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Want Your Kid to Get Religion?- Send Them To Prison!
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Post Want Your Kid to Get Religion?- Send Them To Prison! 
WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded an unusual unanimous vote by the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of a federal law that requires states to allow prisoners to practice their religious beliefs.

"Prison officials often place unjustified burdens on prisoners who wish to practice their religion," said Elizabeth Alexander, Director of the ACLU National Prison Project, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. "This important law allows prisoners to challenge such arbitrary burdens, and we welcome this decision upholding its constitutionality."

The federal law at issue, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), requires in part that states that receive federal money must accommodate prisoners' religious beliefs unless prison officials can show that such accommodation would be disruptive.


NOTE-
What an interesting paradox. The ACLU fights for the right of convicted felons to practice their religion in prison and to preach at prison religious services. However, if these same prisoners had attempted to form a voluntary religious club to meet on school property before they began their lives of crime, the ACLU would have sued the school to stop it. I guess it would probably be deemed "disruptive".

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A perfect example of FURTHER proof that the ACLU exists to only protect the rights of those who do not deserve it. And only cares about the people in this country who want to further the ACLU communist agenda for this country, and goals of global socialism.

Why don't they just issue a Commie manifesto alfrigginready?

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This thread has inspired me to renew my ACLU membership.

Thanks, thrice and bwoods! Laughing

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Post Turn off the radio, dittohead 
Quote:
A perfect example of FURTHER proof that the ACLU exists to only protect the rights of those who do not deserve it. And only cares about the people in this country who want to further the ACLU communist agenda for this country, and goals of global socialism.


Couldja explain how their defense of the rights of neo-Nazis to march in Skokie furthers the ACLU's "communist agenda"?

The ACLU is vilified because it often defends the rights of unpopular minorities. (Surprisingly, popular majorities rarely need their rights defended.) IIRC, the ACLU even defended the rights of bloated buffoon Rush Limbaugh. I'm having a hard time figuring out how defending Limbaugh's rights furthered a communist agenda for America and advanced goals of global socialism. Couldja explain that?


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Equating the ACLU with Communism makes no damn sense, Odin. It's a lost cause. Rolling Eyes

It'll be fun to watch 'em try, though.

Hey, by the way, what does IIRC mean?

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Post Clarify 
I don't see the relevance of Commies to the equation either.

But let's get it right, Odie.

What enrages people is that the ACLU often defends the "rights" of unpopular minorities-
to impose their will upon the majority by judicial fiat, not by democratically passed
laws that reflect the will of the people.

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Post Re: Clarify 
thrice wrote:
I don't see the relevance of Commies to the equation either.

But let's get it right, Odie.

What enrages people is that the ACLU often defends the "rights" of unpopular minorities-
to impose their will upon the majority by judicial fiat, not by democratically passed
laws that reflect the will of the people.


Again, thrice, this goes back to the question of what a Judge's JOB is. It's to interpret the laws we HAVE. And if something is legal according to the laws we HAVE, even if it's not popular or cute, well, there you have it.

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Post True 
And don't get the idea that I have any wish for public schools to turn into academies of Christianity, Judeaism, Islam or anything else.

The law is a very tangled web of semantics. There is a huge difference between "establishment" of religion, and the toleration of individual free religious practice.

It could be fairly argued that if the taxpayer and government pays for a building, hires the staff, and decrees by law that religious practice will be permitted in a place, that's a pretty damn good example of "establishment". This is something the ACLU has successfully sued to require- in a taxpayer financed prison.

It could similarly be argued that if outside community groups can rent or borrow government space, or social clubs can be allowed to meet in those spaces, to include voluntary religious groups, it is equal community access and toleration of free religious practice during non-operating hours. This is something the ACLU has successfully sued to prohibit- in a taxpayer financed school.

This is the underlying basis of the resentment of the ACLU in many. When it comes to the offending of one atheist, the ACLU will throw cash, lawyers and the kitchen sink at it, and any religious item will be erased by force of a judge's order. However, if millions are offended by hate speech, or by sexual indecency, or by any one of a thousand means by which belligerent individuals seek to taunt society, the ACLU will throw those same resources into protecting their right to offend as many people as possible.

If this practice was moderated by any sense of propriety or community interest, or a deference to the greater good, it would be less likely to inflame people. But there is no moderation or application of common sense. It is as though the ACLU just enjoys the game, or enjoys the war, regardless of the collateral damage or the other demons that are unleashed in the process.

As the Shakespeare my father is so fond of quoting spake,

"If the law says that, then the law is an ass"



Last edited by thrice on Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post IIRC 
If I Remember Correctly

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Quote:

If this practice was moderated by any sense of propriety or community interest, or a deference to the greater good, it would be less likely to inflame people. But there is no moderation or application of common sense. It is as though the ACLU just enjoys the game, or enjoys the war, regardless of the collateral damage or the other demons that are unleashed in the process.


You don't believe the defense of the rights of unpopular minorities is for the greater good?

Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners might be a good read for you. It describes in chilling detail what can happen when the majority are allowed to trample the rights of a hated minority. (By the way, D, on one of the death marches into Germany near the end of the war, the guards were about 20 men and 20 women, IIRC. According to victims' accounts, about half the men guards tortured them, but ALL the women guards did. What is it with you women, anyway?)

I'd like to read the specifics of the two examples you mention. Please cite the cases.


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Post Semantics 
"You don't believe the defense of the rights of unpopular minorities is for the greater good?"
-Odie

A very long discussion. If there were not strong disagreement between competent parties on what constitute "rights", there would be no need for legal action.

There are limits to rights, and they often defer to the greater good. The classic law school example is that you do not have the right to shout "Fire!" in a movie theatre. The law wisely concludes that the public's right to safety and avoidance of fatal stampedes trumps your right to free speech. It is the appropriate application of common sense to individual freedom.

Perhaps one great problem is that the ACLU applies its passion selectively. They will certainly rush in with the cavalry when a despicable group like the American Nazis deliberately target a heavily Jewish community for their public demonstrations. But they are nowhere to be seen when a conservative speaker is shouted down and threatened on a college campus, are they? Are they any less despised by their audience? Or does the college speaker just fall on the wrong end of the political spectrum to gain the ACLU's loyal suppport?

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Quote:
A very long discussion. If there were not strong disagreement between competent parties on what constitute "rights", there would be no need for legal action.


Rights are claims made valid by law, tradition, and/or morality. Couldja point out where this "strong disagreement" "on what constitutes rights" is taking place? I thought everyone competent to discuss them pretty much agreed on the definition.

Quote:
There are limits to rights, and they often defer to the greater good. The classic law school example is that you do not have the right to shout "Fire!" in a movie theatre. The law wisely concludes that the public's right to safety and avoidance of fatal stampedes trumps your right to free speech. It is the appropriate application of common sense to individual freedom.


I believe "compelling societal interest" is the phrase commonly used in law.

Quote:
Perhaps one great problem is that the ACLU applies its passion selectively. They will certainly rush in with the cavalry when a despicable group like the American Nazis deliberately target a heavily Jewish community for their public demonstrations. But they are nowhere to be seen when a conservative speaker is shouted down and threatened on a college campus, are they? Are they any less despised by their audience? Or does the college speaker just fall on the wrong end of the political spectrum to gain the ACLU's loyal suppport?


In the cases I'm (barely) familiar with, the Nazis were denied permits to march and the ACLU stepped in to defend their rights and help obtain the permits, the courts finding that the right to demonstrate outweighed the societal interest in limiting that right in those particular cases.

As a practical matter, even if the shouting down of a conservative speaker was a violation of the speaker's rights, who would the ACLU file suit against? Shouters? Are you under the impression that speakers have a right not to be shouted down? Has the ACLU filed suit against demonstrators who've shouted down Nazi hate speech during Nazi demonstrations?

You have a right to free speech. You don't have a right to have it heard.

As far as being threatened, that is a rights violation and the ACLU probably leaves that to law enforcement. Conservatives seem to like to claim to be "threatened" (Michelle Bachman was the latest case I'm aware of), perhaps because it feeds the victim mentality conservatives play to, but I'm not aware of law enforcement or the courts taking their claims seriously. Is that because they're in bed with the ACLU, or is because conservatives' claims of being threatened don't hold up to objective review?


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Post zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 
Yes, Odin, we can banter semantics back and forth, and parse the definitions of terms till the cows come home. History clearly shows us that definitions are constantly evolving and changing, and for every one I toss out, you can come back with ten that have been used to describe the same phenomenon in various venues. It is an unproductive use of time, and the unfortunate curse of legalists who are more interested in the game than the outcome. The strictures of legalism do not, in my view, relieve us of the duty to employ our own minds, common sense, and common decency.

Your flip dismissal of threat concerns is simply ignorant. Controversial personalities of all stripes are constantly threatened, and they are handled confidentially. The mark of good security is that they do their job so efficiently that you never know anything happened. Be grateful for that.

Good law is a combination of constitutionality and subjective legislative judgement. We make subjective laws all the time. Certainly there is no serious social harm to walking about in the nude, but we have collectively decided that it offends public decency. Apparently no judge has yet decided that there is a compelling need to express oneself by exposing their bare bodies to the public, and have long upheld its prohibition despite no practical demonstrable harm. Our law is littered with examples of conduct that is prohibited for no other reason than the fact that it upsets people. Here is the MN statute on disorderly conduct, which is often learned too late for some people:

Minnesota Statute 609.72

Whoever does any of the following in a public or private place, including on a school bus, knowing, or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will tend to, alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or breach of the peace, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor:

1. Engages in brawling or fighting; or

2. Disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in his character; or

3. Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.

I post this to point out that clearly the Legislature has given discretion to law enforcement and judges to interpret and consider the standards of the average citizen in determining what "will tend to alarm, anger or disturb others" and "arouse alarm, anger, or resentment". It is a most reasonable acknowledgement of the need for common sense.

You cite the Skokie incident involving the Nazi march. Does it not stand to reason that a community full of Jews would be "alarmed, angry or resentful" at the sight of shouting men in uniforms best known for the deliberate slaughter of millions of their kin? With the same men shouting hateful slogans at them? Nor would it be unreasonable to infer that this community was deliberately selected for that very purpose. That would be an application of common sense and reason, something judges and cops do every day.

But that suggests a knowledge of the mind of the perp, and the victim! Yes, it does. And we do that every day too. We conclude that a silent man standing in front of you with a gun intends for you to hand over your goods. We permit people to be arrested for domestic assault because the victim is "in fear", even if they haven't been touched. And we can infer that Nazis chose Skokie to march because they enjoy terrorizing Jews. We don't need to infer that the Jews hate and fear them, because they told us so.

Common sense, Odie. Look that one up.

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Post Etc 
And if you want an example at the other end of the political spectrum, recall the Evangelical gay-hating loonies who terrorized the families of soldiers killed in the Middle East during funerals. Should we protect the rights of these monsters travelling around the country specifically targeting grieving families who have nothing whatsoever to do with their crazy agenda?

I think not. The civilized part of me wants them arrested. The rest of me wants them beaten with axe handles. Fortunately a respect for the law stands between us.

Oh, but then again, they are an unpopular minority, so...

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Post Common Sense Conservatives, the new oxymoron 
Quote:
Yes, Odin, we can banter semantics back and forth, and parse the definitions of terms till the cows come home. History clearly shows us that definitions are constantly evolving and changing, and for every one I toss out, you can come back with ten that have been used to describe the same phenomenon in various venues. It is an unproductive use of time, and the unfortunate curse of legalists who are more interested in the game than the outcome. The strictures of legalism do not, in my view, relieve us of the duty to employ our own minds, common sense, and common decency.


Poor response. You asserted that "competent parties" were in "strong disagreement" on what constitutes "rights" (IOW a semantics disagreement), then when asked for specifics, you go on and on with this non-sequitor "Wa'll, we can argue semantics, but ..." crap.

Your failure to defend your assertions is obvious to any intelligent reader paying attention. Rhetorical tap-dancing doesn't hide that failure, it just annoys those who wade through your excess verbiage to discover there's no pony. ZZZZ indeed.

Quote:
Your flip dismissal of threat concerns is simply ignorant. Controversial personalities of all stripes are constantly threatened, and they are handled confidentially. The mark of good security is that they do their job so efficiently that you never know anything happened. Be grateful for that.


Also poor. Once again, you fail to respond with specific cases of the ACLU ignoring conservatives being threatened, but defending non-conservatives who've been similarly threatened.

You also fail to cite any cases where conservatives' claims of being threatened were substantiated by law enforcement and the courts.

Quote:
Good law is a combination of constitutionality and subjective legislative judgement. We make subjective laws all the time. Certainly there is no serious social harm to walking about in the nude, but we have collectively decided that it offends public decency. Apparently no judge has yet decided that there is a compelling need to express oneself by exposing their bare bodies to the public, and have long upheld its prohibition despite no practical demonstrable harm. Our law is littered with examples of conduct that is prohibited for no other reason than the fact that it upsets people. Here is the MN statute on disorderly conduct, which is often learned too late for some people:

Minnesota Statute 609.72

Whoever does any of the following in a public or private place, including on a school bus, knowing, or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will tend to, alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or breach of the peace, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor:

1. Engages in brawling or fighting; or

2. Disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in his character; or

3. Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.

I post this to point out that clearly the Legislature has given discretion to law enforcement and judges to interpret and consider the standards of the average citizen in determining what "will tend to alarm, anger or disturb others" and "arouse alarm, anger, or resentment". It is a most reasonable acknowledgement of the need for common sense.

You cite the Skokie incident involving the Nazi march. Does it not stand to reason that a community full of Jews would be "alarmed, angry or resentful" at the sight of shouting men in uniforms best known for the deliberate slaughter of millions of their kin? With the same men shouting hateful slogans at them? Nor would it be unreasonable to infer that this community was deliberately selected for that very purpose. That would be an application of common sense and reason, something judges and cops do every day.

But that suggests a knowledge of the mind of the perp, and the victim! Yes, it does. And we do that every day too. We conclude that a silent man standing in front of you with a gun intends for you to hand over your goods. We permit people to be arrested for domestic assault because the victim is "in fear", even if they haven't been touched. And we can infer that Nazis chose Skokie to march because they enjoy terrorizing Jews. We don't need to infer that the Jews hate and fear them, because they told us so.

Common sense, Odie. Look that one up.


Is the definition near the one for Nonsense? If you're arguing the ACLU shouldn't defend the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie because Jews living there are fearful of Nazis, most of the American populace is fearful every time a conservative enters a voting booth. Should your right to vote not be defended?

Some old white ladies are fearful when young black men sit by them on a bus. Want to limit young black men's rights to sit near little old white ladies?

Ever seen footage of those Skokie marches? There's more cops on hand than Nazis and
the counter-demonstrators are usually greater in number and more rabidly vocal. If anyone should be in fear at those marches, it's the Nazis. If they claimed to be fearful, would you then say the ACLU shouldn't defend the counter-demonstrators First Amendment rights?

As I've said, the legal test when limiting individual rights is whether there's a "compelling societal interest" for doing so, the courts being the first arbiters of whether or not that standard is met, your paeans to common sense notwithstanding.


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Post Re: Common Sense Conservatives, the new oxymoron 
OdinofAzgard wrote:
... most of the American populace is fearful every time a conservative enters a voting booth.


You've gone off the deep end there, Odin.

If it were true that "most" of Americans were fearful of conservative voting, then they'd be a vast minority and Democrats would win every election 85-15.

Most elections of the past 8-16 years have been razor-thin, no matter who wins. Which means what you're suggesting is a clear example of fear-mongering.

Of course, you'd fit right in with the Pravda crowd, comrade. They had just was much regard for pravda (truth) as you seem to... Shocked

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Post And stop slouching 
Quote:

You've gone off the deep end there, Odin.

If it were true that "most" of Americans were fearful of conservative voting, then they'd be a vast minority and Democrats would win every election 85-15.


Ok, I'll bite. What's a "vast minority" and why isn't the phrase oxymoronic?

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Most elections of the past 8-16 years have been razor-thin, no matter who wins.


The rest of us haven't taken away conservatives' right to vote, but that doesn't mean we aren't fearful when you exercise it. We're like the parents who don't take away their teenagers' car keys, even though the children continue to make poor decisions. We're fearful every time we hear the car backing out of the driveway.

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Which means what you're suggesting is a clear example of fear-mongering.


No. Fear-mongering is the promoting of fear. I'm simply commenting on the phenomenon. Has anyone explained to you that you shouldn't be using words and phrases you don't understand?

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Of course, you'd fit right in with the Pravda crowd, comrade. They had just was much regard for pravda (truth) as you seem to...


Conservatives talking about truth (or common decency) is like five-year-olds talking about quantum physics. It's cute, but you have no idea what you're talking about.


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Post To Onan, We Knew Him Well 
I stand accused of excessive verbosity, and I cannot deny the claim. King Augeus also accused Hercules of immoderation when he joined the Rivers Alpheus and Pereus together to clean the Augean Stables. He, like I, believed that the most stubborn dung can only be dislodged with a powerful and cleansing flow. Some dung clings more stubbornly than other.

I don't bother providing examples of conservative harassment, Onan, because I find it much more amusing to watch you wrestle with your own logical fallacy of a negative proof. I have not provided you a proof, so you assert my proposition is false. If you truly sought to generate light rather than heat, you would seek them on your own.

It is difficult to carry on this conversation. You follow intense and microscopic semantic analysis with wildly broad generalities and irresponsible misrepresentations that negate the logical flows you commenced. Although I find your posts interesting, I must say I am discouraged from responding to someone who displays no knowledge of civility or social grace. It is entirely possible to have a difference of philosophy and opinion without personally attacking another, but it appears you missed that day at school. It's most unfortunate. You have much to offer.

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Post You poor widdle victim 
Quote:
I stand accused of excessive verbosity, and I cannot deny the claim. King Augeus also accused Hercules of immoderation when he joined the Rivers Alpheus and Pereus together to clean the Augean Stables. He, like I, believed that the most stubborn dung can only be dislodged with a powerful and cleansing flow. Some dung clings more stubbornly than other.

I don't bother providing examples of conservative harassment, Onan, because I find it much more amusing to watch you wrestle with your own logical fallacy of a negative proof. I have not provided you a proof, so you assert my proposition is false. If you truly sought to generate light rather than heat, you would seek them on your own.


Just more of the mealy-mouthed rhetoric that's left your credibility in tatters. Having made the original assertions, the burden of proof falls upon you to provide evidence of their validity. It isn't up to others to prove that "competent parties" are NOT having "strong disagreements" on "what constitutes rights," or conservative speakers are NOT being threatened by protestors on college campuses, or the ACLU is NOT playing favorites, or there are NOT faeries living in your empty head.

I haven't asserted your propositions are false. I've asked for credible evidence they're true and your unwillingness or inability to provide that evidence suggests you've abdicated your responsibility to think for yourself and chosen to mindlessly parrot the opinions of others, despising the ACLU because you've been told to by your conservative icons. Your failures suggest you have no idea whether or not the opinions are valid and you're content not knowing.

Quote:
It is difficult to carry on this conversation. You follow intense and microscopic semantic analysis with wildly broad generalities and irresponsible misrepresentations that negate the logical flows you commenced. Although I find your posts interesting, I must say I am discouraged from responding to someone who displays no knowledge of civility or social grace. It is entirely possible to have a difference of philosophy and opinion without personally attacking another, but it appears you missed that day at school. It's most unfortunate. You have much to offer.


This is a microcosm of the national conversation in which Republicans, after embracing Newt and his suggested list of words for his brethren to apply to Democrats and Democratic proposals, after engaging in the worst kind of gutter politics, after poisoning the well of public discourse, now shamelessly whine about the lack of civility in politics.

You were accorded due goodwill and you abused it. Given the nature of your offenses, I've been gentleness personified.


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