Thursday, July 21, 2011
The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down
Here's an oldie but a goodie.
A while (actually, quite a while) ago, I posted about the attempt by the commissioners of Dixie County, Florida, with the assistance of Liberty Counsel and perhaps the worst lawyer in America, Mat Staver, to give taxpayer money to the ACLU.
The mills of the gods may grind slowly ... but they ain't got nothin' on courts.
Briefly, the county permitted a local businessman to erect a Ten Commandments monument on the top of steps of the local courthouse without even an attempt to disguise it as a reference to Moses as one "lawgiver" among many. Instead, it is inscribed with the admonition to "Love God and keep his commandments."
As the blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State is now reporting, a Federal judge has ordered its removal.
Dixie County maintained that the monument was not owned or controlled by the county, but by a private resident — Joe Anderson Jr. — who paid for, placed and maintained the monument. The county argued that the monument was therefore not an official sponsorship of religion but a private expression of free speech.Wait a minute! Keep his commandments? I thought there was something in there about not bearing false witness!
After it was erected and after the lawsuit was filed, a plaque was added at the back of the monument that reads, "PLACED OWNED AND MAINTAINED BY JOE ANDERSON, JR." Anderson has not donated the monument to Dixie County and has not relinquished control of it.
After the court denied a Dixie County motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the county placed a sign near the monument that reads: "The items placed in this forum do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners and are not sponsored or endorsed by the Board." The Ten Commandments monument is the only "item" in the "forum."
And Staver is claiming "Since 2005, we have won every Ten Commandments case except one," an assertion I'd consider as dubious as those of the county. But the county commissioners should really consider that the defendants in the one loss Staver is willing to admit to are now struggling to pay off over $400,000 in ACLU legal fees. And Liberty Counsel isn't chipping in a dime.
Ah but don't you know religion as practiced is different than as specified. Why do you attempt to interpret the ten commandments for the practitioners?
As was pointed out over at AtBC, a lot of Christians treat the Ten Commandments much like the Pirates Code in Pirates of the Caribbean - "more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules"
Moi? Just asking a question.
Based on study and observation, few, if any, of the people who erected or support this monument would support the proposition that bearing false witness is a good thing ... anymore than they would support the idea that pedophilia is a good thing. Presenting the dilemma is not the same as defining their religion for them.
In case anyone is wondering, this is part of a much longer running argument.
You still want to have a say in whats "there" in their religion. You still want to say there's a dilemma when religious people do something that is at odds with what's "there" in the religion (whether good or bad is not relevant). And you still want to have objections when gnu's do the same.
First of all, I know what is in the 10 Commandments (notice that I didn't say it said "thou shalt not lie").
Second, I did not ascribe to the people who erected/support the monument any belief about following the Commandments, I noted that it, itself, said "keep his commandments." They could respond with Martin Luther's statement: "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them." I didn't say they were "watering down" their religion. I pointed out that their own actions seemed at odds with the statement on the monument. That's different than ascribing to Ken Miller or American Catholics in general a belief that banning gay marriage or abortion is politically justified by their religion, especially when we know that a majority of American Catholics don't hold that, despite what the hierarchy may say.
Huh? I spent an entire thread stating that
a. The Vatican believes that banning gay marriage is politically justified or variations thereof.
b. Roman Catholicism , by their definition , is that theirs is the one true church , governed by the successor of Peter etc etc.
c. Therefore a person who calls himself a Roman catholic must either believe a) or as is the case with most liberal/moderate Catholics "water down" their religion by refusing to accept its say on such social matters and its interpretation of scripture that leads to such a conclusion. This is at odds with what they claim to believe. Either you believe the One true Roman Catholic Church is the one who gets to interpret scripture or you don't (in which case you are more Protestant than Roman Catholic - what indeed is the difference between Roman Catholicism and any other variant of Christianity)
I have never taken a position that Catholics blindly follow what their church teaches (though ofcourse some will) as you seem to be implying.
And besides don't you know - depending on how you interpret the bible - Christians only need to keep two of the commandments? Secondly for this case I doubt the people themselves believe they are bearing false witness so where is the "at odds".
Anycase my last comment on this thread to avoid logorhea :).
So, once again, it is just your ignorance of Catholic theology that is showing.
That does not equal "it is a matter of faith to politically ban gay marriage."
I doubt the people themselves believe they are bearing false witness
That's why it's a good idea to point it out to them.