Archive for Sunday, November 25, 2012

Prayer in public meetings common in Kansas

November 25, 2012


TOPEKA — In Kansas, mixing politics and prayer is commonplace.

Many public meetings start with a prayer or a moment of silence.

In the Statehouse, the House and Senate begin every daily session with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sometimes the prayers in the Kansas Legislature have stirred up controversy.

Earlier this year, the Rev. James Gordon of St. John Vianney Catholic School in Maple Hill, who was visiting the House, led a prayer that spoke against abortion and same-sex marriage.

House leaders said that the prayer was inappropriate and that they urge those invited to pray to steer clear of politics.

Public displays of religion in the Statehouse have increased since the 2010 election of Gov. Sam Brownback. He has been a visible participant in National Day of Prayer events in the building the past two years, and a room in the Statehouse has been devoted to praying and singing religious songs on the first day of the past two legislative sessions.

Earlier this year, a group planned a three-day “transforming revival” workshop in the Kansas House. Americans for Separation of Church and State criticized the event, and then the organizer moved it to another location because he said there were a greater-than-expected number of participants.

In 2011, Brownback attended a daylong Christian rally of prayer and fasting in Houston at the invitation of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who then was considering a presidential run. Brownback was criticized by a gay rights group because the organizers of the event touted extremely anti-homosexual rhetoric.

There also has been discussion of adding a chapel for prayer and meditation in the Statehouse.

Vickie Sandell Stangl of Andover, who is president of the Great Plains Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said courts have given mixed rulings on government bodies conducting prayers — some saying the act is more historical than religious in nature.

But she said that, “Every public official can pray as often as they wish to themselves, before meetings and after, but they understand that a public display elevates their faith among the public and therefore legitimizes that faith as the one true belief everyone should hold.

“It is not a subtle act but a calculated measure to continue to promote their religion in the public square and bully any citizen into silence who rightly complains that this is not religious freedom, this is religious tyranny by the many.”


Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 6 months ago

Just because you're hearing a prayer does not mean that you have to be praying along. I frequently hear prayers that are not at all in line with my religious beliefs, but I think the proper thing to do in that situation is to maintain a respectful silence as someone else expresses their most deeply felt emotions, or what they are presenting as that. It's not that difficult.

But, politics and length should stay out of it!

Matthew Chapter 6, verse 7:

"And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words."

Mike1949 5 years, 6 months ago

The law and Kansas doesn't work anymore here in this state. The far right doesn't care if they break the laws, if they don't like a law, I'm surprised they have not tried to change it, whether it is constitutional or not. Kansans don't care about the Constitution, remember this is the state that if you express any option other than what the religious right preaches, the first words out of their mouths are "if you don't like it, leave!" Equal rights are non-existent here in Kansas.

attorney1776 5 years, 6 months ago


Perhaps you could cite the exact law that is being broken here. That would help to support your contention.

We not looking for court cases. Courts do not make laws. The Constitutional issue is subject to interpretation. The Constitution protects against a state sponsored religion and protects the freedom to practice any religion freely.

You claim a legislature passed a statute forbidding the recitation of a prayer in a public meeting. I'm curious to know what statute that would be as I've never come across it in 40 years of studying the law.

Opinions are good, but "valid opinions come with supporting arguments". Otherwise, they are simply hot air.

dabbindan 5 years, 6 months ago

hey ron, you have it exactly backwards. these are by definition political situations. religion needs to stay out of IT. here's why: do you think you could get agreement in these meetings for a muslim to give the prayer? of course not, the people who want prayer in these situations want only christian prayer and the more christian the better. in fact, they would delight if during the prayer, a sermonette could be preached. better yet, how about an alter call? these meetings are no place to push one religion over others or on those who prefer none.

pray at home.pray in church. pray in your car. pray to yourself. pray with your family keep it out of public life. i wonder just how many of the prayer pushers have an active prayer life of their own?

having spent my early life in a fundamental christian environment, i know many of those who pray and advocate prayer, use it as an opportunity to "witness" and hopefully prostylize. that's where things get really inappropriate. would you be comfortable being ezposed to being prostylized to become a muslim in one of these meetings?

i think not. then leave the christian prayer out of it as well.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 6 months ago

Keep religion out of government.Out of the meetings,out of the buildings,all of it. Keep your religion in your home,church, synagogue, etc.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

That's where you are uninformed. Freedom of religion includes freedom from the dogma and rules of another's religion allowing us to follow our own conscience. Freedom of religion and from religion are two sides of the same coin. Freedom from religion doesn't meanI being free, from seeing religion in society. It is no coincidence that folks who believe there is no freedom from religion are part of the religious groups who would enforce their one true religion on the state and everyone in it. I know it is difficult, but try to put yourself in someone else's shoes for a change.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

" It is no coincidence that folks who believe there is no freedom from religion are part of the religious groups who would enforce their one true religion on the state and everyone in it."

That's a little tricky though.I believe their is almost satisfactory enforcement of the freedom of religion clause (and I include "from" as well). It's a fine line and we walk it pretty well.

So I don't fall into your description of one that believes we have mostly adequate freedom for and from religion.

But also, I would indeed like to see my views concerning religion followed stringently by the state. Atheism is the one true religion.

I'll fight for people to have religious freedom, but I will also fight any subservience of law under god (even if your god is algore). That's my compromise and I find it fair.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe I am not understanding your thoughts clearly. It is " tricky" I suppose and we do walk the fine line fairly well in most instances. I'm not sure where you think I implied we have mostly adequate freedom of or from religion. I should have been clearer in my description of those who believe there is no freedom from religion. We would not be having this conversation if our government didn't allow the practice of praying to the Christian god in the public arena. I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding our fight for religious freedom, isn't is sad we are forced to comprimise?

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm not forced to compromise. I do it because I consider it fair.

"Maybe I am not understanding your thoughts"

I don't think there is systemic religious oppression and I want my religion to be the only one followed by the government. That's as simple as I can put it.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Fair enough. No god in government is exactly how it should be. I think the hegemony of christianity is so commonplace that it is difficult to see how our cultural biases have been shaped by years of religious indoctrination. So I do believe systemic religious oppression is alive and well.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 6 months ago

Me thinks you need to re-read the Constitution. Freedom OF religion means I can worship in any way I feel, or not at all if I so choose.

Brock Masters 5 years, 6 months ago

"Our freedom is to ignore them." Agreed, except how does none ignore another's religion when it is part of a government meeting? And, if you're part of that government body how do you stay true to your beliefs and remain effective when you're forced to publicly share them as a result of having a prayer before the meeting.

And who gets to decide which religion is allowed to control the meeting's prayer selection?

Again, suppose the meeting was started with a prayer from a religious group you vehemently disagreed with - let's go with Satanism (which is a religion), would you be okay with it?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

May you be blessed by Her noodly appendage. Hail FSM.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

"Westboro Baptist Church"

That one separates the wheat from the chaff. I'm disappointed by a good percentage on the left for thinking Phelps should be muzzled by laws that are questionable under the 14th amendment while utterly ignoring the first amendment.

OTOH, bright spots on the left support the loon's first amendment rights. I'm not sure they are concerned with the equal protection guaranteed the phelps klan. I don't know whether to care about that or not.

The right supports phelp's cause in general but can't stomach their tactics. They can't abide the gay cause god said so... but those are 'murican soldiers. Them kooks is protestin a "murican soldier. That ain't right.

Both sides are riddled with dissonance while the libertarians just recommend following the law and making sure lower levels of government do not violate superior laws.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand where you get the idea the left thinks Phelps should be muzzled. Please don't speak for me or others on this subject. Following the law would be awesome! Haha, tell that to our lower level of government!

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

I've watched leftists cheer every time the phelps klan is prevented from speaking by zoning legislation which is targeted only at them. I've also watched the same people whine when the supreme court reverses the decision.

"Please don't speak for me or others"

I speak for me.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh, come on! Speak for you, then and don't generalize.

JayCat_67 5 years, 6 months ago

To heck with zoning regulations, just let the Freedom Riders know what event Phelps is attending and they'll do the rest. Well for Soldiers' funerals anyway.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

"No, you need to read it. No where , and I do mean no where does it say Separation of Church and says Freedom of Religion. Period..."

Errr . . . no, that's not all it says.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

It's interesting, as well, that you hit on the Separation thing, when that wasn't actually stated in the post you were responding to.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Grammdaddy it also means not being subjected to another's dogma.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

My dogma is in the constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

From a source.

Corey Williams 5 years, 6 months ago

People can practice their faith all they want. It's when they try to get others to sing along (like at a government meeting) that it becomes an issue.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

@ Informed -Aha, so that IS what you meant.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Have a go at imposing religious beliefs on me and you'll find out you are wrong.

Brock Masters 5 years, 6 months ago

Religious beliefs are imposed on you. Ever looked at your money?

Corey Williams 5 years, 6 months ago

My debit card doesn't say anything about god.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, my money is red and gray and say's "Bank of America" on it.

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 6 months ago

What if..... a non-Christian starts the session with his/her own prayer of her/his own religions? Like Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism? Things might be different for you?

Nietzsche 5 years, 6 months ago

you are actually "ill"informed or "un"informed on this issue. at the time the constitution was written there were more mason temples than churches...the significance of freedome "of" religion was so that there was NO sanctioned religion by the state (like in England and the Anglican church. So what they were stating (implying) is that no government should sanction a religion so as to infringe on your right to freely worship on your own (or not). So freedom of religion and freedom from religion are in the context of government intervention or governement sanction...

oklahoma 5 years, 6 months ago would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge.

George Washington's. first inaugural address 1789

Charlie Dominguez 5 years, 6 months ago

And over two hundred years later, the slave master should continue to be followed?

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 6 months ago

Such speech was inappropriate then and is inappropriate now. What's your point?

FlintHawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Militant Socialist Movement? Thought that was only in Madagascar . . . Are the Malgache daring to meddle in U.S. politics? Wow!!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

How has acknowledging God stopped corruption and lying in our political establishments?

It hasn't. Therefore the conclusion becomes the political establishments and the participants are offending God.

In essence it is all a game of pretend.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Has acknowledging Goebbels stopped you from copy/pasting the same spam in hundreds of posts?

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

You know, that was really uncalled for Liberty and you know it. I think it just ticks you off that merrill does not stoop to your junior high tactics. Doesn't do much for your credibility.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

He stoops to copying and pasting lots of biased spam. He thinks if he repeats it enough, people will believe it.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe, but over the years, I have never seen him name call, nor argue. I can't say that for any other poster. It makes you look like another one- line poster that has nothing else pertinent to add, and as much as we may disagree, I don't believe that is your style.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

He can't argue because all he can do is parrot. At least you have your own opinion and put it in every post. I don't know why you are defending him.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Not everyone is a wordsmith. I just think it is a waste of time to grumble at him.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Cease fire. Lets save the argument for something worth arguing about. :-)

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Haha. What concessions are you offering? JK. :-)

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Worked for the Republicans, at least until this election.

Nietzsche 5 years, 6 months ago

that is like having someone swear on the bible in the court of that means anything...if it does, then why are they cross-examined?

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

I think you just have to raise your hand and swear at the judge these days.

Brock Masters 5 years, 6 months ago

I believe in God, I worship God and I try to follow His teachings, but I agree lets take prayer out of public meetings. Yes, it is traditional, but we have changed as a nation. While I don't think it is unConstitutional, I think we should keep secular issues and religion separate.

I think how I might feel if the meeting was started with an Islamic or Wiccan prayer. I would be quiet and respectful but would feel excluded so I base my opinion on the understanding that a Christian prayer may have the same effect on a non-Christian.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

"but would feel excluded"

When I was in my 20s, I had a girlfriend that would only fool around if I went to church with her and her parents. So I would sit there for an hour watching them spin the incense ball and kneel and eat their cracker and wine, and I never felt left out. I actually mostly enjoyed it. It wasn't as good as the reward I received later for going, but it wasn't bad.

weeslicket 5 years, 6 months ago

from fred merz: I think how I might feel if the meeting was started with an Islamic or Wiccan prayer.

i was just going to make this point. our governor, state legislators, and most of the above posters would be horrified if the prayers, convocations, chapels, blessings and other religious what-not were anything but their brand of christianity.

FlintHawk 5 years, 6 months ago

"When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get." (Matthew 6:5)

FlintHawk 5 years, 6 months ago

No offense, tange. I'm not conversant (grew up Catholic when the Bible was not really a part of the Church's teachings). Just wanted to help get your message across loud and clear in case there are others on this thread as uninformed as me. ; }

FlintHawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, we had our Catechism, you know. And our Daily Missals, for Daily Mass (in Latin, with the priest facing away from us ). . . We actually had a huge Bible, Douay-Rheims of course, but it was just there; we didn't use it. So now I'm grateful to google when I'm ignorant about a Biblical reference

melott 5 years, 6 months ago

It's funny how they think it makes it ok if they leave Jesus out of it but still pray to God. As my nephew said as a child in another state when the evolution teaching row came up there, "Why can't we all worship monkeys?"

FlintHawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Every time this topic comes up, I think of why so many from the UK came to this country in the 17th century. They said they wanted Freedom of Religion. But what did that mean to those early emigrants? Looking back, we see that it meant THEIR freedom to practice THEIR OWN beliefs. Did their desire for "religious freedom" extend to tolerating religious beliefs that were different? How did the Massachusetts Puritans deal with Quakers, Catholics, Presbyterians and, especially, Methodists? Why can't Roger Williams (founder of Providence, RI) be our role model? He tried to get the Massachusetts Puritans to embrace his ideas of complete religious toleration; they put him on trial and banished him. He is credited with the statement, "Forced religion stinks in God's nostrils." It seems to me that the Kansas Right are a lot like the Puritans.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

" It seems to me that the Kansas Right are a lot like the Puritans."

The original Kansans were bussed in from Massachusetts because of their "moral beliefs" which included anti-slavery. Kansas is republican because the republicans wanted slavery ended and sent people here to take over the state and prevent Kansas from becoming a slave state.

FlintHawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Being against slavery doesn't make up for their other injustices.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

People were sent here from the land of the puritans. Lawrence is a little backwater island in that sea of religion.

And yes, puritans would also be against gay marriage, abortion and that woman you talk to at work. I'm boy saying they are bad people, only that they hold conservative beliefs and were sent here to make sure Kansas turned out a free state.

Some history nerd can tell you the whole story.

Sherry Warren 5 years, 6 months ago

Funny... I thought the original Kansans had been here for quite a while and lived in harmony with the earth.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Reptiles were here before humans. They were the original Kansans and live even today in harmony with the earth, feasting on the occasional mammal. LOL.

We can play this back through dinosaurs and marine life if you want.

Also, I take ecology into account enough to be happy.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 6 months ago

"Sorry, grammy, we have freedom OF religion -- not FROM religion."

I don't think Informed was uninformed by posting that. (S)he's justing stating a harsh reality.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 6 months ago

Ok, I'm just gonna back outa the room slowly, but I took it to mean there is no freedom from religion as long as these public invocations are forced upon us.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure informed meant there is no freedom from religion.

Nietzsche 5 years, 6 months ago

freedom of religion and freedom from religion are the same think in context as intended by the founding fathers. No state sanctioned government and you can worship as you see fit (or not) unlike they were in GB and the Anglican Church. Not hard to understand unless you don't want to.

dabbindan 5 years, 6 months ago

so rockshocker, being in the majority means imposing your will is just hunkydory? so slavery's fine if most want it, justice be damned? where ever islamists outnumber christians they should be able to impose their will?

freedom of religion includes no religion.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 6 months ago

I do not understand why you think that is what I said. I agree that freedom of religion includes no religion, which is what I thought Informed was getting at, namely that these public prayers & rituals at the beginning of a secular function keep us from having freedom FROM religion.

Maybe that was not Informed's intent, but that is what I took his/her staement to mean.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

"It is not a subtle act but a calculated measure . . ."

Indeed. And therein lies the problem.

Anyone can pray any time to any god they please---or not, if they please. Doing it publicly and forcing it on others speaks of (1) bullying and (2) lack of confidence in themselves, their faith, and their god.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

It seems that those who speak the most of their faith actually do not have much faith that their god is all powerful---not if humans have to force that god on others.

FlintHawk 5 years, 6 months ago

"What is Prayer?"

"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,/Unuttered or expressed,/The motion of a hidden fire/That trembles in the breast:/Prayer is the burden of a sigh,/The falling of a tear,/The upward gleaming of an eye,/When none but God is near/Prayer is the simplest form of speech/That infant lips can try;/Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach/The Majesty on high." (Adam Clarke 1831)

Orwell 5 years, 6 months ago

Or sometimes it's just showing off, to create the impression of piety when actual character – or even actual belief – is lacking.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Which is, generally speaking, why those who push for this do so. They want to be seen praying in public.

patkindle 5 years, 6 months ago

Gosh, if they warmed up the meeting with a pledge of allegiance Before the prayer, you folks would really be upset

dabbindan 5 years, 6 months ago

pledge of allegiance is fine, it's mostly secular. of course the original version without the "under god" which was added in 1954 would be preferable.

Orwell 5 years, 6 months ago

Try worrying more about "We the People" and less about "you folks."

Nietzsche 5 years, 6 months ago

they do...where have you been? Brownback and his brownshirts goose step around with their bibles spewing their religioucity like it is the marching orders for an invasion.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 6 months ago

I say pray to yourself when ever you want, and keep the public out of your worship. I don't believe in god. I always recoil when I have to be "respectful" of others' right to pray in public, but they never seem to be "respectful" of my beliefs.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

They don't have to be respectful of other beliefs because they know they are correct. Unfortunately, that ideological intransigence goes way beyond religion and that is why it is so dangerous. Things like lowering income taxes on the higher economic groups creates trickle down wealth for the masses.

The insistence on forcing religion into the public arena is only one symptom of what is wrong with the government in Kansas today. It personifies the whole mindset.

leaningleftist 5 years, 6 months ago

How about actually taking their tax exempt status away if they interfere with goverment, I think that would solve a problem, but I'm sure they would say they were being discriminated, which in effect they are doing to us in so much as imposing their agenda on me.

Brock Masters 5 years, 6 months ago

Lets take away all nonprofits tax exempt status and you've got a deal.

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

I read that the IRS hasn't been enforcing the rules about political involvement with churches for some time.

On the other hand, they do enforce them with other non-profit groups.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

That is true, jafs. I think a church in Wichita was investigated a few years ago for having an anti-Sebelius sign, but never heard that anything came of it, and it was noted at the time that it was the first or second time it had ever been done.

If that law were enforced, I think we would have some sudden reversals in behavior. It might also lead to investigations into church-run businesses.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

We cannot tax churches. If we did they would have the right to demand representation which is prohibited by the constitution.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

They have representation, they can vote and run for office with or without taxes. A national church can not be established and no law may discourage the practice of religion.

" prohibited by the constitution". Explain please.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

"They have representation"

No. Churches are forbidden by the constitution from being represented by the government.

avarom 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, All I can say is ......If The State House was Praising "Allah", they would all be ducking under their chairs real quick!!

avarom 5 years, 6 months ago

I hope the State House is Praying.... That they do a better job for Kansas and its citizens..... then the have in the Past!!!

patkindle 5 years, 6 months ago

A lot of the older folks remember when respect to god and country was the norm. Today, they are out numbered by usa and god haters. It is time they accept they They are no ;longer the majority and step aside, perhaps to the back of the bus They are not the norm, and need to realize they are now the second class citizens

hujiko 5 years, 6 months ago

America is still a majority religious country, with upwards of 85% belonging to some Christian faith. Your claims are simply not true, and feigning persecution every time you are proven wrong just shows how out of touch you really are.

David Lignell 5 years, 6 months ago

Really, hujiko? Did you catch the election results? The far right fringe - speaking in a tongues - is beyond common sense. I think your stats are a bit skewed. The Christian faith, by any measure of global statistics, is a clear minority. Or do you still think the world is wrong and all should bow before your god? Now who is out of touch?

hujiko 5 years, 6 months ago


I didn't say Christianity is the global majority religion, it is however the majority religion in America. On the whole most Americans do have some religious beliefs, so the country is majority religious as well. That was all I was pointing out, if you're interested check out the Pew Forum for further details or exact figures. I was not advocating a right-wing viewpoint, only trying to illustrate the absurdity of feeling persecuted when one lies in the majority as patkindle demonstrated. Sorry for the confusion.

David Lignell 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, tange. If you're seeking respect you won't find it on the LJW blog. These worms seek the nearest underbelly of a rock :-)

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

"They (Christ and USA Lovers) are not the norm, and need to realize they are now the second class citizens."

The sad part is that you, and so many others, actually believe this is true. You sound like the teenage girl in a good high school that whines and moans about how life is so unfair because your parents bought you the Audi rather than the BMW to drive to school.

Making you recognize that there are other types of people out there, and that your rituals and beliefs might be considered by some of them as exclusionary and potentially unfair, particularly when conducted on a government level, does not make you oppressed, so when you crouch your suffering in such terms as you did, you just sound like a fool.

hedshrinker 5 years, 6 months ago

VERY black or white thinking and sweeping generalizations: just b/c someone doesn't support parading belief or patriotism around in public and forcing others to participate does NOT mean they are"USA or God haters". true faith or patriotism is what you do when other people don't see you or for which you can't get rewards. And nobody is talking about putting anybody into second class citizen status, unless you mean first class citizens get to impose your beliefs on everybody else.

leaningleftist 5 years, 6 months ago

Don't be a baby, because people don't agree with your view of god that doesn't equate to god haters. And second class citizens, Jesus give me a break

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 6 months ago

"Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers...."

-Jesse "the Body" Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota

FloridaSunshine 5 years, 6 months ago

yourworstnightmare....Surely you jest when quoting this creature, "the Body", former Governor of Minnesota!! Surely!!!

blindrabbit 5 years, 6 months ago

Let Brownie install a magic carpet and alter on the East side of the Cedarcrest lawn so he can go out as often as needed and face C-Street in Washington D.C. to gain the dogma indoctrination he needs from his former like minded ignoramuses. God bless us all, each and every one!.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 6 months ago

Funny that this is a big deal... Actually it is pathetic!!! If you don't want to pray, then don't... Was the pledge of allegiance that horrible?? No... Get over yourselves, there is so much more going on than worrying petty stuff... 18 in the state in children's welfare, 6 billion more dollars going overseas for green energy, more people out of work, and your debating praying??? Get a life!!!

hujiko 5 years, 6 months ago

It's a big deal because people in office should only focus on their job of upholding the laws of our country fairly, without showing either preference or contempt for any group. If you want to complain about those concerned with "praying" consult Brownback and his administration, as they have been crusading for their brand of Christian Sharia Law in the state of Kansas rather than focusing on jobs, education, infrastructure, social programs, etc.

Also, the Pledge didn't contain the phrase "under God" until 1954, when it was added to distinguish America from the Soviets. Last I checked the Cold War was over, honestly we don't need to keep the baggage laying around.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 6 months ago

So this is a major issue to you??? Not healthcare, children, jobs, debt, this is your thing to hang on to??? I'm more concerned with the 20,000 marines losing jobs, the 6 billion dollars going overseas, and the fact that unemployment claims are climbing again... Would it make more sence to argue this after we fix major problems??? Why are tax dollars being used to keep lazy people not working??? Guess im just a big picture person who sees a lot more wrong with this state and this country other than a prayer...

hujiko 5 years, 6 months ago

You missed the point of my response entirely. Our state legislators might actually get something done if they would devote their time on something other than their personal religious beliefs.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 6 months ago

How much could society get done if they were doing something productive???

hujiko 5 years, 6 months ago

I'd rather know how much hasn't been done.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

"Get over yourselves, there is so much more going on than worrying petty stuff... 18 in the state in children's welfare, 6 billion more dollars going overseas for green energy, more people out of work, and your debating praying??? Get a life!!!"

Some of us are capable of thinking about and debating on several different things at a time. Are you not?

Nor is posting on here necessarily an indication that this is the most major issue to us. Perhaps it is to some. On the whole, it's a small one to me, but I'm still capable of expressing an opinion on it.

voevoda 5 years, 6 months ago

As concerns religion in the context of government, the most pertinent phrase is this one, in Article 6: "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." It's hard to see how any governmental body can select persons to offer prayers and not violate this provision in the process. If it chooses among ordained clergy, then it is implicitly endorsing the religious tests clergy must pass in order to become ordained. Even if it permits selected laypeople to lead prayers, if the criteria include church membership or a reputation for piety, then the governmental body is imposing a religious test.

George_Braziller 5 years, 6 months ago

It isn't censorship. Pray all you want. Do it before an event, after, during your coffee break, or while you're sitting on the john, but do it on your own time and quit expecting me sit "quietly" through the publicly lead ones.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

Totally false analogy. Not even close.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

You have no constitutional right to not smell coffee.

Orwell 5 years, 6 months ago

I assume it's equally acceptable to require the majority to sit through any prayer a minority would like to offer at a meeting of a governmental body. Maybe "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is his Prophet."

…or is a simple majority sufficient to dictate the official prayer?

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

The problem, as I said above, is that this is only part of the whole mindset to force unproven and often disproven ideologies onto the state. So, no, it's not about political correctness.

"Public displays of religion in the Statehouse have increased since the 2010 election of Gov. Sam Brownback." And not just the displays, but trying to force "faith based" and other religious based morals on the citizenry.

It's not an objection to "God Bless America" although I think that sounds like a demand, which is silly and arrogant, it's an objection to trying to make the state of Kansas into a theocracy ruled by an elite which is anything but "Christian." Kind of like the aristocracy and the Catholic Church in western Europe in the Middle Ages. I, for one, do not want to return to that.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

Whitewashing the issue as simply PC run amok isn't particularly constructive. When you're forced to participate in a group-identification ritual in order to gain access to state function, there are some legitimate reasons to believe that you might not be receiving as equitable treatment under the eyes of the law as another might who happens to identify as the group in question. Given the polling data cited a while back, where atheists are held in almost-equivalent distrust as rapists in public perception, I'd say there's a reason for it.

Certainly, PC can be over the top. But then again, so can ritual for the sake of simple ritual. Just because it's the way things have been done in the past doesn't mean that we can't ultimately move past it as well.

George_Braziller 5 years, 6 months ago

I lost track of trying to count how many times you contradicted yourself here. You would have received an "F" in debate class.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

From Jefferson's first inaugural address: "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possesses their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 6 months ago

The last thing our mostly-inept state legislature needs is an open prayer bar before they attempt to supposedly work on the citizens' behalf. Already drunk on power, they belly up to the bar for a big cup of religious fervor before setting about the day's business, thinking it'll better their efforts in enacting god's will. And subjecting non-believers and taxpayers to this big waste of time is tantamount to subjecting non-smokers to second-hand smoke. Back to work, zealot slackers. You can pray on your break or when not at work.

David Lignell 5 years, 6 months ago

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

There is a reason we have a separation of church and state in government. Jefferson modeled this in the Virginia legislature. What is the reason? If you're a theist, then the reason is because it protects your beliefs from persecution, which is a good thing, right? It allows you the freedom to believe and practice in your religion of choice. However, if you believe in something beyond a personal god, beyond superstition, as I do, then it means you'll have the freedom to debate and disagree without tyranny.

purplesage 5 years, 6 months ago

Of course, there remains the precedent of history which includes both the U.S. Capitol and Treasury being used for worship services attended by (gasp!) politicians and officials of government. This kind of separation is a modern invention, not Jeffersonian, not historical.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Precedents of history can be sticky wickets.

Norm Jennings 5 years, 6 months ago

many claims of ignorance being thrown around so I'll admit to a few;

I do not understand why it is so often assumed that because prayers have been said at public meetings that these prayer have not involved prayers other faiths than Christianity, or if not, that if this was due to a deliberate effort to be exclusive.

As for the "freedom of" vs "freedom from" I do not find the arguments of today's self-appointed moral superiors compelling. I believe that the constitution and bill of rights were amazing documents, but were meant to protect those who had suffered religious persecution of loss of life, torture, loss of livelihood imprisonment, etc. I am certainly ignorant of how a government can or should adopt responsibility for "protecting" the tender sensibilities of those whose "freedom from" or "freedom of" religion demands that their ears be protected from hearing any public institution-associated ecumenical invocations of any sort.

I am absolutely and completely ignorant as to how folks who find public prayers of this sort as offensive to the point of seeking their termination, can fail to their recognize that their actions have every appearance of power-grabbing efforts to exercise their own brand of belief and impose that belief on others, rather than to seek protection from the country that is currently the most protective of individual religious freedoms on this planet. In fact, I hope they disagree, and depart immediately to the "more free" country of their choice, please? quickly !?

bd 5 years, 6 months ago

If you think it may offend you , stick your fingers in your ears! Problem solved!

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

It's not the prayers I object to. It's the underlying and openly admitted agenda that I find objectionable and dangerous. If they had left things as they were, I wouldn't have objected, although I don't approve. (Well, I do intensely dislike Santa, but that's another story.)

I do find it ironic that we have "In God We Trust" on our money, of all things, especially since very few people of any religion seem to actually trust their God/gods,

somedude20 5 years, 6 months ago

Keep you freedom to yourself otherwise you impede on mine!!!

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

WITH the anger of anguish and the wrath of the stifled, I pour forth my voices, wrapped in rolling thunder, that you may hear! Oh great lurkers in the darkness, oh guardians of the way, oh minions of the might of Thoth! Move and appear! Present yourselves to us in your benign power, in behalf of one who believes and is stricken with torment. Isolate him (her) in the bulwark of your protection, for he (she) is undeserving of anguish and desires it not. Let that which bears against him (her) be rendered powerless and devoid of substance. Succor him (her) through fire and water, earth and air, to regain what he (she) has lost. Strengthen with fire the marrow of our friend and companion, our comrade of the Left-Hand Path. Through the power of Satan let the earth and its pleasures re-enter his (her) being. Allow his (her) vital saltes to flow unhampered, that he (she) may savor the carnal nectars of his (her) future desires. Strike dumb his (her) adversary, formed or formless, that he (she) may emerge joyful and strong from that which afflicts him (her). Allow no misfortune to allay his (her) path, for he (she) is of us, and therefore to be cherished. Restore him (her) to power, to joy, to unending dominion over the reverses that have beset him (her). Build around and within him (her) the exultant radiance that will herald his (her) emergence from the stagnant morass which engulfs him (her). This we command, in the name of Satan, whose mercies flourish and whose sustenance will prevail! As Satan reigns so shall his (her) own whose name is as this sound: (name) is the vessel whose flesh is as the earth; life everlasting, world without end! Shemhamforash! Hail Satan!

The Satanic Bible

Paul R Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Satan had some good ideas. He just got mouthy and got kicked out. Thank goodness. Without Old Scratch, the church would have trouble getting money.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

The church of Satan is just an excuse for atheists to hang out, drink and have sex. I wouldn't pay them any mind unless you're interested in casual sex.

Satan is a lie just like God.

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

beatrice 5 years, 6 months ago

Why would religious bigots want to get rid of "In God We Trust"? Religious bigots like to force their religion on others, so they would want to keep "In God We Trust."

Try defending its use in a nation of multiple beliefs, including non-belief, without being bigoted.

avarom 5 years, 6 months ago

Glad its states In "God We Trust" and Not In Government We Trust"......I rather believe in the former, rather than the latter. The Government is broken and its going to take Honest People in Government to fix it in Every State!!! Is this the beginning of the End, or the End of the beginning??. We all need to rally peacefully, about issues we are not liking and take a grand stand!!

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 6 months ago

I'll bet your boss loves it when you repeatedly drop to the floor to get all raptured up instead of working. Does he also let you drink and smoke on the clock instead of actually doing your job? Didn't think so. And state legislators who require such a fix may not be the most suited for secular work, especially when they represent an entire constituency, not just the christians in their districts.

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

Last time I checked, it isn't a violation to discuss issues if one doesn't respond directly to posts.

If you don't want to "engage" with him, don't respond to his posts, either directly or indirectly.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Agnostic is no bully. He's wrong a lot and he has thick skin but he isn't a bully.

Do you still cry to mommy about the guy in the lunchroom too?

"mommy, that kid talked to me in the lunchroom again :'-( "

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

Moooooooooooooom! Billy Joe is looking at me! Make him stop!

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

This bears repeating...

Oh look, yet another faux conservative playing the victim.

This happens every single time a zombie comes on. There must be a script they go by.

1) Insult others on the thread that don't agree with you lockstep;
2) Cry when they give back what they got;
3) Whine about how the big hateful liberals are so mean to poor lil' innocent you who is just here merely to express your opinion. Nevermind that most disagreeing with you are not liberals;
4) Whine about Agnostick is a big ol' meanie to you (This one happens every time in a lame attempt to get him bounced);
5) Lose your temper and shoot your mouth off;
6) get disappeadeded.

You'd think at some point the formula would change because the end result is always the same but judging from all the after election derp faux conservatives have spewed, it is apparent that they don't learn.

""Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." -Rita Mae Brown (See? It is possible to learn from others that don't agree with you.)

wyattearp2 5 years, 6 months ago



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