Skip to main content

View Diary: Anti Gay Pastor Removed from Inaugural Program! (218 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  We've been over this last time. (0+ / 0-)

    The Inaugeration ceremony itself is not a Government function, it's entirely the prerogative of the President being inaugerated to have a benediction that befits his faith.  It's HIS ceremony, he can decide what it can and can't contain.

    •  A benediction? (0+ / 0-)

      On the taxpayers' dime?

      •  What dime? (0+ / 0-)

        The Inauguration Ceremony is paid for by private donations to the Committee.

        •  Where is the ceremony held? (0+ / 0-)

          On private property or government property? Do you really believe that there is no mixing of government funds in the Inauguration ceremony?  

          •  The government pays for security and other (0+ / 0-)

            such logistics, sure.  But they also do that at campaign rallies (Secret Service, local law enforcement), protests, parades, etc. and we accept that the organizers of such privately-funded events can have benedictions in those all they want.

            The ceremony itself is privately-funded.  Speaking fees and costs of travel/hotels/meals/etc. for the speakers are paid for by the committee, not the government.  Not permitting a benediction should the organizers want it would be an unconstitutional stifling of Free Speech.

            •  I think your apologetic arguement on this issue (0+ / 0-)

              is rife with holes.

              You sound like the religious right thugs who want to be exempt from civil rights and health care issues because government enforcement of these rights violates their "right to free speech".

              The President can swear in on a bible if he chooses. The President can make a personal religious statement in his speech if he wishes to. But he can not and should not turn a public and publicly funded (go look up the details of how much our tax dollars support this ceremony) into a religious ceremony that endorses one sect of religion.

              Citizens across the country of non-Christian faiths and of non-believers (now close to 20%) do not want to see their President use his office in any way to endorse his personal religious beliefs.  

              Taking an Inauguration ceremony and applying the terms "invocations" and "benediction" to the program is wrong.  Jefferson said it was wrong. I say it's wrong.
              And Obama and you should know it's wrong too.

              •  I'm an atheist, thanks. (0+ / 0-)

                You attempt to smear my because I don't share your opinion is transparent and weak.

                You sound like the religious right thugs who want to be exempt from civil rights and health care issues because government enforcement of these rights violates their "right to free speech".
                There is absolutely no comparison between religious people forcing their employees to live by their values and having a benediction at what is in truth a private ceremony.
                The President can swear in on a bible if he chooses. The President can make a personal religious statement in his speech if he wishes to. But he can not and should not turn a public and publicly funded (go look up the details of how much our tax dollars support this ceremony) into a religious ceremony that endorses one sect of religion.
                If the President can swear on a Bible "so help him God" and make a personal religious statement, then he can have someone else make a religious statement.  There is absolutely no difference.  Having a benediction doesn't make it a government-mandated religious ceremony.  And I have looked into how the ceremony is paid for, and I stand by my earlier statement.  The speakers are NOT paid for by tax dollars, period.  You're approaching dishonesty by trying to conflate the tax payer expense of logistics vs. the actual funding of the ceremony itself.
                Citizens across the country of non-Christian faiths and of non-believers (now close to 20%) do not want to see their President use his office in any way to endorse his personal religious beliefs.  
                Having a benediction doesn't "endorse the personal religious beliefs" of the President any more than a personal religious statement would, and you stated above you're OK with that.  The ceremony speakers are privately paid-for and there at the invitation of the committee.  There is no government endorsement of their words or presence.

                And I sincerely doubt you can substantiate that anywhere close to 20% of the country disapproves of an inaugural benediction.  As I said, I'm a staunch atheist, and I believe it's the prerogative of the President.

                Jefferson said it was wrong.
                Oh did he?  Where?  I sincerely doubt you can back up that claim.  Like Jefferson, I'm a strong proponent of the separation of church and state.  But I happen to understand, as I'm sure Jefferson would, that the Inaugural Ceremony is not a state function and therefore benedictions are a-OK.  

                I'd suggest you stop inventing claims to bolster your case and stick to the actual facts.

                •  The private ceremony is held inside the (0+ / 0-)

                  Oval Office.

                  The public ceremony is held on public land using public tax dollars. There is no difference between what you are endorsing and someone sticking a sign on the White House lawn with the Ten Commandments on it.  

                  There is a difference between the President making a personal statement in a speech of his personal beliefs, and a whole program built around religious forms and terms used in Christian churches (invocation, benediction)  It is a blatant endorsement of Christianity and I don't care if it's paid for by McDonalds or Boeing. The public forum of this ceremony makes it a PUBLIC ceremony celebrating the transitioning of power in a SECULAR government with a SECULAR Constitution.  What part of that do you not see?

                  The Inauguration is not the President's private ceremony. I would really like to see you try running that description past a room full of citizens.

                  Your comments demonstrate that you do not have a good understanding of the concept of separation of church and state.  Do I really have to point you to Jefferson's explanation of the role of a President when it comes to religion? Surely as a "proponent" of separation of church and state, you are familiar with it.

                  •  Tax dollars pay for two things (0+ / 0-)

                    in the Inauguration: security and clean-up.  The same is true for: protests, private parades, campaign events, etc.  That does not make those events "public" in the sense you are talking.  You would no doubt agree that benedictions and invocations are a-OK at such events.  The same is true of the Inauguration: it is the exact same type of event.

                    There is no difference between what you are endorsing and someone sticking a sign on the White House lawn with the Ten Commandments on it.  
                    Yes, there is a difference.  Posting religious paraphanalia on government property and individuals expressing personal religious beliefs while on government property are completely different issues, anyone can see that.
                    There is a difference between the President making a personal statement in a speech of his personal beliefs, and a whole program built around religious forms and terms used in Christian churches (invocation, benediction)  It is a blatant endorsement of Christianity and I don't care if it's paid for by McDonalds or Boeing.
                    No, there isn't.  It's all the same thing: personal expressions of religious belief by individuals who are entitled to hold and express those beliefs.  The Inauguration Ceremony could be wall-to-wall prayers.  You know why?  It's not a government ceremony, it's a private one paid for and operated by the Inaugural Committee.  The fact that it's held in public and even on public land does not change that fact.
                    It is a blatant endorsement of Christianity and I don't care if it's paid for by McDonalds or Boeing. The public forum of this ceremony makes it a PUBLIC ceremony celebrating the transitioning of power in a SECULAR government with a SECULAR Constitution.  What part of that do you not see?
                    What don't I see?  I don't see how you can possibly think the Constitution prohibits what are personal expressions of private belief during a privately-funded, non-government ceremony.  Please quote me where in our Constitution that it A) stipulates an inaugural ceremony as part of the government's function, and B) prohibits public expression of personal belief by either government officials or their chosen representatives at such a function.

                    You have a completely incorrect view of our Constitution if you claim it prohibits this, and every court in the country would laugh you out of its halls for these arguments.  The Constitution says 2 things about religion: everyone has the right to freely practice theirs, and government won't make laws establishing a particular religion.  Despite your logical contortions, the Inauguration does not cross either of these principles.  On the contrary, it is you who are seeking to violate the spirit of the First Amendment by trying to restrict the free expression of people at their own ceremony.

                    The Inauguration is not the President's private ceremony. I would really like to see you try running that description past a room full of citizens.
                    It is absolutely his private ceremony by every legal and Constitutional definition.  Again, the Inaugural Ceremony is not mandated or established by any law.  It is a voluntary, privately-funded event.  If you think being held in a public space and allowing members of the public attend automatically make an event "public" in the sense you mean (i.e., government-endorsed), then you have an absolutely woeful understanding of the law and simply need to take some basic civics courses.
                    Your comments demonstrate that you do not have a good understanding of the concept of separation of church and state.  Do I really have to point you to Jefferson's explanation of the role of a President when it comes to religion? Surely as a "proponent" of separation of church and state, you are familiar with it.
                    On the contrary, it is you who seems not to understand the separation of church and state and you've adopted the fanatical view of the most extreme anti-religious zealots who give the rest of us non-believers a bad name.  Nowhere does the Constitution prohibit personal expressions of faith by public officials, nor that expression on public land at their own privately-funded events.  What it does is prohibit laws that establish a state religion, and that is certainly not happening here.  Your comments demonstrate you don't understand the First Amendment at all and seek to prevent public speech you happen to to agree with.  That's awful.

                    By all means, let's talk about Jefferson.  I can't wait to see what selective, out-of-context quotes you come up with that don't actually pertain to this while ignoring the fact that he mentioned God publicly all the time while President and even in his second Inaugural Address (even calling for supplication to God!).  Of course, citing what Jefferson said or did is utterly meaningless in the face of what it actually says in the Constitution, as last time I checked his personal views didn't hold much legal weight.  But please, proceed, governor.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site