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Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment freedoms

To the Publisher:

It is my firm conviction that there is an effort afoot to undermine the very underpinnings of our freedoms. Kearny has been characterized as a backward town inhabited by barbarians. This is unfortunate, because Kearny (the town I love, have chosen to live in and serve) is nothing of the sort. It is made up of intelligent, hard-working, benevolent, tolerant people and it pains me greatly to see it maligned. In light of the current controversy concerning church and state in Kearny, I would like to share some thoughts from our founders.

But first let me say this, the words “separation of church and state” cannot be found in our Constitution. The intent of the founders was to limit the government’s encroachment into matters of conscience and religion, not to exclude any discussion of religion from public life. The so called “wall of separation” is mentioned only in a letter to an organization of Baptists in Danbury Conn. in which Jefferson uses that phrase to assure them that he will not restrict their religious liberty. It is unfortunate that this is the only Jefferson quote on the subject that gets attention in the press. Allow me to share some more. The first group I’d like to share concern Jefferson’s beliefs.

“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” (Letter to Benjamin Rush April 21, 1803).

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781).

These next quotes concern Jefferson’s thoughts on the courts. I’m sharing these because they seem to have been prophetic. Jefferson’s worst nightmare has come true! The courts have been used to strip us of our liberty!

“The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” (Letter to Spencer Roane Sept. 6, 1819).

“You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all Constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy ... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal ... knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” (Letter to William Jarvis Sept. 28, 1820).

It is abundantly clear to me that popular conceptions of our First Amendment freedoms have drifted far from what the founders intended. Jefferson is often quoted by the enemies of religious freedom who appeal to the decisions of tyrannical courts rather than the will of the people, the minds of the founders or the Constitution. Jefferson would be appalled if he were alive today!

George Washington, the venerated father of our beloved country, also had some interesting thoughts on the subject:“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” (Washington’s speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779).

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly to implore his protection and favors.” (Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation Oct. 3, 1789).

I would be remiss to fail to include quotes from another icon of the anti-freedom of religion crowd, Benjamin Franklin:

“God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” (Constitutional Convention 1787).

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered … do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” (Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787).

In 1749, Franklin put a plan together for public education in Pennsylvania and he insisted that schools teach “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”

In 1787, he helped found Benjamin Franklin University. It was dedicated as “a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the cornerstone.”

This is a mere sampling of what was on the minds of our founders as they formed this great nation of ours. May we walk worthy of the great heritage they left us. Let us remember that it is in this context that we have preserved the freest nation on earth!

In closing, with regard to this town being made up of unintelligent barbarians … if that is true, it is only because they share the same thinking as Jefferson, Washington and Franklin!

David A. Paszkiewicz, Kearny

The above appeared in the January 10th 2007 edition of The Observer

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Paszkiewicz attempts to defend his misdeeds by quoting thoughts of the founding fathers.

Washington and Jefferson were both slave owners, will that make it OK for him to start preaching the glories of slave ownership to his students?

And if he's concerned with the First Amendment being usurped in his classroom he'd best be prepared for free speech from his students proclaiming him the religious bigot that he is,

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Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment freedoms

The above appeared in the January 10th 2007 edition of The Observer

Good of him to finally respond, with the expected (and usual) defenses of tearing down church/state separation.

The Founders had a great deal of respect for Jesus and his teachings... and made every possible effort to ensure that religion would play no role in government whatsoever. To many religious folks, this seems like a contradiction--and it's been the basis of all our church/state problems ever since.

The Constitution makes no mention of God or Jesus; in fact, the only two references made regarding religion are the mandate that government stay out of it (the First Amendment) and two prohibitions against having any sort of religious test for holding public office. If they wanted a religious government, they had every opportunity to endorse and establish one; instead, they did the exact opposite.

The "tyranny" of the judiciary that Mr. Paskiewicz is so angry about, is likewise a construct of the Founders' wisdom. They recognized that the Will of the People can often become a tyranny all its own, a mob of the majority trampling on the rights of those who think, speak, and believe differently. That's why we have enumerated and unenumerated rights in the Amendments, and it's also a primary function of the judiciary: protecting the rights of minorities even against legislation enacted by an overwhelming majority.

No matter how great the majority, the judiciary will uphold the Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to ALL citizens--including free speech (yes, even for NAMBLA), free assembly (yes, even for the Klan), and freedom of religion (yes, even for non-Christians). And the only way to guarantee freedom is to restrict the power of government; where government is required to back off, freedom flourishes.

Mr. Paskiewicz, in the performance of his job responsibilities, is an agent of government. To guarantee our freedoms, his own range of permissible actions in doing his duty--and dealing with the public--is narrowly restricted. Just as a judge would be censured for openly favoring white defendants, so a teacher deserves censure for openly preaching his personal faith to a mixed class of students. When he's on the job, Mr. P is government--and his actions and rights are limited to preserve our freedoms.

Church/state separation is a well established Constitutional principle, as any lawyer or judge (or legal scholar) could tell you. The fact that the specific words do not appear in the Constitution is commonly--and simplistically--alleged to be a "weakness" of this principle. It's not. The Constitution is an outline of general principles, the interpretation and application of which is up to the judiciary. That's their function, just as the Founders intended.

Mr. Paskiewicz claims that "our freedoms" are under assault, and that the Founders would be shocked by this turn of events. But whose freedoms are more important--those of the government employee (Mr. P), or his students--captive minors who are supposedly free to think and worship as they please without interference from an authority figure?

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Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment freedoms

To the Publisher:

  It is my firm conviction that there is an effort afoot to undermine the very underpinnings of our freedoms.  Kearny has been characterized as a backward town inhabited by barbarians.  This is unfortunate, because Kearny (the town I love, have chosen to live in and serve) is nothing of the sort. It is made up of intelligent, hard-working, benevolent, tolerant people and it pains me greatly to see it maligned. In light of the current controversy concerning church and state in Kearny, I would like to share some thoughts from our founders.

  But first let me say this, the words “separation of church and state” cannot be found in our Constitution.

Oh boy...he's one of these people, huh? It sure is easier to look persecuted when you rewrite history, huh? What invariably follows are out-of-context quotes that "prove" that all the founding fathers were Christians etc. etc. etc. I guarantee it.

The intent of the founders was to limit the government’s encroachment into matters of conscience and religion, not to exclude any discussion of religion from public life.

He sounds just like his apologists who compare him answering a yes or no question about his religion as being exactly as inoffensive/harmless as him talking about who does and doesn't belong in hell while he's on the clock at his job.

The so called “wall of separation” is mentioned only in a letter to an organization of Baptists in Danbury Conn. in which Jefferson uses that phrase to assure them that he will not restrict their religious liberty.

Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion--public school students have the right to go through school without being preached at, and Mr. P. took that away from them.

It is unfortunate that this is the only Jefferson quote on the subject that gets attention in the press. Allow me to share some more. The first group I’d like to share concern Jefferson’s beliefs.

  “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” (Letter to Benjamin Rush April 21, 1803).

  “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781).

Out-of-context quote-mining detected. Here's the real story:

"Jefferson was a deist because he believed in one God, in divine providence, in the divine moral law, and in rewards and punishments after death; but did not believe in supernatural revelation. He was a Christian deist because he saw Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion and Jesus as an incomparably great moral teacher. He was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Jefferson's religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day. (emphasis added)" --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jeffer...Religious_views

Notice how the emphasized section DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS the sort of things he was talking about in class, about all Jesus did for us, blahblahblah. Good job, doofus.

These next quotes concern Jefferson’s thoughts on the courts. I’m sharing these because they seem to have been prophetic. Jefferson’s worst nightmare has come true! The courts have been used to strip us of our liberty!

Oh, bullshit...you infringed on the rights of these children by preaching at your job. You took THEIR freedom away. But the second one kid stands up and says, "Hey, you're not supposed to be doing that," it's full persecution-complex mode for you, huh?

I'm already glad this was posted--my suspicions about his motives (and lack of remorse) are being exemplified about as clearly as I could imagine.

“The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” (Letter to Spencer Roane Sept. 6, 1819).

  “You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all Constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy ... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal ... knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” (Letter to William Jarvis Sept. 28, 1820).

  It is abundantly clear to me that popular conceptions of our First Amendment freedoms have drifted far from what the founders intended.

This line right here is a sign of this man's overwhelming ignorance about the founding of this country, and about the views of those who founded it.

Jefferson is often quoted by the enemies of religious freedom who appeal to the decisions of tyrannical courts rather than the will of the people, the minds of the founders or the Constitution. Jefferson would be appalled if he were alive today!

(note the above wikipedia quote for context) Yeah, he'd be appalled that you're pushing your beliefs on public school children. Not only that, but he wouldn't even agree with your contention of this dude Jesus's divinity.

George Washington, the venerated father of our beloved country, also had some interesting thoughts on the subject:“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” (Washington’s speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779).

  “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly to implore his protection and favors.” (Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation Oct. 3, 1789).

Washington was a deist, just like Jefferson.

I would be remiss to fail to include quotes from another icon of the anti-freedom of religion crowd, Benjamin Franklin:

  “God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” (Constitutional Convention 1787).

  “In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered … do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” (Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787).

  In 1749, Franklin put a plan together for public education in Pennsylvania and he insisted that schools teach “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”

  In 1787, he helped found Benjamin Franklin University. It was dedicated as “a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the cornerstone.”

I have a feeling something is up here--in Poor Richard's Almanack, Ben writes that "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." I smell another attempt to make Deism sound like Christianity with quote-mining.

(post split in two to avoid quote bug)

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This is a mere sampling of what was on the minds of our founders as they formed this great nation of ours. May we walk worthy of the great heritage they left us. Let us remember that it is in this context that we have preserved the freest nation on earth!

And that you have spit on that freedom by imposing your beliefs on a captive audience of schoolchildren. Have you no shame at all?

In closing, with regard to this town being made up of unintelligent barbarians … if that is true, it is only because they share the same thinking as Jefferson, Washington and Franklin!

David A. Paszkiewicz, Kearny

The above appeared in the January 10th 2007 edition of The Observer

Unbelievable. But thank you, Mr. P., for confirming my suspicions about the kind of person you are. You are nothing more than another one of those Christians who, despite being the majority religion in the USA, bleat "persecution" every time they are denied the ability to freely impose their faith on others.

No apology about the lies you spread about the Theory of Evolution, the Big Bang, and whatever other scientific concepts you so readily dismissed as if they were nothing worth even considering. No remorse at all--your words have made it abundantly clear that not only is this not an isolated incident, but that you have every intention of keeping it up as long as you can.

Your kind fought/fights against the abolition of slavery, against women's suffrage and otherwise equal treatment, against interracial marriage, against same-sex marriage, and so on, all with your precious Bible quotes to callously and shamelessly promote your bigotry. Your kind holds the rest of us back. Your kind wants all progress to stop so that we can go back to believing Bronze Age myths and stoning the unbelievers.

With no qualms or hesitation--you know what? F**K you and your kind. You are a despicable human being, Paszkiewicz.

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Paszkiewicz is quick to say "the words 'separation of church and state' cannot be found in our Constituton".

I notice that you also CANNOT FIND the words "Christian superiority" or "the US is hereby founded as a Christian Republic" in our Constitution. Just a convenient oversight on his part?

The man was wrong and if he has a lick of common sense he knows it, he's apparently too small a man to admit his error. He should go teach in a private religious school where he can put forth his own version of the pure BS argument that: "my God is better than your God".

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So.

On the one hand, the christian history professor finds references from the founders to their belief and insistance on teaching Christ in the schools.

On the other hand, those same founders have been quoted showing disdain for religion and Christianity in particular.

Which leads us to today, 200+ years removed from the context.

What it calls for is a common ground, which can only be brought in a civilized American society through the courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court.

I would prefer that religion as faith NOT be taught in the publicly funded schools. religion as history is welcome, as long as it is made clear that the presenter in no way endorses any one over the other, especially by denegrating the others.

There are also religiously funded schools, where religion as faith is being taught, and should continue to be taught.

This will continue to be a bitter debate.

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Mr. P's letter confirms my suspicion that he was nuttier than Paul LaClair. Instead of taking the opportunity to apologize for any perceived "religious preaching" he may have done inadvertently, show some humility, and ask for forgiveness. That my friends would have been the smart move. Instead he goes off like a nut selectively quoting the founders of our country in defense of his First Amendment rights.

Let me put it simply to you MR. P: You have a First Amendment Right (with some limitations) to say whatever you want while you're on the street. However, once you step into a public high school and accept a teaching position, you give up that right because the Establishment Clause (separation of church and state) makes the teaching of one religion over another illegal. The school is neutral ground. All religions are accepted (including aethists (no religion) because that prevents one religion from dominating another. It's just a great idea for the benefit of all. Why don't you get it. How can you be a teacher and not get that concept. You're a Baptist. What if Aetheists became the majority? Would you like the school to be free of aetheists teachers preaching their values? Would you like your kids to be free of their preaching?

You should have exercised another constitutional right, the 5th Amendment right to remain silent. Your silence was a lot better than your long letter in the Observer. Your letter proved Mathew LaClair's case for him.

To Administrator Mooney, Attorney Lindenfelser, Kearny Board of Education members, Mayor Santos, councilmembers: Please reprimand Mr. P; before my tax dollars pay for attorneys and the LaClairs for this insane teacher's conduct.

Mr. LaClair I commend you for standing up. I commend KOTW for providing a forum which has flushed out the true Mr. P. I commend the Observer for its coverage. I commend the New York Times for drawing attention to this issue. I await that an elected official will stand up in the face of Mr. P's letter that he has crossed the line and has probably been crossing the line for years. Let's put an end to it.

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With no qualms or hesitation--you know what? F**K you and your kind. You are a despicable human being, Paszkiewicz.

Wow! All that hate over a difference of opinion?

Suppose, you were about everything...........

Suppose religion was banned from all public places,

Mr. P was held accountable according to your standards,

Matthew LaClair received his apology for the board,

And everyone agreed with you......

What would be left for you to complain about?

How entertaining would fighting with yourself be?

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Mr. P's letter confirms my suspicion that he was nuttier than Paul LaClair.  Instead of taking the opportunity to apologize for any perceived "religious preaching" he may have done inadvertently, show some humility, and ask for forgiveness.  That my friends would have been the smart move.  Instead he goes off like a nut selectively quoting the founders of our country in defense of his First Amendment rights.

Let me put it simply to you MR. P:  You have a First Amendment Right (with some limitations) to say whatever you want while you're on the street.  However, once you step into a public high school and accept a teaching position, you give up that right because the Establishment Clause (separation of church and state) makes the teaching of one religion over another illegal.  The school is neutral ground.  All religions are accepted (including aethists (no religion) because that prevents one religion from dominating another.  It's just a great idea for the benefit of all.  Why don't you get it.  How can you be a teacher and not get that concept.  You're a Baptist.  What if Aetheists became the majority?  Would you like the school to be free of aetheists teachers preaching their values?  Would you like your kids to be free of their preaching? 

You should have exercised another constitutional right, the 5th Amendment right to remain silent.  Your silence was a lot better than your long letter in the Observer.  Your letter proved Mathew LaClair's case for him. 

To Administrator Mooney, Attorney Lindenfelser, Kearny Board of Education members, Mayor Santos, councilmembers:  Please reprimand Mr. P; before my tax dollars pay for attorneys and the LaClairs for this insane teacher's conduct.

Mr. LaClair I commend you for standing up.  I commend KOTW for providing a forum which has flushed out the true Mr. P.  I commend the Observer for its coverage.  I commend the New York Times for drawing attention to this issue.  I await that an elected official will stand up in the face of Mr. P's letter that he has crossed the line and has probably been crossing the line for years.  Let's put an end to it.

Wow, wow, are you angry because Mr. P quoted the founders and there is not much you can say about it or because is not what you expected? I wonder why you are so angry... :P

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Mr. P's letter confirms my suspicion that he was nuttier than Paul LaClair.  Instead of taking the opportunity to apologize for any perceived "religious preaching" he may have done inadvertently, show some humility, and ask for forgiveness.  That my friends would have been the smart move.  Instead he goes off like a nut selectively quoting the founders of our country in defense of his First Amendment rights.

Let me put it simply to you MR. P:  You have a First Amendment Right (with some limitations) to say whatever you want while you're on the street.  However, once you step into a public high school and accept a teaching position, you give up that right because the Establishment Clause (separation of church and state) makes the teaching of one religion over another illegal.  The school is neutral ground.  All religions are accepted (including aethists (no religion) because that prevents one religion from dominating another.  It's just a great idea for the benefit of all.  Why don't you get it.  How can you be a teacher and not get that concept.  You're a Baptist.  What if Aetheists became the majority?  Would you like the school to be free of aetheists teachers preaching their values?  Would you like your kids to be free of their preaching? 

You should have exercised another constitutional right, the 5th Amendment right to remain silent.  Your silence was a lot better than your long letter in the Observer.  Your letter proved Mathew LaClair's case for him. 

To Administrator Mooney, Attorney Lindenfelser, Kearny Board of Education members, Mayor Santos, councilmembers:  Please reprimand Mr. P; before my tax dollars pay for attorneys and the LaClairs for this insane teacher's conduct.

Mr. LaClair I commend you for standing up.  I commend KOTW for providing a forum which has flushed out the true Mr. P.  I commend the Observer for its coverage.  I commend the New York Times for drawing attention to this issue.  I await that an elected official will stand up in the face of Mr. P's letter that he has crossed the line and has probably been crossing the line for years.  Let's put an end to it.

:blink: you what? david tells the truth and yourself and the other "anti christ followers" try to rip him down! now we see just how stupid you fools are! i think you need to go back to school and take USA HISTORY all over! oh this time read the book!! :P

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Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment freedoms

To the Publisher:

  It is my firm conviction that there is an effort afoot to undermine the very underpinnings of our freedoms.  Kearny has been characterized as a backward town inhabited by barbarians.

What fredoms are being undermined.  Who has said that Kearny is a backward town inhabited by barbarians?  The negative feelings of the non-Pas-supporters

only reinforced with stupidity like this.

This is unfortunate, because Kearny (the town I love, have chosen to live in and serve) is nothing of the sort. It is made up of intelligent, hard-working, benevolent, tolerant people and it pains me greatly to see it maligned. In light of the current controversy concerning church and state in Kearny, I would like to share some thoughts from our founders.

Some carefully mined quotes that support his position and no mention of other things the founders said about religion

  But first let me say this, the words “separation of church and state” cannot be found in our Constitution. The intent of the founders was to limit the government’s encroachment into matters of conscience and religion, not to exclude any discussion of religion from public life. The so called “wall of separation” is mentioned only in a letter to an organization of Baptists in Danbury Conn. in which Jefferson uses that phrase to assure them that he will not restrict their religious liberty. It is unfortunate that this is the only Jefferson quote on the subject that gets attention in the press. Allow me to share some more. The first group I’d like to share concern Jefferson’s beliefs.

I think we all know that the words "separation of church and state" are not in the constitution.  The religious right still throws that out whenever church-state discussions occur.

What the founding fathers said in private is not evinced in the laws they enacted.

This is totally irrelevant. 

  “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” (Letter to Benjamin Rush April 21, 1803).

Benjamin Rush was a Unitarian.  Notice he doesn't say he believes in the divinity of Jesus.  He simply follows the teachings of Jesus.

  “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781).

  These next quotes concern Jefferson’s thoughts on the courts. I’m sharing these because they seem to have been prophetic. Jefferson’s worst nightmare has come true! The courts have been used to strip us of our liberty!

What liberty?  George Bush has undermined the Constitution much more than any courts could.

  “The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” (Letter to Spencer Roane Sept. 6, 1819).

  “You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all Constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy ... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal ... knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” (Letter to William Jarvis Sept. 28, 1820).

  It is abundantly clear to me that popular conceptions of our First Amendment freedoms have drifted far from what the founders intended. Jefferson is often quoted by the enemies of religious freedom who appeal to the decisions of tyrannical courts rather than the will of the people, the minds of the founders or the Constitution. Jefferson would be appalled if he were alive today!

Jefferson would be laughing at Paszkiewicz

  George Washington, the venerated father of our beloved country, also had some interesting thoughts on the subject:“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” (Washington’s speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779).

  “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly to implore his protection and favors.” (Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation Oct. 3, 1789).

  I would be remiss to fail to include quotes from another icon of the anti-freedom of religion crowd, Benjamin Franklin:

  “God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” (Constitutional Convention 1787).

  “In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered … do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” (Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787).

  In 1749, Franklin put a plan together for public education in Pennsylvania and he insisted that schools teach “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”

  In 1787, he helped found Benjamin Franklin University. It was dedicated as “a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the cornerstone.”

  This is a mere sampling of what was on the minds of our founders as they formed this great nation of ours. May we walk worthy of the great heritage they left us. Let us remember that it is in this context that we have preserved the freest nation on earth!

  In closing, with regard to this town being made up of unintelligent barbarians … if that is true, it is only because they share the same thinking as Jefferson, Washington and Franklin!

David A. Paszkiewicz, Kearny

The above appeared in the January 10th 2007 edition of The Observer

Quote mining is often used by the religious right to back up their argument. No one can make an informed decision by reading only the evidence that supports their basic assumptions. A contributor to this discussion has said that he would never read anything written by "Darwiniacs" or "God-hating atheists. A closed mind hates fact and reason. After reading the whole transcript again and Paszkiewicz's letter I am more convinced that firing him, at least out of respect to his students, is well-worth discussion.

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Wow!  All that hate over a difference of opinion?

No. It is never just a difference of opinion with this type of theist. These people who don't know how to keep their faiths to themselves and insist on cramming it down the throats of everyone else in the name of "conversion" are sickening, and that mentality has caused more war and suffering than any other singular cause out there.

If people TRULY knew how to believe in God without causing Crusades, Inquisitions, and 9/11's, I wouldn't give a shit. But they don't. So I do. That's basically it--it infuriates me to see the results of this condescending, arrogant bullshit where people try to pretend their particular guess is more valid than any other--and especially them considering themselves automatically superior to anyone who decides there is no point in speculation.

That is how I feel--that man has and promotes the same kind of bigotry that leads to all that suffering. He is the kind of person who has no problem with the idea of all those who do not believe as he does suffering for ETERNITY. Eternity is a long time.

Suppose, you were about everything...........

Were what?

Suppose religion was banned from all public places,

Don't put words in my mouth--I have never advocated that. While I personally think the world would be a better place without religion, people should still be free to believe what they want, provided they don't use tax dollars to promote their faith. If they want to treat their faith like a business, let them pay their admission like everyone else--that is, start paying taxes.

Mr. P was held accountable according to your standards,

Matthew LaClair received his apology for the board,

And everyone agreed with you......

What would be left for you to complain about?

How entertaining would fighting with yourself be?

I am not seeking entertainment here--is that why you're here? I'm seeking justice, and you'd better believe that when such an atrocity occurs, I won't just shut up and take it, or worse, get mad at the kid for standing up for his Constitution. When justice is served, I won't complain. Mr. P.'s latest statement here is nothing but unbridled arrogance to think that the Constitution grants him the "freedom" to impose on others' freedom. It turned my stomach to read that level of disrespect, and (likely willful--the worst kind) ignorance.

You make it sound as if a lack of something to complain about would disappoint me. Believe me, it would not.

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo
:blink: you what? david tells the truth and yourself and the other "anti christ followers" try to rip him down! now we see just how stupid you fools are! i think you need to go back to school and take USA HISTORY all over! oh this time read the book!! :rolleyes:

Maybe you should go back and take some basic english classes so that you might be able to string together a choerent sentence. I am sick of any opposition to 'Mr. P's" actions being classified as "Anti-Christ" followers. This world is full of wonderful loving Christians and you sir slap them in the face everytime that you open your mouth. You are certainly not helping the Christian cause. Your "type" of Christianity is exactly why most people don't want any religion in public schools.

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Guest Guest

If Mr. P had made a passing remark regarding his religion, there would be no complaint.

Mr. P was judicious time on the job preaching instead of teaching. In short, he was not doing his job. I cannot think of any job where someone can preach to a captive audience on company time. To those who disagree, go ahead and try it. Fight for your freedom!

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Maybe you should go back and take some basic english classes so that you might be able to string together a choerent sentence. I am sick of any opposition to 'Mr. P's" actions being classified as "Anti-Christ" followers. This world is full of wonderful loving Christians and you sir slap them in the face everytime that you open your mouth. You are certainly not helping the Christian cause. Your "type" of Christianity is exactly why most people don't want any religion in public schools.

:rolleyes: keith who are you to talk for christian walkers/followers! you live in a state with the head quarters of the A/G THE PENT CHIRCH OF GOD AND WELL LETS SAY SOME OTHERS! with all that going on in your HOME STATE why are you posting here? is it that dead there? i hope you wake up and see just how wrong you are ! oh yah you would never find a place to post in your home state they would not put up with your crap !!!! your state has way to many christians to let you get away with your lies! kearny is "my" home not yours so go backoff in your own jackyard!!! :blink::lol::lol:

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If Mr. P had made a passing remark regarding his religion, there would be no complaint.

Mr. P was judicious time on the job preaching instead of teaching.  In short, he was not doing his job.  I cannot think of any job where someone can preach to a captive audience on company time.  To those who disagree, go ahead and try it.  Fight for your freedom!

Were you in the class? curious....

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Guest Keith-Marhsall,Mo
:P keith who are you to talk for christian walkers/followers! you live in a state with the head quarters of the A/G THE PENT CHIRCH OF GOD  AND WELL LETS SAY SOME OTHERS!  with all that going on in your HOME STATE why are you posting here? is it that dead there? i hope you wake up and see just how wrong you are ! oh yah you would never find a place to post in your home state they would not put up with your crap !!!! your state has way to many christians to let you get away with your lies!  kearny is "my" home not yours so go backoff in your own jackyard!!! :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

Well, it's painfully clear that your idea of Freedom of Speech only applies to you, those who think like you or those who would illegally preach to students in a public high school. If you are from Kearny can I assume that you are a product of the Kearny public schools? If so then I can also conclude by reading your posts that you struggle with basic writing an comprehension skills. In your case maybe with a "little more teaching and a lot less preaching" you could have actually been that intelligent, adult human being at which you strive so hard to be perceived. It's sad really.

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And that you have spit on that freedom by imposing your beliefs on a captive audience of schoolchildren. Have you no shame at all?

Unbelievable. But thank you, Mr. P., for confirming my suspicions about the kind of person you are. You are nothing more than another one of those Christians who, despite being the majority religion in the USA, bleat "persecution" every time they are denied the ability to freely impose their faith on others.

No apology about the lies you spread about the Theory of Evolution, the Big Bang, and whatever other scientific concepts you so readily dismissed as if they were nothing worth even considering. No remorse at all--your words have made it abundantly clear that not only is this not an isolated incident, but that you have every intention of keeping it up as long as you can.

Your kind fought/fights against the abolition of slavery, against women's suffrage and otherwise equal treatment, against interracial marriage, against same-sex marriage, and so on, all with your precious Bible quotes to callously and shamelessly promote your bigotry. Your kind holds the rest of us back. Your kind wants all progress to stop so that we can go back to believing Bronze Age myths and stoning the unbelievers.

With no qualms or hesitation--you know what? F**K you and your kind. You are a despicable human being, Paszkiewicz.

All that hate and anger in 22 years.....I think that maybe someone needs a hug from mommy and daddy.

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Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion--public school students have the right to go through school without being preached at, and Mr. P. took that away from them.

The "right" to which you refer is not among those enumerated in the Constitution, as Paskiewicz points out.

Once you appeal to 20th century court opinions in arguing for the right (I'd be glad to see you try without that appeal), you're conceding the brunt of Paszkiewicz's argument.

Out-of-context quote-mining detected. Here's the real story:

That's part of the real story.

Jefferson was Episcopalian in affiliation, and deist in belief. He was a Christian (in his own words) to the extent that he held Jesus' moral teachings as the ideal.

Notice how the emphasized section DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS the sort of things he was talking about in class, about all Jesus did for us, blahblahblah.

That's hardly worse than Strife's failure to either acknowledge or refute the significance of the second quotation cited by Paszkiewicz.

Good job, doofus.

Oh, bullshit...you infringed on the rights of these children by preaching at your job. You took THEIR freedom away. But the second one kid stands up and says, "Hey, you're not supposed to be doing that," it's full persecution-complex mode for you, huh?

And here Strife again dodges the point of Paszkiewicz's written words, offering an accusation in lieu of rebuttal.

I'm already glad this was posted--my suspicions about his motives (and lack of remorse) are being exemplified about as clearly as I could imagine.

So ... where's the argument against his thesis?

This line right here is a sign of this man's overwhelming ignorance about the founding of this country, and about the views of those who founded it.

Huh? Based on what?

One of the LaClair cheerleaders (was it you, Strife?) flatly declared that it was the interpretation of the courts that mattered with respect to the Constitution. That view isn't uncommon, but it wasn't the intent of the authors and signers of the Constitution that the courts would have full sway over the interpretation of the founding document.

It would be interesting to see a real argument in favor of your view, Strife.

(note the above wikipedia quote for context) Yeah, he'd be appalled that you're pushing your beliefs on public school children.

Seriously, I don't think that Jefferson would bat an eyelash if a public school instructor used Paskiewicz's exact words in a schoolroom. He was a deist, after all, not an atheist, and he was accustomed to life in a culture that was overwhelmingly Christian. He should have had ample time to complain about the prayers offered at official government functions, for example, if you were right.

"Dreisbach argues that Jefferson's fairly nuanced account of church-state relations became reified in the twentieth-century when it came to signify strict separation. He rehabilitates Jefferson's understanding with a careful examination of the various drafts of his letter to the Danbury Baptists, the political purposes Jefferson had in mind in composing it, and he compares it to other statements Jefferson made both as President and as Governor of Virginia. Contrary to the strict-separationist account, Jefferson thought the First Amendment regulated relations between the state and churches, and not the broader relationship between state and religion. Moreover, the First Amendment applies only to the federal government; states may establish and support churches, as well as issue Thanksgiving and prayer proclamations-as Jefferson himself did while governor of Virginia."

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages...reisbach104.htm

"Attacking Federalist policies, he opposed a strong centralized Government and championed the rights of states."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/tj3.html

Jefferson probably would have been completely flabbergasted to see how the courts applied the 14th Amendment.

"I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808. ME 11:428

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1650.htm

Not only that, but he wouldn't even agree with your contention of this dude Jesus's divinity.

Probably correct, but Jefferson would have allowed the state of New Jersey to allow explicit religious instruction in its public schools.

Washington was a deist, just like Jefferson.

... and we note the abundant evidence Strife produced in favor of this assertion. The evidence on Washington is varied and somewhat contradictory.

"Among them is Gordon Wood, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian at Brown University and author of "Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different." He says their public square was far more saturated with expressions of faith than is today's.

"They didn't anticipate religion retreating as much from the public square as we've done in the 20th and 21st centuries," Wood says. "The modern notion that we're being overtaken by a theocracy and that evangelical Christians are running amok - I think that's just kind of a madness that comes from people who have no historical perspective."

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0703/p01s01-ussc.html

I have a feeling something is up here--in Poor Richard's Almanack, Ben writes that "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." I smell another attempt to make Deism sound like Christianity with quote-mining.

Paskiewicz's overall point (I accept that the initial quotation of Jefferson is misleading) seems to be the degree to which the founders were open to expressions of religious sentiment and belief in association with the government, along with the secondary point that they did not envision the courts making significant decisions with legislative impact.

(post split in two to avoid quote bug)

That post is blissfully absent material worth dignifying with a reply. :P

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Were you in the class? curious....

There are recordings freely available online. Where have you been?

We might as well be in the class, since the recordings give us ears in the classroom. For all intents and purposes, we were right there with him, able to hear his preaching clearly.

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All that hate and anger in 22 years.....

Is nothing compared to the millenia of religiously-fueled hate and anger that have killed more people than I will ever meet.

I think that maybe someone needs a hug from mommy and daddy.

Be condescending all you want--if you don't think Mr. P.'s attitude is worth getting indignant about, then I pity you.

Anyone who would act like their beliefs give them license to infringe on the rights of others makes me sick. Those kinds of people represent the antithesis of our Constitution.

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Guest qetzal

Bryan,

I'm curious. Do you believe that Mr. P's statements in class were constitutional? Assuming that the transcripts and recordings that have been posted are accurate, of course.

Constitutionality aside, do you think it's appropriate for a teacher to espouse his religious beliefs in a public high school classroom?

If a Muslim had made similar pro-Islamic statements, would your answers be different? What about a Sikh, or a Wiccan, or even a Satanist?

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Bryan, you really know how to go on and on forever without actually saying anything, don't you? I think your lack of an argument has already been clearly demonstrated, and nothing more really needs to be added:

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=40389

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=40443

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=40452

So, do you have any legal training?

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Guest Strife's Mom
Bryan, you really know how to go on and on forever without actually saying anything, don't you? I think your lack of an argument has already been clearly demonstrated, and nothing more really needs to be added:

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=40389

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=40443

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=40452

So, do you have any legal training?

Son, when are you coming home, you've be spending all your time in your boyfriend's house on his damn computer. Burger King called, you've haven't showed up for work in over a week.

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