National Day of Prayer ruled constitutional

121 posts / 0 new
Last post
GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
National Day of Prayer ruled constitutional

Do you agree with this decision? Disagree? Discuss.

Last April, federal judge Barbara Crabb found that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, writing that it "goes beyond mere 'acknowledgment' of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context."

Today, however, a federal appeals court panel voted 3-0 to overturn that ruling. The decision was based on the finding that the group that challenged the law did not have standing to do so.

The lawsuit was brought by a group of atheists and agnostics called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which argued that it violated the separation of church and state.

The National Day of Prayer was established by Congress in 1952, and in 1988 was set as the first Thursday in May. By law, the president must proclaim a national day of prayer every year. Despite the initial ruling President Obama proclaimed a National Day of Prayer last year; in his proclamation, he said in part, "In prayer, we have expressed gratitude and humility, sought guidance and forgiveness, and received inspiration and assistance, both in good times and in bad." He also called on Americans to "pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings."

The administration, which appealed the initial ruling, argued that the National Day of Prayer was legal because it simply acknowledged the role of religion in the United States. The ruling finding the day unconstitutional sparked outrage last year from some lawmakers, among them Texas Republican Lamar Smith, who asked, "What's next? Declaring the federal holiday for Christmas unconstitutional?"

In asserting that the Freedom From Religion Foundation lacked standing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit said that "unless all limits on standing are to be abandoned, a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury in fact." It found there was no injury in part because the proclamation can essentially be ignored by an individual.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said it would seek a rehearing before the full appeals court.

"Congress and the president of the United States have no business telling me or any other citizen to pray, 'to turn to God in prayer at churches,' much less setting aside an entire day for prayer every year and even telling me what to pray about," said Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

The social conservative group The Family Research Council, meanwhile, applauded the ruling.

"Today's ruling sends a message to Judge Barbara Crabb and any other activist judge who would rewrite the Constitution to advance a hostile treatment of religion in public life," said the group's president, Tony Perkins.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20054027-503544.html

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

I agree with the ruling

I'm not overly religious, fall into the very spirtual category, but in the attempt to uphold the rights afforded by the consititution it seems that rights are being eroded.

If its national hot dog day does not mean I need to eat a hot dog that day. national prayer day does not mean you have to pray that day.

Maybe they could be satisfied with a national do not pray day. Then the group is equally represented. and then in our legal happy nation, maybe a group for prayer can sue the goverment for alienation.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

The President and his wife have been calling for people to recycle and eat healthier. How many people feel the need to sue instead of just ignoring the advice? :rolleyes:

Today's tax day. Almost half of us don't pay any. Should we sue?

I wish this group would focus on something positive or that was actually harmful to the people they are trying to protect. How much is all this legal back and forth costing us?

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

This decision said that the group who brought the suit didn't have standing. That does not speak to the actual constitutionality of the legislation. The decision just says that the court doesn't uphold the lower court's decision because the plaintiffs in the case shouldn't have been allowed to bring it before the court.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"wlillie" wrote:

The President and his wife have been calling for people to recycle and eat healthier. How many people feel the need to sue instead of just ignoring the advice? :rolleyes:

Today's tax day. Almost half of us don't pay any. Should we sue?

I wish this group would focus on something positive or that was actually harmful to the people they are trying to protect. How much is all this legal back and forth costing us?

What does the bolded have to do with the OP?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

This decision said that the group who brought the suit didn't have standing. That does not speak to the actual constitutionality of the legislation. The decision just says that the court doesn't uphold the lower court's decision because the plaintiffs in the case shouldn't have been allowed to bring it before the court.

Doesn't this pretty much say that no one could have standing in this case?

In asserting that the Freedom From Religion Foundation lacked standing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit said that "unless all limits on standing are to be abandoned, a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury in fact." It found there was no injury in part because the proclamation can essentially be ignored by an individual.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Doesn't this pretty much say that no one could have standing in this case?

I don't believe you can have legislation where no one has standing to be able to sue. That doesn't really make sense.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

I don't believe you can have legislation where no one has standing to be able to sue. That doesn't really make sense.

So what circumstances could exist that would make it so that an individual woudn't be able to ignore the proclamation of the National Day of Prayer, if a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury?

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So what circumstances could exist that would make it so that an individual woudn't be able to ignore the proclamation of the National Day of Prayer, if a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury?

Well, I think an issue on this board is people seem to be under the impression that whatever the last court decided will stand. That's not necessarily true. This decision could be deemed invalid. Will it happen in this case, who knows? The Freedom From Religion Foundation is going to appeal to have it go before the full court and we'll see what happens. There are ten justices that sit on that court and only three of them heard this case.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Well, I think an issue on this board is people seem to be under the impression that whatever the last court decided will stand. That's not necessarily true. This decision could be deemed invalid. Will it happen in this case, who knows? The Freedom From Religion Foundation is going to appeal to have it go before the full court and we'll see what happens. There are ten justices that sit on that court and only three of them heard this case.

So I guess that means you can't answer the question. Which is that NO ONE can prove harm. And it was unanimous among the 3 that heard it. Just because they appeal doesn't mean they have to hear the case, they also have the option to just let it stand.

But Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Foundation didn't have legal standing to sue, since the president's proclamation of the National Day of Prayer caused them no harm.

"All they have is a disagreement with the president's action. But unless all limits on standing are to be abandoned, a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury," Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook said in the opinion.

"Although this proclamation speaks to all citizens, no one is obligated to pray any more than a person would be obligated to hand over his money if the president asked all citizens to support the Red Cross and other charities," he added.

"The president has made a request. He has not issued a command," the judge continued. "No one is injured by a request that can be declined."

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/April/Appeals-Court-Overturns-National-Day-of-Prayer-Ban/

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So I guess that means you can't answer the question. Which is that NO ONE can prove harm. And it was unanimous among the 3 that heard it. Just because they appeal doesn't mean they have to hear the case, they also have the option to just let it stand.

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/April/Appeals-Court-Overturns-National-Day-of-Prayer-Ban/

How could I possibly answer the question? I know very little about this case other than what I've read. Do you think I'm secretly a judge?

Yes, those 3 said there was no standing. In the first round of this, a prior federal judge found it was unconstitutional and that they clearly did have standing. This is not as cut and dry as you seem to think it is. Clearly that judge thought this group COULD prove harm. Who knows what would happen if this went to a full panel? Did I say the full panel would have to take this? Of course I know they don't have to, just like the 7th circuit didn't have to take it on appeal at all.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

Gloria, I'm honestly a little surprised that you would side with these activist judges. How would you feel if a federal court of appeals decided that no one was harmed by the new healthcare bill and therefore no individual or group could have standing to challenge it in court. I mean, everyone is benefited by prayer and health care, right? I find it odd that you seem to be in support of blanketly shutting down discussion of legislature in the courts.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Gloria, I'm honestly a little surprised that you would side with these activist judges. How would you feel if a federal court of appeals decided that no one was harmed by the new healthcare bill and therefore no individual or group could have standing to challenge it in court. I mean, everyone is benefited by prayer and health care, right? I find it odd that you seem to be in support of blanketly shutting down discussion of legislature in the courts.

Ya not quite the same. NO ONE is forced to pray. You can't quite say that NO ONE is FORCED to purchase mandated health care under Obamacare.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Ya not quite the same. NO ONE is forced to pray. You can't quite say that NO ONE is FORCED to purchase mandated health care under Obamacare.

You seem to think it's a great idea that a court would just decide that there are no circumstances under which anyone would have standing to challenge legislation. I don't think that's such a good thing. Sounds like judicial activism to me. Wink

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

You seem to think it's a great idea that a court would just decide that there are no circumstances under which anyone would have standing to challenge legislation. I don't think that's such a good thing. Sounds like judicial activism to me. Wink

I do think that is great that hurt feelings don't qualify as standing. I can't think of ANY circumstance where being able challenge legislation for hurt feelings would be a good thing.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation hasn't had very much luck in their cases these days. Hopefully they will give up and go away.

http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/2718/120/
http://jurist.org/paperchase/2011/04/supreme-court-rules-challengers-to-arizona-tax-credit-lack-standing.php
http://www.alliancealert.org/2008/08/05/7th-circuit-freedom-from-religion-foundation-lacks-standing-to-challenge-pastoral-care-provided-by-the-vas-chaplain-service/
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=210073
http://www.clsnet.org/center/litigation/pedreira-v-kentucky-baptist-homes-children

They look like they're doing ok to me:

Highlighted Court Victories

* FFRF Sues County of Manitowoc, Wis. over Catholic Creches
* FFRF Wins School Child Evangelism Subsidy
* FFRF Wins Against Green Bay Creche (Settlement)
* FFRF Stops Public School’s Promotion of Religious Activity
* FFRF Wins Ten Commandments Case
* FFRF Wins “Scopes II”
* FFRF Wins Against Direct Funds to Parochial Schools
* FFRF Wins Lawsuit: Post to “Assist Clergy” Unconstitutional
* Jesus Statue in Public Park Sold, Fenced
* FFRF Lawsuit: Pope Monument in Park Modified
* Alabama Chapter Won Two Cases
* FFRF Wins Good Friday State Holiday Challenge
* Mayor Forced to Disclaim “Day of Prayer”
* Ended Church Entanglement with Public University
* Ended Religious Cancellations by Post Office

http://www.ffrf.org/legal/challenges/highlighted-court-successes/

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I don't think people should be able to sue over hurt feelings either. Doesn't mean I don't think people should challenge laws that they think are unfair, just that it's absolutely ridiculous to go on a crusade about a national prayer day unless you are being denied a national non-prayer day. Every day is prayer day for me and for my atheist friends every day is non-prayer day. I wouldn't get butt-hurt if they had a non-prayer day. And I definitely wouldn't waste my money let alone the taxpayers because I felt excluded when everyone else was going about their non-prayer day either.

These people are the Westboro Baptist Church of Atheists.

eta- OMFG
On March 28, 2008, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky threw out taxpayers' claims that the Commonwealth of Kentucky violated the Establishment Clause by providing funds to Sunrise Children's Services, formerly known as the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children, for the purpose of providing residential care to abused and neglected children.
The court, following the Supreme Court's recent decision in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue as taxpayers.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I do think that is great that hurt feelings don't qualify as standing. I can't think of ANY circumstance where being able challenge legislation for hurt feelings would be a good thing.

So if something is unconstitutional, that's not enough to bring it to the courts? You have to show some sort of physical harm? That's nonsense. Did you read the opinion from the original court case:

In my view of the case law, government involvement in prayer may be consistent with the establishment clause when the government's conduct serves a significant secular purpose and is not a "call for religious action on the part of citizens." McCreary County, Kentucky v. American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, 545 U.S. 844, 877 (2005). Unfortunately, (section) 119 cannot meet that test. It goes beyond mere "acknowledgment" of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context. In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience. "When the government associates one set of religious beliefs with the state and identifies nonadherents as outsiders, it encroaches upon the individual's decision about whether and how to worship." McCreary County, 545 U.S. at 883 (O'Connor, J., concurring). Accordingly, I conclude that (section) 119 violates the establishment clause.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Day_of_Prayer

How does "Yes on 8" have standing to defend Prop 8 in court? They have nothing but hurt feelings.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"wlillie" wrote:

eta- OMFG
On March 28, 2008, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky threw out taxpayers' claims that the Commonwealth of Kentucky violated the Establishment Clause by providing funds to Sunrise Children's Services, formerly known as the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children, for the purpose of providing residential care to abused and neglected children.
The court, following the Supreme Court's recent decision in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue as taxpayers.

Children in a state-funded Baptist social-services program claimed in dozens of exit interviews that they were forced into Christian or specifically Baptist practices or were discouraged from practicing their own religion, according to court records.

Several of the complaints came from children who said they were Catholics, Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses or atheists.

“They tried to more (or) less force me to become a Christian,” said a child who had stayed at the Baptist Youth Ranch in Elizabethtown. “I just felt I was being pressured into giving up my religion.”

The reports include comments from children who said that they were forced to participate in Bible readings, prayer times or Baptist services or that they weren’t allowed to practice their own faith.

A child who is a Jehovah’s Witness reported not being allowed to practice that religion at Genesis Home in Mayfield.

A Pentecostal child at the same home told of not being allowed to practice that faith.

And a child at the Glen Dale Children’s Home in Glendale reported being “not allowed to choose when or when not to attend a religious service.” The child told of having “to do ‘some type of Bible study during that time or get consequences,’ ” the interviewer wrote.

The questions were posed by representatives of the Children’s Review Program, which is part of a private, nonprofit consulting group. The questions ranged from how safe the programs were to how the children’s medications were handled.

Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center in Virginia, said the comments made in the exit interviews “would raise a lot of red flags for me.”

The case “takes us back to a fundamental problem with government funding of religion,” he said.

In one case in 2001, the consultants did call for a “plan of correction” to fix “a coercive religious environment” at Baptist Homes’ Dixon Center, where staff members confirmed that church attendance was required.

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/18138/kentucky-baptist-homes-for-children

Would you support tax dollars going to an organization working with abused and neglected children that forced them to practice as Muslims?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

They look like they're doing ok to me:

http://www.ffrf.org/legal/challenges/highlighted-court-successes/

Did you actually look at those cases? That is over like the last 20 years, and some of them were either overturned or just dropped because the people they were suing just decided to move or put them on private property or put up a sign rather than spend money fighting it. Looks like they rarely outright win.

On March 20, 2009, the case was dismissed at the request of the Foundation. After the lawsuit was filed, the CEF stopped meeting in Rio schools. FFRF and its complainants will monitor the situation.

The Foundation dropped its appeal before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 13, 2009, since no religious displays were permitted by the City of Green Bay, Wis., in December 2008. The Foundation is prepared to go back to court if abuses recur

UPDATE: On Sept. 8, 2008, U.S. Dist. Judge Marcia S. Krieger dismissed FFRF's lawsuit, but gave FFRF 10 days to file an amended brief. Stay tuned.

On Jan. 3, 2005, a 3-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals partially overturned Judge Crabb, approving the sale of city land to the Eagles to explicitly maintain the decalog in the same spot. Judge Crabb's main ruling that display or ownership of the Ten Commandments by a city is unconstitutional was not overturned, thus the bible edict remains on private property.

The State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources agreed to delete a series of religious phrases and an image of a boy praying, as well as a picture of the pope blessing someone, from plaques placed in a gazebo-like memorial structure in the park

In 1995, the Alabama chapter and members were plaintiffs in the original ACLU case against Judge Roy Moore, filed when he was a county judge inflicting prayers on juries and erecting a Ten Commandments plaque in his courtroom. The plaintiffs won at the federal level in November 1996, with Moore ordered to stop the prayers. The case was thrown out on a technicality in 1998, after interference by the governor complicated the lawsuit.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

To have a National Day of Prayer endorses faiths which participate in prayer. In the OP is says that there is no secular purpose of prayer.

Is there a secular reason to pray?

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

Yes, of course I read them. You don't think the only (or primary) way to be successful legally is to complete court cases, do you? Most suits are settled. If you get the outcome you were going for, you still win, even if it never went before a judge.

ETA: That link highlighted their biggest cases throughout the history of their organization. Feel free to look at all their cases if you're so inclined. http://www.ffrf.org/legal/

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

To have a National Day of Prayer endorses faiths which participate in prayer. In the OP is says that there is no secular purpose of prayer.

Is there a secular reason to pray?

Exactly. That's why the original decision claimed a violation of the Establishment Clause.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Congress and the president of the United States have no business telling me or any other citizen to pray, 'to turn to God in prayer at churches,' much less setting aside an entire day for prayer every year and even telling me what to pray about," said Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

I agree with this.

Not enough to sue, but still.

How is a "National Day of Prayer" NOT endorsing religion? What reasons are there to pray that are not religious? And why does there need to be a National Day of Prayer anyway? If you believe in prayer, wouldn't you just pray, whenever you feel so moved? What purpose does a National Day of Prayer serve?

It's one of those issues that is annoying and smacks of institutionalized religionism (I think I just made that word up) but that I just can't get myself that worked up about.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Congress and the president of the United States have no business telling me or any other citizen to pray, 'to turn to God in prayer at churches,' much less setting aside an entire day for prayer every year and even telling me what to pray about," said Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I agree with this.

Not enough to sue, but still.

Did Obama or any other President TELL you to pray? If the President said: Let's have a moment of silence to support our troops.... is he TELLING you that you have to be silent OR support the troops?

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

How is a "National Day of Prayer" NOT endorsing religion? What reasons are there to pray that are not religious? And why does there need to be a National Day of Prayer anyway? If you believe in prayer, wouldn't you just pray, whenever you feel so moved? What purpose does a National Day of Prayer serve?

It's one of those issues that is annoying and smacks of institutionalized religionism (I think I just made that word up) but that I just can't get myself that worked up about.

Since there are MANY different religions that pray, which one are they endorsing? What does it hurt? If 90% of Americans are Christians or Muslim or some other religion that prays and we like having a day of prayer, how does that hurt you? Maybe we feel that it brings us together as a nation. Why should 10% of the people who don't like it dictate what 90% of the people do. If we enjoy having a National Day of Prayer why can't we do it .... just because we want to?

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Did Obama or any other President TELL you to pray? If the President said: Let's have a moment of silence to support our troops.... is he TELLING you that you have to be silent OR support the troops?

Where did you find that quote? Here is the actual language from the US legal code:

The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/36/I/A/1/119
Sounds like it's anti-Establishment Clause to me.

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Since there are MANY different religions that pray, which one are they endorsing? What does it hurt? If 90% of Americans are Christians or Muslim or some other religion that prays and we like having a day of prayer, how does that hurt you? Maybe we feel that it brings us together as a nation. Why should 10% of the people who don't like it dictate what 90% of the people do. If we enjoy having a National Day of Prayer why can't we do it .... just because we want to?

Why should we protect minorities in this country? Is that what you're asking? Maybe you could be more explicit before I respond.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/18138/kentucky-baptist-homes-for-children

Would you support tax dollars going to an organization working with abused and neglected children that forced them to practice as Muslims?

They stated it wasn't their policy to force them to practice the Baptist religion.

and...

Protect them from what? Hearing the President designate one day as National Prayer Day? Telling them they can turn to prayer on that day? Ask that they pray for a cause close to his heart? What does it really hurt? If you (general) feel excluded, instead of throwing a legal tantrum, why not just ask that a day be set aside for whatever organization you have?

How many people even really notice National Prayer Day except those that are happy about it and those that go wayyyyy out of their way to be offended about religion? I thought it had been stopped 12 years ago when I was graduating high school.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"wlillie" wrote:

They stated it wasn't their policy to force them to practice the Baptist religion.

Kids said that's what was happening. Does it matter if it was an official, written policy? It's still wrong. Would you be ok with tax dollars going to an organization working with abused children that forced children to practice Islam but didn't have a written policy saying that?

"wlillie" wrote:

Protect them from what? Hearing the President designate one day as National Prayer Day? Telling them they can turn to prayer on that day? Ask that they pray for a cause close to his heart? What does it really hurt? If you (general) feel excluded, instead of throwing a legal tantrum, why not just ask that a day be set aside for whatever organization you have?

How many people even really notice National Prayer Day except those that are happy about it and those that go wayyyyy out of their way to be offended about religion? I thought it had been stopped 12 years ago when I was graduating high school.

Gloria said: "Why should 10% of the people who don't like it dictate what 90% of the people do." I want to know if she thinks that minorities in this country don't deserve protection from the majority. If they don't, we can just throw out the federal Constitution altogether because majority rule would always be right. I disagree and think we should uphold the federal Constitution, even the Establishment Clause, even when some people want to throw it out the window.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Why do you think I would care if abused and neglected children were being taught Islam? I really wouldn't give a flip as long as they were cared for after the experiences they went through. But each to their own. I'm guessing the kids were put there because there wasn't anyplace else for them, but I'm sure they'd be better off in the streets than having taxpayers pay for them to be in a place that goes to a Baptist church on Sunday.

Still, protection from what? Protection, (to me) means that you would be harmed unless someone took action to prevent that harm. Exactly how is it harmful to anyone to have a National Prayer Day? What are these people trying to protect Atheists from being harmed by? If it's feeling excluded which is what I gathered from the article, then that is beyond ****ing ridiculous. There are so many things the government does that excludes certain people and to pretend like this is a big deal just belittles those that really do need protection.

Abused and neglected kids lose government funding and National Prayer day is becoming an issue because of these asshats. They need to focus on something more important. Maybe they could go after the Westboro Baptist Church. I'd love to see them focus on something that is actually wrong with our country instead of nitpicking every word that comes out of the President's mouth.

Oh, and Majority Rule is kinda how the country runs now. The establishment clause isn't to keep religion completely out of every aspect of the government, it's to keep them from choosing one for the whole country. If you don't want to pray on National Prayer day, there is no law that requires you to. If you don't like the National Prayer Day, then turn off the media for a few minutes that morning and you'll never know it happened.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Since there are MANY different religions that pray, which one are they endorsing? What does it hurt? If 90% of Americans are Christians or Muslim or some other religion that prays and we like having a day of prayer, how does that hurt you? Maybe we feel that it brings us together as a nation. Why should 10% of the people who don't like it dictate what 90% of the people do. If we enjoy having a National Day of Prayer why can't we do it .... just because we want to?

It doesn't matter if they are endorsing one or many religions. The constitution says they can't endorse ANY of them.

And totally agree with Kate - the idea that the rights of minorities shouldn't be upheld because they are the minority is ridiculous, and totally anti-American.

Honestly, the whole "National Day of Prayer" just reeks of the attitude of "Everyone else has to celebrate our religion too!" Like the hissy fit some people throw about "Prayer in School." "They won't even let our kids pray in school any more!!!" Um, yeah, kids can pray in school whenever they want (as long as they aren't disrupting class.) It just can't be a school endorsed teacher led prayer. This is no different to me. People can pray any time they want. They can network with other churches and other religions and say "Let's have a prayer circle and all pray about X on Monday at 10 am" if they want. There are no restrictions on prayer. But for some reason, they just feel like they have to make it an Official National Policy to make sure that everyone can see and acknowledge their beliefs.

It's not even about feeling "hurt" or "excluded". It's about watching people trample over the document that we're supposed to hold in such high esteem (hint: the Constitution) and then jeer "We're in the majority! We can do it if we want to!" Fine, I don't even care that much. But I'm definitely not going to agree with you.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Where did you find that quote?

From Alissa's quote that I was responding to.

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Why should we protect minorities in this country? Is that what you're asking? Maybe you could be more explicit before I respond.

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Gloria said: "Why should 10% of the people who don't like it dictate what 90% of the people do." I want to know if she thinks that minorities in this country don't deserve protection from the majority. If they don't, we can just throw out the federal Constitution altogether because majority rule would always be right. I disagree and think we should uphold the federal Constitution, even the Establishment Clause, even when some people want to throw it out the window.

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

It doesn't matter if they are endorsing one or many religions. The constitution says they can't endorse ANY of them.

And totally agree with Kate - the idea that the rights of minorities shouldn't be upheld because they are the minority is ridiculous, and totally anti-American.

Honestly, the whole "National Day of Prayer" just reeks of the attitude of "Everyone else has to celebrate our religion too!" Like the hissy fit some people throw about "Prayer in School." "They won't even let our kids pray in school any more!!!" Um, yeah, kids can pray in school whenever they want (as long as they aren't disrupting class.) It just can't be a school endorsed teacher led prayer. This is no different to me. People can pray any time they want. They can network with other churches and other religions and say "Let's have a prayer circle and all pray about X on Monday at 10 am" if they want. There are no restrictions on prayer. But for some reason, they just feel like they have to make it an Official National Policy to make sure that everyone can see and acknowledge their beliefs.

It's not even about feeling "hurt" or "excluded". It's about watching people trample over the document that we're supposed to hold in such high esteem (hint: the Constitution) and then jeer "We're in the majority! We can do it if we want to!" Fine, I don't even care that much. But I'm definitely not going to agree with you.

Again.... Protect minorities from what? Prayer????? REALLY? What rights are being infringed upon, the right not to listen? Presidents have prayed since this nation was founded. The people that wrote the Constitution prayed. It isn't about anyone acknowleging our beliefs, it is about MOST of this country that likes to get together and have a Day of Prayer. There is nothing in the constitution that says we can't. That is not endorsing any one religion. You don't have to agree with me or even listen, but WE should be able to do it if we want to, because if we can't you are trampling on OUR rights.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

From Alissa's quote that I was responding to.

Again.... Protect minorities from what? Prayer????? REALLY? What rights are being infringed upon, the right not to listen? Presidents have prayed since this nation was founded. The people that wrote the Constitution prayed. It isn't about anyone acknowleging our beliefs, it is about MOST of this country that likes to get together and have a Day of Prayer. There is nothing in the constitution that says we can't. That is not endorsing any one religion. You don't have to agree with me or even listen, but WE should be able to do it if we want to, because if we can't you are trampling on OUR rights.

THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE. You know, the federal Constitution.

ETA: You can pray all you want. Who's stopping you? Who's trampling on your rights?

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"wlillie" wrote:

Why do you think I would care if abused and neglected children were being taught Islam? I really wouldn't give a flip as long as they were cared for after the experiences they went through. But each to their own. I'm guessing the kids were put there because there wasn't anyplace else for them, but I'm sure they'd be better off in the streets than having taxpayers pay for them to be in a place that goes to a Baptist church on Sunday.

You wouldn't care that tax dollars were going to force abused American children to become Muslims? Really? I find that incredibly unlikely.

"wlillie" wrote:

Still, protection from what? Protection, (to me) means that you would be harmed unless someone took action to prevent that harm. Exactly how is it harmful to anyone to have a National Prayer Day? What are these people trying to protect Atheists from being harmed by? If it's feeling excluded which is what I gathered from the article, then that is beyond ****ing ridiculous. There are so many things the government does that excludes certain people and to pretend like this is a big deal just belittles those that really do need protection.

Abused and neglected kids lose government funding and National Prayer day is becoming an issue because of these asshats. They need to focus on something more important. Maybe they could go after the Westboro Baptist Church. I'd love to see them focus on something that is actually wrong with our country instead of nitpicking every word that comes out of the President's mouth.

It's wrong to force religion on people. I'm sorry you find that so surprising, but it is.

"wlillie" wrote:

Oh, and Majority Rule is kinda how the country runs now. The establishment clause isn't to keep religion completely out of every aspect of the government, it's to keep them from choosing one for the whole country. If you don't want to pray on National Prayer day, there is no law that requires you to. If you don't like the National Prayer Day, then turn off the media for a few minutes that morning and you'll never know it happened.

This shows a grave misunderstanding of the Constitution.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Again.... Protect minorities from what? Prayer????? REALLY? What rights are being infringed upon, the right not to listen? Presidents have prayed since this nation was founded. The people that wrote the Constitution prayed. It isn't about anyone acknowleging our beliefs, it is about MOST of this country that likes to get together and have a Day of Prayer. There is nothing in the constitution that says we can't. That is not endorsing any one religion. You don't have to agree with me or even listen, but WE should be able to do it if we want to, because if we can't you are trampling on OUR rights.

The Establishment Clause protects minorities because it supposedly puts us all on equal footing when it comes to public policy. I can understand why you wouldn't really care about that, as long as they are enforcing or endorsing YOUR particular beliefs, but that doesn't make it right.

To the bolded.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

It doesn't say that congress can only not make laws establishing ONE religion. It just says "religion" as in "any and all religions". There is no non-religious reason to pray, therefore, by having a National Day of Prayer, they are violating the first amendment.

How is it trampling on YOUR rights to not have a National Day of Prayer? You can still pray any time you want, with as many people as you can gather. How is NOT forcing your beliefs into public policy "trampling on your beliefs"?

And again, the best reason I have gotten so far why there needs to be a National Day of Prayer is "because we want to and it makes us feel good." Why do you want to and why does it make you feel good, if not because it's some sort of public acknowlegement/validation of your beliefs? I mean, if you were going to pray that day anyway, why do you need a National Day of Prayer?

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

I still want to know how "Yes on 8" has standing to defend Prop 8 if this group doesn't have standing in this case. How does "Yes on 8" have anything other than hurt feelings?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE. You know, the federal Constitution.

ETA: You can pray all you want. Who's stopping you? Who's trampling on your rights?

No one now. Because the court has just upheld that we can have a National Day of Prayer if we want to.

It is Freedom OF Religion. Not Freedom FROM Religion.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

No one now. Because the court has just upheld that we can have a National Day of Prayer if we want to.

It is Freedom OF Religion. Not Freedom FROM Religion.

Are you saying that you can't pray without there being a federally set aside National Day of Prayer? What do you do the other 364 days a year?

Freedom FROM religion is part of freedom of religion.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

It doesn't say that congress can only not make laws establishing ONE religion. It just says "religion" as in "any and all religions". There is no non-religious reason to pray, therefore, by having a National Day of Prayer, they are violating the first amendment.

How is letting people pray if they want ESTABLISHING a religion? What law did they make stating you HAVE to pray?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Are you saying that you can't pray without there being a federally set aside National Day of Prayer? What do you do the other 364 days a year?

Freedom FROM religion is part of freedom of religion.

I can pray anytime I want INCLUDING setting aside a National Day of Prayer.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I can pray anytime I want INCLUDING setting aside a National Day of Prayer.

How does not having a National Day of Prayer trample your rights?

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

How is letting people pray if they want ESTABLISHING a religion? What law did they make stating you HAVE to pray?

Did you read the opinion I posted from the original court case where this was ruled unconstitutional? It's pretty straight forward.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Did you read the opinion I posted from the original court case where this was ruled unconstitutional? It's pretty straight forward.

So is the opinion I posted from the higher court.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

No one now. Because the court has just upheld that we can have a National Day of Prayer if we want to.

It is Freedom OF Religion. Not Freedom FROM Religion.

Sorry, you can't have freedom of religion without freedom from religion. They are two sides of the same coin. As long as the state is sponsoring any religion, there is a big opportunity that someone's religious freedoms are being trampled, disregarded, and disrespected. I realize you don't really care now because you happen to be in the majority at this juncture in time, but you should care, because things change, and you and yours may not always be in the majority. If in a couple of generations your grandchildren were in the minority as conservative Christians, I am sure you wouldn't want them being marginalized by public policy that is supposed to be protecting their freedoms. The only way for the government to stay neutral and let everyone have freedom of religion is to stay neutral.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So is the opinion I posted from the higher court.

You asked me how this was establishing a religion. I said the opinion I posted explained that quite well. Did you read it? You do understand that what you posted does not speak to the Constitutionality of this legislation, right? It speaks to standing only.

I'm sure you would think it was awesome if the government starting funding Muslim calls to prayer out of government buildings every day, right? I mean, as a Christian you could just ignore them.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

How is letting people pray if they want ESTABLISHING a religion? What law did they make stating you HAVE to pray?

Letting people pray if they want is not establishing religion. People can pray if they want every single day of the year, and good on 'em. But having a National Day of Prayer is a day where the government (who is supposed to remain neutral in matters of religion) endorses and yes, establishes religion. There is no secular reason to pray, so if the government is encouraging you to pray, they are encouraging you to engage in a purely religious act. They're not supposed to do that.

Which is not to say that you don't have the right to band together with other churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, et cetera and rally for your own private (as in, not government sponsored) Day of Prayer where you all pray together. Of course you can, have at it. But the government is not supposed to get involved in that stuff. It is supposed to be neither anti nor pro religion.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

You asked me how this was establishing a religion. I said the opinion I posted explained that quite well. Did you read it? You do understand that what you posted does not speak to the Constitutionality of this legislation, right? It speaks to standing only.

I'm sure you would think it was awesome if the government starting funding Muslim calls to prayer out of government buildings every day, right? I mean, as a Christian you could just ignore them.

Actually the National Day of Prayer is for Muslims too. They pray. But if they specifially did a MUSLIM call to prayer yes that would be different.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Actually the National Day of Prayer is for Muslims too. They pray. But if they specifially did a MUSLIM call to prayer yes that would be different.

Why would it be different? Because it excludes you? Who cares? A National Day of Prayer excludes me and you have no problem with that.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Letting people pray if they want is not establishing religion. People can pray if they want every single day of the year, and good on 'em. But having a National Day of Prayer is a day where the government (who is supposed to remain neutral in matters of religion) endorses and yes, establishes religion. There is no secular reason to pray, so if the government is encouraging you to pray, they are encouraging you to engage in a purely religious act. They're not supposed to do that.

Which is not to say that you don't have the right to band together with other churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, et cetera and rally for your own private (as in, not government sponsored) Day of Prayer where you all pray together. Of course you can, have at it. But the government is not supposed to get involved in that stuff. It is supposed to be neither anti nor pro religion.

They can encourage all they want. They just can't make a law stating you have to do it. Wouldn't you be infringing on the President's free speech if you said that he can't encourage people to pray?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Why would it be different? Because it excludes you? Who cares? A National Day of Prayer excludes me and you have no problem with that.

If it was a daily call to prayer for anyone instead of just Muslims than that would be fine. National Day of Prayer is for anyone that wants to participate not just Christians.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

If it was a daily call to prayer for anyone instead of just Muslims than that would be fine. National Day of Prayer is for anyone that wants to participate not just Christians.

Why wouldn't it be fine if it was the official Muslim call to prayer? Anyone that wanted to participate could, not just Muslims. What would the problem be?

Pages