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Whom Do You Believe on This One?

"Defendants note that Wesley's babysitter, Judy Harper, testified that Wesley's favorite book in kindergarten was 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear.' Defendants contend that the Bible is really Plaintiff's favorite book." Busch v. Marple Newtown School Dist., 2007 WL 1589507 (E.D. Pa. 2007).

I should say that I'll be the first to admit that I've been exposed to a limited set of small children, and preferences may be very different in more devout households. Still, beating Brown Bear, Brown Bear strikes me as mighty hard, and I somehow doubt the Bible is up to the challenger.

whackjobbbb:
Can we put the 5-year old on a lie detector? =;-)
6.6.2007 7:43pm
scote (mail):
Here is the decision PDF.
6.6.2007 7:44pm
Redman:
Well who knows for sure.

But, does BB, BB contain stories of a man swallowed by a giant fish, of a boy slaying a terrible giant, of a man gathering all the world's animals into a boat, of a man who could walk on water, etc?
6.6.2007 7:52pm
Spartacus (www):
BB,BB was my son's favorites for awhile (he cannot yet read, but loves to be read to), but he eventually tired of it before his second b'day, and now prefers more involved stories like, for example, Curious George, though a few rythmic favorites do persist (such as a number of Mother Goose classics). I would not be surprised to learn that a well educated 5 year old used to prefer BBBB, but had moved on to cooler, deeper stuff, though the opposite is also plausible.
6.6.2007 7:56pm
FantasiaWHT:
My three year old digs BBBB. He's started making up variations like "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you hear? I hear a red bird chirping at me" etc. etc.

He did go through a phase a little before he turned 3, however, where he loved stories from his children's bible.
6.6.2007 7:59pm
bigchris1313 (mail):

He did go through a phase a little before he turned 3, however, where he loved stories from his children's bible.


Children's bible? Sounds like all the good stuff might be missing.
6.6.2007 8:09pm
whackjobbbb:
OK, I flipped through that moronic decision. I'm almost sorry I found this Volokh website, because I'm coming to lose faith in anything you lawyers touch... and I had little faith in you to begin with. I can't believe ANYBODY could put pen to paper and come up with this nonsensical gobbledeygook... let alone a United Stated federal court... simply fuqqin unbelievable. (CAPS MINE).


Nevertheless, Plaintiffs are correct that decisions on religious expression tend to be made
on an ad hoc basis. (I HEARD THAT, YOUR EMINENCE. YOU'RE ABOUT AS AD HOC AS IT GETS.) Unfortunately, this results not from the school’s lack of a clear policy, but
instead from the fact-intensive nature of each inquiry and the somewhat confounding treatment
of these questions by the courts. (YOU'RE A LOT MORE THAN "SOMEWHAT" CONFOUNDING, HOW ABOUT MAJORLY, OR ABUNDANTLY, OR IMMODERATELY, OR COPIOUSLY?) While this opinion may provide some guidance to educators (SOME? HOW ABOUT NOUGHT, OR ZERO, OR NIX? HOW ABOUT YOU QUIT TRYING TO "GUIDE" EVERYBODY AND JUST APPLY THE LAW IN A LIMITED FASHION?), we
have no doubt that this area will remain confusing and will always require an individualized
approach (JOB SECURITY? FOR SURE, COUNSELORS, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU'VE DONE HERE. ZIP IT. SHUT UP. BE SILENT. ETC ETC). Educators in public schools are called upon to make difficult distinctions between
permissible cultural or religious expression and impermissible religious promotion. (HERE'S YOUR FIRST MISTAKE, ATTEMPTING TO DEFINE "PERMISSIBLE AND "IMPERMISSIBLE". YOU LOST IT AT THAT POINT, AND PERHAPS 30-40 YEARS AGO WHEN YOUR FASCIST FORBEARS FIRST STARTED THIS NONSENSE. I HOPE YOU ENJOY WRANGLING THOSE CATS, YOU IDIOTS. MAYBE SOMEDAY WE CAN ACTUALLY FIND SKILLED LAWYERS FOR THESE POSITIONS.) These
decisions must be made based on the identity of the speaker, the context of the speech, the age of
the listeners, and the way in which the religious content is delivered and likely to be heard.(WHEW, THAT ALL? WE'LL HAVE TO START PUTTING YOUR BRAND ON THOSE CATS IMMEDIATELY, THEN.) No
policy will prevent such fact intensive inquiries.(NOR PREVENT YOU FROM NITPICKING THEM IN THE AFTERMATH, STAMPEDING THE CAT HERD, AND MOUNTING UP AND RIDING THE RANGE AGAIN, YOU IDIOTS) While it is unfortunate that each analysis must
be so complicated, a school’s effort to abide by the somewhat hazy requirements of the
Establishment Clause (THEY AIN'T TOO HAZY TO ME. HAVE YOU EVER READ THE FRICKIN THING?) does not, on its own, create excessive entanglement with religion.(WHAT KIND OF AN EMPTY, THROWAWAY STATEMENT IS THIS? TO WHAT PURPOSE? ARE YOU IDIOTS ATTEMPTING TO BLANKET YOURSELVES IN SOME FAUX SERIOUSNESS HERE OR WHAT?) Were
that the case, every municipality or government agency would violate the Clause every time it
made decisions about holiday decorations or funding for religious entities.(HEY WHY NOT? OPEN RANGE CAT HERDING HERE WE COME!) Government must be
free to grapple with these questions without violating the Constitution by having the discussion.(THANK YOU FOR YOUR FORBEARANCE, BEN CARTWRIGHT.)



Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. I'm gonna read some more of this nonsense decision, and I hope it gets better. For the sake of the health of this Republic, it sure better.
6.6.2007 8:57pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Whackjob: when you pick up a book on quantum physics and complain that you don't understand what all those weird greek symbols are, and rant that they should stop confusing you and just write more simply, you just make yourself look like, well, a whackjob.
6.6.2007 9:10pm
scote (mail):

OK, I flipped through that moronic decision. I'm almost sorry I found this Volokh website, because I'm coming to lose faith in anything you lawyers touch... and I had little faith in you to begin with. I can't believe ANYBODY could put pen to paper and come up with this nonsensical gobbledeygook... let alone a United Stated federal court... simply fuqqin unbelievable. (CAPS MINE).

Translation: "Trip Trap, Trip Trap...who’s that skipping over my bridge?...
6.6.2007 9:14pm
BladeDoc (mail):
While I agree that whackjob's nick is legitimately earned I do agree in part. If the vast majority of citizens cannot understand the law well enough to know what is or is not legal there is something wrong. Criminal law is understandable to the non-lawyer at least in the brushstrokes (IMO it doesn't matter if the criminal doesn't know the difference b/w Murder in the 1st or 2nd, just that it's not legal to kill someone). However without paying experts (that are also incorrect on not infrequent occasions) it is essentially impossible to comply with the tax code, Medicare rules, zoning laws, business law, etc. etc. There is something wrong with that. By the people, of the people, and for the people means little if only a minor percentage of the people can figure out what's going on.
6.6.2007 9:52pm
whackjobbbb:
Nope, it didn't get any better.


Plaintiff argues, in addition to her Free Speech and Establishment Clause claims, that
Defendants also denied her and Wesley equal protection of the laws.26 Plaintiff contends that in
allowing other parents and students of non-Christian faiths to share religious traditions during
classroom activities, Defendants subjected her and her son to disparate treatment in violation of
the Fourteenth Amendment.(WHY WOULD SHE THINK THAT? EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT SCHOOLS SHOULD BE DECIDING WHICH RELIGIONS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PRESENT IN KINDERGARTEN, AND WHICH SHOULD NOT. AND EVEN IF THEY DON'T, WE HAVE THE DISTRICT COURT TO DECIDE FOR THEM. SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?) While Plaintiff does not point to specific instances of disparate
treatment and instead incorporates her entire brief by reference, we assume the equal protection
claim to be focused on Mrs. Lipski’s two presentations to the class about Hanukkah and Passover
respectively.(GOOD ASSUMPTION, COUNSELORS, AND YOU EVEN GOT IN A DIG AT THE STUPID PLAINTIFF LAWYERS TOO. WELL DONE.) If these presentations were permitted, Plaintiff argues, Busch’s reading of the Bible
should have been allowed as well.27 Defendants counter that no other parent presentations during

“All About Me” week involved religious expression.(AND WE ALL CLEARLY KNOW WHAT THAT IS, DON'T WE? AFTERALL, YOU'VE PROVIDED SUCH WONDERFUL "GUIDANCE" ON THE MATTER, AND YOU'VE GOT PLENTY MORE TO COME I'M SURE.) However, this fact is irrelevant to the equal
protection determination.(AND IT IS A "FACT", RIGHT? AFTERALL, YOU SAID IT IS, SO IT MUST BE, RIGHT MR. CARTWRIGHT?) Whether or not the parents of other faiths presented to the class as part
of the same curricular program is not determinative (HERE'S A WORD THAT CLEVER LAWYERS ALWAYS USE TO SKEW THINGS A BIT... SO WATCH OUT AFTERWARDS, CAMPERS.), and Defendants’ contention views the issue
through too narrow a lense(FORTUNATELY, YOU HAVE THE PROPER DIAMETER LENS, FULLY CALIBRATED OPTICS. HECK YOU PROBABLY GOT THAT NEW LASER GUIDED CAT HERDING EQUIPMENT.). Nevertheless, we are not persuaded that Defendants’ actions
throughout the course of the year in allowing some parent presentations but not others violated
the Equal Protection Clause.(MAYBE NOT, BUT YOU'RE STILL A BUNCH OF IDIOTS FOR RAMBLING ON LIKE THIS.)
“The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment commands that no State
shall ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,’ which is
essentially a direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike.”(IF YOU'D MAKE A HABIT OF LEANING CLOSER TO THIS INTERPRETATION, AND FINDING WAYS TO APPLY IT MORE BROADLY, YOU MIGHT FIND THE CATS DON'T SCATTER SO WILDLY ALL THE TIME.) City of
Cleburne, Tex. v. Cleburne Living Ctr., 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985) (quoting Plyler v. Doe, 457
U.S. 202, 216 (1982)).28 Thus, the first question in this analysis must focus on whether the

school’s actions dealt with similarly situated people. In the circumstances presented by this case,
we are compelled to conclude that they did not.
When questioned about why the teacher and principal permitted Mrs. Lipski’s
presentations but would not permit Busch’s Bible reading, Principal Cook made it clear that he
viewed those presentations as acceptable discussions of Jewish culture within the context of the
curriculum.(OK, I'LL TAKE THE PRINCIPAL'S WORD ON THIS. HE'S PROBABLY GOT MORE SENSE THAN YOU, NOT THAT THAT'S SAYING MUCH.) (Cook Dep. at 91, 93-94 (“I think that when the menorah was presented it was
presented in a way which was related to the curriculum in terms of its importance historically and
culturally.”).) The Supreme Court has made clear that it is impermissible for the government to
celebrate Christmas or any other holiday as a religious holiday because that would be government
endorsement of a particular religious point of view.(SO THEY CAN'T CELEBRATE A HOLIDAY, EXCEPT IF IT'S ONE THAT RANCHER CARTWRIGHT FINDS ACCEPTABLE, THAT IT?) See County of Allegheny, 492 U.S. at 611
(“If the government celebrates Christmas as a religious holiday . . . it means that the government
really is declaring Jesus to be the Messiah, a specifically Christian belief.”). However,
government may celebrate a holiday associated with one religion if it is “confin[ed] . . . to the
holiday’s secular aspects.”(SO THEN, WE'RE BACK TO THE "PERMISSIBLE" AND "IMPERMISSIBLE" FELINE ROUND-UP, EH?) Id. In County of Allegheny, the Court concluded that it was
impermissible to place a crèche with a banner stating “Glory to God in the Highest!” in the main
part of the county courthouse because in doing so “the county sends an unmistakable message
that it supports and promotes the Christian praise to God that is the crèche’s religious message.”
Id. at 600. The Court also noted that a display of a menorah may present “a closer constitutional
question” because “the menorah’s message is not exclusively religious. The menorah is the
primary visual symbol for a holiday that, like Christmas, has both religious and secular
dimensions.”(GOOD THING TOO, THE JUDGES UNION WOULD BE AWFUL MAD IF SOMEBODY STOLE THEIR WORK.) Id. at 613-14. Similarly, the Court commented that “[a]lthough Christmas trees
once carried religious connotations, today they typify the secular celebration of Christmas.”(THIS IS SO GREAT. YOU GUYS HAVE MADE A WONDERFUL CONTRIBUTION TO RELIGION, bOTANY, ADN A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF WE PEONS ARE PROBABLY TOO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND. THANKS, GANG.) Id.

at 616. Thus, in reaching the conclusion that the crèche display at issue violated the
Establishment Clause whereas the menorah and Christmas tree display did not, the Court made a
subtle but important distinction that educators in public schools must regularly make. Based on
the “unique circumstances” involved in each instance, the Court concluded that some displays
can be permissible cultural representations while others carry an impermissible message of
government endorsement of religion.(THEY DO NO SUCH THING, AND EVEN IF THEY DID, ENDORSEMENT IS NOT ESTABLISHMENT. AND I SEE YOU'RE BACK TO THE "PERMISSIBLE" "IMPERMISSIBLE" THING. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, WOULD YOU PLEASE LIMIT YOURSELVES?) See id. at 595, 621;29 see also Bible Reading in Pub. Sch.,
30 Pa. D. &. C.2d 643, 649 (recognizing the difference between teaching about religion and the
teaching of religion).(NOBODY IN THIS CASE WAS TEACHING, AND FROM THE LOOKS OF THINGS IN YOUR WRITING HERE, NOBODY MUSTA EVER BEEN TEACHING ANYWHERE NEAR YOU.)
The same is true of the distinctions made by Defendants in this case. While Plaintiffs
contend that Defendants committed an equal protection violation, they offer no evidence to
suggest that the presentations by Mrs. Lipski to the kindergarten class were anything but secular,
cultural lessons about the holidays.(AND ON THE OTHER HAND, PLAINTIFF HAD A BIBLE. CASE CLOSED.) While it is true that both Hanukkah and Passover are Jewish
holidays(THAT CRITICAL WORD, I'M NOT SURPRISED YOU KEEP COMING BACK TO IT... DO LAWYERS MAKE FREUDIAN SLIPS?), the presentations themselves did not in any way promote a religious viewpoint.(REALLY? NOT IN "ANY WAY"? AS IN ZERO? GOTTA BE THAT WAY, EH, BECAUSE "EQUAL" MEANS MATHEMATICALLY EQUAL AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE, SO AS YOU SKILLFULLY HERD THOSE CATS, NONE OF 'EM EVER... EVER... NEVER... SLIP AWAY FROM THE THRONG... EVER... BECAUSE YOU'RE THE BEST CAT HERDERS EVER. SO IT'S ZERO FOR SURE. GOTCHA.) For
Hanukkah, Mrs. Lipski brought in a menorah and dreidel to show the class and read a story from
the “Blue’s Clues Hanukkah” book. Similarly, for Passover, Mrs. Lipski brought in matzah ball
soup for the children to taste if they wished and read The Matzah Ball Fairy, a fanciful children’s
story about a food typically eaten on that holiday. The Hanukkah presentation was permitted as
part of the social studies curriculum in which Reilly discussed the holidays of Christmas,
Hanukkah, and Kwanza. Similarly, Reilly set up the presentation on Passover by discussing the

spring holidays of Easter and Passover. In each instance, the context of the presentation made it
clear that the information was being presented to the students as part of their education on
various religions and cultures. In contrast, Plaintiff’s intended Bible reading had none of these
elements. As part of a “show and tell”-type exercise and without explanation or context, Plaintiff
sought to read verses from the Bible to the kindergarten class. Rather than teaching about
religion, such an exercise could easily be perceived as being an endorsement of religion.(GOOD THING WE GOT YOU TO PROTECT US FROM THAT MISGUIDED PERCEPTION, EH?) While it
is subtle (BUT NOT TOO SUBTLE FOR YOUR KEEN HERDSMAN EYES), this distinction is all-important. Mrs. Lipski and Plaintiff were not similarly situated
because their presentations differed in content, form, and context(YEP, YOU CAT HERDERS ALWAYS RECOGNIZE YOUR BRAND, EVEN IF THE REST OF US HAVEN'T A CLUE) in ways that justifiably
impacted the school’s decision in each case. As a result, the different treatment(A CRITICAL WORD HERE. TAKE NOTE, MR. CARTWRIGHT, IN FUTURE EQUAP PROTECTION CASES.) each received
did not give rise to an equal protection violation.30 Accordingly, we are compelled to grant
Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on this claim as well.



This is just too much blather. There has to be a revolution in the way we approach this stuff, because this is just too much. LIMIT YOURSELVES, PLEASE. Forget attempts to split the baby, because you just dig a deeper hole for yourselves, and for the rest of us unfortunately.
6.6.2007 9:54pm
whackjobbbb:

Whackjob: when you pick up a book on quantum physics and complain that you don't understand what all those weird greek symbols are, and rant that they should stop confusing you and just write more simply, you just make yourself look like, well, a whackjob.


Counselor, when I pick up a book on quantum physics, it's usually one of the ancient textbooks up on my shelf, which I hold fondly in remembrance of days spent struggling with those greek symbols... which I'm guessing you don't have a clue about... nor the ability to ever do so.

On the other hand, I can and do understand lawyer gobbleydeygook when I'm seeing it. Unprincipled, unlimited, directionless gobbleydeygook. Tighten up, kiddies. If I was presented nonsense like this, I'd fire the guy holding it.

And this is NOT about what is "legal", blade. This is about process, something I evidently know a lot more about than the hack lawyer who put together this tripe.

Limit yourselves. Don't wrap the law around someplace you want to go. Establish where the law is, in a simple, limited way, and then find the limited ways it might be applied to the situation at hand. The world's problems are not yours to solve, and you're not qualified to do so even if they were.
6.6.2007 10:14pm
Cornellian (mail):
Of course if, instead of a Brown Bear, it were Knut the Baby Polar Bear, it would be no contest.
6.6.2007 10:36pm
whackjobbbb:

Nevertheless, we are not persuaded that Defendants’ actions
throughout the course of the year in allowing some parent presentations but not others violated
the Equal Protection Clause.



I can't believe I missed this. This lawyer must be more clever than I gave him credit for... he hid this in plain sight: "...actions
throughout the course of the year in allowing some parent presentations but not others..."
. This slickster had the cajones to slip this statement into the sentence he used to DENY the equality of 2 situations.

"actions throughout the course of the year"

"some but not others"

Pitiful... just pitiful.
6.7.2007 12:00am
whackjobbbb:
There's a free speech component to this case, but I'm gonna have to close the window and ignore it... for safety reasons. This guy's free speech writings are liable to make my head explode.
6.7.2007 12:07am
Dave N (mail):
I can believe that some five-year olds like to be read from a Children's Bible. However, I know my five-year old grandson is not one of them. While he would much prefer to discuss the intracies of Spiderman3, when I do read to him he wants stories with the whimsical cadence of Dr. Seuss.
6.7.2007 12:41am
amnyc (mail) (www):
My favorite lines from the decision are in footnote 27:


"... we note that it is simply ludicrous to refer to
the Christmas tree as a “holiday” tree. The school and, as will be discussed infra, the Supreme Court of the United States consider the Christmas tree to be a secular symbol of the Christmas holiday. If the school makes the choice to display it, it should justify that choice based on applicable law but should not try to avoid it by masking its choice in secular language."
6.7.2007 1:13am
Brian G (mail) (www):
My 3-year old tells me about the Bible stories she learns at school. Nothing, in her view, beats "Diego's Wolf Pup Rescue" however.
6.7.2007 1:15am
Henri Le Compte (mail):
And here I was, preparing to tell everyone that my daughter-- who just finished kindergarten!-- was way beyond BB,BB, and how amazingly advanced first graders are, when I read wackjobbbb's various replies and decided... oh, nevermind....
6.7.2007 1:26am
R Gould-Saltman (mail):
I'm sorry, but it's hard to beat "Big Orange Splot", and, later, "Blue Moose".
6.7.2007 1:26am
David M. Nieporent (www):
You're a legend in your own mind, Whackjob. The court had to reconcile a lot of overlapping and complex precedents to reach this decision; you just had to make a bunch of snarky comments showing you didn't understand the issue.
6.7.2007 3:01am
luagha:
Whatever happened to 'The Diggingest Dog'?
6.7.2007 3:10am
Sarah (mail) (www):
I'd buy animated Bible films or abbreviated Bible-based children's materials as a child's "favorites," because I know at least three children under 8 who all prefer one of those products to a standard commercial item. There are a few kids I know who already know most of the Bible stories thanks to that sort of product.

But the bottom line is that the KJV of the Bible is written on something around a 12th-grade reading level (it takes some hunting to get an edition below a 3rd grade reading level, and all of those are "simplified" well beyond simple plain-English translation.) The 7-year-olds in my Sunday School class have been going to church for about 3 hours a week, every week, since the second or third week of their lives, and they all still zone out whenever someone reads a passage of scripture that's longer than about 60 words. Even the ones who know how to read the stuff themselves zone out. Sometimes *I* zone out -- try reading any twenty chapters of Isaiah and see what your attention span is like in the end.

Also: most of the "cool" Bible stories seem to appeal to an older audience than kindergarten. The younger ones flip out if you just tell them what happens in the stories, even if you don't explain your euphemisms, e.g. when discussing the Potiphar's wife dilemma ("she wanted him to do something bad.") We did a year on the Old Testament, and almost every week I got horrified "you cannot have just said that!" responses. And this from children who in the main all watched the Harry Potter, Spiderman, Superman, and Star Wars films. They were horrified by the Esther story, they were sad for Naomi because her sons and husband all died, they thought Samuel's mother must have been really lonely, they couldn't believe how mean Job's friends were, they thought Jonah was a bit of an idiot, and don't get me started on 40 *years* in the wilderness and Moses not even getting to step into the Promised Land. But the 10-12 year olds I've worked with have generally responded with "heh, cool!" remarks to most of that same stuff -- I can think of at least three *older* kids from whom I'd believe the Bible as a favorite book, if they chose to claim it. And as we're all Mormons, I'll go further and not be surprised if they picked the OT as their favorite book of scripture (it's my second-favorite,) despite its length and difficulty. However, out of the 120 or so children in our Primary, and over the last year and a half of "spotlight" questions (one of which asks for your favorite book,) *none* of the kids cited *any* work of scripture as their "favorite book". And we were in church, so you'd expect at least some kids to believe that such a response would be welcomed and encouraged by the adults in the room.

(I have no opinion on the case itself. I would have been curious as to why any elementary school teacher felt the need to contradict parents on the matter of their child's favorite book, but this thread cured me of any desire to go look at it.)
6.7.2007 6:37am
--:
Judge Surrick consistently refers to himself as "we." Very strange.
6.7.2007 8:44am
Happyshooter:
That is really odd that the end result was that talking about the Jewish faith was cool with the Court, and then that didn't mean that the Christian faith could be discussed.

It is just odd how the precise legal formula worked out that way.
6.7.2007 10:04am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Happyshooter: what's "really odd" is how you got that from the opinion.
6.7.2007 10:24am
New World Dan (www):
And if you ask my daughter, age 4, why she likes church, she'll tell you that she gets a cookie and sometimes gets to watch a "veggie movie" [Veggie Tales(tm)]. As for a favorite book, she has long since put away Brown Bear in favor of Madeline and, sadly, Disney Princesses. Still, for my own literary tastes, to this day, nothing tops the Berenstain's B Book. I'm a little sad that my little girl hasn't taken to it the way I have.
6.7.2007 11:23am
Seamus (mail):
Also: most of the "cool" Bible stories seem to appeal to an older audience than kindergarten.

When my youngest daughter was five, she really liked the story about Elisha sicking the two she-bears on the 42 boys who had dissed him (2 Kings 2:23-25). (Her two older sisters have perverse senses of humor which may have warped her mind a bit.) Maybe those she-bears are the "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" the babysitter was talking about.
6.7.2007 11:33am
JosephSlater (mail):
My almost four year old has moved beyond BB, BB, but I miss it. Great illustrations.

New World Dan:

My boy used to love the Berenstain's B Book, as did I. As a former bagpipe player, the idea of a banjo, bagpipe, and bugle band totally cracked me up.
6.7.2007 11:46am
Steve:
The school and, as will be discussed infra, the Supreme Court of the United States consider the Christmas tree to be a secular symbol of the Christmas holiday.

That's an odd thing to say about a Hannukah bush.
6.7.2007 12:17pm
whackjobbbb:

You're a legend in your own mind, Whackjob. The court had to reconcile a lot of overlapping and complex precedents to reach this decision; you just had to make a bunch of snarky comments showing you didn't understand the issue.


Yes, only you understand, eh?

Well, Nieporent, I suggest we save ourselves a bunch of time and money spent on these hack judges, and go find a bunch of warehouse workers to bin up all the many color-coded parts of the cat-herding regime you types have created, so they can all be stored all nice and pretty. Then we'll rebin them next week... and next... and so on.

Of course, it'd probably be more efficient if we quit storing all this nonsense... with some confidence that the efficiencies gained would likely at least "equal" anything "lost"... and probably outweight it... but you seem to prefer a massive inventory... and all the requisite maintenance of same...as does this hack judge. Plus he can't write for shite.

Look professors, you better have a look at this nonsense, and find concensus as to how you're gonna address it. This sorta crap cannot stand forever. Tighten up, please.
6.7.2007 12:34pm
markm (mail):
It does seem like the school is fine with bits of the Jewish religion being presented in the classroom, but not with a psalm out of the Christian Bible. Or maybe just not with that part of the Bible being presented by a fundamentalist parent - the psalms are from the Old Testament, but are they in the Torah?

The odd thing is, I can think of a good reason for this different treatment: Jews don't proselytize. When my Jewish classmate Chuck and his father gave our sixth-grade class a presentation on how Judaism is practiced in the home (kosher cooking, daily prayers, the little box containing a bit of scripture attached to their doorpost), it was a bit of education about another culture, with no implication at all that they wanted us to convert. As I understand it, conversion to Judaism is possible - but the rabbis don't encourage it or make it easy.

OTOH, in my experience deeply committed Christians always want to bring new sheep into the fold. (A metaphor that really sets my teeth on edge.) Let one of them find out that I'm an atheist, and I'll be arguing with him or her for weeks.
6.7.2007 12:40pm
Falafalafocus (mail):

Well, Nieporent, I suggest we save ourselves a bunch of time and money spent on these hack judges, and go find a bunch of warehouse workers to bin up all the many color-coded parts of the cat-herding regime you types have created, so they can all be stored all nice and pretty. Then we'll rebin them next week... and next... and so on.

Of course, it'd probably be more efficient if we quit storing all this nonsense... with some confidence that the efficiencies gained would likely at least "equal" anything "lost"... and probably outweight it... but you seem to prefer a massive inventory... and all the requisite maintenance of same...as does this hack judge. Plus he can't write for shite.

Look professors, you better have a look at this nonsense, and find concensus as to how you're gonna address it. This sorta crap cannot stand forever. Tighten up, please.


I'm not a professor, but I have to agree. I have no idea how to address your nonsense, Whackjob. I think that you are saying that establishment clause and free expression cases are confusing and convoluted and that judges do not seem to be following a consistent approach.

If that is your argument (again, I am only making guesses based on your rambling prose), then take a number.
6.7.2007 1:47pm
whackjobbbb:
FFF, it's not that they're not "following" an approach, because in their own convoluted way... they probably are... much like the warehouse workers (who will easily replace them) will do with all these countless bits of data they're entering into inventory.

The real key is for them to go down an approach... then STOP at the appropriate point. And hey, go ahead and look ahead forward down the path... understand what's down there... fine... and even speak to it... but that don't mean you have to walk forward on it... nor drag anybody else down there with you. And if you're there halted... you have flexibility in the future to move toward other paths if necessary... and address other concerns... flexibility unavailable if you lurch forward and commit to the first (perhaps mistaken) path.

These guys don't stop... they keep going... and going... and going... and the inventory grows bigger... and bigger... and bigger. I don't like the inventory quality, count, or even existence... and now we gotta find some way to get rid of it. We have an additional burden we wouldn't have had if they'da only limited themselves from the beginning.

Not to be any more condesdending than I've been already, but any stooge can linearly apply a bunch of precedents. This is about boundaries and limits... and process. I read this guy's stuff, and I almost shudder. Is this how this guy sees his role? Is this how the legal types see their role... splitting the baby?

I don't want to take a number... so you'll have to put up with my rambling prose! =;-)
6.7.2007 2:27pm
mbsch13:
Reminds me of the Family Guy in which Peter's father is reading Stewie "bedtime" stories from the Bible. Stewie: "I love this God fellow; he's so deliciously evil." Apart from Stewie, I can't see any little kid picking the Bible over Brown Bear.
6.7.2007 3:27pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
IIRC, Hanukkah refers to a miraculous military triumph.
Which is why Jews read to each other from Keegan, Clausewitz, "Battalion Defense of A Riverline and Related Operations", "The Rifle Company in The Night Defense", and practice small arms marksmanship before eating old rations.
Yup. Cultural and historical.
Having a sick kid lack of sleep thing going on here, so it may be some other Jewish holiday--what's the origin of "holiday??--that celebrates a military victory. Point's the same.
Crunching this into cultural and historical is bogus.
6.8.2007 3:11pm