With one simple act South Dakota took this giant step toward putting God back in government schools

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The radical Left began purging Christianity from government schools more than 55 years ago.

Their goal is to eradicate public displays of the Christian faith everywhere in the country.

But with one simple act, South Dakota dealt a blow to the radical Left and took a giant step toward putting God back in government schools.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) signed an act into law that will place “In God We Trust” in government schools throughout the state.

The law states:

The display shall be located in a prominent location within each school. The display may take the form of a mounted plaque, student artwork, or any other appropriate form as determined by the school principal. The display shall be easily readable and shall be no smaller than twelve inches wide by twelve inches high.

In case of – and in preparation for – lawsuits, the law says that the state attorney general will “provide legal representation at no cost to the school district, employee, school board, or member of the school board” and the state will also cover any “expenses of representation…including any award for monetary damages” and “attorney fees.”

The phrase “In God We Trust” first appeared on coins during the Civil War and later became the nation’s motto in 1956.

Atheist extremists at the so-called “Freedom from Religion Foundation” were furious, telling the Associated Press that “it’s a terrible violation of freedom of conscience to inflict a godly message on a captive audience of school children.”

After decades of victories against Christians, anti-religious extremists have recently been handed a handful of losses.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling and smacked down atheists who were trying to remove a WWI memorial known as the “Peace Cross”.

But the radical Left isn’t going to back down without a fight, so keep an eye on what’s happening in South Dakota.

What are your thoughts about South Dakota’s new law?

Let us know in the comments below.

88 COMMENTS

  1. A Roman Catholic priest, Reverend David K. O’Rourke, said, “Every religious group in the United States is a minority group. Some may be unhappy with this status and wish they had official standing. I am not unhappy with it. The Catholic Church, the largest of these minorities, has prospered greatly in this country where we separate church and state.”

    According to journalist Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State: “We have a vibrant, multifaith religious society that, with the exception of a few fundamentalist Muslim states, is admired all over the globe. We have a degree of interfaith harmony unmatched in the world. Our government is legally secular, but our culture accommodates and welcomes a variety of religious voices. New faiths take root here without fear…

    “Americans remain greatly interested in religion and things spiritual—unlike their counterparts in Western Europe, where religion is often state subsidized but of little interest to most people… Children are no longer forced to pray in school or read from religious texts against their will, yet they are free to engage in truly voluntary religious worship whenever they feel the need. The important task of imparting religious and philosophical training to youngsters is left where it always belonged—with each child’s parents or guardians…

    “Some European nations have passed so-called anticult laws aimed at curbing the rights of unpopular new religions. Such laws would not be acceptable in the United States or permitted under the First Amendment.

    “In a multifaith society such as the United States,” observes Boston, “a type of religious marketplace does exist. Religious groups that aggressively seek converts, such as the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, are well aware that people in the United States are able and even willing to change their religious beliefs. To these groups, it’s well worth it to enter the marketplace and advertise their goods. Lots of people might buy them…

    “Because the U.S. government is secular, religious groups are left to contend for members based solely on their own initiative. They create a free marketplace of religion that spurs competition and a vigorous religious life. This explains why the United States, which maintains church-state separation, retains a high degree of religiosity among its people.

    “The more sophisticated and perceptive believers realize that the separation principle is a boon to their faith,” notes Boston. “They see danger in any attempt by government to decide which religion is true and which is false. They know that a faith that is in favor with the government today can be out of favor tomorrow. These believers are thankful for the free marketplace of religion and the secular state that makes it possible. They understand that the way to get new members is through persuasion, not government aid.”

    Some of the religious leaders of the colonial period, such as Roger Williams, favored religious freedom.

    “Williams was an unusual character for his times,” writes Boston. “A devout Christian, he was absolutely convinced that his views on religion were correct and that any rational being would in time come around and agree with him once the facts were laid bare. But Williams insisted with equal force that the state should have no business in enforcing orthodoxy. A person’s understanding of religion and truth, Williams insisted, must come from within. He argued for complete freedom of conscience, a concept he called ‘soul liberty.’”

    In 1635, Williams and his followers were expelled from Massachusetts. They fled south to what is today Rhode Island, where he founded the city of Providence. According to Boston, Williams, “announced that all who chose to live there would enjoy full religious and political freedom. Williams’ proclamation proved the sincerity of his beliefs, as he soon had to suffer many religious views he personally found distasteful. For example, Williams detested Quakers and often blasted them in his writings. Yet in Rhode Island, Quakers worshipped unmolested, at least during the years of Williams’ oversight.

    “It was Williams who coined the phrase that may have been the grandfather to Thomas Jefferson’s famous ‘wall of separation’ between church and state metaphor. In his 1644 treatise, ‘The Bloody Tenet of Persecution, for cause of Conscience,’ Williams warned against opening ‘a gap in the hedge, or wall of separation, between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world.’ A decent distance between church and state, he maintained, would keep the purity of the church intact and safe from the corrupting influence of government.”

    Similarly, Pastor John Leland “was dismayed to see dissenting preachers in jail for their religious views. Leland’s writings echo some of the comments made by Jefferson. Leland, defending freedom of conscience, wrote, ‘Government should protect every man in thinking, and speaking freely, and that one does not abuse another…all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, pagans and Christians.’

    “On another occasion, Leland wrote in opposition to the idea that holders of public office should have to believe certain things about religion before they could even run. Such ‘religious tests’ were common in many colonies. Wrote Leland, ‘If a man merits the confidence of his neighbors…let him worship one God, twenty gods, or no god—be he Jew, Turk, Pagan, or Infidel, he is eligible to any office in the state.

    “Unlike Jefferson, who was a rationalist and something of a religious skeptic,” continues Boston, “Leland’s support for church-state separation was anchored in his theological views. In 1790 he wrote, ‘The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever…If all the souls in a government were saints of God, should they be formed into a society by law, that society could not be a Gospel Church, but a creature of the state.’

    “Clergy in other states also played a pivotal role in the struggle to establish the separation of church and state in America. In Massachusetts, Pastor Isaac Backus, a Baptist minister, went so far as to refuse to pay a church tax and was arrested. In 1774 he wrote a document blasting the tax, which asserted in part, ‘Religion is a concern between God and the soul with which no human authority can intermeddle.’”

    In 1787 when the framers excluded all mention of God from the Constitution, they were widely denounced as immoral and the document was denounced as godless, which is precisely what it is. Opponents of the Constitution challenged ratifying conventions in nearly every state, calling attention to Article VI, Section 3:

    “No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    An anti-federalist in North Carolina wrote: “The exclusion of religious tests is by many thought dangerous and impolitic. Pagans, Deists and Mohammedans might obtain office among us.”

    Amos Singletary of Massachussetts, one of the most outspoken critics of the Constitution, said that he “hoped to see Christians (in power), yet by the Constitution, a papist or an infidel was as eligible as they.”

    Luther Martin, a Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 wrote that “there were some members so unfashionable as to think that a belief in the existence of a Deity, and of a state of future rewards and punishments would be some security for the good conduct of our rulers, and that in a Christian country, it would be at least decent to hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity or paganism.”

    Martin’s report shows that a “Christian nation” faction had its say during the convention, and that its views were consciously rejected.

    The United States Constitution is a completely secular political document. It begins “We the people,” and contains no mention of “God,” “Jesus,” or “Christianity.” Its only references to religion are exclusionary, such as the “no religious test” clause (Article VI), and “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (First Amendment)

    The presidential oath of office, the only oath detailed in the Constitution, does not contain the phrase “so help me God” or any requirement to swear on a Bible (Article II, Section 1).

    The words “under God” did not appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, when Congress, under McCarthyism, inserted them.

    Similarly, “In God we Trust” was absent from paper currency before 1956, though it did appear on some coins beginning in 1864.

    The original U.S. motto, written by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, is “E Pluribus Unum” (“Of Many, One”) celebrating plurality and diversity.

    In 1797, America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” This reassurance to Islam was written under Washington’s presidency and approved by the Senate under John Adams.

    We are not governed by the Declaration of Independence. Its purpose was to “dissolve the political bonds,” not to set up a religious nation. Its authority was based upon the idea that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” which is contrary to the biblical concept of rule by divine authority.

    The Declaration deals with laws, taxation, representation, war, immigration, etc., and doesn’t discuss religion at all. The references to “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” and “Divine Providence” in the Declaration do not endorse Christianity. Its author, Thomas Jefferson, was a Deist, opposed to Christianity and the supernatural.

    “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus,” wrote Thomas Jefferson. However, Jefferson admitted, “In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man and that other parts are the fabric of very inferior minds…”

    It was Thomas Jefferson who established the separation of church and state. Jefferson was deeply suspicious of religion and of clergy wielding political power.

    Jefferson helped create the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, incurring the wrath of Christians by his fervent defense of toleration of atheists:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    Jefferson advocated a “wall of separation” between church and state not to protect the church from government intrusion, but to preserve the freedom of the people:

    “I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest morality that has ever been taught;” he observed, “but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invested by priestcraft and established by kingcraft, constituting a conspiracy of church and state against the civil and religious liberties of mankind.”

    Jefferson and the founding fathers were products of the Age of Enlightenment. Their world view was based upon Deism, secularism, and rationalism.

    “The priests of the different religious sects dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight,” wrote Jefferson. “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter… we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this…”

    As late as 1820, Jefferson was convinced everyone in the United States would die a Unitarian. Jefferson, Madison and Paine’s writings indicate that America was never intended to be a Christian theocracy. “I have sworn upon the altar of God,” wrote Jefferson, “eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    In his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson wrote:

    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

    Similarly, in an 1824 letter to John Cartwright, Jefferson expressed anger at judges who had based rulings on their belief that Christianity is part of the common law. Cartwright had written a book critical of these judges, and Jefferson was glad to see it. Observed Jefferson:

    “The proof of the contrary, which you have produced, is controvertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed.”

    Jefferson challenged “the best-read lawyer to produce another script of authority for this judicial forgery” and concluded, “What a conspiracy this, between Church and State!”

    As president, Jefferson put his “wall of separation” theory into practice. He refused to issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and fasting, insisting that they violate the First Amendment. As early as 1779, Jefferson proposed a bill before the Virginia legislature that would have established a series of elementary schools to teach the basics—reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    Jefferson even suggested that “no religious reading, instruction, or exercise shall be prescribed or practiced, inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.” Jefferson did not regard public schools as the proper agent to form children’s religious views.

    As president, James Madison also put his separationist philosophy into action. He vetoed two bills he believed would violate church-state separation. The first was an act incorporating the Episcopal Church in the District of Columbia that gave the church the authority to care for the poor. The second was a proposed land grant to a Baptist church in Mississippi.

    Had Madison, the father of the Constitution, believed that all the First Amendment was intended to do was bar setting up a state church, he would have approved these bills. Instead, he vetoed both, and in his veto messages to Congress explicitly stated that he was rejecting the bills because they violated the First Amendment.

    Later in his life, James Madison came out against state-paid chaplains, writing, “The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles.” He also concluded that his calling for days of prayer and fasting during his presidency had been unconstitutional.

    In an 1819 letter to Robert Walsh, Madison wrote, “the number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” In an undated essay called the “Detached Memoranda,” written in the early 1800s, Madison wrote, “Strongly guarded…is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States.”

    In 1833 Madison responded to a letter sent to him by Jasper Adams. Adams had written a pamphlet titled “The Relations of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States,” which tried to prove that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Madison wrote back: “In the papal system, government and religion are in a manner consolidated, and that is found to be the worst of government.”

    Madison, like Jefferson, was confident that separation of church and state would protect both the institutions of government and religion. Late in his life, Madison wrote to a Lutheran minister about this, declaring, “A due distinction… between what is due to Caesar and what is due to God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations… A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.”

    In the early part of the 19th century, a general understanding existed that the government should not promote religion, or favor one religion over another. In 1829, Senator Richard Johnson of Kentucky wrote:

    “It is not the legitimate province of the Legislature to determine what religion is true, or what is false. Our Government is a civil and not a religious institution. Our Constitution recognizes in every person the right to choose his own religion, and to enjoy it freely, without molestation. Whatever may be the religious sentiments of citizens, and however variant, they are alike entitled to protection from the Government, so long as they do not invade the rights of others…

    “Among all the religious persecutions with which almost every page of modern history is stained, no victim ever suffered but for violation of what Government denominated the law of God. To prevent a similar train of evils in this country, the Constitution has wisely withheld from our Government the power of defining the divine law.”

  2. The majority trampling on the rights of the minority has happened before. In his 2003 book, Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State, journalist Rob Boston writes:

    “Catholics did not start arriving on American shores in significant numbers until the late 1830s and 1840s and with the great waves of immigration in the post-Civil War era and early twentieth century.

    “The small numbers of Catholics who did choose to live in America could find life difficult. Guaranteed the right to worship by the Constitution, they no longer had to worry about their priests being shackled and thrown into prison or their churches being raided by agents of the state.

    “However, many overt forms of prejudice still existed, especially in employment. But the one area where Catholics encountered the greatest frustration was in the public school system…

    “Catholic children were not simply required to sit through religious exercises alien to them; they were often forced to take an active role in them.

    “Great insensitivity reigned in some parts of the country as the Protestant majority laid down the rules for religious exercises in public schools…

    “Things quickly got ugly. Even though the Catholic parents were not requesting that the religious practices be terminated–merely that their children not be required to sit through them–violence erupted…

    “During a similar flap over religious exercises in Philadelphia’s public schools in 1844… a riot broke out in that city that lasted three days. Violence erupted after the city’s Board of Education voted to allow Catholic children to be excused from mandatory religious exercises or use their own version of the Bible.

    “Again, all the Catholics were asking for was that their beliefs be respected, not that the Protestant practices be stopped entirely.

    “Catholic churches and the homes of Catholic parents were burned; thirteen people were killed.

    “In later years violence on a smaller scale broke out in other areas. In 1854 in Ellsworth, Maine, an outraged mob tarred and feathered a missionary priest, John Bapst, after he urged a parishioner to go to court and fight a school board regulation requiring children to read the King James Bible.

    “Abuses such as these led to the creation of the Catholic school system in America. Fed up with the overt Protestant flavor of the public schools and desiring a system that would inculcate their own values, American Catholics created one.

    “Early conflicts over religion in public schools led to court battles in several states. In many cases, the actions were filed by disgruntled Catholic parents–sometimes backed by Jews–who desired a secular educational system.

    “In light of this history, it is remarkable that today some conservative Catholics have joined the movement for a school prayer amendment. How easily some forget their own history!”

    **

    Journalist Rob Boston writes in his 2003 book, Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State:

    “Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in earthly allegiances. Their only duty, they say, is to God. They do not participate in secular government. They will not hold office or vote in elections. Also, they steadfastly refuse to recite oaths of any kind — including the Pledge of Allegiance — or salute the flag.

    “Saluting flags, they say, is a form of idolatry.

    “In 1940 the United States was on the brink of entering World War II, and a heightened sense of patriotism ran the the population. Many states had laws mandating the reciation of the Pledge of Allegiance and flag salute every day in public schools. Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who refused to participate in the exercises, were frequently expelled from school or otherwise punished.

    “Although their timing could not have been worse, the Witnesses took the pledge matter into federal court in the late 1930s. In 1940 the Supreme Court issued one of its wrst church-state opinions ever and held by an 8-1 vote that a Pennsylvania law requiring recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was constitutional…

    “The High Court’s ruling..was followed by an outbreak of violence against Jehovah’s Witnessess across the country…What followed is one of the darkest and most disgraceful periods in American church-state history.

    “In Richwood, Virginia, the chief of police rounded up a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses, forced them to drink castor oil and paraded them through the streets before running them out of town. In Jackson,, Mississippi, members of a local veteran’s organization attacked a trailer park where many Witnesses were known to live and drove several from their homes.

    “The list gets worse: A Witness in Nebraska was lured away from his house and castrated by a mob. In Rockville, Maryland, local police assisted a marauding crowd that attacked a Witness church (called a Kingdom Hall) to break up a church meeting. In Kennebunk, Maine, an unruly mob charged the local Kingdom Hall and set it on fire, burning it to the ground…

    “By 1943 the Supreme Court had realized its mistake… The High Court accepted a new case dealing with mandatory flag salutes in public schools…and issued a decision strongly upholding relgious freedom…

    “Sadly, many Americans apparently do not agree with that reasoning. During the 1988 presidential race, George Bush attacked Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis because Dukakis, as governor of Massachusetts, had in 1977 vetoed a bill requiring recitation of the Pledge in the state’s public schools. Dukakis, pointing to the Barnette ruling, noted that the measure was clearly unconstitutional.

    “In the resulting furor, Bush accused Dukakis of being opposed to the Pledge, and one opinion poll showed a majority of Americans favoring mandatory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, even if some religious groups or individuals object.

    “Similarly, a number of states passed or tried to pass laws mandating recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance after the horrific terrorist attack of September11, 2001. In Minnesota, Govenor Jesse Ventura was criticized for vetoing one of those bills. Defending his action, Ventura pointed out that the law was clearly unconstitutional.”

    **

    Several years ago, on one of his broadcasts, TV preacher Pat Robertson was quoted as saying, “We want a secular constitution, we want to make sure religious minorities are protected…” But he wasn’t talking about the United States–he was talking about Afghanistan… where Christians are a minority!

    Similarly, in the October 2006 issue of Church & State, the periodical put out by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Gary B. Christenot, an evangelical Christian writes about his experience on the Hawaiian island of Wahiawa, where Christians are a minority “in this little village that was populated predominantly by people of Japanese and Chinese ancestry. Rather than a church on every corner, as is common in the continental 48 states, Wahiawa had a Shinto or Buddhist shrine on every corner.”

    Christenot notes that prayers before a high school football game were led “not by a Protestant minister or a Catholic priest, but a Buddhist priest who proceeded to offer up prayers and intonations to god-head figures that our tradition held to be pagan.”

    He concludes: “I would say in love to my Christian brothers and sisters: Before you yearn for the imposition of prayer and similar rituals in your public schools, you might consider attending a football game at Wahiawa High School. Because unless you’re ready to endure the unwilling exposure of yourself and your children to those beliefs and practices that your own faith forswears , you have no right to insist that others sit in silence and complicity while you do the same to them.

    “I, for one, sleep better at night knowing that because Judeo-Christian prayers are not being offered at my children’s schools, I don’t have to worry about them being confronted with Buddhist, Shinto, Wiccan, Satanic or any other prayer ritual I might find offensive.”

    **

    Pat Goltz, one of the co-founders of Feminists For Life, and now a conservative pro-life Christian, saw all of the Supreme Court decisions against school prayer as a government hostile towards religion, rather than neutral or laissez-faire towards all religious belief AND disbelief.

    ALL social progress seems radical until absorbed into the mainstream. “Feminism” was once a dirty word. Today, conservatives like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are even calling themselves “feminists.”

    Forty years from now, Republicans will all be vegan?

    In 2011-2012, when I was dating the beautiful Adeline Lopez, she said she wasn’t worried about Sarah Palin posing a threat to our secular democracy, saying Sarah Palin is a joke, and will never be president.

    But Addie said Michele Bachmann has a degree from an accredited law school, and, therefore, poses a real danger.

    (Addie also said she liked Bill Clinton, and that it would take Barack Obama a second term to undo the damage caused by George W. Bush!)

    This was a point I made on the Democrats-For-Life e-mail list in 2000. I said when it comes to talk about abortion, let’s “keep it secular.”

    Louis Shapiro ( Shapiro is a Jewish name, but he’s Catholic), a former Republican, disagreed.

    He said he and other Christian conservatives don’t want to impose their religion on others, but do want religion in the public square.

    He complained that because of radical secularism, “…we can’t even mention God at a football game.”

    My friend Greg, raised Catholic, and who first got me interested in religion and politics, reacted by asking in a phone conversation: what would a religious person be doing at a football game in the first place?

    I agreed with Greg: wouldn’t a religious person be leading a sheltered or cloistered life at temple, monastery, or nunnery? Or off somewhere meditating in the Himalayan mountains?

    What would a religious person be doing at a sporting event, an event which serves no higher purpose, only sense gratification?

    Dr. Larry Shinn observes:

    “…there is a similarity in the Krishna and the Catholic traditions in their stress on formal rituals, the abundant use of iconography, their hierarchical institutional/authority structure, their strong emphasis on the private prayerlife, and their ideals of the monastic life of full time religious service and personal piety.”

    Ironically, when complaining about not being able to mention God at a football game, Louis Shapiro was referring to a lawsuit which was brought by Mormons and Catholics in 2000 against Protestant bias in prayers being recited before football games.

    **

    I’m not a Christian, nor a member of any of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, nor the Baha’i faith).

    I had a secular upbringing.

    My friend Greg , a gay Catholic, influenced by his older sister Claire, a born again Christian, used to preach to me in high school about the second coming of Jesus and the Rapture, and he first got me interested in religion and politics.

    As high school seniors, when I decided I felt uncomfortable going along with the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, Greg would say lightheartedly, “Salute the flag, commie!”

    I commented to Greg that nationalistic sayings like “God Bless America” exclude everyone else on the planet! It’s like saying, “God bless white people.”

    Does God love only some and not others?

    When I told Greg on one occasion that I would salute a United Nations flag, as more inclusive, Greg pointed out that not all nations on earth belong to the United Nations.

    “One Planet, One People…Please!” reads a Baha’i bumper sticker.

    Upon graduating from high school in 1981, however, I was slightly irked when one of the speakers referred to “Jesus Christ” during our graduation ceremonies.

    Greg understood my feelings in this regard (remember “do unto others…”?) , but said that as a Christian, he was glad the reference to “Jesus Christ” was included.

    In 2002, however, in the Newdow case, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, Greg and I both agreed the ruling, based on church-state separation, was correct!

    Senator Tom Daschle (D- South Dakota) called the decision “nuts”, and all the members of Congress made a public display of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with the words “under God” in protest.

    “Those hypocrites!” exclaimed Rose Evans, a pro-life Episcopalian, and editor and publisher of Harmony: Voices for a Just Future, a “consistent-ethic” periodical on the religious left.

    Rose accepted written submissions from people of all faiths and those of no faith for her periodical, including atheists like Nat Hentoff and Jen Roth, Hindu spiritual masters like Eknath Eswaran and Buddhist spiritual masters like Thich Nat Hanh and the Dalai Lama.

    Rose felt Congress should address serious concerns.

    **

    Public schools exist to educate, not to proselytize. Horace Mann, the father of our public school system, championed the elimination of sectarianism from American schools, largely accomplished by the 1840s.

    Bible reading, prayers or hymns in public schools were absent from most public schools by the end of the 19th century, after Catholic or minority-religion immigrants objected to Protestant bias in public schools.

    As early as the 1850s, the Superintendent of Schools of New York state ordered that prayers could no longer be required as part of public school activities.

    The Cincinnati Board of Education ruled in 1869 that “religious instruction and the reading of religious books, including the Holy Bible, was prohibited in the common schools of Cincinnati.”

    Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt called for “absolutely nonsectarian public schools.” Roosevelt stated that it is “not our business to have the Protestant Bible or the Catholic Vulgate or the Talmud read in those schools.”

    In McCollum v. Board of Education (1948), the Supreme Court struck down religious instruction in public schools.

    In Tudor v. Board of Education of Rutherford, the Court let stand a lower court ruling that the practice of allowing volunteers to distribute Gideon Bibles at public schools was unconstitutional.

    In Engel v. Vitale (1962), the Court ruled that prayer in public schools is unconstitutional. In Abington Township School District v. Schempp (1963), Bible reading and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in public schools were ruled unconstitutional.

    Posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms was declared unconstitutional in Stone v. Graham (1980). In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the Court ruled that prayers at public school graduation ceremonies are an establishment of religion.

    Although state-sanctioned prayer in schools was found unconstitutional, the high court did not seek to remove all study about religion.

    In fact, in Abington Township School District v. Schempp (1963), the justices maintained that a student’s education is not complete without instruction on the influence of religion on history, culture and literature.

    Justice Tom Clark, representing the court, wrote: “Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

    Clark added that government could not force the exclusion of religion in schools “in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion.”

    The court’s ruling suggested merely that a student’s family, not government, is responsible for decisions about religious instructions and guidance. There was respect, not hostility, toward religion in the court’s ruling.

    Justice Clark concluded:

    “The place of religion in our society is an exalted one, achieved through a long tradition of reliance on the home, the church, and the inviolable citadel of the individual heart and mind.

    “We have come to recognize through bitter experience that it is not within the power of government to invade that citadel, whether its purpose or effect be to aid or oppose, to advance or retard. In the relationship between man and religion, the State is firmly committed to a position of neutrality.”

    Yes. Neutrality. The government must remain laissez-faire towards all belief AND disbelief.

    The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

  3. The first amendment gives us the right to worship God when and where we want. Our founding fathers were Christians and gave us that right. They had no separation of church and state. The only thing forbidden was a national religion, which they fled from in England. They attended church services in the Capitol Building, required Bibles in schools, and installed chaplains in the military. Gov. Noem is well within her rights. Our founding fathers would approve. But the deranged dems can’t stand anything to do with our Creator. They have no morals and only what THEY think is right is allowed. They have thrown God out and satan rules the dem party. They will try to do away with Gov. Noem’s ruling, but they cannot fight God. They may win a few battles, but they will lose the war and join their master in hell. God, and all who are with Him, will be victorious. When Jesus returns only His people will remain.

  4. Vasu, give it up. You have no clue of the truth about God, Christianity, our founding fathers, or what they left us.

  5. When I saw prayer removed from our schools and doing the pledge of allegiance to our flag, that’s when I began to see a decline in our morals. When I went to school if you were not Christian , you were told to show respect and be silent. Now, the Christians are not allowed to pray. But the Muslim children not only are they allowed to pray, but are given a special room to do so..Why?
    Thank goodness some Christians are finally starting to push back and say enough! I praise Gov. Noem for honoring GOD and remembering our founding fathers wanted for our great nation…IN GOD WE TRUST….

  6. Vasu;You are not a lawyer so stop lecturing us of what is allowed and what isn’t.Long before you were ever born, this country had values and standards. But because of your corrupt and evil Democratic party, this country is now in shambles with all their worthless witch hunts against our great President.I hope you realize we are heading for another civil war, don’t you? People are reaching their breaking point of all of our tax dollars going to these spiteful and treasonous acts to create chaos within our government.You sir have no soul and you should be ashamed of yourself.But being a Democrat I should realize all you are interested in is destroying our great country and turning it into part of a NWO. GOD will intervene .HIS will be done….

  7. The entire Nation must follow South Dakota’s lead! It was Unconstitutional to remove Bibles from schools to begin with! Under no circumstances does anyone lose their religious freedom when they enter a public building here in the United States . America was originally founded as a Christian Nation and if the Founding Fathers had felt that Bibles in schools were a violation of the Constitution , The Bibles would have never been in school’s to begin with! Separation of church and State was a deliberate misinterpretation of the Constitution by atheists and Communist Citizens in the United States at the time and must be overturned regardless of the cost!

  8. Apparently Vasu has aspirations of being the next “JAMES MICHENER” – – – so Vasu, I’m not really impressed by your verbosity, loquaciousness, redundant prolixity, or repetitive tautology. So in the future keep it succint; it won’t garner you any positive reaction from those of us who recognize that you sir are a “total waste of time,” and will provide us with a more slanted view of the world we live in !!!

  9. In 1995, a joint statement of current law regarding religion in public schools was published by a variety of religious and civil liberties organizations.

    This statement served as the basis for U.S. Department of Education guidelines intended to alleviate concerns about constitutional religious activities in schools.

    Here are general rules concerning what school personnel and students may do:

    Students have the right to pray or to discuss their religious views with their peers so long as they are not disruptive.

    The history of religion and comparative religion are permissible school subjects so long as the approach is objective and serves a legitimate educational purpose.

    Students may study the role of religion in the history of the United States.

    Schools may discuss various religious groups‚ beliefs about the origin of life on Earth in comparative religion or social studies classes.

    Students may express their religious beliefs in the forms of reports, homework and artwork so long as such expression meets the other criteria of the assignment.

    Religious or anti-religious remarks made in the ordinary course of classroom discussion or student presentations and that are germane are permissible, but students do not have the right to give sermons to a captive audience.

    Students have the right to distribute religious literature to their classmates, subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions.

    Students have the right to speak to, and attempt to persuade their peers about religious topics just as they do with regard to political topics.

    Student religious clubs in secondary schools must be permitted to meet and to have equal access to campus media to announce their meetings.

    Public schools may teach objectively about religious holidays and may celebrate the secular aspects of the holiday.

    Students may wear religious messages on clothing, just as they may wear religious attire, such as yarmulkes, crosses, crucifixes, and head scarves.

    Students may be released for religious instruction off school premises.

    Students may read the Bible or other religious literature during their free time at school.

    Faith groups that support the First Amendment and oppose government-sponsored prayer in public schools include:

    National Council of Churches; American Baptist Churches, USA; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); The Episcopal Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Mennonite Central Committee USA; Presbyterian Church (USA); General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists; United Church of Christ; United Methodist Church; Unitarian Universalist Association; American Jewish Congress; Anti-Defamation League; Central Conference of American Rabbis; National Council of Jewish Women; North American Council for Muslim Women; Soka Gakkai International USA.

    Most religious denominations, across the theological spectrum, have issued formal statements supporting the Supreme Court’s prayer and Bible-reading decisions. These people of faith value the hard-won freedom of conscience that belongs to all of us.

  10. Vasu, NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU POST. GO AWAY ALREADY!! You know nothing at all about God, the Bible, or our founding fathers. sad

  11. 1st of all… The majority of the Founding Fathers were more of the “Enlightenment Movement” in France than they were of the “Christian Faith”… Having said that, the reason for the 1st Amendment’s “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” was so that NO ONE would be persecuted for their beliefs and were FREE to worship as they saw fit… So, it was NOT the absence of religion the 1st Amendment was addressing, but rather the inclusion of ALL FAITHS!

    “The Free Exercise thereof” is completely forgotten by most of those who are against “In God We Trust” or Prayers within the Public Sector. The Founders would be completely ticked if they saw what has happened! Not because of the fact that there is a fight about it, but that the “Free Exercise Thereof” has been so ignored!

  12. What a giant step backwards! Our schools should be focused on teaching and learning, not to perpetuate religious hoaxes and made-up fantasy figures. We are way behind the more progressive, secular countries in Northern and Western Europe, where religion no longer has any power to speak about.

  13. First Amendment says THE CONGRESS WILL MAKE NO LAW BARRING THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION, NOR SHALL IT DECLARE A NATIONAL RELIGION.. IN GOD WE TRUST…NO ONE CAN BAR ME FROM BELIEVING THIS, LIKEWISE I CANNOT COMPEL ANYONE TO BELIEVE SO..IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE SO, YOU DO IT AT YOUR OWN PERIL…( MY OPINION) .

  14. BOY….I think I made a mistake wondering why I started to read these responses…..Oh Well…JESUS IS LORD!

  15. Yes, good for Gov. Noem!!! dems hate our founding fathers and everything this country stands for. They are free to leave and live in the commie country of their choice and leave the rest of us to live in peace

  16. You are exactly right. People should be free to exercise their religion according to the first amendment. This country has gone downhill since the exclusion of religion in the schools.

  17. Thank goodness. The decadence and lack of morality are destroying our nation just as they destroyed the Roman Empire and allowed Hitler and the Nazi’s to come into power in Europe. The liberals and hateful savages forget that it was people that included God in their lives and in their decision making that essentially created/built this nation. We became the dominant world leader because of how we lived and observed God and the teachings of Christianity in our lives. As we have been pushed away from the very things that made us great, we have begun to fall apart and separate. A nation cannot survive in a tribal system and that is exactly what the left wants. It is so simple to see their goal………..divide and conquer. In the past we were taught about the tactic of divide and conquer but the latest generation seems to have no idea what it is. When all of their freedoms are gone and the freebie handouts are no longer very plentiful we will then see how “smart” they actually were. Thank you South Dakota. God bless us all.

  18. America has been greater than any country in the world as long as they were religious. After the exclusion of religion in every part of life, America has become a drinking, drugging, cursing country which is not acceptable to God.

  19. MOST of our founding fathers were Christians and all believed in God. Yes, they would be very upset about those who are trying to silence Christians.

  20. I am not religious but my sisters are. I dont know what happened to me but maybe i just think differently but i also respect their choice. If someone doesnt like religious symbols then dont look at them, dont read them but dont try to prevent others to enjoy them if they want. Its not your place to do so. Its none of your business. You are playing into the dem terrorists hands when you try to stop Christianity in our country. The dems are trying very hard to destroy anything good in this country and you are helping them destroy it for your kids and grandkids. They could not care less about you only their power and their money. Dont give it to them because if you do we all lose.

  21. You are exactly right. Belief in God is based on faith. Belief that there is no God is based on faith. It is every citizens right to have faith in God and to exercise that faith as they see best according to the Bible.

  22. Here’s where the phrase originated and it cannot be found in Our Constitution. What that state is doing is great, because each state governs their own!!!
    Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists….. Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

    It was never about keeping the church out of our government, but keeping the government out of the church. Meaning they couldn’t form one or prefer one over another. Bible verses can be found in every monument and government building in Washington, DC.

  23. jorg…hoaxes????? made-up???? Really? You can deny the truth, but that is very foolish. God is very real and you will know that the moment you die. ALL who have come to Jesus and accepted Him as their Savior KNOW that He is there for them. And Jesus teaches us love, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and helping others. He forbids hate, violence, and evil. Please explain how these teachings are a giant step backwards.
    And I guess YOU did not focus on learning in school. You must have flunked history. There is HISTORICAL EVIDENCE that Jesus was here. Way behind???? NO, ALL who belong to Jesus are way AHEAD. They will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. YOU have the choice to follow Jesus to Heaven or satan to Hell. Choose wisely

  24. If you like what Northern and Western Europe are doing go and join them otherwise STFU. this country prospered and became the greatest country in the world because of our judeo Christian values. Like President Trump has stated if you don’t like it here your free to take your sorry ass elsewhere.

  25. You are very wise. I hope that you will get to know Jesus as the Lord of your life, as He loves you very much. Oh, and one of the reasons I know you are wise is that you said “could not care less”. Most people would say “could care less” , as they don’t know the difference.

  26. Clyde, you are right on. I am getting so tired of idiots who have no clue who our founding fathers were or what they left us. Our freedom comes from God, whom they have rejected. They should find a country more to their liking.

  27. How sad and vulgar to compare The True God Yahweh and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ to mere “Marvel” characters.
    Those more progressive, Secular, Northern countries of which you speak, have been taken over by the beast and are GODLESS excluding the false god’s they worship that are only idols. The grand day for people like you and them is looming when ALL wicked will be destroyed. Prophecies are being fulfilled daily. I am not judging, I am only quoting what My creator has made available to all whom accept it in His Holy Word,The Bible. He has made that promise and it will come to pass. No one or nothing can stop God the Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit.
    Today would be the day to seek Salvation and forgiveness for this blasphemy. ✝️✝️✝️✝️????

  28. Actually, it’s a terrible violation of freedom of conscience to prevent by force of law a godly message to be expressed by a grateful citizenry and their school children.

    The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    Atheist extremists at the so-called “Freedom from Religion Foundation” seek to prohibit “the free exercise thereof.”

  29. Jorge, I just don’t consider being behind a “progressive” (another term for Godless) country that has been overrun by Muslims a bad thing!! The fight between good and evil or darkness and light is starting to be recognized as being synonymous with conservatives and demonrats. This country was founded on Godly principles by Godly men for Godly people. It’s quite obvious you would feel more at home in a more “advanced” progressive country where the creation is worshiped instead of The Creator!

  30. The phrase “nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” doesn’t list any exceptions. It doesn’t say “Except on government property,” or “Except in public schools,” or “Except if it offends somebody from another culture, or another religion, or no religion at all” or “Except anything else” either. No exceptions. Freedom of religious exercise is for any time and any place. It’s written in our Constitution in plain English so we could all understand exactly what it meant. It means what it says, and if the founding fathers had meant something else, they’d have written something else – in plain English.

  31. My mother was born in South Dakota. I wish she was still alive to see her state to take such a brave move back to our founding fathers heritage. She would be proud. I am proud and hope this starts a wave of such in all the GOD fearing or loving.

  32. I think that this is a wonderful idea. By all means, invite God into the schools. And Jesus too. And the holy spirit, sometimes called the holy ghost. Invite them, one and all to address the school. I would love to be there and hear them all.

  33. Well done Gov. Noem. I am not a christian I am jewish. A school that has some form of religion either in its classrooms as a lesson or on a plaque on the wall is as necessary as discipline in a school setting. In my day we were aware of our differences, but embraced them. Bullies who tell us what to do and how to do it should be advised that most of us don’t care what you are or who you are, we just want our children to be raised in peace with knowledge and discipline.

  34. Amendment I covers both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. There is nothing in the Constitution that regards “separation of church and state.”
    More power to South Dakota.

  35. What is so bad to have God’s word in our United States and our schools? If we have no God, then we have NO peace, NO trust in anyone, NO love, and the beat goes on and on. Plus, if South Dakota wants to make wrong right, why should you interfere? Maybe those who complain should go to some other country and speak against anything for their schools.
    Please, for those who do not like what the Governor of South Dakota is doing — then go find a dark and dirty rock to craw under!

  36. Exactly, one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the American people is that the Founding Fathers were all Deists. Even if that were so, Deists believe that there was a God who created the Heavens and Earth, but then died.

    When scholarship was done of the Founding Fathers, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 it was determined that only 2 or 3 were Deists. Scholarship also determined that of everything the Founders wrote and talked about over the course of their lifetimes, wholly 34% came from the Holy Bible, a far higher percentage than any other single topic.

  37. There is ample evidence that the Founding Fathers were religious and believed in God. Deists and Atheists do not pray. Almost all of the Founders prayed and you only pray to a living God, as if God is dead (Deists) there is no sense in praying. There are many examples of admonitions by the Founders proclaiming the importance of morality, and that the well-being of the United States depended on it. If the Founders had created a Godless nation, via the Constitution, it would not have been ratified by the American people, who were vastly religious.

    We also have the example of Thomas Paine, who misinterpreted the French Revolution, which was a bloody affair. While the American Revolution was based on Christianity, the French Revolution was the opposite. Paine misjudged that and wrote: The Age of Reason, which totally undermined his standing with the American people, attesting to the religiosity of the American people.

    Next we have Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited and made a study of the United States in the 1820s-30s. He published his findings in book form: Democracy In America. De Tocqueville noted that the first thing he noticed upon arriving in America was the religious nature of the citizenry. He said he studied our free institutions, our unparalleled Constitution, but it wasn’t until he entered the Nation’s churches and heard the firey Sermons from the Pulpit that he knew why America had become so great so fast.

    But notwithstanding the wealth of information and documentation available to establish the religiosity of the Citizenry, which were over 90% Christian, this is a simple way to determine what the Founders meant by the religious part of the 1st Amendment: Subsequent to the establishment of the United States, via the Constitutional Convention, many of the Founders for the next 30 years or more, served in high public office, presidents, vice presidents, sec of state, sec of treasury, senators, congressmen, judges and associate justices of the supreme court and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. IF the Founders had created a Constitution that treated religion the way the left/communists want it to be today, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THAT WAY FROM THE BEGINNING, NOT 200 AND SOME YEARS DOWN THE ROAD. !!!

  38. We’ve all saw what has happened to and in our schools ever since God was taken out of them. When I was in school before God was removed, we said the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer before class started. The biggest problems in school then was chewing gum in class, an occasional fist fight, and occasionally playing hooky. Some serious stuff compared to what’s happening in schools today isn’t it?

  39. More states need to gear up their courage and follow what South Dakota has done, if atheist don’t like it they can home school their kids or tell their kids to ask permission to leave the class room until talk about religion is over, am sure teachers will honor their request

  40. Why isn’t EVERY state doing this??? I for one am SICK AND TIRED of the TYRANNY of the MINORITY in this country!! Most of the people doing the loudest complaining are the very ones who have had EVERYTHING handed to them. NOWHERE in the Constitution is anyone GUARANTEED success, only the opportunity to pursue it!!!! The atheists, Muslims or any other group has the same FREEDOM OF CHOICE that the rest of us have. If you don’t like the way we do things here, i.e. our schools, our language or our culture, MOVE ON!!!! Find some other country in which to spew your venom and your hatred, because you will never get anything from me but my utter contempt!! Don’t let the doorknob hit you in the ass!

  41. You nailed it. So many think that there is a separation of Church and State and push ther ideology on the ones that do not know any better. It is in fact, not true. They didn’t want the government to interfere with their churches…. it was never the intent to not have GOD in our schools, sports, churches and institutions….

  42. About time we some State Official’s are pushing back. Maybe the draft next to get the whiners to participate in the freedom they freely stomp on.

  43. VASU STAY OF THIS COMPUTER. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BOOK. ALL WE CAN SAY IS THANK GOD, SOMEONE IS FINALLY STANDING UP FOR US.DEMOCRATS ARE AGAINST EVERYTHING THIS COUNTRY STANDS FOR. JUST LOVE TO FILL THEIR POCKETS AND DO NOTHING FOR THIS COUNTRY OR THE PEOPLE. WHO VOTES FOR DEMOCRATS MUST BE BRAINDEAD.

  44. Vasu, so you had a secular upbringing. That is very sad and I pity you. You have no concept of right or wrong or any guidance in your life. You have no concept of who God your Creator is or His great love for you. You know nothing of who Jesus is or His great sacrifice to save you from your sins. You do not know Him as your Savior. You have no idea what Heaven is nor can you look forward to going there for an eternity of love, peace, and joy with God and your loved ones. Yes, I truly pity you. All you have is an empty life and then eternity with satan in Hell. But if you ever want Him, Jesus is there for you. But only in this life. After you die it is too late.

  45. What more is there to say, other than Governor Noem and the state of South Dakota should be applauded.

  46. In grand scheme of life, we need to give God all the praise, honor, glory, respect, and attention, that we possibly can, regardless of who’s dark hearts it hurts, or angers!
    When the most important instance in your life, or after life, is at hand, it will be you, and God! Do you really think at that moment you’ll be thinking about anyone else?

  47. Hey Vasu,
    BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!!
    All you are doing is copying and pasting. You are wasting your time because NOBODY wants to read your gibberish that you post! As the words of the greatest cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn says, “Go away boy! You bother me!!” He also said, “That boy!! Gotta a mouth like an outboard motor!! Putt, putt, putt, putt, putt!!

  48. I’m happy to hear this and I’m sure God is too, but much more has to be done by the people of this Country…to obey God and his Commandments. I do know this, the more people leave God out, the more troubles will be coming our way. What Alabama has done is a good start and I hope others follow suit.

  49. Public schools are supposed to be places for TEACHING , not preaching . America is now th embossed religiously diverse nation in world history , with a Christian majority but millions of people who follow virtually every religion in existence, as well as millions of atheists and agnostics .
    And this is reflected in our public schools, which have young people whose parents follow all of these religions as well as atheists and agnostics . To subject young people who are not Christians to forced indoctrination in Christianity is a blatant violation of the rights of both these young people and their parents .
    Christian parents are free to take their children to church on Sunday and they may pray there and at home to their heart’s content . But they have absolutely no right to try to force their religion on others .

  50. Correction – should read “the most religiously diverse nation “. Autocorrect again .

  51. Robert, people like you never cease to amaze me. Nobody has ever mentioned cramming Christianity down anyone’s throat, unlike islam that you’re probably comfortable with. I remember in the 40’s & 50’s praying in school and saying the pledge every morning. Never was The Name of Jesus mentioned, granted, it was assumed but as other religions grew you could pray to God as you understand him. Alcoholics Anonymous have done this for decades. Are you ok with with the alphabet people and the muslims indoctrinating kids in school? Well, it’s happening. If we hadn’t kicked God out of schools years ago we wouldn’t have to be dealing with many of the problems our society faces today.

  52. Exactly…..not to mention many laws were established from religion on how we are to act in a civilized manner and not have the free for all drivel of the left we have today……all based on common sense.

  53. Our founding fathers REQUIRED Bibles in schools. They also attended church services in the Capitol Building and installed Chaplains in the military. NO separation of Church and State. The only thing forbidden was a National religion..

  54. You are a liar. You failed to mention the multitudes that were murdered by the Muslims and still are today. I was catholic once and it was those like you that forced me to change faiths. You can’t even keep your pants on around children and you want us to listen to you. You have got to be kidding. Go back to Rome. By the way there is nothing in the constitution that has a separation of church and state in it. It only talks about the establishment of a state run religion which we do not have nor is it taught as such.

  55. When Atheism was recognized by SCOTUS as a Religion, Atheism became just as subject to the anti-establishment clause as any other religion. In other words, the US CANNOT establish atheism as a national “religion” in deference to other religions. Atheists MUST allow other religions to practice their faith. In the case of Islam, which is inextricable with sharia law, the ruling in Marbury v Madison supports my contention that Islam is NOT protected by the 1st Amendment, is not a religion but a system of oppression and tyranny which does not recognize the freedom of non-muslims to practice other faiths and is therefore “Repugnant to the constitution”. “A[ny] law that is repugnant to the constitution is void”-Marbury v Madison,USSCt. (1803).

  56. I will put it everyone simply this way I believe and put my Trust in the one true living “GOD” all other’s must pay cash!!

  57. Since Christ’s church is already in existence, why not stop new “false” churches? There is only one, true, church. What our forefathers said, was that we can worship our God of all creation in the way we want. Not Mohammad, Buddha, Satan, etc. And nowhere in our constitution or other papers, does it say there is to be a separation of church and state. Why should a few get what they want, when the majority want something else? I’m happy what South Dakota is doing. Trump/Pence 2020!!!

  58. Why do Christians insist that the LGBTQ community is trying to “shove” their beliefs down everyone’s throat but can’t see that Christians are doing the exact same thing? If you can have your “god” mentioned everywhere, then LGBTQ lifestyles can be mentioned everywhere as well. OR you can go about your beliefs and let others go what they think is correct and leave everyone alone.

    Contrary to the Christian community, the United States was not build on Christianity. If it was, then the first 10 Amendments would mirror the 10 Commandments. The Constitution would mention God and Christians throughout it. “In God, We Trust” would have originally been put on our paper currency, instead of added in 1957. The Pledge of Allegiance would have written “Under God” back in August 1892 when it was written and not added on June 14, 1954, because of the communist scare.

    Think religion makes society less violent?

    If it were true that when belief in God weakens, societal well-being diminishes, then we should see abundant evidence for this. But we don’t. In fact, we find just the opposite: Those societies today that are the most religious — where faith in God is strong and religious participation is high — tend to have the highest violent crime rates, while those societies in which faith and church attendance are the weakest — the most secular societies — tend to have the lowest.

    We can start at the international level. The most secular societies today include Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Estonia, Japan, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Hungary, China, and Belgium. The most religious societies include Nigeria, Uganda, the Philippines, Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Colombia, Senegal, Malawi, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, Jordan, Algeria, Ghana, Venezuela, Mexico, and Sierra Leone.

    It is the highly secularized countries that tend to fare the best in terms of crime rates, prosperity, equality, freedom, democracy, women’s rights, human rights, educational attainment, and life expectancy. (Although there are exceptions, such as Vietnam and China, which have famously poor human rights records.) And those nations with the highest rates of religiosity tend to be the most problem-ridden in terms of high violent crime rates, high infant mortality rates, high poverty rates and high rates of corruption.

    Take homicide. According to the United Nations’ 2011 Global Study on Homicide, of the 10 nations with the highest homicide rates, all are very religious, and many — such as Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, and Brazil — are among the most theistic nations in the world. Of the nations with the lowest homicide rates, nearly all are very secular, with seven rankings among the least theistic nations, such as Sweden, Japan, Norway, and the Netherlands.

    Now consider the flip side: peacefulness. According to the nonprofit organization Vision of Humanity, which publishes an annual Global Peace Index, each of the 10 safest and most peaceful nations in the world is also among the most secular, least God-believing in the world. Most of the least safe and peaceful nations, conversely, are extremely religious.

    As professor Stephen Law of the University of London observed: “If a decline in religiosity were the primary cause [of social ills], then we would expect those countries that have seen the greatest decline to have the most serious problems. But that is not the case.”

    What about within the United States? According to the latest study from the Pew Research Center, the 10 states that report the highest levels of belief in God are Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma (tied with Utah). The 10 states with the lowest levels of belief in God are Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Alaska, Oregon, and California. And as is the case in the rest of the world, when it comes to nearly all standard measures of societal health, including homicide rates, the least theistic states generally fare much better than the most theistic. Consider child-abuse fatality rates: Highly religious Mississippi’s is twice that of highly secular New Hampshire’s, and highly religious Kentucky’s is four times higher than highly secular Oregon’s.

    It is, of course, impossible to conclude from any of this data that secularism, in and of itself, causes societal well-being, or that religiosity causes social ills. Peacefulness, prosperity and overall societal goodness are undoubtedly caused by multiple, complex factors — economic, geographic, cultural, political, historical and so forth. That said, it is clear that a strong or increased presence of secularism isn’t the damaging threat to society so many continually claim it to be.

  59. I always like that phrase: “I was Catholic, once!” Were you molested when you were young? What was the reason you left the Church? So, 4% of priests were designated as pedophiles…..there are more than that in public schools and the demoncrat party. The biased news media will always attack the Roman Catholic Church; but they don’t say anything about The Mormons, The Jews, or the Evangelicals who have “gay” Bishops and ministers. Why is that? Take a look inside yourself and see where the problem lies. I was Catholic and I was molested and I am still Catholic. It wasn’t the Church that molested me. It wasn’t God who did it. It was a man who lost his way and his soul, but I was able to pray and forgive only through the Grace of God! All religions have their skeletons–I didn’t and I don’t blame the Church. It was the person and I was one of his victims. Finally, the Church is taking the proper action by uncovering and prosecuting even the Bishops who closed their eyes and moved priests around. I work within the Church….I had to be fingerprinted, registered, and atten classes and seminars. Men going into the seminary are duly tested now. So someone may slip through–nothing is foolproof–but these precautions are being taken. I wish you well!

  60. Public schools should be focused on education, not religion. If you want your child to learn religion and education, then send them to a private Christian school. But don’t force non-Christians to learn about your god just because you believe in him/her/it. Put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel if public schools were forced to display “Allah is Great” in every school? Or forced to display “Namaste” in every public school?

    If your god is so great, then why do you need to “force” anyone to display words to tell us how great it/he/she is? What is next? Are you going to force everyone who is watching school football games to only yell “God is Great”?

    For people who do not want Sharia Law in the United States, you sure love to follow what the strict Muslim countries demand their people to do.

  61. Whether you believe it or not, Robert Christopher Laity, Atheism and Islam are both protected under the First Amendment. All religions and non-religions must allow others to practice their own faith, HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that you can force another person to believe what you believe. If you believe in Christianity, then by all means practice it, but under the First Amendment, you cannot force another person to practice it as well. It also doesn’t mean that you can place Christian things in public places and not expect there to be a fight. Place your Christian things in your own home, in your own churches, in your private schools, but leave the rest of the public alone and allowed the rest of the world to be religion-free if they want to be.

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