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megimoo
12-12-2009, 10:05 AM
Just in time for Yuletide, citizens in Maryville learned one person can make a difference. And, at this holiday season, the people of Maryville now know that a single, solitary citizen can fight city hall - and win - with a mere phone call to the mayor.

Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor broke a quarter-century of tradition Monday night when he followed the advice of an attorney who represents the city and removed the reading of the story of Christ's birth from the city's Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Legendary East Tennessee radio personality Walker Johnson had read from Luke, Chapter 2, for the past 22 years.

Taylor told the News Sentinel an unnamed woman called him and asked whether reading Scripture at the event violated the separation of church and state. Maryville public information officer Pam Arnett told me the woman wasn't aggressive or combative but characterized her call as an inquiry.

Arnett said Taylor refused to name the woman as she defended the city's decision.

snip

Arnett said Taylor consulted with attorney Melanie Davis, a partner in the law firm that represents the city.

Davis said in a phone interview that a whole line of Supreme Court decisions led her to advise Taylor to drop Christ's story from the Christmas event.

"The government has to be neutral between believers and nonbelievers," Davis said.

"The underlying theme (from the Supreme Court) is that government is not supposed to endorse one religion over another."

J. Michael Johnson, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, disagrees with Davis' interpretation. "(Her ruling) was a knee-jerk reaction, and it is tragically incorrect," Johnson said in an interview. The Alliance Defense Fund is a conservative organization that defends religious liberty across America.

"Government officials shouldn't be self-censoring," said Johnson (no relation). "It's perfectly legitimate for government to engage in acknowledging this federal holiday. There's nothing unconstitutional about it."

Johnson cited the 1984 Supreme Court ruling in Lynch v. Donnelly that concerned a Nativity scene on municipal property. The court said, "The City, like the Congresses and Presidents, however, has principally taken note of a significant historical religious event long celebrated in the Western World. The creche in the display depicts the historical origins of this traditional event long recognized as a National Holiday."

Davis was well aware of the Lynch decision. "There have been a number of rulings since Lynch," Davis said. "A Nativity scene and reading from the Bible are two different things. When you have a city-sponsored event, (Scripture reading) looks like the city is endorsing the Christian Bible."

But Johnson highlighted another section of Lynch to defend Maryville's right to read the Christmas story.

"The display is sponsored by the City to celebrate the Holiday and to depict the origins of that Holiday," the court wrote. "These are legitimate secular purposes."

Johnson's argument seems sound - reading Luke, Chapter 2, does "depict the origins" of Christmas quite clearly and reveals the real reason to "celebrate the Holiday."

Another single, solitary citizen, Samuel David Duck, came to the Maryville event - which included carols with explicit references to Jesus' birth - and courageously stood against the raging cowardice of political correctness by reading Christ's story.

No word on whether the unnamed woman was there to observe her win in the culture war. But, truthfully, hers was a hollow victory.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/dec/11/tyranny-of-minority-trumps-maryville-tradition/

PoliCon
12-12-2009, 10:54 AM
Just in time for Yuletide, citizens in Maryville learned one person can make a difference. And, at this holiday season, the people of Maryville now know that a single, solitary citizen can fight city hall - and win - with a mere phone call to the mayor.

Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor broke a quarter-century of tradition Monday night when he followed the advice of an attorney who represents the city and removed the reading of the story of Christ's birth from the city's Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Legendary East Tennessee radio personality Walker Johnson had read from Luke, Chapter 2, for the past 22 years.

Taylor told the News Sentinel an unnamed woman called him and asked whether reading Scripture at the event violated the separation of church and state. Maryville public information officer Pam Arnett told me the woman wasn't aggressive or combative but characterized her call as an inquiry.

Arnett said Taylor refused to name the woman as she defended the city's decision.

snip

Arnett said Taylor consulted with attorney Melanie Davis, a partner in the law firm that represents the city.

Davis said in a phone interview that a whole line of Supreme Court decisions led her to advise Taylor to drop Christ's story from the Christmas event.

"The government has to be neutral between believers and nonbelievers," Davis said.

"The underlying theme (from the Supreme Court) is that government is not supposed to endorse one religion over another."

J. Michael Johnson, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, disagrees with Davis' interpretation. "(Her ruling) was a knee-jerk reaction, and it is tragically incorrect," Johnson said in an interview. The Alliance Defense Fund is a conservative organization that defends religious liberty across America.

"Government officials shouldn't be self-censoring," said Johnson (no relation). "It's perfectly legitimate for government to engage in acknowledging this federal holiday. There's nothing unconstitutional about it."

Johnson cited the 1984 Supreme Court ruling in Lynch v. Donnelly that concerned a Nativity scene on municipal property. The court said, "The City, like the Congresses and Presidents, however, has principally taken note of a significant historical religious event long celebrated in the Western World. The creche in the display depicts the historical origins of this traditional event long recognized as a National Holiday."

Davis was well aware of the Lynch decision. "There have been a number of rulings since Lynch," Davis said. "A Nativity scene and reading from the Bible are two different things. When you have a city-sponsored event, (Scripture reading) looks like the city is endorsing the Christian Bible."

But Johnson highlighted another section of Lynch to defend Maryville's right to read the Christmas story.

"The display is sponsored by the City to celebrate the Holiday and to depict the origins of that Holiday," the court wrote. "These are legitimate secular purposes."

Johnson's argument seems sound - reading Luke, Chapter 2, does "depict the origins" of Christmas quite clearly and reveals the real reason to "celebrate the Holiday."

Another single, solitary citizen, Samuel David Duck, came to the Maryville event - which included carols with explicit references to Jesus' birth - and courageously stood against the raging cowardice of political correctness by reading Christ's story.

No word on whether the unnamed woman was there to observe her win in the culture war. But, truthfully, hers was a hollow victory.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/dec/11/tyranny-of-minority-trumps-maryville-tradition/

I'm still waiting for someone to show me where in the constitution they find this separation of church and state. I also find it amusing how few people understand the context of Jefferson's statement and how at odds their notions of the state are with Jefferson's own conduct and practices while he held the office of president. Just goes to show how dangerous ignorance truly is.

FlaGator
12-12-2009, 12:17 PM
I think is should be read anyways with the reader doing so as a private citizen.

AmPat
12-12-2009, 06:33 PM
I think we should all stop entertaining this stupid notion about the assumed right to not be offended, grow up, stop trying to create rights or restrictions that don't exist, and stop reacting to every snivelling little turd that objects to something he can simply ignore.:cool:

PoliCon
12-12-2009, 10:28 PM
every time I look at this thread I have to read it twice cause I keep seeing Tranny instead of tyranny. Lars must be talking about me again.

Rockntractor
12-12-2009, 10:29 PM
every time I look at this thread I have to read it twice cause I keep seeing Tranny instead of tyranny. Lars must be talking about me again.
Admit it, Lars was your sock!

PoliCon
12-12-2009, 10:30 PM
Admit it, Lars was your sock!

sorry but my feet don't stink that bad!

Rockntractor
12-12-2009, 10:33 PM
sorry but my feet don't stink that bad!

Your lucky! Your nose is never that far away from them.

Oceander
12-13-2009, 09:12 AM
I'm still waiting for someone to show me where in the constitution they find this separation of church and state. I also find it amusing how few people understand the context of Jefferson's statement and how at odds their notions of the state are with Jefferson's own conduct and practices while he held the office of president. Just goes to show how dangerous ignorance truly is.

Have you tried the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

PoliCon
12-13-2009, 11:52 AM
Have you tried the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

Tried it for what?

Last Samurai
12-14-2009, 01:08 AM
The Constitution calmly states that the Government cannot have a State approved Religion. The idea being to allow everyone to practice whatever Religion (or LACK of Religion, if that is the case) they desire. This is a good idea, in that it promotes "equality", the ideal of the Nation's existance.

It does NOT grant anyone the "Right" to preclude anyone else from practicing his/her Religion in any matter deemed appropriate, within the rule of Law. If Religious ceremony/tradition "offends" you then either ignore it or stay out of the way.

In short, if you want to be a "grinch", be my guest....... E. Scrooge can always use a little company...... but you have NO right to interfere with another's enjoyment of the Christmas Season, religious based or not.

One of the worst aspects of the Lib/Progressive mind set is this idea that they, and they alone, have the "proper" view of things and others, with differing points of view, are to be subjugated to the ideas and mind set of the Lib/Progs. I find this appallingly closed minded.

Once upon a time, Liberals prided themselves with the claim that they were "open minded". Years of observation has demonstrated that their actions belie their claims. Some of you "People" are equally as fanatic as the worst of the "Bible Banging" variety of Religious Fanatics. (.... and you think this makes you so much "better"? You GOTTA be kidding me!)

You are poor examples for recruiting posters of your "views".

Fanatics of ANY sort are dangerous and not very productive in promoting harmonious interhuman relations. (Another Lib "platform" plank.)

Begone, Phonies!

LS

PoliCon
12-14-2009, 02:00 AM
If you really wanna screw up a leftists day when it comes to separation of church and state - mention that Jefferson used to not only regularly attend Sunday services held in of all places - the HOUSE CHAMBERS at the capital building - but also provided the Marine Corps Band to play for those services. Sounds like a very impregnable wall keeping church out of the state huh?

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.RES.397:

History is the damndest thing. :cool:

noonwitch
12-14-2009, 09:10 AM
I spoke too soon a couple of weeks ago about the nativity scene in Warren. Someone did complain and it's not up this year. It was on county property, however, not city property, because it was placed in the grass median of Mound Rd. After someone complained, the county said no.


The city of Center Line is proudly displaying their manger scene in front of city hall.

PoliCon
12-14-2009, 10:06 AM
I spoke too soon a couple of weeks ago about the nativity scene in Warren. Someone did complain and it's not up this year. It was on county property, however, not city property, because it was placed in the grass median of Mound Rd. After someone complained, the county said no.


The city of Center Line is proudly displaying their manger scene in front of city hall.

The are several Boroughs here that actively display Nativities. The mayor of one borough told the ACLU basically to piss off when they contacted him about the display at the Borough building. He knew that suing big cities over stuff like this is one thing - going after small town America over issues like this would be very bad press and they're likely to not move on those complaints hoping instead that empty threats will do the job instead.

AmPat
12-14-2009, 11:01 PM
The are several Boroughs here that actively display Nativities. The mayor of one borough told the ACLU basically to piss off when they contacted him about the display at the Borough building. He knew that suing big cities over stuff like this is one thing - going after small town America over issues like this would be very bad press and they're likely to not move on those complaints hoping instead that empty threats will do the job instead.
Interesting turn of phrase. Empty suits would respond. They are afraid of their own shadows.

noonwitch
12-15-2009, 10:45 AM
The are several Boroughs here that actively display Nativities. The mayor of one borough told the ACLU basically to piss off when they contacted him about the display at the Borough building. He knew that suing big cities over stuff like this is one thing - going after small town America over issues like this would be very bad press and they're likely to not move on those complaints hoping instead that empty threats will do the job instead.


I think next year, the businessman will be able to put his display up again in the median of Mound Rd. He just has to get permission from the county, and it's too late for that this year. But the person who complained was probably fully aware of all the complications.

PoliCon
12-15-2009, 09:45 PM
I think next year, the businessman will be able to put his display up again in the median of Mound Rd. He just has to get permission from the county, and it's too late for that this year. But the person who complained was probably fully aware of all the complications.

A county is too large of a municipal authority. Go smaller. The ACLU likes defendants with deep pocket books.

noonwitch
12-16-2009, 08:58 AM
A county is too large of a municipal authority. Go smaller. The ACLU likes defendants with deep pocket books.


The ACLU isn't involved in this case. It's a citizen complaint.

johvale
12-16-2009, 09:04 AM
I wonder what the one person must be going through... I would be curious to see if the 99% gives her a hard time about this. My guess is no but I still would like to know...