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Letters to the Editor

Tolerance

May 5, 2010

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To the editor:

Mr. Nowlin’s letter of May 2, accusing the Supreme Court of judicial activism, is incorrect. The Supreme Court ruled on the intent of the Constitution. In the first 150 years of our nation, the separation of church and state was cited only two times in court cases. Since 1947 and the Everson v. Board of Education, the separation idiom has been cited unceasingly. As a result of Everson, lower courts began striking down religious activities and expressions which had been constitutional for 150 years.

The cross in question was erected in 1934 as a World War I memorial. It hadn’t been a problem with anyone for 67 years. Then a park employee, Buono, files a lawsuit, with the aid of the ACLU. It is revealed shortly thereafter that Buono lied and his accusations are unfounded. The ACLU continued with the case and, thank God, was defeated. Yes, I said thank God.

Tolerance in our society seems to be reserved for those that are not Christian. I can cite case after case where Christianity is oppressed but space does not allow. We have come to the point in our culture where we have to include everything that is not Christian or we must exclude Christianity. As a final thought: This letter, on certain campuses across our country, would be considered hate speech.

Comments

grimpeur 4 years, 2 months ago

"cross in question was erected in 1934"

And when we grow up, we put away childish things.

Separation. Do you understand it?

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rtwngr 4 years, 2 months ago

"And when we grow up, we put away childish things."

Quoting scripture out of context never won a debate of ideas.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 2 months ago

I think it was more of an awakening in the 90's to a lot of things. our society does that from time to time. shakes the old tree to see if we can dislodge some nuts.

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grammaddy 4 years, 2 months ago

Christianity has NO place in our government. Not everyone believes in the same imaginary friend. Some of us don't have one at all.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

Friends, you mean? I can believe that about you, grammy.

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SnakeFist 4 years, 2 months ago

"It hadn’t been a problem with anyone for 67 years."

So if wrong behavior is overlooked for 67 years it magically becomes right behavior? The cross violates the Constitution; if this had been an islamic marker you'd be screaming for its removal. Conservatives only approve of judicial activism when it supports their cause, which makes them hypocrites.

The problem with conservatives is that they fear all change - even change for the better.

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boltzmann 4 years, 2 months ago

"Tolerance in our society seems to be reserved for those that are not Christian. I can cite case after case where Christianity is oppressed but space does not allow. "

This is only true if you define "oppression" as not being able to use the power of the state to promote your religious beliefs over other beliefs or non-belief.

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SnakeFist 4 years, 2 months ago

Excellent point. To argue that liberals should be tolerant of Christians is to argue that we should be tolerant of intolerance.

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Grundoon Luna 4 years, 2 months ago

Go on with your bad self, Boltz! Resistance is not oppression

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frank mcguinness 4 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to see how "tolerant" Mr. Burkhart would be to a muslim symbol at the Supreme Court Building.

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Grundoon Luna 4 years, 2 months ago

I have often wondered why those ultra fervent Christians who state with certainty their god is all power yet feel so threatened by those who express their spirituaility in other forms. Also their fear of the theory of evolution. An all power god fears not these ideas so theirs must not be much of a god if it is so threatened.

In the Seattle airport the uber Christians preferred to take down a Christmas Tree rather that at the request of a Jewish man place something nearby in honor of Hunukkah and then screamed oppression. The man did not complain about the tree being up he just wanted recognition of his faith. What kind of nonsense is that? It's the same thing as when they get in to a petulent frenzy when people say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. AFter all there are a number of holidays that take place around that time. Like they didn't steal the holiday from the pagan Celebration of Yule in the first place not to mention all their other holidays, too..

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pagan_idolator 4 years, 2 months ago

I notice the people who scream for and demand tolerance are often very unwilling to offer it to anyone else.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

"I have often wondered why those ultra fervent Christians who state with certainty their god is all power yet feel so threatened by those who express their spirituaility in other forms."

And yet this story doesn't say anything about Christians demanding the removal of any other religion's symbols or icons. Seems it's the non-Christians who are so threatened, attitude.

"In the Seattle airport the uber Christians preferred to take down a Christmas Tree rather that at the request of a Jewish man place something nearby in honor of Hunukkah and then screamed oppression."

Um, yeah. It was the 'uber Christians', not the airport management that made that decision. Right.

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remember_username 4 years, 2 months ago

"Tolerance in our society seems to be reserved for those that are not Christian." Seriously? Granted intolerance seems to be everywhere these days but does the author really believe that Christians in the United States are facing measurably more intolerance than other faiths? This kind of self-centered naivety is extremely dangerous when given a voice.

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bruno2 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Burkhart states, "We have come to the point in our culture where we have to include everything that is not Christian or we must exclude Christianity.", as though this was somehow lamentable. It is not, it is exactly the point. Separation of church and state prevents the government from proscribing any particular religious practice. Given that Mr. Burkhart implies he is a Christian, I wonder what specific Christian sect he would have the government endorse? There are Baptists, Westboro Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Catholics, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, etc., etc., none of whom agrees on what exactly Christianity means. Freedom of religion (and from religion) was the intent of the founding fathers. Read what they had to say on the subject:

“...the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…” -- Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by President John Adams “Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” -- Thomas Paine “…our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry” -- Thomas Jefferson “…religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” -- James Madison “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.” -- John Adams “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” -- Benjamin Franklin

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Roadkill_Rob 4 years, 2 months ago

What the he!! is wrong w/ people in this country?

First, I read the Question on the Street about if it's okay for the President to consider (not even appoint, but just consider) an atheist for the Supreme Court.

Now, I read this LTE about how Christians are oppressed in this country.

Scott, what is the problem? You have churches on every corner and nobody is telling you that you can't be Christian. Just keep it to yourself and keep it out of public institutions. Not everybody is a Christian and you can solve issues without it.

Geez.

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 2 months ago

"Tolerance in our society seems to be reserved for those that are not Christian. I can cite case after case where Christianity is oppressed but space does not allow. We have come to the point in our culture where we have to include everything that is not Christian or we must exclude Christianity. As a final thought: This letter, on certain campuses across our country, would be considered hate speech."

Jesus, whine whine whine. Poor me. I am white and male and christian and picked on all of the time.

Wwaaa waaaa friggin waaaaa.

The right has fully adopted the victim mentality that so permeated the left of 20-40 years ago.

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jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Is that really what you're afraid of and angry about, TS?

White Christian males have ruled our society for quite a while - perhaps it's time for them to share the power.

Only those who want to maintain absolute power would see that as being "beat down".

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jonas_opines 4 years, 2 months ago

Yay, another Burkhart LTE. We could go down the last few and see how well they actually follow or believe in any form of tolerance themselves, but space forbids!

Whiner. Hypocrite. End of story.

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beatrice 4 years, 2 months ago

Oppressed? Christians? Oh good god, spare me the hyperbole. You got to write this letter, didn't you? You still get to go to church, don't you? How silly.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

The irony being that bea, dearie, doesn't even see it in her own words.

Ironic, perhaps, but not much of a shock.

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 2 months ago

Some of you really should go read the first amendment of our Constitution (it's very short.). "Separation of church and state' is nowhere in that text.

That same amendment actually protects 'religion' from government tampering as well.

On a completely different note; even as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, I KNOW I'm not better than anyone else. The Bible says "for all have sinned..." that puts each one of us on a completely level playing field.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

"That same amendment actually protects 'religion' from government tampering as well."

Please don't confuse the whiners by presenting facts. It only makes them more angry when they don't understand them.

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Cooky_the_Cook 4 years, 2 months ago

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

righty says..."Some of you really should go read the first amendment of our Constitution (it's very short.). 'Separation of church and state' is nowhere in that text."

cooky says..."Separation of church and state" is a valid paraphrase.

righty says..."That same amendment actually protects 'religion' from government tampering as well."

cooky says...That may be a valid statement, but it is not in the text of the document either. Sooo.. what is your point here, man?

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 2 months ago

"rightly" I think I like that. it needs to appear like this though: Rightly

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jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

It's interesting to read the text of the 1st amendment.

The problem, it seems to me, is one of interpretation. If religious symbols are displayed on public property, is that considered establishing a religion or the free exercise of it?

The answer to that question would determine whether it should be allowed or prohibited.

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 2 months ago

Re: footbaths in airports,

1) I don't think that the fed. govt. owns the airports (correct me if I'm wrong?) 2) Several US airports have Xtian chapels in them

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independant1 4 years, 2 months ago

The City of KCMO owns KCI and I want holy water fountains installed PDQ!

Signed, Fear of flying except when I'm at the wheel

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independant1 4 years, 2 months ago

the tme and effort in courts and legislatures expend trying to purge all things remotely religious is time spent on nuttin productive for my money. Or accomodation for that matter.

Congress is 85% Christian 13% Jewish 0% Agnostic/Athiest/NoReligion 25 Catholics 13 Jewish 14 Presbyterian 8 Methodist 8 Baptist and Southern Baptist 7 Episcopalian 5 Mormon 3 Congregational 3 Lutheran 3 Protestant 1 Christian Reformed Church 1 Church of Christ 1 Church of God (Anderson) huh? 1 Eastern Orthodox (the folks who cross themselves correctly) 1 Evangelical 1 International Church of the Foursquare Gospel 1 McLean Bible Church (is that a new McD thing?) 1 Unitarian Universalist 1 United Church of Christ 2 Unspecified Affiliation

I will admit I am dead wrong, you not beleivers are oppressed by the beleivers in something. We need more laws to rectumfy that problem.

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