Saturday, November 27, 2004

Don't like the plaques? Better check with Claude....

In case you thought the watchdogs at the ACLU, Freedom from Religion and other chronic hyperventilators of the left had better things to do; what with The Patriot Act, Airline Profiling, Intelligence reform and all; I thought I'd pass on the todoo that took place recently at the Grand Canyon.

Seems the moonbats, like boll weevils and deer ticks, are just about everywhere-heads swiveling around, note books at the ready, paranoia racing at mach speed; searching diligently for the faintest sign that somebody, somewhere might want to express their belief that there is a higher power at work in the universe.

Comfortable with their total destruction of the free speech values contained in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they have now apparently launched Phase 3 of their religious purge; sending out search/swat teams to find and eradicate any remaining vestiges of what they consider "government sponsored " religion in the country.

In this instance, it seems that one of their ferrets, hanging upside down off a precipice in the Grand Canyon, spotted a small rusted plaque that was placed there more than 3 decades ago by the Evangelical Sisters of Mary.

Once recovered from his understandable trauma at confronting a religious symbol, the moonbat's agonized screech could be heard to echo all the way back to New York and the headquarters of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Buttressed by several tons of judicial court "writs" and an armada of FFR and ACLU gray suits with the local constable in tow, the moonbats were ultimately successful in prising the Sister's tiny plaque loose from it's hidden aerie in the cliffs-just in time to head off a ground swell of religious zealots demanding that the Grand Canyon be declared a church-state.

The FFR's only obstacle in the entire removal process, however, was a park ranger named Claude.

Claude carefully examined the tiny plaque, read it's message several times and confessed that he just couldn't figure out where the problem was.

So Claude put it back, right where the sisters left it 33 years ago.

"Didn't seem to hurt nobody all these years. Besides, it's got kind of a historical value. Visitors like seeing it and I ain't heard nobody complain until now. Can't figure out what the fuss is all about.."

But, of course, Claude failed to reckon with Annie Laurie Gaylor, the FFR and Nadine Strosser...

Religious plaques are back up at Grand Canyon
Mark Shaffer
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 23, 2003 01:34 PM

FLAGSTAFF - The Grand Canyon's religious plaques are back.

Park Service rangers reinstalled three bronze plaques inscribed with biblical passages at scenic overlooks on the South Rim on Wednesday, said Gerry Gaumer, a spokesman for the national Park Service in Washington.

The plaques had been taken down in early July after the national capitol chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union had expressed concern that the religious messages on federal property violate the U.S. Constitution and the separation of church and state.

Gaumer said that Don Murphy, deputy director of the Park Service, ordered that the plaques be returned to the Hermit's Rest, Lookout Studio and Desert View scenic overviews pending further legal review and analysis by the agency's attorneys. Gaumer said he did not know how long the review would take.

The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Phoenix placed the plaques at the sites 33 years ago. When the Park Service decided to remove them, the group said that it hoped a suitable alternative location could be found for them within the park.

Each of the plaques cites a verse from the Book of Psalms including Psalms 104:24, which, according to the King James version, reads,

"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches."

It's a pity,really.

If only the good sisters had inscribed their little plaques to read.......

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The Liberal Avenger said...

An extreme example and a poorly chosen battle for the ACLU to fight.

I'd be curious, however, how you would feel if we were to place a plaque next to those plaques with a comparable passage from the Koran.

More topical, perhaps, how about a plaque extoling the virtues of religious peyote consumption in the grandest cathedral of "the great spirit," an Indian holy spot for thousands of years?

bedrocktruth said...

The problem is that all the ACLU's battles are poorly chosen and wrong. Dead wrong-morally and Constitutionally.

It might surprise you but I wouldn't object all to having passages from the Koran displayed alongside the Sister's Biblical passages as long as they were appropriate for the setting.

As I've said many times; let this country's public arenas reflect a celebration of our religious heritage
rather than mausoleums for the burial of our rights of free speech and freedom of religion.

The Liberal Avenger said...

And peyote?

bedrocktruth said...

Sure a few plaques among the cactus ought to do it...

Seriously, I think any religion could have a place at the table or a display with appropriate themes-and public property should be set aside for them.

How many symbols on a courthouse lawn? How many bands in the Thanksgiving parade? I'd rather see fair decisions made on those issues rather than banning religion entirely from the public buildings that American taxpayers spend their hard earned money to build and maintain.

It's not as scary or as difficult as you might think and if you'd like I can come up with "Bedrock's rules of order" on the subject-probably proportioning space and prominence on the basis of religious preferences of area residents in the case of city and state buildings and properties; of national census figures
for federal parks and buildings.

And of course, we'd have plenty of nice blank spaces
for atheists :)

The Liberal Avenger said...

Well, we athiests would appreciate that.

The problem as I see it is that many of the people fighting on your side of the issue aren't as reasonable as you are and seek to maintain religious expression in public places - as long as we're talking about Christianity.

We can come up with extreme examples of religious expression that would be offensive to most people in a public place... There are extreme examples from non-extreme religions... In India a blue topless goddess with numerous arms is a common site on temples. You may be able to handle that at the courthouse, but would your devout Christian neighbor? In my wife's country, it's not uncommon to see a naked, mummified contemporary adult human body in public places as a testament to the impermenance of life - withered penises, testicles, tits and vaginas on parade. Unacceptable perhaps to you and to me, but my wife finds it perfectly normal, and shit - she's an American citizen.

And old athiest me thinks that some portrayals of Jesus on the cross are downright gruesome.

We approach, now, the slippery slope of public determination of decency. I would imagine that you, my wife and I all have different standards of decency and the three of us have different standards than John Ashcroft (whose faith doesn't allow dancing) or your Pentacostal snake-handling neighbors.

Eliminating faith from government and public places prevents us from discriminating against one another in this manner. Simultaneously, we are all free to practice our faiths (or lack thereof) in our own homes or places of worship.

[I nodded off in the midst of typing that last pp. Goodnight.]

bedrocktruth said...

When you put it that way, I'm almost ready to back track.

But under the premise that belief in a higher power is a very large tent, I still say let us fill it and let the viewer be the judge.

Right now less than 5% of Americans are controlling freedom of religious expression in this country and denying the other 95% their birth right and their Constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

Can any rational and common sense compromise be worse than that?

In looking at the criteria, here in South Carolina for example the Christian symbols-be they a tablet of the Ten Commandments, a statue of the Virgin Mary of the Pieta or a creche-would occupy about 85% of the available space, the Jewish Menorrah perhaps 8%-10%. This would leave some 5-8% of the available space for other faiths. After deducting the atheists' blank spaces between the displays there would be perhaps 3-5% available for Muslims, Buddhists,Wiccans,Taoists, Satanists and the other faiths.

I think Christians and Jews can live with that and atheists should certainly be able to since they will have lost their Constitutional canard that religious displays discriminate against other faiths.

In other parts of the country the mix may be different but since this country is and always has been a citadel of Christian faith, those symbols would be always be the most prominent ones.

Is that fair? Is that Democratic-proportioning the "vote"so to speak on the basis of registered voters (declared religion on the census tracks)?

As the saying goes, "all business is local". So the local displays would directly reflect the wishes of
the citizens in each particular community.

I'm not too sure about the withered private parts but if the symbol is tasteful and reflects the religion of the displaying group, why not? That's what religious freedom is all about isn't it?

So what is "tasteful"?. A local board, made up of community members can hash that out as they do so many other matters politic in a fair and democratic process.

Finally, as to "why on public property"? Public property is your property and mine, paid for with
our taxes. If the vast majority of tax payers want to see religion occupy a place in public view and discourse, then they should have that right. And that right is being denied right now by the ACLU and the liberal courts' convoluted interpretation of the so called "establishment clause".

What I'm suggesting is freedom of religion, free speech and freedom to worship or not worship in our public buildings, parks and educational institutions on a democratic free choice basis.

What's wrong with that?

Chuck Rightmire said...

But, you see, Bedrock, that's what the issue is. You don't understand it, because you're not a strong religionist, you just think it's right and I can understand that. But for the strong religionists that I'm familiar with, which I understand are about 10-20% of the population, the solution you and LA suggest would not be acceptable. They want it taught their way, which I don't think you would accept. And believe me, theocracy is not as distant a nightmare as you would have us believe. When Pat Buchanan and others talk about the ACLU and religion, they are not talking your brand. (They don't agree with snake handlers either, I understand.) What they are talking about is a no-holds barred, take no prisoners form of fundamentalist religion more akin to the wahabism that drives al qaida than to your form of religion. They wouldn't like the solution and they wouldn't like the idea. And my question continues to be, why is religion necessary in the public world since it solves no problems and provides no answers. The world will go on the same without it; it always has and always will (except for a few wars and a few inquisitions).

bedrocktruth said...

Yes, I know that the extreme fundamentalists on the one hand and the atheists on the other, would not want to see a compromise like this. It's one of the reasons that the country is in gridlock on the issue. And right now no one but the atheists and the theocrapobiacs are satisfied with the eradication of religion from our textbooks and public arenas.

And that's just an upside down and backwards approach to democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

You've noted yourself, Chuck,that the extremists are perhaps 20% (I'd put it closer to 10%) and we know that the atheists comprise less than 5% of the population. So we're talking about abrogating the rights of 75-85% of Americans out of concern for the wishes of that extremely small minority.

I'm saying this isn't the way it should work. If those who agree that a reasonable compromise is in
order to regain our religious rights and heritage then the minority can just suck it up and live with it, as in any free society and as the 80-85% in this country who believe that our religious heritage is important to this country and our future have been forced to suck it up and live with it for these past
few decades.

Remember, too, that during the times of all the historical religious excesses you mention there was never any hint of this country becoming a theocratic state.

Yes, the world will go on the same with the denial of their civil and birthrights to Christians just as it does in spite of all the other civil and human rights abuses that you and LA are always ready to condemn.

That still doesn't make it fair, equitable or right............

runr53 said...

I'll probably get skewered for this but, Seems like there is an awful lot of noise about how the "seperation of church and state" is to be interpreted. I am a member of the old folks club and as clear as I can recall from all the history courses I've taken and books I've read, this provision was put into our constitution to prevent one thing and that was a " Church of America" or United States. Here is the most important item here, that was their sole intent, nothing more nothing less. But then what do I know?

bedrocktruth said...

Thanks runr53. You know a lot. The egregious misinterpretation by the liberal courts has mauled the original intent of The First Amendment- which is precisely as you state it- to encourage the removal of
every vestige of our religious heritage from the public arena.

I tried to summarize the results in "A thinking man's guide to dealing with theocraphobia", another posting on this site.

Thanks for commenting.......

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JustOneVoice said...

I dont think the true argument is over religious displays... but that of choice. If Pat Robertson is on Channel 26, I dont have to watch channel 26. If any religion is trying to sell me something I dont want, I dont need to buy it. If my place of employment decides to choose a 'company religion' that I dont agree with, I can change jobs.. However, when you talk about a courthouse or any other civil building where I need to conduct business (and no other venue is available) is going to post religious paraphenalia, there is no choice. Even if everyone is doing it, multiple displays instead of just one, not only is that a larger waste of money, but more chances to 'offend' someone. You made a good point, thats alot of hard earned taxpayer money..and for MY money, my choice would be to not see any of it.

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