1. #51
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    I am now done posting to this thread. It serves no purpose except to cause division among us and hard feelings. Does it matter? Of course. DO I want to debate religion? NO. You won't change anyones minds.
    Actually, the single-mindedness and exlcusionary beliefs of most religions is what causes division, not only here but in all aspects of life. The "we're right, the only ones that are right, and the rest of you are hell-bound" attitude of many people is an example of intolerance that is accepted on a daily basis, simply because they see themselves and their beliefs as the "majority"...never mind the many factions among those religions that cause equal division and disruption among their own particular religion. If you don't think that this applies to the fire service in any way, you are wrong. People like Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, and others suffer discrimination within fire service, as well as other workplaces, on a daily basis, simply because they are "different". This treatment is no less important to us than discrimination because of race, sexual orientation, ethnic background, physical disablities or conditions are to other people. Sure, there are racists out there who hate people of different colors/nationalities...there are "homophobes" who hate gays and lesbians...and there are those who constantly abuse or ridicule people who are mentally challenged. And the fire service today contains ample numbers of any and all of these ignorant people. It's about time that the mainstream Christians in America realize that this country is OF the people, FOR the people, and BY the people....ALL of the PEOPLE. We don't call ourselves "brothers" and "sisters" for nothing.

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    I agree with 1835Wayne:
    It serves no purpose except to cause division among us and hard feelings. Does it matter? Of course. DO I want to debate religion? NO. You won't change anyones minds. Should that woman have her face covered in her DL picture? Hell no.
    ThNozzleman: The most important part of a MEANINGFUL debate is knowing when your opponent is not listening, he/she just is giving the same "reasons", or is stooping to name calling. This is the time when a good debator stops. While I share many of your views, this is a firefighting board, not a religion board.

    So, anyone for a good debate about smooth bore vs fog nozzle???
    9/11/01 Never forget Never forgive

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    Originally posted by Steamer
    Considering the direction this one is going is it really worth remembering?

    Did the sailors on the Mayflower drink alcohol while on watch, or did they shut off their pagers?
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    While I share many of your views, this is a firefighting board, not a religion board.
    I agree with what you said; however, intolerance of all types is a problem in the fire service, as well as any other workplace, and it should be discussed in a civil manner, openly.

    You won't change anyones minds.
    I disagree; if we get just a few people to reconsider their positions and look more favorably upon someone who is different than they are, or treat someone with kindness and respect instead of indifference, then it's well worth discussing, and often. Martin Luthor King Jr. did not help his fellow African-Americans by keeping his mouth shut and ignoring the problem.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 03-10-2003 at 12:11 PM.

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    Default What's the title of this forum?

    Oh yeah, Firefighters Forum.....General FIREFIGHTING DISCUSSIONS!!!

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    Oh yeah, Firefighters Forum.....General FIREFIGHTING DISCUSSIONS!!!
    Well, in my opinion, "general firefighting" encompasses every aspect of the fire service and firehouse life, as is reflected by the diversity of the thousands of posts here. Accordingly, I think this should include intolerance, as it can affect day-to-day relations in the fire station; as well as hiring practices. I think there is more than enough room on these forums to tackle tough, sensitive issues such as racism and intolerance, considering the space used for such discussions as "what kind of boots do you wear" that are posted over and over. Locking down threads and posting frownie faces will not solve the problem. Rational and reasonable discussion is the best way to bring understanding of an issue to the fore-front and resolve it.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 03-10-2003 at 01:38 PM.

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    It is about time someone spoke up. I am sick and tired of listening to people who were born in America gripe about all of the stuff from the pledge and other things. I am glad that the web administrators allowed this post because I think this has been needed for a long time.

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    Originally posted by tshayes
    It is about time someone spoke up. I am sick and tired of listening to people who were born in America gripe about all of the stuff from the pledge and other things. I am glad that the web administrators allowed this post because I think this has been needed for a long time.
    I'm also glad that the webteam had allowed this to remain open, because I'm tired of listening to people being intolerant and telling others they should get the F out if they don't like it. Because the US that I defend by being part of her military, is a tolerant one. It is a US that allows people to have diffrent views and all live withing her boarders with out the fear of reprisale or discrimination. The US I would be more then happy to give my life up for is a US that understands the needs of having opposing views, and realizes that change can only take place when people are willing to be the minority and fight for change.

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    I am proud to say that next christmas I am going to enlist in the air force. I am training and running to get ready. I think that unless someone is going to do somthing about a problem then they need to pipe down. LONG LIVE THE USA.

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    Originally posted by Airborne
    Because the US that I defend by being part of her military, is a tolerant one.
    So, does that mean that the U.S' military is not reflective of the "tolerant" U.S.?

    Stay Safe

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    It means that I find all of this, if you don't like it get the F out to be very intolerant, excpeccialy comming from people that clam to be so religious where tolarnece is also suppose to be common place.

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    Major Announcement: This Horse is dead!
    "All gave some......Some gave all!"
    Lest we forget.........9/11/01
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    Originally posted by RdRunnr
    Major Announcement: This Horse is dead!

    No I will argue that he is not dead, he is just not living, big diffrance.

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    "HORSE" meaning the subject Airborne? It is beaten to a pulp.....and you my friend should be clear out of words by now.....geeze, give it a break!
    "All gave some......Some gave all!"
    Lest we forget.........9/11/01
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    i think everyone agrees that it is wrong for the woman to wear her shroud in her liscense picture, even though taking it off violates her religion, or should i say her certain sect of Islam. all of this talk about God an how it should be kept out of government is a complete waste of time. Allah, Yahweh, God.... they are all the same deity, but just have a different name. if you cant adapt to a simple name then america is the wrong place for you. America is a place of change and many cultures. yes, english should be our language because almost everyone here speaks it. the majority should not have to change everything that is for the minority. i dont expect everyone to jump off the boat as an immigrant and be able to speak english, but i do believe they should learn it. there are a few mexicans who have been coming in where i work for about the past year who still cannot even understand what i am saying to them, nor can they communicate with me except through hand signals. that is unacceptable and i think any rational person will agree. the majority should adapt and be tolerant of foreign immigrants, but the immigrants should adapt as well.

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    So, where do we draw the line? Do we tolerate everyone and everything? Do we tolerate some people, but not others? No matter where you go, or what you do, someone will have a view that will feel slighted, neglected, fill-in-the-blank, because someone is not tolerant of their view.

    In the U.S., we can run the spectrum from religious zealot/Jesus freak to Satanic hippie terrorist (no, this is not saying that hippies are terrorists). So, what do we tolerate, and what don't we tolerate?

    Stay Safe

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    we try to tolerate everything but it is ruining our country trying to please everyone

    anyone disagree there

    another thoguht if america has problems with jobs, minority and inner-city, economy why are we style letting thousands of immigrants in every year when we dont have the room or work for them to do anymore.

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    all of this talk about God an how it should be kept out of government is a complete waste of time. Allah, Yahweh, God.... they are all the same deity, but just have a different name.
    This is a common tactic used by religious people to justify the inclusion of "god" in government proceedings. Number one, they are NOT all the same deity. They can't all be "right." Number two, the Constitution gaurantees that religion is to be kept separate from government, in order to prevent one sect from having power over the other.

    if you cant adapt to a simple name then america is the wrong place for you.
    More "our god is the only god and if you don't like it, leave!" tactics. I assure you, America is the RIGHT place for me, and millions like me. As I've stated before, if you wish to live in a theocracy, then maybe YOU should leave; because the last time I checked, the Constitution guarantees that people can live here, free from religious dogma of any type ruling their lives. The majority does not rule here; the law does. All elected officials are bound by it, as certainly as the rest of us are. All the posturing and dogmatic grandeur in the world by our vote-seeking politicians will not change the words of law that our forefathers wrote to protect this country from religious zealots, the likes of which nearly destroyed Europe. This prevents one intolerant group from discriminating against another of lesser strength. And it's a good thing. I love this country...and hopefully, one day, everybody will feel welcome in it; not just christians.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 03-11-2003 at 01:51 PM.

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    The Myth of the Separation of Church and State

    The Myth of the Separation of Church and State
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Anytime religion is mentioned within the confines of government today people cry, "Separation of Church and State". Many people think this statement appears in the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution and therefore must be strictly enforced. However, the words: "separation", "church", and "state" do not even appear in the first amendment. The first amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The statement about a wall of separation between church and state was made in a letter on January 1, 1802, by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut. The congregation heard a widespread rumor that the Congregationalists, another denomination, were to become the national religion. This was very alarming to people who knew about religious persecution in England by the state established church. Jefferson made it clear in his letter to the Danbury Congregation that the separation was to be that government would not establish a national religion or dictate to men how to worship God. Jefferson's letter from which the phrase "separation of church and state" was taken affirmed first amendment rights. Jefferson wrote:

    I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. (1)
    The reason Jefferson choose the expression "separation of church and state" was because he was addressing a Baptist congregation; a denomination of which he was not a member. Jefferson wanted to remove all fears that the state would make dictates to the church. He was establishing common ground with the Baptists by borrowing the words of Roger Williams, one of the Baptist's own prominent preachers. Williams had said: When they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made his garden a wilderness, as at this day. And that there fore if He will eer please to restore His garden and paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world...(2)

    The "wall" was understood as one-directional; its purpose was to protect the church from the state. The world was not to corrupt the church, yet the church was free to teach the people Biblical values.

    The American people knew what would happen if the State established the Church like in England. Even though it was not recent history to them, they knew that England went so far as forbidding worship in private homes and sponsoring all church activities and keeping people under strict dictates. They were forced to go to the state established church and do things that were contrary to their conscience. No other churches were allowed, and mandatory attendance of the established church was compelled under the Conventicle Act of 1665. Failure to comply would result in imprisonment and torture. The people did not want freedom from religion, but freedom of religion. The only real reason to separate the church from the state would be to instill a new morality and establish a new system of beliefs. Our founding fathers were God-fearing men who understood that for a country to stand it must have a solid foundation; the Bible was the source of this foundation. They believed that God's ways were much higher than Man's ways and held firmly that the Bible was the absolute standard of truth and used the Bible as a source to form our government.

    There is no such thing as a pluralistic society. There will always be one dominant view, otherwise it will be in transition from one belief system to another. Therefore, to say Biblical principles should not be allowed in government and school is to either be ignorant of the historic intent of the founding fathers, or blatantly bigoted against Christianity.

    Each form of government has a guiding principle: monarchy in which the guiding principle is honor; aristocracy in which the guiding principle is moderation; republican democracy in which the guiding principle is virtue; despotism in which the guiding principle is fear. Without people of the United States upholding good moral conduct, society soon degenerates into a corrupt system where people misuse the authority of government to obtain what they want at the expense of others. The U.S. Constitution is the form of our government, but the power is in the virtue of the people. The virtue desired of the people is shown in the Bible. This is why Biblical morality was taught in public schools until the early 1960's. Government officials were required to declare their belief in God even to be allowed to hold a public office until a case in the U.S. Supreme Court called Torcaso v. Watkins (Oct. 1960). God was seen as the author of natural law and morality. If one did not believe in God one could not operate from a proper moral base. And by not having a foundation from which to work, one would destroy the community. The two primary places where morality is taught are the family and the church. The church was allowed to influence the government in righteousness an d justice so that virtue would be upheld. Not allowing the church to influence the state is detrimental to the country and destroys our foundation of righteousness and justice. It is absolutely necessary for the church to influence the state in virtue because without virtue our government will crumble -- the representatives will look after their own good instead of the country's.

    Government was never meant to be our master as in a ruthless monarchy or dictatorship. Instead, it was to be our servant. The founding fathers believed that the people have full power to govern themselves and that people chose to give up some of their rights for the general good and the protection of rights. Each person should be self-governed and this is why virtue is so important. Government was meant to serve the people by protecting their liberty and rights, not serve by an enormous amount of social programs. The authors of the Constitution wanted the government to have as little power as possible so that if authority was misused it would not cause as much damage. Yet they wanted government to have enough authority to protect the rights of the people. The worldview at the time of the founding of our government was a view held by the Bible: that Man's heart is corrupt and if the opportunity to advance oneself at the expense of another arose, more often than not, we would choose to do so. They firmly believed this and that's why an enormous effort to set up checks and balances took place. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. They wanted to make certain that no man could take away rights given by God. They also did not set up the government as a true democracy, because they believed, as mentioned earlier, Man tends towards wickedness. Just because the majority wants something does not mean that it should be granted, because the majority could easily err. Government was not to be run by whatever the majority wanted but instead by principle, specifically the principles of the Bible.

    Our U.S. Constitution was founded on Biblical principles and it was the intention of the authors for this to be a Christian nation. The Constitution had 55 people work upon it, of which 52 were evangelical Christians.(3) We can go back in history and look at what the founding fathers wrote to know where they were getting their ideas. This is exactly what two professors did. Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman reviewed an estimated 15,000 items with explicit political content printed between 1760 and 1805 and from these items they identified 3,154 references to other sources. The source they most often quoted was the Bible, accounting for 34% of all citations. Sixty percent of all quotes came from men who used the Bible to form their conclusions. That means that 94% of all quotes by the founding fathers were based on the Bible. The founding fathers took ideas from the Bible and incorporated them into our government. If it was their intention to separate the state and church they would never have taken principles from the Bible and put them into our government. An example of an idea taken from the Bible and then incorporated into our government is found in Isaiah 33:22 which says, "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king..." The founding fathers took this scripture and made three major branches in our government: judicial, legislative, and executive. As mentioned earlier, the founding fathers strongly believed that Man was by nature corrupt and therefore it was necessary to separate the powers of the government. For instance, the President has the power to execute laws but not make them, and Congress has the power to make laws but not to judge the people. The simple principle of checks and balances came from the Bible to protect people from tyranny. The President of the United States is free to influence Congress, although he can not exercise authority over it because they are separated. Since this is true, why should the church not be allowed to influence the state? People have read too much into the phrase "separation of church and state", which is to be a separation of civil authority from ecclesiastical authority, not moral values. Congress has passed laws that it is illegal to murder and steal, which is the legislation of morality. These standards of morality are found in the Bible. Should we remove them from law because the church should be separated from the state?

    Our founding fathers who formed the government also formed the educational system of the day. John Witherspoon did not attend the Constitutional Convention although he was President of New Jersey College in 1768 (known as Princeton since 1896) and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His influence on the Constitution was far ranging in that he taught nine of fifty-five original delegates. He fought firmly for religious freedom and said, "God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable and that unjust attempts to destroy the one may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both."(4)

    In October 1961 the Supreme Court of the United States removed prayer from schools in a case called Engel v. Vitale. The case said that because the U.S. Constitution prohibits any law respecting an establishment of religion officials of public schools may not compose public prayer even if the prayer is denominationally neutral, and that pupils may choose to remain silent or be excused while the prayer is being recited. For 185 years prayer was allowed in public and the Constitutional Convention itself was opened with prayer. If the founding fathers didn't want prayer in government why did they pray publicly in official meetings? It is sometimes said that it is permissible to pray in school as long as it is silent. Although, "In Omaha, Nebraska, 10-year old James Gierke was prohibited from reading his Bible silently during free time... the boy was forbidden by his teacher to open his Bible at school and was told doing so was against the law."(4) The U.S. Supreme Court with no precedent in any court history said prayer will be removed from school. Yet the Supreme Court in January, 1844 in a case named Vidal v. Girard's Executors, a school was to be built in which no ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister of any sect whatsoever was to be allowed to even step on the property of the school. They argued over whether a layman could teach or not, but they agreed that, "...there is an obligation to teach what the Bible alone can teach, viz. a pure system of morality." This has been the precedent throughout 185 years. Although this case is from 1844, it illustrates the point. The prayer in question was not even lengthy or denominationally geared. It was this: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country." What price have we paid by removing this simple acknowledgment of God's protecting hand in our lives? Birth rates for unwed girls from 15-19; sexually transmitted diseases among 10-14 year olds; pre-marital sex increased; violent crime; adolescent homicide have all gone up considerably from 1961 to the 1990's -- even after taking into account population growth. The Bible, before 1961, was used extensively in curriculum. After the Bible was removed, scholastic aptitude test scores dropped considerably.

    There is no such thing as a pluralistic society; there will always be one dominant view. Someone's morality is going to be taught -- but whose? Secular Humanism is a religion that teaches that through Man's ability we will reach universal peace and unity and make heaven on earth. They promote a way of life that systematically excludes God and all religion in the traditional sense. That Man is the highest point to which nature has evolved, and he can rely on only himself and that the universe was not created, but instead is self-existing. They believe that Man has the potential to be good in and of himself. All of this of course is in direct conflict with not only the teachings of the Bible but even the lessons of history. In June 1961 in a case called Torcaso v. Watkins, the U.S. Supreme Court stated, "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others." The Supreme Court declared Secular Humanism to be a religion. The American Humanist Association certifies counselors who enjoy the same legal status as ordained ministers. Since the Supreme Court has said that Secular Humanism is a religion, why is it being allowed to be taught in schools? The removal of public prayer of those who wish to participate is, in effect, establishing the religion of Humanism over Christianity. This is exactly what our founding fathers tried to stop from happening with the first amendment.

    1. Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Writings, Merrill D. Peterson, ed. (NY: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), p. 510, January 1, 1802.

    2. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution (MI: Baker Book House, 1987), p. 243.

    3. M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution (Marlborough, N.H.: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982), p. 4-5.

    4. John Witherspoon, "Sermon on the Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men" May 17, 1776; quoted and Cited by Collins, President Witherspoon, I:197-98.
    ----------------------------------------------------
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    Thanks this makes the case right here.

    Jefferson made it clear in his letter to the Danbury Congregation that the separation was to be that government would not establish a national religion or dictate to men how to worship God. Jefferson's letter from which the phrase "separation of church and state" was taken affirmed first amendment rights.


    As we know not everything is spelled out, and it takes interpretation, and some times the courts to settle it. If I read this Thomas Jefferson was affirming that the meaning held behind the words in the first amendment meant that Government would not dictate to men how to worship God. Thus protecting the people from having religion forced on them by any religious sect.

    Just because the words "separation of church and state" was not in the first amendment, does not mean that is not what was meant by the first amendment. This clearly shows that Thomas Jefferson thought that this is what was meant by the first amendment.

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    Originally posted by Airborne
    Thanks this makes the case right here.

    Jefferson made it clear in his letter to the Danbury Congregation that the separation was to be that government would not establish a national religion or dictate to men how to worship God. Jefferson's letter from which the phrase "separation of church and state" was taken affirmed first amendment rights.

    As we know not everything is spelled out, and it takes interpretation, and some times the courts to settle it. If I read this Thomas Jefferson was affirming that the meaning held behind the words in the first amendment meant that Government would not dictate to men how to worship God. Thus protecting the people from having religion forced on them by any religious sect.

    Just because the words "separation of church and state" was not in the first amendment, does not mean that is not what was meant by the first amendment. This clearly shows that Thomas Jefferson thought that this is what was meant by the first amendment.
    Right ... sort of. This states that the government is not to dictate religion.

    Nowhere does anything state that religion is not to influence government or the state. That is the point.

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    As a two time grand prize winner of an all exspenses paid trip to the giant "Sandbox" curtousey of Uncle Sam, I learned a little about the arabic culture and religion. Anybody who knows a little about the Muslim religion and customs knows that they are absolutely against having their picture taken especially the women. They state that it steals their beauty. While there we had some crazy guy driving down the road try to take us out when we were taking pictures because he thought we took a picture of his wife. We saw a lot of women and young girls who were not really concerned with hiding their face unless you surprised them or stared at them for a long time. So I want to know how can this person be so concerened about hiding their face behind a piece of cloth when the greatest threat is that of the camera steling her beauty. I guess she was UGLY to start with and didnt want to scare the police if she got pulled over.

    Take care, keep safe and "GOD BLESS AMERICA"

    Brad

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    No one is saying that religion can not influence government. All organization tobacco, religion, teacher unionís political organizations and individual beliefs influence government. It is when government makes decisions that favor religion over non-religion, or Catholics over Jews that there is an issue. Like the example you posted earlier one religion was afraid that government was going to favor another and Jefferson said no that government could not do that.

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    Originally posted by Airborne
    No one is saying that religion can not influence government.
    Wonderful! We agree. Bring prayer back to the classroom and congress!

    Look, we're never going to get anywhere until you simply realize that I am right ...
    Stay Safe

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    From what Jefferson said in the statement that you provided above, it sounds to me that he would have been against allowing religion to be directly involved with Government. And since the public school system is nothing more then an extension of our government, it does not belong their ether.

    No on has yet to justify here the reason for religion having a right to be there. I'm willing to talk about it if you have a reason that you think religion should be part of our school system and our government. And please do not take this as a knock on religion, honestly I have no issue with religion and a person being religious, it just is no my thing, I do not think that I should have to be subjected to it in my daily life. If I want religion I know where I can go to get it, a church a Masque, a Temple, or even my mother. But I think that it should be left out of our government and out of our schools because these institutions are for the people as a whole majority and minority.

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