🔥 Modest Proposal for a Brand New First Amendment



  • I'm in a really dour mood tonight after yet another person suggests that the ■■■■■■■ First Amendment is the whole problem with this country. (I won't bother with a link, these objections being legion these days.)

    Instead, I've decided to propose a Modest Nw First Amendment that will, no doubt, address everyone's desires, concerns and frustrations:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a non-Christian religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of any Christian religion. There being some disagreement on this point, the following churches are hereby certified as Christian for the purposes of this Amendment: Seventh Day Baptist, the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Unification Church.

    Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, unless it is content that no right-thinking person would express, such as: a national secret, something that a reasonable person could possibly think to be a national secret, speech expressing hate (except hate related to LGBT, race or gender, which some people insist the government should protect), involves the embarrassment of a government official, exposes any politician—or lawyer—to being despised; denigrates a corporation, exposes a corporate crime (same as denigration), is a heresy of any Christian religion as defined above, casts Israel or Jews in a bad light (or a good light—in fact, better just not mention these), is a Mother Goose rhyme (these being presumed to be all of the preceding) or is put on the web (everything therein hereby being redefined to be a Mother Goose rhyme).

    Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble near Mule Creek Junction, Wyoming (out of sight of the U.S. highways). Anyplace else, abridge at whim.

    Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances; unless the government is faultless and infallible, from whence there shall be no petition and no redress.

    No need to reply; I'm just feeling the need to spout.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    yet another person suggests that the ■■■■■■■ First Amendment is the whole problem with this country

    I'd say the First Amendment is the whole point of the U.S.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    Lol.


  • Dupa

    Or maybe the original meaning of First Ammendment could be the solution: "congress shall make no law". Congress, because censorship should be done on the level of the state law and not the federal level.

    (First Ammendment was supposed to be created because Founding FarmersFathers were afraid that the states would not want to partake in this while constitution thing if they were afraid that congress could enforce their own censorship laws. At least that's what she said.)



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    No need to reply

    Because you're full of shit. Shit being, false dilemmas.

    I see it's your list of what someone is guilty of if they don't agree with you.



  • In light of recent developments, I believe this can be shortened to:

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Congress shall make no law



  • @Bort said:

    I'd say the First Amendment is the whole point of the U.S.

    It's not the whole point, but there is a reason why it is the First Amendment. (A lot of the framers wanted it included in the original document.)

    But it is truly astounding the number of "upstanding" U. S. citizens who resent it, who have no conception of it as a guiding principle of their lives. Evelyn Beatrice Hall understood it when she wrote, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." The people I'm talking about despise that; their watchword is, "Shut the ■■■■ up or I will shut you up." There's a lot of ways of doing that, of course, threats, intimidation, personal abuse, or legal action (copyright claims, running to the moderators, SLAPP suits) among others. It's particularly pernicious when these people frame it as a frustrating impediment to proper governance: "The government could shut these x nuts up, if only it weren't for the First Amendment."

    If the First Amendment is the American way then these people hate the American way, though they would deny that.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Bort said:

    @CoyneTheDup said:
    yet another person suggests that the ■■■■■■■ First Amendment is the whole problem with this country

    I'd say the First Amendment is the whole point of the U.S.

    So, you're saying that U.S. is the whole problem with U.S.?

    I can't say I disagree.

    :trolleybus:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    the following churches are hereby certified as Christian for the purposes of this Amendment: Seventh Day Baptist, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Unification Church.

    That's some prime trolling.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @kt_ said:

    Or maybe the original meaning of First Ammendment could be the solution: "congress shall make no law".

    Thanks to the 14th Amendment, that ship has sailed; most of the Bill of Rights also applies to the state governments.



  • @Onyx said:

    So, you're saying that U.S. is the whole problem with U.S.?

    It's possible that the country is fundamentally flawed. It started as a dubious experiment, after all. Who would've thought it would last this long?



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    these people

    1. Ironically, they also have free speech. Allowing them to say "the government could... if only it weren't..."
    2. All your examples seem to target a particular group, when the full spectrum of political ideologies have members that have participated in the desire to censor others.
    3. Of course you then anonymise it when faced with criticism.


  • @FrostCat said:

    That's some prime trolling.

    In line with the rest of the piece, it's heavy satire. There have been many people who have argued that the word "Christian" should be in the First Amendment (or expressed frustration that the Founders left the word out). But the problem with that is: who defines what a "Christian" is? Inevitably, it will be the most popular faiths, and the doctrine of those, that win the decision

    But the goal of the satire isn't for you to gloss over and say, "Gee, that's a good idea," the idea of satire is to make you think, "Gee, that would suck, wouldn't it?" So, of course, I chose faiths that are Christian...but most likely not the Christian you are comfortable with.

    And if "Christian" were actually inserted into the First Amendment, that's what we would wind up with: a Christianity defined by a congressional committee that no one would be comfortable with. "So, gee, wouldn't that suck?"

    @xaade said:

    All your examples seem to target a particular group, when the full spectrum of political ideologies have members that have participated in the desire to censor others.

    It's satire. I didn't put extraordinary effort into it to stomp on everyone's sacred cow...just those most prominent.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    In line with the rest of the piece, it's heavy satire.

    You don't say. Wait, let me put on my shocked face.

    I just thought the three churches you chose were funny.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    who defines what a "Christian" is

    Ha. There's a fairly obvious definition.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    I chose faiths that are Christian...but most likely not the Christian you are comfortable with.

    You happened to pick the wrong person to say that too. :smile: I think the various seventh-day/Adventist churches are fairly silly but harmless, I understand Catholic doctrine considers Mormonism to not really be compatible with what it considers mainstream Christianity, and I'm too lazy to look up the third church.



  • @FrostCat said:

    You happened to pick the wrong person to say that too. :smile: I think the various seventh-day/Adventist churches are fairly silly but harmless, I understand Catholic doctrine considers Mormonism to not really be compatible with what it considers mainstream Christianity, and I'm too lazy to look up the third church.

    It's interesting that you would say that. One thing I'm pretty sure of...but didn't try to look up...is that every nation that regulates its religion also regulates the day of worship. Of course, if this were a "Christian" nation as defined by the First Amendment that would likely be Sunday...which would kind of leave out the seventh-day churches out, wouldn't it?

    To get a feel, imagine that the day of worship was declared to be Saturday, because Seventh Day Baptist (which is why I chose that entry) and worship on Sunday was prohibited by law...how would that make you feel?

    No, the framer who wrote the First Amendment, probably Jefferson, was pretty sharp. By omitting "Christian" he didn't allow Congress to decide doctrine or the Supreme Court to argue over which doctrine is "correct." They have more than enough latitude for idiocy with just the word "religion".


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    how would that make you feel?

    I get the feeling you seem to still think I've never considered this kind of thing before.



  • @FrostCat said:

    I get the feeling you seem to still think I've never considered this kind of thing before.

    Well, maybe I got the wrong impression. If so, sorry.

    But you did start out by mentioning something about trolling...which isn't what satire is about.

    Addendum: and by the way, if you've thought about it, there's goodly number who haven't. Those would be the people who think it would be a good idea to add the word "Christian" to the First Amendment. At best, these people are incapable of thinking through the consequences; at worst they're the "thou shalt worship" type. Neither strikes me as the kind we want rewriting the First Amendment.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    just those most prominent.

    You picked one group specifically.

    I mean, if you want to be ambiguous, you at least pick something from the other 50%.

    You've got to be kidding me.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    is that every nation that regulates its religion also regulates the day of worship

    The decision to reduce the workweek from six to five days had originally been made in 1922. According to an article published in The New York Times that March, Edsel Ford, Henry’s son and the company’s president, explained that “Every man needs more than one day a week for rest and recreation….The Ford Company always has sought to promote [an] ideal home life for its employees. We believe that in order to live properly every man should have more time to spend with his family.”

    That doesn't seem regulated, but rather a competitive move.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    By omitting "Christian" he didn't allow Congress to decide doctrine or the Supreme Court to argue over which doctrine is "correct."

    Are you kidding me?

    As many as half of those guys were deists...

    The whole thing was an exercise to make government areligious, specifically to avoid power struggle between Roman Catholic church and government.

    It doesn't mean a teacher can't pray on campus whenever they want, they just can't force students to pray with them. And sorry, the liberal concept of "comfort" in the presence of someone practicing religion on public property is stupid ridiculous. What's next, suing people for praying on a public sidewalk?

    Establishing a religion is like what they did in China, where they made everyone do a specific march-dance in honor of Chairman Mao every day 3 times a day. If that ain't an established religion, not sure what is.


  • :belt_onion:

    @xaade said:

    It doesn't mean a teacher can't pray on campus whenever they want, they just can't force students to pray with them. And sorry, the liberal concept of "comfort" in the presence of someone practicing religion on public property is stupid ridiculous. What's next, suing people for praying on a public sidewalk?

    Here we go again... where in the bloody hell did you pull that out of the discussion.

    Nobody here ever saw otherwise. Give your shoulder aliens a cookie, they are doing a good job.


    Filed under: Somebody remind me, why don't I mute these threads by default?



  • @Onyx said:

    Here we go again... where in the bloody hell did you pull that out of the discussion.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    prohibiting the free exercise of any Christian religion

    Fucking bullshit.

    FFR is on a warpath against any publicly viewable display of exercise of religion, mostly targeting Christians. And they've even targeted a student led session, in an unused classroom, during freetime.

    So, yeah, I'm going to call him out on his, "Christians don't get persecuted" bullshit.


  • :belt_onion:

    @xaade said:

    So, yeah, I'm going to call him out on his, "Christians don't get persecuted" bullshit.

    Dude, shoulder aliens. FFRF is a non-profit, not a government organization. The OP was about people wanting to codify religion into the law. See the difference?

    You're either grasping at straws, or are paranoid. Chill.



  • @Onyx said:

    See the difference?

    The difference between a group that assaults schools with lawsuits to ensure kids can't pray in an unused classroom, by using a very strict unsupported interpretation of the law, and religious groups that want legal preference using lawsuits using a very loose unsupported interpretation of the law.

    Yeah, no difference.


  • :belt_onion:

    @xaade said:

    a group that assaults schools with lawsuits to ensure kids can't pray in an unused classroom, by using a very strict unsupported interpretation of the law

    Fair enough, not in the loop, not going to take sides. Whether they are right or not is for the courts to decide.

    @xaade said:

    religious groups that want legal preference using lawsuits using a very loose unsupported interpretation of the law

    Ah, there we go. Now, note, I'm not an US-ian, but I read that First Amendment thing of yours, which is what the OP is about. The only protection that is listed there is from the government (ok, congress, whatever), not from a private citizen or a non-government organization being "offensive", suing anyone (rightfully or not) or just plainly disagreeing. That would require changes to existing text, which would fuck up the intent since it would show preference to either religion, a corporation (or a group thereof) or which ever other special snowflake that cries foul.

    See, I'm a dirty foreigner and I managed to understand the difference. Pro tip: emotional detachment during the critical analysis might have helped.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    But the problem with that is: who defines what a "Christian" is?

    In a nutshell, this is how we end up with stuff like Larry Flynt deserving First Amendment protection. Not because what he did had any worthwhile merit on its own, but because the alternative would be worse.



  • @boomzilla said:

    In a nutshell, this is how we end up with stuff like Larry Flynt deserving First Amendment protection. Not because what he did had any worthwhile merit on its own, but because the alternative would be worse.

    Amen to that.

    Shall I try to dig up one of the dozens of groups (religious, liberal, women's, conservative) who insisted we should add "indecency" to the First Amendment?

    In fact, I just realized I totally screwed up in the original post, because the part about Free Speech should have included the word "indecency" somewhere in it. Maybe in the exemptions..."[...unless it is...] indecent (except if the indecency is profitable)..."



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    Shall I try to dig up one of the dozens of groups (religious, liberal, women's, conservative) who insisted we should add "indecency" to the First Amendment?

    Sounds like an indecent use of time to me.



  • @Onyx said:

    That would require changes to existing text, which would fuck up the intent since it would show preference to either religion, a corporation (or a group thereof) or which ever other special snowflake that cries foul.

    Unfortunately that's not the reality that we live in.

    Which is why I was calling bullshit on Coyne.

    Secularists seem to think that their non-religion deserves special treatment, and they can claim non-participation in religion, so that takes them out of the loop on religious freedom.

    What they don't realize is that the reverse was intended. Imagine a scenario where any unused classroom during free time could be used for any religious and/or non-religious group, and even be led by a teacher, and you have the intent of "free exercise thereof" that the constitution was talking about.

    So, one classroom has the Christian group, another the Muslim group, and another the Scientologist group, and the last that non-religion satanic group. All fair game.

    But FFR doesn't see it that way. They think "public" means no exercise of religion, because, as in their name, they interpret the constitution to mean freedom FROM religion is an alternate to freedom OF religion.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Shall I try to dig up one of the dozens of groups (religious, liberal, women's, conservative) who insisted we should add "indecency" to the First Amendment?

    Define indencency.

    Incessant cursing, a skull on one's shirt, or partial nudity?



  • Because I don't think the first amendment is there to defend peeing on the street.



  • @xaade said:

    They think "public" means no exercise of religion

    This concept, of course, falls apart when you realize a sidewalk is public property.

    So, if your company rents a gazebo at a park, it better not be a Christmas party, and heaven forbid someone pray outloud during the course of it.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    Seventh Day Baptist

    TIL.

    I'd only ever heard of Seventh Day Adventists. Seventh Day Baptists sound a metric shit ton less loony:


  • :belt_onion:

    What in the hell are you smoking, and where can I get some? What the hell are you tal...

    @xaade said:

    that non-religion satanic group

    Satanic? Aaaah, I get it now. You've got no idea what you're talking about.

    Tell me again how non-religious people actually worship a mythical figure from the Bible.

    Unless you meant Sagan. We all worship Sagan. And we'll all get billions upon billions of virgins when we die.



  • @Onyx said:

    Unless you meant Sagan. We all worship Sagan. And we'll all get billions upon billions of virgins when we die.

    Liked for this.

    @Onyx said:

    Tell me again how non-religious people actually worship a mythical figure from the Bible.

    He probably meant non-theistic, which most people who call themselves "satanist" are non-theistic.

    Religion doesn't necessarily imply theism.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Bort said:

    He probably meant non-theistic, which most people who call themselves "satanist" are.

    Religion doesn't necessarily imply theism.

    True. Heard some interesting stuff about Church of Satan once, they seem to basically be (mostly) atheist trolls. Though the term "satanist" is probably even less precise than "Christian", so fuck knows which group he was referring to.



  • @Onyx said:

    they seem to basically be (mostly) atheist trolls

    that

    @Onyx said:

    Though the term "satanist" is probably even less precise

    sorry



  • @Onyx said:

    And we'll all get billions upon billions of virgins when we die.

    That's where all the aborted babies go when they die.


  • :belt_onion:

    Even better, sammiches!


    Filed under: I already have pickles!



  • @xaade said:

    Define indencency.

    The problem with "indecent" is that there is no fixed definition; it depends upon the sensibilities of the person, which vary.

    For example, I'm quite sure we could find someone who would say,

    No decent person would write, "...our government is paranoid..."

    [spoiler]I hunted one of your statements down, but I'm sure we could find a similar actionable indecency for me, or practically anyone in the US.[/spoiler]

    @anotherusername said:

    I'd only ever heard of Seventh Day Adventists. Seventh Day Baptists sound a metric shit ton less loony:

    I'm a lapsed SDA, so I can't agree with loony. But the fact you never heard of SDB made the point, didn't it? They may or may not be less loony, but they're sure less well known.

    (I thought about listing SDA, but it felt like favoritism.)


  • :belt_onion:

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    lapsed SDA

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    favoritism

    :doing_it_wrong:



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    I'm a lapsed SDA, so I can't agree with loony. But the fact you never heard of SDB made the point, didn't it? They may or may not be less loony, but they're sure less well known.

    SDA is basically a pseudo-christian cult; SDB appears to follow a lot more closely to the typical Protestant beliefs. (Which is not to imply that Protestants are the only true Christians, either.)

    SDA has taken a personal conviction (God wants us to worship him on the 7th day of the week) and elevated it to a doctrinal pillar of salvation. As in, all other things being equal, those who choose to worship God on another day of the week are supposedly damned to hell for that fault alone. That's fucking loony. Especially when one of the biblical authors directly addressed the question of which days are more significant than others and whether it even matters what you believe on that particular subject (spoiler: [spoiler]it doesn't[/spoiler]). And especially if you consider that it's all relative anyway. How the fuck do we even know that our Saturday now is an integer multiple of 7 days from the 7th day of the week back then, and WHY THE FUCK DOES IT EVEN MATTER SO MUCH. Let's redefine the week so that Sunday is the 7th day (I actually prefer it that way) and now when I worship on Sunday I'm not going to hell for it anymore, amirite?

    This is in no way the only loony thing about SDA. Just a low-hanging ripe fruit.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    it depends upon the sensibilities of the person, which vary.

    But you agree that we shouldn't allow peeing in the streets eh?


  • area_deu

    @anotherusername said:

    Let's redefine the week so that Sunday is the 7th day

    Welcome to Germany, where "Mittwoch" (mid-of-week) is the third out of seven weekdays, ever since we made Monday the first day of week.



  • ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException has been thrown: days[7]


  • mod

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

    I was going to just make inline corrections, but one of them wouldn't have been very clear, so instead you get this:

    The proper name (in English) is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    @FrostCat said:

    I understand Catholic doctrinemost Christian churches considers Mormonism to not really be compatible with what it considers mainstream Christianity

    FTFY

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    To get a feel, imagine that the day of worship was declared to be Saturday, because Seventh Day Baptist (which is why I chose that entry) and worship on Sunday was prohibited by law...how would that make you feel?

    Not a problem for the Mormon church. Mormon congregations meet for worship services according to whatever schedule meshes with the local culture. In most countries, that means Sunday. But Mormon congregations in Israel worship on Saturday because that's the norm there. Because it isn't so much which day you worship on that's important, but actually doing it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @abarker said:

    FTFY

    Well, I was speaking loosely. IIRC, the Catholic church says--I looked this up at one point some time ago for some reason--that Mormon doctrine around baptism is inconsistent with Catholic doctrine.


  • mod

    Yeah, they say that about several things.



  • @anotherusername said:

    SDA is basically a pseudo-christian cult; SDB appears to follow a lot more closely to the typical Protestant beliefs. (Which is not to imply that Protestants are the only true Christians, either.)

    The author of Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Ralston Martin, listed SDA in the appendix with explanatory text to the effect that it had some unusual features but, per his definition of "cult" (which conforms to most peoples' these days) it was not a cult.

    I wouldn't argue they were the only true Christians, but they're not non-Christians, either.

    @anotherusername said:

    How the fuck do we even know that our Saturday now is an integer multiple of 7 days from the 7th day of the week back then, and WHY THE FUCK DOES IT EVEN MATTER SO MUCH. Let's redefine the week so that Sunday is the 7th day (I actually prefer it that way) and now when I worship on Sunday I'm not going to hell for it anymore, amirite?

    Well, to be blunt (in your tone) who the fuck makes you an authority on whether or not SDA is right or wrong?

    Surely you wouldn't have any real problem with defining Saturday as the day of worship: get an early start on the work week on Sunday. If that concept disturbs you...I meant it to. The whole point of that section of my missive was to make you uncomfortable with government defining what Christian is; what doctrine is.

    So Catholics argue earnestly for Sunday and Congress agrees proper Christian doctrine is to worship on Sunday. Then the government plants its hob-nailed jack boots on 1.3 million SDA necks and says, "Worship on Sunday or else."

    If you're fine with that, you are part of the problem: a perfect example of why I don't want the word Christian in the First Amendment.

    @abarker said:

    The proper name (in English) is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Sorry about that. I actually did a Google, but apparently that wasn't a very authoritative link. Fixed.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @abarker said:

    Yeah, they say that about several things.

    Now I know you know I don't care, it's not like I think you're a heathen doomed to spend all eternity in limbo etc., but I was just saying.

    That's not how I remember the argument, but it's what I found just now when searching. I'll let you say--if you care--whether that's an accurate summary of the Mormon position.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    The author of Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Ralston Martin, listed SDA in the appendix with explanatory text to the effect that it had some unusual features but, per his definition of "cult" (which conforms to most peoples' these days) it was not a cult.

    Cherry picking. There is no consensus, but certainly not any consensus that puts them in the "not a cult" category. E.g.:

    other scholars such as Calvinist Anthony A. Hoekema, who did not agree with the Adventist views from Arminius's as Adventism holds a Wesleyan/Arminian stream of theology, grouped Seventh-day Adventism with Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science in his book The Four Major Cults.

    I selected the particular issue that I did (seventh day worship) because it is an extrabiblical teaching of SDA which, they claim, damns every other Christian sect but them to hell; that is a classic earmark of a cult.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    who the fuck makes you an authority on whether or not SDA is right or wrong?

    They have made the claim that I'm damned to hell if I worship on Sunday; I feel pretty secure in thinking that entitles me to weigh in on whether they're right or wrong.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    So Catholics argue earnestly for Sunday and Congress agrees proper Christian doctrine is to worship on Sunday. Then the government plants its hob-nailed jack boots on 1.3 million SDA necks and says, "Worship on Sunday or else."

    It doesn't matter what day you choose to worship on. The catholic church was wrong there, but it doesn't make the SDA right either. (I'm certainly no catholic apologist.)



  • @anotherusername said:

    They have made the claim that I'm damned to hell if I worship on Sunday; I feel pretty secure in thinking that entitles me to weigh in on whether they're right or wrong.

    Well, that depends on whether you are merely arguing that they are wrong, or you are ordering them to change their wrong beliefs. I mean, unless you don't mind being ordered to believe particular things...


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