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Even pro-prayer group knows the 1st Amendment


Strife767
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Just something directed at "Bryan" and whoever else likes to pretend that there is some loophole that prevents Mr. P's actions from being in violation of the Establishment Clause:

The Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Beginning in 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted this Clause to mean that public schools must be neutral on subjects of religion. (emphasis added)

Even these guys realize the implications of those Supreme Court decisions.

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Just something directed at "Bryan" and whoever else likes to pretend that there is some loophole that prevents Mr. P's actions from being in violation of the Establishment Clause:

Even these guys realize the implications of those Supreme Court decisions.

Thanks for misrepresenting my position; I love that.

I've attended schools where professors suggested that various religious claims were bunk. Is that neutral? Should I have tape-recorded their lectures and sought their dismissal?

I dealt with your claim that Mr. Paszkiewicz had broken the law and he should be punished for it--there simply isn't any such law. You got thumped on that topic so now you're creating an altered version of the issue to try to save face.

Classy.

The loophole for Paszkiewicz, if there is one, is that he was not proselytizing at all. The claim that he directed the deserving of hell statement at a student or group of students seems patently false to me after considering the evidence.

He gave a standard explanation of Christianity's solution to the problem of evil to a student who asked for the explanation, after giving his personal opinion that he believed in both heaven and hell but not purgatory.

Put the situation through the standard legal tests and I don't see it as a problem.

Run the situation past a bunch of hypersensitive secularists and of course it's a problem.

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Guest Patriot
Just something directed at "Bryan" and whoever else likes to pretend that there is some loophole that prevents Mr. P's actions from being in violation of the Establishment Clause:

Even these guys realize the implications of those Supreme Court decisions.

So your contention is that Mr. P's words "established a religion" ?? I realize that you're not a very bright person but even you should be able to see that's too big a stretch.

BTW, just curious, since you're spending so much time posting copious amounts of nonsensical comments, you must be unemployed. I'll pray for you that you find a job.

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Guest A. V. Blom
So your contention is that Mr. P's words "established a religion" ??  I realize that you're not a very bright person but even you should be able to see that's too big a stretch.

Perhaps because you never got past middle school, and therefore haven't been taught any reading comprehension?

BTW, just curious,  since you're spending so much time posting copious amounts of nonsensical comments, you must be unemployed. I'll pray for you that you find a job.

Pray for a new secondhand brain, instead. And make sure it isn't another Klansman.

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So your contention is that Mr. P's words "established a religion" ??  I realize that you're not a very bright person but even you should be able to see that's too big a stretch.

  BTW, just curious,  since you're spending so much time posting copious amounts of nonsensical comments, you must be unemployed. I'll pray for you that you find a job.

Any endorsement of, or promotion of, a religious view by government employees in the performance of their duties is, in fact, a violation of the Constitutional separation of church and state. You can find any number of court cases and rulings backing up this basic principle, which Patriot and Bryan seem determined to pretend doesn't exist.

But wishing--or praying--won't change reality.

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Any endorsement of, or promotion of, a religious view by government employees in the performance of their duties is, in fact, a violation of the Constitutional separation of church and state. You can find any number of court cases and rulings backing up this basic principle, which Patriot and Bryan seem determined to pretend doesn't exist.

Huh? Strife tried providing some, but three out of four (iirc) dealt with legislation, not the actions of government employees.

The other involved a city's practice of displaying a creche at Christmastime that included an explicitly Christian message. That, rather than constituting speech by government employees, was a form of speech reasonably attributed to the actions of that local government in general.

Leave aside the fact that courts may be fallible, and your side has provided only one example that remotely resembles the present case.

But wishing--or praying--won't change reality.

I'm going to pray now that you (or somebody) will provide at least one example where the courts struck down the endorsement of religion by an individual (employed by the government), in support of your claim that there are many.

When there's a call for evidence, folks like Calybos get right on it. Right?

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Thanks for misrepresenting my position; I love that.

I've attended schools where professors suggested that various religious claims were bunk.  Is that neutral?

If spoken from a scientific perspective, it's a completely valid statement to be made about anything supernatural. To be sure, you'd have to provide context (what they mean by "bunk" and exactly which "religious claims" were referenced).

But see, I know it irks you that it's nearly impossible for an atheist etc. to get in the same trouble as Paszkiewicz did, simply because there is no hell for atheists to condemn people who disagree with them to. :) What's funny is that simply pointing out what science has led us to seems just as bad--to tell a religious person "when you die, you're just going to lie there and decay" seems like such a huge insult for some reason. *shrugs*

Should I have tape-recorded their lectures and sought their dismissal?

I'll let you know once you provide me with the context.

I dealt with your claim that Mr. Paszkiewicz had broken the law and he should be punished for it--there simply isn't any such law.

There needn't be an explicit law/statute/whatever. Paszkiewicz's acts were unconstitutional, as per the Supreme Court's most current interpretation of it.

You got thumped on that topic so now you're creating an altered version of the issue to try to save face.

Classy.

You keep telling yourself that. Maybe it'll be true one day. :)

The loophole for Paszkiewicz, if there is one, is that he was not proselytizing at all.

LOL!

...wait, you're serious? You can't be serious...can you? I hope you're leaning hard on that "if," man.

The claim that he directed the deserving of hell statement at a student or group of students seems patently false to me after considering the evidence.

So, in effect, you've admitted to what he said, but think it's enough of a defense to simply claim he wasn't talking about "a student or group of students" when he said it? Are you serious? He says equates evolution with religion (in fact, he claimed that it requires _less_ faith to believe in God than evolution--in one fell swoop undermining the entire biology curriculum on top of everything else), goes on about Jesus, Noah, dinosaurs on a boat, and hell, and you seriously think this does not count as proselytizing?

He gave a standard explanation of Christianity's solution to the problem of evil to a student who asked for the explanation, after giving his personal opinion that he believed in both heaven and hell but not purgatory.

Put the situation through the standard legal tests and I don't see it as a problem.

Believe me, I would love to see you try and defend this nonsense in court. I'd like to know how if Paszkiewicz himself is as confident of his innocence as you are.

Run the situation past a bunch of hypersensitive secularists and of course it's a problem.

Just gotta trivialize things, huh? "Hypersensitive," pff. Pff, I say! What a ridiculous statement.

Separation of church and state exists for a reason. You guys don't preach in public school, and we promise not to do anything scientific in your church/temple/mosque/etc.

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mr.p should get a strong letter of repremand placed in his file. he should receive frequent observations from his superiors including the dept.head and principal. his next offense should be a 90 day suspension without pay(hopefully this will never occur). A THIRD OFFENSE WOULD RESULT IN HIS REMOVAL FROM TEACHING. the administration has to assume some of the blame if they were aware ofpast comments in the classroom that were inappropriate. i am sure mr.mooney and mr.digesere were aware of his teaching methods, mr.somma is new and is getting the brunt of blame undeservedly, but still as principal must accept some blame. where was the dept.head?he should know what is happening more than anyone.

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Any endorsement of, or promotion of, a religious view by government employees in the performance of their duties is, in fact, a violation of the Constitutional separation of church and state. You can find any number of court cases and rulings backing up this basic principle, which Patriot and Bryan seem determined to pretend doesn't exist.

But wishing--or praying--won't change reality.

Thank you. It's so obvious...

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Quote tags are looking dicey again ... apologies in advance if it looks like the preview after it's posted.

If spoken from a scientific perspective, it's a completely valid statement to be made about anything supernatural.

Science is completely unable to address the supernatural (not that I think you could define "supernatural" coherently in the first place), so in what sense could it be valid if spoken from a scientific standpoint?

To be sure, you'd have to provide context (what they mean by "bunk" and exactly which "religious claims" were referenced).

Let's start with you giving me an example of a scientific treatment of the supernatural. That will get us to the nub of the problem sooner, I think.

But see, I know it irks you that it's nearly impossible for an atheist etc. to get in the same trouble as Paszkiewicz did, simply because there is no hell for atheists to condemn people who disagree with them to. :)

Some traditional religions have conceptions of the afterlife not unlike that of atheists. Would it be okay for the religions to teach their view of the afterlife if it was like that of an atheist?

What's funny is that simply pointing out what science has led us to seems just as bad--to tell a religious person "when you die, you're just going to lie there and decay" seems like such a huge insult for some reason. *shrugs*

One tends to automatically wonder what evidence the atheist has for his assurance.

It can't all be argumentum ad ignorantiam, can it?

I'll let you know once you provide me with the context.

Let's say that a science teacher states that evolution has proceeded unintelligently to produce all life on the planet. It's in the context of teaching about evolution. Is that enough for you to go on?

There needn't be an explicit law/statute/whatever.

So, you can break the law even if there's no law to break?

That seems a bit odd. You will explain?

Paszkiewicz's acts were unconstitutional, as per the Supreme Court's most current interpretation of it.

Incorrect. At worst, Paskiewicz's acts will make the government that hired him responsible depending on the way they handle the matter. Let's say they fired him after he (for the sake of argument) delivered a hellfire-and-brimstone sermon lifted from Jimmy Swaggart. What law was broken? Is there any government liability for a tort claim?

You keep telling yourself that. Maybe it'll be true one day. :)

LOL!

It's true on days ending in "y".

...wait, you're serious? You can't be serious...can you? I hope you're leaning hard on that "if," man.

I'm completely serious. You can't just declare the teacher's actions unconstitutional by fiat. Assuming a lawsuit is filed, the courts will apply precedent to this case. Probably the Lemon test would be applied. It's not at all cut and dried that Paskiewicz ran afoul of the Lemon test. While you may have made up your mind already, the court will consider the context. Your analysis (such as it is) seems to take Paskiewicz's words out of context.

So, in effect, you've admitted to what he said, but think it's enough of a defense to simply claim he wasn't talking about "a student or group of students" when he said it?

I don't simply claim that he wasn't talking about a student or a group of students. I examine the evidence and use the context to determine the meaning of what was said. I've written down an analysis on this message board. From you, we're still hearing the rhetorical equivalent of "It's obvious!"

Are you serious?

Quite. Is that your counterargument? To ask me if I'm serious?

He says equates evolution with religion (in fact, he claimed that it requires _less_ faith to believe in God than evolution--in one fell swoop undermining the entire biology curriculum on top of everything else),

From the context, he was obviously talking about cosmology broadly. IOW, he used "evolution" in referring to the whole ball of wax.

goes on about Jesus, Noah, dinosaurs on a boat, and hell, and you seriously think this does not count as proselytizing?

Couldn't government atheists talk to one anther about dinosaurs on a boat without it counting as proselytizing?

Absolutely, any of those things can be mentioned in school without proselytization taking place.

Apparently your argument against amounts to the skeptical favorite. The appeal to incredulity (you can't believe the claim, therefore it isn't true).

Believe me, I would love to see you try and defend this nonsense in court. I'd like to know how if Paszkiewicz himself is as confident of his innocence as you are.

I'd have a great case (given the facts as I understand them), but the courts aren't exactly predictable. U.S. history is littered with a good many odd decisions.

Just gotta trivialize things, huh? "Hypersensitive," pff. Pff, I say! What a ridiculous statement.

Sorry, I didn't realize you were so sensitive about being called "hypersensitive."

:)

Separation of church and state exists for a reason.

True. Do you know what that reason is?

You guys don't preach in public school, and we promise not to do anything scientific in your church/temple/mosque/etc.

It looks like you don't know the reason for church/state separation, judging from that comment.

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Bryan, you're really getting desperate now. There's no doubt that what the teacher did was unconstitutional, so now you're claiming that this is not "technically" breaking the law... because he hasn't been charged or arrested? That's some weak stuff, there; it's like quibbling over "whether I specifically said the word 'imminent' when I was lying to the public."

The Lemon test, as I've already referred you to, is regularly cited and referenced in school/religion cases. In addition, there's Edwards v. Aguillard, which set the precedent specifically about denying science in favor of promoting religious views in public schools, and Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, which examined the improper religious proselytizing of a single, individual teacher during class time.

Then there's last year's William Lee v. York County School Board (Virginia), in which the solitary actions of an individual teacher were censured for violating the required religious-neutrality position of government... in other words, exactly what we're talking about here. The judge pointed out, for about the thousandth time, that as government employees and "agents of government," public schoolteachers do NOT have unbridled free-speech rights during the school day.

(Read about it at http://blog.au.org/2006/03/misguided_missi.html)

From the Department of Education:

Official Participation or Encouragement of Religious Activity

"4. Teachers and school administrators, when acting in those capacities, are representatives of the state, and, in those capacities, are themselves prohibited from encouraging or soliciting student religious or anti-religious activity. Similarly, when acting in their official capacities, teachers may not engage in religious activities with their students. However, teachers may engage in private religious activity in faculty lounges. 

Teaching About Religion

"5. Students may be taught about religion, but public schools may not teach religion."

Really, what's left for you to argue? A teacher IS an agent of government and IS required to abide by the restrictions on governmental speech and action spelled out in the First Amendment. The only defense you've offered is a smokescreen, claiming that violating the constitution is somehow not "lawbreaking per se" simply because the clear wrongdoing of the teacher hasn't resulted in charges and jail time.

Which doesn't change the fact that he's clearly in the wrong and has clearly violated the Constitution. Whether he actually gets sued, or even charged in court, is irrelevant.

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Calybos, on Dec 27 2006, 09:11 PM, wrote:

Bryan, you're really getting desperate now.

You must be desperate if you're calling me desperate. :)

There's no doubt that what the teacher did was unconstitutional, so now you're claiming that this is not "technically" breaking the law... because he hasn't been charged or arrested?

He never will be charged, arrested, or named as a defendant as regards the charge of unconstitutionality.

That's some weak stuff, there; it's like quibbling over "whether I specifically said the word 'imminent' when I was lying to the public."

Well, at least it's way stronger than your argument so far. Review what you wrote if you don't believe me (called me "desperate", asserted again that the actions were unconstitutional, reflected a muddled understanding of my argument, then called my argument weak).

The Lemon test, as I've already referred you to, is regularly cited and referenced in school/religion cases.

Is that supposed to be news to me?

In addition, there's Edwards v. Aguillard, which set the precedent specifically about denying science in favor of promoting religious views in public schools, and Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, which examined the improper religious proselytizing of a single, individual teacher during class time.

The Kitzmiller case dealt with a school district policy mandating the availability of Intelligent Design curricula ("Of Pandas and People"). It's not impossible that a teacher took the stand so that the lawyers could try to establish a pattern of religious purpose in the policy, but there's no way the teacher was a defendant in the case.

Nice try, no cigar.

Then there's last year's William Lee v. York County School Board (Virginia), in which the solitary actions of an individual teacher were censured for violating the required religious-neutrality position of government... in other words, exactly what we're talking about here.

The teacher was the plaintiff in that case. Has Paskiewicz sued anyone?

I think you mean the teacher was censored (not censured) by having some posters removed from his workspace.

There is no serious comparison, here. That case reaffirmed the employer's right to protect itself from establishment clause problems. The teacher would never have been the defendant in a First Amendment case.

The judge pointed out, for about the thousandth time, that as government employees and "agents of government," public schoolteachers do NOT have unbridled free-speech rights during the school day.

I've never made that argument, so why would you bother making that statement?

(Read about it at http://blog.au.org/2006/03/misguided_missi.html)

"Because the pictures were obviously used for teaching, they could be ultimately controlled by high school administrators, Smith ruled in Lee v. York County School Division

Smith cited a 4th Circuit decision that concluded the school, 'not the teacher,' has the right to "fix the curriculum."

Not very similar to the present case at all, is it?

From the Department of Education:

I think you're mistaken about the source of that document. It appears to have been privately developed and signed by a variety of not-for-profit organizations.

Really, what's left for you to argue?

Same thing as before: People who say that Paszkiewicz broke the law and should therefore pay the consequences are presenting the situation inaccurately. I suppose they think it sounds more sensational to put it that way. Paszkiewicz broke no law, however. He cannot be guilty of violating the First Amendment. Only the administrators over him can be guilty of that (corporately), depending on their actions in overseeing the staff.

A teacher IS an agent of government and IS required to abide by the restrictions on governmental speech and action spelled out in the First Amendment.

Right, but the requirements for teachers are not a legal requirement. They are employment guidelines designed to keep corporate entities compliant with the Constitution.

If there were a FA law that applied to teachers directly then you would see teachers standing trial for their misdeeds. That doesn't happen.

The only defense you've offered is a smokescreen, claiming that violating the constitution is somehow not "lawbreaking per se" simply because the clear wrongdoing of the teacher hasn't resulted in charges and jail time.

It never results in charges or jail time (under U.S. law, anyway). Not even a citation.

You call that a smokescreen?

Which doesn't change the fact that he's clearly in the wrong and has clearly violated the Constitution. Whether he actually gets sued, or even charged in court, is irrelevant.

That's a separate argument, indeed.

I guarantee he won't be charged, however. Any suit brought by the LaClairs (or anyone else in this case) will name the school board as the defendant.

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Bryan, you're really getting desperate now. There's no doubt that what the teacher did was unconstitutional, so now you're claiming that this is not "technically" breaking the law... because he hasn't been charged or arrested? That's some weak stuff, there; it's like quibbling over "whether I specifically said the word 'imminent' when I was lying to the public."

The Lemon test, as I've already referred you to, is regularly cited and referenced in school/religion cases. In addition, there's Edwards v. Aguillard, which set the precedent specifically about denying science in favor of promoting religious views in public schools, and Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, which examined the improper religious proselytizing of a single, individual teacher during class time.

Then there's last year's William Lee v. York County School Board (Virginia), in which the solitary actions of an individual teacher were censured for violating the required religious-neutrality position of government... in other words, exactly what we're talking about here. The judge pointed out, for about the thousandth time, that as government employees and "agents of government," public schoolteachers do NOT have unbridled free-speech rights during the school day.

(Read about it at http://blog.au.org/2006/03/misguided_missi.html)

From the Department of Education:

Really, what's left for you to argue? A teacher IS an agent of government and IS required to abide by the restrictions on governmental speech and action spelled out in the First Amendment. The only defense you've offered is a smokescreen, claiming that violating the constitution is somehow not "lawbreaking per se" simply because the clear wrongdoing of the teacher hasn't resulted in charges and jail time.

Which doesn't change the fact that he's clearly in the wrong and has clearly violated the Constitution. Whether he actually gets sued, or even charged in court, is irrelevant.

Hey Calybos, is LaClair your last name? Are they paying you? Or you just have no idea what's going on and post anyway? lol!

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