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Baby Jesus gets a spot in the State House

State House officials at first banned the Nativity display inside the building because, you know, Separation of Church and State, but then a state rep threatened to unleash holy hell in the form of a lawsuit because Jesus rules, separation drools, and, of course, the baby Jesus won, at least for three hours tomorrow, the Herald reports.

Atheists reply. Large Baphomet statue, noodly appendages or simple aluminum pole, anyone?

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We need a cat goddess to remove the infant and take over the manger.

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Not that manger.

Thanks for keeping it real, my anon friend.

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The Great and General Court has decreed the Tabby Cat to be the official cat of the Commonwealth.

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleI/Chapter2/Section30

I think that lovely manger-occupying church moggy will do, in that case.

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that was in a previous post, and get him to stand in the hall.

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Separation of church and state has to do with religious institutions influencing government, not a F'n nativity display. Be more of a liberal, you can't.

In god we trust, god bless America, one nation under god!

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Separation of church and state prohibits the government from officially recognizing one particular religion over another (Google "establishment clause"), and a case could be made that allowing a Nativity scene in a public space in the State House is, in fact, recognizing a particular religion.

"But what about the Nativity scene on the Common?" you whine. Good observation, bucko. Courts have often held that if a particular public space is open to ALL religions, then the state is not recognizing any particular religion. So there's always a menorah on the Common, too. By letting the baby Jesus snooze in the Great Hall, the state is essentially inviting the Satanists, the Flying Spaghetti Monsterists, the Costanzaists and, yes, the Jews, the Moslems, etc., etc, to put their sacred symbols in that space as well. Good thing that's a big space they got there.

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the correct nomenclature is Pastafarian. Now my religious rights are being repressed. Get me a colander!

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Good thing I'm not taking a world-religions class.

But, yes, the state would have to open the Great Hall to whatever sacred symbol you choose, since the state has recognized Pastafarianism as a religion.

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he's no jedi.

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A Festivus pole in the State House would be awesome. And let the airing of the grievances commence!

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If you allowed airing of grievances at the state house, nothing would get done. Everybody would be standing in the first line to air their grievances and then getting in a second line for feats of strength.

Charlie looks like a pretty big guy - not sure I'd want to take him on!

Granted - since November 8th it's been a pretty solid line of airing of grievances at the state house.

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n/t

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No, his constitutional reading was correct. And yours was willfully perverse. The term 'established religion' had a very specific meaning, that did not include 'everything having to do with religion.' Presidents and members of Congress and the Judiciary are not required to be Christians of any denomination. You don't have to be a Christian to vote, or to get a job teaching at a university. Nor do you have to be a Christian to attend a university. All those things were required under the 'established' British church.

The entire basis for your understanding of this matter seems to be 'I don't like it.' I'd be ashamed to have people know I was such a dick.

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I mean, you're not, not in this case, but I'll take your self awareness as a complement.

See http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/establishment-clause - which talks about the sort of all-or-nothing issue.

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It's almost like a whole lotta people, including many who wear robes for their jobs, fundamentally say otherwise? And that their opinion matters, as opposed to your Trumpish fever-dreams?

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Who wear robes for their jobs...? What? Who's the alt-right logged in anonymous troll now? I enjoy seeing the manger and the menorah on the Common since they are traditional winter holiday symbols celebrated by many. Personally, however, I prefer Santa, reindeers, snowflakes and elves: they're more inclusive. I guess that makes me a libtard in your eyes? Peace out.

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But courtrooms are open to the public (it's even in the Constitution!); they're interesting places to visit.

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Your stated belief in what is Constitutional via the "Establishment Clause" is your opinion, but it is not correct as far as the law. Many judges, you know, who wear robes, have stated otherwise for a long time. It's pretty much settled law.

You can have your feelings and opinions, but the fact remains that if the government decides to allow a religious group, even one that is the largest in the country, to put up something pertaining to their religion, the state then has to allow EVERY religion to do so.

Or they can choose to simply not allow anything like that to avoid the issue.

This is different from what you first stated above about what the Establishment Clause means. Your statement was incorrect.

How's that? Better?

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I enjoy seeing the manger and the menorah on the Common since they are traditional winter holiday symbols celebrated by many.

This isn't about you or what you enjoy.

It is about our laws, what they say, and how our system of laws is interpreted.

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You know those religious slogans (including addition to the Pledge) are pretty modern, introduced to try to assert a kind of theocracy?

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Luckily we aren't "one nation under god"(a bullshit phrase added to the creepy pledge of allegiance in 1954). This isn't a theocracy no matter how hard republicans try to shove their backwards views down other's throats.

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Your God/Invisible Sky Wizard is

A) Not Real
B) Not an Official Religion© of the United States of America
C) Not any better than any other Non Official of the USA or anyone else's Invisible Sky Wizard

Until you are more than willing to have your child or self participate in some group readings from the Torah or facing a cardinal direction to pray a few times a day with the rest of the classroom or your peers, keep your God out of my public spaces. I don't want your preference where my tax dollars are used.

Try being a little more of an American Patriot like the rest of us, and embrace all the people and religions in our Great Country.

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Why do people feel the need to put religious symbols in public places? I'm a member of a non-Christian religion. I feel no need to see symbols of my holidays on government land any time of year.

If you believe in a religion, decorate your home and lawn to celebrate it and share the spirit of the season as you see it. But there's no reason the government should endorse a particular religion and spend our tax money on celebrating it. If you want to live in a country that endorses Christianity, you can move to one of the many European countries that have state religions of various denominations.

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Why is anyone a bully? Insecurity that people will discover just how flimsy and stupid their 'power' really is. Of course, it makes total sense that the baby jesus myth, only mentioned in one book in the bible written hundreds of years after the fact, and largely overshadowed by seasonal pegan traditions, would need the constant reenforcement of the government to perpetuate.

Maybe we should include everyone marking their doors in lambs blood as a reminder that the more historical biblical time was marked by a petty, baby killing, tyrant. Let's see how eager the State House is to associate with that.

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Depending on airspace rules, just have the Baby Jesus suspended by some fishing line from a drone 100' overhead.

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In the Apostolical times the Feast of the Nativity was not observed....It can never be proved that Christ was born on December 25....The New Testament allows of no stated Holy-Day but the Lords-day...It was in compliance with the Pagan saturnalia that Christmas Holy-dayes were first invented. The manner of Christmas-keeping, as generally observed, is highly dishonorable to the name of Christ.

Increase Mather, 1687. Boston, Massachusetts.

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Ask one of the Jehovah's Witness proselytizers stationed on city streets with their literature carts what they think of celebrating Christmas.

They aren't the only ones who would object to this display, either.

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As much as door-knocking Jehovah's Witnesses might irritate us at time, they have been instrumental in ensuring many of our civil liberties by their willingness to go to court to protect them.

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From my interactions with the JW crew, I don't think they'd care either way. As long as they can continue believing what they believe with interference from the government, they seem content.

The irony for me is that those whose faith is threatened by things like a nativity scene at the State House find faith something that is bad, while those who have sincere religious beliefs are secure enough in their beliefs that a crèche, menorah, or whatever is okay for them.

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All those lawsuits where JWs have asked for manger scenes to be removed, to not be forced to worship the flag, etc.

Even during WWII, they won their lawsuits.

You simply haven't met or lived with any. For starters, the manger being in the statehouse means that they cannot visit their because it would violate their faith.

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Probably don't want to get advice on Jesus from the guy who administered the Salem witch trials. Just sayin - he might have misread a few parts in the new testament.

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There are those that say that "shepherds watching their flocks by night" strongly indicate that this was during lambing season, which is not in December. But you believe as you wish, the date really doesn't matter - the establishment clause does.

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I was more commenting on the fact that quoting him wasn't the best example, and that he might not be the best person to listen to for not celebrating Christmas at all. I think its quite obvious that the historically the date is completely wrong, as it magically coincides with the existing Roman/Pagan holidays. But, in a religious sense, the actual date doesn't mater - since no one knows what that would be, it was the date chosen to be representative of it. Just Genesis and other biblical stories are not to be taken literally.

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They were told it was banned, but then the point was made, "Hey what about the menorah lighting?"

It's an all or nothing thing as I understand it. Either you allow all religious displays or none. There can't be picking and choosing.

What I'm not understanding is why is this all coming to a head now. Is the menorah lighting a recently introduced thing?

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You raise a good point. Although the menorah is hardly as integral to Judaism as the Nativity (Hanukah being more akin to July 4th than Christmas), it's still a religious symbol. So when do we see a Baphomet statue?

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I'd settle for:

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/79/Festivus_Pole.jpg/120px-Festivus_Pole.jpg)

It is the holiday for the rest of us.

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IMAGE(http://vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/leadbaph.jpg)
Just look at those sweet little children.

It's really great of Rep. James J. Lyons to make Baphomet's display in the State House possible.

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and was basically a sop to prove "Hey, we don't discriminate" and make the tree legit. I, for one, would be perfectly happy to get rid of the menorah lighting and all other religious displays at the state house. Have some pretty lights to brighten up the dark winter evenings and leave it at that.

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...be open and celebrate everything. I am a liberal(thats such a bad word these days) but if baby Jesus wants to chill in the State House, Im all for it(I went to Catholic school forever). But if Jews, Muslims, and whatever wants to put up things to celebrate their thing, thats cool too. Separation of Church and State has gone too far. Lets celebrate this melting pot of this country and the Commonwealth. The more exclusionary we get, the less we are adhering to the "freedom", ahem, that we supposedly have. The ACLU et al, do have a place in the system of checks and balances but when statues are a basis for bitching, their credibility goes out the window. Lets pick our battles.

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Separation of church and state, as explained above, doesn't mean no religion necessarily, but it does mean that you either let no religions celebrate themselves in public places or you let them all do it. Where the right constantly trips itself up is in thinking America is officially a Christian nation when, in fact, it officially isn't.

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A bunch of people in arabic robes and head gear show up and crowd the manger area carrying metal boxes of fragrant waxy, jelly or creamy portions of dubious origin.

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Do they come in 3 oz or less? And have them brought them in a quart sized baggie?

Oh - don't forget they showed up late. Like 12 days late.

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...it is never too late for waxy, creamy or jelly potions. Especially around January 6.

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Salem is the witch capitol of New England with displays of witchcraft during the month of October on town and state property. The Governor even signed a proclamation appointing Laurie Cabot as the Official State Witch and the police and fire department patches have witch symbols on the uniforms. How come the religion of Wiccan is free from controversy in the state of Mass but a Nativity scene brings out the lawyers threatening lawsuits.

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You do understand tourism and Salem and the witch connection, correct?

And then read Adam's posts and links for further explanation in response to your last sentence.

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The Witch Trials were part of Salem's history.

Wicca is not the same as the witch trials.

If you right wing nut jobs spent nearly as much time learning critical thinking skills and using your imagination for something other than vacuous argument conflations, the world would be a far better place.

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I support the Nativity scene as an historical event of the birth of the greatest revolutionary hero of all time Jesus Christ. He was the unemployed son of two asylum seekers and became a leader in the following movements.
1) He was a class warrior who believed in redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor
2) Long before Liz Warren Jesus bashed the bankers and drove them from the temple which became a blueprint for direct action against the financial and political elite.
3) Please read Matthew 20:1-16 and see how Jesus was the first fair wage campaigner.
4) He preached and cured the poor of terrible afflictions without asking for any money long before Obamacare.
5) Jesus was an anti-war activist and preached peace and equality and for the above actions he was tried in a kangaroo court and crucified. As a left wing Bernie Sanders supporter I see the birth of Jesus as the greatest historical event the left should support and embrace not mock.

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Get ready for the Airing of Grievances!

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seems more well thought out than the one belonging to our State House officials.

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