What a letdown: PTC’s Learnard, like atheist, wants to stop prayers

What a letdown in Fayette County to read in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where Peachtree City Councilwoman Kim Learnard told a reporter that the city ought to ditch the invocation at City Council meetings in agreement with atheist activist Al Stefanelli.

Councilwoman Learnard and Mr. Stefanelli have an overwhelming desire to drag our local governments out of our Judeo-Christian ideals. Their secular humanist drive against public prayer totally neglects how those same Judeo-Christian ideals shaped our legal system and our societal values here in the United States.

No one is going to require a religious test or a proclamation of a certain faith in order to be eligible to hold elected office in Fayette County. On the other hand, no one should have to suffer Councilwoman Learnard and Mr. Stefanelli’s disdain for religion by removing all mention of God from our local governments.

A couple of years ago an atheist group called Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against prayer at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. In another case, Michael Newdow fought to have the words “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint also sought to enjoin Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., from adding the phrase “So help me God” to the presidential oath of office.

Peachtree City’s Mayor Don Haddix is holding firm on keeping the invocations at the beginning of our local government meetings. The mayor does so at great peril as Councilwoman Learnard is prone to file censure indictments against those who disagree with her.

Mayor Haddix already has the stripes of the previous censure on his back because he dared to give an opposing view to the three-member majority of his city council.

My family sends a big “thank you” to Mayor Haddix for his courage to take a stand against the tyranny of his colleagues.

As for Councilwoman Learnard, if Mayor Haddix wants us to look at moving to another regional to avoid funding MARTA, that’s being “negative” because she disagrees, but if she wants to rid all of our local governments of references to God, she thinks that perfectly all right.

The people like Councilwoman Learnard and Mr. Stefanelli are showing a fundamental misunderstanding of what the First Amendment is all about. The establishment of religion that is prohibited by the First Amendment means the official declaration of an authorized national church. It doesn’t mean public ceremonies can’t include prayers or the acknowledgment of the existence of God.

Councilwoman Learnard can say anything she wishes to the contrary. She has the right under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to say that she doubts the existence of God and to promote any belief she wants at any local government meeting. She can make it an official City Council meeting agenda item.

We’ve seen our share of local elected officials trying to convince us that they know better than we do about what’s best for us. Some of them say we need to build the West Fayetteville Bypass. Some say we need mass transit in Fayette County. Some say God is no longer necessary.

In the Sept. 3, Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, Councilwoman Learnard said, “If I were mayor, I’d start our meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance and then we’d move into city business [bypassing the innovation].” Actually, had she thought about it, she would abolish the pledge as well because it says, “One Nation under God ...” and we can’t have mention of God at our local meetings.

Tell Councilwoman Learnard your opinion (klearnard@peachtree-city.org). Stop the foolishness.

David Barlow

Tyrone, Ga.

Randy Boyett
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I amtelling Councilwoman Leonard

Councilwoman Leonard

We have had enough embarrassment and legal issues in Peachtree City related to the actions of our Mayor. And their is a constant tension in this country related to separation of government and religion.

Thank you for the excellent job you are doing. Please continue to protect Peachtree City. Let's concentrate on making the city better and avoid legal problems.

Robert W. Morgan
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Yes the Norsouth thing was a set up, They did that once before

Of course our useful idiot mayor was bound to open his big trap and talk - and they knew that would happen - hence the setup. Perfect bait given his past.

I blame the city clerk and the city attorney for this fiasco. They have a responsibility to counsel the mayor before important meetings and to teach him how to hold his tounge. Please try to do better in the future.

So now, we get subsidized rentals full of income-challenged old folks who don't pay taxes and will probably shoplift at Target. How is that a good deal for Ptc?

moelarrycurly
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.

.

MajorMike
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A question for Kim Learnard

Just say that we (PTC) were to cave on this issue and dump the prayer. What happens next?? You want to keep the Pledge Of Allegiance you say? Well then ... just what happens when we get to "one nation under God" in the pledge?

There comes a point where a man/woman has to draw a line. You Councilwoman, just crossed over the line.

niper
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Yes, get rid of under God in the pledge too! Among other things.

Under God wasn't added until about 50 years ago to our pledge. It's unnecessary and needs to be removed. Why you might ask? Because it doesn't make any sense in context and is exclusionary.

Original line:
One nation, indivisible,

Revised line:
One nation, under God, indivisible

Do you not see the contradiction in juxtaposing under God with indivisible? You're essentially dividing the nation into people who believe in God and those who believe in multiple gods or no god at all. So much for liberty for all.

So YES, under God needs to be removed from the pledge. And our national motto needs to return to "E Pluribus Unum" (out of many, one), instead of "In God We Trust" (also changed about 50 years ago), because it does not represent the country's founding values nor its population as a whole.

Christians are terrible at understanding how offensive their infringement of religion on public spheres is to others who don't believe as they do. It doesn't represent the nation. It represents a select group's beliefs and excludes others. It's got to change and it's got to change at all levels.

Observerofu
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Don't faust your religion on me niper

I am guaranteed the right to be free from your brand of religion. So stop trying to change things so you can cram it down my throat.

lion
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niper and the pledge

You are absolutely correct.

The "Turbo" Christians use our government to impose their beliefs on everyone in our democracy. Most of them are simple believers who can not understand how anyone in our community or country would object.

PTC Observer
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Lion - Boy

Boy that's the pot calling the kettle black.

dawgday
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Just saying

Just some data to throw into the discussion. In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined whether there was any correlation between religiosity and IQ using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (results published in the scientific journal Intelligence). The data demonstrated that on average, Atheists scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions. His hypothesis was that was that ”people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical”. In a second study by Nyborg, co-authored with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, they compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries. The study found that atheists scored 6 IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion. They then investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Of the 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all... higher IQ countries.” The correlation was reported as of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which is “highly statistically significant.” In another study in 1975, Norman Poythress studied a sample of 234 US College undergraduates and grouped them based on the similarity of their religious belief. In summary, religious believers as a group were found to be significantly less intelligent and more authoritarian than religious Skeptics using SAT scores as a measure of intelligence.

I think Kim Learnard has a Masters in Engineering - not sure of her religious persuasion. It was rumored that Mr. Haddix did not go to college – not sure of the validity of that, but..... Since Mr Haddix has managed to get the city into several lawsuits, would it not be a reasonable idea to remove one item that could lead to a lawsuit, as suggested (or at least that is what I interpret) by Kim Learnard. After all, it is clear that prayer has failed to help this Council. Just saying.....

MajorMike
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dawgday

You say "Since Mr Haddix has managed to get the city into several lawsuits". Which "several lawsuits do you refer to?

dawgday
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Overstated

Actually, your implication is correct. The comment is overstated. Upon review, it seems the city has not YET been sued by the atheist (unless I missed it). The libel suit is not actually against the city, just Mr. Haddix, at least so far. As reported, the loss of the Norsouth suit in part due to comments made by Haddix - oh goodness, that cannot just be rumors that I read! So, corrected, it should read: his comments have been associated with several lawsuits. Thank you for the correction, unless of course "several" is still deemed an overstatement.

MajorMike
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dawgday

Misinformation is always, using polite language, an overstatement. The Norsouth thingy was a setup from square one - please read my previous posts to PTCRIGHTNOW on the matter.

It matters not that an atheist sues the city over a generic prayer, these prayers did not start yesterday and Mayor Haddix did not originate them. So yes, given context, your "several" is still an "overstatement".

I understand full well that you, and the other members of what has been euphemistically called "the Dirty Dozen", don't like Don Haddix for WHATEVER reason. Heck, I'm not real sure I like him myself but he sure is better than what came before him (Logsdon)!

But gee golly whiz, don't mind me, I'm just an old fart with a hair trigger on his BS alarm.

moelarrycurly
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dawgday-try this fact

the only suit was a direct result of the 4-1 vote by the current council to deny their rezoning request. there were 4 votes to deny, not 1. fact.

my caps are not working..sorry

roundabout
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dawgday: IQ of religious people

I think the average original Christians in the middle east did have an IQ score about 60 points less than Omar the Tentmaker!

That was also 50 points less than the average fisherman.

A Roman soldier had approximately 10 points less than the average Christian.

Saint Paul (before he was a Saint) was the Roman tax collector and also took this census while collecting taxes.

Herod the Jewish Roman King was extremely shrewd--he asked the low IQs what they wanted done with Barabbas since he had to kill someone for insurrection.

But one thing those early Christians were very good at was barter and bargaining. They collected the many statues of all of the Roman gods and goddesses and built an empire.

G35 Dude
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Romans had IQ testing?
Quote:

I think the average original Christians in the middle east did have an IQ score about 60 points less than Omar the Tentmaker!

That was also 50 points less than the average fisherman.

A Roman soldier had approximately 10 points less than the average Christian.

Please tell me where you get this information? (I didn't know that the Romans did IQ testing) While you're trying to justify these statements do a little more research. Look up Pascals Wager.

In his 1988 book on the creation of the universe Stephen Hawkin wrote "If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.” Hawkin and Albert Einstein tended to be agnostic. Meaning that they did not know, nor can any man when using the rule of science whether or not God exists. Isn't it interesting that thousands of years ago man was clever enough to create a being that still can not be disproved? Or maybe God is real and this life is a test of faith? Makes you think if you really have an open mind huh?

Cyclist
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Well G35....
G35 Dude wrote:

Please tell me where you get this information?

He is our resident OG......Old Guy.

AtHomeGym
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Cyclist, check

your regular email.

Cyclist
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Gym

Back at you buddy.

G35 Dude
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Cyclist LOL

Oh so he was there??? Sorry I questioned him!!! LOL

johenry
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New council meeting format in Peachtree City

We will now have to pray to Kim Learnard. The prayer will go something like this ... Please, oh Kim, who art on the dais, hurried be your name, lead us to your side, deliver us from censure, thy is all powerful and always right. A-Kim.

At this point we all leave the prostrate position on the floor and go to a kneeling position. After Kim reaches into Don Haddix's chest cavity and pulls out his beating heart we can have a seat and get straight to city business.

NUK_1
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Tar and feather Learnard!

I missed where she said anything about being an atheist, secular humanist, Satanist, whatever. She said she was a "political leader not a religious leader." I guess for feeble-minded fundies, this equals ATHEIST and HATES JESUS!

I believe in God but don't believe in government-led prayers. I guess I'm going to HAYYYEELLLLL for that. Considering how "government" has a real tendency to screw up anything it touches, why would anyone want their religion being co-mingled and hijacked by government? I know...I know...you fundies prefer that the government devolve into some sort of semi-theocracy, but that horse left the barn a long time ago and will never be coming back.

STONE THE WITCH! STONE THE WITCH!

AtHomeGym
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Nuk, I thought

you were moving from PTC--has that changed?

NUK_1
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AHG: On the way out

I'll probably own a home in PTC for a while longer but it won't be my primary residence. I'm sure some politicos in PTC/FC won't be upset:)

mudcat
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I do wish Kimmy had kept her mouth shut

The irony of Haddix praying for wisdom in making decisions for almost 2 years without any noticeable results pretty much speaks for itself. Didn't need her opinion detracting from that.

roundabout
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mud

Sonny prayed for the lakes to fill a few years ago and now they are mostly full. Never thought they would fill again, myself.

I also didn't think the Jews would have to spend all those years in the desert eating locusts, honey, and goat before they found Israel, but their prayers finally paid off after Hitler got through.

Then religion got in the way in England, forcing many of us to this desolate land and after about 2 hundred years the prayers paid off and Lincoln was born.

Isn't praying in a crowd kinda like wearing scalps on your belt while visiting Geronimo's camp.

Those who wait!

ginga1414
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Prayer In School

Had the students at Fayette County High School been given the opportunity to even pray in silence for guidance on August 26th, would a 13 year old child have been subjected to the brutal episode of being held down by other students and forced to have her navel pierced?

If the 13 year old child had been afforded the opportunity to pray for guidance on that day, would she have made the decision to have her navel pierced or would she have paused before making that decision?

Obviously something caused her to change her mind?

If the other students involved in this heinous act been given the opportunity to seek guidance before embarking on that day, would they have chosen a different path?

We will never know!

However, we do know that young lives have been altered greatly because of the actions they chose.

We do know that publicity from the incident will certainly change the perspective others have of what goes on in Fayette County.

If public officials, school officials, and other leaders are allowed to dictate the standards of our community, we will become a dictatorship. When a community becomes so apathetic that it will allow an opposing belief to change what has been the norm, we are all in trouble. Our public officials, school officials, and other leaders should reflect the beliefs of the majority.

Apparently Ms. Learnard, Mr. Stefanelli, and others here have reached an all knowing state where they are an entity unto themselves. If Ms. Learnard, Mr. Stefanelli, and others do not need guidance, then let them walk alone.

For folks like myself who haven't reached that all knowing state, please allow us to seek divine guidance before we make decisions that involve other people's lives.

Personally speaking, I cannot trust the lives of my children, grandchildren, or my own life to some mortal being who has set themselves up as an all knowing entity.

roundabout
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Gingi

Is your preacher an "all knowing entity?" (If he is an Arab).

roundabout
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Barlow

It could be difficult when a Jewish Mayor gets elected and tries to ask Jesus to bless the meeting!

But when Muhammad is invoked by a Muslim, all heck might break loose.

Buddah could care less.

And the Nervana people (reincarnation) would simply moan and groan weird noises!

Now if this is a Christian meeting, then I agree that those others wouldn't be invited. But all are invited to government meetings.

Atheists and Agnostics haven't got a prayer!

Sailors on a ship and soldiers on the battlefield just use a generic form of a prayer, don't they?

What happens at a town hall meeting in a Buddhist community?

Ninja Guy
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Ginga, Has Prayer

stopped those bulldozers from cutting through your property!? Why is God on the side of Frady, Horgan, and Hearn and not yours!? What have you done to displease God so!?

Go Frady, Horgan, and Hearn!

NUK_1
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Thank God for opposing beliefs
ginga1414 wrote:

When a community becomes so apathetic that it will allow an opposing belief to change what has been the norm, we are all in trouble. Our public officials, school officials, and other leaders should reflect the beliefs of the majority.

Yes, slavery, women and blacks unable to vote, Earth is flat, sun rotates around the Earth, The Crusades, lynching or stoning people to death....all were great "norms" long maintained since opposing beliefs were often met by killing the disbelievers who weren't as hopelessly stupid as the "norm."

Vote NO for tyranny of the majority!

ginga1414
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NUK_ 1, You Are So Right

"Thank God for opposing beliefs!" And, thank God for the opportunity to live in a country where we can exercise our opposing beliefs.

NUK, it has been my experience that communities usually elect officials who most closely adhere to the communities' opinions and beliefs. Logically speaking, that is normal.

Some folks here derive a great deal of pleasure from trying to mock Christians' opinions and beliefs. But, NUK, you and I have run around this same barn before, and I'm sure by now you know that I am secure in my beliefs.

L.Sussberg
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Ginga1414

Ginga1414,
I think you might be missing the point. No one is mocking Christians, we asking you to respect others and their beliefs.
Isn't that a basic fundamental in any religion?

As for mocking and/or being pick on...my tribe can tell you many stories about that starting thousands of years ago, starting with Moses and Egyptians.

Thanks for understanding.

PTC Observer
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Lee - Some

Some Christians are not tolerant, but you should know this.

Why didn't you run Lee?

roundabout
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"The Norm"

If you know the exact definition of "the norm" then you know what14 means.

It is: The average standard to which all members of a group expect to occur.

"praying" in public before, during and after anything nearly shields the tight group from Satan, binds the group together against other norms, and keeps NASCAR drivers safe and gives the reverend a smokin wife.

Ninja Guy
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Round A Norm

You been eyeballing pastor Epps significant other again, and I don't mean the motorcycle?!! I thought you was house-bound! BTW, I heard Danica is moving up to NASCAR from open wheels! That oughta give them driver dudes something to pray on!

Go Danny Girl!

roundabout
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Ninja Guy

I am afraid that I do not know Pastor Epps wife nor what she looks like.

However, if I had to guess which he prefers from his list, I would think it would be a choice between the motorcycle, the U.S Marines, and a new and magnificent robe with accoutrements. Maybe his connection with the Citizen News.

I can tell you though what the Pastor would say about unanswered prayers:
"It wasn't the proper time nor no human has the ability to understand the workings of God."

Ninja Guy
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Ginga You Changed My Mind!

Vote yes on the West Fayetteville Bypass, AKA Veterans Parkway! Bring on the dozers, the asphalt pavers, and the subdivisions! Backward thinking must be rooted out at and plowed under!

Go Frady, Horgan, and Hearn!

roundabout
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Ninja

Let us wait and see if an earthquake wipes out the road the day it is finished?

ginga1414
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Ninja, Right Doesn't Always Prevail

A prime example of that was 9/11.

Do you believe that the oppositional thinking of the terrorists who killed our citizens and invaded our lives on 9/11 was right?

Ninja, do you believe that might makes right?

Not to my way of thinking. But, then according to you, I am engaging in "backward thinking."

Ninja Guy
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If God Is For Us,

who can be against us!

1414, I'm trying to illustrate that if you believe in the absolute power of prayer and that God is always on the side of the righteous, then you come up with some funny outcomes!

I am sure that you are praying for the dozers to be stopped. I'm sure that commissioner Hearn is praying for the dozers to go full speed ahead. By believing that God intervenes on matters such as local roads, you are putting God in the position of constantly having to choose between two competing prayers! If so, he is obviously on the side of Frady, Hearn, and Horgan in case of the WFB!

Same with praying for rain! Some people pray for NO rain because they want to see the NASCASR race, while some farmers might be praying FOR rain to water their crops! Somebody's gonna be on the losing end!

As for the 9/11 terrorists, they spent a lot of time praying to Allah to be successful in smashing the infidels. If you think Islam is a false religion and that their prayers went no where, I am sure at least one person in the twin towers prayed for guidance and safety on that fateful day, and those prayers went unanswered!

It seems some of the Christian faith treat God/Jesus more like a college mascot than the creator of the universe!

Go Irish! (mot the Scots ones, but the South Bend ones!)

G35 Dude
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Ninja - Free Will

God gave man free will. We can make our own choices. But with free will and the ability to make our own choices come the consequences of those choices. Man wants to be in control but then after he screws up wants God to come in and clean up his mess. It just doesn't work like that!!

Ninja Guy
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If There Is Free Will

then why go to the bother of praying for others if they can chose not to follow God's will! People on this forum put others 'in their thoughts and prayers' all the time! If its up to free will, then what good is it! It seems some around here see God as a great dispenser of goodwill and ill will, rather than free will, that can be controlled by thought waves, which become stronger if you say them out loud prior to public gatherings and amplified even more by the singing/playing of the Star Spangled Banner!

Go Titans!

G35 Dude
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Free Will
Quote:

then why go to the bother of praying for others if they can chose not to follow God's will! People on this forum put others 'in their thoughts and prayers' all the time! If its up to free will, then what good is it! It seems some around here see God as a great dispenser of goodwill and ill will, rather than free will, that can be controlled by thought waves, which become stronger if you say them out loud prior to public gatherings and amplified even more by the singing/playing of the Star Spangled Banner!

Free will includes the will to seek God's guidance. And hope that others do the same.

PTC Observer
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G35 - Free Will

Indeed.

However, after he screws up he wants government, not God, to protect him, his company, union, service and rob other people in the process. All which the government is gladly willing to do.....for a price.

That's how it works. God has nothing to do with it.

Ninja Guy
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PTCO, I Thought

you said that God handed us the Constitution on a golden platter! That would make the government an instrument of God! Are we back to the divine right of kings!?

Go Somebody! Win a Game for the Gipper!

G35 Dude
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Ninja where did that come from?
Quote:

you said that God handed us the Constitution on a golden platter! That would make the government an instrument of God! Are we back to the divine right of kings!?

Are you drunk? Or just on some of the Round ones meds?

roundabout
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G dude: medicine

You and King assume medication has to be the reason anyone sometimes has a different opinion.

I know you probably use alcohol as your medicine, maybe even other things, but my medication has nothing to do with my opinions.

I know all you mean is for me to take enough of anything to shut up and go to bed so you won't have to think much!

Ninja Guy
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G35 Dude And Drinking

No, no meds for me! This stems from a back-and-forth between me and PTCO about the Constitution. PTCO believes that it was inspired by God! I kid him about this by saying such things as above. Sorry my comments are above your intellectual grade! I say the Constitution is just a bunch of pretty good ideas that have been and can be improved on further! What say you brother G!?

Geaux Saints!

G35 Dude
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Intellectual Grades?

Not being privy to yours and PTCO's conversations your comment just struck me as very odd. The Constitution is of man of course. Still I believe that it was a document of genius from some very smart people. Maybe if your intellectual grade was a little higher you would have realized that comment, to someone that hadn't been privy to your earlier conversation, would probably seem a little strange? (I know it wasn't addressed to me but still......)

Ninja Guy
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G35 Fellow

A lot of what I write may seem odd to the unknowing and unworldly! But before you accuse me of being inebriated you should do some archival research! If not, at least make your posts a bit more entertaining--I find that castigating the local Scots Irish population or mixing in some sports talk usually does the trick! However, you should select another ethnic group to disparage, as I have already laid claim to Ulster emigres! Perhaps you could bring the hygiene habits of ethnic Albanians into your posts to give them more readability! I found them to smell much like goats, especially on crowded buses in the middle of the night! But maybe it was just the goats themselves! I don't know if there is a large population of ethnic Albanians around here, but there must be at least a few. Look for last names ending with vowels!

Packers look sharp! Hope the Falcons can keep up!

G35 Dude
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Ninja - Falcons

Be forewarned. This is the year of the Bird!

PTC Observer
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Ninja - Only

divine inspiration not a golden platter. A golden platter is what heads are delivered on.

roundabout
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Divine Guidance

How much divine guidanace have you ever gotten? How would you know? Does the attempt at prayer give you an excuse?

Well, I prayed for it---that is all I could do!

I think the girl changed her mind about belly button piercing when the hole maker started the first hole! Must be stupid to think it wouldn't hurt!
She needed to talk with some of these girls who have a butterfly tattooed just above their ass crack. Then ride the jeans low for visibility. This one is more prevalent than the belly button pierceing. I saw three of them on Walmart employees over the last week! (butterflies).

I am skeptical about the holding down part!

NUK_1
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Roundie: That's called the "tramp stamp"

....the tattoo right on the beltline. Why they want it to almost always be a tattoo of a butterfly and not something else there is one of those unanswered questions we may never know.

But maybe she prayed that day and God told her to get a piercing or maybe the other kids prayed and God told them to go forth and pierce another person's naval!

I agree 100% with hospital1.

hospital1
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If one wants their children

If one wants their children to pray at school, send them to a private church related school. I send my children to get a good education. That is why we choose Fayette County and PTC. I don't need or want my kids teachers telling my kids they have to pray at the beginning of each day. It is my responsibility along with my wife to introduce them to religion and to have a respect for others beliefs.

It's the parents responsiblity to teach a child to make rational decisions between right or wrong. At the age of 13, none of these kids brains are fully developed. If the young girl said no, than the others should have stopped. It was the fear of pain that caused this young girl to change her mind.

I would bet that none of these students come from a two parent household. Maybe, if the parents taught these kids right from wrong and took an interest in them, things would have played out differently.

Davids mom
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OVERT PRAYER

The holiest day of the week in any school is Friday - when tests are usually given. Students are praying that they pass!! No one can stop an individual from praying. In the Bible - and other religious works . .pray without ceasing is mentioned. No one can force a person to pray - just as no one can force a person not to pray. The need for public prayer is an interesting subject. Moments of silence and reflection are probably more beneficial. . . .just saying.

L.Sussberg
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Ginga1414

I think the issue here is not the ability to prey, but bad parenting andor grandparenting.

People always have the ability to prey anytime they want. Look in a restaurant and you will see people in private prayer prior to a meal. No one is telling them not to prey.

I think forced public prayer, drawing reference to only the new testament might possibly discriminate against others who might prey to Budda, Allah, or Yahweh to name a few.

Please see the attached links for the different names for GOD.

There are 101 different names:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/101_Names_of_God

In Islam there are 99 names for God (see below)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Islam

In Christianity:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Christianity

In Judaism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism

As you can see, there are many different ways to prey. Forcing everyone to prey in one manner may not be looking at the entire picture because many people seek and prey to God in different ways. Are they any less religious?

Thank you

ginga1414
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L. Sussberg, I Haven't Forced Anything

I never said anything about "forced public prayer."

The words I used were "given an opportunity, provided an opportunity."

I used those words because it has been my experience that a school setting is far more structured than a restaurant setting.

When we are sitting in a restaurant there isn't an authority figure setting the pace for the proceedings. However, in a school setting there are many authority figures controlling the pace.

I do not believe in nor do I want to "force" my religious beliefs on anyone!

I do not believe in nor do I want anyone to "force" their religious beliefs or the lack thereof on me or anyone else.

If the atheist point of view prevails, the atheist point of view will have been "forced" upon folks who do not adhere to that point of view. The proceedings that have been in place during PTC Council meetings are the "norm" for those meetings.

Perhaps a solution to the problem would be to "provide an opportunity" to the community so that they might vote on whether or not prayer should continue before the PTC Council meetings.

Or, perhaps the group of people who wanted to pray for guidance before the meeting could do so while the opposing group waited until the prayer was finished before entering the meeting.

It appears as though there is an unnecessary stalemate.

Many years ago, I worked with a public school teacher whose husband was a minister in the Christian Church. There was a young man in that class who was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Church. The teacher gave that young man and any others the opportunity to not participate in Christmas and Easter functions that Christian children chose to celebrate.

Even though the teacher was the wife of a Christian minister, she felt it would not be respectful of either faction if their individual beliefs were not accommodated.

So it seems that if all people involved worked toward a solution, this hurricane in a teapot might be resolved.

I truly believe that the intention from the beginning was to cause a hurricane in the proverbial teapot.

AtHomeGym
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Prayer at Council Meetings

I feel a survey coming on!

hutch866
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ginga

Pray to yourself and the problem is solved.

MYTMITE
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Once is an accident. Many times is----------------------

Unsure just what it is but can't believe it was not noticed or didn't know better. Some significance that we do not get??? Guess i will have to prey over this.

L.Sussberg
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MYTMITE

Sorry, truly a mistake.

Davids mom
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Sussberg

Interesting hitting the wrong letter: prey/pray. LOL

L.Sussberg
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David's Mom

I was trying to fix that when I got shut out...truly a mistake. Sorry

RKS
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Skip the praying and get to work

When I come to work, we don't start out our meetings with a prayer....pick your nose and say your prayers at home. I'd rather they agree to get along and get some things accomplished to make Fayette County the good place that it once was. I don't care who you pray to, I elected you to work, not pray!

LessThan3PTC
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My thoughts exactly!!

Here, here!

Citizen_Steve
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RKS

Well said!

RKS
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Skip the praying and get to work

When I come to work, we don't start out our meetings with a prayer....pick your nose and say your prayers at home. I'd rather they agree to get along and get some things accomplished to make Fayette County the good place that it once was. I don't care who you pray to, I elected you to work, not pray!

gratefuldoc
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To L. Sussberg and Ninja

L- love hearing from other M.O.T!
Ninja- send me a private message and I can fill you in on where to learnb Hebrew locally....right here in FayCo believe it or not. And, if L Sussberg has any interest as well, by all means contact me.

Ninja Guy
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Gratefuldoc, BTW...

I am not M.O.T.! I just like larning!

Mazeltov!

gratefuldoc
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What a letdown: PTC’s Learnard, like atheist, wants to stop pray

Finally someone with the cajones to stand up to this nonsense. Religion and city council/government DO NOT MIX. Period. Why can't some people just get this?? It is truly baffling. And, the fact that Mr. Stefanelli is not even saying put an end to it but is solely seeking to INCLUDE ALL religions and....gasp, non-believers too. Lighten up, get a clue and try, as hard as it might be for some of y'all, to broaden your world view....even just a smidgeon. There's a big, wide world right outside your window and it's not all within the southern crescent.

Citizen_Steve
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Council pledge

In lieu of an ideological address, perhaps each council member, or council in unison should state a pledge of mutual respect, cooperation, honesty and responsible stewardship.

But it might be more fruitful if the mayor would deliver a sponsored advertisement from a local business.

Or I'd like to see a local comedian warm up the crowd, perhaps by lampooning the council members, although that'd be kind of redundant.

Steve

L.Sussberg
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Citizen Steve

Amen!
I'll pray for that.

BHH
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This statement is well worth repeating;

"The establishment of religion that is prohibited by the First Amendment means the official declaration of an authorized national church. It doesn’t mean public ceremonies can’t include prayers or the acknowledgment of the existence of God.".

Over and over and over and over until it is again accepted as common knowledge.

NUK_1
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Not accepted as common knowledge

Barlow's interpretation is half accurate...the public ceremonies part is for the most part true. The part of:

Quote:

"The establishment of religion that is prohibited by the First Amendment means the official declaration of an authorized national church"

...leaves out the second half of the Establishment Clause that has been interpreted as government cannot favor any religion over others. That's why teacher-led school prayer is generally considered unconstitutional in government schools.

This is revisionist fundie history and is not how it has been interpreted over and over by the Supreme Court and not what the Founding Fathers ever intended either.

mudcat
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Come on Kimmy, open mouth, insert foot

This is how Brown and Haddix got started down the road to disdain - speaking up (to a reporter, for God's sake) when silence was called for. Prayer to self - whenever I start a sentence with "If I were mayor", please God render me mute before I embarrass myself.

The censure of Haddix for running his big mouth and getting the city into costly trouble was a great cause for you to take up and lead. Please don't think that gives you the right to speak up and start being as stupid as Haddix. You are not there yet, but this stuff is a good start or a bad sign.

God bless you, Ms. Kim.

allegedteacher
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It's like picking your nose...pray in private.

Church and state are separate for good reason. The "church" reigned in terror (when it should have reined IN terror) for centuries in Europe. The freethinking forefathers had fresh in their thoughts the tyrannies of church-run governments and opted for a religion-neutral government. I saw several bloggers stated that such thinking shows misunderstanding of the constitution. Is that misunderstanding akin to the scripture about praying in one's closet or women covering their heads or treating one's slaves well or the multitude of other holy book references so maligned and misunderstood?
Christianity, or any other mythology, has done little to nothing to improve our government. In fact, I understand from the more popular pulpit pounders that, while godly folk are praying for fair skies and peace, this holy terror of a deity prefers to vent his displeasure with hurricanes, tsunami, famine, and a very bad U.S. economy. And what is a peace-loving world leader to do when god says it's war?
May we just dispense with wasting three minutes of ANYONE'S time and get on with county business? Or do you actually prefer to dig in and ultimately lose this fight?
"Don't pray in my school, and I won't think in your church."

hospital1
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Raise your hands

Raise your hands if you have ever started a business meeting with a prayer asking god to look over you and give you wisdom to make good decisions? Mr. Mayor, did you start off each day requiring your employees to pray for a profitable day? If I went to see a client, and started my meeting with a prayer asking for wisdom, I doubt I would have a lot of clients. Clients want people who are prepared and confidant in their abilities, not looking to god for wisdom. When I pray, I do it in private or at church. After all, my imaginary god is no better than yours and I don't think my god really cares if PTC operates gas or electric golf carts.

Robert W. Morgan
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Wisdom to make good decisions

Kim may be onto something here. If Haddix has been praying to God before each meeting for the express purpose of being given the wisdom to make good decisions, well it doesn't seem to be working very well. Maybe her point is that God's powers are limited in the sense that some people like Haddix are not good receptacles for a wisdom implant. So why keep trying? Maybe that's it. And if she were mayor, she wouldn't need the wisdom because she already knows it all. Slippery slope Kim, but go ahead.

That being said, I despise anyone lecturing me on religion. Separation of church and state - or the actual wording of government not establishing a church or religion - is so far away from praying before a meeting, you have to be a complete fool to think otherwise. But fools we have - here and elsewhere.

Nevertheless, it is the kowtowing to the religious right that has cost the Republican Party a huge chunk of supporters among the social liberal/fiscally conservative crowd that hates being supervised by the morality police and that issue has a lot more serious ramifications that "wasting" 3 minutes of valuable city council meeting time.
So kill off the prayers and let those on the religious right get used to limited input and maybe we can get real conservatism back into national politics. Since Tip "O Neil and others say that all politics are local - let's start here.

grassroots
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Prayer vs Common Sense

First time I attended a county commissioners meeting I was impressed by Lee Hearn leading the prayer. Since then I haven't been impressed with one thing he's ever voted on or said...but he keeps praying like we are. Sincerity is no guarantee of the truth or common sense.

L.Sussberg
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Sorry, Mountain out of a Mole Hill

As a person of the Jewish faith, who is active, I welcome a separation of Church and State, especially since it protects all religious faiths. Out of respect for all religions, let's keep it separate! Doesn't make anyone less faithful, less religious, less caring.

As a side bar, I hope the Republicans wake up and realize that there are many ex-Republicans who might return to their political party if they focused on fiscal conservativesm only. We need Ronald Reagan back!

Glad to see other bloggers here are in support.

Ninja Guy
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Larry, Would You

be willing to make a burnt offering before the next council meeting to enlighten the attendees in the ways of the Old Testament!? Or, is it your Orthodox bretheren that handle that!? BTW, where is a good place to study Hebrew around here!? I checked out that learning center next to Johnny's Pizza, but semitic languages wasn't on the menu! Aramaic will do!

Are you a Dawg or a Jacket?

L.Sussberg
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Ninja Guy

Actually, I had a teacher who was fluent in Hebrew, but he just finished his master's degree at Mercer and moved to Texas to get his doctorate in the Old Testament at Baylor.
Sorry.

No burnt offering either, I'm "reformed" lol

My daughter is a Jacket, that makes me a Jacket. I was an Orangemen.

You? Jacket or Dawg?

Trivia question....
Who, of Jefferson Davis's Cabinet members, held the position of Attorney General, then Secretary of War, and finally became the final Secretary of State of the Confederacy?

Ninja Guy
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Larry The Learning Guy

I didn't know they was up on the OT at Baylor! I thunk they was all NT Baptist style! God is cursing that land with droughts and fires--perhaps that ex-teacher fellow can help turn things around around with guidance from Raymond and Eileen!

I fully support both the Dawgs and Jackets--I always root for the underdog when they play each other! I was too poor to attend schools with proper mascots myself! I think I went to one that was the Dead Squirrels!

Everybody knows that Judah P. Benjamin was the final Secretary of State of the Confederacy! Despite his affiliation with Moshe Rabbenu, he might have even dabbled in Vodou while down there is Luzy-annna, making him persona-non-grata for praying before the PTC council meetings despite his service to Sugarfoot's lost cause!

Go Panthers!

L.Sussberg
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Ninja Guy

You are right!!!!

ding ding ding ding.

grassroots
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Reagan's Early Proclamation in 1st Term

Ronald Reagan understood the difference between the problem with church and state and the undeniable need for God and Country. He declared and congress made official the year of the Bible in 1983.
http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1983/20383b.htm
More chapters on the Jewish faith than anything else. After all, nothing like the power of one God and the ten commandments to guide a country and its leaders federal and local.

mgarlow
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Public Meeting Prayers

Why should Peachtree City be any different than any other regional city? Strangulation at the buckle of the bible belt seems to be normal and dogmatic ditto-heads rule the roost, in spite of the Constitution.

Mike King
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mgarlow

Tell us, wise one, where in the Constitution is public prayer forbidden?

Mike King
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A Council Of Fools?

The use of asking of a blessing from one's Deity to lighten a burden, provide protection, or to give solace in no way mandates a state or local religion. Those that object on the grounds that it violates the separation of church and state simply misunderstand the First Amendment.

Further, to classify the three minutes or so of prayer at our City Council Meeting as unproductive or better spent on issues, one could surmise that that the individual making the classification has restricted him/her self to only the first five minutes of the session. If identifying wasted time is their goal, they've missed the mark considerably.

Ninja Guy
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Mike King/Burnt Offerings

How about sacrificing a lamb on an alter before the meetings to lighten a burden, provide protection, or to give solace! It might not mandate a state or local religion, but it would be very messy!

Exodus 29: 38-42!

“Now this is what you are to prepare on the altar every day continually: two lambs a year old. 39 The first lamb you are to prepare in the morning, and the second lamb you are to prepare around sundown. 40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a fourth of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 41 The second lamb you are to offer around sundown; you are to prepare for it the same meal offering as for the morning and the same drink offering, for a soothing aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord. 42 “This will be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you to speak to you there.

I don't think even Nathan Bedford Forrest would advise such a thing!

Vote No on Ritual Animal Sacrifice Before Council Meetings!

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