Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

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Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:32 pm UTC

All right, so Missouri state legislators have approved an amendment to be put to a ballot for voters in November 2012. It is titled the "Religious Freedom in Public Places Act" (HJR 2) and purports to guarantee people's constitutional right to pray/express religious beliefs on public property.

The language of the resolution is broad, and repeatedly references "Almighty God" in a bill that's supposed to be about all religious beliefs, but that's par for course.

Several civil rights and secular activist organizations are claiming (a) the bill is pointless because everything that's in it is already in the First Amendment, and (b) that the overly broad language is intended to open the door to deliberate or inadvertent misinterpretations that will lead to proselytizing to captive audiences in schools and council meetings, and is basically another step to cross the separation of church and state.

Now, I wouldn't be surprised a single bit if this were actually the case. Missouri is the state that banned lap dancing and nudity in strip clubs. However, I've read the bill and I'm lacking the law expertise to actually know if this is the case - beyond the offensive paeans to "Almighty God" that are certainly thinly veiled references to the Christian God - I can't find much in this bill that is as blatant as the activists claim. Is this really as much of a danger to the church-state divide as they think - or rather, even more of a danger than just being in an increasingly religious conservative state would be?

Here's the bill:
http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bi ... R0002T.PDF
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:
That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next
2 following the first Monday in November, 2012, or at a special election to be called by the
3 governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for
4 adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article I of the Constitution of the state of
5 Missouri:

Section A. Section 5, article I, Constitution of Missouri, is repealed and one new section
2 adopted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 5, to read as follows:

Section 5. That all men and women have a natural and indefeasible right to worship
2 Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no human authority can
3 control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person shall, on account of his or her
4 religious persuasion or belief, be rendered ineligible to any public office or trust or profit in this
5 state, be disqualified from testifying or serving as a juror, or be molested in his or her person
6 or estate; that to secure a citizen's right to acknowledge Almighty God according to the
7 dictates of his or her own conscience, neither the state nor any of its political subdivisions
8 shall establish any official religion, nor shall a citizen's right to pray or express his or her
9 religious beliefs be infringed; that the state shall not coerce any person to participate in any
10 prayer or other religious activity, but shall ensure that any person shall have the right to
11 pray individually or corporately in a private or public setting so long as such prayer does
12 not result in disturbance of the peace or disruption of a public meeting or assembly; that
13 citizens as well as elected officials and employees of the state of Missouri and its political
14 subdivisions shall have the right to pray on government premises and public property so
15 long as such prayers abide within the same parameters placed upon any other free speech
16 under similar circumstances; that the General Assembly and the governing bodies of
17 political subdivisions may extend to ministers, clergypersons, and other individuals the
18 privilege to offer invocations or other prayers at meetings or sessions of the General
19 Assembly or governing bodies; that students may express their beliefs about religion in
20 written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of
21 their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic
22 assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs; that the
23 state shall ensure public school students their right to free exercise of religious expression
24 without interference, as long as such prayer or other expression is private and voluntary,
25 whether individually or corporately, and in a manner that is not disruptive and as long as
26 such prayers or expressions abide within the same parameters placed upon any other free
27 speech under similar circumstances; and, to emphasize the right to free exercise of religious
28 expression, that all free public schools receiving state appropriations shall display, in a
29 conspicuous and legible manner, the text of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the
30 United States; but this section shall not be construed to expand the rights of prisoners in state
31 or local custody beyond those afforded by the laws of the United States, excuse acts of
32 licentiousness, nor to justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the
33 state, or with the rights of others.

Section B. Pursuant to Chapter 116, RSMo, and other applicable constitutional
2 provisions and laws of this state allowing the General Assembly to adopt ballot language for the
3 submission of a joint resolution to the voters of this state, the official ballot title of the
4 amendment proposed in Section A shall be as follows:
5 "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:
6 • That the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be
7 infringed;
8 • That school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in
9 their schools; and
10 • That all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States
11 Constitution.".


Here's an article from Secular News Daily with most of the claims:
http://www.secularnewsdaily.com/2011/07 ... s-liberty/
Spoiler:
The people of Missouri deserve better.

Not only has the state’s legislature passed a measure that could open the door to government-promoted religion – it plans to deliberately mislead Missourians about it.

H.J.R. 2 will appear on the November 2012 ballot. It’s an amendment that will add language to the state’s constitution codifying the right of Missourians to express their religious beliefs in public places, including public schools.

Obviously, that is something that all Americans already have the general right to do under the U.S. Constitution. Most Missourians will likely approve the language, thinking it’s no big deal.

That’s what the state legislature and the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Mike McGee (R-Odessa), want everyone to think. But that would be wrong.

The amendment’s language is very broad, and it seems intended to open the door to preaching and proselytizing in public schools and other venues with a captive audience. It mandates, for example, that “citizens as well as elected officials and employees of the state of Missouri and its political subdivisions shall have the right to pray on government premises and public property.” Does that mean teachers and school administrators will have the “right” to lead their students in worship?

The amendment says “students may express their beliefs about religion in written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their work.” Does that mean students can stand up in class and give a “report” that proselytizes for their faith and demeans the beliefs of others?

Another section mandates that “no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.” Does that mean students can opt out of science class because learning about evolution “violates” their religious beliefs?

Yet none of these details are spelled out in the proposed ballot measure. All Missourians will read is that the amendment promises more religious liberty.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit last week challenging the misleading language. Hopefully, the litigation will result in the state at least describing the true effect of this amendment so Missourians will know what they are signing up for.

Americans United has already warned about the dangers of this amendment and urged Missouri legislators not to approve it.

In March, we wrote a letter to the Missouri Senate making it clear that, if approved, this measure will likely lead to more constitutional violations and lawsuits.

“This amendment would substantially change the state’s existing guarantee of religious liberty,” the letter asserted. “Because courts are obligated to give every word meaning when interpreting the Constitution, they will likely view the additional lengthy exposition of what the free exercise means as granting different rights than those currently guaranteed by the Constitution — and rights that even go beyond the stated intent of the resolution.”

This measure isn’t about religious freedom but is rather just another way for our legislators to cross the church-state line.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:43 pm UTC

I'm thinking satanic mass on the courthouse steps would be a good counter to this bill.

I'm curious how legislators are justifying what is being fronted as a useless bill.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby JBJ » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

For the most part, I agree with point (a), that the bill is a pointless and long winded way of saying what's already there.

However, this section has me a bit concerned. Okay, really concerned.
19 ....that students may express their beliefs about religion in
20 written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of
21 their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic
22 assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;

Way to back door creationism/anti-evolutionism anyone?
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Роберт » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:55 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:For the most part, I agree with point (a), that the bill is a pointless and long winded way of saying what's already there.

However, this section has me a bit concerned. Okay, really concerned.
19 ....that students may express their beliefs about religion in
20 written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of
21 their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic
22 assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;

Way to back door creationism/anti-evolutionism anyone?

At least Missiouri is doing something to protect Muslims' right to practice their faith. Girls will be allowed to wear burqas etc. Good to hear Missouri is looking out for discriminated minorities. Right? :wink:
Last edited by Роберт on Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:08 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
JBJ wrote:At least Missiouri is doing something to protect Muslims' right to practice their faith. Girls will be allowed to wear burqas etc. Good to here Missouri is looking out for discriminated minorities. Right? :wink:
Indeed. This should be pointed out to them. I like sputtering fireworks. :mrgreen:

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Роберт » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:11 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:
Роберт wrote:
JBJ wrote:At least Missiouri is doing something to protect Muslims' right to practice their faith. Girls will be allowed to wear burqas etc. Good to here Missouri is looking out for discriminated minorities. Right? :wink:
Indeed. This should be pointed out to them. I like sputtering fireworks. :mrgreen:

It's unfortunate that the language they chose ("Almighty God") will exclude some Hindus and a bunch of other religions, but Islamophobia is a bigger deal right now, so it least it addresses that.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:17 pm UTC

I guess that's technically what they've been careful to insert. The reason why all the activists are concerned is because Missouri is moving more conservative and the religious right gets a lot of play in the government. I have no doubt that a child who does their school project on their beliefs on Wicca will be accused of proselytizing and making the other children uncomfortable, whereas the kid who stands up and talks about how much God loves everyone - the parents and teacher will be able to use this bill to back the kid up. I'm wondering how vigorously the legislators will defend someone who decides to take a day off because it is Spaghetti Day.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:24 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:I guess that's technically what they've been careful to insert. The reason why all the activists are concerned is because Missouri is moving more conservative and the religious right gets a lot of play in the government. I have no doubt that a child who does their school project on their beliefs on Wicca will be accused of proselytizing and making the other children uncomfortable, whereas the kid who stands up and talks about how much God loves everyone - the parents and teacher will be able to use this bill to back the kid up. I'm wondering how vigorously the legislators will defend someone who decides to take a day off because it is Spaghetti Day.


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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:25 pm UTC

that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;


This line is stupid. It should read "that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignment sor educational presentations involving religion." People's religious beliefs often contradict things that should be taught (evolution, use of contraception), and they shouldn't be able to excuse themselves from learning about facts because they don't want to.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:30 pm UTC

Not least because I give it, like, ten minutes before there's a new religion among gradeschoolers that explicitly forbids entry to the kingdom of heaven for any child who engages in that most abominable of activities in the lord's sight: homework.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby JBJ » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:33 pm UTC

Verily I say to ye, take not into thy hand pencils of No. 2 quality, for they are the work of the serpent.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

And the LORD didst say to the multitude, "He who dost his schoolwork within his own home has committed an abomination: show him no mercy and stone him to death, his blood is on his own head. Go forth and do this, for I am a merciful God."
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Cathy » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;


This line is stupid. It should read "that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignment sor educational presentations involving religion." People's religious beliefs often contradict things that should be taught (evolution, use of contraception), and they shouldn't be able to excuse themselves from learning about facts because they don't want to.


"[insert religion here] says that I'm not allowed to take your biology class even though it's a requirement to graduate."
^ I want this person to lose their lawsuit. It will happen.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Angua » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:51 pm UTC

As the lord sayeth, "Ignorance is bliss, and they who wish to enter into heaven must forsake all knowledge"
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Dauric » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;


This line is stupid. It should read "that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignment sor educational presentations involving religion." People's religious beliefs often contradict things that should be taught (evolution, use of contraception), and they shouldn't be able to excuse themselves from learning about facts because they don't want to.


As JBJ said, it's a way to backdoor creationism. If they can't get creationism taught in school they'll boycott the teaching of evolution. The entire purpose of the line is to be able to excuse themselves from learning facts that contradict their interpretation of the bible.

---

Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?

.... Huh... That must be the new secessionist strategy, to be such horrible, horrible people that when they secede again the north will be happy to say "Good Riddance."
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby JBJ » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Роберт » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Wait, Missouri is "deep south" now?
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Dauric » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:26 pm UTC

My geography failure brings me much dishonor.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Xeio » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:Wait, Missouri is "deep south" now?
They're trying their hardest to be there.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:For the most part, I agree with point (a), that the bill is a pointless and long winded way of saying what's already there.

However, this section has me a bit concerned. Okay, really concerned.
19 ....that students may express their beliefs about religion in
20 written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of
21 their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic
22 assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;

Way to back door creationism/anti-evolutionism anyone?

Yeah, that's bullshit. If I get a paper defending creationism, it's getting an F because it's shoddy work. I don't care if it's based on their religion, they failed to apply critical thought and valid sources.

I really get annoyed with this bullshit idea of "academic fairness" that interferes with education. I'm sorry that your ideas are shitty and not well thought through, but welcome to education. It's supposed to be controversial. If you're not asked to think through the ramifications of your belief system and not having it challenged then you're not doing it right.

that the state shall not coerce any person to participate in any
10 prayer or other religious activity, but shall ensure that any person shall have the right to
11 pray individually or corporately in a private or public setting so long as such prayer does
12 not result in disturbance of the peace or disruption of a public meeting or assembly

Also, there's that. You can pray corporately in public meetings or assembly. Ergo, as a representative of the state, claiming you're an individual, you can pray in public events.

I rather do hope Lampe lays a smack down on this bullshit.

@Xeio, I've always sensed that in the southern regions of the state they're bitter about where the Mason-Dixon line got drawn.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby The EGE » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:45 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?


...can we keep Florida? Florida's okay, and so much easier to get to without Georgia and the Carolinas in the way.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Dauric » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
JBJ wrote:For the most part, I agree with point (a), that the bill is a pointless and long winded way of saying what's already there.

However, this section has me a bit concerned. Okay, really concerned.
19 ....that students may express their beliefs about religion in
20 written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of
21 their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic
22 assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;

Way to back door creationism/anti-evolutionism anyone?

Yeah, that's bullshit. If I get a paper defending creationism, it's getting an F because it's shoddy work. I don't care if it's based on their religion, they failed to apply critical thought and valid sources.

I really get annoyed with this bullshit idea of "academic fairness" that interferes with education. I'm sorry that your ideas are shitty and not well thought through, but welcome to education. It's supposed to be controversial. If you're not asked to think through the ramifications of your belief system and not having it challenged then you're not doing it right.


The thing is the bit about not being required to participate is the real escape hatch for creationists there. It doesn't matter if you give them an "F", because you may not be able to use it towards figuring their grade. Either that or if they turn something in you can use it towards their grade, but if they turn nothing in "because participating in the activity against their religion" you can't use those 'incomplete' scores in figuring their grade.

@Xeio, I've always sensed that in the southern regions of the state they're bitter about where the Mason-Dixon line got drawn.


When I get that cartoon physics saw I'll be happy to oblige them.

The EGE wrote:
Dauric wrote:Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?


...can we keep Florida? Florida's okay, and so much easier to get to without Georgia and the Carolinas in the way.


I dunno, Parts of the Florida panhandle may have to go, but I definitely want to keep Cape Canaveral.
Last edited by Dauric on Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:50 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

So is this as much of a danger as the activists are claiming? Do you all think the language is actively misleading? I made the topic because the Secular News Daily article got me all good and panicked up, but then I went to read the bill. It does repeatedly say things about not doing anything that isn't already allowed - like it can't be disruptive or anything above how free speech is normally regulated.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Dauric » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:So is this as much of a danger as the activists are claiming? Do you all think the language is actively misleading?


The Secular News Daily article you included seems to be spot on, though I'd say they missed how the use of "Almighty God" may disenfranchise those with polytheistic or atheistic beliefs, since they're not worshiping "Almighty God", and therefor don't have the indefeasible right.

Section 5. That all men and women have a natural and indefeasible right to worship
2 Almighty God
according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no human authority can
3 control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person shall, on account of his or her
4 religious persuasion or belief, be rendered ineligible to any public office or trust or profit in this
5 state, be disqualified from testifying or serving as a juror, or be molested in his or her person
6 or estate; that to secure a citizen's right to acknowledge Almighty God according to the
7 dictates of his or her own conscience, neither the state nor any of its political subdivisions
8 shall establish any official religion, nor shall a citizen's right to pray or express his or her
9 religious beliefs be infringed


Not to worship as they please, not to acknowledge the possibility of a divine entity or power, but specific enshrinement of the rights to worship a mono-deity.

edit because I got edit ninja'd
I made the topic because the Secular News Daily article got me all good and panicked up, but then I went to read the bill. It does repeatedly say things about not doing anything that isn't already allowed - like it can't be disruptive or anything above how free speech is normally regulated.


The thing is that those lines really look more like a smokescreen. It's not that prayer is disruptive like the local conspiracy-theory hobo yelling at passers-by in a bus station, but it's inappropriate -as a government official- to use that position to send a religious message.. unless of course Missouri passes this law, in which case any teacher that worships Almighty God can ignore evolution or that a number of students can get out of any homework assignment that they can construe as being against their religion without consequence.
Last edited by Dauric on Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:03 pm UTC

The Jury Duty bit is interesting. I'd heard that jurors are often disqualified in a capital case if they are opposed to capital punishment. If that objection is religious in nature, then per the text of this bill, they couldn't be disqualified on those grounds.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Роберт » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:So is this as much of a danger as the activists are claiming? Do you all think the language is actively misleading? I made the topic because the Secular News Daily article got me all good and panicked up, but then I went to read the bill. It does repeatedly say things about not doing anything that isn't already allowed - like it can't be disruptive or anything above how free speech is normally regulated.

I don't think it's much to freak out about, no.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:11 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:
JBJ wrote:For the most part, I agree with point (a), that the bill is a pointless and long winded way of saying what's already there.

However, this section has me a bit concerned. Okay, really concerned.
19 ....that students may express their beliefs about religion in
20 written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of
21 their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic
22 assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;

Way to back door creationism/anti-evolutionism anyone?

Yeah, that's bullshit. If I get a paper defending creationism, it's getting an F because it's shoddy work. I don't care if it's based on their religion, they failed to apply critical thought and valid sources.

I really get annoyed with this bullshit idea of "academic fairness" that interferes with education. I'm sorry that your ideas are shitty and not well thought through, but welcome to education. It's supposed to be controversial. If you're not asked to think through the ramifications of your belief system and not having it challenged then you're not doing it right.


The thing is the bit about not being required to participate is the real escape hatch for creationists there. It doesn't matter if you give them an "F", because you may not be able to use it towards figuring their grade. Either that or if they turn something in you can use it towards their grade, but if they turn nothing in "because participating in the activity against their religion" you can't use those 'incomplete' scores in figuring their grade.

Which, I would challenge the notion that learning biology is against their religion. Either way, I don't specifically have the problem because writing essays on a topic of your choosing certainly isn't against their religion. It'd be completely their fault if they turn in shoddy poorly sourced and argued papers. Or, refuse to turn a paper in.

And, I still say it's fair to test them over the material they would have learned in the discussions on evolution. It's part of the knowledge they're supposed to learn in the class, especially given its importance to the field.

What really annoys me is that what they have on the ballot in no way accurately describes what this bill does.
The cynic in me thinks this is an election year ploy to get Republicans to the polls for the 2012 election (after all, they could put it on the 2011 ballot, but they're not). I mean, you put Jesus on the ballot, they're going to come out to vote for Jesus. And that bothers me given it's McCaskill's seat that's up, and Akin is a right fucking douchebag (assuming he beats Steeleman in the primary, which he'll probably do).
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:11 pm UTC

I would think that since they use the term "Almighty God" and thus disenfranchise Satanists, Pagans, Hindus, Shintoists, and any number more religions, it would be unconstitutional under the establishment clause. Can't favor some religions and not all others and all that.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?

If you blew up the Mason-Dixon line, you'd have a trench between Pennsylvania/Delaware and Maryland and nothing more. It doesn't cross the entire country, and even if it did, calling everything south of it "the deep south" is horribly mistaken, at best.

Now, if you had said the Missouri Compromise Line, you might achieve the results you are looking for except that Missouri is almost entirely north of it.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
Dauric wrote:Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?

If you blew up the Mason-Dixon line, you'd have a trench between Pennsylvania/Delaware and Maryland and nothing more. It doesn't cross the entire country, and even if it did, calling everything south of it "the deep south" is horribly mistaken, at best.

Now, if you had said the Missouri Compromise Line, you might achieve the results you are looking for except that Missouri is almost entirely north of it.

While true, colloquially, the Missouri Compromise Line gets called the mason-dixon line. And that reminds me of one of my professor's stories about when he was driving through Louisiana and got harassed by some rather red necked individuals. At the police station later the individuals claimed they thought he was a freedom rider because he had yankee plates on the car. Those Yankee plates: Arkansas.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby DSenette » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:32 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:
Dauric wrote:Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?

If you blew up the Mason-Dixon line, you'd have a trench between Pennsylvania/Delaware and Maryland and nothing more. It doesn't cross the entire country, and even if it did, calling everything south of it "the deep south" is horribly mistaken, at best.

Now, if you had said the Missouri Compromise Line, you might achieve the results you are looking for except that Missouri is almost entirely north of it.

While true, colloquially, the Missouri Compromise Line gets called the mason-dixon line. And that reminds me of one of my professor's stories about when he was driving through Louisiana and got harassed by some rather red necked individuals. At the police station later the individuals claimed they thought he was a freedom rider because he had yankee plates on the car. Those Yankee plates: Arkansas.

depending on what part of louisiana you're in, anything north of Baton Rouge can be considered a yankee (hell, if you're from miami....you're a yankee)....yankee is a state of mind.


also, i'm from louisiana (the real south), i live in tennessee (the sort of south), and you can kindly go fuck yourself.

edit: quote storm....the "go fuck yourself" is for dauric's comment, not jaho's
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby qetzal » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:47 pm UTC

Just FYI, the part about having a "natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God" is already part of the Missouri Constitution. The first five lines of the proposed new Section 5 from the OP are basically identical to the current language (except that "his" in the old text would become "his or her" in the next text.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

Meant as a theoretical example; would this mean (if applied nationwide, not just state) that the Sioux would be allowed to do the Sun Dance on top of Mt Rushmore? Religious ceremony on public property after all.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby qetzal » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:38 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Meant as a theoretical example; would this mean (if applied nationwide, not just state) that the Sioux would be allowed to do the Sun Dance on top of Mt Rushmore? Religious ceremony on public property after all.


Not if the ceremony involved "acts of licentiousness, [or] practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state, or with the rights of others." Want to bet on how many supporters of this amendment would consider pagan rituals on public property to be inconsistent with the good order of the state and the rights of others?

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Роберт » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:40 pm UTC

qetzal wrote:"practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state"

Oh shoot, that rules out being Muslim. :roll:
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Steroid » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:16 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Is it wrong that in my cartoon-physics imagination I want to set massive shaped charges all along the Mason Dixon line, blow a deep chasm between the Deep South and the rest of the U.S. and let them float off in to the Gulf of Mexico?

.... Huh... That must be the new secessionist strategy, to be such horrible, horrible people that when they secede again the north will be happy to say "Good Riddance."

Why wouldn't it be the North that floated off into the Atlantic, with the Southerners being the ones who say "Good riddance"?

This is what gets me about the general sentiment of most internet commentary, particularly here. I think that this proposed law is unconstitutional for the mentioned reasons that it favors monotheistic belief, and belief in omnipotence ("Almighty" God, to the exclusion of, "Just has some cool superpowers" God), and in proactive actions over passivity, which should be given equal treatment under law. But.

But, the opportunity is taken to bash people who do worship in a particular way, taken not solely as social activism, but in full advocacy of using legal means to constrain such worship. Anyone who's arguing for a compulsory, publicly run, publicly funded education system that comes out and says that a particular belief is right and another particular belief is wrong is for legal discrimination, merely covering it up by divorcing it by a few steps. Like it or not, people have the right to wear blinders and abandon reason for faith, and they also have the right to make their case to their children without having to give them up to "equal time" indoctrination simply because that's what the science says. It's specifically enumerated that no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, but that doesn't mean that laws should be made respecting an establishment of science, especially if that science is working at direct opposition to religion. Because if it does mean that, then it's just establishing a religion by process of elimination.

The alternative to coexistence, as always, is cultural divide. That's what we have here. This proposed law to underhandedly promote Christian worship is the result of underhandedly discouraging Christian worship.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

qetzal wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Meant as a theoretical example; would this mean (if applied nationwide, not just state) that the Sioux would be allowed to do the Sun Dance on top of Mt Rushmore? Religious ceremony on public property after all.


Not if the ceremony involved "acts of licentiousness, [or] practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state, or with the rights of others." Want to bet on how many supporters of this amendment would consider pagan rituals on public property to be inconsistent with the good order of the state and the rights of others?


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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:27 pm UTC

No, Steroid. Not teaching religion or teaching something contradictory to a religion isn't telling people which belief is right and which belief is wrong, it is (assuming that facts are being taught) telling people what is right and what isn't without taking religion into consideration. Making laws without respecting an establishment of religion doesn't mean avoiding all laws that might interfere with a religious belief, it means making laws without consideration for religious belief.

And also, this is very important, teaching science is not "indoctrination." Teaching science is simply educating people on critical thinking and proven factual information.
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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:
Dauric wrote: Like it or not, people have the right to wear blinders and abandon reason for faith, and they also have the right to make their case to their children without having to give them up to "equal time" indoctrination simply because that's what the science says. It's specifically enumerated that no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, but that doesn't mean that laws should be made respecting an establishment of science, especially if that science is working at direct opposition to religion. Because if it does mean that, then it's just establishing a religion by process of elimination.

You're missing the real problem with your argument. Schools teach science because science is an important field of study in our understanding of the world. Therefore, you teach the methods and current conclusions of scientific thought. You want to teach religion, then have a world religions class. It doesn't matter how much science disagrees with religious sentiments, it's science not a religion. You teach what it is, not what it isn't. The first amendment doesn't say you can't have an establishment of science anyways. Science =/= religion.

The other problem is that while they can choose to be as ignorant as they want: I do have a problem when they A. want to force that ignorance on their children--which I consider a form of abuse. B. want to force that ignorance on the population as a whole.

The alternative to coexistence, as always, is cultural divide. That's what we have here. This proposed law to underhandedly promote Christian worship is the result of underhandedly discouraging Christian worship.

PERCEIVED discouraging of Christian worship. It's more that Christians think they deserve governmental privilege and then create a fabricated history to justify their privilege. Pointing out that the government can't establish a religion so they can either let everybody put up their religious/non-religious icons or they can choose a secular approach and allow none is not discouraging worship. It's encouraging equality under the law.

That a swath of Christians are butthurt over their loss of privilege is not my problem.

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Re: Missouri may be crossing the church-state divide?

Postby Steroid » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:20 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:No, Steroid. Not teaching religion or teaching something contradictory to a religion isn't telling people which belief is right and which belief is wrong, it is (assuming that facts are being taught) telling people what is right

Are you offering yourself up for the position of god? If not, then don't talk about what is right. The whole point of a tolerant and open society is that we don't force what we think is right on others who don't think it is right. To a creationist, that god magicked the world in 6 days is the fact and is right.

And also, this is very important, teaching science is not "indoctrination." Teaching science is simply educating people on critical thinking and proven factual information.

Sure, but some people are against critical thinking, proof, and facts. And they have the right to be. Forcing them to accede to and fund the opposite of their position is indeed indoctrination.

Jahoclave wrote:You're missing the real problem with your argument. Schools teach science because science is an important field of study in our understanding of the world. Therefore, you teach the methods and current conclusions of scientific thought. You want to teach religion, then have a world religions class. It doesn't matter how much science disagrees with religious sentiments, it's science not a religion. You teach what it is, not what it isn't. The first amendment doesn't say you can't have an establishment of science anyways. Science =/= religion.

I'm not talking about world religions or comparative religions. I'm talking about people who want to teach their particular faith. You want to study and understand the world. I want to understand the world. Other people don't.

The other problem is that while they can choose to be as ignorant as they want: I do have a problem when they A. want to force that ignorance on their children--which I consider a form of abuse. B. want to force that ignorance on the population as a whole.

And they think that you forcing your denial of their particular divinity on their children (and yours) is abuse, and they have a problem with your forcing your knowledge-thirst on the population as a whole.


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