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It is shocking how many people think Christmas is a christian holiday. I seen one commenter saying "Has been and always will be". No it hasn't. Learn to read, pick up a book and do some research. I wont get into the specifics of what parts of Christianity are stolen but lets say a good portion is taken from other religions.
Also the notion that America was founded as a christian nation is equally as idiotic. Do Christians even own more than one book. I am beginning to doubt it with some of these comments.
Seen a few others say if you dont like it just dont go. Its on government property. I have the same right and freedom to be there as you do. I also have the right not to have christian nonsense shoved down my throat on what is after all a pagan holiday.
I cant quite believe how much stupid is on this thread. The ignorance of the religious is shocking. You don't know anything about the founding of your religion, your country or the laws governing either.
"There is an ignorance of what the Constitution truly says and means on here that is disgusting..." More ironic words ne'er were spake.
Love seeing the nativity scene...I say leave it up.
When the Constitution was written many people remembered the persecution that happened in England. The Church of England was the official state religion. A few other religions were tolerated if they were quiet about it. If they made too much noise the police raided the church and dragged the paster off to prison.
Without the separation of church and state the state can pick one particular religion and ban all the rest. Would you be OK if your town made say, Southern Baptist, the official city religion and closed all of the rest of the churches?
The founding fathers knew that allowing the government to pick and choose which religious groups to support and which to suppress was dangerous. Allowing the government to only allow Christian symbols on city property is a first step towards only allowing Christian churches in the city limits.
If all you people would read the original article and learn some reading comprehension. The County leases that corner to the Chamber of Commerce. So the chamber can do what they want with it. And they want to display the nativity scene. I would suspect most of you dont live here. We here that are southern born and bred stick to our god and our guns and really dont care what you libtards think. Merry Christmas and GOD Bless you all
If people want to put up nativity decorations on their own, personal property, fine, but public property--and especially anything to do with government--should be free of religious decor. That is no place to display your beliefs. Remember how Jesus said to pray in private? Yeah, I notice a lot of Christians ignore that bit because they really love to pray, worship, and show off in public, where everyone can see how holy they are. "Truly, I say to you, they already have their reward."
There is an ignorance of what the Constitution truly says and means on here that is disgusting and reveals just how much the liberal, anti-God crowd have succeeded in brainwashing people. Don't tell me what courts have ruled because the courts didn't write the Constitution. I'll tell you what the Founders wrote hundreds of times. Read "Christianity and the Constitution" if you want to know the TRUTH.
To the liberals and and Jesus haters on here, patience. It won't be long before you have it all your way for 7 years. It only takes your way that long to destroy all of civilization.
PS: Obviously the Quorum Court does NOT agree with the leftist, liberal, anti Jesus interpretation of the Constitution. I believe they far more accurately represent what this community believes than the haters on here.
Btw, for those complaining about poll manipulation... isn't it frustrating when a large group uses their combined influence to manipulate outcomes in their favor, at the expense of a minority?
The more you know...
I do live "here"... in the United States. And I pay taxes... in the United States. And anytime any municipality is permitted to get away with this kind of blatant violation of the Constitution, it weakens it everywhere... in the United States.
Poll not being manipulated JT???? Here are some of your buddies comments from Facebook. Maybe you should change who sees your Facebook page.
Konrad M.....says, There we go, 7 no votes from me, all legit.#askmehow
Konrad M. Says...JT, I would rather amputate my genitals with a blunt butter knife than touch internet exploder again.
So, on a mobile device, using the FB app, if you tap on the link to your article on patheos, it opens up a FB specific browser within the app. On iOS devices, you tap and hold the link to the survey, and it will let you copy the link the clipboard. Then you can tap on the link to the survey, and it stays within the FB App browser, and you can vote no.
Then fire up the normal browser on your mobile device, like Safari on iOS devices, paste the link you copied earlier into the address field, and it takes you to the survey, where you can vote again, since Safari again doesn't share cookies with the FB App browser. Two votes per mobile device.
Patrick H. Says....While we're being unfair, I just opened up my VPN and now I'm spoofing and voting endlessly. The last step would be to get a Baxter county IP address range, you know, so I'm not using random IPs lol..
Patrick H. Now, to flood the site with "NO" responses eternally and automatically haha
Bob S. Says.......you have Chrome, you can just set it to start in incognito mode so it doesn't store the cookie that says you already voted. Vote, restart Chrome, vote again, etc.
You don't play fair...if other religions want to display their symbols great maybe Baxter Bulletin needs to take a poll by mail to it's citizens. BUT, TO cheat like this is distasteful and dishonest.
I'm happy to see there are Christians commenting who understand this is not about taking away or hiding CHRISTian beliefs but rather about giving equal rights to all beliefs. There were so many simple solutions to this (move the display, allow others to display their holiday beliefs, or allow no displays on this property) yet county officials and lawyers who are supposed to know the law are blatantly continuing the display on unauthorized property. Our county officials are acting like children and obviously don't care about equality or fairness for all the townsfolk. As for those who fought for our rights in this country, you fought for EQUALITY and no, this country was NOT founded on CHRISTian beliefs nor is the whole month of December christmas.
I done 23 years defending a country that was founded on the principles of God. I just can't understand how 1 percent run the 99 percent and I agree with others on here if it offends you don't go look at it. I am smart enough to know if I jump in front of a speeding train I will die so I don't do it if it offends you get smart and don't look at it
. But I would encourage you to remember what you stood for when you are on your knees if front of the almighty God and said you denied him on earth and if you want to agree or not one day you will face God to be judged on you actions while on earth
Your freedom of religion/expression ends when it violates the rights of others. Also, the "we've always done it this way" argument is a poor excuse to allow a Constitutional violation to continue. This nation was founded as a secular one , some of the founders just happened to be christian. It would still be a secular nation if all the founders were Muslim or Jewish.
have your own day but CHRISTMAS is about Jesus brithday
I think that these folks should be able to put their Christian beliefs on display - -in their OWN yard.
No, Christmas is not about Jesus. Maybe for you but not for a lot of people. That's the point. Just because you enjoy Thursday does not mean you must worship Thor.
Jesus is the reason for the season. CHRISTMAS is about Jesus being born not whether you believe or not it's for Christians who believe he was born, not for non believers have your own day! Put your stuff in your own yards if that's what you want,but CHRISTMAS is for believers.
if the courts have all ready ruled on this its simple...the judge must follow the law
and let others have the same rights....if he doesn't the sheriff's jobs is to in force the law
This situation has ended up in court many times before. A government agency, the county in this case, gives permission for a non-government group to put up a religious display on government property. There is nothing inherently unconstitutional about this.
However, the courts have consistently ruled, that when the government does this, it is creating a public forum, and that other groups must also be allowed to put up their own displays. The problem in this town is that the county denied another group permission to do put up their display. The county cannot discriminate based on viewpoint. If they allow a Christian display, they cannot deny a Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist or any other group. If they do they are violation the establishment clause of the first amendment.
The nativity scene and Christmas corner has been the same EVERY year since I was a kid and I'm sure many years before then .. It's a tradition or heritage of our county that this display is placed on the square and the tree is lit each year .. Just because one group of people ( most who don't even live here) all of the sudden wanted to change this .. are upset .. We are going to change our whole county? I'm going to say like others if you don't like the nativity scene on the square .. Don't go there .. I am not going to go to a place that worships Satan .. but as I would pray for those people.. I'm not going to demand they change their ideas or practices ... This nativity scene does not hurt anyone .. All of these comments about moving the nativity scene .. Why can't the ones who want the banner put the banner in another place .. Seems I grew up first come first serve and the nativity scene .. has been there long before this crazy idea even came up ...
Some of the old timers will know this .. but seems growing up I even heard a story about some part of the display was in honor of someone past ... Not sure what part of it .. but seems that is the story I heard ...
Our country was founded on God rather anyone wants to face that our not !!
I do have to admit I enjoyed the comment made about these said people who are against the nativity scene do not have a problem with other aspects of the Christmas holiday .... Just some things to think about ....
These are JT Eberhards words that came from his website. He says the poll isn't being manipulated, then explain this....
If ever you wanted to do me a favor, help alter this poll and share it for others to do the same.December 4, 2014Leave a Comment
by: JT Eberhard
Do me a favor: go vote “no” in this poll (it’s about my hometown putting up a nativity on the courthouse lawn while simultaneously denying the local freethinkers a “Happy Solistice!” banner on the same grounds). And then share it for others to do the same. I know a lot of you think it’s just a poll and that tweaking it is just trolling, but trust me: the people in my hometown put a lot of emphasis on these polls so they can say “this is what the majority wants” as if the whims of the majority can negate the rights of all.
The only vote that should matter in this pole is the people who live here and pay taxes here and noone else!!!!!! You use the word "freethinkers" but JT aren't you telling them how to vote? So how is that free?
"Do you believe that Christians and all religions should be permitted to voice their beliefs or lack thereof in a public place?""
Or better yet: "Do you believe that Christians and all religions should be permitted to voice their beliefs or lack thereof on government property?" Since that's the issue at stake. :)
Another good one would be "If one religion is allowed representation, is it morally/ethically right to place greater burden on citizens of other beliefs for the same privilege?"
All of these would be great. But for the poll in question, I think most people answering are correct.
Sonny: If you would please ask an unloaded question such as "Do you believe that Christians and all religions should be permitted to voice their beliefs or lack thereof in a public place?" your poll would be more relevant to the facts.
Sooner or later the majority of Americans will understand that government should avoid giving the impression that it is favoring one religion over another, or favoring belief over non-belief. The best way to demonstrate this is for the government to remain NEUTRAL with regards to religion. Religious symbols of any kind have no place on government property, and frankly I am getting tired that this simple, truly American concept is so hard for people to grasp. Until then, the secular community will do our best to kindly remind you of this point for as long as it takes to become the default position.
Here's a handy rebuttal of the ten arguments you'll hear in defense of having the creche to the exclusion of the Solstice banner.
And as for "this poll is being manipulated." When people you don't agree with vote, it's not manipulation, it's voting.
And I'm not sure anybody here is anti-god, but they're certainly anti-discrimination (and one can only wonder why the godly aren't). The issue at hand is that the county is giving the Christian display privileges it's actively denying to people with different beliefs. That's not fair or legal.
I would like to place a secular, non-religious display with truly equal footing with the sectarian nativity scene. Would that be allowed? I'm talking putting up a Festivus pole or Happy Solstice or, "Axial Tilt is the Reason for the Season".
How about another religious display celebrating the story of Satan? Could I get that approved if it were in good taste and representative of the Satanic community in Baxter County?
It's funny that people like Fire Eyes, who care so much about our country's founding, completely disregard that our Constitution says our government is not to favor one religion over another.
And speaking of founding fathers, Fire Eyes completely disregards the opinion of Thomas Jefferson, who in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, said,
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
Fire Eyes even disregards his own Bible. Jesus says clearly in Matthew 6:5, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."
For someone who claims to love history and God, he or she knows little about either.
Public property = Government shall not promote one religion over another. If the government will not allow other belief systems to promote themselves ON PUBLIC PROPERTY in equal part to Christianity, then it is violating the law, plain and simple.
You own your yard, put whatever you want on it. That courthouse land is everyone's yard, not just the Christians'.
1. It's clear the anti-God crowd is manipulating this vote and therefore the poll itself is invalid.
2. Historical FACT: George Washington, ALL of the first Congress, and all nine of the original Supreme Court were present at St. Paul's Chapel immediately after the first inauguration to DEDICATE THE NEW NATION AND ITS GOVERNMENT TO THE GOD OF THE BIBLE. Don't like that fact. TBSS = too bad, so sad.
3. It has only been since approximately 1964 that the ludicrous argument against any religious expression connected to government has been raised. Such religious expression is a hard, fast part of our history and in NO WISE constitutes government support of a state religion such as Anglicanism in the UK.
I support the display staying exactly where it has been displayed for all these years. Anyone who doesn't like it needs to be honest and admit even seeing a church house anywhere at all enrages them because of how they hate God and Christians. They need to be patient. It won't be long before they will have it their way for 7 years during which time their way totally destroys the entire world.
Steven H. - It is my understanding that regardless of the vote tallies this poll was manipulated by those posted out in that it was phrased dishonestly. The nativity scene would be ok if I could put a Krampus statue, Festivus Pole and a "Joyous Saturnalia!" banner next to the nativity scene, but it is my understanding that two years running a group requesting the exercise of their right to post a "Happy Solstice!" banner next to the nativity were denied that privelege. As such it is clear that the city has no intent of providing the proper circumstances and will stubbornly maintain the nativity scene no matter the results of any poll until legal action forces them to remove it or allow other religious/secular groups to post alongside it.
It's funny, all these religious things in government and our government is so corrupt!!!! There are WAY more Important things in the world to fight about than a nativity scene in a court yard!
I vote in almost all of these Baxter Bulletin polls. The number of votes is never anywhere close to this large. I am confident this poll is being manipulated.
isn't it nice to be able to waste time being upset by a few statues and a heartfelt Merry Christmas. We are now 18 Trillion Dollars in debt, and all people worry about is protecting themselves from some cows, donkeys and three now so wise guys.
I do LOVE that nativity scene! However, I would like it just as much if it were on the grounds of Rick Spencer's business or a church, and perhaps the Christmas parade could be routed past it there. Money, time, and talents are better used for the Food Bank or the Salvation Army than for fighting a vain battle.
It's not like Christians have no other opportunity to celebrate their religious holiday. Christians have every right to put up a display on their own property if they want but the issue is not about religious freedom, it is about Christians who feel they have the right to commandeer government resources for their own selfish purposes at the expense of everyone else. Sorry, guys those days are over. Those of us in the minority are not going to allow ourselves to be treated like 2nd class citizens anymore. I will help you set up your Christmas tree on your front lawn, but I won't allow you to trample on the rights of others.
@Carlo - First, let's not mistake the demand for Christian privilege with freedom of expression or freedom of religion. Here's a good way to check to see which one you are arguing for. If the government were giving Muslims exclusive access to put up a religious display and denying Christians the same access, would you really feel the same way about this situation? No? That's what I thought.
Second, it's rather ironic that you bitch about freedom of expression and in the same breath tell people who don't like the rather blatant violation of religious neutrality going on here to shut their mouths and go home.
Third, It's a good thing that constitutional guarantees, such as religious neutrality by the state, are not subject to the whims of the majority. Rather, one of the most important functions of the bill of rights is to protect the rights of minorities (in this case, non-Christians) from the whims of the majority (in this case, Christians). If the government is going to allow Christians to put up sectarian religious displays on government property, then the guarantee of religious neutrality mandates that it also allow equal access to every other religious viewpoint, including secular humanists, atheits, Muslims, and even Satinists (GASP!). The only other acceptable alternative is that no religious viewpoint is allowed to put up a display (and in fact I would argue that this is the preferable alternative). If you don't like it, I suggest you start lobbying to have an amendment to the constitution put in the works, but until such an amendment passes, I'm afraid you Christians (the MAJORITY!!!) are just going to have to get used to the idea that people from other religious or non-religious backgrounds have the same constitutional rights that you do, and among those is to have a religiously neutral government. I know, it sucks to have everybody given the same rights as you, but hey, life can't always be fair, can it?
The nativity scene can literally go ANYWHERE else. Just not in front of a court house. Find some privately owned land. I'd be absolutely fine with that.
The government is supposed to serve all equally. Sectarian religious displays are not appropriate for the government. On private property yes they are fine, but the government should remain neutral.
If you don't live here why are you voting?
The courthouse is the seat of local secular justice, and shouldn't ever allow displays that show favoritism to one particular group. It doesn't matter at all whether Christians are in the majority in town; justice is supposed to be blind in that respect.
If they allow all displays, fine. But allowing only a nativity is clearly favoring the Christian faith over others, a clear violation of the establishment clause.
On the local church lawn , yes. On government grounds, no.
Under any circumstances is pretty vague.
Yes, if the circumstances allow for participation by hard working, tax paying citizens whose holiday celebrations don't include a belief in Jesus. Allowing others to play along is the right, decent, love your neighbor as yourself response.
Excluding others? That makes baby Jesus cry.
The people who are complaining that it's there are the same ones who would complain when it's not. There's always going to be people who need an agenda to go after and a cause to fight. I'm a Christian and I could care less one way or another if it's there. I could care less if there's anything there. Instead of saying they can't do it why not offer up some solutions. If you don't like it on the courthouse lawn why don't you tell them they can move it to your front lawn? If seeing plastic statues of people holding Jesus offends you then take it for what it literally is. A bunch of plastic statues holding another plastic statue. Christmas has been and forever will be a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. If that truly offends you then make sure you complain when school breaks for Christmas break. Your kids aren't being taught for two weeks. because of Jesus. Make sure you don't accept your paid holiday off. Because regardless of wether you call it a holiday, or a paid day off its because of Christmas. And if those are actually ok with you than you're really not that offended. And if it's a matter of it shouldn't be on taxpayers land then perhaps we shouldn't have voted that judge back into office again. (And for what it's worth he swore in on a bible)
The key words in this poll are "under any circumstances". There are circumstances when this would be absolutely without questions a wonderful thing to do. It is a lovely display of our Christian faith. However, without access to the public property by other religious groups, it becomes an issue that has been fought and lost time and time again. Perhaps the right thing to do at this point is to allow the others, and avoid the costly legal process that has been threatened. Personally, I feel that the citizens of Baxter County would welcome a resolution instead of a fight.
"The way I understand it the piece of lawn the nativity is set up on is being rented to an individual for this purpose!!! So what's the big deal...it's not as if county government is responsible for it."
As usual, people are constantly trying to find loopholes and tricks to circumvent the spirit of the law. It doesn't magically become okay due to an obscure technicality. The core problem is the government showing preference for one religion over another. An individual renting space doesn't solve this issue, unless all other religious preferences can also rent bits of the property too - otherwise, the government is playing favorites in the selection process.
Even if the nativity scene is constructed using private funds, the fact that it is on government property would lead to assumptions that it is government-sponsored. I'm sure there is plenty of private real estate within the county on which the nativity scene could be placed. Every citizen is free to erect their own holiday decorations on their own property. Leave publicly-owned buildings free of those gaudy monstrosities.
Some of the commenters here seem to suffer from the misunderstanding that because they like the Nativity Scene at the courthouse and they believe possibly the majority agree (though the poll results indicate otherwise), that other people are being too sensitive or should just look away. Um, no. I am a Christian and the Nativity is a beautiful sight in my eyes, but it belongs on PRIVATE PROPERTY. It NEVER belongs on public grounds maintained and supported by the taxpayers . Some of those taxpayers are not Christians. They have no obligation to support our beliefs at the expense of their own. Particularly if expressions of other faiths are prohibited in the same public square where you endorse the Nativity, you're signingup for some serious legal challenges. I always prefer that people choose to do the right thing without being forced or shamed into it. Please just do the right thing.
Why does religion want to co-opt government as its advertising arm? Put up such displays on church property or private property.
Where's the "Like" button on these comments?!?!? I need one for the "petulant child" phrase!
It is nobody's religious right to have exclusive access to government property for their own particular religion. The creche would not have been an issue if Mickey Pendergrass had not denied another group equal space on the courthouse lawn. Allowing Christians and nobody else, even trying to be sneaky and give the space away to a private citizen they know is going to continue the practice, is legally (and ethically) dubious - and it's going to cost the county when they lose a foredoomed lawsuit.
The outrage should be over inequality. It should be about government treating one religion held by its citizens better than other religions held by its citizens. And the outrage should be pointed at Mickey Pendergrass and the ones maintaining this situation.
Sadly, many Christians, despite assurances that their faith makes them more moral, will direct their outrage at the people committed to halting this injustice.
A nativity scene in front of the courthouse is wrong. Would a muslim, buddhist, or an atheist expect to get a fair trial when the court is explicitly favoring one religion?
Anywhere but the courthouse, preferrably on private property.
A nativity scene in front of the courthouse is wrong. Would a muslim, buddhist, or an atheist expect to get a fair trial when the court is explicitly favoring one religion. Anywhere but the courthouse, preferrably on private property.
Unless equal treatment is given to all faiths and non-faith traditions this is obviously a violation of the establishment clause. If the county is taking a position that the nativity be allowed to the exclusion of any other group they are inviting a costly legal battle that they almost certainly won't win.
Churches and homeowners yards are where personal displays of faith should be displayed. There should be no mixture of religion and government. I'm not offended by nativity scenes, I'm offended by the fact that there is a bias of one religion over others.
Unless they are prepared to allow ALL types of displays, then absolutely not. For those saying it doesn't matter, maybe instead of the nativity scene, we can put some menorah's? Or maybe some Islamic symbols? Would that still be ok? If we ARE allowing all of these other types of decorations, by all means, the nativity should be allowed to be included! If not, then no way.
Either every single religion has the right, or no religion has the right. That's what the constitution is there for, equal rights and protection for everyone, specially to protect the minority from the majority. Being the majority religion gives you no special rights whatsoever. So, if your misguided sense religious 'privilege' makes you think that a nativity scene should be erected in public property, be ready for muslim, jewish, atheist & satanist displays sharing the space with your precious myth.
If you want a nativity scene, erected in your own property, not in public property that belongs to everyone, not only to people that think their religion is the only valid one.
The way I understand it the piece of lawn the nativity is set up on is being rented to an individual for this purpose!!! So what's the big deal...it's not as if county government is responsible for it.
Carlo Campisi says, "Thank you for letting my freedom of speech work for me." Funny how he doesn't seem to be concerned with ANYBODY ELSE'S freedom of speech though.
Only as long as EVERYONE is allowed to put up a display. Either you allow EVERYONE or NOBODY. FYI, nativity scenes on government property isn't about OFFENSE, it's about constitutionality. Don't go out and make it look like some people are whining. Christians don't own the holiday season, and they don't even own Christmas. If they have a problem with that, maybe they should be the ones who stop calling the other side "thin-skinned".
Under the right circumstances, which is that all comers get to have equal rights to expression or speech on state property, it is just fine. Anyone can look at what is there now, who decides what goes up, and see that those circumstances do not exist. So, I would vote yes, but will not because it would be deemed as support for the current situation.
Jesse, I might ask you the same thing. What about the rights of those that believe differently than you? If a different display is put up, don't look at it. Why don't you "grow a pair" and stop acting like a petulant child who only wants HIS way.
It isn't about taking it down. What is so hard to understand about that? It is about sharing the square. Others should be allowed to put up displays also. If not, then it needs to come down. Why is "freedom of expression" only for the preferred symbols of the majority? All citizens deserve to be equally represented. Why is sharing so hard?
Nothing wrong with expressing our RIGHTS. If you don't like the scene, don't look at it! Forcing people to not express their beliefs because it "offends" another means, grow a pair! Stop being so thin skinned! Grow up.
Freedom of expression is an AMERICAN RIGHT.Both parties are free to express how they wish.But WE THE MAJORITY,believe in leaving the nativity scene alone.And for those folks dont like it,express your feelings at home.Thank you for letting my freedom of speech work for me.
Yes, it's our God given right!