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Old 02-16-2012, 10:37 AM   #21
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This article might be of interest.
Pew Forum: Religious Displays and the Courts

Quote:
The Supreme Court first addressed the constitutionality of public religious displays in 1980 when it reviewed a Kentucky law requiring public schools to display the Ten Commandments in classrooms. The court determined that the Kentucky measure amounted to government sponsorship of religion and was therefore unconstitutional. According to the court, the law violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which prohibits government from establishing a religion and from favoring one religion over another, or from favoring religion generally over nonreligious beliefs.

Four years later, the court took up its first case that specifically involved holiday displays. In that case, the court ruled that a Christmas nativity scene that the city of Pawtucket, R.I., had placed in a municipal square was constitutionally acceptable. The court stated that the nativity scene simply recognized the historical origins of the holiday, one that has secular as well as religious significance. In those circumstances, the justices concluded, the nativity scene did not reflect an effort by the government to promote Christianity.

Since these two decisions in the 1980s, the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have issued somewhat unpredictable rulings, approving some religious displays while ordering others to be removed. For instance, five years after approving the Pawtucket nativity scene, the Supreme Court ruled that a nativity scene on the staircase of a Pittsburgh, Pa., courthouse was unconstitutional. In that instance, the court concluded that, unlike the situation in Pawtucket where the crèche was shown together with more secular symbols, the Pittsburgh crèche was prominently displayed on its own and thus amounted to a government endorsement of religion.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:47 AM   #22
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MC, from your source.

A third set of justices has held the middle and, so far, controlling ground. This group takes the view that a religious display placed in a public space violates the Establishment Clause only when it conveys the message that the government is endorsing a religious truth, such as the divinity of Jesus. For these justices, this same principle applies whether the display is sponsored by the government or by private citizens.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:37 PM   #23
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Things are just crazy these days. We never used to have trouble with people wishing others a Merry Christmas, but now it is happy holidays. They are no longer allowed at our school to have Christmas parties, Halloween Parties, or an Easter party. It is a Holiday party, Fall harvest party and a spring party. I just do not agree with it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Goat View Post
MC, from your source.

A third set of justices has held the middle and, so far, controlling ground. This group takes the view that a religious display placed in a public space violates the Establishment Clause only when it conveys the message that the government is endorsing a religious truth, such as the divinity of Jesus. For these justices, this same principle applies whether the display is sponsored by the government or by private citizens.
Now, we could debate it, but the Nativity Scene, IMO, does stress the divinity of Jesus. Or have I missed something along the way?

My overall point isn't to bash religion or anything else. Rather, it's to remind us that we are a nation built upon and strengthened by our differences. Not everyone is white, male, Christian, or straight. And increasingly, I get the feeling that there is a rather large portion of our country that wishes this were the case.

I want and wish more freedom and more respect and more dignity for all my fellow Americans.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #25
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Now, we could debate it, but the Nativity Scene, IMO, does stress the divinity of Jesus.

As does the Cross, yet it has been allowed.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:56 PM   #26
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I want and wish more freedom and more respect and more dignity for all my fellow Americans.
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