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Mar 3 14 3:47 AM
LOS ANGELES – A federal judge in California has ruled that a veterans monument that includes the symbol of the cross is an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.
As previously reported, the city council of Lake Elsinore unanimously approved the creation of the monument in November 2012, which was to be erected in Diamond Stadium. The 5-0 vote followed a public hearing where over 100 residents attended to voice their opinion, mainly in support of the display.
However, the 6-foot granite monument was met with disapproval by atheist groups and others who asserted that one aspect of its design went too far. The monument, which declares, “In honor of our brave men and women who by their service give life to our most precious gift — freedom,” also depicts a soldier kneeling before a row of cemetery markers in the shape of a cross. A star of David is also featured on the display, as well as an American flag and a soaring eagle.
In a lawsuit filed by the American Humanist Association (AHA) on behalf of residents Diana Hansen and John Larsen, the organization contended that the crosses on the monument clearly were representative of Christianity and therefore were inappropriate for a public memorial.
“[We are challenging] the constitutionality of the City’s design, approval, funding, construction, ownership, maintenance and prominent display of a monument … depicting a soldier kneeling before a Christian cross as a violation of the separation of church and state,” the complaint outlined.
Last July, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson agreed with the atheist association and issued a temporary injunction against its installment. On Tuesday, Wilson issued his final ruling in the matter, finding the monument to be unconstitutional.
“The court concludes that Lake Elsinore’s veterans’ memorial was designed without a predominantly secular purpose, and that its principal effect is to advance religion,” he wrote. “[T]he court concludes that the memorial violates both the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause and California’s Establishment and No Preference Clauses.”
“I’m pleased Judge Wilson decided to uphold the valuable principles contained within the First Amendment,” commented Appignani Humanist Legal Center Director David Niose in a written statement. “I hope that if members of the city council still want to honor veterans, they will move forward with a monument design that represents everyone who fought for our freedoms.”AHA applauded the ruling, stating that it believed the monument needed to be more inclusive of all Americans.
But the city said that it would review the ruling as it disagreed with the outcome of the case.
“We are disappointed with the court’s decision. We plan to take a close look at the ruling,” it stated. “Our goal has always been to recognize the men and women who have bravely served to protect our country and our freedoms. We remain committed to this goal.”
The city has not yet stated whether it plans to appeal, although it may do so within 30 days.
Sharon Say...oh dear.. we had better start making separate grave yards for Militant atheists.. hope they do not want us to tear down Flanders Feilds!
Aug 2 14 8:01 AM
Sep 10 14 4:41 AM
Sep 11 14 8:32 AM
Last Monday, members of a New York group called the Satanic Temple joined Harvard students to hold a "black mass" at a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The absurdity of the event belies the controversy that led up to it, as the ceremony - a quasi-religious parody of a Catholic Holy Mass - was originally scheduled to be sponsored by a Harvard University student organisation and held on campus.
Although Harvard did not prohibit the event, allowing it as an expression of student free-speech rights, the campus group - the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club - pulled its support, forcing relocation at the last minute to the nearby Hong Kong Restaurant and Lounge.
Theodore R Delwiche and Alexander H Patel of the Harvard Crimsondescribe the scene:
About 50 people, mostly dressed in black and some wearing face makeup, were present for the ceremony. A consecrated host, believed by Catholics to be the body of Christ, was not used in the ritual.
Private institutions should not hesitate to ban practices that deeply offend others”
Four individuals in hoods and one man in a white suit, a cape and a horned mask were active in the proceedings, as well as a woman revealed to be wearing only lingerie. The ceremony began with a narration on the history underlying satanism and the black mass ritual.
It should be noted that members of the Satanic Temple don't really worship Satan so much as they embrace atheism and point to Satan as a literary symbol of their humanist views.
This didn't dissuade Catholic groups from criticising the ceremony, however, and urging Harvard to prevent it from taking place on campus.
"For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship," the Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement warning of the "danger of being naive about or underestimating the power of Satan".
"This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil."
At the time the black mass was originally supposed to take place, the archdiocese held a Eucharistic procession from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to St Paul Church on Harvard's campus, where more 1,500 gathered, including Harvard president Drew Faust.
Despite the scaled-down nature of the satanic ritual, debate over its observation has continued.
The editors of the Boston Globe call the whole episode an "effort at trolling, not a statement about religion or free speech".
"It's understandable, but too bad, that Catholic groups took the bait; without a public backlash, such a deliberate effort to stir up rancour would have passed with minimal attention," they write. "In the future, Harvard should feel no need to indulge such affairs with a promise of campus space."
Fox News's Emily Walker says that if she had tried to hold a ceremony at Harvard mocking Islam, it never would have been permitted.
No one seriously believed that a so-called satanic ritual was actually going to unleash evil upon the world”
"Would Harvard support me and would the Muslim community acknowledge that the protest is my right?" she writes. "As a former Harvard undergraduate student, I doubt it."
Harvard would be right to ban such a hypothetical event, she adds, just as it should have prohibited the black mass:
The Black Mass was constitutional, but it wasn't appropriate at or near a private institution of higher learning. Private institutions should not hesitate to ban practices that deeply offend others.
The Boston Globe's Tom Keane disagrees, saying that those who called for blocking the Satanists are just as wrong as people who protest controversial university commencement speakers or get upset when God is invoked on public property.
"We seem to be afraid of words," he writes.
"No one seriously believed that a so-called satanic ritual was actually going to unleash evil upon the world," he says. "It was a piece of theatre, doubtless intended to be provocative. The target was religion, but religion has been subject to mockery before (as many of the religious know too well), and there's no reason to believe a Mass itself is somehow off-limits."
The Harvard Crimson's J Gram Slattery thinks that rationale behind the black mass was misguided, but it shouldn't have caused such an uproar:
Make no mistake; Satanism as a vessel for symbolic rationalism is a bad, overly abrasive strategy for those who strive for a secularist world. I personally disagree with the tactic. But these soft-core Satanists have every right to challenge theism in whatever fashion, so long as their strategy is not based on intimidation or the provocation of violence.
Last month the Satanic Temple generated a fair amount of coverage when it unveiled the model of a statue of Baphomet, which it wants to place next to a statue of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol.
The group's members seem to be relishing the attention their activities generate, so it's doubtful these "satanists" are going to be disappearing in a puff of black smoke anytime soon.
Sharon say... the brightest Harvard has to offer is not this bunch.. they are a shame and an embarrasment to atheists everywhere.
Sep 24 14 2:34 AM
Springs Charter Schools in Temecula, Calif., not only had a problem with “The Hiding Place,” they also took issue with any other book that was written by a Christian author or included a Christian message.
“We do not purchase sectarian educational materials and do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves,”Superintendent Kathleen Hermsmeyer wrote in a letter to attorneys at thePacific Justice Institute (PJI).
Pacific Justice Institute is representing a parent who discovered what they called a “Christian purging” of the charter school’s library.
“She was told by one of the library attendants that the library has been instructed to remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians, or published by a Christian publishing company,” read a letter PJI sent to the public charter school. “The attendant advised that the library would no longer be carrying those books. Indeed, our client was told that the library was giving those books away, and she actually took some.”
Among the books deemed inappropriate, the PJI said, was “The Hiding Place”the biography of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who was imprisoned by the Germans for helping Jews escape the Holocaust.
“It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors,” said Brad Dacus, president of the religious advocacy group. “This is a major sweep by this charter school to eliminate the religious viewpoint. Libraries cannot engage in an open purging of books simply because they are of a Christian perspective.”
Dacus said the charter school must reverse “their ill-conceived and illegal book-banning policy.” If they fail to do so, he said, PJI is prepared to take further legal action.
So why would a public charter school take issue with books written by Christians?
I figured Superintendent Hermsmeyer would be more than willing to set the record straight and explain the book purging. It seems I figured wrong. I gave her 24 hours to return my calls, and as of this writing, she has not done so.
But she did reply to the letter she received from Pacific Justice Institute. And what she told them was a bit alarming.
“We are a public school, and as such, we are barred by law from purchasing sectarian curriculum materials with state funds,” she wrote.“We only keep on our shelves the books that we are authorized to purchase with public funds.”
I’m guessing Harry Potter is OK but Frodo is not.
Pacific Justice Institute said the charter school has violated the First Amendment. They cited a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that said “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’” If you’d like to read the entire case – it’s “Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico.”
Hermsmeyer denied they were discriminating against Christian authors or publishing companies.
“At no time, however, have we discriminated against Christian authors or publishing companies who create secular educational materials,” she wrote.
Heaven forbid the children find a Bible in the library.
It’s quite unfortunate that the charter school endorses the banning of books.
“Some of the greatest literature of Western civilization comes from religious authors,” Dacus said. “Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?”
I oppose all book banning. If a book offends you, don’t read it.
The way I see it – book banning is just one step away from book burning. And I don’t mean to pour gasoline on the fire, but we all know what regime did that.
Sep 26 14 2:07 AM
This week’s Supreme Court ruling allowing sectarian prayers at public meetings dealt a body blow to atheist organizations.
That was the assessment of David Silverman, president of American Atheists, speaking Tuesday (May 6) to a group of nonbelievers at Stanford University. He then described a scenario that may raise eyebrows among some atheists: working with religious groups to fight against the ruling.
“That’s what we have to do, not only organize the atheists, but the Satanists, the Scientologists,” he said. In a conversation before his talk, he added Muslims, Jews and Hindus. “We as atheists have the responsibility to urge them and push them and get them in there to get their prayers” said at public meetings.
That’s a change for a man who has famously described religion as a “poison.” And it is emblematic, observers say, of the change that may result from the majority opinion in Greece v. Galloway, which found that prayers citing “the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross” are permissible before government business.
Other secularists are likewise convinced that now is the time for atheists to join forces with members of minority faiths.
“Not only does this rally the full spectrum of nontheists, it angers many Americans who are part of a minority religion and also many Christians who believe firmly in the separation of religion and government,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella group that lobbies on behalf of more than a dozen nontheist groups, including American Atheists.
Jacques Berlinerblau, a Georgetown University professor and author of “The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously,” said the court ruling is “both a setback and an opportunity.”
“The logic of the majority (decision) is absurd,” he said. “And in this sense, it might galvanize political actors who haven’t cooperated much in recent years to rediscover their common concerns and goals.”
Already, some nontheist groups are mobilizing. The American Humanist Association, whose legal department filed a brief in support of the plaintiffs, an atheist and a Jew, has announced it is organizing and assisting nonbelievers who wish to deliver humanist invocations at government meetings. Meanwhile, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has announced an award for the best nonreligious prayer.
Ron Lindsay, president of the Center for Inquiry, a humanist advocacy organization, said CFI is “studying its options,” among them outreach to religious groups, which it has done before, he said.
But, he cautions, there may be hurdles.
“There may still be reluctance among some religious bodies to cooperate openly with atheists, agnostics and humanists, especially when it comes to lobbying public officials,” Lindsay said. “It’s a question of whether respect for fundamental rights and a shared concern over government’s implicit endorsement of Christianity can trump theological misgivings.”
Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, an organization that fosters cooperation among different secular groups, added: “I think we are about as united as we’re going to get.”
There are good reasons why atheists and religious minorities may not come together, said Anthony Pinn, a Rice University professor and author of a memoir about his move from Christianity to atheism.
“Nontheists want all theistic ritual practices removed from public discourse, and (religious) groups are more likely to want their perspective represented in the ‘approved’ theistic ritual practices” permitted by the decision, he said.
But Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center, said previous Supreme Court decisions have rallied unlikely coalitions that successfully fought to overturn or change unpopular rulings: the Dred Scott decision united anti-slavery advocates of both races; Bowers v. Hardwick, which upheld a law against homosexual sex, resulted in straight and gay alliances.
Still, Haynes said, “I may be wrong, but I don’t see this decision in that league.” Instead, he is looking for other strategies, such as further challenges to the legality of sectarian prayer from secular groups.
David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, said the decision will likely strengthen bonds between secular groups, from the most militant to the most liberal. And that large umbrella may attract some religious groups.
“If we start seeing excessive prayers to Jesus in public forums, all kinds of non-Christians — not just atheists and humanists — will no doubt find common ground in their opposition to it,” he said.
Sharon Says... oh my it is no wonder that most atheists wish Militant Atheists would shut up, they are so ignorant.. They want to join with satanists..who do they think satan is? He is on page ONE of the bible! And the enemy of mankind.. not the enemy of Christians as there were no Christians in the garden but the enemy of man, all mankind, even egotistical atheists. They want to join with Muslims, do they not know that Muslims, Christians and Jewish folks ALL Have the Same God? They seem very ignorant of everything that they are standing so strongly against and its really hard not to laugh .. satanists... Muslims.. silly atheists read a book... start with the bible because you sure as heck have no idea what you are talking about. Most atheists know all these things but thankfully they do not mind if I believe in something they do not, and I do not mind if they do not believe in the same things that I believe in..that is called freedom of Religion...
If they really had a good cause they would not need religious groups to stand with them against religion..
Oct 1 14 3:47 AM
Oct 2 14 12:59 AM
Atheists protests outside the Omni Shoreham Hotel during the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Jeff Malet/Newscom)
Five years ago, a group of atheist and agnostic students launched a campaign to hire a nonreligious chaplain at Tufts University. With the recent addition of a university-funded “humanist in residence,’ it appears their prayers—or lack thereof—have finally been answered.
The new position is believed to be the first-ever university-funded campus chaplain catering to atheist, agnostic and nonreligious students, according toReligion News Service.
.@TuftsUniversity gives in to secular students’ demands, hires a humanist chaplain.
In early September, Walker Bristol, a former intern of Harvard’s Humanist Community, was hired as the first humanist chaplain at the private, Massachusetts-based university. Bristol previously served as a student leader of Tufts’ Freethought Society, a group of roughly 150 secular students behind the initial campaign for a nonreligious campus chaplain.
According to the American Humanist Association, “Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.”
Since its inception in 1941, the AHA has formed close relationships with a variety of progressive coalitions, such as the Center on Conscience and War and United for Marriage. Most recently, the AHA launched a national campaignencouraging people to “sit out the Pledge of Allegiance until the phrase ‘under God’ is removed from it.”
During an interview with Religion News Service, the Rev. Greg McGonigle, university chaplain, praised Tufts’ decision, saying the “importance, urgency, and complexity of religious-secular divides, discrimination, and differences” was the driving force behind his support for the humanist hire.
“[W]e believe having humanist leadership and involvement in our work is crucial to our efforts supporting students, educating the campus, and seeking to make an impact on the world,” McGonigle told Religion News Service.
Kimberly Thurler, director of public relations at Tufts University, confirmed to The Daily Signal that student fees and tuition dollars are being used to fund the humanist in residence.
“This two year pilot position is supported by university operating funds which have multiple sources including return on investment, tuition, fees, etc,” said Thurler.
Oct 27 15 10:10 AM
The Gnostic Gospels and Atheist Dan Brown
Now here is a group of false gospels trying to sneak into folks minds as if they were the actual gospels and not pathetic fakes and lies that they were seen as in the early second and third century and what a load of rubbish, hardly worth the time it takes to show what evil garbage these false gospels are… but lucifer went to all the trouble to have them written so the least we can do is pretend we are a little deceived by them or he will bring in new tricks and they might be better than this sad attempt . Sure he has lots of folks fooled, but not those who read their bibles every day, them he can not fool with such shoddy workmanship. Of course getting a egotistical atheist to write books for him did not take much work... and that way lucifer gets everyone to take another look at his fake gospels.
Dan Brown …. so good at deception and storytelling.. but the reality here is he is not telling a story he is lying, that or he is one of the stupidest writers to ever live and he is not using a proof reader nor an editor.. no fact checking here but as long as it is listed as a work of fiction he may tell all the lies he wishes..but what he actually says in the book is this..
…All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate" And so starts the lying before we even get into his books.
He is like some innocent school boy telling a girl he really loves her in hopes she will believe him and let him have his way with her. Oh Dan what a wicked web you weave…. and how clever are your lies.. that one about the Council of Nicea that was a really good one, why you could fool much of Christendom with that one… well the ones who have never done any research on what the Council of Nicea actually did, and you can keep many in the dark as they will not seek the truth but believe the lies placed in front of them. Not only did the Council of Nicea not change the bible they did not even plan to discuss the bible at all… nowhere in any records is there any mention of the Gnostic Gospels or changing the books of the bible.. but Dan says different so who you going to believe ...those who were there or Dan?
Thanks to Dan Brown and his lies and deceptions some who are easily lead away from Jesus have fallen prey to this kind of evil… I mean what kind of Christian would believe that God was stupid and evil but is worshipped anyway, or that God was made by a woman but says women can not get into heaven unless she turns herself into a male.. does that sound like something a female God would say? Oh wait.. she actually says she created the God but then threw him out of heaven and that is when he got bored and created the world.. Good on satan… talk about dissing God. Oh and since Gnostic God is evil he creates an evil world… not a paradise..
Listen to how evil this god is, Gnostic Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will acquire a sin, and if you pray you will be condemned, and if you give alms, it is evil that you will do unto your spirits. Imagine that..the very opposite of what Jesus actually says in the bible.. are you shocked? God also says that we will be as little Gods...but .after thousands years and progress man can not even make the tiniest blade of grass without God's plans or product.. man must be really little Gods..really little and mostly powerless. But imagine the one with the power to make a christian believe that God would say that you must must be as baby..really ...a baby..not a child to get into heaven? NOW that is what I call powerful! I am not going to mock this foolishness as I can not do so without being a potty mouth!
Gnostic Jesus twists Gods words with words of his own with such saying as if you have two good ears let him hear..but this just makes you believe that Gnostic God can not make the deaf hear his voice..not a very powerful God this God of the Gnostics .
Gnostic Jesus also says these one liners...
No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don't cure those who know them."
Here lucifer is trying to change the wording so it is not the same as what God wrote..and it is not... for one is the truth and well let's face it the other is false .. . what doctors do not cure their own friends? What a load of rubbish.. Jesus would not say this as it would be wrong.
"A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden." There are many examples to prove this a foolishness... Masada for beginners…which had already happened and was famous in the time of Gnostic Jesus... and yet there is Gnostic Jesus spewing this garbage forth...
Gnostic Jesus said ..."When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid." Really that is all it takes to see Jesus..boy oh boy the nudists are going to love this one..
God says...Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Thomas changes that into be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves." Yes let the snake be clever but you be a simpleton...good one Lucifer.!
"Don't give what is holy to dogs, for they might throw them upon the manure pile. Don't throw pearls [to] pigs...talk about desperate to change Gods word… dogs barfing holy things upon on a manure piles.... you see that all the time. Pearls before swine makes sense but adding dogs to it is just wrong..the pearls are words not actual things that an animal can barf up… boy does someone not know their bible!
"The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty." His Fathers Kingdom is empty like an old jar? Well since he is the Gnostic God I guess the kingdom of the Gnostics is like an old empty jar that is cracked..
He said to them, "Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine." Pretty sure Jesus says to give God what belongs to God ..Jesus does not mention himself at all .. well accept in the Gospel of Thomas where gnostic Jesus is wanting things for himself.. the devil you say!
"Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a $+$%!." Not going to say anything here.
Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, 'I love you more than the ninety-nine.'" Loves the biggest sheep more than the others..good one lucifer.. way to change the word of God..
Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."
Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."
His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"
"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it." The real Jesus tells us the Kingdom of God is within us… but I guess the Gnostic Jesus did not know that..how sad.
Alexander Pope gave the eulogy at Sir Isaac Newtons funeral..Lie
Priory of Sion written of as the main part of his plot has proven to be a hoax which Pierre Plantard admitted under oath in 1993…. So again a big LIE
Brown says over 5 million witches dies at the stake.. LIE that is about 4.9 million to many..and he knows it.. as do all historians.
Just a few other tiny details Brown got wrong in his books…
Christian communion did not come from the Aztecs as Communion has taken place since the first century; the Aztec civilisation arose during the 13th century. Europeans did not reach central America, where the Aztecs lived, until the late 15th century.
Galileo did not belong to the Illuminati as the Illuminati did not yet exist.
The church did not kidnap and torture and execute four Illuminati scientists in 1668 as the Illuminati was not formed until 1776.
Copernicus was murdered by the church for contradicting Biblical teaching. In fact Copernicus died of a stroke in 1543; there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.
The Rhodes Scholarships were funds were not set up centuries ago since it was set up at University of Oxford, in 1902 after the death of Cecil Rhodes.
The Swiss Guard did not decapitated countless Muslims while defending the Christian crusaders in the fifteenth century" with their longswords. The Guard were founded in 1506. The seventh and final Crusade took place in 1270. He also says that their uniforms were designed by Michaelanglo but Michaelanglo was not alive in the 1911 or so..( either Dan Brown has never cracked a history book or is just one big liar.. )
Rosslyn Chapel, near Edinburgh, does not lie "precisely on the north-south meridian that runs through Glastonbury" as Mr Brown says..not true the chapel's longitude is 3:07:13 west, while Glastonbury Tor is 2:42:05 west.( Brown could have been mistaken but that is a little hard to believe)
Brown says Edwin Hubble proposed the theory of the Big Bang. Just not true Hubble was never associated with Harvard.. ( Wonder who told Brown this big whopper)
“Harvard professor of symbology.” Symbology is not a word. What Brown really means is iconography, the study of symbols.
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