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Supreme Court Decision on Ten Commandments

ShamMol

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In its ruling concerning the Kentucky case, the majority determined that display violated the separation of church and state established in the First Amendment.

Justice Stephen Breyer, considered a moderate liberal, voted against the displays in Kentucky but in favor of the one in Texas.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate conservative, voted against the displays in both states and cast the swing vote in the Kentucky decision, which stopped short of forbidding such exhibits on all court or government property.

The decision allows the court some leeway to determine the appropriateness of displays on a case-by-case basis.

The Kentucky case involved a dispute over two framed copies of the Mosaic law displayed in a courthouse. The majority determined that particular exhibit went too far in promoting a religious message.

"The divisiveness of religion in current public life is inescapable," Justice David Souter wrote in the majority ruling, read from the bench. "This is not time to deny the prudence of understanding the Establishment Clause to require the government to stay neutral on religious belief, which is reserved for the conscience of the individual."

Justices customarily read majority rulings from the bench, but Justice Antonin Scalia took the unusual step of reading a dissent from the bench. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas joined Scalia in the minority opinion.

Scalia cited "the interest of the overwhelming majority of religious believers in being able to give God thanks and supplication as a people, and with respect to our national endeavors."

Rehnquist read the ruling in the Texas case, and cited the complexity of deciding when and where Ten Commandments displays are permissible.

"No exact formula can dictate a resolution in fact-intensive cases such as this," he read. "... The determinative factor here, however, is that 40 years passed in which the monument's presence, legally speaking, went unchallenged. And the public visiting the capitol grounds is more likely to have considered the religious aspect of the tablets' message as part of what is a broader moral and historical message reflective of a cultural heritage."

This was the first time the high court dealt with the issue of public displays of the Ten Commandments since 1980, when it ruled against them at schools.

The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The Supreme Court has traditionally interpreted that to mean government actions must have a "secular purpose."

Case background
In March, lawyers representing the federal, state and county governments argued the 4,000 Ten Commandments displays in public courthouses and parks nationwide simply acknowledge the role belief in a higher authority has had in the development of the United States.

"The Ten Commandments are a historically recognized system of law," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said as he argued the case several months ago.

In 1961, private funds financed the granite monument which stands on the grounds of the Texas state capitol in Austin. Thomas Van Orden, who had described himself as a "religious pluralist," opposed the display and filed suit.

Van Orden's attorney, Erwin Chemerinsky, drew intense questioning from the justices over the limits of religious expression in government as he argued the case.

"Are you saying Thanksgiving proclamations are inappropriate?" asked Justice Antonin Scalia, comparing that to the Ten Commandments. "I don't see why the one is good and the other is bad."

O'Connor asked, "If legislatures open their sessions, that the public can attend, with a prayer, why can't it allow monuments?"

In the Kentucky cases, two Kentucky counties tried to justify separately posting copies of the King James version of the Ten Commandments on the walls of their courthouses.

These were privately donated displays of 11 frames of historical documents and symbols that they said helped form the basis of American law and government, including the Declaration of Independence. All but the Ten Commandments were secular in nature.

Mathew Staver, representing McCreary and Pulaski counties, argued in March that the "documents reflect American law and government."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said then that "these are not simple messages, like 'In God We Trust,' " on U.S. currency, she said. "The Ten Commandments are a powerful statement of the covenant God made with his people."
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What are people's thoughts?
 

MikeyC

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I think it's the right decision. Not all the commandments are laws because there are commandments specific to Judaism/Christianity which do not foster this country's principals that we are a secular society and should respect the existance of all religions. We have the right not to honor our parents and we have the right to have other Gods before Him.
 

shuamort

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Shamgar said:
One more example of a kangaroo court making an unrighteous ruling . . .
It must only be a kangaroo court because you disagree personally with the ruling since it doesn't fit in your cartoon definition.
 

Shamgar

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shuamort said:
It must only be a kangaroo court because you disagree personally with the ruling since it doesn't fit in your cartoon definition.
Wow cartoon = dictionary. . . I learned a new babble word today. The Christians who founded this country had no authority to establish a form of government whose laws were not exclusively God's laws.



Since America use pagan laws then were have unjust decisions.

 

shuamort

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Shamgar said:
Wow cartoon = dictionary. . . I learned a new babble word today.
You're still not proving how the definition applies to the SCOTUS, now are you? Come on, do it. Prove that the SCOTUS acted in Kangaroo Court fashion.
Were they a mock court set up in violation of legal procedure?
NO.
A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetency?
NO.
Unfair trial with outcomes predetermined?
NO.

Shamgar said:
The Christians who founded this country had no authority to establish a form of government whose laws were not exclusively God's laws.

Since America use pagan laws then were have unjust decisions.
Sure they do. Do you try this with everything you disagree with? Just say it's against god and then you can wipe your hands clean of having to think about it or defend your position?
 

Kelzie

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Shamgar said:
Wow cartoon = dictionary. . . I learned a new babble word today. The Christians who founded this country had no authority to establish a form of government whose laws were not exclusively God's laws.

Since America use pagan laws then were have unjust decisions.
Oh my God! You've mean we've gotten it all wrong? All these hundreds of years we've actually been living under an illegal government? :shock: :shock: The word shocked does not even begin to cover the horror that I am feeling right now. I guess the only correct thing to do is to mob the White House, kill all the evil, un-religious members of government, and form the United States of Shamgar. Population: 1
 

MikeyC

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Last I checked we were still the United States of America not the Theocratic States of America. Our laws are not meant to favor any single relgion. Your beliefs of God's laws are, are not shared by everybody. Our nation has Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. And our nation is meant to allow them all to exist equally. You have the right to follow whatever laws you wish, just hope they don't cross the secular laws of our nation otherwise you will be punished. BTW, I'm all in favor of "unjust" decisions that go against your God's laws. Stop making yourself about to be better than everyone else Shamgar just because you are a Christian and follow what you believe to be the truth of the Bible.
 

Shamgar

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Kelzie said:
Oh my God! You've mean we've gotten it all wrong? All these hundreds of years we've actually been living under an illegal government? :shock: :shock:
Yup. that is correct. . . that is why women and homosexuals are in the pulpits . . .





shuamort said:
You're still not proving how the definition applies to the SCOTUS, now are you? Come on, do it. Prove that the SCOTUS acted in Kangaroo Court fashion.
Were they a mock court set up in violation of legal procedure?
Yes as evidenced by failure to judge with righteous judgment

shuamort said:
A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetency?
Yes as evidenced by failure to judge with righteous judgment

shuamort said:
Unfair trial with outcomes predetermined?
Yes as evidenced by failure to judge with righteous judgment so the judgment was obviously going to be unrighteous.

Obviously you never read my post, since I clearly indicated anything other than righteous judgment is a kangaroo court since God commands righteous judgment. The US court do not provide as evidenced by their ruling.
 

Shamgar

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MikeyC said:
Last I checked we were still the United States of America not the Theocratic States of America. Our laws are not meant to favor any single relgion.
Who said man's laws overruled God's laws . . . obviously a man . . . Christians have no obligation to obey any laws which think to "overrule" Gods laws . . . .

 

ShamMol

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^Please stop posting in this thread, seriously, you made a serious thread into one which isn't. Pictures are not needed in every single thread. For crying out loud. Stop.
 

shuamort

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Shamgar said:
Yes as evidenced by failure to judge with righteous judgment.

Yes as evidenced by failure to judge with righteous judgment


Yes as evidenced by failure to judge with righteous judgment so the judgment was obviously going to be unrighteous.
Wrong, righteous judgment does not fall under the definition of Kangaroo court.
Shamgar said:
Obviously you never read my post, since I clearly indicated anything other than righteous judgment is a kangaroo court since God commands righteous judgment. The US court do not provide as evidenced by their ruling.
That's funny, MY dictionary doesn't have any mythological stipulations to its definition and your definition is definitely a post hoc excuse. The definition doesn't fit.
 

Shamgar

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shuamort said:
Wrong, righteous judgment does not fall under the definition of Kangaroo court.
Of course that is your unsubstantiated opinion. . . .must be why you forgot to bring some facts to back up your opinions . . . .

shuamort said:
That's funny, MY dictionary doesn't have any mythological stipulations to its definition and your definition is definitely a post hoc excuse. The definition doesn't fit.
Oh but you haven't proven that the Scriptures are mytholigical and "Yes" dictionaries have all sorts of mythology stipulations in them. . . . here is one:

Main Entry: gay rights
Part of Speech: noun plural
Definition: equal civil and social rights for homosexuals

ShamMol said:
^Please stop posting in this thread, seriously, you made a serious thread into one which isn't. Pictures are not needed in every single thread. For crying out loud. Stop.
That is an unrighteous judgment. What can be more serious thatn a kangaroo court failing to use rightoeus judgment. . . .oh you don't want a solution you just want to vent.
 

Shamgar

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ShamMol said:
^Please stop posting in this thread, seriously, you made a serious thread into one which isn't. Pictures are not needed in every single thread. For crying out loud. Stop.

ShamMol said:
What are people's thoughts?
It appears that there really was no desire for "free speech" but only dialogue that applauded the removal of the Ten Commandments from society. . . a sure sign of hate and intolerance to Christianity.
 

MikeyC

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I'll quickly make the appropriate debate for why they should be there. Not referencing the Bible and saying it's the absolute truth. Here is the right way to debate this where you don't just call everyone God-haters:

The 10 Commandmants are a tradition and have long been a part of our legal tradition. They do not hurt anyone's rights by being shown in a courthouse. Religion has had a strong influence on our laws and society and we shouldn't deny their appriateness in a courtroom.

Note: These aren't my actualy feelings. I stated them above. I just wanted to show how to argue for them. Especially considering (I'm assuming) most people on this site are Christian (Though not Dominionists like Shamgar).
 

ShamMol

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Shamgar said:
It appears that there really was no desire for "free speech" but only dialogue that applauded the removal of the Ten Commandments from society. . . a sure sign of hate and intolerance to Christianity.
No, I have desire for free speech, but this is a debate site, and all you are doing is acting childish and posting pictures to prove your point which is absurd. Continue debating in this, just don't do pictures.
 

Dogger807

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Well this decision is a no clear winner situation open to interpetation and conflict in the furture. personally I think the ten commandments are relevant as a history of the common beliefs of the settlers, but I don't want them thrown in my face. If they are displayed there should be equal space given to the concepts of other religions to avoid favorism.

If they are there they should be right along side the teachings of budda , excerts from the quran, wiccan icantations ,and more. (Oh and since indians were here first their beliefs should have the largest space.)
 

shuamort

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Shamgar said:
Of course that is your unsubstantiated opinion. . . .must be why you forgot to bring some facts to back up your opinions . . . .
Merriam webster:
1 : a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted
2 : a court characterized by irresponsible, unauthorized, or irregular status or procedures
3 : judgment or punishment given outside of legal procedure
Dictionary.com
kangaroo court
n.
A mock court set up in violation of established legal procedure.
A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetence.
Compact Oxford:
noun an unofficial court formed by a group of people to try someone regarded as guilty of an offence.
Encarta
kan·ga·roo court (plural kan·ga·roo courts)
noun
mock court: an unofficial or mock court set up spontaneously for the purpose of delivering a judgment arrived at in advance, usually one in which a disloyal associate's fate is decided
Wordsmyth
. an unauthorized court, such as one set up by prison inmates or strikers, that often disregards or parodies normal legal procedures.
Bartleby's
1. A mock court set up in violation of established legal procedure. 2. A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetence.
InfoPlease
1. a self-appointed or mob-operated tribunal that disregards or parodies existing principles of law or human rights, esp. one in a frontier area or among criminals in prison.
2. any crudely or irregularly operated court, esp. one so controlled as to render a fair trial impossible.
UltraLingua
kangaroo court n. : 1. An irregular unauthorized court.
Law.com
http://dictionary.law.com/definition2.asp?selected=1093&bold=||||
How's that? There's a lot of proof that show Kangaroo court has NOTHING to do with "righteous judgment".


Shamgar said:
Oh but you haven't proven that the Scriptures are mytholigical and "Yes" dictionaries have all sorts of mythology stipulations in them.
You haven't asked me to. But here's one definition of mythological:
1 : an allegorical narrative
2 : a body of myths : as a : the myths dealing with the gods, demigods, and legendary heroes of a particular people b : MYTHOS 2 <cold war mythology>
3 : a branch of knowledge that deals with myth
4 : a popular belief or assumption that has grown up around someone or something <defective mythologies that ignore masculine depth of feeling -- Robert Bly>

Shamgar said:
. . . here is one:

Main Entry: gay rights
Part of Speech: noun plural
Definition: equal civil and social rights for homosexuals
Care to stay on topic?
 

26 X World Champs

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Shamgar said:
One more example of a kangaroo court making an unrighteous ruling . . .
I always am amazed by people who profess to be religious and devout then spew hate towards anyone whose different than they are.

It's also unusual for one poster to only post someone else's ideas, never being able to articulate his own thoughts in his own words.
 

Shamgar

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26 X World Champs said:
I always am amazed by people who profess to be religious and devout then spew hate towards anyone whose different than they are.

It's also unusual for one poster to only post someone else's ideas, never being able to articulate his own thoughts in his own words.
Yes you are a prime example of a hate group. . . one who hate God's word and thepeople who practice God's word. Oh all you promote are the hateful ideas of the prohomosexual /antichristian groups.


ShamMol said:
No, I have desire for free speech, but this is a debate site, and all you are doing is acting childish and posting pictures to prove your point which is absurd. Continue debating in this, just don't do pictures.
That is quite obvious since you don't practice what you preach . . . a sign of a hypocrite.
So obviously you call was for the bahing of Christianity since I have be taking the side of Christianity. Yes, the hypocrite who preach "free speech" certainly are for "free speech" as long as it is antiChristian.


MikeyC said:
I'll quickly make the appropriate debate for why they should be there. Not referencing the Bible and saying it's the absolute truth. Here is the right way to debate this where you don't just call everyone God-haters:
Oh but of course any rights given to the gay are at the expense of the reilgious beliefs of Christians which you have failed to refute. Secondly any funding by a Christian for "gay rights" also is an afront to Christianity . . .something you have failed to refute. Of course all these thing could only be done by one group and that would be haters of God and His people.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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Seeing things as absolute, as black and white, as you see them, will lead to Fascism.
 

MikeyC

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I know more Christians who feel they are truly close to Christ and accept people who are homosexual than not. Rights given to people are given because ALL PEOPLE are equal. And your perverse form of Christianity where only those with your beliefs deserve all the rights is evil. I respect the Christians who are tolerant and accept people. Your church doesn't have to grant gays rights, but our nation does. The United States of America is not run by the Bible, your church is. Your church can discriminate against gays all it wants, but our government cannot. I have stated this many times in our debates. How is a gay marriages outside your church "at your expense"? You don't have to recognize their marriage, the government does. Obviously Christians can support gays, they just are the same kind of Christian as you.
 

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Shamgar said:
That is quite obvious since you don't practice what you preach . . . a sign of a hypocrite.
So obviously you call was for the bahing of Christianity since I have be taking the side of Christianity. Yes, the hypocrite who preach "free speech" certainly are for "free speech" as long as it is antiChristian.
I am unsure if we even need to go there. ShamMol, like myself, is concerned about all the pics - what purpose do they serve? The contents of them are excellent, but they are presented in a cartoonish way. Thus, the sincerity is broken.

BTW, I am all for Freedom of Speech - can't stand the courts decision - and very much Christian. Am I a hypocrite?
 

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The ruling was fair. Allowing our government to recognize its MANY sources of law is fine. It must be fair and equal to all of them though. If someone tries to display the Ten Commandments without other sources, then they are obviously trying to impose those beliefs on people and that is wrong. Believing that the Ten Commandments is our only source, or even the original source, is not accurate. Our laws are based on common human desire. It so happens that religion is based on the same thing.
 

MikeyC

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Wasn't the thing in Texas though that because it was there for 20 years before it was brought before them, it wasn't really bothering anybody? I think what's fair for one courtroom is fair for all.
 
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