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Fox News: TX Attorney General Tells Atheists: “Don’t Mess With Texas”


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TX Attorney General Tells Atheists: “Don’t Mess With Texas”

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/tx-attorney-general-tells-atheists-dont-mess-with-texas.html

By Todd Starnes/TWITTER

The Texas Attorney General has offered to defend a Texas county under attack by a group of Wisconsin atheists who are demanding that a Nativity located on the lawn of the Henderson County courthouse be torn down.

“Our message to the atheists is don’t mess with Texas and our Nativity scenes or the Ten Commandments,” Attorney General Greg Abbott told Fox News & Commentary. “I want the Freedom From Religion Foundation to know that our office has a history of defending religious displays in this state.”

Abbott sent a letter to Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders offering whatever help he could provide in the event the county is sued. He also assured the judge that the county has no legal obligation to remove the Nativity scene from the courthouse grounds.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group based in Wisconsin, sent a letter to Henderson County explaining that a local resident had complained and they wanted the Nativity removed.

“It sends a message of intimidation and exclusion to non-Christians and non-believers this time of year,” FFRF co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told television station KFDW.

She said the location of the Nativity — on the lawn of the courthouse in Athens, made non-Christians feel unwelcome.

“Anybody walking by that is going to say, ‘Hmmm. This is a Christian government building. I’m not welcome here if I’m not Christian,’” she told the television station.

Attorney General Abbott said the organization is trying to “bully local governmental bodies” and he said he wanted to make sure Henderson County knows “there is a person, a lawyer and an organization in this state that has their back, that has the law, that has the muscle and firepower to go toe-to-toe with these organizations that come from out of state trying to bully governmental bodies into tearing down things like Nativity scenes.”

Many residents and ministers in this east Texas community have vowed to fight back. Hundreds of people are expected to attend a rally on Saturday to show their support for the Nativity. Nathan Lorick, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Malakoff is one of the organizers of the rally. He called on residents to gather peacefully and in a spirit of love.

“It’s time that Americans stand up and take America back for the faith that we were founded upon,” Lorick told Fox News & Commentary last week. “We’re going to stand up and fight for this.”

Henderson County Commissioner Joe Hall called the attack “stupid” and said he’s going to do whatever it takes to stop the group from removing the Nativity.

“I’ll tell you this — I’m going to fight this until hell freezes over,” Hall told Fox News & Commentary. “I hope and pray that we leave it up.”

Hall said he’s lived in the community for 35 years and as long as he can remember the Nativity has been erected on the courthouse lawn.

“It’s been up there for decades without any complaints,” he said.

Pastor Lorick said it’s time to draw a line in the sand — and start standing up for the Christian faith.

“Christianity is under attack in America,” he told Fox News & Commentary. “Our country is quickly heading down a direction which the Christian faith is taking a hit — it’s quickly becoming suppressed.”

The attorney general agreed with that sentiment.

“There has been an ongoing battle between the forces of atheism and the forces of those who are antagonistic to all things religious against those who recognize the religious heritage of this country,” Abbott said. “And by defending Nativity scenes, by defending the Ten Commandments and by defending students who try to say a prayer at a graduation ceremony, we’re trying to preserve, protect and defend what we know is perfectly legal.”

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“Anybody walking by that is going to say, ‘Hmmm. This is a Christian government building. I’m not welcome here if I’m not Christian,’” she told the television station.

There should be some sort of punishment for being this dumb.

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There is all sorts of stupid in the entire article.

Starting with:

“Anybody walking by that is going to say, ‘Hmmm. This is a Christian government building. I’m not welcome here if I’m not Christian,’” she told the television station.

and ending with:

“Christianity is under attack in America,” he told Fox News & Commentary. “Our country is quickly heading down a direction which the Christian faith is taking a hit — it’s quickly becoming suppressed.”

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I agree with your comment about the first statement, but why do you think the ending statement is stupid?

If we can't publicly declare our beliefs on government property, a clear violation of separation of church and state, we must be under attack!!!!!111!!!!

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I find both sides in this debate insulting. Freedom FROM religion is not a tolerant or inclusive statement no matter how hard people try to sugar coat it. The people desperate to declare the nation a Christian nation are also not looking to positively share as much as aggressively affirm dominance. It gets tiring watching to intolerant sides point fingers when I'd hate to see either win the argument.

I do think there are times when religious beliefs are attacked in the US. That includes Christianity and Athiesm. However as usual the people making the most noise aren't even the best example, look at Islam. Building a community center drive people out of thier minds. Also let's be honest here, activist relious groups (i include athiests in this) often go looking for a fight. When they get one suddenly they change their tone in an attempt to claim the high road.

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I agree with your comment about the first statement, but why do you think the ending statement is stupid?

Because I don't consider removal of religious imagery/text from local/state/federal government property to be 'suppression'. Christianity, is and will always be the dominant faith in America.

However, I hardly consider displaying the nativity scene to be offensive, or indicative that the local government is preferentially treating Christians.

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No to detract from the topic (haha), which is really just the typical random and blatant troll from the OP, but anyone new should know before getting in too deep that skinsfan51 is one of the single biggest religious whackos to ever post on ES---and for me to make such a remark so bluntly should tell you a lot. ;)

BTW--from the link so ya don't miss it:

FOLLOW TODD ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE CULTURE WAR NEWS

Sounds like fun! :ols:

Also note in this typical crapfest of a "story", is the line "in case of the event the county is sued." All it says so far is someone sent a letter of complaint, then a governor sends a commitment to idiocy (it is Texas) statement in what appears to be a massive over-reaction, than a whacko at home cruising the internet for new mental-festering material starts a thread. :)

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As an atheist, let me once again say my annual piece.

Fellow atheists... let it go.

Good grief. It's a religious holiday. And it's one steeped in fine tradition and wishes. it is not exclusionary, it is not bigoted.

Everyone can enjoy it without having to change it.

The fact that people feel it important to get nativity scenes and other religious imagery (ie; christmas decorations) removed from places is just being a dick for the sake of it.

Let it go. I don' believe in god, but i have never felt it necessarry to try and ruin this season for everyone who does or believes in another version.

Everyone celebrate the season however you see fit, and leave everyone else alone.

We live in the Age of Anger.

~Bang

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As an atheist, let me once again say my annual piece.

Fellow atheists... let it go.

Good grief. It's a religious holiday.

Exactly the point. Gvt should not endorse any religion in anyway. I do not want a big sign on the courthouse lawn saying their is no god eikther

I have looked the other way most of my life on most things in gvt. Guess I am getting old cranky but I am tired of looking the other way on a lot of things, especially anything involving civil liberties.

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Actually, Bang, I've gone the other way after feeling like you outlined all these years. Now I am tired of all this "Christianity under attack" sturm und drang, and the simple fact is I'd prefer we'd go back to getting God off the money, the Pledge of Allegiance (mild annoyances to me but indicative), but really most so Nativity scenes out of government buildings/areas. I have one at home, btw, and am not even a Christian (as far as I'm told).

Doing so seems to me to be much more reflective of what should be a separation of exclusionary government support of a specific religion from state (hoping to avoid the traditional tailgate "constitutional back-n-forth"). I'd likely feel less so if they had other major religious and non-religious themes equally featured at the same government buidings. So I've lost some of my extensive tolerance and willingness to accept that I once had in this matter. I still agree with all you said about Christmas and tradition and the great intentions of the majority etc etc and then some. :)

But on this deal---get featuring a specific religion truly out of our government, period (that's just an ideal to me; it's not likely possible and certainly not in this day). Grinch on! :)

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Ohhhhhh Greg Abbott. He is a special guy. For those who don't know his background, when he was 26 years old he was jogging and struck by a falling tree branch. He was paralyzed and has since then used a wheelchair. He then sued the homeowner for millions of dollars and used that money to begin his political career.

What has he done since being in office? He is a crusader against trail lawyers and a huge proponent of lawsuit reform. Amazing.

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As an atheist, let me once again say my annual piece.

Fellow atheists... let it go.

Good grief. It's a religious holiday. And it's one steeped in fine tradition and wishes. it is not exclusionary, it is not bigoted.

Everyone can enjoy it without having to change it.

The fact that people feel it important to get nativity scenes and other religious imagery (ie; christmas decorations) removed from places is just being a dick for the sake of it.

Let it go. I don' believe in god, but i have never felt it necessarry to try and ruin this season for everyone who does or believes in another version.

Everyone celebrate the season however you see fit, and leave everyone else alone.

We live in the Age of Anger.

~Bang

As a Christian, I believe atheists should let go of the idea that Christian displays are an attack on their sensitivities. You are spot on with your "live and let live" philosophy.

But under no circumstances should atheists or anyone else concede the courthouse lawn, the village green, or the front of City Hall to Christianity to the exclusion of others. Atheists have an equal right, as to Muslims, Satan worshippers, and a host of other groups many of these loudmouth Christians find distasteful. Christians can simply not be reminded often enough that they don't own this place and everyone else has the same rights they have. Too often a certain segment of my religion loses sight of that fact and needs to relearn it.

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Ohhhhhh Greg Abbott. He is a special guy. For those who don't know his background, when he was 26 years old he was jogging and struck by a falling tree branch. He was paralyzed and has since then used a wheelchair. He then sued the homeowner for millions of dollars and used that money to begin his political career.

What has he done since being in office? He is a crusader against trail lawyers and a huge proponent of lawsuit reform. Amazing.

Must've hit him in the head :ols:
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The people from Wisconsin are correct on the law, but they should learn to pick their battles better. This is not worth it.

The Texas attorney general, on the other hand, appears to know absolutely nothing about the Constitution. No doubt he will be reelected by an overwhelming margin. Voters generally hate the real Constitution. What they love is the imaginary Constitution that they have made up in accord with their own prejudices.

This whole story is sad.

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As a Christian, I can say with a smile that this is the first, and the most inconsequential story on stuff like this that I've heard for the entire season thus far. Nice change from days of yesteryear!

I loved Bang's post! Though, I too feel that sometimes these day's we see some Christian displays in the public domain that were placed there more as an "I dare you to say something about it" rather than the simple celebration of the holiday that it was in the past. Shame on those folks too.

Again, Lets just be glad that we didnt hear much on this stuff this year!

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I wonder how Henderson county officials would react if the Jewish citizenry asked for permission to display Rosh Hashana symbols such as shofar, apples, honey, and pomegranates on the lawn of the county building to commemorate the Jewish new year.

If they had no objection would the objection from the idiots cease?

Would being inclusive be enough?

rhetorical question isn't it,as we already know

---------- Post added December-17th-2011 at 07:06 PM ----------

In a letter dated Dec. 7, county attorney Clint Davis responded to FFRF’s letter stating “that Henderson County believes that it is in complete compliance with the requirements of the Constitution and acting very much in accord with prior U.S. Supreme Court rulings.”

Davis elaborated by fully describing the Christmas displays on the courthouse square’s outer perimeter, and the layout of the four equally grand entrances to the building.

“These displays are secular in purpose and placed in our county in a visible location to create a festive atmosphere for the celebration of Christmas,” he writes.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld these types of displays and we believe that we are in compliance with guidelines set forth in Lynch v. Donnelly and the test created in Lemon v. Kurtzman by the U.S. Supreme Court. More recently, the Supreme Court reinforced those 1980-era decisions in Salazar v. Buono (2010), and made clear that “the goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm.”

http://www.vanzandtnewspapers.com/news/126/ARTICLE/11321/2011-12-13.html

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