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Markku I. Peltola
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This group is to discuss Separation of Church and State.
Many countries have a State religion and blesphemy laws.
Latest Activity: Nov 15, 2017
This group does not have any discussions yet.
With White House staffers and Cabinet officials participating in weekly Bible studies run by a man who doesn’t think mothers belong in Congress — and nothing else whatsoever about the President to talk about — Fox & Friends brought on Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Andrew Seidel yesterday to discuss the infusion of Christianity in the government.
Unfortunately for the host and the other guest, Andrew actually knew what he was talking about.
Tax dollars to pay for soft landings in religious playgrounds isn't the worse of it.
Crossing the Church-State Divide by Ark
MAY 30, 2011 NYT's.
The American landscape is dotted with tourist attractions created with the help of government subsidies bestowed in the name of economic development. Think of the cheese museum in Rome, N.Y. A project just approved in Kentucky pushes the constitutional envelope.
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted more than $40 million in tax incentives for a planned $172 million Bible-based theme park, featuring a full-size replica of Noah’s ark, complete with live animals.
Conceived by the Christian ministry that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., the Ark Encounter park aims to promote a literal interpretation of the Bible by “proving” that Noah had room on his vessel to fit two of every kind of animal. Ark Encounter is owned by a profit-making company, of which the ministry is a part owner.
The project enjoys strong support from Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, who says it is an opportunity to create an estimated 900 jobs. We suspect he is also eager to please an important political constituency.
Under current Supreme Court doctrine, Kentucky’s support of the proselytizing theme park seems likely to withstand a possible church-state legal challenge, assuming state officials were scrupulous in applying the neutral financial criteria in the state’s economic development law. It is not even clear that the court’s conservative majority would find taxpayers have standing to sue.
But granting tax incentives to the explicitly Christian enterprise clearly clashes with the First Amendment’s prohibition on government establishment of religion. Public money is not supposed to pay to advance religion. Kentucky’s citizens should certainly ask themselves if this is really the best use of taxpayer dollars.
Washington Post By Valerie Strauss April 11 2017
Ravitch: Why the Supreme Court should not force the public to pay f...
If you don’t know what the Blaine Amendments are, it’s time to learn, because they may be gone soon, and that would affect the United States in a major way...
The article follows with comments from Diane Ravitch some of which is below
By Diane Ravitch
Robert Natelson, a retired constitutional law professor who is allied with the ultraconservative Heartland Institute, writes in this opinion article that the Supreme Court may well strike down the state prohibitions on public funding of religious schools — known as “baby Blaine Amendments” — because of their origins in anti-Catholic bias. If this happened, it would pave the way for government to divert public funding to the vouchers for religious schools for which Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos advocates....
Trump’s Plan to Dismantle Church-State Wall May Not Appeal to All Religious Nonprofits
Trump’s Plan to Dismantle Church-State Wall May Not Appeal to All R...
February 2, 2017 -- President Donald Trump’s vow to “totally destroy” restrictions on campaign activity by nonprofit groups, including religious organizations, has the potential to boost the political power of evangelical groups such as Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network that supported his long-shot presidential campaign.
The Virginia Beach, Va.-based CBN, which reported more than $300 million in revenues during its most recent tax period, is one of several conservative organizations likely to expand its political activity if Trump can persuade Congress to essentially break down the long-standing wall between charities and political activity.
The ban, known as the “Johnson Amendment,” was named for Lyndon B. Johnson, who pushed legislation through in 1954 after his U.S. Senate reelection effort was imperiled by outside spending from a conservative nonprofit. Under the law, charitable organizations are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” Groups that violate the law could lose their tax-exempt status.
Other religious organizations that could play a larger role in American politics if the ban is lifted include the Charlotte, N.C.-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and its offshoots, which reported about $132 million in revenue, and the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Focus on the Family, which said it received $86.5 million in revenues. Leaders of both organizations signaled their support for Trump’s positions during the 2016 campaign.
Professor Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist and cosmologist, can explain black holes, quantum mechanics and relativity. But one subject he doesn’t understand is the allure of Donald Trump.
Hawking called Trump “a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator” and said he couldn’t explain the popularity of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in an interview that aired Tuesday on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
The real estate magnate’s appeal has long baffled even the greatest pollsters. He all but secured the GOP nomination last week after reaching the required number of delegates to put him over the top.
Hawking isn’t the first prominent scientist to slam Trump and his Republican brethren. In April, Bill Nye called out the party’s leadership for its deep-seated climate change denial, despite near universal agreement from the world’s leading scientists that the planet is warming, and humans are the prime cause.
Read more= http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stephen-hawking-trump_us_574cf2...
Sorry for the previous link with Nazi references.
Here's the letter:
The "So Help Me God" portion of oath was never in my swear in's.
They were meetings where I signed "I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."
I recall that President Obama used MLK's Bible for the Inaguration.
I think the Oath of Office should be placed on the Constitution, or a facsimiie of it.
Good for Newdow.
My oath and other oaths such as to testify in court don't always include the : "So Help Me God" portion.
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