Mount Rushmore officials sued over free speech, religion

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Mount Rushmore officials sued over free speech, religion

It's the third story down on http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/R/RELIGION_BRIEFS?SITE=CAVEN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

 

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Mount Rushmore officials sued over free speech, religion

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - America's "shrine of democracy" is the setting for another fight over religion and public land.

A Christian law group is accusing Mount Rushmore officials of trampling the free speech and religious rights of a Minnesota man who alleges he cannot get a permit to distribute religious materials at the national monument.

The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., against monument officials on behalf of Michael Boardley of Coon Rapids, Minn.

The suit says Boardley distributed "gospel tracts" at the monument on Aug. 9 without incident but was told the next day he needed a permit.

Gerard Baker, Mount Rushmore superintendent, said Boardley has never applied for a permit.

"We have never denied a permit," Baker said. "All he has to do is get a hold of us, and we'll give him a permit. We issue 70-plus permits a year, and I'm not sure what's going on."

Boardley would like to return to the monument to distribute gospel tracts, but he has been unable to get a permit, the ADF says in the lawsuit. Refusing to give him a permit is a violation of his constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of religion and due process, the complaint alleges.

Boardley has not applied for a permit because Mount Rushmore officials would not give him an application, both when he was at the monument and later when he called and asked for one, Kevin Theriot, ADF senior counsel, said Monday.

In the lawsuit, which also names the U.S. Interior Department and National Park Service, ADF asks the court to strike down Mount Rushmore's rules on literature distribution and the defined area where that is allowed.


Brian37
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Tell him he can do it if we

Tell him he can do it if we can distribute copies of the Barbary Treaty articall 11 GOVERNMENT LAW btw, never struck down by our Suprem Court,

"As the government of the United States, is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion".

That is a goverment document IN OUR NATIONAL ARCHIVES. If anything deserves public display, that does.

So every time they cry, "GIMMY GIMMY GIMMI" I say we say, "Ok, if you can do that, we can display what we want as well" otherwise, keep goverment property neutral.

And if these people win the right to do it, I think the first thing secularists(dispite popular myth, are not just atheists) I think we should mount a protest there displaying the Barbary Treaty and quotes from Jefferson like, |"Question with boldness even the existance of God".

IF THEY CAN DO IT WE CAN DO IT, If they dont want us doing it, then they should not do it themselves. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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nedbrek
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I don't think the Christian

I don't think the Christian involved is trying to block your right to distribute Barbary pamphlets. He just wants to distribute his own. Isn't that what freedom is about?

Why do you even need a permit to hand out tracts? I do it all the time. Some people don't want them, that's fine. A lot of people thank me.


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nedbrek wrote: Why do you

nedbrek wrote:

Why do you even need a permit to hand out tracts?

It's gov't property. You'd need a permit saying that the pamphlets you're handing out don't necessarily represent the views of the US gov't.

Good night, funny man, and thanks for the laughter.


Brian37
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It would be nice if that

It would be nice if that were the case. I think you fail to understand that there is an "unwritten rule" when it comes to government property that Christians get the sole right to promote Christianity through goverment.

These same types of people(NOT ALL CHRISTIANS) but far too many bitch when some non-Christian group does the same.

I'll give you a couple of examples. In AZ a couple years back, Christians AND RIGHTFULLY SO, bitched about Muslims at a grade school conducting Islamic cerimonies, but still want those same Muslims to submit to or be excluded from a prayer of allegance to the Christian god. I doubt those Muslims would be tollerated if they said, "Under Allah".

And, most recently an atheist teen in the midwest was damned near chased out of town for refusing to partisipate in a halftime "honoring of God".

Here is is the point they miss because they have been sold fear by fundies who have successfully marketed the concept that Jesus wrote our Constitution.

1. Our Constitution is for "Freedom of religion" not freedom to monopolize public property and to promote solely the Christian god on goverment property.

2. Secularists are merely people that see the importance of "Jefferson's wall" between Church and state, and many of these secularists are Christians as well as other faiths.

3. "PRIVATE" in referance to goverment does not mean out of view. It means that OUR goverment will not play favorites. In other words, we do it on our own time with our own resources.

And, if you noticed I was not asking for a bann. I merely said that they cannot have it both ways. If this person, or any person wants to do this, then they cant bitch when others do the same.

It is the same with Congress as well as city counils. Congress has a public cerimony and swearing in that has no mention of atheism or gods. Then, if the ellected wishes to display their deity in their oath, that is a seperate NOT MANDATED cerimony that is done in their chambers without forcing others to submit to it.

The problem is that most of the media only puts out the private cerimony. There is hardly any coverage of the public mass swearing in that is secular, which gives the false impression that swearing to the Christian god is manditory.

Combine that with "god" on our currancy and in our pledge, with the lack of any mention of any other religion it gives Chrisitans the false impression that they must tollerate us, but dont have to allow us to compete with them.

My point is. In any given sitiuation you have two choices. 1. Let it all in, or keep it all out. That is a case by case issue.

What I am tired of is Christians wanting it both ways. They want to talk about "God" using goverment property, but when our first Muslim senator was sworn in, they bitched a fit, AND THAT WAS THE PRIVATE CERIMONY. 

I think you underestimate the drive Christian theocrats have in this country and what lenghts they will go to fill every seat of power with people who think Jesus wrote our Constitution and that our laws were ripped out of the bible.

Again, this is because of successfull holesale of a slanted falacious revisionist history where they claim that every founder went to church and never farted.

Do not take this lightly. They have nothing to fear from atheists or any theist secularist as long as they play fair. If they dont we will call them on it as we should. 

This is OUR country and I am for freedom of religion, but I am tired of people insisting on using goverment to tell others that Jesus owns our Constitution.

"God" was never intended by the people who put it on money or in our pledge to cover anything but fans of Jesus. I am tired of the lie that it doesnt violate the First Amendment. If it was generic, then you could have 3 different version of the pledge with "Allah/Yahwey/Jesus" printed in the same size font and poster in every classroom. You are not going to see that happen because the Christians who want it there are fans of their religion and want you to become part of it and by using goverment they get to tell you and your children that the "wink wink" God of Jesus owns our country "wink wink"......|"even though we didnt say Jesus....wink wink".

What does this have to do with this guy distributing Christian tracts on Mt Rushmore property? How fast do you think the fundies would protest if atheist handed out RRS material there?

I think you underestimate these theocrats. I do thank the Christians wo do recognize that goverment should not play favorites to Christianity, but YOU personally are fooling yourself if  you think our goverment isnt lopsided as to what religion it promotes.

We just had the Mayor of Atlanta ask for a day of prayer for the drought. Do you seriously think he is adressing Jews or any other religion? No, he thinks Jesus gave him the right to hold office and decide for everyone which god we believe in.

I think the Atheists of Atlanta had a very apropreate response, "We did not ellect him to be a preacher".

Again, I think you take this particular case way too lightly. It is systmatic of a greater trend, not just this case, but for the right wing to become the perminate power of our goverment. 

I am sure that some people dont mind whomever does what. My problem is that far too many Christians will take advantage of politics for political gain, and long term I see a dangerous right wing looking for an end goal of a perminate power. If we ever reach that not even liberal Christians will have rights.

My default position is fair, let it all in or keep it all out. If you can do it, I can do it. But there are far too many right wing Christians who dont want us having a voice because Jesus told them he owns America.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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nedbrek
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That's a long post I don't

That's a long post Smiling I don't even know where to begin...

There are certainly "Christians" (I doubt the truth of some of them) who are looking for power. It is a Christian doctrine that people can't be trusted to be good, and separation of powers is a good idea.

Similarly, Jefferson's "wall of separation" is taken from a letter written on the behalf of a Baptist church (search for "Danbury letter"). It was not intended that government should be free of God, but that government should not dictate religious practice.

I don't see why we would necessarily have to "let it all in". Traditionally, we have had some Christian (or actually Christian-like) ceremonies. We can keep these traditions, or change them. I personally don't care (since we don't keep Christian doctrines, these ceremonies are mostly hypocrisy).


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nedbrek wrote: That's a

nedbrek wrote:
That's a long post Smiling I don't even know where to begin... There are certainly "Christians" (I doubt the truth of some of them) who are looking for power. It is a Christian doctrine that people can't be trusted to be good, and separation of powers is a good idea. Similarly, Jefferson's "wall of separation" is taken from a letter written on the behalf of a Baptist church (search for "Danbury letter&quotEye-wink. It was not intended that government should be free of God, but that government should not dictate religious practice. I don't see why we would necessarily have to "let it all in". Traditionally, we have had some Christian (or actually Christian-like) ceremonies. We can keep these traditions, or change them. I personally don't care (since we don't keep Christian doctrines, these ceremonies are mostly hypocrisy).

 

"...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Wall of separation, not a wall with a one way door.  It strikes me clear that he meant no intermingling of the two.


Brian37
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nedbrek wrote: That's a

nedbrek wrote:
That's a long post Smiling I don't even know where to begin... There are certainly "Christians" (I doubt the truth of some of them) who are looking for power. It is a Christian doctrine that people can't be trusted to be good, and separation of powers is a good idea. Similarly, Jefferson's "wall of separation" is taken from a letter written on the behalf of a Baptist church (search for "Danbury letter&quotEye-wink. It was not intended that government should be free of God, but that government should not dictate religious practice. I don't see why we would necessarily have to "let it all in". Traditionally, we have had some Christian (or actually Christian-like) ceremonies. We can keep these traditions, or change them. I personally don't care (since we don't keep Christian doctrines, these ceremonies are mostly hypocrisy).

You completely miss my point and I made it clear. I am very consistant in what I say about this issue and am well aware, of our founders history.

Where did I say religous people could not partisipate in government? I NEVER SAID THAT. Dont even go there.

What I am against are religious favortism and monopolies, written or implied and Jefferson would be too. If you let one person do it, you got to let everyone do it.

Our first Muslim Senator swore in on a copy of the Quran OWNED BY THOMAS JEFFERSON. But, that was a private cerimony and NOT the MASS swearing in where everyone is in the same room saying the same thing. WHY? "NO RELIGIOUS TEST" in OUR U.S. Constitution.

For the same reason a kid can "pray" in school but cannot use government money or have government officials lead a government sanctioned prayer.

I have also always consistantly said that I would vote for a Christian|(havent really had much choice in my life IN ANY CASE) IF they stick to issues that WE find in common and not make assumptions about Jesus being our lawgiver.

It is natural in humans when it comes to government to feel like they have a say. The sticky wicket is that insted of skiping the party and skipping the religious label, they make that the priority insted of looking at what overlap there is that goes beyond label and party.

I find some things in common with conservitives on certain issues and other issues I find things in common with liberals. I have found Christians that I agree with on issues whilee others I dont.

YOU assume that I am making a blanket bann on religious people partisipating in government. I am saying that neither you the theist or I the atheist can or should go arround making laws or statements for the entirety of the population on that issue. It is up to the individual.

However, Christians, even liberals seem to think that THEY and they alone have their diety's name imbrodered on the Ovel office and Supreme Court and that no non-Christian ever had any hand in forming this country.

I wont exclude you from partisipation any more than I would want to be excluded. BUT, I am tired of Christians on the left and right exclude all others. Where is there consideration for Jews or Hindu Americans for our high offices. I am quite sure that you can find conservitive and liberal theists in both those labels.

My only point is to take down the sign on the Oval Office door, "Non-Christians need not apply". 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Brian37
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Truthiness wrote: nedbrek

Truthiness wrote:

nedbrek wrote:
That's a long post Smiling I don't even know where to begin... There are certainly "Christians" (I doubt the truth of some of them) who are looking for power. It is a Christian doctrine that people can't be trusted to be good, and separation of powers is a good idea. Similarly, Jefferson's "wall of separation" is taken from a letter written on the behalf of a Baptist church (search for "Danbury letter&quotEye-wink. It was not intended that government should be free of God, but that government should not dictate religious practice. I don't see why we would necessarily have to "let it all in". Traditionally, we have had some Christian (or actually Christian-like) ceremonies. We can keep these traditions, or change them. I personally don't care (since we don't keep Christian doctrines, these ceremonies are mostly hypocrisy).

 

"...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Wall of separation, not a wall with a one way door. It strikes me clear that he meant no intermingling of the two.

EXACTLY!

The "No Religious Test" part of the Constitution was not just agreed upon by Jefferson, but ALL who signed the Constitution.

He would never proclude a religious person from appying for the paperwork to legal run "NO RELIGIOUS TEST". What he ment by "intermingling" was that LAW could not be based on religion but COMMON LAW. If the lawmakers were religious, that was fine with all who signed the Constitution, BUT WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IT WASNT LAW.

The Constitution was never intended to be Christian law or Muslim law or atheist law. Christians still think both left and right that because that they have a history of a majority that that intitles them to sew an invisable cross on the flag where everyone else is "permited" to own businesses and pay taxes but should never consider running for the same offices they got. BULLSHIT!

I doubt that there would be one founder today that would object to a Muslim or Jew or atheist congressman. I doubt that they would object to a non-Christian president considering that Jefferson was a deist, not a Christian.

I think the only thing they would care about is "what kind of job is this candidate going to do".

They would object to our government making passive statements on behalf of all citizens regardless of their personal opinions. To them it was up to you, not them.

They WERE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND SO AM I! But they were as all should be against THEOCRACY AND FACISM!

I think most of the founders would be against "God" on the money and in our pledge. Not because they didnt believe, but because they thought that was an issue that government should not take a position on, dispite personal opinions. THEY KNEW HOW TO KEEP PERSONAL OPINIONS ON THE ISSUE OF RELIGION OUT OF COMMON LAW.

Unfortunatly because of the cold war and the "godless" propaganda perpitrated by Christians back in the 50s we have gotten away from individuality and slowly degenerated into a sheep mentality.

If we are going to be indidividuals then our goverment should be made up as such. WE THE PEOPLE, not WE THE (incert majority here)

"E-Puribus Unum" should be what our motto is, "Out of many voices one nation". That does not mean, "Out of many Christian sects, one Christian theocracy".

Bottem line, if you are born here, then you should have the same shot at our highest offices regardless of your label. No one should vote for you merely because you are black, Jew, or atheist. There is one reason and one reason only to put someone in office, because out of all the people running, you think they will do the best job. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37