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Of People, Places & Things: Religious monuments should be kept out of public places


Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

“To do my duty, I must obey God.”Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

On Wednesday, a Ten Commandments monument was removed from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery thus ending a First Amendment standoff over the separation of church and state. Twenty one protesters were arrested.A federal judge had ruled last year that the 5,000 lb. monument, which Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had installed in 2001, violated the constitution’s ban on government promotion of religion and ordered its removal.Since that time, Moore had defied two federal court orders to have the mass of granite removed. Because of the ensuing fracas, Moore, who is known as the “Ten Commandments Judge”, was suspended by a state judicial ethics panel.In the meantime, flocks of religious supporters started to keep a vigil to keep the state and feds from hauling the huge rock away.One of the underlying issues to this standoff is the belief by many evangelical Christians, that the foundations of our country were based on Judea-Christian beliefs, such as the ten commandments. Turn on any early Sunday morning televangelist program and you will find various minister’s holding forth on the notion that our country was started in Bethlehem, and before that on Mt. Sinai. Listen long enough, and they’ll even ask you for a donation to help fight the liberal-atheist agenda of the American Civil Liberties Union, “who are keeping bibles out of our schools.” A more secular view of this issue holds that the constitution’s framers understood that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone. The free exercise clause of the First Amendment guarantees the right to practice one’s religion free of government interference - a fundamental requirement of separation of church and state. Allowing a religious monument on public property violates this guarantee.My first thought on this issue was that if the monument in the judicial lobby had contained a Buddhist sutra or a Hindu tract in praise of Vishnu, Siva or Brahma, no one would have been defending its removal. One is left thinking, therefore, that the state of Alabama, by allowing a monument of the Ten Commandments, promotes Christian beliefs over those of minority religions.The second thought I had was that Judge Moore should be removed from office. He wasn’t .....
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Prairie Notes: Beyond the numbers

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Statistics confound me. Numbers, percentages, comparison charts showing past and projected statistics on earnings or accidents or deaths from HIV all make me long for more than 30-second sound bites or one-sentence captions. I pause near the radio or ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Today is Labor Day and we all think of school starting and the State Fair ending, and how we wish for rain. To a lot of people Labor Day means our last vacation before we all settle in to our routine of our fall plans. I wasn’t thinking of hard work ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Aren’t we lucky! In all this heat we weren’t in the black-out and we don’t have to use or heat the the old cookstove to make dinner for threshers. When I write this I can almost feel the heat from mother’s old cookstove and feel the hot kitchen while ..... 
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Township Roads: Good Dog, Kacie

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

We had to have our Dalmatian, Kacie, put to sleep this last week. It was a hard decision, one that we had put off as long as we possibly could. She was a good dog and it was hard for all of us.

At just seven years, Kacie was sti ..... 
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Another one from Flaherty: Something for nothing

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

From what I have read in some of the more progressive garden magazines, ground covers are just as good as having grass, and if you know what you are doing, they won’t cost you a cent. A case in point; my old friend and mentor, Malcolm Mildew. Malcolm ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Aug 15th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I know we need rain but the weather has been great for outdoor activities. Saturday we went on our annual hayride party out to Vickie and Dennis’. I helped Vickie paint the wagon a week ago and Dennis and her put in such comfortable seats and we had ..... 
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Of People, Places and Things: A look back to 1874

Fri, Aug 15th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

A friend of mine from Dexter named Dale pulled up in my driveway the other day and handed me a cardboard box that was 15 inches wide by 18 inches tall by 2 inches thick and rather heavy.

The article we ran about Fillmore County ..... 
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At Home in the Woods: In Everyones’ Backyard

Fri, Aug 15th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Urban sprawl is encroaching on the Big Woods with proposals for twelve-house and four-house subdivisions. Urban sprawl increases pollution and use of natural resources. Due to our growing population, some of this is unavoidable, but are the huge hous ..... 
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