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Taking a stand

JCBOE OKs faith-based activities

Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 5:18 pm | Updated: 6:28 pm, Tue Jan 31, 2012.

"Bible Man" will not be banned from visiting Jackson County Schools.

That message was sent clearly Monday night by the Jackson County Board of Education in response to a letter of complaint it received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

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  • Anonymous posted at 8:44 pm on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    Anonymous Posts: 1

    Donnal you are so sadly misinformed on so much. Since your ignorance is obviously your bliss allow me to remove the smile from your face. The constitution does not mention separation of church and state but the supreme court which has the power to interpret the constitution(a power given to them by our "god fearing founding fathers") has clearly backed separation of church and state many times. The first amendment states that there shall be no established religion in this country. That does not mean Christianity cannot be taught in schools. It can as long as every other religion has its opportunity to an equal amount of school time. I could worship a garden hose in my yard and I constitutionally should have an equal amount of time teaching that in schools as Christianity. Because who is to tell me my religion is right or wrong? Not the government as outlined in the first amendment that you claim to have read. And since these public schools are federally funded they would have to give equal school time to Christianity, islam, and garden-hose-ism. And since we are talking about the whole legality of this mess why are you quoting the declaration of independence over the most supreme law of the land? The declaration of independence should not factor into this. Our proclamation to King George III should not override what the first amendment says. Stop with the irrelevant facts that distort the clarity of the situation. Just because you are a Christian doesn't mean you have to force everyone else to be. If "Bible Man" was "Koran Man" you would be the first to protest it. Your hipocracy is the reason some of our country's first immigrants came here. To escape religious persecution. And also, who in the world are you to say it's not okay to be gay? Did you just grant yourself with your god's power to judge people. This country has come to far with civil rights to be pulled back in time by bigots like yourself. Your hatred and hipocracy is hidden behind your mask of do-good-christianity

  • Garry Morgan posted at 12:50 pm on Mon, Feb 6, 2012.

    Garry Morgan Posts: 372

    A quote, "The government is pushing choice out and replacing it with lunches kids wont eat and homosexual indoctrination at all grade levels." Horse hockey, whose choice, your choice or the choice of religous fanatics and zealots. Keep religious indoctrination out of schools. The teaching of religion is a personal matter, government, which includes public schools, has no business being involved. You want religous education, go to a private school or attend church. That does not mean values and standards should not be taught in school. You can teach values and acceptable standards without religous indoctrination.

    Another poster says, "...My rhetoric? My untruths? You should concern your self
    with your own rhetoric..I have no specific group." Another untruth from you. You stated, and I quote, "Let me begin with what is True: Our Declaration of Independence says our Rights come from God." That is not what the Declaration of Independence says, It specifically states the word "Creator." What is true to you is not the truth for others. When you defend, or attack, a political figurehead, another does not have to agree with your rhetoric and may state so in a reply; unless you do not believe in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. You and others have attempted to paint a picture of "godliness" surrounding McGill. Your choice to do so just as it is my choice to point out the religous fanaticism associated with your and others diatribe.

    Yes I think you are confused about the issue of God and Government. I'll point out you conveniently omitted these words of our founders: "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity." -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.

    Another Jefferson quote most relevant: "Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination." -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    To the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May, 1789, George Washington said that every man "ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."

    In his, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788], John Adams wrote: "The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history...Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind."

    In 1785, James Madison wrote in his Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments: "What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

    In an essay on "Toleration," Benjamin Franklin wrote: "If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England."

    Thomas Paine in "the Age of Reason:" "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church. "

    "Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity. "

    Thomas Jefferson interpreted the 1st Amendment in his famous letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in January 1, 1802: "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 and State."

    'donnal,' you also say, "My Bible tells me there is ONE God ...and He created Man and Woman , the heavens and the earth and every thing inbetween..." I agree with you, I'm a believer in the Faith of the Miracle of Salvation through Jesus Christ our Savior. I do not agree that any religion should be supported by government nor the religous belief of a group be forced upon the people. Worship God in the home or Church, do not force your beliefs onto the citizenry due to a politicians or religous- political group's devotion to a belief system. Keep religion and government seperate; our freedom, liberty and law demands it!

    When the practice of religion becomes a role of government that is tyranny and we are fighting a war against religous fascism consisting of Islamic terrorists due to their fanatical murder of Americans for religous reasons.

  • lemonade posted at 7:57 pm on Sun, Feb 5, 2012.

    lemonade Posts: 2

    I'm not aware of any religious test that Jackson county public schools require for admission. And if the christian, or any religion for that matter, activities do not interfere with school business, then its none of the governments business. This is more a freedom of choice issue. The government is pushing choice out and replacing it with lunches kids wont eat and homosexual indoctrination at all grade levels. Personal responsibility and accountability seem to be being replaced with "who to blame". Whats wrong with encouraging excellence and rewarding success. Seems like nothing is "wrong" anymore. Unfortunately millions of young people in public schools will not get the message by the time they graduate and they will find that the adult world can be very cold and even fatal for the unprepared.

  • lowens posted at 4:32 pm on Sun, Feb 5, 2012.

    lowens Posts: 12

    @donnal, the founders were indeed religious, but they were not all Christian; in fact almost to a man they were Deists. They mentioned God, The Creator, The Supreme Ruler, etc. They also worked very hard to make sure no one sect or faith gained any power or favor over others. Here are a few quotes for you:

    "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

    Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law." -letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 1814

    It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God.
    ______all these are from Thomas Jefferson

    "When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." Ben Franklin

    Nowhere does the Constitution say: "The United States is a Christian Nation", or anything even close to that. In fact, the words "Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, and God" are never mentioned in the Constitution-- not even once. Nowhere in the Constitution is religion mentioned, except in exclusionary terms. When the Founders wrote the nation's Constitution, they specified that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Article 6, section 3) This provision was radical in its day-- giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike. They wanted to ensure that no religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had.

    But all this is beside the point and superfluous. The point is that the Jackson County school board is supporting an unconstitutional activity. They will be called on the carpet for it and they will have to pay the price; either monetarily or in opening the schools up to ALL religions.

  • donnal posted at 1:45 pm on Sun, Feb 5, 2012.

    donnal Posts: 10

    Garry Morgan...My rhetoric? My untruths? You should concern your self
    with your own rhetoric..I have no specific group, I am refering to Americans.
    I am American and believe it or not I can read and yes I can and have read the
    Constitution and federal papers also The declaration Of Independence,
    I have read what our Founders had to say and I will add those for you to rip
    apart and I know you will try..If you are saying , that I am a religious fanatic
    Because I believe In God the creator of all livings things and his son Jesus
    Christ? then in your eyes maybe thats how you see it.. So be it.. and if you
    read the Bible then you will know what Gods laws are..I read the Bible to..
    just saying...The Question Is, what God was our founding fathers talking
    about , when they wrote and signed The Declaration of Independence and
    The Constitution ? I will Copy and Paste What Our Founders said on the subject
    Of God...

    John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen stating, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our second President.

    Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said. "[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

    Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution. "[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."

    Fisher Ames author of the final wording for the First Amendment wrote, "[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind."

    James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice, "Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other."

    George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation, " Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

    Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence "[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

    "Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof." Continental Congress, 1778

    In our young nation, the Bible was used as a text book for the purpose of teaching children moral principles to live by. As time went on, the Bible was gradually replaced by other text books such as Noah Webster's Primer. Webster's Primer taught children to spell but was also filled with moral Bible verses. In the front of his Primer was his picture with the inscription, "Who taught millions to read but not one to sin."

    Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary stated, "The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."

    Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

    It seems pretty clear that the Founders were talking about God The creator of all thing ... You said humans interpreted Gods law to to say some humans are less than a whole person...Well some humans made that mistake and if they would have read the Bible Like I did they would have read that God Is No Respector Of Man , that means God Loves All of his creations not one more than the other..God sent his son Jesus Christ To Die On The Cross For OuR SINS..

    You think I'm Confused ? no I am not ..I think alot our country has misplaced its moral
    compass along with the American Dream and princaples this country was founded on ..I think God is displeased with us as a nation and he should be
    I think our Founding fathers and the men who died to keep us free are rolling over in their graves To see us as The proud country we used to be just turn a blind eye as people in America Spit on The Bible And mock and make fun of christians
    we turn on the tv and see people burn our flag on the public square and alow laws that say it is okay to have an abortion and murder your unborn child/// and find reasons why the Bible should not be tought in our schools...That why we are quickly becoming a Godless Nation... I have always obeyed the laws of the land and have raised my children to do the same and you call me a right wing extremist? Because I speak the truth? Oh yes , I must have forgotten,, If a person speaks the truth in todays times you are thought of as a extremist or one of those stupid christians , well beg my pardon I am not ashamed of the way I think or of telling the truth...if that bothers you? well thats your right...My Bible tells me there is ONE God ...and He created Man and Woman , the heavens and the earth and every thing inbetween , and he gave me the job of telling every one I see about him ..So there you go ONE GOD....

  • Garry Morgan posted at 9:03 pm on Sat, Feb 4, 2012.

    Garry Morgan Posts: 372

    "donnal" your rhetoric are your words. You have no right to interpret the meaning of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence for anyone but yourself. What you say "is true" is not the truth; it is your idea and your personal interpretation or that of a specific group.

    In our Republic we rely on our courts to interpret our laws. However, we also have "rights" enumerated. A couple of those rights are redress to government and not allow religous fanatics to determine the course of our history.

    You mention God, placing God as a determining factor of our law is the same law as Islamic Sharia Law. You are confusing religion and government, that is a dangerous course to take. One persons God is different from another's God. The "Holy Bible," which of Gods laws will you codify as law of the land, will you pick and choose? Or, will you use God's law for the Jews? Or How about God's law for the Islamic religion? The truth is: HUMANS have interpreted what is GOD'S LAW and in the course of our history some humans have said other humans are less than a whole person and have less or no rights. Is that the law you have in mind?

    You use terms such as "our consent," "will of the People;" do you have a special group of people in mind? Maybe you think the "people/our consent" means your select group of people. People means all citizens of the United States which encompasses many cultures and many religions some majority some minority; all are supposed to be protected equally by our laws .

    Under our laws you or your group may not decide what is the truth; nor determine what is law and what is not law. You are confusing the principles of our founding fathers with religious and political indoctrination of right wing nationalistic extremist groups. The Principles of Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Adams and others were quite different from your ideology. That is the TRUTH.

    Maybe you prefer that the Federal Government have no say in any thing you may or may not do. That you are a sovereign all unto yourself or that of your select group - is that your truth?

    Your rhetoric is similar to the John Birch Society and the Council of Conservative Citizens. Are you a politician; maybe you intend on running for public office, or are you confused by right wing extremism?

  • donnal posted at 10:55 am on Sat, Feb 4, 2012.

    donnal Posts: 10

    Let me begin with what is True: Our Declaration of Independence says our Rights come from God. Our rights thus pre-date & pre-exist the U.S. Constitution.

    The Declaration of Independence says:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

    So these, then, are the foundational principles of our Constitutional Republic:

    Our Rights are unalienable and come from God;
    The purpose of civil government is to protect our God-given Rights;
    Civil government is legitimate only when it operates with our consent; &
    Since the US Constitution is the formal expression of the Will of the People, the federal government operates with our consent only when it obeys the Constitution.

    Because the Declaration of Independence identifies The Creator as Grantor of Rights, we look to The Bible - or the Natural Law - to see what those rights are. The Bible - or the Natural Law - reveals many rights, such as the rights to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness; to inherit, earn, and keep property; the right of self-defense; the right and duty to demand that the civil authorities obey the Law; the right to speak; the right to live our lives free from interference from civil government; the rights of parents to raise their children free from interference from civil government; the right to worship God; etc.

    The distinguishing characteristics of all God-given or Natural Rights
    Each one may be held and enjoyed at NO expense or loss to any other person; and
    We can look them up for ourselves! They are not subject to someone else’s interpretations.

  • almom4 posted at 3:29 pm on Fri, Feb 3, 2012.

    almom4 Posts: 3

    donnal: The Constitution was written by very spiritual men, they were wise to omit the word God from the Constitution. They didn't want government involved in matters of religion.

    Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase 'separation of church and state' and it's been used and accepted to imply our government shouldnot involve itself in any religion.

    So many of us would love to see God kept in our schools and I also believe we have a right to have him there. Do I want the Koran taught also, no; Wicca, no. So we keep religion out of our schools. And do we really really want to see our government telling us what we can and cannot do in our churches next??

  • donnal posted at 10:56 am on Fri, Feb 3, 2012.

    donnal Posts: 10

    I believe that the Constitution was written by Our God fearing
    founding fathers and that it was inspired by the word of God.
    The words separation of church and state are not in the Constitution.

    The intention was that Government would not favor one church over another
    and that the Government would not interfere with the church.

    I do believe that God our creator and his son Jesus Christ and the bible teachings Belongs every where and anywhere......

    take a look at our school system now! or I should have said look at our schools
    since we let the government kick God out the door....our schools are in a mess
    and kids today are mean and disobedient and disrespectful to their teachers and class mates...other kids live in fear of bullies or kids bringing guns or drugs to school...schools today are war zones and folks still dont want God in school they say God has no place in School that our children dont need God or that its to confusing for the kids or it may upset someone because they dont believe in God..
    The Costitution says you have the right to be offended, but you do not have the right to trample on the American dream and what our country stands for which
    most Americans Believe in God the creator and his son Jesus Christ..And for the most part we still live by the Constitution .. This is still the Greatest country in the world and we are blessed to have been born here...there is a few people that dont
    like the way we live here in the USA and want to change it or destroy it.. with laws that say we can murder our babies and that its okay to be gay and take one mans wealth and give it to someone that refuses to work..Me I say not!! I want to Invite God to come into my schools or work place , courthouses, anywhere I want to ask him back to the USA and ask him to bless us once again..And if that hurts some of your feelings out there So BE IT...And I will not apologize only for my misspelling
    and any where

  • Jimbo posted at 5:42 am on Thu, Feb 2, 2012.

    Jimbo Posts: 1

    A Facebook page has been created in support of the wonderful things Mr Turner does for our children!

  • Garry Morgan posted at 5:34 pm on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

    Garry Morgan Posts: 372

    "The same doctrine which our "FREE" nation was founded on." There has never been anything "free" in which our nation has been founded. Blood has been spilled so that government will not now or ever determine what will or will not be worshiped in our nation. The early settlers of our nation escaped religious persecution and mandates of government sponsored worship.

    Is it Christian love which requires a soldier to kill an Islamic terrorist waging Jihad? No it is not, it is a dedication to duty, survival of the team, the protection of our Constitution and following orders. Just remember, at our nations founding a black man was not considered a whole person and a woman had no vote. Our nation has changed for the better and our laws have evolved. No one is saying you may not worship, government sponsored worship is not allowed. The Supreme Court of this nation has stated: if you allow one religious group access you must allow all religous groups access to school facilities. The solution: the standard practice of school systems across the nation - allow no religious groups access to school facilities.

    Religious teachings belong within the home and the church, not in a government sponsored school.

  • Jesus Believer posted at 11:51 am on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

    Jesus Believer Posts: 6

    I believe that Jesus would have us to pray for all lost souls. I encourage each of us to pray for those who do not know Jesus as Savior and that includes those who oppose Christian support in the lives of children. I am truly thankful for the Christian love and fellowship that strengthens each of us in times of need. That support was felt by many last april.
    Thank you Mr. Turner and other Christians who share Jesus with children. He is teaching scripture, not individual church or religious doctrine. The same doctrine which our "FREE" nation was founded on.
    In prayer for others.

  • Garry Morgan posted at 11:11 am on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

    Garry Morgan Posts: 372

    It is the church and family which must educate family members and children in the the Miracle of Salvation. Not the school system or any other government entity.

    The government or their officials in public schools must not require or encourage participation in religious indoctrination in any type or form. The school board may get the backing of citizens but it was not a wise choice and stands to bankrupt the county school system in legal fees. All this choice has accomplished is laying a foundation for the enrichment of many attorneys.

    Superintendent Ken Harding says in a channel 48 interview, "It shouldn't be in the country that we live in that the minority forces their rights and beliefs on everybody else. We want to respect everybody's right. We want ours respected too." Ken, are you going to allow Islamists to preach in your school system or utilize school property for religious teachings? You had best think about what you are saying! You are bound by Federal Law unless you do not want to receive Federal Funds.

    The Supreme court has stated you may not discriminate, if you allow one group on school property you must allow the speech of others. Do you want that?

    I would suggest that the school board, school administrators and citizens make themselves aware of the various decisions of the Supreme Court in these matters. One such decision says: "To many it is deeply distasteful to join in a public chorus of affirmation of private belief. By some, [319 U.S. 624, 646] including the members of this sect, it is apparently regarded as incompatible with a primary religious obligation and therefore a restriction on religious freedom. Official compulsion to affirm what is contrary to one's religious beliefs is the antithesis of freedom of worship which, it is well to recall, was achieved in this country only after what Jefferson characterized as the 'severest contests in which I have ever been engaged." WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION v. BARNETTE, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Murphy.

    "School sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community. " U.S. Supreme Court, Santa Fe v. Doe, (2000).

  • Works for a living posted at 9:28 am on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

    Works for a living Posts: 2

    That's fine lowens and when you do I, as a parent will send a note with my children to school asking that they not attend your assembly. Because as a parent that is my right.

  • lowens posted at 6:25 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    lowens Posts: 12

    According to federal law: Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992)
    (Unconstitutional for a school district to provide any clergy to perform nondenominational prayer at elementary or secondary school graduation. It involves government sponsorship of worship. Court majority was particularly concerned about psychological coercion to which children, as opposed to adults, would be subjected, by having prayers that may violate their beliefs recited at their graduation ceremonies.)
    and Michael Broyde, a professor and senior fellow at Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion:"You can either open your public school up to all religious material, or you can say no religious material," "You can't say, 'You can distribute religious material, but only from the good mainstream faiths.'"


    Therefore, due to this decision of the school board, I would like to offer my services as an ordained pagan minister to offer talks, lectures and handouts to the county school students on Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft. I, with a little research will also be willing to discuss other pagan religions such as Asatru, Voodoo, Santeria and Satanism.
    I will be sending an official letter to the school board this week