Right to an Education v. the Religion of Evolution (the online book)         << Previous     Next >>  

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Endnotes

[1] See Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia, 101 U.S. App. D.C. 371, 249 F.2d 127; Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda, 153 Cal. App. 2d 673, 315 P.2d 394; II Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 293; 4 Encyclopedia Britannica (1957 ed.) 325-327; 21 id., at 797; Archer, Faiths Men Live By (2d ed. revised by Purinton), 120-138, 254-313; 1961 World Almanac 695, 712; Year Book of American Churches for 1961, at 29, 47.

It is important to note that this citation of Secular Humanism as a religion is not merely dictum. The Supreme Court refers to the important 1957 case of Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia (101 U.S. App. D.C. 371) in its holding that Secular Humanism is a non-theistic religion within the meaning of the First Amendment.

The Ethical Culture movement is one denomination of Secular Humanism which reaches moral and cultural relativism, situation ethics, and attacks belief in a spiritual God and theistic values of the Old and New Testaments.
The Washington Ethical Society case involved denial of the Society's application for tax exemption as a religious organization. The U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the Tax Court's ruling, defined the Society as a religious organization, and granted its tax exemption.

Source:
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[2] Torcaso v. Watkins In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged that Secular Humanism was a religion. Nevertheless, many Humanists deny the significance of the Court's assertion. In order to buttress the claim that the identification of Secular Humanism as a religion in a footnote in the Torcaso case is more than mere "dicta," here is a memorandum prepared "[a]t the request of the staff of the Committee on Education and Labor” by Congressman John B. Conlan.
The U.S. Supreme Court cited Secular Humanism as a religion in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins (367 U.S. 488). Roy Torcaso, the appellant, a practicing Humanist in Maryland, had refused to declare his belief in Almighty God, as then required by State law in order for him to be commissioned as a notary public. The Court held that the requirement for such an oath "invades appellant's freedom of belief and religion."
The Court declared in Torcaso that the "no establishment" clause of the First Amendment reached far more than churches of theistic faiths, that it is not the business of government or its agents to probe beliefs, and that therefore its inquiry is concluded by the fact of the profession of belief.



Actually, the Court in Torcaso rested its decision on "free exercise" grounds, not the "Establishment Clause." Abington v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 264-65 (1962) J. Brennan, concurring.
The Court stated:

We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person to "profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.11

Footnote 11 concerning "religions founded on different beliefs" contains the Court's citation of Secular Humanism as a religion. It states

Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others. See Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia [SEE ENDNOTE 1], 101 U.S. App. D.C. 371, 249 F.2d 127; Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda, 153 Cal. App. 2d 673, 315 P.2d 394; II Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 293; 4 Encyclopedia Britannica (1957 ed.) 325-327; 21 id., at 797; Archer, Faiths Men Live By (2d ed. revised by Purinton), 120-138, 254-313; 1961 World Almanac 695, 712; Year Book of American Churches for 1961, at 29, 47.

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http://members.aol.com/Patriarchy/definitions/humanism_religion.htm

[3] Kaufman v. McCaughtry
WND LAW OF THE LAND
Court rules atheism a religion
Decides 1st Amendment protects prison inmate's right to start study group
Posted: August 20, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate's rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

"Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being," the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

The court decided the inmate's First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

Also see:
www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=showbr&shofile=04-1914_016.pdf

[4] The issue was the establishment clause of the First Amendment being violated if school tax dollars found there way by independent choice of parents, to a school that was friendly to some people’s religious faith? The decision was 5-4, saying, the First Amendment establishment clause is not being violated, the funds may freely be spent so.

My request for my children’s fair share of their education funds is about avoiding sever religious persecution done by official policy of the Springfield Public Schools. Faith in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Bible is dogmatically attacked and condemned from early grades through high school. The relevance of this case is if I, Swayne B. Loftis, the parent, chose a private religious school out of many choices that include public and non religious schools, then no endorsement problems come into play, even if I am using my fair share of school tax dollars at a friendly to Christanity school.




SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
ZELMAN, SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION OF OHIO, et al. v. SIMMONS-HARRIS et al.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT


No. 00—1751. Argued February 20, 2002–Decided June 27, 2002


Ohio’s Pilot Project Scholarship Program gives educational choices to families in any Ohio school district that is under state control pursuant to a federal-court order. The program provides tuition aid for certain students in the Cleveland City School District, the only covered district, to attend participating public or private schools of their parent’s choosing and tutorial aid for students who choose to remain enrolled in public school. Both religious and nonreligious schools in the district may participate, as may public schools in adjacent school districts. Tuition aid is distributed to parents according to financial need, and where the aid is spent depends solely upon where parents choose to enroll their children. The number of tutorial assistance grants provided to students remaining in public school must equal the number of tuition aid scholarships. In the 1999—2000 school year, 82% of the participating private schools had a religious affiliation, none of the adjacent public schools participated, and 96% of the students participating in the scholarship program were enrolled in religiously affiliated schools. Sixty percent of the students were from families at or below the poverty line. Cleveland schoolchildren also have the option of enrolling in community schools, which are funded under state law but run by their own school boards and receive twice the per-student funding as participating private schools, or magnet schools, which are public schools emphasizing a particular subject area, teaching method, or service, and for which the school district receives the same amount per student as it does for a student enrolled at a traditional public school. Respondents, Ohio taxpayers, sought to enjoin the program on the ground that it violated the Establishment Clause. The Federal District Court granted them summary judgment, and the Sixth Circuit affirmed.

Held: The program does not offend the Establishment Clause. Pp. 6—21.

(a) Because the program was enacted for the valid secular purpose of providing educational assistance to poor children in a demonstrably failing public school system, the question is whether the program nonetheless has the forbidden effect of advancing or inhibiting religion. See Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203, 222—223. This Court’s jurisprudence makes clear that a government aid program is not readily subject to challenge under the Establishment Clause if it is neutral with respect to religion and provides assistance directly to a broad class of citizens who, in turn, direct government aid to religious schools wholly as a result of their own genuine and independent private choice. See, e.g., Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388. Under such a program, government aid reaches religious institutions only by way of the deliberate choices of numerous individual recipients. The incidental advancement of a religious mission, or the perceived endorsement of a religious message, is reasonably attributable to the individual aid recipients not the government, whose role ends with the disbursement of benefits. Pp. 6—11.
(b) The instant program is one of true private choice, consistent with the Mueller line of cases, and thus constitutional. It is neutral in all respects towards religion, and is part of Ohio’s general and multifaceted undertaking to provide educational opportunities to children in a failed school district. It confers educational assistance directly to a broad class of individuals defined without reference to religion and permits participation of all district schools–religious or nonreligious–and adjacent public schools. The only preference in the program is for low-income families, who receive greater assistance and have priority for admission. Rather than creating financial incentives that skew it towards religious schools, the program creates financial disincentives: Private schools receive only half the government assistance given to community schools and one-third that given to magnet schools, and adjacent public schools would receive two to three times that given to private schools. Families too have a financial disincentive, for they have to copay a portion of private school tuition, but pay nothing at a community, magnet, or traditional public school. No reasonable observer would think that such a neutral private choice program carries with it the imprimatur of government endorsement. Nor is there evidence that the program fails to provide genuine opportunities for Cleveland parents to select secular educational options: Their children may remain in public school as before, remain in public school with funded tutoring aid, obtain a scholarship and choose to attend a religious school, obtain a scholarship and choose to attend a nonreligious private school, enroll in a community school, or enroll in a magnet school. The Establishment Clause question whether Ohio is coercing parents into sending their children to religious schools must be answered by evaluating all options Ohio provides Cleveland schoolchildren, only one of which is to obtain a scholarship and then choose a religious school. Cleveland’s preponderance of religiously affiliated schools did not result from the program, but is a phenomenon common to many American cities. Eighty-two percent of Cleveland’s private schools are religious, as are 81% of Ohio’s private schools. To attribute constitutional significance to the 82% figure would lead to the absurd result that a neutral school-choice program might be permissible in parts of Ohio where the percentage is lower, but not in Cleveland, where Ohio has deemed such programs most sorely needed. Likewise, an identical private choice program might be constitutional only in States with a lower percentage of religious private schools. Respondents’ additional argument that constitutional significance should be attached to the fact that 96% of the scholarship recipients have enrolled in religious schools was flatly rejected in Mueller. The constitutionality of a neutral educational aid program simply does not turn on whether and why, in a particular area, at a particular time, most private schools are religious, or most recipients choose to use the aid at a religious school. Finally, contrary to respondents’ argument, Committee for Public Ed. & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756–a case that expressly reserved judgment on the sort of program challenged here–does not govern neutral educational assistance programs that offer aid directly to a broad class of individuals defined without regard to religion. Pp. 11—21.
234 F.3d 945, reversed.
Rehnquist, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas, JJ., joined. O’Connor, J., and Thomas, J., filed concurring opinions. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Souter, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Stevens and Souter, JJ., joined.

http://supreme.justia.com/us/536/639/case.html

[5] US Constitution, Amendment I



“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

[6] (DNA) DEVASTATING MATH PROBABILITIES


The possibilities of it occurring by chance are devastating.
"Based on probability factors . . any viable DNA strand having over 84 nucleotides cannot be the result of haphazard mutations. At that stage, the probabilities are 1 in 4.80 x 1050. Such a number, if written out, would read:
480,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
"Mathematicians agree that any requisite number beyond 1050 has, statistically, a zero probability of occurrence (and even that gives it the benefit of the doubt!). Any species known to us, including the smallest single-cell bacteria, have enormously larger number of nucleotides than 100 or 1000. In fact, single cell bacteria display about 3,000,000 nucleotides, aligned in a very specific sequence. This means that there is no mathematical probability whatever for any known species to have been the product of a random occurrence—random mutations (to use the evolutionist's favorite expression)."—I.L. Cohen, Darwin was Wrong (1984), p. 205.
"This means 1 / 1089190 DNA molecules, on the average, must form to provide the one chance of forming the specific DNA sequence necessary to code the 124 proteins. 1089190 DNA's would weigh 1089147 times more than the earth, and would certainly be sufficient to fill the universe many times over. It is estimated that the total amount of DNA necessary to code 100 billion people could be contained in ½ of an aspirin tablet. Surely 1089147 times the weight of the earth in DNA's is a stupendous amount and emphasizes how remote the chance is to form the one DNA molecule. A quantity of DNA this colossal could never have formed."—R.L. Wysong, The Creation-Evolution Controversy, p. 115.
"Nowadays computers are operating within a range which is not entirely incommensurate with that dealt with in actual evolution theories. If a species breeds once a year, the number of cycles in a million years is about the same as that which one would obtain in a ten-day computation which iterates a program whose duration is a hundredth of a second . . Now we have less excuse for explaining away difficulties [via evolutionary theory] by invoking the unobservable effect of astronomical [enormously large] numbers of small variations."—*M.P. Schutzenberger, Mathematical Challenges in the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (1967), pp. 73-75 [an address given at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology Symposium].

http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/08dna04.htm#Impossible

[7] Pages 15-23, It’s A Young World After All, Exciting Evidences for Recent Creation, by Paul D. Ackerman, Published by Baker Books, PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287. Copyright 1986 ISBN 0-8010-0204-4 http://www.creationism.org/ackerman/index.htm has the entire book online.

[8] Moon dating problem:

LEFT PHOTO: Astronaut collecting lunar samples. RIGHT PHOTO: Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle. Photo provided by NASA.

According to numerous measurements, (Please see http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=470 ), there are about 37,000 to 78,000 tons of meteorite material hits the Earth’s atmosphere each year. We are for these measuring purposes assuming that about as much would hit the moon since it is hanging out in space too. Some meteorite debris makes it to Earth; a lot burns up before it reaches the ground. If you average the above measurements you get 57,500 tons. That’s 115,000,000 pounds. If you divide that by the Earth’s surface area (land and water) of 196,935,000 square miles and then multiply by 4,500,000,000 (4.5 billion years) and divide that by the square feet in a square mile (27,878,400) you end up with 94.26 pounds of meteorite material per square foot that would accumulate on the Moon’s surface if it were 4.5 billion years old. I read that meteorite space debris weighs about 140 pounds per cubic foot. So that would calculate to an average layer of .673 feet or just over 8 inches blanketing the moon on average.

NASA seems to have little interest in scientifically exercising this method of dating the Moon and consequently dating the Earth. Here is the problem for most researchers: We can’t access the Moon and do some basic evaluations of the Moon’s surface so we can know what came from outer space debris and what is the Moon’s original soil and what is dust created from the pounding of the Moon’s rocks by small and large meteors. So without good data, and NASA doesn’t seem to be giving it up, it is difficult to make solid arguments with this moon method.

Photo from Architect of the Capitol


[9] Here is the complete text of the Declaration of Independence. The original spelling and capitalization have been retained. (Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

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