Church and state?

April 21, 2012


To the editor:

Am I the only one taken aback by the Kansas University Softball advertisement in Thursday’s Journal-World? At least I’ve never seen the incentive of going to church in order to save a couple of dollars for a ticket to a softball game. Sunday’s third game in the series with Iowa State is being called “Faith and Family Day.” If you have your church bulletin from that morning’s service with you, then you will pay only $3 to get in. I’m just not sure of the connection between going to church and going to a state university sports event. What am I missing?

Ann Carlin Ozegovic,



cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

"Am I the only one taken aback by the Kansas University Softball advertisement in Thursday’s Journal-World?"

No, Lawrence is full of other atheists. They post on this forum regularly.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

And because someone believes in separation of church and state they are automatically an "atheist". I see.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

I hereby invite the letter writer to respond within this forum that she's not a atheist. I'll be waiting.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm not an atheist, but I believe in the separation of church and state.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

I too believe in a separation of church and state. However, the tone of some commentators seems to be a downright hostility towards religion. I would caution against that.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

As I would caution against religious believers who are hostile to atheists, a la Cato.

deec 5 years, 8 months ago

As soon as Christians stop exhibiting hostility and intolerance to all non-Christians, and stop trying to create a theocracy in this nation, I'll reciprocate.

Brian Laird 5 years, 8 months ago

And what if she is an atheist. If she were she would have as much right as you to post their opinion. Why does her religion or lack thereof have any bearing on the issue of church and state, or do believe that only people that think like you have valid opinions. The question is why should a state institution be choosing one religion over another or over non religion. That is the actual question, which you are choosing to ignore.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

Where did I say that she didn't have the right to post her opinion? The issue is her credibility, not her right to offer her opinion. I have yet to see any proof that she's not an atheist.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

Hardly. You obviously don't understand what I said.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

So if she is an atheist her credibility is automatically called into question. Again, I see.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

Since she didn't say anything at all about her beliefs, or lack thereof, that has nothing to do with her credibility.

It's just a little diversion from you, a la McCarthy - "Are you now, or have you ever been, an atheist?"

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

"Since she didn't say anything at all about her beliefs, or lack thereof, that has nothing to do with her credibility."

She didn't need to.

pace 5 years, 7 months ago

I hereby invite cato to respond within this forum that he is against separation of church and state. I demand it. Bow before the almighty pomposity of my words.

voevoda 5 years, 8 months ago

I guess, cato_the_elder, that you have decided against defending freedom of religion as defined in the Constitution. Instead, you now think that only only those religious denominations that distribute paper Sunday church bulletins get to enjoy full equality from public institutions.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

Nope. Wrong again.

By the way, what does "...only those religious denominations that distribute paper Sunday church bulletins get to enjoy full equality from public institutions" mean? Syntax much?

voevoda 5 years, 7 months ago

When you have no response to the content, you raise spurious objections to my grammar? Why not just admit that you didn't think through the implications of your criticism of the letter writer before you posted.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

Because that would be incorrect.

Once more, do you care to state what you meant by "...only those religious denominations that distribute paper Sunday church bulletins get to enjoy full equality from public institutions?" If you can't communicate well enough for people understand what you're saying, you can hardly expect to engage in any kind of meaningful discussion.

pace 5 years, 7 months ago

I hereby invite cato to respond within this forum that he is against separation of church and state. I demand it. Bow before the almighty pomposity of my words.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Legitimate question Ann Carlin Ozegovic. The reply should be interesting.

verity 5 years, 8 months ago

Since it appears from the article that the bulletin can be from any church, how do you know that "The church is reimbursing the money to the university for every bulletin turned in for the $3 off"?

What church is "The church"?

Phillbert 5 years, 8 months ago

How is it a legitimate question? Article VI of the Constitution bans religious tests for office, yet you apparently want to require them for letters to the editor.

Phillbert 5 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, I thought you were echoing Cato's "invitation."

Phillbert 5 years, 7 months ago

Because you asked an irrelevant question.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

Apparently, the definition of "atheist" has changed. It no longer means, "without belief in a deity". It now means, "belief in any deity but mine".

SnakeFist 5 years, 8 months ago

"...the twin towers of religion and morality."

At least you recognize that morality is distinct from religion.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

What religious right wing whack job of a publication did you copy and paste that from, FHNC? Because this sure doesn't sound like the same man that said, "Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law," (TJ, letter to Thomas Cooper, 1814) and, "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors." (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823) The real truth is that the founders of this country were Deists. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism) and either active Enlightenment philosophers, in and of themselves, or followed Enlightenment philosophy. TJ, especially, was vocal of his distrust of organized religion of any sort and his skepticism of any man that set himself up as a minister and "mouthpiece" for God. Why else do you think the state of Texas completely outlawed the teaching of Enlightenment philosophy in it's schools? It is a huge threat to the world view that you just posted and admitting that our "founding fathers" were, in many ways, anti-Christianity (not necessarily anti-"Christian") literally rocks their world. Nice try at historical revisionism, FHNC, but sorry that dog don't hunt.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

I only linked to Wikipedia for the definition of Deism. If that bothers your nose, maybe you'll find Merriam Webster more acceptable. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deism

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh--I don't think you are correct--in fact, Jefferson sponsored legislation to allow Churches to have services in the Capitol building, the founders while not always orthodox Christians believed that Christianity and religion were positive forces in our society.

Phillbert 5 years, 8 months ago

For some reason, you forgot to cite the Treaty of Tripoli, unanimously ratified by the United States Senate in 1797 and signed by John Adams, one of Our Founding Fathers:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsp&fileName=002/llsp002.db&recNum=23

Carol Bowen 5 years, 8 months ago

And, what does this have to do with softball?

rbwaa 5 years, 8 months ago

'nature’s God,' ...hmm, i wonder which deity that refers to...

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 8 months ago

FHNC says it is the God of "Judaic-Christian" god. So it is written, so it shall be. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 8 months ago

Barry Goldwater On Christians And Compromise

Wise words about the future (now the present) from “Mr. Conservative”.

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

~ Barry Goldwater, November 1994

Mike Ford 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm a son of a retired minister who grew up in said denomination and I'm a Choctaw descendant. The Founding Fathers didn't want a state sanctioned religion like the Anglicans in England and the Roman Catholics in other parts of Europe. The quotes about Founding Fathers wanting religion is pure hogwash like the religious nonsense I'm about to hear on 88.1, 92,3, 96.1, and 97.3 FM today with the Jay Sekulow clown and all of the Liberty University clowns. In the middle ages churches did a financial shakedown with the the blessings of monarchies which led to Martin Luther posting the Edict of Wurms calling out the churches for putting a price on salvation. The Founding Fathers didn't want Moral Imperialism or fascism which religious scholars spoke about at the Bonhoeffer Meeting my father attended In Berlin in 2000 just as this country was starting 8 years of moral imperialsm with the two mistake administrations. George Will does a so so job of educating the conservatives on here.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Barry Goldwater explains the demise of the GOP which has become the RINO/CINO party.

Is this bribery to encourage church attendance? Whoaaaaaaa a lot like city,state and the federal governments.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 7 months ago

Forbidden to enter church grounds, are you? Have no friends or acquaintences who go to church? Obviously you have no way of getting a church bulletin, and are being discriminated against. Just as I am by nor drinking a certain soft drink to get a discount at Worlds of Fun. Poor, poor us, the discriminated against and downtrodden.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

Interesting to note that those words didn't show up on our money until the mid 1950's, a "Cold War" response to Communism.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh and by the way, the words"under God" were not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until about the same time.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 8 months ago

You obviously don't actually know any atheists. (And, no, your accusations on Internet forums that someoneis an atheist don't count.)

Stereotyping all atheists by the acts of a vocal minority...or by your preexisting biases... makes no more sense than stereotyping all Christians by the behavior of rabid fundamentalists. The fact of the matter is that, like most Christians (or people of other faiths), most atheists don't feel the need to proselytize.

My personal reaction to the discount offer?

What about people of faith for whom Sunday isn't their sabbath day? Jews, Muslims...even Christian faiths like the Seventh Day Adventists...all these folks could have attended their appropriate "church service" - and done so with their families - this week and yet not get the discount because their church service is on the "wrong'"day. Seems to me like "Faith and Family Day" is actually more of a "Certain Types of Christians Day".

Do I think the campaign showed common sense? No, I don't. Do I think it was ill-intentioned? No, I don't. But I do think it was poorly thought out and unnecessarily exclusionary. And none of this has anything to do with atheism and everything to do with a temporary lack of sound judgment.

voevoda 5 years, 8 months ago

its_just_math, You're the one who is blaspheming constantly, using the sacred title of Lord Jesus Christ--"the Anointed One"--as a term of political abuse.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 7 months ago

I support Ron Paul and he believes in god; your entire argument is invalid. Also, here is the correct spelling of the word atheist. You're welcome.

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

"I’m just not sure of the connection between going to church and going to a state university sports event"

Maybe you're missing the possibility that the University is trying to attract a demographic that generally doesn't attend games.

Either that or you're hypersensitive.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 8 months ago

Are you seriously trying to tell us that most of the folks who do attend KU softball games are not Christians??? I'd love to see the statistics that demonstrate that one.

Or are you trying to claim that Christians with families don't attend? Or is it that Christians with families who go to church don't usually attend games on Sundays?

Please. Oh please. Point us to the demographic study that provides the data that supports whatever faith-based claim you're trying to make.

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

Good grief, I guess that's b) you're hypersensitive.

If I work for the advertising department at KU and I'm trying to come up with a scheme to increase the attendance of a Sunday softball game, one good way might be to offer a discount to people who are out and about anyway. Your complaint is on the order of someone who whines that the Pink in the Park Promotion is an insult to those who have prostate cancer. http://www.wibw.com/sports/ncaaku/Pink_in_the_Park_Alumni_Day_Set_for_April_21_at_Arrocha_Ballpark_147666015.html

But sure, I'll argue that Christians with families who go to church don't usually attend games on Sundays. There are 92,000 people in Lawrence. If the city has about the same % of people who attend church as the rest of the US (40%*) that would man that there are 36,000 Christians in that count, more or less.

How many people attend the average KU softball game? If it's not on the order of 18,000 or more certified churchgoers, then "Christians with families who go to church don't usually attend games on Sundays"

  • Robert D. Putnam and David E Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (2010) ch 1 at note 5

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

And FWIW, the attendance at last night's game was.... wait for it... 512. http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/kan/sports/w-softbl/auto_pdf/2011-12/box_score/stats_20120420aaa.pdf

Christians with families who go to church don't usually attend games on Sundays.

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

Context, my friend. The issue on the table is KU softball. That I don't consistently repeat that limitation does not mean I'm talking about any games that you can conceive of.

But it is also demonstrable that the majority of Christians do not attend NFL games weekly, either. Do we have to walk through the proofs?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 8 months ago

The folks way over on the sinister side of the aisle want the government to be the only religion. ( ... from ... a ... source ... )

verity 5 years, 8 months ago

This time you're wrong, tange. A theist believes in something there is no proof of. An atheist does not believe in something there is no proof of. Big, big difference.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

Overplayedhistory, I see you are also a poet like tange and I do admire your poetry.

However, I didn't say that since there is no proof that God exists, that is proof that s/he doesn't. Since there is no proof of it, I don't believe in her/his/their existence. I think it says somewhere that you can't prove a negative.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

Good points, and a good reason why I prefer 'skeptic.' Things unseen are hard to see, aren't they?

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh, tange, you still make me laugh even though you're wrong.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 8 months ago

"Judaic-Christian principles summarized in the words, "The laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God," " ++++ Hahahahaha!!!! What kind of right-winged balderdash are you reading? The Founders were enthusiastic Deists, which is why the founding documents speak of Laws of Nature and Nature's God. Christians fear the God of Nature because it was the basis of paganism. Nature had no God which is why the Indians had to be eradicated, they worshiped Nature's God and not CHrist.

Nowhere in the founding documents will you find Jesus Christ, the Holy Bible mentioned, anywhere. The God of nature and of reason is the language of the deists. In order to for "A more perfect union". Does that sound like Christian doctrine? Christianity would speak of the perfection of God, not acknowledge that the nation was founded on imperfect principles.

The first amendment grants no freedom of anything, it only limits what congress can do, and oneof those limitations is against imposing religious zealotry upon the people of the United States. It essentially grants us the assurance that we are free FROM religion. Read the teary Washington's administration made with Muslims if you want hear how the founder's felt about Christianity in our government.

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

"Nowhere in the founding documents will you find Jesus Christ, the Holy Bible mentioned, anywhere. "

"Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take the following oath... 'I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration." Delaware Constitution of 1776 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/de02.asp

"And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration." Pennsylvania Constitution, 1776 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/pa08.asp

"That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State. " North Carolina Constitution, 1776 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/nc07.asp

Care to revise and extend your remarks?

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

Yet they are not the only founding documents. The new state constitutions that were necessitated by the Declaration are just as much "founding documents" as is the Federal one.

The same people who signed the Declaration created the state Constitutions, many of which specifically demanded that any which held office be Trinitarian (no unitarians) Protestant (no Catholics) Christians (no Jews). They specifically denied office to atheists. And yet we are supposed to believe that these men are deists?

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Yes, and it took a little while before it was decided that the Bill of Rights should apply to the states, I believe.

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

Why draw the distinction? Since the state Constitutions were written between the two, why seek to exclude them other than they they provide exactly the evidence that makes Geekin's assertion look like the error it is? When the state Constitutions were written, they were the only governments*. I suggest that they provide a pretty good insight into the founders' approach to religion and government.

  • The Articles of Confederation not coming into full effect until 1781 and the Second Continental Congress being all but powerless.

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

The problem is with Geekin's assertion that, "The Founders were enthusiastic Deists, which is why the founding documents speak of Laws of Nature and Nature's God. "

It is demonstrable that the founders who signed the Declaration in 1776 had no problem with putting Christianity in their Constitutions (you must understand that in 1776, the 1789 Constitution was not conceived of - so far as they knew at the time, each state would remain an independent if allied 'nation.' It was not until the failure of the Articles that the later Constitution became necessary )

Therefore, unless one wants to assert that the founders believed in the divine inspiration of the Bible at the state level, but as soon as they got to Philadelphia fell into the enthusiastic deism of "nature's God," then it's obvious that the two ideas are not incompatible. Nor is there any evidence that people at the time considered them incompatible.

Franklin and Jefferson were both deists, more or less, and depending on when you ask the question. So was Governeur Morris. The vast majority of the others were Christians of various protestant denominations who came from a tradition where Church and state were mingled far more than they are today. They learned later that separation of those two is a good thing, but to make the founders secular or deistic in outlook from the beginning is a grave historical error.

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

One final harassment and I'll let it go:

"The states constitutions may not accurately reflect the founding fathers views but rather reflects the views of the majority of their state's legislature. "

I think you're drawing a distinction here that is unwarranted. The Founding Fathers, otherwise known as delegates to the Second Continental Congress and the 1787 Constitutional Convention, were chosen by majorities of their state legislatures. It is very difficult to imagine how these delegates would have held radically different views than the people who chose them. This is especially the case when many (I would argue the vast majority) were themselves members of the state legislatures or the provincial congresses that had written the Constitutions.

It is far less difficult to understand that "nature's God" is a euphemism vague enough that a) no one would be offended by it, and b) no one should draw theological conclusions about the founders based on it.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 8 months ago

Yeah. The articles you reference were eradicated back in the early 1800's, '31 i believe. They replaced "New and Old testament", "Jesus" and "Holy Scriptures" with " will support and affirm the Constitution...".

They were challenged as unconstitutional, citing "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Many cases ended in the states removing these type of requirements as UN-Consitutional and some have not been challenged while others are still in litigation or just ignored. It is a very interesting tpoic and one that I will further investigate when time allows.

Ultimately thogh, it appears that the state constitutions had such clauses but the United States Constitution and Founder's documents will forever remian devoid of Jesus or the Holy Bible.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 8 months ago

Let's see. No effort whatsoever on Obama's part to take everyone's guns away. No matter how many times some folks squawk that "Obama wants our guns"...no effort whatsoever to take them away.

And "nationalization" by Obama??? Let's see. How's this for a fact? NO BUSINESSES OR INDUSTRIES HAVE BEEN NATIONALIZED UNDER OBAMA.

It was Bush who bailed out the banks and rescued AIG, not Obama. And the banks were not nationalized!! They were lent money under TARP...a Bush legislation...which all the large banks and most of the smaller ones have paid back! Oh gee, darn.

And the auto manufacturers? Shall we talk about Chrysler? Bailed out by the government...then bought by Fiat. The feds no longer own any part of Chrysler.

Shall we talk about GM? Once again it rises to #1 in the world in auto sales? The same GM that Bush bailed out in December 2008? A bailout that Obama added more funding to, not initiated?

In 2010, the federal ownership of GM dropped from an initial 61% to 33%. It has now dropped to around 25%. For some odd reason, that just doesn't sound like "nationalization" to me.

There will always be people who prefer to claim there's a bogeyman under their bed, rather than turning on the light and actually looking. They prefer to be fearful. Prefer to have someone to "blame"...even when there's nothing to be blamed for. It's so sad.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

"Political leaders can lie about their agenda and once in office...they can take totally unexpected turns." Gee, like Sam Brownback?

Take a small bit of comfort in one fact, FHNC. GM was not "nationalized". It is still a publicly traded company on the stock exchange. Not only that, GM has paid back every penny of it's bail out to the Federal government (boy, I bet that chaps your cheeks), unlike Goldman-Sachs and BOA (which were bailed out by your hero, GWB), I have no argument with the Constitution being the "rule of law". I truly wish it were. Then maybe the First Amendment guarantee of freedom from religion would be honored by the states and states wouldn't be trying to pass "anti-immigrant" legislation (legislation that could have very possibly negatively impacted your friend were he coming from Cuba today), which is clearly under the pervue of the Federal Government only, as within it's rights to be the only body in this country to treat with other nations.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 8 months ago

Why on earth do you believe that GM was nationalized??? Do you even know what "nationalized" means? It sure doesn't sound like it. It also doesn't sound like you know anything about corporate reorganizations and bankruptcy. Perhaps you ought to spend a little bit of time determining actual FACTS, rather than repeating imaginary nonsense simply because it 'sounds' like something you'd like to believe is true?

And, wrong...it's NOT the Black Panthers. It's just some nasty little group that calls themselves the "New Black Panther Party". They aren't affiliated with the Black Panthers. And the leader (who offered the bounty) has been arrested.

And, out of curiosity, while you rail against the growing divide between most of us and the "well-connected and politically powerful", do you also want the well-connected and politically powerful's taxes lowered? (As 'job creator' or not...doesn't matter.) I ask because so many people argue just that. Seems kinda odd to want them to have even more while complaining that they are getting more but, hey...some folks disassociate pretty easily.

Bob Burton 5 years, 8 months ago

Ann, It is called druming up suport for the softball team.. If you can muster the same possible number of people that the churches have, I would bet the university will let your people in for the same price..

verity 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment section appears to have gone completely off the rails---once again. However, since the trashing of atheists has once again come up, I have some questions. Why are so many people so threatened by atheists? Why am I a threat because I don't believe in your god? Why do you have to believe that I must be immoral and wrong-headed?

It would seem that I am actually, statistically speaking, less likely to do a number of things that many religionists believe to be immoral and yet do.

Could it possibly be that you are frightened because your faith is not really that strong and you don't want to think about it?

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

I am examining my motives for nefare---but I think I'm OK.

I am jealous of your poetic abilities---you and overplayedhistory---does that qualify?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 8 months ago

If the Phelps Klan shows up with their signs, do they all get the discount, as well?

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

There are much more important issues regarding church state separation issues.

This one just doesn't rise to that level.

voevoda 5 years, 8 months ago

Worlds of Fun is not a state institution. KU is. It is prohibited by law from showing favoritism to particular religious groups. In this case, the ones that have Sunday church bulletins that they distribute to congregants. Citizens of the state of Kansas should not be forced to choose between attending the "right" church or paying extra for a baseball ticket at a public, taxpayer supported, institution.

voevoda 5 years, 8 months ago

Gandalf, The ad doesn't say "favored religious group." But it implicitly favors religious groups that use printed church bulletins and expect weekly attendance on Sunday. It offers cheaper tickets to members of certain denominations, which is not offered to members of certain other denominations. So in reality, this program favors particular religious groups while excluding others.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 7 months ago

Well, it's gotta favor Christian religious groups with its calling for a Sunday church bulletin from that morning's service. I don't see how you can get around that.

voevoda 5 years, 7 months ago

Giving a discount open only to persons of a denomination that uses paper church bulletins is the same thing, vertigo: it's treating citizens of the state of Kansas differently based on their religious affiliation. It means the people who attend one house of worship are treated differently from people who attend another house of worship. The ad doesn't have to specify which churches do and do not get the discount in order to be in violation of the Constitutional principle. I suggest, vertigo, that you test your contention at the gate tomorrow. Print up your own church bulletin and report back whether it passes muster.

notaubermime 5 years, 8 months ago

Well, there are a lot of similarities between religion and carbonated beverages, so I can understand why you wouldn't be able to see the difference between the two. I can't claim to be much better. There was that one time when I asked the driver of a Pepsi truck to preside over my wedding. Talk about awkward!

I should have asked the Coke driver...

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

Learn a sense of humor.

There is an inherent difference in giving a discount to an item which is generally available to all and giving a discount to an item which is generally available only to a certain group.

Perhaps if a church put their members' lives at risk for the KU softball team, then it would be similar to veterans getting into national parks for free on Veteran's Day.

Or we could dispense with the clumsy analogies and call this a poorly thought out attempt to drive attendance by giving an unfair advantage to a particular group? It is biased, but hardly illegal.

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

Labor unions getting a discount on a national holiday dedicated to labor unions is more similar to veterans and Veterans' Day than the church example.

Kids eat free at Denny's is sound marketing because kids eventually turn into adults. Same premise behind cartoons on cigarette ads. It is entirely different from the church discount.

Wait, the members of the CommunityAmerica Credit Union get discounts to some of the games at the Community America Ballpark?! Stop the presses!

Seriously, stop with the bad analogies. It is what it is. You cannot just compare it to any group you want and claim that the comparison is valid. You don't see me trying to compare it to giving discounts only to white people, do you?

Cai 5 years, 7 months ago

rest assured - I know of no church that hoards its bulletins from the general public. All the ones that I know of would give them to you just for the asking.

Hell, Immanuel still mails the bulletins to my house despite the fact that the person they're being mailed to hasn't lived there for at least 3 years.

I'm all for separation of rulings, but I think this one is being blown way out of proportion.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 7 months ago

Seems like an obvious difference to me.

Buying a can of Coke is an option for everyone...and not something that has to be done on a specific day. (As an aside, Coke has a reimbursement program for places offering discounts like this.)

Getting a church program on that one Sunday, however, requires actually going to a Christian church on that Sunday. Like it or not, that is not a option for everyone.

Even though there is no reimbursement program, I realize KU is simply hoping for more ticket sales than they would have gotten otherwise.. But they're doing it by promoting a certain and restrictive faith-based activity.

Had they said any program from any religious service during that week, then it would at least have been more in keeping with their "Faith and Families" theme. (Assuming other places actually have church programs. Not even all Christian denominations do.)

As it is, the discount is restricted to only Christian denominations ...as if attending the services of any other faith/denomination counts.

No...I don't see it as an act of discrimination. Rather, I see it as a simple act of ignorance. Of simply assuming that Sunday was everyone's day of worship and the game is on a Sunday so...

Fossick 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes, it's the real issue. Instead of whining about not getting a $3 ticket tomorrow, they could don a pink t-shirt and get a $3 ticket tonight: http://www.wibw.com/sports/ncaaku/Pink_in_the_Park_Alumni_Day_Set_for_April_21_at_Arrocha_Ballpark_147666015.html

This is not a freaking conspiracy, people. KU and its softball team have not been overrun with fundamentalists. It is one of a whole season full of such promotions designed to raise interest among people who would not normally attend a game.

If this really bothers you, I suggest you seek professional counseling. And I'm only saying that because it's true.

Fossick 5 years, 7 months ago

It's a conspiracy, Dude. Swear to God.

voevoda 5 years, 8 months ago

The softball discount involves favoring certain religions over others. Persons who attend religious services in denominations that don't have weekly paper service bulletins aren't eligible for a discount. What about persons who belong to religions that don't meet on Sunday (such as Seventh Day Adventists, or Muslims, or Jews)? What about those that don't have the tradition of weekly attendance at services? Would a Jew who said that he celebrated the Sabbath at home with his family be able to get the discount? What about a Muslim who prayed at home but not at the mosque? Or a Christian who did the same, because there is no church of his denomination in town? If the answer is no, only a church bulletin suffices, then KU is violating the law. I call upon churches that are troubled by the inequity of the KU Softball policy to print up extra church bulletins this week and stand at the ticket office passing out copies to everyone who doesn't already have one. That way, the churches themselves will be taking a stand to defend religious liberty.

voevoda 5 years, 8 months ago

Gandalf, Are you equating the lack of a printed church bulletin with ignorance?

voevoda 5 years, 7 months ago

So, Gandalf, you are saying that religious communities that don't have printed church bulletins don't know how to read and write?

geekin_topekan 5 years, 8 months ago

The Founding Fathers would have included: "The right to the people's access to Jack In The Box, beit three tacos for a dollar or SourdoughJack, shall not be infringed upon, so help us the All-Mighty,"

Fossick 5 years, 7 months ago

Cait48: "The real truth is that the founders of this country were Deists."

You know, what I'm about to say is going to come across as an attack, and perhaps it is. So let me preface it by confessing my own ignorance. I know nothing about most subjects discussed on this award-winning forum. You'll seldom see me comment on a basketball story or one concerning the Lawrence city council. My ignorance of those subjects is near total and so I do not offer an opinion, having nothing to base one on.

But there are two subjects that I do know: history and theology. I hold two degrees in the former, as well as academic honors and a pair of awards for original research from a well-known public college in this state. The second I hold no degree in but have studied in conjunction with the first for 2 decades. So I do not think I am in error when I say this:

When it comes to history and theology, you are as ignorant as pig dribble. You literally do not know what you're talking about and are merely parroting talking points created by such propagandists as SepState and ADF. Deism was an interesting sidenote among the founders, no more. Thomas Paine's deist views were so unpopular that a half-dozen people attended his funeral. If you don't believe me, ask Infidels.org: http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/thomas_paine.html

I mentioned three state Constitutions earlier that demanded that officeholders not only be Christians, but Protestants who publicly asserted the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. Those Constitutions were not only a reaction to nascent deism, but proof that fundamentalism - even though the word did not exist - was the normal and everyday religion of the founders. Among the hundreds of founders, one can name Jefferson and Franklin as Deists, and Governeur Morris. One can name Tom Paine, and maybe even John Adams, though he was properly a Unitarian.

Of the signers of the Declaration, there is one Unitarian (Adams), 2 Deists (Franklin and Jefferson) and about a dozen whom we do not know their religion. Against them, there are 11 Congregationalists, a dozen Presbyterians, 16 Episcopalians, and the rest belonged to regular Christian denominations. In short, of the 55 signers, 2 were Deists. That's 4%. more than 60% were Christians.

Of the 54 Framers of the Constitution, Four were Deists. Four* http://www.usconstitution.net/constframedata.html

The claim that the "founders of this country were Deists" is absurd. The claim is not even arguable, it's laughable, and deserves nothing but scorn. Please, for the love of the generic deity of the Deists, check your references before spouting such drivel. It does not fool anyone, but it does make one look a fool.

  • Governeur Morris of NY was a deist, even though a member of the Episcopalian church.

Fossick 5 years, 7 months ago

It's always good to learn new things.

krzyldy 5 years, 7 months ago

Has anyone stopped to think this is just the same as Boy Scout Family Day, Girl Scout Family Day, Hallmark Family Day, E&E (defunct) Family Day, KU Family Day?

Everyone just wants to start reading something into an article, if they think it offends them (athiest, christian, black, white, muslim, Athletes etc). Can we not just assume someone is doing something to be nice to or honor another person or group? Are we always so quick to dismiss kindness if it isn't directed towards us?

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

"Can we not just assume someone is doing something to be nice to or honor another person or group?"

There is nothing wrong with being nice or honoring another group. It is just that when one religious group is consistently the only one being honored... it is kind of hard to argue against there being bias.

Fossick 5 years, 7 months ago

Notaubermine: "It is just that when one religious group is consistently the only one being honored... it is kind of hard to argue against there being bias."

It's not hard to argue at all, since the promotion on the Website says "with a religious bulletin." It does not specify "one religious group" unless somehow all religious groups constitute one religious group.

Here's the schedule for promotions for 2012: This season debuts the Big 12 Conference's new Friday-Saturday-Sunday series format with each weekend opener serving as "Blue Friday" at Arrocha Ballpark. Every Friday, the first 100 fans in attendance wearing blue will receive free popcorn....promotions include Faith and Family Day on March 25, April 22 and April 29, which admits fans into the ballpark for only $3 with a religious bulletin.

The two "Jay Days" are set for an April 11 doubleheader against Wichita State and an April 25 doubleheader against UMKC. Free hot dogs will go to the first 50 students and the games also count for Rock Chalk Rewards double points. ..

During opening weekend, Hero's Day is set for March 24. Military personnel, medical professionals and members of the police and fire departments can attend for only $3 with ID...

During the Texas series, Senior Citizen Day will take place on Saturday, April 14, while the popular "Bark in the Park" is scheduled for the following day. The April 15 promotion gets doggie fans into the gate with a donation to the Lawrence Humane Society.

"Pink in the Park" is slated for the following weekend when the Jayhawks face the Cyclones of Iowa State on April 21. Fans wearing pink will be admitted for $3 and Jayhawks for the Cure bracelets will be handed out at the gate.

The final home weekend of the season will feature Senior Day on Saturday, April 28, and Brunch in the Park on Sunday, April 29. Kansas closes its home slate against Texas Tech that weekend. (from a source) http://www.kuathletics.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/031912aaa.html

Last year's promotions included many similar ideas: http://www.kuathletics.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/012411aab.html

If you can discover in that evidence of bias toward "one religious group" then you have keener eyes than most, Legolas.

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

I love how you forget to mention that this particular promotion just so happens to only occur on Sundays.

Enlightenment 5 years, 7 months ago

I feel sorry for Jesus. He gets used as a conversational trump card way too much. Marvelous person but not the only one by any stretch of the imagination. Way too many folks discredit the ideas of anyone that doesn't believe in their god and it's quite disheartening. "god fearing folks need to respect other religions as well those that do not need religion.

FYI, KU was originally a religious founded institution and the watermark on KU stationary is Moses on the rock.

pace 5 years, 7 months ago

Can someone sell me Sunday's church bulletin for a dollar? It will save me.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

Just walk into a church, take a bulletin and leave. Usually ushers are there handing them out to any and all. Or hit the recycle bin after the service.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 7 months ago

Heck, why are we arguing about this? I like the suggestion of churches handing out extra bulletins at the gate. My thinking is, if you happen to worship somewhere on Saturday or Friday, bring something with your place of worship's letterhead on it, present it, and demand it be treated equally as a Sunday bulletin would.

I don't think Ann is an atheist; just kind of wierd and "snobby". Comes from her brother having been governor, I think.

Fossick 5 years, 7 months ago

"I don't think Ann is an atheist; just kind of wierd and "snobby"."

Not to mention inefficient. If she really wanted an answer to her questions, she could have called KU Athletics instead of asking hundreds, even thousands, of people who do not have the information she is looking for.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 7 months ago

Me thinks the writer just wanted something to write about in order to express her views. I think she takes it to the extreme. I don't condone Church and State either but this is ridiculous.

Mark Pickerel 5 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if we will have a gay president before we ever have an atheist president. Seems like people trust atheists less than any other demographic out there, including gays and Muslims.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

I wonder why that is---and that is not rhetorical. Like I said above, why are atheists such a threat to people?

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

It is great to see encouragement for people to attend church! We need to return to God and receive the wonderful gift of free salvation through Jesus Christ. A person must first acknowledge that they are a sinner and deserve God's wrath, but Christ died and rose again to provide redemption to each of us, we simply receive the gift by asking God to forgive us and repent of our sins and He will save us. Read the book of John and pray for God to open your eyes!

JessL 5 years, 7 months ago

As a KU softball follower, this is a promotion I have known of for sometime. All KU Athletics promotional materials use the terminology "religious bulletin". This advertisement clearly appears to be a typo. The Faith and Family promotion is not specific to KU Athletics either. The Kansas City Chiefs hosted their fourth annual Faith and Family day on August 12th, last year. This is not a case of a state institution supporting a specific religious institution or religion at all. This is an organization utilizing a proven method of gaining support for a team with an average attendance of 100 fans. Below, I have included the wording associated with this game on kuathletics.com. Pay special attention to the "Special Promotions" area. Reference: http://www.kuathletics.com/sports/w-softbl/sched/kan-w-softbl-sched.html

vs. Iowa State W, 8-0 (5) Day: Sunday Date: Apr. 22, 2012 Location: Lawrence, Kan. Time: 12:00 p.m. CT Kansas Looks Flawless in Five-Inning Win Over Iowa State, 8-0 Alicia Pille throws her third one-hit shutout of the season Related Links Box Score Photo Gallery Coverage Special Promotions Faith & Family Day $3 with Religious Bulletin

David Dunlap 5 years, 7 months ago

Did any of you actually go to the game? What does any of this discussion have to do with the editorial? It's just a promotion for a poorly attended softball team not a religion service held by a state institution. Go out and enjoy life and maybe even pay full price to see a game if you are offended easily. Quit whining and bickering. It's bad for you.

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