Welcome to Cutting Edge. Guests can see and read the contents of most of the boards on this forum but need to become members to read all of them.

Members may post messages and start threads, but it is essential that they read our posting rules and advice before doing so. If you have any immediate questions or queries, please post them on the suggestions board.

After posting at least ten messages, members are able to contact each other and the staff through our personal messaging system.

This forum is administrated by Ivan and moonbeam and moderated by astradt1.

Thank you for visiting Cutting Edge.

Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by witchfinder on Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:52 pm

The Town Council in the English town of Bideford has had its prayers ruled unlawful by the high court in London, the prayers which were said or given at the start of each council meeting upset one councillor who is an athiest, councillor Clive Bone objected on the grounds that prayers had no place in a council meeting.

The councillor took his dispute to the National Secular Society (NSS) who took the case to the high court, it is been seen as a test case which could affect council meetings and local government all accross the country.

Personaly I see this as a victory for common sense, and as councillor Bone himself said, I believe strongly in the principal of freedom of religion, but I also agree in the principal of freedom FROM religion, and religion does not have a place in civil or civic life.

avatar
witchfinder
Forum Founder

Posts : 704
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North York Moors

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:01 pm

As I've said many times, you cannot have freedom of religion without also having freedom from religion. So many people in this country have a really hard time getting that very simple truth. Admittedly I'm a bit "iffy" on the idea of banning prayers even from council meetings so long as no one is required to participate. At the same time, though, praying at council meetings is not a requirement of any faith, so banning prayers does not actually prevent anyone from practicing his/her religion. Thus the ruling is fair.
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by jackthelad on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:05 pm

Good lord, we are in trouble now, banning god from meetings. They say god is every where, what will they do to keep him out, wouldn't fancy doing the bouncers job. Don't like the idea of an iternity burning in hell.
avatar
jackthelad

Posts : 335
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 85
Location : Yorkshire

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by astra on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:10 pm

This gets to me.

No one is saying that you are praying to a specific diety!

We have all been to meetings where prayers are said at commencement of proceedings, and to me this is an indication that civilised behaviour is expected as the meeting progresses.

I will speak to my God when, where and as I see fit! there is no-one to tell me other. Though I am not one of those forcefull, listen to me, I am praying (showing off more like!) bible thumpers you seem to hear so much of these days.

The Covenanters, in the 1600s in Britain fought for the right of any person to worship and pray to their own diety. The covenanters and the catholics lost!
avatar
astra
Deceased

Posts : 1864
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North East England.

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by jackthelad on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:12 pm

When i was a school all Catholics were excused prayers in the school hall in the mornings. English schools were Church of England schools, that is the only time i wished i had been a Catholic. My best schoolmate paddy was Catholic, always had a big smile in the mornings.
avatar
jackthelad

Posts : 335
Join date : 2011-10-07
Age : 85
Location : Yorkshire

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:21 pm

The Devil never sleeps. Fortunately old habits die hard, and Eric Pickles (pfshawvomit) is determined to defend the status quo ante by a simple change in the Law.

George Orwell wrote: "Whatever is not forbidden shall be compulsory."

The British Puritan instinct is alive and well in 2012, and has learnt nothing from historical events in Ulster, where Politics relied upon Religion.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 12037
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by witchfinder on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:38 pm

Todays ruling from the high court is progress, and the final destination of this progress must be a society where faiths and religions are (a) restricted to either places of worship ie Churches & Mosques etc or within the privacy of your own home, and (b) banned completely from all public buildings including schools, courts, town halls and community centres.

The opposing argument to this must state a case as to why prayers are relevant in council meetings, which after all could very easily consist of athiest councillors, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh or Hindu councillors. ?



avatar
witchfinder
Forum Founder

Posts : 704
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North York Moors

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Ivan on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:41 pm

I listened to the 5pm news on Radio 4 (until it was time for the daily dose of royal sycophancy and a news bulletin from 1952) with some amusement. First we had Lansley telling us that things can't stay the same and so the NHS has to change, then we had that fat ugly pig Pickles telling us that prayers have been part of council meetings since about the time that Noah invited some more attractive pigs into his ark. Like the fascists that they are, the Tories have decided that if any judge interprets the law in a way that doesn't reflect Tory policy, the law will be speedily changed - by the end of the month apparently.

Another fat ugly Tory pig called Hailsham Hogg used to attack Labour governments for being "elected dictatorships". Now we have an unelected dictatorship, thanks to those useless, spineless cretins who call themselves Liberal Democrats.
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7283
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:46 pm

Pickles Clarifies his Position

(bbc.co,uk)
" I misheard : when they mentioned about being pious, I thought they were talking about beef pies..."
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3991
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:56 pm

astra wrote:
I will speak to my God when, where and as I see fit!  there is no-one to tell me other.

Astra,

I pray when I choose to pray, where I choose to pray, and to whom I choose to pray. God help any county that strays down the path of hating God to the point of banning prayer to God. Those countries that have done so in my lifetime have been places from which refugees have fled whenever the opportunity arose.
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by witchfinder on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:24 pm

RockOnBrother

I respect your beliefs and I would defend your right to pray to God, but I also defend the right of a non Christian to NOT have to sit through, or participate in a prayer session.

Town halls for making local decisions - Churches for praying or praising God, lets not get them mixed up.
avatar
witchfinder
Forum Founder

Posts : 704
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North York Moors

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Ivan on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:25 pm

God help any county that strays down the path of hating God to the point of banning prayer to God.
That isn't the issue here, Rock. A council meeting is to discuss secular issues, and religion should not be rammed down the throats of everyone who's been elected to that council, regardless of their personal views. If councillors of a religious persuasion wish to say prayers before or after the meeting in a side room, I'm sure nobody would object - but not in the meeting itself.
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7283
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:28 pm

I will speak to my God when, where and as I see fit!
Okay, let's all back up a minute, including you, Rock.

When they say "banning prayer" they are NOT passing laws saying you can't pray. What this law bans is a communal prayer led by a government official as a part of the meeting itself. That's it. If you want to bow your head and pray to God yourself, no one is going to stop you, not even the government.

This is the same hyperbole used by right-wingers when they talk about public school prayer bans. They think the law completely bans prayer in school ... praying of ANY type. Nope.


Last edited by Shirina on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by astra on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:28 pm

and (b) banned completely from all public buildings including schools, courts, town halls and community centres.

Witchfinder,

I do not necessarily agree with that, how else is REASONABLE debate to be instilled? MP's "pray" before proceedings but we see every week what a feeding fest Prime Minister's Questions are. (I am intrested to know what our American Friends think of this travesty of parliamentary time)

OK, so stop prayers, the school prayers are ALL that some kids will ever get!

The Tory council in North Shields stopped the school breakfast clubs in this coucil's area. This is proven to have been the ONLY healthy meal that those kids who partook of the service recieved in any day of any week!

RIGHT, STOP the (Subsidised by the community) food and drink - to include Alchohol from being consumed in Parliament, in Council offices and Mayoral residences!

IFfin it's good enuff fer us chickens, it's good enuff fer all pigs who are all equal anyway!!!!


Last edited by astra on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
avatar
astra
Deceased

Posts : 1864
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North East England.

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:32 pm

Bideford Council :The Member for Paradise Ward Speaks

(picturesofgod.co)

" I feel I should declare an interest in the current aganda item..."
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3991
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:23 pm

The slippery slope towards belief only in oneself. Stuff everyone else. Sure, just don't get in our way, Buddy, unless you are SURE there are more of you than there are of us.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 12037
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:55 pm


Phil,

If you examine the teachings of Jesus, you'll find that he expressed keen interest in the current agenda items.
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:03 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
God help any county that strays down the path of hating God to the point of banning prayer to God.
Ivan wrote:
That isn't the issue here, Rock.  A council meeting is to discuss secular issues

What exactly is a “secular” issue? Since the teachings of Y’shua bar Yosef, Y’shua Moshiach, Jesus son of Joseph, Jesus the Anointed, Jesus the Christ, touch upon all aspects of life, I find it hard to identify an issue that would met any definition of “secular” that excludes in their entirety Jesus’ teachings.

Ivan wrote:
and religion should not be rammed down the throats of everyone who's been elected to that council…

Atheism shouldn’t be rammed down the throats of everyone elected to serve on councils, either. As a mater of fact, I want my council member, elected in part by me, to consider the teachings of Jesus in every decision he makes and in every vote he casts as my elected representative. And please believe me hat, as a free man, I consider this when I cast my vote during election time.

If a person chooses to be an atheist, that freedom of choice is guaranteed unto her/him by the Constitution of the United States, which I have sworn to support more than once as one of the “executive… Officers” of more than one state…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

United States Constitution, Article VI

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution
__________________________________________________________________________________________

… as affirmed herein…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

United States Constitution, Amendment 1, ratified 15 December 1791

Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Identically, if a person chooses to be an adherent to a religion, that freedom of choice is guaranteed unto her/him by the Constitution of the United States as affirmed herein…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

United States Constitution, Amendment 1, ratified 15 December 1791

Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

It reads the same, and affords the same guarantee, in either case.

Perhaps the United Kingdom, in its zeal to guarantee free exercise of non-religion unto atheists, has failed miserably to guarantee free exercise of religion unto adherents to religion. If so, I mourn for your country, I mourn for your countrymen, and I mourn for you, as this exact scenario regarding failure to protect free exercise of religion unto adherents to religion was a hallmark of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and is a hallmark of the People’s Republic of China.

Ivan wrote:
If councillors of a religious persuasion wish to say prayers before or after the meeting in a side room, I'm sure nobody would object - but not in the meeting itself.

If councillors choose to say prayers before, after, or during the meeting in the side room, that is their inalienable right, a right which would be guaranteed unto them by the US Constitution if they were in the US, and a right which ought to be guaranteed unto hem by the British Constitution, wherever it may be (unwritten, written, or partially written, I’ve never found it), in the UK.

Free exercise of religion necessarily co-exists with freedom of speech, and your side room scenario, with its implied premise that free exercise of religion by adherents to religion can occur only out of sight and when it’s allowed by others (“in a side room, I'm sure nobody would object”) means that free exercise of religion isn’t free.
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:34 am

Rock. I don't see what your problem is with this. If a council meeting is discussing a swimming pool or street lighting, I would say that it was dealing with a secular issue. If councillors wish to say prayers before or after the meeting - in the council chamber itself rather than in another room if you prefer - then there's no problem. But what's just been banned in the UK is the practice of having prayers during the council meeting.

Of course people are free to say prayers anywhere and at any time. But if a footballer felt the need to say a prayer after the referee had blown the starting whistle in a game, you surely wouldn't expect all the other players to wait while he did so, would you?

I think I'm right in saying that China banned religion and the old Soviet Union had a tendency to incarcerate believers in lunatic asylums. If that's correct, to compare them to the UK is something of an exaggeration, where freedom to worship - or not to worship - is a basic human right. And the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply in the UK, not yet anyway.
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7283
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:38 am


Verification that free exercise of religion, i.e., freedom of religion, is recognized by the United Kingdom.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly 10 December 1948, Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France.

Article 18.


  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion...



http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
__________________________________________________________________________________________

The Universal Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 by a vote of 48 in favour, 0 against, with 8 abstentions...

The following countries voted in favour of the Declaration: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:57 am

Ivan wrote:
Rock.  I don't see what your problem is with this.  If a council meeting is discussing a swimming pool or street lighting, I would say that it was dealing with a secular issue.

I’ve posted Jesus’ teaching about life, “I cam that you might have life, and have it more abundantly”, very recently.

Swimming pools contribute to abundant life for teenagers today just as they did during my teenage years, several summers of which consisted of numerous trips to swimming pools in two cities, often four to five times per week.

In many parts of cities in which I’ve lived, abundant living is impossible without adequate street lighting, the lack of which almost guarantees abundant “getting jacked up”, abundant car theft (the ubiquitous “GTA”), abundant house and apartment burglaries, and a profound lack of abundant living amongst law-abiding citizens.

Ivan wrote:
If councillors wish to say prayers before or after the meeting - in the council chamber itself rather than in another room if you prefer - then there's no problem.  But what's just been banned in the UK is the practice of having prayers during the council meeting.

That’s a dangerous precedent.

Consider this fact; if I were a citizen of the UK, and I were elected to council, such election would occur with my electorate having been apprised of my intention to pray before, after, and during council meetings, whenever and wherever I might be motivated to pray, and thus whenever and wherever I might choose to pray. Upon taking office, I would abide by that campaign promise.

So what do you suppose might happen when, inevitably, I am motivated to pray, and thus I choose to pray, in the council meeting room during a council meeting? Would the person or persons who might object to my free exercise of religion report my actions to Scotland Yard? Would the Yard send an inspector or two to arrest me, take me “downtown”, book me, fingerprint me, and throw me in the hoosegow like the common criminal that some persons believe that those who dare pray publicly must be?

Here’s something I can personally guarantee: I guarantee that I will pray when and where I choose to pray as directed solely by the Creator of all that is, was, and ever will be to whom I pray, irrespective of any policy, law or decision enacted by any man, council of men, or governments instituted among men, all references to man and men gender inclusive, so long as I shall enjoy cognizance.

Ivan wrote:
Of course people are free to say prayers anywhere and at any time.

Anywhere and anytime includes in the council meeting room during council meetings.

Ivan wrote:
But if a footballer felt the need to say a prayer after the referee had blown the starting whistle in a game, you surely wouldn't expect all the other players to wait while he did so, would you?

I also wouldn’t expect the other players to take their complaint about the footballer’s prayer to the National Secular Society and to the high court.

Ivan wrote:
I think I'm right in saying that China banned religion and the old Soviet Union had a tendency to incarcerate believers in lunatic asylums.  If that's correct, to compare them to the UK is something of an exaggeration,

It is an exaggeration to compare the UK 2012 to the USSR and the People’s Republic of China. However, please remember that Marx neither proposed nor envisioned the human suffering and human carnage that practitioners of his theories would perpetrate upon humanity in his name.

It has been told to me (I’ve no verification) that a frog, being exothermic and a bit on the dumb side, can be cooked while still alive (at least at first) by placing it in comfortably warm water and slowly increasing the temperature to 165 F (about 65 C) and letting the foolish creature simmer until tender and dead. I do not wish for the UK in. let’s say 2062, to be a simmering, tender, and dead ex-foolish creature that failed to detect the one degree increase in temperature fifty years prior.

Ivan wrote:
… where freedom to worship - or not to worship - is a basic human right.

Amongst Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Baha’is that actual practice the faiths as taught by Moses and the Prophets, Jesus, Muhammad, and Baha’u’llah, worship is lived, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, and second by second, in all aspects of one’s life. Accordingly, one’s actions as a council member during a council meeting should be amongst one’s acts of worship.

If you believe that Jews’, Christians’, Muslims’, and Baha’is’ rights to worship are basic human rights, than such belief should compel you to protect these basic human rights rather than support decisions by high courts that disparage these basic human rights. And please remember, I advocate no action that I do not stand ready to take.

Ivan wrote:
And the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply in the UK, not yet anyway.

The UK is a signatory to the UDHR.

If the provision of the US Constitution I’ve quoted…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]…”
__________________________________________________________________________________________

… does not apply in the UK 2012, then (1) the 1948 signatory status of the UK to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is meaningless (see the UDHR provision to which the UK is signatory below and compare to the provision of the US Constitution as quoted above)…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion...”

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
__________________________________________________________________________________________

… and (2) I mourn for your country, your countrymen, and you.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:40 am

It's perfectly practical to perform an act of devotion personally and internally.

What trips up those Believers whose religion is proscribed, are the trappings devised by humans to demonstrate their belief - Cross, rosary, Prayer-book, shawl, candlestick, prayer-mat etc. etc.

If God wishes to communicate with me, he knows where to find me even though I may not exhibit any outward sign of a Faith.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 12037
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:41 am

Rock. As OW said, there’s nothing to prevent Christians or other believers from saying their prayers to themselves, how could there be? What has been stopped is the formal reading of Christian prayers in council meetings, which people of other faiths and atheists have had to sit through. Don’t they have a right not to have Christian prayers rammed down their throats? What’s the problem about having these prayers before or after the meeting, so that those who don’t wish to hear them need not do so?

As more people attend mosques in the UK than worship in the Church of England, Moslems could argue that they should have their prayers read out too. And what about other faiths? You could end up with council meetings consisting of one lot of prayers after another, with council matters confined to ‘any other business’ at the end.

As a libertarian left-wing atheist, I would defend your right to believe what you want and pray when you want. I would also defend the right of gay people to get married and for a woman to have control over her own uterus. I don’t find many religious people who are quite so concerned about the rights of others.

It’s your right to vote for candidates who announce they are Christians if that’s the most important factor to you, but I’ve never yet seen an election manifesto where the candidate promises to recite prayers during a council meeting. Personally, I think it’s dangerous where religion and politics mix; politics in Northern Ireland has always divided along religious lines and that fuelled the sectarian conflict which resulted in over 3,000 deaths in the last three decades of the twentieth century. Anyway, aren’t church and state required to be separate in the USA? Presumably that must mean you also don’t have prayer readings in council meetings?

Still, not to worry. Eric Pickles, ‘the beast of Bradford’ who specialises in destroying public services upon which many less well off people depend, has promised to change the law on prayers in council meetings by the end of this month, in order to protect the UK’s 'Christian values'. If the way in which Pickles conducts his politics – and his expenses claims – is a reflection of his idea of Christianity, he can keep it.
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7283
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:56 pm

Ivan wrote:
Rock.  As OW said, there’s nothing to prevent Christians or other believers from saying their prayers to themselves, how could there be?  What has been stopped is the formal reading of Christian prayers in council meetings

Once again, I pray whenever and wherever I choose to pray, subject to the edicts and enactments of no man, council of men, or government instituted among men, while absolutely and willingly subject to the Creator of all that is, was, and ever will be to whom I pray.

Accordingly, if I were elected to a UK council and at some point were moved to pray, as my Creator directs, in a council meting room during a council meeting, I would do so, period. I would not do so in order to inconvenience you or anyone else. I would do so in willing obedience to my Creator.

Your reference to a private room if during a meeting, or, if in the meeting room, before and after a meeting, references constraints to which I do not and will not submit. A man cannot have two masters; my Creator is my chosen master, and it is to him, and only him to whom I submit.

Jesus’ apostle taught, as charged by Jesus, that all things must be done decently and in order if the things that are done are done in obedience to God; thus, any prayer I offer anywhere and it any time is always decent and in order. I blow a lot of things big time; that, “decently and in order, I do not blow insofar as prayer is concerned, because I was taught God’s Word better than that, in word and in deed, by so many decent, in order, ethical, moral people that it be disorderly to try and list them all in this post. I will share this list privately with any who ask privately in good faith and with positive motives for so doing.

Ivan wrote:
which people of other faiths… have had to sit through.

I’ve seen no report that people of other faiths have complained. I’ll cross that bridge when it’s presented to me for crossing.

Ivan wrote:
which… atheists have had to sit through.

Atheists are not coerced by physical means or other means to sit through anything.

Ivan wrote:
Don’t they have a right not to have Christian prayers rammed down their throats?

Don’t I have a right not to have atheism crammed do9wn my throat? Moreover, nothing has been presented that establishes that they have had Christian prayers crammed down their throats.

Ivan wrote:
What’s the problem about having these prayers before or after the meeting, so that those who don’t wish to hear them need not do so?

I’ve no problem with praying before and after a meeting. I’ve no problem with praying during a meeting.

In fact, the problem that I actually have is that I don’t pray often enough and in enough places. I am charged to pray without ceasing, which means that I am charged to pray everywhere and at all times, including in a council meeting during a council meeting.

Ivan wrote:
As more people attend mosques in the UK than worship in the Church of England, Moslems could argue that they should have their prayers read out too.

When that bridge is presented on another thread which focuses upon Muslims and prayer rather than on this thread, which focuses upon atheists banning Jewish prayer, Christian prayer, Islamic prayer, Baha’i prayer, and all prayer, I’ll cross it.

Ivan wrote:
And what about other faiths?  You could end up with council meetings consisting of one lot of prayers after another…

Another bridge, which I’ll cross on another thread.

Ivan wrote:
… with council matters confined to ‘any other business’ at the end.

My public prayers, offered decently and in order, focus upon Godly handling of the matters at hand; thus, if afforded the honor of leading a public council prayer, its focus would be upon Godly handling of council matters.

Ivan wrote:
As a libertarian left-wing atheist, I would defend your right to believe what you want and pray when you want.

As a follower of Jesus son of Joseph, Jesus the Christ, I do and will as long as I’m cognizant defend your right to pray or not pray whenever and wherever you choose to pay or not to pray. “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is a part of the US Constitution but also a guarantee of an unalienable right guaranteed unto all men, gender inclusive, no matter their nationality or the jurisdiction under which the live.

Ivan wrote:
Personally, I think it’s dangerous where religion and politics mix…

I don’t, unless the religion teaches disparagement of Creator endowed rights.

Ivan wrote:
… politics in Northern Ireland has always divided along religious lines and that fuelled the sectarian conflict which resulted in over 3,000 deaths in the last three decades of the twentieth century.

Jesus doesn’t teach that.

Ivan wrote:
Anyway, aren’t church and state required to be separate in the USA?

I’ve yet to see that in my Constitution, the one I’ve sworn to support. If you believe it’s there, please point it out to me.
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Atheists are not coerced by physical means or other means to sit through anything.
Rock. They are, that's what this thread is about! Atheists who happen to be councillors are summoned to a council meeting which includes prayers, which they then have to sit through.

One defence of such 'coercion' appears to be that the UK has an established, state-sponsored church, namely the Church of England, with the monarch as its head. I understand that no such thing happens in the USA because of the separation of church and state:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_the_United_States
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7283
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:34 pm

Though in some parts of the world, a Trader will not do much business unless he joins his customers in their religious devotions.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 12037
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:34 pm

So what do you suppose might happen when, inevitably, I am motivated to pray, and thus I choose to pray, in the council meeting room during a council meeting?
Two problems with this, Rock.

First, there's the matter of decorum. Freedom of religion or not, you wouldn't just interrupt meetings or stand up in the middle of your workplace and start chanting prayers. It's rude, and I don't think God intended for you to do that.

Second, there is the Sermon on the Mount that you, yourself, reproduced. I seem to recall Jesus warning against "standing on the corner" shouting your prayers as the hypocrites do ... instead, pray in your closet in secret as that given in secret to God will be rewarded.

So why is there is fanatical defense of prayers during council meetings?
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:38 pm

So why is there is fanatical defense of prayers during council meetings?

It may just be a fanatical belief in doing what you choose to do, without interference from loonies who insist upon being different.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 12037
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:47 pm

It may just be a fanatical belief in doing what you choose to do, without interference from loonies who insist upon being different.
Except we all know that we can't always choose to do what we want to do. Most of the time, we do what we have to.
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:56 pm

RockOnBrother wrote:
Atheists are not coerced by physical means or other means to sit through anything.
Ivan wrote:
Rock.  They are, that's what this thread is about!

I disagree. I saw Roots again recently. There’s a scene therein in which Kunta Kinte is coerced into saying, “My name is Toby.” That’s coercion.

I’ve seen no report of atheists in UK council meetings being coerced to sit through anything.

Ivan wrote:
Atheists who happen to be councillors are summoned to a council meeting which includes prayers, which they then have to sit through.

Atheists who happen to be councilors do not happen to be councilors in your UK, a representative democracy, a de facto republic; atheists who are councilors are elected by their constituencies to be councilors because they have put themselves up to be elected councilors.

At such time as they put themselves up for election to be councilors, they knew or should have known that they would be summonsed to council meetings. They can refuse to go, or they can go late, and no coercion will occur to cause them to do otherwise against their wills. Moreover, if they are already present and sitting at a council meeting, they are free to stand up and walk out, and no coercive force will be applied to restrain them from so doing.

On a personal note, if I were a co-councilor and they were sitting within earshot of me, they might hear my prayers whenever I choose to pray, an they might see my smile and hear my voice say, “no, sir” or “no, ma’am” in a very pleasant tone if they should ask or demand that I cease praying.

Of course, I might then be compelled to accompany an inspector to the Yard, in which case I would do so without cuffs, and once I made bail, I would seek to interest a Fleet Street lawyer in my case, hopefully a lawyer that understands that unwritten constitution which I can’ find, and I would plead my case through her/him until I was heard, until I lost cognizance, or until I died, whichever came first. And that’s not an idle statement; in times past, when it became necessary to stand for a principle in which I believe no matter the personal cost, I stood.

Ivan wrote:
One defence of such 'coercion' appears to be that the UK has an established, state-sponsored church, namely the Church of England, with the monarch as its head.

Yes it does, and yes you do, and one of the United Kingdom’s most heralded public servants, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who, despite his coerced “baptism” by his father into the Anglican Church as age twelve, was not a member thereof.

This fact seems compelling evidence that one need not adhere to the state-sponsored religious organization to strive for and achieve the highest political office in the land. And as to the fact that the reigning monarch must be a member of the Church of England, the multitude of British citizens who are members of the Church of England and whose names are not Charles Windsor or William Windsor cannot hope to attain kingship or queen regent-ship due to their status as members in good standing in the state-sponsored religion.

If I were a British citizen, I would vote for MP candidates that vowed to eliminate the test of religion from the short list of qualifications for monarch.

Ivan wrote:
I understand that no such thing happens in the USA because of the separation of church and state:-

You understand incorrectly. The phrase “separation of church and sate” does not exist in the United States Constitution, which I can find, and which I have sworn to support.

Thank you for affording me this opportunity to teach. The two reasons that no such thing happens in the United States is because of two provisions in the Constitution, quoted verbatim below, analysis following:
__________________________________________________________________________________________

United States Constitution, Article VI

… no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

United States Constitution, Amendment 1, ratified 15 December 1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…
__________________________________________________________________________________________

These two Constitutional provisions, taken in tandem, mean:


  1. That no person can ever be qualified or disqualified for any federal or state executive, legislative, or judicial office in any place within the jurisdiction of the United States.

  2. That no establishment of religion, i.e., religious agency, religious hierarchy, religious company, religious corporation, or religious organization of any sort, can be recognized by the laws of the United States (“Congress shall make no law”) or, as per Amendment 14, by the laws of any sovereign state in the United States. By necessary extension, this prohibition extends to federal and state regulations, as such regulations are formulated only under the authority federal and state law.



Note that there is a two-fold test that determines what neither Congress nor the legislatures of the several sovereign states can pass laws respecting. To understand this key fact takes but a bit of time and an accurate, precise, grammatical analysis of this first provision of Amendment 1:


  1. The phrase “establishment of religion” containing two nouns, “establishment” and “religion.”

  2. The preposition, “of”, and the object of the preposition, “religion”, form a phrase, “of religion”, that acts as a modifier which delimits the noun “establishment.”

  3. Accordingly, “of religion” is identical in function to the adjective “religious” insofar as the noun “establishment” as used in the phrase “establishment of religion” is concerned.

  4. Thus, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” and “Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment” are identical in meaning.



Analysis of the alternate yet identical in meaning phraseology, “religious establishment”, shows that what neither Congress nor the several sovereign state legislatures can pass are laws respecting an “establishment”, i.e., organization, of a particular type, “religious.” Therefore:


  1. This provision does not prohibit Congress and the legislatures of the several sovereign states from passing laws respecting establishments, i.e., organization.

  2. This provision does not prohibit Congress and the legislatures of the several sovereign states from passing laws respecting religion.

  3. This provision does in fact prohibit Congress and the legislatures of the several sovereign states from passing laws respecting establishments of religion, i.e., organization of religion, religious establishments, religious organizations.



This precise, concise, and accurate analysis of these two provision should make it clear that, unlike in the UK, the Head of State cannot be qualified or disqualified due to religion, and that no federal government-sponsored or official U.S. religion (religious organization), and no state government-sponsored or official state religion (religious organization) can exist in the United States.
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:44 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
So what do you suppose might happen when, inevitably, I am motivated to pray, and thus I choose to pray, in the council meeting room during a council meeting?
Shirina wrote:
Two problems with this, Rock.

First, there's the matter of decorum. Freedom of religion or not, you wouldn't just interrupt meetings or stand up in the middle of your workplace and start chanting prayers. It's rude, and I don't think God intended for you to do that.

You may recall my statement from my previous post in which I’ve said that, in accordance with and in adherence to the teachings of Jesus (“do all things decently and in order”), my public prayers are always decent and in order.

In obedience to Jesus’ teaching, I never “chant” prayers, and I am never rude in leading/offering public prayers.

Shirina wrote:
Second, there is the Sermon on the Mount that you, yourself, reproduced. I seem to recall Jesus warning against "standing on the corner" shouting your prayers as the hypocrites do

No problem there, either. I never stand in the corner shouting prayers as the hypocrites do.

The teaching you quote is a direct teaching of Jesus the Christ; as one which seeks to follow Jesus, I seek to follow Jesus’ teachings. Here’s another teaching from that same series of public messages regarding the Sermon on the Mount posted by me:
__________________________________________________________________________________________

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Re: Does any religion matter at all today? by RockOnBrother, Tue, 7 Feb 2012, 9:15

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/t276p120-does-any-religion-matter-at-all-today#9621
__________________________________________________________________________________________

If I am to follow Jesus’ teachings, I must be as salt, and Jesus teaches that if I have “become tasteless”, then I am worthless as salt.

If I am to follow Jesus’ teachings, I must also be as a light on a hill, and Jesus teaches that if I “light a lamp and put it under a basket”, then I am worthless as a light.

Shirina wrote:
... instead, pray in your closet in secret as that given in secret to God will be rewarded.

Here’s the entire section of the Sermon on the Mount from which you quote. The portion you’ve quoted, rendered here in more modern English than is found in the translation from which you’ve quoted, and is thus rendered using slightly different English words, is italicized and emboldened for easy identification:
__________________________________________________________________________________________

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’”
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Note that the same Jesus who says “go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret” also says “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father”; therefore, as “our” is a plural possessive pronoun, Jesus clearly teaches public prayer as well as private prayer, so any conclusion that Jesus does not teach public prayer is a conclusion in contradiction to Jesus’ teachings.

Shirina wrote:
So why is there is fanatical defense of prayers during council meetings?

Since I do not engage in or participate in fanatical defense of anything, I don’t know; in other words, I’ve no dog in that race.
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:49 pm

"Since I do not engage in or participate in fanatical defense of anything, I don’t know...."


O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.
Robert Burns
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 12037
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Papaumau on Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:05 pm


Message to Witchfinder.....

Sorry Witchfinder but I added this article to my post about the separation of religion and politics before I noticed that you had started a full thread on the subject. I hope you don't mind me including this point in my latest update to the above thread ?




You folks may have seen that they are now planning to still have Christian prayers before each meeting but they are not going to include "Prayers" at the top of the meeting schedule. They think they can get around the law by doing it this way.

As far as I am concerned - as you folks might expect - I think that all religious activities should be kept well away from anything that is concerned with politics in Britain as I believe that religion has no place in actions that are supposed to be democratic. ( In other words, if the rights of the multi-religions that are now part of the makeup of British democratic life do not get a fair chance to be included in these acts then there is no place for ANY religion in state and local government matters ).

Regards....

Papaumau


Last edited by Papaumau on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:28 am; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Papaumau
Deactivated

Posts : 219
Join date : 2012-01-24
Location : Scotland

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by astra on Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:25 pm

I can see the dichotomy here, (OUCH! that hurt!) between council meetings and having a prayer before hand.

It is the same as when at a wedding ceremony, or some other set dinner. Some go on with the grace until the soup has curdled! (one eedjit kept us slavverin' fer 45 minutes!) Others give us the "In the mooth an' roon the gums, Look oot belly here it comes"! an' get stuck in.

I can see that at some meetings, this preamble could be abused, and it is just this abuse that has led to the current state of affairs.

Back in a more Civilised? time, the prayer was to set the air of the gathering.

Are we now saying that when at meetings, the leader of the council will lay out rules and expected behaviour whilst holding an M35 assault rifle? It also is the "language the 'modern' common man has come to understand!
avatar
astra
Deceased

Posts : 1864
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North East England.

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by witchfinder on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:35 am

Today in the UK a leading government figure has claimed that "militant secularism" is threatening religion in the country. Baroness Warsi (a Muslim) has made the comments in an article in the Daily Telegraph:-
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9080452/Britain-being-overtaken-by-militant-secularists-says-Baroness-Warsi.html

And in December David Cameron claimed that Britain is a Christian country, this of course all comes on top of the successful case brought by the National Secular Society in the High Court that prayers as part of a council meeting were unlawful.

Once again the British Conservative Party is way out of touch, completely at odds with public opinion and is failing to address issues in a sensible and rationable way.

The Daily Telegraph which carries the article has a poll alongside with four questions, and please bare in mind that this particular newspaper is very much a Conservative paper; the results of the poll are showing very clearly that most readers believe secularisation is not a threat to the country.

In another poll conducted recently by MORI, it found that the majority of Christians believed that women have the right to an abortion within the legal time limit, and that homosexual people should enjoy all the same legal rights as anyone else:-
http://c3414097.r97.cf0.rackcdn.com/IpsosMORI_RDFRS-UK_Survey_Topline_15-02-2012.pdf
( ipsos MORI for the Richard Dawkins foundation for reason and science )

Those of us who argue for, and call for a secular state and society are not anti-religion, that particular charge is a ridiculous knee jerk reaction, and is irrational, instead we simply call for a modern common sense approach which is more in keeping with both public opinion and modern society.

Almost 6% of people who believe in some form of religion are not Christians in the UK, there are now more people of no particular religion in the UK than there are practising Christians.

Wake up and modernise - get religion out of the government, state and public institutions.



avatar
witchfinder
Forum Founder

Posts : 704
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North York Moors

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:46 am

Religion can have no impact on those who do not believe, so why is there a need to change anything? The superstitious can continue with their preferred customs, leaving the rest to please themselves.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 12037
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by witchfinder on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:24 am

oftenwrong

If I became a councillor, and I attended a council meeting in the local town hall, and if Number 1 on the agenda was "Prayers", then as an athiest would I have a right to object based upon (1) Prayers has got absolutely nothing what so ever to do with the civic business at hand (2) If devout or practicing Christians wish to have a prayer meeting, then go and do it BEFORE the start of the meeting, and dont enforce prayers upon people who dont believe.

What about councillors who are Muslim, Jewish, Sikh or Hindu, is it also correct that they too should be forced to sit through Christian prayers.

Surely the realy sensible answer to this farce is abandon and banish religion alltogether from council meetings. ?

Tradition ? - some might argue that badger baiting and dog fighting was traditional

avatar
witchfinder
Forum Founder

Posts : 704
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : North York Moors

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by astradt1 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:54 am

What about councillors who are Muslim, Jewish, Sikh or Hindu, is it also correct that they too should be forced to sit through Christian prayers.

If a council meeting goes on in to the time that Muslims are called to prayers, do all the memebers of the council then get up face Mecca and pray.....If not why, why not?

It seems this is yet another story which has been picked up by Tory Ministers because it will and has deflected attention away from teh main issues of the day?
avatar
astradt1
Moderator

Posts : 965
Join date : 2011-10-08
Age : 62
Location : East Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:13 pm

instead, pray in your closet in secret as that given in secret to God will be rewarded. (Quote)

If you read the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 23 and Luke 18 I think you will see that it is the attitude in which prayer is offered. Hypocrisy of many religious rulers was that which was condemned. The outward show for worldly applause. Note the wretched man stood 'afar off' but still in public. His was the attitude of quietly seeking forgiveness. Throughout the Gospels we have Christ showing up hypocrisy. Matthew 12 v10-13. Mark 7.
I don't think that queitly praying in public should necessarily be offence. If that is the case then we have to accept that those who, in their everyday conversation, use 'God's' name in vain are being offensive to Christians. Where do we stop?
I'm not arguing for or against religious prayers in committees. I personally believe that Christianity is under attack from all directions, but have expected it for years.
It came under attack at its birth, with its followers being dispersed. It is still around. Nations have tried to ban it, but it usually returns.
Christianity has its basic core beliefs which remain.

Someone said that Christianity/religion should be separated from secular life.
Does that mean that those churches which work in the community, fulfilling the Christs command to serve/help their fellows for the good of society should renounce their faith.
Okay. Many people do it without religion, but that doesn't negate the reason for others to do it.
avatar
trevorw2539

Posts : 1374
Join date : 2011-11-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:39 pm

Quote : "It seems this is yet another story which has been picked up by Tory Ministers because it will and has deflected attention away from teh main issues of the day"

...and what's more it subtly seeks to draw attention subliminally to the prospect of those 'awful foreigners' who simply insist upon their religious rights being observed etc etc ad nauseam.

In any gathering where some 'ceremonial activity' might be taking place I simply let the whole thing drift by if I am not interested in taking part. It seems to work for me. No need for any show of diapproval or dissent - they get on with it and I watch politely and otherwise ignore it. What is so difficult about that...?
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3991
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum