Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Faithful Joe

Note: this post was up earlier, but, due to my own stupidity, was accidentally deleted. This is a re-creation of that post

Melissa Bailey of the must read New Haven Independent reports on a Lieberman campaign event, where he said the following:
The senator won further support in response to a local Democrat who weighed in on the problem of school violence. “I think it all started when we stopped allowing God in the schools,” said Robert Limoncelli.

In stark contrast with many Democrats outside the South, Lieberman agreed with the man that religion had been improperly removed from schools.
Referencing the words of a priest, he said, “If you take religion and God out of the public square … it’s not going to remain empty. Something else will fill it up. It’ll be the junk that’s, and the entertainment culture, or something else.”

“The constitution promises freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” Lieberman continued. (Bailey)

But it must. The one is part of the other.

The amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If a boy or girl wishes to follow no religion, to be free of religion, then the state has no business establishing religion--any religion--at a state-funded and run school.

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, in his concurrance to the 1963 Supreme Court ruling on Abington School District v. Schempp, said the following:
Establishment of a religion can be achieved in several ways. The church and state can be one; the church may control the state or the state may control the church; or the relationship may take one of several possible forms of a working arrangement between the two bodies.
The vice of all such arrangements under the Establishment Clause is that the state is lending its assistance to a church's efforts to gain and keep adherents.

Lieberman seems to be lurching further and further to the right the longer the general election campaign drags on. I wonder if he has always thought this way?

Bailey, Melissa. "Lieberman Pledges to Notch Babies & Religion-in-School Advocates." New Haven Independent 1 November, 2006.

School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania, et al. v. Schempp et al. 374 U.S. 203; 83 S. Ct. 1560; 10 L. Ed. 2d 844; 1963 U.S. LEXIS 2611


Anonymous said...

As some who does not go to church or subscribe to any religion I have to agree with Joe.

Anonymous said...

Joe, just another Theocon looking to enslave our wombs. Who will stop the madness? When can we bring the troops homes (just the smart ones though, the dumb ones get to stay in iraq)?

Keep your Bush off of mine!!!

Anonymous said...

Well-this will certianly alienate the progressive voting block that Joe commands...

Anonymous said...

That was a very well written post Genghis.

I think Lieberman has always believed this, but shackled by the Democratic party platform he has had to hide his true feelings on many issues. Newly freed, he is able to show his true colors, which are eerily similar to everything I hate about the modern Republican party.

Jim said...

I'm pretty sure he used that same line, or damn close to it:

“The constitution promises freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” Lieberman continued.

during the 2000 election.

Has he always felt that way? Who knows? Lots of people get more conservative, especially more religious, as they get older. Some rare few, it seems, grow more skeptical with age. The problem with Lieberman, as with Bush and other Republicans, is that he can't seem to distinguish between religion and religiosity. Or patriotism and nationalism. Or strength and stubborness. Or conviction and delusion. Or principle and petulance.

Anonymous said...

Leiberman should be congratulated for addressing an important issue on the eve of an election. He is not ducking or evading.

Bobby McGee said...

It's amazing to me that this man was just months ago actively seeking the Democratic nomination...

Anonymous said...

Liebermans loyaty to his religion will prove to be about as deep as his loyalty to his Party was.The minute his religion gets in the way of his personal lust for power you can expect him to join the Jews for Jesus movement.

The man has proven he has no principles,loyalty or integrity only selfishness and self absorbtion to the point of dillusions of grandeur.

When he loses next week you're all going to see just how whacked he really is.

GMR said...

So in the last two Presidential elections, the Democrats have nominated four people: Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry and John Edwards.

Democrats have pretty much fully abandoned Joe Lieberman, and they're running from Kerry's recent joke, where he misquoted himself or whatever. Al Gore and John Edwards are more or less invisible these days. Al Gore did that movie about how we're all doomed if we keep driving our SUVs.

So what's with the nominees of the Democratic party? I mean, Republicans chose Bob Dole, but he was just dull. But then, Republicans often go for a known quantity. Since 1952, the Republicans have selected a Nixon, Bush, or Dole in every single election (for Pres or Veep) except 1964.

AB said...

Lieberman is right. When americans lose tought with God, they lose touch with decency, ethics and morality. Its amazing how vicious and hateful those who despise religion and all that is given us by God are when they are confronted with God. See if they recognize that God exists, they lost the ability to claim superiority over others. Its why liberals support endless welfare.

Fact is, we need more religion in this country not less. As for the comments that Lieberman would "dump" his religion in favor of personal gain, its bovious you doo not understand what it means to be committed to serving God.

Anonymous said...

aaron b,

Isn't it Joe Lieberman who is trying with all his might to start a generational war with a billion people because he believes his God is God instead of looking for peaceful solutions?

Doesn't Lieberman believe his god gave the promised land to his chosen people and isn't it Joe Lieberman who believes no matter how many of those stinking Arabs have to be killed in order for Israel to be safe and secure and no matter how many American lives and how much US treasure it takes we must sacrifice it?

One more thing .Couldn't the case be made that Joe Lieberman has a mirror image in Osama?

Isn't Religious fundementalism wonderful?

Anonymous said...

What do all of you democrats say about Harold Ford using the 10 Commandments on palm cards in Tennessee? Joe Lieberman has NEVER, EVER gone that far and yet Democrats in CT will sing the praises of Harold Ford and bash Lieberman in the same breath. It's a double standard and it makes the party look ridiculous.

I believe in a serious division between matters of church and state, but as a Democrat, I also readily admit that the party has to connect with, not allienate, religious voters. PERIOD. Clearly, we have been losing this demographic over the last several years. We've lost many Catholics that came to the party with JFK.

Jim said...

and yet Democrats in CT will sing the praises of Harold Ford and bash Lieberman in the same breath.

Not me. I gave up on Harold Ford for good just this morning, when ran to the right of Tom Delay and Bill O'Reilly in bashing John Kerry with Karl Rove's talking points. Sounded to me like someone figured that a gig as Sean Hannity's pet Democratic Senator was about to open up, and was sending in his audition tape. I wish I was as confident of Lieberman's loss as Ford apparently is. But I'm sure Sean and Bill and Brit et al will make room for both of these fine, principled Democrats who share their "moderate" sensibilities.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing and rather sad people would bash Joe for his belief in God.

Watching Joe for years makes it clear he keeps religion seperate from his job.

"Joe, just another Theocon looking to enslave our wombs"

Dolt, Joe has a 100% rating from NARWAL, he is pro-choice and for womans rights.

Don Pesci said...

"The amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If a boy or girl wishes to follow no religion, to be free of religion, then the state has no business establishing religion--any religion--at a state-funded and run school." -- GK

You are misinterpreting the establishment clause. For enlightenment, please see “Origins of the Bill of Rights,” available at any library. The purpose of the amendment, as other state constitutions incorporating similar language at the time the U.S. Constitution show, was to prevent the state from fostering a national church and, Leonard Levy argues in the book cited above, to insure the prospering of multiple religious sects.

There are important questions rarely discussed when the First Amendment is cited by those who insist on an absolute separation of church and state: If the amendment is so interpreted, then its authors would have established a right in one clause of the amendment – the state shall not prohibit the free exercise of religion – that in has abolished in another clause – the state shall intervene to prevent the exercise of religion in schools.

That would be silly. And the architects of our government were not silly men – unlike several justices of the Supreme Court I will not mention.

At a minimum, the purpose of the First Amendment clause respecting religion is to prevent the state, the third branch of government as well -- the courts are subsumed in the definition of “the state” -- from interfering with religious enterprises. How can the courts interpret laws respecting religion that the Constitution prevents the legislature from passing?

In this way, through the constitutional restraints imposed upon it, the state insures “the free exercise of religion.”

GK, your interpretation, consistently applied, would require the state to silence church bells on Sunday, lest the ringing disturb the sleep of atheists and agnostics. And that is not what the founders intended to do when they wrote the First Amendment.

Genghis Conn said...


No, in fact, you misinterpret me. The founders prohibited the "establishment" of religion, which can take many different forms. What I object to is the idea that the state can, in fact, through the state-sponsored public schools, endorse, encourage, support and therefore establish religion by either requiring or actively encouraging religious activities.

Religion is free to exercise itself. In fact, religion is not taken out of the schools. There are Bible study clubs and religious organizations--all optional and voluntary--which meet on school grounds and are allowed. This is fine. Religion coming over the loudspeakers or actively encouraged or required by the school's administration is not.

Don Pesci said...

GK -- We can agree, politely, to disagree. The amendment prohibits "an" establishment of religion, not religious establishments. What was it Mark Twain said about the right vs the wrong word: The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between a lightning bolt and a lightning bug. I hope I’ve got that right. I’m quoting from memory.

The article “an” is important, as is the actor in the sentence: Congress shall…

Surely the founders did not intend to abolish religious establishments.

The question whether a state may prohibit some religious activities in some places is a different question. Since the constitutional provision restrains the national government, it may be argued that the states are free to proscribe as they see fit. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has determined that constitutional rights are distributed to the states through other amendmants.

However, concerning the motives and goals of the founders, there is little question that they intended to allow a wide door of liberty for religious establishments. The First Amendment does this by imposing restraints on government: The state shall not create “a” religious establishment – i.e. a national church, comparable to the Church of England at the time the Constitution was adopted; not shall it prohibit the free exercise of religion.

Why don’t you devote a thread to the subject under the title – the continuing question – and ask others to contribute to it?

Thanks for allowing me to have my say.

Anonymous said...

al Qaida is very in touch with the demands of their god through their holy jihad. I don't get Liberman's point. The United States is a country of laws but then that's uaually a Republican position.