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The ACLU really does represent Satan

By localroger in News
Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:56:45 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

The ACLU is planning to sue the Florida hamlet of Inglis unless they rescind a town order evicting Satan.

Last Hallowe'en mayor Carolyn Risher of Inglis was inspired by a church sermon to pen a banishment proclamation against the Prince of Darkness himself. The town council dutifully passed it and copies were rolled up and placed in hollow posts at four locations on the edge of town.

This action bought both Risher and Inglis their 15 minutes of fame as it became a widely circulated human-interest news story.

According to this story, the American Civil Liberties Union is planning to sue the town of Inglis unless they remove the proclamations, and get mayor Risher to repay any town monies spent on the project.

This is far and away the funniest thing the ACLU has ever done.


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In this matter the ACLU is...
o Right 30%
o Run by the Devil 4%
o Acting stupid 10%
o Displaying a previously unsuspected sense of humor 27%
o Giving ammo to the enemy 5%
o Wasting my donation 6%
o Wasting those stupid liberals' donations 8%
o What's the ACLU? 6%

Votes: 147
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o this story
o Also by localroger

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The ACLU really does represent Satan | 50 comments (49 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Saw this on the daily show (3.33 / 3) (#1)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 09:53:29 PM EST

The Daily Show ran a segment on Inglis, FL.. real funny. Maybe this is technically wrong, but I don't see what a lawsuit by the ACLU would accomplish. Towns make all sorts of meaningless declarations all the time, most of them going unnoticed outside of the town.

This was one of the funnier ones, though. It starts with something like "Whereas, Satan is the master of evil."

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

Daily Show (4.25 / 4) (#2)
by Woundweavr on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 09:54:20 PM EST

The Daily Show did a piece on this a week or so ago. There's some video online of it ("Satan Laws are Coming to Town").

The town and mayor have gotten their 15 minutes from it, but it seems this is a pretty clear violation of seperation of church and state, despite it being pretty silly.

Hah. (3.75 / 4) (#3)
by regeya on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 09:56:24 PM EST

I hope enterfornone still reads, as I can't wait to read that biting commentary (more than likely on the side of the ACLU, which is odd, as the A in ACLU doesn't represent, last I heard, the A in which enterfornone lives.)

I am certainly glad none of the money they're wasting on this case is mine, as I'm flabbergasted that any organization would waste money on going after this case. Sure, they're right. Town monies shouldn't have been used to make such proclamations, as it is, technically, an "official" banishment of an entity well-known to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim world, though oddly, it sounds as if the ACLU was only offended by the mention of Jesus. Hrm.

I'll leave that for the other wonks to debate.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

muslim? (2.00 / 1) (#25)
by delmoi on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 08:22:19 AM EST

well-known to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim world

IIRC, islam does not have a satan figure.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
hrm. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by regeya on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:14:07 PM EST

Submission.org (no, it's not some sort of porn site; "submission" is Islam) has a number of essays on Satan's influence on the world, including the Muslim world.

Here's an essay (oddly enough, it's hosted in Canada...hrm.) on Satan's supposed role in the Muslim world. Rather biting commentary on reading the Arabic version of the Quran if your mother tounge isn't Arabic.

And here are links, on the same site, to passages referring to Satan.

Remember, the God of the Quran is essentially the same God of the Hebrews. And remember that they see themselves as true followers of the One True Word; to believe in God is to believe in Satan, IMHO. And vice-versa. :-)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

daily show, etc, but you have to wonder (3.40 / 5) (#5)
by velex on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 10:31:43 PM EST

Like a few other people, I saw that on the Daily Show, too. Although that thought that anyone would want to do anything against it is just weird. Either you belive that the entity that was outlawed exists or doesn't. At any rate, except for the utter stupidity of the law, I wouldn't mind living under it. Apparently, though, this law isn't uneffective from the standpoint of the ACLU. That fact in unto itself makes me wonder whether or not the ACLU is advocating Satan's right also. afaik, Satan is not a U.S. citizen, so, from a legal standpoint, the ACLU is off its rocker and the mayor has every right to restrict Satan from entering the town.

Thank you (1.00 / 1) (#6)
by epcraig on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 10:34:09 PM EST

I'd have missed this if I hadn't seen it here.
There is no EugeneFreeNet.org, there is an efn.org
Which Satan? (4.60 / 10) (#7)
by irksome on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 10:55:13 PM EST

Which Satan does this law refer to? The Dark One? Or does it refer to Miroslav Satan (who plays for the Buffalo Sabres)? Even though he pronounces his name differently, it's spelled the same.

(and totally offtopic, I still think the New Jersey Devils should trade with the Sabres to get Satan)

I think I am, therefore I'm not.
Obviously, the football player was meant (5.00 / 2) (#13)
by Jim Wayne on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:48:21 AM EST

Clearly, the mayor and council of this town are in the grip of the theological Satan, since they have acted in such a way to make him laughable, and therefore, less creditable, and so more able to act without arousing suspicion.

So they clearly mean Miroslav Satan, who should not visit this place.

There was no golden age. There will be no golden age. All ages are alloys. But some alloys are better, stronger, and more useful than others.
[ Parent ]

Football? (4.50 / 2) (#15)
by sticky on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:59:33 AM EST

Try hockey...I'm not aware of too many Russian football players.

Don't eat the shrimp.---God
[ Parent ]
Three reasons why the ACLU is right (4.80 / 15) (#8)
by notafurry on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 11:34:12 PM EST

1) Discriminates against non-Christian religions by stating a preference for Jesus; you can work with the phrasing and intention of the proclamation to read "all non-Christians are banished from this place", since one of the tenets of some Christian religions is that non-Christian religions are works of Satan.

2) Directly discriminates against the Church of Satan, a legally recognized religion in the US which cannot be legally excluded.

3) This is a clear (if amusing) case of a government exercising control of religion, and therefore forbidden.

Now granted, it's a stupid proclamation, a stupid law, and a stupid case. But given a choice between the ACLU deciding which cases are trivial and the ACLU fighting every possible encroachment on civil rights, I'll take door number 2, thanks. Which doesn't mean I didn't laugh when I heard it.

In case you voted "What's the ACLU" (4.77 / 9) (#9)
by localroger on Fri Jan 25, 2002 at 11:55:48 PM EST

The American Civil Liberties Union is a venerable left-wing nonprofit political organization which makes its purpose to challenge laws which seem to undermine the civil liberties granted in the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments) of the American Constitution.

The ACLU are widely hated because they regularly act on behalf of obvious crooks who benefit from "technicalities," that is their cases before the people are forfeited because of some procedural misbehavior by the police which seems paltry in comparison to the actual crimes which must be forgiven because of this error.

Unfortunately, while the US Constitution is a remarkably durable document, its framers left few vehicles for "punishing" incorrect behavior by law enforcement personnel. About the only remedy available to the people when the police violate our rights is to annul the cases they have tried to press. When the police use illegal methods to pursue an actual crook, and they are caught and successfully prosecuted, the only thing we can do about it is to let the crook go free so the police don't get the glory of basking in his successful capture.

Bad cop. Very bad cop. Down bad cop. Roll over and produce warrant. Good cop, here's a cop biscuit.

The problem with this is twofold. First of all it's not a very good deterrent against over-zealous searches and prosecution; the cops only get hurt if they break the law, press charges, get a conviction, get sued, and lose. Since a lot of bad cop activity is directed against poor people the ACLU is needed to make sure someone will press these prosecutions, to make sure there is pressure on the cops to do what they are supposed to do. Because if that pressure isn't applied they will ignore the law -- just as people all over the world from all walks of life ignore the law when it seems stupid or isn't enforced.

One of the civil liberties granted in the Constitution is freedom of religion. The ACLU's position -- with which I agree -- is that this should also mean freedom "from" religion. Should a Muslim have to watch his tax dollars being spent to put up symbols of Christian religious figures like Nativities and crucifixes? If you're a Christian, before you answer, ask how you would feel if those same legislators put in a tablet from the Koran and interrupted the State's proceedings to bow toward Mecca five times a day. Let alone atheists, who think it's all a grand waste of time and energy.

In order to fight the good fight, the ACLU has often had to align itself with the bad guys who must go free in order to convince the "good" guys really act good. It's also had to set itself against popular religious movements which want to use tax dollars to prosyletize, or to exert a more subtle but more pervasive cultural influence.

Challenging this stupid ordinance is a very ACLU thing to do; it's the right thing even thought it's easily ridiculed (as I did myself in the title to this piece. Hey, it was just sooooo easy.) I think what the ACLU are doing here is demonstrating their character, just as the mayor of Inglis chose to demonstrate hers.

Thank God for the ACLU. Maybe next they can try to ban John Ashcroft, a figure of evil who actually exists, from Inglis. Unfortunately there would be jurisdictional problems with that.

I can haz blog!

A little quibble... (2.50 / 2) (#12)
by ragabr on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:25:00 AM EST

The ACLU refuses to defend the 2nd ammendment to the Constitution on the grounds that it's an arcane hold over from a different period in time. Which is actually the reason I have little to no respect for them whatsoever.

And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
[ Parent ]
Well, there's also the small matter that... (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by Sunir on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 02:42:56 AM EST

... the 2nd ammendment already has the most powerful lobby in the country in the form of the NRA. There's no point for the ACLU to defend the 2nd ammendment as the NRA will always be there to step up to the plate.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

Well, I don't have a problem with that... (2.00 / 1) (#21)
by ragabr on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 06:17:30 AM EST

I could care less whether they do or do not take over the cases. My problem is they actively deride the Second Ammendment while claiming to be the flag-bearers of freedom in this country (I'm from the U.S. if you couldn't tell.)

And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
[ Parent ]
You bring up a good point. (none / 0) (#48)
by Count Zero on Mon Jan 28, 2002 at 03:59:04 PM EST

I concider myself a liberal, but something I have never understood about typical liberal political thought is why the bill of rights is sacrosanct, expect the 2nd.

I firmly support the ACLU on their free-speech and freedom of religion cases, but I wish they would realize the the 2nd amendment is important to our freedoms as well.

[ Parent ]
ACLU and the 2nd amendment (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by I am Jack's username on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 06:35:46 AM EST

"The ACLU agrees with the Supreme Court's long-standing interpretation of the Second Amendment [as set forth in the 1939 case, U.S. v. Miller] that the individual's right to bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected. Therefore, there is no constitutional impediment to the regulation of firearms." - Policy 47

Read ACLU on gun control.
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

That is not the common reading... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by ragabr on Sun Jan 27, 2002 at 01:49:26 AM EST

of U.S. v Miller. The Supreme Court was willing to accept that Miller was a militia man (as defined by federal law, I believe it's any able-bodied male above the age of 17) but there was no evidence provided that a sawed-off shotgun (the weapon in question) was a regular military armarment.

An interesting point is that the sawed-off shotgunw as a regular military armarment, but since Miller or his lawyers (who by the time the case reached the Supreme Court were no longer retained by him) presented a case to the SC and thus there was no pro-Miller evidence presented. The case is generally interpreted in all the research I've done (which is a fair amount considering I've written 3 academic papers, 1 on the High School level and 2 on the College Undergrad level) as supporting an individual right to bear arms. This viewpoint is supported by readings of the 1st and 4th Amendments extending the right to "the people" that are interpreted as individual rights.

The 2nd Amendment grants the right to "the people", and then justifies why it is a Fundamental right. I and all the Constitutional scholars I've ever read use this interpretation and U.S. v Miller along with a few other SC decisions follow the reasoning.

In other words, that ACLU statement is full of shit.

And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
[ Parent ]
Excuse me... (none / 0) (#44)
by ragabr on Sun Jan 27, 2002 at 02:18:13 AM EST

I said "sawed-off shotgun" when in fact I meant "short-barreled shotgun". I apologize for any confusion.

And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
[ Parent ]
Are we bitter? (4.33 / 3) (#19)
by ti dave on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 04:59:03 AM EST

"Bad cop. Very bad cop. Down bad cop. Roll over and produce warrant. Good cop, here's a cop biscuit."

So, I take it that you're trying to appeal to the reader by the clever use of a Hot Topic Bumper Sticker?

You can do better than that.

Here's my point.
I'm not going to attempt to speak for all cops, but here's my POV.

I understand that there are cops that are overly aggressive, that don't respect the rights of the citizen and will resort to unethical means to help obtain a conviction.

I was not that type of Police Officer. I was not alone.

You may have had bad experiences with the Police, it seems that this may be the case.
I would like to apologize in advance for any mistreatment you may have received.

Here's a point that may seem to be a paradox; I was, and continue to be, a strong supporter of the ACLU and the work they do. Unconditionally.

Yes, that may seem strange to you, but you must understand, that while I was a Police Officer, I was a Citizen first.

Furthermore, I understood that if I chose to destroy my career, and violate a person's Civil Rights, I would be subject to punishment for doing so, under color of Federal Law.

Civil and Criminal Law.

This "the only thing we can do about it is to let the crook go free so the police don't get the glory of basking in his successful capture." business just isn't true, no matter how much you want it to be so. You may think that the punishments doled out to Ciminals in Blue are inadequate, but the system is in place to deal with them.

Do you really know what a "successful prosecution" is?
It's one where the criminal who committed a crime is caught, shown through legally acquired and accurate evidence, and tried and convicted by a fair trial. Finally, this entire process must be handled in a Constitutional manner that doesn't result in the conviction being remanded or overturned.
That (and going home in one piece) is the final goal of the Ethical Police Officer.
Don't forget that the Prosecuting Attorney must also follow the Law. That's a sucessful prosecution.

As for the demeaning commentary regarding the Police and "Biscuits", while I agree that Mensa membership isn't a prerequisite for joining the force, most cops aren't as stupid as you're insinuating.

I happen to share your enthusiasm for the ACLU, but what you wrote just seems to be spleen-venting on your part.

Finally, I'd like to point out that it wasn't any fear of the ACLU, on my part, that kept me on the straight and narrow, it was my desire to go to sleep each night with a clear conscience.


ti dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Me and cops (5.00 / 4) (#27)
by localroger on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 09:33:09 AM EST

I realize there are good, conscientious people who enter law enforcement with the best of intentions. A good friend of mine was a State Trooper for 12 years.

My good friend left the service before he was eligible for retirement because he couldn't stand the corruption.

I used to live in a Bad Neighborhood (tm). If you are familiar with Kenner, LA I lived in the industrial district behind MSY airport. This is the drug distribution capital of the state of Louisiana. I am a very low-profile Mind Your Own Business type person and for five years I had no problems with the locals, despite being a lot whiter than most of them.

It was a given that the cops were running the drug trade and stolen car ring. They didn't even try to hide it. For nearly a year the crackhouse was across the street from us, and the police cruiser would pull up at 3:30 every Thursday to collect the payoff. A little kid would run out and give it to them in a brown paper bag. Surely David Lynch is writing a movie script about this.

Back around 1990, the corrupt Chief of Police, a man named Sal Lentini, began getting paranoid in his dotage. He began cutting out his subordinates, thinking they were ready to betray him. As the story goes, one day his number two man, Nick Congemi, looked out his window at Police HQ and saw an officer putting something in Congemi's car. Nick hustled out there and pulled out a fat bag of cocaine. Nick then barged into Sal's office, dumped the bag on Sal's desk, and said "one of your men left this in my car by mistake." He then proceeded to the registrar of voter's office and registered to run against his boss in the next election.

Running on the We're Going To Clean Up Kenner Great White Hope ticket, he won.

I used to tell people that while we didn't have "law" on 27th street, we had "order" in that everyone knew their place. There was little violence, because the animals who lived around me didn't think anyone in their own neighborhood had anything worth boosting. If they needed a fix they'd walk across the highway to the middle-class neighborhoods of North Kenner in search of TV's to steal. But when Congemi entered office, it started a war. Nobody knew if they were paid up or not any more.

Nick had modern ideas. Instead of a crackhouse on every block, the new model would be centralized distribution. Unfortunately this meant that one house would have lots of product on hand, which would mean men with guns to protect it. Overnight everyone got guns. Some EMT's we knew said that the murder rate quintupled in the months after Congemi entered office. This jibed with our experience, but did not make the papers.

About six months after Congemi's inauguration we had a drive-by shooting. If you drew a line between the hole in the window and the hole in my stereo cabinet, it passed about 3 feet from my head.

I don't live in Kenner any more.

I know there are good cops. I also know they were not to be found in my own moment of crisis. My State Trooper friend said that most good cops don't last as long as he did; he is a devout Christian and felt he was fighting the good fight. But he said it's basically a shitty job and you are constantly exposed to the worst elements of society, both criminals and your own "comrades" who have turned. In time you either turn yourself or you can't stand to return to work.

Am I bitter? Sure. When you've been shot at in your own living room let me know if you feel bitter.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

I understand. (none / 0) (#32)
by ti dave on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 03:07:02 PM EST

It sounds like you were living in a pretty bad place, but in a "Perfect World", the State (probably unlikely in La.) or the Feds would have come in and started confiscating guns and badges, and locked the doors on the way out.

Some organizations just need to be swept out. Top to Bottom.


ti dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Police and civil rights (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by danb35 on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 10:35:40 AM EST

Furthermore, I understood that if I chose to destroy my career, and violate a person's Civil Rights, I would be subject to punishment for doing so, under color of Federal Law.
...but how often is this actually done? I'm not really trying to be argumentative here, it's a serious question. In theory, it would seem that an unlawful search (for example) would be a clear violation of the Civil Rights Act, which carries both civil and criminal penalties. In practice, I don't think it works that way--even if the evidence is excluded (which the courts bend over backwards to avoid), it usually ends there and there are no further visible repurcussions to the officer(s) in question.

This is actually why I think the exclusionary rule is a bad idea. It often results in criminals going free (and almost always results in highly relevant evidence being excluded), and it still doesn't (by itself) provide much (or enough) of a disincentive for police to follow the rules. Perhaps it could be replaced by a system in which the evidence was still admitted, but the officer was punished?

[ Parent ]

Here's a Bone. (none / 0) (#36)
by ti dave on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 03:43:37 PM EST


Mentions that "The average number of all federal civil rights cases initiated by the FBI from 1997 -2000 was 3513. Of those cases initiated, about 73% were allegations of color of law violations. Within the color of law allegations, about 82% were allegations of abuse of force with violence (59% of the total number of civil rights cases initiated)."

Of course, these statistics are rather meaningless, without considering the numbers of Violations committed by Police that aren't reported, or Violations that Prosecutors decline to prosecute.

Additionally, "even if the evidence is excluded (which the courts bend over backwards to avoid)" is supposition on your part.
My personal experience is that the Prosecutors I've worked with [1] have avoided using tainted evidence like it was a 2 week-old diaper.
You see, they also have the potential to be punished for Color of Law violations,
as well as the threat of Disbarment.

Regarding your take on the Exclusionary Rule, I don't believe your alternative will improve the quality of policing.
I'd rather see the Rule kept.
I believe most cops don't want to work on catching a Criminal, only to see the Criminal avoid accountability via the Cop's mistake.
Proper Training and Supervision of Police Officers will reduce the need for the application of the Exclusionary Rule.

I would also submit, that if it isn't standard procedure already, that any Judicial determination or findings invoking the Exclusionary Rule automatically trigger reviews by Police Internal Affairs and/or a Disciplinary Review Board.


ti dave

[1] I haven't knowingly gathered tainted evidence, however while working as a Detective, I've encountered questionable evidence gathered by Officers. This has resulted in remedial training and discipline to the offender, and apologies to the victims.

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Christian magic? (4.28 / 7) (#10)
by khym on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:04:43 AM EST

The proclamation, which referred to Jesus several times, was inserted into hollowed-out fence posts at the four entrances to town. The posts were painted with the words Repent, Request and Resist.
Hmmmm, that whole procedure seems rather like the practive of magic to me. Though I'm not a question, my understanding of the New Testament is that, had the mayor sufficient faith, she could simply have said "In the name of Jesus, I cast Satan out of this town!" (or words to that effect); if her faith was insufficient, then the whole rigmarole with the posts wouldn't help any. So was the thing withthe posts just for theatrics, or was it a desire to do a mystical, occult type thing in a suppsoedly Christian manner?

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
3F'16 (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:50:20 AM EST

Though I'm not a question
Since you're not a question, are you perhaps The Answer?

[ Parent ]
What a waste of ACLU resources (3.88 / 9) (#11)
by jabber on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 12:16:47 AM EST

Some crackpot official in a no name town misappropriates some city funds, and the ACLU wastes time and money teaching her a lesson about the separation of Church and State??

Doesn't the ACLU have some REAL problems to face, besides chasing some idiot who believes in fairy tales, and does so in a way that is clearly acceptable to her constituency?

"There is no Santa Claus!!!!" Now, let the ACLU sue me for discrimination against elves..

What an absolute crock this is.. The American Civil Liberties Union would do better to spend it's money fighting racism, sexual preference discrimination and online freedom of speach, instead of standing up for the rights of outmoded embodiments of concepts.

Freedom of Religion does not mean Freedom FROM Religion.. If it resonates with the constituency, it isn't a problem. It's nothing more than a community-building exercise. There is no victim here. The Mayor isn't forcing a faith onto anyone, not even through implication..

I swear, at times like this, the ACLU embarasses itself, and looks more like PETA than it really should.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

funds (4.33 / 3) (#16)
by rhyax on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 01:13:52 AM EST

when the aclu sues groups it usually includes their own legal fees in the suit, so if they win, and hopefully they should win this trial, the money will be regained and maybe other cities will rethink making moves that are stupid like this rather than waste all the money to fight the aclu.

[ Parent ]
Not just about money (none / 0) (#37)
by jabber on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 07:22:43 PM EST

It's a waste of time and resources as well. While the ACLU pursues this, they have fewer lawyers, researchers, lobbyists, publicists and whatever else, to go after more nefarious violations of liberties. That's all..

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

I wouldn't be so sure (4.50 / 2) (#18)
by zephc on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 03:40:43 AM EST

They may have banned Satan, but not Cthulu, because the Great Cthulu has obviously driven them all insane =]

matter of interpretation (3.33 / 3) (#20)
by fhotg on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 05:03:40 AM EST

Admittedly I know nothink about the constitution in question, but one seems to reference here:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...
This doesn't seem to prohibit the state to help a religion doing bannings for the common good. I mean, there are government funds for research in postmodern feminism, why not shell out some bucks to do away with satan ? And then, every religion had the right for such support. Imagine the possibilities: Temple of Tux exorcises Redmont City by strategic deposition of micowaved Win2000 CDs.
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

No constitution on space ships? (2.00 / 1) (#23)
by Secret Coward on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 07:15:48 AM EST

Admittedly I know nothink about the constitution in question

Considering that you came from an alien space ship, I'll have to forgive you.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

This clearly means seperation of church and state. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase "seperation of church and state" when explaining this amendment.

[ Parent ]

Um, no (2.00 / 1) (#31)
by tarpy on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 01:20:40 PM EST

Actually, no, the clear text of the amendment doesn't establish a 'seperation of church and state'.

What it clearly does do is prohibit the Federal government via Congress from interfering with religious practice...it says NOTHING about state and local governments. In fact, combined with the 9th and 10th amendnments, it could be reasonably argued that states can pass laws relating to religion without infringing upon the 1st amendment.

Of course that's not how the current 'living document' judiciary looks at things.

(And yes, I am a strict constructionist)

Sir, this is old skool. Old skool. I salute you! - Knot In The Face
[ Parent ]

Thank you, try again... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by Hizonner on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 03:29:22 PM EST

If you're going to be a strict constructionist, you should really think about strictly construing the entire document.

The First Amendment was not interpreted as applying to the states until after the Fourteenth as passed. Quoted from section one of the Fourteenth:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Although it's not absolutely open-and-shut, there is a very good argument that the Fourteenth Amendment extends the reach of the First Amendment to cover the states. Good enough that, although I do think that the courts have gone too far in stretching the Constitution in a lot of areas, I don't see this as one of them.

Not only that, but your appeal to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments is bogus. The Ninth Amendment could just as easily be interpreted as saying that the people have a right to be free from religious involvement in their government.

[ Parent ]

Umm, yes. Both religion clauses apply to states (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by Secret Coward on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 09:37:44 PM EST

What it clearly does do is prohibit the Federal government via Congress from interfering with religious practice

That's one part of the first amendment. The first amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

The free exercise clause, prohibits congress from interfering with religious practice. While the establishment clause, prohibits congress from endorsing a religion, and as I stated in the previous post, creates a wall of seperation between church and state.

...it says NOTHING about state and local governments.

So you believe the entire bill of rights applies only to the federal government?

  • So states are free to pass all the gun laws they wish (second amendment)?
  • States can require you to house national guard members during times of peace (third amendment)?
  • States are free to search your home without a warrant and seize anything they want (fourth amendment)?
  • States can bulldoze your home and build a water treatment plant without compensating you (fifth amendment)?
  • States can deny you legal representation at trial (sixth amendment)?
  • States can require all civil suits be decided by the flip of a coin (seventh amendment)?
  • States can torcher jaywalkers to death (eigth amendment)?

Lest I be mistaken, the courts have applied all but the third amendment (has it ever been tested?) to state governments. I am not aware of any time when this was not true.

[ Parent ]

The Second Ammendment... (none / 0) (#42)
by ragabr on Sun Jan 27, 2002 at 01:36:28 AM EST

has not been applied to the States, but it also hasn't been tested.

And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
[ Parent ]
Congress... (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by danb35 on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 10:41:15 AM EST

Congress shall make no law...
Strictly speaking, the First Amendment only limits Congress, and has no effect on actions by states (or cities, counties, etc.). However, the Supreme Court has held that the Fourteenth Amendment acts to limit the states from infringing on certain "fundamental rights" which include freedom of religion.

[ Parent ]
Religious or Municipal activity? (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by imrdkl on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 08:18:37 AM EST

The document in a hollow post might be subject to vandalism and/or theft. Why not use a real permanent sign? Will satan know that he is not wanted if the proclamation is hidden in a post? Perhaps the signature on paper is required for validity. If so, mustn't it be in something more meaningful than regular ink?

One wonders how they decided on this particular procedure for making their wishes known. Were the locations arbitrary, or did they follow the compass somehow?

Anyways, if this is a bona-fide religious practice, and can be established as such, then I suppose that the ACLU has a case. If not, then perhaps it's just another stupid roadside sign.

ACLU (1.00 / 2) (#45)
by krogoth on Sun Jan 27, 2002 at 02:34:44 AM EST

If the ACLU would stop people from practicing their religion, I suggest that they be stopped from practicing their atheism. They sound very intolerant.
"If you've never removed your pants and climbed into a tree to swear drunkenly at stuck-up rich kids, I highly recommend it."
[ Parent ]
Really asking for it... (3.00 / 3) (#26)
by Netsnipe on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 08:42:21 AM EST

If Satan really does exist, I hope Inglis has a budget set aside for vampire/demon slayers and exorcists! They're pretty much throwing down the gauntlet to Lucifer and just challenging him to try and get past the front door to cause some havoc in my twisted take on the situation.

Andrew 'Netsnipe' Lau
Debian GNU/Linux Maintainer & Computer Science, UNSW
What would Church Lady say? (none / 0) (#33)
by Hong Kong Phooey on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 03:25:49 PM EST

Could it be...SATAN?

This is an outrage! (none / 0) (#34)
by scanman on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 03:29:19 PM EST

This is a clear violation of the first amendment rights of people named Satan!

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

That inspirational sermon.. (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by Rand Race on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 11:24:48 PM EST

... obviously didn't include any reference to Mathew 6:5;
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
Banning satan != banning satanism (2.00 / 1) (#40)
by roju on Sat Jan 26, 2002 at 11:57:25 PM EST

I'm not sure where the problem is, but AFAIK nobody who worships the devil actually claims to be him, and so I don't see where the problem is. People who don't believe in the devil will see a meaningless law (of which there are millions). People who do believe will either see a meaningless law, or a meaningless law, depending on whether they worship God or Satan.

I mean, and I don't claim to be a Bible scholar, but God pretty much states that Satan is running amok causing trouble, and so the law is unlikely to stop him, rather it's up to individuals to not fall prey to the devil's tricks.

So really, as far as I can see, the law doesn't really infringe any rights.

rights (none / 0) (#49)
by martman on Wed Jan 30, 2002 at 11:56:01 PM EST

It's probably not infringing rights, but you can see why it might be offensive to some. Imagine a similar bylaw banning the presence of God. Now remember that some people worship Satan, and their right to do so is protected. Legislation shouldn't be biased against particular religious groups, after all.

"Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes."
--P. J. O'Rourke

[ Parent ]
LOL (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by wji on Sun Jan 27, 2002 at 12:10:45 AM EST

I'm not sure what's more hilarious, a town council passing an anti-Satan bylaw or the ACLU getting upset about this. Sure, they're right -- but jesus, people, get your priorities straight.

Whoops... did I just say the J-word?? I guess if K5 were funded by the government, the ACLU would be after Rusty ;)

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

Not sure I see the problem.. (none / 0) (#46)
by kitten on Sun Jan 27, 2002 at 05:53:39 AM EST

..with the ACLU, anyway.

Looks to me like a clear-cut, if silly case, of a government attempting to legislate religion, which is clearly forbidden by the Constitution.

If the ACLU only wants to make the mayor look like an idiot by drawing national attention to this blatant religious-driven stupidity, I say, fine.

Although I do have to wonder exactly what the mayor intended to do about it if Satan ignored the law and went into the town anyway. Cuff him? Read him his rights? Throw him into county jail for a night? Maybe rough him up a bit in the interrogation room?

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
This is great... (4.00 / 1) (#47)
by lucius on Sun Jan 27, 2002 at 05:17:13 PM EST

if only for allowing someone to actually be the devils advocate.

Seperation of Church and State... (none / 0) (#50)
by Allusion on Thu Jan 31, 2002 at 12:39:17 PM EST

While I agree that the matter at hand appears rather trivial, I fully support the ACLU stepping in now, rather then when someone decides to push religious legislation further. I personally think that religious zealots are dangerous enough without having the law enforcement systems of the US on their side. Not that I think it would come into play in this scenario, but it would be an unnesecary crack in the wall so to speak. It seems like a silly situation to me, but truly religious people take these matters very seriously. And who knows, maybe they'll accuse someone they don't like of "harboring satan" or somesuch and try to take legal action, I wouldn't put it past them.

AIM: Allusion420
ICQ: 61966358
The ACLU really does represent Satan | 50 comments (49 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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