"The National Day of Prayer Task
Force calls the nation to prayer by creating awareness and urgency for intercession and providing the resources necessary
to facilitate prayer growth in America.
|"Official Policy Statement
on Participation of Non-Judeo-Christian" groups in the National Day of Prayer: "The National Day of Prayer Task Force was
a creation of the National Prayer Committee for the expressed purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming
to a Judeo-Christian system of values. People with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize
and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs. This diversity is what Congress intended when it
designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this
nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate. It is that broad invitation to the American people that
led, in our case, to the creation of the Task Force and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it is based. .............."|
It's Illegal to Hear Children's Prayers, says AU
You might get hauled
into court! If you’re the parent of a public school student and you see
a group of students meeting together for prayer before school and you don’t cover your ears and face the other direction,
you might be in big legal trouble, says Americans United for Separation of Church
organization’s website for Sep 19, 2007 refers to a letter sent nationwide by Jay Seculow, the attorney for evangelist Pat
Robertson. The website says it's always been legal for students to pray together at school as long as prayers are voluntary
and non-disruptive, and not organized or promoted by school staff. But
Sekulow goes a step farther and says “If
the event occurs during ‘non-contract time,’ teachers should be able to participate in the event without violating
(the Constitution) so long as they make it clear that they are present in their roles as citizens rather than in their official
But the Americans United website says otherwise: “allowing teachers, administrators
and outside adults to engage in religious activities with public school students would raise a host of constitutional concerns.”
What are those concerns? And what do “outside adults” have to do with it? The website neglects to say.
It goes on to say “Public school officials need to be extremely wary of his unsolicited
What errors are in that advice? It neglects to say.
It goes on to
say “For years, students have run these events and things have worked out pretty well,……Now Sekulow
is trying to slip teachers, administrators and parents in under the radar and have them participate in prayers.”
But what law prohibits teachers, acting
on their own and not representing the school, or let alone, parents not even employed by the schools, from praying with their
students or children? It neglects to say.
It concludes with
“Following Sekulow’s advice just might land you in court.”
And when I land in court what might
the officer have said after cuffing me and reading me Miranda? Maybe “I’m arresting you for the criminal act of
witnessing a prayer meeting.”
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March 7, 2007 Americans United Website
Americans United Urges Florida TV Ministry To Disavow 'Loathsome' Remarks By Ann CoulterColumnist Made Anti-Gay Slur, Condoned
Murder Of Abortion Doctors At Christian Group's Ft. Lauderdale Event
March 7, 2007 Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called on
the Center for Reclaiming America to publicly disavow extreme statements made by Ann Coulter during a recent Center conference
in Fort Lauderdale.
The Center, the political arm of TV preacher D. James Kennedy’s
Coral Ridge Ministries, hosted Coulter during a “Reclaiming America for Christ Conference” March 2-3.
During her March 3 remarks at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church,
Coulter issued an anti-gay slur and excused the murder of doctors who perform abortions. The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director,
sharply criticized Coulter’s incendiary rhetoric and called on Gary Cass, head of the Center for Reclaiming America,
to publicly repudiate it.
Coulter’s statements can only be described as loathsome,” said Lynn. “It is astounding to me that this type of vitriol
was unleashed before a religious organization that claims to be ‘reclaiming’ America for Christ. This rhetoric
must be repudiated immediately.”
In her remarks,
Coulter made light of the murder of abortion doctors and clinic personnel.
seven doctors and clinic personnel had been killed, Coulter said, “Those few abortionists were shot, or, depending on
your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them. I’m not justifying it, but I do understand how it
happened....The number of deaths attributed to Roe vs. Wade: about 40 million aborted babies and seven abortion clinic workers;
40 million to seven is also a pretty good measure of how the political debate is going.”
her remarks were “loathsome” or not depends largely on one's definitions. Is a human fetus a pre-birth baby or
just a lump of protoplasm? If the former then wouldn't it be even more"loathsome" for someone to say “I’d far rather see
40 million babies killed than seven abortion clinic workers?” Was that Rev. Lynn's implication? Coulter didn't
justify the murder of the seven but put the murder of the babies in perspective.
that this isn’t a First Amendment issue. Evangelical Christians can be anti-abortion but so can Jews. So can Atheists.
(Columnist Nat Hentoff is a good example.)
And Coulter, in a
humorous vein (I think) uttered the word "Fagot." It means a bundle of sticks for starting a fire but since about the 60's
has been used to mean a homosexual. And it may or may not have a "slur" conotation.
I would have thought
"queer" had a slur quality but obviously not when a TV show had that word in its name (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy)
and the show was proudly run by, well, queers.
And the word "gay"
attained its present meaning at approximately the same time. Is it hate speech? And is it "incindiary" to call a female homosexual
a "dyke?" Well, a group of lesbian motorcyclists are proud to call themselves Dykes on Bikes.
not what we're about," said Soni Wolf, 56, longtime secretary for the Dykes on Bikes and a pride parade participant since the late 1970s.
"That word has been used for years to tear us down. And we said, 'OK, we're going to take it back.' "
The women call themselves "dykes" for the same reason many gays have laid claim to "queer" --
to defang a word that has long been a slur."
Now, how did "fagot"
attain its present meaning? Well, it might be from the Bible. Romans 1:27 says "And the men instead of having normal sex relationships
with women, burned with lust for each other." And Amos 4:11 says (referring to two immoral cities punished by God)
"I destroyed several of your cities as I did Sodom and Gomorrah; those left are like half burned firebrands snatched away
from fire" (both from The Living Bible version). My dictionary defines "brand" as "a piece of burning or charred wood." Fagot
(sticks used to start a fire) doesn't sound to me like hate speech as much as queer does. Nor does Ann Coulter sound
more loathsome than Rev. Lynn.
Is the Non-Establishment of Religion a Two way Street? That is, in protecting Religion
from the Government does it also protect Government from Religion? The About Agnosticism/Atheism website thinks so. It says:
First Amendment Protects Church
Does the First Amendment of the Constitution exist solely to protect
religion from government and not to protect the government from religion? There are quite a few people who think that - it's
often referred to as the idea that the wall of separation between church and state only operates "one way," separating religion
from government but not the government from religion.
A good example of someone advocating this idea can be found in a letter written by Emily
Marino to The Day:
The First Amendment originally was intended
to protect the church from the state and not the other way around. The reason the Pilgrims and many others fled England was
because they wanted freedom in how they worshiped God, not which god they did or didn't worship.
There are a number of problems with this position. For
one thing, it's simply incoherent - separation can't operate "one way." You can't have religion interfering with government
without government returning the favor. For another, the argument above presumes that there is such a thing as "the church"
- but that abstraction doesn't exist. In reality, there are many churches, many denominations, and many religions. If the
government is protected from "the church," which "church" would that be? If only one (and people often assume their version
of Christianity here), then that discriminates against all other groups. If all groups are included, then what you have are
multiple organizations competing for government largesse on the basis for religion - but religion isn't supposed to become
the basis of political division and strife. That's exactly what the First Amendment is supposed to prevent, and why it also
protects the government from religion. If people don't have freedom in what god they worship, if any god at all, then the
country isn't religiously free.
But do you notice the tricky word game being played above?
The first paragraph begins with a question about the "First Amendment" and ends by
talking about the "wall of separation," a phrase not in the First Amendment. It proceeds to state that "Separation" cannot
be one way, which is probably true as far as I'm concerned; you can't separate water from oil without separating the oil from
And who cares? If you're going to talk about what the First
Amendment says why not read what the darn thing says? It's pure sophistry to suppose it says "The Congress shall not influence religion, and therefore the Congress hereby influences religion by limiting
churches' freedom of speech and the press and petitioning of government." I'll defy anyone
to write down the limitations the First Amendment places on religion by implication or otherwise.
And in America, people MUST be able to influence their government. James Dobson
has that right. Theologian Dietrich Bonhoffer did not, but that was Nazi Germany.
Separation of Church & State = Freedom of Speech Except for Churches