Is This Religious Discrimination

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Freddie53, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Freddie53

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    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Univers,Zurich BT,sans-serif][SIZE=+1]I read the Agape Press just to see what the "fundie" Christians are up to. It is rare I agree with them. Yet, if this is accurate is there discrimination against Christianity?

    http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/2/62006a.asp

    Your Opinions pro and con.

    Federal Judges Uphold NYC Schools' Discriminatory Nativity Scene Ban
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    By Allie Martin
    February 6, 2006

    (AgapePress) - A federal appeals court has ruled that it is constitutionally permissible for New York City's public schools to ban the display of a Christian Nativity scene while allowing the display of the Jewish Menorah and the Islamic star and crescent.
    Several years ago the parents of two students in New York City public schools sued the school district over its policy that the display of secular holiday symbol decorations is permissible during the Christmas holiday season while display of Nativity scenes is not. Late last week, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of the district's policy.
    In his 46-page dissent, 2nd Circuit Judge Chester Straub criticized the ruling, saying the schools' current policy "fails under the [Constitution], both on its face and as applied."
    The dissenting judge went on to state that the current district policy and practice clearly violate the Establishment Clause, insofar as "a reasonable student observer would perceive a message of endorsement of Judaism and Islam and a reasonable parent observer would perceive a message that Judaism and Islam are favored and that Christianity is disfavored."
    Robert Muise is an attorney with the Thomas More Law Center, the legal organization that sued the New York City schools on the parents' behalf. He feels the appellate court judges' decision is another example of U.S. federal courts discriminating against Christians.
    The 2nd Circuit panel's decision to uphold the New York City schools' ban on Nativity scenes was based on "the same law where you can't put up the Ten Commandments," Muise says. "Here you have a policy that is facially discriminatory, that makes denominational preferences," he asserts, "which is the worst sort of evil that the Establishment Clause seeks to protect against. Yet you have two judges in a federal court saying that it's permissible."
    The Thomas More Law Center attorney calls the 2nd Circuit panel's decision a "a bizarre ruling" and a horrible one, over which Christians should be outraged. "We strongly believe that the majority decision is fundamentally flawed, as pointed out by the dissent," he says, "and we intend to take this fight to the next level."
    The school district's discriminatory ban is "really a crazy policy," Muise adds, "and these sorts of things are going on in the public schools in the largest public school system in this country, and you have federal courts that are affirming that and permitting it to happen." Nevertheless, he insists, "This battle is far from over."
    Muise says the case will be taken to the entire 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals next. However, he says he expects the matter will eventually come up on appeal before the United States Supreme Court.
    Allie Martin, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.
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  2. D_Cliebert_Chodechoker

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    i would say so. Im cathloic and i think its wrong to ban the nativity scene, their wouldnt be christmas without teh birth of Christ. Doesnt make much sense to ban the nativity scene since thats what christmas is all about.


    Peace n Godbless
     
  3. D_Kirkhaus Komandohanger

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    While I do agree it's wrong to ban just Christian symbols you're slighty misinformed.
    Christmas has various roots in pagan festivals (Saturnalia, Solstice) and these winter gift-exchanging holidays would continue to exist even if Christ wasn't born.
    Christmas is not *all* about the nativity scene it's about love, peace, and an appreciation for God and son. Faith should be to the point that you don't need a symbol inorder to help worship. It is taught that everything you need to communicate with god is within yourself and your loved ones.
    If you're so freakin' Caltholic you should know all of this.
     
  4. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    that is wrong whatever way you cut it: you either ban them all or none at all. it is not acceptable by any logical or ethical standard to rule that certain religions or expressions of faith are less acceptable than others.
     
  5. GottaBigOne

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    Second that Rock.
     
  6. jakeatolla

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    The term Christmas, is based on Christ's Birth. Hence the name.

    I guess its open season on christians as usual huh ?

    try a little tolerance.
     
  7. Chuck64

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    We're talking about the fundies - They're not real christians. Outside of this site, the fundies have made it open season on everyone. Get over it.
     
  8. madame_zora

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    He's not being intolerant.

    http://de.essortment.com/christmaspagan_rece.htm

    "Christmas" as we celebrate it was chosen conveniently to be on the same date as the current pagan winter solstice celebrations of the times. Why is it that Christians know so little about their own religion?
     
  9. jakeatolla

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    I bow down to your Limitless knowledge, but I was just pointing out how
    once again, (and I was responding to his last few lines) pissed about
    how its polictically correct to bash christians, but no other religions.
    I mean just look at what's happening right now , all because of a
    cartoon in a Danish newspaper.
    There are tons of political cartoonists that lampoon Chrisitianity, and
    you don't see a million wasps looting and rioting ?

    I was raised in a Roman Catholic household, with an Anglican mother,
    but I consider myself to be a Re covering Catholic.
     
  10. Freddie53

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    Thanks for your web site reference.

    That is why I found all the discusion about Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays amuzing. The word holiday originates from the term "holy day." In medieval Europe the only days off work were on Sunday and Christian days like Christmas and other days around the Christian religion, even if part of the celebration was also mixed in with pagan customs. The word celebration was originally a religious word as well.

    It is impossible to take all religous references from our culture. Just because they are there does not mean that all believe or worship them. They are there and others will be added.

    I enjoy reading and learning about customs that I am not familiar with from cultures other than my own.

    Courts deciding with religious references that can be mentioned or must be banned is going against the Consitution. Requring people to act in ways of worship such as a particular religion's prayer, participate in their worship is against the Consitution.

    There is a fine line. I can't tell you exactly where it is, but I know when I think it has been crossed from either side.
     
  11. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Hi jakeatolla.. I don't think anyone's bashing any religion specifically. As previously stated it's about the zealots or 'fundies'. In any faith they just suck.
    Do you mean "wasp" as in white Anglo-Saxon Protestants? If so, we don't 'loot'. We purchase.

    Good plan. I've always considered myself blessed I was raised an Episcopalian or as some call it "Roman Catholic Light". We can tell the Pope he's powerless and elect to confess our sins or not. It's a gas.
     
  12. BuddyBoy

    BuddyBoy Member

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    Hmmm, I went to the 2nd court website and reviewed the case, and it is quite interesting in its entirety. First off, the court itself only ruled that in was not unconstitutional to not have a nativity scene, not on if it was unconstitutional to display one in a public school. Unsurprisingly, the court did not find it unconstitutional to not have one any more than they might show up on your doorstep and tell you it was unconstitutional not to have gnomes in your garden. There is no first amendment case against someone for not saying something, in other words.

    The interesting thing was the background on the case itself and other Supreme Court rulings. First of all, the menorah and the crescent are both classed as secular as well as religious symbols. Why? Because there are no other primary symbols for Chanukah and Ramadan. The crèche is considered only a religious symbol, in part because there are so many other secular symbols for Christmas, and the school involved had them all trotted out: Christmas trees, wreaths, Santa and reindeers et al.

    The menorah, crescent, Christmas tree and kinara (for Kwanza) were displayed at the school entrance, beside a large calendar for December marking off the holidays, and a large gift wrap and gift-tag papered to the wall expressing the gift of freedom for america.

    Now, part of this mess is that because the constitutionality of the creche has been up in the air. Rulings have banned it on public grounds unless it is in the context of a number of secular decorations. The School trustee and the plaintiff's lawyers went back and forth for several years, before going to court, trying to agree on any legal interpretation that would allow a creche to be used - the problems being the definition of public space, which the law considered something like a town square, as opposed to the school.

    It sounds to me like the policy was thought out in order to avoid promoting any particular religion by selecting some of the most secular symbols for each holiday and displaying them. I tend, personally, to think that the creche is primarily a religious symbol, and wouldn't include it in a list of secular decorations either, but in the context of everything else out there, it probably wouldn't offend me. Just the same, I hardly see excluding one of the many symbols of Christmas as discrimination against Christians when, by constitutional order, these displays are supposed to be a secular as possible.

    Seems to me the only case the plaintiff had a chance would be to attack the constitutionality of the menorah et al - which I think she did - but these have already been established as secular symbols, so no go.

    Just my $0.02 and worth it, I'm afraid.:smile:
     
  13. panthera

    panthera New Member

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    I thought xmas was about buying, buying, buying?
     
  14. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    And why is it that so many posters here have trouble with the English language? Some aren't native speakers, so that's understandable. So what's the excuse of everyone else?

    "Christ-mas" is not a homonym for "Pagan-mas". Literally (as in, "used in a manner that accords with the literal sense of the words"). "Christ" can't be taken out of "Christmas", or it would be a different word. Elementary, dear Chumley.

    And do I care? Not at all as a Christian, because I'm not. As an American, I should be interested in the case. I note that BuddyBoy is the only one so far who looks before he bitches. Maybe it's not such a ridiculous decision after all. The judge is stepping through a minefield, and may have actually made the right steps. How shocking!
     
  15. Irvy

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    I made this point to my flatmate when we were discussing the current riots about the cartoons. How many times have there been parodies and cartoons over the christian God? South Park have a very wishy washy Jesus hosting a chat show. There aren't riots in that case.

    I don't like political correctness. I believe that if a school has a predominately christian (or nominally christian, even) attendance, then they should be able to have solely christian displays at certain times of the year. If they have a more mixed group of pupils, which i suppose is more common with American schools than it would be over here, then they should be free to reflect that in their displays.

    However, the government interceding and telling them that they cannot show a particular group's symbols is absolutely wrong. I can just imagin the uproar if they said that christian christmas symbols were fine, but there was to be no Jewish symbols anywhere in the school.
     
  16. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    and let's not forget that the crescent moon and star has absolutely nothing to do with islam. it was actually the emblem of the byzantine city-state - originally chosen in honor of the goddess diana, who was the city's patron deity in pre-christian times - which the invading turks adopted when they conquered byzantium in order to lend local credibility to their religious war. it wasn't until the rise of the ottoman empire that the symbol started to become broadly associated with the islamic faith.
     
  17. madame_zora

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    Why are people in this thread acting like the rioting is going on here? You're NOT being persecuted, and those riots are happening where people riot every day, SSDD! Yes, they are rioting over their leader being lampooned, but we have lampooned every single leader this country has ever had, no one gets left out.

    Now, I think this particualr case in point is flat out wrong. Ban all or accept all, none of this pick and choose shit, but I find it AMAZING that Christians, knowing full well they've enjoyed a position of priveledge in every aspect, are crying "discrimination" at the first tiny infraction of their perceived rights. Hey, maybe you could try not stomping the fuck out of everyone else's rights if you want some sympathy. I for one am sick to death of all this religous shit being rammed down my throat for the whole last three months of the year.
     
  18. Stursberg

    Stursberg New Member

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    Right on, Madame. We call ourselves the "land of the free" because of, along with other things, the freedom of worship AND the separation of Church & State. There are an alarming number of people who no longer want us to have that freedom or that separation, and there are more here than abroad.
     
  19. madame_zora

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    Right. We're supposed to have freedom Of and FROM religion, but just try getting free FROM it. No, it's only The Land of the Free if you're a Christian.
     
  20. Freddie53

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    You make some good arguments for not allowing the Nativity scene. However, there are some things to consider.

    One, the Menorah is a religious symbol. The season of Chanukah has a religious beginning and still is a highly religous event. The Jewish nation had been under foreign and pagan rule. They revolted and restored the temple to Jewish worship. They only had enough oil for one day. Yet, the candles would not go out until the time it took to make new oil which was eight days. This was seen by the Jewish people as a sign from God blessing their nation. According to the ancient Jewish people, there is the supernatural intercession here by God to keep the candles burning. It is true that many secular events take place around Chanukah today. But it would be an offense to the Jewish people to ban teachers from telling why the season of Chanukah is so cherished by the Jewish people. Not only that, but it would be cencership of students were allowed to go all through school and even get a college degree in the liberal arts and not know the origin of Chanukah.

    This is true of Ramadon. It is a ritual of the Islamic faith. It lasts a month. It is very religous in nature. There is fasting. I wouldn't call that festive at all. Again to ban schools from telling what Ramadon is would be the same as baning telling the origin or Chanukah.

    Christmas has the word Christ in it. It would certainly be discrimination against Christians and censurship for everyone, for teachers to tell the students that they aren't allowed to tell them was the word Christmas means.

    There is nothing offensive in telling children that this day is also the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus the founder of Christianity.

    It would be wise to refer to Mary as Mary, not the Virgin Mary especially in the early grades. It wouldn't be right to give a wrong definition, but I certainly wouldn't want to get into Mary being a Virgin and God being the Father in early gades for sure.

    The Nativity scene is in itself not symbol of Christianity like the cross is.

    The origin of all three holiday symbols should be told to the students. Citizens need to be educated on cultures and belief systems. Being ignorant of what some three billion or so people believe in this world which is over half the population of the world right now is foolish. And adding the believers of the three religions will give a number of approximately three billion people.

    To deliberately cause students to be ignorant is foolish.

    In all discussions of religion, the Proper Names should be used. Never should a teacher use the word we, us, they, them. This is the correcdt way to say it." The Christians celebrate December 25 as the birthday of Jesus." Not, "We celebrate December 25 as the day Jesus was born" Teachers should also try to avoid using they as in, "They celebrate December 25 as the day Jesus was born."
     
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