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Postby Wanderwolf on Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:19 pm

TMLutas wrote:I would suggest that you find a good page or read a good book on iconography as well as reading up on the iconoclast movement. What you say is simply not true and people have made quite a big deal over it in the past. Drawing and coloring religious figures is a criminal offense in some countries (Saudi Arabia is probably a good example) and on strictly religious grounds.

As for no religious material allowed in school, my son got an icon in for a school display for a week this month. No troubles in this district.


Any pictorial representaion of Mohammed is a problem, yes; assuming you belong to certain sects of modern Islam. Here's a page which links to many Islamic representations of Mohammed in art.

But I stand by my point: Coloring is not a religious tenet. The ban is on content, not practice. Therefore, because religious observance is not impeded, it is not religious oppression.

TMLutas wrote:Bush was quite in favor of letting the process evolve through the legislatures but that wasn't what was happening, was it?


Given he's been pushing for this amendment since 2004, I'm not sure where you're getting the "in favor of letting the process evolve" idea, much less the "coup". (The "coup" in question consisted of state courts making rulings, just as Bush said should be permitted back in 2003. Pity he changed his mind...)

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Postby TMLutas on Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:17 pm

Wanderwolf wrote:
TMLutas wrote:I would suggest that you find a good page or read a good book on iconography as well as reading up on the iconoclast movement. What you say is simply not true and people have made quite a big deal over it in the past. Drawing and coloring religious figures is a criminal offense in some countries (Saudi Arabia is probably a good example) and on strictly religious grounds.

As for no religious material allowed in school, my son got an icon in for a school display for a week this month. No troubles in this district.


Any pictorial representaion of Mohammed is a problem, yes; assuming you belong to certain sects of modern Islam. Here's a page which links to many Islamic representations of Mohammed in art.

But I stand by my point: Coloring is not a religious tenet. The ban is on content, not practice. Therefore, because religious observance is not impeded, it is not religious oppression.


I find your understanding of iconography seriously uninformed. The orthodox have been making paper icons since at least the 15th century. I think that you also misunderstand what is being protected by the 1st amendment. The free exercise clause is not just about the ability to hold a religious tenet but also to engage in reasonable religious practice.

In a world where strippers are given 1st amendment protection on free speech grounds, the penumbra of the 1st amendment should also allow for religious coloring books.

Again, you should read up on iconography. Here's a little something to get you started. Going from this to a child's coloring book is some distance but it is a much smaller distance than we've already traveled on the free speech clause.
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Postby TMLutas on Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:21 pm

Wanderwolf wrote:
TMLutas wrote:Bush was quite in favor of letting the process evolve through the legislatures but that wasn't what was happening, was it?


Given he's been pushing for this amendment since 2004, I'm not sure where you're getting the "in favor of letting the process evolve" idea, much less the "coup". (The "coup" in question consisted of state courts making rulings, just as Bush said should be permitted back in 2003. Pity he changed his mind...)

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I got it from his own mouth in several sets of remarks where he was reluctant to support efforts in legislating the issue closed because he didn't think that the courts would be so irresponsible. He was proven wrong and he changed his mind after several court decisions made it clear that legislatures are at risk of being stripped of their rightful powers.
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Postby Wanderwolf on Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:29 pm

TMLutas wrote:In a world where strippers are given 1st amendment protection on free speech grounds, the penumbra of the 1st amendment should also allow for religious coloring books.


Considering that the first amendment protection in question is to do with their protest of an upcoming Jersey smoking ban, and not their stripping, I fail to see how their occupation is relevant to anyone not desperate to sell papers.

And unless you're saying that every religious coloring book on the market should be revered as part of the holy iconography, it still applies: A coloring book does not involve expression of a religious tenet or practice.

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Postby TMLutas on Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:59 am

Wanderwolf wrote:
TMLutas wrote:In a world where strippers are given 1st amendment protection on free speech grounds, the penumbra of the 1st amendment should also allow for religious coloring books.


Considering that the first amendment protection in question is to do with their protest of an upcoming Jersey smoking ban, and not their stripping, I fail to see how their occupation is relevant to anyone not desperate to sell papers.


You're just wrong here. Stripping has come under the US v O'Brien test on symbolic speech numerous times since that case was decided in 1968. A decent synopsis of the issues can be found here. Yes, stripping has 1st amendment protections as expressive speech. It's a "penumbra of the 1st amendment" that the SC pulled out of its collective posterior to expand and give life to non-verbal "speech".

Wanderwolf wrote:And unless you're saying that every religious coloring book on the market should be revered as part of the holy iconography, it still applies: A coloring book does not involve expression of a religious tenet or practice.

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You're arguing facts not in evidence. We simply don't know what the coloring book content is so it might or might not be part of that particular religious tradition. But let me throw in something else. I'm not arguing that the Orthodox tradition deserves special accommodation but rather that it's the example that most clearly invalidates your argument because we make such a point of our iconography in eastern apostolic christianity. Christianity, properly applied, is something that is supposed to be exercised 24/7/365. There are supposed to be no "God free zones" in christianity. You're supposed to bring your faith with you everywhere and spread it where possible using whatever means is at hand. Traditionally, this has meant living a holy life and spreading the Word by example for the most part but words or other materials are well within the tradition. It is this larger, well recognized habit, that this school banning most directly impacts. The Orthodox are thus just a (forgive me) "poster child" that "illustrates" the issue most "colorfully".

A child brings a coloring book into school. The school checks for content, finds it not-religious and allows it. The same or different child brings a different coloring book into school. The school finds it religious and bans it. It is classic censorship. It is obviously on religious grounds. Its purpose is to inhibit the expression of that particular religion. It is illegitimate under the US Constitution in any reasonable construction that I can see.
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Postby Calbeck on Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:42 am

Wanderwolf wrote:But I stand by my point: Coloring is not a religious tenet. The ban is on content, not practice.


And you are missing the fact that the practice is coloring and the content is religious. Because it is the content and not the practice which is banned, the ban is specifically targeted at religious content.

In that regard, a coloring book has precisely as much standing as does the Bible. So would a copy of "Archie's Christian Funnies", a Jack Chick tract, or a business card with a Biblical verse printed on the back.

Therefore, because religious observance is not impeded


You're claiming that one cannot observe one's own religion via the outlet of coloring a book containing religious content? So all those kids in Sunday School who do the same sorts of things AREN'T observing their religion?

The "coup" in question consisted of state courts making rulings, just as Bush said should be permitted back in 2003.


Your link doesn't contain any such stance by Bush. Last I heard, he wanted state legislatures, not courts, to make the decision, and the entire point here is that the issue was pushed by state courts deciding to be "interpretively creative" in performing end-runs around their own legislatures. Hence the rash of state legislatures that have taken pains to "clarify" their positions AFTER such a court ruling by outright outlawing all forms of non-heterosexual union.

In other words, this was NOT the time for the gay community or its supporters to try and force the issue, being as that civil unions were winning support and have now LOST broad support across the country due to the backlash. Trying for the whole pie when only one slice is ready to be had is always a bad manuever.

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Postby Wanderwolf on Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:46 am

Did you ever feel like a topic was a tuxedo and you were a brown pair of shoes?

Well, anyway..

Lutas: Sorry for the confusion. I thought you were referencing current events, not the legal justification for exotic dancing. Both involve the First Amendment, however; I may have been off-target, but I was not "just wrong".

On the other paw, the O'Brien test, as defined here, applies to the regulations, not to the nature of the speech. Here's the relevant text:

"The regulation must 1) be within the constitutional power of the government to enact, 2) further an important or substantial government interest, 3) that interest must be unrelated to the suppression of speech (or "content neutral", as later cases have phrased it) and 4) prohibit no more speech no more than is essential to further that interest. (United States v. O’Brien)"

No need to apologize for the puns; I had an "ink"-ling they'd be "drawn" to this topic. :lol:

And yes, in the predicated instance, we do know what the content is; though I can't find any reference to it anywhere else online (and if I've overlooked it, please direct me), the original flap is about banning a religious-themed coloring book from school. But since icons are a specific form of picture, fulfilling specific qualification, a coloring book really doesn't count (in any tradition I have sen or can find online) as a religious observance. Living a Christian life is wonderful, but Christian coloring books are not part of the requirement.

In the instance you've predicated, however, no law has been used, so the Constitution has not been violated; if the school wishes to ban religious materials, that is their prerogative, especially if they are a private school. Since it does not require that Congress make a law resepcting the establishment of religion, it never has to pass Constitutionality.

Calbeck:


In fact, coloring is irrespective of where you do it; it is the act of attending Sunday School that is religious, and not the coloring. I colored books about weather in Sunday School; it doesn't mean I worship Willard Scott.

Sorry I messed up on the article; I literally couldn't find anything where Bush wasn't trumpeting the damage civil unions would do to the fabric of society. I should not have posted while sleep-deprived.

That said, Connecticut's legislature has passed civil unions into law; most others are a "separate but equal" ruling that the legislature then enacts. That's hardly an "end run", as Vermont and New Jersey will happily tell you.

Now, I have a seven-year-old pestering me for attention, a two-year-old beating up the furniture, and I go to work in less than an hour, leaving them in the charge of my currently-tranquilized sister and her sleeping husband. So you'll pardon me if I cut this short.

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Postby Calbeck on Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:04 am

Wanderwolf wrote:And yes, in the predicated instance, we do know what the content is; though I can't find any reference to it anywhere else online (and if I've overlooked it, please direct me), the original flap is about banning a religious-themed coloring book from school. But since icons are a specific form of picture, fulfilling specific qualification, a coloring book really doesn't count (in any tradition I have sen or can find online) as a religious observance.


Which is an assumption, on your part, that observance is restricted to iconography. You sound, essentially, like you're trying to pigeonhole "observance" as being the same as "rote ritual", which is most definitely not the case regarding most forms of Protestantism.

In Protestantism, merely paying respects to God is a form of observance, to be made anytime, anywhere, at the leisure of the worshipper, and that includes coloring Biblically-themed pictures.

Living a Christian life is wonderful, but Christian coloring books are not part of the requirement.


Ah, now you're changing the criteria from "observance" to "requirement". Most of what any given church "observes" is based not on what is "required" of a Christian, but on what is "respectful" of God. That includes, for children, coloring books with a Biblical theme.

Not to mention that the First Amendment says nothing about "requirements". The simple fact is that the state --- which includes public schooling --- has no right or authority to dictate to a church what is and is not a legitimate religious observance, short of criminal actions such as sacrificial murder. We can't even get rid of Scientology because of that.

In the instance you've predicated, however, no law has been used


Yes, a law HAS been used: the one which allowed such authority to be delegated in the first place. Amendments 9 and 10 of the US Constitution clarify that those powers not given to the federal government, and not prohibited specifically to the state governments, became the powers of the states OR the public, respectively. Since public schools draw their authority strictly from the state, any power to abolish religious observances on school property must perforce derive from a claim on the part of the state to have such authority to delegate in the first place. The right to control the time, place and manner of religious worship belongs to the people.

And no dodging around on this one: standard US procedure is that departmental regulations can and must be treated as having the force and authority of law. A school regulation can no more readily prohibit religious ideals from being promulgated on the schoolgrounds, than it can order the segregation of students by race.

In fact, coloring is irrespective of where you do it; it is the act of attending Sunday School that is religious, and not the coloring.


Not according to any church. It is for the church, not the government, to declare its tenets and observances. Or, as many of us Christians like to point out these days: "Going into a church no more makes you a Christian than going into a garage makes you a car". The church or Sunday School is the PLACE of worship, not the ACT.

I colored books about weather in Sunday School; it doesn't mean I worship Willard Scott.


I doubt Willard Scott was mentioned. God most likely was.

That said, Connecticut's legislature has passed civil unions into law; most others are a "separate but equal" ruling that the legislature then enacts. That's hardly an "end run", as Vermont and New Jersey will happily tell you.


That's a pretty selective minority there, considering 27 states have officially amended their constitutions at this point to define marriage as being of one man and one woman, and all of them did so in direct reaction to the actions of the Massachussetts decision. As for Vermont, the state legislature enacted civil unions specifically because their own high court had already ruled --- against their wishes --- that gay couples get the same benefits as hetero couples. So yes, that WAS an end run in Vermont.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey ruling ORDERED the state legislature to come up with a way to give same-sex couples equal access to the protections of marriage, with a 180-day deadline. That's not an end run, that's the court TAKING OVER.
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Postby TMLutas on Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:01 pm

Wanderwolf wrote:On the other paw, the O'Brien test, as defined here, applies to the regulations, not to the nature of the speech. Here's the relevant text:

"The regulation must 1) be within the constitutional power of the government to enact, 2) further an important or substantial government interest, 3) that interest must be unrelated to the suppression of speech (or "content neutral", as later cases have phrased it) and 4) prohibit no more speech no more than is essential to further that interest. (United States v. O’Brien)"


Actually, my point was that this sort of test is only applied to symbolic speech. If you've got the Court applying the O'Brien test then they have, a priori, categorized the issue at stake as protected 1st amendment symbolic speech.

Wanderwolf wrote:And yes, in the predicated instance, we do know what the content is; though I can't find any reference to it anywhere else online (and if I've overlooked it, please direct me), the original flap is about banning a religious-themed coloring book from school. But since icons are a specific form of picture, fulfilling specific qualification, a coloring book really doesn't count (in any tradition I have sen or can find online) as a religious observance. Living a Christian life is wonderful, but Christian coloring books are not part of the requirement.


News flash, the government doesn't generally get to make the call of what is or is not part of the requirement of a religion. I could make up a religion whose practices were entirely made up of coloring books. Given enough patience, I could get it certified by the IRS. This isn't like the peyote case where the religious conduct was ipso facto prohibited conduct at any time and place. This is taking a perfectly innocuous expression of belief and trying to shove it in the purely private sphere. That's an infringement of free exercise and thus the 1st amendment.

Wanderwolf wrote:In the instance you've predicated, however, no law has been used, so the Constitution has not been violated; if the school wishes to ban religious materials, that is their prerogative, especially if they are a private school.


Private schools have a great deal more leeway in 1st amendment issues since the 1st amendment is not aimed at them. I thought that this was a public school, though. What are we talking about here? Did I misunderstand the situation or are you moving the goalposts?
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Postby Wanderwolf on Sun Dec 17, 2006 3:09 am

Lutas: Speaking from experience, private schools can be just as anal about the separation of Church and State as any public school; in my grade school, one teacher was dismissed for leading the class in prayer. (To be fair, another was dismissed for leading the class in directed visualizations, under the charge that he was teaching Zen Buddhism.)

As for the type of school, I'm not knowingly moving the goalposts. Let me check...

<checks back through thread>

The original reference is from mayihelpyou, who stated their daughter isn't allowed to bring a picture of a stable to school at Christmas time and color it, due to religious overtones; yet, she is taught the history of the dreidl. See page 5 of this topic. No mention of what kind of school. Mayi, are you willing to oblige?

My point, introduced on page 6, is that this is not religious persecution, as it is based on the content, not a religious activity; it is therefore censorship, not religious oppression.

Oh, and Scientology (I assume they're your I.R.S. reference) had more than patience on its side. But since Mother wasn't involved in that case, that's as much as I know.

But yes, you could make an entire religion that had coloring as part of its religious observance. And if you did, and it became an accepted religion, then the tenet of religious freedom states that you shall not be restricted from coloring in coloring books. Assuming it's a Christian subunit ("Illustrationists"?), then the stable picture would be perfectly acceptable.

Calbeck: I repeat, no Christian tradition I can find online makes this distinction for coloring books. If you can find one, I'll withdraw the point; otherwise, simply stating that it is equivalent does not change the facts. Remember Abraham Lincoln: "How many legs does a dog have, if you call a tail a leg? Four, because calling a tail a leg does not make it so."

Vermont, in 1999, as CNN reported, made a ruling, yes; but as you should know, rulings don't happen without cases. The case in question, begun in 1997, stemmed from the state's refusal to grant marriage licenses to three same-sex couples, in accordance with the State Attorney General's instructions.

Why was this a problem? Because of Article 7 of the Vermont State Constitution:

That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community, and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single person, family, or set of persons, who are a part only of that community; and that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right, to reform or alter government, in such manner as shall be, by that community, judged most conducive to the public weal.


This Article was interpreted as stating that all citizens of Vermont are entitled to equal protection, responsibility and privilege before the law.

Because the State Constitution trumps the State Attorney General, the high court ruled unanimously that same-sex couples were entitled to the same protections, rights and privileges under state law that heterosexual couples enjoy. They then left it up to the legislature, which decided to allow civil unions, rather than same-sex marriages; "separate but equal".

The New Jersey case, Lewis v. Harris, has a similar history; seven same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses, and took their suit to the state's Supreme Court. Along the way, a judge who ruled for the defense (not the plaintiffs) stated in his legal decision that only the legislature could rule same-sex marriages possible.

Once again, the court ruled that the clause, in this case Article I, Paragraph 1 of the 1947 Constitution:

All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.


... trumped legal opinions, and that equal rights before the court were paramount by the State Constitution.

The judges were divided this time; three of the seven held that same-sex marriage should be expressly permitted, while the majority held that the decision should be left to the legislature. You can read about it in the syllabus of the court's opinion, which states, in part:

9. The Domestic Partnership Act has failed to bridge the inequality gap between committed same-sex couples and
married opposite-sex couples. Significantly, the economic and financial inequities that are borne by same-sex
domestic partners are also borne by their children. Further, even though same-sex couples are provided fewer
benefits and rights by the Act, they are subject to more stringent requirements to enter into a domestic partnership
than opposite-sex couples entering a marriage. (pp. 43-48)

10. At this point, the Court does not consider whether committed same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, but
only whether those couples are entitled to the same rights and benefits afforded to married heterosexual couples.
Cast in that light, the issue is not about the transformation of the traditional definition of marriage, but about the
unequal dispensation of benefits and privileges to one of two similarly situated classes of people. (p. 48)

11. The State does not argue that limiting marriage to the union of a man and a woman is needed to encourage
procreation or to create the optimal living environment for children. Other than sustaining the traditional definition
of marriage, which is not implicated in this discussion, the State has not articulated any legitimate public need for
depriving committed same-sex couples of the host of benefits and privileges that are afforded to married
heterosexual couples. There is, on the one hand, no rational basis for giving gays and lesbians full civil rights as
individuals while, on the other hand, giving them an incomplete set of rights when they enter into committed samesex
relationships. To the extent that families are strengthened by encouraging monogamous relationships, whether
heterosexual or homosexual, the Court cannot discern a public need that would justify the legal disabilities that now
afflict same-sex domestic partnerships. (pp. 48-51)


Yes, they instituted a time limit, which is in no danger of being exceeded; though it had until April to comply, the legislature passed a bill on December 14, with majority and plurality: 56-19 in favor. The bill will take effect thirty days after the governor signs it into law, which he has stated he will do. The population of New Jersey has been polled, and they agree with the court's and legislature's decisions, by a majority vote.

In other words, the judicial component of the state government did its job: To interpret the law. That's their job, Calbeck; not an end run.

I half expect you to go Bauer on me at any moment and start calling the judges "terrorists". :-?

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Postby Calbeck on Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:24 pm

Wanderwolf wrote:Calbeck: I repeat, no Christian tradition I can find online makes this distinction for coloring books.


Now you're devolving to the same argument used by anti-abortionists who say "the Constitution says nothing about abortion". The issue at hand is not about whether or not a child is allowed to COLOR, but whether a child is allowed to observe his or her religion VIA the act of coloring.

You, on the other hand, are arguing that one CANNOT observe one's own religion if doing so involves coloring a book.

If you can find one, I'll withdraw the point; otherwise, simply stating that it is equivalent does not change the facts.


It's called monastic illustration. Are you seriously going to argue that the thousands on thousands of colored illustrations decorating Bibles from its earliest versions right up through the Gutenberg printings, were NOT intended as religious observances?

Vermont...made a ruling, yes; but as you should know, rulings don't happen without cases.


Your entire point was that Vermont's high court had not made an "end run" around its Legislature. In fact, the position of the Vermont Legislature itself is that the high court did exactly that. Likewise, it found that the high court's interpretation of "equal protection" was ridiculous because it left the Legislature with absolutely no means to define marriage in any meaningful fashion. Rather than simply moving the defining line to allow gay couples to marry, the high court effectively erased the line altogether.

Under this interpretation, why could a man not marry his horse?

On a less ridiculous scale, this would also prohibit the state from making any laws regarding ages above 18 --- as in, no drinking or buying cigarettes until 21. Right out the window on both counts; why should a person a few years older have more rights than any other citizen?

... trumped legal opinions, and that equal rights before the court were paramount by the State Constitution.


A view which continues to be based on the erroneous notion that extending marriage to gay couples has anything to do with "equal rights".

In other words, the judicial component of the state government did its job: To interpret the law. That's their job, Calbeck; not an end run.


Go back and read what I wrote. My complaint regarding the New Jersey court was not that it interpreted the law, but that it ORDERED the Legislature to come up with a law that would suit its interpretations. The courts have the authority of judicial review, not implementation. That the NJ Governor and Legislature chose not to argue the point is irrelevant.

As I said in the first place, "That's not an end run, that's the court TAKING OVER".[/i]
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Postby Wanderwolf on Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:30 am

Pardon the delay; my computer keyboard has received the "tender" mercies of my almost-two-year-old nephew, and is not currently repairable. But, back to the mutual disagreement already in progress...

Calbeck wrote:Now you're devolving to the same argument used by anti-abortionists who say "the Constitution says nothing about abortion". The issue at hand is not about whether or not a child is allowed to COLOR, but whether a child is allowed to observe his or her religion VIA the act of coloring.

You, on the other hand, are arguing that one CANNOT observe one's own religion if doing so involves coloring a book.


<hands you a package> Here's your words back. Found the silly things being shoved into my mouth. Funny, that.

Thank you for mistaking "there is no known instance" for "there is no known law" Calbeck. The only way to argue abortion from my stance is to say that there has never been an abortion performed in modern America.

Let me see if this version gets impaled on your horn in front of your eyes, shall I?

There are no current sects which have coloring books as a tenet of their religious practice. Therefore, the governmental practice in question is

Censorship

and not

Religious Oppression.

The coloring book is banned for content; not because it is religious in and of itself, but because it contains religious content. There is a distinction, if you care to know...

Calbeck wrote:It's called monastic illustration. Are you seriously going to argue that the thousands on thousands of colored illustrations decorating Bibles from its earliest versions right up through the Gutenberg printings, were NOT intended as religious observances?


No more than you're stating that the laborious work of a sanctified and highly-trained monastic professional is equivalent to "Time for Teletubbies", O magnificent being of light...

Calbeck wrote:Your entire point was that Vermont's high court had not made an "end run" around its Legislature. In fact, the position of the Vermont Legislature itself is that the high court did exactly that. Likewise, it found that the high court's interpretation of "equal protection" was ridiculous because it left the Legislature with absolutely no means to define marriage in any meaningful fashion. Rather than simply moving the defining line to allow gay couples to marry, the high court effectively erased the line altogether.


Um, Calbeck? If you go out and buy a textbook for Government 101, you will find that each segment of government has a set duty:

Legislative: Enact laws.
Judicial: Judge laws.
Executive: Execute laws.

Thus, the reason the court did not "simply move the defining line allowing gay couples to marry", strangely enough, is that they, as the judiciary, did not have that power.

Oh. and in case that left any room for doubt: Technically, the NJ State Supreme Court cannot order the legislature to do anything. Just because Tomicki is sucking his blankie and crying doesn't mean that plurality in the legislature was a fluke, a lie or any other non-entity; the bill still had more than twice as many Yes as No votes.

Funny, that.

Calbeck wrote:Under this interpretation, why could a man not marry his horse?

On a less ridiculous scale, this would also prohibit the state from making any laws regarding ages above 18 --- as in, no drinking or buying cigarettes until 21. Right out the window on both counts; why should a person a few years older have more rights than any other citizen?


Well, the first is out both on grounds of sodomy and of competence; religion aside, the contemplated spouse is not capable of signing the license or otherwise making their wishes known. (Yes, this is why you can't legally marry a woman in a coma unless she has previously stated her intention to marry you before a witness.)

The second is based on the definition of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen, and the age of majority. The state, in loco parentis, defines the age at which a child becomes a person of right and privilege. Just as a parent decides the rights of their child, the state decides the age of Citizenship.

Calbeck wrote:
... trumped legal opinions, and that equal rights before the court were paramount by the State Constitution.


A view which continues to be based on the erroneous notion that extending marriage to gay couples has anything to do with "equal rights".


Calbeck, you are welcome to tell the legislatures of various states that they are idiots operating from an erroreous viewpoint in declaring that denying hospital visitation rights, adoptions, and state protections to a couple based entirely on sex is a violation of Equal Rights. They are likewise welcome to point you to their state constitution and say, "It says all equal; it doesn't say 'all equal as long as they're straight'. That means they get all the state rights of citizens."

Calbeck wrote:Go back and read what I wrote. My complaint regarding the New Jersey court was not that it interpreted the law, but that it ORDERED the Legislature to come up with a law that would suit its interpretations. The courts have the authority of judicial review, not implementation. That the NJ Governor and Legislature chose not to argue the point is irrelevant.

As I said in the first place, "That's not an end run, that's the court TAKING OVER".[/i]


And as I pointed out, they have the backing of the state's majority vote. That's the court enacting the will of the people. Or do you believe laws should be guided by what you want for people, rather than what they want for themselves? I remind you of C.S. Lewis' position on such matters:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

Yours truly,

The plain-spoken,

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Postby RHJunior on Sat Dec 23, 2006 2:44 pm

The
Ever so glib
Wanderwulf

Operates under two mistaken notions

1)That all people are equal.

they are not.

A child is not equal to an adult. A man is not the same as a woman. An idiot is not the same as a genius. A scholar is not the same as an athlete.

The notion of "all men are created equal" refers only to equality before law, and the existence of <I>certain key rights</i>--- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--- that all men and women possess.... But even those have conditionals.

Your liberty to swing your arm ends where the other man's nose begins. A child's pursuits are subject to the authority of his parents. And a murderer has forsaken his right to life by his ultimate crime.

Noone with at least a minimum necessary allotment of rationality would deny that a world where a toddler is treated the same as an adult, or a moron was given the same regard as a mentally coherent scholar, or where men and women were treated as emotionally, mentally, and biologically indistinguishable, would be anarchy.

Yet those proposing gay marriage are insisting that the rest of us create precisely that circumstance, simply to assuage their own feelings of discomfort.

Two gay men or two gay women do not, cannot, will not, never have and never will be equal to a husband and wife.

The second mistake
The
Ever self anointed
Wanderwulf
Labors under is the belief

2) That human rights--- and the human condition--- are constructs created by government.

They are not, old bean, they are not.

The Constitution did not create, nor negate, any human right. It was and is a <I>recognition of preexisting conditions</i>--- a recognition that man is endowed by his Creator, automatically, with certain inalienable rights.... and that these rights, by extension, arise from his natural condition.
To wit, that you cannot legislate away what Man is by nature.

<I>Writing a law that says the sun rises in the North does not change where it actually rises.</i>

The homosexual couple's difficulties arise not from some obstructionist law but from the fact that they are running at cross purposes with their own mental, emotional, spiritual and biological nature. They are at odds with their own design, they are at odds with their Maker, they are at odds with themselves. And coercing the rest of society to pretend that two homosexuals are perfectly equivalent to a married couple will only make their misery worse.
"What was that popping noise ?"
"A paradigm shifting without a clutch."
--Dilbert
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Postby Wanderwolf on Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:52 am

Oh, hello, Ralph. I still wish you'd at least spell my forum name correctly, as I cannot get you to call me by my proper online "handle" of Wanderer. But, to your points:

1. <hands you a cookie> There's your reward for covering the obvious; that treating people of differing capacities according to an artificial standard is a horrific oversimplification of societal virtues, and an undesirable state of affairs.

It has nothing to do with gay marriage, of course, but you still earned the cookie.

Ralph, the NJ ruling refers specifically to equality before the law. Likewise the other state rulings in favor of gay marriage and civil unions. You've just argued the New Jersey Supreme Court's point: That all persons are equal before the law.

That's why they're giving gay unions in their state equal status before the law with straight unions, Ralph. Not because they're a bunch of card-carrying Satanists or whatever you think they are. Because their state constitution specifically states that all citizens will receive equal consideration under law: Equal state rights.

2. Sorry, no cookie for this one, bear. Before they were codified into law, the human rights specified in the famous Bill were hardly universal.

Life? In medieval Japan, a samurai could kill a peasant to test his new katana or just to work off a good head of steam; the same for the Norselands under the Vikings. In medieval Europe, peasants were considered property, and destroyed in wartime much as we now destroy bridges or factories: To deny the enemy their productive capacities.

Liberty? In medieval Europe, a peasant was tied to the land; he could only travel by permission of his lord. Only by becoming a freeman did he acquire the right to Liberty.

The pursuit of happiness? The phrase was coined by Dr. Samuel Johnson in his novel Rasselas. (Jefferson stole from the best.) This alone is a truly unalienable right: For the only way you can truly deprive someone of the pursuit of happiness is to deprive him of life as well.

Ironically, Loving v. Virginia, a Supreme Court case regarding miscenegenation, found that marriage is part of the orderly pursuit of happiness. Did you mean to argue for or against gay marriage here, Ralph?

Oh, and Ralph?

3. You can say they're operating against God's design when you get a copy of the blueprints. Until then, I side with Michel de Montaigne:

"We call that against nature which commeth against custome. There is nothing, whatsoever it be, that is not according to hir. Let therefore this universall and naturall reason chase from us the error, and expell the astonishment which noveltie breedeth and strangenes causeth in us."

(The subject of the paragraph is a child with a parasitic twin, if you're wondering; 'T'was being exhibited for alms.)

Yours truly,

The wondering-why-you-can't-copy-such-a-simple-artifice-as-this,

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Postby BoKiana on Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:24 am

Wanderwolf wrote:Life? In medieval Japan... Norselands... Europe

snipped for size


Just a question. What do those countries from those points in time have to do with our Constitution in today's society? I mean, did they have a Constitution that recognized Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness and didn't follow it, ultimately leading to their downfall?

I'm just really missing the connection between our Constitution and those countries' time periods and in relation to our Constitution.
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Postby Wanderwolf on Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:47 pm

BoKiana wrote:
Wanderwolf wrote:Life? In medieval Japan... Norselands... Europe

snipped for size


Just a question. What do those countries from those points in time have to do with our Constitution in today's society? I mean, did they have a Constitution that recognized Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness and didn't follow it, ultimately leading to their downfall?

I'm just really missing the connection between our Constitution and those countries' time periods and in relation to our Constitution.


Ah, my apologies for not explaining it; I tend to assume that connections are as visible to others as they are to me, and that's not a safe assumption.

Ralph's statement was that these rights, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, were with Jefferson, inalienable and endowed by our Creator. That law had nothing to do with granting them or stripping them away.

My statement was that, with all due respect to Thomas Jefferson, these rights have not been traditionally inviolate until the creation of the United States of America. My counterexamples point out the limits of these rights in prior eras.

I trust this makes it clear?

Yours truly,

The wolfish,

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Postby BoKiana on Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:54 am

Ah, okay. I can see it better now. Thanks.

However, let's look at another example.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Pretty easy rule to follow, and there's little to no dispute on where that rule came from.

So, if you could help me understand your side of the argument (I have not taken the time to read the entire thread, having been gone for a while; so I don't completely know your point/meaning), what does the killings in Japan or Europe by a pissed off Samurai/Knight against a peasant mean in relation to this law, as well as in relation to the US Constitution?

I'm asking this to help clarify things from my point of view. I'm not always as observant as others and there are times I need a well laid path to follow; this is one of those times (I'm sorry to say).
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Postby Wanderwolf on Mon Dec 25, 2006 11:13 am

Careful, Bo, you'll give me a swelled head. Not that my ego can hold pressure, but still... :wink:

"Thou shalt not kill" is a wonderful and common law; unfortunately, before the birth of the modern citizenship model, there were severe restrictions placed upon it; generally, it only applied to those of your status or higher.

Under the old Greek and Roman models, for instance, only citizens had the protection of "Thou shalt not kill"; slaves and other non-citizens were considered property. You killed one, you paid the owner to replace it. (Unless it was yours; then it's the SPCA model. Brief investigation to find out if you're treating them right.)

In the Bible, the Israelites don't even apply it universally; in Exodus they kill a stranger for not observing the Sabbath. (Ironically, this is two chapters after "Thou shalt not harm a stranger within thy gates"...)

Move to the medieval era, and it remains true; a knight can kill a peasant, and get off with a fine. Samurais kill peasants on a whim; Vikings take over farms by challenging farmers to duels they can't win and either killing them or taking everything they own.

It isn't until "universal suffrage" that citizenship becomes common: Once a citizen as defined as "a person living in the country", the laws are applied evenly, and everyone gets the protection of "Thou shalt not kill".

It's a wonderful law, but it hasn't been universally applied until recently.

Yours truly,

The wolfish,

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Postby J4N1 on Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:29 am

And even today, it is not so much of "Thou shalt not kill" as more of "Thou shalt not kill (exceptions may apply)", self defense, death sentence, war, etc...
Simply put, even that simple rule is not universal and unviolate, it has exceptions in how it is applied, even today.
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Postby Earl McClaw on Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:41 am

J4N1 wrote:And even today, it is not so much of "Thou shalt not kill" as more of "Thou shalt not kill (exceptions may apply)", self defense, death sentence, war, etc...
Simply put, even that simple rule is not universal and unviolate, it has exceptions in how it is applied, even today.

I'll go one step further and voice the claim that some translators believe that it would be better presented as "Thou shalt not murder." Just don't ask me for sources. (I have it only on anecdotal evidence.)
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