granted by law, (judicial). The docu'ment was written at the end of the Enlightenment, and reflects the times. The US is a signatory to the UN Charter on Human Rights. It affirms our rights arise as a result of our being human, NOT because your particular deity happened to give out some. The Treaty with Tripoli clearly states the Founders did not believe this country was founded on ANY religion. They all signed it, and it was passed unanimously, and was written by the Washington Administration.

        May 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I find it interesting that the articles of confederation do have a wishy-washy reference to God as the "Great Governor of the World" yet the Const.itution specifically does not.

      And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union.

      A "Governor" is not even a creator. A "Governor" is something that keeps a system (like a machine) under control and stops it from falling apart.

      I wonder what changed. I suggest that the choice was deliberate. No God.

      Any anno domini (year of our lord) references are pro-forma. They do not imply divine sanction or cause.

      May 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
  3. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    One thing I find troubling here is the grade-school level of understanding many commenters seem to have regarding democracy (even shaded as a democratic republic).

    Majority rule should never be conflated as being exactly the same as democracy.

    There seems to be very little understanding of that by posters praising the SCOTUS decision here.

    May 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  4. Alias

    Vic
    Please take a few minutes and google chromosone disorders. It is entirely possible to pass on a different number of genes to offspring.
    Once you get that through your thick skull, I can explain why your comments about macro evolution are ignorant.

    May 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • bostontola

      Many people commenting on science on this blog have a fundamental problem, not only don't they know the specific science (e.g. evolution), they don't know what science itself is. That is why they are so easily manipulated by creationists, etc.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
      • Alias

        Actually I was expecting to get criticized for making such a complicated topic seems so simple.

        May 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          You're right, the top level concept of evolution is simple. The details are as complex as it gets. It's easy for some to dismiss it since they want it to be wrong.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        It would be like having your science teacher explain in detail what we have discovered in regards to evolution and been able to test and repeat but then ends with "Even though this is what we have observed time and again and has been peer reviewed and see no reason it should work in any other way, we just don't know how science worked 10,000 years ago. Historical 'science' (aka the bible) says humans were the product of intelligent design a few thousand years ago and "actual science" can't prove otherwise..."

        May 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  5. Concert in an Egg

    If you want to pray, YOU step outside. The rest of us are serious people with a job to do.

    May 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • auntiekale

      Well said!!

      May 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • samsstones

      Egg
      Quite right.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
  6. colin31714

    Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls, so that we can;

    (i) Circu.mcise them and prevent them from ever experiencing se.xual pleasure as women, because we are a mob of backward sava.ges;

    (ii) veil them and prevent them from ever being able to express their feminine beauty because we are insecure that another man may take them from us;

    (iii) keep them in a state of complete domestic servitude within the house;

    (iv) dissuade them from achieving an education as it will upset our dominance over them;

    (v) subject them to domestic abuse, both physical and mental, should they ever challenge our male dominance at home;

    (vi) place them in arranged marriages at very young ages with men they will never love;

    (vii) prohibit them from socializing or, Allah forbid, marrying, outside of their religion;

    (viii) subject them to the death penalty, should they have se.x before marriage, commit adultery within marriage or blaspheme or commit apostasy; and

    (ix) generally make their lives miserable, reducing them to nothing but mindless breeding machines, from the day they are born until the day they die, for our own sick, barbaric pleasure.

    May 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • colin31714

      sorry, wrong spot. Meant for next article.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
      • James XCIX

        Not entirely out of place here, though.

        May 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • believerfred

        Finally I agree with you......wrong spot. This is a belief blog. You should post it to a godless blog so that you could get applause for your Dawkinisms or is it Richardisms?

        May 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          If you could provide evidence to support your belief you might have a point, but while you're making baseless assertions about a god creating the universe and all in it, you must surely expect challenges to that belief. If you could provide evidence I doubt that there would be challenges.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • believerfred

          In Santa We Trust
          Colin is not making a legitimate challenge he is simply making fun of believers using Dawkins soundbytes out of Militant Atheists Handbook for Dummies.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • believerfred

          In Santa We Trust
          Can you provide evidence for your belief

          May 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Alias

          I cannot prove there is no god, but there is a lot of proof your bible is flawed.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • believerfred

          Alias
          I assume you have no belief in God. What is the purpose for your existence and I assume non existence when your organic matter no longer responds to electric stimuli?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • colin31714

          believerfred, with this one, lone, never to be repeated exception, I never respond to you. You are just too stupid, my friend. I am sorry, but it is true. I hope you are 70+ years old, because only that would explain your posts. From now on, if you ever feel the need to respond to me, don't bother. If you must, pls just assume my response is "Thanks Fred, that's a good point, now call the nurses and have them bring your pills and diaper."

          May 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Colin...to be fair, I've never met any believer that was not terminally stupid, but you are right about Fred and a couple other posted here. They are in a class of stupid that knows no bounds.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • colin31714

          BelieverFred, Vic and Noahsdadtropher are probably the worst. The garbage they believe was educated out of most of us by fifth grade.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          You have to include Kermit in that bunch as well....and salero for sure. And, if he keeps it up, usaidtwhat.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • colin31714

          And, let's not forget awandersingscot. If there was any doubt that religious people, as a whole, are not too sharp, this BB proves it.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Alias

          Nice changing of topic there.
          DNA proves Adam and Eve are just mythical.
          Several fields of science show no global flood ever happened.
          There are dozens of contradictions in your bible.
          The whole sacrificing of jesus is a logical failure.
          Now, what proof can you offer that any god exists?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          I don't think believing makes someone stupid. It does make for some irrational and nonsensical beliefs. I was a believer once. I was not dumber then nor am I smarter now, though I consider myself wiser.

          The worst believers on this blog are profoundly ignorant of science, for one. It is no shame to be ignorant. But it is a shame to be willfully ignorant. The worst also have a talent for self deception and denial.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Sungrazer....you are nice than I am. Most of their posts show some solid ignorance on their part.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          gulliblenomore,

          Ignorance can be cured. Except some remain ignorant deliberately, and these people simply cannot be talked to. They live in a small world.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, Yes. Big Bang, cosmology in general, evolution, geology, and many more prove that the creation myths of all religions are incorrect. Without the creation myth, a god (or gods) have no credentials. Certainly personal gods have been proven to not exist. Believers claim gods – they should provide some evidence; all they have are the incorrect religious texts which are wrong. I can't prove that a god does not exist, but as there is no credible evidence for one, I think withholding belief is sensible. I just deny your claims for the reasons partially stated above. Do you have any evidence outside of the bible for your god?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          Alias
          Not a dodge. You have a belief as to purpose for existence / non existence. You demand evidence for God that fits your standards yet the evidence of your own belief cannot fit the demands you established.
          Adam and Eve have nothing to do with DNA, the flood story makes it clear that observed physical reality is not as it appears (hence it is not about known relationships between matter and energy but relationship to God), contradictions in the Bible are not contradictions at all as most have been explained (the few not explained are insignificant).
          As to Jesus if you reject God and given purpose for existence then there is no need to discuss some crazy rabble rouser from 2,000 years ago.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • believerfred

          In Santa We Trust
          The words themselves contained in the Bible are not evidence for God, rather they produce evidence of God in you. In other words the presence of God is evident from the effect of the word on the essence of the person reading the Bible. Evidence for God is in the transformed lives of the believer upon hearing the word.
          When observing the world the evidence of God in the power of prayer, miracles and creation itself is dependent upon perspective. There are only two perspectives one includes the presence of God the other does not. Evidence of God is overwhelming and one must choose to limit what evidence is acceptable in order to claim there is no evidence. In this regard you have chosen not to accept evidence that does not meet scientific method knowing full well not all evidence is subject to scientific method.
          If you were honest you would admit that much of what you know is based on what you have never seen. Even science is not fixed and changes constantly. You probably trust that an atom looks like the representations you have been shown just as some people think Jesus looks like the drawings by Michelangelo

          May 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • observer

          Science is not fixed and constantly changes to correct errors.

          The Bible is fixed and never changes to correct errors, which is one of the reasons why there are so many atheists and agnostics.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • believerfred

          Observer
          The Bible was consolidated about 1800 years ago and nothing has been added so you are correct. The Word of God continues to be revealed to any that want the life transformation offered. The Word of God is always up to date even though some believers and non believers are stuck in the past.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Alias

          Fred,
          I do not believe in your god. That does not mean I have a belief as to purpose for existence / non existence that requires proof.
          DNA proves all people did not come from one man and one woman – hence Adam and Eve did not exist.
          Observed physical reality makes it clear that there never was a flood.
          You start with the idea that the bible is correct and make wild assumptions to justify your conclusions. I want some proof that your assumptions and conclusions are valid.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • believerfred

          Fred,
          "That does not mean I have a belief as to purpose for existence / non existence"
          =>not possible. You have justified why you exist and you have justified what becomes of the totality of Alias when you die.

          "DNA proves all people did not come from one man and one woman"
          =>Actually it does not prove that but there is a theory that origin of man was out of a group not individuals.

          "hence Adam and Eve did not exist."
          =>There are many possibilities for the physical nature of Adam and Eve relative to the Chosen Ones that descended from therm.

          oops gota run will follow up later

          May 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, If you choose to see god in everything, then you will. However it is neither a reasoned position nor a logical position. If you had problems with your computer you would suspect hardware, software, or user error and would devise tests to narrow it down – you wouldn't suspect a supernatural cause.
          You only heard of a god because of the bible; it is the foundation of your religion and hence your belief. The bible makes unsubstantiated claims for your god. If you had never read the bible what reason would you have to suspect that the god it describes exists. None – there is no evidence outside of the bible and the impact that has had on your mind.
          There's no evidence that prayer is effective and no proven causation between "miracles" and a supernatural being.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • believerfred

          In Santa We Trust
          "fred, If you choose to see god in everything, then you will."
          =>perspective is not a matter of choice it is a matter of World View. We all do the same thing and filter our observations through a lifetime of accumulated knowledge and experience.

          "However it is neither a reasoned position nor a logical position."
          =>You are suggesting that believers lack reason or logic yet over 60% of Nobel Prize Laureates claimed some form of Christianity as their religion.

          "If you had problems with your computer you would suspect hardware, software, or user error and would devise tests to narrow it down – you wouldn't suspect a supernatural cause."
          =>correct, I would not suspect supernatural cause. Do you automatically assume supernatural cause as an impossibility?

          "You only heard of a god because of the bible"
          =>Yes I was agnostic when someone gave me their Bible

          " it is the foundation of your religion and hence your belief."
          =>no, the foundation of my belief is a personal experience with God through Christ. It was after that personal experience I could not put the Bible down until I finished it. The foundation of my belief is actual experience and validation through answered prayer, miracles and observed honored promises of God as recorded in the Bible.

          "The bible makes unsubstantiated claims for your god."
          =>When the level of accepted evidence is limited to that which can be tested by standard scientific method you are correct.

          " If you had never read the bible what reason would you have to suspect that the god it describes exists."
          =>I don't understand, if I never read the Bible I could not understand how the Hebrew viewed God over the past 6,000 years.

          "There's no evidence that prayer is effective and no proven causation between "miracles" and a supernatural being."
          =>As stated above available evidence is not accepted. Belief in causation between miracles and supernatural being is a function of faith.

          May 7, 2014 at 1:18 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....you stared you were agnostic until you had a personal experience with some god. You should therefore understand that for people like me, that are completely unable to have an ecclesiastical experience in my bathroom mirror, god does not exist. How can you vilify people that have not had that same experience?

          May 7, 2014 at 8:15 am |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "How can you vilify people that have not had that same experience?"
          =>sorry, I do not vilify non believers. Did I give that impression?

          May 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....yes...it seems all believers, yourself included, give that same impression. A personal belief in one of the thousands of gods out there is fine, as long as it remains personal. I worship my wife's b-oobs, but I don't want to start off any govt meeting by having her pop them out.

          May 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • believerfred

          Alias
          "Observed physical reality makes it clear that there never was a flood."
          =>The observed physical reality of the cleansing of sin by the living waters which flow from Christ is evident every time a person is born again. Filled with the Holy Spirit and in Christ (symbolic Noah in the ark was saved from the judgment that will wash away all that is not of God) the plan of creation is complete as the soul embraces life eternal. That transformation should be easy to observe in your physical reality even though you may deny it.
          =>If you somehow think we can observe a physical reality where a big wooden boat stuffed with every imaginable animal is washed on top of the highest peak on earth we would need to first change most known natural laws. Such would not be reality as we know it today.
          =>with perhaps the exception of metaphysics science does not deal with the flood story. The flood story is concerned with the redemption of a remnant that finds favor in the eyes of the Lord.

          "You start with the idea that the bible is correct and make wild assumptions to justify your conclusions."
          =>yes I assume the Bible is correct, but I do not make wild assumptions. I do not know how there could be a flood that did not leave evidence of a flood in its wake. I do not know if the flood is a literal historical account based on natural laws or some other construct we cannot yet understand.

          May 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          That would be as close to being abreast of the issues as our government could ever come.

          May 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  7. bostontola

    I noticed a few comments where religious people categorize atheists as liberals. How does a person draw such a conclusion?

    If you want to know what a conservative thinks of religious zealots, go read Barry Goldwater's prescient words:

    "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."

    "Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies."

    "On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom."

    May 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The politicization of religion as a tool to manipulate the electorate in the last 30 years or so is a real problem.

      Good governance requires the ability to make compromises. When you are beholden to a religious mafia compromise is an option that is taken off the table.

      This SCOTUS decision is a 'lag' effect – they are behind the times.

      I think politicization of religion reached it's zenith with Karl Rove and the 2000 election campaign. Ever since then the GOP has struggled with their enslavement to the religious right. Despite the constant barrage of anti-liberal press from Murdock's minions (which will pay off handsomely this November) the GOP continues to have an ident.ity crisis in terms of what their policy really is.

      Are they:
      – world dominating neo-cons, (the Bushes),
      – the legislative arm of the religious right,
      – the nutty tea partiers,
      – libertarians, or just
      – slaves to big money (Romney)?

      They have *no* idea.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
      • bostontola

        Very well summarized.

        I worry, because they are so dysfunctional they could eventually get so weak that the Democrats have no balance. The Repubs will do OK in the off year election, but in the next 20 years, they could get really weak. I like it best when there is close to parity. You have to be able to compromise though, as was said.

        May 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Ooops – Murdoch not Murdock.

        May 6, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
  8. johnsonzeb

    All government meetings should start with a prayer to Yahweh Maccaddeshcem, so that he can guide us in the right direction for our communities and selecting the right people to lead our government offices.

    May 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • johnsonzeb

      We can end the meetings with a quote from Ru Paul "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love someone else. Can I get an amen!"

      May 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
    • James XCIX

      johnsonzeb – "...so that he can guide us in the right direction for our communities and selecting the right people to lead our government offices"

      I'm assuming you subscribe to the common Christian beliefs that everything happens according to your god's unchangeable plans and that humans have free will. If so, how could the prayers you propose possibly have any effect? A prayer isn't going to change your god's plan, and he can't change anyone's mind about anything.

      This is what's so baffling to me. Religious people spend so much energy trying to have government-led prayer, but they don't seem to recognize that according to their own belief system the things they pray for can't possibly be accomplished.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Free will doesn't exist.

        “The ‘will’ is the faculty of choice – the immediate cause of all action. Choice necessarily implies the refusal of one thing, and the acceptance of another. The positive and the negative must both be present in the mind before there can be any choice, and in every act of the will there is preference – the desiring of one thing rather than another. Where there is no preference, but complete indifference there is no volition. To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between alternatives. But there is something which influences the choice, something which determines the decision, hence the will cannot be sovereign since it is the servant of that something. The will cannot be both sovereign and servant. It cannot be both cause and effect. The will is not causative because, as we have said, something causes it to choose, therefore that something must be the causative agent. Choice itself is affected by certain considerations and is determined by various influences brought to bear upon the individual himself. Hence, volition is the effect of these considerations and influences, and if their effect, it must be their servant, and if the will is their servant, then it is not sovereign, and if the will is not sovereign, we certainly cannot predicate absolute freedom of it.”
        “The Sovereignty of God” by A.W. Pink

        May 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Theo Phileo – "Free will doesn't exist"

          I think you'll get a lot of disagreement from (your fellow?) Christians.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Alias

          Good philosophy – keep everything in appropriate context.
          Bad philosophy – make a rational statement then apply it to something in a totally different context to reach a foregone conclusion.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Madtown

          Thank you for finally admitting that God indeed creates h0m0se_xuals as they are.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Thank you for finally admitting that God indeed creates h0m0se_xuals as they are."
          ------------
          Evil Kneivel couldn't make that leap! Read Romans 1:18-32...

          May 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Madtown

          No thanks. The opinions of biased men will not solve anything in regard to that subject.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Alias

          If there is no free will, then no one should be held accountable for their actions.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Alias, a spotlight is not the necessitating cause of darkness. Rather, darkness is "created" by the withholding of that light. The same is true of sin.

          God, being sovereign certiny ordains that sin exists, but God’s decrees are not the necessitating cause of the sins of men. What they are, are the fore determined and prescribed bounding and directing of men’s sinful acts. God does not take up a good man, instill an evil desire into his heart, and thereby force him to perform the terrible deed in order to execute His decree. Instead, God decreed the act, and then selected the one who was to perform the act, but He did not “make him evil” in order that he should perform the deed. On the contrary, when we look at the life of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, he was “a devil” at the time the Lord Jesus chose him as one of the twelve. (John 6:70) And in the manifestation and exercise of his own devilry, God simply directed Judas’ actions – actions that were perfectly agreeable to his own vile heart, and performed with the most wicked of intentions. By this way, man is still accountable to God for his sins.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Alias

          Theo
          If I do not have free will to choose what actions I will take, then how could a just god judge me for doing what I had no choice but to do?

          May 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Alias,
          It's kind of like the spotlight analogy... God shines light where He wills, and withholds light from where He wills.

          Since the fall of Adam, all men are sinners in that their very wills are corrupt, and they desire to glorify themselves rather than God, and in so doing, all of humanity is destined for hell. In God's grace, He has chosen to save some of humanity from this fate. To those whom He elects, He "shines the spotlight" – that is, He reveals Himself to them and leads them to repentance, and to the rest, He leaves them to the unintended consequences of their actions.

          Where God ordains whatsoever comes to pass, yet without violating their will, it's kindof like this... If you've been without food for 2 days, and then I present to you a baked potato, or a piece of wood, which are you going to choose? You would willingly choose the potato... OK, it's a bit more complicated than that for sure, but analogies are never perfect.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Alias

          Theo
          You are a second rate troll.
          First you said there is no free will now you are saying god acts " yet without violating their will".
          This is called a 'contradiction'. The bible has a lot of them too.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Alias,
          We are creatures with a will of our own. We make things happen. Yet the causal power that we exert is only secondary. God’s sovereign providence stands over and above our actions. He works out His will through the actions of human wills, without violating the freedom of those human wills.

          I'll admit it's a tough concept, but the Bible teaches both the sovereignty of God AND the volition of man.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Madtown

          He has chosen to save some of humanity from this fate
          -----
          Yet, he created ALL of humanity. He's only going to save SOME of them?!? What's the point of creating those he won't save? Some sort of morbid amusement? A god that operates like this does not deserve to be worshipped.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • sam stone

          more bafflegab from corn pone

          May 6, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • sam stone

          madtown: the god that theo (corn pone), gopher, and many other christians on this blog describe is a vindictive, petty pr1ck.

          They are forced to go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to attempt to deny it

          They are cowards

          May 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          He works out His will through the actions of human wills, without violating the freedom of those human wills.

          --Wanna tell us exactly how she does that ?
          What a pile of pious nonsense. There is no such thing as "free will".
          http://exploringthemind.com/the-mind/brain-scans-can-reveal-your-decisions-7-seconds-before-you-decide
          http://io9.com/5975778/scientific-evidence-that-you-probably-dont-have-free-will

          May 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          theo (corn pone), gopher,
          --
          LOL Sam!

          May 6, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • johnsonzeb

        My statement was made out of sarcasm. Although I believe that people should have freedom to worship as they desire, I do not feel that it should be part of a government meeting. This leaves the impression that it is an endorsed government religous belief. Additionally, there are just too many versions of religion to try to please everyone. Christians can't even see eye to eye on religion. If they did we wouldn't have so many variations of Christian Churches. Often times the congregations of different churches can't even get along with each other. How do we think they are always going to be in agreement for prayers inside of a government meeting. Leave it out of the meeting and it will be one less thing that we have to disagree about.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Got it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

          May 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
  9. midwest rail

    This didn't take long. In the wake of the ruling from SCOTUS, Rick Santorum is calling for mandatory Bible classes in all U.S. public schools.

    May 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      I doubt this is true. But even if it is, my son won't be taking that class.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
      • midwest rail

        Doubt all you wish.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • samsstones

        Topher
        Blindly ignorant out of fear.
        Blindly ignorant out of sheer arrogance.
        Blindly declare you are right and all others are wrong by default without any evidence or proof to back up your a$$ertions. You fit all three Topher.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
      • samsstones

        Topher
        BTW if you do not want posters commenting in regard to your family (son) it may behove you not to mention him in the first instance.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        I remember taking a "Bible as History" class back in high school. It was a public school, and honestly, it felt like a man trying to tell a woman what labor pains feel like, or a woman telling a man how to pee standing up. Unless there are qualified clergy teaching a Bible course, then it is going to be nothing but a ridiculous attempt to teach that which they know nothing about anyway.

        May 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • otoh2

          "qualified"... according to who? You? Billy Graham? Pat Robertson? Joel Osteen? Jehovah's Witnesses? Westboro Baptists? Who?

          May 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • samsstones

          otoh
          Only those declared qualified by Theo, don't you know.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Exactly. One, it's not the school's job to teach my children this. Second, unless they are a born-again Christian who holds the Bible to be 100 percent God's inerrant, infallable Word, I don't want them anywhere near teaching my children.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Qualified" according to 1 and 2 Timothy and in Ti.tus 1:5-9.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Qualified" meaning NO WOMEN!

          May 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher poor Noah will never have a chance to become a well rounded person, quite sad. Just a chip off of the delusional block.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          ""Qualified" meaning NO WOMEN!"
          -----------–
          No, there's no admonition against women teaching children.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          What a fvcking hypocrite when you have the gall to say you have the right to pedal your BS to other peoples children but dare say that only those YOU approve of should influence your children. You are a disgusting pile.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          – 1 Timothy 2:11

          May 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doc,
          Yup. In the context of the teaching of theology within the church, just as there are roles between the se.xes, and roles within the marriage covenant, there are roles within church leadership. It is not as though one is "better" than the other, just simply that there are different roles.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • fintronics

          Wait for it Doc...... you're taking that 'out of context".... it's coming...

          May 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • crittermom2

          Theo, when I was in 6th grade (early 70s), my history teacher taught us the whole Old Testament and simply called it Ancient History. The whole burning bush, plagues, frogs, etc. Even as a practicing catholic kid, I thought there was something really odd about that. My parents did, too, but decided not to rock the boat.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • fintronics

          I couldn't even finish typing and there it was!

          May 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          fintronics,
          Doc just quoted a passage about women teachers... He didn't give a context with it, and I agreed with it.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • fintronics

          Theo, I guess you missed this part;

          ..." or to exercise authority over a man;"

          May 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          Run Topher run you lying coward, run Topher run.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "..." or to exercise authority over a man;""
          -------------
          No, I read that, but Paul is talking about Elders – leaders of the church.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • fintronics

          There is nothing there to indicate that the verse is specific to church elders

          May 6, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
    • Vic

      Teaching 'Evolution of Species' as scientific fact is what it started it all.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        Evolution is scientific fact and has been through a peer review process. You not wanting it to be fact does not stop it from being so

        May 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Please change your name since your naïve statements are out of sorts with your name. HAHAHAHAHAHHA!

          May 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Usaid....you are just too clever for me. Now...got anything of any value to say or are you just going to continue to post in christianlike statements. I'm putting my money on the latter.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
      • midwest rail

        As Vic descends further into the land of make believe...

        May 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • fintronics

        Teaching of electronics theory as scientific fact is what started it all.

        LOL

        May 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
    • Vic

      Teaching 'Evolution of Species' as scientific fact is what started it all.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
      • Vic

        'Macro-evolution,' aka speciation, is but an upgraded hypothesis, it has never been empirically proven.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Vic....evolution is evolution and has been scientifically proven . Your creator god however, has not.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • joey3467

          Well sure if yo just ignore all of the evidence because it might prove part of Genesis wrong.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • Vic

          Speciation, is but an upgraded hypothesis, it has never been empirically proven.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Vic....nor has your god, but I see that is not stopping you

          May 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • igaftr

          There is no micro or macro evolution. There is evolution, and there is time. Since time is the only difference in the terms. Those terms are generally used only by people trying to invalidate verified solid science.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Micro" and "macro" evolution are obfuscatory terms made up by Creationists when they got backed into a corner and could no longer deny that evolution can be demonstrated.
          It is akin to calling a rain drop "micro-moisture" and an ocean "macro-moisture".
          Matters of degree, not principle.

          The biggest stumbling block is that the Creationists are unable (or unwilling) to consider the time frames involved.
          If you believe the Earth has only been around for 10,000 years, there wouldn't be sufficient time for all the biological variation we see to have developed.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • joey3467

          Yes, Vic, there is no evidence for "Macro" Evolution, and inches can't add up to a mile.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Vic

          Inches do add up to a mile or so but they never turn into fluid ounces!

          May 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          Why would you bring up empirical proof? There is not one scientific theory (leaving out trivial items), that has been empirically proven. There is no empirically proven theory of gravity.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Yea, science. Man made OBSERVATION of the world around him through the lens of prevailing theories which change SO OFTEN that the science books cannot keep up with it! I do have to admit this much about the Christian's Bible...IT'S STILL THERE. UNCHANGED...UNABRIDGED. Whether one likes it, believes it, or hates it.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Vic

          Laws of Physics, aka Classical Physics, are "Proven Scientific Theories," hence "Scientific Facts."

          May 6, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • bostontola

          usaidtwhat,
          It must have been God that brought us airplanes, satellites, communication, navigation systems, weather prediction, medicines, etc. since science is so scre.wed up.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • igaftr

          usaid
          " I do have to admit this much about the Christian's Bible...IT'S STILL THERE. UNCHANGED...UNABRIDGED"
          Yeah, that's why there are so many versions of it. It has also had several parts proven wrong.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          You should not venture into areas you are not familiar with. Classical physics has been proven to not be fully correct. That is a fact. If we operated GPS satellites by classical physics your location would be off dramatically in hours. Even the most advanced Theory of Gravity is known to be incomplete.

          Asking for empirical proof of a theory demonstrates a lack of understanding of what science is.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Look man, none of it has been proven wrong over the period of any amount of time through any generation of mockers and doubters, including this one. Theories of science change everyday! That does NOT mean that certain ideas of science are not right. The point is that science is merely man's OBSERVATIONS of the world around him> The Bible claims to be something more. It claims Divine Authority. Divine OBSERVATIONS of the world of men. Which, even with the various translations on the market, has NEVER been changed nor has it been abridged due to an error. Anyone who claims such non-sense is bias to the subject and NOT a neutral observer. THE NEWS would go WILD over such a event!

          May 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Claims is the magic word here...claims but never proven.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Vic

          To all:

          I only replied to this thread because it is a direct parallel to the issue at hand but not to discuss science.

          Just to wrap it up, for those who are not familiar with what an "empirical proof" for the 'speciation' hypothesis, it is the existence of "speciation transitional fossils," which according to the Fossil Record are NONE.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          To Vic....got any empirical proof of god?

          May 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • igaftr

          Vic.
          A scientific LAW is something that can be entirely expressed mathematically. A scientific theory cannot. That is the biggest difference.

          The theory of evolution will remain a PROVEN theory, and used as proven fact...similar to GERM theory, which is also fact...unless you think that bacteria and viruses don't cause illness ( the christians had believed for centuries, and some still do, that illness is caused by bad spirits). The FACT is that germs cause illness...but in scientific terms it is under germ theory.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • fintronics

          usaid
          " I do have to admit this much about the Christian's Bible...IT'S STILL THERE. UNCHANGED...UNABRIDGED"

          Yup, still there, all the errors, contradictions, absurdities and outright mythology.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          You are wrong, almost every fossil ever found is a transitional form. How many fossils have a living form today? Almost none. They are transitional.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A transitional form does not need to be a perfect halfway house directly linking one group of organisms to another. It merely needs to record aspects of evolutionary change that occurred as one lineage split from another.
          There are many transitional fossils.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Claims is the correct word. It requires belief which obviously your are incapable of giving. But that is the correct word. But to turn the other way and state that is "proven wrong" is absolutely false and completely disingenuous since it has NEVER been proven so. Your hate of it and of those who support it undermines your "claims" and underscores your own issues.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Actually, claims is the right word, and the bible has actually been proven wrong scientifically many times over.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Doc
          That is not fact, but observation. If you are going to be a faithful perpetrator of the cause, at least represent it correctly. Evolution is NOT a fact. IT is a theory to which many ascribe and of course, to which many DO NOT ascribe. Like Spontaneous Generation. The prevailing "minds" of that day ascribed. Thankfully, Louis Pasteur and others like him did NOT cave to Peer Review Pressure.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Usaidwhat
          A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events.
          The theory of evolution comprises 5 laws.
          Evolution is fact.
          Even the Catholic church accepts that!
          There is an ever growing mountain of evidence from different branches of science accu.mulated over more than a hundred and fifty years that verify Darwin’s 5 laws.
          Not one has been falsified.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • colin31714

          Usaidwhat, I would love a dollar for every believer who has no idea what the term "theory" means in science. It means "description," not theory as in "theoretically possible". I mean, how fvcking narrowminded and poorly read are you people??

          The THEORY (lol) of evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World. Not 99% of them, but every one. Universities with extensive evolutionary biology departments include Oxford University, Cambridge University and the Imperial College in England, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Germany, the École Normale Supérieure and École Polythecnique in France and Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Swiss Federal Insti.tute of Technology in Switzerland. This is just a sample. ALL university and colleges in Europe teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

          The number of universities and colleges in Europe with a creation science department: ZERO. The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

          In the United States, the following Universities have extensive evolutionary biology departments staffed by thousands of the most gifted biologists in the World; Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Colombia, Duke, the Massachusetts Insti.tute of Technology, Brown, Stanford, Berkley, and the University of Chicago. These are just some of the more prestigious examples. Again, ALL university and colleges in the USA with tertiary level biology classes teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

          The number of universities and colleges in the United States with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

          In Australia and Asia, the following universities and colleges have extensive evolutionary biology departments manned by more of the most gifted biological scientists in the World; Monash University in Melbourne, The University of New South Wales, Kyoto University in Ja.pan, Peking University in China, Seoul University in Korea, the University of Singapore, National Taiwan University, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney.

          The number of universities and colleges in Australia and Asia with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

          The most prestigious scientific publications in the Western World generally accessible to the public include: The Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Cosmos and Live Science.

          Every month, one or more of them publishes a peer reviewed article highlighting the latest developments in evolution. The amount of any creationist science articles published in ANY of these prestigious publications; ZERO.

          I could repeat the above exercise for the following disciplines, all of which would have to be turned on their heads to accommodate creation science – paleontology, archeology, geology, botany, marine biology, astronomy, medicine, cosmology and historical linguistics.

          Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, have issued statements rejecting intelligent design and a peti.tion supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.

          Number of creation science Nobel Prize winners: ZERO

          The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society with more than 130,000 members and over 262 affiliated societies and academies of science including over 10 million individuals, has made several statements and issued several press releases in support of evolution.

          Number made in support of creation science: ZERO

          According to The International Federation of Biologists, there are more than 3 million biological scientists globally who rely on the 5 laws of Darwinian evolution for their jobs every single day.

          There appears to be three possible explanations for all this:

          (i) there is a worldwide conspiracy of universities, colleges and academic publications, including all their hundreds of thousands of professors, editors, reviewers, and support staff, to deny creation science;

          (ii) you, usaidwhat, have a startling new piece of evidence that was right before our eyes that will turn accepted biological science and about 10 other sciences on their heads if ONLY people would listen to you, no doubt earning you a Nobel Prize and a place in history beside the likes of Darwin, Newton and Einstein; or

          (iii) you are a complete blowhard who has never studied one subject of university level biology, never been on an archaeological dig, never studied a thing about paleontology, geology, astronomy, linguistics or archaeology, but feel perfectly sure that you know more than the best biologists, archaeologists, paleontologists, doctors, astronomers botanists and linguists in the World because your mommy and daddy taught you some comforting stories from Bronze Age Palestine as a child.

          I know which alternative my money is on. Please die violently and soon.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Using the bible as a credible source of history and science is what started it all.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          OPINION.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          what
          We know that the universe was not created in 6 days nor in the sequence stated in the bible. Man was not created fully-formed from mud. Woman was not created fully-formed form a man's rib. Animals were not created fully-formed in one day. There has never been a global flood as described in the bible.
          Not opinion – fact.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  10. jeffrey7772014

    It's a good thing that they are offering Christian prayers, since the God of Christ Jesus is the only true one Most High God.

    May 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • Alias

      AMEN!
      I miss the days when the laws were based on the bible!

      When killing people For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and slavery were still chic.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        So which law are they trying to pass is based on the Bible?

        May 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • Alias

          Why don't we stay on topic and focus on the christian prayers they are going to have at government meetings.
          This is wrong, stupid, and make the USA look foolish to the rest of the world.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          So ... WHY is it wrong and stupid?

          May 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Alias

          If I really need to explain why it is wrong for our government to promote one religion then it is truely unfortunate you decided to have children.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          So basically you don't have a reason.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Madtown

          Oh, there's a reason. The fact that it's lost on you isn't the least bit surprising.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • samsstones

          Public service announcement regarding Topher.
          Topher is a liar and a coward engaging with him will lead to a barrage of stupid questions from Topher. He likes to point out to anyone that will pay attention that they are "sinners" and need to repent and seek salvation. His born again beliefs border on psychosis. Topher can be very dangerous, especially to children.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Topher, why do you support the right of elected officials to pray "so that people will see them."? Your own Christ tells his followers not to be like those hypocritical Pharisees but that you should pray in secret for public prayer is less about your relationship with Christ and more about you informing those around you that you think you have a direct line to the divine and by association must be somehow "holy".

          Also, as an employer myself I would likely fire anyone who came to work, clocked in and then demanded I stand quietly by as they loudly prayed at me. This is an unacceptable use of time I have paid them for so they are stealing from me. The elected officials are being PAID to be there by my tax dollars and yet as their employers we have to sit there and listen to them pray at us publically for some reason? WHY?

          May 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          It is off-topic but there is a well-funded campaign to teach creationism as science – loading school boards, voucher systems, etc.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • sam stone

          "So which law are they trying to pass is based on the Bible?"

          How about restricting marriage to one man/one woman, gopher?

          You are all in favor of denying gays their rights because they will continue in what your comic book says is a "sin"

          But you are strangely silent on which other sinners you wish to deny their civil rights, even though you refer to yourself as a "wretched sinner"

          You are a coward, and a clown, gopher

          Thanks for the entertainment

          May 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Jeff....how do you know? How were you able to eliminate Zeus as the one true god?

      May 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
    • igaftr

      Jah is the god of the Rastafarians. He is the most high god.
      Pray all you want, there is no need to interfere with government business.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Only in Washington and Colorado is it legal to pray as the Rastafarians do.
        Though I and I doubt they'll do it to open a legislative meeting.....

        May 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • igaftr

          There is a rasta church in my town. Certain ceremonies they are free to smoke, but it is only in accordance with their belief , so only certain people, and only certain ceremonies. They must be Jamaican, and Rastafarian but they are legally smoking in NY, as they have for many years.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • Woody

      Exactly how high is Most High?

      May 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • Doris

        "the only true one Most High"

        No kidding. I'm going to have to apply that one directly to the forehead and think on it a bit....

        May 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • bchev

      Jeffrey,
      "only true one Most High God"
      Two things.

      1) How many adejctives adn descriptors does any one being really need. Shouldn't just "God" sum it up nicely?

      2) if "God" is the only god, is it really the Most high god? Isn't that like parents telling their only child he's their favorite? A one person race doesn't really have a comparison scale to show who is most anything. Just a thought.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
  11. lunchbreaker

    Matthew 6:5 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.

    May 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      Many have posted this verse but I've yet to see a Christian respond. Wonder why? Is this verse part of the 95% of the bible they ignore or redefine?

      May 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        It's because it's used isogetically instead of exogetically.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          That's the "beauty" of religion. When someone's conclusion differs from yours, you simply brand theirs an incorrect interpretation.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          If you think reading a single verse isogetically and out of context is the correct way to interpret Scripture ... well, you go right ahead.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Madtown

          I think if God is as powerful as you say he is, that not only would he write his own word, but there would also be no question as to the correct interpretation. I don't doubt the power of God like you do.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • Alias

          If you don't like te way we promote our religious views, you are free to leave.
          That seems to be the new standard response from SCOTUS.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • joey3467

          Topher, please tell us the context where the above verse will mean the exact opposite of what it plainly says?

          May 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          I don't think he was asking for or needs your permission to do anything.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Out of context?
          The entire point of Matthew 6 is to drive home that real faith is personal and God hates a show-off.
          It is exhorting Christians to be humble.
          When you give alms, don't let those who you are helping know it was you.
          When you pray, do it in private.
          When you fast, don't let others know it.
          Do these things in all quiet, personal submission to God and He will reward you.
          Faith is not to be sounded like a trumpet.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • crittermom2

          @Doc ... you're absolutely right. I just reviewed that entire chapter of Matthew and the verse isn't taken out of context at all.
          If anyone is interested in a convenient source to check out bible verses, try skeptics annotated bible dot com without the spaces. (I'm still learning how to get by the filters.) They have the quran and book of mormon, too.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  12. neverbeenhappieratheist

    It's the Supreme Court Shuffle, two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back...

    May 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • Doris

      Hmm. OK for the one about corporations are people. How many steps back does that count? lol.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Sometimes they try to do a spin and end up swinging the whole country back to the '50's...

        May 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      There are steps backwards:
      – Repeals of sections of the civil rights voting act of 1964
      – Citizens United

      And steps forward:
      – Upholding the affordable care act
      – Striking down DOMA

      This decision changes nothing really in terms of how local government acts. I am more concerned about it as precedent.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
  13. k7kbn

    Once in a while, the Court makes a decision I agree with. It's fun to watch the liberals' reactions.

    May 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
    • Alias

      Once in a while the court gets it wrong.
      We will correct them eventually.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
      • Doris

        I really think it will be overturned eventually. But before proper respect of the law is met, the issue of "tradition" must first be met at the top: the Congressional chaplaincy and its activities. Madison, chief architect of the Const.itution and eleven of the Amendments, on more than one occasion, wrote that it was a mistake and against the principles of religious freedom achieved through the separation of church and state for the taxpayer to fund chaplains for the nation's congress.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • johnsonzeb

      This was the wrong decision. Christians have the right to express their view and practice their religion. They just can not use their government position to promote or advance their religous view.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      I thinkit's pretty sad that so many want to divide us. We should be trying to see how similar we are, not looking for differences that will separate us. We all lve our familes, want better education for our children, want access to affordable health care, want privacy and freedoms and the individual liberties. Why do so many want to focus on the silly little petty things that divide us instead of the core human principles that unite us? Until we ditch this whole "liberal" and "conservative" word war we will never progress as a society, or at least it will take us much much longer to actually fix the problems both sides have with the current system.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
      • Apollo to Zeus

        Why do so many want to focus on the silly little petty things that divide us instead of the core human principles that unite us? Until we ditch this whole "liberal" and "conservative" word war we will never progress as a society, or at least it will take us much much longer to actually fix the problems both sides have with the current system.

        It's called religion

        May 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Then you won't complain when a local municipality eventually becomes a Muslim Majority and some city councels start opening up sessions with prayers to Allah on a consistent basis...right?

      May 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I know, right?
      Stupid liberals and their "Consti/tutional rights".
      The United States is a Christian theocracy and there ain't no "establishment clause" in the Bible!

      May 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • joey3467

      It is disturbing that you seem to think that the only people who disagree with this ruling are liberals.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    In junior high, I was the only Canadian kid at an American school.
    As such, I declined to pledge allegiance to a flag that wasn't my own. Out of respect, I would stand with the rest of the class, but I would not recite the words.
    This greatly offended one of my teachers to the point of tears, though she knew I was not American. She went to far as to call a meeting with my parents to discuss my insubordination and was flabbergasted when they backed me up.
    I spent the remainder of the school year under heavy scrutiny by that teacher, not to mention a fair bit of derision from a number of other students.

    Declining participation in these kinds of rituals does indeed get noticed and singles out those who prefer to abstain.
    When the natives rub blue mud in their belly buttons, you'd best do it yourself with as much solemnity as you can muster, lest you become a pariah.

    May 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, all primates are tribal. Whenever a member of the tribe refuses to participate in tribal norms they are ostracized.

      Our greatest evolutionary step will be to figure out how to leave tribalism behind without descending into anarchy.

      Voluntary submission to a rule of impartial law that values heterogeneity and diversity of opinion and belief is a step in that direction.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
      • jeffrey7772014

        Jesus – The Way, The Truth, The Life.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          Capitalizing the word truth does not make it truth, and since you have no way of verifying it, you do not know if it is truth. It is beleif...not truth.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Christianity doesn't eliminate tribalism, it encourages it.
          According to the Bible, it was God himself who first split humans into tribes and took away our ability to communicate effectively.
          Just look as how many different sects of Christianity are at odds with each other...

          May 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • samsstones

          Jef
          You didn't finish your statement "for the deluded", thats all, carry on.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The first rule of tribalism is “you’re either with me or you’re against me”. Tribal societies crave h0mogeneity and orthodoxy – group think. They ostracize any semblance of heterogeneity. In our human sophistication we create our tribalism esoterically, in forms such as nationalism, politics and religion.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • igaftr

      Doc
      My experience was similar, but I refused to recite the Pledge because of the deity refernce. I got in trouble with the school, until my father straighened out the school. I was 7.
      After that, I was trwated differently by many people in the school, called a troublemaker, told it doesn't matter, to just go along with it. I continued to refuse, and will not recite it today. The way it is now, is not what was intended by the writer ( a pastor), and excludes those who do not share in belief in deities.

      It always disheartened me to have people judge me, ostricized for standing up for MY beliefs, and not allowing theirs to be forced on me.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
      • crittermom2

        I refuse to say the pledge in its current form, too, for the same reason ... and I'm a federal employee. It gets me some funny looks at ceremonies.

        I also won't fold my hands or bow my head during any prayer. I just sit quietly. I don't think prayers should be included at work events, but they are. If it's an event that I still want to attend (something for memorial day, etc.) I may still go, though. I can respect the idea of honoring fallen veterans without the need for a prayer.

        May 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • bostontola

      I wanted to be a lumberjack in British Columbia ; )

      May 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        So you could cut down trees, skip and jump and press wild flowers?

        May 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • G to the T

          And I thought you were so manly!

          May 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          and wear high heels, suspenders, and a bra. ; )

          May 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • fintronics

          ... and hang around in bars

          May 7, 2014 at 11:10 am |
  15. lewcypher

    To be a Christian you first must believe that you are inherently evil or guilty of something which you need to be saved from. I don't feel bad enough about myself to be a Christian

    May 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • Alias

      Just to clarify, you must be inherantly evel to be a good christian, but that does not mean the rest of us shouldn't strive to be inherantly evil too.
      I'm considered an evil genious in many circles, and I take pride in the fact that I kept some of the more useful parts of christian upbringing.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • benhoody

      Must be nice to be so perfect, but I think you had better get a second opinion.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  16. crittermom2

    Okay, the filter for some reason is not allowing me to post my favorite quote from Henrik Ibsen's "E ne my of the People." (just in case the filter doesn't like the word e ne my). So I'll paraphrase.

    Basically, he says that the majority is always wrong. There are so many more fools in the world than smart people, that the fools will always be in the majority. Therefore it makes no sense for the fools to rule the wise.

    He says it much better. Great play. Look it up.

    May 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Perhaps it is your translation. I found this one:

      The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population - the intelligent ones or the fools?

      HENRIK IBSEN, An Enemy of the People

      May 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • crittermom2

        Thanks, Not-GOP.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          "GOP" is as stupid as the person he quoted. The logic of the quote is only as good as the side of the issue you hold. IE if Christian are the majority then the atheist MUST hate the ruling for it. IF the H*M* is the majority, then the Christians MSUT hate the ruling for it.

          SOMEONE is the majority and SOMEONE is the minority. ONE WHINES while the other GRINDS.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority, that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable."

          James Madison (Federalist 51)

          May 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the inst.itution of Civil Society, and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true, that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority."

          James Madison (Except) Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments – 1785

          May 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations; but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have, more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes."

          – James Madison: Speech at the Virginia Convention to ratify the Federal Consti.tution (1788)

          May 6, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          While helping frame the Const.itution, Madison thought a lot about the "tyranny of the majority".

          May 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
    • Alias

      I don't think I could take his opinions at face value, if he really thinks most people are fools.
      Sounds like a serious case of insecurity from here.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • otoh2

      Hmmm, maybe that's one of the roots of the movie "Idiocracy". Hilarious, but also a bit scary.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      One of the 'problems' of democracy is that idiots vote and that this is a requirement for a fully democratic process.

      The Const.itutional Convention did not address the questions of suffrage or enfranchisement. Enfranchisement at the time was deferred to the states who had preexisting definitions of (mostly) white, property owning males. With the exception of some Const,itutional amendments, this is still a state prerogative.

      Subsequent changes have extended suffrage to
      Non-property owning men
      Black men
      Women
      Native Americans
      The poor (through elimination of poll taxes)
      Adults between 18 – 24
      etc.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
  17. neverbeenhappieratheist

    "5 “When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. 6 But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you." Matthew 6:5,6

    May 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Just let the irony of an atheist having to point out scriptures to believers sink in for a minute...

      May 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • usaidtwhat

      What a HYPOCRITE! Quoting something as authority that YOU don't even believe yourself!!

      May 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        hypocrasy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.

        Was I saying I pray in private? No. I do not pray at all as it is a waste of time. I did however pray a lot for more than forty years before I left my Church and while I was there I read the bible several times cover to cover, so I would pit my knowledge of the bible against the most fervant of believers. I just don't happen to believe a single word of it was from a divine origin.

        And back to the larger point you tried to avoid, why do you feel the need to pray in public when your own Christ told you that it gives you no reward other than getting to look or feel pius in front of other humans? Not a single Christian has addressed this point so far, likely because thy don't know how.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          YOU missed the broader term of hypocrite. AND YOU KNOW IT. YOU are quoting an authority that you do NOT believe as an AUTHORITY. HYPOCRITE!! Acting like you believe it enough to quote it and you admit you don't. You have NO creditability.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I can tell shouty-mc-poo pants here doesn't like having his own bible used to make him look stupid.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          STILL hypocrite.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Please do look up the definition of "hypocrite" because I don't believe you know what the word means. When you do please be careful when slapping yourself in the forehead saying "God i'm stupid!" I would feel bad if you were to hurt yourself to badly.

          After that maybe you will want to address the point I raised instead of shouting nonsense.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Maybe this will help, see if you can pick which one fits the definition of hypocrite:

          1. Atheist who disagrees with the Christians assertion that they should be able to publicly pray posts a scripture from the Christians own hand book out of the mouth of their own supposed God that explicitly tells Christians not to pray publicly.

          2. Christian who claims they worship Jesus and yet when confronted by their own Gods words telling them to not pray publicly decides to attack the messenger instead of refuting the message.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Neverbeen....I know, I know....pick me! It's number 2, right??

          May 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          "Neverbeen"
          I should not be amazed at your ignorance but Here it is, I AM AMAZED! What part of the preposition, BEFORE, do you NOT understand. They do this BEFORE the meeting. Further, you quote a source you do not believe. Why would any intelligent person give you the time of day. Further, if someone who believes it wishes to explain it to you, then good luck. I do not believe you are capable of comprehending or accepting their explanation. You are incapable of "squaring" with the preposition "BEFORE". I refuse to believe you are ready for the other.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          i'm glad we agree you have no idea what you are talking about.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
  18. jefnvk

    "She suggested that the five justices who formed the majority – all of whom are Catholic – don't understand what it's like to belong to a minority faith in America."

    I'm pretty sure in most areas, Catholics are very much a minority religion, and have had cases of persecution throughout their American history.

    May 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • crittermom2

      Catholics are still Christians, and would be unlikely to find much to disagree with in any other type of Christian prayer.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      ~78% of Americans are Christians. Ergo the Catholic justices are part of an overwhelming Christian majority.

      Justice Kagen is Jewish. 1.7% of Americans are Jewish. Now that's a minority, particularly when atheists/agnostics make up perhaps 7%.

      Even at 23% of Americans, there are a *lot* more Catholics than Jews.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • usaidtwhat

        That logic is the kettle calling the pot black. IT'S STILL A MINORITY!

        May 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        How is 78% a minority?

        May 6, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Point was about Catholics. Focus please!

          May 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Justice Kagen's point was that the Catholics on the bench represent the Christian majority.

          Q. Do Catholics and Protestants differ on their desire to have prayer invocations before governing sessions?
          Q. Will a Catholic be offended by a prayer invoking "Jesus" made by a Protestant minister?

          A. No. Ergo, they are part of the majority belief on THIS topic.

          Jews are a minority in the United States. Christians are not. That was Justice Kagen's point. It is you that wants to take this out of context.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • crittermom2

          Again, while there are specific Catholic prayers and beliefs that would probably alienate other Christians (prayers to Mary or the saints, for example), I can't think of any generic Christian prayers that would alienate Catholics. So Catholics would fit comfortably into the Christian majority for this purpose, even though they are a minority themselves.

          Can anyone else think of a Christian prayer that would bother Catholics? I'm truly curious.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          LOOK, ALL KINDS OF RELIGIONS PRAY. That does not make one a majority or minority. CATHOLICS ARE A MINORITY. That is the point!!! Reading comprehension people.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • otoh2

          crittermom,

          I'm not sure if it bothers Catholics today, but (way back when) I was taught to sort of bristle at the addition of " "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen" at the end of the "Lord's Prayer".

          May 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • crittermom2

          @otoh2 ... Actually, I think I've heard that part included in a mass. And I know that way back in the 70s, when I sang in a catholic folk group (yeah, really!) that line was in the song version of the Lord's prayer that we sang every week. I do remember it being considered an optional line, though.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I believe the enumeration of the ten commandments is different for Catholics.

          There's about half a dozen different ways they are enumerated for different beliefs anyway. It's the sort of thing you'd think they'd be able to sort out for the inerrant word of God.

          May 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  19. otoh2

    ""Should nonbelievers choose to exit the room during a prayer they find distasteful, their absence will not stand out as disrespectful or even noteworthy," Kennedy writes."

    Oh, REALLY?! What planet does he live on?

    Is that an edict? Or wishful thinking?

    Perhaps he should add that all who are praying must close their eyes very tightly so that they cannot observe any absences, departures or non-participation by others.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Doris

      I'm not sure which is worse – Kennedy's insensitivity on the matter or Scalia, who thinks the devil is a real person and can't remember his own past opinions (going off on a rant no less):

      http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117607/supreme-court-justice-scalia-makes-huge-error-journalist-never-would

      May 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Scalia should be tested for alzheimer's...

        May 6, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • usaidtwhat

      OR perhaps you should RESPECT others free exercise and hold your peace!!

      May 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        I believe I will exercise my free speech during the prayer and just read from Harry Potter.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          THAT is your freedom. Enjoy! Just don't think for ONE SECOND you have the right to stop them from their free exercise NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WHINE. They have the right...just as much as you do to read Harry Potter.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I THINK people that CAPITALIZE words in their POSTS have som real ANGER issues.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          I can see you are STILL GULLIBLE. Keep up that work. It is serving you will (sarcasm explained due to issues with being gullible).

          May 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          The explanation is not necessary..,,you should not a-ssume everybody is as ignorant as you. By the way....serve me will?

          May 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • otoh2

          gull,

          Keep in mind that you are responding to someone whose screen name says "twhat"!

          May 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Otoh....good point. I think he spelled it wrong though...should have been an 'I' instead of an 'A'

          May 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Its a play on though by use of a slang word. Belittling minority speech?!? Yes, "will" should have been "well".

          May 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat....nope....just belittling you. If you want to be taken seriously here and have intelligent conversations, you need to stop acting like such a tool.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Tool...a handy device to have nuts like you!

          May 6, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat....see...that's what I'm talking about right there. I'm just trying to help you be a better Christian. A real Christian wouldn't act like you do....I wonder if you might be a closet Muslim?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          You make a dreadful error in SUPPOSING you know who I am. FOCUS, the discussion is at hand.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat....dreadful error? Really? Dreadful? Why....are you a member of the mafia? I do know one thing from reading your posts....you are a bit of a jerk, that's for sure. And...I'm done conversing with you....just not worth my time.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          The SIMPLE cannot stand logic or those who have more of it than them. It frustrates them to no end. Have a pleasant day! Did that make you feel better?

          May 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat......sure did. It confirmed to me what I already suspected. You are a condescending p-rick.....and quite in Christian.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • Doris

          @usaidwhat: All freedoms come with responsibility. That's why there is an establishment clause. You may be able to shoot off certain fireworks at home in your jurisdiction, but I doubt seriously the local laws allow you to shoot them into your neighbors' homes.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
      • igaftr

        Why don't believers respect that it is a government business meeting, and not waste the peoples time with a religious display. It is simply inappropraite, just like if I went to mass and before mass began, we discussed zoning issues and tax liabilities. Simply wrong place and wrong time.
        Pray all you want, but there is no reason to delay business simply because people want to imagine they are talking to their deity. They can do that freely on their time, not the peoples time. It is those who delay the meeting with prayer that are the ones being disrespectful and inappropriate.

        May 6, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
  20. SeaVik

    This decision is outrageous. Kennedy really needs to read our const.itution. It's insane that I should have to submit myself to pegan chants to exercise my right as a citizen to participate in public government sessions.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • usaidtwhat

      Either is an assertion...unbelief or belief. One is right and the other is not.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Do you think that all government business should be preceded by prayer? Do you think that prayer should be, say Hindu? So every meeting would start with 10 minutes of Hindu prayer. Separation of church and state is important.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          YOU SAID IT> BEFORE the meeting. Congress cannot prohibit the free exercise thereof!!!

          May 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Do you know the difference between "before" and "at the beginning of"? The prayers we are discussing are at the beginning of the public meeting. They are part of the meeting that all meeting participants must endure.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          NO sir they are NOT. You can easily come in after the pray, as I HAVE DONE, and hear the gavel sound and the meeting come to order>>>FACT>>>> Attend the meeting and you will see that it is NOT in order until they call it to order.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • crittermom2

          If it were before the meeting, I wouldn't have as much objection. Announce that the meeting starts at 2:00, and anyone wishing to attend a pre-meeting prayer could come in early at 1:50. The problem is, that's not how it works. If the meeting starts at 2, the prayer is at 2. I am then forced either to participate in the prayer, waste my time sitting through the prayer (and get noticed for not participating), or worse yet, arrive late to the meeting.

          Besides, the room may be in use for another meeting that goes from 1-2.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          FACT...meeting does NOT come to order until the gavel sounds it to order. THAT IS AFTER any prayer...if there is any that night. There are meetings where an famous author is quoted or president. IT'S BEFORE THE MEETING! Why is that so HARD to grasp?

          May 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • observer

          usaidtwhat,

          Excellent point. Prayers cause DELAY and wastes time for others waiting for the meetings to start. Well done.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          wow....sorry to waste "precious seconds" out of your selfish life

          May 6, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc

          "wow....sorry to waste "precious seconds" out of your selfish life'

          Who's SELFISH here and trying to impose their beliefs on others against their will?

          Ooops.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          very well said of one who is paranoid that we can control your mind..we are not imposing..youdont have to listen..why the heck do you people have a problem with not listening? do you not have the talent to ignore others?

          May 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          Yep. Stay SELFISH.

          Keep IGNORING the Golden Rule. Nonbelievers are used to Christians doing that.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          whatGolden rule? how is that appl;y here? you mean the wasting of other peopls time? oh please...its mere seconds.....and LIFE is that way.....

          May 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • fintronics

          FACT = prayer does not belong in the meeting AT ALL.

          May 7, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • fintronics

          @us.. "NO sir they are NOT. You can easily come in after the pray, as I HAVE DONE, and hear the gavel sound and the meeting come to order>>>FACT>>>> Attend the meeting and you will see that it is NOT in order until they call it to order."

          And you can easily not have the prayer in the first place!!!... I'll ask again, WHY IS IT NECESSARY????

          May 8, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        No evidence for what religious believers believe so let's start there.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Opinion

          May 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fact

          May 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          You have difficulty with discernment. YOUR statement is a mere opinion you hold.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • benhoody

          The evidence is as plain as day to millions of others, it just isn't to you because you reject it right from the start. Facts put right in front of you and you will not see them, but I and others do, so leave us alone and we will leave you alone. If I can see plainly there is a God, why does that bother you because you can't?

          May 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...leave us alone and we will leave you alone."
          Therein lies the problem. The contemporary evangelical movement has been hijacked by those who wish to impose their will and their rules on everyone else. The fringe is now the center.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          hoody, What facts? We know that the universe was not created in 6 days nor in the sequence stated in the bible. Man was not created fully-formed from mud. Woman was not created fully-formed form a man's rib. Animals were not created fully-formed in one day. There has never been a global flood as described in the bible.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          While you may feel it is "hijacked" which is quite humorous, it is believers resisting the tide of UNBELIEF like they always have.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Alias

          hoody –
          How about sharing this evidence?
          just restating that you have it is a bad dodge.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • SeaVik

          It is a fact that there is no legitimate evidence suggesting the existence of a god. If there were, someone would have shared it by now.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Hey, guys...you "know" nothing more than what you THINK you know. That is truly a fact! IF Christians were wrong as much as evolution or changed their books (not mere translations) as often as evolution has changed the science books, NO one would argue with them. PERIOD. They would have NO credibility to address. BUT isn't it amazing how OFTEN we make excuses for our theories and prevailing thought. You say, "yea, its science and observation. It changes as often as our observation does". Well, when it get it ALL together and KNOW with certainty what you are talking about, kindly, shut up! You are like a child whose mind changes incisively with no real FACTS that bring a solid irrefutable conclusion!

          May 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat....'big on facts are you? Got any facts that your god exists?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          I don't have to prove anything like that. That is NOT the proposition here. Stay on subject.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat.....actually, proof of god is the topic. I don't believe we should start a govt meeting with a prayer to a non-existent deity. Do you have any proof of your creator?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          PROOF IS NOT THE TOPIC. FOCUS DUDE. The topic was prayer BEFORE a meeting comes to order. YOU continue to avoid the subject by attempting to address another subject. FOCUS, you can do it. I think.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat....nope...not for an azzhole like you I won't, you condescending jerk. You are just not worthy of my time.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          "UNTIL we get it all right and know what we are talking about with certainty, kindly, shut up! You are like a child whose mind changes incisively with no real FACTS that bring a solid irrefutable conclusion!" You get in the way of real science as you deal with postulations to endless, exacerbating opinions!

          May 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat....this is a public forum...nobody has to shut up here. You don't like what's being said, then leave!

          May 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Yes, its public. I just told you how idiotic your reasoning was as it argued unprovable theories to endless debate. That is Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results- Albert Einstein It's ok to say to your lunacy, shut up. I asked kindly!

          May 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Twhat....you can ask any way you want, but you will be wasting your breath. I can say anything I want, as can you. I would hazard a guess here that your god would not act too kindly towards your rather obnoxious tone. Aren't you glad that there really is no god that you have to report back to?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          You do not know me or where I am on these issues. You are fishing as a way to avoid the issues to which you seriously lack the answer.

          May 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          What,
          It doesn't appear that you don't have a good grasp on science, scientific method, evolution, and more.

          The reason that science changes is because we learn more over the centuries and with the aid of computers and better technology we are learning at an exponential rate.
          The bible is the best guess of Bronze Age goat-herders which has not been updated with facts; admittedly it's only in the last few hundred years that the creation myth has been disproven.

          Evolution is a fact; you can learn about evolution here: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/
          There's your irrefutable conclusion!

          May 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • observer

          usaidtwhat,

          Since nothing you are saying is typical of what Jesus would have said, it's safe to assume that you are not a Christian. So what religion are you?

          May 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Do you have a point?

        May 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • usaidtwhat

          Yea, it was one word...OPINION!

          May 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          what. You're right. It is just your opinion until you provide evidence.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • fintronics

          I see al lot of claims of evidence for god, but yet none is provided. FYI, your imagination is not considered evidence.

          May 7, 2014 at 11:25 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.