Slippery Slope?

This week, the United States Supreme Court ruled on a case that potentially changes the way we will view the separation of church and state going forward. The case of Carson v. Makin revolves around a state of Maine program that allows students to use public funds for their secondary education at the school of their choice if their rural district has not made other arrangements for their public education. There are several districts in Maine that do not have secondary schools because the population would not support a school of their own. Until this week, those funds were limited to nonsectarian schools only. Two families sued, arguing that this was a form of religious discrimination and a violation of the free exercise clause of the Constitution. In a 6-3 decision, the court agreed, finding that the state did not have to allow public funds to be used for private education but that once they did, they could not withhold those funds from religious schools.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11858
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I saw this ruling and agree, that we should be deeply concerned about it.

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i see some of the SCOTUS rulings of this past week - the right to carry concealed weapons for defense, the elimination of the privacy right of abortion, and the granting of the right to public funds to pursue a christian education - as incremental steps towards sunday laws and the mark of the beast…in some ways these rights, or their elimination, seem contradictory…but they do have the collective effect of overturning sometimes longstanding precedent and common sense intuition that have effectively stood in the way of adventist prophecy being fulfilled…what’s more, with the exception of the gun rights ruling, they seem to facilitate the normalizing of religious concepts or even tenets into the legal framework…certainly the fixation on enumerated rights in the constitution is a short distance from the view that the religious assumptions of the founding fathers must not only be factored into current decisions, but be held preeminent…

but i’m not particularly alarmed…i almost expect these changes…in fact part of me wants them to occur so that the end of the world can transpire in my lifetime (i have my doubts)…i would love to be a recipient of the latter rain and survive the seven last plagues falling all around me…i would love to see christ in the clouds, and ascend into heaven without succumbing to death, or especially the possibility of death…the prospect of what i’ve known since cradle roll actually happening in real time is strangely exciting…

I think you overemphasize the problem here. if the government will fund all, then there is no discrimination. And the Satanists should be allowed to receive support as well. I don’t have a problem with that.

And the way the Public school system has become a means of indoctrination for a certain viewpoint to the exclusion of others, I think this ruling is even more necessary. It gives all a chance, and puts some pressure on the public system to do better work. The inner cities particularly may benefit.

This is the the real issue. Who pays the piper calls the tune. At the moment, there is little interference, but it may arise. As a missionary in Zambia, I saw the government call some shots at the Adventist High School, the only one in the country, but considered a prestigious school. The government required the school to change some polices. the church was given the choice, comply or we take over. Sone sort of compromise was made, but perhaps a slippery slope was developed.

I think it is doing better now, but I do not know all the ins and outs. To become dependent on the government usually means they will interfere.

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If I had a nickel for all the things I “knew” as an SDA cradle roller that weren’t so, my net worth would equal that of EGW’s Estate.

I also wouldn’t have been such an arrogant little kid if I could have unlearned all that stuff; wouldn’t have gone around childishly telling my public school peers I “knew” how things were going to down for the next few years, and assuring most them that most weren’t going to graduate high school.

Instead I “knew” they’d be burnt to a crisp in The Lake of God’s Love before the end of The Wicked Sixties because they’d been marked by The Beast and had been going to church on the wrong day of the week.

Ironically, it’s clear from EGW’s early writings that she didn’t harbor any doubts about the timing of the 2nd coming and that she “knew” until much later in life-and long after her visions had slowed to a trickle-that she and her contemporaries would not experience physical death.

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I spent ten months working in a sawmill In Ivory Coast back in the late 70’s and based on my experience with the people there, I have a hard time believing that anyone would admit to baptizing a certain percentage of them into the SDA church.

Not because they were savages or uncivilized-instead I found them to be the most sensitive and genuine people I’ve met before or since.

My issue is that many of them are unsophisticated theologically, have little or no training in reasonable skepticism and have almost no idea what they’re buying into when they agree to Adventism’s Articles of Faith.

In fact, I suspect one reason some of them have no issues with the nature of EGW’s “inspiration” is that they are familiar with the practices of shamanism, spiritualists and animism which makes them see acceptance of EGW’s visions as simply “more of the same”.

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it’s a difficult question because the cost of private education now usually means help of some kind for most people…while i agree there is the potential for interference from government where they’ve provided funding, the larger issue is that government derives funding from the taxes that people pay, including those who send their kids to private schools…there is also the fact that many government positions are filled through votes from the full spectrum of the public…it isn’t as if the government is a grand benefactor detached from what all citizens are contributing…

i think the real question has always been whether religious viewpoints have a right to public funds they are required to contribute to…it may be that the issue of government interference is a separate issue that needs to be resolved through specific legislation…it seems reasonable to expect that government can fulfill a needed regulatory role that doesn’t infringe on specific, enumerated religious beliefs…

Haven’t changed much? Still telling those you disagree with that they, well, are ignorant and wouldn’t graduate…

“Reasonable skepticism”? As I recall, Paul noted that God would destroy the wisdom of he wise and the intelligence of the intelligent he would frustrate. So, they have moved on to something better than even reasonable skepticism. I found some understood the deep things. of God. Good for them.

No.

You’re right.

You haven’t changed much.

Still trying to put words in people’s mouths and create straw men which you can try to burn in effigy.

Particularly amusing when you promised not to respond to my comments anymore.

BTW, here’s a real missionary horror story. She was a “doctor” who had somehow managed to get through medical school “in her home country” but going into her forties, she hadn’t been able to pass the examinations required to practice legally in the US. He had dropped out of high school to join the marines and tried all sorts of work after that but still hadn’t found anything that suited him all that well, even going into his 60’s. Her mom was loaded, though, so they decided to become “self” supported servants of the lord, playing SDA doctor and dentist for several years in Ethiopia. For credentials as a physician, she used her diploma written in the language of a Russian Bloc nation that no one could interpret and when the local governmental officials challenged him to prove he was a legitimate dentist, he produced a Shell Gasoline Credit Card which he applied for under his name but with the letters “DDS” embossed in the plastic. Not sure how many stars their heavenly crowns will have for their efforts, though, particularly since they were operating entirely under false pretenses, fueled only by her family’s money and the fumes of “good intentions”!

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Seems like Paul’s “take” on Jesus’ gospel would be bad news for someone like yourself who thinks he’s at least kinda clever.

But then again you haven’t claimed to have any real intelligence or enlightened wisdom of your own, right? Otherwise, your jealous, narcissistic god would undoubtedly snatch both away from you and keep them for himself.

Me?

I have no more use for Paul’s comments on Jesus’ philosophy than I do for EGW’s “inspired” but ambiguous accusations that god was forced to flood the earth with water because our antediluvian ancestors had been committing the unconscionable sin of “amalgamating” with animals.

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I think I just quoted you…

I apologize, a senior moment. Perhaps I can make this my last.

Interesting story. I don’t know about the stars, and they may have done much harm, or much good, knowing what conditions were in Africa. Though she did not pass the test, she may have retained knowledge to help those whom others were not interested in helping. Hard to judge. Dentistry in Africa was mostly pulling teeth, probably an act requiring the least skill. Again, not to downplay the harm. But they may have done good for the people.

I heard while there, that the Africans felt most missionaries came because they could not make it in America, even the ones with all the credentials. Every good deed is punished…

Well, kinda at best… The repartee on sites like this can feed the ego, but of course you can get blasted from the sky as well. There is always that risk. I don’t post so much as I used to, most all has been said.

I don’t get that amalgamation was the big issue, scripture says the earth was full of violence. Perhaps torture, human trafficking, rape, murder and slavery etc. were the real issues.

You know, EGW wrote little on amalgamation, perhaps a few passages, while writing gobs on love, faith and commitment etc. So, I have not found concentrating on the amalgamation passages helpful, not to deny they exist. But a positive approach has been of great benefit to me. Just my take.

Bless you, and I will try to keep my promise this time.

My take on EGW is that one could insist on a similarly positive approach to the writings of The Marque de Sade or Kim Jung Ils’ grandfather while a majority of the rest of the world still see that the negatives effects of their work far outweigh whatever benefits might be achieved.

Funny, too, that your generally positive feelings toward her do not extend to the supposedly stale comments in this forum which you have prejudiciously deemed to be ego-driven and essentially uninispired. But then again, perhaps you were only referring to your own remarks and admitting that in your dotage, you have nothing new to add to the conversation.

Or maybe not.

But in either any case, Spectrum says I’ve said enough, so……