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President Barack Obama issued a Proclamation declaring January 16th Religious Freedom Day. (PDF) In it he invoked the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom -- arguably the philosophical, historical and legal taproot of religious freedom, equality and separation of church and state in the U.S. -- and a powerful argument against Christian nationalism. And unlike the kinds of pols who lead the Republican Party (and some Dems), he made a point of adding: "... it was the genius of America's forefathers to protect our freedom of religion, including the freedom to practice none at all."  

This is of course, Obama at his best. There are many across the political spectrum who, mistakenly in my view, seek to pit religious against secular people (and vice versa). I have written against this many times. (But in most detail,here). We are at our best as progressives, as Democrats, and as a nation, when we embrace equality and respect. Obama knows this, and while I differ with him on some things, this is one thing on which we agree.

First, a bit of history.

When Thomas Jefferson first proposed the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom in 1777, he stated that this right of individual conscience must be extended to everyone, including: "the Jew, the Mohametan, and the Hindoo." Jefferson was not arguing the demographics of majority and minority religions, but first principles of equality. It took time to advance them, even then. James Madison as governor of Virginia managed to push Jefferson's bill through the legislature in 1786--the year before the drafting the federal Constitution, of which Madison is credited with being the principal author--as well as the principal author of the First Amendment. Virginia had already disestablished the Anglican Church, the day after it joined the revolution in 1776. So there is no mistaking the meaning of formally extending religious liberty to all in the wake of disestablishment and as a famous forerunner to the Constitution itself.


History is powerful, which is why the Religious Right is so vigorously fighting to revise it to suit their contemporary political and religious interests.

Here is the presidential Proclamation:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 15, 2010


RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, 2010


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION


Long before our Nation's independence, weary settlers sought refuge on our shores to escape religious persecution on other continents. Recognizing their strife and toil, it was the genius of America's forefathers to protect our freedom of religion, including the freedom to practice none at all. Many faiths are now practiced in our Nation's houses of worship, and that diversity is built upon a rich tradition of religious tolerance. On this day, we commemorate an early realization of our Nation's founding ideals: Virginia's 1786 Statute for Religious Freedom.


The Virginia Statute was more than a law. It was a statement of principle, declaring freedom of religion as the natural right of all humanity -- not a privilege for any government to give or take away. Penned by Thomas Jefferson and championed in the Virginia legislature by James Madison, it barred compulsory support of any church and ensured the freedom of all people to profess their faith openly, without fear of persecution. Five years later, the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights followed the Virginia Statute's model, stating, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .".


Our Nation's enduring commitment to the universal human right of religious freedom extends beyond our borders as we advocate for all who are denied the ability to choose and live their faith. My Administration will continue to oppose growing trends in many parts of the world to restrict religious expression.


Faith can bring us closer to one another, and our freedom to practice our faith and follow our conscience is central to our ability to live in harmony. On Religious Freedom Day, let us pledge our constant support to all who struggle against religious oppression and rededicate ourselves to fostering peace with those whose beliefs differ from our own. In doing so, we reaffirm our common humanity and respect for all people with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do more hereby proclaim January 16, 2010, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that teach us about this critical foundation of our Nation's liberty, and show us how we can protect it for future generations here and around the world.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


BARACK OBAMA

# # #

[Crossposted from Talk to Action]

Originally posted to Frederick Clarkson on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 10:40 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice sentiment, but... (10+ / 0-)

    ..would have been better had he not then undercut his entire message by tacking on "year of our Lord" in the last sentence.  

  •  Religious freedom (23+ / 0-)

    Religious freedom has two components: freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Freedom of religion simply means you are free to practice whatever religion you wish or not to practice any religion at all. People often insist that we have freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion. But freedom of religion is a very weak freedom without freedom from religion.

    Allow me to give an example: The Roman Empire had freedom of religion, but did not have freedom from religion. You were free to worship any god or as many gods as you wanted. The only catch was that you had to worship the Emperor. For some, that catch was no big deal, but other groups had a big problem with it.

    Freedom from religion is simply the freedom from religious coercion. Freedom from religion does not imply that you have the freedom never to be exposed to religion, only the freedom from religous coercion.

    The freedom to practice your religion is hampered if your employer can fire you based on your religion, if your landlord can evict you based on your religion, or if you're subjected to religious pressure by those in power over you. Of course, there are those who would be all in favor of those things, so long as they are not the target of the coercion. Some people want to use schools as religious training camps, coercing children into accepting certian religious views. This again, is popular so long as their children are not the target of coercion. But once you open the door to it, the coercer may one day be the coercee.

    The Founding Fathers could have said "You have the freedom to practice any religion you wish, but only those of the approved religion can hold public office." That would be freedom of religion without freedom from religion, and there were some at the time who favored this. They instead chose to secure full religious freedom for us.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 11:04:59 PM PST

    •  Re: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sceptical observer, 0wn

      The freedom to practice your religion is hampered if your employer can fire you based on your religion, if your landlord can evict you based on your religion, . . .

      This concept has nothing whatsoever to do with the Virginia Act or the First Amendment.  Both of those restrict the government, not private parties.

      End homelessness! Force everyone to buy a house!

      by Endangered Alaskan Dem on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 11:44:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It certainly relates to religious freedom (0+ / 0-)

        If you can be fired from your job or evicted because your employer or your landlord doesn't like your religion, then there's not much religious freedom.

        If an employer put a sign in the window which said "No Christians need apply", they would run afoul of the law as much as would any business which had a sign in the window which said "No Irish need apply".

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 03:16:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "including the freedom to practice none at all." (28+ / 0-)

    Wow, I never thought I'd see the day. This and reigning in the DEA's vendetta against marijuana have impressed me no end.

    I caught a lot of grief growing up in the fifties for having the audacity to declare myself an atheist. I didn't demean others for their beliefs but I caught hell from everyone, including my own family, for mine.

    This is a nice change. Probably won't have a big effect but nice.  

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 11:13:23 PM PST

  •  "including the freedom to practice none at all" (24+ / 0-)

    That's terrific.

    "There are times when the words that are spoken about me hurt. There are times when the barbs sting". - Barack Obama.

    by blackwaterdog on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 11:31:06 PM PST

  •  I'd like to see (11+ / 4-)

    Religious Restraint Day.

    Fine, have your archaic rituals, infinitum-told tales and magical predictions.  But keep that crap in the church.  Proselytization should be a criminal act.

    So many right-wing christians - So few lions.

    by john07801 on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 11:43:27 PM PST

    •  HRd for... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greatferm, brenda, wolfie1818

      This comment is insulting and inflammatory, and these characteristics alone would be enough for a hide rating.  But just in case anyone has any doubts abut that -- consider that this commenter thinks that the very constitutional freedoms celebrated in this diary should be criminalized.

      From the FAQs:

      To Troll Rate something has exactly one meaning. When you Troll Rate something, as a trusted user, you are stating that the comment should be made invisible to all site users. You're saying that the comment is so bad -- so disruptive or damaging to the community -- that it isn't worth even a debate, but should be deleted from the discussion as being simply inflammatory, simply off-topic, or simply a lie. Remember that, because that is the only use of the troll rating. It is an editorial vote to delete a comment

      •  You can't do it, Frederick, period. (6+ / 0-)

        posting part of the FAQ doesn't give you the right to hydrate in your own diary.  Pull the hydrate and I'll remove my rec.

        "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

        by trashablanca on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:08:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong (6+ / 0-)

        I'm not addressing religious freedom.  I'm disgusted by those whose intolerant religion requires that they disparage others' beliefs and coerce them to change.  To me, that's the height of arrogance.

        So many right-wing christians - So few lions.

        by john07801 on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:13:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you replace their intolerance with your own (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, wolfie1818

          Not seeing the improvement there. "I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it" -- unless you're religious.

          Tolerance - it's what this country and indeed our civilization was founded on.

          There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain. - R.D. Laing

          by brenda on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:18:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A tricky word (3+ / 0-)

            tolerance. There are many, many things we don't tolerate. Murder comes to mind. Whether or not tolerance is good depends on what is being tolerated. It would be perfectly acceptable to replace the intolerance of a dictator with intolerace for dictators.

            I am not only tolerant of religion, but I accept it in its place. I am not tolerant of a religion that attempts to dominate a government. I am not tolerant of those religions that would attempt to increase their membership, with lies and slight of hand if not coercion, in order to better dominate. (It is bad enough that the numbers are so twisted and distorted by the fact that the name "Christianity" covers hundreds of different religions.)

            The Separation of Church and State in America is paid lip service. It is nice to see small steps in the right direction. But until our President stops swearing on a Bible, I will be intolerant of a religion who gains by the preferential treatment. You can call out "tradition", but you cannot deny that the seriousness of the situation adds undue legitimacy to the Book of the Religion in power.

            Heads in the clouds are just as detrimental as heads in the sand.

            by A Voice on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 03:48:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "I am tolerant of women, (0+ / 0-)

              but I accept them in their place."

              That's mighty white of ya.

              "I am not tolerant of those religions that would attempt to increase their membership, with lies and slight of hand if not coercion, in order to better dominate."

              Well then I guess you'd be happier under an atheist dictatorship like the former USSR because that is what you would need in order to take away the right to proselytize. Surprising fact: religion was legal under communism, you could belong to any faith if you wanted, you just couldn't.... wait for it.... "increase your membership, with lies and slight of hand if not coercion".

              Huh... funny how that works.

              I agree that separation of church and sate is a good thing but as an agnostic I believe that religion has, over all, been a force for good in the world. In spite of the excesses of some. Atheism.... not so much.

              There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain. - R.D. Laing

              by brenda on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:55:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Mighty white of ya."? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                john07801

                Let me say when I see people like this as the advocates of religion, I am heartened that its demise may come quicker than expected.  

                •  Nah. (5+ / 1-)

                  For better and for worse, not too many advocates for religion are as disgusting and dishonest as brenda (who has pulled bullshit like this before). Better because life would be really awful for just about everyone if a large proportion of the billions of religious people on the planet were as ugly and hateful as him/her. Worse because, as you note, advocates that bad would help speed religion's disappearance.

                  There are huge numbers of humane and honest fans of religion. Which is both a relief and a pity.

                •  Also-- (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  john07801

                  would you mind e-mailing me, at your convenience? Just wanted to discuss something about atheist-theist arguments here on DKos.

                  I'm at camusrieux at yahoo.com.

              •  Wow. (6+ / 1-)

                A Voice writes "I am not only tolerant of religion, but I accept it in its place," and you pretend that that's comparable to  "I am tolerant of women, but I accept them in their place"? What disgustingly dishonest and privileged bullshit.

                You're a real piece of work.

                •  And you respond (4+ / 0-)

                  with HR abuse.

                  As I said: a real piece of work.

                  •  The HR is for stalking (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    RandomActsOfReason

                    You are not a part of this conversation. It's an old thread and you are obviously stalking.

                    We should have a debate though sometime. If you are able to refrain from ad hominem, which I doubt you can, I'd be will to attempt to have an actual discussion. I don't give it high odds but... there it is.

                    There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain. - R.D. Laing

                    by brenda on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 10:51:25 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The hell it is. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      john07801, RandomActsOfReason

                      Your nasty "tolerant of women" post was all of seventy-eight minutes old when I responded to it. That response to A Voice was severely dishonest and outrageously privileged, and (s)he deserved support. Funny thing: It's Not All About You. (Though I suppose, given history of stalking and serial HRing, I can see why you think it might be.)

                      Attack atheism with dishonesty and bigotry, and I am invariably going to become "part of th[e] conversation," whether you like it or not.


                      We should have a debate though sometime. If you are able to refrain from ad hominem....

                      Fuck you. After the disgusting display of callousness toward the suffering of innocent people you put on earlier this month, you are in no position to lecture anyone else about the ability to debate. As for "ad hominems," you might benefit from learning what that term actually means. Here's a hint: it isn't just insults. Your pathetic attempts, in the above-linked exchange, to make my personal life part of the of the discussion are archetypal examples of the ad hominem fallacy--not to mention clear indicators of your disinterest in actual debate.

                      Your continuing tendency, when discussing atheism, is to spew inhumanity, bigotry, and dishonesty. You are in no position to teach anyone lessons about "debate."


                      As other folks showed on this lovely thread, when discussing religion you apparently just can't turn the bigotry faucet off:

                      Please return to Pharyngula where you can abuse little christian girls to your heart's content. It's what you get off on.

                      --

                      Seriously, no one cares. I know of no one who gives a flying fig who or what you believe in. So why all the drama?

                      --

                      Maybe you're a bot or something.

                      I sincerely doubt that you have ever been seriously victimized for your beliefs. You point to the thing on atheists not always getting custody but I doubt you've ever even been married. Do you even have a girlfriend?

                      --

                      I'll take that as a no,
                      Let me know when you manage to form a relationship with another human or whatever it is you chose to mate with.

                      Does it often happen to you that you are unable to understand social cues? If so then you have bigger problems than your lack of belief.

                      In all honesty I really think you should seek professional help.

                      --

                      There is effective treatment for borderline personality disorder now. Look it up.

                      --

                      I suppose that if I wanted to I could go out looking for people who hate me. Why would I do that? Why would I want to seek out negativity? I guess that if I were the kind of person who needed to feel persecuted as a kind of negative self validation then I would.

                      --

                      I don't care for the Buddhist nonsense...Buddhism is just another opiate

                      --

                      Climb down off the cross hunny, everyone can see you.

                      Stop treating people like shit, and you might face less hostility.

                      Sorry, nothing about context is going to

                      make those comments ok. Those comments are gross.

                      And I'm NOT an atheist, btw.

                      •  Yes, typical Rieux ad hominem (0+ / 0-)

                        Ok, debate is out, discussion? One where both promise no personal attacks? I bet you can't do it. I think you are incapable of staying calm and talking in a normal voice. Every single comment you've ever made is laced with your venom.

                        Still, I'd be willing to give it a shot but only on condition that you likewise refrain from personal attacks.

                        Can you do it? I suspect not.

                        There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain. - R.D. Laing

                        by brenda on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:16:05 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Did you miss the part (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          john07801, RandomActsOfReason

                          where I taught you what "ad hominem" does and does not mean?


                          I bet you can't do it.

                          I don't care what you "bet." You have shown quite clearly, in your behavior toward me and numerous other people you disagree with, that you deserve no respect as a thoughtful participant in debate. I have no interest in stooping to "discuss" anything with a person who has no problem sneering at the suffering of innocent parents denied custody of their children, or a person who accuses a placid atheist of "abus[ing] little christian girls" because of some absurd vendetta against a different atheist's blog.

                          As the threads I linked to above show, a chorus of voices from many religious perspectives have called you out for your bigotry and hate. I have no interest in getting more of your slime on me than I absolutely have to.

                          There are many thoughtful voices--both religious and irreligious--on this weblog who deserve discussion. You and your childish, inhumane bile do not.

                          •  I understand you're frightened (0+ / 0-)

                            and terrified of big bad ogresses like me.

                            Boooo!

                            "There are many thoughtful voices--both religious and irreligious--on this weblog who deserve discussion."

                            Then why aren't you having those discussions? I have yet to see you do anything other than bully people around. You and Random-acts-of-unreason are nothing less than bullies. You find a topic and then waltz in and start bullying people to accept your BS and then whine when people don't fall in line.

                            The reason you don't like me is because I am not intimidated by your bullying. I stand up to you and don't back down. When you insult and attack people I attack you in return. You don't like that. Too bad.

                            You are afraid to engage with someone, not just me, because all you have is your hate. You are incapable of being appropriate and treating those with whom you disagree with respect. (you get no respect from me because you've yet to earn any)

                            I think you'd lose in a fair debate, perhaps you know it and that's why you engage in only personal attack.

                            There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain. - R.D. Laing

                            by brenda on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 01:32:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Heh. (3+ / 0-)

                            Then why aren't you having those discussions?

                            I am. Just not with bigots like you.


                            that's why you engage in only personal attack.

                            It is to laugh.

                            Please return to Pharyngula where you can abuse little christian girls to your heart's content. It's what you get off on.

                            --

                            Seriously, no one cares. I know of no one who gives a flying fig who or what you believe in. So why all the drama?

                            --

                            Maybe you're a bot or something.

                            I sincerely doubt that you have ever been seriously victimized for your beliefs. You point to the thing on atheists not always getting custody but I doubt you've ever even been married. Do you even have a girlfriend?

                            --

                            I'll take that as a no,
                            Let me know when you manage to form a relationship with another human or whatever it is you chose to mate with.

                            Does it often happen to you that you are unable to understand social cues? If so then you have bigger problems than your lack of belief.

                            In all honesty I really think you should seek professional help.

                            --

                            There is effective treatment for borderline personality disorder now. Look it up.

                            --

                            I suppose that if I wanted to I could go out looking for people who hate me. Why would I do that? Why would I want to seek out negativity? I guess that if I were the kind of person who needed to feel persecuted as a kind of negative self validation then I would.

                            --

                            I don't care for the Buddhist nonsense...Buddhism is just another opiate

                            --

                            Climb down off the cross hunny, everyone can see you.

                    •  If you suspect stalking, you must report it to (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      john07801, RandomActsOfReason

                      ...the site admins for action, not HR it.  And, please keep in mind, false accusations of stalking are a bannable offense.

                      Here are the rules on stalking:

                      Stalking is defined as having 3 requirements:

                         (1) On multiple occasions, one or more commenters follow a community member into diary threads; and,

                         (2) The commenter(s) engage in the conduct of posting comments that are comprised of false information, personal attacks, lies, rumors, or implied/express disclosure of private information; and

                         (3) The commenter(s) engages in this conduct with the intent to harass, harm, humiliate, frighten or intimidate another poster. This intent may be inferred from the number of times that the commenter follows a community member on the boards and/or the nature of the comments posted.

                         Stalking does not include the mere expression of disagreement, seeking out diaries or comments of favorite diarists or simply frequent interaction on the boards [emphasis added].

                         Before calling someone a stalker or tossing HRs at a person you think is a stalker, community members should post a comment explaining what conduct and/or statements constitutes the stalking with a link to relevant evidence so that admins and the community have a record to review.

                         Posters should not recommend a comment calling someone a stalker or HR'd for stalking simply because of friendships but should review the evidence provided in the comment to reach their own independent conclusions.

                      "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

                      by rfall on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 02:03:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Adding: this is bullshit: (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rieux, john07801, RandomActsOfReason

                      You are not a part of this conversation.

                      Sorry.  This is an open community, and anyone and everyone can choose to be part of the conversation.  If you want to hold a private conversation, get a Google IM account.

                      "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

                      by rfall on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 02:04:21 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  brenda is a known troll and serial HR abuser (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rieux, john07801

                      the best policy is not to respond to her directly, but merely point this out to others when she trolls or abuses HR, and suggest they check her comment history.

                      Also, HR abuse should be reported to the admins.

                      Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 07:57:38 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Uprated due to HR abuse (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  john07801, RandomActsOfReason

                  The comment might not have been the most tactful but is not worthy of an HR.

            •  Ideas don't inherently deserve respect or (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              john07801

              tolerance. People do, including people who adhere to beliefs I don't consider either tolerable or worthy of respect.

              Clearly, very few here understand that distinction. I note that A Voice carefully discussed "religion" not "religious followers" or "believers" or "people of faith".

              There should be nothing objectionable in A Voice's comment.

              Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

              by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:01:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sberel, joedemocrat, wolfie1818

          Calling for the criminalization of freedom of expression and conscience being celebrated in the presidential proclamatin and in this diary is one of the most conspicuously trollish comments I have seen in a long time.

          •  no one called for the criminilization of anything (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            john07801

            all he said is that crazy religious people are arrogant

            now people have the freedom to be as arrogant as they want

          •  If someone called for the criminalization of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rieux, john07801

            alcohol consumption, would you HR them, or debate them?

            You are quick to try to stifle dissent rather than engage it, Fred. I don't know why you've taken this intolerant turn, it is inconsistent with your life's work.

            It was a stupid, offhand comment. Proselytization is a constant irritant, and the manner in which it is protected, even when it intrudes on individual's privacy in their home and allows calls at all hours is annoying.

            Better to educate someone one the distinction between an annoyance and an illegal act, and on why, despite the acknowledge annoyance and intrusion, it is important to protect proselytizing as an expression of free speech.

            You are way to hasty with the HR these days if you get even a whiff of what you feel is anti-religious sentiment. Relax, and focus on the wonderful work you do fighting the religious theocrats on the far right. An annoyed atheist on a blog is hardly the kind of threat that an anti-abortion Senator is.

            I argue against blatant manifestations of anti-atheist bigotry here all the time. The answer is not to HR people in your own diary. You know better than that.

            Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:19:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  thank you (0+ / 0-)

              for your concern trolling.

              Setting up the strawman of whether I would HR a call for criminalization of alchohol consumption cnveniently ignores what this diary was about. As for the troll's comment, it reflects the kind of license some people feel to make abusive comments, including but certainly not exclusively on my diaries. (And it certainly cannot be construed as "dissent.") I let far more things go that anything I react to even on my own diaries. And I would probably have even let this abusive comment go but for the call for criminalization of free speech. As it turned out, ten people at this writing recommended it.

              So thank you too, for helping to confirm the wisdom of my decision to take a hiatus from diarying about these things here: where abusive comments that are clearly violative of the site rules and any reasonable standards of civil discourse are encouraged and enabled.

              •  As many have tried to explain, it was rec'd (0+ / 0-)

                because you HR'd it in your own diary, which is considered HR abuse by the community.

                Your hostility is remarkable, and disappointing. I have respected and followed your work for over a decade now, and to see the way you behave here on DailyKos is a great disappointment.

                Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:16:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I removed my rec. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sberel, marina

        I do agree that speech shouldn't be criminalized, even though proselytizers have been the bane of my existence.

        "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

        by sceptical observer on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 02:12:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You need to take the HR off. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joedemocrat

        It is against the rules.

        However, what an interesting ethos in this place.  More people are offended that you hydrated in your own diary than at the idea of a foolish and unconstitutional criminalization of religious expression.  

        What is the most loving thing I can do, right now? Rev Dr Mary Harrington

        by sberel on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 07:04:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  More than interesting, sberel. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sberel, joedemocrat

          But thank you for noticing the dangerous hypocrisy involved here.  

          I am getting weary of this crap, and am much less inclined to write on related subjects in the future.

          There are rules against abusive, inflammatory comments, and yet few seem to care much about this one, which for me, is about the last straw. What's more, we have a gang of enablers rating it up; acting like this comment is not a problem and might even be a good thing. The community's tolerance for all this is most disheartening; and meta diaries are not my thing.

          I'll take off my hide rating, my point having been made. I am not interested in being the issue myself, particularly over a matter of such small beer.

          Meanwhile, can you show me where in the rules it says anything about not hide rating abusive comments on one's own diary? Its news to me, and it is not in the FAQs that discusss hide ratings as far as I can see. Not that it is likely to matter much in the future. Just curious.

          •  I don't think it's made it to the FAQ (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joedemocrat

            It's always been considered bad form, but my recollection is that the actual prohibition is in either a comment or diary or both by Meteor Blades.

            It's sort of a subset of "do not hide rate someone you're in an active disagreement with".  Exception: for obvious spamming of the diary, which that comment was not.

            I started to try to find the comment or series of comments, as I remember reading it quite clearly, but that was several months ago and I am not good at searches.  So, I apologize for being so firm, when I don't have a good citation to show you.

            All that said, up to now I've not commented about the double standard, but I guess I am at the end of my own tolerance about it.  At times, I get so frustrated by it I have to take a break myself from this place.  Please keep writing.  It's important to continue to provide a voice for religious progressives.

            What is the most loving thing I can do, right now? Rev Dr Mary Harrington

            by sberel on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:46:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny that a rule deemed so important (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sberel, joedemocrat

              is not posted anywhere people can actually refer to it.  I guess it must be new.

              In any case, I am glad that you recognize the double standard and are speaking out.  

              But for me, I can't function in an environment where whatever number may share your view, few are willing to say anything. This diary would have been hijacked whether I hide rated or not. And I had to battle it out by myself until long after the diary had scrolled away.

              There is much interesting and useful conversation that could have taken place about what religious pluralism and separation of church and state and related matters might mean for all of us; how tensions between religious and non-religious progressives might be reduced, and so on. The material in this diary was rich with such possibilities.

              There was little or nothing said about the abusive comment by anyone other than me until we were deep into a hijack that prevented any kind of useful conversation from taking place.

              Tolerance for comments like the one at issue is really just too much. The principle of community policing is essentially that the community can have the kind of conversational standards it is willing to insist upon.

              And what kind of conversational community are we willing to insist upon? Is it one that encourages and enables outrageous comments like the one at issue? If not, I think we might be concerned because that is the one we have.

          •  Frederick please do keep writing on this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Frederick Clarkson, sberel

            You are one of my favorite diarists. You know more than anybody here about abuses and power grabs of the Religious Right. This is a very important topic as this power grab has damaged the country both in economic and cultural ways. You've also given a voice to liberal christianity and pluralism.

            Yesterday, I attended a Christian-Muslim dialogue. They meet once a month and its open to the whole community to promote understanding between cultures and break down stereotypes. They pick a topic each month, and have a Christian presenter and a Muslim presenter..

            What was so interesting yesterday was if you took out all references to the Bible and Quran in each presentation, you couldn't have told the difference between the two faiths.

            It was my first time. I asked if there are people who come to disrupt since it is open to all. They said it has happened, but very rarely and they got ways to deal with it..

            Anyway, hope you keep writing.

            It is outrageous that in the 21st century there is anyone, anywhere who goes to bed hungry or without a soft place to fall at the end of the day - Robinswing

            by joedemocrat on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 09:13:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  thanks, but (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joedemocrat

              What we have just seen is that it is OK to call for the criminalization of the first amendment rights of some, while others stand by and say and do nothing; and some blame the diarist for standing up to this crap.

              It would be bad enough if this comment and all that went with it had occurred on any other diary, mine or someone else's. But this happened on a diary where I was celebrating the First Amendment and related matters of constitutional rights themselves and the uniquely inclusive effort by the president, and my own effort to honor that and to model a better way. It is more appalling to me that people just don't get that -- than the abusive comment itself.

              In the past, I have taken on trolls like this myself as necessary. But now an unfortunate rule is being enforced against me by a community that, while there are exceptions, cares more about that supposed rule, than the outrageous abusive comment itself.

              It will be awhile before I will be posting on subjects like this, if at all.  Unlike the Muslim/Christian dialog group you describe, this community has not found a way to address this kind of disruption. And it is a problem that is unlikely to be resolved, since it is not even recognized as a problem.
               
               

              •  I know Meteor Blades appreciates your diaries.. (3+ / 0-)

                as do many Kossacks..If you quit writing, many of us would miss your diaries. They inform people and you know your material.

                I understand. Yes, your HR generated more attention than the religious bigotry, assault on free speech, or the signiture line that called for violence.

                There are a few anti-religious posters who seem to enjoy coming into religious diaries and disrupting them. It isn't something I understand -

                Anyway, I sure do hope to see ya around..and I hope you are feeling much better after hospitalization and all :)

                It is outrageous that in the 21st century there is anyone, anywhere who goes to bed hungry or without a soft place to fall at the end of the day - Robinswing

                by joedemocrat on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 05:16:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am glad that people appreciate what I do (3+ / 0-)

                  I wouldn't bother if that were not the case. Thank you.

                  But we all have our limits. Sometimes, we don't know what ours will be until we get there. That said, I don't know that I won't write about religion and politics here, I just think it is unlikely that I will do so, at least for awhile, for the reasons I have described. And I have made a point of posting the reasons here for those who are interested. But just to underscore, it is not the trolls -- I have contended with them for years. It is the unwillingness or inability of others to address this particularly spectacular troll comment, even as people insisted that I do not do so myself.

                  There is someone, I'm sorry that I forget who, who said he is collecting religiously bigoted comments and will diary about it. I hope he will find the comment that started all this today, and add it to his collection.

                  And yes, I am getting better all the time, thanks. I'll see ya around the site.

              •  Taking on means arguing with (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rieux, john07801

                and it is simply not true that no one pushed back on that sentiment.

                For reasons that are hard to understand, you have taken the side of those who will not tolerate any open criticism of religion here.

                I don't understand how you can't see the echoes of the very type of chilling that you fight to ardently on the right, in the likes of the brenda's and other intolerant theists here.

                That is not the way forward. I'm not saying you should humor trolls (although for reasons known only to you you continually humor brenda, one of the most notorious trolls on Daily Kos - an equal opportunity troll who attacks people on any number of issues, and sometimes on alternating sides of the same issue). I am saying you should be a little more discerning between actual trolls, and people who sometimes vent without thinking first.

                Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:23:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Uprated, the diarist is HRing in his own diary. (6+ / 0-)

      It's against the rules and really uncool.  

      "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

      by trashablanca on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:06:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I'm with you there. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KathleenM1, john07801
        •  and how do you feel (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sberel, joedemocrat

          about the commenter's call for criminalization of the first amendment rights of others? Hmmm?

          Proselytization should be a criminal act.

          •  I disagree with it, but I don't think it should (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RandomActsOfReason

            be HRed.

            •  Huh (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joedemocrat

              So you think that on a diary celebrating religious freedom -- AKA our constitutional freedoms of the right of indidivual conscience and expression --  making insulting and inflammatory remarks about religious people and calling for the criminalization of speaking their views is not trollish?

              well damn...

              •  Dude. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                leftcoast, RandomActsOfReason

                C'mon, I thought your diary was excellent. I was shocked at this turn of events, quite frankly, and I'm pleased as punch right now with President Obama. I especially enjoyed the history bit you shared.

                I know this is your baby, but if you could step back for a second and try to look at it a little bit clearer, perhaps you'd see what I see. Given the number of horrendous and downright vicious comments this website has handled over the past few months, you seriously think that john's comment is HRable?! Really?

                Misguided maybe, possibly even rude. But not HRable. No way, uh uh.

              •  Frederick is it just me? (3+ / 0-)

                But I think the posters signiture line is very, very inappropriate..

                Weren't some of the early christians fed to the lions by the Roman Empire?  I'm no fan of the religious right, but that seems a call for violence to me..

                It is outrageous that in the 21st century there is anyone, anywhere who goes to bed hungry or without a soft place to fall at the end of the day - Robinswing

                by joedemocrat on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 07:42:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not just you. nt (3+ / 0-)

                  What is the most loving thing I can do, right now? Rev Dr Mary Harrington

                  by sberel on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:13:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It is an inappropriate signature (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AaronInSanDiego

                  and attention should have been brought to it earlier. It is enough to cause me to remove the rec I placed there only to counter the inappropriate HRs.

                  Calling for criminalization of proselytization is a stupid call, but it is clearly part of venting, and it would be more valuable to explain why that is an attack on free speech, rather than hide the comment altogether.

                  It is a learning opportunity, which Fred for some reason is intent on missing.

                  Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:28:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But 11 people have uprated it.. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Frederick Clarkson

                    I think Frederick is understandably frustrated that his HR in his own diary got more attention than the comment and signiture line.

                    I should have HRd the comment. I've been very very slow to HR comments or uprate HR'd comments. I made the mistake of accidently uprating a sick comment next to a tip jar. I read the subject line, and not the comment. I lost my rating priv. I got them back easily - just had to email. But the incident caused me to just stay away from HRing or uprating any Hrd comment. I'm also somewhat noncombative.

                    It is not too late to go back and HR it - I think I will do that.

                    It is outrageous that in the 21st century there is anyone, anywhere who goes to bed hungry or without a soft place to fall at the end of the day - Robinswing

                    by joedemocrat on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 09:47:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It was uprated initially because Fred HR'd it (0+ / 0-)

                      in his own diary, which is inappropriate - and, because he went overboard, overreacting to an offhanded, stupid comment about criminalizing proselytizing.

                      I still don't think the comment itself is HR-worthy, I'm only reacting to the signature, which clearly is.

                      Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:06:53 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  remarkable (0+ / 0-)

                    RandomActsOfReason thinks I should view an abusive comment as a "learning opportunity" but that I am for "some reason...  intent on missing" it.

                    That one ought to get the LOL Award du jour for concern trolling.

                    •  It is really hard to understand your hostility (0+ / 0-)

                      And your overreaction to that comment.

                      Folks here says things like, "teabaggers should be outlawed" all the time, in a fit of frustration and pique. I don't see you barging in outraged about freedom of conscience then.

                      I have tried, several times, to patiently explain why your HR was an overreaction to that comment (and others have tried to explain the issue of HRing in your own diary), and you respond with aggression bordering on hate.

                      I've always tried to be courteous to you. I admire your work over the years fighting against theocratic extremism and upholding the 1st Amendment. I find it ironic to see a consistent pattern emerging of you treating any hostility toward religion, or even criticism of it - especially criticism of Christianity - as something that should be censored and hidden from view.

                      I urge you to reconsider your approach. I've never seen you call for censorship of right-wing theocrats or for inhibiting the free speech of Dominionists. Rather, you have battled them with information and explanation and education.

                      Yet, you seem determined to ally yourself with the likes of the repugnant hatemonger brenda here in this diary. At the very least, check that troll's diary history before you do so.

                      I'm not the enemy, Fred. I'm not going around repressing anyone else's freedom. You're so off base, you've lost your focus.

                      Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:13:19 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  you are a concern troll, Random (0+ / 0-)

                        The primary reason the abusive comment was recc'd is because people agreed with it. Which is really no surprise.

                        Your professed disappointment in me is most certainly crocodile tears since you clearly have no respect for my person or for my work.  You are untroubled, for example, by the fact that I am sick of my diaries being overrun and hijacked by trollish comments and their insulting defenders.

                        Finally, your inability or unwillingnes to recognize that a comment calling for criminalization of free speech on a diary celebrating it, is more than a little problematic, ought give you pause.

                        Best of luck to you.

                        •  You are wrong, Fred (0+ / 0-)

                          Where are you in response to these comments, all within the past couple of days (and, before you ask, none of them were directed at hateful "concern troll" me):

                          Please return to Pharyngula where you can abuse little christian girls to your heart's content. It's what you get off on.

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          In all these endless falme wars here with the flying monkey atheist brigade it has always been about who has the biggest swingin' dick. It has never been about anything else.

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          They are filth, truly filth, who gather in gangs and seek out people to deliberately hurt them...

                          Frankly, given her behavior here, I'd deny Rieux custody of her children too...

                          That's why you're here. You are here to carry water for Rieux because she can't handle it on her own. She can barely even stay coherent when someone disagrees with her. After she trots out her canned responses she's got nothing. Like the rest of them it really isn't about a "critical examination of ideas". It is, as I said, about being the biggest prick you can be because that means you're somebody instead of a socially alienated nerd.

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          No, I do not think that any of the atheists I've met here or elsewhere on the intertubules are an oppressed minority. They are anti-social misfits unable to fit in with normal human society who then take out their repressed rage on everyone through their manufactured status as an oppressed people.

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          Seriously, no one cares. I know of no one who gives a flying fig who or what you believe in. So why all the drama?

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          You point to the thing on atheists not always getting custody but I doubt you've ever even been married. Do you even have a girlfriend?

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          Let me know when you manage to form a relationship with another human or whatever it is you chose to mate with....
                          There is effective treatment for borderline personality disorder now. Look it up.

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          Climb down off the cross hunny, everyone can see you.

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          Nary an HR or negative comment from you or any other "progressive theist" here on DKos.

                          Your tip jar in this diary got 65 recs  - would have included mine if I hadn't missed the time frame - and the comment you are so upset about got a net 7 (11 recs and 4 HRs) and, as I stated, would have gotten an HR from me for the offensive signature.

                          Get some perspective.

                          As for me, I have talked about your work since 2001, and refer to it often here in my comments, always favorably. It is unfortunate you choose this road, but that is your choice. If you choose to be an asshole in person, that doesn't reflect on the substance of your work, it just makes you an asshole.

                          As a musician, I know a lot of amazing artists whose work I respect, who nontheless are incredible assholes in person. C'est la vie.

                          Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                          by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:03:20 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  a final note (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joedemocrat

                            As I said, you have no respect for my person or for my work, except perhaps when it serves your purposes.

                            As for those diaries where trollish things were said about atheists, clearly, I was not around. I do not read all of the hundreds of diaries posted every day, and do not particpate in every comment thread. These days, I have been far more interested in the MA Senate race than anything else.  That said, I would not hesitate to HR a trollish anti-atheist comment just as I would a trollish antirelgious comment. My yardstick is the same.

                            I do not view life and the blogosphere through the lens of theism vs atheism. Never have, never will. And you would know that if you had any actual appreciation for my work, and even this diary.

                          •  What is the basis for you asserting (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rieux

                            that I have no respect for your work, or for your person?

                            You are expressing a prejudicial attitude toward people with certain ideas about the merits of religion, which extends way beyond anything justified by reality.

                            Have I ever criticized your actual work? In fact, before you started on this anti-atheist crusade just a few weeks ago, have I ever uttered a critical word about you or your work in all my years here on DailyKos?

                            The answer is no.

                            Your failure to differentiate and distinguish between debates about ideas, and attacks on the person, is discouraging. You just assume, even though you certainly should know better, that unapologetic atheists and strong critics of religion are motivated by something other than sincere intellectual conviction - and, you choose to attack the messenger rather than address the message.

                            We live in a society that is dramatically biased against atheists, yet I don't recall hearing you speak out on that topic - now that atheists have started to stand up for their convictions, all of a sudden you are on a rampage, defending against some kind of dire existential threat you perceive from a few people writing books and commenting on blogs.

                            For someone who has dedicated their life's work to defending America against the real, tangible threats from the Religious Far Right, it is remarkable for your to get so disproportionately overwrought because of a comment on a blog which clearly does not represent any kind of consensus opinion - can you point to anyone else here who has proposed criminalizing proselytization? It is clearly a ridiculous proposition, and not worthy of your overreaction.

                            And there is nothing to justify your assault on me. It is just bizarre - and I'm not sure what the 'concern' is that I am supposed to be trolling about.

                            Perhaps you should take a break and think about what you are doing here. This isn't the first time you seem to have gotten caught up in not admitting you over reacted and made a mistake.

                            Your personal insults are just deepening the hole you're digging. I urge you to reconsider and chill out.

                            Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:43:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am not on a crusade (0+ / 0-)

                            and I have engaged in no "assault" on you or on anyone else.

                            I object to troll comments on my diaries and to people who make disingenous defenses of troll comments in principle and in what are clearly flagrant violations of the spirit and the letter of the site rules.  What's more, I not only object, but I am sick of it. My feeling about the situation I believe is entirely justified and although strongly felt, is far from an over-reaction. Either way, I am sick of it.

                            My message to you is, cut the crap. And to the extent that you have any influence with others them, please discourage others from engaging in open season trolling on my diaries. It is unfair to me, and it is a disservice to the many values that we clearly share.

                          •  Frederick..hope you'll notice (0+ / 0-)

                            Look - MB uprated both your comment and mine, so he does enjoy your diaries--

                            Here is a LINK

                            It is outrageous that in the 21st century there is anyone, anywhere who goes to bed hungry or without a soft place to fall at the end of the day - Robinswing

                            by joedemocrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 05:24:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  criminalizing proselytization (7+ / 0-)

      would establish a precedent to forbid any other form of organized persuasion, including political organizing and unionization. incredibly bad idea.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:37:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Forgot about freedom of speech, did you? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Frederick Clarkson, sberel

      Have another donut.

  •  This is great . . . (13+ / 0-)

    I'm proud of the President for taking this action. I'm sure he'll receive criticism in some (predictable) quarters.

    But another courageous act - by 7 House members - has largely gone unnoticed.

    A Republican proposed last year that the Capitol architect be order to inscribe "In God We Trust" at the Capitol Visitors Center.

    To me, that proposal clearly violated the spirit (and, I would argue, the letter) of the Establishment Clause.

    Yet, the proposal passed by an overwhelming margin.

    Only 7 Representatives voted no:

    Donna Edwards (consistently great)

    Mazie Hirono (consistently great)

    Mike Honda (consistently great)

    Jim McDermott (consistently great)

    Ron Paul (for whom I have no love - but he was right on this issue)

    Bobby Scott (consistently great)

    Pete Stark (consistently great)

    A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

    by raatz on Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 11:44:18 PM PST

  •  Amen (5+ / 0-)

    Well done Mr. President!

    Love that he included the freedom to practice none at all.

  •  link? (0+ / 0-)

    here come da triumph...

    by Coss on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 12:08:50 AM PST

  •  Yet, Obama will host Bahati at NPB (3+ / 0-)

    I find this very, very disturbing. I earnestly pray that President Obama will uninvite Bahati.

  •  Well done (0+ / 0-)

    Sure to make a dent in those unemployment figures.

  •  If I were the President (0+ / 0-)

    I would not attend if that perverted bigot was there.

    My Momma raised crazy children not stupid ones.

    by wolfie1818 on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 01:13:46 AM PST

  •  Great. Now about those other 364 days... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sberel, sceptical observer



    I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State.

    by ben masel on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 01:25:18 AM PST

  •  Faith can bring us closer to one another... (0+ / 0-)

    except when it doesn't. It's so often divisive that I have no time for it. Faith is believing what you know ain't so. (Mark Twain)

    Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

    by plankbob on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:03:32 AM PST

  •  The First Amendment... (0+ / 0-)

    ... gives us both freedom OF and freedom FROM religion.

    "Faith" does not bring people closer together; it divides us, because the patriarchal religions demand blind faith from the believers in their faith, and they demand the "right" to interpret the Bible as they see fit, not follow what it actually says.

    A "Religious Freedom Day" is just as stupid an idea as the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives which Obama said he'd expand and for which he'd increase funding three days after he voted FOR the last FISA fiasco - when he was still a candidate.  I was against that then, and I'm still against it, especially since he's hired "spiritual advisers" since then.  Since when does a secular nation with a secular leader need "spiritual advisers"...?

    Pandering to the religious reichwingnuts is the WRONG thing to do because they already get too much air time in Lamestream Media.  Why doesn't Obama understand that they would rather eat glass than vote for a Democrat?

    If I believed in a supreme deity I'd pray that our political "leaders" would finally wake up and see the reichwingnut fundies for what they are: a bunch of demented psychopaths with delusions of grandeur who believe they should rule this nation as a theocracy - they believe like one of the ancient popes who wrote that people were to be kept uneducated because illiterate people were easier to control.  Pandering to them gets us nowhere... except an invitation to get into a time capsule back to the Dark Ages.

    Obama and others need to re-read Thomas Jefferson on religious freedom:
    http://www.rjgeib.com/...

    And James Madison, while they're at ti:
    http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia...

    Religion is a private matter to be kept in one's home or place of worship.  Period.

    They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

    by NonnyO on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 06:04:59 AM PST

  •  I'm sorry I didn't see this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joedemocrat

    in time to tip and rec it.  

    My apologies.  

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 05:12:50 PM PST

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