View Full Version : Religious Leaders Say Missouri Is Trying To Make Christianity State Religion

03-04-2006, 12:07 PM
Proposed House resolution on religion irks some here


By Tim Townsend and Matt Franck

Some religious leaders on Friday blasted a proposed Missouri House resolution that supports prayer in schools and recognizes a "Christian God," saying legislators are pushing Christianity as a state religion.

"It's an atrocity," said the Rev. Timothy L. Carson, senior minister at Webster Groves Christian Church. "Thomas Jefferson would be rolling in his grave. It's indicative of a movement within one segment of activist Christianity that wants to dominate the rest with their views."

Some lawmakers blamed the backlash on a misunderstanding of the purpose of such resolutions.

The proposed resolution states that "voluntary prayer in public schools, religious displays on public property, and the recognition of a Christian God are not a coalition of church and state."

It was recently approved by the House Rules Committee along party lines - five Republicans backed it, three Democrats did not - and could come for a vote before the full House next week. It would also have to pass in the Senate.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. David Sater, R-Cassville, and co-sponsored by Rep. Barney Joe Fisher, R-Richards, is not a bill and therefore cannot become a law.

Rep. John P. Burnett, D-Kansas City, a House Rules Committee member who voted against passing the resolution to the full House, dismissed it as "a political statement about Christianity."

Sater and Fisher could not be reached for comment. Rep. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, chairman of the House Rules Committee, also could not be reached.

The proposed resolution states that the country's forefathers "recognized a Christian God and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation. ... As elected officials we should protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs while showing respect for those who object."

Conservative evangelical leaders were upbeat about it.

"The foundations of this country started with Christianity, and this just goes back and acknowledges where we started," said the Rev. David Clippard, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

The Rev. Mark Friz, senior pastor at St. Paul's Evangelical Church in St. Louis, said he was "100 percent behind this resolution."

But other Christian leaders were furious.

The Rev. David M. Greenhaw, president of Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, said he found the resolution "offensive as a Christian. I don't want the state defining my Christianity."

Some non-Christians also reacted strongly. Batya Abramson-Goldstein, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said the fact that the resolution made it out of a committee was significant.

"It's not that this is one individual's opinion," she said. "Other legislators have voted on this already, so it takes on a legitimacy that makes it more than a resolution. It's painful for faith communities outside the Christian community."

House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, believes the backlash against the resolution is unmerited. He and other lawmakers say much of the uproar is due to a misunderstanding of resolutions. They are largely symbolic, typically having no force of law. They serve as a kind of opinion poll that lawmakers hope will be noted, but officials say privately that the measures are often ignored.

Bearden said that just because a resolution is filed, it doesn't necessarily represent the views of the entire Legislature. While the resolution on religion has cleared the House Rules Committee, there's no guarantee it will go further, he said.

In fact, dozens of resolutions filed in the past two years have died or been withdrawn. At least two of those were similar to this year's religious resolution. One would have supported the motto "In God We Trust" for use in public buildings.

03-04-2006, 12:57 PM
[The Founding Fathers] recognized a Christian God and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation."

Eh... NO! Paine (without whom there may have been no revolution, leastways not a successful bourgeois democratic one) was a Deism and had some nasty (but hella funny!) things to say about the Bible. Jefferson and Franklin (two of the primary authors of the Declaration of Independence) were also Deists. Franklin was also a Freemason. I presume there were other Deists, agnostics and atheists among the revolutionary soldiers and commanders.

More historical falsification. GGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

The proposed resolution states that "voluntary prayer in public schools, religious displays on public property, and the recognition of a Christian God are not a coalition of church and state."

Which is really like saying 'The proposed resolution states that "the ability to murder black and hispanic people and not be prosecuted under the law is NOT a plan for ethnic cleansing. - Cos I say so! Nyyyrrr Nyyyrrr Nyyyrrr"

03-04-2006, 05:51 PM
The freemasons are a christian group.

03-05-2006, 09:05 AM
It's not 'only for christians' (any man who declares that they believe in the 'Supreme Creator' and meets the other criteria can join - there are christian, deist, jewish, buddist freemasons), and doesn't believe in an interventionist god - which to me anyway would seem to be a a two-finger salute to the traditional Christian interpretation of the world's development.

Anyway, for the hell of it, here's Tom Paine (who is a bit of a personal hero of mine) on the Bible.

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind."