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A question for Matthew's classmates


Guest Tom

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What an intelligent, well thought out response. I never understood the "oh yea, well... your dumb" kind of response that I have seen. Perhaps you should consider that there are better ways to make an argument, rather that childish attacks. I do not think poorly of you, but I think that perhaps you are angry and this is your way to release it. I hope you can understand why it makes posts like yours a waste. There seems to be no real substance in it, just personal attacks. Maybe you should try to backup your arguments with reason, and people may begin to think more of you, even if they disagree with you.

The part of the paragraph you quote leads one to believe that that was all that was said. That shows how you spin things some times huh? watch what you write it speaks volumes. Don't respond when your angry. Be calm.

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Good Grief !!  Now Paul is posting as his son Matthew.  First Strife and now Matthew.

You're wrong again, as usual. Matthew just had some orthodontic work, has some time on his hands and has been posting.

I must really have struck some nerves. How are you doing with that business about how a loving and omnipotent god would have created the world?

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How in this green earth do you have any idea what Matthew was even remotely thinking unless you ARE HIM.

I paraphrased the words directly out of his mouth, braniac. He's talked about his motives a lot, and to a lot of different people. It's no mystical secret, but it's easy to miss if you're just not paying attention. Understand?

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No. I have a direct connect with  reality.

But you think all religions are theistic. Okay, whatever you say. :)

It's not me who spends his entire life posting here trying to anonymously hide under a fictitious name.  Nice try, loser.

Does it make you feel better to throw fabricated personal insults around?

Guess you are not getting any speaking engagements or scholarships soon.

One tends to get scholarships before one goes to college.

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The part of the paragraph you quote leads one to believe that that was all that was said.

If they're completely and utterly ignorant of forums and citation in general, maybe.

That shows how you spin things some times huh?

Yes, because if one ever quotes ANYTHING BUT EVERY SINGLE WORD SOMEONE SAYS, they're "spin[ning] things." Absurd.

watch what you write it speaks volumes. Don't respond when your angry. Be calm.

It read pretty calm to me. In fact, you sound a lot more pissed here than he did, relatively speaking at least.

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Guest Melanie
Have you really tried understanding me, or Matthew for that matter? From what I've seen you've made up your mind, so of course you can't understand.

I'm not against religion. I'm a born-again Humanist. My religion isn't just on Sundays, in fact it isn't even particularly on Sundays; it's every day, all the time. The way I see it, anything less isn't really religion.

As others have told you already, religion isn't necessarily about believing in a god. To answer your question, we raised Matthew mainly as a Humanist, but it's hard to categorize. In one sense, our religion looks to eliminate those distinctions, because religion shouldn't be about dividing people. It should be about bringing us all together in harmony with each other. That is in keeping with the original meaning of the word religion, which comes from the Latin words re (to look upon all things) and ligare (to bind together, as a ligament does). When a "religion" divides, it is actually an anti-religion. That is why I am so critical of dogmatic fundamentalism. Its choice of a scripture is entirely arbitrary, it's not based on fact and more often than not it divides people instead of bringing them together. You can't walk around believing that most of the world's people are doomed to spend eternity in hell, for example, and not have it poison the way you relate to people.

Now that's my opinion, but you know what, I'm as entitled to it as you are to your opinion. The difference is that I'm looking and listening and evaluating instead of just accepting something that some men and a very few women who lived thousands of years ago wrote down way back then.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about my religion. If you ask Matthew, he'll probably give you similar answers to mine, but not necessarily the same answers. Nobody knows everything, and to us religion is a search. Each person brings his own strengths, weaknesses, predispositions, etc., to it. But by all means, ask the questions. I wish that had happened from the beginning.

"That is why I am so critical of dogmatic fundamentalism. Its choice of a scripture is entirely arbitrary, it's not based on fact and more often than not it divides people instead of bringing them together." This is very important point. People who just accept the Bible or the Koran or any other scripture as their source of truth aren't going on the facts. They're going on what they call faith, but all that means when it's done that way is that they're believing what they want to believe.

Because it has nothing to do with reality, it doesn't bind together at all (ligare). Exactly the opposite, it separates the fundamentalists from the real world and everyone in it. If you look at God as the ultimate reality, they're divorcing themselves from God to serve their own wishes. They're yelling "God" at the top of their lungs, but what they really mean by "God" is "my opinion." And even though they are the first people to accuse others of trying to be God, they're the ones who are actually doing it. That's why so many of us can't stand the fundies.

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Have you really tried understanding me, or Matthew for that matter? From what I've seen you've made up your mind, so of course you can't understand.

I'm not against religion. I'm a born-again Humanist. My religion isn't just on Sundays, in fact it isn't even particularly on Sundays; it's every day, all the time. The way I see it, anything less isn't really religion.

As others have told you already, religion isn't necessarily about believing in a god. To answer your question, we raised Matthew mainly as a Humanist, but it's hard to categorize. In one sense, our religion looks to eliminate those distinctions, because religion shouldn't be about dividing people. It should be about bringing us all together in harmony with each other. That is in keeping with the original meaning of the word religion, which comes from the Latin words re (to look upon all things) and ligare (to bind together, as a ligament does). When a "religion" divides, it is actually an anti-religion. That is why I am so critical of dogmatic fundamentalism. Its choice of a scripture is entirely arbitrary, it's not based on fact and more often than not it divides people instead of bringing them together. You can't walk around believing that most of the world's people are doomed to spend eternity in hell, for example, and not have it poison the way you relate to people.

Now that's my opinion, but you know what, I'm as entitled to it as you are to your opinion. The difference is that I'm looking and listening and evaluating instead of just accepting something that some men and a very few women who lived thousands of years ago wrote down way back then.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about my religion. If you ask Matthew, he'll probably give you similar answers to mine, but not necessarily the same answers. Nobody knows everything, and to us religion is a search. Each person brings his own strengths, weaknesses, predispositions, etc., to it. But by all means, ask the questions. I wish that had happened from the beginning.

I hope everyone who is in Kearny reads your post above. Most of your words are just that words, but this one really bothered me. In your own words "our religion looks to eliminate those distinctions". I wonder how far someone goes to eliminate ? Would it go so far as to make a teacher an example of someone just to make your point and promote your religion? Would it go as far as to hold ransom the school board? Would it go so far as to band together a team of lawyers for the sake of personal accolades for your son and yourself?

As you said you are born again, so this wasn't your first religion. At some point there was a falling out and it appears it was a pretty sharp one at that.

And you repeat over and over this whole thing over a teacher was not planned. You have one hell of a nerve.

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Sure it can be discussed, in the proper historical context. Do you think that talking about who does and doesn't deserve to suffer for eternity (a.k.a. "belong in Hell") is such a context? Honestly.

Honestly, what does it matter?

Discussion, "in my opinion.....", is just that, discussion. No pop quiz tomorrow. No failing grades if you don't get on board.

Honestly, what does it matter? I was under the understanding you have no belief in the whole hell/heaven afterlife. What is to suffer? What is the proper historical context? Honestly?

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What an intelligent, well thought out response. I never understood the "oh yea, well... your dumb" kind of response that I have seen.

Show your father some respect.

Perhaps you should consider that there are better ways to make an argument, rather tha[n] childish attacks.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=59931

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=57065

I do not think poorly of you, but I think that perhaps you are angry and this is your way to release it. I hope you can understand why it makes posts like yours a waste. There seems to be no real substance in it, just personal attacks. Maybe you should try to backup your arguments with reason, and people may begin to think more of you, even if they disagree with you.

Or, if reason fails we can appeal to intuition (just like daddy). Intuition is a part of logic--or so I hear.

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Good Grief !!  Now Paul is posting as his son Matthew.  First Strife and now Matthew.

I can understand why you may be skeptical that it is actually me, but it is. I am afraid you can only take my word on it. I registered back in December, but I have not posted for a long time.

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Guest Billy Driver
College interviews will take place for Matthew and his classmates. I have a question for those classmates, especially those who were in Mr. Paszkiewicz's history class with him.

Let's assume an interviewer knows or finds out that you were in that class.

Assume further that the interviewer asks you why you didn't speak up for Matthew, who was telling the truth.

It's a legitimate question, which goes to your character.

What are you going to say?

Speak up for him, why? Did I miss the attack? Was there a threatening tone, mood or actions...... or talk of same to come later?

Matthew recorded the exchange just in case proof would be needed to back himself up. This was his.

I don't think anyone else there thought more of this than just talk.

Should they have run and let everyone know the sky was falling? Given the discoveries of constitutional rights abuse (or not) in the past few years and based on the scale of severity in contrast, I would see this entire melodrama as more of a personal attack on an individual and his belief system than vice versa.

Get off the black and white. Was this teacher repeatedly interjecting his personal "religious" ideals into his teachings?

Did he discriminate against those students who had a different mindset than his own?

I hate to go back to the beginning but some people just can't let this particular instance rest,"Tom".

It amazes me how some people like nothing more than to stir it around, over and over. Let's attack the students who didn't rally the troops.

Let's assume an interviewer knows or finds out that you were in that class.

Assume further that the interviewer asks you why you didn't speak up for Matthew, who was telling the truth.

Nice supposition, now you'll try to make everyone who was there defend himself for not hoisting "Old Glory" aloft.

"Where were you when your classmate needed you most, when your country was under attack?". Shame on you.

Shame on you "Tom", whoever you are.

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Honestly, what does it matter?

It matters because this is a secular country, and our Constitution demands that church and state are kept separate. Why is that so hard to understand?

What is the proper historical context?  Honestly?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity <-- Well, anything here that applies to US History (which was the subject of the class). I'm surprised you had to ask such a question.

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I would see this entire melodrama as more of a personal attack on an individual and his belief system than vice versa.

It was neither. Who believes what was nothing but a sidenote--the real issue was a violation of the Constitution, and this has been clear. To think anything else shows a lack of paying attention, and/or a knee-jerk reaction, like what was seen at the February meeting.

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Speak up for him, why? Did I miss the attack? Was there a threatening tone, mood or actions...... or talk of same to come later?

Matthew recorded the exchange just in case proof would be needed to back himself up. This was his.

I don't think anyone else there thought more of this than just talk.

Should they have run and let everyone know the sky was falling? Given the discoveries of constitutional rights abuse (or not) in the past few years and based on the scale of severity in contrast, I would see this entire melodrama as more of a personal attack on an individual and his belief system than vice versa. 

Get off the black and white.  Was this teacher repeatedly interjecting his personal "religious" ideals into his teachings?

Did he discriminate against those students who had a different mindset than his own?

I hate to go back to the beginning but some people just can't let this particular instance rest,"Tom".

It amazes me how some people like nothing more than to stir it around, over and over.  Let's attack the students who didn't rally the troops. 

Nice supposition, now you'll try to make everyone who was there defend himself for not hoisting "Old Glory" aloft.

"Where were you when your classmate needed you most, when your country was under attack?". Shame on you.

Shame on you "Tom", whoever you are.

The attacks were widely reported in the newspapers, and were allowed to continue unabated by administration and students alike.

The sky was not falling, but you wouldn't have wanted to be in Matthew's shoes.

The teacher was repeatedly interjecting his personal religious views not so much into his teachings, but instead of his teachings. He has obviously been doing it for many years, which he admitted in saying that what he did in that class is no different than what he has done for fifteen years. I suggest you listen to the recordings, which are still on Canessa's blog in their entirety, if you're not familiar with exactly what Paszkiewicz did in class and what he said about it later.

We received complaints from several students that in fact Paszkiewicz did discriminate against them because of their beliefs and/or life styles. In addition, he disparaged the religion in which Debra and I raised our son and implied that we were insincere in our teachings. That is not just over the line, it is despicable.

I would like never to have to post here again. However, as I have made clear, I understand how the religious right fringe thinks. To them, truth is a function of belief and the spoken/written word. They came here to reinvent the facts. They will not be allowed to do that unopposed.

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I hope everyone who is in Kearny reads your post above.  Most of your words are just that words, but this one really bothered me.  In your own words "our religion looks to eliminate those distinctions". I wonder how far someone goes to eliminate ?  Would it go so far as to make a teacher an example of someone just to make your point and promote your religion?  Would it go as far as to hold ransom the school board? Would it go so far as to band together a team of lawyers for the sake of personal accolades for your son and yourself?

As you said you are born again, so this wasn't your first religion. At some point there was a falling out and it appears it was a pretty sharp one at that.

And you repeat over and over this whole thing over a teacher was not planned.  You have one hell of a nerve.

And of course, your only response is to distort my use of a single word, trying to make it mean what you want it to mean, not what I mean by it. Eliminating a distinction does not mean eliminating a person. It means looking past personal beliefs to our common humanity, which is what I believe is most important. It means trying to bring people together on common ground instead of forcing a parochial religious view on everyone.

What we did was not just to make a point. It wasn't to promote our religion. The school board was not held ransom. The accolades for Matthew came from far and wide. People with legal matters have a right to retain counsel. As we have observed over and over and over and over and over again, these things were done to defend the law and the Constitution, the integrity and quality of education in Kearny, and simple principles of common decency. And most of the world, overwhelmingly, agrees with us and applauds Matthew. Has it ever, even once, occurred to you that you might be missing something very important?

I invite you again, if you want to understand my religion, you are free to ask me about it. Instead, you judge what you do not understand.

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Honestly, what does it matter? 

Discussion, "in my opinion.....", is just that, discussion. No pop quiz tomorrow.  No failing grades if you don't get on board.

Honestly, what does it matter? I was under the understanding you have no belief in the whole hell/heaven afterlife. What is to suffer? What is the proper historical context?  Honestly?

It matters because this was a public school teacher misusing his position of authority to proselytize his religious beliefs in an extremely inappropriate and disrespectful way. (He was completely disrespectful of our religion, even going so far as to say that if Matthew was sincere he would abandon the religion in which Debra and I raised him and convert to the teacher's religion.) This is a violation of the Constitution, and it is in keeping with a widespread movement by a group of evangelical Christian radicals called dominionists who want to force their religious beliefs into the public schools, take over the culture, rip up the Constitution and make Christianity the country's formal religion. It would have been unthinkable a generation ago to elect an American president because he was of a particular religious faith. Yet that is exactly what happened in 2000 and 2004. Bush and the neocons got into bed with the evangelical right and elected themselves a president, quite a few members of Congress, and they now have control or near control over the Supreme Court. What Paszkiewicz was doing was just one example of a strategy that will destroy 218 years of Constitutional freedom if it succeeds. Whether Paszkiewicz formally counts himself a dominionist or not, he specifically told the class that he believes the dominant religion should be promoted in the public schools, and he wrote in our local paper that church-state separation is a myth.

The historical context is that humanity has spent more time under the thumb of one religion or another than it has spent free. Our founding fathers wrote a Constitution that has kept us free for more than 200 years. Under this Constitution, each person is free to worship as he or she sees fit without interference from the government. That great principle is what Paszkiewicz was disparaging and violating in that classroom. Our Constitition is under attack from the radical fundamentalist/evangelical right, and David Paszkiewicz made it abundantly clear that he is a part of the attack.

I hope these brief answers to your questions were helpful.

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Guest 2smart4u
Because this is a secular country, and our Constitution demands that church and state are kept separate. Why is that so hard to understand?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity <-- Well, anything here that applies to US History (which was the subject of the class). I'm surprised you had to ask such a question.

"This a secular country" ?? Another atheist fantasy. 80% of the U.S. is Christian. Our money is printed and engraved with "In God We Trust". The Supreme Court displays the Ten Commandments. In court you put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth "so help you God". Millions of Nativity Scenes are displayed throughout the country at Christmas. "White Christmas" is the best selling song of all time. The President of the U.S. is a Christian who attends church regularly. The U.S. Congress recesses over Christmas. The Speaker of the House is Christian and attends church regularly. But don't feel bad, you have Paul and Matthew on your side.

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It matters because this is a secular country, and our Constitution demands that church and state are kept separate. Why is that so hard to understand?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity <-- Well, anything here that applies to US History (which was the subject of the class). I'm surprised you had to ask such a question.

Sarcasm Yizzum. By the way does it? Have you read it lately? Are you sure it demands it? Really, demands it? I duuuuunnnooo? ;):o:o

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It was neither. Who believes what was nothing but a sidenote--the real issue was a violation of the Constitution, and this has been clear. To think anything else shows a lack of paying attention, and/or a knee-jerk reaction, like what was seen at the February meeting.

All I ask is that you show me the smoking crusader uniform ....... and if it fits, then you must convict! But if you can not produce one 'o these

...you must acquit!

And don't get me started with the knee jerk reactions, because I don't work on Elvis' birthday (or August 18th)!

Well bless a-my soul what's a-wrong with me

I'm itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree

My friends say I'm mad I'm gettin' wild as a bug

I'm in love I'm all shook up

Ooo ooo ooo ooo yay-yay-yay ..................everybody now

Oh well my hands are shakin' and my knees are weak

I can't seem to stand on my own two feet.... ;)

Ooo ooo ooo ooo yay-yay-yay

Ooo ooo ooo ooo yay-yay-yay

I'm all shook up

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I hope everyone who is in Kearny reads your post above.  Most of your words are just that words, but this one really bothered me.  In your own words "our religion looks to eliminate those distinctions". I wonder how far someone goes to eliminate ?  Would it go so far as to make a teacher an example of someone just to make your point and promote your religion?  Would it go as far as to hold ransom the school board? Would it go so far as to band together a team of lawyers for the sake of personal accolades for your son and yourself?

As you said you are born again, so this wasn't your first religion. At some point there was a falling out and it appears it was a pretty sharp one at that.

And you repeat over and over this whole thing over a teacher was not planned.  You have one hell of a nerve.

One more point about eliminating distinctions: God is universal. (I'm writing now as a Humanist who does not believe in the kind of god you do, so you'll have to make an effort to understand this. Honestly, given what you've already written, I'm not sure you can do that or that you want to do it, but I'm offering this with a Faith that you'll try. Think of God as a universal principle or force.) Because God is universal, anything that goes under the name of God that separates good people from good people isn't God. That's one of many reasons why I don't believe in a conception of God that says either (1) these are my chosen people and those are not, or (2) these people will spend eternity with me in heaven, but those people will spend eternity in hell, (3-x) etc. When you describe God that way, you're not describing God. A religion must be of us all, else it isn't really a religion: that kind of religion doesn't bring us all together. The problem is that many of the world's major religions have wrapped themselves around parochial distinctions of that kind, that is, distinctions that are not of us all (not universally true). For that reason, it is obvious to me beyond doubt that much of theology just isn't true. Now that doesn't give me the right to push my religious views onto others, any more than it gives you or Paszkiewicz the right to push yours; but if you ask me what my religion is about (and you did), that's part of the answer.

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Sarcasm Yizzum. By the way does it? Have you read it lately? Are you sure it demands it? Really, demands it? I duuuuunnnooo? ;)  :o  :o

The Constitution itself along with the founding fathers' statements on how important a "wall of separation" is make it abundantly clear.

http://altreligion.about.com/library/weekly/aa070202a.htm

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"This a secular country" ??  Another atheist fantasy.    80% of the U.S. is Christian.

It's a secular country with a Christian majority in its population.

http://nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm

http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html

Our money is printed and engraved with "In God We Trust".

Not when the country was founded--that was something injected into currency much later, by lobbyists. It'll be rid of eventually, I assure you.

The Supreme Court displays the Ten Commandments. In court you put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth "so help you God".

Not if you don't want to--it's not a requirement.

Millions of Nativity Scenes are displayed throughout the country at Christmas.

People can display symbols of any religion they want on their property.

"White Christmas" is the best selling song of all time.

Which is a song about snow, not Jeebus. ;)

The President of the U.S. is a Christian who attends church regularly.

And about 3/4 of the population are eagerly counting the days until he's gone; he has the lowest approval rates of any president in this country's history, surpassing even Nixon!

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"This a secular country" ??  Another atheist fantasy.    80% of the U.S. is Christian.

Prove it.

Our money is printed and engraved with "In God We Trust".

A relatively recent developement.

The Supreme Court displays the Ten Commandments.

Though 60% of Americans can't name half of them.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007...ion-cover_N.htm

In court you put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth "so help you God".

You can choose not to.

Millions of Nativity Scenes are displayed throughout the country at Christmas. "White Christmas" is the best selling song of all time. The President of the U.S. is a Christian who attends church regularly. The U.S. Congress recesses over Christmas. The Speaker of the House is Christian and attends church regularly.  But don't feel bad, you have Paul and Matthew on your side.

So? It is a free country. They can do whatever they want. btw-the lyrics of White Christmas:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the treetops glisten,

and children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

Yeah-that's a religious message. ;)

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"This a secular country" ??  Another atheist fantasy.    80% of the U.S. is Christian. Our money is printed and engraved with "In God We Trust". The Supreme Court displays the Ten Commandments. In court you put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth "so help you God". Millions of Nativity Scenes are displayed throughout the country at Christmas. "White Christmas" is the best selling song of all time. The President of the U.S. is a Christian who attends church regularly. The U.S. Congress recesses over Christmas. The Speaker of the House is Christian and attends church regularly.  But don't feel bad, you have Paul and Matthew on your side.

In our country, all laws must have a secular purpose. That has been established Constitutional law since the nation was founded. That's no fantasy. It's the law.

As usual, 2dim's ignorance is breathtaking. There's a difference between being a member of a religion and using the government to force that religion on others. That is the difference that the law recognizes, and which most Christians understand, appreciate and abide by. 2dim4words is oblivious to all of it. He can't even tell the difference between people voluntarily choosing to spend their privately owned money to buy a recording of "White Christmas," governments displaying a nativity scene or a court displaying the ten commandments (which they may do only if it is part of a religiously neutral display) and the private and personal beliefs of public officials. By the way, no one is required to swear on the Bible in court. By law, the courts are obligated to offer the choice of affirming, in which case the person taking the oath does not use the Bible.

That is what we mean when we observe that the United States is a secular country. It is a secular country populated by religious people. And there's no contradiction in that at all. It's just a matter of respecting others, and I think it's a beautiful system. These are basic distinctions that every American should know and understand.

2dim . . . well, that's a sad story of another kind.

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