Thursday, December 27, 2007

A DIFFERING POINT OF VIEW AND MY RESPONSE

For the first time since I started this journal, someone left a comment with a differing point of view.  I welcome differing viewpoints and was excited to see my first one.  So, in keeping with my journal's purpose, I am re-posting their comment and a response.  First I would like to thank the commenter who is THATBOYAINTRIGHT for stopping by and posting.  Here's his post from my previous entry, The War on Christmas Is Not Over:

"You don't know the whole story. The nativity was purchased with taxpayer money and decorated the area around the Mayor's church. That is simply wrong."

 

I researched this a little further and found out a couple of things.  First, the nativity was purchased by the city of Dallas, Georgia, but is located on public land according to the ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND in a letter that was sent to the AMERICANS UNITED FOR THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE (AU) in response to their lawsuit threat to the city.  You can view the letter from AU by clicking HERE.  The letter from ADF in response to it can be viewed by clicking on this LINK.  According to the Alliance Defense Fund, the display met the U. S. Supreme Court's requirements for "public acknowledgement of the Christmas season."  The Nativity was not the only Christmas display along one of Dallas, Georgia's main corridors.  There were snowflakes, reindeer, Christmas trees, and other non-religious symbols of Christmas.  It would be physically impossible to see just the Nativity scene without seeing the other decorations.  Therefore, it was not an endorsement of any particular religion (Lynch vs. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 673 [1984]).  There are two other cases that sum this up very well:  ACLU of Kentucky vs. Mercer County, 432 F.3d at 638: "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state."  In Everson vs. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 18 (1947), the Court held that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment requiresthe state to be neutral in its relations between believers and non-believers.  It does not require the state to oppose religion or religious expression.  The letter from the Alliance Defense Fund to the City of Dallas explains it in much greater detail.  Please click the referenced link above and take the time to read it.  It's important to have this information as it is not publicized by the mainstream media for obvious reasons.  I still maintain that this was another attempt to promote an agenda.  That agenda is to remove all Christian symbols from the public eye.  I think attempts such as this are just a first step towards outlawing such displays on private property.  Don't think so?  If such legal actions are allowed and removal of such displays is forced upon the public against the will of the people, the next stop is your yard.  The liberal left does things in increments, never all at once.  It seems it's OK to deny Christians First Amendment protection just as long as we are careful not to offend non-Christians.  It amazes me that in less than one lifetime, our society has gone down the slippery slope of moral decay to the point where we even have such a conversation, the beliefs of the majority of Americans have ended up in the courts, and we're having to fight to even maintain minimal rights to express those beliefs freely. By the way, if you happen to question whether or not keeping the Nativity display in Dallas is the will of the majority, as of today there are 6,409 signatures on the petition on TAKING IT GLOBAL in favor of leaving the display.  You can still sign the petition if you wish, just click HERE.

 

10 comments:

ma24179 said...

I have already signed :) -Missy

bhbner2him said...

I'm a Christian, a church member and a tax payer.  IF the city had truly paid for the nativity and placed it on ANY church's property I would have been upset.  God doesn't need the government funding his projects, outreach and ministry.  (But then I am against churches raising funds in public.)  So it would upset me as a Christian.  And I'd be upset as a taxpayer to see funds go to help one church instead of the community.  It may be in this case the slant of it being on the mayor's church property was brought out to try to get those who wouldn't normally be opposed to be opposed to it.  After all, that smacks of favoritism, and folks don't like that.  

I'm just glad that nativity scenes abounded on private homeowner property down here where I live.  ;o)  -  Barbara

nelishianatl said...

So tax payers money can legally buy a Christmas religious display and a non-religious one and they are allowed to display it on public property?  But the fuss was about the fact that it had Jesus in the Christmas display and no one was really mad about reindeer?  OK. That's not subtle that's overt.  I don't see how government money is allowed to buy anything with at all for the holiday but if you can buy reindeer and display it, you can display Jesus openly too then.  I'm just trying to sort all of this out.  

NELISHIA
http://journals.aol.com/nelishianatl/PrayingandBelieving/
http://journals.aol.com/nelishianatl/Crocheted-Creations/

bmorrrick said...

Thanks Dirk for bringing this information out.  I signed the petition.

Take Care,
~Bilinda~

thatboyaintright said...

Glad you allow differing points of view. Refreshing. Just a bit more info . . . the question was never about removing the display. Never. Not once did any of the local group ask it be taken down. The question that was raised is the use of tax payer money to buy a religious display & then position it in such a way that makes it look like the Mayor's church is getting special decorations. We never, not once, asked it to be removed. We privately went to the city in hopes of mediating so the media circus could be avoided. We offered to buy the nativity & donate it to the church so that all questions of propriety could be resolved. I even personally offered to buy it from the city 2 weeks ago but the mayor said it was not for sale at any price. The question is NOT the display. We WANT the display to stay. The question that was raised --- & we believe it to be a valid one --- is the use of tax payer to purchase any religion's iconography & give special favor to the mayor's church. The property is not even public land, but private land. Just as it would be wrong for the tax payer to purchase a Buddha statue & place it on private land in order to make the mayor's Buddhist Temple look good, it is wrong to do that for a nativity display; or a Ramadan display; or any religion. Again, this is not about a Christian display, but about tax payer money being used inappropriately to decorate the landscaping that makes the mayor's church get extra decorations at Christmas.

If you want to read the whole, sordid tale, take a gander at my blog.

http://thatbaptistaintright.blogspot.com/2007/12/dallas-nativity-part-whatever.html

gehi6 said...

We had something come up at the Westward Ho when a menorah was stolen from the window where it had been placed not far from the Christmas tree.  A Jewish resident protested the loss of the menorah and said later he wanted to see it replaced, but instead management with advice from the distant owners had all the Christmas decorations taken down for the first time in our history.  The manager even took down her own tree in the office window!  This left all the public rooms totally bare.  That felt strange, like something new entirely was taking place.  I dont know what will happen next year!  Sounds like a real set to where you are.  We are seeing protests taken more seriously out here than before, but can't quite tell if it is a trend that is going to be around next year.   Gerry  

jckfrstross said...

ok just one more thing for me to think about:) thank you

Deb

lifesabench6 said...

Thanks for all the info Dirk- WHile I too have an issue about what public tax money goes to, it's is not an issue for me in this case, as much of Christian's tax monies go to things such as planned parenthood and Aclu legal awards and other things we find objectionable.  Your main point is still the main point here in my HO. There is a war on Christ of Christmas- and I think this was displayed a couple of weeks ago in congress when they passed a resolution to recognize the importance of Ramadan, yet a few weeks later, these same congress voted AGAINST a resolution to show Christmas's historic and important place in America. When we have our government in Washington recognizing one religion over Christianity- that's called tolerance and inclusion. Try and recognize Christianity- especially at Christmas- it's called bigotry.  These seperatists always embrace religious tolerance laid out in the 1st ammendment when it's something other than Christianity- but when it's Christians trying to hold on to the roots of this country- they call for the "wall".  God Bless you Dirk- hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and havea Blessed New Year!  Carolyn

thatboyaintright said...

Thanks for reading my blog, Dirk, & at least being objective to see that there is another side to this other than how it is being played out by the media & those who want to politicized it. I stop over often, if you don't mind, & I may even offer a "counter point" or two for good measure. <G>

queeniemart said...

i have taken pics around my Ohio city of Christian ornaments or decorations on public land just so i would have a rememberance of it when they came and took it down. One such place is our local post office. There has been a large Jesus and the Christ Child figurines IN the foyer of their office since i was a baby. No one has ever asked for it to be moved. They need to put prayer back IN the schools, IMO.
Good entry, Dirk.

lisa