Thursday, October 07, 2010

Some things in the news

Yoga: Not Christianity
Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler says "he objects to 'the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine'."

"'That's just not Christianity,' Mohler told The Associated Press."

Soldier Dad sues Fred Phelps
"It is an emotional battle at the Supreme Court of the United States, pitting free speech, no matter how vile and hate-filled against the right to privacy.

"Al Snyder is suing Pastor Fred Phelps for protesting at his son’s funeral, Lance Cpl. Mathew Snyder."


Milton T. Burton said...

Toe me free speech is the ability to say what you want to say in your own newspaper, or on your own ground, or in a true public debate on public ground. It is not the right to say what you want to say just ANYWHERE. No one has the right to say anything I don't want said in my own home. By the same token, neither Phelps, myself, or anyone else has the right to say anything outside a funeral and thereby disrupt the proceedings.

R. L. Vaughn said...

I agree. Freedom of speech is not absolutely unlimited. I have not tried to ferret out all the details on this lawsuit, but it appears that the Phelps group was a certain distant away from the funeral so that maybe they were seen by some folks as they arrived but not heard at the service itself. Not sure about that. I read on one occasion that the father did not even know they were there until sometime after the funeral (a few days maybe). I also read a comment from Justice Elena Kagan about them not being on private property and not violating any laws. Of course, unless you research this very carefully it's hard to know what is reported accurately and what is not.

It will be quite interesting to hear what the Supreme Court decides on this. I am guessing that this will be mixed up and that some of the conservative right will go for right to privacy and that some of the liberal left will support free speech. But what will the middle do? I am also interested specifically in what Kagan will do, who from various reports about her I think would tend to be pro-homosexual and anti-military. I guess we'll know at the end of the session.

Regardless of the legalities of the issue, it doesn't change the fact that this picketing of military funerals is totally psycho and wholly obnoxious. I haven't heard Phelps speak for himself, but I have read that he says our boys are being killed because of the United States' support of homosexually. I don't agree with the direction our country has been going on some of these issues (especially so-called gay marriage), but our boys are being killed because we are at war, plain and simple. Our military men have been killed in every war we have engaged in.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Mr. Mohler. There are many other ways to to partake in exercise and spiritual refreshment, if that is what the individual is looking for. On the other hand, perhaps the increased interest in things such as yoga are due to the fact that our culture has drifted away from physical activity. Take for instance your average farmer from years gone by. It goes without saying that by the end of his week, yoga would be the last thing on his mind.

But then we also must look at what is going on in Christianity as well. So much of what is deemed as worship today has become so shallow and artificial, that it could be no more effective in drawing one closer to God than yoga could.

I am afraid it all boils down to the cultural shift away from the ancient landmarks to which we have strayed. It seems so many are now eager to dabble in something to which they are not familiar and do see as offensive. Look at how gambling has taken a stronghold to where it has all but lost its shock effect. After all, some of your megachurches now offer karate classes.

Anonymous said...

I believe this case would definitely fall under an implied scenario regarding the Bill of Rights, akin to crying"fire" in a public setting when there is none.

Also, might there be a lesser law or ordinance which could take precedence here, such as disorderly conduct or being a public nuisance, given the context of the setting?

R. L. Vaughn said...

I also agree with Mohler (in general; I don't know what all he said). The physical part of the exercises of yoga might be fine, but the real or full practice of yoga is rooted in Eastern mysticism.

Concerning Phelps, I found the following info on the internet. I think it is accurate, but don't know for certain. So, supposedly, the members of Westboro Baptist Church notified local authorities of their intention to protest, kept 1,000 feet away from the church. An alternative entrance was used for mourners, and there was no disruption to the memorial. Signs held by the protesters included, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers", and "God Hates Fags". No protesters were arrested.

I'm guessing that unless they find in favor of Albert Snyder for some other reason, the protest itself will not rise to the level of violation of privacy in the eyes of the Supreme Court.