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HCR 1004: Teaching Bible in Public School Has Purely Secular Intent. Honest!

Last updated on 2013.01.10

I was enjoying breakfast. Then I read the Reverend Representative Steve Hickey's latest sly nod to theocracy. Rep. Hickey and all sorts of Republicans want all South Dakota school districts to teach the Bible.

House Concurrent Resolution 1004 declares that if you don't know your Bible, you're an ignoramus ill-equipped to engage in democracy, literature, or public discourse (subtext: "That gal doesn't read the Bible! She can't govern! Discount her blog comments!"). HCR 1004 calls on schools to either implement stand-alone Bible classes or integrate Bible studies into their literature and social studies classes. It calls for "clear and consistent communication of the importance of basic literacy of the Bible," all in careful accordance, of course, with the First Amendment.

Let's drop the winkingly pious baloney. HCR 1004 isn't about literacy. It's about proselytizing. It's about reinforcing Christian faith. It's about surrounding kids with messages that shout "Bible Bible Bible! Jesus Jesus Jesus!" The motivation for this resolution is no different from what drives Coca-Cola and the National Guard to hand out free calendars to public schools: they're putting their brand in front of a captive audience of impressionable young minds to win business and recruits.

But maybe I should chill out. Let's take Pastor Hickey and HCR 1004 at their words. Let's assume the resolution really comes to us in the spirit of secular education. Then how better to uphold this resolution than by adding one important clause:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that given the importance of the First Amendment and avoiding excessive entanglement of the state in religion, and given the purely secular aims of this resolution, the Legislature of South Dakota supports the appointment of purely secular teachers to the supervision and execution of all Bible-related education called for in this resolution.

I am a secular humanist and atheist. I have no interest in encouraging young people to join any particular religion. I have no interest in discouraging them from joining any particular religion. I am certified to teach literature and social studies. I have taught students about Biblical references in Shakespeare, The Grapes of Wrath, and other literature from a purely secular perspective. I've even read Bible stories to my daughter with no conversionary intent whatsoever.

Yes, Pastor Steve, if you're gonna do it, do it right: do it with me! I'm your man! I am the perfect person to head up your initiative to bring the Bible to public schools. Amend that resolution! Put me and my fellow secular humanists in charge! Assure the good people of South Dakota that HCR 1004 has no theistic intent whatsoever.


  1. LK 2012.01.25

    I guess your amendment would leave me out even though I think I'm pretty impartial when I do my archetypes unit using Biblical passages.

    I am frightened that Americans in general are losing cultural literacy. It's pretty clear that for a long time in this country the Bible was part of the shared culture, so advocating Biblical knowledge as part of improving cultural literacy doesn't bother me much.

    I am much more upset by the "war on religion" rhetoric that comes from certain quarters. I haven't read this resolution so I don't know it's in there.

    I think that we probably should have a class using Prothero's book God Is Not One: The 8 Rival Religions That Run the World.

    Atheism is one of them. Some other "religions" frequently mentioned in these comments are not.

  2. Taunia 2012.01.25

    If this passes, it's more than time to tax churches. Not just because it's crossing the lines between separation of church and state - which is happening far more than is comfortable already, but because Catholic kids especially will finally see what's in the Bible.

    The church can pay public school teachers for doing the church's job. If it goes there.

  3. Steve Hickey 2012.01.25

    Cory I appreciate your interest in this resolution and expected you to jump on it quick. And yes, as a Rev/Rep my bias in this matter is quite obvious and equal to that of the farmers here bringing farm bills and the chiropractors bringing those bills. However I do have faith my resolution won't meet the same fate as the gun bill last week which was not considered so much on it's merits but by the baggage of those behind it.

    Also, it is an enormous stretch to suppose the co-sponsors here are secretly shouting Jesus Jesus Jesus, especially Jewish Sen Lederman who indicated to me he definitely wants to address this on the Senate floor. As you perhaps saw in the comments on my Facebook page, my interest in this resolution does not stem from my adherence to some Saul-Alinsky-type-manual-for-theocrats. I reject theocracy as did our Founders.

    My interest in this was sparked in 2007 when Time magazine did a cover story on Why We Should Teach The Bible In Public Schools: But Very Very Carefully.

    In other words, teach it as an academic study in a non-devotional way. Justice Arthur Goldberg made this distinction in his 1963 opinion... between "the teaching of religion" (bad) and "teaching about religion" (good). If you are wondering, my view is that students must also be acquainted with the Koran and, haha, I sure wish the Book of Mormon would get more press time these days (I'm not a Romney fan.)

    Trust me, the textbooks available for this are not ones we'd use at church and the Christian homeschool crowd has their own more devotional versions. The National Association of School Boards agrees the Bible can and should be taught in public schools.

    Yes, I'd be comfortable with you teaching this course. Here is the article text from Time's cover story on this topic.,9171,1601845,00.html

    On the House floor today I'll mention Jay Leno's segments a few years ago interviewing people on the streets of Hollywood asking what they know of the Bible... the college girl who stumbled to name even one Ten Commandments then finally guessed "freedom of speech" or the guy who answered Pinnochio when asked who was swallowed by the whale or the man who thought the Golden Rule was the one with the gold rules. Biblical idioms and metaphors are throughout our language and culture and if it's okay for the Governor of California to sign a bill mandating schools in that state teach gay history, then it's okay in SD to make sure the Bible isn't tossed out. I brought this as a resolution and not a bill because I think local school boards should make curriculum decisions and in this case that the disposition of the Legislature would remove any sort of fear of a First Amendment violation if they choose to offer a Bible elective.

  4. TCMack 2012.01.25

    I think if this passes there will be a 1st Amendment challenge, but this opens so many possibilities for a world history class. Now when studying the Middle East, we could do a comparative study of the Bible, Koran, Torah, and the historian Josephus. We could dissect all books and find the truth in the religions. We could compare their ideas and find out what ideas were taken from each. It would be a fun time.

  5. larry kurtz 2012.01.25

    i'm typing as Betty Olson wants to end teacher contracts but confess that if i was teaching Literature in high school, religious texts would be included in my study plan.

  6. Taunia 2012.01.25

    ALL religions, TCMack? Sacrilege! Didn't you learn from the Oklahoma vote to ban Sharia Law? Muslims are evil. They're everywhere and probably hiding in your garage now. Watch Fox News so you can stay informed. Also, invest in tin foil.

  7. Bill Fleming 2012.01.25

    I'm trying to imagine what harm would come if everybody stopped reading the bible altogether. Would we be worse off, or better? Just putting the question out there.

  8. tonyamert 2012.01.25

    I really don't understand the fixation on using the bible as an educational tool. Most of the stories are just derivative works and found so commonly that one could easily substitute alternative works to teach whatever it is they are hoping to teach. If the authors of this resolution really want to change what is being taught in school they could simply select less politically charged works.

    My speculation: I fear however that the authors of this bill believe that morality is derived from the bible and could not possibly be learned through any other source. Therefore, they believe that the bible must be introduced and used to teach morality. My problem with this is that I of course don't believe that morality is derived through the bible and comes innately from our nature. If I'm right, any number of books could be used to study morality so I see no need to put the bible on a pedestal.

  9. Erin 2012.01.25

    The resolution (and let's remember this is a resolution, not a bill) doesn't appear to strive for the teaching of morality, just cultural literacy. And I'll agree that American culture--like it or not--is utterly steeped in Christianity and the language of the Bible. Even as someone who believes very firmly in the separation of church and state, I can appreciate the need to teach the Bible from a cultural literacy standpoint (and ONLY that standpoint).

    BUT! "If you are wondering, my view is that students must also be acquainted with the Koran and, haha, I sure wish the Book of Mormon would get more press time these days (I’m not a Romney fan.)"

    Then, why, Rep. Hickey, aren't the Koran and Book of Mormon mentioned in the resolution??

  10. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.25

    Steve Hickey I'm not sure that everyone will except what you are going to preach in our schools as anything other then what it really is,”indoctrination”. Of course my assumption is that you are planning to use the text book called “The Bible in History in Literature” by that really great institution called “The National Council on Bible Curriculum”. “Please note sarcasm.” Well I'm throwing a flag and calling it Bullshit.

    All of this sounds suspiciously like something David Barton would try to push. I don’t care right now if you like what I have to say about Barton or not. For the record I think he is “a bottom feeding, scum sucking, lying, fact inventing immoral, twisted person.” If you like him you are one and the same as far as I'm concerned.

    This comes directly from The National Council on Bible Curriculums own website.
    The Bible in History in Literature
    This curriculum has been prepared using the King James Bible, because of its historic use as the legal and educational foundation of America. That doesn’t exactly sound like a book that is going to be used only to educate in the public school system and is in fact a lie.

    Lets explore why it is a lie shall we.
    First there is this.
    Article VI, paragraph 3:

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    And then these words of wisdom
    Ulysses S. Grant said in his seventh annual address (State of the Union address) to the Congress, December 7, 1875:

    As this will be the last annual message which I shall have the honor of transmitting to Congress before my successor is chosen, I will repeat or recapitulate the questions which I deem of vital importance which may be legislated upon and settled at this session:
    First. That the States shall be required to afford the opportunity of a good common-school education to every child within their limits.
    Second. No sectarian tenets shall ever be taught in any school supported in whole or in part by the State, nation, or by the proceeds of any tax levied upon any community. Make education compulsory so far as to deprive all persons who can not read and write from becoming voters after the year 1890, disfranchising none, however, on grounds of illiteracy who may be voters at the time this amendment takes effect.
    Third. Declare church and state forever separate and distinct, but each free within their proper spheres; and that all church property shall bear its own proportion of taxation
    And more truth
    Thomas Paine I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

    Want more?
    John Adams As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, - and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arrising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    And finally from the Baptist religion
    The concept of the separation of church and state appears in the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message (a revision of an earlier statement where it also appears) adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention:

    God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

    Stop this now Reverend Hickey. Not even your own God will forgive the intentional lies that you are trying to tell. Your bill doesn’t meet the smell test, it smells like shit. Just because you like the taste doesn't mean the rest of us will so stop trying to feed it to our children.

    The not so Blindman

  11. larry kurtz 2012.01.25

    Poetry is essential to understanding human communication. If The Prophet is allowed in public school Lit classes why not Ecclesiastes?

  12. larry kurtz 2012.01.25

    "American 20th-century novelist Thomas Wolfe wrote: “[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man’s life upon this earth — and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth. I am not given to dogmatic judgments in the matter of literary creation, but if I had to make one I could say that Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.”

  13. LK 2012.01.25

    "Of course my assumption is that you are planning to use the text book called “The Bible in History in Literature” by that really great institution called “The National Council on Bible Curriculum”.

    A local group tried to have our schoo board adopt this curriculum. If that is what is being pushed, I too will want to throw the BS penalty flag.

    As Erin said, however, this is a resolution not a bill, so I hope that it's just what it appears to be on the surface.

  14. Jana 2012.01.25

    Oh Pastor Steve. First of all, I appreciate that you are a minister first and a legislator second, and with that I don't begrudge you from promoting your "industry."

    But to use the illiteracy of the cherry picked people in a Jay Leno segment to justify state involvement is about as shallow as I've ever seen. Do you suppose those same people could have recited the Bill of Rights? The amendments to the constitution? Told you who their city council, state legislators, US Representative or Senators were?

    These people are picked for a reason.

    I remember laughing about that segment with our small group and then one of the group said...look how bad we have failed as a church. He was right.

    Wouldn't it be better to give ministers a $5,000 bonus if the people in their community can pass this Jay Leno test? Heck, we could even give $3,500 bonuses to those who teach in the areas of Old Testament beliefs on gays and marriage. And if a ministers flock fails the test, they should be fired...or at least denied tenure and limited to one plate at the church pot luck.

  15. Troy Jones 2012.01.25

    Two comments to Cory:

    1) "purely secular" in your amendment. I assume this means an agnostic or atheist?

    2) If you want me to trust you to not to be biased, why can't you trust me to not be biased?

    Seriously, if teachers are truly professionals, neither of us should fear them teaching the material within allowed constraints.

    On another matter, Fleming and I had a email conversation where we discussed where people in politics don't have an undersanding of what a Democratic Republic is. I recall in college a person thinking "Natural Law" in the Declaration of Independence thought it how Biological Laws.

    Whether one is a atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or another religion, it is indisputable some of the most significant (and beautiful) words written are in the Bible. To pretend this isn't so by denying carte blanche from being incorporated in the classroom is both decieving but anti-intellectual.

    This said, we do have to be careful for alot of reasons. A thoughtful approach (vs. knee-jerk) should satisfy most regardless of religious views.

    Erin: I think to restrict it to only cultural literacy is too constraining. The Bible has impacted law which is in itself a statement of morality (prohibiting what is deemed wrong and encouraging what is deemed good by the body politic. But I think I get where you are coming from: It shouldn't be used to promote "divine morality."

  16. Jana 2012.01.25

    Pastor Steve, I thought of you while I was driving today in the snow and thinking that's a slippery slope.

  17. larry kurtz 2012.01.25

    @rcjMontgomery: "The sponsor, Rep. Hickey, says he'd be fine with teaching the Koran or the Book of Mormon in schools, too. Cites literary & historic value."

  18. larry kurtz 2012.01.25

    Let's not forget to include the teachings of Jeremiah Wright, Malcolm X, Wovoka, and Angela Davis.

  19. larry kurtz 2012.01.25

    @rcjMontgomery: "The resolution calling for the teaching of the Bible, academically, in SD schools passes the House 55-13."

  20. Jana 2012.01.25

    I would only add to the bill that all denominations of Lutherans have to be in total agreement on the meaning of the Bible before it can be introduced into the curriculum.

    We all know that would never happen.

  21. Donald Pay 2012.01.25

    Basically, as anyone knows who has spent any time in Pierre, an HCR is a piece of toilet paper, and anything written on it gets flushed along with whatever pieces of detritus are written therein. Oh, there might be a momentary pause at the Boards of Education to consider how much it would cost districts to defend any suit that would come from trying to implement this devil's work. But after that pause, they would go to the restroom emit some gas along with the feces, wipe with this HCR and flush it down the toilet.

    By the way, Hickey took the coward's way out He could have put this in bill form where it might have had more impact. He chose the HCR route because, he lacks faith in as many possible ways as there is to lack faith. Mostly, he lacks faith in God. Only someone who thinks God is dumber and weaker than himself would try to use the power of government to do the job that God could do. He lacks faith in himself, because, again, he wants the government to do his job.

    But in a stunning way, he has total faith in all those unionized teachers in public schools to carry the message of God in a way far better than he could. Praise Jesus and the teachers he rode in on!!!

  22. Steve Sibson 2012.01.25

    "Then I read the Reverend Representative Steve Hickey’s latest sly nod to theocracy."

    Since you brought up the "T" word, then I should be open to bringing up the New Age Theocracy that worships sex, mother earth, and science. Should we ban those too Cory?

  23. Steve Sibson 2012.01.25

    "I would only add to the bill that all denominations of Lutherans have to be in total agreement on the meaning of the Bible before it can be introduced into the curriculum.

    We all know that would never happen."

    Jana, some of those denominations teach the same sex education, developed by SEICUS, that is taught in public education. So we already have religious discrimination in the k-12 system.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.25

    Ugh. Nothing like wasting everyone's time with a feel-good do-nothing vote for the Bible. More GOP scorecard fodder. Remind me to thank Dist. 31's Chuck Turbiville for voting No.

    Troy, let's gamble. Suppose we know nothing about the teacher other than religious persuasion. Christians have a Scriptural duty to spread the word and win converts, do they not? Followers of many other religions have an obligation to challenge the infidels and win converts to their own faiths. Secularists have no such obligation. Some do, some don't. But a pool of secular teachers will have a better chance of avoiding state entanglement in religion than believing teachers of most stripes. If I'm the state walking this tightrope, I pick me to teach Bible studies. (LK can apply for special consideration: submit that portfolio!)

    And I'm with Jana: I totally want taxes from churches to pay me for doing their job and promoting Biblical literacy.

    [And Steve, no, you don't get to start with your distracting, meaningless bogeymen just because I use the word theocracy... or age... or new.]

  25. larry kurtz 2012.01.25

    It's a resolution, Cory: akin to making navel lint the state shrine.

  26. Steve Sibson 2012.01.25

    "Secularists have no such obligation"

    Oh yes you do. For example:

    "And Steve, no, you don't get to start with your distracting, meaningless bogeymen just because I use the word theocracy... or age... or new."

    You can use the word, but I can't? Are you not forcing your beliefs on to me?

  27. Owen Reitzel 2012.01.25

    if this has already been said I'm sorry, but isn't teaching the bible supposed to done in church???

  28. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.25

    I call on Rev. Hickey to tell us here and now what books are available for study from the other religions of the world for this purpose. After all if there are no other books on this subject then there would only be one source to look at and that would be the book that I mentioned before. So please Mr. Hickey please tell us the name or names of the books that you intend on recommending for study.

    You say “ I think local school boards should make curriculum decisions and in this case that the disposition of the Legislature would remove any sort of fear of a First Amendment violation if they choose to offer a Bible elective.” Really, how did you come to that conclusion?

    Just because you say it doesn’t make it so. The South Dakota legislature cant decide what parts of the constitution they want to adhere to and what parts they want to get rid of. The protection by resolution in the legislature is absolutely meaningless when it comes to constitutional challenges. To say otherwise is not just disingenuous but it is in fact a lie.

    To put it bluntly sir you think you have way more power then you really do.

    The Blindman

  29. Disraeli 2012.01.25

    "Followers of many other religions have an obligation to challenge the infidels and win converts to their own faiths" Agree..
    Teachers will always have an opinion to what they think is the right interpretation of the Bible. And they will influence their student according to their faith because it is their job, knowingly or subconsciously it will happen. Who will decide which interpretation is correct? The school district? I think we should just separate Church and State just as it is written. If the Bible reading can be an elective then I guess that would be fine. There is something we can teach our children without having to bring out the Bible..."respect each other," that moral value seem to have been lost in our school system.

  30. Brother Beaker 2012.01.25

    Cory, do you have a list of sponsors? NAU is hosting a debate in early March and we are considering inviting a sponsor or two to come out for a public debate on the topic.

  31. supersweet 2012.01.25

    The electorate is to blame for who they put in the legislature.

  32. LK 2012.01.25

    "(LK can apply for special consideration: submit that portfolio!)"

    Just sent you a couple of handouts for the heck of it. Critique away

  33. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.25

    Disraeli that was a nice post

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.25
  35. Steve Sibson 2012.01.25

    "The motivation for this resolution is no different from what drives Coca-Cola and the National Guard to hand out free calendars to public schools"


    Planned Parenthood handing out condoms.

  36. David Newquist 2012.01.25

    The Bible has been taught in surveys that deal with the literature, life, and culture of certain periods, and has been included with Homer, Plato, Aristotle, etc., but in recent years I know of no such courses being taught currently. Part of that is because the teaching of literature and language arts is languishing because of the many other ways that special interest groups have managed to tamper with the curriculum. I recall an instance some years back a high school that prided itself on its liberal arts, college prep curriculum was asked by a group of fundamentalist ministers to leave the Bible teaching to the churches. In a course which deals honestly with the sources, the translations, and the provenance of Biblical literature, it is impossible to avoid the question of whether of God being the author who dictated the scripture to transcribers. Or to deal with the fact that the New Testament is a rebuke of the Old.

    This seems like just another instance of everyone except the professional educators tampering with curriculum. But it does give another reason for that segment so given to rage about the state of education.

  37. David Newquist 2012.01.25

    In the above, please strike the "of whether" in the second from last sentence in the first graph.

  38. Donald Pay 2012.01.25

    My favorite Bible verse is Amos 5:24, which is preceded by a verse Rev. Hickey should take to heart.

    The way I learned Amos 5:24 was this: "I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a torrent of doing good." However, there are numerous other translations, which have different words in different places. These slightly different versions impart considerable differences in meaning.

    And I suppose it is like this for a lot of the Bible.

    The King James Bible isn't going to help anyone understand Shakespeare. All of Shakespeare's plays were written before the first King James edition came out. Also, Shakespeare grew up Catholic and seemed to have held on to his faith throughout his life.

  39. Disraeli 2012.01.25

    Wondering, why quote favorite verse. What is the point? Shakespeare may have grown up in a very influential Catholic environment but his plays does not clearly portray what his conviction of faith. Though he had to comply with the norm of beliefs to assimilate or be excommunicated and be killed. The fact of the matter is, when religion begin to influence public school curriculum, there is a possibility that freedom of expression may be infringed. However, here is a verse I will throw in for the sake of hmmm; not sure of its relevance: Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. Well, nothing there about bringing beliefs into the learning institutions. I just like the part "conclusion of the matter."

  40. Disraeli 2012.01.25

    "language arts is languishing" I am not discounting the importance of literature. But in order for our children to be competitive in the future industries, the language in science and technology must take precedence over literacy in Shakesphere.

  41. LK 2012.01.26

    "in order for our children to be competitive in the future industries, the language in science and technology must take precedence over literacy in Shakesphere."

    Yes because the time spent at work is the most important time of the day. It fulfills everyone to the fullest. It's more important to make sure that one is productive and earns an employer more money than it is that one can think about the human condition. After all, man does indeed live by bread alone.

    As a side note, the last time I was in a flower shop several people ahead of me ordered STEMS and left the blossoms behind.

    Just in case the tone wasn't clear, sarcasm is intended

  42. Donald Pay 2012.01.26

    I think my point is that one verse has been translated in so many different ways. This verse as I learned it in church and its context within Amos seems to me to be a very powerful argument against a lot of conservative Republican ideology.

  43. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    "I am a secular humanist and atheist. I have no interest in encouraging young people to join any particular religion. I have no interest in discouraging them from joining any particular religion."

    Cory, that is only your opinion. This is the other side of that coin:

    It is shocking to notice the connection and affinities existing between the New Age followers and the atheistic "rationalists", and others sharing the same ambition to revolutionize the societies.

    Annie Besant, before joining the Theosophical Society, was a violently anticlerical freethinker . The American anarchists of the XIXth century also used to be spiritualists. Bakounine himself explained that Satan was "mankind's Redeemer". Marx wrote, when he was young, poems in which his rebellion against "the one who sits enthroned on high" was blatant. Darwin, the father of eugenicism, was born from a freemason. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was born from a "freethinker" father. In the 30's it was possible to see "summer schools" gathering "freethinkers, spiritualists, theosophists, occultists, anti-vivisectionists, vegetarians, city planners and materialists"(40).

    The French Movement for Family Planning itself, describes its supports as "rationalists": "the Freemasonry, the Human Rights League (Ligue des Droits de l'Homme), the Free-thought and the Rationalist Union" (41) It is possible to notice also the multiple links between feminism and witchcraft, ranging from certain feminists for whom abortion is an initiation rite and who wear as many bracelets around their ankles as abortions they have undergone, to the witch who explains on TV that feminist witches worship a goddess and a god. (Arte, 2/6/96).

    We can conclude that these groups lack sincerity since they have gathered because they are interested in legalizing their rebellion, mainly against the commandment "Thou shall not kill" in order to make the repressive measures against their criminal actions ineffective.

    In the "old pagan religion", promoted by witchcraft, Freemasonry and New Age, we can find the permanence of two cults: the phallic cult of the fertilizing sun (Osiris, Lucifer the "light carrier", the horned god of the Celts) mixed up with the all-mighty State (Baal-Moloch, Nimrod), and the cult of the fertility goddes mixed up with Gaia (the Earth) and Isis, Astarte, Sémiramis models, etc.

  44. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    Eat the John Birch Society....

  45. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    oooo...a phallic cult: hey, that's me!

  46. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Larry, are you into worshipping Gaia too?

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.26

    Sibby, don't be dense. You have no authority to declare my statement of my beliefs and intentions to be "just my opinion." I have stated fact about my atheological agenda.

  48. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    I worship nothing, Steve, because nothing is sacred.

  49. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Not even Mother earth Larry?

    So Cory, are secular humanist educators allowed to introduce Greek Mythology:

    The modern Gaia hypothesis was originally formulated by James Lovelock. Dr Lovelock is one of the worlds most famous and influential scientists. He has degrees in numerous areas, including medicine, chemistry and physics. Lovelock worked for NASA during the 1960's as a consultant to the Viking spacecraft project. His task was to develop methods for detecting life on Mars. He claims that while searching for suitable methods he realised that conditions that allowed life to exist on Earth could not occur ‘naturally’. The system is so well balanced and yet so dynamic that life itself is acting like a self-regulating sentient super-organism. He famously told NASA that there was no possibility of life existing on Mars and they should cancel their mission.

    Lovelock called his sentient, super-organism “Gaia”, after the ancient Greek Goddess of the Earth. In Greek Mythology it was Gaia that “brought Order out of Chaos”, a theme commonly quoted in Gaian texts. Lovelock believed that humans were a key part of this organism. He claimed that humans had evolved to a point where they had become Gaia’s “global brain” and “she is now through us awake and aware of herself. She has seen the reflection of her fair face through the eyes of astronauts and the television cameras of orbiting spacecraft.”

    However, he also believed that humans were abusing the planet environmentally, jeopardizing the organism as a whole, "as though the human race is a cancer." In his latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, Lovelock claims that Gaia is now fully awakened, and she is angry.

  50. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Cory, I am not being dense. The only solution is to implement the doctrine of separation of Church and State. Like the church tax given exclusively to the Church of England, the education tax given exclusively to New Age schools is a violation of the First Amendment, as it establishes a religion, and thereby a theocracy.

    And you don't have any problem handing out free condoms in school, right Cory?

  51. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.26

    Oh good grief. We have kids who can't count change, can't compose a coherent paragraph, can't communicate in any other language, and don't understand basic science or civics. Meanwhile, one Steve wants public schools to do his job, while the other Steve wants to talk about Gaia. I'm going to work in forty minutes to teach kids how to analyze and use the grammar and vocabulary of a foreign language.

  52. Bill Fleming 2012.01.26

    Cory, Sibby clearly failed the "opinion vs fact" test here. That's what happens when one refuses to learn critical thinking .

    Steve, if Cory says he has a beard, wears glasses, and lives in Spearfish, will you tell him that's just his opinion? Don't be such a meathead.

  53. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    So BIll, you want facts, here is more on Dr Lovelock:

    Lovelock was also one of the first and most vocal proponents of the Global Warming theory. To a suspicious mind it may appear that controlling and eliminating CFC’s was a test case for the big prize, controlling and eliminating fossil fuels, thus removing the cause of Gaia’s pain – the modern industrial society. However, throughout his long career Lovelock has zealously promoted his Gaia theory. Two of his most recent publications are titled “Homage to Gaia” and “A Book of Hymns to Gaia.”

    The Gaia hypothesis was eagerly accepted by the emerging new age movement in the 1970s as it combines neatly with eastern mysticism and neopagan theology, but “science” was needed to convince biologists. For these people, Gaia was made palatable by Lovelock's Daisyworld model, a mathematical and scientific theory designed to refute the criticisms of Darwinism. Just as evolution eliminates the need for a divine creator, the Daisyworld model provided a theory of evolving life on earth that incorporates natural selection with a sentient lifeforce. It eliminates a personal yet separate God, and makes humans a part of the divine spirit that is Gaia.

  54. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    "That’s what happens when one refuses to learn critical thinking ."

    Bill, glad you brought that up. THis is from the other link I have provided:

    For New Age, human life is not more important than animals' life. In fact, due to the reincarnation cycle (karma), death is only the passage to another birth, under a human or an animal form (in case of a bad karma). Thus Alice A. Bailey thought that the Schoah was due to a bad karma of the Jews.

    In this system, abortion is not a murder, but the opportunity to find a better karma.

    Margaret Sanger (1879-1967), founder in 1921 of the later Planned Parenthood movement in New York, was rosicrucian, violently anticlerical and she belonged to a sect called Unity, which described itself as "a mental treatment guaranteed to heal all diseases of the flesh ". This sect is listed among those of the New Age. She emphasizes the power of "Creative Thinking" in all areas; there you learn to become "Christ", that is to say, to realize in oneself the self divine by merging into the Cosmic consciousness. Sanger also devoted herself to astrology, to numerology, and she consulted the mediums.

  55. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    "Does God give a damn about #climatechange?" Five clerics debate it.

    Related: easy access to firearms increases suicide risk in the elderly: PsychToday

  56. Bill Fleming 2012.01.26

    You're missing the point, Steve. When Cory tells us what his disposition is (i.e. “I am a secular humanist and atheist. I have no interest in encouraging young people to join any particular religion. I have no interest in discouraging them from joining any particular religion.”) that is a fact, not an opinion.

  57. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Bill, and the fact is that he is, perhaps unwittingly, indoctrinating students with New Age Theology:

    "It is shocking to notice the connection and affinities existing between the New Age followers and the atheistic “rationalists”, and others sharing the same ambition to revolutionize the societies."

    I am not saying Cory is a hardcore New Ager. I am simply showing him, and the readers of this blog, that we (including me) are being deceived and indeed are having a religion pushed down our throats in the public school system. By providing the Biblical perspective, we can provide a balance so that critical thinking can actually happen. Currently critical thinking is a deceptive phrase that actually does the exact opposite. Or perhaps "critical thinking" actually means "being critical of the Bible".

  58. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    How many of the following organizations do you support:

    New Age today is a network of numerous decentralized organizations each of which carry out different gnostic spiritualities, mainly Hinduism and Buddhism (yoga, hypnosis, self-hypnosis, rosicrucianism, "holistic" medicine, drugs, UFO's, the power of cristals, sorcery, etc.). It's a huge company that prophesies the arrival of a new Christ in the "age of Aquarius".

    Some organizations openly claim to be of the New-Age: Lucis Trust(32) (including World Good Will, the Arcane Schools, the Triangles, the New Groups of World Servants), the Earth friends, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Children of God, Zero Population Growth (neomalthusian), People for the American Way (anti-christians for abortion), Planetary Citizens, Planetary Initiative for the World we choose, Council of Unity in Diversity, Sutphen Corporation, the Human Potential Development Movement, Transcendental Meditation, the New Comprehension Church (Scientology), Earth First, sophrology, etc.

    Other organizations make a secret of it: the Pacific Institute (training in companies), the W.W.F. (founded by an eugenicist)...

  59. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    Your source contains glaring orthographic errata reflecting a patina of fecal debris, Steve.

  60. Bill Fleming 2012.01.26


    Okay, let's sort this out, Sibby.

    I don't want to have to do this too many more times. But here goes:

    1. Steve, when you say believe you are being decieved, is that a fact? Do you really think that? Or is that just your opinion?

    2. Conversely, when you say you think that people should read the Bible for a balanced perspective, is it a fact that you believe that? Or just an opinion?

    3. When you say that you believe that Jesus Christ is your personal savior, is that a fact? Or just an opinion?

    All we need for answers are for you to circle on or the other of the following:

    1. Fact. Opinion.
    2. Fact. Opinion.
    3. Fact. Opinion.

  61. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Bill, before I answer your questions, I insist you answer the one you refused to answer:

    Do you believe Jesus Christ to be nothing more than a great moral teacher?

  62. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    "The earth is alive, living rock"

    Larry thanks for supporting the positions of the "glaring orthographic errata reflecting a patina of fecal debris".

  63. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    Quit bugging Bill, he's working. Jesus was a cool guy who loved women; the Christ was created by the Whore of Babylon.

  64. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    Breaking: @thinkprogress Congressman Barney Frank intends to marry his longtime partner.

  65. Bill Fleming 2012.01.26

    Steve, why would I ever tell you what I believe if you're only going to turn atound and say that I don't believe it?

    You still completely fail to grasp the point of this exercise.

    I don't care what you believe.

    But whatever it is, I'm not going to deny that you believe it.

    That would be stupid of me.

    Precisely as stupid as you are being here with Cory by telling him that his positions are not really his positions.

  66. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    "Precisely as stupid as you are being here with Cory by telling him that his positions are not really his positions."

    Never said that Bill. Thanks for showing how New Agers use deception. Now that you have resorted to personal attacks and not staying on the issue, I will end our conservation on this thread.

  67. Bill Fleming 2012.01.26

    Yes, Sibby, you did. That's the problem. If you can't stop being stupid, please do, by all means, at least end the conversation.

  68. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    @MarkUdall: Let's not forget, we didn’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we’re borrowing it from our children.

  69. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    So for the rest of the readers, what you are witnessing is a non-violent, yet personal attack on Christians as being stupid. This explains the history behind it:

    This sociologic approach is related to the marxist analysis where truth is not very important; as a matter of fact it is impossible to talk about sects without making reference to the numerous historical conflicts between the true Christianism and gnostic sects, between true and false. Actually, the modern concept of "sect" corresponds to the most ancient one of "heresy". But materialists cannot use the word "heresy" because then it would be necessary to talk about "orthodoxy".

    Heresies are varied, usually some kind of corruption of Christianism through a mixture against nature with:

    greek or far-eastern philosophy

    of paganism and occultism (idolatry).

    The most typical heretic sects are the gnostic sects (from gnosis, knowledge, in Greek). Their fundamental doctrine lies on salvation through knowledge, which is in total opposition to the christian doctrine of salvation through the grace of God . In sects, the new followers are initiated to secrets that they must not reveal to the outside world; the organization is stratified by knowledge levels or degrees, but the teachings received by the higher levels contradict those given to the inferior levels, which demonstrates their manipulating nature. The doctrines of the highest degrees are secret and unattainable to those in the inferior grades and even less to the "laymen"; they are usually related with the worship of divinities (idolatry), which can reach the peak of ritual murders and always in violent opposition to Christianity.

    The two main gnostic sects with a strong influence in France are Freemasonry and the New Age. We can find freemasons among the founders of the New Age for gnostic doctrines are very good at mixing and integrating all contributions, even if they are contradictory.

  70. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    South Dakota is the perfect place for you to live, Steve: the new flag should feature a sheep with its head in a fence.

  71. Taunia 2012.01.26

    This year's teaching the bible in public schools is last year's abortion debate. Ad nauseum.

    I still have enough faith in the voters of South Dakota nixing it if it was on a ballot.

  72. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Taunia, thanks for supporting the premise that abortion is a foundational theology of the New Age Movement. You can't have worship of sex without the risk of over population, so child sacrifice becomes a component. And here we see how the unbiblical feminst movement is used in the worhsip of Gaia:

    The feminist movement has also warmly embraced the concept of a Gaia Goddess. For many of these proponents, an integral part of Goddess worship is its prevalent theme of anti-masculine, anti-male statements. In this philosophical world-view, since Goddess worship is good, then by necessity, any use of masculine terminology in reference to God or any prominence of men in culture or society is generally discouraged. The prominent self-proclaimed ‘feminist witch’, Miriam Starhawk stated, "The symbolism of the Goddess has taken on an electrifying power for modern women. It has exposed the falsehoods of patriarchal history, and given us models for female strength and authority."

  73. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    Thank the goddesses that you have not reproduced, Steve.

  74. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    Consider donating your brain to science, Steve; i'd like to see a few slices of it myself.

  75. Douglas Wiken 2012.01.26

    Religion should be studied as a form of mental illness. SD needs a constitutional ban of the mention of religious texts or quotes of such on the legislative floor. They can tack that on to their proposed amendment to increase the 5 cent per mile they get for traveling to open the session and from it on the last day.

    Steve Sibson, at first your nonsense attacks on imaginary new age influence on politics were amusing, now it is a key for automatic scroll down.

    I assume since current GOP nonsense is so irrelevant, that you think you have found something relevant...perhaps on another planet in another galaxy far far away.

  76. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    "Religion should be studied as a form of mental illness. "

    So Doug, you must have scrolled right by the history on gnostic sects. But thanks for your help supporting the facts to that comment.

  77. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    “The earth is alive, living rock”

    Larry, I found a prayer for you:

    "The earth is not dead matter. She is alive.
    Now begin to speak to the earth as you walk.
    You can speak out loud, or just talk to her in your mind.
    Send your love into her with your exhalation. Feel your
    heart touching upon the heart of the planet. Say to her
    whatever words come to you: Mother Earth, I love you.
    Mother Earth, I bless you. May you be healed. May all
    your creatures be happy. Peace to you, Mother Earth.
    On behalf of the human race, I ask forgiveness
    for having injured you. Forgive us, Mother Earth"
    - “Prayer to the Earth”, Student Textbook

  78. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    Hey, Steve, in case you missed it:

    Poplicola Says:
    January 26th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    "The problem with an academic look at the Bible is that it’s really problematic for conservatives.

    None of it was written by anyone who knew Jesus. It turns out the Romans are the villains. The stuff that made it into the canonized Bible have much more to do with local politics in the third century than morality, and there is some pretty wild stuff that didn’t make it in. Women drove and led the early Jesus movement. There are two completely separate birth narratives for Jesus, and neither are remotely possible. Virgin birth is a Western myth, not a Roman-Palestinian claim. Jesus married and had children. It’s not baptizing that’s important, it’s the part about it being in the Jordan that’s important. The people closest to Jesus aren’t sure whether he was Moses or John the Baptist or something else, but they’re all completely positive that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, and there is absolutely nothing to suggest Jesus ever made the claim he was the son of God nor did his followers believe he was. Speaking of the death, the Romans didn’t allow his body to be taken by his friends, and it’s much more likely it was eaten by scavengers. There are three different versions of Jesus in the Bible, and some of them really disagree with others. Paul makes jokes about cutting a certain part of the male anatomy.

    And this is the New Testament. It’s before you consider the stuff that’s off the rails in the Old Testament.

    So I say, sure–teach the Bible from an academic and historical point of view. But make it fair.

    And within two years the conservatives will freak out and either tell schools exactly what they have to say when they’re teaching it, or they’ll realize they were being silly all along."

  79. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Larry, for those you actually read the Bible in context and then read what you just posted will know what is truth and what is planted by Satan.

  80. Disraeli 2012.01.26

    The argument here exemplifies just why religion or bible reading should not be part of the required curriculum. It naturally harbors human emotions that leads to animosity, then at first not willingly; violence in some form or another (physical or emotional). I remember taking critical thinking in college 30yrs ago- we were given problems and strategies how to analyze a problem, but I don't recall ever having to discuss religious or atheist arguments. Now if given as an elective both religious and/or mythology, I can agree with that, but only if they have taken critical thinking at first to prevent easy persuasion.

  81. Taunia 2012.01.26

    Does Poplicola know s/he's Satan?

    Your mythical world is much too draining, Sibson. Don't you have any reality-based problems like the rest of us?

    I just pulled a pan of melt-in-your-mouth brownies out of the oven. I'm going to sit down with a brownie and a cup of coffee and map out my grocery list according to the grocery ads and give a glance at the bills that are due Tuesday, the first of the month.

    Any of that ring a bell to you, Sibson?

  82. Disraeli 2012.01.26

    "So I say, sure–teach the Bible from an academic and historical point of view. But make it fair" Who is to say what is fair? Bias of opinion is very hard to discern from the teachers point of view, because his belief system has contaminated his approach in teaching. Like I said, make it an elective, no problem. That is freedom.

  83. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    "I remember taking critical thinking in college"

    You need say no more...critical of Christianity. And that is not thinking, that is religious bigotry and indoctrination. This thread demonstrates that clearly.

  84. Taunia 2012.01.26

    Wow. If all of that in the link above happened...(and not one word about secular humanism, the bible, New Age/Old Age, et al)...just wow.

    Back to the more realistic topic how the SDGOP is imploding!

    Thanks for providing, Larry.

  85. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Larry, you are welcome. We have more in common than some would think. We just disagree on "how" to fix the problems.

  86. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    And the same goes to you too Taunia.

  87. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Larry, thanks for the warning about where the New Age Movement is going next.

  88. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.26

    Hello all! I think it would be a great idea to teach religion in the public schools. We used a great book on world religions at SDSU: Experiencing the World's Religions: Tradition, Challenge, and Change by Michael Molloy. Teaching our kids about different world religions would do a great deal towards cultural understanding and likely help future diplomatic relations. As far as teaching about the Bible, there are plenty of people out there that despite the religious preference, recognize that the Bible has had an affect on culture throughout the lat 4000 years or so. An academic effort to to teach about that influence sounds great. However, I do not envision a high school teacher capable of teaching it in less than a year, nor do I envision a high school student wanting to learn it (except the onesies and twosies). I can't deny the influence of the Bible and Christianity in our culture, but as long as we have kids who can't read, write, or speak at their own grade level, kids who can't do algebra in 12th grade, or kids who don't know the ins and outs of the Constitution .....maybe we should focus on these things? AS a side note, there is a great PBS documentary relating to the topic: God in America: How Religious Liberty Shaped America:
    It is free to watch on their website, and encourage you all to watch it, as it is quite insightful, and actually deals with the concept of church/Bible in the public schools (esp. in the later episodes).

  89. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    What? My guess is that Taunia won't do a three-way.

  90. Disraeli 2012.01.26

    "You need say no more…critical of Christianity. And that is not thinking, that is religious bigotry and indoctrination."
    Sometimes the wrong attitude may not be coming from the Christian but from the person who detests or is challenged by their message. So this is a very difficult area with which to deal as there is obviously a degree of subjective judgment as to what is, in actual practice a 'bigot'.
    Most certainly through history many have departed from the meek spirit of Jesus Christ and practiced religious bigotry to a devastating degree (e.g. Catholic inquisition and crusades). This constitutes a severe offense to non-Christians and Christians alike. However, it is certainly true that many like to use religion as a justification for their own personal hatred and prejudices and that their actions do not justly represent their supposed master. Luke 6:29 NLT "If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also."

  91. Disraeli 2012.01.26

    "kids who can’t do algebra in 12th grade' My point exactly before, there are more important subjects at this time to be taught in public schools in order for future USA to be competitive in the global economy. Universities teaching religious literature is fine, because the student chose the subject. Let your freedom-choice of religion expression and Bible learning be done by the Church you accept to be true.

  92. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    "(e.g. Catholic inquisition and crusades)"

    Disraeli, I agree that those two movements may not be truly Christian. Satan can and does operate in the name of Christianity. See Matthew 24.

  93. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Larry, I am not interested in a three-way. I am very happy and Blessed with my wife.

  94. larry kurtz 2012.01.26

    she must be a saint indeed....

  95. Douglas Wiken 2012.01.26

    "You need say no more…critical of Christianity. And that is not thinking, that is religious bigotry and indoctrination. This thread demonstrates that clearly."

    This is a variation of the Islamicists who think it appropriate to chop of the heads of infidels who disparage their form of lunacy.

    If somebody is delusional and mentally ill and sees images no one else can see or gets messages from his dog urging him to go out killing people, we don't label describing that lunacy as some kind of bigotry. There is no reason to afford religions any more special logic vituperation than any other kind of mental illness.

  96. Steve Sibson 2012.01.26

    Doug, thank your for proving my point on bigotry and hatred of Christians, but I am sorry that it is coming from you. May God have mercy.

  97. Disraeli 2012.01.26

    "those two movements may not be truly Christian." My opinion, it was not Christian at all. It is opposite from what JC taught. Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

  98. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.26

    Thank you for your sense of priorities, Joseph!

  99. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.26

    You're welcome, Cory! I try to be a voice of reason, logic, and common sense among the crazies who respond to your blog (don't get me wrong, the crazies provide much entertainment; however your comments section would be quite shorter if we eliminated all forms of fallacious argument.)

  100. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.26 would the South Dakota Legislature's agenda.

  101. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    Joseph, then use your higher-than-god reason, logic, and common sense and explain away my research. It does not take much reason, logic, or common sense to personally attack those you disagree with.

  102. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    "who don’t know the ins and outs of the Constitution"

    Joseph, you clearly do no understand the First Amendment and have promoted it to be violated. It says "Congress shall not", applying it to the states violates the Tenth Amendment.

  103. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    Well Larry, the ECLA promotes the same New Age Theology that is found in public education, except that try to call it Christianity.

  104. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.27

    Mr. Sibson,

    Please explain to me your comments directed towards me above. I will gladly discuss with you what ever issues you have with me. In particular, I do not understand what you mean when you said "It does not take much reason, logic, or common sense to personally attack those you disagree with." Are you critiquing me for personally attacking someone? If so, who am I personally attacking? Or maybe you are making a general comment about society or the blogosphere?
    Additionally, you say "Joseph, you clearly do no understand the First Amendment and have promoted it to be violated. It says “Congress shall not”, applying it to the states violates the Tenth Amendment." Would you please explain to me how I clearly do not understand the First Amendment? Also please explain how I have promoted it to be violated. I am not saying that your comments are true or false, but merely want to understand the premises and logic behind you claims and possible attacks before I claim them to be "wild, unfounded accusations". I promise I won't personally attack you, make wild unfounded accusations, or call you, personally, names. I will, however, listen(read) to your arguments/premises and using logic, reasoning, and common sense determine if your conclusions follow from your premises. Please refrain from using fallacious arguments in your response, as it does not so much convince me that what you are saying is true and valid, but instead makes me laugh on the inside.
    Additionally, do you think that I agree with the resolution, or disagree with it? I am curious what people think, as I do not believe I explicitly said where I stand on the passing of the resolution.

  105. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    "If so, who am I personally attacking?"

    "the crazies provide much entertainment; however your comments section would be quite shorter if we eliminated all forms of fallacious argument"

    Applying the First Amendment to South Dakota is a violation of the Constitution because the First Amendment is supposed to be appled to Congress, which is federal.

  106. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.27

    And who exactly am personally pointing out as a "crazy"? I named no names, nor posters, nor comment-makers. If anything, I was making impersonal attacks, as my comments have no personal reference or connection to any particular person on this blog.

    Additionally, you have yet to explain how I am advocating/promoting that the First Amendment be violated. Please tell me what I said that indicates to you that I am doing this. Regardless, there is quite a precedent of applying the Bill of Rights to the States, especially the First Amendment., thanks to our constitutional buddy the Fourteenth Amendment. As follows:
    Guarantee against establishment of religion
    This provision has been incorporated against the states. See Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947).[16]
    Guarantee of free exercise of religion
    This provision has been incorporated against the states. See Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940).
    Guarantee of freedom of speech
    This provision has been incorporated against the states. See Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925)(dicta).
    Guarantee of freedom of the press
    This provision has been incorporated against the states. See Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931).
    Guarantee of freedom of assembly
    This provision has been incorporated against the states. See DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353 (1937).
    Right to petition for redress of grievances
    Incorporation is suggested in Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963) and is essentially the basis of Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996).
    Guarantee of freedom of expressive association
    This right, though not in the words of the first amendment, was first mentioned in the case NAACP v. Alabama, and was at that time applied to the states.

    But, I reckon you might well disagree incorporation, and perhaps disagree with the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, I am declaring that you sir do not understand the Fourteenth Amendment and that you hold unconstitutional beliefs and thoughts based on your ignorance/rejection of the Due Process Clause in the Due Process Clause and the roughly 115 years of incorporating the Bill of Rights. But perhaps now that you know about the Due Process Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment, you have changed your mind? Mull it over for a little bit, I will be interested to hear(read) what you say.

  107. disraeli 2012.01.27

    Are any of us here really qualified to say who is ignorant of the Due Process Clause or for that matter interpretation of the constitution. I think we can have strong opinions about it without having to boast who is more knowledgeable. Are any of us here constitutional lawyers. Even then, until now this subject is still being debated; "Criticisms of the doctrine continue as in the past. Critics argue that judges are making determinations of policy and morality that properly belong with legislators (i.e. "legislating from the bench"), or argue that judges are reading views into the Constitution that are not really implied by the document, or argue that judges are claiming power to expand the liberty of some people at the expense of other people's liberty (e.g. as in the Dred Scott case), or argue that judges are addressing substance instead of process."Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who rejects substantive due process doctrine, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who has also questioned the legitimacy of the doctrine, call substantive due process a "judicial usurpation" or an "oxymoron." Both Scalia and Thomas have occasionally joined Court opinions that mention the doctrine, and have in their dissents often argued over how substantive due process should be employed based on Court precedent.
    My point...We can give our opinions, but we really can't force them to others--unless done with due process...punt intended.

  108. disraeli 2012.01.27

    Mark 12:17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
    This is what I go by and in my opinion the First Amendment institutes separation of church and state. But, I know this is also open to interpretation just like anything in the constitution. They will say that USA was founded by christian nation. Was Thomas Jefferson really christian or a Mason? Just another opinion. So going back to the subject of teaching Bible in public schools. My opinion let the Church do it. Let teachers teach what will make us a strong nation economically.

  109. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    "And who exactly am personally pointing out as a “crazy”?"

    That would be a question for you Joseph. And I have explained the First Amendment violation to your twice now. When are you going to apply the Fourteenth Amendment to the 10th, the pre-born, and Christians. Or has the Fourteenth Amendment completely eliminated the original Constitution, leaving behind the tyranny of the courts?

  110. disraeli 2012.01.27

    correction---not anything in the constitution, but many in particular is open for debate.

  111. disraeli 2012.01.27

    I believe that our courts are still best in the world... But here is a thought--In Federalist Paper No. 78, Alexander Hamilton stated, "It can be of no weight to say that the courts, on the pretense of a repugnancy, may substitute their own pleasure to the constitutional intentions of the legislature."
    The primary genius of our Constitution and republican form of government lies in the separation of powers. Every citizen, no matter their party or persuasion, should regard with fear and alarm the usurpation of legislative power by courts. History teaches us that this is a dangerous form of tyranny.

  112. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.27


    You have stated your conclusion twice, that being that A First Amendment violation has/is occurring, however you have yet to provide any premises. I am quite interested in the reasoning behind your conclusion. AS for applying the 14th to the 10th, I am not sure what you mean by that, could you please explain? As for applying the 14th to the pre-born, at this time the wording says "All persons born or naturalized in the United States...", therefore one would need to change/amend the wording to something else (All persons conceived? All living persons? It's tricky because it is identifying the qualifications for a US citizen. However, it does say " nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." so maybe if an amendment defined the pre-born as living persons, this bit of the 14th amendment, specifically the depriving of life, would be applied to them.) As for applying the 14th to Christians, the way I read it, as long as those Christians meet the guidelines established, they are covered (as opposed to Canadian Christians, eh?)
    I wouldn't argue that the 14th has eliminated the original Constitution, unless maybe you define "original Constitution" as the one only having the first ten amendments. I am curious what your thoughts are on this, please provide your arguments (as in premises followed by a conclusion) for why you think that the 14th has eliminated the original Constitution leaving behind the tyranny of courts.

    As for the "crazies" comment, first the literary allusion answer (can you guess to what I allude?): I don't want to be among among crazy commenters. Oh, but I can't help that. We're all crazy here. I'm crazy. You're crazy. How do I know we're crazy? We must be. Or we wouldn't have commented here.

    Next the real reason: the definition of crazies is those who are or act crazy; especially those associated with a radical or extremist political cause. Now for a premise/premise/conclusion argument I would like to see from you. Premise 1: People will for the most part only post viewpoints/opinions/attacks if they hold them as their own ideas. Premise 2: People post viewpoints/opinions/attacks on this blog which are of a radical or politically extremist nature. Conclusion: People who post viewpoints/opinions/attacks of a radical or politically extremist nature hold those viewpoints and are therefore by definition crazy. Now I will say that I have witnessed in my time reading this blog both extremism on the left and the right...Perhaps I am a bit crazy with all this "logic and reasoning", confusing people with facts, and calling out the fallacious arguments.

  113. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.27

    disraeli (by the way, what is your real name, I feel so awkward calling you by a handle),
    "I think we can have strong opinions about it without having to boast who is more knowledgeable." I apologize if I came off as boasting, I did not mean to. Unfortunately, with this impersonal medium, mis-communication can easily occur. I am all for expressing strong opinions. And with the great wealth of information available in the world, we all have a claim to ignorance on something. However, it has been my hope that when Cory posts a blog about a law/resolution/bill/amendment/political ad/what have you, that before a person comments, they go back and read that primary text or watch that ad... and then make an informed comment. As well as it is my hope that maybe when a person claims or asserts something, and then is shown to be in error (we all operate in a world of ignorance after all), that the person would say something along the lines of "You're on to something there, I was not aware of that set of facts. I will now incorporate this knowledge and form new conclusions (or amend my current ones) based on this new data." These are my hopes for this blog, that we can form a public forum where ideas are exchanged, arguments are made, and truth arises. However, we are only human, and even the most pious of us (myself included) have resorted to name calling, mud slinging, sarcasm, and down right callous idiocy.

  114. disraeli 2012.01.27

    Disraeli is not a handle, ask cory. Real person, real name..
    I concur with your last statement. After all, we are only human, infallible at the least.

  115. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.27

    Ahh... any relation to the Earl of Beaconsfield?

  116. disraeli 2012.01.27

    "We’re all crazy here. I’m crazy. You’re crazy. How do I know we’re crazy? We must be. Or we wouldn’t have commented here."
    By the way, I choose not to be included in your supposition that everyone here is crazy. Although I am new in this forum to make any hasty conclusions. I am here just to listen and learn about other point of views and maybe give my 2cents in from time to time. Nice to meet you all, I think..

  117. Joseph Nelson 2012.01.27

    Nice to meet you, and welcome!
    To clarify, I do not suppose that everyone here is crazy, but was making an allusion to Alice and Wonderland (seemed more appropriate then my proposed Norman Bates allusion "It's not like commenters are maniacs or raving things. They just goes a little crazy sometimes. We all go a little crazy sometimes. Haven't you?") Do you hale from South Dakota, or just love our fare state?

  118. disraeli 2012.01.27

    funny..I mentioned that already to Cory...Not even close to Benjamin, thought I have read some of his famous innovation approach to his liberal rivals in parliament. It may be useful here sometime.

  119. disraeli 2012.01.27

    I actually came across some articles concerning school budgets being cut for small attendance. Comparing to other states, then came across this article.

  120. disraeli 2012.01.27

    The South Dakota House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a resolution supporting and encouraging the "academic study of the Bible in South Dakota public schools."
    The non-binding resolution, HCR 1004, passed the House 55-13

    I guess this subject has been settled. No more comments.

  121. Steve Sibson 2012.01.28

    "You have stated your conclusion twice, that being that A First Amendment violation has/is occurring, however you have yet to provide any premise"

    The First Amendment starts out by saying "Congress shall not", it is not to be applied to the states. Now that is the third time I have said it on this thread. And we have the federal government coercing the states into establish the religion of the New Age Movement. See my links above, and you will clearly see that religion is actually international in scope. I have also stated that the education tax is violating the First Amendment today in the sam way the Church Tax did during colonial America.

    If the Fourteenth voids the above points, then it has replaced the original Constitution. Then we go to the argument that the Fourteenth Amendment is not constitutional:

    The purported 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is and should be held to be ineffective, invalid, null, void, and unconstitutional for the following reasons:

    1. The Joint Resolution proposing said Amendment was not submitted to or adopted by a Constitutional Congress. Article I, Section 3, and Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

    2. The Joint Resolution was not submitted to the President for his approval. Article I, Section 7.

    3. The proposed 14th Amendment was rejected by more than one-fourth of all the States then in the Union, and it was never ratified by three-fourths of all the States in the Union.

    And your last point ignores the possibility of the radical center that is created with the application of Hegelian dialectics as being the true extemists position.

  122. Lisa Phillips 2012.03.14

    Well the false religion of evolution is already taught in govt schools, why ban the Word of God? however, heathen and liberal teachers telling kids what the Bible means is not a good idea either. The parents are supposed to teach their own children regarding spiritual matters. If God's Word isn't allowed, evolution should be banned as well, just to be fair.

  123. larry kurtz 2012.03.14

    Consider donating your brain to science, Lisa; i’d like to see a few slices of it myself.

  124. LK 2012.03.14


    I realize that your not going to believe me bu the Bible or passages of the Bible are already taught in literature courses.

    If, as I'm sure you believe, it is the word of God, and if it is indeed the powerful two-edged sword that the Bible claims it is, then your concerns about all of those heathen liberal teachers are wasted worry.

  125. larry kurtz 2012.03.14

    “Dispute not with her: she is lunatic.” ― Shakespeare, Richard III

  126. LK 2012.03.14

    And [she] doth portest to much methinks--Shakespeare, Hamlet

  127. larry kurtz 2012.03.14

    1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
    2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
    “Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.” --Ecclesiastes 1

  128. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.03.14

    Equating evolution and Scripture does harm to both. Lisa, you don't have to fear or fight evolution to maintain consistent Christianity.

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