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Integration of Church & State
March 27, 2003 10:16 PM   Subscribe

House Resolution 153 recognizes the need for the American public to pray and fast in order to secure the blessings of "Providence" (read: Jesus) for our Armed Forces. Seriously. "Resolved that the President should issue a proclamation designating a day for prayer & fasting for all people of the United States". I take back the thing I said earlier about the Freedom Fries being the stupidest Congressional legislation I'd ever seen.
posted by jonson (75 comments total)

 
Um, fuck the President and Congress?

I'm with jonson. Stupid, stupid legislation. How am I supposed to become a fat, lazy American if I'm fasting?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:24 PM on March 27, 2003


I am in full-on shock. This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. And that's coming from a guy who saw Santa Claus Conquers the Martians *three times.* Even worse is the reasoning... "Well, they did it in 1774 and 1863, it MUST be a good idea."
posted by krakedhalo at 10:25 PM on March 27, 2003


Methodists don't fast, do they? Is this the evangelical wing trying to look inclusive? Just when you thought the nightmare swerve of reality couldn't careen any closer to the ditch...
posted by squirrel at 10:31 PM on March 27, 2003


krakedhalo - I agree, the reasoning given is the icing on this stupid confectionary. "well, it worked for us 140 years ago, so let's try it now". Can't wait to see if they try leeches & hacksaws for the battlefield injuries.
posted by jonson at 10:33 PM on March 27, 2003


the stupidest Congressional legislation I'd ever seen: We need scorecards!
posted by mischief at 10:36 PM on March 27, 2003


Mr. AKIN, Mr. GOODE, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. KING of Iowa, Mr. HAYES, Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia, Mr. BEAUPREZ, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida, Mr. MANZULLO, Mr. ADERHOLT, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. PITTS, Mr. RYUN of Kansas, Mrs. MYRICK, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. TERRY, and Mr. SOUDER should all be dragged from their homes and publicly humiliated.

I mean, in 1776 there was humiliation involved! Where did the humiliation go?
posted by UrbanFigaro at 10:38 PM on March 27, 2003


Providence doesn't give their support. Trust me, I'm on the mailing list.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:41 PM on March 27, 2003


Please tell me this didn't pass . . . perhaps I misunderstand something fundamental about the nature of resolutions vs. bills?
posted by Ryvar at 10:43 PM on March 27, 2003


(read: Jesus)

That's not what the resolution says.
posted by hama7 at 10:44 PM on March 27, 2003


This is just more of the same, another brick taken from the wall. Separation of Church & State? Hah.

U.S. Department of Labor

Department of Health & Human Services

Housing & Urban Development

U. S. Department of Education

U. S. Department of Justice

White House

Faith and Community Liaisons by State
posted by madamjujujive at 10:51 PM on March 27, 2003


is Providence, RI to blame if the war doesn't turn out well?

I mean, blessing securitation is one of things that the US is going for and if you don't distribute an adequate dispersal of blessings, then you're really gonna hurt people.

I say we divide Rhode Island into a land for enemy combatant (read: the PawSox stadium will be the location) and we sell the rest to a really rich guy.

Lines of paper were saved by not going with "Fast to secure the blessing of whatever god, goddess, living person, plant or whatever that you acknowledge as being the source of blessings. Athiests need just not step on cracks and such and such" on the bill.

;)
posted by RobbieFal at 10:52 PM on March 27, 2003


Providence Fucking Christ.

Whereas the aforesigned members of our SECULAR government deem it to be of good use of their limited time and our limited funds to write such UNBELIEVABLE nonsense, and spend taxpayer money to document, support, and consider such worthless crap as an actual bill before congress;

Whereas these afore-defined fools may falsely believe themselves in possession of good intent and good will;

And whereas we the people, the voting public recognize that we have elected said idiots to our congress: Now therefore be it

Resolved That it is the sense of good and decent and intelligent citizens that we should loudly decry this attempted legislation as pandering, wasteful, and completely useless - and furthermore declare the aforementioned members of congress to be complete Horse's Asses.
posted by kokogiak at 10:52 PM on March 27, 2003


I say we divide Rhode Island into a land for enemy combatant (read: the PawSox stadium will be the location) and we sell the rest to a really rich guy.

RobbieFal, that plan makes more sense than passing a resolution to have the President mandate a day of fasting & prayer nationwide for our troops. Perhaps YOU should be a congresscritter?
posted by jonson at 10:54 PM on March 27, 2003


...submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform...

... where three interns and two legislative assistants became insane after reading it, and had to be confined in Arkham Asylum. The bill was then shoved into a deep well beneath the laboratory committee room floor, which was capped with a heavy stone cover. There it mewls and scrabbles feebly at the walls with its broken fingernails for all eternity.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:55 PM on March 27, 2003


I think it's time to simmer down and dry your eyes, friends.

The Myth of the Separation of Church and State

"The people did not want freedom from religion, but freedom of religion."

A key point in an informative and stimulating piece of literature.

Hysteria and atheistic proselytization may now resume.
posted by hama7 at 11:08 PM on March 27, 2003


Understood Hama7, I've read that before - but, be reasonable here. What a load of crap this legislation is, done in the name of religious observation - which while not prohibited should at least be frowned on severely, no?

I mean, look at the recent ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance - it does not seem that it should to be the business of government to issue religious directives (or suggestions or proclamations, or what have you). Understood, it will happen again and again, but isn't this bill just frivoulous at best?
posted by kokogiak at 11:15 PM on March 27, 2003


Wow. Not because of the resolution but the responses. The only thing this resolution will do is to give you a day (or part of a day) off to attend spiritual services, rallies, demonstrations, engage in meditation, etc., in a time of widespread stress. It's not only a positive gesture, but a respectful one as well.

I'm dumbfounded that while so many of our friends and relatives are risking their lives and making great sacrifices for a cause that they may or may not believe in, so many MeFi members are protesting against a paid holiday away from their beloved cubicles. That's just fucking sick.

Maybe you should use the time to be thankful for just how easy you have it.
posted by ttrendel at 11:16 PM on March 27, 2003


1st Amendment - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Main Entry: respect
Function: transitive verb
Date: 1560
1 a : to consider worthy of high regard : ESTEEM b : to refrain from interfering with
-m-w.com
posted by entropy at 11:23 PM on March 27, 2003


I would just like to remind everyone that this was not a bill, but a non-binding resolution. While the content of this resolution truly disturbs me, please see some of the company that this resolution keeps: H.CON.RES.40 - Capitol Rotunda, H. J. RES. 19 - Reagan's birthday and my favorite, H . CON. RES . 84 - Acceptance of a statue of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, presented by the people of Kansas.

And ttrendel, I am thankful, but I don't care what is happening in the world, I will pray when I damn well want to. This resolution is not asking for a paid holiday - it is asking telling us that we should "seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings". That pretty much talks about the Judeo-Christion God not Buddha, Allah, Zeus or mathowie. Now I know this is just pandering to an audience, but the thing that scares me is the fact that - with everything going on - this was spent time on. This was passed so that House members could point to say, "I was active in helping America during the War."
posted by plemeljr at 11:28 PM on March 27, 2003


What kokogiak said.

ttrendel: The resolution is a sense of the congress that the President should issue a proclamation that the country fast and pray and humiliate themselves on some day of the President's choosing. Nowhere does it give anyone a paid holiday. I hope you were being sarcastic.

Holy fucking shit. The great pink unicorns in the sky are aiming the meteorites about 700 miles too far to the west-northwest.
posted by AstroGuy at 11:29 PM on March 27, 2003


Hama7 -

That "tract" is full assumptions, distortions, and bad math (see the 94% section), but you probably have plenty of defenses against those assertions. The hidden gem in that piece is this sentence:

"Without people of the United States upholding good moral conduct [as taught in the Bible], society soon degenerates into a corrupt system where people misuse the authority of government to obtain what they want at the expense of others."

Thumpin' bibles and linin' pockets. It's the American way.
posted by chino at 11:30 PM on March 27, 2003


Main Entry: res·o·lu·tion
Pronunciation: "re-z&-'lü-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : the act or process of reducing to simpler form: as a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : SOLVING c : the act of determining d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1) : the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g : the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum h : the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light
2 : the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)
3 a : something that is resolved b : firmness of resolve
4 : a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group
5 : the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out

Main Entry: law
Pronunciation: 'lo
Function: noun

1 a (1) : a binding custom or practice of a community : a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority (2) : the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules (3) : COMMON LAW b (1) : the control brought about by the existence or enforcement of such law (2) : the action of laws considered as a means of redressing wrongs; also : LITIGATION (3) : the agency of or an agent of established law c : a rule or order that it is advisable or obligatory to observe d : something compatible with or enforceable by established law e : CONTROL, AUTHORITY
2 a often capitalized : the revelation of the will of God set forth in the Old Testament b capitalized : the first part of the Jewish scriptures : PENTATEUCH, TORAH -- see BIBLE table
3 : a rule of construction or procedure
4 : the whole body of laws relating to one subject
5 a : the legal profession b : law as a department of knowledge : JURISPRUDENCE c : legal knowledge
6 a : a statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions b : a general relation proved or assumed to hold between mathematical or logical expressions
- at law : under or within the provisions of the law

Synonyms:

law- assize, canon, decree, decretum, edict, institute, ordinance, precept, prescript, prescription, regulation, rule, statute

resolution- breakdown, breakup, dissection, conclusion, determination, settlement, decidedness, determination, firmness, purposefulness, purposiveness, resoluteness, resolve

SO according to Merriam-Webster, resolution does not equal law, law= statute while resolution= conclusion

SO Congress made NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion

What was your point again, Entropy?

posted by ttrendel at 11:37 PM on March 27, 2003


This House Resolution is secretly a warplan in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security as a way to find out who is truly American and who is not. Anyone found sneaking out to a Krispy Kreme on that day will be shot on sight for treason.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:40 PM on March 27, 2003


Thanks for the link to Krispy Kreme Z... I think I'll petition my congressman to draw up a resolution in praise of these confectionary delights. In fact, I'd love a day dedicated to the contemplation, devouring, and general appreciation of Krispy Kreme.
posted by kokogiak at 11:43 PM on March 27, 2003


In fact, I'd love a day dedicated to the contemplation, devouring, and general appreciation of Krispy Kreme.

...and prayer. Don't forget the prayer.
posted by bradlauster at 11:45 PM on March 27, 2003


... or the humiliation.
posted by kokogiak at 11:46 PM on March 27, 2003


Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the President should issue a proclamation--

(1) designating a day for humility, prayer, and fasting for all people of the United States; and

(2) calling on all people of the United States--

(A) to observe the day as a time of prayer and fasting;

(B) to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities; and

(C) to gain resolve in meeting the challenges that confront our Nation.


Remember that "hour of prayer" you got paid for after Sept.11th? I do.

How exactly is this different? I'm glad to see I touched a nerve AstroGuy.
posted by ttrendel at 11:50 PM on March 27, 2003


ttrendel, I realize that this is not yet law, but just as "Freedom fries" became a reality so can this stupid resolution. My point is that it should not be allowed, if we still consider the constitution a valid and relevant document.
posted by entropy at 11:52 PM on March 27, 2003


It may be touchy on my part (so I'm touchy, so sue me), but I resent anyone telling, suggesting, cajoling or asking me to "seek guidance from God". Moreso worse when the entity asking is in a position of power. Further worsened when the general rules of that entity forbid a very similar if technically different utterance.
posted by kokogiak at 11:59 PM on March 27, 2003


Thumpin' bibles and linin' pockets. It's the American way.

Generalizin' and dumpin' on religion. It's the... well, what kind of way is that?
posted by hama7 at 12:01 AM on March 28, 2003


Yeah, my apologies entropy, I didn't mean that to sound harsh.

I am probably interpreting it differently than most, but I interpreted it as support for a national period of thought or prayer. Nothing wrong with that in my book. My point was that it is simply support for said period, much like the "prayer hour" after 9-11, not any approach towards a legal mandate of religion. I admit the wording may be poor, but I interpreted it as being borne from positive thought.

I again apologize for the harsh tones, entropy.
posted by ttrendel at 12:08 AM on March 28, 2003


O/T
FFS, people, it's different from not different than. "Different than" doesn't mean anything.

Guh. Rant over, thank you.

You know, we in the UK have a national strand of christianity with the head of state as its supreme governor. There are also (or at least were until recently) Bishops in the House of Lords. Church and State are intimately entwined, and we don't have any of this nonsense. Touch wood.
posted by Grangousier at 12:29 AM on March 28, 2003


actually, the debate is a little bit more even-handed...and amusing to read pdf, sorry

such a great disconnect in style between the language used there and how we can all foresee that it will be repackaged for radio and tv.

there is also amazing lack of concern for what the true atheists will think about this.

or for the sensibilities of anyone who takes a non-deterministic view of history.

(I think there is even a brand of Christian spiritual thought that sees the external world as shaped primarily by free will, with the rise and fall of empires like ephemeral grass only serving to make the individual realize that the true empire of justice cannot be pursued through power politics but only in the personal turn towards God. I'm not any kind of Christian though, and so I might be getting the details wrong. I just seem to recall that even amongst the very religious, there are those who would find this direct appeal for intercession by the higher power to be offensive or wrongheaded.)
posted by jann at 12:38 AM on March 28, 2003


Forms of Congressional Action:

Concurrent Resolutions
Matters affecting the operations of both [houses of Congress] are usually initiated by means of concurrent resolutions... [when] originating in the House it is designated "H.Con.Res." followed by its individual number. On approval by both the House of Representatives and Senate, they are signed by the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate. They are not presented to the President for action.
{more} concurrent and simple resolutions normally are not legislative in character since not "presented" to the President for approval, but are used merely for expressing facts, principles, opinions, and purposes of the two Houses. A concurrent resolution is not equivalent to a bill and its use is narrowly limited within these bounds.

A concurrent resolution is not a law. It cannot become law. It will not be subject to "separation of church and state" constitutional case law because it creates no binding imposition upon any citizen. It is simply part and parcel of the parliamentary business of Congress, which includes daily obituaries of prominent citizens from home districts entered into the Congressional Record, paeans to good citizenship and designations of unofficial Congressional honors. It is also, one notes, fully constitutional for Congress to appoint a chaplain, and to begin each morning's deliberations with a prayer; which, in fact, any viewer of C-SPAN can see them do.
posted by dhartung at 2:06 AM on March 28, 2003


dhartung, if you're interested the British Parliament also begins its day with prayers (C of E, natch).

This strikes me as political grandstanding, as pointless in its own way as Early Day Motions on football matches and the like...
posted by dmt at 3:36 AM on March 28, 2003


Although the resolution recognizes the war, it doesn't resolve anything to do with the war at all. If I didn't know better, I would read the resolution (particularly (B)) as a clarion call for people to re-evaluate the US's current activities in Iraq (achieve a greater understanding of our own failings).

I hadn't realised how anti-war the house is.
posted by daveg at 4:51 AM on March 28, 2003


Methodists don't fast, do they?

Yup, they do. But the Methodist church is opposed to this war as are most other churches in the world, excepting the Southern Baptist wing of the Republican party of course.
posted by nofundy at 5:07 AM on March 28, 2003


i'd pray and fast daily for the patron saint of horrible accidents to send us a savior.
posted by quonsar at 5:15 AM on March 28, 2003


And they said Handmaid's Tale was ficiton. Way to go Atwood!
posted by sudasana at 5:27 AM on March 28, 2003


I was self-employed during the 'hour of prayer' that I never heard a darn thing about when it apparently happened.

I wonder if I can still bill myself for that time, so's I can get paid for praying.
posted by wells at 6:16 AM on March 28, 2003


There is nothing wrong with fasting and prayer. If you don't believe in it, leave it alone. It won't hurt you.

Lots of folks (who never even heard of Metafilter) WANT to participate in something like this.

You all worry too much about "religion". There is absolutely no chance that it will ever gain enough ascendency in our government to interfere with what you want to do. Meanwhile the rest of us are happy to exercise the freedom of "religion" that other regimes would deny us.

Don't bother ragging on me. I'm not changing my mind.
posted by konolia at 6:24 AM on March 28, 2003


Athiests need just not step on cracks and such and such...

Superstition is kinda antithetical to atheism. Ideally, anyway.
*Rubs lucky scorpion-in-lucite paperweight*
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:45 AM on March 28, 2003


Don't bother ragging on me. I'm not changing my mind.

Hey, great statement for the community weblog.

There is nothing wrong with fasting and prayer. If you don't believe in it, leave it alone. It won't hurt you. Lots of folks (who never even heard of Metafilter) WANT to participate in something like this.

And there are lots of people who DON'T. So passing a resoultion dictating the "need" for the saving spirit of Jesus Christ to pass over our troops isn't exactly meriting a choice for those who think this is the most ass-backwards primitive waste of legislative time since renaming food.

You all worry too much about "religion". There is absolutely no chance that it will ever gain enough ascendency in our government to interfere with what you want to do. Meanwhile the rest of us are happy to exercise the freedom of "religion" that other regimes would deny us.

I don't worry about religion, nor, as hama7 claimed, do I rag on religion or faith itself. What I despise is the attempt for ORGANIZED religious groups, who basically have their power as a result of giving a certain form of mythology fanastic PR, dictating their right to subvert the real needs of the people because they "want" something. If this resolution, as you claim, serves no real purpose, then why the fuck are our elected and tax-paid lawmakers wasting everyone's time?

Your idea that "religion" will "never gain enough ascendency in our government to interfere with what you want to do" is laughable. This country's laws on drugs, alcohol use, abortion, divorce, gay rights, hell, the fucking Pledge of Allegiance- are rooted in the desires of the impassioned Christians. When George Bush, John Ashcroft, and Antonin Scalia all come out and SAY that their faith in Jesus is what guided their policy making you have very little argument that religion doesn't affect the way I live as a U.S. citizen.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:10 AM on March 28, 2003


While I agree this is further evidence of our country's slide into the toilet of history from its original potential as a beacon of sanity in the world, I'm not going to get too worked up over the church & state thing. I'm just going to amuse myself visualizing the average American finding out about this and getting his fist pumped halfway into the air with an AWWWLRRIiii..iii..i..gh....t? as he gets past the word "prayer" to "fasting."
posted by soyjoy at 7:15 AM on March 28, 2003


dumpin' on religion. It's the... well, what kind of way is that?

The smart way. The sooner we as a species leave the Zeus/Thor/Allah/Jehovah myths in the dust, the better. Maybe then we'll stop killing each other over disagreements about which imaginary guy in the sky we should be worshipping.
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 7:24 AM on March 28, 2003


This country's laws on drugs, alcohol use, abortion, divorce, gay rights, hell, the fucking Pledge of Allegiance- are rooted in the desires of the impassioned Christians. When George Bush, John Ashcroft, and Antonin Scalia all come out and SAY that their faith in Jesus is what guided their policy making you have very little argument that religion doesn't affect the way I live as a U.S. citizen.

AMEN brother! Can I get an amen people? ;-)
posted by nofundy at 7:33 AM on March 28, 2003


Lots of folks (who never even heard of Metafilter) WANT to participate in something like this.

What prevents them from participating in something like this as a private event without any government sanction at all? If there is no resolution of this nature, would those people be unable to pray and fast? Of course not.
posted by litlnemo at 7:35 AM on March 28, 2003


The smart way. The sooner we as a species leave the Zeus/Thor/Allah/Jehovah myths in the dust, the better.

I thought the 'smart way' was to let other people do whatever they want as long as their actions don't violate my rights. I don't worry about what others do or do not believe in as long as they don't try and force their specific opinion (for or against) on me.

Maybe then we'll stop killing each other over disagreements about which imaginary guy in the sky we should be worshipping.

Something makes me think that religion is simply used by some as an excuse to hate 'others'. Take away religion and these same people will simply find another excuse to hate (ie. Race, Nationality, Gender, what street you live on...)
posted by jsonic at 7:38 AM on March 28, 2003


I don't worry about what others do or do not believe in as long as they don't try and force their specific opinion (for or against) on me.

Unfortunately, religions don't exactly have the best track records when it comes to not forcing opinions (Crusades, Islamic law, Inquisitions, school prayer, etc, etc, etc).

Obviously, I respect anyone's right to believe whatever they want. But I also think that fairy tales about gods are something we should have grown out of by now.
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 7:52 AM on March 28, 2003


You have the right to believe they are "fairy tales."

The family members of the deployed here at my church don't believe God is a fairy tale. Having at least 145 members of our fellowship in harm's way tends to concentrate the mind powerfully on eternal things.

And believe it or not, we pray for the Iraqis too. Including Saddam himself.

And as the Bible says, He doesn't choose sides. He simply wants to know who will be on His side.
posted by konolia at 8:00 AM on March 28, 2003


frankly, I am mostly disturbed by people who believe more in providence and fate than human agency.

what must these people think about poverty? what can they think about people who oppose their policies?

what do they think of their ethical responsibilities as humans and as lawmakers?

It seems to me like a respect for human agency has to be a core principle for any democracy. Otherwise, why do we care about the self-determination of a people at all, if everything is fated by the hands of God?

I have no respect for any representative of my government, who does not fully realize that the situations we find ourselves in are the results of the choices that we and others have made.
posted by jann at 8:00 AM on March 28, 2003


I pray (in whatever secular way I can) that we get this religious crap out of the current U.S. policy or policy of any of the U.S.'s "allies". You know, praying for providence didn't help the last crusaders, why would it help this time around?
posted by Bag Man at 8:03 AM on March 28, 2003


Unfortunately, religions don't exactly have the best track records when it comes to not forcing opinions

Agreed. Any large organization of people (see current events) seems to fall prey to this problem.

Obviously, I respect anyone's right to believe whatever they want. But I also think that fairy tales about gods are something we should have grown out of by now.

You start by respecting others beliefs, then end with insulting them. There are ways of disagreeing with religion without disparaging those who agree.
posted by jsonic at 8:03 AM on March 28, 2003


More seriously, I don't have a problem with Bush (or any other politician) personally praying for help in the war or even publicly stating he has made such a prayer; I feel that's their constructional right. What I decay and oppose is the use of the instrumentalities of government and my tax dollars to advance their beliefs (and my country's officially or unofficial belief) that providence will help with the war. Any bill or resolution asking for God's help in a war qualifies as using the the instrumentalities of government to further religion, which I believe is wrong.
posted by Bag Man at 8:12 AM on March 28, 2003


Having at least 145 members of our fellowship in harm's way tends to concentrate the mind powerfully on eternal things.

All the more reason to contemplate the idea that human lives (read: souls) might not be as eternal as we'd like to think.
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 8:19 AM on March 28, 2003


What kokogiak said. I can't believe this is how government officials are spending their time.

And I want to add that what disturbs me the most about the wording of the bit, is that it reflects a severe inability to understand the true nature of religious/spiritual diversity. Not everyone has a "God" just with a different name, there are many MANY other entirely different frameworks of understanding and ways interacting with 'the non-physical'.

We should have them pass a resolution where each Congressperson has to spend an entire day with a non-Christian spiritual practicioner (Witch, Pagan, Buddhist, Spiritualist, Native American Shaman, Jedi, etc.) ... but I wouldn't want to wish that on anyone, really - LOL.
posted by thunder at 8:32 AM on March 28, 2003


Ooops - meant to add 'Atheists' to my sample group above too.
posted by thunder at 8:36 AM on March 28, 2003


Speaking on behalf of the atheists, go ahead and pass all the resolutions you want. Until one of the various invisible magical overlords in the sky shows up and demands something personally, we'll be enjoying mimosas and newspapers this Sunday morning, like always.
posted by UncleFes at 8:55 AM on March 28, 2003


The family members of the deployed here at my church don't believe God is a fairy tale. Having at least 145 members of our fellowship in harm's way tends to concentrate the mind powerfully on eternal things.

And as the Bible says, He doesn't choose sides. He simply wants to know who will be on His side.

Forgive my harsh bluntness, but I don't give a rat's ass what you or 145 members of your fellowship believe. That's something you're free to do, on your own, as a group, harmoniously and happily, in the privacy of your house of worship.

If I want a higher being to "know I'm on his side," I'll go to said house of worship and commence with said worshipping. I do NOT expect my government to assume I want them to do that for me. I don't get to do personal business at work, neither should my Congressman.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:57 AM on March 28, 2003


I am mostly disturbed by people who believe more in providence and fate than human agency.

Try not to visit Las Vegas, then, it's an entire city devoted to the concept. And it's grown very wealthy on the idea that humans believe, collectively and individually, that they're special and blessed.
posted by UncleFes at 9:01 AM on March 28, 2003


if there's any one person or institution that has solidified in me a sour taste for christianity, it's not the 700 club, or jerry falwell, or even ann coulter...it's the united states government as helmed by george bush II.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:04 AM on March 28, 2003


Forgive my harsh bluntness, but I don't give a rat's ass what you or 145 members of your fellowship believe

Calm down man, konolia wasn't arguing that this resolution was somehow OK because 145 members of their church pray. He/She was simply responding to Mr. Polo's separate statement that religion is a fairy tale. If you're going to spew invective, at least take the time to aim correctly.
posted by jsonic at 9:08 AM on March 28, 2003


C'mon McSweetie, everything can't be his fault. what next? ""What, it's raining on a saturday?? Damn that George Dubya!" ;-)
posted by UncleFes at 9:22 AM on March 28, 2003


jsonic: You start by respecting others beliefs, then end with insulting them. There are ways of disagreeing with religion without disparaging those who agree.

Unfortunately, none of them work very well. I think that's the problem in a nutshell. The most fervent activists on both sides have a pretty steep maturity curve to overcome.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:22 AM on March 28, 2003


...we'll be enjoying mimosas and newspapers this Sunday morning, like always.

Yeah, until they (Bushie, Asscroft, Scalia) tell you that doing so is against god's will and is punishable by stoning.
posted by eas98 at 9:23 AM on March 28, 2003


Yeah, until they (Bushie, Asscroft, Scalia) tell you that doing so is against god's will and is punishable by stoning.

I'll take my chances :)
posted by UncleFes at 9:29 AM on March 28, 2003


145 members of their church pray

Thanks for the defense, but I just wanted to make it clear that the 145 (at least) are deployed. Add to that those who are deployable, the wives, children and loved ones, and those of us who just plain care-that's a boatload of praying, folks. Pretty much the same is going on in the rest of the churches where I live.
Here we have to deal with little kids whose moms and dads are over "fighting the bad guys"...there is a real potential to have a lot of war widows and orphans here, and I guarantee you most of them are anything but offended at a national day of prayer for our men and women in uniform. Can we wait till after this war before we start having cowfits about this?
posted by konolia at 9:54 AM on March 28, 2003


Can we wait till after this war before we start having cowfits about this?

The Presidential platform in a nutshell, and perhaps the greatest single argument for why we ARE at war in the first place.
posted by jonson at 10:16 AM on March 28, 2003


1774, not a country yet ???, 1863, the north or south?

You know, we in the UK have a national strand of christianity with the head of state as its supreme governor. There are also (or at least were until recently) Bishops in the House of Lords. Church and State are intimately entwined, and we don't have any of this nonsense. Touch wood.

Ok, this is our drama in the USA, yours is the Royal Family. Want to trade?

Interesting article from the BBC on this.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:47 AM on March 28, 2003


Here we have to deal with little kids whose moms and dads are over "fighting the bad guys"...there is a real potential to have a lot of war widows and orphans here, and I guarantee you most of them are anything but offended at a national day of prayer for our men and women in uniform.

If you want to pray, feel free to do so--it is your right. But why do we need a national proclamation for you to do so on some specific day? If you believe, then you should be praying every day. I guarantee you that there are a significant number of people in this country who would be offended at the idea of such a proclamation.

Being an athiest does not mean that I don't care about the men and women (and children) in harm's way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and any number of situations that we have gotten into. Far from it. Everyone notice (dumb question, right?) how Saddam's secular government starts spouting all religious when he is threatened? Religion has always been and will always be used to polarize people. Now that the U.S. is looking more and more to the world as Christian fundamentalist crusaders out to eradicate Islam (not saying it is, it's just being spun that way by many) this thing is going to get out of control fast.

ttrendel: I have no idea what the hell you are talking about being paid for an hour of prayer. You show me the legislation that required employers to pay us for a hour of prayer after September 11, 2001. I sure as hell never got paid and neither did my wife, who works for a very devout Christian and jingoistic Republican. If your employer decided do something like that good for you, but if you think there was any law compelling that action you are mistaken.
posted by AstroGuy at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2003


You know, we in the UK have a national strand of christianity with the head of state as its supreme governor. There are also (or at least were until recently) Bishops in the House of Lords. Church and State are intimately entwined, and we don't have any of this nonsense. Touch wood.

I'd rather have a debate over the role of church in state or lack thereof, than simply rolling over to people who think church and state should be one. I mean, does any rational thinker want Bush to be the U.S.'s Defender of the Faith? I sure don't. As history suggests, even rational countries can use religion as a tool to oppress people. Taking an example from British history, at one point during the 19th Century Catholics were legally banned from government jobs and other forms of participation. I don't want to single out the UK or suggest the UK is intolerant or even suggest this would happen today, but I just don't want that kind of stuff going on in my country and keeping church and state separate furthers that goal.
posted by Bag Man at 11:52 AM on March 28, 2003


jsonic: You start by respecting others beliefs, then end with insulting them.

I believe jsonic said that he/she respected others 'right to a belief. You can respect a right to a belief without respecting the actual belief. For example, I respect your right to believe that invisible gnomes cause earthquakes, but I'd have no respect for the belief itself.
posted by callmejay at 11:52 AM on March 28, 2003


This "resolution" has me wanting to go out to the public square, dressed in bizarre robes and hefting a meat cleaver, and threaten to decapitate a lamb unless every passerby pays me not to. It would make about as much sense (to my mind even more) than taking up the time of the People's branch of government on deciding whether to invoke the supernatural. The country has serious business to consider, and while some people of good faith may consider evocations of providence as worth serious merit, I say let them
-- do it on their own not at government's behest
--remember what the Doors sang "You cannot petition the Lord with prayer"
posted by ahimsakid at 12:15 PM on March 28, 2003


AstroGuy: At the time, I was working for a state-funded university and got paid for that time. So did the other 10,000 employees. So did several of my friends who worked for private entities. The presidential proclamation that led up to that "National Day of Prayer and Remembrance" stressed that employers give employees leave to attend noon-time memorial services.

So your employer didn't. It wasn't a law. I never said it was a law. It was a Presidential proclamation. A suggestion, if you will.

Since I see that I'm going to have to connect the dots for you, this is essentially the exact same thing. House resolution does not equal law. Presidential proclamation does not equal law. No law was made then nor now that violates the separation of church and state because neither were laws. This is a essentially a law-making body making a non-law statement in a time of national crisis.

So, if you had nothing to do with that "hour of prayer" back in 2001, why is this any different? You can choose to ignore it if you like. It's a somewhat free country, you know.
posted by ttrendel at 1:31 PM on March 28, 2003


ttrendel: No need to connect any dots for me. I know what a resolution and a proclamation is. Look at my comments again. I never said it was law. I said it wasn't law. Regardless, it is a symbolic act of our government that should not be occuring. From your profile I am assuming that the state-funded (read taxpayer funded) university was IU? It's nice to know my tax dollars (I'm an Indiana resident too) went to pay you take time off to pray, something that should be a personal thing and not subsidized by taxpayers. If you were in another state at the time, it may not affect me personally but my comment still stands. Regarding the "somewhat free country" comment, that is unfortunately becoming less and less true.
posted by AstroGuy at 4:41 PM on March 28, 2003


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