What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 25, 2013

Religious Freedom Update

According to this poll, done by the Barna Group, there's something very interesting going on in one segment of American society.

Huffington Post has the summary:
Half of Americans worry that religious freedom in the U.S. is at risk, and many say activist groups -- particularly gays and lesbians -- are trying to remove "traditional Christian values" from the public square.
No that's not it.
The findings of a poll published Wednesday (Jan. 23), reveal a "double standard" among a significant portion of evangelicals on the question of religious liberty, said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, a California think tank that studies American religion and culture.
Getting closer, but that's not it, either.
While these Christians are particularly concerned that religious freedoms are being eroded in this country, "they also want Judeo-Christians to dominate the culture," said Kinnamon.

I touched on this a few times last year (here and here) but it's good to see some numbers supporting the same idea.  So what are the numbers?  From Barna:
Though most Americans agree religious freedoms should be granted to people of all faiths, there are still a significant number of people (23%) who believe traditional Judeo-Christian values should be given preference in the public square. The majority, though, would disagree: two-thirds of Americans (66%) say there’s no one set of values that should dominate the country and another 11% of adults declined or gave another response. Practicing Catholics (24%) are about on par with the national average, while practicing Protestants (35%) and evangelicals (54%) are above average in selecting traditional Judeo-Christian values.
But take a closer look at that first sentence.  First, let me quote some well known conservative rhetoric and point out that freedoms aren't granted they're to be protected or limited.  But that aside, shouldn't the religious freedoms of everyone (not just "people of all faiths") be protected?  I realize this could be just some sloppy writing so let's assume that I am seeing something that's not there.  But what does that leave us?

Between a fifth and a quarter of the American population believes in "religious freedom" while still paradoxically believing that "traditional Judeo-Christian values" should dominate the culture.

People like these people in Connellsville:
Thou Shalt Not Move, a grassroots group, urged the Connellsville area to continue to support efforts to keep the Ten Commandments Monument at the Connellsville Junior High School.
More specifically:
“We are under attack on a national level and this issue, as small as it seems to some, is as big as the right to bear arms and Obamacare where they’re taking the right to health care away from you,” [Meeting organizer Gary] Colatch said. “They’re trying to strip away our rights. We’re facing that tyranny today. We’re facing that tyranny in Connellsville.” [Emphasis added.]
Again, it's a Ten Commandments monument at a public school.  It's unconstitutional.  Mr Colatch is looking to protect a religious right that he doesn't actually have: the "right" to use the public school system to impose his faith onto others.

Meanwhile, there's been some movement at that other unconstitutional monument (the one in New Kensington):
A federal district judge on Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin-based group against a school district in Westmoreland County regarding its display of a Ten Commandments monument.
The arguments to dismiss the cases filed on behalf of the school districts were similar, specifically referring to the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Van Orden v. Perry.
We've looked at Van Orden before.

Here's the judge's denial of the motion to dismiss.

On hearing news of the denial, Rev. Ewing Marietta had this to say:
A federal district judge on Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin-based group against a school district in Westmoreland County regarding its display of a Ten Commandments monument.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued both the New Kensington-Arnold School District and the Connellsville Area School District over displays of the Ten Commandments posted outside schools in each district. The New Kensington-Arnold suit was filed first, and there is a decision pending on a motion to dismiss the Connellsville suit.

This may not be the best news for us,” Marietta said. [Emphasis added.]
Sorry to hear that you're disappointed, Reverend.

On the other hand, it's always a good news when everyone's religious freedom is being protected.


spork_incident said...

they also want Judeo-Christians to dominate the culture

As long as we understand that "Judeo-Christian" means "Christian" this statement is accurate.


Heir to the Throne said...

I am glad Dayvoe is back on the unconstitutional monument hobbyhorse so I can hit him with his own no amendment is absolute argument.

Like abortion the "Separation of Church and State" is a absolute right with no exceptions?

I guess progressives believe the only rights without limits in the Constitution are the ones that are not directly written in it but instead come from "emanations" and "penumbra" like "Separation of Church and State" and abortion.

Dayvoe said...

SPORK: Since I was quoting their words, I had to include the "judeo-" part.

spork_incident said...

Dayvoe -

Oh yeah, I was going after the fundies' insincere "Judeo-" prefix nonsense.


Dayvoe said...


*I* knew what you meant and *you* knew what I meant but after reading your comment, I wasn't sure if the trolls would know what either of us meant - thus my clarification.

Heir to the Throne said...

Dayvoe -
Care to comment on this "Separation of Church and State" progressives approve of?
"Everyone in this city seems to live in terror of the gun lobby. But I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
Ben Shapiro on thug tactics of the left in trotting out Christian pastor to push gun control agenda

Ol' Froth said...

There is a difference between someone expressing an opinion that is based on their religious belief, as compared to using the resources that belong to all of us to promote their sectarian belief.

The 10 commandments monuments displayed on public property are unconstitutional because they create the impression that the government favors Christianity, instead of remaining neutral. However the same monument erected on private property is perfectly fine.

We've seen how this works. For example, I recall a case in TN (I think it was there) where Christian prayers were intoned over the PA before football games. The district was informed they were in violation of the law, so they changed the policy to having a student intone the prayer, and stating that there was a no religious discrimination policy. Any student could invoke any prayer they wanted. They did this assuming that all the students in the school were Christians, and they figured they found a sly way around the prohibition.

Well guess what? One of the students wasn't Christian, she was a Wiccan. And when she asked to lead a Wiccan prayer, the district suddenly decided that they really didn't want prayers before football games after all.

Its all about giving a privledged status to Christianity, and there are many, many similar examples. Christmas displayes on public property are usuall good ones. Many towns, after declaring that anyone can erect a display, suddenly decide to no longer have a display when the atheists and Pastafarians and Festivus revelers show up with their displays.

EdHeath said...

HTTP - You are telling us we should accept the words of Ben Shapiro, editor for Breitbart news? The people who play faked video's as news?