This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Supreme Court nixes suit over faith-based plan

Supreme Court nixes suit over faith-based plan - Comments

montiff's Avatar Comment 1 by montiff

The wall between church and state is crumbling...

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 10:56:00 UTC | #48821

Fedler's Avatar Comment 2 by Fedler

The majority "closes the door on these taxpayers because the executive branch, and not the legislative branch, caused their injury," wrote Souter. "I see no basis for this distinction."

That's it? That's the one comment from the plaintiff perspective? The rest of the article reads like a glowing endorsement of religious groups getting federal money. The Washington Post seems a bit biased. I guess the best that can be said (if anything) is that it was a close vote.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:03:00 UTC | #48822

crazy4blues's Avatar Comment 3 by crazy4blues

So, if you're unfortunate enough to be in need of charity, you can have it, as long as you are christian (the right kind of xstian, of course!). What's that? You need medicine? No, my child, all you need is the Lord!

Yup, we're there now. My tax dollars are being used to respect an establishment of religion, and there's nothing I can do about it.

I reckon I can always pray for a change . . .

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:06:00 UTC | #48824

jonahemery's Avatar Comment 4 by jonahemery

I don't understand why general American's don't view something like this with outrage. America was founded as a great lighthouse of hope upon the fact religious authority and dogma was finally divorced from political power. Look at all the liberty, social progress, and happiness that has resulted.

Is American leading us towards a dark age? As a gay humanist... I shiver at the thought.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:09:00 UTC | #48826

heafnerj's Avatar Comment 5 by heafnerj

This is a sad day for America. To answer jonahemery's initial statement, I personally feel it's beause our education system is a spectacular failure at every level. It's quite difficult to be outraged over something if you are not aware that the something is actually bad in the first place. Edward Tabash's remarks have hit home today like a ton of bricks. Couple this with Dick Cheney's continuing antics and I am truly afraid for this country's future.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:14:00 UTC | #48828

Angieruns's Avatar Comment 6 by Angieruns

We are headed down the road of the Taliban....can you spell T H E O C R A C Y ?

Our only hope is to elect a 2008 presidential candidate that cares about the first amendment!

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:27:00 UTC | #48830

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 7 by Steven Mading

One scary thing about this ruling is that to avoid having to address the actual issue they ruled that no citizen has standing to even try to sue the government over constitutional issues just for the sake of the constitutional issue itself, It must be attached to some other incident in which the citizen was wronged. So in other words, to avoid having to even hear the case about the office of faith-based initiatives, they destroyed a key means of enforcing the constitution in general, for ANY constitutional issue.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:32:00 UTC | #48831

CruciFiction's Avatar Comment 8 by CruciFiction

The FFRF news release today.

http://ffrf.org/news/2007/heinvFFRF.php

SCOTUS decided we have no right to even complain about these blatant unconstitutional actions by the executive branch because it's only "Psychic injury". WTF!?!?!

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:09:00 UTC | #48844

jonecc's Avatar Comment 9 by jonecc

Ironic that their acronym is SCOTUS. Duns Scotus was a medieval theologian.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:29:00 UTC | #48852

bruce's Avatar Comment 10 by bruce

With the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, President Bush says he wants to level the playing field. Religious charities and secular charities should compete for government money on an equal footing.

What a completely dishonest statement. Religious charities can already compete with secular charities on an even playing field, and in fact, many already do. What certain religious charities want is to be able to discriminate against classes of people and also to push their religious views on the people they are helping all with the aid of government funding. Hence, the faith-based initiative is not meant to even the playing field but rather is meant to open the door to federally funded religious discrimination and indoctrination. It is the religious organizations who want special treatment because they don't want to have to compete on equal footing.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:38:00 UTC | #48854

madpatriot's Avatar Comment 11 by madpatriot

Waitaminute....

So taxpayers opposed to their money being funnelled to religious organizations have no right to complain, says the administration.

Meanwhile, Bush vetoes increased Federal funding of stem cell research. One reason he has given for this is Christian taxpayers don't want their money used for the destruction of embryos.

So, the lesson here is that... taxpayers' opinions only count if they are Christian.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:39:00 UTC | #48855

The Schuermannator's Avatar Comment 12 by The Schuermannator

I've always had this idea of a new US Civil War that'll take place in the years to come fought between scientists on one side and the religious right on the other. The more I read about issues like this article, the more I feel that it could one day be a reality.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 14:11:00 UTC | #48897

liberalartist's Avatar Comment 13 by liberalartist

America is on a downward spiral into theocracy. We lost democracy some time ago.

Schuermannator I have to say I think this "civil war" is going on now, its just not like the last one. And although I am not a scientist I fight on that side. But we are vastly outnumbered.

Just a couple weeks ago I was listening to NPR report about how each democratic candidate was talking about his/her faith. Once upon a time there was an America, founded by reasonable men who created a religious-independent country that was upheld through the 1960's when Kennedy had to assure voters that he, not the catholic church, would run the country. Now our presidents have prayer breakfasts, faith based initiatives, religious leaders at beck and call. And now we have a catholic-dominated supreme court that IS basing its decisions on religion!

I shake my head in disgust!

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 14:37:00 UTC | #48903

cp21yos's Avatar Comment 14 by cp21yos

That's it... America is screwed... time to abandon ship...

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 15:03:00 UTC | #48913

Zaphod's Avatar Comment 15 by Zaphod

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore called the ruling "a substantial victory for efforts by Americans to more effectively aid our neighbors in need of help."

She said the faith-based and community initiative can remain focused on "strengthening America's armies of compassion."

ARE YOU FECKIN KIDDING ME? ARMIES OF COMPASSION.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 18:08:00 UTC | #48938

Crazymalc's Avatar Comment 16 by Crazymalc

Seperation of church and state indeed

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 18:20:00 UTC | #48940

dlitt's Avatar Comment 17 by dlitt

With the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, President Bush says he wants to level the playing field. Religious charities and secular charities should compete for government money on an equal footing.


I guess the Freedom From Religion Foundation should apply for some of that federal pie.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 18:25:00 UTC | #48943

troyreynolds86's Avatar Comment 18 by troyreynolds86

And so the end begins. Up until now we have only feared a theocracy. Today we stare into its glaring eyes, and shocked by its toothy grin. We American atheists have had our only recourse for protection now cut from under us. Our country, at the very core of her ideals, provided the right to challege the authority of the government, as our founders challenged the authority of the king, so that our government could never become the tyranny that our colonies had known. A tyranny is born when voices are silenced, and today we are ordered silent, not by the rifles of a militia but by the banging of a gavel. Protests within the public square can still live on, but those pleas will now be silenced by the stone walls of our hallowed halls of justice.

Although, in light of this sorry road that my nation now travels, I shall never be ashamed of my heritage because I know for what this nation truly stands. Perhaps the populace has lost sight of our origins, forgeting our ethics as they preach their morality and praise their Jesus, but I shall never forget. I believe in the United States, not defined by her borders or her people but by a simple document that to me today looks a little more yellow with age, a little more tired and a little more distant from the times in which we all live. When this nation dies, whatever that death may look like, if I still live a small peice of this great land shall live on as well because I can find no greater potential in a society that shall ever grace this earth than this one when the ideas of our founders, improved upon by the wisdom of their successor, are put into practice to the fullest.

Today, the hereditary defenders of those ideas have shamed us all. I hope the world is taking notice with horror at how so quiet a things as a court can radically reshape the future of a nation. Once the nations of the world could look to mine for inspiration from our example, albeit a decidedly sad track record in action, but within our society was the ability to build upon our mistakes, as I feel that we always have. Until today. Today we have failed ourselves, and I now can only ask that our fellow humans upon distant shores can learn from our mistakes. We, it appears, shall not.

Yesterday, I would not have thought this possible. Tomorrow I shall awake, wiser perhaps, but less hopeful of the future. Less hopeful and silenced.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 18:52:00 UTC | #48948

Shuggy's Avatar Comment 19 by Shuggy

dlitt

avatar
With the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, President Bush says he wants to level the playing field. Religious charities and secular charities should compete for government money on an equal footing.

I guess the Freedom From Religion Foundation should apply for some of that federal pie.
"Some"? Half! Didn't they just say "equal footing"?

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 19:32:00 UTC | #48952

Happy Hominid's Avatar Comment 20 by Happy Hominid

"20. Comment #51988 by troyreynolds86
And so the end begins. Up until now we have only feared a theocracy. Today we stare into its glaring eyes, and shocked by its toothy grin."

Very true, and to make the scenario even more frightening, everyone should take a half hour and watch the Edward Tabash video http://richarddawkins.net/article,1323,The-Present-Threat-of-the-Religious-Right-to-Our-Modern-Freedoms,Edward-Tabash or just click on it on the main page under latest news.

We are just an 89 year old justice from losing the majority. Hopefully he can hang in there until a new president is elected, and that the new president is not beholden to the religious right.

Of course with decision like this recent one, it looks like the majority is already lost - but it could get even worse.

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 20:22:00 UTC | #48958

macronencer's Avatar Comment 21 by macronencer

Once the greatest nation on Earth... now slipping away. And to think I still plan to move there! :(

Mon, 25 Jun 2007 23:36:00 UTC | #48978

Happy Hominid's Avatar Comment 22 by Happy Hominid

Macronencer- Please DO! We need all the clarity of thought we can get. And think of the challenge. You wouldn't get it in Sweden, Holland or France!

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 12:10:00 UTC | #49152

chapstick08's Avatar Comment 23 by chapstick08

If this case is or was in fact as simple as laid out in this article, then Justice Souter seems to have no case whatsoever. And any reader who is concerned with fidelity to written law should feel absolutely detested by his remark:

The majority opinion "closes the door on these taxpayers because the executive branch, and not the legislative branch, caused their injury. I see no basis for this distinction."

I will simply quote the first few words of the First Amendment. "CONGRESS shall make no law respecting...." Now if congress is not involved whatsoever in this initiative then there can be NO First Amendment violation. Any such demonstration of blatant laxity and disregard to the words, i.e. what is actually written, what is actaully stated, of a given law by a Supreme Court Justice should be met with profound admonishment, especially a law so fundamental to a society's way of life. For this is the exact point where law breaks down and society turns to be governed by inclination and whim rather than objectified law.

Now of course I do not personally support any faith-based program by our government, but I recognize that written law transcends my own desires and aims, and if an action disagreeable to me does not expressly violate a stated law, I have no right to independently alter that law in serving my own dispositions (such as ignoring the words of the Constitution and declaring an Exectutive action can violate the First Amendment when the First Amendment only applies to Congress). I only wish Justice Souter and the rest of the Court genuinely shared this notion.

Souter would certainly have an angle if he were able to establish that Congress is at least indirectly involved in the initiative, say through power of the purse. But if he made no such attempt then his actions are as deplorable as the President's.

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 05:19:00 UTC | #49437