Lynn v. Sekulow

Lynn v. Sekulow


Supreme Court: Keep the Cross

posted by Jay Sekulow

OK, Barry, it took a while – more than a few posts – but I am pleased you finally articulated your opposition to bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.

I only hope you can agree with me on this one.

The Supreme Court today agreed to take an important religion case out of California where a cross has been displayed in the Mojave Desert for since the 1930′s.  The Supreme Court said it would hear the California case where a federal appeals court has ordered the removal of the cross, rejecting a move by Congress to transfer the ownership of the land upon which the cross sits to a private party.

Barry, I am sure you’ll agree that this is an important case that will once again put the spotlight on the constitutionality of religious displays and the proper role of the government and its actions. 

This is a case where the Veterans of Foreign Wars erected a cross more than 70 years ago to memorialize fallen service members in a remote area that is now part of a federal preserve.  After the National Park Service denied a request to build a Buddhist shrine near the cross in 1999 and declared its intent to remove the cross, Congress designated the cross and an area of adjoining property as a national World War I memorial. 

A lawsuit was filed challenging the cross and, after the federal district court held that the federal government’s display of the cross violated the Establishment Clause, Congress directed the Department of the Interior to convey one acre of property that included the memorial to the VFW in exchange for a five-acre parcel of equal value.  But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that the cross – and the land transfer – violated the Establishment Clause.

When the appeals court denied the government’s petition to rehear the case, five judges dissented and noted that the Ninth Circuit’s decision was in conflict with decisions of the Seventh Circuit regarding the government’s authority to sell land. The dissenters also stated that the cross has the secular purpose of memorializing fallen soldiers.

The fact is that the land transfer in this case is appropriate and constitutional. There’s nothing wrong – or unconstitutional – with the government transferring property containing symbols with religious significance to private parties. 

We’re preparing an amicus brief to be filed with the Supreme Court on behalf of the government’s position.  And it is our hope that the high court will conclude that the long-standing display of this cross should stay in place and that the action by the federal government represented a constitutionally-sound solution.

Let me guess, Barry, you want the cross to go?



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Your Name

posted February 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm


A cross doesn’t memorialize anybody but Christians. Look through Jewish and other non-Christian cemetaries and you won’t see a single cross.



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dsjulian

posted February 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm


This is not about upholding the Constitution. This is about circumventing the First Amendment plain and simple. This is not the cross erected in 1934. This cross has been replaced several times. What moron is going to accept the argument that a Roman cross is not an overtly Christian symbol? And notice that it it does not become an issue until another faith group wants to erect a similar symbol. Then all hell breaks loose. And unless the VFW has become an exclusively Christian organization, it has no business erecting crosses either.



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klm

posted February 23, 2009 at 8:24 pm


What wrong with transfering the land to the VFW? The feds get more land in return, the VFW get the memorial back. I think it’s a good solution. This way the federal government doesn’t have any religious displays on their land. I think some people don’t want any Christian displays no matter who owns the land.



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Scott M.

posted February 23, 2009 at 8:51 pm


Dear KLM and Jay,
I think the test should be a hypothetical situation where the cross or other religious symbol were knocked down in a storm, would it be appropriate to reinstall the cross or other religious symbol? At that point, if it “feels” wrong, it probably is wrong.
And as for deeding the land to a non-governmental agency, again, if it “feels” wrong it probably is. Imagine you’re walking through Yosemite national park and suddenly you come across some religious memorial. It may technically belong to someone else, but it feels like it’s part of the national park. For it not to give this impression, the symbol would have to be on the outside of the park but on the edge.



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Your Name

posted February 23, 2009 at 9:47 pm


The VFW fought for freedom…they lost friends and family…blood and limbs for this land. If the VFW wants to erect GYROSCOPES on government land they earned the right!
There was a time when a CROSS was a symbol of reverence to the fallen brave souls of America…now some want to erase it from the face of the earth.
I think also there must be a GRANDFATHER CLAUSE involved in this?



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RJohnson

posted February 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm


“If the VFW wants to erect GYROSCOPES on government land they earned the right!”
Aye, but there is the rub. A Buddhist organization has been denied the opportunity to place a symbol of their religion in the vicinity of the cross. Assuming that the Buddhist organization wished to honor the memory of US military members who were Buddhist (which may or may not be the case), then we have a problem.
The best practice in instances like this is to either allow all religions to be represented or allow none. Hopefully the court will come down with this decision, but given its recent record I suspect it will find a way to favor Christianity over other faiths, once again.



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Boris

posted February 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm


“Christ was [supposedly] only crucified once, and for a few hours. Think of the thousands he has been crucifying in a quiet way ever since.” – Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
“If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” – Lenny Bruce
“If the concept of a father who plots to have is own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible.



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Cara Floyd

posted February 23, 2009 at 11:20 pm


The cross speaks for itself. C



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harryoutdoors

posted February 23, 2009 at 11:44 pm


Of course you miss the WHOLE story Boris…the Son volunteers to die for those who are lost.
This is what really burns within your spirit…you can’t understand…humility when PRIDE wants to rule…submission where SUPRIMACY would be our choice…sacrifice in the place of SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST!
Be glad God isn’t an atheist!
Jesus couldn’t have been killed 20 years ago…there was a very narrow window of prophecy for the Messiah to fit into history.
Jesus Christ fulfilled these and defied natural laws of probability.
In fact all the things you seem to think silly referring to commandments to the nation of Israel were given so that particular nation would remain until the day God had chosen for Messiah to fulfill the promises.
Here’s another quote to add to your collection:
Luke 16:24
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.



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Gwyddion9

posted February 23, 2009 at 11:45 pm


dsjulian,
Thank you. Very well put, indeed.
If other religious groups decided to put a religious symbol of their faith in the area, would it be accepted?
Mr. Sekulow, would your conservative Christian law firm assist another religions, which wanted to put up their religious symbol in the same area, for the purpose of honoring those of their faith, who have given the ultimate sacrifice, with any legal issues they encountered from other people?
I don’t think they would. If, I’m not mistaken, your law firm has never assisted anyone other than conservative Christians.
Do some Christians encounter bias or prejudice? Yes, unfortunately they do but there are also many people of differing religions who encounter the same thing. I don’t believe it’s a conspiracy against Christians rather, people of different faiths, wanting the same level of recognition and protection and above all, the same rights that many Christians have had but now find themselves in a situation where their religion is no longer exclusive to certain privileges that in the past, they didn’t have to share.



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harryoutdoors

posted February 23, 2009 at 11:49 pm


Of course you miss the WHOLE story Boris…the Son volunteers to die for those who are lost.
This is what really burns within your spirit…you can’t understand…humility when PRIDE wants to rule…submission where SUPRIMACY would be our choice…sacrifice in the place of SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST!
Be glad God isn’t an atheist!
Jesus couldn’t have been killed 20 years ago…there was a very narrow window of prophecy for the Messiah to fit into history.
Jesus Christ fulfilled these and defied natural laws of probability.
In fact all the things you seem to think silly referring to commandments to the nation of Israel were given so that particular nation would remain until the day God had chosen for Messiah to fulfill the promises.
Here’s another quote to add to your collection:
Luke 16:24
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.



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Your Name

posted February 23, 2009 at 11:57 pm


RJohnson You do know the difference between a BUDHIST SHRINE and a VFW war memorial cross commemorating fallen AMERICAN WAR HEROES.
Come on! Why not place a Sharia Law plaque at ground zeroe in Manhatten!



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Jay Sekulow

posted February 24, 2009 at 12:02 am


DS Julian,
I have represented the Hare Krishna’s at the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as the National Democratic Policy Committee.



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Gwyddion9

posted February 24, 2009 at 12:19 am


Mr. Sekulow,
I owe you an apology. I honestly didn’t think the law firm had or would represent any group others than the conservative Christians.
I apologize for my assumption. My personal experience with conservative Christians is that they only care for themselves and what they think is best and this, most of the time, doesn’t include any other faiths, other than their own.



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Your Name

posted February 24, 2009 at 12:57 am


Gmyddion9,,
No need to apologize. It just means we need to expalin the scope of our wrok better. For a large number of progressive Chrisitains are surprised to hear that we handle a number of cases involving persecuttion issues for Christians under Regemies that are hostile to the faith and to freedom more generally.
We are soon going to be launching a Be Heard campaign to garner young people for this work.



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Boris

posted February 24, 2009 at 3:39 am


Incredible said: I don’t believe what others tell me about the Word of God unless what they tell me aligns with the Word of God.
Boris says: That’s some circular reasoning there! Who told you the stories in the Bible were true? Someone had to convince you to believe dead people could come back to life, climb out of their graves and walk into town and appear to many. Who tricked you with that one may I ask?
harryoutdoors
You said: WOW! BORIS You’re quoting statistics again! We know how reliable your research is…
Boris says: On the same radio station Jay Sekulow is on, a Christian radio station every say they tell the listeners that 80 per cent of Christian college students reject their faith during their college years. Chuck Crismier has different sources that come up with same statistics. Now you fabricate dates for Christian writings and I’ve asked for your sources and you supplied NOTHING to back up your false claims. So we all know just how reliable YOUR research is now don’t we?
You said: You must not know what child abuse is to toss out a stupid line you got in your atheist chat room…
You should apologise to every child who is victimized by pedophiles and parents who beat them bloody. Men and women who are fractured inside not knowing what true love is or if they should even live another day because of TRUE CHILD ABUSE!
Published studies do indicate that a child’s risk of sexual abuse by a family member increases as the family’s religious denomination becomes more conservative, that is, when the teachings of the scriptures and other doctrines are taken more literally. – Ruth Miller, Larry S. Miller, and Mary Langenbrunner, “Religiosity and Child Sexual Abuse: A Risk Factor Assessment,” Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 6, no. 4 (1997): 14-34. Similarly, the probability of wife abuse increases with the rigidity of a church’s teachings pertaining to gender roles and hierarchy. – Michael Franklin and Marian Hetherly, “How Fundamentalism Affects Society,” Humanist 57 (September/October 1997): 25. Packing a child’s head with religious superstitions IS child abuse no matter what you says Harry.
You said: You can’t just toss these words out and hope Dawkins will make your apologies…your making him rich by the way, he’s laughing all the way to the bank of Switzerland.
Boris says: I don’t pay any attention to Richard Dawkins but he obviously has you quite frightened. People who tell the truth about your religion always do don’t they?



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 24, 2009 at 7:25 am


==Incredible said: I don’t believe what others tell me about the Word of God unless what they tell me aligns with the Word of God.
Boris says: That’s some circular reasoning there!==
What appears to you as “circular reasoning” is, actually, confusion swirling around in your head.
==Who told you the stories in the Bible were true?==
God.
== Someone had to convince you to believe dead people could come back to life…==
Yes, those who have witnessed it.
==… climb out of their graves…==
Yes, plenty of witnesses.
==… and walk into town and appear to many.==
Yes, “appear to many” witneses.
== Who tricked you with that one may I ask?==
Nobody.



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our founding truth

posted February 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm


Use this one Jay:
Rev. Barry W. Lynn: Americans United is also preparing an amicus brief in this case — and it will not be on the side of the VFW. The cross can and should be moved to an appropriate location on truly private property.
By reason of separation of church and state being a flawed by-word, enacted by flawed human beings, no defense is needed against it, however, one official quote from a Founding Father affirms Christianity should be taught in all schools:
“[I]f a love of virtuous men of all parties and denominations; if a love of science and letters and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion among all classes of the people, not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life in all its stages and classes, and of society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving our Constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to elective governments” [bold face mine]
-John Adams, Inaugural Address, MARCH 4, 1797
Any subsequent abrogation of religion taught in our schools is null and void, based on principles that do not change, for all instruments are to be interpreted according how the authors intended. The authors did not intend separation of church and state.



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harryoutdoors

posted February 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm


Funny you use a HUMANISM site as a reference to back up your beliefs and I don’t blame you for backing off from Dawkins…
First of all the Bible gives us the basis to PROTECT CHILDREN with warnings if anyone causes them to stumble they are in a world of hurt (paraphrase by me)
The nature of Humanism supports the perfect culture for child abuse to be acceptable if enough perverts think it so…
J.P. Moreland, Th.M., M.A., Ph.D. in Promise (May/June 1996): 36-39.
Finally, many naturalists agree with atheist Kai Nielsen, who acknowledges that there is no answer to the question of why we should be moral. For Nielsen, the choice between adopting the moral point of view vs. living a life of pure selfishness in total disregard for morality and virtue is an arbitrary, non-rational choice.[6] But any view that reduces the difference in worth between the overall lifestyle of a greedy, hateful racist vs. the life of St. Benedict to being nothing more than an arbitrary choice like the one between being a fast-food lover vs. learning to play the tuba is deeply flawed. It is no wonder that moral chaos has resulted from the hegemony of naturalism among our cultural elites.
In sum, ideas matter. A culture cannot adopt any world view it chooses without having to face serious implications of that choice. Once the ethical implications of taking the naturalistic turn are laid bare, it becomes clear just exactly where a major source of our current moral chaos lies: the world view of naturalism.



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Your Name

posted February 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm


I live in a small northern state. In a rural area outside the city is a small state park there is also farm land next to it and several acres of private Buddist land. The farmers and the Buddists let people hike the trails and



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Boris

posted February 24, 2009 at 8:52 pm


Harry,
I’m not backing off from Dawkins at all. I read his book to see what everyone else was talking about, I’ve seen him on TV and he’s one of most brilliant people I’ve ever seen or read. Plus he’s an evolutionary biologist, which means he’s involved with the most important field of study on the planet. Evolutionary biologists are directly responsible for the medical and other scientific advances such as better and safer foods that have doubled the average human lifespan in the last 120 years. If it wasn’t for the discovery of how nature structures itself through natural selection you probably would be dead already from a disease that was incurable without this scientific knowledge. Yet you have the nerve to bash Richard Dawkins and the millions of scientists who labor in obscurity, many of who work in your own academic community who are simply trying to make the world a better place.
Scientists like Dawkins have spoken out because they feel it is necessary that the public not be confused by the claims of religion especially Bible believers who have fought against every scientific discovery and theory ever made ever since there was a Bible. It is important to note that people like the creationists are not interested in science but rather in fighting an ideological war. Therefore it won’t do any good to present evidence that disproves their claims to the religionists. That isn’t going to make them go away. So Dawkins wrote a book that exposes how dangerous Christian ideology is to society and how destructive it has been to our civilization. I know many believers who became atheists after reading the God Delusion.
I was born an atheist and I’ve always stayed that way. No one influenced me to be an atheist except believers. God is just people talking, that’s all it is. I don’t take people seriously who talk about invisible boogy entities. Finally, it isn’t just all Gods I don’t believe in. I don’t believe in the Christian God’s invisible boogy friend and enemies either like demons, seraphs, angels, Satan, Jesus or any of the absurd stories in Tales of the Supernatural Testaments 1 & 2. It’s all just too unbelievable and none of it was ever supposed to be interpreted literally anyway. You people should ask yourselves why there aren’t or never have been any Jewish creationists. The people who wrote the Bible didn’t and don’t make the absurd claims Christians make about it. That tells us quite a bit now doesn’t it?



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harryoutdoors

posted February 25, 2009 at 2:18 am


Boris, you should FIRE YOUR CHAT ROOM MONITOR!
BORIS:
“You people should ask yourselves why there aren’t or never have been any Jewish creationists. The people who wrote the Bible didn’t and don’t make the absurd claims Christians make about it. That tells us quite a bit now doesn’t it?”
This is a PRIME EXAMPLE OF ATHEISTIC FLUFF! Do you really expect ANYONE to fall for this? You people have a majority of the Congress Senate and White HOuse …NOT THE FREE WORLD!
Okay…let me get my composure…first of all THE BIBLE IS A JEWISH BOOK!!! God gave the Old Testament to ISRAEL and the NEW TESTAMENT is WRITTEN BY HEBREW CHRISTIANS!
Your HATRED OF CHRISTIANS has gotten the best of you.
Here’s a few JEWS WHO BELIEVE AND TEACH ON CREATION AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN…..Enjoy
Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb teaches on the PURPOSE OF CREATION (Google him)
Rabbi Avi Shafran on Intelligent Design wrting for cross-currents.com
Scientists, to be sure, protest that billions of years are necessary for chance mutations of DNA, the assumed engine of Neo-Darwinism, to work their accidental magic. A lovely scenario, to be sure, but one whose hallowing of chance rejects the concept of a Creator, the central credo of Judaism.
It also ignores the question of how the first living organism might have emerged from inert matter. Spontaneous generation is generally ridiculed by science, yet precisely such an inexplicable happening is presumed by the priests of Randomness to have occurred – by utter chance – to jump-start the process of evolution.
And with all due respect to Drs. Urey and Miller, while much manipulation of living things has been wrought in the lab, the presumed creation of a living thing from a nonliving one has never been reproduced.
A Wholly Life:
Spiritual Integration of Mind, Body, and Soul
By Moshe Kaplan, MD
Quotes form Book
“Rabbis Berel Wein, Dovid Gottlieb and other Jewish writers explore Jewish spirituality and its many facets in this fascinating collection of essays.
Built into the creation of the world are pathways God created for us to relate to Him. Our relationship with Him is in no way arbitrary or ambivalent. It is like relating to a table. Wishing the table was made of gold, or that I could lift it with one finger, won’t help. If it isn’t, and I can’t, then it isn’t and I can’t. If we retreat into fantasy and just imagine a relationship, we are left with only fantasy. It has to be reciprocal, two-way.”



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harryoutdoors

posted February 25, 2009 at 2:32 am


I. The Secular Sources and How Historians View Them.
A. Several Extra-Biblical records
1)Skeptics will often alledge that “no extra biblical evidence for Jesus’ existence exists.” This is far from the truth. All of these following historians, of first and early second century, mention Jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure who existed in the first century CE, or they mention Christ.
* Thallus (c. 50-75AD)
*Phlegon (First century)
* Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, c.93)
* Tacitus (Annals, c.115-120)
* Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars, c. 125)
* Galen (various writings, c.150)
* Celsus (True Discourse, c.170).
* Mara Bar Serapion (pre-200?)
* Talmudic References( written after 300 CE, but some refs probably go back to eyewitnesses)
*Lucian (Second century)
*Numenius (Second cent.)
*Galerius (Second Cent.)
The Historicity of Jesus In his recent work on extra-biblical references to Jesus, Robert E. Van Voorst comments on the thesis that Christ was not a historical figure:
“The nonhistoricity thesis has always been controversial, and it has consistently failed to convince scholars of many disciplines and religious creeds. Moreover, it has also consistently failed to convince many who for reasons of religious skepticism might have been expected to entertain it, from Voltaire to Bertrand Russell. Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted.” [Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament, (Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), p. 16.]
The authors of two of the most influential histories of New Testament interpretation sum up the scholarly opinion of the Christ-myth thesis in their day. Werner G. Kummel writes in a footnote that “the denial of the existence of Jesus.[is] arbitrary and ill-founded.”[The New Testament: The History of the Investigation of its Problems (Nashville: Abingdon, 1972) p. 447, n. 367.]
And according to Gunter Bornkamm, “to doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all.was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”[Jesus of Nazareth (New York: Harper & Row, 1959) p. 28.]
Likewise, Van Voorst, referring to the mythicists, states that “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.” [Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament, (Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), p. 6.]
The arche liberal Rudolf Bultmann, who doubted the authenticity of much of the Gospel traditions, concluded: “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the Palestinian community.”[Jesus and the Word (2nd ed.; New York: Scribners, 1958).p.13]
Charlesworth has written that “Jesus did exist; and we know more about him than about almost any Palestinian Jew before 70 C.E.” [Charlesworth, James H. - Jesus Within Judaism. New York: Doubleday, 1988., 168-9]
Van Voorst Wrote of Wells:
“Although Wells has been probably the most able advocate of the nonhistoricity theory, he has not been persuasive and is now almost a lone voice for it. The theory of Jesus’ nonexistence is now effectively dead as a scholarly question.” [Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament, (Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), p. 14.]
To his credit, G.A. Wells has now abandoned the Christ-Myth hypothesis and has accepted the historicity of Jesus on the basis of the “Q” document. [See G.A. Wells, The Jesus Myth (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1999).]
Of the historicity of Jesus, Glenn Miller writes the following:
“Jesus lived His public life in the land of Palestine under the Roman rule of Tiberius (ad 14-37). There are four Roman historical sources for his reign: Tacitus (55-117), Suetonius (70-160), Velleius Paterculus (a contemporary), and Dio Cassius (3rd century). There are two Jewish historical resources that describe events of this period: Josephus (37-100?), writing in Greek, and the Rabbinical Writings (written in Hebrew after 200, but much of which would have been in oral form prior to that time). “Of these writings, we would NOT expect Velleius to have a reference to Jesus (i.e. the events were just happening OUTSIDE of Velleius’ home area), and Dio Cassius is OUTSIDE of our time window of pre-3rd century. Of the remaining Roman writers–Tacitus and Suetonius–we have apparent references to Jesus (discussed below). If these are genuine and trustworthy ‘mentions’ of Jesus, then we have an amazing fact–ALL the relevant non-Jewish historical sources mention Jesus! (Notice that this is the OPPOSITE situation than is commonly assumed–”If Jesus was so important, why didn’t more historians write about Him?” In this case, THEY ALL DID!).
“Of the Jewish resources–Josephus and the Rabbinical writings (e.g. Talmud, Midrash)–BOTH make clear references to the existence of Jesus (even though the details reported may be odd). So ALL the Jewish sources refer to Him.
“In addition, there are three OTHER candidates for historical ‘mentions’ of Jesus that fall in the 2nd century: one Roman (Pliny the Younger) , one possibly Syrian (Mara Bar Serapion), and one Samaritian (Thallus).”



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 8:05 am


==I was born an atheist…==
No, you weren’t. You CHOSE to go atheist, just as those who claim to be homosexual chose the homosexual, alternative-lifestyle, disorientation option. You are similarly disoriented.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 9:18 am


harry,
Isn’t Rabbi Daniel Lapin an IDer?



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harryoutdoors

posted February 25, 2009 at 10:17 am


Yes, Incredible…David
Klinghoffer and Rabbi Daniel Lapin both are championing Intelligent Design in Jewish scholar circles.



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Boris

posted February 25, 2009 at 10:26 am


Harry,
You said: Finally, many naturalists agree with atheist Kai Nielsen, who acknowledges that there is no answer to the question of why we should be moral. For Nielsen, the choice between adopting the moral point of view vs. living a life of pure selfishness in total disregard for morality and virtue is an arbitrary, non-rational choice.
Boris says: I checked the debate where William Lane Craig did the same thing you did and took a quote out of context to purposely distort what Nielsen said. That is some of the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty and people who do this only prove the weakness of their case. Here’s how Nielsen responded to your and Craig’s quote-mining:
Let me turn to a really central misunderstanding, and I’m surprised, if he’s ever read my book Why Should I Be Moral?, that he would make this mistake. There’s a complete difference between giving a moral justification (a justification inside of morality) and a pragmatic justification for accepting the whole institution of morality. I wasn’t at all defending hedonism, self-interest inside of morality; I’ve criticized that extensively. I’ve said, “Suppose somebody says, ‘Why accept the moral point of view at all?’ he’s not asking for a moral reason. He’s asking for a non-moral reason.” And I’m saying we can give him a non-moral reason. (We can tell him to go get lost, too.) But if somebody says, “Why should I pay any attention to science?” he’s not asking for a scientific reason. He’s asking for a pragmatic reason to pay attention to science, and we can give him a reason for that. I say we can give a self-interested reason for “why be moral” outside of morality, but when we’re justifying moral beliefs, we don’t appeal to self-interest–or not in any essential way. That’s a complete confusion. The slightest readings of my books would never have allowed him to make that point.
Nielsen said this: What I want to say to those of you who are skeptical about the existence of God is that you don’t need any of that. You can make perfectly good sense of your lives and of your moral beliefs without belief in God.
Boris says: When one uses an individual authority, one cannot pick and choose his relevant opinions either. If an authority’s opinion is credible when he agrees with you then that authority does not become any less of an authority when he disagrees with you. You can disagree with your authority and give the reasons why, but you cannot simply ignore or dismiss him when you don’t like what he has to say.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 10:43 am


==Nielsen said this: You can make perfectly good sense of your lives and of your moral beliefs without belief in God.==
Heh, the Devil also peddled that to Eve, in the Garden.



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Guy Allen

posted February 25, 2009 at 1:34 pm


Jay why do you think it is a good idea to try to impose Christ on everyone? Is this your idea of “witnessing for Christ” Even Islam says there must be no compulsion in religion. Why must Christian symbols be on public proprerty? Is your faith so weak that you think your message can’t stand on its own? Christianity grew and thrived without government support. I think it is time for you to stop being so confrontational and go back and examine why you coverted to Christianity. That may be much more productive than symbols on public property.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm


==Jay why do you think it is a good idea to try to impose Christ on everyone?==
He’s not.
== Is this your idea of “witnessing for Christ” Even Islam says there must be no compulsion in religion.==
Nobody is arguing “compulsion.”
== Why must Christian symbols be on public proprerty?==
Cuz.
== Is your faith so weak that you think your message can’t stand on its own?==
No, our faith is strong and Christ says THAt is why we propagate it.
== Christianity grew and thrived without government support.==
So?
== I think it is time for you to stop being so confrontational…==
Christ told us that we should care whether it appears we are confrontational. It’s a tough Message.
==… and go back and examine why you coverted to Christianity.==
We don’t need to reëxamine our love for God though Christ.
== That may be much more productive than symbols on public property.==
That’s the way the world thinks.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 1:48 pm


== Is this your idea of “witnessing for Christ”…==
Christ is our Light. He told us not to hide our Light under a bushel, rather display it upon the hill.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm


Christ told us that we should care whether it appears we are confrontational. It’s a tough Message. —–> shouldn’t care



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm


==Even Islam says there must be no compulsion in religion.==
What they say and what they do are different things.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm


== Why must Christian symbols be on public proprerty [sic]?==
Why, as YOU think, must they not?



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 2:08 pm


==This is not about upholding the Constitution. This is about circumventing the First Amendment plain and simple.==
No, it’s about upholding the Constitution.
==What moron is going to accept the argument that a Roman cross is not an overtly Christian symbol?==
What’s the matter, conscience getting to you?
== …it it does not become an issue until another faith group wants to erect a similar symbol. Then all hell breaks loose.==
THAT WOULD be the way to put it, “all hell breaks loose.”
== And unless the VFW has become an exclusively Christian organization, it has no business erecting crosses either.==
Am I allowed to put up a cross on my property, purposely to be seen from the public street?



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm


==This is not about upholding the Constitution. This is about circumventing the First Amendment plain and simple.==
No, it isn’t.
The First Amendment allows “religious” expression. Even those who claim to be atheist say that “religion” is about God, that their expression is not about God. They say atheism is not religious and not a religion [a fed court disagrees].
So, Christianity is about God, through Christ, and the FA allows such expression on public property; and Islam, for example, is not about God, rather about an alleged prophet of God; Buddhism is not about God, rather about self; and so on. Christianity is the only “religion” appropriate to the permissions of the First Amendment.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 2:28 pm


If, as those who claim to be atheist say, atheism is not religious expression, how can they claim that they are being left outta the opportunity to express their religious concepts? How does the FA’s permissions of religious expressions on public property apply to those who say they don’t have religious expressions?



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Cara floyd

posted February 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm


Children of all nations, may we rise up together to fight for the freedom of our children within. May they have a right of their own. May they stand up for freedom with their president. May they be given the right to live, contrary to the life of the murdering mother and the policies which initialize the graphic horror of slaughtering the unborn. May their bodies not be slaughtered anymore. May they yell at the administration for the policies which they instill. May God haunt the policy administrators with the horrific crimes of the children which are being brutally murdered beyond belief. May the purple of our purple heart children stick out beyond the red painted faces of the murdering unconstitutionalist. May the children survive to take a breath and feel the cold chill on their face in the snow. May God give them peace to comfort them in the devestating climate of our nation today. Love is not murder, God is love. May the children live, each and everyone which is being emotionally deprived from their mother’s loving arms. That would be the adoptive parent when the birth right mother wanted to murder them. Give them up for adoption instead of murder. Sorry for the inconvinience of the pregnancy. There is somebody out there who wants to love your child instead of kill it. Love, Cara Floyd



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm


PRAISE THE LORD, Cara!



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daniel rotter

posted March 1, 2009 at 8:49 am


Christianity is the only “religion” appropriate to the permissions of the First Amendment.
And you write those words in an APPROVING context? Good grief.
..how can they claim that they are being left outta the opportunity to express their religious beliefs?
What atheists are claiming this?



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 2, 2009 at 8:52 am


==What atheists are claiming this? ==
“What” atheists aren’t? They are all saying that so-called “religious” expressions allowed on public property infringe on their expressions, chill their speech cuz, according to them, State “promotion” of Christian symbols, as they see it, gives what they think is the State-approved expression a greater feel of approval. Of course, that is garbage.



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daniel rotter

posted March 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm


“What” atheists aren’t?
All of them, since atheists don’t regard atheism as a religious belief…so, by definition, you won’t find any of them claiming “that they are being left outta the opportunity to express their religious beliefs.”



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daniel rotter

posted March 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm


Whoops, I misquoted “Mr. Incredible” (he wrote “religious concepts”, not “religious beliefs”), but it doesn’t change my argument since no atheists are claiming “that they are being left out of the opportunity to express their religious concepts.”



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 4, 2009 at 9:45 am


==…no atheists are claiming “that they are being left out of the opportunity to express their religious concepts.”==
They ALL claim that a display of something they say is “religious” in nature, on public property, gives IT — the so-called “religious” expression — prominence and, thereby, a voice that outshouts any atheist expression. I, for one, am happy that it does.



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daniel rotter

posted March 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm


They ALL claim that a display of something they say is “religious” in nature, on public property, gives IT –the so-called “religious” expression–prominence and thereby, a voice that outshouts any atheist expression.
I am an atheist, and I don’t claim this, so you’re wrong.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm


==”They ALL claim that a display of something they say is ‘religious’ in nature, on public property, gives IT –the so-called ‘religious’ expression–prominence and thereby, a voice that outshouts any atheist expression.”
I am an atheist, and I don’t claim this…==
You’re afraid of so-called “religious” expression cuz it has more voice than you do.



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djm

posted March 8, 2009 at 4:01 am


Where have you been hiding Daniel if you have read or heard the news like oh say especially oh say around Christmas time you would of heard all how the atheists were doing this because they were not being treated right or doing that like they put up a sign saying about what they thought or how about the court cases that people have tried to bring up and some have went thought saying that atheist ism is to a religion so they too should be able to do something that us Christians do just because this atheist thought he was being left out so as you can see atheists are saying about these things



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 8, 2009 at 4:15 am


Thank you, djm!



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daniel rotter

posted March 8, 2009 at 7:08 pm


“…you would of heard all how the atheists were doing this because they were not treated right…”
So atheists aren’t supposed to do anything when they aren’t “treated right?” I guess you believe atheists are just supposed to roll over and “take it” when they are mistreated, huh? Shows a lot about where you’re coming from.
“…or doing that like they put up a sign saying about what they thought…”
Atheists using their First Amendment rights to express their thoughts in signs? The horror, the absolute horror!
“…or how about the court cases that people have tried to bring up…
How am I supposed to know what “court cases” you’re talking about; after all, if people (taking your word for it), have “tried” to” bring them up”, that means they weren’t successful in ACTUALLY “bringing them up,” meaning I couldn’t possibly be aware of the specific cases you are referencing here.
“…they too should be able to do something that us Christians do…”
Atheists having the same rights as Christians? Again, the horror, the absolute horror!



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daniel rotter

posted March 8, 2009 at 7:43 pm


should have been…if people (taking your word for it) have tried to “bring them up”,…



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 16, 2009 at 5:16 am


==Atheists using their First Amendment rights to express their thoughts in signs?==
What First Amendment Rights? Which part? Religious expression? We thought that atheists are not religious??
Atheists are trying to squelch “religious” expression on public property. Christians are not trying to squelch free speech and expression of atheists on public property, and they are certainly not trying to squelch “religious” expression because, as atheists are quick to tell us, they are not “religious.” So, apparently, they have no “religious” expression to offer.
There is no doubt that atheists have the Right to free speech. The question is whether they have anything to say worth seriously considering. The answer, naturally, must be, “no.”



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 16, 2009 at 5:20 am


==Atheists having the same rights as Christians? ==
The “religious” Clause of the First Amendment doesn’t apply to atheists cuz, after all, atheists say they aren’t “religious.”
So, they can’t claim that “religious” expression on public property offends their “religious” sensibilities.
No one is claiming that atheists don’t have the same free speech Rights as Christians. However, as I say, they don’t have the same “religious” expression Rights as Christians because, again, atheists say that they aren’t “religious.” Therefore, the First Amendment “religious” Clause doesn’t apply to them.



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Boris

posted March 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm


Incredible makes another hypocritical argument. Just go back and look at all his posts where he claims that he IS NOT religious but rather has a relationship with Christ. Incredible has incredibly typed that more than once that Christianity is definitely NOT a religion. Well, er, ah, unless the Christians want a tax exemption and the right to promote their RELIGION and have free RELIGIOUS expression. I mean how hypocritical can one get may I ask? No one talks out of both sides of their mouths than fundamentalists Christians. They have a son that is his own father and a father that has his own son and a God that sacrificed himself to who? To HIMSELF! When you have that kind of cognitive dissonance you can believe ANYTHING!



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daniel rotter

posted March 17, 2009 at 2:06 am


Christians are not trying to squelch free speech and expression of atheists on public property,..
Actually, some are. Bill O’Reilly, Ken Hutcherson, and the Christian Coalition all criticized the governor of Washington for allowing an atheist group (The Freedom from Religion foundation) to post an anti-religion placard next to a nativity scene in the state capitol.



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Boris

posted March 17, 2009 at 4:03 am


Christians are not trying to squelch free speech and expression of atheists on public property…except when they demand that no real science or history be taught to any public school students and instead they be brainwashed with religious dogma, lies and nonsense about the creation of our universe and the founding of our secular nation.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 17, 2009 at 6:29 am


==”Christians are not trying to squelch free speech and expression of atheists on public property,..”
Actually, some are.==
No, they aren’t.
== Bill O’Reilly, Ken Hutcherson, and the Christian Coalition all criticized the governor of Washington for allowing an atheist group (The Freedom from Religion foundation) to post an anti-religion placard next to a nativity scene in the state capitol.==
Atheists say that their expression is not religious. So, they cannot claim protection under the religious” clause of the First Amendment.
Such a placard next to a Nativity Scene would have been an attempt to squelch the Message of the scene. Interference with somebody else’s Freedom of Religious Expression. The atheists planned this purposely for that effect.



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Wayne

posted March 17, 2009 at 10:35 am


Just out of curiosity. What was the true, deep down motivation of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s anti-religion placard? Was it to promote their belief or was it to contradict the Christian message?



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Previous Posts

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posted 11:26:38am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

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