Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Greece, NY, Town Board Prayer Lawsuit

Federal Court To Hear Arguments In Case Challenging City-Sponsored Prayer In Greece, N.Y. Americans United

Another city gov't having a prayer meeting before conducting the business they were elected to do.

This is not all that complicated: if the elected politicians want to pray, they should pray at home or as a group privately before the meeting. Otherwise, they are trivializing the act of worship that prayer is. Secondly, the tax payer is footing the bill for the meeting & those elected leaders are to conduct gov't business, not conduct a brief worship event. Thirdly, not all citizens are represented in those prayers & it is not fair their tax dollar support another faith.

Madison's Remonstrance is quite clear on this matter, though I don't think the Domionists really care.

2009 Version of Remonstrance

We have to be ready to fight against those theocrats as soon as they raise their ugly head. We did that with the Revolution, didn't we? The patriots didn't wait until some things were already set in place to raise a stink. No way. We didn't want those sort of things to get any foothold. We saw what it would do if we let it grow & so we nipped it in the bud. We fought too hard to forget that lesson. Anyone should be able to see that if we let Christianity get special treatment, the next step would be to let one denomination become the leader of it all. Before long, it is a certain group in that denomination who calls the shots & their interpretation gets to be the Rule; everyone else gets left out in the cold & has to conform. If gov't can let 3 pennies of tax payer money --- just 3 cents --- go to give special treatment to one religion, tomorrow it may be a different religion. Allowing one means allowing others to do the same to us & we won't like it when the tables are turned. Isn't that just obvious?

1785 Madison's Version

Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?

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