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The Bible: Louisiana's proposed state book

Posted Apr 14, '14 at 6:20pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,750 posts

This is priceless. "ON 4-20-13 God spoke to me through a dream and His wordâ¦" 4/20. Hmm.

I'm not exactly sure what this proclamation is even doing to be honest. Is it just a prayer day?

 

Posted Apr 14, '14 at 9:01pm

VonHeisenbourg

VonHeisenbourg

379 posts

@fishpreferred

You cannot just will a contradiction to disappear. Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe if you say it another dozen times, it will become true.

A state book isn't undue favouritism, 90% of the state is Christian, with 8% listed as "unaffiliated" and 2% as following other religions. It is certainly fair to say the general population is Christian. It isn't undue favouritism for a state book to reflect this. I mean 9/10 people are Christians. The state book here would be showing simply what the many believe and not be a breach of that clause

Which is in error, as this is not what the population believes in general. The population is multicultural. Therefore, this choice of state book is discriminatory. Clearly, the confusion is all yours.

Just about wrong on every account (in my opinion anyhow). The only thing I will give you is that the population is multicultural, but that still doesn't make the state book discriminatory.

The majority is not the same as the entirety.

I agree the majority is not the same as the entirety, but then again the state should represent the majority (in this case the overwhelmingly vast majority). It doesn't need to and is probably impossible to represent every minority equally, but just because all religions of the world aren't being represented equally doesn't make it discriminatory since no discrimination is being practised. Especially in this instance where the goal of the state book is to show pride in the vast majorities beliefs. Which is also not undue favouritism, or favouritism at all. Being proud of something does not make that thing a "favourite." When I see fair play moves in soccer I'm proud of the player making the move, but the player/his team isn't a favourite of mine at all.

I think you can agree that it is a distinction. It is the selection of one (1) book over all others. Do you deny that? The book is preferentially chosen. It is favoured.

It's a distinction, but not one that shows favour or favouritism of Christianity, but instead a distinction that shows pride and it shows the fact that Christianity is dominate in the state. That can't be seen as discrimination or favouritism, and as previously mentioned showing pride cannot be said to be showing favouritism or preferential-ism (pardon the English there).

Which is an erroneous conclusion.

I really disagree. What would you say when you see a state book? "When I see a bible as a state book the first thing that would jump to my mind is that Judaism or even Sikhism is the dominate religion here". I doubt it, most likely you'd think Christianity is dominate in this state. Nothing more and nothing less. Especially since that is the case here since there are no laws or acts forcing people to study any denomination of Christianity or laws and acts forcing people to do or not do things. Which further reinforces my point that it is logical to presume a state book like a bible shows that Christianity is the dominate religion. Agreed?

Why, then, did you make it?

I'm not, but it appears as though you believe that this will be the by-product of a state book. If not, my mistake

I hadn't expected the personal attacks to appear this early in the discussion. If you are going to resort to ad hominem, it is clear that you have no real argument on offer here.

Avoid the condescension and you avoid insults. It usually isn't in me to ignore it when people, such as you, do it so blatantly. Simple as that.

Nothing wrong with that.

Just to clarify this statement made by me earlier (in regards to the state book being a bible and representing the majority of the population) I meant it in legal terms. Nothing illegal with that.

I clarify the statement because I do not think I was very articulate with what I meant by that comment.

Let us assume that it does not violate separation of state and religion, and that I have not read much of the previous discussion so bear with me if I am bringing up old points:The most urgent question I have for you is, what for? Official statistics, and maybe a church or two, should be enough. Is this bible thing necessary? If yes, why?

Due to these cursed text walls I see how the following statement I made could be missed.

Also, I totally agree that this bill is unnecessary and will only serve to create "heat" and tensions and that it is a division between religions and serves the opposite of what state symbols should serve for. What I'm saying is that this isn't an Establishment Clause issue. I do completely agree that this state book is a foolhardy thing to do, but not one in which violates that Clause.

I do agree that making the bible a state book is folly, but not a folly that violates the aforementioned Clause.
 

Posted Apr 14, '14 at 9:06pm

VonHeisenbourg

VonHeisenbourg

379 posts

This seems like a bigger problem, a more obvious violation.

No argument here.

It does not need to be one where there is coercion of people towards a religion. If I'm not wrong, cases like Lee v. Weisman prove so.

What's interesting about this is that Weisman only won that case because the deciding judge in that case believed coercion was being used on students to persuade them into a practice (a religious one in this case),

Also, I think it does show unfair prejudices towards one religion, I believe it is discriminatory to use such a divisive book to represent the population, even if much of the population (~60%?) believe in it.

Turns out it's 90% that are Christian, but also I wouldn't say that's it's prejudice or discriminatory, but instead I would agree that it's divisive and folly. I understand your points, and see your reasoning behind it, but I just disagree as to whether or not it's discriminatory. I would say no it isn't discriminatory partially because when I see something such as a state book, or even a state animal, my mind would think that all that means is that that thing must be dominate in that state. To see whether or not something is discriminatory, or prejudice I turn to the laws and acts of the state.

I also do see why people would be outraged and mad, and do agree that the a state book such as a bible is ridiculous, but I do not think it is discriminatory. A second reason I think that is because to be ignored is simply not the same as being discriminated against. By definition of being ignored and by the definition of discrimination it is impossible and thus this cannot be discrimination. I think we can at least agree that the other religions are being ignored anyhow.

I also opted out of quoting all you said because it's a little lengthy.

Violation of the Establishment Clause is generally tested against a Lemon Test (Of course it's not the only test though), with three criteria. If any of them is ruled to be breached, then it must be struck down under the Establishment Clause :

As you yourself mentioned: all three criteria, in this circumstance, is arguable and I just so happen to be on the side that says it isn't being violated. I would say why, but then I would just be repeating myself and things would go on in an endless cycle. Perhaps we should simply agree to disagree?

I'm very interested in seeing how it all turns out, and how the courts rule, especially given the highly charged political situation now.

As am I, although I highly doubt that the courts would side with Louisiana and allow a bible as a state book, and I see why few people would side with Louisiana, but I suppose I will just have to live with being in the minority for this opinion.
 

Posted Apr 14, '14 at 9:11pm

VonHeisenbourg

VonHeisenbourg

379 posts

A second reason I think that is because to be ignored is simply not the same as being discriminated against. By definition of being ignored and by the definition of discrimination it is impossible and thus this cannot be discrimination. I think we can at least agree that the other religions are being ignored anyhow.

Errr, never mind that. I see how severely lacking of reason and logic that statement is.

Still, I do not think that it would be considered as discrimination due to other statements I made.
 

Posted Apr 14, '14 at 9:15pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,750 posts

As I said early, it's not discriminatory - it's favoritism. Which is just as much in contradiction with the separation of church and state as discrimination. Instead of preventing all other religions, it endorses one specifically.

Von, the state book is not just "representative of the majority." It's a political statement and blatantly being used as such. They are trying to make the Bible the state book so they can push Christianity into the realm of politics. What comes next? "Get out of Louisiana! Ours is a Christian state! The Bible is our book and God is our master!" Etc. That's when the discrimination starts. Making the Bible the state book is just the foot-in-the-door they want to justify passing Christian legislation, on the exact same reasoning that you're saying it's because they're a majority in the state.

 

Posted Apr 14, '14 at 9:45pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,750 posts

They are trying to make the Bible the state book so they can push Christianity into the realm of politics. What comes next? "Get out of Louisiana! Ours is a Christian state! The Bible is our book and God is our master!" Etc. That's when the discrimination starts. Making the Bible the state book is just the foot-in-the-door they want to justify passing Christian legislation, on the exact same reasoning that you're saying it's because they're a majority in the state.


At a second glance, this came off as a little more slippery slope than intended. Probably should have included disclaimers and clarifications since tone of voice can't really be represented correctly...Yeah.
 

Posted Apr 15, '14 at 12:07am

FishPreferred

FishPreferred

1,690 posts

That can't be seen as discrimination or favouritism [...]


It has. Therefore, it can. You are directly contradicting the definition (that you, yourself, have provided, no less) which indicates that it is.

Especially since that is the case here since there are no laws or acts forcing people to study any denomination of Christianity or laws and acts forcing people to do or not do things. Which further reinforces my point that it is logical to presume a state book like a bible shows that Christianity is the dominate religion.


These are not correlated. The absence of theocratic rule is not characteristic of dominant religions.

I'm not, but it appears as though you believe that this will be the by-product of a state book. If not, my mistake


No. It is not about forcing beliefs upon the general populace. It is about falsely representing the entire populace as Protestants, and is as valid as representing the entire US population as morbidly obese. The description may fit the majority, but it cannot do justice to the entirety.

A second reason I think that is because to be ignored is simply not the same as being discriminated against. By definition of being ignored and by the definition of discrimination it is impossible and thus this cannot be discrimination. I think we can at least agree that the other religions are being ignored anyhow.


I would argue that this is a form of discrimination. Clearly, it is not necessary or even adviseable to choose that particular book and no other. It is putting the interests of one religious group in front of all others, who are essentially being told that they either do not exist or do not matter.
 

Posted Apr 15, '14 at 7:58am

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,423 posts

Knight

Turns out it's 90% that are Christian, but also I wouldn't say that's it's prejudice or discriminatory, but instead I would agree that it's divisive and folly. I understand your points, and see your reasoning behind it, but I just disagree as to whether or not it's discriminatory. I would say no it isn't discriminatory partially because when I see something such as a state book, or even a state animal, my mind would think that all that means is that that thing must be dominate in that state. To see whether or not something is discriminatory, or prejudice I turn to the laws and acts of the state.

I also do see why people would be outraged and mad, and do agree that the a state book such as a bible is ridiculous, but I do not think it is discriminatory. A second reason I think that is because to be ignored is simply not the same as being discriminated against. By definition of being ignored and by the definition of discrimination it is impossible and thus this cannot be discrimination. I think we can at least agree that the other religions are being ignored anyhow.


I think I mentioned it before, but out of these 90% that are Christian, 28% are Catholic, who do not use the KJV Bible or view it as a complete substitute. There are also minority Christian denominations, which in the end, mean that the State Book would not be very representative of its own state citizens. In a population of less than 5 million, in real terms, that's alot of people.

I would disagree and say that it is discriminatory. The State Book ultimately is a representative of a State and by extension its people. So why would my religion be shunted aside and not be recognized? Simply because it's not what the very slim majority believe in and use at religious gatherings? Why would other books not be recognized at the same time? Simply by numbers and the God I believe in? This is preposterous discrimination based solely on which religion I adhere to, with little other reason.

What's interesting about this is that Weisman only won that case because the deciding judge in that case believed coercion was being used on students to persuade them into a practice (a religious one in this case),


Similarly, it can be argued that subtle coercion is being used here in that one religion is clearly given more official attention than the rest. In Lee vs Weisman, it was argued that students were free not to stand for the prayer and because participation in the ceremony itself was not required. Similarly, it can be argued here that people are free not to use the State Book, and free not to convert to other religions. It was ruled that prayers or religious outpouring in public schools carry a particular risk of indirect coercion. It would not be difficult to replace the phrase public schools with government recognized state book.

But that's not the main point here. I think it was about coercion not being needed to rule that the Establishment Clause was violated, which was highlighted with the Lemon Test.

Ultimately, as you say, we differ on what we think entails as discrimination.
 

Posted Apr 15, '14 at 7:07pm

VonHeisenbourg

VonHeisenbourg

379 posts

It has. Therefore, it can. You are directly contradicting the definition (that you, yourself, have provided, no less) which indicates that it is.

My mistake, shouldn't would have been better than can't.

Also, for arguments sake let us say that there is favouritism and discrimination here the real question is whether or not it is undue discrimination to have a bible as a state book. In which case I would argue that no it isn't. After all, the Establishment Clause does not forbade any and all government action/discrimination involving religion, but only undue favouritism/discrimination.

These are not correlated. The absence of theocratic rule is not characteristic of dominant religions.

What I'm saying is that to determine if something is really favouritism one should look beyond the act in itself and deem if the state itself is showing discrimination or favouritism for a particular religion by an action or statement besides the one aforementioned act. If that act is "iffy," to determine if there is favouritism one should look past it and at other determining factors of favouritism (i.e, laws and acts). In this case there are no other factors, to my knowledge, of any discrimination for any religion in Louisiana.

No. It is not about forcing beliefs upon the general populace. It is about falsely representing the entire populace as Protestants, and is as valid as representing the entire US population as morbidly obese. The description may fit the majority, but it cannot do justice to the entirety.

Three comments to that.

1. There really ought to be some coercing of beliefs upon the general populace before one starts an act to be discriminatory, or unreasonable favouritism. In this case I don't think there is.

2, The majority of Americans aren't obese so that is a fallacy to use in an argument I think.

Also, I would say that the state book is clearly representing the majority of the population and shouldn't be said to be representing the whole population. When you see a state book like a bible for Louisiana it would be a little ridiculous to think there are no other religions/atheists in the state. When I see the state animal of a state or nation I understand that there are other species residing there.

3. If the description fits the overwhelmingly vast majority it is in my opinion certainly not undue discrimination to label a population by that description. It is more so logic I think.

For example, I would say that Canadians live in Canada, and that Americans live in America. Does that description fit the vast majority? Of course, and is it undue favouritism because you mentioned naught about foreign diplomats or tourists? Of course not.

It is putting the interests of one religious group in front of all others, who are essentially being told that they either do not exist or do not matter.

Even if I do concede the point that it may be discrimination I would say by no means is it undue discrimination/favouritism. A very bad idea? Yes, a discriminatory idea? Barely. Unduly discriminatory? No way.
 

Posted Apr 15, '14 at 7:25pm

VonHeisenbourg

VonHeisenbourg

379 posts

I think I mentioned it before, but out of these 90% that are Christian, 28% are Catholic, who do not use the KJV Bible or view it as a complete substitute. There are also minority Christian denominations, which in the end, mean that the State Book would not be very representative of its own state citizens. In a population of less than 5 million, in real terms, that's alot of people.

I can't really rebut that, but all I can say is that it's a Christian bible being put on as a state book in a mostly Christian state to represent Christian ideals. I don't think that that is a slight against other denominations of the same religion.

In a population of less than 5 million, in real terms, that's alot of people.

A lot is subjective I suppose. Yes 450'000 or so people is a lot, but compared to 4.5 million people? I don't know about that... It's still only one in ten.

Similarly, it can be argued that subtle coercion is being used here in that one religion is clearly given more official attention than the rest. In Lee vs Weisman, it was argued that students were free not to stand for the prayer and because participation in the ceremony itself was not required. Similarly, it can be argued here that people are free not to use the State Book, and free not to convert to other religions. It was ruled that prayers or religious outpouring in public schools carry a particular risk of indirect coercion.

I disagree. These two things are not the same at all. A state book doesn't directly or indirectly coerce people into switching to Christianity and leaving all of your old practices behind, unlike a school graduation ceremony in which all people are forced into going to graduation (practically forced anyhow) and listening to prayers you don't believe in. Here the state book isn't being pushed off onto people or having people listen to its teachings without their absolute consent and desire to hear the teachings of the bible.

It would not be difficult to replace the phrase public schools with government recognized state book.

But that's not the main point here. I think it was about coercion not being needed to rule that the Establishment Clause was violated, which was highlighted with the Lemon Test.

Ultimately, as you say, we differ on what we think entails as discrimination.

I agree it wouldn't be difficult to replace school phrases with state books, but that's when there's a violation of the Establishment Act. Forcing people to have bibles is way different than a bible being labelled as a state book.

I realize that wasn't the point, I only thought it was an interesting thing to point out.

Also, I think I can concede that there may be a little bit of discrimination, but not enough that would breach the Clause
 
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