Say goodbye 1st Amendment: It's illegal to pray on the grounds of the Supreme Court

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posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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Have the people who reside in that courthouse ever even bothered to read the Bill of Rights?

A group on a tour of the Supreme Court stopped to say a prayer before entering the building. A court police officer came along and warned them to stop because they were breaking the law.


Police say prayer illegal on U.S. Supreme Court grounds

The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to U.S. Supreme Court officials Thursday that urges them to stop their police officers from prohibiting people from quietly praying outside the court building. Christian teacher Maureen Rigo, her students, and a few adults were told by a court police officer that they must stop praying there because it was against the law.

“Christians shouldn’t be silenced for exercising their beliefs through quiet prayer on public property,” said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum. “The last place you’d expect this kind of obvious disregard for the First Amendment would be on the grounds of the U.S. Supreme Court itself, but that’s what happened.”

On May 5, Rigo, a teacher at Wickenburg Christian Academy in Arizona, along with her students and a few adults, were taking an educational tour of the Supreme Court complex. After arriving at the Oval Plaza, they stood off to the side at the bottom of the steps, bowed their heads, and quietly prayed amongst themselves to God.

Even though they were not obstructing traffic, not demonstrating, and praying quietly in a conversational tone so as to not attract attention, a court police officer approached the group and told them to stop praying in that public area immediately. The prayer was stopped based on a statute, 40 U.S.C. §6135, which bars parades and processions on Supreme Court grounds.

“Mrs. Rigo was not engaging in a parade, procession, or assembly. She was speaking in a conversational level to those around her with her head bowed,” the ADF letter to court officials explains. “There is no reason to silence Mrs. Rigo’s activities since these activities do not attract attention, create a crowd, or give off the appearance of impartiality. The ban on public prayers cannot hope to survive First Amendment scrutiny.”

Read more: Alliance Defence Fund



The law in question reads as follows:


40 USC Sec. 6135 01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
TITLE 40 - PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PROPERTY, AND WORKS
SUBTITLE II - PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND WORKS
PART C - FEDERAL BUILDING COMPLEXES
CHAPTER 61 - UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT BUILDING AND GROUNDS
SUBCHAPTER IV - PROHIBITIONS AND PENALTIES

-HEAD-
Sec. 6135. Parades, assemblages, and display of flags in the
Supreme Court Building and grounds

-STATUTE-
It is unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or
assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds, or to display
in the Building and grounds a flag, banner, or device designed or
adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or
movement.
US Code



If the cops who patrol the grounds of the Supreme Court can't be counted on the respect the 1st Amendment rights of the people, who can?

[edit on 7/16/10 by FortAnthem]




posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:53 PM
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Thats gross.

Even if they were Taliban supporting Muslims, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT.

Should get 2 million people to pray on every government building.

we will call it, the gathering of the gods!



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:55 PM
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That cop needs to walk to the National Archives and read the US Constitution. And after he has read the Constitution, he should then fired for failing to uphold the Constitution.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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Well too bad they were not arrested and charged for it, because I'd love to see this one go up the appeals process and hear what the people inside the US Supreme Court have to say on the issue.

The Alliance Defense Fund is not exactly what I would ever call an unbiased advocate, but I've got to agree with them on this one, prayer is protected speech in the United States.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:58 PM
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Not having a religious or social agenda, I for one am not affected by a need to put myself on public display in any dirt patch of the planet to show off my beliefs.

However, if I had such religious or social agenda and wanted to freely share it, I would feel that is my right and my freedom of speech.

So it is hard to say how I feel about this because I'll never have any need to defend religious freedom short of the fact that I respect people's freedom as long as they are not free to hurt others.

Social dynamics and law are so confusing at times.


+11 more 
posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:00 PM
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?????

ATS is not usually so gullible?

The law states "It is unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or
assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds"

It says nothing about prayer. In other words this same group could have stopped to have a group sandwich and the guard would still have hustled them along.

Come on folks. Don't let these religious articles get you in a tizzy. People love to pick out a tiny thing, call it something else that vaguely resembles it, and put it in the hands of a radical that will shout it from the rooftops.

It is perfectly legal to "pray" anywhere you want. You just can't do it in a large obstructive group. You also cannot assemble a large obstructive group to hear a lecture on paper airplane folding.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
?????

ATS is not usually so gullible?

The law states "It is unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or
assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds"

It says nothing about prayer. In other words this same group could have stopped to have a group sandwich and the guard would still have hustled them along.


So are massive group Tours told the same thing when they all huddle up together to take photos of the Supreme Court?

This was a clear case of discrimination by this cop regarding their prayers, saying they were breaking the law praying on the grounds of the supreme court.

BTW this group was also touring.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:06 PM
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I said goodbye to the 1st amendment when the patriot act was enacted.

We are a lame people with no plan of changing this world so let's have a pity party



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:07 PM
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That's just great.

Next they'll install body scanners in the parking lot so you can't even pray in your head.

And people wonder why the country's going to Hell...



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:08 PM
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Our first Amendment was subverted a long time ago. I would say all the way back when the government started to force us to get permission from them to assemble. So, in affect we had to ask the very system to assemble against them. Then, our 1st Amendment took another blow when our children were prevented from practicing their religion at school. Another blow came when corporations and mega-conglomerates started dominating our press. The final nail in the coffin? The Patriot Act and HGTPA (along with many other pieces of legislation), where you can land in a secret prison somewhere for speaking your mind, or speaking against the very agenda that is taking our liberties away.

I would say that the 1st Amendment, along with most of our Constitution has been rendered useless a long time ago.

--airspoon


[edit on 16-7-2010 by airspoon]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:15 PM
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They need to install one of these in the National Archives send the Constitution through it to make it official:


Turn waste office paper into toilet paper

While many environmentalists hope that we can eventually have a paperless office, one company in Japan has developed a machine that shreds paper and then converts the waste into readily usable toilet paper.

The process requires you to add water, and it requires about 30 minutes to thin out the paper and generate one roll of toilet paper. This 'TP' looks far from snuggly soft, but it's undeniably a significant step towards a greener office space. The entire process is automated, so it's definitely a big convenience.

The 'White Goat' as it's called is not a contraption that you're likely to squeeze under your desk however. It's mammoth size (1.8m tall and 600kg) would definitely be a better fit in your server room if you have one.

Gizmag



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:37 PM
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Until they can invent something that can read our minds, then prayer is still possible. All that one has to do is to think the prayer in the mind. God knows what we are thinking and it is not nessessary to say a prayer out loud. In fact, Jesus says that is better to pray and fast in private than to shout a prayer that can be seen and heard by other men. The focus is then on you and you draw attention to yourself by it.

So anyway, if someone wants to pray, no one can stop someone from thinking anything. And if someone wants a group prayer, then all anyone has to do is gather and all agree to think the same prayer at a certain time. There doesn't even have to be a holding of hands, bowing of heads, and closing of eyes.

If everyone just stands around and thinks the prayer at the same time, then no one can really tell that there is praying. But surely God still knows that these people are praying, if even if they make no outward show that they are praying.

So if everyone just gathers and is standing around not saying a word, I don't see how they can stop that. They would have to be able to prove that the group of people that is standing there and not saying a word, and not bowing heads and not holding hands and not closing eyes are praying.

If you see a lot of people just standing around not saying a word, it may look funny, but they would have to prove then that the people were praying. Since they don't know what the people are thinking, they can't prove that they are praying. So I say someone should get a group of people just to stand there and pray in the mind and not say anything or show they are praying. I'd like to see if they can stop people from doing this.

I don't think they can stop this because they can not prove prayer is taking place.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by airspoon
Our first Amendment was subverted a long time ago. I would say all the way back when the government started to force us to get permission from them to assemble. So, in affect we had to ask the very system to assemble against them.


This is true, but not at a federal level. These laws are being enacted
at state and local levels. It is sad that we as Americans are allowing these
laws to pass at city levels where one would assume the will of
the people should have a more powerful voice. As far as I know the
"Congress shall make no law against the peaceable petition of government"
has not been violated...this is happening at city hall.



Originally posted by airspoon
Then, our 1st Amendment took another blow when our children were prevented from practicing their religion at school. Another blow came when corporations and mega-conglomerates started dominating our press. The final nail in the coffin? The Patriot Act and HGTPA (along with many other pieces of legislation), where you can land in a secret prison somewhere for speaking your mind, or speaking against the very agenda that is taking our liberties away.


As for praying in schools, I do not have no dog in that hunt, other
than my sympathy for those who do not wish to be led in prayer
to a God they do not identify with. It is "rights of the few vs rights of the
many". But those parameters are not fixed and as such they protect
all of us. If you're a Christian you wouldn't want your child being led
in prayer to Allah (even though the Christian God-head is exactly
the same as the Muslim God-head--just different prophets) because
your neighborhood was suddenly flooded with Muslims and as such
teachers were appealing to the majority---it could happen.

The Patriot Act is the most evil piece of paper on American soil. For now
it seems harmless, but for future generations it will be catastrophic.


Originally posted by airspoon
I would say that the 1st Amendment, along with most of our Constitution has been rendered useless a long time ago.

--airspoon


I totally agree....

[edit on 16-7-2010 by rival]

[edit on 16-7-2010 by rival]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by ProjectJimmy
 





Well too bad they were not arrested and charged for it, because I'd love to see this one go up the appeals process and hear what the people inside the US Supreme Court have to say on the issue.


How nice to finally agree with you on something! Not just that prayer is protected and a fundamental right, but your assessment that it was too bad they were not arrested and charged for it, as it would have been too rich with irony if such a case had gone all the way up to The Supreme Court. Sadly, sometimes the best way to get a right recognized as protected is to have that right trampled upon.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
?????

ATS is not usually so gullible?

The law states "It is unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or
assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds"

It says nothing about prayer. In other words this same group could have stopped to have a group sandwich and the guard would still have hustled them along.

Come on folks. Don't let these religious articles get you in a tizzy. People love to pick out a tiny thing, call it something else that vaguely resembles it, and put it in the hands of a radical that will shout it from the rooftops.

It is perfectly legal to "pray" anywhere you want. You just can't do it in a large obstructive group. You also cannot assemble a large obstructive group to hear a lecture on paper airplane folding.


Gee.. then I suppose the tours in that court building should be illegal too.. They have to pause for a few minutes to talk about the sights around them.. by your definition.. That's Illegal!.. I wonder who runs these illegal tours.

This isn't about any religious article.. it's about protecting the rights given to us by the U.S Constitution.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:24 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 





This isn't about any religious article.. it's about protecting the rights given to us by the U.S Constitution.


You rights were not given to you by The Constitution for the United States of America. The strongest evidence of that lies in the 9th Amendment:


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


~The Ninth Amendment; Bill of Rights~

Rights that are given to you can be taken away. While inalienable rights can be abrogated and derogated, they can never be taken away. Protecting those rights takes far more than a piece of paper saying they are protected. It is important to understand the difference between inalienable rights, (non transferable) and civil rights, (legal rights granted by government), if you want to protect your rights. Given rights, unless given by God, are rights that are given upon whim and easily taken away upon whim.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:30 PM
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Is anyone here really surprised about this? When the different groups demanded to removal of items such at the 10 commandments from the courthouses, and monuments cause they are religious in nature, the banning of christmas carols on school grounds, this is the natural progresson of such. For every action and decision that is made, alot may seem to be a good idea at the time, but few realize that it ends up causing problems in the long run.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:33 PM
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2 questions....

1) Is it possible to pray in silence?
2) Can TPTB police thought?

answers:

YES; and
NO

so, you can still pray on the grounds of the Supreme Court....only in silence....if there is a god, he/she/neuter/it can still hear you.

This only ensure the "pursuit of happiness" for the non-believers.

I say BFD....this is a no-brainer IMO.

P.S. simply stand at the perimeter of the SCOTUS and have your "say"...not on federal grounds = OK to pray.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by Aggie Man]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:37 PM
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So?

I think we should have freedom from religion, why would you need to pray on the grounds of the Supreme Court? Why should I have to see you showing off your neurological disorder in public?



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:42 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 





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