My response to Anne Landman and the so-called "atheists and free thinkers" of Western Colorado

On 7/21/17, the Daily Sentinel ran a story titled "Atheist group objects to prayer, wants officials to ‘get to work’" written by Erin McIntire.

Has anybody besides me had their fill of Anne Landman and the local so-called “atheists and free thinkers”? It is not all that hard to conclusively prove that they are neither free nor anything but shallow thinkers.

First of all, many (if not a majority) of history's greatest scientific minds were theists/deists. Why? Because they were less intelligent than Landman et al? Don't make me laugh.

Let's talk some real “nitty gritty” reality here.

First of all nobody KNOWS diddley squat about how or why the universe and/or human beings came into existence. How do I know that Landman and the laughably-named “free thinkers” don't know diddley squat? Easy. Because I myself don't know diddley squat and, like Diogenes looking for his “honest man”, I've spent much of my life trying to “know myself” and “searching for the truth”. I've read countless books by countless people light years smarter than Landman et al. I have been graced with considerable intellectual curiosity which enables me to easily recognize a lack of same in others, especially pain-in-the-ass, blow-hard, fascistic leftists and other collectivist propagandists.

Neither “side” (theists or atheists) can actually prove with “scientific” certainty anything to the other, so that's not the point of faith/hope. (Some kinds of faith/hope are called “religion”; “atheism”, a form of nihilism, is one such “religion”, one among thousands of other intellectually lame and uncurious hypotheses.)

The main issue is not whether it is possible to prove the existence or nonexistence of an Intelligent Designer of the universe.

The main issue is “how then shall we live” – (aka “how then shall we treat each other”) – as posited by Francis A. Schaeffer.

Is it easier to live a good life and treat your fellow humans (and other critters) with empathy, grace and kindness by 1) simply pretending to believe you know to a moral certainty there is no “god” and you are such a magnificent specimen of noble humanity that you can, by sheer force of your more-powerful-than-everybody-else will, “live a good and righteous” life, or by 2) having some kind of logic-based hope in a just Intelligent Designer of the universe and an absolute moral order to the universe we inhabit which made self-evident certain, dare we call them, “Natural Laws” regarding how we should behave if we want to live in a state of harmony with each other and the universe instead of in a state of conflict with both?

Countless thousands of far more intelligent minds than the so-called “free thinkers” have labored mightily over the question and chosen the latter option. The ancient Israelites, with their invention of monotheism and the Decalogue and the so-called “Golden Rule” also chose the latter option.

Two such giants come to mind.

Albert Einstein said: “Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.”

Thomas Paine, in “Age of Reason” said: "Jesus knew that if a man were impressed as fully and as strongly as he ought to be with a logic-based belief in a God, a fixed point of moral reference, an absolute moral order to the universe, his moral life and behavior would be regulated by the force and power of this belief, he would stand in awe of God and of himself (a creation/child of God), and would not do those things which could not be concealed from either. Jesus also understood that to give this belief/faith the full and fair opportunity of life-governing, life-changing force, it is necessary that the belief/faith acts alone in an atmosphere of free will/freedom/truth completely void of all external coercion."

Another one of my heroes/teachers, Leo Tolstoy, said, "government1 is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us." “You consider war to be inevitable? Very good. Let everyone who advocates war be enrolled in a special regiment of advance guards, for the front of every storm, of every attack, to lead them all!” See also, "The state is a gang of thieves writ large — the most immoral, grasping and unscrupulous individuals in any society" ~ Murray Rothbard.

And therein lies my problem with Landman et ilk: most of them are not “liberals” or “progressives” because they are neither liberal nor progressive. They are in fact – (and 100% of them will cheerfully lie about this) – hardcore socialists or “leftwing” fascists. Whatever you want to call their ideology, it amounts to Dominate-The-Other statism/collectivism/coercion/violence/thievery/murder.

REAL liberals, classic liberals, with whom I empathize, identify and mostly agree, are like John Stuart Mill (author of the magnificent essay, "On Liberty" who said: “The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right...The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” Does that sound like modern leftist-fascist prog/libs? Not hardly.

Real liberals are like socialist economist, Scott Nearing, who said: “The human race is on trial. They've been given their chance, plenty of chances, and they've done a second-rate job. There are so many of them now and they're so ineffective. Weighed in the balance and found wanting. The repentance and regeneration has got to come from within, and where is it? Maybe we should be got rid of with the least suffering and trouble.” “As far as I'm concerned, I prefer to have nothing to do with the credit economy. We don't owe anybody a nickel. We don't borrow any money. We don't pay any interest. We prefer to pay as we go, and wish the bankers would find useful occupations for themselves and leave the economy alone.

None of the bright minds I admire would have remained consentingly silent – as Landman and the “free thinkers” do – about the mother of all evils, the global debt-as-legal-tender oligarchy and its war-based economies. To the contrary, to a person, they all want/hope to use the fraudulent musical-chairs-type monetary numbers to fund their pet ideological projects with the sweat and toil of The Other. That's why they are so good at “Otherizing” the people they view as being a threat to their domination of others.

I figure it is less “politically2 incorrect” to call Landman et ilk “prog/libs” than “leftist fascists”, which would no doubt upset them considerably. Besides, some of them might be hardcore Hitlerian/Stalinist socialists.

What I passionately dislike about prog/libs like Landman and the “free thinkers” is that they want to use the violence of government1 to steal from A to buy the vote of B to get into “political2” power to fund their pet ideological agendas and force them down everybody else's throats, a thing they usually accuse the so-called “religious right” of doing. Then, if you disagree with their strategies and tactics, they try to demonize you as “racist”, “hater”, “bigot”, “misogynist”, “homophobe”, “selfish”, “greedy”, etc, etc. They prefer to speak in cutesy canned political2 talking points and slogans rather than specifically define their words per Voltaire's famous admonition, "if you wish to converse with me, define your terms."

Now, it is obviously true that most of the worst evils humans have suffered have been perpetrated in the name of various multi-meaning words like “god”, “religion”, “law”, “government1”, “truth”, “money”, “taxes”, “fair share”, etc., etc. "Again and again we come back to the realization that if controlling man is the destination, the road to it lies through control of language." ~ Thomas Szasz. But that phenomenon occurs only because the Dominate-The-Other vermin/reprobates/Amalekites will stop at nothing to invent wannabe clever linguistic devices to confuse the minds of their intended victims, the so-called goyim/peasantry/proletariat/hoi polloi. That fact cannot logically function as a blanket justification for the ignorance-and-manipulation-based hatred prog/libs so visibly bear toward so-called “religion” in general.

Regarding the Grand Junction City Council's tradition of having an invocation or silent moment of some sort prior to doing business, it doesn't offend me because I understand what is actually going on. It's kind of a cultural thing.

The politicians2 believe a majority of their constituents believe in some sort of “religion”, so by conducting a prayer before doing the business designed to screw those same constituents, the politicians are “sending a message” to their constituents, “see, we're just like you, so you can like us, trust us, and 'partner with' us”.

It doesn't offend me if politicians2 sometimes want to make minor/meaningless cultural concessions to their constituents.

If their agendas were morally and intellectually honest, it shouldn't offend the atheists and “free thinkers” either. But their agendas are neither moral nor intellectually honest. They hate the Judeo-Christian traditions – (Jesus was the most powerful anarchist in history, according to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, often called the “father of anarchism”) – and they hate the Decalogue and the Golden Rule precisely because they forbid using the power of “government1” to steal the labor, property and money of The Other to line their own pockets and fund their pet agendas. Although the stuff I have been discussing here seems clearly metaphysical, the hard, cold physical fact remains that these people want to steal your labor to line their pockets and fund their pet ideological agendas.

The harsh fact is also, the so-called “atheists and free thinkers” believe they are a higher form of life than everybody else, they believe they're smarter than everybody else, and that you, the peasantry/proletariat/hoi polloi, boys and girls, are supposed to be too stupid to understand what I just told you in this essay.

The truth of the matter is that the pseudointellectual “atheists and free thinkers” all put together wouldn't make a pimple on the butt of even ONE individual like Jesus of Nazareth, Leo Tolstoy, Galileo Galilei, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Marie Curie, Maria Mitchell, Blaise Pascal, James Prescott Joule, Lord Kelvin, Johannes Reinke, Guglielmo Marconi, Max Planck, George Washington Carver, Wernher von Braun, Bach, Handel, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, and literally thousands of other names impossible to list in this limited space.

Full disclosure: For reasons set forth by Peter Kershaw (see also HERE) in his excellent books, "In Caesar's Grip" and "Hush Money", I do not subscribe to any of what I like to call the “Baskins Robbins flavors” of statist organized “government1” religions. With many of history's brightest minds, I am a theist, an Anarcho-Christian, a Voluntaryist, a follower of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and a voluntary complier with the Intelligent Designer's natural cause-and-effect rules (aka “laws”) for human behavior. I have read dozens of works by such bright minds as William Godwin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Henry David Thoreau, Emma Goldman, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Noam Chomsky and other famous so-called “atheists”, and while I respect their minds, I did not find their so-called “atheism” to be a remotely persuasive dogma. Instead of talking nitty gritty on the merits, they all seemed to inevitably drift in one way or another, however subtley, cleverly and/or indirectly, into speculation and political manipulativeness.

Well, logical circumlocution has never worked for me. I guess I have always marched too much to my own drummer. Accordingly, I came to the conclusion that human beings don't speak “truth”, they speak words, which are supposed to be accurate units of measurement of human ideas, as long as the speaker's intent is honest learning, sharing and communication. The deception-and-manipulation-loving Dominate-The-Other crowd (aka “government”) flat out doesn't do that.

In order to clarify my own thinking and understanding of the human conundrum – (called by the Apostle Paul “the mystery of iniquity” at 2 Thessalonians 2:7 KJV) -- I came to define “truth” as: all existence/reality, past, present and future. And, in an effort to get atheists to use their brains to grasp reality, I came to define “God” as “the Great I AM Spirit of collective individual human desire for existence (life), significance (to be loved), self- realization/fulfillment (aka life, "liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"), and contentment (happiness).” It logically follows that we individual humans are "little I AMs" who, in order to live in peace and harmony with each other, must obey the Great I AM's natural cause-and-effect rules/laws regarding human behavior. Absolutely everything the perpetrators, promoters, practitioners, enablers, followers and apologists of the Dominate-The-Other model/paridigm believe in and do is based on deception, manipulation, force, violence and intimidation.

I hate nihilism and political2 correctness, which I view to be unintelligent deception-and-manipulation-based ideologies highly destructive/toxic to the human species. I very much prefer hope/faith to nihilism. I believe in Intelligent Design (ID) theory as opposed to Random Conglomeration of Molecules (RCOM) theory. I believe “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1 KJV). I believe “the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1 KJV). Like Blaise Pascal, I very much prefer the fairy tale with a happy ending to the fairy tale with a sad ending or no ending at all, simply because I have made a fully-informed logic-based choice that hope/faith makes me happier, and helps me try to be a better person, than the depressing/destructive Nowheresville of Nihilism.

The main thing, boys and girls, is to not let “atheists and free thinkers” or “politicians2” dominate/control your minds. Don't let them attain positions of power in “government1”, and don't let them steal your labor, property, or money. And, perhaps most importantly, don't let them get you to believe in their nihilistic “rob A to buy the vote of B” bullshit (by no matter what name they call it). It IS unsustainable.

So, BE the change you want to see in society, think for yourself, and always "vote" with your time, talent, labor and money.

Interested persons can read three other essays tangential to the subject of atheism titled "On the Atheism Display at the Mesa County Public Library", "What is an Anarcho-Christian'?" and "On the Role of Religion in Political Fraud".

UPDATE!

The Daily Sentinel published an article titled "Satanist gives invocation notable for lack of hellfire" written by Erin McIntyre.

One of my friends, Jeff McCloskey, posted a link to the story on the Mesa County Patriots' Fakebook page.

Another one of my friends, Linda Bestland, posted a profound comment -- (you have to be logged in to FB to see it) -- on the Mesa County Patriots' Fakebook page. Here it is verbatim:

"In my opinion, we have some juveniles looking for attention. The posers were not a part of any organization of "Satan", and in fact are atheists. What was their purpose with the "Hail Satan" proclamation then? and to say "to stop all proclamations at City Hall" is being disingenuous and dishonorable. If they want to stop all proclamations then they can go through the proper channels to do so. They remind me of impish children who thought they were doing something savagely trendy. The sensationalism lost its momentum almost before it started. Here is what Colorado has to say about Religious Freedom Article II, Bill of Rights Section 4. Religious freedom. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship. Colorado' S.Ct. cites Marsh in Hickenlooper v. FREEDOM FROM RELIGION, 338 P. 3d 1002 - Colo: Supreme Court 2014 'in the absence of coercion' and otherwise agrees with Greece."

Here, verbatim, is my Facebook response to her comment:

" You are 100% ON POINT, Linda! In fact, interested people should read my extensively documented essay titled "My response to Anne Landman and the so-called "atheists and free thinkers" of Western Colorado" at http://johnwilkenson.com/?q=node/1450 to find out just how bad the manipulation and lying of the posing and posturing juvenile types actually are. Of course the facts of any given case determines what law applies. The problem is that the troublemakers believe in nothing. They are anti-religion pretending to be part of a "religion" based on "Satan" whom they are fully aware is believed by many people to be some sort of supernatural opposite to God/Jesus. From the point of view of controlling law, what you have is a pretense that anti-religion is some sort of "religion" which falls under the "inclusion" trend of relevant Establishment Clause (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Establishment_Clause) jurisprudence. Ain't happenin' cousin, which is why they are lying about the law pretending that all they want is "for the law to be followed". Well, you and I KNOW the law, and these folks are being a disingenuous (aka "crooked") and sophistic as a dog's hind leg. They are not interested in "moments of silence", they want to eliminate religion altogether from the culture and society without admitting that's what they are doing. The stench of sophistry and manipulation are overwhelming."

"Wow!" you might say, "aren't you being a little harsh on these people, John?" Not at all. The place where you can find out what they actually believe is the FAQ page of the Satanic Temple website, where you will also find their benign-sounding mission statement. They are well marketed, and are at Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. Their email is listed as: info@thesatanictemple.com - They even have a "Shop Satan" store where interested people can buy "Satan" merchandise, including T-Shirts and Hoodies.

Below is a Fair-Use banner I made out of their front page. I consider it their online "front door". Interested persons can go in, look around and see if you think I'm being "too tough" on them. You shouldn't have anything to worry about. The Bible says Jesus descended into hell and returned (Ephesians 4:9), so REAL Ex 1:17, 1 Sa 8:5-20, Jg 8:22-23, Jg 9, Ps 118:8-9, Ps 146:3, Jer 17:5, Da 3:18, Mt 7:24-27, Acts 4:19, Acts 5:29, Ga 5:1,14,18-23, Php 3:20, 2 Tim 3:5, Jas 2:25 kingship-of-God Christians (as contrasted with Ro 13: 1-7, Tit 3:1, Heb 13:17, I Pe 2: 13-15, II Pe 2: 10 nominal, kingship-of-man, "easy belief", 501(c)(3), "government" Christians) don't have to worry about that kind of self-evident cutesy propaganda BS designed to ridicule them, intimidate them, and work against them politically. Besides, these people aren't the REAL Satan, they're just wannabe-clever, intellectually lazy and uncurious, juvenile posers and posturers.

1st AMENDMENT LAW:

(NOTE: Here you have the best possible learning situation to learn the law: the Supreme Court reversed the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals which had reversed the District Court. In reversal situations, the judges usually try to act more scholarly so all the lawyers will know why the judges higher on the food chain thought the lower judges were erroneous.)

"The Mythical 'Wall of Separation': How a Misused Metaphor Changed Church–State Law, Policy, and Discourse", by Daniel L. Dreisbach -- Daniel L. Dreisbach, D.Phil. (Oxford University) and J.D. (University of Virginia), is a Professor of Justice, Law, and Society at American University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of
Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State (New York University Press, 2002

Supreme Court upholds legislative prayer at council meetings - the Washington Post

First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Establishment Clause - Wikipedia article.

Colorado Constitution, Article II Bill of Rights, Section 4. "Religious freedom. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship."

Colorado Constitution, Article II Bill of Rights, Section 10. "Section 10. Freedom of speech and press. No law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech; every person shall be free to speak, write or publish whatever he will on any subject, being responsible for all abuse of that liberty; and in all suits and prosecutions for libel the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and the jury, under the direction of the court, shall determine the law and the fact."

Town of Greece v. Galloway, 572 U.S., 12-696 (2014) -- PDF file - Findlaw - Legal Information Institute - Google Scholar - Amicus Briefs

Town of Greece v. Galloway, 681 F.3d 20 (2012) - PDF file

Although the district court (U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York) upheld the town board’s practice, on appeal, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous 2011 decision (Circuit judges Guido Calabresi, Richard C. Wesley, and Gerard E. Lynch), which said: "For the foregoing reasons, we REVERSE the district court's grant of summary judgment and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. We leave it to the district court, with the assistance of the parties, to craft appropriate relief."

The town then appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Town of Greece v. Galloway, 732 F.Supp.2d 195 (2010)

Susan Galloway (left) and Linda Stephens (right), represented by Americans United for Separation of Church and State tried EXACTLY the same kind of crap in Greece, NY, that Anne Landman et ilk are trying to pull here in Mesa County, Colorado. In fact it has been tried numerous times across the country.

The federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York (the trial court level) was Charles J. Siragusa, who said:
"Considering all of these factors, and in light of the undisputed facts of this case, the Court finds as a matter of law that the Town did not violate the Establishment Clause."

If you read his decision, you will see that it is comprehensive and extremely well and conscientiously made.

Interestingly enough, the same crap has been pulled right here in Colorado. Relevant cases are:

Hickenlooper v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, 338 P. 3d 1002 (2014 CO 77), see also PDF format.

"In this case, the supreme court determines whether Respondents Freedom from Religion Foundation and four of its Colorado members have standing to sue Governor John Hickenlooper in his official capacity for issuing annual honorary proclamations that recognize a “Colorado Day of Prayer.” Contrary to the court of appeals, the supreme court holds that the use of public funds to cover the incidental overhead costs associated with issuing the honorary proclamations does not, by itself, constitute an injury sufficient to establish taxpayer standing. Furthermore, contrary to the trial court, the supreme court
holds that the psychic harm endured by Respondents as a result of media coverage revealing the existence of the honorary proclamations does not, by itself, constitute an injury sufficient to establish individual standing. Accordingly, the supreme court reverses the judgment of the court of appeals and remands with instructions to return the case to the trial court for dismissal."

Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Hickenlooper, (2012 COA 81).

Apparently, the decision at the trial court level was unpublished. See City and County of Denver District Court No. 08CV9799, Honorable R. Michael Mullins, Judge. I have no clue as to why such a decision should be unpublished. I guess interested individuals will have to ask Judge Mullins for themselves. It seems he is retired as judge, and now works at the Martinez Law Group. Maybe some kind soul can come up with a copy of the trial court decision of sufficiently high quality to post here.

Following is a list of some court decisions relevant to this controversy. The list is far from exhaustive, but we don't have a law library in Mesa County, and the list is sufficiently comprehensive as to be able let interested readers educate themselves as to the law and history of the prayer at public meetings issue.

Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 125 S.Ct. 2854, 162 L.Ed.2d 607 (2005)

Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 313 (2000)

Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 112 S.Ct. 2649, 120 L.Ed.2d 467 (1992)

County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, 492 U.S. 573, 109 S.Ct. 3086, 106 L.Ed.2d 472 (1989)

Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 107 S.Ct. 2573, 96 L.Ed.2d 510 (1987)

Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783, 103 S.Ct. 3330, 77 L.Ed.2d 1019 (1983)

Chambers v. Marsh, 675 F.2d 228 (8th Cir.1982)

National League of Cities v. Usury, 426 U.S. 833, 96 S.Ct. 2465, 49 L.Ed.2d 245 (1976)

Comm. for Public Education and Religious Liberty v. Nyquist,, 413 U.S. 756, 93 S.Ct. 2955, 2965, 37 L.Ed.2d 948 (1973)

Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 91 S.Ct. 2105, 29 L.Ed.2d 745 (1971)

Aronow v. United States, 432 F.2d 242 (9th Cir. 1970)

Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S.Ct. 1560, 1576, 10 L.Ed.2d 844 (1963)

McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 81 S.Ct. 1101, 6 L.Ed.2d 393 (1961)

Doe v. Indian River Sch. Dist., 685 F.Supp.2d 524 (D.Del.2010)

Joyner v. Forsyth County, N.C., No. 1:07CV243, 2009 WL 3787754 (M.D.N.C. Nov. 9, 2009)

Doe v. Tangipahoa Parish Sch. Bd., 631 F.Supp.2d 823 (E.D.La.2009)

Doe v. Tangipahoa Parish Sch. Bd., 494 F.3d 494 (5th Cir.2007)

Doe v. Tangipahoa Parish Sch. Bd., 473 F.3d 188 (2006)

Turner v. City Council of the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia, 534 F.3d 352 (4th Cir.2008), cert. den., ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 909, 173 L.Ed.2d 109 (2009)

Pelphrey v. Cobb County, Ga., 547 F.3d 1263 (11th Cir. 2008)

Hinrichs v. Bosma (Hinrichs I), 440 F.3d 393 (7th Cir.2006)

Hinrichs v. Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Ind. Gen. Assembly (Hinrichs II), 506 F.3d 584, 585 (7th Cir.2007)

Simpson v. Chesterfield County Bd. of Supervisors, 404 F.3d 276 (4th Cir.2005)

Wynne v. Town of Great Falls, S.C., 376 F,3d 292 (4th Cir.2004)

Bacus v. Palo Verde Unified Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ., 52 Fed.Appx. 355 (9th Cir.2002)

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Chino Valley Unified School District Board Of Education, No. 16-55425 (2017) - Appellant's Opening Brief - Brief Amicus Curiae of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation - Brief of Amici Curiae

ARTICLES about GALLOWAY V. TOWN OF GREECE:

Town of Greece v. Galloway - SCOTUS Blog
Holding: The town's practice of opening its town board meetings with a prayer offered by members of the clergy does not violate the Establishment Clause when the practice is consistent with the tradition long followed by Congress and state legislatures, the town does not discriminate against minority faiths in determining who may offer a prayer, and the prayer does not coerce participation with non-adherents.

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Legal Information Institute (Cornell Law)

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Oyez

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Verdict (Justia)

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Wikipedia

Town of Greece v. Galloway: The Establishment Clause and the Rediscovery of History - Cato.org

Town of Greece v. Galloway - The Harvard Law Review

Town of Greece v. Galloway - The Federalist Society

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Slate Magazine, by Dahlia Lithwick

Town of Greece v. Galloway - ACLU

Town of Greece v. Galloway - ABA

Town of Greece v. Galloway - ADF

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Columbia

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Becket

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Center for Inquiry

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Street Law

Town of Greece v. Galloway - Washington Post

Greece awaits Supreme Court prayer ruling - Democrat & Chronicle

Why We Should Care About Legislative Prayer - Center for American Progress

Supreme Court Prayer Decision in Greece v. Galloway Should Be Easy - Daily Beast

THE DAILY SENTINEL'S EDITORIAL:

On Sunday, July 23, 2017, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel wrote an editorial titled "Council should move to moment of silence."

Here is the comment I posted in the comment section of that editorial:
It would seem that Landman and the Sentinel are incorrect in the law!
My main objection is that they cutesily pretend not to know that when spouting their manipulative sophistry.
“Ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this Nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government.” ~ Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
The case is Town of Greece v. Galloway, 572 U.S., 12-696 (2014), which interested persons can read for themselves at https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/572/12-696.
Justice Kennedy's majority opinion is at https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/572/12-696/opinion3.html.
Clarence Thomas concurred at https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/572/12-696/concur5.html.
Samuel Alito concurred at https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/572/12-696/concur4.html.
Stephen G. Breyer dissented at https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/572/12-696/dissent6.html.
Elena Kagan dissented at https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/572/12-696/dissent7.html.

Here is a comment I made on one of my friend's posts about that editorial:
The Sentinel was quite cute and clever in quoting Matthew 6:5-13, a scripture with which I wholeheartedly concur. But praying "outside your closet" is not what's going on here. What's happening is that the politicians on the City Council believe a majority of their constituents believe in some sort of “religion”, so by conducting a prayer before doing the business designed to screw those very same constituents, the politicians are “sending a message” to their constituents, “see, we're just like you, so you can like us, trust us, and 'partner with' us”. It doesn't offend me if politicians sometimes want to make minor/meaningless cultural concessions to their constituents. Anne Landman is full of BS about the 1st Amendment. Supreme Court case law proves it doesn't mean what she says it means. And Sentinel was mistaken when it said, "a moment of silence offends no one". A moment of silence can easily be construed as a "religious ritual/rite" of some sort by Landman et ilk. NO WAY are they above that type of deception and manipulation. When it comes to suppressing thought/speech (which "religion" is) Landman et ilk are "buckets of water looking for a leak". In pretending not to take sides, the Sentinel took a side -- the historically, morally, intellectually, constitutionally and culturally incorrect side. Landman et ilk are trying to change the culture while pretending be defending freedom. The Sentinel, albeit cleverly and subtlely, enabled and joined that deception with their wannabe-clever sophistry. But what else can you expect from the local voice of Mesa County's Good Old Boy corruptocracy? I have treated this story with more depth on my website in an article titled "My response to Anne Landman and the so-called 'atheists and free thinkers' of Western Colorado" which interested persons can read at http://johnwilkenson.com/?q=node/1450.

RELIGIOUS QUOTES:

"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!" ~ John Adams.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein.

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." ~ Thomas Jefferson.

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither." ~ C.S. Lewis.

"Religion is for people who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there." ~ Bonnie Raitt.

"God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that." ~ Joseph Campbell.

"There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt." ~ Niccolo Machiavelli.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." ~ Napoleon Bonaparte.

"I do not think I could be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion." ~ Abraham Lincoln.

RECENT VIDEOS, BLOGS, ARTICLES, COLUMNS, AND STATEMENTS:

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: See John's Twitter for one of the web's most eclectic mashups of interesting real-time news articles. I surf the web for interesting real-time news stories and informative tidbits so you don't have to.

Does the Government Control Our Churches? - Peter Kershaw - YouTube video

Ben Shapiro DESTROYS Transgenderism And Pro-Abortion Arguments - YouTube video

Criminal Psychopaths Run The Government...Let's Give Them More Power!!! - YouTube video

Woman’s “Top 10 Reasons I Am No Longer A Leftist” Goes Viral - the Federalist Papers

FOOTNOTES:

1. In reality, there is no such real thing as "government". It is not a rock, a tree, a river, or even a cloud. It is mere behavior, an established social order, a dominance-based pecking order. With other animal species, it is often called "dominance hierarchy". In the case of humans, the term "social hierarchy" is more often used. As Frédéric Bastiat said, "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." As H.L. Mencken said, "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." As General Smedley Butler has written, "War Is A Racket". In reality, "government" is merely the dominant individuals in the inherently evil and inevitably corrupting stupid-human pecking order struggle known as "politics"2. These disordered-by-definition dominant individuals merely call themselves "government" so the hoi polloi masses will view them as being intelligent enough and moral enough to follow and obey.

2. Always remember, "politics" = person or group A trying to persuade person or group B to obey the will of A, most frequently for the personal financial benefit of A and to the personal financial detriment (higher taxes) of B. In other words, "politics" = manipulation. That is why deception = the so-called "art" of politics. That is also why "politician" = professional deceiver, and why "political" = deception-based, or having to do with deception. Everybody is competing for political power to steal labor and money out of the "other guy's" pocket and put it in their own. Politicians get votes by promising to be all things to all people. Because that is a physical impossibility, most of their promises of necessity get broken. Because they know this in advance, they are ALL liars to one degree or another. The king is always the most corrupt person in the kingdom. (The first two kings of ancient Israel, Saul and David, were murderers.) In my opinion, any person who sincerely wants to be the king is criminally insane and an implacable deadly enemy to the inalienable Creator-endowed rights of individual freedom and self-ownership.

Under construction . . .

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