T Nation

9th Cir. Hostile to Religion?

One might think so from the recent case of Faith Center Church v. Glover, in which the court ruled that a local government must exclude religious speech from a public library. This seemingly goes against established USSC precedent concerning government property held out for general public use.

I predict this is overturned by the USSC on appeal (not the most daring prediction, given the 9th Circuit is the most reversed of the 13, by a good margin).

I give you Professor Volokh’s descriptions:

http://volokh.com/posts/chain_1158783189.shtml

Government Must Exclude Religious Speech from Government Property, Writes Federal Judge

– it says so right there in the First Amendment. Well, somewhere in there. Doesn’t it?

Here’s the key excerpt from near the start of Judge Karlton’s concurrence ( http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0516132p.pdf ) in Faith Center Church v. Glover, a case in which the majority concludes (based on a more plausible argument, though one I think is still ultimately mistaken) that a library may exclude “religious worship” from a policy that opens library rooms broadly to “meetings, programs, or activities of educational, cultural, or community interest”:

[i] This should be a simple case it asks whether the county can be forced to subsidize a religious organization?s prayer meetings by requiring it to provide the religious organization with a free place to worship. A quick reading of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States should answer the question. Judge Paez?s opinion tracks the cases and reaches its laborious result because the law has so elaborated that the reaching of the conclusion requires the effort the opinion demonstrates. As I now explain, that elaboration is premised on a failure to accept the plain meaning of the First Amendment.

Both Good News Club v. Milford Cen. Sch., 533 U.S. 98 (2001) and Lambs Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free Sch. Dist., 508 U.S. 384 (1993), turn on the High Court?s purported inability to distinguish between a sermon and a speech. That distinction, however, is compelled by the First Amendment, which establishes different standards relative to government action concerning speech and government action concerning religion. The purported inability of the High Court to adhere to the distinction embodied in the First Amendment leads it to conclude that the issues tendered by cases, such as the one at bar, implicate viewpoint discrimination under the free speech provisions of the First Amendment. They simply do not. As the First Amendment notes, religious speech is categorically different than secular speech and is subject to analysis under the Establishment and Free Exercise Clause without regard to the jurisprudence of free speech.[/i]

This is quite a remarkable and, in my view, entirely unsound argument. Consider the text of the relevant part of the First Amendment:

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 …

A “quick reading” of the “plain meaning” of the text reveals, I think, two relevant things. First, the Amendment bars “establishment of religion,” a term that is hardly self-defining. At the very least, it’s far from obvious that including religious speakers evenhandedly among many nonreligious beneficiaries of a government program – including religious speech and even worship within the category of “meetings, programs, or activities of educational, cultural, or community interest” – constitutes an “establishment of religion.” There’s just nothing “plain” about the meaning; some (though a minority on the Court) have read the phrase this way, but it’s hardly something that a “quick reading” reveals.

But a quick reading does reveal that the First Amendment protects “freedom of speech,” with no limitation to “secular speech.” That the pre-semicolon part of the Amendment protects “the free exercise” “of religion” hardly “plain[ly]” keeps the post-semicolon part from protecting “speech” and “press” both secular and religious. It’s certainly quite sensible to read the first clause as the Court has read it – protecting the exercise of religion generally (whether against discriminatory burdens or against all burdens), including religious conduct as well as religious speech, and limiting the stablishment of religion (whatever that means) – and at the same time to read the second clause as the Court has read it, which is protecting speech generally, including nonreligious speech as well as religious speech.

One may surely argue for the “wall of separation between church and state” interpretation of the Establishment Clause (which Judge Karlton later endorses), or the particular subinterpretation under which this “wall” mandates discriminatory exclusion of religious speech from generally available programs. One may even argue, though few Justices have, that religious speech cases should be analyzed “without regard to the jurisprudence of free speech.” But most certainly this is not an argument that can be gotten simply through a “quick reading” that grasps the provision’s “plain meaning.”


No Hostility to Religion Here! We Just Need to Discriminate Against Religious Speech To Insulate Society from the Excesses of the Zealous:

Judge Karlton’s concurrence in Faith Center Church (see also the post below) argues ? right after concluding that “religious speech is categorically different than secular speech and is subject to analysis under the Establishment and Free Exercise Clause without regard to the jurisprudence of free speech”:

Those, like myself, who advocate adherence to the strictures of the Establishment Clause, do so not out of hostility towards religion. Rather, we are motivated by recognition of the passions that deeply-held religious views engender, and the serious threat of marrying those passions to government power.

So far so good, though it’s not clear how giving religious groups the same access to free library meeting groups that secular groups have ? or giving religious groups equal access to a wide range of evenhandedly distributed benefits, such as nonprofit status, the charitable tax exemption for donations to charitable groups, and more ? involves “marrying [religious] passions to government power.” The judge goes on:

That threat is not merely historic. One need only look about the world to see that danger in play. The scenario is the same whether it is in Northern Ireland where Catholics and Protestants kill each other in an effort to establish governmental power, in Israel, where Jews and Muslims do the same, in Iraq, where Shi?a and Sunni are engaged in similar slaughter, or in Sudan where Muslims murder Christians. Nor is that the only danger.

Again, it’s not clear that evenhanded treatment of all religious groups alongside secular groups in access to government benefits has much to do with conditions that lead Catholics and Protestants to kill each other. Likewise, when the judge goes on to say, “Where government plays a role in the religious life of a pluralist society, there is the danger that government will favor the majority religion and seek to control or prohibit the rites of minority religions. Such favor can only lead to alienation and social unrest,” I can’t see how a rule of equal treatment for all religious groups alongside secular groups would create such a danger.

But then the judge moves on:

The wall of separation between church and state that Thomas Jefferson thought the First Amendment raised, in no way prejudices the practice of anyone?s religion. Instead, it serves the salutary purpose of insulating civil society from the excesses of the zealous. The Good News Club and Lamb?s Chapel majorities? disdain of the Jefferson model is premised on the belief that religious values enhance rather than endanger society. The legal issue, however, is different. It asks whether one can distinguish between religious speech in a categorical way, and the answer is yes. Of course there may be close cases. Such cases require the development of a delicate jurisprudence designed to protect the Establishment Clause while insulating religious practice from government intrusion.

So the judge has no hostility towards religion, but “the excesses of the zealous” ? apparently just the religiously zealous ? are something that must be avoided even by discriminatorily excluding religious groups from the benefits available to comparable secular groups.

The issue is not, contrary to what the judge argues here and earlier in the opinion, “whether one can distinguish between religious speech” (which I take it means “between religious speech and nonreligious speech,” especially given the other quotes I give immediately below), nor is it about “the High Court’s purported inability to distinguish betwen a sermon and a speech” or “[t]he purported inability of the High Court to adhere to the distinction embodied in the First Amendment” between religious speech and nonreligious speech, nor about the Court majority’s supposed “doubt about the ability to distinguish between religious practice and secular speech.” While the majority opinion does turn on whether courts can consistently distinguish (without undue side effects) between religious worship and other religious speech, of course the courts could distinction between religious speech (such as sermons) and secular speech.

The question is whether courts ought to draw such a distinction, in a way that strips religious speech of the same Free Speech Clause protection that secular speech has, and thus discriminates against religious speech, in order to somehow “insulat[e] civil society from the excesses of the zealous.” It seems to me that if one really wants to avoid “hostility towards religion,” equal treatment of religious speech and nonreligious speech ? regardless of what one fears from the “zealous” ? is the proper approach.

Hmmm… interesting.

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 …

It looks like the wording is such that there should be no state sponsorship or religion. So, I guess using public property to spread religion is getting iffy. Thing is, the next bit was that the government won’t interfere with the exercise of religion.

Could it be argued that the fact that churches don’t pay tax like other business endeavors means they are given a sort of de-facto sponsorship?

I would think that a simple fix to this is to erase the sponsorship of all speech, rather censoring some speech. So no more free lunch for anybody = problem solved. Charge the church five bucks or something and they can go back to having prayer meetings. Same thing with non-library affiliated groups like the arts and crafts hour or foreign language classes and whatnot. That way, it’s fair to everybody.

If they want to complain about the fee and say that it’s interfering with their religion, we can point out that they are more than free to do all their religious stuff on private property, and the government won’t have a thing to say about it.

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
If they want to complain about the fee and say that it’s interfering with their religion, we can point out that they are more than free to do all their religious stuff on private property, and the government won’t have a thing to say about it.[/quote]

But the individuals that make up the church all pay taxes. Becasue they are affiliated with a church - their access to public buildings should be limited?

Also - if another non-profit can gain access without paying the fee - then does it not become discriminatory against the church?

Should muslims and satanists be allowed to worship in a library or any public place because they are tax payers?

[quote]Marmadogg wrote:
Should muslims and satanists be allowed to worship in a library or any public place because they are tax payers? [/quote]

Why not? Excluding one while including others is wrong - especially when it is taxpayers that are involved.

I would say that as long as the group is not an advocacy group for unlawful activities - or promoting unlawful activities (NAMBLA, for instance) - then they have the same right to use public facilities as anyone else.

But I am not a lwayer.

I’m in favor of a wider separation between church and state.

Using government resources to promote religion may or may not really be an issue, but depending on the circumstances it can easily cross the line.

What if the people who run the library, funded by the government, are religious and work to bring about use of the library by their own denomination?

Sure, other’s could use it too, but you have people using their (lowly) government position to push their own brand of religion.

Alternately, what if children who are at the library are encouraged to participate in religious activities and are actively pushed towards a certain brand of religion (and it isn’t yours).

I’m not saying that this is happening in this instance, but religion and government should be kept at arms length where possible.

The other end of the spectrum is of course religious government – and the world is seeing just how tolerant that type of government is to people who aren’t of that religion.

[quote]vroom wrote:
I’m in favor of a wider separation between church and state.

Using government resources to promote religion may or may not really be an issue, but depending on the circumstances it can easily cross the line.

What if the people who run the library, funded by the government, are religious and work to bring about use of the library by their own denomination?

Sure, other’s could use it too, but you have people using their (lowly) government position to push their own brand of religion.

Alternately, what if children who are at the library are encouraged to participate in religious activities and are actively pushed towards a certain brand of religion (and it isn’t yours).

I’m not saying that this is happening in this instance, but religion and government should be kept at arms length where possible.

The other end of the spectrum is of course religious government – and the world is seeing just how tolerant that type of government is to people who aren’t of that religion.[/quote]

None of what you postulate is even remotely associated with this case.

But that aside - you are fear mongering.

You can separate gov’t from religion - but you can’t separate the taxpayer’s right to assemble from either one.

That is where your argument just gets stupid. Public buildings such as convention centers and libraries make considerable money from having private citizens hold meetings, conventions, etc. Does that mean that the gov’t supports/sponsors each and every thing that is held on their premises? Only a total dipshit would think this needs to be examined beyond looking at the organization’s 501©(3) designation.

Why do you single out religion? Why not the NRA? Why not NOW? Why not any other non-profit that holds a meeting at a library/convention center?

Your bigotry and fear are astounding. You sound like the ones saying that religion is an extremist use of gov’t facilities. It is discriminatory at the very least.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
But the individuals that make up the church all pay taxes. Becasue they are affiliated with a church - their access to public buildings should be limited?

Also - if another non-profit can gain access without paying the fee - then does it not become discriminatory against the church?[/quote]

Perhaps you misunderstood me, RJ. When I said no free lunch for anybody, I meant anybody. That means if some group wants to use the public library for something, pay a nominal fee. Or is that not common sense? Use the facilities, pay a small fee.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
None of what you postulate is even remotely associated with this case.

But that aside - you are fear mongering.[/quote]

I didn’t suggest that it was associated with this case. I was outlining my view on the topic and I certainly wasn’t fear mongering.

Well, unless a sitting president happens to be in town. Then, all bets are off.

Ahahaha. I wondered where you were going after trying to throw the dipshit label.

I know you hate me, but try to relax yourself. Religion is something that holds a special sway in society, in the evolution of mankind and our relations on this planet.

Personally, I’d like to see religion as a simple personal choice, that does not involve the right to bother other people about it if they don’t want to hear about it.

I certainly don’t expect you to agree or feel the same way and I really can’t say I’m surprised to see the insults popping up where none are needed.

[quote]vroom wrote:
I know you hate me, but try to relax yourself. Religion is something that holds a special sway in society, in the evolution of mankind and our relations on this planet.[/quote]

Hate has nothing to do with it. You are scared of religion/religious people to the point that you think they should be treated differently. It is hardly more political than a NOW rally, or an NRA meeting. To say otherwise is just proving your myopic fear.

Where is that even part of this case? So a church that is temporarily meeting in a public building is now equal to ramming religion down your throat? People have a right to assemble. If the city government came to your house and forced you to show up to a church meeting - maybe you would have a point. I have the right to attend church - which supercedes your dislike of me doing so.

What insult? I am being as honest as I can be. You just proved my assertion that you are scared and myopic about my freedom to attend church - especially if it is held in a public building.

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
rainjack wrote:
But the individuals that make up the church all pay taxes. Becasue they are affiliated with a church - their access to public buildings should be limited?

Also - if another non-profit can gain access without paying the fee - then does it not become discriminatory against the church?

Perhaps you misunderstood me, RJ. When I said no free lunch for anybody, I meant anybody. That means if some group wants to use the public library for something, pay a nominal fee. Or is that not common sense? Use the facilities, pay a small fee.[/quote]

I don’t know about the particulars of this case. I do know from experience that holding church services in a school building on Sundays was not free. Neither was holding services in the Civic Center.

I am not about give-aways wrt public buildings. We pay for the lights and the water if the does not pay for them via rent, or usage fee.

I am against denying any group access to the use of a public building based on any criteria that can be deemed discriminatory - even if I disagree with the group.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Hate has nothing to do with it. You are scared of religion/religious people to the point that you think they should be treated differently. It is hardly more political than a NOW rally, or an NRA meeting. To say otherwise is just proving your myopic fear. [/quote]

Sure it does. I’m not scared of religious people at all. You are barking up the wrong tree altogether.

However, I must say that I do not like some of the consequences of fundamentalist thinking… especially when such people believe that God is giving them commands.

Again, I’m not claiming it is part of the case. However, if people can exercise their religion anywhere and everywhere, then indeed it will be rammed down my throat. That’s the way western society works - you think I don’t realize that?

If I’m at the library getting a book any old nutjob can accost me and try to convert me to his or her personal interpretation of whatever religion they believe in.

If I’m walking down the street this is so. If I’m at the airport this is so. If I’m at the park, this is so. I’d just like some “public” places to be somewhat free of it, because I can certainly avoid a church if I so wish, but I can’t avoid living my life.

What insult? Please. We have different views on this and you start unloading all kinds of negative labels (sometimes known as insults to most people).

You are still doing it, trying to argue that I’m scared and myopic, though the rhetoric has been toned down.

We have different views. Obviously, you don’t understand where mine is coming from. You don’t have to invent silly reasons and then try to argue the accuracy of your inventions.

Do you really think so poorly of everyone that has opinions differing from yours?

[quote]vroom wrote:
rainjack wrote:
Hate has nothing to do with it. You are scared of religion/religious people to the point that you think they should be treated differently. It is hardly more political than a NOW rally, or an NRA meeting. To say otherwise is just proving your myopic fear.

Sure it does. I’m not scared of religious people at all. You are barking up the wrong tree altogether.

However, I must say that I do not like some of the consequences of fundamentalist thinking… especially when such people believe that God is giving them commands.[/quote]

What are those consequences? You keep talking in vague terms. Be specific.

[quote]Where is that even part of this case? So a church that is temporarily meeting in a public building is now equal to ramming religion down your throat? People have a right to assemble. If the city government came to your house and forced you to show up to a church meeting - maybe you would have a point. I have the right to attend church - which supercedes your dislike of me doing so.

Again, I’m not claiming it is part of the case. However, if people can exercise their religion anywhere and everywhere, then indeed it will be rammed down my throat. That’s the way western society works - you think I don’t realize that?[/quote]

You are more likely to have prescription drugs and lie beer rammed down your throat than you are religion. I want to know exactly what you are talking about because - unless it is a government official, or a law telling you that you must practice a certain reliion - you have no basis to bitch. Just exercise your right to ignore.

“accost”? Bullshit. You are more likely to be mugged by a homeless person than you are to be “accosted” by a religous fanatic. And once again - unless it is a gov’t official doing the accosting - a christian has the same right to the First Amendment as you do.

You are full of shit. I have been to many many airports, and have only been confronted a handful of times - usually by Hari Krishna’s, or Moonies. You can avoid these people. But you are using absurdities. I get more homeless people begging me for a buck at stop lights. SHould there be a law against them as well?

[quote]What insult? I am being as honest as I can be. You just proved my assertion that you are scared and myopic about my freedom to attend church - especially if it is held in a public building.

What insult? Please. We have different views on this and you start unloading all kinds of negative labels (sometimes known as insults to most people). [/quote]

You have a very irrational concern over religion. It is a part of life - and until it is abolished - you will have to deal with it. Having laws made so that you don’t have to deal with it just smacks of myopia - or selfishness. Take you pick.

[quote]We have different views. Obviously, you don’t understand where mine is coming from. You don’t have to invent silly reasons and then try to argue the accuracy of your inventions.

Do you really think so poorly of everyone that has opinions differing from yours?[/quote]

I think poorly of people that thinks that religion is the downfall of society, and singles it out as the main irritant in a life full of thorns and potholes.

I think poorly of people that think that because they don’t like something - a law should be passed to outlaw it.

And besides - nothing you have written has a damn thing to do with this thread. I don’t care how much you sit and think about it - you can’t connect your bloviating to the lawsuit being discussed. You saw an opportunity to wax anti-religion (no matter how tangetial), and you took it.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
You are full of shit. I have been to many many airports, and have only been confronted a handful of times - usually by Hari Krishna’s, or Moonies. You can avoid these people. But you are using absurdities. I get more homeless people begging me for a buck at stop lights. SHould there be a law against them as well?[/quote]

Now I’m full of shit, yet you end up validating what I’m talking about in your very next sentence.

My concern is not irrational. I look at history and what religion has been used for, and I am displeased at what I see.

I’m certainly not proposing that religion be abolished, but I do feel it needs to be kept away from societal power.

Yes, I know, very shortsighted and myopic of me to look at history and look at abuses of power via religion and decide that religion and power should be kept far apart.

Disagree all you like… but there is no need to invent nonsense.

A lot of thorns and potholes on the planet today are perpetuated by religion – though perhaps not yours or mine. I think, or would hope, that religion would be a way to enrich our lives, to make the world a better place, but unfortunately it is often used for alternate purposes.

[quote]I think poorly of people that think that because they don’t like something - a law should be passed to outlaw it.

And besides - nothing you have written has a damn thing to do with this thread. I don’t care how much you sit and think about it - you can’t connect your bloviating to the lawsuit being discussed. You saw an opportunity to wax anti-religion (no matter how tangetial), and you took it.[/quote]

Oh look, more insults. I’m surprised.

Perhaps, and maybe you’ll understand this and maybe you won’t, but I don’t feel the need to try to argue with Professor Volokh. He isn’t here and Boston generally doesn’t take the time to form and present his own opinion on things.

My points are right in line with the fact that the thread is about the court potentially being hostile to religion. The judge said something along the lines of what I’ve said. Gee, too bad that’s not on topic at all.

Rainjack, seriously, you allow your “strong dislike” to get in the way of your sense sometimes, and that isn’t meant in an insulting way, in case it can be taken as such.

I’m not the antichrist and I’m not trying to abolish religion. If you would quit trying to attach these crazy notions to me, for whatever reason you are driven to do so, you might find I’m not as far off the mark as you seem to think I am.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
I don’t know about the particulars of this case. I do know from experience that holding church services in a school building on Sundays was not free. Neither was holding services in the Civic Center.

I am not about give-aways wrt public buildings. We pay for the lights and the water if the does not pay for them via rent, or usage fee.

I am against denying any group access to the use of a public building based on any criteria that can be deemed discriminatory - even if I disagree with the group.
[/quote]

Well, then we agree here. There is nothing wrong with having a church in a public building. The problem with this case was that the church was getting free access, and some snooty so and so didn’t like her public building being used to spread religion.

Now I think you know I’m about as anti-religion as anybody can get. Thing is, it’s not up to me to stop people from being retarded as long as they aren’t hurting anything. That’s what personal liberty means, and if there’s anything I can consider “sacred” in this world it would be this idea.

I think it’s great that the world is so full of goofballs who believe in Jesus and magic water and shit. I have some people to laugh at this way. In fact, I wouldn’t personally have a problem with these folks in this particular case getting the library for free. It just doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
Well, then we agree here. There is nothing wrong with having a church in a public building. The problem with this case was that the church was getting free access, and some snooty so and so didn’t like her public building being used to spread religion.[/quote]

If others are getting the same access for free - I think that is a stupid idea, but the same treatment should be extended to everyone.

And yet there are those on this thread that want to limit my right to be stupid because they are affraid I might be too loud, or start another inquisition. I think personal liberty is more important than just about anything we have here. It gives mne the right to be retarded - and you the right to burn in the firey pits of hell with all the other godless heathen. God Bless America.

Agree with the free Library - if no one else is getting it for free.

I think that - from standing on this side of the argument - the religious rights people have sat and watched as the anti-religion folks like vroom have systematically stripped rights from them. Enough is enough - and you don’t want a whole bunch of pissed off christians going all Howard Beale on you. Most of us are staunch NRA folks as well.

Folks like vroom will be the ones to start it with their irrational fear of the past. They are the new anti-religion fanatics that will start a war over something that is none of their fucking business.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
I think that - from standing on this side of the argument - the religious rights people have sat and watched as the anti-religion folks like vroom have systematically stripped rights from them. Enough is enough - and you don’t want a whole bunch of pissed off christians going all Howard Beale on you. Most of us are staunch NRA folks as well.[/quote]

You are such a dolt. I’m not anti-religion. Religious “rights” have not been systematically stripped either. Anyhow, a bunch of pissed off Christians shouldn’t be anything to really worry about… at least if they are actually Christians in more than name.

LOL. You are such a retard. If you haven’t noticed, there is already a war going on… and last I looked, it wasn’t people who are wary of religion mixing with government who started it. Again, though I’m sure it won’t make it past your screen of density, I’m not anti-religion.

Religions don’t have to intrude on the lives of other people in order to conduct their business.

[quote]vroom wrote:
rainjack wrote:
I think that - from standing on this side of the argument - the religious rights people have sat and watched as the anti-religion folks like vroom have systematically stripped rights from them. Enough is enough - and you don’t want a whole bunch of pissed off christians going all Howard Beale on you. Most of us are staunch NRA folks as well.

You are such a dolt. I’m not anti-religion. Religious “rights” have not been systematically stripped either. Anyhow, a bunch of pissed off Christians shouldn’t be anything to really worry about… at least if they are actually Christians in more than name.

Folks like vroom will be the ones to start it with their irrational fear of the past. They are the new anti-religion fanatics that will start a war over something that is none of their fucking business.

LOL. You are such a retard. If you haven’t noticed, there is already a war going on… and last I looked, it wasn’t people who are wary of religion mixing with government who started it. Again, though I’m sure it won’t make it past your screen of density, I’m not anti-religion.

Religions don’t have to intrude on the lives of other people in order to conduct their business.[/quote]

Walk like a duck - quack like a duck.

Intrusion is a subjective term. You are the only one in this thread crying about it - and Loth is arguably more anti-religion than you are.

He has no irrational fear of religion taking over here and imposing their beliefs on him. In fact he admits that I have the right to practice my religion regardless of the retard factor.

You have made no such statements. Quite the contrary - you have made mention that more rights need to be stripped from the religious folks because you are so affraid that they will impose something on you - which is total bullshit. No one can impose anything on you if you don’t allow it.

You are weak, and want the gov’t to do the fighting for you.

I think there was a pretty good sized scrap raised back in the 1770’s by folks that were very much christian.

You can think what you want - just quit crying and whimpering about how miserable your life is because of religion. Good God - life is too short to be such a pussy.

[quote]
rainjack wrote:
But the individuals that make up the church all pay taxes. Becasue they are affiliated with a church - their access to public buildings should be limited?

Also - if another non-profit can gain access without paying the fee - then does it not become discriminatory against the church?

lothario1132 wrote:
Perhaps you misunderstood me, RJ. When I said no free lunch for anybody, I meant anybody. That means if some group wants to use the public library for something, pay a nominal fee. Or is that not common sense? Use the facilities, pay a small fee.[/quote]

This would be fine – it’s discrimination against religious groups that poses a problem. The government cannot put up a religious filter on benefits generally available to the public at large.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Walk like a duck - quack like a duck.
[/quote]
Is this the secret catch phrase that lets you make shit up?

[quote]Intrusion is a subjective term. You are the only one in this thread crying about it - and Loth is arguably more anti-religion than you are.

He has no irrational fear of religion taking over here and imposing their beliefs on him. In fact he admits that I have the right to practice my religion regardless of the retard factor.[/quote]

I believe you have the right to practice your religion as well. You seem to be skipping beyond what I’m actually talking about. I’m really surprised about that.

Ask me how the women of Islam feel about having things imposed on them. Most of them will simply say they agree with it, while some will not.

In any case, it’s questionable whether the things that I am talking about qualify as rights. Wrapping the debate into language like “stripping rights” sure makes it sound evil though. Good job man! Maybe you should get into politics or something?

Ahahahaha. Where do you get this stuff? I want to keep religion away from government… far away from it. Your incessant attempts at characterizing me in various ways because I disagree with your viewpoint is pathetic.

[quote]
I think there was a pretty good sized scrap raised back in the 1770’s by folks that were very much christian.[/quote]

You are talking about taxation without representation… nice try. It’s not like it was a religious war. Maybe you should study your nation’s history just a little bit.

[quote]
You can think what you want - just quit crying and whimpering about how miserable your life is because of religion. Good God - life is too short to be such a pussy.[/quote]

LOL! You are such a tool. Nowhere have I done so.

Maybe you should quit crying and whimpering about people having a differing opinion than you. Good God - life is too short to be such a pussy.

Come on, one of these days try to back up your statements with something other than meaningless insults and characterizations. You realize those are purely emotional tactics that show nothing except your own mindset?

Are you in the midst of PCTs or something?