The sad truth is that it will never end until the ACLU and their ilk get their way. Just look at the Boy Scouts and our country.
No matter how many times one states correctly that this does not infringe on the first amendment. It does not matter.
If the school administrators want to keep fighting this, then the legal fees should come out of their own wallets. It is a waste of tax payers' money to fight something that the courts have already decided.
Why are atheists so bothered by one picture? It's not hurting anybody.
I hate betting, but I'd bet a healthy amount of money that they wouldn't mind a picture of Mohammed.
As a side note, public schools promote the religion of humanismDarwinismMarxism, which is 'favor one religion over the others'.
About the common canard that this is all about people easily offended, we’re not talking about the freedom of individuals to say or do something others find offensive; each of us has that freedom. We’re talking about the government weighing in to promote religion. Under our Constitution, our government has no business doing that--REGARDLESS of whether anyone is offended. While this is primarily a constitutional point, it is one that conservatives--small government conservatives--should appreciate from a political standpoint as well. While the First Amendment thus constrains government from promoting (or opposing) religion without regard to whether anyone is offended, a court may address the issue only in a suit by someone with "standing" (sufficient personal stake in a matter) to bring suit; in order to show such standing, a litigant may allege he is offended or otherwise harmed by the government's failure to follow the law; the question whether someone has standing to sue is entirely separate from the question whether the government has violated the Constitution.
It should not be supposed that the government, by remaining separate from and neutral toward religion in keeping with the Constitution, somehow thereby favors atheism over theism. There is a difference between the government (1) remaining neutral in matters of religion and leaving individuals free to choose, exercise, and express their religious views without government intrusion and (2) taking sides in matters of religion and promoting one view (whether theism [in one, any, or all its various forms], atheism, or whatever) to the detriment of others. It is one thing for the government to endorse the idea that god(s) exist or, alternatively, endorse the idea that god(s) do not exist; it is quite another for the government to take no position on the matter and respect the right of each individual to freely decide for himself.
The First Amendment says that the federal government shall make no law which infringes upon the free exercise of religion. Period.
Bottom line: the picture of Jesus is Constitutional because the government has no right to tell the school to take it down.
When you say "the people of that community have the right to have a picture of Jesus in their school," you make a hash of the distinction between individuals, who have those rights, and the government school, which is constrained by the Constitution not to promote religion.
While the Court was perusing extra-Constitutional documents, they forgot to look at Jefferson's other writings which clearly showed that he wanted higher moral law to dictate the moves of the federal government. For that matter, Jefferson's extra-Constitutional works make DOMA Constitutional.
The prayer ban in schools and other things of the like are infringements of Constitutional rights. The people of that community have the right to have a picture of Jesus in their school.
As I noted below, separation of church and state is based on more than just the First Amendment. No court has ever interpreted the Constitution to mean as little as you suppose.
It is important to distinguish between the "public square" and "government" and between "individual" and "government" speech about religion. The constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square--far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment's "free exercise" clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views--publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment's constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.
Wake Forest University has published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you. http://tiny.cc/6nnnx
"CONGRESS shall make no law…" does not extend to states, communities, and schools; "or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof" means states, communities, and schools are FREE to worship as THEY PLEASE! This is the beauty of the states~the people that LIVE there get to make the rules. The Feds have no business interfering with what portraits the people of Ohio hang in THEIR schools!
Why some would direct their ire at someone like the ACLU or FFRF who seek to uphold the Constitution, rather than those flouting it is not apparent. It is important to distinguish between "individual" and "government" speech about religion. The First Amendment's "free exercise" clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views--publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class and principals hanging pictures in schools), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment's constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.
HMMM.....seems this is a common post for you. http://metaphysicalperegrine.blogspot.com/2012/08/religious-intolerance-from-atheists.html
The 1st Amendment's constraints were to keep Government out of the church, not Christianity out of the government. Public education up into the late 1800's included text books which heavily promoted Biblical based lessons. It wasn't until after the ACLU lost their Scopes trial that eventually every trace of Christian or Biblical symbols were beginning to disappear under the guise of the so called wall of separation. In the ACLU and other atheists groups thinking, the Declaration of Independence would be considered unConstitutional because it mentions our Creator and Nature's God. Half the founding Father's own words would be banned for their mention of America being a Christian nation.
Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of "We the people" (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day, the founders' avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.
To the extent that some would like confirmation--in those very words--of the founders' intent to separate government and religion, Madison and Jefferson supplied it. Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”
While some also draw meaning from the references to "Nature's God" and "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence (references that could mean any number of things, some at odds with the Christian idea of God) and try to connect that meaning to the Constitution, the effort is largely baseless. Important as the Declaration is in our history, it did not operate to bring about independence (that required winning a war), nor did it found a government, nor did it even create any law, and it certainly did not say or do anything that somehow dictated the meaning of a Constitution adopted twelve years later. The colonists issued the Declaration not to do any of that, but rather to politically explain and justify the move to independence that was already well underway. Nothing in the Constitution depends on anything said in the Declaration. Nor does anything said in the Declaration purport to limit or define the government later formed by the free people of the former colonies. Nor could it even if it purported to do so. Once independent, the people of the former colonies were free to choose whether to form a collective government at all and, if so, whatever form of government they deemed appropriate. They were not somehow limited by anything said in the Declaration. Sure, they could take its words as inspiration and guidance if, and to the extent, they chose--or they could not. They could have formed a theocracy if they wished--or, as they ultimately chose, a government founded on the power of the people (not a deity) and separated from religion.
While the religious views of various founders are subjects of some uncertainty and controversy, it is safe to say that many founders were Christian of one sort or another and held views such as you note regarding religion. In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted earlier. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.
Lest there be any doubt on this score, note that shortly after the founding, President John Adams (a founder) signed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate (comprised in large measure of founders), the Treaty of Tripoli declaring, in pertinent part, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” No need to resort to reading tea leaves to understand that. This is not an informal comment by an individual founder, but rather an official declaration of the most solemn sort by the United States government itself. Note that the Constitution provides that treaties, apart from the Constitution itself, are the highest law of the land.
Take care in repeating quotations by founders about religion, as fakes abound, including the one you attribute to Patrick Henry. https://fakehistory.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/fake-quotations-patrick-henry-on-religionists/ or http://www.religioustolerance.org/badquotes.htm
Nor should it be supposed that the Constitution's separation of church and state somehow arose from or depends on Jefferson's letter to the Danbury baptists. Instructive as that letter is, it played but a small part in the Court’s decision in Everson, mainly providing a catchy label for the principle derived from the Constitution and its history. I pointed out some of those aspects of the Constitution in my earlier comment. Note too that during his presidency, Madison vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or compel observance of any religion, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. While some in Congress expressed surprise that the Constitution prohibited Congress from incorporating a church in the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia or granting land to a church in the Mississippi Territory, Congress upheld both vetoes. Separation of church and state is hardly a new invention of modern courts.
The ideas that the founders had for the Constitution were largely based on William Blackstone's Commentaries on English Law. They based many of the rights and laws from Blackstone's philosophies on Natural Law and Personal Liberties, which come from God.
While Madison and others ensured that there would be a provision for the free exercise of religion they worded it on their intent to keep government out of the church, and not to form an established state church as the Church of England which had the king as head of the church. That is it. The separation was in keeping the government out of church business.
From the beginning, America was established as a Christian nation. Founder's writings confirm this, their actions confirm this and many of our historical monuments confirm this.
Atheist/secular groups would have a problem with the Liberty bell in a classroom today because it's inscribed with a Bible verse from Leviticus.
The Declaration I know did not form this country. It was a declaration to the king of grievances and a declaration of separation from the tyrannical rule of the king. I am saying that because the Declaration mentions God 4 times, the way atheists/secularists want nothing to do with any mention of God or Creator in public schools, if given a chance, they'd bring a lawsuit to have no copies of the Declaration in schools because it contains the idea that all our rights come from God, not government. To suggest that the names for God in the Declaration are "any number of things, some at odds with the Christian idea of God" is a ridiculous statement as most of the signers of the Declaration were at least congregationalists or members of Christian denominations and some were Pastors. They had every meaning of the Christian God in that document.
Patrick Henry knew our nation was based on the Judeo/Christian God and how important it was to have a God based society: "Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of freemen. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
He knew our nation was founded on Christian principles as he said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
Our first Supreme Court Justice John Jay knew the foundation of this country was on Christian principles and it was ideal to elect Christians to our government, "Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
The Founders knew the need and power for prayer to the Christian God as they were writing and establishing the Laws written in the Constitution. They did not pray to buddha or mohammad or allah or shiva or whatever. They offered prayers to the Lord God. They built the nation as three branches yes- separation of powers, but James Madison suggested the three branches, which are based on a verse of the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22 which says "For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king;
He will save us.”
“ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention of 1787
As for the idea of separation, Justice Joseph Story explained it, “ At the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under
consideration [i.e., the First Amendment], the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship.”
And most of the early Presidents and Congress openly supported and engaged in Christian activities while in office. Both Jefferson and Madison attended church in the Capital Building. They were not mandatory services, completely voluntary- but they still held them in the Halls of Congress. This practice went on until well after the Civil war.
As for public schools, Benjamin Rush, stated in a letter to Philadelphia called "A Plan for Free Schools", which read, "Let the children who are sent to those schools be taught to read and write and above all, let both sexes be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education”
The two main text books at the time of the founders were The Blue Back Speller and the New England Primer. Both of which some of the Founders taught to their own children. Both of these books taught Bible based lessons.
Noah Webster, creator of the first Dictionaries for Schools said, “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
The whole separation issue arose because Connecticut had established Congregationalism as its official state religion and was persecuting and discriminating against other Christian denominations. The Danbury Baptists wrote to Thomas Jefferson asking him to help them to get rid of a State sanctioned church. You can see the details of Jefferson's letter here: http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/117/Letter_from_Thomas_Jefferson_to_the_Danbury_Baptists_1.html
There is no Constitutional basis that this school or any other, which has a picture of Jesus saying that they must remove it. The painting was donated over 50 years ago by a private donor. It was never "sponsored" or an "endorsement" of the government. It is not mandatory that students bow down and proclaim a belief in Christ. It is there. To be viewed or ignored.
Actually when I was in school we still had a lot of biblical teachings in our education system in the form of morality stories much like the Book of Virtues. As a matter of fact most of what is in the Book of Virtues I read as a child in school.
Yeah by High School most of it was gone. When my daughter was in school with the exception of references in classic literature it was all gone. when it was referenced she would have to explain the reference to the class because no one understood, including the teacher, because Christianity is systematically being removed from our culture.
Even in Canada we still had Christian things in school when I was a kid. When I got into middle and highschool though, much of it was disappearing :-(
They aren't upholding the Constitution because there is nothing in the Constitution about separation of church and state. What they are doing is pushing their worldview, much in the manner they finger point at others, on to the rest of us.
Why don't they just take the words "Jesus and God" out of the dictionary? This is absurd and it sickens me.
Some years ago, I did a cross stitch embroidery of the picture of Jesus that is in "contention." My wife taught me how to do embroidery. The framed hangs in my parents' home in Goa, India.
In North Hills, Pa in 1963, G-d was taken out of the schools because of ONE Atheist family and look at how our schools have become infiltrated by obama leftist propaganda aka evil. We must stand our ground and support the G-d of the bible and his precious son, Jesus.
We need G-d in America and the left wants to remove him. They want to be our G-d.
What is it about the Christian faith that the left fears so much? Is it the morality? Are they afraid that young Americans might grow up to be caring, loving adults? Why aren't these same groups suing video game companies? Or Hollywood? Those two "organizations" do far more harm than any Bible would do. This has become a backward society that prizes "things" more than values.
Take the ACLU and tell go F... themselves ! They have helped to destroyed the moral fiber of the youth of this country with their constant stance against God and the Bible the very things that this country was founded on ! These lawyers are the biggest bunch of busy bodies, can't seem to keep their noses out of other peoples business.
I hope the school board will let Christ stay in the School the portrait hurts no one, and it's good for the kids and even the faculty..
If there is any way to donate to this school for their legal defense I would like to know about it. I watched part of the school board hearings and it is a historical item, it was donated by some group in the community that had an important affiliation with the school. It is a part of the school's heritage. Been up for 70 years. F the ACLU And FFRF!!!
Look through the thread 80's Kid. Stage9 posted this, http://www.jackson.stark.k12.oh.us/contact.cfm You can send an e-mail to the school here encouraging them to remain resolute in their convictions:
Be sure to check the "Jackson Middle School" box before sending.
Perhaps there's a grandfather clause to keep the photo, or an exception because it is now a part of our history which needs historical preservation and funds for maintenance.
I think that if they rule that a picture of Christ should be removed from the education system because of the separation of church and state, the STATE should be removed from this realm in its entirety because THEY injected themselves into a system that should be devoid of politics, but not of society.
Ah yes, the Freedom From Religion Foundation...one of the most PC groups out there. It's funny, just last month the FFRF was throwing a hissy fit about the Military having crosses up at churches on bases of operation in Afghanistan. The reason they gave? "Because it would offend Muslims". So, It's Freedom from religion...just as long as it's Christianity.
I'm sure Planned Parenthood is welcomed with open arms at this school. Sad that abortion propaganda is ok yet God is not allowed.
If the ruling goes against the school, the school should make the government take the picture down by force, i.e. armed with guns.
Funny how many of the teachers in 1787 use to teach manners and morals in public schools by reading from the Bible, in class-- and no one cried about constitutional violations.
The ACLU doesn't have any problems raking in all of that 'in God we trust' money they can get their hands on, do they. ;-) ;-)