Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Texas Republican ballot proposition #4, on the public acknowledgement of God

Several friends have sent me something about an upcoming Texas G.O.P. ballot proposition.....

No. 4 - Public Acknowledgment of God — The use of the word “God,” prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as permitted on government buildings and property.— YES or NO

Disregard for a moment whether or not any of this is constitutional. Disregard the Founding Fathers' desire to set up a republic, not a theocracy. Forget that most of the founders were Deists.
Let's look at this proposition from a Christian perspective.

On the use of the word "God" in public gatherings, in public educational institutions, and on government buildings and property

Here's commandment #3 out of 10.
Exodus 20:7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Could there possibly be a worse use of God's name than tacking it onto the unholy works of the Texas Legislature? When those guys start throwing around the name of God, don't you instinctively check your wallet? Do you think God wants her name chiseled into the building where those folks meet?
I didn't agree with the late Molly Ivins about many issues, but I know she would have had a great time with this one.

Back to the commandment....In some translations, this verse is stated as "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." In other words, don't misuse God's name. Don't claim God's authority when you ain't got it. Or, for political purposes, don't use God's name as if it equaled The Good Housekeeping Seal Of Approval.

Are we also going to allow the words "Yahweh" and "Jehovah"? Or "Allah"? How about "Vishnu?" "Cthulu?" And what about those who are offended when the name(s) of their deities are thrown around lightly? What will happen when the Texas Speaker of The House proposes a pork-laden project called "The Lord's Highway" to be built between Abbott and Waco? Will anyone have the nerve to vote against THE HIGHWAY OF THE LORD????

Will we need to give equal time and representation to The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

On permitting prayer in public gatherings, in public educational institutions, and in government buildings and property.

I really don't think that the citizens of Pipe Creek, Texas, are prepared for students who might want to bring rosaries to class for prayer time. Has the Joaquin, Texas, school board made arrangements for Eastern Orthodox students who want to set up some icons in the corner?
Is the Rio Hondo school system equipped with lockers big enough to accomodate Muslim prayer rugs?
There are plenty of Texans who can remember teachers beginning the day with a class prayer. Some of us remember a student reading a devotional and then a prayer to the entire school over the intercom.
So what is this ballot proposal about? It's a simple wedge issue, one that dares anyone to publicly oppose it. It's about a desire to turn back the clock to a time when we had a uniform, unquestioned belief system that everyone respected, or at least honored with lip service.
That time is long gone. But if you really want to pray in school, or before a high school football game....

Let's try an experiment. Don't pray. I forbid you to pray. I've passed a law. You cannot pray. Don't you dare do it.
Did that work? Was I effective? I don't think so. Unless I find some way to end your life, you can pray all you want, and I can't stop you.

But then, you might argue that the Republican proposition seeks to legalize spoken public prayer, the kind where the supplicant outlines all the stuff he wants, what he wants God to bless (also known as intercessory prayer) and then outlines the errors of his opponents, explains The Plan Of Salvation for the benefit of the unsaved, and winds it up with a long coda telling God how great he is.
I've heard Brent Beasley of Broadway Baptist Church call this "Egocessary Prayer". It's more about the person doing the praying than it is about God. If you disagree with Dr. Beasley, well, here's what Jesus had to say on the subject:

Matthew 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

All Christian Republicans who disagree with the Ten Commandments and Jesus can voice their disagreement by voting "Yes" on this ballot proposition.


Anonymous said...

快樂是你與生俱來的權力,它不應該取決於你完成什麼。 ..................................................

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Mr. Yahoo,

I'm sure that the ballot proposition will include recognition of Asian deities. Sorry I didn't mention those.

Rob said...

Hey man, I can appreciate your position even though I am a Christian. However, it seems a bit hypocritical of you to try and interpret the Bible for those of us that follow its teachings when you yourself do not.

You could have made your point much better by sticking with a logical argument rather than twisting a Scripture out of context when you don't put in any stock in the Bible in the first place.

You are frustrated because people try to use God to justify their opinion, yet you did the same thing in this post. Those Scriptures you used were taken totally out of context.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

@Rob - That's the problem with these Bronze Age fairy tales, anytime someone's interpretation of the fiction differs from whatever sub-cult you belong to, the differing interpretation is always "out of context".

I think the meaning of the Jesus character's words were pretty straightforward: Don't pray in public, because it just looks like you are wanting to be seen praying by everyone else. It's kind of hard to take it "out of context" when that's what the whole of Matthew 6 is addressing.

Try actually reading that silly book every once in a while before making idiotic accusations.

Pablo said...

Rob- I'm sure you have never "twisted" (aka interpreted) a scripture to mean anything other than it's one true meaning, which you no doubt have via.. being a follower? The fact is the bible supports a bunch of different viewpoints (it's a very self-contradictory book) and Christians usually pick and choose and twist to support whatever fits their world view.

Now tell me again why the government should acknowledge religion (namely Christianity)? Will god be pissed if everyone is only allowed to worship in church and at home and everywhere except government buildings?

Rob said...

Browncoat Libertarian & Pablo - I was merely trying to point out that is a bit silly to take a book you call a "fairy tale" (to quote Browncoat) and then try to quote it with any kind of authority.

Do I accurately interpret every Scripture without personal bias? Of course not. But the difference is, I view the Bible as an objective standard and strive to adjust my life to its standard rather than use it to back up my personal opinion.

I agree with Whited Sepulchre that God's name should not be slapped on some piece of legislation just to legitimize it. I just think it's silly for anyone who puts no stock in the Bible as an objective standard of truth, morality, etc to use it in an attempt to back up their argument.

There are objective ways to study and interpret Scripture such as word studies, reading the passage in context, studying the culture in which it was written, etc, all of which I do. It seems to me that statements such as "Try actually reading that silly book every once in a while before making idiotic accusations." are more of a personal attack than a logical explanation or defense of your opinions. I do read the Book, I do try to adjust my life to its standards and I try not to take it out of context. That is why I made the original comment.

If the book is so silly and idiotic, why are you using it to try and tell other people what to believe or how to act? I thought it was just us Christians who were intolerant of others' beliefs and belittled others who did not believe like us. I guess you can no longer make that accusation.

lworthington said...

The Bible is supernatural text. Unless you have God's Holy Spirit, through His Savior Son Jesus Christ, you won't be able to make much sense of it. It does not contradict itself, but may seem to, with casual observation.
Be very careful of being too sure of your opinions. Eternity is a long time.
God, the one and only, has given you the choice.

Anonymous said...

I want to cast a vote in support of @Rob here. There are some fine examples where the intermingling of God and government have already been successfully showcased, like Iran and the Taliban. Why not take Texas down that same path and vote YES on Prop 4? We can be just like them!

Anonymous said...


The Whited Sepulchre said...

Your first comment was about the scriptures I used being taken out of context. (That's the nature of quotes...they're out of context.) In the case of the 10 Commandments, the context for not using God's name in a vain way is #3 out of 10. It's after the 2nd commandment, but before the 4th one. Is there any other context needed?
We shouldn't use God's name lightly. In my opinion, meetings of the Van Zandt County school board qualify as "lightly".

Regarding how Jesus said we should pray.... I think there is plenty of context in the account in the Gospels. Were there qualifiers in his statement that I missed? Was he only speaking to a select few, and not to Brother Billy Bob Buckwheat who is outraged because he can't deliver an Ego-cessary prayer over the public address system before a high school football game?

Joey said...

Do you think God wants her name chiseled into the building where those folks meet?

What makes you think that God is a She?

Browncoat Libertarian said...

@Rob - ROFLMAO! The cognitive gymnastics you people engage in is mind boggling! You claim that Whited is quoting "out of context". I point to the whole of Matthew 6, which shows the quote was indeed "in context", yet I'm wrong because I think the whole thing is fiction? (It's actually what we in Sci-Fi Geekdom call "Fan-Fiction", but that's another discussion)

This is no different than WS quoting Frodo from LOTR, you claiming the quote was out of context, and me pointing to, say, Fellowship of the Ring, to show you that Frodo was indeed, in Chapter X, referring to the Shire.

I'm not trying to use that stupid book to "tell other people what to believe or how to act", I'm pointing out how most of you people don't even know your own holy book.

And HOW in the world can you claim that you strive to adjust your life to the bible's "standard"? What freakin standard? That idiotic book is all over the place, contradicting itself, promoting atrocities in one breath and *cough* "love" in the very next!

Have you EVER done any kind of thorough reading of that piece of crap without cherry-picking out the "nice" parts or having some charlatan pastor feed you their interpretation? I have, and that's why I'm no longer a delusional Christian. I actually read, studied, and inevitably, objectively dismissed it as the biggest fraud ever thrust upon the world. That's all the "authority" I'll ever need.

@lworthington - You either struggled to keep a straight face whilst typing that, or you are a complete effing moron. One needs the Secret Christian Decoder Ring to "make sense" of the bible? ROFLMAO!!!!!! No, all you need is an honest, non-cherry-picking read of that awful book to see what a complete fraud it is. Anything else is just cognitive dissonance or willful ignorance.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Here's a partial list of the Goddesses.

Are we prepared to give them equal time in public facilities, schools, events, etc. ?

Patrick said...

It's really sad to see some of these comments. You can really tell who is and who isn't a Christian by their words alone. I give a thumbs up to Iworthington, "Be very careful of being too sure of your opinions. Eternity is a long time" is a brilliant statement. And Rob, your statements are right on. Its really too bad that people such as the guy with a "SouthPark" picture of himself will never get it until its too late. I feel for these people, but like liberals, how do you penetrate the thickness? All we can do as Christians is pray for these lost souls.

Anonymous said...

Here's a partial list of the Goddesses.
In the context you were talking about the God of Christians. (Singular)Not plural goddesses.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Browncoat Libertarian said...

@Patrick - Why do you people even attempt to engage in a rational discussion of anything? You wield nothing but logical fallacies, dogmatic ignorance, and such smug confidence that your version of the fairy tale is the The One that it's laughable to anyone with a shred of critical thinking acumen.

And for "God's" sake, think about that idiotic quote you are gushing about. What if the Muslims are right? Or the Mormons, Jews, Calvinists, (goes on and on)...shouldn't YOU be the one concerned about "eternity"? Better go convert to all them, just to be safe. *rolls eyes*

Rob said...

@Browncoat - Two questions:

1) If your argument is so "logical", strong and sound, why do you resort to name calling and making statements like "you people"?

2) If God is such a fairy tale, why does talking about him upset you so? If somebody was making claims about the Jolly Green Giant and telling others we should do what he says, I'd just laugh. What happened to you to make you so hateful? Is it part of the Libertarian platform to personally attack anybody who believes differently than you? How can you even debate somebody when you begin by calling their beliefs stupid and calling them idiots? (sorry, guess that makes more than two questions)

I have visited a number of blogs and chat rooms run by atheists, agnostics, pagans and humanists. I talk to people that believe differently than me in an attempt to understand. Why are people with beliefs different from yours so threatening to you?

I know that I am never going to "debate" anybody into becoming a Christian. That whole journey has to start with faith. I just like to try and understand people who believe differently than me...and to show that Christians can be thinkers, too. Sorry I made you so mad by trying to strike up a conversation here. But perhaps, if you want to claim to be so logical, you might want to learn how discuss issues without making judgments and shredding people you do not even know.

Browncoat Libertarian said...


1) Ah, the ol' "you're such a meanie" tactic, how predictable. My original reply was logically sound based on what Matthew 6 says. That you choose to focus on the subsequent snarckyness shows that, well, you've got nothing.

2) Who says I'm upset? I'm laughing my tush off at "you people". That quote by lworthington was idiotic and worthy of ridicule. What do you think of Muslims and their 72 Vigins for Martyrdom claim? Or Scientologists and their volcanic soul dumping? Mormons and their magic underwear? Idiotic, right?

2.1) I want religion out of the government, that's why I'm so "hateful". I'm betting you might do more than laugh if the State started funding Jolly Green Giant initiatives with your tax dollars, or forcing Green Giant Intelligent Bean Stalking into our school science classrooms.

2.2) Actually, libertarians don't give a crap what religious idiocy you subscribe to, as long as it doesn't impose itself upon the personal liberty of others. If religion kept it's nose in the closet like Jeebus advises, I wouldn't give a flip what lunacy you believe.

3) "Why are people with beliefs different from yours so threatening to you?" Oh PUHleeze! Not the tiresome attempt at religilous psychoanalysis! (no doubt appropriated from the "progressive" intolerance trope)
Everyone is intolerant of something, including you.

I speak out because religious idiocy has been given a pass for way to long while the rest of us are supposed to just sit back and shut up. I'm done shutting up.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

...and by all means, let's not poo-poo on other people's beliefs just because they are "different" from ours:

Anonymous said...

Browncoat Libertarian, where do you get your sense of intellectual superiority? Your mocking and insulting attitude betrays you. If you were so confident in your opinion you would either completely ignore those whose faith in God and the Bible you disdain so highly, or you would try engage in a civil and intelligent dialogue. I may be wrong but from your ranting I am guessing you consider yourself one of the so called intellectual elite who subscribe to the Big Bang and evolution doctrines. Science Almighty is the god you worship at the altar of the prophet Darwin. I wonder if you have given any thought to how illogical your beliefs are. Let's see, there are millions of species of plants and animals today right. And each of these is the result of pure chance and random mutations? How many random combinations and mutations would it take to go from a non-living pool of proteins to human beings, a humming bird, a giraff, and so on and so on?? Really, how many benificial mutations would it take to keep getting more and more complex?? And for every benificial mutation isn't it reasonable to expect exponentially more detrimental mutations? If the same person won the state lottery 10 times in a row I would bet that you would be right there claiming it had to be rigged. But you are willing to believe evolution can win the lottery billions of times in a row.But for arguments sake let's say that somehow evolution beat the odds and that the development of all the specialized organs and systems in living creatures were just a huge stroke of luck. Now let's ask the question, where did all the enery and matter necessary for this amazing accident come from? Oh right, it just happened. It came from nothing all by itself. Silly me that is so logical how could I have any doubts. But if before the Big Bang there was no time or space then just when and where did the bang occur?? So, you can call my faith a belief in fairy tales and look down your nose at such a superstitious ignoramus like myself but before you do why don't you look at how foolish your gods are. Pseudo-intellectuals like yourself will believe any kind of crap if it is in the name of science. Why don't you check out "The Elegant Universe" and listen to some of the fairy tales about 10 or 12 additional dimensions in some of which the laws of physics as we know them can be thrown out the door.

Unknown said...

Get your facts straight! Jesus, not God made the comment. Yeah, the whole trinity discussion, but it is what the scripture states. As far as praying in public, that is only ridiculed when you are doing it for self gratification. It was also Jesus who said pray without ceasing. Interpretation is not something that we merely do in our context, but in context of the age it originated. So, learn your history before you start to make assumptions on interpreting a a document that has been factually liked back 6,000 years!

This is a good thing to have in place. It is not forcing people to pray, but protecting our right to do so. And as far as Jehovah and Yahweh, those are the names if God. And yes, Allah is a name for God too. The Muslim religion believes in the same God, more or less, but they are historically shown to descend from a different line of David. Somewhere way back like around Abraham. They have some variations that they have added over the last several hundred years, such as worshiping the prophet Mohamed. And no, that is not the same thing as Jesus. Mohamed was never professed to be the Son of God as was Jesus.

Ok, blathering now... Butyou get me drift!

Browncoat Libertarian said...

@Anonymous - I get my "intellectual superiority" from years of hearing the same old tired BS from the religilous over and over and over again, every bit of it peppered with logical fallacy after logical fallacy. Your pathetic "you're a meanie" and false equivocations are just more of the same crap I've heard a thousand times, hence, the ridicule.

I've already stated in a previous comment why I speak out against you people, I won't bother repeating. And try picking up a real science book instead of the Behe-esque BS you just spewed.

@Mike - "Facts" and "History"? ROFLMAO! How about fabrications and strategic editing? Please.

Believe me, both of you, I've tried and tried to have snarckless discussions with your ilk until eventually, I realized I was being forced into a never ending game of Calvinball. There just is no reasoning with delusional people who can't comprehend rational thought. One doesn't need to be an "intellectual" to come to this conclusion.

BTW, I stated why I'm outspoken in a previous comment, so let me turn the rhetorical mirror towards you - if you are so grounded in your "faith", if you've got a 1-800-JESUS number at your disposal, and if you're so well versed in "God's Plan", why does anything I say matter? Shouldn't you just "turn the other cheek"? Your right to pray when and where you want is already protected by the First Amendment, why do you need "God" plastered on State buildings? (And PUHleeze, give me a break - if your county courthouse plastered "Praise Allah" all over it's walls, you'd have an aneurism)

On a totally unrelated topic - are any of you having to enter the word verification twice before your comment posts, even though you are DAMN CERTAIN you entered it correctly the first time? This has happened to me on every comment I've made lately on blogspot and it's getting rather irritating.

Anonymous said...

Browncoat Libertarian, fact is nothing you say does matter. The plain truth is if there is no God then nothing I can say will change that and if there is a God nothing you can say will change that.I have noticed however that most atheists cannot express their poing of view without a large measure of vitriol and hostility. I am in fact quite well read and many science books can be counted in the thousands of books I have read. In fact I am highly critical of much that has been published regarding religion and have not checked my brain at the door when I enter any church service. I do take exception to your assertion that anyone who believes in God is pathetic or delusional. I could just as easily label anyone who believes in evolution as deluded and irrational. I have not yet had anyone whose faith in this fallacy be able to comprehensivly explain the process. They in fact rely on second hand information provided by scientists some of whom have been proven to perpetuate grand hoaxes to support their theories. I admire the true application of science where researchers gather facts and postulate a theory supported by those facts. I do not have respect for the science that proclaims their theory as fact then searches for evidence to support it and discard any evidence that casts doubt on their conclusions. You haven't done the math and offered any logical support for your beliefs. How many random mutations would it have taken to have gone from the primordal ooze to each of the billions of species in existence today. And in light of the fact that nearly all mutations are detrimental is it logical to accept the assertion that this is all by chance? All I have done is ask you to really look as closely to what you believe as I have done to what I believe. Trust me I have investigated the claims of evolutionists with and open mind and rejected it based on the facts. In fact the very idea that you have a dissenting opinion of religion only reinforces my faith. I do not belive for one instance that original thought is a mechanism that can have evolved. My consciousness, my emotions, and critical thinking are all the evidence I need for belief in God. I look at man's creativity and appreciation for art, our ability to love unconditionally and am even more convinced. I really am not trying to convince you to believe in God. You have free will and if you choose not to that is no skin off my back. But before you people start labeling anyone of faith as dogmatic and ignorant should really examine how dogmatic and ignorant you are.

And yes , usually have to enter verification twice.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I can't wait to hear the Muleshoe, TX City Council discuss this.

I think the advocates of Ballot Proposition #4 are proving my original point.

Hot Sam said...

I don't think the Bible is "subject to interpretation" any more than the US Constitution. The words say what they mean and mean what they say. The spiritual essence is never lost on those with true faith.

Matthew 6 clearly states that prayer should not be done with the intention of being seen as a pious person. However, it doesn't prohibit public prayer. God is reminding us of the reason we pray: to honor and worship Him, not to adorn ourselves. God knows the difference!

Next, Jesus commands us to NOT pray as the pagans do, asking for God's gifts because God already knows what we want and need. His WILL is paramount.

Jesus specifically tells us how to pray in the Lord's Prayer:

- Acknowledge God and praise Him
- Accept his Will
- Be thankful for your life
- Ask for forgiveness
- Forgive
- Seek strength and guidance through His Holy Word to achieve eternal salvation

The specific wording is irrelevant, but many "Christians" treat God as a genie in a lamp, granting wishes. This is blasphemy!

As for this bill, I believe the government ensuring the right of people to pray in public, including under the auspices of government, is consistent with our rights as affirmed (not conferred) in the First Amendment.

I suspect, however, at the risk of bearing false witness, that this representative is exhibiting the sort of public piety which was expressly forbidden in Matthew 6. In that, I agree with WS.

Does WS cross a line by making an argument with rules by which he does not subscribe? No!

A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be pious or virtuous without actually being so. If we consider ourselves Christians, we are bound by our own rules. We may be justly criticized by anyone for departing from them. If Al Gore flies a private jet around the world hawking his AGW screed, I may criticize him despite not believing any of this AGW crap!

But we may retort that, according to our faith, only God has the power to judge us. However every man is a mirror of our soul. It is the wise man who pays attention to it.

Has WS crossed a line by invoking Gospel? No. But I agree with Rob that a discussion of a law in our secular society should be debated within the confines of the rules of our common, secular understanding of the Constitution and American values.

I am against abortion, not from 9 years of Catholic school (where they never mentioned abortion), but rather from a public school biology class. I could use Biblical passages to defend the sanctity of life, but I'm unlikely to be persuasive. But, if I talk about the Characteristics of Life which are scientifically determined then I bear a mightier sword.

As for references to God in public venues, I think 99% of such cases stand firm to the Rule of Reason.

- Of course a public high school valedictorian can thank Jesus for her success.

- Of course public high schools can have religious clubs

- No, public school teachers should not be speaking with students about their personal religious beliefs, sex, or politics.

- Of course the Congress and the military may have Chaplains.

- No, we should not coerce people into acknowledging God when they acknowledge their allegiance to our nation and its values.

- Voters may bring the teachings of a dead, Caucasian, Judean, Jewish carpenter into a ballot box just as easily as other voters can bring the teachings of a dead, Caucasian, German, Jewish economist with them.

Folks, these things upon which we argue are the easy stuff. What are we to do when the really difficult stuff faces us? Open warfare?

To the Christians and atheists and patriots and libertarians: examine the planks in thine own eyes.

Anonymous said...

i bet WS and BL want all future politicians to swear their allegiances to SUPERMAN with hand on a SUPERMAN comic book
hope they remember how many people grieved over Madeline Murray O
("rofl" "lyao" @ that, dudes)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I don't speak for Browncoat, I wouldn't advocate anything like that.

Making a similar vow on a copy of The Constitution would be nice, though.

Anonymous said...

you're probably a fag aren't you?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Yeah, Browncoat and I have an undying love for each other, and we are using our opposition to Republican ballot proposition #4 to express it.
You were the first to figure it out.

Y'know, one of the interesting things about this comment thread.... the Founders didn't want to go down the road Europe had traveled, so they wisely set up a Republic. At the time this was seen as a godless experiment, since it was contrary to the existing hierarchy where you had God, the King, Royalty, and then the commoners. In that order. (The thought was, if God didn't want it to be that way, why was it that way???)

But that gave the church a ton of power. And the church's power was based on.....well, nobody could quite figure it out. There were so many traditions, hierarchies, scriptures and dogmas in conflict with each other that the only way to settle any disagreement was to go to war. The runner-up process to this was for each side to call the other side Godless, Heretics, Infidels, or whatever else came to mind.

That, Mr. Anonymous, is why people can read generally think that Republican ballot proposition #4 is first of all, a silly wedge issue, and second, dangerous.

Sorry for the long reply to a short little post on your part, Mr. Anonymous. But if you ever care to sign on and debate the intersection of history and theology, I'll bury you.

Larry C said...

How sad you people are. God will tire with a generation of people and a nation that chooses to remove His name from every place it can so that His name doens'nt offend those that don't believe in Him. If He (not she) has not already taken His blessing off of this nation. I figure He will soon with all of the godless/faithless lost people trying to make all the decisions. How terribly sad for you when you go up for judgment in front of the creator and realise the tragic error you made.

Anonymous said...

Check out our Nations history and see how far we have gone down, after prayer was removed from Schools. There is very little morality left.
Perhaps making sure our leaders us God's name will remind them that this nation was founded in the name of God.

Anonymous said...

Rob - Thoughtful, articulate, and to the point. I've noticed too that those in most violent opposition have done no virtually study of what they are arguing against. It's a shame that name calling and degradation have taken the place of rational discussion.

Marshall said...

I wish I could apologize for all of the fools, bigots, morons, &etc who claim to speak for Christians. but I can't. i can, however, ask that u not judge a religion by the very ppl whom u have already shown do not live by the rules they claim. likewise, I don't think all those who don't happen to believe in any god are irrational or hateful. quite the contrary in fact.
the founding fathers, already referred to here as deists, in fact did NOT want a Protestant version of their catholic home country. they did, however, recognize the importance of a belief system. even atheists tend to recognize the need to believe in something 'bigger' or 'greater' than this boring old life. like maybe a cause or even *gasp* love...
so the fathers grabbed a generic word, as symbolic as they could, of as many belief systems as they could, and inserted it into the foundation of this country.

to say that this country was founded as a "Christian Nation" is no more foolish than to say it was founded as a "nation void of god or religion".

we simply need to recognize that the 'god' of the forefathers was not the Christian God, but rather 'something greater', whatever ur 'god' may be...

Justin said...

Here's a logical argument for you. At first you say, "So what is this ballot proposal about? It's a simple wedge issue, one that dares anyone to publicly oppose it."

Then you end your "argument" with, "All Christian Republicans who disagree with the Ten Commandments and Jesus can voice their disagreement by voting "Yes" on this ballot proposition."

Pot, meet Kettle.

Unknown said...

Dear Lord,
please grant the people of state the of Texas the knowledge to recognize when their religion is being used as a political ploy to get votes for a party that is proposing things that can never be delivered on. Grant them the will to accept the beliefs of others and let them acknowledge that the only way to preserve their own religious rights is to keep the separation of church and state.Help them to question the motives of those who would prey upon their faith for political gain and help them to remember that those who would deceive you in the name of God are not faithful or decent.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Having been called a "faggot", I think that entitles me to safely say that the name-calling knife cuts both ways.

I pretty much agree with Marshall about the Founders and their religious beliefs.

Browncoat gets work up, simply because he has a lot to get worked up about. He's an economic conservative, and the only large political party that gives economic conservatism anything other than lip service? It's aligned to the Noah's Ark Preservation Society. This frustrates Mr. Browncoat, since he's aware that interjecting prayer, the 10 Commandments, etc., into the discussion makes conservatives look silly.

I tend to speak and type in analogies, but I'm not quite catching yours. If I believe that Prop #4 is a silly wedge issue, the best way to point out its silliness is to outline how it contradicts Biblical teaching.
Your "pot, meet kettle" reminds me of Ron Burgundy's "When in Rome...."

This post has been the 2nd most popular I've ever written. Will follow up soon with something about WHICH 10 commandments should be whittled onto the desks of the Texas Legislature. Do we really fell that strongly about not "seething a kid in its mother's milk"?

Anonymous said...

TWS was, in my estimation, correct in her original statement. My Christian brothers and sisters don't agree because they can't see how the government would completely screw things up and have their children bowing to heads of cabbage if it were an actual law. That being said I just wanted to point out that God loves you all whether you want HIM to or not. Be Blessed

HisServant said...

God is not a religion!!!!

Anonymous said... His Servant: God is not a religion nor is true Christianity; it's a relationship. don't let those that try get you so worked up. ;c)

Anonymous said...

So in your opinion God is a her? would you please tell us where and in what Bible doe it mention God to be a woman?

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

I sure hope the legal version is worded better. According to the ballot wording, it would be ANY public gathering.
No more prayers in public where a bunch of people are together? DEF No See You At the Pole. I think NO!! Totally unconstitutional. They shouldn't have lumped the Ten Commandments in with saying God though because the name is different to different people. And the way the ballot wording is it forbids saying the WORD! So arrest all those people who throw it around and add to it I guess?

toastyaroma said...

You make an interesting, and compelling point (and I am a Christian). The government rarely does anything that honors God.

Mike said...

Looks like tonight's voting should be pretty disappointing to you guys... :-)

I am definitely curious how this threatens our Constitutional Republic. It is a non-binding referendum, as I understand it.

I am curious to know how this hurts you? Even if the legilsature listened to the resolution what does it do? It does nothing to the establishment clause nor the free exerciseclause of the first amendment.

Ignore the prayers and mentions of God (or any other religious figure one feels compelled to mention)...

We were never given a freedom from offense by our founders. Your over sensitivity to something that you claim is a fairytale is both amusing and sad at the same time. Get your own life and move on. If you don't have room in your heart for Jesus Christ (in spite of Him having room for you in His when He went to the cross for you) then that is your decision with eternal consequences. You are free to make it and no true Christian would ever attempt to force you to decide otherwise nor will we allow your offense to offend us. I can't promise it won't make me grieve a bit. I can't promise I won't pray for a change of heart as well as for the health and wellness for you and your family. I can promise I will let you believe what you wish.

In the meantime, it looks like tonight's moment is for a group other than yours. Did you even vote tonight? Honestly?

Anonymous said...

"I have noticed however that most atheists cannot express their point of view without a large measure of vitriol and hostility."

it's like playing chess where you move the pieces according to the rules and the baboon you're playing with keeps trying to rape your queen with his horse and then declares victory.

eventually you can't stop yourself getting angry and verbose with said baboon.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Ok, where to begin, where to begin....
Regarding my line where I referred to God as "She"....You could start by picking up a copy of Merlin Stone's "When God Was A Woman".

Regarding belief, non-belief, sorta belief, and why this is a big deal.... The thing that has surprised me the most about this comment thread is that almost no one is using Jesus' command that we only pray in private as their jumping-off place. We've become so accustomed to Egocessary Prayer that we can't imagine life without it. Seriously. When's the last time you heard someone pray in public when it didn't sound like he/she was trying to show off?

Next, r.e. whether I even voted....

I can't vote in The Crips' or The Bloods' primaries. I'm a registered Libertarian, and we have a different primary system.

Everyone else....

Go to the post written on March 3rd for the percentage for and against each one of these propositions.

My blog is set up two require comment approval for any post that's more than two weeks old. It will be a lot more spontaneous if we move all future conversation on these wedge issues to the March 3rd post, ok?