I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Judge Jones' "true religion" speech contradicted again

As I have pointed out many times, Judge "Jackass" Jones said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that his Kitzmiller v. Dover decision was based on his cockamamie notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not "true" religions -- he said,

. . . .this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.

Ironically, Judge Jones gave the speech while standing behind the Dickinson College seal, designed by USA Founders John Dickinson and Benjamin Rush, which contains a picture of a open bible and the college motto, "Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty," in Latin.

A Wall Street Journal article about James Madison, widely regarded as the father of the Constitution, said,
.
He believed that the main reason to have separation of church and state was to help religion. He came to this view in part because of an unusual but crucial alliance he built with evangelical Christians of his day. That's right. At that time, the evangelical Christians were the leading supporters of separation of church and state, and Madison was one of their greatest champions. They believed that not only was government repression bad but so was government help. Madison agreed and worked hand in hand with the evangelicals to press this point. In a crucial document called the Memorial and Remonstrance, Madison integrated the arguments of the Enlightenment intellectuals with the arguments of the evangelicals to create something much greater. Separating church and state would be better for both state and church.

This may be a concept that's a bit jarring to modern culture warriors. We've come to think that if you're pro religion you must surely want government to play a greater role in promoting religion. And if you're in favor of separation of church and state that you must want to reduce religion's role.

Madison and his evangelical allies had a completely different concept. They wanted to promote religion. They just believed that the best way to promote religion was for government to leave it alone.

Nothing there about "true religion." In fact, the WSJ article directly contradicts Jones' "true religion" speech by saying that "evangelical Christians were the leading supporters of separation of church and state."

Judge Jones "true religion" statement is not just another opinion -- the statement shows (1) great hostility towards organized religion and (2) a predisposition to rule against anything that Judge Jones sees connected in any way with organized religion -- e.g., intelligent design. Even Fatheaded Ed Brayton found fault with the "true religion" statement. [1] The "true religion" statement completely discredits the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision and I am surprised that the statement is not cited more often by those seeking to discredit that decision. Ever since the Kitzmiller decision was issued over three years ago, it has been used to intimidate legislatures, school districts, schools, and teachers who want to include criticisms of evolution theory in the curriculum.

The biographical information about the WSJ article's author, Steven Waldman, says,

Steven Waldman is the Editor-in-Chief, President & Co-Founder of Beliefnet.com , the largest faith and spirituality website. Beliefnet won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence online in 2007. Waldman is also author of the bestselling book, FOUNDING FAITH: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America.

Before founding Beliefnet, Waldman was National Correspondent for Newsweek and National Editor of U.S. News & World Report. His writings have appeared in the National Review, The Atlantic, Slate, The New York Times and more.

So it looks like Waldman has good credentials and he should know what he is talking about.
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8 Comments:

Anonymous Sid said...

Judge Jones wasn't saying that organized religion was wrong. He was saying a religion is dead if it only consists of text and dogma mandated by an institution. It must reside in the hearts of its followers, and the heart can only accept what the mind can freely accept or reject on its own accord. Followers can only truly embrace that which they have a hand in creating.

Take a look at the state churches in Europe. Many of them are nearly dead. Their members are only nominally christian. They have largely embraced purely secular values, and a significant percentage don't believe in God or an afterlife.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Judge Jones wasn't saying that organized religion was wrong. <<<<<<<

He said that organized religions are not "true" religions, which is pretty much the same thing. He was reading too much into the establishment clause. He's supposed to be neutral towards organized religions and he was not.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Sid said...

He's a fricken christian! He'd be a hypocrite if he really meant what you interpretted him to say. He didn't say that true religion couldn't be guided by a church or bible, he said that if that was all it was, as it is in a state-sponsored religion, it's not going to be worth anything.

A religion has to be free enough that ideas flow both ways, both up and down the chain of command. If a religion is going to kill its self by not letting its followers change their minds or shape their faith, at least it shouldn't be at the hand of state-sponsorship.

Judge Jones and James Madison were saying the exact same thing!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>He's a fricken christian! He'd be a hypocrite if he really meant what you interpretted him to say. <<<<<

OK, so he is a hypocrite. He is also an activist judge, a crackpot, and an idiot.

I interpreted his words literally -- you put words in his mouth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Sid said...

Jones: The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.

You: his Kitzmiller v. Dover decision was based on his cockamamie notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not "true" religions.

Nothing in his statement about organized religion, unless orgainized religions are scared of free and rational inquiry.

You wouldn't happen to be a little biased, would you? It is a little embarrassing that a Christian, Bush-appointed judge ruled that ID is not science.

Because, of course, the obvious explaination isn't that you may be wrong. It's gotta be that he's actually one of those liberal activist judges! He's the one who's biased and close-minded to the evidence. A judge! The one profession trained to be even-handed and open to evidence- imagine that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 8:04:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Sid barfed,
>>>>>> Nothing in his statement about organized religion, unless orgainized religions are scared of free and rational inquiry. <<<<<<<

The terms "church" and "bible" represent organized religions, doofus.

>>>>>> It is a little embarrassing that a Christian, Bush-appointed judge ruled that ID is not science. <<<<<<

Embarrassing? Not at all. It is just the opinion of a single judge. And he might have been bending over backwards to try to show that he was not influenced by his background.

>>>>>> It's gotta be that he's actually one of those liberal activist judges! <<<<<<

He is the poster child of liberal activist judges.

>>>>> A judge! The one profession trained to be even-handed and open to evidence- imagine that. <<<<<<

He was not trained to be a judge -- and it shows! He was an attorney in private practice and then head of the Pennsylvania alcoholic beverage control commission.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Røst I Ødemarken said...

He is the poster child of liberal activist judges.

Nah, that'd be the notorious Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit. A comment about him:

Robert X. Seligman, Ph.D. CPCM (12/6/02)
I disagree with those who regard the Ninth Circuit generally and Reinhardt in particular as more a judicial embarrassment than a menace. His (and their) ceaseless attempts to rewrite the U.S. Constitution as they wish it had been written, constitute a grave threat to our liberty and an egregious violation of the "Separation of Powers" doctrine. It is no random occurrence then, that the U.S. Supreme Court has found it necessary to reverse the Ninth Circuit more than all other appellate courts combined. Their record is one of self-serving, left-wing activism and it is shameful!

Judge Jones, by contrast, shows thoughtful, conservative judicial temperament.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Judge Jones, by contrast, shows thoughtful, conservative judicial temperament. <<<<<<<

HA! You ought to read this blog's dozens of articles about Judge "Jackass" Jones and the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. Post labels for these articles are listed in the sidebar of the homepage.

Friday, March 20, 2009 12:55:00 AM  

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