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post #11 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
Typical talk show misinformation. Anyone who thinks there is anything but bullshit on the AM is an idiot. The power of the Internet over that medium for shitheads is now demonstrated for you:

Jefferson was the author of the First Amendment.

From: THE FIRST AMEMDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

Its origins in the Virginia Bill on Religious Freedom

The roots of the First Amendment can be traced to a bill written by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) in 1777 and proposed to the Virginia Legislature in 1779. 1 It guaranteed freedom of (and from) religion. After an impassioned speech by James Madison, and after some amendments, it became law on 1786-JAN-16. 2


cmitch, you idiot, Supreme Court rullings have cited the Danbury Letter numerous times as a primie facie evidence of Jefferson's intent on what exactly the 1st means. Here are the two most famous:

Religious Liberty Archive : Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, Colorado Springs, CO

Reynolds v. U.S - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

There are also numerous discussions on the 1st in the Federalist Papers, another document used by the Supreme Court to ascertain original intent. It is clear in these writings of The Founders that what they had created was a religion neutral government. Madison also left clear writings of his intent on a wall of separation. It is all out there if you look for it.

I don't know where this ridiculous idea that there "is little out there on this" comes from, other than from a wheelbarrow load of horseshit. Madison and Jefferson were the two most prolific writers of the Revolution. Both left behind massive bodies of works, and both served as president, leaving behind records of speeches, proclamations and support or opposition to bills in Congress. Jefferson's actions against religion in government were prolific as president, he refused to established national day of prayer or act in anyway to support religion in government.
You, sir, are the stupidest person on this planet if you think that Thomas Jefferson 'wrote' the first ammendment. You are also just as stupid as every person who cites the letter to the Danbury Baptist, which is an unofficial, unlegislated and unratified by the original 13 states document as 'law'. It's a letter of one man's opinion, pure and simple, responding to a request that he overstep his bounds as outlined in the constitution that has been taken out of extreme context. The letter is and was NEVER law so quit making it so! NO WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION ARE THE WORDS 'SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE'! Show it to me, FTL! Where is it? If the actual writers of the constitution believed it to be so, then they would have said it. No one, especially your ill-informed self, can explain this serious omission unless such omission was intended. It is a known fact there were major differences in opinions between Jefferson and the actual framers. Tell me, if you can: If the constitution was so important to Jefferson, why was he absent when such an important document was being knowingly drafted in finality? Why do you and others continue to blather your ignorance when you suggest Jefferson wrote any of the Constitution? His input to the COTUS was years earlier during the constitutional convention.
'Roots to the first ammendment are traced to a bill he wrote . . .' Sure, but seems funny to me, what is said in the first ammendment contradicts the very thing he attempts to support in his letter to the Danbury Baptists. Jefferson was correct in NOT having declared a national day of prayer but the reasons in which he stated have become so skewed and taken out of context to what it really says in the COTUS, it will be something to be fought over for a long time. It seems the words . . . or prohibiting the free excercise, thereof . . . have become lost in the translation.
Oh, BTW, dipshit. The supreme court can be and has been wrong . . . MANY times! They upheld slavery for decades until it was abolished by the 13th. amendment. They tossed out many attempts at a national income tax until it was passed and upheld in 1912.

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post #12 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 07:30 AM
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Of course its not "law" you moron, it's "intent". And you would be the only one on the planet that would claim Jefferson is not the author of the 1st Amendment, indeed, the Bill of Rights itself in its entirety would not be in the Constitution if Jefferson had not insisted it be in there. You right wingers live is some other world, and alternate universe of made up "facts" and self-serving explanations. Get a grip on reality. The Founding Fathers had little use for a state religion. The government was designed as religion-neutral, and no where in the US Constitution is the word 'God' even mentioned, and the word 'religion' is only mentioned in clauses either prohibiting it entirely from government or in prohibiting any religious test for office. It is crystal clear the Founders wanted religion the fuck out of government, which is why the ACLU wins case after case on separation issues.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #13 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 07:49 AM
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VIRGINIA STATUTE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

When the Virginia General Assembly enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom on 16 January 1786, it was the most comprehensive statement on religious freedom in the new American nation. Thomas Jefferson had originally drafted this measure during the Revolution as part of a general revision of Virginia's laws. It comprised three sections. The preamble provided a long and eloquent argument for the absolute right of religious conscience. It defined religion as a matter of opinion that could properly be formed only by reason and persuasion. No legislature or magistrate, therefore, had any legitimate authority to establish or compel religious belief or to require people to contribute to it. Jefferson concluded the preamble with a ringing affirmation that the human mind set free would ultimately discover the truth for itself. Then came a brief enabling clause that forbade any restraint on conscience, guaranteed complete free exercise of religion, and declared religion irrelevant to one's civil rights. The final section stated that religious freedom was a matter of natural rights, and that any future legislature which revoked or limited the freedom inherent in the statute would violate those rights.

Jefferson's statute was first introduced in the legislature as part of the revised law code on 12 June 1779, but consideration of it was postponed. Later that year the assembly considered another measure that would have effectively established Christianity as the state religion. That, too, was tabled, but religion was revived as a major concern when the war ended in 1783. Some definitive settlement was needed. During the colonial period, the Church of England had been established in the Old Dominion. Public taxation and grants of public lands had supported its clergy, colonial law had required attendance at its services, and lay vestries in the parishes had managed both civil and religious affairs. Dissenters from the established church, mainly Baptists, Presbyterians, and Quakers, had enjoyed only limited toleration. The sixteenth article of the Virginia Bill of Rights, approved by the Revolutionary Virginia convention in June 1776, had acknowledged the right to "free exercise of religion" but failed to appreciate the implications of that right. The following autumn, the new state legislature did not disestablish the church, nor did it remove all restrictions on other religious groups. The only major change during the Revolution was the decision to end religious taxes.

By the time peace came the established church, newly renamed the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, was in desperate financial and organizational straits. A clergy convention in June 1784 petitioned the legislature for an act of incorporation so that it could manage church affairs. The following fall the General Assembly did just that. Meanwhile, Patrick Henry proposed a general assessment bill to support "Teachers of the Christian Religion" that would allow each person to designate the clergyman or religious body that would receive the tax money. With Jefferson serving as American minister to France, James Madison led the anti-assessment forces. Before Henry's measure could pass, he maneuvered the election of Henry into the governor's seat and out of the legislature. He then persuaded the assembly to postpone the assessment bill until the people could be consulted.

In the spring and summer of 1785 a massive petition campaign swept Virginia. Madison drew up his Memorial and Remonstrance against the assessment and it was widely circulated. But for every person who signed Madison's protest, ten others signed explicitly religious petitions (petitions that expressed a predominately religious [ecclesial, scriptural] set of arguments), principally the work of Baptists and Presbyterians, that also opposed the assessment. To those who had been labeled dissenters, the incorporation of the Episcopal Church appeared as a sign of renewed legislative favor for what had been an oppressive colonial establishment. Now the assessment seemed deliberately designed to enable that church to revive. Their petitions asked that religion be made entirely voluntary. When the assembly met in the autumn of 1785, the petitions to the legislature overwhelmingly opposed the assessment. The assessment bill was never even considered. Instead, Madison brought forward Jefferson's statute and, after minor revisions to the preamble, it became law in January. In 1787 the assembly voided the incorporation act and in 1799 it repealed all laws concerning religion except Jefferson's statute, which it made the sole basis for interpreting the state's bill of rights and constitution. At the state's next constitutional convention in 1829–1830, Jefferson's work was formally incorporated into Virginia's constitution.

The Virginia statute provided for complete religious freedom in Virginia. It also served as a major impetus for the passage of the religion clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and as an important reference for that amendment's subsequent interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court. Jefferson was so pleased with his accomplishment that he ordered his authorship inscribed on his tombstone.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #14 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 08:49 AM
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I love seeing you get red around the gills. No one is disputing that Jefferson co-authored a bill in Virginia state that dealt with similar issues. But you miss one important point: HE WASN'T HERE TO WRITE THE COTUS! As for intent: Intent wasn't and isn't law! What's law is what is written in the COTUS. But interpretation of that law changes with the seasons. The COTUS does not guarantee you, me or anyone else in this country freedom FROM religion. Prohibiting a prayer in a school or government building is prohibiting the free exercise of religion, something forbidden in the COTUS. The government isn't setting up a national religion and that is what TJ feared could happen if he took the first step by declaring a 'national day of prayer'.

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post #15 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 08:56 AM
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Since when has anyone been prohibited from saying a prayer in a public building, other than those who illegally try to make it part of government business? Pray all you want. Pray for some brains. The Constitution took years to write. The ideas of Jefferson, Mason and Madison are what is in it. If you don't think so, you are an idiot.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #16 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
Since when has anyone been prohibited from saying a prayer in a public building, other than those who illegally try to make it part of government business? Pray all you want. Pray for some brains. The Constitution took years to write. The ideas of Jefferson, Mason and Madison are what is in it. If you don't think so, you are an idiot.
Prayer has been prohibited for years in school gymnasiums, stadiums and school rooms. Gymnasiums and stadiums are public places, eh?

How many ideas do you think most politicians get from other people but you don't see their name affixed to it. Jefferson lent ideas but he had no say so on the final draft and eventual ratification. How could he? HE WASN'T HERE! Are you so naive to think that 3 years isn't enough time to wash out or omit many of his ideas?

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post #17 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cmitch
Prayer has been prohibited for years in school gymnasiums, stadiums and school rooms. Gymnasiums and stadiums are public places, eh?

How many ideas do you think most politicians get from other people but you don't see their name affixed to it. Jefferson lent ideas but he had no say so on the final draft and eventual ratification. How could he? HE WASN'T HERE! Are you so naive to think that 3 years isn't enough time to wash out or omit many of his ideas?
No, praying is not forbidden in those places. You can pray to your heart's content. You have that right. You don't have the right to get 10,000 people chanting your prayers in public places to intimidate others who don't subscribe to your god. The point is, if you want to speak to your god, go ahead. It is a private thing between you and your god, and the idea is to keep it that way. I don't want to be exposed to your relationship with your god when I am out and about doing my normal, not religious business. Whatever that might be. If you want to chant with 10,000 strangers to your god, go find a non-public place to do it, or, ask for a permit to do it in public places. Just make sure you clean up the spunk and debris from all that religious fervor afterwards, as the State has no need to grant petitions to pigs messing up the public areas even when they claim it is for religious purposes. Jim
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post #18 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-04-2007, 10:03 AM
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Prayer has been prohibited for years in school gymnasiums, stadiums and school rooms. Gymnasiums and stadiums are public places, eh?
Erm, nooooooo -- it's not. Forced prayer is prohibited.

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post #19 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 06:43 AM
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[QUOTE=cmitch]Prayer has been prohibited for years in school gymnasiums, stadiums and school rooms. Gymnasiums and stadiums are public places, eh?
...
[QUOTE]

It has? You are full of shit. You want to bet a steak dinner on it? The only one prohibited from prayer is anyone attempting to do it as part of an official government capacity. Teachers cannot dictate or lead a prayer. Principles cannot intone religious bullshit into the loud speakers. School functions cannot began with prayer. Anyone else can pray anytime they wish. Teachers and principles can pray on their own all they want. The fucking ignorant paranoia of you right wingers is breathtaking.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #20 of 137 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 06:46 AM
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....

How many ideas do you think most politicians get from other people but you don't see their name affixed to it. Jefferson lent ideas but he had no say so on the final draft and eventual ratification. How could he? HE WASN'T HERE! Are you so naive to think that 3 years isn't enough time to wash out or omit many of his ideas?
Take a political science course sometime. Jefferson's philosphy of Natural Law is the entire intellectual underpinning of the US Constitution. The Bill of Rights is essentially a copy of the same laws he had passed in Virginia. He and Madison served together in the Continental Congress and in the Virginia Legislature, where the two of them formulated the US Constitution. Madison essentially served as a secretary for Jefferson in all matters concerning human rights, while Madison shone as an architect of check and balance that was the framework for maintaining and protecting the Natural Rights of Man as formulated by Jefferson. It is the reason the COTUS is a work of art. It is essentially an engine of ever-widening freedom for all who fall under it. You right wingers have been fighting that ever since it was written. Look at it's real accomplishments: it has brought freedom to blacks, women and now homosexuals, and delivered us from being ruled by religious kooks. It would work as well no matter what the dominate religion is in this country. One reason? It gave us a religion-neutral government, thanks to Thomas Jefferson. God is never mentioned, and no relationship between God and government is contained in it or claimed to exist. The Bible is never cited, nor is any law orginating from it found in it.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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