Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My thoughts on the First Ammendment

Why is there more of a propensity to protect pornography, tv and game violence, atheism,
and abortion over G-d, morality, and life.

The most unfortunate aspect is that the higher up the religious or power (redundant?) chain
one goes the more abuses one will find. In fact, Kubrick got it spot on in Eyes Wide Shut.

Anyway, let us review 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; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Now how is posting the ten commandments breaking this amendment? Is it really establishing
a religion via a law? Is it an artistic representation of an historical event? I personally don't know. The next
question becomes the question of what is religion anyway? Is worshipping at the alter of your
TV religion? Is it a false idol?

When an atheist promotes a law stating that something should be barred, is that not actually making
an anti-religious law which then prohibits the free exercise thereof?

Also, if I am not mistaken, I certainly haven't seen much of pornography being restricted. At least all
those emails that say "Help Lolita add three inches to her mortgage and get a new Rolex" all seem
to say differently. I haven't, thank goodness, seen any court orders against them.

The FCC on the other hand is a major gripe of mine. There is no reason that the airwaves couldn't be
opened up to an infinite number of channels, but that is a topic for a different day.

Finally, I too went to a school where we used to put on a big Christmas celebration. There was the
Glee Club, the Bells, the Hymns, the musicians, etc., For me is was great, fun, and always brought
a tear to the audience. Well, just like your dad's school, this has all been eliminated. It wasn't even
a public or catholic school either. I guess the fear of lawsuits did it in. Personally, I can't believe
that public schools have gotten any better over the years. The dumbing down of religious celebration
vs, the celebration of religious diversity seems to be just dumbing down the kids to me.

In a true, free and beautiful nation, there would be plenty of schools all offering choice of religions,
type of education, scientific, vocational, and artist studies, etc., with everyone respecting each other,
working with each other, learning from each other, and even celebrating with each other.

An homogenization of a corporate WalMart culture is strictly one that will create weak sheeple. The
perfect cannon fodder for global serfdom and world government.

Personally, I really enjoy the distinct cultures and religions of the world. Yet on the other hand I
have no fondness for the hypocritical holier than thou attitudes of both the powerful and the politically

Cheers from your fossil fuel and evolution sceptic,


Adam S. said...

"Now how is posting the ten commandments breaking this amendment? Is it really establishing a religion via a law?"

No, Jim, its not, but in the selection from the Constitution which you cite, the key word is "respecting", an old fashioned usage, for sure, but meaning in essence "giving credence to" or "providing favoritism to" a particular belief system, in this case, the Judeo-Christian belief system of the Ten Commandments.

On another note, I'm glad to see that some of the old crowd still thinks about things other than diapers and BMWs. Just follow the Golden Rule, and all will be well, hmm?

James said...

Hmm, I think I know who this is...

As far as the Ten Commandments go, they are the basis of our laws. But, in this modern relativistic world we live in, laws are only meant for the serfs.

I am quite confident that all the US's great religious and political leaders feel exempt from the Ten Commandmennts. They sure seem to flaunt their Orwellian interpretations right in front of our TV screens.

Not Colin Smith said...

The question you asked was why putting the 10 Commandments up in a public place was prohibited under the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution. That is what I tried to answer. The other issues don't have much to do with that.

However, I agree that the rich and powerful seem to get away with a lot of stuff which us "serfs" would not. I also agree that many of our leaders do not follow the Ten Commandments or, for that matter, any moral teachings. But what do you expect when the rank and file of Americans are more interested in American Idol and Oprah's latest moronic utterances rather than the real issues confronting this country? Bush steals the election in 2000 and then gets re-elected after being shown to be a liar many times over. What does this tell you? People care more about gays getting married than they do about thousands of dead Americans and Iraqis. I firmly believe that within 100 years, if present trends continue, the human race will face mass starvations from polluted air and water, ecological destruction, extinctions and lack of biodiversity. This will lead to constant warfare over limited natural resources, and "terrorist" groups sprouting everywhere. And all to maintain our obscene and obese American lifestyle. I mean, even the KIDS are fat and gross today, a reflection of their fat, lazy ass grotesque parents and culture!!

And yes, this IS who you think it is. . . .about 20 years ago you and I went down to Maxworks Coop to do some laser printing for them. Now they are finally getting evicted from their digs in what's left of Maxwell Street. More signs of the impending apocalypse? Hmmmm. . . .

James said...

OK - True, you tried to answer why the Supreme Court has not allowed placing the Ten Commandments in a public place. And, as I said, what the heck is the difference between it and Ten Reasons to Eat McDonald, a fictitious ad compaign on a giant billboard in a public place????

Well, ban them all then! WTF?! So, G-d can't advertise? This just reinforces my belief that the pagans have won.

Instead of worrying about symbols of religion, maybe we should concern ourselvees with the money. Is a lobbyist group from the Vatican or AIPAC any different than a lobbyist from Boeing?

Anyway, now you have jogged my memory differently from your original handle... I knew an Adam S a long time ago,,, but now a Not Colin Smith?! Hilarious, and now a bit more confused.

As far as the end goes, I am sticking to the Mayans view of December 21st, 2012 as the day.

Spiegel said...

James said: "what the heck is the difference between it and Ten Reasons to Eat McDonald"

The difference is that the Constitution says nothing about corporate advertising. The Founding Fathers, looking at history, reasoned that a democracy could not flourish if certain mistakes of the past were allowed to occur, namely, the predominance of one form of religion over others, even if this predilection or favoritisim was merely HINTED at by government action, such as allowing the 10 Commandments in public places. Remember, our system of government never existed in history before 1776. We were trying to not make the same mistakes of the past.

I am not apologizing for billboards, corporate advertising, or McDonald's, but the government does not tell people to buy their products. The issue is governmental control over favoring certain kinds of behavior and thought. If you dont see the difference, I dont know what to say.

Furthermore, you ask whether G-d can advertise. Well, yes, of course, religions can advertise. Again, as long as the government, or public property is not involved. Its simple.

James said: "Instead of worrying about symbols of religion, maybe we should concern ourselvees with the money. Is a lobbyist group from the Vatican or AIPAC any different than a lobbyist from Boeing?"

That is a whole other question. You are mixing apples and oranges. The 10 Commandments, creches, Christmas trees (my pet peeve) and other things are symbols of religion, yes, but there are no limitations on private groups or individuals displaying such items on private property. The problem comes about when the government spends taxpayer money on putting this stuff up, or provides a tax financed space for its installation. The government is supposed to represent all the citizens, Jew, Christian, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Shinto, Zoroastrian, Wiccan, whatever. Do you want the government to pay for the installation of any and all religious symbols by any group which decides its now a religion, in order to be fair? Where does it end?

James said: "As far as the end goes, I am sticking to the Mayans view of December 21st, 2012 as the day."

I have been an avid student of the Maya and other Mesoamerican groups for several years. The correlation coefficients used to convert the bar/dot/glyph system of the Maya into an equivalent date on the Christian calendar are not exact. There is more than one method of correlation in use by archaeologists. So the day of prediction of the end of the world may be the date you state, or it might be another one. Similarly, we really dont know if the correlations are accurate at all. Third, the Maya spoke of worlds being destroyed and then created anew. Everything about their calendar was circular and repetitive. We dont know if they literally meant "world destroyed" or if this is some kind of poetic license. The Maya were smart, but they did not know about nuclear fusion, the death of stars, black holes, the expansion of space/time due to the Big Bang, or other such things. Their creation (and destruction) myths had a purpose, a purpose which was the stability of society and a continuation of that society's values in the face of unpredictable and turbulent forces.

Whew. . .its not easy being so smart. This is why we never got anything done at 3314 North Halsted.

James said...

OK -

There was a lot in that post. Ok, so let me simplify here a bit. First about the date 2012, Dec 21st. I like that date because it also happens to be the date of the Galactic eclipse when our Sun eclipses the center of our Milky Way Galaxy! That was good enough for me. Personally, I feel that we are in fact heading toward the apocalypse which also marks a beginning too.

As far as Religion and Goverment go and symbols etc., I find it baffling that it is more acceptable for behind the scenes religious lobbyist having such great power over our government. This is far more insideous and worse than a display of an historical document.

Additionally I feel that we are actually witnessing a battle between monotheists and paganists. Set in that context things start to make a lot of sense.

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