Lynn v. Sekulow

Lynn v. Sekulow


Nothing Alarming About Aid Going to Teen Challenge

posted by Jay Sekulow

Barry,

 

There’s nothing “alarming” about Teen Challenge receiving federal funding merely because it is a Christian-based organization.

 

The receipt of government funds by organizations like Teen Challenge is entirely permissible, as those funds foster an important and secular interest: the treatment and recovery of citizens from addiction.

 

The mere fact that a corporation or association espouses certain religious beliefs does not preclude it from receiving the same benefits, including funding, that are available to non-religious organizations.

 

Furthermore, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly permits religious corporations to hire only employees of a particular religion. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of this provision of Title VII in Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327 (1987).

But it seems from the article you’ve cited that Teen Challenge requires only those employees in executive ministry positions to adhere to specific religious principles, which presents no constitutional crisis at all.

 

As for the Minnesota state legislature’s decision to increase the funds received by Teen Challenge, perhaps this is merely a function of the nearly 86% success rate of the Teen Challenge recovery program.

 

When a government opts, in a constitutional manner, to provide funding to drug treatment programs, both religious and non-religious, it is not prohibited from increasing the amount of funds received by those programs that have a consistent track record of proven success.

 

Your post reminds me of a case we litigated in 2008 on behalf of Teen Challenge in Tennessee.  The issue did not involve faith-based funding, but did address an important issue. 

 

As you may recall, the organization wanted to build a facility on 13 acres of land it purchased in the Nashville area.  Government officials initially approved the zoning request – then revoked approval and enacted an ordinance specifically targeting and discriminating against Teen Challenge. 

 

We filed suit in federal court and a jury found that the local governing bodies violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Fair Housing Act, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.  And the jury awarded Teen Challenge damages totaling $967,995.

 

The case should send an important message to local governments – discriminatory action aimed at religious organizations can be costly.  And when it comes to providing government funding to organizations, local governments shouldn’t shy away from funding organizations simply because they are Christian-based. 

 

And, one more thought when it comes to faith-based funding.

 

The Obama Administration is in the process of finalizing its rules for providing faith-based funding.  And, there’s discussion about requiring religious organizations to cover-up religious symbols if they receive federal funding for services – like operating a soup kitchen.

 

That’s absurd. 

 

Come on Barry, is it really necessary to remove pictures or cover up crosses when a religious organization uses its facilities to feed the hungry?

 

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K Morrrow

posted January 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm


This post is completely off topic of Lynn v Sekulow but as there is no other way I can find to deliver it to the ACLJ I’m using this option:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Regarding Prop8 currently in San Fran district 9 –
ABSTRACT:
In what follows I examine the following question: Is there any support whatsoever for the institution of same sex marriage or is it merely an emotional argument that has finally found leverage in the door of common sense? One should be able to see that it’s impossible to argue the topic of same sex marriage from opposing sides of the issue as the one side is based in theology and the other in pure emotion that is loosely grounded, at best, in the Constitution of the United States. Whereas the one side argues that marriage is traditionally recognized as being between a man and woman, the other side counters with the chant of equality for all. Since the debate over Thomas Jefferson’s letter wherein is scribed “a wall of separation between church and state” is so heated, it’s foolishness to attempt to argue a pseudo-Constitutional issue with one based in theology. In this essay I will show three things.
1
The argument of same sex marriage is harmful to the homosexual lifestyle wherein it destroys the basic tenants of those who are thus engaged and shows homosexuals to be hypocrites who actually do choose the lifestyle in which they engage.
2
The desire to marry is a state of being that cannot be chosen by heterosexuals thus rendering it a totally heterosexual act that cannot be chosen by homosexuals who, if they so choose, will again be rendered hypocrites and proved to be heterosexual after all.
3
Since the basic tenant of homosexuality is that those so engaged did not make the choice then it must be a genetic disposition forced onto them by scientific means. Being a forced state it is ludicrous to believe a presumed scientific, genetic disposition can be so overridden as to allow homosexuals the desire for marriage, which will be shown to be a state unable to be chosen even by heterosexuals and impossible to be chosen by homosexuals.
I conclude that the institution of marriage is grounded in genetics, unable to be chosen by either hetero or homosexual persons and therefore completely contrary and even destructive to the homosexual lifestyle as it will conclusively prove that homosexuality is indeed a choice and those that have chosen it are living a lie should they also choose to marry.
The most basic argument in support of the homosexual lifestyle is that all homosexuals are born that way and do not have a choice but to be physically attracted to those of the same sex. This is the framework of the argument on which everything else rests. Prove that homosexuality is a choice and the entire lifestyle is exposed to be a lie and dissolves entirely. The fact that homosexuals desire to marry is proof that the lifestyle is truly a choice if one just explore the nuances of marriage.
Homosexuality vs The Evolution of Marriage:
Marriage is not a mere civil union that stands alone and apart from any other social function. Marriage has existed since the advent of humanity if only in the form of “common law marriage” with cohabitation between two consenting heterosexuals for an extended period. When two humans of opposite gender cohabit and reproduce it creates what is commonly known as a “family.” Those in support of same sex marriage have prepared for this argument by attempting to redefine the family. This essay will address this definition and the argument of family later.
To argue that there may have been homosexual cohabitation at the dawn of humanity is fruitless since no evidence exists to support or contradict such claims. For someone to dare suppose that homosexual cohabitation existed in pre-history is pure conjecture and totally unsupportable and becomes entirely comedic in its supposition. Homosexuality cannot meet even the most basic requirements of evolution in order to secure its existence, which is to procreate and pass on a lineage.
There is an overabundance of evidence to support and prove that heterosexual couples have cohabited since the dawn of humanity. All one need do is leave the house to see that proof. The current presidential administration takes up the argument of the previous democrat administration and cries “overpopulation” due to the overwhelming evidence of heterosexual cohabitation and the natural progression, which is procreation.
Therefore, nature itself demonstrates an overwhelming and abundant body of evidence to support that marriage, whether ceremonial or common law has existed from the advent of humanity. This leads us to conclude the first fact:
Fact #1: Marriage between a man and woman is the genetic, scientific, evolutionary natural law of the earth since the dawn of time.
Homosexuality vs Opposite Gender:
Homosexuality eschews the opposite gender and everything about the opposite gender and adhere wholly and completely to the same gender. Since this is a state of being that is forced onto them through genetics, a state that they cannot choose to either partake in or to leave out of, then they must naturally, genetically choose activities that coincide with that lifestyle.
Since marriage is the natural law of the earth from the dawn of time then it follows that marriage is not a choice of heterosexual couples but is forced onto them by science through evolution and genetics. Since marriage is forced onto heterosexual couples by genetics then it follows that marriage cannot be forced onto homosexual couples since it was not the choice of the homosexual to be a homosexual. It cannot be possible for a homosexual person to choose marriage since marriage is a genetic disposition that existed since the advent of humanity.
This is not to say that a heterosexual person is incapable of denying the urge to marry and deciding against it. It’s entirely possible and happens from time to time that a heterosexual decides to not marry. This is usually decided by those who have married previously and divorced and don’t want to repeat the difficulties such a situation presents.
However, such an argument cannot be applied to homosexuals since the urge to marry does not, because it cannot genetically even exist in them. Science itself denies homosexuals the urge to marry because of evolution and genetics. If a homosexual demonstrates the urge to marry this demonstrates that they are not homosexual since such urges are not scientifically or genetically possible for homosexuals.
If a homosexual person chooses to engage in an activity that is shown to be purely heterosexual since the advent of humanity and the dawn of time then that homosexual person demonstrates a choice that cannot be made and shows themselves to be a liar, an abhorrent, a deviant, or all of these and more.
If someone claims to be “bi-sexual” and therefore wishes to marry because they have “both genes”, they make a false claim since no one can have the genetic coding of procreation along with that of homosexuality. The burden of proof is on science to conclusively show that such a situation can indeed exist.
The only situation one can point to is that of a hermaphrodite who possesses both sexual organs from birth. To my understanding, a hermaphrodite does not identify with either gender and is therefore gender neutral with no urge to either procreate or to engage in homosexuality.
Since homosexuals, by their own admission and confession, reject and eschew all things heterosexual; and since it is scientifically, genetically, and evolutionarily impossible for a homosexual to experience an urge that is genetically predisposed to heterosexuals alone, this leads us to conclude the second fact:
Fact #2: It is scientifically impossible for homosexuals to feel the urge to marry due to the nature of genetics.
Homosexuality vs Civil Rights:
Since the urge to marry is scientifically impossible for homosexuals and since the institution of marriage is exclusive to heterosexuals from the dawn of time this leaves only one other possibility for homosexuals to demand inclusion in the institution of marriage. That reason is nothing more than economics.
Since there is no logical, scientific, or reasonable argument in support of “same sex marriage” there is no reason to grant marriage to same sex couples. The only argument left for homosexual couples is that of “equality.” The argument of equality could be said to have it’s foundation in the Constitution of the United States, which is oft confused with the Declaration of Independence where it’s printed in black and white that “all men[kind] are created equal.”
This doesn’t support the emotional argument for same sex marriage since, according to the homosexual argument, the institution of marriage is definitely not an “inalienable right” since, to the homosexual, it was not endowed by a creator. If one is to claim that marriage is an inalienable right, then one must also agree that those rights come from a creator. If one agrees that the inalienable right comes from a creator then the topic of marriage immediately becomes a moral and theological issue since the creator spoken of created men and women to marry and definitely did not create men and men, or women and women. Both of the same sex examples would be a lesson in futility since the command to the created couple was to “go forth and multiply.” Multiplying is impossible with a same sex couple.
Marriage does not deny “equality” to homosexuals. They are equal in every respect of the word as they are not denied property, employment, citizenship, and every other form of equality mentioned in the Constitution of the United States. Marriage is not an equality issue since not being married does not make a person “unequal” just as being a single heterosexual does not make them “unequal.”
To argue that heterosexuals can cohabit for a number of years and have the title “common law marriage” attached to them is somehow an “inequality” for homosexuals is to forget the previous two facts.
Furthermore, any marriages for homosexuals anywhere should be annulled and unrecognized since all of them are in contradiction to the above points and proof that those who are married are indeed choosing a heterosexual institution.
Since homosexuals deny the existence of a creator who endowed us with inalienable rights then the argument of marriage cannot be a Constitutional issue and is not an inalienable right. If homosexuals claim that it is an inalienable right then it becomes a theological issue and is once again denied to homosexuals. This leads us to conclude the third fact:
Fact #3: If marriage is an inalienable right then it must be from a creator and marriage is indeed a theological and moral issue, which inherently is denied to homosexuals.
Homosexuality vs The Evolution of Family:
Although the intent of this essay is not to directly address the definition of Family, it’s important to point out the potential damage that modern definitions can have on insurance companies and healthcare.
The extreme end to the issue of homosexual marriage is that the homosexual couples wish to form a family by adopting children. It shatters common sense to even entertain the idea that homosexual persons who reject and eschew everything heterosexual actually want to engage in the ultimate heterosexual expression known as a family. This is beyond insanity and leads one to wonder what is being taught in modern psychology courses.
To define a human family needs to encompass many points of view to include those in the medical profession who have the most serious reason to define a family. As the definitions of a family are vast one must use those that refer to human beings alone. Some of those definitions are listed here:
* The collective body of persons who live in one house, and under one head or manager; a household.
* The group comprising a husband and wife and their dependent children, constituting a fundamental unit in the organization of society.
* Definition: Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe, clan, or race; kindred; house; as, the human family; the family of Abraham; the father of a family.
* Definition: Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors; lineage.
* Primary social group; parents and children.
* A social unit living together.
* People descended from a common ancestor.
* Kin: a person having kinship with another or others.
* Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors; lineage.
This list is by no means exhaustive but is given to show that each definition concerns itself with genetic identification and commonality. There is in each case a genetic link to a progenitor. This link is impossible in the homosexual community, which can eliminate the idea of homosexuals being classified as families in the medical sense thereby eliminating that classification where insurance and medical benefit are concerned. It’s of special note that this is the foundation of the same sex marriage issue.
The following are the medical definitions of Family:
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
The family is a group of individuals with a continuing legal, genetic and/or emotional relationship. Society relies on the family group to provide for the economic and protective needs of individuals, especially children and the elderly. (1984) (2003)
1. A group of individuals related by blood or marriage or by a feeling of closeness.
2. A biological classification of related plants or animals that is a division below the order and above the genus.
3. A group of genes related in structure and in function that descended from an ancestral gene.
4. A group of gene products similarly related in structure and function and of shared genetic descent.
5. Parents and their children. The most fundamental social group in humans.
One reason it’s important to maintain a medically approved Family is due to the following:
Family History: The family structure and relationships within the family, including information about diseases in family members.
The family history is often recorded in a family pedigree (family tree), which uses conventional symbols. The pedigree provides a ready view of problems or illnesses within the family and facilitates analysis of inheritance patterns. Study of a trait or disease begins with the affected person (the index case). The pedigree is drawn as the relatives are described. One begins with the siblings of the proband and proceeds to the parents; relatives of the parents, including brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces; grandparents; and so on. At least 3 generations are usually included. Illnesses, hospitalizations, causes of death, miscarriages, abortions, congenital anomalies, and any other unusual features are recorded.
Even Mental Health professionals recognize the importance of a solid family structure.
“Family = Network of Mutual Commitment” (National Institute of Mental Health, 2005).
“The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” (United Nations, 1948).
The destruction of the Family will have disasterous economic effects on Insurance institutions and Medical professions due to the following expansion of the definition of Family:
“Society’s definition of a family has expanded to include ‘single parents, biracial couples, blended families, unrelated individuals living cooperatively, and homosexual couples, among others’” (Crawford, 1999; Kenyon et al., 2003, p. 571).
“We define family as any group of people related either biologically, emotionally, or legally. That is, the group of people that the patient defines as significant for his or her well-being” (McDaniel et al., 2005, p. 2).
“A family consists of two or more people, one of whom is the householder, related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing in the same housing unit. A household consists of all people who occupy a housing unit regardless of relationship. A household may consist of a person living alone or multiple unrelated individuals or families living together” (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005).
“…the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) adopted the definition of a ‘network of mutual commitment’ to connote the new structures that are the reality of families in the 1990s” (Pequengnat & Bray, 1997, p. 3).
The Yukon Government:
A person who considers the employee to be, or whom the employee considers to be, “like a close relative”.
The above definitions allow anyone, anywhere, and at anytime the availability to include everyone they see as their “family” and afford them the rights of insurance and healthcare. These professions are already overwhelmed with traditional families as well as caring for the multitude of non-citizens in the United States. If the expanded definition of “family” is allowed to continue then every street person in Santa Monica as well as Los Angeles city can have immediate health care just by some kind-hearted person including them in their “family.”



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Your Name

posted January 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm


Well, there are certain states now which have made it legal.
I thought there was something in the Constitution and some of our foundational documents as it being a male and female union. I will have to look that up. I don’t think that people should make a new definition for marriage. I believe it is something different. Gay used to mean happy. Somehow, that definition was exchanged for something different as well.
Cara



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Alarmed

posted January 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm


Back on topic. Nothing alarming? If what Mr. Sekulow says is true, then a gaping hole has bent torn into the intent of the Founding Fathers. It allows for the use of tax dollars to fund religious organizations and views to which many payers of the tax are vehemently opposed. It is the very type of encroachment James Madison warned of, and I think he would be sounding the alarm over this nuanced end run around his intended separation between religion and civil government. I am highly disappointed to learn that our court system has so degraded this founding principle.



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Chall8987

posted January 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm


KMorrrow,
First of all, there are forums about gay marriage on this site, so I don’t see why the moderator hasn’t deleted your long comment.
In addition, your entire argument ignores that homosexuality is found in the animal world, and that certain animals species do in fact exhibit examples of homosexual monogamy including the rearing of young together. You might want to try looking up actual data rather than stating your opinion that homosexuality didn’t exist in pre-history.



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Ann Neumann

posted January 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm


Alarming indeed! Those crying, “Not my tax dollars” about women’s reproductive rights in health care reform best beware which side of the hypocritical fence they’re standing on.
Mr. Sekulow seems to think that the Establishment clause only works one way: protection of those who profess his own personal beliefs. And for good reason he abides by this erroneous thinking; the Supreme Court has failed to address even patients’ rights on Establishment grounds, preferring the much less controversial “privacy” rulings. And their other Establishment cases have resulted in just such unpredictable outcomes.
Teen Challenge’s “prayer for recovery” exchange is a ministry, not a social service. It’s preying on the most vulnerable, the “least of these,” because the church has a long tradition of knowing exactly who “needs” conversion the most.
As for faith-based initiatives, the entire program was woven into the structure of government in such a way as to violate any reading of the Establishment clause. Simply substitute “Teen Challenge” with, say, “Muslim Challenge” and watch the likes of Mr. Sekulow squirm. He works for the rights of some, not all. And yet he is only able to do so because he is protected by religious tolerance laws.
As for the initial post, K Morrow, you are no different than any racist man typing slurs. Your screed of ideological lies is discriminatory, unethical, shameful, factless and base. Fear equality all you wish, it comes regardless.



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Boris

posted January 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm


If our Christian hating and bashing Founding Fathers were alive today and still in power this unconstitutional travesty would not be happening. “The appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, [is] contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.” – James Madison
Teen Challenge is an Assembly of God ministry that promotes itself as being “the proven cure for the drug epidemic.” They claim to have an 86% student “cure” rate after five years under their tutelage, and have falsely claimed this very same “cure” rate every single year for over thirty years. If Teen Challenge were to legitimately evaluate their recovering graduates on a monthly basis as opposed to doing so by questionnaire (An honor system!), and included the students who quit the program before graduation, their “success rate” would be approximately 5% – the same as the national average for secular programs. In a February, 2005 issue of Dissident Voice, journalist Amy Sullivan wrote in “Faith, Fabrications, and Fantasy” that “Teen Challenge’s much ballyhooed 86 percent rehabilitation rate falls apart under examination — the number doesn’t include those
who dropped out of Teen Challenge and relies on a disturbingly small sample of those graduates who self-reported whether they had remained sober, significantly tilting the results.” This is a business whose number one purpose is to increase its assets. Teen Challenge gets the vast majority of its residents either directly from the jails or from courts which sentence them to a live-in program in lieu of jail. They promote themselves as a “Christian Life School,” but at Teen Challenge, Almighty God runs a distant second to the almighty dollar. Teen Challenge students are forced to sign up for food stamps and turn the card over to the staff, and if they become sick or injured and cannot make money for the ministry, they are unceremoniously dumped at the bus station, regardless of whether or not they have any money. The bottom line is, they are there to make money for that ministry. If they can’t, then they’re gone.
Some Teen Challenge staff members cling to the supposed “infallibility” of the Bible to the point of absolute silliness. Any science that contradicts the scriptures is perceived as being wrong. Assistant Director Marty Coleman told his class that sciences like physics and chemistry were “junk,” and they “should be tossed in the trash.” A Boeing 757weighing over 100 tons can take off in New York and land in London due to a little something known as aerodynamics, which is a branch of physics. I guess Coleman figures they lay hands on the thing and pray it into the air. Programs like Teen Challenge that claim to “take authority over you in the name of Jesus” do so as a deception; the survival of their “ministry,” and most importantly, their income, are dependent
solely on concealing the fact that IT DOES NOT WORK. Anyone who begins to see through their scheme is immediately threatened with Jesus. That’s right! Jesus is not a caring and forgiving savior to them; he is a pit bull on a leash. Sociologist Mark Chaves of the University of Arizona said in 2001, “There has not yet been any research that gives clear evidence that faith-based partnerships are more effective than current models.”
Do Teen Challenge staff and interns actually believe that through threats and intimidation they can terrorize someone into sobriety, if not salvation? Do they also believe that they can harass and abuse people and simply walk away unscathed? Believe me, once they read this they’ll realize they haven’t gotten away with anything. On a recent graduation day, the speaker told the graduates who didn’t sign up for TCMI that to show their appreciation for what Teen Challenge “had done for them,” they were to sign over their
very first paychecks to Teen Challenge. Money-grubbing lunatics. Students were told that once they enter Teen Challenge, they should not even consider leaving, because seven times the demons of addiction would come back and get them, and, after they do their prison time – if they live – God will call them back to Teen Challenge. They were left with the caveat that one “can never run from Teen Challenge.” There is a simple solution: Don’t ever go there in the first place.
Replacing a drug addiction with religious addiction is certainly NOT any kind of cure. Anyone would be better off on heroin then believing in Jesus. Heroin addiction isn’t as stupid and it can be cured.



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Your Name

posted January 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm


Re: Ann Not my tax dollars for abortion. Are you for or against abortion, Ann? Posterity. I can’t tell what side of the fence you are on? The fetus is indeed a humen being developing, so is the zygote or any other way they want to phrase a baby developing in the womb. The arms, toes, heart, brain and all of the other parts of a person are there right at the time of conception. So that is the side of the fence I am on. People are people and people who endorce abortion or the choice of it for that matter are indeed adding to the pre-meditation of the murder of that life, indeed. Re: Boris Well just because people are a part of a religious organization, I do not see why they to are not qualified to get drug treatment. They need it just as much as the non-based Christian organizations. So I don’t see why they need to have your biases and dicrimination brought into the fact they seek help through a church or the like of which. They do not have to participate in any religious activity while forgoing treatment. Cara



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Headshake

posted January 17, 2010 at 5:51 pm


“They do not have to participate in any religious activity while forgoing treatment. Cara”
While forgoing treatment? Well, I guess that’s about right after all.
It’s fine with you that they are discriminative in hiring practices? This is about as crazy, as unamerican, a thing as I can imagine. Take tax money and give it to atheist groups who hire only atheists, and let’s hear the change in tune you sing!



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David

posted January 19, 2010 at 1:51 pm


Boris,
Indeed, if the founding fathers were alive today this would not be happening. They all understood the first amendment, where you seem to have conveniently forgotten the second half of it. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
Denying an organization federal funding solely because of a religious affiliation is prohibiting the free exercise of that religion. It requires people to not exercise their religion in their daily work – clearly not what the amendment states.
Further, the founding fathers clearly understood the importance of religion in society. You can easily see that in all their work. To quote John Adams: “Our constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”



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Your Name

posted January 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm


Dear Headshake,
Well I will sing a different tune when they get treatment. I was only stating in my blog they still have religious freedom to practice and get treatment at the same time. Meaning you can’t make an apple an orange. As for only hiring athiest, well, from my understanding athiest deny God’s diety, flat out stupid in my opinion. We can only look at our design in the light and say, wow, how did God put this all together. Hearts, lungs, bloodstreams, you know what I mean, and a brain to boot. For us to think all by ourselves and make our own choices. So, I think an athiest can be at this point completely proved as being a lie. So on to the next subject and sing another tune.
Cara



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Godpucky

posted January 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm


I do not have to financially support religion to allow it’s free exercize any more than I have to buy candy for the kids next door in order for them to be free to eat some. When you pass a law that allows for tax money to pass to religious organizations, you have passed a law respecting religion. It is not allowed under the Constitution, or, WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE.



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N. Lindzee Lindholm

posted January 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm


It is indeed interesting and relevant that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly allows religious corporations to hire employees of a certain religion without this practice being deemed as discrimination.
I am in full agreement that requiring federally funded faith-based organizations to cover up religious symbols is absolutely absurd. In essence and on the face, this requirement of the government could be characterized as a monitoring function that could be labeled as excessive government entanglement in religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. Since the government is dictating what the religious environment should look like, interfering with religious practice and the particular way the church administers their program, the Free Exercise Clause may also be in jeopardy as well. What’s next . . .the requirement of religious schools to cover up religious icons if they receive federal funds and supplies?



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Headbone

posted January 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm


In 1964, the government wasn’t turning over my tax money to religious organizations for use in their discriminatory practice. Big difference in telling religious organizations how to spend their own money than when they’re spending mine (against my will)! Religious organizations should beware of their government entanglements, it might cost them dearly. If a thing can be supported with tax funds, it can be closely regulated!



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Boris

posted January 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm


David,
James Madison explained exactly what the Constitution means: “The appropriation of funds of the Unites States for the use and support of religious societies, [is] contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.’” That means Teen Challenge getting funds from the government to brainwash young people with the religious fears and superstitions of your evil and false religion is unconstitutional.
John Adams also signed the Treaty of Tripoli, which stated: “The Unites States of America is in no sense founded on the Christian religion.” This treaty was ratified UNANIMOUSLY in the Senate. How do you explain that? Or this: “Even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a free inquiry.” – John Adams. People like you were our founding fathers worst fear, which is why our founding document was written to protect the rest of us from religious fanatics like you.



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Your Name

posted January 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm


Dear Godpucky,
I understand what you are writing there, but there can be existing rules and regulations which allow funding for specific things, not involving religion. So just because a religious organization if funded, it can be regulated to how the funds are to be used. In the case of treating people with drug and alcohol problems, it can be solely involving treatment of the problem. Such as addictive withdrawels and physical treatment of the complications caused by the problem. Of course people can learn how to fend for themselves. Obviously!! The problem to which you are not recognizing is that when people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, sometimes they are too sick to help themselves and are basically on a suicidal mission. Sometimes unaware of it themselves, for they are under the influence of the addiction. So if you are one of those people that believe in only helping yourself and let the people starve and die from drug addiction, then you are in my opinion ignoring the pain in other people. Just like the roads are paved for a safe travel, people need treatment so we have a safe environment not only for them, but for the rest of the people to contend with.
Cara



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Your Name

posted January 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm


Dear Headbone,
The government was not turning over tax dollars to kill children through Embryonic Stem-Cell and abortion procedures either. If I had a bigger bone to pick it would be saving children from the tax dollars, don’t you think? Wrather than trying to prevent funding from helping others get free from drug and alcohol dependency.
Let us help people with tax dollars, not end their lives. For we need a safe environment for our children and our people. If we ignore problems of people and let the problem exist, you indeed get more of the same problem. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol need counseling as well. For if they don’t deal with the underlying problem, they will indeed look to other sources so they don’t have to deal with the real issues as to why they are addicted. Maybe at the beginning it was a recreational thing, but then there was a reason why they kept taking it. For when people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, they make poor decisions which effect other people and our nation for the worse. These poor decisions can be deadly or violent or just simply not the best choice for themselves and others.
Cara



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Godpucky

posted January 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm


Thou shalt not pass any law respecting an establishment of religion. We do help people with tax dollars, we just don’t give it to religious organizations to use in discriminatory practices. If people need treatment, they can get it without religious connection. Treatment with religioius undertones can be obtained, but not at taxpayer expense. That is, or should be, illegal. I understand you prefer the Bible over the Constitution–I don’t. The government can coerce me into helping to pay for services, but it can’t coerce me into paying salaries of any religiously select group. Those groups are supposed to be supported by membership and goodwill only.



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Your Name

posted January 20, 2010 at 4:18 pm


Boris,
You are once again pulling a phrase out of context for the simple reason of supporting your own agenda.
Article 11 of the Treaty with Tripoli states that the US does not have an official established religion. This is to clarify that we were not like other nations of the time who had official government sanctioned religions. The context is also very clear – this is guaranteeing that the religious beliefs of both nations won’t interfere with the treaty.
Do I really need to quote John Adams again? A study of his life, or a review of his published work clearly shows he was a christian. You wanting him to be something else cannot change that.



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Boris

posted January 21, 2010 at 1:40 am


Summary of Religious Views:
Adams was raised a Congregationalist, but ultimately rejected many fundamental doctrines of conventional Christianity, such as the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, becoming a Unitarian. In his youth, Adams’ father urged him to become a minister, but Adams refused, considering the practice of law to be a more noble calling. Although he once referred to himself as a “church going animal,” Adams’ view of religion overall was rather ambivalent: He recognized the abuses, large and small, that religious belief lends itself to, but he also believed that religion could be a force for good in individual lives and in society at large. His extensive reading (especially in the classics), led him to believe that this view applied not only to Christianity, but to all religions.
Adams was aware of (and wary of) the risks, such as persecution of minorities and the temptation to wage holy wars, that an established religion poses. Nonetheless, he believed that religion, by uniting and morally guiding the people, had a role in public life.
John Adams was a slave owner. Being a Christian nowadays is no less backward thinking than being a slave owner would be. In fact the major slave traders were Christians and slave trading was a Christian industry backed and sometimes financed by the Church as well as being vehemently defended by it. Christianity is a false religion and the damage it has done to scientific and social progress alone over the centuries is unforgivable. This is why people like me are stamping it and people like you out of existence.



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Your Name

posted January 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm


Dear Godpucky,
The funds should be regulated so that they are used for specific things which are religious. Helping people get off of drugs does not define a religion. If you Mr. Godpucky would like to help people off of drugs maybe you can get some money from the government, despite your religous affiliation.
Cara



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Your Name

posted January 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm


Giving to the poor could be considered a religious activity. This does not mean however specifying a fund to a belief in any one kind of religion or belief in God.
Cara



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Godpucky

posted January 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm


“The funds should be regulated so that they are used for specific things which are religious.”
What?! What funds? What are you talking about? Church funds?
“Helping people get off of drugs does not define a religion.”
No, it certainly does not. So,—?
“If you Mr. Godpucky would like to help people off of drugs maybe you can get some money from the government, despite your religous affiliation.”
There are organizations which can help people leave drug addiction, by choice, I do not work for one. If I did, I wouldn’t use incessant preaching and praying to accomplish the task. The groups who use such methods are religious groups and should not be taking money from the government. Laws had to be passed to enable money to pass from government to religous organizations…that was very wrong according to the Constitution—Thou shalt make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion. It’s REALLY easy to understand, even you could do it if you tried hard.



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Your Name

posted January 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm


Dear Godpucky,
I understand what you are saying here. Like I said before, helping people off drugs is not a religion. There can be state regulations which confine the order of practice for recovery centers, strickly for detox and rehabilitation. They need it. They can go pray in the non-descript area if they so practice. That would be their choice. People can pray when they want to. In God we trust, certainly does not limit our practice of religion and limit us to becoming secular. Hey, they can even pray in the secular area which is government funded if they so wish as well. That would be freedom of religion. Which we are entitled too.
Cara



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Your Name

posted January 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm


Sure people are entitled to pray if they want to, but they aren’t entitled to government money. That took enacting a law, and that’s a big no-no. “In God We Trust” took enactment of a law, a no-no. “Under God” required the passing of a law; also a no-no. If you allow legislation of religion, you must acknowledge government power to regulate religion; generally a no-no. None of these changes are good for the government, religious groups, or the general population.



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Ron Baker

posted January 23, 2010 at 8:47 am


Jesus loves you!



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Noodles

posted January 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm


The Flying Spaghetti Monster loves you.



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Ron Baker

posted January 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm


Nuh uh. Jesus does!



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Noodles

posted January 24, 2010 at 1:28 am


Flying Spaghetti Monster loves you more, and can beat up Yahweh, Allah, and Shiva all at once.



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Ron Baker

posted January 24, 2010 at 8:50 pm


You just have to have the last word, don’t you. No wonder you can’t hear Him. Be still and know!



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Your Name

posted January 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm


Do YOU hear him? With your ears? I think not. If so, seek help. Actually, seek help anyway–you need it. You who claim to “know God” better than other people crack me up. Don’t you know that you can’t tell others what to believe? Freedom of, or from, religion is a big part of what this country stands for. Pretend you know something I don’t if you want, but realize my laughter carries as much weight as your prayer.



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Your Name

posted January 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm


Dear no-name,
People pray regardless of government funds or not, that would religous discrimintation?
That is a religious practice. If you are trying to say with the American tax dollar it should not include the funds to be distributed towards prayer, that of course has no dollar amount on it. It is free. Like I wrote before, detox and rehab can be quite beneficial towards drug and alcohol dependence and that would require funds to do so. It might involve drugs to detox as well as a safe place for people to go to get off of drugs. So the mention of people bringing up prayer, hey it is a free country in that regards. Religious freedom. I am not involved in athiestic mindsets. We are not required to not depend on God. So thanks, but no thanks. Cara



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Noodles

posted January 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm


“If you are trying to say with the American tax dollar it should not include the funds to be distributed towards prayer, that of course has no dollar amount on it. It is free.”
No, it isn’t free if the government (taxpayers) are paying for it! That amounts to government subsidized religion, a BIG no-no in this country since the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
I am not involved in religious mindsets, there is no god to believe in, so no thanks. Forcing me to contribute to religious organizations by routing my tax dollars to them is the most unAmerican of actions!



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Amy

posted January 28, 2010 at 12:07 am


I think that the federal government should continue to fund faith-based organizations like Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge has a high success rate for rehabilitation and they don’t force anyone to accept their beliefs for treatment. I also believe that they should have the right to selectively hire. It only makes sense that a faith-based organization would want to hire people with faith, just like an accounting firm would only hire someone who could do math.



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Lest we forget

posted January 28, 2010 at 12:47 am


Except for the fact that our Constitution says that Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion, Amy. When the government gives money to a religious organization (as a result of passing law!) it supports that religious organization–with tax money extracted from those who don’t want to give that support! If we need to provide drug rehabilitation, we can do so without the religious indoctrination and without(illegally)supporting religious organizations.



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Boris

posted January 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm


Amy,
Teen Challenge has a very low success rate and they DO indeed force their asinine and evil belief system on unsuspecting children. Fortunately we atheists have broght down this evil and false religion and it will have disappeared from earth by 2020. Bye bye losers.



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Your Name

posted January 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm


Boris
Why dont you and your aethist friends do something worthwhile like getting rid of the muslim faith you know the that commands the followers to kill all infidels if they cant be converted, that puts a target on your chest as well as mine. I dont think no I know that the Bible does not say kill a person if they do not believe. And no matter how man has perverted it in the past as far back as you would like to go it was never written that way.
You foolishly put a date on something that you all cant not control, this is as foolish as those same people that stand on the corner and proclaim that God is coming back on a certain date no man knows when that is going to happen and before you say He isnt be careful because you have no way of proving that either scientificaly or other wise.



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Happily

posted January 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm


“I dont think no I know that the Bible does not say kill a person if they do not believe.”
No the bible only says that non-believers go to hell and burn for eternity. Which is crazier? It’s much closer than you let on!



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Samantha

posted March 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm


Faith-based organizations should never lose government funding because they are selective in their hiring practices. Like Amy said, all businesses have job requirements and prefer to hire individuals with certain qualifying attributes. It would only make sense that an organization with a religious backing would choose only to hire those that practice their same faith. Also, because these organizations choose to be selective in their hiring process does not mean that they should stop receiving government funding. Albeit, I’m sure that there are faith-based organizations that serve as mere fronts for religious conversions, Teen Challenge certainly is not one. The premise on which funding should be based is the success and amount of good an organization does for its community or those it seeks to assist.



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