Sunday, September 11, 2011

Legal Counsel Explains Case Against Town of Greece

Indy TV episode #29
Lawsuit Against Town of Greece, NY
Over Sectarian Prayer


Anonymous said...

I can't believe what I just saw when I watched this. This guy wants government to tell the religious leaders speaking before the meetings what they are and are not allowed to say. That is offensive to people of every faith and even the non-believers who claim they support freedom of speech.

I'm glad you tagged this post "freedom of speech" SCATS because people should not want any government telling people what they are and are not allowed to say. Period.

SCATS said...

To 9:06PM ~~ Interesting, because I'm not offended by what this lawyer had to say, but as a Christian, I was terribly offended by the wording of the prayers I've heard in Greece Town Board meetings. Compared to any other govt body I've heard prayer recited before, these were CLEARLY PRAYERS INTENDED TO EXCLUDE ... IMHO ;)

Anonymous said...

There are limits to freedom of speech. Classic is yelling "fire" in a crowded theater to cause alarm and mayhem. Also the town has no problem telling us we can't put signs on our homes beyond a certain size. It used to be no signs. There are zoning ordinances that limit speech. There are limits as what we can and cannot say or whisper or sigh at school board meetings.
So to expect the town to remind the guest prayer leaders that the supreme court says the prayers must be "non-sectarian" and not name a certain "deity" does not seem like a task too difficult. They just don't care that they are excluding the people, although a minority, that do not believe in the "lord jesus".
They could say they are praying and those that don't wish to could be asked to have respectful silence. Instead they monthly proclaim their prayers to the "lord jesus".
Maybe this will make its way to the supreme court and we can have a historic decision involving greece. of course if the town loses they can blame the legal firm that is doing the work for free. This firm is a christian group that is upholding the rights to free speech for "christians". Whichever side prevails tomorrow the other will appeal.

Anonymous said...

Scats is correct the separation of church and state reuiers that govermetns refrain from asserting that beleif in Jesus is the only basis for morality or truth. Pastors are free to assert this in church or on a soapbox but nor as an official part of a public meeting

Plus many of the fundies are overtly political and hardly religious

Anonymous said...

I just watched the video. The guy makes a lot of sense. No wonder he didn't get anyplace here in Greece.

Anonymous said...

sorry but this is a non-issue. there's prayer at county government meetings and these people aren't suing them. jesus has been mentioned there and that is apparently ok with these horribly traumatized women.

remember, you can be offended, but you don't have the right to get rid of whatever offends you. the liberals say that all the time. freedom of speech should be something cherished in this country and not diminished. or do you want to pick and chose on the fly?

i also hear the bogus "what about yelling fire in a crowded theater" argument all the time. guess what, i've never seen a government room full of people clear out in mass panic because someone yelled jesus, allah, or buddah so that dog won't hunt.

and why is it always a movie theater you guys use. aren't there any other crowded places you can use to invoke your strawman argument with? maybe a restaurant? or a football stadium? or maybe an elevator... its small but boy can those things get crowded sometimes!

any thoughts?

SCATS said...

To 2:33PM ~~ Non issue? I don't think so.

Re: " jesus has been mentioned there "

At Greece Town Board meetings, it's more than a "mention" ... it appears to be required. Except for the Wiccan offering, every prayer I've heard in that room contains Jesus name and often includes such references as "the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit." That pretty much nails it as a Christians only audience.

Don't forget, SCATS showed Auggie's connection to that "In Jesus' Name" group during his last campaign. He is one of their few vocal promoters.

Anonymous said...

2:33 It was the Supreme Court that ruled that there could be prayer at government meetings but that it must be non-sectarian. So it is not just these women that are offended. It is not in compliance with the ruling of the judicial branch to have any/all the prayers invoking the name of one deity. If it was saying allah all the time or yahweh it would be wrong. It is supposed to be non-sectarian and as generic as a prayer could be.
And the old saw about the crowded theater is just that. It is an example. The government is not supposed to endorse any religion. That is the establishment clause. There is no "separation clause" but many see it that way. The government uses our money because they have no other money to use. They cannot promote religion with that money.
And when did our town board vote to use the legal services of this organization that is working pro bono? Whether they are charging us or not we have to vote to use their services. If not then the town board is not acting responsibly in defense of this plaintiff's claim. It is our attorney that should be defending our town . Is he or she not good enough? If the christian legal defense group wants to write an amicus curiae brief in support of the town that can be ok. But they can not work on our behalf unless the town board voted to accept them as one of our legal firms. Did they? Was it part of the bobble head yes votes that we never get to have explained at the 10 minute town board meetings? Or did they not vote and this is just a non-approved group arguing illegally on our behalf?
Now that they know they maybe did something wrong will they vote retroactively or change the record? Hurry Hurry. Now they will have to create a document instead of shredding one.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but you're full of it 6:17. Just because some judges say religious leaders cannot speak their faith means diddly to me and I'm sure many others. They and you can't tell me what can be said and where it is and is not allowed to be said. Since when was the judiciary granted the power to legislate and dictate that government leaders are forced to tell religious leaders what they can and cant say.

Why again is prayer allowed to occur at county meetings and elsewhere and the democrats don't sue them?

Obviously you are wrong about your interpretation because no one has been convicted of breaking the law you speak of.

Just curious, how long has this supposed slam dunk lawsuit been going on?

SCATS said...

To 11:07PM ~~ If a judge's decision "means diddly" to you, then there is nothing to discuss related to anything else you wrote - you have no respect for the law & lack common sense.

Anonymous said...

11:07 There is nothing in the penal code of NY state to address this. The only time would be if a judge put a stop to the sectarian prayer activity and the town decided to ignore the ruling of the judge. Then it would only be contempt of court. Presently this is just a civil suit , not criminal so no one will be convicted of taking their lord's name in prayer at the beginning of the meeting.
That's why the town is just ignoring the ruling of the supreme court. The only way to stop this would be to elect another group of people to the board and supervisor position and that probably won't happen. Two reasons..No one really wants the jobs and the people of Greece are just contented with things the way they are.
In fact the people of Monroe County are the same. There will be no changes. let them keep those low paying public service jobs that only will give them pensions and health benefits in their retirement and the feeling of power while they do their terms. It impresses women.

SCATS said...

To 7:16AM ~~ I don't think Auberger's salary is "low paying!" He makes quite a good amount ... especially for a senior citizen ;)

Anonymous said...

Auggie in a low paying job? one hundred thousand plus, a car, gas, insurance, maintenance, car washing, cable tv and roadrunner in his office, a cell phone, personal delivery service (town hall janitor) etc, etc. We should all have such low paying positions.

Anonymous said...

Just one point of correction "the democrats" did not initiate this suit. It was initiated by tow private citizens who may be "democrats" in a nominal sense but not part of the party. It had no official sanction. I don't beleive their views would coincide with wither the Greece or county democratic committees i.e. the official bodies of the party.

Having said that I think the county democrats are stupid not to make a point about the prayers in the County leg. Some of them are really insulting too. However the suit would have be put forward by someone who attended the meeting. That's the law as I understand it,

However the official democrats are pretty cowardly and never want to rock the boat.

Anonymous said...

hello 11:07, you are missing the point. You are welcome to use your podium time at a town board meeting to offer a prayer to Jesus Christ. Nobody is restricting your free speech. The minister who offers the "official" prayer is invited by government and that prayer should be non-sectarian because our government does not belong exclusively only to Christians.

Anonymous said...

Here is the whole explanation of the decision of August 5, 2011 by Siragusa. Interesting reading.

It says the prayers are ok because they include any clergy or non-clergy or even atheists to say something, prayer or otherwise.

The town or any other government cannot limit what an invited person can say for these "prayers".

It is difficult to differentiated between sectarian and non-sectarian according to the plaintiff's complaint and the previous decision does not limit prayer to only non-sectarian.

Prayer is allowed if it does not proselytize which these do not.

The prayer in greece does not try to establish a state religion and therefore does not violate the "establishment clause" of the constitution.

What happened with the oral arguments and decision from September 12 last week in appellate court in New York?

SCATS said...

To 4:46PM ~~ Good question! I searched a couple different times but found no mention of what happened in court on the 12th. I'm sure our paper & other media are way too busy to do a follow-up ;)

Anonymous said...

Too busy trying to get their partial unemployment benefits since they are on work slowdown.
Soon Scats will be the only source of news. You really should put advertising on here . LOL.

Scats endorses tender vittles and pine sol lemon and pet boarding and tidy cat. You could be a "spokes-feline".