I hope we can condemn Concerned Women for America

Salon aruges that after the huge blowout against John Kerry for mentioning Mary Cheney, they certainly hope that the Righties who were appalled with Kerry, can be equally appalled with CWFA for suggesting to Lynne and Dick that Mary can be "cured": :...we eagerly await demands that the group apologize for once again pulling Mary from her non-existent closet."

CWFA's About Mary: An Open Letter to Dick and Lynn Cheney


But are all the states recognizing the same God? And how do you know they are talking about God as you perceive her?

And here's another bunch more:

I think a more prudent conduct in another sect among us, that of the Dunkers. I was acquainted with one of its founders, Michael Welfare, soon after it appear'd. He complain'd to me that they were grievously calmumniated by the zealots of other persuasions, and charg'd with abominable principles and practices, to which they were utter strangers. I told him this had always been the case with new sects, and that, to put a stop to such abuse, I imagin'd it might be well to publish the articles
of their belief, and the rules of their discipline. He said that it had been propos'd among them, but not agreed to, for this reason: "When we were first drawn together as a society," says he, "it had pleased God to enlighten our minds so far as to see that some doctrines, which we once esteemed truths, were errors, and that others, which we had esteemed errors, were real truths. From time to time He has been pleased to afford us farther light, and our principles have been improving, and our
errors diminishing. Now we are not sure that we are arrived at the end of this progression, and at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowledge; and we fear that, if we should once print our confession of faith, we should feel ourselves as if bound and confin'd by it, and perhaps unwilling to receive further improvement, and our successors still more so, as conceiving what we their elders and founders had done to be something sacred, never to be departed from."

This modesty in a sect is perhaps a singular instance in the history of mankind, every other sect supposing itself in possession of all truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong; ...
--Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of ~

Many have quarrel'd about Religion that never practiced it.
--Ben Franklin; "Poor Richard's Almanack"

The Bell calls others to Church, but itself never minds the Sermon.
--Ben Franklin; "Poor Richard's Almanack"

How many observe Christ's Birthday; How few his Precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.
--Ben Franklin; "Poor Richard's Almanack"

I flatter myself [that we] have in this Country extinguished for ever the ambitious hope of making laws for the human mind.
--James Madison, 1786, to Jefferson on the ratification of the Bill of Rights

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.

--James Madison, Fourth President of the Untited States.

The "people" who exercise the power are not always the same people with those over whom it is exercised; and the "self-government" spoken of is not the government of each by himself, but of each by all the rest. The will of the people, moreover, practically means the will of the most numerous or the most active part of the people -- the majority, or those who succeed in making themselves accepted as the majority; the people, consequently, may desire to oppress a part of their
number, and precautions are as much needed against this as against any other abuse of power.
--John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1858/59

The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guadian of his own health, whether bodily or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.
--John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1858/59

Apart from the peculiar tenets of individual thinkers, there is also in the world at large an increasing inclination to stretch unduly the powers of society over the individual both by the force of opinion and even by that of legislation; and as the tendency of all the changes taking place in the world is to strengthen society and diminish the power of the individual, this encroachment is not one of the evils which tend spontaneously to disappear, but, on the contrary, to grow more and more
--John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1858/59

By Christianity, I here mean what is accounted such by all churches and sects -- the maxims and precepts contained in the New Testament. These are considered sacred, and accepted as laws, by all professing Christians. Yet it is scarecly too much to say say that not one Christian in a thousand guides or tests his individual conduct by reference to those laws.
--John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1858/59

All Christians believe that the blessed are the poor and humble, and those who are ill-used by the world; that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven; that they should judge not, lest they be judged; that they should swear not at all; that they should love their neighbor as themselves; that if one take their cloak, they should give him their coat also; that they should take no thought for the morrow; that if they would be
perfect they should sell all that they have and give it to the poor. They are not insincere when they say that they believe these things. They do believe them, as people believe what they have always heard lauded and never discussed.
--John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1858/59

He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself employs all of his faculties. He must use obervation to see, reasoning and judgement to foresee, activity to gather materials for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has deicded, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision. And these qualities he requires and exercises exactly in
proportion as the part of his conduct which he determines according to his own judgment and feelings is a large one. It is possible that he might be guided in some good path, and kept out of harms way, without any of these things. But what will be his comparative worth as a human being.
--John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1858/59

This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!

--John Adams, Second President of the United States.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands of those who feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you. May posterity forget that ye were our countrymen
--Samuel Adams

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. ...

But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. ...

--Declaration of Independence, United States Congress, July 4, 1776

And pay especial attention to the real G.W. here:

The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.
--George Washington, Treaty of Tripoli, 1796

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no
sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.

[ . . . ]

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.
--President George Washington, circa 1790

I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this [i.e., the purchase of an apparent geological or astronomical work] can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offense against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? And are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to
dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason. If Mr. de Bercourt's book be false in its
facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But, for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides, if we choose.
--Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814. ME 14:127

And don't give me no bullshit, straw man argument about some of those things being said after they were presidents. Those who became president didn't stop being founding fathers because of that.

Please substantiate your claim with what "our forefathers wrote" about separation of church and state.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others.
--Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. president, 1803

In every country and every age, the priest has been an enemy of Liberty.
--Thomas Jefferson

I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform them.
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

SIR, -- Yours of the 7th instant has been duly received, with the pamphlet inclosed, for which I return you my thanks. Nothing can be more exactly and seriously true than what is there stated; that but a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandising their oppressors in Church and State; that the
purest system of morals ever before preached to man, has been adulterated and sophisticated by artificial constructions, into a mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves; that rational men not being able to swallow their impious heresies, in order to force them down their throats, they raise the hue and cry of infidelity, while themselves are the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the real doctrines of Jesus, and do in fact constitute the real Anti-Christ.
Jefferson, 19 Jan 1810, in a letter to Samuel Kercheval

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US president

Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical,
who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; . . .
--Thomas Jefferson, Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia, 1779

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of relgion and the same shall in no way diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil
--Thomas Jefferson, Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia, 1779

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
--Thomas Jefferson, February 10, 1814

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between
church and State.
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, 01 Jan 1802

And lastly:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; . . .

If you mean that most of the public documents of the time mention God... I agree.

LOLOL.. it wouldn't be a journal if we didn't meander. The original, original issue was the CWFA and PFOX.

I think you are meandering here Robert.

I believe the original issue dealt with any constitutional, state or federal, reference to a Creator or God. Have we not established this?

LOL... We.. All those people.. same thing to me this time around. Are we really going to start parsing every word? The "We" was just an editorial, universal "we". If it helps everyone's thinking... I was thinking "They". I'm just looking to see how consistent people are, or if all the complaining, as I suspect, was merely election year rhetoric.

Now I must go wee-wee.

Not to mention section 3: No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous (sic) opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience...

The section you mentioned is titled: Freedom of Worship, and was obviously intended to guarantee the freedom of religion. That they would put it into Christian terms is not a surprise. That section does not, however, acknowledge the existence of God... and if you look at Section 1, it states: "We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority..." (emphasis mine).

Oregon Constitution Bill of Rightsharbornet.com>

Article 1, Section 2

    All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

So it goes from 'we' to 'all those people'. Cute.

Not by the example you provided. The one for Oregon reads:

"We the people of the State of Oregon to the end that Justice be established, order maintained, and liberty perpetuated, do ordain this Constitution."

No mention of God in that one. Damn, I love this state!

I thought it was in poor taste and unneccesary.

I really would expect, however, that all those people that were so vocal in condemning Kerry, would be equally vocal in condemning CWFA and PFOX.

The historical context for our nation is, in part, Judeo-Christian. It also has borrowed quite a bit from pagan Rome and Greece. Our concept of Democracy did not come to us from our Judeo-Christian heritage, but came to us from the Greeks.

As for connecting the dots, would those be the same dots that exhausted Europe during the Wars of Religion in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries?

How can a country that was founded, in part, on the concept of religious tolerance and freedom, favor one set of religious beliefs over another?

If the United States becomes, in a broad sense, a Christian Nation, how long before there are battles over what kind of Christian Nation the United States should be? Will the United States officially recognize the trinity? Or will the christianization of secular government end there, and all the religious will be content to live and let live. Trinitarians and Unitarians. Pentecostals and Congregationalists? Or will there be round after round of religo-political battles to determine what sort of Christian Nation the United States is?

What is wrong with a secular nation that allows and protects the rights of ALL of it's citizens to seek and find their own truth?

So you condemned Kerry's use of her?

You would agree that language is grounded in context? You would also agree the historical context of our nation is Judeo-Christian?

Now it's just a matter of connecting these two with a straight line ; )

This is not CWFA's letter, it actually comes from a group called PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays). However, since CWFA posted the letter on their site, both CWFA and PFOX should enjoy our censure.

The site for PFOX is here.pfox.org>

No side stepin' babe... I think the headline speaks for itself... I hope WE, all of use, can condemn CWFA for also dragging Mary Cheney into the public spotlight. LOL.. I'm not hiding behind Salon at all. I happen to agree.

you're sidestepping, you posted the headline, you're responsible for it

no hiding behind Salon

Of course, if we go the path of Canada, you will still be free to condemn CWFA and PFOX, but for them to say and think what they did will be thoughtcrime.

    Here's is Canada's lawjustice.gc.ca>

    319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

    (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

I guess we all have Blake to thank for hosting LISNews in the good ole, Ashcroftian USA. If north of the border I suppose many of us, including some of our Canadian brethren, would be posting with wall taps.

But Birdie your quote by Jefferson was not taken from the Constitution but by a sitting President post ratification. FWIW, in addition to our same forefathers DofI invocation of our "Creator", every state constitution in the Union recognizes God.historicaldocuments.com>

The issue here is separation "of" not separation "from".

Fair enough.

That's as far as I'll go, Chuck, let's not get into Constitutional analysis here.

That's a good quote. Follow-up:

  1. Whom is he enjoining to do or not to do something; and
  2. What is he enjoining them to do or not to do?

Since in the U.S. we do make much of our First Amendment, CWFA and PFOX are free to think and say what they did, and you are free to condemn them. That's a good thing.

Of course, if we go the path of Canadavolokh.com>, you will still be free to condemn CWFA and PFOX, but for them to say and think what they did will be thoughtcrime.

Thomas Jefferson - "I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."

Half of us want faith to play a part in our government and the other half want there to be a strict separation of church and state as our forefathers wrote.

Please substantiate your claim with what "our forefathers wrote" about separation of church and state.

The "we" is Salon, and the group they want to apologize is CWFA.

Ohhh.. so all the upset over what Kerry said was just a cynical political ploy? Now that the election is over, we no longer have to talk about or deal with gay issues?

GWB has been elected president, but that doesn't end the debate, nor does it end our efforts to ensure that ALL good citizens in our country enjoy the full benefits of civil society. Last time I checked, the United States was a secular state. If people want to believe that homosexuality is a sin, they are free to do so within their own hearts, homes and churches. Imposing religious doctrine on everyone is dangerous, and does damage to the concept of seperation of Church and State.

The election may be over, but that doesn't mean that we've all simultaneously arrived at the same conclusion. We are still a deeply divided country.

Half of us want faith to play a part in our government and the other half want there to be a strict separation of church and state as our forefathers wrote.

And Twisted is right, those PFOX folks are a real throwback to the dark ages.

I doubt seriously if the Republican ultra-rightists will censure their own over this issue. Among such people, it is permissible to savage your own within party lines. It is those who step beyond the bounds of the party lines who are then savaged by the party.

You must mean "they." I seriously doubt you were condemning Edwards and Kerry for their Mary remarks. And no, I don't intend to read the letter. The election is over.