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Author Topic: 10 Commandments to go on State Capitol  (Read 40833 times)
FOTD
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2009, 01:13:02 pm »

Theocracy, where did you get that from? I am a Catholic conservative that has no problem with our government officials expressing the notion that this country was founded upon a Judeo-Christian ethic.

As for your attempt to distinguish Oklahoma from the holdings in the overwhelming number of cases where 10 Commandments monuments were held secular because it is being funded with public money is unavailing. First, implicit in your last post was your concession that the supreme court has found that having these monuments does not offend the 1st amendment per se.  In reading these opinions, the fact that these monuments may have been donated by private parties was not a dispositive factor underlying these decisions. Indeed, the fact that they may have been donated does not dispense with the fact that they are on public property and public money is being used to maintain that property.

The true test is whether there is a secular purpose for the monument. In this case, I just don't know. I mean, is there a secular purpose for putting crosses or stars of David on the graves of fallen soldiers in national cemetaries? What about cities named Las Cruces, St. Louis, Cathedral City CA, Bethlehem GA and so on? Should we change their names because those are plainly references to Christianity.

"I mean" and mean people suck!

Your arguments reek of gamesmanship, dishonesty, and selfishness.

NO GUIDO, YOU NEVER KNOW.



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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 04:44:44 pm »

Theocracy, where did you get that from? I am a Catholic conservative that has no problem with our government officials expressing the notion that this country was founded upon a Judeo-Christian ethic.

As for your attempt to distinguish Oklahoma from the holdings in the overwhelming number of cases where 10 Commandments monuments were held secular because it is being funded with public money is unavailing. First, implicit in your last post was your concession that the supreme court has found that having these monuments does not offend the 1st amendment per se.  In reading these opinions, the fact that these monuments may have been donated by private parties was not a dispositive factor underlying these decisions. Indeed, the fact that they may have been donated does not dispense with the fact that they are on public property and public money is being used to maintain that property.

The true test is whether there is a secular purpose for the monument. In this case, I just don't know. I mean, is there a secular purpose for putting crosses or stars of David on the graves of fallen soldiers in national cemetaries? What about cities named Las Cruces, St. Louis, Cathedral City CA, Bethlehem GA and so on? Should we change their names because those are plainly references to Christianity.

Perhaps I was thinking of another poster on the theocracy issue.  It was in a previous discussion on this topic and I mentally attributed it to you.  Or perhaps it was tongue in cheek and my sarcasm-o-meter is defective.  I readily disagree with the Judeo-Christian notion of our founding (reference the agnostics, atheists, and deists that were the most prominent founders) and would suggest instead that it was a nation of Christians.  The ethics espoused to be of a Judeo-Christian origin are present in many other cultures throughout the world.  But I digress . . .

I agree that public money is not dispositive of the issue.  It is the purpose for which they are placed.  In all instances in which they were upheld they were placed in a broader context and usually done so many years ago.  I am not aware of a similar circumstance in which the 10 Commandments were displayed by themselves by the government and it was held to be Constitutional.

Honestly, do you think this was proposed, passed by the legislature or funded to advocate the history of our laws?  You might be able to find or argue for a secular excuse, but I imagine all parties involved understand what the purpose is.  I again reference walking up to a house that has the Ten Commandments engraved on their door step - no way you would think "a real legal history buff, I wonder what religion these people advocate?" 

But proponents can not be honest about the purpose of the monument because it would make it illegal.  So we will continue having a disingenuous discussion.   If you think the primary purpose is to illustrate our devotion and the importance of Christianity to Oklahoma, then fight to change the law, or at least argue you think there is an argument that it also serves a secondary purpose.  Please explain how a statement that the Christian God is the correct god carved in granite serves a secular purpose.

And no, I am not aware of a secular purpose to putting particular religious emblems on graves.  But those are monuments to that soldier and in accordance with their wishes.  There is no message attached, no bible versus, no bronze age orders from gods.  As you said, it's all about context and purpose.  The purpose of those grave markers is to honor fallen soldiers, a secular purpose.   I believe you can think of plenty of ways to distinguish religious symbols on the graves of soldiers from a granite monument of the ten commandments on the grounds of the Oklahoma Capital.

And the city name argument is absurd.  That isn't even governmental action.  The vast majority of US Cities were founded and named before any government controlled naming of places.  If a settler or explorer (or foreign government) chose to name a place after a saint, I don't think continuing that name has ever been construed as endorsing that religion or even a tolerance, let alone acceptance of their views.

I'll assume those arguments were somewhat tongue in cheek.
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guido911
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 06:57:25 pm »

With the exception of the Las Cruces example, I was using the grave monument and name of city tongue in cheek. As you might recall, just last year the 10th Circuit took up an appeal of a district court decision sustaining a dispositive motion in a case where plaintiffs wanted the Christian symbols (crosses) on city vehicles and in schools removed.  The appellate court affirmed the district court and held that those symbols were secular in nature. Weinbaum v. City of Las Cruces, N.M., 541 F.3d 1017 (10th Cir. (N.M.) 2008). A similar effort involving the cross in San Diego was defeated in the courts. The point I am making is that in Weinbaum there was "government action", that is the government actually placed religious symbols on  vehicles at taxpayer expense.

Now, is the intent of these legislators to push God in our faces? Who knows, but I can see your point that that was the reason. I just think that it's not that big of a deal. 

Ultimately, that if the monument is not over the top with Christian bells and whistles, it will survive a constitutional scrutiny. That's the only real point I was making in this thread. Do you agree?
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FOTD
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2009, 07:04:35 pm »

Two too many lawyers playing debate.
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guido911
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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2009, 07:30:15 pm »

Two too many lawyers playing debate.

One idiot playing with himself.
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buckeye
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2009, 09:26:46 am »

Quote
In the text they are the words and revelations of God that was passed to Jeremiah that was then told to the people of Jerusalem (the first one).  Why are those less reliable than visions Mosses had on a mountain?  Are you suggesting some portions of the bible are literal and should be followed and that others are merely visions that prophets had and perhaps they really didn't hear Gods voice and thus don't need be followed?  How can the Oklahoma legislature tell them apart?
...just to throw a "ME TOO!" usage of 'disingenuous' into the burning wreckage, surely this quote fits the bill.  If it's not disingenuous, it's frankly foolish.

Decalogue = divine laws presented via prophet for direct use by the unwashed masses, specific and immediately applicable for mundane activities.  The other two aren't less reliable or not divinely sourced stuff, they have different purposes.  They serve to instruct, but through symbols and imagery and obviously didn't come with the message, "These are My rules that you must follow."

Quote
...it is all about CONTEXT.
Yes indeed it is.  That quote works in spite of itself.

I don't want to really get involved with this .. discussion (maybe it's too late), but you can't really be serious with the above paragraph.
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Breadburner
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2009, 07:18:09 pm »

One idiot playing with himself.

Lol.....
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2009, 07:31:31 am »

Buckeye:

My point is that some laws in the bible are supposed to be followed, others are not.  Followers are free to decide which to follow as they see fit.  Do you keep kosher?  Mix fabrics?  Eye for an eye (or did God change his mind and we now turn the other cheek)? There are over a thousands "laws" in the bible, the vast majority of which American Christians have decided we don't need.  Laws that you get to pick and choose from aren't really laws.  Biblical "laws" are dictations on how that prophet/savior/god wants his followers to live. 

1.  I am the Lord Thy God, you shall have no Gods before me.

This is the most important commandment.  The sole purpose is to mandate belief in the principal God before any other Gods (please note:  it is not a monotheistic statement).  It is in no way secular. 

Presumably, if one rejects this statements the following laws do not apply.

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PonderInc
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2009, 02:22:20 pm »

My neighbor has a nice a_s...and I covet it.

Is that illegal in Oklahoma, now that our State Legislature has declared Sharia Law?  (Or was that the Taliban?  I'm getting confused!)

Democracy, theocracy...they both end in "-ocracy." 

I find it is so hard to keep things separate if they rhyme!
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custosnox
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2009, 03:05:21 pm »

Buckeye:

My point is that some laws in the bible are supposed to be followed, others are not.  Followers are free to decide which to follow as they see fit.  Do you keep kosher?  Mix fabrics?  Eye for an eye (or did God change his mind and we now turn the other cheek)? There are over a thousands "laws" in the bible, the vast majority of which American Christians have decided we don't need.  Laws that you get to pick and choose from aren't really laws.  Biblical "laws" are dictations on how that prophet/savior/god wants his followers to live. 

1.  I am the Lord Thy God, you shall have no Gods before me.

This is the most important commandment.  The sole purpose is to mandate belief in the principal God before any other Gods (please note:  it is not a monotheistic statement).  It is in no way secular. 

Presumably, if one rejects this statements the following laws do not apply.



Just wanted to point out that the eye for an eye referance is often taken out of context.  It is actually the teachings of jesus saying that you should not take an eye for an eye, but instead should turn the other cheek (just wish I could remember the passage). Just wanted to clear up this often misunderdstood quote. Now I return to the regularly scheduled program...

There is only one source for the Ten Commandments, and that is the Bible.  By the government placeing this monument, and only this monument, it is endorsing this religion.  Especially when it is a monument COMMANDING you to only have that one god (though I actually will argue what that command means, but this isn't about religous philosophy). 
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FOTD
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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2009, 03:19:19 pm »

Lol.....

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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2009, 03:55:51 pm »

Just wanted to point out that the eye for an eye referance is often taken out of context.  It is actually the teachings of jesus saying that you should not take an eye for an eye, but instead should turn the other cheek (just wish I could remember the passage). Just wanted to clear up this often misunderdstood quote.

exodus 21:23-21:25
23If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

leviticus 24:18-24:20
18Anyone who kills an animal shall make restitution for it, life for life. 19Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: 20fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; the injury inflicted is the injury to be suffered.

deuteronomy 19:21-19:21
21Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

The Greeks referred to such laws as Lex Talionis.

Certainly it predated the teachings of Jesus (who, arguably, rescinded the teaching with turn the other cheek. Hence the reference). 
matthew 5:38-5:39
38 ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;.

It is also in Luke and in the Jewish law before that: "Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him, let him be filled full with reproach."  (Jewish Lamentations were teachings outside of the Torah ).

There are alternative takes on the meaning of "turning the other cheek."  In Bronze Age middle eastern cultures, you would strike someone with the left hand to show them they are lesser than you are (a [female dog] slap).  If you turned the other cheek you would be issuing a challenge to actually hit you (you can not backhand the "other cheek" with your dirty left hand), therefor either issuing a challenge and/or admitting that you are an equal worthy of a fight.  Thereby creating an un-winnable situation for the aggressor (which would be in line with subsequent non-violent methods). 

And still another interpretation was that he was rejecting people personally taking it on to engage tit-for-tat in revenge.  Basically either Karma will get them (presumably God) or let the authorities administer the justice code.

But like most ancient writings that we like, we are happy to take it at face value if it serves out purpose.  If it doesn't serve our purpose then it is antiquated, a metaphor, or misinterpreted.  Personally, I think the 1st Alternative is the most likely and most interesting interpretation.  Seems like something Ghandi or MLK would have advocated.



I'm not a Biblical scholar so feel free to point out my errors.  But in this respect, I think I covered by bases.

[edit] Added different interpretations [/edit]

« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 04:11:16 pm by cannon_fodder » Logged

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FOTD
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« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2009, 04:20:06 pm »

Year of the Bible? Something Funny Here

http://allspinzone.com/wp/2009/05/11/year-of-the-bible-something-funny-here/


The wingnut base of the Republican party strikes again. Just watch those godless liberals vote the bible out of our nation. No wonder we're spiraling towards Armageddon, the liberals won't let the word of god guide our nation....
Hogwash.

Forget it, thugs, the people whose votes you'll win by this tactic already vote for you.
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custosnox
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« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2009, 05:26:44 pm »

exodus 21:23-21:25
23If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

leviticus 24:18-24:20
18Anyone who kills an animal shall make restitution for it, life for life. 19Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: 20fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; the injury inflicted is the injury to be suffered.

deuteronomy 19:21-19:21
21Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

The Greeks referred to such laws as Lex Talionis.

Certainly it predated the teachings of Jesus (who, arguably, rescinded the teaching with turn the other cheek. Hence the reference). 
matthew 5:38-5:39
38 ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;.

It is also in Luke and in the Jewish law before that: "Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him, let him be filled full with reproach."  (Jewish Lamentations were teachings outside of the Torah ).

There are alternative takes on the meaning of "turning the other cheek."  In Bronze Age middle eastern cultures, you would strike someone with the left hand to show them they are lesser than you are (a [female dog] slap).  If you turned the other cheek you would be issuing a challenge to actually hit you (you can not backhand the "other cheek" with your dirty left hand), therefor either issuing a challenge and/or admitting that you are an equal worthy of a fight.  Thereby creating an un-winnable situation for the aggressor (which would be in line with subsequent non-violent methods). 

And still another interpretation was that he was rejecting people personally taking it on to engage tit-for-tat in revenge.  Basically either Karma will get them (presumably God) or let the authorities administer the justice code.

But like most ancient writings that we like, we are happy to take it at face value if it serves out purpose.  If it doesn't serve our purpose then it is antiquated, a metaphor, or misinterpreted.  Personally, I think the 1st Alternative is the most likely and most interesting interpretation.  Seems like something Ghandi or MLK would have advocated.



I'm not a Biblical scholar so feel free to point out my errors.  But in this respect, I think I covered by bases.

[edit] Added different interpretations [/edit]



I stand grandly corrected.   I hadn't come across the old testiment referances to this.  A falasy that tends to come about when you think of the old testiment being ignored for 98% of the rules that were laid down in it.
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buckeye
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2009, 09:37:33 am »

Let's talk context again...

That part of the chapter stresses selflessness, generosity and honoring your commitments.  The advice is consistently, "take your lumps; see your enemy as a human being and treat him as such".  "Only accept a challenge that does not insult your honor" would be grossly out of place.  In fact, given the tone of the surrounding admonishments, the advice is more likely, "-don't- get bent out of shape if you're hit with somebody's left hand."

The general idea is that the old testament rules (The Letter) have been replaced by the new testament grace (The Spirit), e.g. 2nd Corinthians 3.
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