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All citizens should have same freedom of expression

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Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 10:00 pm

On Sept. 6, 1774, as our Founding Fathers were forming this new nation, they made their first official act "a call to pray."

They chose the Rev. Duche to offer a prayer. As he concluded his prayer, he spoke these words, "All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, thy son and our Savior, amen."

On July 9, 1776, the day following the public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the ringing of the "Liberty Bell," Congress resolved to appoint the Rev. Duche to be the Chaplain of Congress and offer prayers every morning at 9 a.m.

Eleven years later on June 28, 1787, while Congress was at a stalemate debating the final draft of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin recognized that without Divine Intervention there would be no Constitution, and proposed that they open every session with prayer before they proceed with any business. For the last 221 years, that Constitution conceived through prayer has served us well. Our Constitution has stood the test of time.

However, although our Founding Fathers were largely orthodox Christians, it is clear in their writings that they believed all citizens should have the same freedom to express themselves in the public arena. The Christian community today supports that statement.

The final decision that the Council makes on Wednesday night, regarding invocations at council meetings, cannot be made out of concern of offending someone simply because they don't want Christians to pray in Jesus' name, but rather what is in the best interest of the council and of all the citizens of our city.

Some questions that need to be answered that night are the following:

1. Does the final decision honor God?

2. Does the final decision uphold the Constitution?

3. Does the final decision give everyone a level playing field?

4. Does the final decision censor anyone's freedom of speech?

5. Does the final decision treat all people fairly and equally?

The decision that would meet that criteria is to allow uncensored prayer, and allow other faiths the same freedom of speech.

Ken Owen

Director

Christian Community Concerns

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Welcome to the discussion.

42 comments:

  • posted at 8:17 am on Tue, Oct 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    ..."Klingenschmitt Gets All Huffy" October 2, 2009 http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/10/klingenschmitt_gets_all_huffy.php...

     
  • posted at 3:39 am on Tue, Oct 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    Where's the "Freedom OF Religion Foundation" when we need them? :)

     
  • posted at 3:37 am on Tue, Oct 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    Perhaps we can thank some lunatic liberal for founding this foundationbecause he feels Christian Fudamentalismis morally equivalent to Islamic Fudamentalism. Hmmm. sounds like Leonard.

     
  • posted at 3:30 am on Tue, Oct 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    Lodian wrote:And all Americans should have the freedom from hearing a prayer at a cc meeting from every religion under the sun. This is ridiculous. The cc is to do city business. This is not something that they should be spending their time and our money on, especially these days. "And they don't Lodian. It's the Freedom From Religion Foundation that wants people to have freedom FROM religion.The Constitution grants us freedom OF religion. if this foundation were to slither away, the CC could just get back to business, especially these days.And we can thank this foundation for blowing these little invocations out of proportion it has resulted in such an inordinate time spent on this and and inordinate amount of legal fees that the City of Lodi has incurred.

     
  • posted at 3:20 am on Tue, Oct 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    Lodian wrote on Oct 4, 2009 10:02 PM:" Brian wrote "Wrong Bob. Unlike you, he doesn't come back with the usual jibberish"LOL! Ya sure. "-The usual jibberish from Lodian.

     
  • posted at 10:57 am on Mon, Oct 5, 2009.

    Posts:

    Are you kidding me, honor god? fair?I teach my children to think for themselves, and that the world we live in is far from fair.....Get with the program here....

     
  • posted at 5:06 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    "All citizens should have same freedom of expression"And all Americans should have the freedom from hearing a prayer at a cc meeting from every religion under the sun. This is ridiculous. The cc is to do city business. This is not something that they should be spending their time and our money on, especially these days.

     
  • posted at 5:03 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    "Jerry's been "away" for a few days"So he would have you believe. :-)

     
  • posted at 5:02 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Brian wrote "Wrong Bob. Unlike you, he doesn't come back with the usual jibberish"LOL! Ya sure.

     
  • posted at 5:00 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerome R. Kinderman wrote "You are absolutely correct; the 5th Circuit was from my memories while in the United States Air Force. I confused it with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. However, with that correction made, the rest of my opinion stands."Jerome's entire opinion (on Sep 29, 2009 7:06 PM) was based on inaccurate information. Instead of having the character to retract his comments made based on those inaccuracies he states that his opinion still stands. What opinion? Where's the integrity? There is no opinion since it's based on faux information. But, again, I'm not surprised.

     
  • posted at 1:32 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Ivan,I can see (Your Son) the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. :)

     
  • posted at 1:28 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Ivan wrote:Mr Dockter, G*d himself says quite clearly in the Torah that those who worship false idols will be cast out. Surely, even you would not question the authority of G*d? "-I don't. Which makes my point all that much clearer that this Foundation has no authority to dictate to anyone that they can't pray in a cc meeting. Some things should be left in God's hands. And with this, obviously the Supreme Court of this country has no intentions on denying invocations in government buildings.

     
  • posted at 12:46 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Brian wrote on Oct 4, 2009 9:22 AM:It seems to me that, since it is Lodian's opinion that Jerome's comment was based on a lie, it is HER opinionthat HIS standing opinion is invalid. "Son, the old saw may be that opinions are like "@rtich0kes", everyone has one, but I think you may prove that some people in fact have three, four or even five.

     
  • posted at 12:35 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    That one should have posted under my nom de pleur. I'm watching the ol homestead here for the boy and I forgot to change the log in.

     
  • posted at 12:33 pm on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Brian wrote on Oct 4, 2009 9:52 AM:-Since it is the faith that people have that their God's are not false and no human can prove that they are not false, no human can determine what people can and cannot have a venueMr Dockter, G*d himself says quite clearly in the Torah that those who worship false idols will be cast out. Surely, even you would not question the authority of G*d?

     
  • posted at 4:52 am on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Ivan Dixon wrote on Sep 29, 2009 10:58 AM:" Ran, I've never been an atheist for even one moment of my life and still, I don't want my City Council wasting time and resources providing other people with a venue in which to pray to their false gods and idols. "-Since it is the faith that people have that their God's are not false and no human can prove that they are not false, no human can determine what people can and cannot have a venue.

     
  • posted at 4:43 am on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Bob Hussein Loblaw wrote on Sep 29, 2009 9:04 PM:" Jerry's been "away" for a few days, so perhaps his fact-checking skills have eroded. "-Wrong Bob. Unlike you, he doesn't come back with the usual jibberish.

     
  • posted at 4:27 am on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    We seem to have a lot of opinions floating around lately. And I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that JRK'sdeserve much more merit than Lodian's.

     
  • posted at 4:22 am on Sun, Oct 4, 2009.

    Posts:

    Lodian wrote on Sep 29, 2009 11:17 PM:" Jerome R. Kinderman wrote "For anyone who questions why Lodi was chosen for this case, the answer is quite simple: the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal"Bob wrote "...we live within the 9th circuit court's jurisdiction there JRK"Jerome R. Kinderman wrote "...the 5th Circuit was from my memories... I confused it with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. However, with that correction made, the rest of my opinion stands."---------Since Jerome's entire comment was based on a lie his standing opinion is invalid. "It seems to me that, since it is Lodian's opinion that Jerome's comment was based on a lie, it is HER opinionthat HIS standing opinion is invalid.

     
  • posted at 8:00 am on Wed, Sep 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    you absoultely can use wikipedia, if the source is cited. or of cousre you can look at the citing directly.

     
  • posted at 4:31 am on Wed, Sep 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    Point taken, alf...Wikipedia is what I use when I figure no one will read the link anyway. LOL!How about these, then?World Union of Deists site:http://www.deism.com/Link from Washington State University:http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/DEISM.HTMThis article on the William and Mary University website:Founding Fathers were primarily Deists, Holmes saysAfter more than 40 years of religious study, David Holmes says the dominant lesson of his research is that each of us, far more than we know, is the product of our religious background and training.The religious scholar...spoke recently about his latest work, Faith of the Founding Fathers, at the Williamsburg Regional Library. Rest of article:http://web.wm.edu/news/archive/index.php?id=6083And for those who don't know, William & Mary University is about one of the best places for this type of research since it is the second oldest university in the U.S.http://www.wm.edu/about/?svr=web

     
  • posted at 6:48 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf-you cannot use wikipedia as your source simply because anyone can put stuff on that. it is the last place you want to search for any type of backup for your arguement. did like the argument about what is going on here. just wish more people were involved for other things that happen around here.

     
  • posted at 6:17 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerome R. Kinderman wrote "For anyone who questions why Lodi was chosen for this case, the answer is quite simple: the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal"Bob wrote "...we live within the 9th circuit court's jurisdiction there JRK"Jerome R. Kinderman wrote "...the 5th Circuit was from my memories... I confused it with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. However, with that correction made, the rest of my opinion stands."---------Since Jerome's entire comment was based on a lie his standing opinion is invalid.

     
  • posted at 4:37 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    You are absolutely correct; the 5th Circuit was from my memories while in the United States Air Force. I confused it with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. If that caused anyone any consternation, I certainly do apologize. However, with that correction made, the rest of my opinion stands.

     
  • posted at 4:04 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerry's been "away" for a few days, so perhaps his fact-checking skills have eroded.

     
  • posted at 4:02 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerry Kimono wishes it was the 5th circuit court of appeals. Those good 'ol boys down in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi would love to get this case.Fortunately, we live within the 9th circuit court's jurisdiction there JRK.

     
  • posted at 2:48 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerome is that the 5th circuit or 9th circuit court of appeals. If anything goes to the Supreme`s these days, you can bet it will be a 5-4 decession.

     
  • posted at 2:22 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Chuckle....And we all assumed that Jerry Kimono had gotten himself banned for life.Apparently, they just let him off with a couple of days suspension.

     
  • posted at 2:06 pm on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    For anyone who questions why Lodi was chosen for this case, the answer is quite simple: the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal.No matter how this plays out in the courts, it will be appealed and it will ultimately find its way to those very liberal judges in San Francisco. They in turn will vote in whatever direction is necessary to eradicate any form of faith-based expression from the American landscape. This will lead the matter straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.As that court is currently assembled, the basis for the Fifth Circuit's decision cannot prevail. However, given the amount of time it will take to get to that point is important. The hope is that at least one conservative-leaning justice might retire or otherwise no longer be a member of the Court. It will be up to President Obama's choice to cast the deciding vote - and there's no doubt in the universe how that would result.Yes, it's somewhat risky considering that aside from Justice Ginsburg, there haven't been too many indications that an opening on the High Court is imminent; unless someone knows something that we don't.

     
  • posted at 11:25 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Thankfully, Ken, and the CCC don't represent all Christians.There are many people who agree that the council chambers are not the place for religion.

     
  • posted at 11:16 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    davidd 3:12pm: Great way to present your points. Maybe you could offer this to the city council tomorrow night, or before hand so they can check it out. It really makes a lot of sense the way you addressed it. Nice job.

     
  • posted at 11:01 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    1. Does the final decision honor God?HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! This is a City Council meeting we're talking about. Not a flipin' religulous ceremony! God does not give a care about the rising cost of garbage pickup in Lodi. Stop bothering him. And don't forget about the time difference it's very late in heaven.

     
  • posted at 10:12 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    When considering Ken's five questions, let's ask them again with a Moment of Silence in mind.1. Does the final decision honor God?The Moment of Silence does, for *all* faiths, not just the one faith represented that evening in prayer.2. Does the final decision uphold the Constitution?Most certainly. No one has ever been sued for holding a Moment of Silence.3. Does the final decision give everyone a level playing field?Considerably, the most level playing field is achieved where everyone does their own thing. All religions can be represented at the same time, and no one is offended.4. Does the final decision censor anyone's freedom of speech?Anyone who wishes to do so can utilize their free speech prior to the council meeting should they choose.5. Does the final decision treat all people fairly and equally?Above all other options, yes.Support tolerance by visiting www.LodiUnited.org and joining us at our rally Wednesday evening.

     
  • posted at 9:52 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    But for the sake of argument, let us say the Founders were Christian. The very fact they did not trumpet and proclaim a Christian theology in the documents designed to guide our country is quite telling and speaks to how the Founding Fathers embraced **all** beliefs. "GOD" for those who truly believe, resides in their heart, not in the city council. LOL!

     
  • posted at 9:52 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Ironically, Ken's five questions could also be asked, and answered, as a reason NOT to allow "prayer" before the council meetings.I have just done a search through the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and have not found a single reference to Jesus...or even to God, for that matter.Yes, the Declaration has the phrase "...nature's God" in it; but this in no way indicates "GOD" ;) Further in the Declaration is the term "Creator"...but, again, this is not "GOD"There is a reason for this. Though many say our Founding Fathers were Christians, my research indicates that the majority were what are called "Rational Deists"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

     
  • posted at 8:46 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    I pray that the make the right decision, lese their photo is going on billboards. they should just use the moment of silence. pray if you want for our leaders. those that do not, do not get mad at them for their stupid decisions. or else just think about fuzzy animals during the silent moment. how simple is that? God, nothing or fuzzy animals.

     
  • posted at 6:54 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    t Jefferson, your remarks about childern being fed housed clothed and supplied for 9 hours a day all at tax payer money is an outstanding way of telling it like it is. The schools in Chicago appeare to be one step away from a federal lock up. If you saw on TV last night, a young man was hit with boards, kicked in the head and died from this beating, seems to be an everyday occurrence. It is no wonder that this country is headed in a one way direction, down. Not to be a racist, however if they were white boys that killed that young black boy, front page head lines throughout the country with Jackson and Sharpton leading the hate, as it was a black on black, it made the last page. How sad life is so cheap.

     
  • posted at 6:04 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Look at it from The Jewish perspective. When the Israelites prayed to the Golden Calf, G*d threatened to destroy all of them, not just the ones who had committed idolatry.In allowing prayers to Jesus at City Council meetings, the Council is threatening the spiritual well being of all the community, not just the ones participating directly in the idolatry.

     
  • posted at 5:58 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Ran, I've never been an atheist for even one moment of my life and still, I don't want my City Council wasting time and resources providing other people with a venue in which to pray to their false gods and idols.

     
  • posted at 3:36 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Will the final decision satisfy the needs of the community? At the end of the day it's all about the community. Was our community worried about LCC's invocation? I don't think we were. If my memory serves me correctly, it was some atheist group from Fresno that came in here and stirred our pot. C'mon doesn't Fresno have plenty of needs of their own to deal with? -- just who do these people think they are anyway? Oh that's right, they're atheists. Lodi is not a perfect town, but most people in this country ( and the world for that matter ) would love to live in a place like Lodi. Even the atheists from Fresno must love our town -- Why else would they be so obsessed with us? Hopefully this issue will end come tomorrow night; and with it's resolution the community will find peace so that we can all move on together. God help us all. Amen.

     
  • posted at 1:37 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    jeff,until the government keeps out of other peoples gods, then this will continue to happen. People should be able to live how they want where they want. Since the govt has replaced christian values with liberal values and "removed god" from the government, thing have gotten decidely worse in this country. Look at the welfare roles, look at the unwed single mothers, step in a school sometime. I am appalled at what happens in our schools. Childern are fed, houses, clothed and supplied for 9 hrs a day all at tax payer expense. Where is the self reliance and individual responsibility. Oh that's right it was removed with god. What is sad is I am not a religious person so I am not talking about God with a big G, I am talking about the core values this country was founded upon. They have been skewered, killed and thrown out the door.

     
  • posted at 1:17 am on Tue, Sep 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    what in the hell does number one matter for a government entity? honoring god should never be a consideration regarding a government action or decision, let alone the primary responsibility. keep your god out of our government.

     

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