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GENESIS

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Oct 22, 2005 4:52 pm

I think the reason that the founders of the US Republic decided, on a suggestion from Thomas Jefferson, to include the Separation of Church and State as one of the basic principles of their system of government was that they had in relatively fresh historical memory both the horrors of the religious wars in Europe - the Peace of Westphalia which brought to a close the horrors of the Thirty Years' War had been signed in 1648 - and the aberrations that had occurred in the name of religion on their own continent. Whether or not Quintus Septimius Tertullianus actually proclaimed «Credo quia absurdum», the fact remains that religious notions have an different epistemological status than the theories and propositions of, say, natural science, which is why arguments concerning such notions cannot be solved by experimental means. Under these circumstances, the only reasonable course in a country with inhabitants of differing religious persuasions or none, was to agree to let everyone who was interested in doing so go to Heaven through his or her own efforts, without the interference or the aid of the State, which would concern itself with temporal matters. The Separation of Church and State - like the Separation of Powers within the State, another constitutional concept which today is under strong attack in the US - has, to my mind, provided the US Republic with a resilience which has stood it well during the tumult of the last two centuries, and the Europeans whose experience did so much to inspire it have learned to emulate it, even if it has taken some time - here in Sweden, for example, the State Church was not disestablished until the turn of the millennium, and both the UK and Norway still have one. I hope the US will not turn its back on its Constitution and the lessons of history that that document reflects, and will be able to maintain this Separation - and that other, mentioned earlier - which have served it so well....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby KatyBr » Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:34 pm

To clarify, I have been skewered for mentioning the Bible, and those specific verses quoted were only to deal with Flam's comment on Ichabod. and the glory, I posted none, to support that a simple prayer that was banned was to the detriment of society, but here is one, take it or leave it, it is merely information. I think it's more reliable that some of the Blogs quoted here to support someone's pet theory.
"Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord"Ps 33:12
my personal favorite.

Kt
btw no specific God was mentioned in the prayer, just a simple appeal to a higher power to bless... but we are safe from that blessing now, so be it, and it's moot!
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Postby Stargzer » Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:20 am

KatyBr wrote: . . ."Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord"Ps 33:12
my personal favorite.

Kt


I'll drink to that!
1 Timothy 5:23

:wink:
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Flaminius » Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:10 am

While I appreciate Henri's post concerning contemporary political situations and classical theories of institutions, I doubt if the school prayer issue may not involve domain problems as set forth by such theorists as Jürgen Habermas.

Religious ostantations are anathema in state domain, where people meet each other as another citizen but where they meet each other as a peer of the public, in public domain that is, rights can be exercised on things that represent religions.

The issue with school prayer is, to my mind, whether schools should belong to private, public or state, domain. Nations with highly centralised governmental institutions such as Japanese ones tend to regard compulsory public education belonging totally to the state. Here, I practise my religious, areligious or anti-religious ideals or any combinations thereof under the term of "late bioosas" (live hidden).

I realise the opinion of a less-centralised country is generally that public schools are in public domain, supported by state funding and managed by local citizens and officials. I note that each country of the world has trodden its own historical path to reach how its current educational system operates.

U.S., I opine, belongs more to the latter category than to the former. Introduction of religious expressions, therefore, seems unavoidable for schools. Having said this, I should like to raise three points just perhaps to reiterate Gailr:
1. Majority vote is not always the wisest decision making method in public domain. Backroom negotiation, nepotism, non-charente streetmentioning and what else may be the key tactics, along with more transparent procedures.
2. Membership of public domain needs to be determined primarily by how one is willing and ready to promote the good in his community. A caring neighbour who practises atheism is as good a board member as a devout Christian (although I am not entirely sure what he practises).
3. In groups (ya, community, organisation or whatever) where intense competition is a major norm for membership or survival, public domain has little influence. As for schools, I don't expect public domain to be very active where students regard each other as rivals for college seats or they, as well as teachers, cannot trust each other for their own back for fear of being shot or stabbed.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Oct 23, 2005 6:22 am

Flaminius wrote:... "late bioosas" (live hidden)...


«Λάθε βιώσας» - you almost had me going there, Flam ! Or as Publius Ovidius Naso put it, after being exiled to the Black Sea, «Bene qui latuit, bene vixit» (Tristia, 3.4). I'll surely remember that when they come beating on the door at midnight....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Flaminius » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:33 am

Before that midnight, Henri, you might want to live, "derekh arets, qadima tora" (local customs of courtesy before Torah).

Edit to add
and thank you for [correcting] my perennial misspelling.
Last edited by Flaminius on Sun Oct 23, 2005 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:06 pm

Flaminius wrote:Before that midnight, Henri, you might want to live, "derekh arets, qadima tora" (local customs of courtesy before Torah). ...


Perhaps, Flam, you could inform us wherein these customs consist, or provide us with a link ? Just in case....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby William » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:32 pm

…the fact remains that religious notions have an different epistemological status than the theories and propositions of, say, natural science, which is why arguments concerning such notions cannot be solved by experimental means. Under these circumstances, the only reasonable course in a country with inhabitants of differing religious persuasions or none, was to agree to let everyone who was interested in doing so go to Heaven through his or her own efforts, without the interference or the aid of the State, which would concern itself with temporal matters.


Henri, I could not agree more. It reflects a major tenet of my own religion:

We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how where or what they may.


And, Henri, to this following exerpt from your post may I add my heartfelt AMEN!

I hope the US will not turn its back on its Constitution and the lessons of history that that document reflects, and will be able to maintain this Separation - and that other, mentioned earlier - which have served it so well...."


In truth, though, a study of U.S. History indicates that each of the three branches of the Government have waxed and waned in power according to historical cricumstances. Currently, the judicial branch is tending to expand its power. If historic trends are any indication then this tendency will ultimately be curbed. But Thomas Jefferson himself warned against the expansion of the power of the judicial branch, and probably wisely so, as it is composed of officials who are not elected by the people and who serve for life, or until they choose to retire.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:29 am

Nice to hear from you, William ! Given the persecution to which members of your religious persuasion were subject, their concern for religious liberty is not surprising - and welcome. But I should like to add a few words to the statement you cite :

We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how where or what they may[, or not, as they please].


Even the rights of those of us who do not subscribe to a supernatural view of the world must be acknowledged and protected. Tolerance of difference of opinion, that daughter of the Enlightenment, and the recognition of the fact that none of us possesses a monopoly on the Truth constitute the basis of all the Freedoms we enjoy, and which are under press throughout the world.

I also agree that «each of the three branches of the Government have waxed and waned in power according to historical circumstances». As regards the Supreme Court's role in interpreting the US Constitution, that dates, as you certainly know, from the Marbury vs Madison ruling in 1803. Unclear as the Constitution was concerning the role of the Court, this ruling established the Judiciary as an equal branch of the Government. «Judicial activism» ? - perhaps, but I tend to see it as yet another obstacle to the concentration of power which the framers of the Constitution were anxious to prevent. Where we disagree, I think, is where the present danger to that concentration lies : you seem to believe that it lies with the judiciary ; I, on the other hand, find it in the powerful tendency toward the establishment of an Imperial Presidency that has been evident ever since WW II. I am not sure that History teaches us anything, so long as the game continues (and when it is over, no one is around to care !), but it may inspire us to a certain caution. In my reading, the freedoms that I - and you as well, I think ! - regard as essential can perhaps be preserved in a Republic, but definitely not in an Empire. As Ben Franklin put it, when the work of the Constitutional Convention was finished in 1787 and he was asked «what kind of government have you given us?» :

A Republic, madam. If you can keep it.


Time, of course, will tell, but from my point of view the Republic - as opposed to the Empire - is worth fighting for....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Flaminius » Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:27 am

M. Henri Day wrote:
Flaminius wrote:Before that midnight, Henri, you might want to live, "derekh arets, qadima tora" (local customs of courtesy before Torah). ...


Perhaps, Flam, you could inform us wherein these customs consist, or provide us with a link ? Just in case....

Henri

Happily announcing that an outstanding confusion has been cleared of my hodgepodge post.

The correct maxim is "derekh erets qadma le-Tora" or
"דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה".
But the problem is always how to represent, forge or hide vowels in transcribed Hebrew.

It seems that no Judaica encyclopaedia lists the maxim as an individual entry. Searching for "derech aretz" or "derech eretz" yield some pages wherein the word is used. See, for example here.
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Re: GENESIS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:53 pm

I'm posting to this in hopes the whole link will surface. Gail, you can leave your pulpit in the closet, since you've already said your piece. I actually agree with you and would add that i've been told in South Lousiana not so many years ago nuns were teaching in public schools wearing those penguin-like black habits no longer so popular. I use that fact to point out to my friends who get on their soap boxes about prayer in the schools, etc.
pl
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Re: GENESIS

Postby gailr » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:14 am

Don't worry, Perry! :D

Some of my real-life friends have seen the prep to challenge an unsuspecting Important Person and the warning, "I'll stand up right now and say it if you give me a quarter." They laugh. They do not give me a quarter. And yet, they sit by me in public, bless their hearts!

I had completely forgotten about some of those old discussions, and re-read this one with a combination of amusement and dismay. I kept thinking, Good lord, who put a quarter in her!
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Re: GENESIS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:46 pm

"Old discussions"...Do virtual friends live in virtual time? So 2005 becomes old. I've been reading Gail Collins book, When Everything Changed" about women's progress beginning in the sixties. It's disconcerting that so much of my life is now considered history. Just yesterday was 1972, wasn't it?
pl
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Re: GENESIS

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:15 am

In the 1960s there were public schools in Texas that were actually owned and operated by Catholic parishes. I never cease to be amazed how some of the most unlikely people can be initiators of beneficial change. What "reputable" advocates of separation of church and state could not do, an obnoxious atheist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, did with her less than eloquent rants. There are still people who advocate prayer in public school. I always ask the question, "What if the majority of the community had a different religion than you do? Would a Catholic want his child to pray a Mormon prayer?" There is all the prayer one needs in public schools: private personal prayer.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: GENESIS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri May 17, 2013 10:52 am

Taozi appers to be a spammer.
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