Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Freddy's Letter

Anybody guess which paper and subject my most recent letter to the editor was about? Published today in the Times- Standard:

I appreciate Brad Meiners' suggestion of replacing invocation at city council meetings with a moment of silence (”Alternatives exist to civic invocations,” Times-Standard, Feb. 17, Page A4). Invocations are annoying and unnecessary, but why bother replacing them with anything? 

Government meetings should consist of government business and that's it. There's no need for a moment of silence or anything else. Take care of government business, then people can go home and pray or be silent to their heart's content. 

Addendum:I should make it clear that invocation at city council meetings and the Mayor's prayer breakfasts are two different issues. I believe the Mayor should be able to hold prayer breakfasts whenever he chooses, so long as it's not on government time or the taxpayer's dime.


At 11:11 AM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

First, I believe in America, not so much the "real" America, but the ideal America that we all wish for, so I like the idea of a pledge for a reminder of what we should be.

I am totally a "non believer" in religion, but as someone who has conducted many meetings, I can assure you that starting a meeting with a pledge and a prayer is the fastest way to get the message across that it is time to focus on the business at hand. It distracts people from their little conversations that they seem to persist in if not interrupted.

Having done meetings both ways, I can assure you a prayer is the fastest way to start a meeting. Possibly pray for people to shut up and participate in the meeting might be a good idea.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of justice" says,

Separation of Church and State should be in totality. "God" is a word that is based upon "Church and religions and beliefs". Using the word "God" is taking a position on behalf of "Church, religion and beliefs". HOJ opposes all connections and references of "God" with any function of AMericanized Government. Whenever the Pledge of Allegiance is participated in, HOJ automatically "Mutes the word God". It must piss-off some people because those who here HOJ "stop briefly with the muting of the word God", turn and look at HOJ. Too that, HOJ is very happy to have garnered their attention to such detail.

HOJ believes that people who act in the capacity of "public officials and employees" who use the word "God" obviously don't pledge an allegiance to the separation of "Church and State", thereby proving they don't believe in the very things they supposedly are doing there jobs for. This is a problem America has inherited because history has a long list of public official and employees who show by action that the Constitution should be something to not put real effort in. Americans are looped, partly because of the immigration imports who learn the values of their home country, import those values here in America, which erodes any values Americans have left that corresponds to historical American events that created this country. Not saying that the U.S. Constitution is perfect, but obviously the unammended portions are all but walked all over on a daily basis by those who choose to interpret their own way of doing things, especially at the local level where the insiders control so much. HOJ does, at times, refer to God with a middle finger, flipped-up at the sky telling God to go "f" himself or herself or whatever the "f" God is, if anything. Maybe, during the Pledges now, just to counter the weasels who use "church in state settings", HOJ will mute the word "God" while flipping the bird up into the sky? Being offensive to ding bats is funs. - HOJ

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ernie. Religion is the great pacifier, a great way to control people... be it for financial gain, or in Ernie's example, getting people to shut up and start a meeting. Let's throw out one of the defining freedoms of our country and just be a theocracy. It will be more efficient for administrative purposes.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Interesting way to look at it. I wasn't aware until reading Carole Beaton's oped in the Times- Standard this morning that they hadn't been doing any sort of invocation for at least a couple years until Frank Jager became Mayor. He apparently started them up again.

Can any regular city council attendees tell us if the meetings run better now with invocation than they did without?

I certainly can't think of any difference in decision making coming from the city council, with or without invocations. And, truth be told, I'm sure more time is wasted by off- topic or irrelevant chat by meeting attendees or even council critters themselves than through invocations.

But I see invocation as an annoyance and waste of time. Time wasted though normal comments and discussion at the meetings is just the reality of city council meetings. You have to put up with that. We don't have to put up with invocations.

At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of Justice" says,

You nailed it Fred. The city council wastes more time with their stupid, off topic discussions and jibber jabber, their supposedly funny/joking remarks, etc... then, of course, when they don't follow procedures because they are confused, well, that takes more time too.

When Mayor Jagr decides to remark with a sort of arrogant response to the lawsuit, it kinda is telling that Jagr is not only "full-of-it", but must mock a real concern, even though he gets all defensive when his leadership is mocked on the "separation of Church and State" issue.

Ya gotta know that the religious reichs of our community just love the debate on invocations, as if someone is looking out for their interests, even though they are not supposed to have any interest because "church and state" are to be separate. Maybe it is all about recruitment since society is a bit "dumbed-down" on the whole separation of church and state.

Hmm, wondering if a person could get kicked out of a meeting for flipping the bird up into the air in front of all the pro-God people in attendence, including the council members who have false beliefs, but pander it as much as possible.

Last time in court, when someone was being sworn in as a witness, no "God reference" was used. I commended Judge Watson/ the trier of fact for that. If Watson can not have his court reference "God", then what stick is up Jagr's ass? - HOJ

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

If Watson can not have his court reference "God", then what stick is up Jagr's ass? -.

I suspect that is Watson's choice. I've heard any number of other people including the president reference God regularly. Seems to me just about every president says "God bless America" at the end of their state of the union speech.

Also, when the president is sworn in they traditionally do it using a bible. I believe Obama used the old Lincoln bible so that's been a tradition for at least a century or more.

Not trying to argue God should be part of the political process. Just that it was never intended to be completely out of it.

My argument against invocation is one of pragmatism, or so I'd like to think.

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One nation under God..."

Recognition that earthly governments remain in their rightful place, below the Creator and not interfering with each creatures unalienable rights which are granted by the Creator.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of Justice" says,

Fred says,

Not trying to argue God should be part of the political process. Just that it was never intended to be completely out of it.

Maybe the forefathers were relaying saying God is so almighty, that no church, religion or belief is good enough because they never lead to a single source? Anyhow, judges seem different than presidents, confined to a stricter set of rules now because in years past, courts would have eyewitnesses put their hand on the bible and swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Maybe courts are really admitting that justice is not truth, but how best attorneys can bull-shit their way to a winning argument. - HOJ

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of Justice" says,

Anonymous, God is still a belief no less, which makes it such that mankind has labeled religions and church to it. How things were created (by a creator?) is not known well enough to label the word "God" to it as if some source tangible to a non-living entity, which for whatever reason, needed nothing to be created itself.

Question: Who or what created God? Or, What created that which created the universe as mankind knows the universe to partly be? The Big Bang theory derives from an idea that "something" created that which caused the material in the Big Bang Theory. To say that a single source created everything, but that single source has no "record" of what had created it is unbelieveable. Faith is used to keep enough disciples of faith "in check" while mortal men and women play their cheating, thieving, raping, murdering, extortion, racketeering, etc... conspiracies here on palnet earth, using faith, religion, churchs and beliefs as a means to deceive people into saying,just let it go for God will punish them after they die. So, it seems, many victims on Earth let their abusers "off-the-hook" in their earthly life for some cocka mayme belief that God and the Devil (remember the Devil, but where is Jesus?) will do justice in the "after-life". All this is is a ruse by those men and women in power to get away moreso with the abuses they undertake, knowing that faithers will not even fight the abuse because they figure some higher entity will deal with it later.

Sorry, but these "later justice faithers" ALLOW the abuses to continue, kinda like a raped woman who "refuses to report the rape and actively help to seek immediate justice", thereby perpetuating the rapist to rape again and again and again. People who depend upon after-life justice are a real problem on this planet because again, they allow others to be abused, directly and indirectly. This is what even GOVERNMENT DEPENDS UPON! - HOJ


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