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Old 12-21-2006, 06:51 AM   #76
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The founders would probably be appalled at a lot of our society today, and in no way do I mean all the things that would upset them are negative.

They lived in a far different time, with different societal and likely personal values than most people today.

That's part of the greatness of the system they set up. They provided a basis, but left it adaptable to change as the times demand. They came from a time of slavery, a time when women had little in the way of rights or power, when many ways of acting that are perfectly accepted today would probably have been frowned upon if not actually punished.

And of course, technology has changed so much in ways they probably could not have guessed. Our abilities to communicate rapidly over long distances, the incredible access to information the general public has, the sometimes intrusive media....any or all of these things (or a plethora of others) might change the way the founders would have wanted things to work.

Which is not to say things are in perfect condition as is, just that some of the intentions the founders may have had for our system of government probably are no longer applicable.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:01 AM   #77
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I.. it is crazy how you Chirstians insist on pushing this stuff down everyone's throat. Do it on your own time.
I feel the same exact way about the secular: forcing evolution on our children in public school. Do it on your own time...

The War on Christmas and on Christians is very real... skirmishes and battles occuring all over the United States by the secular progressives tearing this nation apart...
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:30 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Ravana View Post
I'm almost tempted to just let CKFresh carry this one on alone: doing a fine job of it.

But I won't. (Heh.)



"Separates truth from fact"? What??? Try again, please?

Science actually isn't even remotely interested in "the truth." It is interested in what can be proven... from factual evidence, through experimentation, with repeatable results. From these things are derived general principles—called in science "theories," which, unfortunately, makes people think that they aren't "proven," whereas science uses the term differently (and correctly; the weaker definition of "unproven idea" is a corruption of the original meaning).

Science also recognizes that it has limits, and that all of the things that it has demonstrated in the past are open to revision, expansion, clarification, or even, in rare cases, dismissal. All of these can occur when more evidence is collected or when new methods of experimentation and analysis are developed. New evidence is tested against existing theories, and, if it does not corroborate them, the theories are adjusted or new ones are proposed... which are then tested against both new and old evidence, until one is found that fits all the available evidence. New methods are applied to all existing evidence, in order to see if they corroborate existing theories or not, and if they expand or deepen our knowledge—revealing to us new details we were previously unaware of.



This is illogical... and impossible, since the Bible doesn't even address most of the issues modern research is concerned with. Besides, there is no "Biblical theory" in the sense that logic or science uses the term—no consistent set of axioms that create a mechanism for testing other axioms, predicates, data, etc. I am not among those who call for Christians to "prove" the Bible, anyway, though I realize there are those who do. I see this as a mistaken approach, and indeed a pointless one, as I will expand upon a little later.



A private letter... plus the Constitution, plus Jefferson's amendment to the Virginia state constitution, plus numerous other private and public letters throughout his career. Jefferson was, I believe, the person who actually originated the "inviolable wall" between the two (though I believe someone else was responsible for the term itself). The term does appear in a Supreme Court ruling from the middle of the last century, though, so whether Jefferson wanted it or not, the highest court in our land has confirmed it. A two-way separation, specifically: no church in state, no state in church.



Absolutely not. Belief in the Big Bang is based upon knowing that the best scientific research and theorizing has produced this as the best explanation of the facts as we know them today. Same for evolution—which is actually the better established of the two, since we can witness it as an ongoing process... and have. If you want to claim that science itself is somehow a religion... you'll have to come up with a list of ways in which it fits the definition of religion.

Science is ultimately based on one, and only one, "belief": that we can trust the evidence of our senses, if they tell us the same thing in the same situation whenever that situation is repeated. If this is not a rational belief... then we cannot believe anything, for we have nothing reliable to base belief upon.



Now it's "must"? This argument is pure fallacy.
Underlying structure in symbolic logic: If A then B, therefore if B then A.
Logical equivalents:
• If it is raining then I shall get wet, therefore if I shall get wet then it is raining. [counterexample: I can get wet by diving in a pool.]
• If the Bible was written by God then God exists, therefore if God exists then the Bible was written by God. [counterexample: you said it yourself: the Bible was written by humans.]
• If cheese is purple then the sky is falling, therefore if the sky is falling then cheese is purple. [No one said the argument had to make any sense—the same logical principles still apply. Counterexample 1: Cheese could be painted, dyed, etc. purple without the sky falling. Counterexample 2: The sky could be falling even if cheese wasn't purple.]



Science is not "proved"; science is a process for obtaining proof. Science is nothing more than the reliance on our own senses, as assessed in a systematic manner... as mentioned before. Using the Bible—or anything else—to "prove itself" is circular. Scientific theories, knowledge obtained from experiment, and new data are all continually tested and evaluated against each other... as well as against basic logic and against external sources—specifically, data obtained through our senses. We do not use the theory of evolution to prove the theory of evolution: we use every other piece of available data and every other scientific theorem to prove—or disprove—the theory of evolution.

And how is the Biblical account of creation a "Biblical principle"? What is a "Biblical principle"? This use of "principle" is unfamiliar to me... and most certainly is not scientific, nor logical, in nature.



This has already been addressed by others, so I'll just add a few points: (1) They didn't all tell an account of Jesus; only four of them did. (2) They most certainly did not all tell the same account of Jesus. All four books differ from one another. (3) Expanding on (1), not all writers told the same stories... in most cases, any given story was only told once, by a single writer. Such as the stories contained in Genesis. One writer... not "two or three dozen." (4) The Bible has undergone numerous emendations, deletions, redactions, translations and so forth; its contents, and they way they are presented, have changed continuously throughout history. (5) As pointed out, a great many more than "two or three dozen" people have written in support of contemporary scientific theories—any one of them. (6) The writers could very simply have been wrong—any or all of them.



Even if true, this is only because somebody went to the trouble of collecting them and putting them under a single cover; the claim is meaningless in terms of supporting its veracity. I could do the same by collecting documents from Roman courts, or any other source of original documentation. A great many original documents were used to create the Egyptian Book of the Dead by Budge... and any complete translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls would contain more documents that the Bible, if I remember the number of documents found there. For that matter, any collection of a famous individual's letters would contain more original documents than the Bible.

Now for the other side.



Precisely, Montrovant. All that is being requested is corroboration. We have corroborating evidence for evolution—indeed, it was such evidence that necessitated the theory in the first place; the data came first, not the theory, and so was external to it—not a circular proof. Further evidence has continued to corroborate the theory, expand upon it and refine it... and, most importantly, not contradict it. Where is such evidence for the Biblical account?



I do:



That's why (and that's why I was tempted to let CKFresh carry this argument... good job, mate). Religion does not belong in schools, unless it is being taught as a subject in its own right... and, if it is, it better include all religions, not just one... and not show favoritism to any of them. Religion absolutely does not belong in science class, as it is unscientific.



Right. (Words in brackets have been inserted by me.) The important point, though, is that in teaching creationism, or even intelligent design, you are teaching the views of a single religion... and, again, if you are teaching them in a science class, you are teaching something that is not science: it is not subject to scientific investigation or proof.



I can't improve upon that.

Now, as for "proving the Bible":

This is a mistake as well—to call upon people to "prove the Bible." First of all, it exists; that does not require proof, so we can assume that this is not the question. Second: proving—or disproving—any one part of it has no effect on the whole. I can point to numerous contradictions in the Bible (but will not... unless forced to; fortunately, scanmode doesn't seem to be around... :lol: ); these do not in any way mean that anything else in the Bible is incorrect or even called into question. People who do this are generally trying to break the hold of literalists who persist in insisting that the Bible must—for some reason I cannot fathom—be taken literally as a whole. As I said, I cannot grasp this point of view: what is the problem with saying that some parts of the Bible are metaphorical... or just plain wrong? I don't see how this damages the balance of the book.

I also don't see why anybody would even want to retain most of the Old Testament; there's a lot of stuff in there that is just plain hideous, and which nobody would endorse today. And a lot more stuff that people just plain ignore today, like most of the "laws" set down in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Do literalists want to go back to the days of removing the hands of thieves, or stoning "witches"? Why not just trash the whole thing and stick with the New Testament?

This is getting long... no surprise for those who know me. For those who don't, get used to it. At least further answers on this thread will not be to a large number of posts, so they ought to be shorter....

As for whether or not you subscribe to someone else's set of scientific beliefs, chiefsfan27 (which you posted after I began this message)... that's what the schools are supposed to teach: the consensus belief of the scientific community. That's what gets taught in science classes. If you don't like it, you should move to eliminate science teaching altogether... not to have it revised to exclude any particular part of it you don't care for. There are certain things in contemporary scientific theory that I don't agree with... and they will be removed, or revised, if evidence ever comes in to support my own views. That's how science works. Come up with evidence that contradicts present views, and I'm sure the curriculum will be revised. But not until then. Nor should it be.

In particular, your children ought to be exposed to contemporary views, whether they are right or wrong... so that they can be fully informed. How are they to decide which is correct—and, perhaps more importantly, from your point of view, how are they to argue against contemporary views if they are not familiar with them? They ought, at the very least, to possess the same informational base as any other citizen, so that they can understand what is under discussion when such things arise. Would you disadvantage your children by denying them such an opportunity?
Again, youre saying that evolution and the Big Bang are proven through science. But you won't let me use the Bible to prove it's principles. That's a double standard. As to what I said being illogical, it is, and that's my point. Science does't adress most of the contents of the Bible, so asking for scientific evidence of it is illogical.

Seperation of Church and State is not in the Constitution. And as Jefferson wanted it, the Church was to be protected from the State, not the other way around.

Yet again on the Big Bang, you view scientific findings as "evidence", while I view God's word, and the complexity of nature as "evidence".

All of the Bible adresses Jesus. Anyone who thinks anything else is mis-informed. They do tell the same account, even though minor things are different, like numbers of people and the order of events, the story is the same.

Until I view science experiamentation as the ultimate way of obtaining proof and/or you view the Bible as the ultiamte way of obtaining proof, this argument is basically pointless. I could argue my side until the Cubs win the World Series, snd so could you, but until we both use the same method of proving our arguments no one will ever convince anyone. This arguments has been going on ever since science became prominent, and will always continue.
I only joined the argument because I felt a need to at least let make my opinion known, but now it's pointless. If you all want to continue arguing, that's fine, I'll join you. But if you all are as tired of this as I am, lets just stop going in circles and debate something that we could even possibly change someone's mind on.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:48 AM   #79
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Please read "Misquoting Jesus" ... it is by a professor(who is Christian) about the how reliable the Bible is... just one of many reads from individuals that know much more about the subject than any of us ever will...

As for evolution... it is a scientific theory and belong in a science class...

Creationism, Bible, Religion belong in a theology class...
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:14 PM   #80
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Religion has no place in public schools. It should not be taught there and no religion should be forced upon anybody. Evolution is not a religion, it is a theory and therefore has a proper place in a science class room. Parent's that concerned have the option's of sending their children to private schools, catholic schools and always after-school bible studies. That is where religion belongs. The only thing I don't agree with is changing the Pledge of Alliegence. That is more about paying respect to the nation that we are all a part of than it is about religious beliefs.

My other thing, is that people need to stop acting like Christmas is about religion. What Christmas has become has nothing to do with religious beliefs anyways. Santa Claus is not a religious character. The whole holiday has turned into propoganda. Another way in this media-driven culture that stores can bump up their sales. The true meaning of Christmas is lost in all that. So if places don't put Christmas trees or Santa decorations up that is not in anyway fighting our religion. Because that isn't religious stuff. If you want that stuff fine. Put up 50 Santas in your front yard and by a 10-foot Christmas tree. Nobody is stopping you. As long as nobody is stopping you from going to church on Christmas Eve than they are not stopping you from celebrating Christmas. Because that's what Christmas is --- celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Not everyone has to celebrate it and they shouldn't have to feel oppressed by it when they are out in public areas. Some people, like the guy here who is claiming there is a war on Christmas, just feel the need to complain when eveything is the way they like it. Get out of here with that supremicist bull*****. You need to realize what age we are in and the sensitivties religion bring in such a multi-cultural nation. Like CK said, keep your religion in your home or in your church.

This was a heartfelt message from someone who battles religious differences within his own home. I am from a Christian background and my wife is from a Jewish background. Plus, we have a son who is celebrating his first holidays. Anyone ever seen the O.C. --- Chrismakah anyone? :lol:
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:42 PM   #81
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I guess I would just say that both of those views you expressed are very, very modern understandings. In my opinion, they were not held by any of the Framers, Jefferson, or anyone really in that period--other than the justices in the Marbury v Madison case themselves, of course. Remember, this is why Hamilton and the Federalists argued against the fears of the Anti-Federalists that the Supreme Court would become an uncontrollable oligarchy. They argued that the Supreme Court only has the power to interpret the Constitution in individual cases, set precedents, and shape public opinion. But lower courts are not necessarily bound to follow the Supreme Court's reasons for deciding a specific case. They weigh many, many precedents, and then balance them out with their own interpretation of the Constitution to make a decision. Then their decisions are of course later subject to be overturned by the Supreme Court--but it is in that order, and not the other way around. Again, the Supreme Court only has power to decide the case before it. Anything else would be extremely contrary to any free principles.
Sorry for not responding to any of this and just responding with a question first, but I'm heading out to the airport in a little bit, so will respond later. But, I'm curious as to how you see the three branches meshing if all of the branches can interpret with finality. It seems to me that if you strip that interpretation from the judiciary alone, the rest falls. While Madison may not have said words specific to only the judiciary can interpret, he has written of the judiciary as defensive armor.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:51 PM   #82
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But you aren't willing to take his word on it?
Absolutely not. :lol: And Doug knows that's no disrespect to him. Its just that I like to try and think for myself. I'm pesky like that.


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Not even close. The people have no power whatsoever to "interpret" the Constitution, or any law. We might well have better laws if they did. Or not. The people have only indirect control over their laws at best, by voting for those persons they think will pass or rescind the laws they are concerned about.
Really? I'm sure the President would be happy to hear about that. In the next elections make sure to make no judgement on what party will better secure you're Constitutional rights as well, since you have no power to interpret the Constitution. (Sarcasm) This is what I'm talking about--the long-term public will of the people will bend government over time. As Lincoln said, with public opinion on its side, the government can do anything--with public opinion against it, it can do nothing. This isn't the latest poll number I'm talking about mind you, but rather the long term collective will of the people. It is deafening, and extremely powerful.


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Not parallel. There is no obligation to accept something just because it is found not to conflict with the Constitution. All sorts of things that are constitutional are not part of our legal code. There is an obligation to comply with declarations of unconstitutionality.
Absolutely true...until the last sentence. I posted the Jackson quote because it shows a proper mindset (what the people who created it believed they were creating) of the role of the judiciary). He never argues that he isn't bound to accept it because they just said it was Constitutional. He talks about the matter in a larger way. He is talking about the roles for each of the branches. If you want to read an example of it going the other way, I suggest the Lincoln response to the Dred Scott case that I posted, or just the Jefferson quotes--particularly the second paragraph of the second link.


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That is not the issue under question. When the Legislative branch is legislating, the Supreme Court does not have any input in the matter. When the Executive branch is... executing? heh... in its legislative capacity—that is, passing laws—the Supreme Court has no input. Once that process is finished, however, the ball is in the Supreme Court's... court. And only theirs... until the legislative process is begun anew.
This idea is not in the Constitution, however. And none of the people who made the Constitution ever said they they believed this was the role of the Judiciary. It is an extra-Constitutional, modern, false understanding that is almost completely unsupportable by evidence. If you don't believe me, try to find a quote from the period that supports that understanding of the Judiciary. You'll get nothing but a headache.

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No, it may not match up with the founders' vision of what the Court should do. Probably doesn't, if the references you've cited are representative of their views as a whole. That doesn't change the way the system works today. And, given the way the system is working today—most of the founders would be appalled, I'm pretty sure, and would probably wish they'd given the Court more power still.
Very true again....until, IMO, the last sentence. But, I'm not arguing how the system works today. I know how it works. It works just as you described it. I'm not arguing what it is, but what is should be. The current role of the Judiciary is extra-Constitutional. If you're going to demand strict adherence to the document in one instance, you have to follow all of it in every instance. A document that is completely ignored because of the way a system works today can only be--or quickly become--useless and ceremonial.

Anyway, this is a good conversation, thanks Ravana and Doug. These debates are so much more fun than all that liberal/conservative crap.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:53 PM   #83
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I feel the same exact way about the secular: forcing evolution on our children in public school. Do it on your own time...

The War on Christmas and on Christians is very real... skirmishes and battles occuring all over the United States by the secular progressives tearing this nation apart...
Inthenet and chiefsfan,

If you don't want our children to learn SCIENCE then go back in time about 500 years. Science is responsible for nearly every technilogical advancement in huma society. Evolution is SCIENCE! Religion is not science. Why don't you just argue that we shouldn't teach math or history in schools either. Listen, you can't deny evolution on any basis other than religion. Science has decided that evolution is the best explaination for the orgin of human beings. If you don't like it, then argue that we should stop science. no more medicine, no more technilogical advancement. We can go back to caveman times when everything was a lot simpler and you can tell everyone that God is the only answer.

Unfortunately for you people have advanced, and we now understand that God is not responsible for EVERYTHING. Don't blame schools because you are behind the times. Science is a valuable asset and you are trying to kill it. No one is stopping you from going to church. So stop trying to stop us from learning science. ONCE AGAIN: RELIGION - CHURCH, SCIENCE - SCHOOL.

If you don't like science, then home school your children and let them be behind the rest of the world intellectually. But don't force my child to be stupid because you are behind society.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:12 PM   #84
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Inthenet and chiefsfan,

If you don't want our children to learn SCIENCE then go back in time about 500 years. Science is responsible for nearly every technilogical advancement in huma society. Evolution is SCIENCE! Religion is not science. Why don't you just argue that we shouldn't teach math or history in schools either. Listen, you can't deny evolution on any basis other than religion. Science has decided that evolution is the best explaination for the orgin of human beings. If you don't like it, then argue that we should stop science. no more medicine, no more technilogical advancement. We can go back to caveman times when everything was a lot simpler and you can tell everyone that God is the only answer.

Unfortunately for you people have advanced, and we now understand that God is not responsible for EVERYTHING. Don't blame schools because you are behind the times. Science is a valuable asset and you are trying to kill it. No one is stopping you from going to church. So stop trying to stop us from learning science. ONCE AGAIN: RELIGION - CHURCH, SCIENCE - SCHOOL.

If you don't like science, then home school your children and let them be behind the rest of the world intellectually. But don't force my child to be stupid because you are behind society.
Really? I'm stupid if I teach my children about God? And they're stupid as well?
Name calling is the last resort of those who have no case.

I'm saying if my tax dollars are funding public schools where I send my children, I don't want them being taught something I view to be false. You can say our place is at church or home, but that is religious persecution, and the true reason for Thomas Jefferson's idea of Seperation of Church and State.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #85
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Inthenet and chiefsfan,

If you don't want our children to learn SCIENCE then go back in time about 500 years. Science is responsible for nearly every technilogical advancement in huma society. Evolution is SCIENCE! Religion is not science. Why don't you just argue that we shouldn't teach math or history in schools either. Listen, you can't deny evolution on any basis other than religion. Science has decided that evolution is the best explaination for the orgin of human beings. If you don't like it, then argue that we should stop science. no more medicine, no more technilogical advancement. We can go back to caveman times when everything was a lot simpler and you can tell everyone that God is the only answer.

Unfortunately for you people have advanced, and we now understand that God is not responsible for EVERYTHING. Don't blame schools because you are behind the times. Science is a valuable asset and you are trying to kill it. No one is stopping you from going to church. So stop trying to stop us from learning science. ONCE AGAIN: RELIGION - CHURCH, SCIENCE - SCHOOL.

If you don't like science, then home school your children and let them be behind the rest of the world intellectually. But don't force my child to be stupid because you are behind society.

Why be afraid of evolution? I mean, if someones faith is so strong, why would it make any difference what science has proven to be true? Yes, Virginia there is Evolution... Darwin, it's me, Margaret... What is the issue? Why is evolution so bad? Do any of you actually believe the Earth is 6600 years old? That the devil put fossils in the ground to confuse us? That the sun was stopped in the sky? The Earth is the center of the universe? How many of you are actual Bible literalists? Is the Bible infalliable? The reason I ask these questions is this: If the Bible isn't a literal piece of work, then evolution is no threat to Christianity at all, and both can be the bestest of buddies...

If you do take the Bible literally... then you need to study more about the Bible, just a suggestion, because it is obvious that the Bible isn't a literal piece literature...it has many figurative parts to it as well..

So if you want the Bible in our school... have the local school board have an elective class called Theology or Bible Literature...

And keep evolution in the science class where it belong as a proven valid scientific theory...
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:20 PM   #86
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Really? I'm stupid if I teach my children about God? And they're stupid as well?
Name calling is the last resort of those who have no case.

I'm saying if my tax dollars are funding public schools where I send my children, I don't want them being taught something I view to be false. You can say our place is at church or home, but that is religious persecution, and the true reason for Thomas Jefferson's idea of Seperation of Church and State.
I didn't say you were stupid for teaching you children religion, quit putting words in my mouth. I said you are stupid if you don't want children to learn science, which is what evolution is.

Once again, someone might not believe that George Washington was the first president, but they are going to continue to teach in in school because that's what the experts have decided. If you don't like what the xperts have decided then homeschool your children.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:23 PM   #87
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Really? I'm stupid if I teach my children about God? And they're stupid as well?
Name calling is the last resort of those who have no case.

I'm saying if my tax dollars are funding public schools where I send my children, I don't want them being taught something I view to be false. You can say our place is at church or home, but that is religious persecution, and the true reason for Thomas Jefferson's idea of Seperation of Church and State.
I would say you have every right to teach your children about God...but my personal opinion is it is stupid... and yes it would make them stupid in my opinion on the idea of religiousity...

It isn't religious persecution that Jefferson was referring to, it was against the idea of a National Church and/or Theocracy... the gov't was not to promote religious ideals, nor pick any one religion sect over another.... hence the gov't wasn't to tell the people want to practice, nor was the gov't going to any offical religious practices...
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:24 PM   #88
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I didn't say you were stupid for teaching you children religion, quit putting words in my mouth. I said you are stupid if you don't want children to learn science, which is what evolution is.

Once again, someone might not believe that George Washington was the first president, but they are going to continue to teach in in school because that's what the experts have decided. If you don't like what the xperts have decided then homeschool your children.
I vote not talking about Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Ethan Allen..all agnostics/atheists! Not in my schools!:redhot: :redhot: :redhot:
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:31 PM   #89
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Once again, I will say, if scientists and academic scholars suddenly decide that creationism is the best explanation, I sya teach it in schools. But isn't that what schools are for? To teach our children the BEST information theu have, and what THEY have decided to be correct. If you want to teach your children what YOU think is correct, then homeschool.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:33 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Doug Graham View Post
But, I'm curious as to how you see the three branches meshing if all of the branches can interpret with finality. It seems to me that if you strip that interpretation from the judiciary alone, the rest falls. While Madison may not have said words specific to only the judiciary can interpret, he has written of the judiciary as defensive armor.
That's a really good question. It is the question, really. It's always the thing I've had the most trouble with. I remember thinking how inconvenient and sloppy this all sounds. It's a lot simpler with the modern understanding. The government passes laws, nine unelected men tell us if they are or aren't Constitutional, and why or why not. Then, their reasoning carries the force and weight of law itself.

But this is republican government. The point isn't necessarily to have the most clean, efficient, simple to understand government. The purpose is to have the government that can best protect our rights, and provide security. Sure, it would be a lot cleaner and simpler if we had one man who could pass laws, enforce them, and be the judge of their constitutionality...but would that be a wise thing to do? Would it better protect our rights? So if not one man, why do nine unelected men's opinions carry the permanent force of law?

Yes, it is a little more inconvenient, but it will not cause the house of cards to "fall". Sometimes you will have contradictory decisions on the constitutionality of something, but these will be decided over time by the weight of public opinion. The people will eventually carry the day. If you're the President, and I'm the Supreme Court, you may say that holding people in Gitmo is constitutional. Then one of the detainees may sue in Federal Court, and it gets up to me at the Supreme Court. Then I rule to set him free on constitutional grounds. You may persist that it is constitutional and hold the rest. Then we have a constutional dispute. The side that eventually wins the dispute, I can assure you, will be the side that has the force of public opinion on its side. Yes, its a little sloppier, but it works itself out, and does better to protect our rights. It involves everyone in the process, and eventually a sollution is hammered out. I'm going to post one of the Jefferson quotes I linked to since I linked you guys a lot of different stuff, and this quote adresses Doug's question directly, and better than I am capable of doing:

Thomas Jefferson June 11, 1815
"The second question, whether the judges are invested with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality of a law, has been heretofore a subject of consideration with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the executive or legislative branches. Questions of property, of character and of crime being ascribed to the judges, through a definite course of legal proceeding, laws involving such questions belong, of course, to them; and as they decide on them ultimately and without appeal, they of course decide for themselves. The constitutional validity of the law or laws again prescribing executive action, and to be administered by that branch ultimately and without appeal, the executive must decide for themselves also, whether, under the Constitution, they are valid or not. So also as to laws governing the proceedings of the legislature, that body must judge for itself the constitutionality of the law, and equally without appeal or control from its co-ordinate branches. And, in general, that branch which is to act ultimately, and without appeal, on any law, is the rightful expositor of the validity of the law, uncontrolled by the opinions of the other co-ordinate authorities. It may be said that contradictory decisions may arise in such case, and produce inconvenience. (My bolding, not Jefferson's) This is possible, and is a necessary failing in all human proceedings. Yet the prudence of the public functionaries, and authority of public opinion, will generally produce accommodation. Such an instance of difference occurred between the judges of England (in the time of Lord Holt) and the House of Commons, but the prudence of those bodies prevented inconvenience from it. So in the cases of Duane and of William Smith of South Carolina, whose characters of citizenship stood precisely on the same ground, the judges in a question of meum and tuum which came before them, decided that Duane was not a citizen; and in a question of membership, the House of Representatives, under the same words of the same provision, adjudged William Smith to be a citizen. Yet no inconvenience has ensued from these contradictory decisions."


And all this does not mean that the Judiciary is not a defensive shield against unconstitutional laws, tyranny, or usurpation by the other branches. They can apply their understanding of the founding document ot overturn court cases, and they are a significant moulder of public opinion. Their collective opinion is not easily ignored by the American people. But they are simply a check, they are not the ultimate authority.
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